Advice / Info on Where to retire in the US

Mexpet

Dryer sheet wannabe
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I retired 2 years ago after 30 years with MegaCorp. Spent most of the last 2 years in Central America and Europe. Our 4 kids are in the US, so my wife and I are ready to move to the US as well, planning to move within the next 12 months. We are financially well off (see my posts from 8 years ago, if interested), so cost of living is not a major consideration.
I am looking for advice on where in the US to retire.
We are considering South Florida, but also a mountain town.
We are both 60 years, into hiking, traveling , restaurants, working out and healthy so far. My ideal retirement city/town would be something like an Austrian Alpine town not too far from a larger city, just to have easy airport access. Lots of restaurants. While we are well off, Aspen prices are too high for us.
What would be good options? Colorado, North Carolina, the Pacific North West, the North East, lake Tahoe? My kids are in Boston, New York, and Chicago, but they will most likely be moving around anyway. I checked online but mostly found articles on affordable mountain towns.
I am very familiar with Miami, and we both like it also. I know it is very different from the above locations. One thing that worries me about South Florida is the climate. Increasing hurricane activity means more flooding, and the whole area might just become uncomfortable to live.
Also any ideas on retirement communities? They seem nice but mostly for folks even older than we are?
So, please let me know your thoughts
 
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If you can put together 1.7M+ for housing (looking at your posts I think you can afford it) I would consider something like 1200 sqft condo in Cambridge MA and another condo in White Mountains NH. That gives you European city living plus best part of Appalachian range, plus you are in 6 hours in Portugal or Spain.

Or condo in Seattle and another condo in Cascades.

Humid/Hot Florida with hurricanes, flooding, crime and sky high insurance rates IMO sucks.
 
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Las Vegas isn't a mountain town but I have seen articles recently about outdoorsy people moving there because of the easy access to their sport.

Below is an article from the LA Times about this trend.

just outside the city a growing number of elite outdoor athletes are buying homes, starting families and declaring Las Vegas the adventure sports capital of the United States.


-

Las Vegas airport has also has been ranked as one of the best to have for a home base.

2024 U.S. Airport Cost Rankings

Rank Airport
1 Orlando International Airport (MCO)
2 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
3 Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
4 Oakland International Airport (OAK)
5 Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)

 
Modest North Georgia mountain town house (like Morganton, GA) and rent 6 months per year near kids and all over. 90 minutes to ATL. Driveable to NE. Great outdoors.
 
Asheville, NC? In the mountains, near great hiking, with restaurants and breweries. It's popular with retirees. The airport is good, with connections through Atlanta, Charlotte and elsewhere.
 
Threads like this pop up frequently and, like this one, tend to focus on the positives of various locations. Were we to move, we'd look for a place beginning with the negatives. For example, we would not want our new lives to be seriously disrupted by things like:
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • Flooding
  • Issues now or in the future in obtaining property insurance coverage
  • Issues now or in the future in availability of water
  • Financial problems at the state or local levels with consequent potential for higher taxes
  • Inadequate or deteriorating health care options
  • ...
Low probability maybe, but potentially high impact. Make your own list.
 
I would think that you couldn't more different between South Florida and a mountain town.
 
If you can put together 1.7M+ for housing (looking at your posts I think you can afford it) I would consider something like 1200 sqft condo in Cambridge MA and another condo in White Mountains NH. That gives you European city living plus best part of Appalachian range, plus you are in 6 hours in Portugal or Spain.

Or condo in Seattle and another condo in Cascades.

Humid/Hot Florida with hurricanes, flooding, crime and sky high insurance rates IMO sucks.
This is a great idea. You have many great hospitals and cultural activities in Boston and great hiking/skiing in northern NH. Maybe a second condo around Hanover NH where you have Dartmouth college and Dartmouth Hospital as well as an hour access to hiking in the White Mountains of NH as well as the Stowe Vt /Green Mountain areas for skiing and skiing as well.
 
The Rockies come much closer to the Alps in appearance and activities than do the Appalachians. Denver suburbs might be a match.
 
Yes, Asheville/Brevard NC and that area is great. But, just for the fun of it, take a look at the 10 day weather forecast for Santa Rosa, CA. Easy access to the beach (cold water), redwood forests, mountain hiking, wineries, Tahoe about 3 hrs away for winter skiing, and San Fran an hour's drive away. People will want to come visit you there.
 
Of all the items listed as requirements the most important is missing, that is the access to good quality healthcare. As far as Florida is concerned this is highly dependent on which County you choose. You want to choose one of the richer counties vs the poorer ones. The same goes for other states. the poor states typically have poor healthcare. I would research this thoroughly before making a decision. E.g. our county in Florida has great healthcare and access, all the great hospitals and specialists in easy access. Just one county over has the complete opposite, some parts that are basically healthcare deserts. Good luck with your decision.
 
Eastern:
For hiking, NH is a great place - and not super far from either Boston or NYC. Boston certainly has plenty of travel options.

Eastern TN and the mountains of NC are awesome, but foreign travel would be a bit more involved.

You might also consider some areas in Virginia, especially if you can do a somewhat easy hook up to Amtrak to NYC and Boston (an easy way to travel the corridor).
 
I'd say Park City Ut, Jackson Wy, Telluride Co, Asheville NC, Stowe Vt, Flagstaff/Sedona Az, and the western suburbs of Denver would be some good choices.
 
I spend my summers in Banner Elk NC, a mountain town at over 4000 elevation so cool in the summer, lots to do, nice people , music and dancing and restaurants. The only box it does not check is close to major airport, probably a couple of hours from airports in Winston Salem or Charlotte. I spend my winters in an excellent CCRC retirement community in Chapel Hill NC, a college town with great health care, I have a separate thread about my CCRC experience. All in all a great life.
 
Live in Leavenworth?

Home - Leavenworth Washington
SEA is close for flights. Mountains and hiking galore in Washington state.
I think the Kelso/Longview area is the other best place in WA. Housing is (or it was, I haven't checked in a few years) cheaper than the Seattle area and Portland is a short drive away where you can shop without sales tax. You're also on the Columbia River and close to the ocean.
 
This is a great idea. You have many great hospitals and cultural activities in Boston and great hiking/skiing in northern NH. Maybe a second condo around Hanover NH where you have Dartmouth college and Dartmouth Hospital as well as an hour access to hiking in the White Mountains of NH as well as the Stowe Vt /Green Mountain areas for skiing and skiing as well.
Yes, thank you, good idea
 
Cambridge, MA gets my vote too. Some of the best healthcare in the country, great food, tons of things to do at your door step, and you can easily escape to Maine or NH or VT when you want to get a rural mountain fix. Winter can be harsh, but you can always spend your winter in FL like millions of other snow birds. Coastal FL is very nice in winter, but our summer can be brutal if you’re not used to it.

I wouldn’t bother with Las Vegas. Their summer is even more extreme than FL and that dry heat is awful for your skin. I spent 3 weeks in July in Las Vegas a couple of years ago in 100 F - 107 F temp and my nose started to bleed by the end of week 1. You can’t even hike in that weather (well, technically you can, but why would you?). At least in coastal FL you can escape to the beach when its too hot.
 
I spent 5 years before I retired 12 years ago scouring the internet for a place in the country to retire that would fulfill my fairly extensive list of criteria. It turns out I was already here. Occasionally I make good choices.
 
I retired 2 years ago after 30 years with MegaCorp. Spent most of the last 2 years in Central America and Europe. Our 4 kids are in the US, so my wife and I are ready to move to the US as well, planning to move within the next 12 months. We are financially well off (see my posts from 8 years ago, if interested), so cost of living is not a major consideration.
I am looking for advice on where in the US to retire.
We are considering South Florida, but also a mountain town.
We are both 60 years, into hiking, traveling , restaurants, working out and healthy so far. My ideal retirement city/town would be something like an Austrian Alpine town not too far from a larger city, just to have easy airport access. Lots of restaurants. While we are well off, Aspen prices are too high for us.
What would be good options? Colorado, North Carolina, the Pacific North West, the North East, lake Tahoe? My kids are in Boston, New York, and Chicago, but they will most likely be moving around anyway. I checked online but mostly found articles on affordable mountain towns.
I am very familiar with Miami, and we both like it also. I know it is very different from the above locations. One thing that worries me about South Florida is the climate. Increasing hurricane activity means more flooding, and the whole area might just become uncomfortable to live.
Also any ideas on retirement communities? They seem nice but mostly for folks even older than we are?
So, please let me know your thoughts
Lake Tahoe is beautiful but too touristy IMO. Gardnerville, NV (and adjacent Minden),a half hour drive over a hill from South Lake Tahoe, is about 1,500 feet lower at 4,700 feet elevation so winter is milder there. I’ve been there a few times when we couldn’t find suitable lodging at Lake Tahoe. Gardnerville is a pretty little rural town. It’s also under 1 hour from the Reno airport. As for hiking, Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, CA are even better than Lake Tahoe as they are jumping-off points to the high Sierra. But unfortunately they are also too far from regular commercial flights.
 
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