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Old 04-22-2014, 01:37 PM   #61
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I live in Portland, am retired, and love it. Our city does a lot to accommodate bikes but very often it is in the form of dedicated bike lanes on city streets. If I wanted a moderate climate, a city that has lots of bike paths that do not force you to mix with the automobile, and a town that is an hour's drive to the mountains and an hour's drive to the beach.. it would be Eugene in a nanosecond.

Keep in mind the fact that our beaches are COLD, nothing like Thailand's.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #62
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Does anyone have personal thoughts on Athens, GA? It appears to have many of the features we are seeking. It is a uni town and is rated bicycle friendly. It has rural surroundings and National parks nearby. It is also near Atlanta so we can easily travel back to Asia. GA state income tax is extremely senior friendly. For what it's worth, it's been on a number best cities to retire lists.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:59 PM   #63
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It's a bit larger than you specified, but Portland, OR would get my vote, too. Absolutely gorgeous, albeit rainy in the winter, but incredibly bicycle, walking, and public transportation friendly. Housing is cheaper than California. Taxes in both places are quite progressive, so if you aren't rich, you are probably better off (no sales tax in OR). Universities, medical school, indie music, awesome restaurant scene, hiking and mountains nearby. The only flaw is the distance to the ocean, but fresh water abounds. My husband feels it would be depressing in the winter, but I love the silvery, overcast winter light. Also, it is the only city in the US with a volcano (extinct) in the center.
Actually from a tax perspective live in Vancouver, Wa and you have most of the advantages of Portland without a state income tax. You can shop in Oregon, all be it you probably should pay a use tax in Wa. Also I understand because development is not quite so restricted that Wa housing is cheaper.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:09 PM   #64
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Does anyone have personal thoughts on Athens, GA? It appears to have many of the features we are seeking. It is a uni town and is rated bicycle friendly. It has rural surroundings and National parks nearby. It is also near Atlanta so we can easily travel back to Asia. GA state income tax is extremely senior friendly. For what it's worth, it's been on a number best cities to retire lists.
I am not sure how important this part is to you, but it sounds like you might be happier in a blue state -

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
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:08 AM   #65
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I am not sure how important this part is to you, but it sounds like you might be happier in a blue state -

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
Unfortunately, there aren't any blue states that work for me so I willing to try purple to light blue cities that are in a red state. Besides, that's where my vote might have more impact.


Regarding bicycle friendly cities (Portland, Eugene, Corvallis) in Oregon, the weather is too much of a turn off.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:19 AM   #66
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I lived in Georgia for a year. It was awfully uncomfortable in the summer and cold in the winter, but lovely in the spring and fall. Now, if you want beautiful weather, you need to come out my way.... Taxes are moderate if you aren't super rich, but housing costs may make you a hair (or more) anxious. I look at my house as my pot of cash to pay for assisted living.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:58 PM   #67
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Look at Anthem Az fantastic all American Town plenty of retirees but also teaming with youth young families and vitality little leagues cub scouts soccer leagues bake sales you know all the signs of a youthful community parades 4 th of July fireworks etc

Easy drive to Sedona Prescott and Flagstaff to cool off in summer
Living costs low compared to say California gas and groceries much less
Really perfect weather from late September to mid May

Summer not a problem lots of air conditioned stores and community facilities to cool off pools water park etc

Housing prices and rents very low compared to a California

The entire area has a nice new feel since almost all construction is post 2000

A beautiful lake Lake a Pleasant is close by for swimming and boating

Very safe area with low low crime rate and pretty nice upscale crowd

Easy access to Scottsdale for shopping and entertainment

While greater Anthem is all very nice and affordable The Anthem Country Club is top of the line and very special and again home prices very reasonable especially compared to say a Country Club Community in California The club has two private immaculate and well maintained 18 hole courses with two Clubhouses

The really great thing about Anthem is that you can get to either Southern California or Colorado I six hours

We make the drive to beaches of Orange County all the time easy drive on the 10 6 hours with a lunch stop and stretch rest room breaks

Additional benefits you have

Spring Training Games
Pro Baseball Diamond Backs
Pro Football Cardinals
Pro Basketball Suns
College Football Sun Devils
More 5 star resorts than anywhere else in the nation
World Class Golf
Access to numerous cultural venues and museums in Phoenix
Now fifth largest city in country
Great night life and Fine Dining in Scottsdale
Downhill and Cross Country skiing in Flagstaff in winter

As you can see I am a big fan of Anthem and would highly recommend it to Californians who want to substantially lower their living costs but who also want to be able to get back to the iconic beaches and climate of Southern California anytime

While Anthem and Arizona has incredible beauty and most people just stay there year round
As younger retirees 63 and X Irvine residents we like returning to the Coast on a regular basis

As a result we will typically leave Anthem at 11 AM and will be sitting down for an early dinner say 5 pm in Newport Beach

We then save a ton of cash for accommodation by using the website Airbnb which I also highly recommend

In conclusion all of you retirees and prospective retirees out there should google the town of Anthem and The Anthem Az Country Club

Finally because I consider myself very objective Arizona is hot 4 months of the year with 2 months July and August being very hot 105-110 hot

Having said that there is no or little humidity in Anthem plus you are higher at several thousand feet up from the Desert Basin

Your clothes are never dripping wet like in the Midwest or back East in summer
Never a bug problem so outdoor dining and living a delight
Cleaner air and skies than even along the California Coast

Even at 110 if you are sitting poolside or in the shade not bad at all

What I really like about Phoenix in the summer is that every venue shop restaurant store and theater has industrial strength AC which means that if you want in the summer you have plenty of escapes

Further we run our AC at 78 in summer with fans on house like meat locker

To those of you on a budget we have not run AC or heat since late September through now mid May

If anybody has any questions about Anthem or Phoenix feel free to post any questions I will be glad to help and NO I AM NOT A REAL ESTATE AGENT in Anthem just a happy early retiree
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:03 PM   #68
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Huntsville, Alabama

Has mountains just east of town, population about 200,000, far enough away from Gulf so not real muggy but summers still can get hot.

Easy trips up to Tennessee, 4 hours to Smokies or Atlanta, two hours to Nashville, Birmingham or Chattanooga. Univ of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH). May be most prosperous town in Alabama, very low property taxes, income tax retirement friendly.
Leans to hi-tech with gobs of engineers and sofware folks. Home of NASA Marshall Space Center.

Lived there for 22 years and grew to like it very much. Spent years backpacking in Tennessee, Georgia, etc. Only moved due to elderly parent situation.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:19 PM   #69
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Huntsville, Alabama

Has mountains just east of town, population about 200,000, far enough away from Gulf so not real muggy but summers still can get hot.

Easy trips up to Tennessee, 4 hours to Smokies or Atlanta, two hours to Nashville, Birmingham or Chattanooga. Univ of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH). May be most prosperous town in Alabama, very low property taxes, income tax retirement friendly.
Leans to hi-tech with gobs of engineers and sofware folks. Home of NASA Marshall Space Center.

Lived there for 22 years and grew to like it very much. Spent years backpacking in Tennessee, Georgia, etc. Only moved due to elderly parent situation.
That's probably where I'll retire. I lived there before and still have a house in the area, all paid for.

Huntsville also has a fairly diverse population. My neighbors were born-and-bred Alabamians, Yankees, Chinese, and Korean. Good ethnic restaurant selection too. For being in the deep south, it's also pretty progressive, not blue, but a good shade of purple.

And the major is also trying to make the city bike-friendly.

Oh, and please share your backpacking spots if you don't mind!
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:27 PM   #70
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Nycboy, are you sure you are not an agent? I could easily see that type of area being a retirement place down the road for GF and myself. We were discussing this last weekend. She is all for AZ, but will not go for NV at all, even though that is my preference. I know she thinks I would be in a sports book 10 hours a day if we lived in NV. Personally, I would rather sacrifice the 5-6 degrees in winter in Vegas to avoid the extra 5-6 in PHX area. I was there a couple years ago when it hit 115 and I swear my lungs were being BBQ'd by breathing the air and my feet getting burned on grass. But I do know this, when the sun went down, even at 105 it was very enjoyable and no flying bugs either. Or none that bite me anyways.


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Old 05-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #71
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But I do know this, when the sun went down, even at 105 it was very enjoyable and no flying bugs either. Or none that bite me anyways.
In Arizona you need to be on the lookout for the things crawling on the ground, like scorpions and rattlesnakes. Only been to Anthem a couple times to play golf, it does seem like a nice community. The Phoenix area was hit very hard when the real estate bubble burst a few years back but seems to be making a come back. I did notice on Zillow that there are ~600 homes for sale in Anthem which seems like a lot for a small community of only ~20K people but I guess that might be good news if you're buying. I would highly recommend anyone thinking about living in Phoenix spend a summer there first before making any type of long term commitment. I lived there for 2 years but couldn't handle the summers so moved to the high desert where it's about 20 degrees cooler. Electric bills can also get very high in Phoenix during the summer months, $300-400/mo is not unusual.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:48 PM   #72
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I lived there for 2 years but couldn't handle the summers so moved to the high desert where it's about 20 degrees cooler. Electric bills can also get very high in Phoenix during the summer months, $300-400/mo is not unusual.

But you don't have to shovel sunshine!
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:33 PM   #73
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Phoenix: Valley of the Sun!

More like "surface of the Sun"...
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #74
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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.

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
Hi All, I'm new to the site...

I've lived in Raleigh for the past 17 years, after moving up from Miami, so two data points for the conversation...

1. HaHa is correct. Raleigh is almost literally in the middle of nowhere...Too far from the Beach and too far from the Mountains...It is a great place all on its own, but you shouldn't choose it if you think you'll be close to everything, because you won't.

2. South Florida is a hell hole. Lived in Miami for 15 years and because of friends who won't leave, have visited a lot since. My daughter lives in Tampa and I find it only marginally better...And don't get me started on Orlando.

I'm about 2 to 5 years out from early retirement and thinking about this subject myself, so I thought I'd add my $0.02.

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Old 05-12-2014, 09:00 PM   #75
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What's wrong with Orlando ?

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Old 05-12-2014, 09:16 PM   #76
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Nycboy, are you sure you are not an agent? I could easily see that type of area being a retirement place down the road for GF and myself. We were discussing this last weekend. She is all for AZ, but will not go for NV at all, even though that is my preference. I know she thinks I would be in a sports book 10 hours a day if we lived in NV. Personally, I would rather sacrifice the 5-6 degrees in winter in Vegas to avoid the extra 5-6 in PHX area. I was there a couple years ago when it hit 115 and I swear my lungs were being BBQ'd by breathing the air and my feet getting burned on grass. But I do know this, when the sun went down, even at 105 it was very enjoyable and no flying bugs either. Or none that bite me anyways.


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Mulligan, go to Nevada. Just tell her you had sports betting before you had her, and if necessary you will have it after she's gone. Every city has women, but only Las Vegas and maybe Cal-Neva in Reno have dime lines.

You actually make money at this. Plus it is an honest skill.

Ha
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:30 PM   #77
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Is anyone familiar with Athens Georgia?
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:00 AM   #78
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I like NC of the many place we've lived, but the income tax is pretty stiff. Last place was FL; tax went up but car and home insurance went way down. Not as much as the tax went up.
Virginia might be a good alternative to North Carolina.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:03 AM   #79
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We are in Bangkok, where i just retired from my job with a US company. Almost same situation as you. Gave thought to retiring in Chaing Mai, but now looking at the US. We have looked at Portland (great city, weather a concern), Austin (no real complaints) San Diego (really nice, but very expensive housing)
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:16 AM   #80
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^ Have you considered Chiang Rai or Phayao?
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