Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Living in Arizona?
Old 10-21-2004, 08:20 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 98
Living in Arizona?

Thanks for any feedback from those of you who are living in Arizona, have lived there, or are thinking about it. I just returned from a two-week swing through the southwest and spent time looking at property west of Sedona to build a small house and ER in mid-2005. Going back a week from today to look at more land.

Would make the move from northern California, sell my house here and pay for a new house (and land) outright (and still pocket some cash).

Negatives about life in Arizona (besides heat, scorpions, and snakes)? Positives, especially as they relate to cost-of-living?
__________________

__________________
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-21-2004, 10:13 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: Living in Arizona?

Hi Traveler,

I moved to Arizona 20 years ago after living in Illinois, New York, California and North Carolina. I loved it immediately. But for career reasons, I moved to Iowa after 13 years and spent 6 years there. My DW and I knew when we left that we would return to retire here and we were able to do that 3 years ago. We still love Arizona and the desert SW.

We like the desert. We love the scenery. We don't mind the heat. And we don't miss the cold/snow. If we did miss winter, it is available within an hour or two drive of our home in Mesa. Skiing is a two hour drive from our house. We are both very interested in archaeology and the prehistoric cultures that thrived here prior to European contact. Opportunities to participate in archaeology studies abound here. We love the hiking and camping opportunities. We enjoy traveling and exploring Mexico. Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the US and offers most any kind of cultural/entertainment opportunity you might be interested in. Phoenix also offers professional sports of all flavors if you are interested in that (although it is often dificult to consider the Cardinals a professional football team). You don't have to live in Phoenix to take occasional advantage of what it has to offer.

I've learned from experience that not everyone loves Arizona or what it offers. There is about 1 to 2 months in the late Summer/early Fall which can combine temperatures over 110 with humidity over 30% (Monsoon season). That is uncomfortable no matter how you feel about heat. Further North where you are talking about, the temp is less, but still relatively uncomfortable during that time. You get used to spending more time inside during that time of year. I still prefer the Monsoons in Mesa to the winter. I can still get outside in early morning and evenings during this time of year. But in Iowa or Illinois, winter cold is constant once it hits.

Some people do not find the desert beautiful and wonderful. They find it brown and ugly. . . no accounting for taste.

Some people live in fear of scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantuals, mountain lions, . . .

Some people claim to miss winter -- especially at Christmas time.

Like almost everywhere desirable, Arizona is getting overbuilt, crowded and poluted. Snowbirds flock in in the Fall and our roads get clogged with bluehairs who don't help the traffic problems at all. We are dependent on piping in water from the Colorado River and every perennial river in the state. And still we drop the water table every year. We are currently in a 9 year drought that is causing water planners to worry. Water conservation efforts are likely to have to be implemented soon.

In the Summer, the air pollution index often exceeds federal standards in Phoenix. An inversion layer over the Valley of the Sun often causes Phoenix air quality to be worse even than Los Angeles'.

Crime in the Southwest is worse than anywhere else in the US. Our proximity to the boarder means that car theft rates are high.

Arizona government is certainly no shining star. In the past couple of decades they have had two corrupt govenors that were forced from office. Their legislature is the best that developer money can buy.

Arizona used to be a place that offered a haven for people with allergies. After years of millions of midwesterners moving here and bringing their favorite mulberry tree, bermuda grass, or other pollen plant with them, Arizona cities now hold one of the worst pollen indexes in the nation.

There you go. An off the top of my head accounting for the Good the Bad and the Ugly.
__________________

__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-21-2004, 10:51 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 325
Re: Living in Arizona?

Traveler:

I, like Salaryguru, live in Arizona. *The Phoenix area has it problems, but parts of this state are a throw back to another era. *Living in Phoenix is hard to get used to at first, as the seasons go from mild to hot to way too hot, but once one gets used to the "heat shock" (some do not) it is a great place to have as a base. *There are older towns in the mountains north and east of Phoenix that, due to their elevation, have a very mild climate. My suggestions for someone looking to retire down here is to consider Globe - Miami, Superior, and the area just on the edge of the mountains east of Phoenix. *These towns are nice, cheap, with old victorian homes and 19th and early 20th century ambiance from their heyday when mines nearby were busy building the country. *All of the mines are shut down, but the towns are within an hour or so of Phoenix. *It like living in a western movie set up in the hills. *Real estate has surged in price in many locations, as the flow of cheap money has made rank speculation way too easy, but there are still relative bargains to find in the smaller towns, where the commute into Phoenix is more than an hour. *

Lots of folks are settling south of Tucson in the Green Valley area, and if one wants a real bargain, Nogales and the adjacent area give you a US home base, with a short drive into Mexico for affordable healthcare, and an hour drive north to Tucson. *The border is always been a mixed bag, with some real issues, but there are enclaves that are fairly safe. *You just have to do your homework, and at least travel to see this part of the southwest for yourself. *

Its not for everyone, but the people who live here really do enjoy the place. *If you don't mind 4-6 *hours in the car, you can drive to Las Vegas, San Diego, and Rocky Point Mexico, which is on the Sea of Cortez, and really laid back. *The area of Sonora Mexico south of the border near the Sea of Cortez is remarkably remote, and the Copper Canyon south of the border is as profound an experiance as any landscape one would explore. Southern Arizona is not quite Mexico, but its not quite the US either. The Phoenix Metro area is amongst the fastest growth areas in the US, most likely due to a few of the points mentioned in these postings. It all seems to come togther for me when, after watching the weather channel during the winter and seeing the blizzards hit the midwest, with the cars dancing along the road ice, I stroll out to my pool to take in the sun while I enjoy an adult beverage. 8)
__________________
"TEMPUS FUGIT"
LEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-22-2004, 08:10 AM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
Re: Living in Arizona?

Quote:
It all seems to come togther for me when, after watching the weather channel during the winter and seeing the blizzards hit the midwest, with the cars dancing along the road ice, I stroll out to my pool to take in the sun while I enjoy an adult beverage. 8)

That's how we keep our evasive driving skills current. *:P

Although there are plenty of days where the climate of Arizona and the desert SW is soooo appealing.
__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-22-2004, 08:43 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 98
Re: Living in Arizona?

Thanks to all for the thoughtful replies. I love the desert and the southwest and the climate suits me. Right now I live in Sacramento where the summers are almost as hot as Arizona's and the winters...well, you have to like rain and when it's not raining, the pea soup thick tule fog covers the entire central valley. In bad years, it's like living inside a damp ping pong ball.

Have looked around Green Valley, Tubac, Nogales, Miami, Globe, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Chandler, Mesa, Prescott, Cottonwood, and Sedona. Liked them all but Sedona is appealing because it's where several friends have moved.

Please keep the comments coming should you think of anything else. Appreciate it. :
__________________
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-22-2004, 11:41 AM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Living in Arizona?

Traveler,

I grew up in Tempe in the 70's 80's (ASU grad here hoping that we don't let the USC loss derail us, but if history proves.....uggh), moved away, and then lived in Tucson in the mid-90's. I just got back from a week long trip there visiting friends and family.

What the previous posters said was true - I'm agog everytime I get to Phoenix and see how much it has changed. I much prefer Tucson, although it is growing, too. Plus, Mexico ain't cheap anymore....except perhaps for pharmaceutical products. With that being said, my goal is to have Tucson be my base when I retire and then travel around from there. I love the smell of the Sonoran desert after it rains, I love the GREAT Mexican food - you can't beat the constant sunshine - and this desert isn't as brown as the Mojave----when the cactus are in bloom, it is beautiful.

Prices have been steadily going up. though, and the adage that as CA goes, AZ goes is true - I'm a bit concerned with some of the tax structures and rates in AZ as they do mimic the current ones in CA. The issue about water is a very important one. Tucson has to have CAP water, too - although I heard they decided to replenish the aquifer and then pump instead of use it directly from CAP (water tastes *horrible* in Phx compared to Tucson).

Sedona is pricey as it is a resort area - some of the other towns mentioned might have cheaper real estate.

AZ does have proximity to bunches of places in the west and if you are a private pilot (I am) you can't beat the 100nm visibility either - for the most part great VFR flying weather.

I frankly do love to visit winter as I'm an avid snow skier, but I'll just travel to get that - easier to visit than live with it.

Good luck in your quest - I don't think you can go wrong with AZ.

Bridget
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-22-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Living in Arizona?

Oh - one other thing - I have also lived in Sacramento and currently own a house in Vacaville - yes, the fog is horrendous and driving down I-5 is just plain dangerous. However, I do love northern CA and its amenities as well - the climate is a bit milder and Sedona may be able to match that more evenly. As for fresh vegetables/etc, that you get in NCAL, I've found the choice to be much wider in NCAL than in AZ. I may have to have my own little garden.

Bridget
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-23-2004, 04:59 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 98
Re: Living in Arizona?

Thanks for the insight, Bridget. The property I'm looking at west of Sedona has its own well that's producing a lot of sweet water. Water is a huge issue in the southwest. Even more so than in much of California.

The rains have started early here and the fog should be right behind it. :P
__________________
Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 10-23-2004, 11:06 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Metro DC Area
Posts: 134
Re: Living in Arizona?

I'd like to move to Sierra Vista in a few years. They've got an Army base out there and they're always hiring for my specialty.

Here's a good website for Arizona real estate:
http://www.longrealty.com/

They have tons of listings and most of them have multiple pictures of the houses.
__________________
daystar is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-01-2004, 07:45 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 325
Re: Living in Arizona?

Daystar:

Sierra Vista is really growing. Have you ever taken a look at Patagonia to the west? Its one part of Southern AZ that seems to to be in a region of its own, really very unique and green, and has a very similar climate to that of much milder areas without the heavy influx of new development (at least the last time I drove through!). It reminded me of the area just inland from the Pacific in southern California, absent the people. Great area for those that need lots of space.
__________________
"TEMPUS FUGIT"
LEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-03-2004, 07:08 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 190
Re: Living in Arizona?

I've lived in So AZ since 1986 and can't really imagine living anywhere else (except in July, and then there's Aug and maybe Sept :P) but I digress. Patagonia is beautiful and in striking distance of Tucson. It doesn't have the intense heat that Tucson/Phx enjoy :-/ but it does get hot. If you prefer to be farther out of town there's a community called Arivaca that's closer to the border (that would be with Mexico) and quite an eclectic group of people. There's also Ajo which is about 2hours west of Tucson on the other side of the Tohono O'odham res which used to be a mining town (we have alot of those in AZ) you can now buy a cute little fixer-upper (but probably well-built) in the $50's. They have basic services ie, medical clinic but no hosp and all the shopping stuff (no WalMart yet but that's probably coming) Phx would be about 2 hrs and Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point, MX is only 1.5 hrs. Now that's convenient! Then there are all those place Up North (we like to be referred to as Baja AZ )

Az, like many western states is growing and there are issues with water. I-19 from Phx to Tucson will soon be continuous development +/or golf course :-/. Also many issues with illegals, esp here in the South, which are problematic to some.

I can think of many paces to check: Bisbee, Flagstaff, Tubac, Cave Creek, Cottonwood, Kingman, Benson, Safford, Globe...all depends of personal preference, YRMV.

Judy

__________________
www.strawbaleredux.blogspot.com
JWV is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-03-2004, 07:23 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 190
Re: Living in Arizona?

Code:
Lots of folks are settling south of Tucson in the Green Valley area
Warning: this post contains graphic descriptions

One more thing, re cost of living issues. As has been discussed on the boards elsewhere, living off what others give/throw away is a boon to those of us who are moving toward FIRE or are there. Living around retirement centered areas (Green Valley) and especially those who retired wealthy, adds a new dimension to thrift shopping. Example: Folks retire to AZ, many times buy all new stuff, sometimes bring best stuff with, live many happy reitrement yrs in AZ. Get sick, die; kids come to AZ to take care of affairs, in a hurry, can't be bothered stuff goes to thrift store or estate sale. Ganga deals!

Judy
__________________
www.strawbaleredux.blogspot.com
JWV is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-11-2004, 01:31 PM   #13
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1
Re: Living in Arizona?

I lived in Tucson several years ago but the heat eventually got to me. However, I can say that if I were to move back to Arizona it would certainly be Tucson or Sedona. I hear Phoenix is hotter than Tucson because more of it is paved over. Also, Tucson has less smog and traffic (nothing worse than being stuck in traffic in 115 degree heat with a broken air conditioner).

Excellent Mexican food in Tucson. Mt. Lemon is a nice escape from the heat and I believe it has a small ski run. The beaches in Rocky Point, Mexico are "just" 4 hours away. All in all, probably not a bad place to retire.
__________________
anothercog is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-11-2004, 02:04 PM   #14
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Living in Arizona?

I've spent a fair amount of time in Arizona, including
Tucson. I like it there, but I have never been anywhere
that was too hot for me. I'm not kidding. I guess in
that respect I am like the Terhorsts, who profess to
just love hot weather.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-11-2004, 02:31 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Hyperborea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,008
Re: Living in Arizona?

Quote:
*I like it there, but I have never been anywhere
that was too hot for me. *I'm not kidding.
Go to Singapore. *It's oppresively hot there and when you combine it with the humidity it's pretty bad. *It doesn't vary much any time of *the year either as you are almost on the equator.
__________________
Hyperborea is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-19-2004, 11:26 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Metro DC Area
Posts: 134
Re: Living in Arizona?

Well, I want to work in Sierra Vista, so I will want to live there as well. I don't enjoy commuting. It seems too much like work.
__________________
daystar is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Living in Arizona?
Old 11-20-2004, 03:05 AM   #17
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Living in Arizona?

Slightly off topic. My brother (estranged) just took
a new job in the Chicago suburbs. When I ask my mother what is going on with him she always mentions
he hates his commute (1.5 hours one way, on a good day).
Don't know why he didn't figure this out ahead of time.
Plus, we are just coming into the really bad driving weather. I feel sorry for him. I wouldn't tolerate it
for any job. In fact, I won't go into Chicago for any reason. BTW, he is almost 58. No idea about his
thoughts on retirement.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FIRE - A Guaranteed Decline in Standard of Living? bbuzzard FIRE and Money 51 12-23-2006 05:10 PM
standard on living or living with basic in US Enuff2Eat FIRE and Money 14 12-30-2005 11:35 AM
Scott Burns - High Cost of Living as a Family intercst Young Dreamers 6 08-23-2005 10:06 AM
My job? Living here preben FIRE and Money 38 07-17-2005 10:09 AM
Yet another revocable living trust question. Nords Other topics 14 11-30-2004 02:45 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:56 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.