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Relocation Priorities (How does one decide what's important?)
Old 11-11-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Relocation Priorities (How does one decide what's important?)

Hey gang, DW and I have been talking over what we might be wanting in a location once she retires in a few years. So the other night we each, separately, created a list of what we would like out of our home situation over the next 10-15 years (until our early 70's). The good news is that the two of us are pretty much in agreement on what we want. The bad news is that our wants are such that there is no one place that could possibly meet them all. How did all of you go about prioritizing any conflicting wants when you decided on where you would settle in for the long haul?

A brief summary of our discussion follows to give you a flavor of our current discussion:

Home: Reasonable cost for a home (<$250K) that has room for all of our musical instruments (5 keyboards + lots of flutes and stuff). We also would like outdoor space for a garden. Low maintenance and one level would also be desirable.

Local Environment: We would like to live somewhere that is quiet and has walkable access to everyday activities (coffee shop, McDonald’s, grocery). We would also prefer mild winters and would like to have easy access to at least a mid-size airport for travel. Social opportunities with like-minded people and a quality library are important. DW wants "a place where I can contribute something" and access to baseball, major or minor league. She would also like "outdoor things I can do" which would mean easy hikes and biking.

Hobbies/Interests: Easy access to a golf course with a large walking group (OK, just any other walkers). Easy access to museums/classical concerts/opera. I would like opportunities to join performing groups in 16th - 18th century music and DW and I would both like quality classical music singing opportunities (church, university and/or community chorus). Dark skies for astronomy

As you can see, the major conflict is urban vs smaller community. This is something that we have understood about ourselves for almost 40 years. When we have lived in small communities we missed the big city amenities, but when we lived in major metropolitan areas we missed the quiet, the access to the outdoors and the low expenses of a smaller town.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:36 PM   #2
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I think most people make up those want lists and over time discover that they had all the priorities wrong. So take your time and really think about it.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:43 PM   #3
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When we moved the main issue for me was escaping the Washington, D.C. area traffic, and for DW it was being within an hour of family. Both objectives were met by moving to WV. We don't have to plan our lives around traffic anymore, and for DW the drive to her father's and brother's houses shortened by about 25 minutes. And even at 5:00 PM on a Friday night there was little difference in traffic because it was all on secondary roads away from large population centers. Oh, and taxes dropped by about half.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:51 PM   #4
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Well, at least you don't need enough room for three grand pianos and a drum kit! Obviously playing a lot of music requires a SFH. A condo just won't do, unless it is extremely soundproof.

Where I live would tick off the majority of your wish list, except that it's in the wrong country. In fact, one of my local friends is a semiretired professional musician.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:58 PM   #5
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Well, at least you don't need enough room for three grand pianos and a drum kit! Obviously playing a lot of music requires a SFH. A condo just won't do, unless it is extremely soundproof.

Where I live would tick off the majority of your wish list, except that it's in the wrong country. In fact, one of my local friends is a semiretired professional musician.
Well... two of our keyboards are essentially the size of grand pianos and the other two are the size of large upright pianos so I think we share a problem. It has occurred to us that in many ways the best cultural fit for us might be outside the US, but then I'm not sure how we get all of my toys moved overseas. Plus that just increases the stress associated with a relocation.

Anyway, off to the patio to sit by a fire, grill a steak and eat dinner with DW. Life is very, very good, even if we constantly feel that it is sub-optimal. I'll check back on the thread before bed this evening.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:08 PM   #6
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May I recommend Boulder City, Nevada? If you don't mind the drive to Vegas for the baseball and museums/music, you could easily meet your needs. Or live on the outskirts of Vegas and drive 20 min farther away for the astronomy. Either way I think you could meet all of those criteria. No state income tax and medium cost of living, to boot.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:12 PM   #7
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After Katrina, Frank and I were stuck in the post-catastrophic remains of New Orleans because we both still had jobs and were both eligible to retire around the end of 2009. It was tough living here back then, so we were determined to move and get out of here as soon as we retired and could do that.

Our criteria were:

1) Low cost of living, especially cost of houses

2) low crime

3) far enough from the coast that there would be no hurricanes

4) town around 100,000 - 150,000 people or so (big enough for a city girl like me, but small enough to suit his preferences too)

5) As warm as possible once the above criteria were met. Since I never lived in "snow country" as an adult, I wouldn't know how to deal with ice and snow and freezing weather.

After an exhaustive internet search, we came up with these towns:

Springfield, Missouri
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Huntsville, Alabama

So, we visited all three on vacations and much preferred Springfield because it has a wonderful town layout, lots to do, a Southern air about it, and just sort of felt like home to us. We decided that was the place for us.

About a year after retiring, after fixing up our houses and putting them on the market, we completely changed our minds and decided to stay in New Orleans. Well, I should say that he changed his mind, and I didn't want to move without him so I decided to stay too. It turned out to be a good decision, and we have been very happy here.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:35 PM   #8
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Our wants are not unlike the OP, and we've always been happiest living 30-50 miles outside a major metro area. These might help.

Where is your Best Place to Live?

https://www.walkscore.com

findyourspot.com (currently down for maintenance)
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:56 PM   #9
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Our wants are not unlike the OP, and we've always been happiest living 30-50 miles outside a major metro area. These might help.

Where is your Best Place to Live?

https://www.walkscore.com

findyourspot.com (currently down for maintenance)
Thanks for the links, Midpack.

We have talked about what the magical distance from a metro center might be. A lot depends on the specific metro area. When we lived in the Midwest, 50 miles from Kansas City, for example, was a pretty easy trip in. 50 miles from Chicago somewhat less so (?). Here on the East Coast I still don't really have it figured out. It's one thing to think about coming in for a "cultural weekend" from Charlottesville or Richmond or Harper's Ferry. It's something else to try to make an evening rehearsal that starts at 7:30 PM. I mean, with the traffic, it's a PIA to make rehearsals from where we live now.

This year we are likely to attend 12-15 recitals/concerts of various kinds in DC and make 2 trips to NYC for the opera. I also will make 8-10 trips to various places in the metro area for rehearsals and to perform. Would we do these things if I lived in Harpers Ferry? Charlottesville? Manassas? What say you Walt34? How accessible is DC from Harpers Ferry?

When living in the MidWest we drove almost 200 miles to one metro area to see the opera 3 times per year and 3 other times each year drove 200 miles in the other direction to see a chamber music series by a group that we enjoyed. That's not happening again, but we need to figure out where our limits are.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:59 PM   #10
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W2R, we've made some trips to various "retirement destinations" but this was before we really laid out what our criteria would be. Needless to say, those trips weren't very helpful on the retirement planning front, although they were almost always enjoyable. As you've outlined, the next step will need to be to try to identify some communities that meet some of our criteria and make some visits.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:13 PM   #11
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Our wants are not unlike the OP, and we've always been happiest living 30-50 miles outside a major metro area. These might help.

Where is your Best Place to Live?

https://www.walkscore.com

findyourspot.com (currently down for maintenance)
According to the first site linked I will be moving to: Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA. Crap I can't even pronounce it. Maybe W2R can help me out with that. They would hear my NY accent and probably feed me to the gators.
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Old 11-11-2016, 09:59 PM   #12
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According to the first site linked I will be moving to: Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA. Crap I can't even pronounce it. Maybe W2R can help me out with that. They would hear my NY accent and probably feed me to the gators.
Yep, they would. That's Cajun country and I think you would stand out like a sore thumb if you have a strong NY accent. The main problem with that area for us is that they really get pounded by hurricanes, and it is a little more "country" than New Orleans.


P.S. - - "HOME-uh"; "buy you CANE"; "TIB-uh-dough".
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:04 PM   #13
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W2R, we've made some trips to various "retirement destinations" but this was before we really laid out what our criteria would be. Needless to say, those trips weren't very helpful on the retirement planning front, although they were almost always enjoyable. As you've outlined, the next step will need to be to try to identify some communities that meet some of our criteria and make some visits.
That's great. Then once we identified Springfield, we spent as much vacation time there as possible during our last few working years.

Another criterion that I forgot to mention is good hospitals and medical facilities, which I think become more important as one grows older.
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:19 PM   #14
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Yep, they would. That's Cajun country and I think you would stand out like a sore thumb if you have a strong NY accent. The main problem with that area for us is that they really get pounded by hurricanes, and it is a little more "country" than New Orleans.


P.S. - - "HOME-uh"; "buy you CANE"; "TIB-uh-dough".
Much obliged for your assistance.
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Old 11-12-2016, 01:12 AM   #15
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There is a nice triangle of lower cost areas in the Midwest, bordered by Columbus, OH, Louisville, KY, and Indianapolis, IN (Cincinnati included in the triangle). All three are large enough cities for your cultural needs, with many smaller towns nearby (Lexington, KY, Bloomington, IN, Dayton, OH. Lots of good sized airports to choose from. Winters in mid-Indiana/Ohio may be a little stiffer, but not as bad as Michigan, Chicago and WI.

The Ohio/IN area has not fully recovered from the housing crisis and offers some of the lowest cost housing in the country-some of these areas constantly appear on "lowest cost retirement cities" in USA. Colts, Pacers and Indianapolis Indians (AAA baseball) in Indy, while Cincinatti is home to the Reds, and Bengals. Many NCAA schools in the area include Ohio State and Indiana U.

Most of these areas have suburbs that are walking friendly (Ohio is crisscrossed with great paved bike paths) and feel like small towns used to feel.

Low crime, low taxes. Lots to like if you can handle some cold weather and a little snow.
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Old 11-12-2016, 01:15 AM   #16
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BTW, Indy is about 90 min. from Louisville, and Cincinnati, and 2.5 hours from Columbus.
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:35 AM   #17
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Hobbies/Interests: Easy access to a golf course with a large walking group (OK, just any other walkers). Easy access to museums/classical concerts/opera. I would like opportunities to join performing groups in 16th - 18th century music and DW and I would both like quality classical music singing opportunities (church, university and/or community chorus). Dark skies for astronomy.
We've been to Charlottesville, and it has a lot of what you are looking for. We spent a long weekend there, and it is very livable for us suburbanites.

If quality classical music is a must, and not just an interest, you would focus on amateur groups, and try to find a database that possibly lists where these groups might be. If one is not near the location you choose, you'd have to start a group.
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:57 AM   #18
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There is a nice triangle of lower cost areas in the Midwest, bordered by Columbus, OH, Louisville, KY, and Indianapolis, IN (Cincinnati included in the triangle).
We've been generally in the Cincinnati are for a long time and like it here. Cost of living is fairly low, and the city is just big enough. Two hour drive to each: Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus. Good airports everywhere. The typical winter sees you shoveling just a few inches of snow about 2-3 times during the season. We live in a condo, so don't even have to do that any more.

The (probably apocryphal) quote from Mark Twain:
Quote:
When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times.
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:11 AM   #19
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We've been generally in the Cincinnati are for a long time and like it here. Cost of living is fairly low, and the city is just big enough. Two hour drive to each: Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus. Good airports everywhere. The typical winter sees you shoveling just a few inches of snow about 2-3 times during the season. We live in a condo, so don't even have to do that any more.

The (probably apocryphal) quote from Mark Twain:
I'd consider Cincinnati.

I think a lot of people overlook the flyover country cities. They have a lot to offer, just no ocean, and in many cases no mountains. For Cincinnati, mountain life is just a short drive away. Oceans are not everything.

And besides, and place approved by Peter Frampton has to be good!
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:22 AM   #20
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