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Old 09-05-2011, 06:39 PM   #81
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Oregon is outstanding - but to enjoy the green you gotta put up with the grey. Lots and lots of grey.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:04 AM   #82
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"Savannah is one of 10 most beautiful places in America" USA Today Weekend

"Savannah is the American City with the most exceptional architecture" Robb Report

Lemonde in Paris, France has dubbed Savannah " The Most Beautiful City in North America"

Paris Match reiterated the theme in the sixties, calling this the Most Beautiful City in America.

Best Southern City - Southern Living Magazine, January 2009

Top 10 cities in the US & Canada - Travel + Leisure Magazine, July 2008

"15 Coolest Cities in North America" -MSN.com, Febuary 2009

"Top Ten U.S. Cities": Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, November 2010
And for just a wee bit o' contrast:

Savannah, GA Crime Map - Showing Crimes in Savannah - Crime Statistics, Alerts and Reports - Crime Stops Here

Seriously, the crime down there is terrible! It is a truly dangerous city, and with all the tourists, there is a lot of opportunistic crime. Just be careful if you visit.

Same dates for Charleston:
http://www.spotcrime.com/sc/charleston
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:31 AM   #83
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And for just a wee bit o' contrast:

Savannah, GA Crime Map - Showing Crimes in Savannah - Crime Statistics, Alerts and Reports - Crime Stops Here

Seriously, the crime down there is terrible! It is a truly dangerous city, and with all the tourists, there is a lot of opportunistic crime. Just be careful if you visit.

Same dates for Charleston:
Charleston, SC Crime Map - Showing Crimes in Charleston - Crime Statistics, Alerts and Reports - Crime Stops Here

Interesting site.... but I do not trust it since I got ONE crime when I looked up Harris County, TX... but lots of crime when looking up Houston... even if Houston is not included in the other map (maybe it is by department or something)... but there has been more than one crime in Harris county over the time period presented...
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #84
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As far as I know, Savannah is widely known for high crime levels. Personally, I would never choose it as a retirement location due to both crimes and hurricanes. If one doesn't mind these two factors, it is probably ideal - - the architecture is lovely, and I love to browse photos of Savannah.

Here's another source of crime information, from Sperling's "Best Places". The murder rate seems especially high. This one isn't completely accurate either - - even the FBI's crime statistics are not completely accurate (since they depend on what is reported to them by the local authorities), but one can get a general idea by looking at various sources.

America's Best and Worst Cities for Crime
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #85
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*Ahem.*

Instead of going all the way over to Australia, you could choose to live in surfer's paradise.

The Navy obligingly let us explore the whole world to find out where we'd like to live. San Diego ain't bad for a company town, but there's a reason that we ended up in our particular company town.
True, but cost of living for newbies is probably high.........
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:02 PM   #86
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Without being nasty- I might worry about the Cultural/intellectual diversity of some of the places mentioned- especially compared with Chicago. We have New York friends who took health care jobs on a large metro major health center... Other than the intellectual challenges at work for example at their kids sports games, etc they have to bite their tongues and listen to the enthusiastic blather about some pretty stupid stuff...
LOL, and the rest of us have to listen to the ex-NYCers blather about how much better everything is there. If you don't want to enjoy where you are, go back

My guess is that most people go to cultural events once a month at most, probably less. Unless your no kids lifestyle and income allow you much more free time, then being within a 3 hour drive or a Southwest flight of a major city is fine. You can find stimulating people everywhere if you look, particularly with the internet helping you link up.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:48 PM   #87
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:10 PM   #88
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Unless your no kids lifestyle and income allow you much more free time, then being within a 3 hour drive or a Southwest flight of a major city is fine.
For you anyway.

Where do people get the idea that if something works for them, it should work for everyone? Diversity
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:32 AM   #89
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For you anyway.

Where do people get the idea that if something works for them, it should work for everyone? Diversity
Exactly. I guess I should not post my opinion

Since you have to compromise on something, I would pick an urban, walkable, affordable area that is not a "big cultural blah blah". There are many such areas where I live, but you just can't go to the Kennedy Center or Broadway every night.

I believe most people think those activities are great, but inertia being what it is most people don't take advantage of the supposed advantages. A potential compromise plan would be to settle somewhere smaller/cheaper and take quarterly trips into the big city or something like this.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:15 AM   #90
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I believe most people think those activities are great, but inertia being what it is most people don't take advantage of the supposed advantages. A potential compromise plan would be to settle somewhere smaller/cheaper and take quarterly trips into the big city or something like this.
No way to know, but I can imagine jumping in a car to go somewhere becoming prohibitively expensive in my lifetime. And I'd like to be able to walk to coffee shops and restaurants if not other options regardless of what happens with gas prices/availability.

But as another looking for walkable communities, it's been a maddening search. The best options are mostly much too expensive even though we plan to downsize. And it seems that any city seems to garner a wide mix of glowing support from some individuals and substantial condemnation by others. We're focused on the Triangle area, sounds wonderful for the most part but I've read quite a few horrible reviews too. One of the joys of the Internet, we usually have no idea about the source(s)...
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #91
 
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When my wife and I were searching for a place to retire to we found Prescott, AZ & Albuquerque to be our top two choice for many of the same reasons that the OP listed. Unfortunately my wife passed away and I endedup staying here in a NYC suburb.

Check out www.citydata.com they give you all of the date for just about every town & city in the country plus on their forums you can find out about other countries.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #92
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My guess is that most people go to cultural events once a month at most, probably less. Unless your no kids lifestyle and income allow you much more free time, then being within a 3 hour drive or a Southwest flight of a major city is fine. You can find stimulating people everywhere if you look, particularly with the internet helping you link up.
Hmmm, I do not have the time, energy or budget to do big cultural hoo-haa all that often, but in my experience just having that stuff around makes a big difference. I travel frequently for work to a couple of mid-sized midwestern cities which have been relatively resistant to the downturn (continued growth throughout), but which are somewhat lacking in cultural amenities. In a word, you can tell pretty easily just by talking to people and seeing what the topics of conversation are, what peope do with their free time, etc. Even if I don't spend a ton of time at the opera/museum/cirque du soleil/orgy, I appreciate the halo effect on the tone and vibe of where I live.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:13 AM   #93
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Hmmm, I do not have the time, energy or budget to do big cultural hoo-haa all that often, but in my experience just having that stuff around makes a big difference. I travel frequently for work to a couple of mid-sized midwestern cities which have been relatively resistant to the downturn (continued growth throughout), but which are somewhat lacking in cultural amenities. In a word, you can tell pretty easily just by talking to people and seeing what the topics of conversation are, what peope do with their free time, etc. Even if I don't spend a ton of time at the opera/museum/cirque du soleil/orgy, I appreciate the halo effect on the tone and vibe of where I live.
Well said Brewer. I've lived in San Francisco, DC, St Louis and traveled to several more cities in the US and elsewhere known for their culture. Although I occasionally partake of things like opera, symphony, etc., I'm really more of an outdoors, hang out at the beach, play a round of golf, see a ball game, have a cup of coffee at a cafe kind of guy. But, in my experience, the attractions in places like the aforementioned cities really do positively affect the stuff I'm interested in doing - AKA your 'halo effect.'

Of course, high cost of living almost invariably accompanies 'culture.'. So, for DW and I, it's: weather, geography, cost of living, ambiance, access to military facilities, and medical facilities. We've pretty much concluded we'll retire to a small/medium, warm coastal town somewhere within 90 mins of a decent airport. Suggestions welcome.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:26 AM   #94
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Well said Brewer. I've lived in San Francisco, DC, St Louis and traveled to several more cities in the US and elsewhere known for their culture. Although I occasionally partake of things like opera, symphony, etc., I'm really more of an outdoors, hang out at the beach, play a round of golf, see a ball game, have a cup of coffee at a cafe kind of guy. But, in my experience, the attractions in places like the aforementioned cities really do positively affect the stuff I'm interested in doing - AKA your 'halo effect.'

Of course, high cost of living almost invariably accompanies 'culture.'. So, for DW and I, it's: weather, geography, cost of living, ambiance, access to military facilities, and medical facilities. We've pretty much concluded we'll retire to a small/medium, warm coastal town somewhere within 90 mins of a decent airport. Suggestions welcome.
Not coastal, but Tiger's Prescott Az. suggestion is pretty on target. Not the views of a Sedona or St. George, but also without the turquoise dripping big money cosmic consciousness of it's Az neighbor or the faintly other dimensional feel of St. George society. A bit like a little Santa Fe with more Republicans? Has fun big weather in the winter, but with plenty of sun and the snow appears and disappears fast. I liked Prescott.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #95
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So, for DW and I, it's: weather, geography, cost of living, ambiance, access to military facilities, and medical facilities. We've pretty much concluded we'll retire to a small/medium, warm coastal town somewhere within 90 mins of a decent airport. Suggestions welcome.
Waimanalo Beach on the east coast of Oahu, where I live, is a warm coastal hamlet, less than an hour's drive to Honolulu Int. airport. The weather is wonderful, the beach is on a sheltered bay and is the longest on Oahu -- 5 miles -- and is under-used, since there are no hotels or tourist facilities nearby. Bellows AFB is next door to me -- a 10 minute walk. There's a Marine Corps base of some sort a 15-20 minute drive away (I've never been there; I think it has a hospital). A nice small hospital (Castle) a 15 minute drive away. Property values and groceries are high; taxes are reasonable. Mostly single family homes -- no condos or high-rises. Culture/ambience: practically none. There's a polo field a 15 minute walk from my house, and a "gallery" with mostly tourist knickknacks.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #96
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@Midpack, in Raleigh, Five Points and Cameron Village might be where you want to look, if you haven't already checked them out. Nice older neighborhoods with some retail/restaurants. I never really looked to live inside the beltline, but those seem the most walkable to me. For newer neighborhoods outside the beltline, Brier Creek might also fit the bill, but it is more car oriented, so even if you can walk, you'd be crossing some busy roads and walking across parking lots.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:42 PM   #97
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@Midpack, in Raleigh, Five Points and Cameron Village might be where you want to look, if you haven't already checked them out. Nice older neighborhoods with some retail/restaurants. I never really looked to live inside the beltline, but those seem the most walkable to me. For newer neighborhoods outside the beltline, Brier Creek might also fit the bill, but it is more car oriented, so even if you can walk, you'd be crossing some busy roads and walking across parking lots.
So far we're intrigued by Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but I suspect we'll find it's too expensive. Thanks for the guidance, I did check out Historic Oakwood and Cameron Village though among others but I missed Five Points, the search continues...
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #98
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No way to know, but I can imagine jumping in a car to go somewhere becoming prohibitively expensive in my lifetime. And I'd like to be able to walk to coffee shops and restaurants if not other options regardless of what happens with gas prices/availability.

But as another looking for walkable communities, it's been a maddening search. The best options are mostly much too expensive even though we plan to downsize. And it seems that any city seems to garner a wide mix of glowing support from some individuals and substantial condemnation by others. We're focused on the Triangle area, sounds wonderful for the most part but I've read quite a few horrible reviews too. One of the joys of the Internet, we usually have no idea about the source(s)...
I guess it depends on your definition of walkable also. There are a lot of places where you can walk to the grocery store, coffee shop, etc. but you might not be able to walk more than 1/2 mile comfortably. Or the downtown might be a smaller walkable area but not have any big box stores in walkable distance.

I can think of many examples where you could find accomodations in the price range where you can walk to most things, but not really urban per se.

Leesburg, VA
Herndon, VA
Fairfax, VA
Fredericksburg, VA
Culpepper, VA
Charlottsville, VA
Richmond, VA
Westminster, MD
Cumberland, MD
Gettysburg, PA
Norfolk, VA
Greensboro, NC
Winston Salem, NC
etc.

All would have affordable areas where you could walk to most/all basic services, but there would be vastly differing opinions about the sophistication of the residents and many transition areas. However, all would also be in reasonable visiting range of major east coast cities at lower costs than being in the city.

In my own town I could walk on a bike/walk path to grocery store, dry cleaners, starbucks, subway, chipotle, banks, etc. within 15-25 minutes but being the suburbs it is more accepted to just drive.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:37 PM   #99
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So far we're intrigued by Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but I suspect we'll find it's too expensive. Thanks for the guidance, I did check out Historic Oakwood and Cameron Village though among others but I missed Five Points, the search continues...
Carrboro is a cool hippie town, so hippie in fact that yuppie Fuego wouldn't come there to drink with me when I went up for the Hoop Convergence earlier this year.

It is all very rural around there, though, so you could probably be outside the city limits and still enjoy the hippies cultural amenities.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:50 PM   #100
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And for just a wee bit o' contrast:

Savannah, GA Crime Map - Showing Crimes in Savannah - Crime Statistics, Alerts and Reports - Crime Stops Here

Seriously, the crime down there is terrible! It is a truly dangerous city, and with all the tourists, there is a lot of opportunistic crime. Just be careful if you visit.

Same dates for Charleston:
Charleston, SC Crime Map - Showing Crimes in Charleston - Crime Statistics, Alerts and Reports - Crime Stops Here



Savannah,GA 5,959

Charleston-N.Charleston, SC 5,803.2

New Orleans, LA 5180.4


Charleston's crime is essentially the same as Savannah's.....and not that much worse than New Orlean's.....according to that same web site. The overall crime index for all three is among the worst.
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