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View Poll Results: What is your current or ideal retirement environment?
Mountain Living 36 18.37%
Ocean/Sea Living 49 25.00%
Big City 28 14.29%
Medium-Size City 55 28.06%
Small City/Rural Town/Farm 53 27.04%
RV or Mobile Living 7 3.57%
Live in Foreign Country 20 10.20%
Others 8 4.08%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 196. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll:What is your retirement environment - mountain, sea, city, rural, abroad?
Old 01-17-2016, 04:49 PM   #1
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Poll:What is your retirement environment - mountain, sea, city, rural, abroad?

What is your current or ideal retirement environment?

I'm currently in a medium city and was thinking that when I retire, I will be buying a condo in a resort type gated community in the blueridge mountains. DW and I always favor the mountains over the seas. For those of you who already retired or near retirement and planning your retirement location, I was wondering what the PROS and CONS are with these various environment. What is your paradise? Please share. I'll also do a survey of preference

1) Mountain Living- view of the mountains & forest, clean air, tons of nature trail, has some lakes and waterfalls, lots of outdoor activity (for hiking, climbing, kayaking, boating), maybe a little bit away from the city, maybe further from the airport.

2) Sea/Ocean Living - view of the ocean, sea air, boardwalks or miles of sand, seafood restaurants, maybe pack with tourist during summer, maybe high cost of insurance (hurricane prone). But you've got activities like fishing, boating, sea sports (surfing), running and walking on the beach in the morning or at night.

3) Big City Living - all the amenities of a big city, museums, art, fine dining, theater, top notch 5-star shopping stores, airport and train stations, high rise building, tons of people. (This could be New York, San Francisco, Chicago).

4) Medium Size City - a lot of urban amenities, not crowded like big cities and not much traffic, good quality of life and services like healthcare/hospital, shopping and malls. The best of both worlds (big city vs. rural towns)

5) Small/Rural City/Town/Farm - quiet small city or town with good amenities. Friendly people. May have some exclusive resort type community focusing on golf, lake fishing, but may not really have much activity. Cheap cost of living.

6) RV and Mobile Living - Nomad living everywhere in the USA. Traveling everywhere across inter-state. Exploring the beauty of various States and getting a taste of life in various areas - staying as long as you like in one area and moving on when you feel like its time to move on.

7) Foreign Living - Living retirement in a cheaper location (Asia/Latin America/cheaper Europe) or in more expensive location (Western Europe). Lots of travel and adventure in foreign places - learning new culture, new language, and new exotic things.

8) Others - Living in an Island? Living off the grid? Living in a Buddhist Monastery? I just want to live near my kid/kids - I don't have any preference except to be near them.
NOTE: I know we spend time in several of these places - mountain, ocean, abroad, or even RVing a month or two. But the real question is - which of these environment do you spend the "most time". If you spend 60% of your time near the Ocean, and 30% in the city, and 10% abroad, then your choice should be 'Ocean'. Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:43 PM   #2
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Interesting poll!

I'm in New Orleans, so I selected "Medium Sized City". We are in an old, inner suburb about a mile from the city boundary, and our neighborhood is a combination of urban and suburban environment with numerous high rise office buildings, thriving commerce, and shopping malls. However the traffic is trivial compared with Houston or San Diego, for example.

I did not select "Ocean/Sea Living", because the Gulf of Mexico is a bit of a drive and we don't see it often. We do see Lake Ponchartrain every day but do not have a lake view from our homes.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:55 PM   #3
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Medium size city with the best of both worlds in that I live in the East Bay across from San Francisco. My home environment is suburban but I frequently go to the city. And I'm also living by the sea.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:01 PM   #4
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1,5 and 7. Simultaneously.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:02 PM   #5
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Other- some time at the lake, winter south near the ocean, spring and fall at home in the subdivision. We need variety
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:16 PM   #6
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San Diego's in the top 10 cities, by population, in the US - so I put big City... But it doesn't feel as big as Los Angeles does.

I put ocean/sea - though I don't have an ocean view. I have a view of the marine layer but our view is blocked by the coastal ridge. I make it to the beach to walk the dog between 3 and 6 days a week and from late spring to early fall we're at the beach with the kids body surfing, boogie boarding, and surfing. It's nice to be a 10 minute drive from the beach.
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Poll:What is your retirement environment - mountain, sea, city, rural, abroad?
Old 01-17-2016, 06:31 PM   #7
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Poll:What is your retirement environment - mountain, sea, city, rural, abroad?

2,3,4 and possibly 7.

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Old 01-17-2016, 06:33 PM   #8
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Other - spring, summer, fall by the lake at the edge of southwest Chicagoland. Winter at the confluence of suburban sprawl with mountains/desert just northeast of Phoenix.


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Old 01-17-2016, 06:41 PM   #9
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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Thanks Firefox. Point well taken, but where do you spend the most time. I assume you spend most of your time 'at home' in the subdivision? I also spend a few weeks on the ocean during winter, and a couple of weeks abroad during summer. Yes, we do need to travel, but I guess the question is - where is 'home' or where you spend the most time in a year.

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Other- some time at the lake, winter south near the ocean, spring and fall at home in the subdivision. We need variety
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:48 PM   #11
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When I retired, I moved from the San Fernando Valley and its heat and 2.9 million people, to the Ventura Country town of Santa Paula with 29.000.
I love it! I am a half mile from the small airport I fly from, 10 miles from the tourist railroad I volunteer on, 15 minutes from the beach.
I sit on my porch and look out on a 2000 foot mountain a few miles away.
We are inland from the coast just far enough that we do not get the coastal stratus (May gray,June gloom), but close enough for the moderating effect.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:53 PM   #12
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1, with a smidgen of 5 since we are in a rural area, plus we are waterfront so lake views, fishing and boating just out the front door.
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Poll:What is your retirement environment - mountain, sea, city, rural, abroad?
Old 01-17-2016, 06:57 PM   #13
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Poll:What is your retirement environment - mountain, sea, city, rural, abroad?

DH and I were delighted to find a suitably small home on a lakefront, in a small suburb of a big Midwest city. We've lived in the area since 2003 and had always planned to stay here when I retired.

Advantages: the views, of course, and the ever-changing wildlife. I've learned a lot about birds! We love the town; far more down-to-earth than our previous suburb where shopping was a vocation for some and there were so many restaurants I wondered if anyone ate at home. I love having easy access to my kayak at the water's edge.

Cons: it's a small lake and although it has some circulation in and out it's too murky and smelly for swimming. The Canada geese are pooping everywhere and show no inclination to migrate. And darn, it's COLD here!
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:58 PM   #14
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Lot of moving parts. Ideally I'd love to be a mountain man but in reality things like proximity to "stuff to do" and to medical facilities would likely trump that desire. Bonus points to a largely walkable community.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:01 PM   #15
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Interesting poll!

I'm in New Orleans, so I selected "Medium Sized City". We are in an old, inner suburb about a mile from the city boundary, and our neighborhood is a combination of urban and suburban environment with numerous high rise office buildings, thriving commerce, and shopping malls. However the traffic is trivial compared with Houston or San Diego, for example.

I did not select "Ocean/Sea Living", because the Gulf of Mexico is a bit of a drive and we don't see it often. We do see Lake Ponchartrain every day but do not have a lake view from our homes.
I grew up on the north shore - Hammond. Family is still there. Really miss the food!
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:06 PM   #16
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I grew up on the north shore - Hammond. Family is still there. Really miss the food!
It's still as good as ever. People who haven't lived in S. Louisiana just don't know how good food can be! Which is why I'm always struggling with overweight.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:18 PM   #17
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And they'll never quite understand this:
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:38 PM   #18
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....it's a small lake and although it has some circulation in and out it's too murky and smelly for swimming. The Canada geese are pooping everywhere and show no inclination to migrate. ...
Our lake association went through a process in 2014 where the USDA removed the resident Canada geese after the molting season when there is a three or so week period of time where they can't fly. IIRC it cost us about $1,500. Believe it or not, the USDA does it. Knock on wood.... we haven't seen much of them sense other than during migratory seasons.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:07 PM   #19
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Thanks-I will definitely look into this and take it up with the HOA if it looks like it might work for us.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:58 PM   #20
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Ideally, what I would like to have is

Quote:
2) Sea/Ocean Living - view of the ocean, sea air, boardwalks or miles of sand, seafood restaurants, maybe pack with tourist during summer, maybe high cost of insurance (hurricane prone). But you've got activities like fishing, boating, sea sports (surfing), running and walking on the beach in the morning or at night.
I want a waterfront property, but a large body of water, not a small lake, and also not the surf type of ocean. In other words, a bay location like the Cheasapeake or the Puget Sound would be just right for me. Absolutely no tourist, no need for miles of sand, no crowded restaurants, nor boardwalk. And I do not need a beach for swimming either. All I want is to be able to tie my canoe or a small boat at my own place to go crabbing whenever I want to.

Quote:
4) Medium Size City - a lot of urban amenities, not crowded like big cities and not much traffic, good quality of life and services like healthcare/hospital, shopping and malls. The best of both worlds (big city vs. rural towns)
Yes, a mid-size city that offers decent grocery shopping, a Home Depot or Lowe's store for home maintenance. A 10 to 20-mile drive to a larger city would be a plus, as well as the same drive to an international airport.

Quote:
6) RV and Mobile Living - Nomad living everywhere in the USA. Traveling everywhere across inter-state. Exploring the beauty of various States and getting a taste of life in various areas - staying as long as you like in one area and moving on when you feel like its time to move on.
Hey, I have been doing this 2 months out of the year, and it does not have to be exclusive of the other living. Why can't one have a home and an RV too? Maybe I can go on a longer trip like 3 months, but only if I have no worry about leaving my 2 homes vacant for so long.

Quote:
8) Others - Living in an Island? Living off the grid? Living in a Buddhist Monastery? I just want to live near my kid/kids - I don't have any preference except to be near them.
Yes, if it were not for my kids and also extended family (siblings and their offsprings), I might have moved to another state already.

So, I prefer to be close to water, but being in a landlocked state, here's what I currently have.

Quote:
1) Mountain Living- view of the mountains & forest, clean air, tons of nature trail, has some lakes and waterfalls, lots of outdoor activity (for hiking, climbing, kayaking, boating), maybe a little bit away from the city, maybe further from the airport.
Yes, my 2nd home in the high country has a 180-degree panoramic view of the surrounding national forest. There are some small lakes for fishing, but too small for decent boating. Yes, it's far from any city and is 30 miles from a decent grocery store, a Home Depot, or a Walmart. And if I lived there full-time, taking an airplane trip would be an ordeal as the airport is 2-1/2 hours away.

Quote:
3) Big City Living - all the amenities of a big city, museums, art, fine dining, theater, top notch 5-star shopping stores, airport and train stations, high rise building, tons of people. (This could be New York, San Francisco, Chicago).
My main home is in the 13th largest metropolitan area of the US, which has 4.3 million people. But I am in the suburb, and not living in a high-rise condo. I have a big enough backyard for a diving pool, and can still grow some vegetable. Yet, I can get to an international airport in 1/2 hour. Within 3 miles, I have Costco, Walmart, 2 Home Depots, 2 Lowe's, and too many grocery chains to enumerate. Yes, shopping galore, and yet I can walk 1/2 mile to a city park that's a 16,000-acre mountain preserve.

If I had just one of the above 2 homes, I would be a bit unhappy. But bouncing between the two and also doing RV'ing works to keep me where I am, instead of uprooting and moving to the Puget Sound.
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