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Relocating to Oregon
Old 07-18-2011, 02:51 PM   #1
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Relocating to Oregon

We have been trying to figure out where to relocate to from the mid-west. Our latest idea is ORegon. Anyone move to Oregon after they FIRE or live there now? We were thinking of the Eugene/COrvallis area. No more big cities for us. We thought a nice college town would be good.

We are thinking of going up there for a scouting trip in the middle to end of August. I sprained my ankle about 2 weeks ago and it's taking a while to heal. No point in going up there until I can walk more than a few feet.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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No matter where you're considering, I think it's very important to spend at least a week or two there in both summer and winter. Don't plan a busy schedule of sightseeing or anything else, just act as if you're already a resident there and you have a lazy day to just wander around and enjoy your town.

Personally, I like to deliberately get myself as lost as possible, repeatedly. Trying to find my way back to a street I recognize is the best way to learn about a new town.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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I really enjoyed Corvallis when I lived there a few years ago - nice (small) college town, only a short drive to the coast or mountains. I have been considering moving back there now that I am retired and able to live anywhere I choose.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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I have never been to Corvallis, however, I used to have to travel to Oregon for business as the company that I did consulting for had a factory in Portland. I really liked the area and took my family up there on a few of my business trips and vacationed in the area after the business was done.

They sold the factory and I have not returned in years.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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Corvallis is 20 miles down the road from us - weather this weekend was overcast and rain - only 1/2" though. 65 degrees for a high. We've been having sunbreaks. Must say that the sun in SoCal is pretty nice after 2-3-4-5 months of unrelieved gray skies in the winter.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:17 AM   #6
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I have live in Ohio most of my life but did spend most of one year in Portland while helping integrate an acquisition our company purchased about 5 years. The area in general is beautiful and especially great if you an outdoors type. Everything from large rivers, to mountains to the beach within a reasonable driving distance.

Only downsides were cost of living was high as compared to the midwest. The typical home in Portland would cost nearly twice as much as the same place in Ohio. In addition, it does rain a lot, but the weather was pleasant overall. Some brilliant blue skies in between the showers and it does not get as brutal in the winters as Ohio.

I could definately live there and would consider it as an option for retirement.

It is a much more liberal place than the midwest as well. You will see a lot more alternative lifestyles and people more focused on environmental concerns.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:25 AM   #7
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Another great place is Bend. Not the first part of the state you'd think of, but the town and surrounding area are fantastic, IMHO.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:05 AM   #8
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Be sure to take a hard look at any state programs you might depend on. Oregon has a SERIOUS state budget crisis and various programs and budgets have been eliminated or cut. This includes schools, road repairs, senior programs, state employees have been forced to take unpaid leave, etc.

Currently there is no sales tax.

Oregon is a lovely state however with a wide variety of climates depending on where you life in the state. Coastal rain forest to high dessert or snow capped ski areas and everything in between.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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I don't know that I'm motivated enough to pick up and move across country, but if I was Bend would probably be the first one I'd look at, with access to skiing and running trails and decent looking weather, if you don't mind some winter. I've never been but it looks like what I'd want. I'm thinking to go run a race out there next year and hang out for a few days just to check it out. I'd also look at Portland and Eugene.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
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I think you guys are not thinking small enough. As in small town. You have to go very small to never experience a traffic jam, parking problem, or line at a store.

And small towns clustered all together don't count.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:45 AM   #11
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It's all relative, TromboneAl. I grew up in a very, very big city, and I've lived long term in three other similar sized cities, so when I hear people around here mention a Cincinnati "traffic jam" it just makes me smile and stay relaxed.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Corporate ORphan View Post
Anyone move to Oregon after they FIRE or live there now? We were thinking of the Eugene/COrvallis area. No more big cities for us. We thought a nice college town would be good.

That would be me. DW and I relocated from the SF Bay area to Eugene/Springfield about 6 years ago. We love it here.

I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. Yes, there are some problems with state budgets and such... but Oregon is far from alone on that issue. The cost of living is reasonable and we really dig the sales tax rate of 0%

It's a beautiful state that supports a wide range of outdoor activities. If you can get past about 6 months of winter rain (not much snow), it's a great place to be living and enjoying your FI.

If you choose this area and are looking to play some golf, give me a shout!
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:43 PM   #13
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Another Duck here, a retired one at that!

Oregon isn't all grey skies, just move east of the Cascades.

We do have an income tax, the forms are on the Internet so you can give it a spin. I doubt that we will ever have a sales tax. Most people believe that sales taxes are regressive and comparatively expensive to collect and administer. My theory is that there is a correlation between total taxation and government services received. Overall Oregonians receive what they pay for.

In general housing is more expensive in Oregon than the mid-west. I have never figured that out but it must be a combination of land values and demand. Beautiful homes are dirt-cheap in Cleveland but I don't here of many clamoring to move there. Oh, a couple generations back my family lived in Missouri... they hit the trail and didn't look back! I still have the apron that great-great grandmother wore, complete with spark holes that flew from her corn cob pipe when the waggon wheels hit a rut.

In my youth I spent a lot of time in Eugene, loved it. The presence of the OofO brings concerts of all types. Many also sing the praises of Corvallis, but as a Duck born & breed I didn't spend time in Beaver country so can't comment.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:38 PM   #14
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I'm in Puget Sound, not identical to the Willamette Valley but not very different. This morning I heard on the radio that since Jan 1, 2011 in Seattle we have enjoyed 17 hours of temps >= 70 F.

This has its charms, but it can get to you also. Especially when you realize that the only reliably sunny part of the year is the 6 weeks following July 4, and there has been very little sun seen around here so far!

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Old 07-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #15
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and you can sit in your car and have someone pump gas into your car. Although you may be driving a electric car in the next few years.

If I moved back to Oregon I would consider the Portland metro outskirts, Gresham and Troutdale. Bend is ok but is high desert and I prefer the green of the valley.
If you become a volkswalker you will immediately be walking in circles with a great bunch of people and can get to see lots of the state. ava.org
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:19 PM   #16
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the only reliably sunny part of the year is the 6 weeks following July 4, and there has been very little sun seen around here so far!
I've occasionally seen Sequim mentioned as a retirement destination, since it's in the "rain shadow" of the mountains and gets plenty of sunshine. But there really isn't much there, is there?
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:45 PM   #17
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I've occasionally seen Sequim mentioned as a retirement destination, since it's in the "rain shadow" of the mountains and gets plenty of sunshine. But there really isn't much there, is there?
Great climate for the PNW. It would depend on what you are looking for in retirement. If the outdoors is your thing than Olympic National Park is your backyard. Reasonable fishing. If you want some city life than Victoria is a short ferry ride away out of Port Angeles, Seattle is ~ 2+ hours assuming no delay at the Hood Canal bridge or missing the ferry. Nearest hospital is in Port Angeles ~ 30 minutes away depending where in Sequim you are.

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Old 07-19-2011, 09:19 PM   #18
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I sprained my ankle about 2 weeks ago and it's taking a while to heal. No point in going up there until I can walk more than a few feet.
Think about visiting here, Hawaii, while your ankle heals, then when you're ready to brave the rigors of gloom and rain, hitting Oregon on the way back. I'm not a fisherman, but my understanding is that it's possible to catch fish in the sunshine, too. I do see fishermen most every morning when I exercise on Waimanalo beach, with several poles stuck in the sand, set up with lines trailing out into the Pacific, fishers sitting up on shore drinking beer, watching their poles closely for a twitch. I don't know whether they ever actually catch anything, but they keep coming back, day after day, so probably they do.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:41 PM   #19
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I've occasionally seen Sequim mentioned as a retirement destination, since it's in the "rain shadow" of the mountains and gets plenty of sunshine. But there really isn't much there, is there?
No there isn't much to do in Sequim IMHO. The, now former, wife of a manager fled.

Much depends on your lifestyle. My icon pic was taken off my study deck on Bainbridge Island, I loved that community at many levels but my roots are in Portland where we now live.

Portland isn't really a 'big' city because it is a conglormoration of neighborhoods, each with it's own neighborhood association. We have the advantages of human scale through the neighborhood associations, a vibrant performing arts community, great air connections, public transit, and a city large enough to have drama with it's public adminsitration. Portland's moto is "A City that Works", and believe you me there are a lot of straw bosses ready to complain if they aren't working hard enough.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:03 AM   #20
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For another view on Portland. This is the opening of episode 1 of the IFC cable channel 6 episode series Portlandia.

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