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Old 07-04-2021, 06:39 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Calico View Post

My father moved to Maine about 30 years before he retired, and he eventually retired in the same town he'd lived in all that time.

He and his wife were well-known and very active in the community for decades. Up until the day he died he would be described (fondly) by those born and bred there as being "from away." They didn't mean it in any derogatory way - it was just a way of categorizing folks. If you weren't from several generations of Mainers, you were "from away."

He could have lived there another 30 years and it wouldn't have made a difference. It never bothered him. It was just the way it was.

I lived in the same town in Maine as my Dad for two years, and I can guarantee you I barely registered on anyone's radar!

Mainers are great people, and if you have a few hundred years to spare, you can eventually become one of them.
Hah. So true of Maine but still a great place nevertheless.
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Old 07-04-2021, 06:52 AM   #42
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One can make friends wherever you are. That seems tangent to the question. Certainly it's lumpy across the US, and so the pleasantness of arriving and assimilation will vary. I went from Minnesota to a place where big city northeast people moved to another big city to retire and there was no doubt about lumpiness, hehehe! But like southerners' ending with 'bless his heart' not everyone in Minnesota is nice. But I'd rather wonder if I was just insulted rather than accept an obvious insult
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Old 07-04-2021, 07:25 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
Next year I will have lived in Texas for 30 years. I'll finally be a native!
Well pretty close...With 30 years under your belt, we'll call you a naturalized citizen of the state. Congratulations, you made it...
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Old 07-04-2021, 09:51 AM   #44
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We have found Florida retirement communities we rented in the last few years to be social and welcoming. I am sure it is because everyone moved from somewhere else. Small towns can be less social if you did not grow up there. My sister has lived in numerous areas of the country. Their favorite area was a suburb of Nashville. They said the people were very welcoming and friendly. She now lives in a suburb of Ft. Worth and says the people there are social also. Bottom line, if you are an extrovert you will probably thrive anywhere! If you are an introvert it will likely be a struggle anywhere. If you are somewhere in the middle, like myself and my DW, choose wisely and try to get involved in the community!
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:19 AM   #45
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In all my travels and all the places I have lived in the US and abroad
I have found Australia and New Zealand to have the friendliest and most social people. But I am going to guess you don't want a place that far away.

I have also found that if you are not happy with your environment then give it a few years and it will change. I have had that experience both where I live and where I worked.

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Old 07-10-2021, 04:26 AM   #46
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I don't mind generalizing. I live in the Baltimore/DC area and wouldn't recommend it to anyone retiring. Lots to do but over the top crowded and busy. I think that in itself is why everyone here acts so angry and irritated.
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Old 07-10-2021, 01:47 PM   #47
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I really liked reading all of the different experiences in this thread, especially Midpack's. Real experiences, and moving is always a crap shoot. Here is my real, long, life-long story.

I'm 67, retired going on 10 years, and have lived in four states and five different houses.

Three of those houses in three states were great, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Illinois, up to age 42. Great, partly because I was naÔve, never having had nightmare neighbors. You don't realize the stress until this occurs in your life.

The fourth house was in Ohio and also a great place, for a year. Yes, the neighbors had dogs, but didn't let them bark. Super social, polite area even with 1/2 acre lots. At my age 43, the neighbor across the street moved. A family moved in with a basset hound that they put out every afternoon for the entire evening. It never stopped howling. The neighborhood tolerated it for a few weeks and then it all went to heck. Police, dog wardens, numerous neighbors addressing it, and that only made it worst. The polite neighbors then let their dogs loose to join the melee. A literal dog war... a nightmare.

The newish neighbor dug in and refused to cooperate. Houses went up for sale, more police, etc.. A very traumatic nightmare that I live with to this day. I lived there 18 years. That neighbor eventually moved 6 years prior, but had already ruined the neighborhood.

Did my latest move in 2015, rural residential area with 1 1/2 - 2 acre lots, surrounded by a vineyard. In the very center was an old 5 acre horse farm surrounded by at least a dozen homes on big lots. The whole area was zoned residential, so they couldn't build anything beyond the existing house on the edge of the 5 acres with only one access. It was land locked.

We bought a very recently built ranch on a ridge at the end of one of the three cul-de-sacs. We had 1 1/2 acres of which 3/4 acre was woods. Strips of woods and honeysuckle separated us from the two next door neighbors, neither had dogs. Had 1/2 acre of woods across our entire backyard separating us from the essentially empty 5 acre field. We were on the outer edge of a major city, every store, restaurant, gym that exists were within 15-20 minutes.

It still is a dream come true, BUT... During the move, we made many trips with a truck, van, and eventually U-hauls to the new house. You just got rocked to sleep with the crickets at night. Then, the farm sold. During one of our last trips, we endured an hour of ATV's racing back and forth behind our house. Cried for a day or two. Continued the move and didn't hear them again for a few months. Then they decided to do a winter, snow ride at 11PM on a Sunday night. That neighborhood erupted, trees were slashed, threats made and we have never heard an ATV in going on 5 years. All quiet. Yep, you have USA freedom on your property up to a point...

One observation, living in a rural residential area. All of our neighbors are super nice, will help out on anything if asked, but basically want left alone. That's why they moved out here. One neighbor has kept trying to bring the neighborhood together, but it fails. Honestly, they are considered noisy and strange in a way.

As I said, long story, but one I've been wanting to get off my mind for years. Thanks if you tolerated the whole thing. It was therapeutic for me!
Retired 8/12/2011
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Old 07-10-2021, 03:16 PM   #48
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zaqxsw, thanks for your story. I agree about barking dogs left outside, they can absolutely ruin a neighborhood. I know that many people on here do not like HOAs but a well written, well enforced HOA can protect a neighborhood from things like barking dogs.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:47 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by harllee View Post
zaqxsw, thanks for your story. I agree about barking dogs left outside, they can absolutely ruin a neighborhood. I know that many people on here do not like HOAs but a well written, well enforced HOA can protect a neighborhood from things like barking dogs.

We like to look at open houses when we winter in Southern Utah. We were in beautiful corner home perched on a bluff with floor to ceiling drop dead views. BUT, when we parked to go in the home, three houses down, two dogs literally started howling and howled the entire time we were inside. It was earsplitting and I felt sorry for the guy doing the open house and even sorrier for the people who had bought homes on that street.

It was like they were having a howling contest...and they lived in the same yard. There were cars parked in the home's driveway and I have no idea how the pet owners lived with it.
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:43 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post
You know if you don't like a topic you don't have to respond. You do know that's an option, right?

And why would I pose a question and then answer it? The whole point is to hear other people's wise answers.
I thought it was because you were writing a blog....
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:00 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by KingOfTheCheapos View Post

Hopefully that is clear so which areas are social and polite in your experience?
Where have you lived and what has been your experience?
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:32 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post

For example, I moved here from Baton Rouge. All of my friends there told me that making friends in New Orleans is nearly impossible. The reasons they gave were that New Orleanians are so insular and most have lived here all of their lives (as have their families for generations) and are suspicious of outsiders.

That's true! But that doesn't make it impossible to make friends, even here, and most of my present friends are from these same old-time New Orleanian families.

Here's the "W2R time tested method" for making friends in a new location. I was a Navy wife and developed this over years of moving. For me this method works like a charm, every time:
1.) You have to regularly spend time around people who are likely to be compatible. Group activities doing something you like to do can be a good start (book club? church? amateur sports? Dancing? Knitting? Whatever you really like). The point is that you aren't going to meet anybody if you are sitting at home all lonely and bummed out - - you have to get OUT there. I usually devote all of each weekend to doing this, whether I want to or not, when I am trying to find friends in a new location. And then, do my grocery shopping, laundry, etc, during the week after I get off work. Exhausting! But having friends is worth some effort.

2.) Then, don't be extremely picky. Sure, stay away from the axe murderers and serial killers, but other friends that are just sort of "OK" can introduce you to more people who you will probably like better.

3.) Also realize that not everyone has room in their lives for yet another friend (even if they like you), and don't take it personally if someone has no interest in starting up a friendship. Keep up the effort.
Using this method I had a dozen or so casual friends within a month, and I met Frank four months after I moved here. At that point I felt I had enough friends so I stopped working so hard to make new friendships.

P.S. - - as for the veneer of social or polite behavior, often that's just local custom and IMO it won't necessarily help you to find compatible friends. They may act one way, but be thinking another way.
Totally agree - I grew up in a small town between BR and NO and the two cities couldn't be any more different! Nor could the small town I left after graduating LSU when I moved to Austin....
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