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Old 07-23-2007, 09:00 AM   #81
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Do some homework on El Paso. You would get those Texas taxes, but housing there is dirt cheap considering. Wen I looked at the figures yesterday the median house was $108K! Dang, now that is cheap.
The big downside for me was EP is so far away from everywhere. Las Cruses, NM, supposedly the home of the most millionaires per capita according to Money magazine (I think that was where the study was), is only 38 miles away; but, everywhere else, is FAR. Tuscon is 262 miles away, Albuquerque is 226, and they are the closest major metros. Not my cup of tea, but some of you might love the lifestyle there.
The weather in El Paso is nothing like Houston or the hot, humid rest of most of Texas.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:57 PM   #82
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El Paso is a big metro area in it's own right, over half a million. It's far from pro sports teams (one of the original post's criteria), and I don't know how it is in the fine arts, but it's not like you'll need to go to Tucson or Albuquerque or anyplace like that for shopping or movies. I mean, it's kind of like saying Denver isn't close to other big cities. Perfectly true, but why does it really need to be? I'm not advocating for El Paso, I've never been there, I just thought it was funny to talk about how far away other similarly sized citites are.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:05 PM   #83
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El Paso is a big metro area in it's own right, over half a million.
A very large city is just across the creek from El Paso-Ciudad Juarez. Which may not be a great thing for many. Smog is a tad uncontrolled over there, for example.

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Old 07-23-2007, 09:51 PM   #84
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Interesting site

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This thread reminds me of Philip Greenspun's criteria:

Early Retirement: Where to Live?
I found that site very interesting thanks
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:36 PM   #85
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I lived in El Paso for a year about 20 years ago and I wouldn't recommend it. True, it is a decent size city, but the population is approx. 75% Hispanic, with many recent immigrants that don't speak English. Due to the large immigrant population it's a relatively poor city with not much culture. As for food, well, I was fine because I love Mexican food, but if you don't, you are going to have trouble finding anything else to eat.

If I were looking in that general area, I'd consider Albuquerque or Las Cruces over El Paso, ABQ if you want a larger city, LC if you want a smaller town. Both have universities. New Mexico tax rates (income, property and sales taxes) are pretty low compared to many other locales and the weather is pleasant (and very dry) most of the time. It snows a bit in ABQ in winter and both towns get pretty hot in summer, but neither is as hot as Phoenix, Tucson or Las Vegas.

Neither of these towns would work for the OP as NM has very little water-based recreational opportunities. There's a large reservoir about 50 miles south of ABQ and some small lakes and rivers in the northern part of the state, and that's about it. However, anyone else looking for a place to retire might want to consider them.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:25 AM   #86
 
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Albuquerque is one of the cities I have under consideration to retire to along with Reno & Grants Pass, OR. I did check into Las Cruces but it gets too hot there for me.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:25 AM   #87
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RunningBum, I thought it was important to point out that El Paso was far from other major cities as many people like to take little mini-vacations on this board is all. I'm one of them, so being in a major metro near other interesting locations is important to me; and, like I said, I have noticed I am not alone on that issue on this board. We have some travelers here in this forum other than me.
Move to Houston and sweat your a** off, but you can go to Austin, San Antonio, Dallas within 2-1/2 to 4 hours driving. Live in Chicago and you can go to the Wisconsin Dells. Live in D.C. and you can go to alot of major east coast cities. El Paso is just kinda far from alot of the other major cities in the SW. Just an opinion is all.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:26 AM   #88
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RunningBum, I thought it was important to point out that El Paso was far from other major cities as many people like to take little mini-vacations on this board is all. I'm one of them, so being in a major metro near other interesting locations is important to me; and, like I said, I have noticed I am not alone on that issue on this board. We have some travelers here in this forum other than me.
Move to Houston and sweat your a** off, but you can go to Austin, San Antonio, Dallas within 2-1/2 to 4 hours driving. Live in Chicago and you can go to the Wisconsin Dells. Live in D.C. and you can go to alot of major east coast cities. El Paso is just kinda far from alot of the other major cities in the SW. Just an opinion is all.
El Paso really IS pretty remote, I have to agree!! I also agree with meridiver. My impression (based on simply driving through it, and stopping for the night, several times) is that El Paso is not someplace that I would want to live, personally, for all the reasons he/she listed, and more. The parts of El Paso that I saw were really, really UGLY and run down and when I was last there it was frightfully hot - - it was a relief to get to central Texas after frying in El Paso. Personally if I lined up every community in America and sorted them by how much I want to retire there, I think El Paso would be competing with Newark for the bottom of the list. But maybe I just got a bad impression of the place. Like I said, I never stayed there longer than overnight.

Now Las Cruces struck me as a pretty little town, though I am looking more towards the midwest for an ER location.

What are the Wisconsin dells?
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:27 AM   #89
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What are the Wisconsin dells?
It's a very nice, though over commercialized area of south central WI. It's billed as the "Water Park Capital of the World". It's a big tourist trap now days (IMHO). When I was a kid, families went there for the natural beauty and that sort of thing. Lots of camping, ski shows, fishing, etc. Now it's just about all water parks and that sort of crap.

In my opinion, it's the one area you'd want to stay away from in summer. Summer traffic is usually pretty bad...especially when there is road construction. I remember times, some years ago, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on I-90 for 1-2 hours at a time trying to head to MN. It was so bad that some people were having there picnic lunches along the road side, while their cars were still in line on the interstate. I'd rather be stuck in rush hour traffic in Chicago!

Just 'google' wisconsin dells, and you'll see the commercialization. It's like the Branson (MO) of water parks.

BTW, the natural areas look somewhat like the Ozarks! Very nice! The river and lakes, and rock outcroppings, etc. Of course I can just drive 15 minutes down the road here, to one of a couple state parks, that both look just as nice, if not nicer. And there aren't the huge crowds of people....well, 'cept on holidays like July 4th and Labor Day. During the week and in the 'off' season you have the parks pretty much to yourself.....including the over 13 miles of hiking trails. One of those parks was just named to the list of the 'official' Seven Wonders of IL.....Starved Rock State Park.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:06 AM   #90
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Thanks, Goonie! Off to google "wisconsin dells".

I saw the Starved Rock site and it is beautiful.

Still thinking Springfield, Missouri, but most of the midwest seems pretty appealing from here.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:32 PM   #91
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Burlington, VT

I haven't read every post in this thread, but I noticed that several pages in, Burlington, VT came into play. I moved to an area just outside of Vergennes, VT two years ago. Burlington is about 35 min. away and we spend a fair amount of time there. (My daughter and her family were living there at the time we moved; they have since relocated.)

Can't remember all your criteria, but here's the good, the bad and the neutral (from my point of view):

Good:
  • Excellent restaurants
  • A beautiful setting on Lake Champlain
  • Small enough (about 30-35K population) so you're not overwhelmed
  • Good cultural life. Probably better if you're younger than I (62) because there seem to be a lot of young, hip bands that play here. But even for old farts like me, there's plenty
  • College town (University of VT and several smaller ones). So Div. 1 sports (hockey rules) and lectures, concerts, etc.
  • Outdoorsy lifestyle - everyone skis, jogs, paddles, cycles, hikes, etc.
  • Four season climate
  • Proximity to a great international city (Montreal) - about an hour and a half. Boston is about 4 hrs.
  • Lots of Red Sox fans (this is New England)

Neutral:
  • Pretty crunchy/liberal
  • Significant gay community

Bad:
  • High real estate prices and taxes.
  • High restaurant taxes, particularly in Burlington where they've added 1% to the state's already ridiculous 9% restaurant tax
  • Too many Yankee fans (we border NY State)


I think you mentioned that you don't like FL because of all the old people. Burlington has the feel of a very young town, but VT as a whole has the second oldest population in the country (Maine is first).

A quick story about the gay scene here: During my early days in VT I walked past a building near downtown Burlington that had a sign that said "Out in the Mountains". I though, "hey, maybe I can go in there and get some hiking information." Then I noticed another sign that said "RUOne2?"
Turns out it was HQ for a local gay/lesbian organization and "Out in the Mountains" is the name of their newspaper!

Contact me if you want any more detail.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:11 PM   #92
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Still thinking Springfield, Missouri, but most of the midwest seems pretty appealing from here.
I can understand your choosing of the Springfield area. It's a nice area. It's nicer there in the winter than up here......somewhat warmer and a lot less snow. Probably not a major difference in summer weather (IIRC), with some time spent in far south-central MO in the summers when I was a kid, it seemed like the heat/humidity was about the same as here. The folks down that way seem to be a bit friendlier than their counterparts around here. And it's a lot more laid back and slower paced. I guess those were some of the reasons I didn't mind spending time down there in the middle of nowhere, in a metropolis with less than 2k people.

And as far as the midwest seeming "pretty appealing from here", I know how you feel. N.O. ain't what it used to be....probably never will be again unfortunately. My sister lived there for over 30 years, and loved it. She raised her family there, and they all had (and still have) deep roots there. Shortly after Katrina, she sold her home (which came through totally unscathed) and moved to the land of Oz Kansas. She's been back a few times, and can only describe her former favorite city as "sad".
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:02 PM   #93
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Goonie, you have a lot of insight and it is appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:58 AM   #94
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RunningBum, I thought it was important to point out that El Paso was far from other major cities as many people like to take little mini-vacations on this board is all. I'm one of them, so being in a major metro near other interesting locations is important to me; and, like I said, I have noticed I am not alone on that issue on this board. We have some travelers here in this forum other than me.
Move to Houston and sweat your a** off, but you can go to Austin, San Antonio, Dallas within 2-1/2 to 4 hours driving. Live in Chicago and you can go to the Wisconsin Dells. Live in D.C. and you can go to alot of major east coast cities. El Paso is just kinda far from alot of the other major cities in the SW. Just an opinion is all.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to start anything. Usually when people talk about not being near any cities it's because they miss the conveniences of a city for shopping, etc. And I usually like to travel to outdoors places (skiing, parks, etc.) so proximity to other cities wasn't making sense to me. I understand your point now.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:01 AM   #95
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New Orleans...sad? What an understatement for a formerly GREAT city with such FANTASTIC culture! My Dad lived there for years and years, so I was there alot. What a city!!!! Katrina broke my heart, for sure.
Springfield, Mo., has nothing but positive comments almost. Go check it out (if you haven't) on city-data.com. I think you would love it. I would, too, but their high tax rate on income isn't beneficial for me. Anyway, Brad Pitt is from there...how bad can it be? Ha!
RunningBum, I love major metros because I love the restaurants and cultural things...and, believe it or not, the resale/thrift stores in major cities. It's the thrill of the hunt thing for some of us, I think, digging thru other peoples crap.
Although, I must admit, I am a sucker for the out of doors, too. All is nice.

Say, a GREAT city that is SAFE in Illinois--and over 21% seniors there--and, again, NO CRIME is: Princeton, Illinois. 126 miles W. of Chicago, which takes 2 hours to get into inner-city Chicago realistically. What a great place to retire. Quaint! Safe! Lots of seniors! Very friendly as in brownie carrying to your house when you move in friendly! Take a look at city-data.com and other sites for Princeton. You might like it. Just a suggestion. And the tax rate for income is a flat 3% in Illinois, which is low.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:21 PM   #96
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Say, a GREAT city that is SAFE in Illinois--and over 21% seniors there--and, again, NO CRIME is: Princeton, Illinois. 126 miles W. of Chicago, which takes 2 hours to get into inner-city Chicago realistically. What a great place to retire. Quaint! Safe! Lots of seniors! Very friendly as in brownie carrying to your house when you move in friendly! Take a look at city-data.com and other sites for Princeton. You might like it. Just a suggestion. And the tax rate for income is a flat 3% in Illinois, which is low.
Princeton is a nice little town. I'm about a half hour drive away. I was there about a week and a half ago for a cookout at City-County Park just north of town. It was put on by the association I belonged to before I FIRE'd.

I get over there every once in a while, though not too often. An occasional gun show....a visit to Tractor Supply.....the Bureau County Fair......Hornbaker Gardens......and one of these days I have to get over to the hobby shop.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:07 PM   #97
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Just a comment on ‘Move to Houston and sweat you A$$ off’. We live on Lake Livingston, one our, or less, from Houston. We start our day, out on the deck, for coffee and breakfast, most mornings. Actually Dec-Feb, it is often too cold. Seldom is it too hot in the summer. Through July, we have lunch and dinner outside 75% of the time. Now the morning walk is another thing all together. There we do an appropriate amount of sweating!
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:23 PM   #98
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Just a comment on ‘Move to Houston and sweat you A$$ off’. We live on Lake Livingston, one our, or less, from Houston. We start our day, out on the deck, for coffee and breakfast, most mornings. Actually Dec-Feb, it is often too cold. Seldom is it too hot in the summer. Through July, we have lunch and dinner outside 75% of the time. Now the morning walk is another thing all together. There we do an appropriate amount of sweating!
I've frequently commented on some of Nord's "strange" posts and attributed them to the time he spent underwater in a small metal cylinder near a high radiation source. I see a lot of parallels with Rustic23's post above.

Rustic spent a lot of time in a small metal tube at high altitude and apparently suffered from prolonged periods of oxygen deprivation. That's the only plausible explanation for his endorsement of summertime living in the Houston area .
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:37 PM   #99
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New Orleans...sad? What an understatement for a formerly GREAT city with such FANTASTIC culture! My Dad lived there for years and years, so I was there alot. What a city!!!! Katrina broke my heart, for sure.
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Springfield, Mo., has nothing but positive comments almost. Go check it out (if you haven't) on city-data.com. I think you would love it. I would, too, but their high tax rate on income isn't beneficial for me. Anyway, Brad Pitt is from there...how bad can it be? Ha!
Thanks, Orchidflower. Frank and I have been thinking of Springfield for some time, and have visited there a few times in the past two years. I love city-data.com, too! Our income levels are going to be pretty low. Missouri recently passed a law exempting social security retirement income from state taxes.

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Say, a GREAT city that is SAFE in Illinois--and over 21% seniors there--and, again, NO CRIME is: Princeton, Illinois. 126 miles W. of Chicago, which takes 2 hours to get into inner-city Chicago realistically. What a great place to retire. Quaint! Safe! Lots of seniors! Very friendly as in brownie carrying to your house when you move in friendly! Take a look at city-data.com and other sites for Princeton. You might like it. Just a suggestion. And the tax rate for income is a flat 3% in Illinois, which is low.


Interesting! I had never heard of Princeton, Illinois. Will check it out.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:42 PM   #100
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Rustic spent a lot of time in a small metal tube at high altitude and apparently suffered from prolonged periods of oxygen deprivation. That's the only plausible explanation for his endorsement of summertime living in the Houston area .
I don't know anything about Rustic, but I have to agree about Texas summers. I spent 13 summers in College Station, Texas, and they were MISERABLE. Summer in New Orleans is much more pleasant. Yes, it's hot and humid here, but at least here, the rain cuts the heat most afternoons! In College Station, the heat just bears down and turns everything brown, and there's no relief for months.
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