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Old 02-24-2008, 08:08 PM   #41
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Oh I kind of like the image of the RV solution. You and Frank could be a convoy talking on the CB while you each drive your own. Lol. (I think there are some aspiring RV racers who might even want to join the fleet.)
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:16 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Wise counsel. Makes RVing sound even better (especially, for us at least, with a home base some place you like in season).
For me, even a house at the base of the 17th St. Canal would be better than an RV because it's a house. But many others do enjoy RV'ing!

I am hoping for a new ER home with some stability and safety. Home base is a great name for it, though in my case I probably wouldn't travel too far away. Guess I am just a homebody at heart.

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Oh I kind of like the image of the RV solution. You and Frank could be a convoy talking on the CB while you each drive your own. Lol. (I think there are some aspiring RV racers who might even want to join the fleet.)
Sorry to bust anyone's bubble, but I hate to travel! An RV life would be absolute h*ll for me. Sounds like something that TwinkleToes might like, though, since she and her DH have had such a hard time finding anywhere that they might like as an ER location. Frank and I haven't had any trouble finding a place we might like as an ER location, though I guess we haven't found a place that others on the board think is worthy of us. And also, we don't want to close our minds to other places until the time comes. Who knows? Life is so full of surprises.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:19 PM   #43
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Want2, I am fascinated that the hurricane would be such a strong influence to your leaving the coast. When Hugo hit here in 1989, I think many newer residents relocated away from the coast, but very few long-time folks left.
So I wondered....does NOLA get more hurricanes than us, statistically speaking?

How often New Orleans gets affected?
brushed or hit every 3.80 years

Average years between direct hurricane hits.(usually within 40 miles to include small hurricanes)
(11h)once every 12.45 years
How often Charleston gets affected?
brushed or hit every 4.42 years

Average years between direct hurricane hits.(usually within 40 miles to include small hurricanes)
(12h)once every 11.42 years

So it would seem that you do have a somewhat greater likelihood of a hit than us. I agree that crime would be a huge motivator to move, but I wouldn't be able to move that far away from the coast, even to get the novelty of some other weather catastrophe!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us; I am always interested in learning about these sorts of motivations for those who plan to relocate after retirement--and I surely recognize how hard it must be (especially for Frank) to contemplate moving.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:32 PM   #44
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Having the chance to get my home flooded every 3.8 years would be enough for me. That is a pure pain the in the ass to rebuild. Plenty of places in the USA that meet my needs that I do not need to subject myself to those kinds of things. Then again I guess that depends on how much you love Orleans Cripes our vacation home in Tahoe almost burned down. Didnt really want to deal with that either during the big fire.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:41 PM   #45
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Notmuch, our house is built on pilings, not in a flood zone, and no big trees nearby--risk we'll take to live here. Like Want2, I wouldn't want to face the prospect of a flooded house--been there, did that! We had 5 1/2 feet of water in our home on Sullivans Island when Hugo came through in 1989. Plus the roof peeled up on the second floor. Not a single room left without damage--and that was back when no one had flood coverage! It sucked, I promise.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:42 PM   #46
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Want2, I am fascinated that the hurricane would be such a strong influence to your leaving the coast. When Hugo hit here in 1989, I think many newer residents relocated away from the coast, but very few long-time folks left.
So I wondered....does NOLA get more hurricanes than us, statistically speaking?
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So it would seem that you do have a somewhat greater likelihood of a hit than us. I agree that crime would be a huge motivator to move, but I wouldn't be able to move that far away from the coast, even to get the novelty of some other weather catastrophe!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us; I am always interested in learning about these sorts of motivations for those who plan to relocate after retirement--and I surely recognize how hard it must be (especially for Frank) to contemplate moving.
Caroline, I have been through other hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes, not to mention post-tsunami devastation so basically Katrina was not "my first rodeo", as they say. It is not the difference in frequency of hurricanes here that is inspiring me to leave New Orleans. It is the fact that almost three years later, the city is still not a safe place to live. Perhaps what has confused you is that I have decided that the frequency of hurricanes in potential ER locations is going to be zero and that is simply because I have had enough.

My friends, co-workers, and other living here for the most part feel as I do and even those like Frank, whose family has been here for over 6 generations, are making their plans as well. What we have been through changes a person for life. Until you have "walked in my moccasins", as the Indians used to say, I wouldn't say things such as
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I wouldn't be able to move that far away from the coast
. You don't know what you would be able to do until you must.

UncleMick seems to be doing just fine, and I'm sure I will manage to survive moving away just as well as he has. He was smart to get out when he did. I would have gone then too, but I have these golden handcuffs (retirement package, lifetime health coverage, by 2009)
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:47 PM   #47
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Makes perfect sense to me in your situation. Thanks for the enlightenment! As I said it is all so interesting to see the motivations for ER moves and may well prepare me for that day if I must. Thanks again for your candor.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:54 PM   #48
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Makes perfect sense to me in your situation. Thanks for the enlightenment! As I said it is all so interesting to see the motivations for ER moves and may well prepare me for that day if I must. Thanks again for your candor.
Thanks. I guess what confuses the issue is that this move is not due to ER, but actually is just being delayed because ER hasn't happened yet, if that makes sense? So, it probably seems a little different since my motivations are a little different; I'm not looking for golf or nightlife or whatever, so much as simply a home.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:59 PM   #49
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So, just how much of a selling price hit can you expect on your house? Sounds like it may be one of those sales where you just price it as low as you have to, take whatever you can get, and get on with your life. What's the selling price environment where you are?

By the way you house looks very nice in the picture you uploaded.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:13 PM   #50
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So, just how much of a selling price hit can you expect on your house? Sounds like it may be one of those sales where you just price it as low as you have to, take whatever you can get, and get on with your life. What's the selling price environment where you are?

By the way you house looks very nice in the picture you uploaded.
Thanks! I really do like it a lot. I guess everybody feels that way about their own house.

Right now, the market here is kind of crummy as it is in a lot of places, I suppose. The number of houses selling has gone way, way down, and that is the worst part of it. If mine were to sell today, I could probably get 90%-100% of what I could have got just prior to Katrina. 93% of the pre-Katrina value would seem fair to me. Like the situation LG4NB describes in Ft. Lauderdale, here houses are just sitting and not selling.

We are thinking that maybe the housing market here will improve by the time we retire (in late 2009). A second possibility is that prices could remain the same, and if so then I think we could probably sell and move on. There is always the third possibility, that prices could get much, much worse by that time. We don't expect that but we could always wait a year or two if we had to. So, we are in a pretty good position because we can sell or not at any given time.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:34 PM   #51
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Roanoke VA is one of my favorite towns that might fit your criteria.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:58 PM   #52
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Roanoke VA is one of my favorite towns that might fit your criteria.
Thanks for the suggestion! It's close, but not quite a fit. Here are the criteria and how it fits them:

[quote=Want2retire;620104]
1) Because we are tired of hurricanes, we are looking for a place no closer to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic than Huntsville, Alabama (what is that, 200 miles? I don't have my Streets and Trips on Frank's computer where I am typing). We realize there are other natural disasters in the universe, but would appreciate a little variety.

It turns out that Huntsville is 300 miles from the coast, and Roanoke is about 225 miles from the coast. So, it doesn't actually fit this criterion.

2) We want to live in a peaceful town of maybe 100K-150K, but with adequate medical facilities, gyms, and plenty of "big box" stores and other shopping so that I don't feel too isolated. I like a "small city" like Honolulu used to be in the 1960's, or like New Orleans was pre-Katrina. But a smaller town is fine, too.

Roanoke has a Census 2000 population of about 94K; close enough. Since you like it, I'll assume the medical facilities, gyms, and "big box" stores and other shopping, for now.

3)It should also have plenty of remote areas nearby, so that Frank's desire to be a near-hermit living off the land (yeah right, kind of a guy thing? ) out in the country or at least to occasionally drive out to very remote areas can be realized, as well. Springfield seems to fit the bill. It is big enough for me, and small enough for him.

No idea about the remoteness of nearby areas. If it fit the other criteria, I would find out.

4) Low crime is a huge priority for us.

A quick online search yielded this: "Roanoke's property crime levels tend to be much higher than Virginia's average level. The same data shows violent crime levels in Roanoke tend to be much higher than Virginia's average level." So, it doesn't really fit this criterion at all.

5) It should be someplace politically conservative or at least neutral enough that we wouldn't have to constantly justify our careers in service to our country and national defense/aerospace/oil. We are proud of these careers and what we have contributed to America (so shoot us). Frank eliminated the entire state of Colorado for this reason, though I have never been there so I am just trusting him on that one! He lived there for a year or two.

No idea but haven't heard of Roanoke as a bastion of liberalism, so it probably would be fine with this criterion.

6) Cost of living should be low, with extremely, unusually low cost housing. This is the factor that bears scrutiny in light of my inheritance, but really I do not have enough to live comfortably in California, Hawaii, NYC, or such areas. Also, should money mean that I would just dump Frank and live somewhere expensive that he can't afford? I surely think not!! But where would I live if it was just up to me? I am at a total loss on that, and still thinking. I need to know and come to terms with that.

Median value of owner-occupied homes in 2006 was $117,700 for Roanoke, $97,200 for Springfield. Hmm.

7) As warm a climate as is consistent with the above criteria.

About the same as Springfield - - average January high in Roanoke is 42, in Springfield 45, for example.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:23 PM   #53
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Jonesborough, Tennessee (TN) Detailed Profile - relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders

Might be a little small, but it's close to Johnson City and two other decent-size towns. Knoxville is about an hour away.

As you look inland, you might want to cross-reference for tornados: Tornado History Project - Tornado Database

Granted, they're not as scary as hurricanes, but they're no picnic.

We're currently doing a lot of soul-searching on where we want to buy our hunk of dirt so I feel your pain. It's exciting and frustrating.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:44 PM   #54
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I suspected Roanoke might not fit the distance criteria, but it's pretty well ringed by mountains so the hurricane threat would be quite small. Distance isn't the only factor in hurricane avoidance.

Also, your 300 mile limit isn't really enough. Nelson County VA (my home) is also within 300 miles of the Atlantic, but the hurricane that ravaged it came from the Gulf, a little storm called Camille. The Hook - COVER- Flooded with memories: Nelson County 37 years after Camille

Anyway, crime may indeed be a deal breaker for Roanoke. That's the one drawback I see too. I've never looked at the specifics but I have heard some people mention some crime problems.

It really is a pretty town though, and seems very livable. Yes to the big box stores, and a definite yes to being able to get away to remote areas. The Appalachian Trail goes near it, and the Blue Ridge Parkway skirts the city. I-81 south of Roanoke down to Blacksburg has a very rugged beauty.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:26 AM   #55
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Interesting discussion.
I can sure see the desire to leave NOLA. I would not want to live there. We spent a few days in the NOLA area back in late October and it was a somber experience. It rained 8 inches in one day and we thought we would have to evacuate the RV park. I could not live that way.

So where did the 300 mile ocean limit come from? Why not 250 or 400? Post hurricane flooding can occur several hundreds of miles inland from rain. If flooding is your concern then be sure to find high ground somewhere. There are a lot of nice places in this country that are not hurricane prone and where the cost of living is not outrageous. Springfield, MO may very well be one of them.

Whatever you choose remember after it is all said and done, it is still you (and Frank) but in a different place. Good luck to your both.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:27 AM   #56
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Other things to consider before a move.
If possible, visit the area that you want to move for retirement at different times of the year.

I have a cousing that lives out in Montana (just outside of Missoula).
It's absolutely gorgeous during 9-10 months out of the year. But there is about 2-2.5 months of dry spell, where you have to watch out for wildfires. Not to mention if you're not ready to deal with any wildlife (he has coyotes howling every so often in his neighbor's yard ... a little further up the mountainside).

Personally for me, I could live in the house we live in right now until I go back to being dust. Caveat that with the fact that I definitely feel the tightness and sometimes pain of arthritis when it gets very cold. But then again, I guess I could wear more than a light jacket when it's 10 degrees out too.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:08 AM   #57
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I suspected Roanoke might not fit the distance criteria, but it's pretty well ringed by mountains so the hurricane threat would be quite small. Distance isn't the only factor in hurricane avoidance.

Anyway, crime may indeed be a deal breaker for Roanoke. That's the one drawback I see too. I've never looked at the specifics but I have heard some people mention some crime problems.

It really is a pretty town though, and seems very livable. Yes to the big box stores, and a definite yes to being able to get away to remote areas. The Appalachian Trail goes near it, and the Blue Ridge Parkway skirts the city. I-81 south of Roanoke down to Blacksburg has a very rugged beauty.
We lived in Roanoke, VA in 2006 for 9 months. Absolutely beautiful area to live in. The hiking in the mountains is spectacular (see pic). We never had any trouble with crime. We didn't live downtown or in sections which might have been crime-ridden. Lived just outside the city in a really nice neighborhood. I would love to live there again, and it is a potential FIRE location for us in the future.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:37 AM   #58
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I have to run to a routine doctor's appointment, but in answer to some of your questions:
  • Missoula is too cold,
  • Jonesborough is too small (population 4K) and even Johnson City is only 55K. What advantage would Jonesborough have over Springfield? since it too may not have the sophistication that Springfield lacks and that others feel is the problem with Springfield,
  • the 300 mile limit came from personal observations after Katrina,
  • I am not unaware of tornados, having had one tear off the roof of the house on one side of me, jump over me, and destroy the trailer park on the other side of me, as I crouched in my hallway grading final exams with one arm over my head freaking out (memories of Meridian, Dawg52! );
  • Roanoke is indeed pretty! but doesn't meet our criteria, and
  • yes, after tentatively selecting Springfield we have already visited it on 4-5 one week vacations so far and we absolutely LOVE it. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but then if we were all alike, wouldn't this be a boring world?
OK, off to the doctor! ZOOM!

(Edited later to add: but again, nothing is final until it is final! Springfield is still just very probable, not "come h*ll or high water", for us.)

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Old 02-25-2008, 10:28 AM   #59
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It should also have plenty of remote areas nearby, so that Frank's desire to be a near-hermit living off the land (yeah right, kind of a guy thing? ) out in the country or at least to occasionally drive out to very remote areas can be realized, as well. Springfield seems to fit the bill. It is big enough for me, and small enough for him.
When you choose a house, evaluate the distance of the drive to town. We are 30 minutes from the closest town over 30,000, and that can be pretty inconvenient sometimes. If you need to be in town in the morning and in the evening, for example, you're spending two hours on the road.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:48 AM   #60
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Oh, I'm not trying to sell you on Jonesborough or anything... but if you want to be close to a few decent towns (keep in mind, you're close to not just Johnson City by also Elizabeth Town and Kingsport). If Frank wants to be a hermit, though, there's no better place to be a hermit than up in the mountains.

If you guys have already visited Springfield though, and like it, then I'd say go for it. I wish I could find somewhere that fit what I want to do!
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