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Old 03-06-2014, 04:46 PM   #21
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Cary (NC) is an acronym for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees".
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:57 PM   #22
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Another NC option is Charlotte. Not too far to the mountains, not too far to the coast. Good hospitals.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:08 PM   #23
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Honolulu meets all but ONE of your criteria:

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Originally Posted by MJ View Post
. looking for cities with populations of approx 100K to 400K - - - YES!
. we like climate similar to Northern Thailand with mountains
nearby - - - YES!
. I want mild winters so I cycle year round - - - YES!
. I enjoy road cycling so I want
bicycle friendly city and surrounding area - - - YES!
. we enjoy nearby trail hiking - - - YES!
. Although I am still pretty health, I want good hospitals nearby
just in case - - - YES!
. we both enjoy culture and classical music events - - - YES!
. possibly a city with a mid to large university - - - YES!
. since my wife is Asian and younger than me, we want to live among open minded people and I tend to be blue rather than red minded as far as my politics are concerned - - - YES!
. money shouldn't be an issue but like most of you, I am looking for a state that has reasonable cost of living and low overall tax burden coming from state tax, sales tax, property tax and is senior tax friendly on pensions and SS - - - NO.....
I know, I am asking a lot, but hey, why not? Thanks
If you can possibly swing it financially, I think you might love living in Honolulu.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:31 PM   #24
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First off, I totally agree about Chiengmai. It used to be one of my favorite places in the world. Lived there in the mid-1980s and have been back regularly. It is not the place it used to be.
To answer your question, why not look at Santa Rosa, CA. It meets all your criteria, except Cal's tax treatment is not as favorable as some states. Being part of Northern California, it is definitely a 'blue' area. Plus, there are many Thais and other Asians in the area. Has a decent size university, and proximity to mountains, lakes, rivers, and to 'the' wine country. You're also a quick drive to the ocean and less than 2 hours away from San Francisco and a major urban center. And the weather rarely gets below 40.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:29 PM   #25
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I'm not sure any place in the US meets those requirements, if it did I would have moved there years ago . I think the combination of mild climate, nice scenery and low taxes just doesn't exist here anymore.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:40 PM   #26
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You should put a bit of research into Portland, OR. The negatives, based on your criteria are: It is cooler that what you might like and we get a lot of rain, but little snow. The 2012 census claims the population reached 587,865.
It is absolutely gorgeous here. The ocean is about a 2 hour drive and the beaches are all public. Mt. Hood is about 1.5 hours from here. The Columbia River Gorge is about 1/2 hour drive. All of them are beautiful and very accessible.
You won't find a town much more liberal or bike friendly than Portland, and the hiking is fabulous and nearby. The restaurant food is out of this world too.
I love Portland and I love the surrounding area.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:10 PM   #27
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In the east, you might prefer Asheville or Charlotteville to Research Triangle (which while very nice, is much farther from the mountains, fairly congested, and not particularly charming).

If you're interested in the west coast, you also may want to consider the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, which has a somewhat more diverse climate, but is some of the most beautiful country on earth! And, if you live on the Nevada side, it's income tax free!
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:58 PM   #28
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...
To answer your question, why not look at Santa Rosa, CA. It meets all your criteria, except Cal's tax treatment is not as favorable as some states. Being part of Northern California, it is definitely a 'blue' area. Plus, there are many Thais and other Asians in the area. Has a decent size university, and proximity to mountains, lakes, rivers, and to 'the' wine country. You're also a quick drive to the ocean and less than 2 hours away from San Francisco and a major urban center. And the weather rarely gets below 40.
I have owned a home in Santa Rosa for the past 29 years, and lived there most of that time (although not now). I'll move back there when i retire. I agree with TimSF about the town's qualities...it is very livable, bike friendly, close to nature and culture, and I have quite a few Asian friends there. It is similar to the central California coast as was suggested earlier, only a little more populated and wetter in the winter. Just about any part of California will be more expensive than most of the southeast, though. You should visit those places on your short list and see what you think.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:16 AM   #29
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Ashville, NC, Chattanooga, TN, Beaufort, SC, Wilmington, NC, Columbia, MO are all worth checking out.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #30
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:57 PM   #31
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Ashville, NC, Chattanooga, TN, Beaufort, SC, Wilmington, NC, Columbia, MO are all worth checking out.
Columbia, MO gets pretty cold in the winter:

Average Weather for Columbia, MO - Temperature and Precipitation
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:35 PM   #32
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I lived in NYC for 55+ years, now in Austin TX. It has its liberal qualities and a fair number of Asians in the IT sector but it is, after all, Texas. Also the population is 1.8 million and growing rapidly and the traffic is pretty horrendous. Not the 100-400K you are looking for. The weather ranges from the 20s-30's in the winter to 90+ days of 100 plus degree weather in the summer. But it is much drier and nowhere near as humid as NYC, the American Southeast or Southeast Asia.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:18 PM   #33
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Columbia, MO gets pretty cold in the winter:

Average Weather for Columbia, MO - Temperature and Precipitation
Yes don't move to Columbia MO. for the climate. Cold, with nasty northern winds. They do get another benefit in winter, frezing rain and ice storms. The summer temperature can get quite high as well, but it's a wet heat.

It's a nice city, halfway between St. Louis and K.C. The weather stinks.

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Old 03-15-2014, 03:54 PM   #34
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My wife and I pretty much want the same things in a place as you do MJ and to get in the the U.S. you either need to ditch the afforadability requirement or give up several other things from your list.

We live in Mexico (Lake Chapala area) and after a few years down here I find myself far more snow-and-cold averse than I was before. I'd think Thailand would make you even more so. The cities we like that are small-ish, vibrant and with good biking are mostly what I'd call May-through-October locales: Boulder, CO (wonderful but very expensive), Santa Fe (pricy but less expensive than Boulder), Ashland, OR, etc.

For bigger cities, our favorite is Tucson, AZ, which is a "small big city." Very affordable, superb biking and hiking, an amazing progressive community (albeit in a very Red state). You just have to figure out a place to go from June through September, but sweatbirding is easier than snowbirding - espeically if you've always wanted to spend time in the Pacific NW, highlands of Mexico, etc.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:41 PM   #35
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Another NC option is Charlotte. Not too far to the mountains, not too far to the coast.
I always wonder what advantage this holds. Why not pick whichever environment you like best, and commit?

I have been happy every place I lived, once I left my birthplace. This is how I chose: I decided where I wanted to be, and went there. If it's the beach, no more than 3 -4 blocks. Trying to find a parking place on a warm weekend is enough to have you stay home.

If its the mountains, a bit farther is fine.I go exactly where I want to be, and I keep looking at smaller and smaller apartments until I can afford one. I take it. One year I swam in the ocean almost every day; I missed a few in Jan or February when there was a big storm.

A place most people are familiar with would be LA. Halfway between the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica and the San Gabriel Mountains might be about Arcadia. Whoopee!

My former wife's father used this "halfway between" argument to sell his family on Raleigh. When I asked her if she preferred being at the Beach in Venice, or nowhere hallway to somewhere in NC, she just guffawed.

Ha
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:46 AM   #36
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I have zoned in the following cities (1) Columbia, SC and (2) Charleston, (3) Savannah, (4) Augusta. I was hoping some of you might share any recent experiences and opinions with these cities? You can PM me if you prefer.
Thanks
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:17 AM   #37
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Savannah meets some of your criteria. It is a long way from the mountains. The hiking is also not so great here in the immediate area. The surrounding area and suburbs are politically very red. The downtown and historic area are very diverse and politically mostly blue. We have a couple colleges, three soso hospitals, plenty of good restaurants and there are lots of cultural activities. The cost of living is very low and the state is tax friendly for retirees age 62 and older though, housing in the desirable historic and waterfront areas can be expensive.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:31 AM   #38
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I have zoned in the following cities (1) Columbia, SC and (2) Charleston, (3) Savannah, (4) Augusta. I was hoping some of you might share any recent experiences and opinions with these cities? You can PM me if you prefer.
Thanks
Columbia is a pretty big city, and does not seem to be a good fit. Charleston is great, better than Savannah in our opinion. No input on Augusta. You should give Greeneville, SC a look. Close to mountains. Mid-size, but nice downtown.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:10 AM   #39
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May be helpful

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I realize this is a shot in the dark inquiry but I figure, I've got nothing to lose.
I've been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for over 7 years.
Over the last several years, Chiang Mai has grown too much for my taste. It has become too congested with traffic.They have built 3 more shopping malls just this past year.My non-Thai wife would like to start a small business but the laws don't allow foreigners to start one. We are not interested in moving anywhere also in SEA so we are considering moving back to the USA. I have done as much online research as I can (best cities lists, findyourspot website etc.) but really haven't been able to get enough realistic info to determine if any city would come close for us. I am hoping I can get some leads here that would further my research.
Now for the specifics,
. looking for cities with populations of approx 100K to 400K
. we like climate similar to Northern Thailand with mountains nearby
. I want mild winters so I cycle year round
. I enjoy road cycling so I want bicycle friendly city and surrounding area
. we enjoy nearby trail hiking
. Although I am still pretty health, I want good hospitals nearby just in case
. we both enjoy culture and classical music events
. possibly a city with a mid to large university
. since my wife is Asian and younger than me, we want to live among open minded people and I tend to be blue rather than red minded as far as my politics are concerned
. money shouldn't be an issue but like most of you, I am looking for a state that has reasonable cost of living and low overall tax burden coming from state tax, sales tax, property tax and is senior tax friendly on pensions and SS
I know, I am asking a lot, but hey, why not? Thanks
Checkout this website called Find Your Spot. Find Your Spot | Find Your Spot
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:13 AM   #40
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Ha, how did you manage this during your working years or were you lucky enough to be in one of those few professions that can simply plop down in a new city and pick up where you left off work wise (including pay/etc)?

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I always wonder what advantage this holds. Why not pick whichever environment you like best, and commit?

I have been happy every place I lived, once I left my birthplace. This is how I chose: I decided where I wanted to be, and went there. If it's the beach, no more than 3 -4 blocks. Trying to find a parking place on a warm weekend is enough to have you stay home.

Ha
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