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Retiring to a rural setting or small town
Old 02-24-2017, 06:41 AM   #1
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Retiring to a rural setting or small town

I was reading the thread "Alternatives to Santa Fe?" and didn't want to take anything away from that thread so I would like your thoughts on living in small towns or rural setting.

Does any one have to desire to live in rural America? You won't have the fancy things or all the great stores to go to at your finger tips. I'm talking 1 or 2 hour drive to big city shopping and good hospitals etc..

There is a lot of advantages for living in small towns. You become part of a small group, crime doesn't exist, can trust everyone and know everyone, you don't have to lock doors and so many outdoor activities to do. You can live so cheap but still so rich with the quality of life. I will say it is a very simple life with out any of the fancy things in life.

Is it for you or not for you?
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:50 AM   #2
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I would do it in a heartbeat...DW, however, would not.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:51 AM   #3
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I'm talking 1 or 2 hour drive to big city shopping and good hospitals etc..
Enticing, but if I had a 2 hour drive to a good hospital three years ago I wouldn't be posting here today.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:51 AM   #4
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We live in a mid-sized city in NC, and have a small cabin at a resort 30 miles where we have the "small town" we want. The doors are unlocked nearly all weekend, people know about each other's lives, care about each other and living there is cheap (or as cheap as you want). I consider this the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:51 AM   #5
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I heard an author on NPR who wrote a book about small town living. I wish I could remember the name of the book, but his hypothesis was that the most bizarre people and behaviors come from folks in small towns who are isolated from the molding, scrubbing effects of a bigger society. Not saying it's true, but food for thought.
When I first moved to Colorado our dream was to live in the mountains, so we did. We ran across a brand of Colorado hillbilly that were some of the most unsocial people on the planet. So sung to the theme from Green Acres " darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue". Your results may vary.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:51 AM   #6
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We do not. We like the music/restaurant/bar scene available in a relatively big city (Nashville), and have extensive travel plans that would prevent getting truly attached to people in a new location for quite a few years.

We have privacy on our present house/acreage in the nearby burbs, which is only 10 miles from airport and 20 from heart of the city. If/when we sell that, we plan to move into the city core.

Different strokes for different folks. (And who knows, we may change our minds and get tired of being around all the 20-somethings!)
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:52 AM   #7
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OP, I think your view of life in a small town is a little too optimistic as small towns can be insular and cliquish. Someone who moves there for retirement may always be an 'outsider' and never really be able to feel part of the community.

Of course that isn't always the case, but it is something that anyone seeking an idyllic rural/small town life needs to keep in mind. And then there is that pesky privacy aspect of everyone knowing everyone's business...
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concerns about my kids in a small town
Old 02-24-2017, 07:01 AM   #8
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concerns about my kids in a small town

I would retire to a small town in heartbeat as long as there was a movie theater and a few good places to eat. My concern is where I live while I am still raising my kids. The city has a lot of drawbacks, I currently live in a town of 700, but I worry my kids are growing up very sheltered and unexposed to the 'real world'. Everybody they know is just like them.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:04 AM   #9
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I think your view of life in a small town is a little too optimistic as small towns can be insular and cliquish. Someone who moves there for retirement may always be an 'outsider' and never really be able to feel part of the community.

Of course that isn't always the case, but it is something that anyone seeking an idyllic rural/small town life needs to keep in mind. And then there is that pesky privacy aspect of everyone knowing everyone's business...
+1

We did move to a small town, 1 1/2 hours to Pittsburgh. Still can't find a reason to go there Great medical facilties within 30 minutes.

To most locals, if your great grand daddy was not born here you are an outsider. OTOH theare are quiet a few lcoals and newbies who do not subscribe to that model. Been here ten years still love it.

Using cruise control to go to next town for major grocery shopping is a definite plus. There is a good local grocery store as well. As I noted before a few times, three cars in a row is a traffic jam. DW goes to small coffee shop daily for a gabfest and pick up stuff for dinner at the local market. I drive about 45 minutes to the skating rink three days a week. Summer time kayaking is 30 minutes drive. Don't mind supporting the gas stations at all.

Life is good.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:07 AM   #10
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Don't let your guard down too much; small towns can have plenty of crime. Some in my neck of the woods (southwest VA) have real problems with the downturn in the coal mining and textile industries in the last decade or two.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:17 AM   #11
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I have a desire for rural America. DW does not. I somewhat accomplished both of our desires by living on the edge in an area where there are large open spaces that most likely will not be developed.

Its ok, but I would still like to live in north central Montana.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:19 AM   #12
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We retired to a small rural community not far from where I grew up. We have also had a weekend place here since 2000. Basically I know allot of people but my spouse doesn't even though we visited often. We have built our retirement house here etc. on some acreage that we own. I am not sure how small of a community the op is referring to but you do have sacrifices for the environment you speak of. People can be cliquish as mentioned, produce doesn't have the quality as in the city due to limited selection and all the things mentioned above. You will need to be sort of a handy man (person) because quality repair persons may be limited. Is it cheaper to live in the country? The only thing we have found cheaper is taxes and the way the appraisal district values homes. Now we live 2.5 hours from the nearest metropolitan area, within 30 miles of a town of 30k plus. Maybe a stretch too far but you get the message. We love it here but it isn't for everyone in a rural setting and I was just trying too paint the picture you may not want too rural? One person above explained living in a midsize town with a cabin to visit when needed. This sounds ideal. I love the outdoors etc and doing things for myself but reality will set in when I get older I am sure. Just put some thought into it before you chose a rural setting because I am not sure Mayberry exist just randomly.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:51 AM   #13
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I would do it in a heartbeat...DW, however, would not.
Same here...
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:54 AM   #14
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...crime doesn't exist, can trust everyone and know everyone, you don't have to lock doors...
Well, I wouldn't automatcally assume this:

10 Haunting Small-Town Murder Mysteries - Listverse

That said, we relocated from a large city (Seattle) to a smaller city (~80k) about five years ago, and have really liked the change.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:54 AM   #15
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I was born in a small town and I will die in a rural area. Interesting thoughts but in the west, small towns (25 to 1000 people) in my experience welcome people but you have to do your part to be part of them and the community. If you don't want to be involved then you stay the lone wolf. I know many people that are still live in small towns that are in their late 80's and 90's. I grew up around these people and they are still living doing great and have had a great live.

There maybe some crime etc. but nothing like a metro or living in a city. I haven't had to lock doors in my life not that is couldn't happen but a different way of living. I'm talking about if there is someone along a road etc. someone will stop and ask if yo need help. There are Mayberry's in my part of the world but not sure people realize that because they only know big city and populated areas.

I live close to a small town that the mayor of this town owns the bar and in a pastor of the church in town. Lol

I like being able to go anywhere and can say hi to people from even small towns around in the area because you know them. I know some people that have came to small towns that don't get involved then those people think they are the weird ones. Lol I believe if you have lived in a metro highly populated area you may not no the way of small town America.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:01 AM   #16
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We are looking for some acreage on the outskirts of a smallish town. Would like to be no more than 20 minutes from healthcare. We want to raise most of our vegetables, have access to or raise free range chickens for eggs and have some cats and more dogs. Our idea of YOLO!
Oh yeah, and a miniature donkey and a cinnamon colored alpaca!
Denver has too much traffic and too many people!
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:01 AM   #17
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I heard an author on NPR who wrote a book about small town living. I wish I could remember the name of the book, but his hypothesis was that the most bizarre people and behaviors come from folks in small towns who are isolated from the molding, scrubbing effects of a bigger society. Not saying it's true, but food for thought.
When I first moved to Colorado our dream was to live in the mountains, so we did. We ran across a brand of Colorado hillbilly that were some of the most unsocial people on the planet. So sung to the theme from Green Acres " darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue". Your results may vary.
I agree with the above, I'm 7 miles from the nearest town of about 400 and 15 from the nearest grocery store,population of that town around 12K. I've noticed 2 types, the farmers that still live and work on the farm..some are well rounded and some are not. Second type.. people that moved out here to get away from the big city of 12K...They are OK neighbors don't get me wrong, but definitely march to their own drummers
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:05 AM   #18
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We have relocated multiple times, and lived in a relatively small town within an hour of a major metro area every time (outside Dallas, Columbus OH, between Tampa-Orlando, Chicago). We've always thought it was ideal, wouldn't have it any other way. The advantages of a small town (lower cost, less congestion, safer) with world class amenities (theatre, concerts, museums, restaurants, shopping) within easy driving distance any time. What's not to like?
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:09 AM   #19
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One of the things about Dad's tiny town is that hard drug abuse (like meth and heroin) seems pretty high, and I get the impression that it's a pretty common part of life in rural and tiny town America for the young to middle aged these days.

That small town is in decline. They are lucky to have a large college located there - now part of the university system. And there are some areas that are bedroom communities for larger towns farther away. But main street is depressing, local manufacturers have shut down, and many buildings are vacant and left to crumble. Most of my cousins moved away.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:14 AM   #20
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One thing to check out is what health care networks are available. In my experience they ask you for your zip code and offer networks accordingly. Just for grins, I put in a variety of codes from various places near but out side the metro Chicago area and got some really poor choices for health care.
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