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Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-23-2006, 12:50 PM   #1
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Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Nords,

I think I read that you surf, so I was wondering if you had any recomendations on a good spot to retire that would offer nice beaches for the wife and kids (7 & 9) and decent surf for me.

In order of most important to least, "the place" needs to be safe for the wife and kids, have good schools for the kids, not so remote that the wife will go crazy and not too far away from good medical facilities, consistent surf with warm water, and finally a place where I won't have to pay out the nose for real estate near the beach (300K or so).

Does such a place exist?* I've been to Nosara Costa Rica, and the surf was great but my wife couldn't imagine living there forever (too jungley and remote).

Bored with my small town and ready to quit,
Cardude
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-23-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

How about Rincon, PR?
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-23-2006, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude
I think I read that you surf, so I was wondering if you had any recomendations on a good spot to retire that would offer nice beaches for the wife and kids (7 & 9) and decent surf for me.

In order of most important to least, "the place" needs to be safe for the wife and kids, have good schools for the kids, not so remote that the wife will go crazy and not too far away from good medical facilities, consistent surf with warm water, and finally a place where I won't have to pay out the nose for real estate near the beach (300K or so).
How about a nice 2BR condo on the Ewa plain?

First, everyone wants to live near the beach-- until the hurricane or the tsunami comes. I live in central Oahu, 400+ feet above sea level and about 25 minutes away from the nearest beach (White Plains Beach on Kalealoa, also the Ewa Plain) but I'm also only 40 minutes away from the North Shore and 45 minutes away from Makaha.

Second, Oahu's median condo price is $300K. So you can probably find a decent fixer-upper property in that range, although getting selective or wanting a single-family home will drive the price north of $400K pretty quickly.

Since those places tend to be in Central Oahu or Ewa I'll skip the rest of the island as I go through the rest of your criteria. You won't find much on the North Shore or in Waikiki under $600K anyway, and Waimanalo/Kahuku/Kahaluu might push your spouse's "remote" button.

Third, Hawaii has low violent-crime rates but high property-crime rates. Most of the property crime is visitor-related in Waikiki or beachfront parks (car breakins). If you live in a drug neighborhood you'll be a victim, but those are getting stamped out by community action and it's probably no better or worse than anywhere else on the Mainland. The vast majority of Ewa is fine, as are other Central Oahu communities like Waipio Gentry, Mililani, Waikele, and much of west-coast places like Waianae. We don't feel unsafe.

Ewa & Central Oahu have good schools. West side is less so but it's strongly dependent on parental involvement. I know a guidance counselor in Nanakuli who wouldn't trade "his kids" for any other school system.

"Remote" is subjective. Some people can't stand to live on an island, even if it's over 600 square miles. Never been an issue for me, but then I spent my military career in submarines so I can't pretend to understand "rock fever". There are many nice places to live on Oahu but some of them are farther than an hour from Home Depot & Wal-Mart, so my spouse won't put up with that either. However those "remote" places can also have great neighborhoods with a tight sense of community. Although Ewa & Central Oahu probably have the highest chance of meeting your criteria, (1) rock fever will kill anything and (2) by sticking to those two places you might miss a great neighborhood in some other part of the island. If you live in a small town now, then Oahu will seem pretty busy. If you live in NYC or the Wash DC area then you'll be bored bored bored. Unless you surf!

You won't find world-class specialty care on Oahu, but hospitals are decent and within an hour of anywhere (or a couple minutes by air ambulance). St. Francis (in Waipahu) seems good. I don't know much about health insurance costs or hospital ratings because of my military healthcare system and because we're pretty healthy. I suspect that for most family practice business, Hawaii is solidly in the middle of the pack-- not as bad as a community clinic but not the Mayo either. Because Oahu has such a healthy environment, its life expectancy is one of the highest in the nation.

Consistent surf... yup, got that covered. White Plains is one of the safest surfing spots on the island, packed with kids your ages from May-Nov, and it's even pretty good in winter. NOAA's Pat Caldwell runs the best forecast in the business.

Water temperature... well, (whine), sometimes in January it (snivel) gets down to 73 degrees and I get (whimper) chilled after a couple (bbbrrrr) hours. But if I wear a 3mm shortie then the rest of the lineup teases me, especially the cute surfer grrrrls in their micro bikinis. I have to just grin & bare it, so to speak. And I think you'll find it pretty enjoyable the other 364 days of the year...

I'm not trying to make Hawaii into some kind of Nirvana (like Ol' Rancher's part of Texas for example). You can certainly get whipsawed by food prices and commuting can be real tough at peak rush hour. The Ewa Plain can get pretty hot in summer, too, until you've adapted to the climate. But from your criteria it's worth spending a couple weeks here enjoying the beach and perusing the real estate...
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-23-2006, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

AUSTRALIA, your $ is a 30% premium, great schools, they kinda speak English, best Shiraz in the world.
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-24-2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Max,

You a wine drinker? Which Shiraz do you like the best. I collect, but for consumption purposes only. I don't buy and resell. Seems to be something a bit tawdry about that.

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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-24-2006, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

I buy Shiraz's between $19 and $25, one I drink,the other I keep.

I have bought some Cock Fighters Ghost and Gnarly Dude as keepers.

Hermitage is out of my range, although at one time I did own a couple of bottles.($40 to $400 in ten years).
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-25-2006, 07:26 AM   #7
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Australia's fine until you're eaten by a shark... While surfing in Bondai beach I could not completely get rid of that idea in my mind which does not help enjoying your time...

Perhaps I'm too stressed, but finally I like adding a sail (funboard) so you do not stay idle (and vulnerable !) in the water too long. I finally found some value to cold(er) waters like we have in the northen part of the mediterranean as we do not have (say so) sharks. From time to time, there is still an accident, but it's very rare (we had a submarine photographer eaten in Cap Circeo in Italy some years ago, but that's really bad luck).

You've got good waves in the "Côte Basque" (Biarritz) as well (and no shark at all) and in Portugal (I funboarded in Guincho) but might be too windy for surfers.

I'd love funboarding in the North Shore, I'll have to plan something before I'm too old !
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-25-2006, 12:14 PM   #8
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by poyet
Perhaps I'm too stressed, but finally I like adding a sail (funboard) so you do not stay idle (and vulnerable !) in the water too long.
Last couple weeks here it's been paddle out, turn, surf in, paddle out, turn, surf in, paddle out (pant, pant), turn, surf in, ... paddle out, kick back, and just let three or four of 'em go by so that you can catch your breath.

We look at each other as we paddle (pant, pant) back out and say "Well, I guess we could always paddle in & go back to work. Naaaaah!"
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-27-2006, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Nords,

Sent you an email on Hawaii.

Thanks,
Cardude
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement
Old 02-27-2006, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Nords-- Surfing and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude
Sent you an email on Hawaii.
Coming back to you!
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