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Old 02-16-2021, 09:44 AM   #101
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How do you determine which ares have lots of bugs?
Florida has huge cockroaches called Palmetto bugs. These guys love hot and humid climates and can also spread disease.
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:01 PM   #102
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I grew up in MA had looked into places in southern NH and found that the property taxes were very high, at least compared to where I currently live in AZ. For an equivalent priced house the property taxes were about 4X what I currently pay, more than offsetting any savings in income/sales tax.

This sealed the deal for us in favor of AZ over TX, although TX was always a distant 2nd choice for other reasons. Without a big W2/1099 income, RE tax had a bigger negative impact than income tax.



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How do you determine which ares have lots of bugs?

Try city-data forums for your prospective location. That is how we learned about scorpion issues in AZ. They are not everywhere, but they can an issue, esp. in newer construction. There are effective ways to deal with the problem, but you'll also find tons of misinformation. Not a big deal once you know what you are doing or find someone who does. Just another thing to manage, but we'd rather deal with this over wildfires, hurricanes, or blizzards.
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Old 02-16-2021, 01:32 PM   #103
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Those articles are always amusing. Like the ones "how much do you need to retire?".


As has been pointed out, ranking at a statewide granularity is kind of odd, and everyone's priorities and definitions of "Quality of Life" differ.


Having lived in MA since '88, retired 4 years, and bought a lake house in NH in 2019, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where our long term home might be. Lived in FL for 2 years out of college, that was enough. Not a fan. Not a fan of the weather, topography, architecture, congestion, culture, etc.

DW will retire in 1.5 years and wants to build a new home on the lakefront lot (existing house is 120 years old and sadly, virtually no "old house" charm in it anywhere. Would be no crime to tear it down) I am not on board with that, but have not ruled it out either. I have agreed to sell the home in MA after she retires and live on the lake for at least short term, in the existing house.

We have found that it is WAY less expensive to live in NH than MA. No income tax, utilities are way cheaper, gas groceries, etc. are less. I am going to buy a new car in a few months and will register it in NH and avoid $1600-$1800 in sales tax that MA would take.



Yes, winters suck (in fact was on generator and wood stoves most of this morning after an ice storm.....) but the summers are the best. Close to lakes, beaches, mountains.

Lastly, I will agree on the quality of healthcare in MA. As a cancer survivor (going into my 13th year!) I am eternally grateful for the MGH's, Dan Farber and other organizations that I have used. Healthcare gets a bad rap in this country usually, but the level of expertise and professionalism that I have access to is fantastic....
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:22 PM   #104
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Some "Full Disclosure" stuff about the PLACES RATED DIGEST I suggested above:

Even though the data is listed for roughly 380 actual localities, you may need to do some extra triangulation homework because the data is STILL an average for the area. For instance, some places - like Honolulu - have relatively high property crime rates (but average violent crime - MOST because of drugs which I don't use. Your gut knows where NOT to go and when not to go just like anyplace else.) You need to think in terms of your own situation and see if that's a big issue or more of a nuisance issue. We have nothing to steal and we're always home, so I worry about the catalytic converter a bit. Otherwise, in my neighborhood, it's a relatively minor issue.

Looking at the way they treated "weather" for Honolulu: Their way to assign points was to give demerits for anything above or below 65 degrees F. Since you can run around in a T shirt and shorts 365 days a year - even to church (maybe not to court - I wore shorts and an Aloha shirt for jury duty) The problem is more about over-air conditioned spaces than the 82 to 88 degree daily highs, but everyone is different - and the data is there for you to evaluate.

I ignored empl*yment "opportunity" and under weighted COL issues as I know how to ameliorate many issues (frozen strawberries/blueberries - not fresh.) Plus we are "rich" (heh, heh, let's call it solidly middle class - whatever that means. Some (me included) would say "comfortable" fits best.)

Taxes sound high until you get your own personal details. Actual "paid" taxes in HI are something like 2nd lowest in the nation - especially for retirees living mostly on pension/ss with relatively low contributions from taxable sources.

My point is that even with all the data, you still have to do your own homework.

Perhaps the biggest "confession" or "full disclosure": We'd already decided to move to HI before reading the book. We looked for hidden "gotchas" or deal killers and found none - cane spiders as big as your hand and poisonous centipedes - not to mention jumping cock roaches freaked out DW, but we spray every 4 months and have relatively few bugs inside. Outside, box jelly fish 2 days out of every month are about the only biggie - and they include that in the nightly weather forecast.

I'd say check out the "book" and forget all the click bait on the www about "this state is number 7" or whatever. As always, nothing is perfect (heh, heh, not even Hawaii) but I was talking about the book so YMMV.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:05 PM   #105
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How do you determine which ares have lots of bugs?
LOL. We're in Indiana and nothing that's really scary. But my brother lived in Texas for awhile and they had their yard sprayed every 3 months for scorpions and large spiders lol.

I'd like to move to the Carolinas someday (not near the coast)...not sure what kind of odd creatures we will find down there.

I've done a lot of looking at various places, and for us the key data are weather (I'd be ok never seeing snow again in my life), low crime (at least VIOLENT crime), reasonable cost of living, city size greater than 50,000 but less than 200,000 (hate traffic/crowding/pollution), nearness to amenities (this one difficult to explain...read next paragraph), less than an hour to a major airport, and nearness to quality health care.

As for amenities, it's hard to explain what I mean...so I'll give examples. I currently have two major hobbies....woodworking and musclecars. The nearest woodworking store to me is 70 minutes. The nearest speed shop for cars is about 50 minutes. That's a real pain. We have no major league sports near us. My wife is tall, and our local stores don't carry "tall" pants...so we have to drive 50 minutes to shop for her pants. If I want to buy a new car, we only have 1 car dealer for each make...can't leverage competition easily. We have only 1 Uber driver in our entire city, so we have to take turns being designated driver when we're out. We don't have a local TV station...the nearest one is Indianapolis so the weather report doesn't focus in on our area. The list goes on and on...but you get the idea. Our city population is about 40,000.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:49 AM   #106
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LOL. We're in Indiana and nothing that's really scary. But my brother lived in Texas for awhile and they had their yard sprayed every 3 months for scorpions and large spiders lol.

I'd like to move to the Carolinas someday (not near the coast)...not sure what kind of odd creatures we will find down there.

I've done a lot of looking at various places, and for us the key data are weather (I'd be ok never seeing snow again in my life), low crime (at least VIOLENT crime), reasonable cost of living, city size greater than 50,000 but less than 200,000 (hate traffic/crowding/pollution), nearness to amenities (this one difficult to explain...read next paragraph), less than an hour to a major airport, and nearness to quality health care.

As for amenities, it's hard to explain what I mean...so I'll give examples. I currently have two major hobbies....woodworking and musclecars. The nearest woodworking store to me is 70 minutes. The nearest speed shop for cars is about 50 minutes. That's a real pain. We have no major league sports near us. My wife is tall, and our local stores don't carry "tall" pants...so we have to drive 50 minutes to shop for her pants. If I want to buy a new car, we only have 1 car dealer for each make...can't leverage competition easily. We have only 1 Uber driver in our entire city, so we have to take turns being designated driver when we're out. We don't have a local TV station...the nearest one is Indianapolis so the weather report doesn't focus in on our area. The list goes on and on...but you get the idea. Our city population is about 40,000.
I like your list of criteria for a retirement location! Sounds about like ours were, before we decided not to move. Some interesting towns that we found were Springfield, Missouri; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Huntsville, Alabama.

As for bugs, we like the solution here in the New Orleans metro area. They spray/fog from trucks and airplanes, alternating between several effective sprays. I haven't had a mosquito bite or spider bite since I moved here a couple of decades back, nor have I seen any ants in my kitchen.

We still have plenty of other wildlife, though, lots of lizards, raccoons, possums, rats, nutria, and (on the positive side) some beautiful egrets, pelicans, seagulls, and other interesting birds.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:05 AM   #107
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I like your list of criteria for a retirement location! Sounds about like ours were, before we decided not to move. Some interesting towns that we found were Springfield, Missouri; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Huntsville, Alabama.

As for bugs, we like the solution here in the New Orleans metro area. They spray/fog from trucks and airplanes, alternating between several effective sprays. I haven't had a mosquito bite or spider bite since I moved here a couple of decades back, nor have I seen any ants in my kitchen.

We still have plenty of other wildlife, though, lots of lizards, raccoons, possums, rats, nutria, and (on the positive side) some beautiful egrets, pelicans, seagulls, and other interesting birds.
Well, we went to Springfield IL and liked it better than Springfield MO lol. Except the weather is too cold for me in winter (in both Springfields lol)

So far we've developed two general areas. Colorado Springs area and the RTP area just southwest of Raleigh NC.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:07 AM   #108
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Oh and I forgot about the Cicadas...not sure if you have those down south. The good news is they are only bad about every 15 years...but they are REALLY bad for about 3 weeks when they swarm.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:19 AM   #109
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We have scorpions here in southern Switzerland. I didn't expect that.

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Old 02-25-2021, 08:11 AM   #110
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This article should have been adjustable to what people value which is all over the place. I like mountains or at least not flat. Florida out for that but good for snow birding. I hate cold so northern states out except, again, for snow birding. Have have family in NM (Albuquerque) and I love it there. I think its #47 on the list. For me in the top 10.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:39 PM   #111
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We have scorpions here in southern Switzerland. I didn't expect that.

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Apparently crime as well. I didn't expect that. Good friends who snow bird here were victims of a break in in Geneva. Just shows how little I know about that part of the world. YMMV
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:06 PM   #112
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Southern Switzerland is more along the Italian border, like Zermatt or Lugano?

Geneva one of the larger cities would have crime and perhaps more crime in the French part than the German or Italian parts?
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:07 AM   #113
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These rankings always crack me up... the criteria can vary greatly from one "study" to the next, and they're always quite subjective... I even saw one recently that included "Covid concentration" as a key factor... really? Make sure to read the selection criteria and match against your OWN criteria. That said, it IS reassuring to me (since we're retired and living in NJ) that no matter where we choose, it can only get BETTER!
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:32 AM   #114
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Apparently crime as well. I didn't expect that. Good friends who snow bird here were victims of a break in in Geneva. Just shows how little I know about that part of the world. YMMV
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Southern Switzerland is more along the Italian border, like Zermatt or Lugano?

Geneva one of the larger cities would have crime and perhaps more crime in the French part than the German or Italian parts?
Yes, Geneva (in the west of the country) is a bit of a crime "hotspot" (relatively!) for Switzerland, but still far below most other places of similar size and demographics. Explanade is right--southern Switzerland is more the canton of Ticino, which shares a border with northern Italy. The crime rate here is essentially negligible. Some petty theft, but virtually no violent crime.

One study of crime and other safety stats among 125 countries published in February of this year showed Switzerland as safest in the world, even more so than Japan, which was also in the top 5.

I have never once in 11 years here felt unsafe, even walking alone in the early morning hours. So, there's that.

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Old 03-01-2021, 12:53 PM   #115
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Yes, Geneva (in the west of the country) is a bit of a crime "hotspot" (relatively!) for Switzerland, but still far below most other places of similar size and demographics. Explanade is right--southern Switzerland is more the canton of Ticino, which shares a border with northern Italy. The crime rate here is essentially negligible. Some petty theft, but virtually no violent crime.

One study of crime and other safety stats among 125 countries published in February of this year showed Switzerland as safest in the world, even more so than Japan, which was also in the top 5.

I have never once in 11 years here felt unsafe, even walking alone in the early morning hours. So, there's that.

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That, too, was my impression. Therefore I was really surprised at the burglary of my friends apartment while they were traveling. I suppose no place is perfect. YMMV
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:45 PM   #116
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LOL. We're in Indiana and nothing that's really scary. But my brother lived in Texas for awhile and they had their yard sprayed every 3 months for scorpions and large spiders lol.

Here is SE Arizona, spraying every 3 months is considered light if you see scorpions regularly. Most folks have a bug guy coming out monthly during the warm months, April through Oct. Things get really ugly July-Oct and I have sprayed heavily as frequently as every 3-4 WEEKS!

Yes, scorpions look (and are) as nasty as you'd think, esp the huge ones that can approach 3 inches long. Thankfully, the spraying w*rks, but you have to keep a consistent schedule, typically monthly, in problem areas.

Interestingly, problem areas aren't everywhere. Some folks rarely see them. In our area, scorpions weren't a problem for the first 8 years in our new subdivision. Now, we are constantly facing an invasion. We even see them in the winter if we don't spray regularly. On the other hand, folks down the street in slightly older homes don't have a big issue. Location is everything!
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:19 PM   #117
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Here is SE Arizona, spraying every 3 months is considered light if you see scorpions regularly. Most folks have a bug guy coming out monthly during the warm months, April through Oct. Things get really ugly July-Oct and I have sprayed heavily as frequently as every 3-4 WEEKS!

Yes, scorpions look (and are) as nasty as you'd think, esp the huge ones that can approach 3 inches long. Thankfully, the spraying w*rks, but you have to keep a consistent schedule, typically monthly, in problem areas.

Interestingly, problem areas aren't everywhere. Some folks rarely see them. In our area, scorpions weren't a problem for the first 8 years in our new subdivision. Now, we are constantly facing an invasion. We even see them in the winter if we don't spray regularly. On the other hand, folks down the street in slightly older homes don't have a big issue. Location is everything!
Good info. When we visited Sedona AZ we were warned about scorpions...to check our shoes each day before putting them on. Sure enough, found a small one (nearly translucent..yuk) in my shoe and had to kill it. I live in Indiana and the worst thing we have is Cicadas every 7 or 17 years lol.
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:56 PM   #118
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Yep the scorpions are nasty in Az. I used to check my shoes all the time. Only saw a few scorpions in 17 years. One in our garage. One in the gym. And our next door neighbor was stung, requiring 2 trips to the Er.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:18 PM   #119
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Yep the scorpions are nasty in Az. I used to check my shoes all the time. Only saw a few scorpions in 17 years. One in our garage. One in the gym. And our next door neighbor was stung, requiring 2 trips to the Er.
We do have poisonous centipedes here. They're HUGE. I've only seen one and that was when we lived Windward on the ground level. A good friend was bitten while he slept. It was quite painful and a long time in healing. Never heard of one causing a death - but I'm guessing some folks wished for death due to the unrelenting pain. I think I've heard the same about scorpions - rarely deadly, but always painful. Too bad even beautiful places have to have such creatures to torment us. YMMV
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