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I have no idea where to retire!
Old 05-26-2021, 07:40 PM   #1
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I have no idea where to retire!

Help me out here.

I live in CA and like it but having lived here for over two decades I'm due for a change or is CA as good as it gets?

What are the main options for retiring locations. I can think of:

a) Island living i.e. Hawaii
b) Big City living i.e. DC
c) Off-the-grid i.e. a shack in Montana
d) Europe
e) Beach-side i.e. Florida

Or maybe I'm thinking about it all wrong! Help me out!

I don't have family in the US so am not tied to any one area.
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Old 05-26-2021, 07:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Help me out here.

I live in CA and like it but having lived here for over two decades I'm due for a change or is CA as good as it gets?

What are the main options for retiring locations. I can think of:

a) Island living i.e. Hawaii
b) Big City living i.e. DC
c) Off-the-grid i.e. a shack in Montana
d) Europe
e) Beach-side i.e. Florida

Or maybe I'm thinking about it all wrong! Help me out!
It's great you have really narrowed it down. Lol.

I would make a list of the criteria that is most important to you and then look for cities that meet the most criteria.

Also remember that you are allowed to move more than once. It's not a one and done thing here.

Go try a place and if it sucks go somewhere else!

Good luck in your journey!
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:09 PM   #3
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Are you the sole decision maker for "where to retire to", or is there a Dear Wife who might have some say so?

Other factors:

Where is family, and do you want to be near(er) to them, or perhaps farther away from them?

Have you ever dreamed of a certain type or location for living--i.e., at the beach, near a ski resort, in the wilds, in a hip city? You must have some dreams or urges in you somewhere waiting to come out .

As other poster suggested, how about trying out some different places, and when you tire of one, move on to another. Try out a variety and maybe "this is home" will reveal.
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Old 05-26-2021, 10:43 PM   #4
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We have the same issue.
When we had to move for work, it was easy to move from State to State or even other Country. Now it's our choice and it seems limitless..

Perhaps OP you could vacation in some place for 2 months. Rent a house/apt for that time and see what it's like living like a local.

For myself, I vacationed in HI, and for the first 5 days loved it. Then I realized if I had itchy feet I had to fly to the mainland and rent a car to go anywhere. It made me feel trapped on the island, so that is out.
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:46 AM   #5
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It's great you have really narrowed it down. Lol.

I would make a list of the criteria that is most important to you and then look for places that meet the most criteria.
Your list is so varied that it really has no theme. I would suggest moving around for several months at a time to try places out. Then go a year at your favorite to be sure.
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:53 AM   #6
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Your list is so varied that it really has no theme. I would suggest moving around for several months at a time to try places out. Then go a year at your favorite to be sure.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:45 AM   #7
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I'm having similar thoughts, KingOfTheCheapos. I've always lived along the NE Corridor (NYC-BAL-DC areas), but now I'm further out in the suburbs than I've ever been, and we have a family cabin outside a medium-sized town in the upper midwest. I'm starting to think I wouldn't mind a cabin...IF it has good broadband internet service and it's within an hour of an airport, as I do want to travel a lot once I'm retired. However, part of me also feels like I belong in a downtown condo in a walkable city, since I grew up taking public transportation in NYC.

I think the biggest question is, what's your budget? Not just for real estate/rent, but for your regular COL. I know CA is expensive, but are you in the mountains or eastern part of the state, or the Bay Area or LA metroplex? I'm assuming the costs and RE prices do vary somewhat, even though CA is probably higher than most states.

We're planning on some short trips to certain areas (PNW, AZ, CO, ME) to see if we like the area and what the RE markets are like there over the next 2-3 years, and probably more so after we retire, to help us decide if and when we're going to move, or snowbird it. So I'd advise you to start thinking about trips to all those types of places, to see what really calls to you. And as has said before in these types of discussions, after narrowing it down and choosing a candidate I'm still consider renting for 6-12 months so we can adjust and see what it's like to be somewhere long term, through more than one season.
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:38 AM   #8
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Fortunately money isn't an issue for me. I could buy a $1M house if needed, but I probably wouldn't buy one if I knew it would depreciate to $0.5M.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cosmic Avenger View Post
I'm having similar thoughts, KingOfTheCheapos. I've always lived along the NE Corridor (NYC-BAL-DC areas), but now I'm further out in the suburbs than I've ever been, and we have a family cabin outside a medium-sized town in the upper midwest. I'm starting to think I wouldn't mind a cabin...IF it has good broadband internet service and it's within an hour of an airport, as I do want to travel a lot once I'm retired. However, part of me also feels like I belong in a downtown condo in a walkable city, since I grew up taking public transportation in NYC.

I think the biggest question is, what's your budget? Not just for real estate/rent, but for your regular COL. I know CA is expensive, but are you in the mountains or eastern part of the state, or the Bay Area or LA metroplex? I'm assuming the costs and RE prices do vary somewhat, even though CA is probably higher than most states.

We're planning on some short trips to certain areas (PNW, AZ, CO, ME) to see if we like the area and what the RE markets are like there over the next 2-3 years, and probably more so after we retire, to help us decide if and when we're going to move, or snowbird it. So I'd advise you to start thinking about trips to all those types of places, to see what really calls to you. And as has said before in these types of discussions, after narrowing it down and choosing a candidate I'm still consider renting for 6-12 months so we can adjust and see what it's like to be somewhere long term, through more than one season.
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:47 AM   #9
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Fortunately money isn't an issue for me. I could buy a $1M house if needed, but I probably wouldn't buy one if I knew it would depreciate to $0.5M. <emphasis mine>
Well, how's your crystal ball working these days?

OK, so it sounds like your budget is pretty close to mine, maybe a bit bigger. Why not try a few leases or AirBnBs (I'm not a fan, but I know a lot of people are) in areas that interest you? It sounds like the COL isn't a huge factor for you, so you could probably try out one of the HCOL choices on your list and get the shack in Montana at the same time, and travel between them as the mood strikes you. Or make the shack your summer base, and spend the winters trying a few weeks at any of the HCOL locations.

Well, if my advice doesn't help you, at least I'm getting ideas for what I want to do, so thanks for that!
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Help me out here.

I live in CA and like it but having lived here for over two decades I'm due for a change or is CA as good as it gets?

What are the main options for retiring locations. I can think of:

a) Island living i.e. Hawaii
b) Big City living i.e. DC
c) Off-the-grid i.e. a shack in Montana
d) Europe
e) Beach-side i.e. Florida

Or maybe I'm thinking about it all wrong! Help me out!

I don't have family in the US so am not tied to any one area.
Try to live in FL during the hot and humid hurricane season Aug and Sept especially and see if you can get used to the heat humidity pre prep , during and post hurricane stress and clean up.
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
Help me out here.

I live in CA and like it but having lived here for over two decades I'm due for a change or is CA as good as it gets?

What are the main options for retiring locations. I can think of:

a) Island living i.e. Hawaii
b) Big City living i.e. DC
c) Off-the-grid i.e. a shack in Montana
d) Europe
e) Beach-side i.e. Florida

Or maybe I'm thinking about it all wrong! Help me out!

I don't have family in the US so am not tied to any one area.
I hear Texas is a great state to live, members here speak highly of it.
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Old 05-27-2021, 01:20 PM   #12
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Spend an extended period in HI renting to make sure you won't develop "island fever" that has you rushing off back to the mainland.

Renting for several months is a good idea for any location you've mentioned, especially to make sure you're OK with Florida in the summer.
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Old 05-27-2021, 02:37 PM   #13
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I hear Texas is a great state to live, members here speak highly of it.
In fact, I believe someone has published a list of important factors to consider regarding a move to Texas.

But regardless, I have to give the OP credit for an absolutely honest title to this thread.
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Old 05-27-2021, 02:51 PM   #14
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If you really see all those places as roughly equally appealing, spend a year doing Airbnb's for a month in each place - during their off seasons. Don't go the best time of the year or the worst, but the hum drum time.

I'd like all those places...for a little while. Every time I visit somewhere I envision living there. I have Sedona on my maybe-one-day list - you appear to be missing a mountain town option on yours.
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Old 05-27-2021, 03:47 PM   #15
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Fortunately money isn't an issue for me. I could buy a $1M house if needed, but I probably wouldn't buy one if I knew it would depreciate to $0.5M.



Somehow you think a million bucks buys the house of your dreams in all the places you listed?
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:12 PM   #16
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Well, here are my thoughts. But you have to make the right decision for you.

a) Island living i.e. Hawaii - would love to vacation there, but too remote for permanent residence. And if it’s Hawaii, pretty darn expensive.

b) Big City living i.e. DC - definitely not for me. Noise, pollution, crowds, etc. There are advantages to city living, but for me they are far outweighed by the negatives.

c) Off-the-grid i.e. a shack in Montana - would probably be my No. 2 pick from your list. I’d like the quiet and outdoors provided by this setting. But “shack”? No thanks. Also, I wouldn’t want to be *too* remote, away from hospitals, civilization.

d) Europe - Nah. Love to visit, but I’ll stay in the U.S. unless conditions become sketchy in the next couple of decades.

e) Beach-side i.e. Florida - Probably my favorite of what you included, but I don’t think I’d go quite as south as FL. Maybe VA or Carolinas.

I do love living in New England, but taxes and weather aren’t my favorite, and conditions seem to be driving a lot of friends and family away. Not sure if I will have many social ties to New
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:20 PM   #17
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Whatever you decide to try, keep your property in CA and rent it out. Much harder to return to CA if you change your mind after moving away and selling your property.

Three things keep us in CA - close friends, great weather, and scenic beauty. We have thought about moving many times due to the HCOL and political environment, but canít imagine starting all over with our social network at this point in our lives. We donít have children so friends are very important to us.
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:21 PM   #18
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Well, here are my thoughts. But you have to make the right decision for you.

a) Island living i.e. Hawaii - would love to vacation there, but too remote for permanent residence. And if it’s Hawaii, pretty darn expensive.

b) Big City living i.e. DC - definitely not for me. Noise, pollution, crowds, etc. There are advantages to city living, but for me they are far outweighed by the negatives.

c) Off-the-grid i.e. a shack in Montana - would probably be my No. 2 pick from your list. I’d like the quiet and outdoors provided by this setting. But “shack”? No thanks. Also, I wouldn’t want to be *too* remote, away from hospitals, civilization.

d) Europe - Nah. Love to visit, but I’ll stay in the U.S. unless conditions become sketchy in the next couple of decades.

e) Beach-side i.e. Florida - Probably my favorite of what you included, but I don’t think I’d go quite as south as FL. Maybe VA or Carolinas.

I do love living in New England, but taxes and weather aren’t my favorite, and conditions seem to be driving a lot of friends and family away. Not sure if I will have many social ties to New
Beachfront NC,SC, GA,FL are hurricane alley. If it doesn't make a direct strike the prep, the ride out of the storm and the clean up are all very stressful . That is something to keep in mind. And try finding an honest contractor to fix the damages at an honest price. I have not found any.
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:00 PM   #19
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I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Bangkok, Thailand four years ago. I recommend visiting places before deciding to move there. In my case I just knew on my gut that this was where I wanted to be. And this was after having traveled to other places that I liked but never being struck by the need to move there. I always lived in suburbs like the San Francisco East Bay. Now I am loving living in a city and not owning a house and a car. Retirement is an opportunity to do something new in your life. Part of the choice is rational planning and part is just how it feels to you.

There are a multitude of YouTube channels that talk about various places to retire. They often focus on how evaluate a place as a new place to live and get past just looking at it as a tourist.
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:37 PM   #20
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Currently live in LA (SoCal) and this is as good as it gets. I couldn't see myself living anywhere else. I'm a NYC native and lived there for the first 35 years of my life and although I miss the convenience of the city (transportation, culture, family etc) I do not want to experience east coast humidity and freezing winters ever again.
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