Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Where in the West to retire?
Old 05-06-2017, 05:34 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 89
Where in the West to retire?

So I'm finally at the point where I think all my numbers work, but I am having trouble deciding where I should retire to. My wife and I currently live in the Midwest. Almost every vacation we take, we go out west - California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado etc. we are looking forward to moving out there permanently but are suffering a bit from analysis paralysis.

Our main requirements for a retirement place:

- four seasons but no excessive heat/humidity in the summer and not really long winters. A drier climate is a plus.
- excellent hiking nearby is a must. Close by cross country skiing would be a strong positive
- not too far from a major international airport since we are from the U.K. originally and still travel back there annually to visit family
- preferably a big enough town to have a decent health club, decent shops etc. close by. i.e. Not way out in the sticks
- reasonably affordable. Which I think rules out most of California. Ideally we would find a nice 3 bedroom house for $400k or less but we could stretch that a bit if necessary.

So currently the front running state is Colorado. Originally we were looking at Fort Collins or some of the other Northern front range cities. But then we realized these places are still a bit of a drive to decent hiking, so we are now contemplating more west of Denver so we would be right in the mountains, but still pretty close to a major city.

Feedback from others who live somewhere like where we are looking for would be very much appreciated!
__________________

__________________
trirod is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-06-2017, 05:55 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
Packman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 303
I moved from Denver to Phoenix about 2 years ago when my DW retired. I liked Denver, but lots of snow and lots of hail, etc. My house incurred two major hail storms in four years causing about $60k in total damages. Winter driving is much more difficult than you might think. I grew up in northern Wisconsin and that was a cakewalk compared to driving in the snow and ice of Denver. Because the ground never freezes the snow falls and melts, then turns to ice and more snow falls. It wasn't much fun. However, if you're retired, you might not care much about driving issues with no commute.

You won't find a "nice" house in the western foothills of Denver for $400k, IMO. You could consider Colorado Springs. Less expensive housing, good outdoor living and hiking. The Denver airport would be about 2 hours but the Springs airport is very nice too.

The price of real estate in Colorado over the last few years has been one of the fastest growing in the nation. I would be a little concerned about a bit of a bubble. However, everyone is moving there for a reason - I think it's the most beautiful state in the country, and I've been to 47 of the 50. Take a trip there and check it out, but go in the winter to see the more challenging season. Good luck.
__________________

__________________
Retired on 5/31/2011 at 54
Packman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 06:43 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 50
Based on the airport requirement, other then Denver mentioned above, your other mountain state option is SLC. A lot depends on how close to the airport you want to be.

The other major airports that come to mind (SEA and PDX) you're going to run into housing affordability issues nearby...

I really like the SLC area, but due to the religiousness of many of the folks there, it's a bit polarizing for non-Mormons. I think they make great neighbors (and I have no desire to become a Mormon)

I live in Bozeman and finding good international flights is a major PITA. My flight to a hub city (like SFO) often arrives at a time nowhere near the departure time for the next international leg. Alternatively, it can take two flights to get to the hub (I go BZN to SLC to SFO, then onwards to destinations in Asia for example)
__________________
l8_apex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 06:45 PM   #4
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Somewhere between Chicago and Phoenix
Posts: 8,937
Look into Flagstaff, Arizona.

Four seasons - check
Hiking nearby - check
International airport nearby - Phoenix is 2 hours driving time
Big enough for a decent health club - population is 69,000
Reasonably affordable - I've seen several houses listed in the $400k range

I have similar requirements and the best place I've found to live year round so far is Flagstaff.
__________________
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” — Matsuo Basho
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Ventura County
Old 05-06-2017, 07:27 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 1,024
Ventura County

In one of the infinite number of surveys of best places, on one Ventura County CA was number one.
I admit I am biased, as I live there. But it is the best kept secret in Southern California. People are so busy driving from LA to Santa Barbara, they whiz right past us.
We live in a beautiful new 1400 sq ft manufactured home in a +55 park, where the space rent is around $600 per month. The new manufactured homes in this park go for about 200K to 250K and look nothing like they did years ago. We are an hour from Burbank Airport, 45 minutes from Santa Barbara Airport, and an hour and a half or so from LAX. We have flown BA to the UK many times from LAX.
We are 15 minutes away from an AMTRAK station and local commuter rail.
We are blessed with a Mediterranean climate that is neither Denver like or Phoenix like.
P.S. I do not work for the Chamber of Commerce, I just love it here. I have been abound the world, but cannot think of a better place to retire.
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 95%/0/5
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 07:36 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
zinger1457's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,396
I don't live there but Prescott AZ ticks most of those boxes, about 100 miles from Phoenix Airport. They don't get much snow so may have to drive up towards Flagstaff for cross country skiing.
__________________
zinger1457 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 07:49 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
TrophyWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 99
Orange County, CA. The housing is more expensive but the weather is amazing and you have 2 airport choices, Orange County and LAX-1 hour drive
__________________
TrophyWife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 08:44 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
evilanne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 169
Albuquerque has International Air Port, Lots of outdoor activities, learned to Ski there, don't know about cross country but ~ 1 hour away from Santa Fe 2.5 hours away from Taos, 4 Hours away from lower Colorado Skiing (best Skiing). Does get hot in summer but generally cools down at night with winds off the Sandia Mountains

I lived in Cheyenne WY for 5 years and have considered moving back in retirement because of lower cost of living, particularly taxes and the climate is dry, love the spring snow that falls & disappears in a few days. Only Skiing I tried was in Laramie (1.5 hours to Medicine Bow Forest area), which I didn't care for in comparison to lower Colorado but I don't know anything about cross country skiing. Biggest downside to Cheyenne is wind in the winter and although they have a small airport (only did that once), I'd recommend driving 2 hours to Denver instead. About 45 minutes to Fort Collins. Hiking Wyoming - Away From the Grind also has hiking in other surrounding states
__________________
evilanne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 08:47 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
97guns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Deep South Bay
Posts: 206
How about the Reno, Carson city, Lake Tahoe area
__________________
97guns is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2017, 08:51 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,856
Stay away from Oregon. Particularly SW Oregon. Nothing but mountains, rivers, forests, 4 seasons, including RAIN, (lots) only one larger city with an International airport a long ways away. Nothing to see here folks, move on...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_6576.JPG (781.7 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6577.JPG (737.7 KB, 100 views)
__________________
ejman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 12:25 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 785
Ha ha. Nice work, EJman! Made my AM.
__________________
brucethebroker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 12:31 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 934
Quote:
Originally Posted by 97guns View Post
How about the Reno, Carson city, Lake Tahoe area


+1 for Reno based on your criteria. I live in So CA and for me, it's paradise, boy not particularly affordable. Reno, Tahoe, & Henderson, NV are worth looking into.
__________________
Scuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 12:31 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 785
OP, if you like where you live now, but want to "tweak" it, consider a vacation home. Many snowbirds love their homes up north, but just want to be rid of the extreme cold/lousy winters.

And some FL, TX, GA people own places up north to escape the hot/humid summers. Lots of condos out there for half your target price. Or rent a couple of seasons to try it out.

There are also colleges up north who offer discounted senior rates on "student" housing during summer break. We looked into a couple just outside of Minn./St. Paul a couple of years back. Many cultural events, and lots of biking/walking options.
__________________
brucethebroker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 06:21 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 89
Thanks for these replies- keep them coming!

Flagstaff and Prescott are on the shortlist for sure. My main concern with Arizona is the healthcare situation doesn't seem too great out there. My wife has a pre-existing condition so it seems that in the future the ability for her to get decent health insurance may be dependent on what state we live in.

I like Reno (never been to Carson City but I like that area). My wife wasn't impressed with it when we went through there a few years ago, but maybe we need to revisit. Close to California without the golden state cost of living!

I hear you on real estate prices in Colorado. We started looking at places to retire about 5 years ago and CO was only a little more expensive than Ohio back then. Now an equivalent house to ours would be 2-2.5 times more than we would get for selling our house.

I love Utah to visit, but I just wonder what it would be like to live there as a non-Mormon? I understand that SLC is relatively diverse and it certainly has a lot going for it.

Oregon and Washington was where we were originally looking at when we first started contemplating early retirement 6 or 7 years ago. But we have been gradually drifting towards a drier climate (growing up in the north of England gave me a lifetime's worth of rain). Of course I know people who had the same thoughts but then they really miss the green of wetter climates, so that could be us too. I have thought about the drier parts of those states like Bend or Wenatchee, so that's always a possibility.

First world problems for sure!
__________________
trirod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 06:54 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,166
Spokane and Boise might be worth looking at.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 07:37 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,992
Take a good look at the state of Idaho. SLC has absolutely horrible inversions in the wintertime that put the pollution index in the red for days or even weeks at a time.

I don't know what you mean by not too far from a big airport, a lot of these smaller towns have feeder flights into the big airports. IMO the airport request really limits your options and is going to drive up the price of your home.

You sound a little like Goldilocks, dry but too dry, hot but not too hot, cold but not too cold and with good health care. If you shorten the list of musts a little you'll have more freedom to choose

How far are your from Medicare as this will help with your insurance issues?
__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 07:43 AM   #17
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Grand Junction
Posts: 1
You might consider Grand Junction, CO. DW and I retired here last year and love it. It meets all of your requirements except maybe a major airport (we do have ~ 12 flights a day, but all flights go to domestic hub system, e.g. Salt Lake City, Dallas, Denver, etc.).

1) Compare average daily high to your Midwest location. When I did the comparison to Iowa (where I grew up), I noted that both locations had Dec and Jan winters, but we tend to warm up quicker starting in Feb.
2) Lots of hiking and biking nearby. We have world class XC skiing nearby in the Grand Mesa. This was our first winter in the area and on multiple occasions we skied in the morning and golfed in the afternoon.
3) We have a nice airport, but nothing International as noted above.
4) Big enough town/area to have one of most everything (Grand Junction is maybe 60,000 and Mesa County is maybe 150,000 population).
5) You can still buy a nice 3 Bedroom for $400K, but if you want it all (i.e. a nice view of the CO National Monument) you will probably have to pay 500K+.

Good luck in your search. There are a lot of great places out West to retire.
__________________
Mark1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 07:55 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1 View Post
You might consider Grand Junction, CO. DW and I retired here last year and love it. It meets all of your requirements except maybe a major airport (we do have ~ 12 flights a day, but all flights go to domestic hub system, e.g. Salt Lake City, Dallas, Denver, etc.).

1) Compare average daily high to your Midwest location. When I did the comparison to Iowa (where I grew up), I noted that both locations had Dec and Jan winters, but we tend to warm up quicker starting in Feb.
2) Lots of hiking and biking nearby. We have world class XC skiing nearby in the Grand Mesa. This was our first winter in the area and on multiple occasions we skied in the morning and golfed in the afternoon.
3) We have a nice airport, but nothing International as noted above.
4) Big enough town/area to have one of most everything (Grand Junction is maybe 60,000 and Mesa County is maybe 150,000 population).
5) You can still buy a nice 3 Bedroom for $400K, but if you want it all (i.e. a nice view of the CO National Monument) you will probably have to pay 500K+.

Good luck in your search. There are a lot of great places out West to retire.
Agree with this.
__________________
COcheesehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 07:56 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alberta/Ontario/ Arizona
Posts: 2,894
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
OP, if you like where you live now, but want to "tweak" it, consider a vacation home. Many snowbirds love their homes up north, but just want to be rid of the extreme cold/lousy winters.
This has been our approach. If I was an American, I would consider picking two of San Diego, Scottsdale, Northern Idaho.
__________________
Danmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 08:04 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 400
The problem with the area west and south-west of Reno is the lack of flights to the UK. You'd have to take a connecting flight to a hub city first, so if that's a deal-breaker then that area might not be for you. NV is probably also not your best choice for healthcare.

I wonder about some of the communities near San Bernardino / Fontana / Redlands. Zillow says there are plenty of places for sale (some brand new) in your price range, and you're certainly close to skiing and hiking with Mt Baldy and Mt San Gorgonio right there. You could even look at getting a place in Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead if you want to live in the mountains, though that makes the drive to an airport much longer. You also have access to pretty much unlimited cultural opportunities being close to L.A.
__________________

__________________
cathy63 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GREETINGS from sarf west London anykey Hi, I am... 7 05-20-2007 12:57 PM
where not to retire: key west lazygood4nothinbum Life after FIRE 25 05-11-2007 07:43 PM
Wall Street West Non sequitur Other topics 4 10-11-2006 12:11 PM
What would you do, switching jobs, moving s-west Skylark Young Dreamers 9 03-05-2005 02:34 PM
Headed for a crash out west? Skylark Life after FIRE 13 06-14-2004 08:01 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:10 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.