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Old 02-26-2008, 07:26 AM   #81
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Good point W2R...perhaps I won't WANT to do some of those things even when I still can.

BTW, we lived with a septic system when I was a teen, and that system and the one at our new home has never been a problem (really haven't ever had to spend any precious time on them). Perhaps we have been lucky...or you have had some bad luck with them sometime. Oh, yeah, NOLA is below sea level...
R
For whatever reasons, I have ideas of a lot more enjoyable pursuits for me during ER than learning to manage septic tanks. One of the greatest products of civilization is city sewerage, in my opinion, though YMMV and obviously does. Apparently most city/suburban people with 2-3 acre lots agree with me, since I don't see great numbers of them converting back to septic systems when they have a choice.

I guess you are just trying to pull my leg since I have clearly stated numerous times that I am a city girl and personally want nothing to do with septic tanks and wells. I am not likely to become a septic tank enthusiast at my age. I also want electricity, smoothly paved roads, hot and cold running water, regular trash collection, and cable internet, and frankly I feel I deserve these conveniences of modern civilization. I'll go a step beyond and say that I want granite countertops, a dishwasher, air conditioning, my own garage with an electric door opener, and more. Thanks anyway.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:43 AM   #82
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Naw, not pulling your leg, and I'm no enthusiast either...just like the peace and quiet out there...septic comes along for the ride. Perhaps I am just a little concerned myself about potential problems, not having had to deal with any so far. There never really was anything to manage, either, just dump some bacteria in once or twice a year, and voila! That said, I really do enjoy the well, and will probably try to be in a place I can have one for the rest of my life. If city sewer was extended to our home though, I would hook up.

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Old 02-26-2008, 07:56 AM   #83
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Naw, not pulling your leg, and I'm no enthusiast either...just like the peace and quiet out there...septic comes along for the ride. Perhaps I am just a little concerned myself about potential problems, not having had to deal with any so far. There never really was anything to manage, either, just dump some bacteria in once or twice a year, and voila! That said, I really do enjoy the well, and will probably try to be in a place I can have one for the rest of my life. If city sewer was extended to our home though, I would hook up.

R
Ugh. I haven't focused on sewage this long since those awful days just after Katrina (and those are not the best of memories).

There are plenty of peaceful and quiet properties in my tentative ER location that already have city sewers, so I don't have to compromise on that (which is part of why it IS my tentative ER location in the first place). Some have acreage, but I think I will be happiest with less than an acre to keep track of.

Because it is so fundamental to me, I forgot to put on my list of priorities that my ER location MUST have city water/sewer. Must, must, must!
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:05 AM   #84
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Ugh....

Because it is so fundamental to me, I forgot to put on my list of priorities that my ER location MUST have city water/sewer. Must, must, must!
City girl...
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:06 AM   #85
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City girl...
Proud of it, too!
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:20 AM   #86
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And infrastructure!! My ER location MUST have electricity, smoothly paved roads, hot and cold running water, regular trash collection, cable internet, cell phone service, and, and, and....

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:49 AM   #87
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We've lived in a number of places, almost always happily. Despite all the criteria you've mentioned over various posts, for us the most important factors by a long shot were meeting a few friends and feeling secure.

We never spent nearly as much energy on checklists. Just did our basic homework and worked hard at staying open and positive once we got to our destination. Some of our happiest years were in places considered undesirable by "Best of..." criteria, and vice versa. Same with houses: maybe we don't like septic but if we found a house that was otherwise great, we'd deal with it. Sounds like there's an awful lot of (possibly) premature "ruling out" going on.

Is it possible you're making this more complicated than it needs to be? If you like the feel of Springfield, and if your basic conditions are met, why not just end the rumination and go for it. Chances are it will work out fine, and if not, you'll do what you've gotta do. Meantime, you'll enjoy your remaining time in NOLA more. Just a thought.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:06 AM   #88
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And infrastructure!! My ER location MUST have electricity, smoothly paved roads, hot and cold running water, regular trash collection, cable internet, cell phone service, and, and, and....

Think we might be twins separated at birth as like you all the above are a must and no way will I ever be spending one day in a RV, it would be my idea of a living hell. However don't forget to add access to a good hairdresser and pedicurist to the list.

We went through similar questioning last time we relocated in Australia. We could have lived anywhere and we chose to live in the middle of the outback. We then had to spend the next 2 years justifying our choice to everyone.

You are the only one that has to live your life so never feel that you have to justify your choices.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:10 AM   #89
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You are the only one that has to live your life so never feel that you have to justify your choices.
Thanks, Dangermouse. I kind of feel that way too, and wonder why so many question them, and demand that I justify them. I guess it is because we are all so different, and looking for different things in life.

Rich, I have lived all over the country and the world, and have never had a problem making friends and feeling secure (except for situations when feeling secure would be irrational, such as in the present Sword of Damocles situation). People are people all over the world, and anyone who has trouble making friends after they move just doesn't yet know how to do it (IMHO). On the other hand, among the 23409874609847 locations where I would feel secure and have lots of friends, I have the unusual opportunity to choose. Several years ago Frank and I browsed through potential ER locations and made that choice of a tentative ER location.

I don't think that the selection of our tentative ER location has been overly complicated. Please re-read and note the caveat at the bottom of Post #11, where I explain that the complications/criteria are ONLY posted because they were asked for repeatedly. The reason I posted that caveat is that I could see a swarm of people asking for complications/criteria for several pages, and then someone coming back on me on about page 5 about my decision being over-analyzed. That sort of thing so often happens on message boards and usenet, so I kind of expect it. Basically, consider that everyone making ANY choice has criteria, though some may verbalize these criteria and some may not.

I am not sure why people are suggesting all these different locations, or suggesting that I stay here, either! If you go back and read my first post again, carefully, that might clarify things.

Basically, the reason for this thread was to point out that even thought we HAVE tentatively decided on Springfield, nothing is final until it is final and I didn't mean to imply that we are chained to ANY decision, even ER.

The e-mail that I received that inspired this thread was from a very nice, infrequent poster, but it caused me to believe that I had communicated differently and had expressed being totally locked into this decision no matter what. That will never be the case. Even after we have moved, we could change our minds and go someplace else.

Again, you must be pulling my leg!
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:21 AM   #90
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I think you're getting feedback because, well generally people post things they want feedback on.

unlike, say on my blog where I don't allow people to reply to my posts. I don't care what others think in that context.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:34 AM   #91
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I think you're getting feedback because, well generally people post things they want feedback on..
W2R, your OP did say that your seemingly solid decision re: Springfield was now not completely "final." Sounded like 2nd thoughts and an invitation to reply, and that's what you got.

Heck, no big deal - probably you meant it in a different way.

Maybe DW and I will swing through Springfield on our way to the kids in Columbia some day and we can meet up. You sound like someone who would be easy to make friends with.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:57 AM   #92
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W2R, your OP did say that your seemingly solid decision re: Springfield was now not completely "final." Sounded like 2nd thoughts and an invitation to reply, and that's what you got.
I am sorry that I was not clear! I probably should have underlined the first two sentences of the first post in this thread:
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As many of you know, Frank and I are planning to move to Springfield, Missouri, in about two years after we ER. We are no less sure about that today than we were last week, last month, or last year.
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Maybe DW and I will swing through Springfield on our way to the kids in Columbia some day and we can meet up. You sound like someone who would be easy to make friends with.
Thanks! It would be fun to meet you two as well, if our paths in life cross that way some day.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:20 AM   #93
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Apologies for misreading the thread. The TENTATIVELY in upper case caught my eye.

In any case, part of this was just banter. Sometimes I'll throw out a name of a place that I know something about and like, to see what others who might know more have to say about it. Unlike many money issues, there can be no right or wrong answer and certainly different places fit different people.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:15 PM   #94
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Apologies for misreading the thread. The TENTATIVELY in upper case caught my eye.

In any case, part of this was just banter. Sometimes I'll throw out a name of a place that I know something about and like, to see what others who might know more have to say about it. Unlike many money issues, there can be no right or wrong answer and certainly different places fit different people.
No problem! From the number of people that responded, all with goodhearted suggestions, I can see that I was not very clear. My real and sincere apologies (but it seems like we had fun anyway in the thread, even if it didn't go quite where I had hoped/expected).

To me, any decision to ER or to move is always a tentative decision until one reaches the "point of no return", as in giving notice at work or as in paying a moving company.

I think that (for me, anyway), approaching life with the capability to adjust to the future more or less as a moving target has been very helpful in life. It gives me the willies to think that a plan like this is written in stone, no matter how much I have worked on it and no matter how much I believe in it.

For example, I just received most of an unexpected inheritance. This has caused me to alter my ER financial planning, which I had worked on and beat to death. It's good to be flexible enough to be capable of taking a big change like that and running with it. I am still making alterations to my plans for that reason. And who knows what other factors might arise between now and the end of 2009? I'm just saying that for me, being rigid isn't where it's at even though right now I am still just as sure as I ever was that I want to ER in late 2009, sell my house, and move to Springfield.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:06 PM   #95
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I've been out of the loop for a few days and didn't have time to go through all of the posts since my last comment until now. DW and I have looked at the Branson and Springfield areas and; so far, we prefer Branson. We didn't see any part of Springfield that would qualify as "walkable." The downtown area that we found was pretty trashy by Midwest standards.

W2R has convinced me to at least give Springfield another look. It clearly is where anyone in the "greater" Branson area would go for serious shopping. Any insights W2R would like to send me would be appreciated.

The downside we've seen of Branson is all of the tourists causing terrible traffic on the main drag. This makes Kimberling City and Branson West more appealing. A lot of the developments in the general area seem to be geared towards absentee ownership. I can't help but think there is an overbuilding problem in the making.

We've been looking at other areas but we've quickly decided that some places that look nice to live in are too rural. That includes Hot Springs and Natchitoches. Tulsa is still to be visited along with several others. We're in no position to move for awhile.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:29 PM   #96
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I think you're right about overbuilding. That is the case in Springfield, I believe, and I have heard that about Branson as well, although we have not been there. There seem to be a lot of houses that aren't selling in the newer Springfield subdivisions. Maybe some of it was intended for speculators. But Springfield is actually declining very slightly in population, and at least is not a big population growth area. The overbuilding problem concerns me, as does the possibility of overbuilding of stores to service the people that aren't there. But then, I must admit that on a Saturday night at 7PM it's very difficult to find a restaurant in Springfield without a long waiting list.

Although we have not visited Branson yet, since we do not like country music or shows we feel it has nothing for us. You are quite right that much of Springfield is older and a little worse for the wear, especially the northern half. I love the older Victorian houses up there, and would think about restoring one except that the resale is bad enough in south Springfield!! It could take forever and a year to sell a house in north Springfield, and some of the neighborhoods up there are not considered to be good. The southeast area is considered to be the most desirable, so if you want to check out Springfield, check out the area south of Sunshine and east of Campbell.

Battlefield Mall (on Glenstone at Battlefield) is the only conventional mall, with all the plusses and minuses that implies. There are a lot of "big box stores" on Glenstone south of Battlefield that might interest you as well, and also stores such as Barnes and Noble, and chain restaurants like Olive Garden or Boston Market.

Behind these main streets are quiet, residential areas with older homes built in the 1950's - 1970's and those are what interest us presently. If you want a newer home, try the developments south of the city limits to the county line, by heading south on Campbell until you get out of town, for example. Many of them may not be very walkable but to be honest, I have no idea. The houses look absolutely lovely online, but as far as I can tell they are all governed by HOA's with fees (and that does not happen to interest us).

The "Medical Mile" (hospitals and doctors' offices) is on National in South Springfield. There are a number of small colleges in Springfield, including Drury in north Springfield and MSU on Grand. Churches abound and the national HQ for the Second Day Adventists, and their college, are in North Springfield. Schools in the nearby communities of Ozark and Nixa are supposed to be quite good. There is an historic Civil War battlefield in a small community outside of town, also called Battlefield (different from the street of the same name in Springfield). The original Bass Pro Shop is located on S. Campbell and Sunshine. And that's the quick summary of what's in Springfield.

I have heard good things about Kimberling City online, though I have never been there. It seems awfully small from what I can tell online (as does Branson).

Natchitoches is kind of an armpit that is being "over-hyped" as a retirement location, in my opinion. Hot Springs itself intrigues me, due to the history and some of the interesting architecture around town (and OMG, have you seen the inside of those bathhouses? Talk about 1920's OPULENCE...! and the hills behind the springs are gorgeous) though it doesn't seem to be laid out in a very convenient way and some parts are pretty run down. So, I think actually living there would be more difficult than actually living in Springfield. I have never seen Hot Springs Village. I have never been to Tulsa but it is just 2.5 hours from Springfield on the interstate, or so I hear.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:18 PM   #97
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W2R,

Thanks for the info.

Kimberling City is very small from what I've seen and much of the property is old and the developments are very jumbled. There is some new building going on but Branson West is exploding. The whole area around Branson has many opportunities for outdoor activities requiring various abilities and encompassing various intersts.

Don't limit your opinions about the entertainment at Branson to C&W. There some of everything but I'll have to say that it's mostly geared towards lots of tourista crap. There are traveling shows that come through that can cover a wide range of interests. They are usually short runs that are typical for a small town like Branson but because of the facilities they get more of them. If your tastes are the best of dixieland jazz, don't move. Branson is a mix of ecclectic, tourista and whatever. C&W is a big part because it is appealing to many of the tourists. No one will make you go. Yakov is funny beyond words. There are several magicians. There's also a lot of R&R retro.

Wilson's Creek is a well done Civil War battlefield. I'm a history nut and could wander around that site for days. Pea Ridge in northern Arkansas, a short way away, is also well done. Many Civil War battle sites in the "Western Theatre" are not done very well. I hope my attraction to the area isn't influenced by these sites.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:33 PM   #98
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I dunno - - to be frank, Frank and I really aren't enthusiastic about any of the concerts and shows in Branson, even those that aren't C&W. Just isn't our thing, I guess. We don't really go to concerts or shows here, either, though here there are many spontaneous street performances and parades that we stumble across (and then there's Mardi Gras, which we do more on some years than others).

You said about the civil war battlesites,
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I hope my attraction to the area isn't influenced by these sites.
, and I am thinking, why not? If you would enjoy spending time there, they might provide you with an intriguing hobby during ER.

Oh also, I forgot to mention that nearly all the streets in Springfield are N, S, E, or W - - such as S. Campbell, and I didn't put the direction in on most of the streets I mentioned in the post above this one (oops).
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:02 PM   #99
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I live 5 minutes south of Springfield. My advice would be to not move into the city of Springfield, itself. There is a lot of turmoil right now with elected officials, improper spending of money, etc. Crime is growing while financial support for the police is dwindling.

My suggestion would be to live in Ozark or Nixa. Both are growing towns, extremely close to Springfield (within 25 minute drive of anywhere in Springfield) and offer the small town feel with the conveniences of the bigger city.

Just my two cents.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:38 PM   #100
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Has anyone here considered Mexico? That's all the talk up here in Minnesota.. can you let me know what you here, . Thanks
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