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Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:47 AM

Hey retired DUers...any retirement location recommendations?

My mother passed over the holiday, she was 93, and I am now going to relocate. I would like to go somewhere without harsh winters that is blue and has a reasonable cost of living.

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Reply Hey retired DUers...any retirement location recommendations? (Original post)
AJT Jan 2020 OP
safeinOhio Jan 2020 #1
AJT Jan 2020 #3
redstateblues Jan 2020 #2
at140 Jan 2020 #4
redstateblues Jan 2020 #48
at140 Jan 2020 #49
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2020 #5
TexasTowelie Jan 2020 #14
Crash2Parties Jan 2020 #23
KatyMan Jan 2020 #35
Major Nikon Jan 2020 #46
at140 Jan 2020 #50
Crash2Parties Jan 2020 #91
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2020 #68
at140 Jan 2020 #52
DBoon Jan 2020 #76
AJT Jan 2020 #38
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2020 #6
AJT Jan 2020 #39
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2020 #42
Merlot Jan 2020 #7
stopbush Jan 2020 #10
Merlot Jan 2020 #12
stopbush Jan 2020 #13
Crash2Parties Jan 2020 #24
stopbush Jan 2020 #25
mnhtnbb Jan 2020 #73
Peregrine Took Jan 2020 #56
Karadeniz Jan 2020 #8
stopbush Jan 2020 #11
AJT Jan 2020 #40
Karadeniz Jan 2020 #9
Foolacious Jan 2020 #17
mopinko Jan 2020 #15
Jane Austin Jan 2020 #29
mnhtnbb Jan 2020 #31
underpants Jan 2020 #33
Peregrine Took Jan 2020 #58
AJT Jan 2020 #41
yonder Jan 2020 #16
AJT Jan 2020 #18
lunatica Jan 2020 #19
RobertDevereaux Jan 2020 #57
lunatica Jan 2020 #60
Warpy Jan 2020 #20
Kali Jan 2020 #37
IphengeniaBlumgarten Jan 2020 #21
catrose Jan 2020 #27
IphengeniaBlumgarten Jan 2020 #32
AJT Jan 2020 #43
IphengeniaBlumgarten Jan 2020 #44
AJT Jan 2020 #45
sprinkleeninow Jan 2020 #22
secondwind Jan 2020 #26
Cattledog Jan 2020 #28
mnhtnbb Jan 2020 #30
greymattermom Jan 2020 #34
lark Jan 2020 #36
DFW Jan 2020 #47
AJT Jan 2020 #51
DFW Jan 2020 #70
mokawanis Jan 2020 #53
AJT Jan 2020 #54
mr_lebowski Jan 2020 #55
MLAA Jan 2020 #59
peacebuzzard Jan 2020 #61
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2020 #62
AJT Jan 2020 #63
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2020 #64
AJT Jan 2020 #65
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2020 #71
AJT Jan 2020 #75
EmeraldCoaster Jan 2020 #66
AJT Jan 2020 #67
csziggy Jan 2020 #69
mnhtnbb Jan 2020 #72
Fla Dem Jan 2020 #74
AJT Jan 2020 #77
Fla Dem Jan 2020 #86
CanonRay Jan 2020 #78
AJT Jan 2020 #79
CanonRay Jan 2020 #80
CanonRay Jan 2020 #81
AJT Jan 2020 #82
keithbvadu2 Jan 2020 #83
AJT Jan 2020 #84
keithbvadu2 Jan 2020 #85
onethatcares Jan 2020 #87
lpbk2713 Jan 2020 #90
brokephibroke Jan 2020 #88
TuxedoKat Jan 2020 #89
llmart Jan 2020 #92
Brother Buzz Jan 2020 #93

Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:51 AM

1. Pay the sunshine tax

or go for the snow and ice discount.

I went for the discount and happy with it. Live pretty good on SS and small pension.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:53 AM

3. I'm in Wisconsin. I slipped on the ice last year and it scared the bleep out of me.

I am afraid of really hurting myself.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:51 AM

2. I have friends who are happily retired in Ecuador

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Response to redstateblues (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:57 AM

4. I would miss American Football, and

the huge number of golf courses USA has, in countries like Ecuador.
Not to mention I do not want to learn new languages.

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Response to at140 (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:47 PM

48. One downside: Non Ecudorians can't easily own property

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Response to redstateblues (Reply #48)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:30 PM

49. I suppose if your finances are tight, Ecuador makes sense

Fortunately, I am doing OK living in Florida. No mortgage payments makes a helpful difference.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:05 AM

5. Well, Los Angeles meets all your criteria........except the cost of living.

If you lived away from the beach, then housing isn't as bad. I have some friends who are buying a house in Lomita: 4 bedrooms and about 2000 sq. feet. I think it's about 725K.

We're worth a look! If you think you might be even slightly interested, PM me for further details.

We've lived here about 40 years and wouldn't think of living anywhere else.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:32 AM

14. You can get a McMansion in Texas for half of that price.

Property taxes are a bit high, but you'll have the other half of that money to pay them with and NO INCOME TAX!

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 03:06 AM

23. Then again, it's in Texas. A different sort of tax altogether.

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Response to Crash2Parties (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 10:00 AM

35. Not in Houston

Probably San Antonio as well. Great places to live, very blue.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:18 PM

46. I live in a very red area of Texas (Tarrant Co)

I can't say it's anything I worry about much. Even in the reddest of areas you will have neighbors who just don't think that way so it's not as if you don't meet people who have a liberal mindset. The politicians suck, but I don't live next to them.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:32 PM

50. Excellent thoughts and good post! nt

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 4, 2020, 07:25 PM

91. And split into a handful of districts, all but one of which are red-dominated.

End result = 1 tiny blue district/precinct w/little real power outside city limits.

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Response to Crash2Parties (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:35 PM

68. The cities are blue

Austin is very blue.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:38 PM

52. Not living in a McMansion in Florida but....

6 months ago bought a new construction 1600 SFT house in Florida with tons of upgrades for $272k
Included all stainless appliances, ceiling fans in all rooms, finished Lanai 24' long back patio,
crown moldings galore, electric garage door opener, 3 BR, 2 baths, 2+ car garage. 12 min from beach.
As a senior living in owned house, also get a break on property tax.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 11:56 AM

76. property taxes in CA go up only 2% per year

If you buy, you will never by blindsided by a sudden increase.

There are places much more affordable than the major cities - look at desert locations, Sierra foothills, etc.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 11:59 AM

38. I wish I could afford southern California, but I can't.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:06 AM

6. I'm retired and living in Minneapolis.

It's cold and expensive but it's home.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:07 PM

39. I went to high school in Edina. I have 2 brothers who still live in the area.

I really want to get away from harsh winters.

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Response to AJT (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:10 PM

42. I wouldn't mind getting away from the winters,

but nothing south of here appeals to me in ways that make me actually want to move.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:07 AM

7. Vegas?

Winters are cold but not harsh, if you're ok with heat in the summer. The sky is blue and houses are affordable. I've considered retiring there, haven't decided. If you're worried about the "Vegas" part of Vegas, you can live 10 minutes from the strip and never know it's there, or you can move even farther out, like Henderson.

Nevada is trending blue, and has a dem gov and senator. I believe they have an all female, all democratic chamber as well.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:12 AM

10. We lived in Vegas for two years, 2003-5. It's affordable, yes, but it's like living

on an island. Youíre 5 hours away from the next civilized town.

Lots of Ford 150 trucks on the local roads, and most have a gun rack on the back. Iím serious.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:18 AM

12. I get the "island" part, that's what keeps holding me back.

Although politically it's trending in a good direction, I'm concerned that I would not find enough like minded people. There has also been a lot of development since 2005 though probably not enough.

Next time I'm there, will keep an eye out for gun racks.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:26 AM

13. We lived there during the home construction boom.

Never had so many flat tires from construction debris littering the local roads. Got one flat as I was about to turn onto 15 from The Strip. It was 126į out. Fun and games.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 03:09 AM

24. What about Reno/Sparks then?

Tahoe is an hour away, Sacramento is two hours.

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Response to Crash2Parties (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 03:24 AM

25. A nephew of mine lived in Reno for a while. Said it was worse than Vegas, where he had

also lived.

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Response to Crash2Parties (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 09:58 AM

73. I have a college friend who retired to Reno with her husband.

Big time Republicans, fundies, Trumpsters.

And I think my first husband--who was all about money--has a place in Reno.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:45 PM

56. Good, crisp description. I can visualize the area.

Thanks.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:09 AM

8. Hawaii!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:13 AM

11. Not affordable if you're not a millionaire.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:07 PM

40. A girl can dream.....

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:10 AM

9. Another DUer has been having a great time in Costa Rica.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:42 AM

17. And one in Mexico. NT

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:39 AM

15. if i were to relocate, i would look at n carolina.

 

inland. ashville is a nice hippy town, and the mountains are nice.
oceans not far, but not likely to end up in your basement, either.
good medical care in the triangle.

neighbor has friends who landed there, and he is sorely tempted, but has family in denver. they really love it. cool peeps.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 07:31 AM

29. I agree about North Carolina.

You get a couple of snowstorms a year, but it doesn't stay bitter for six or eight months. Likewise, the summers are warm during daylight, but cool off as soon as the sun goes down.

Spring is gorgeous with Rhododendrons and dogwoods, and fall is as beautiful as anyplace in the country.

We lived over the mountain from Asheville in Tennessee, but it's way redder than western North Carolina.

The Blue Ridge area of Tennessee would be just about a perfect place to live if it weren't for the dominance of churchiness and relatively inferior schools.

But the people are very, very nice in both places and Hendersonville, NC which is just 30 miles from Asheville has jillions of golf courses.

Housing prices in that area are unbeatable.

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Response to Jane Austin (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 07:46 AM

31. There is a DU'er who is moving

from Raleigh to Hendersonville after living in Raleigh for 20 some years. They love outdoors, hiking, kayaking. He grows tomatoes and has made a second career out of his knowledge of tomatoes. They'll have plenty of yard space now for that.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:34 AM

33. Halfbacks is a growing trend

Northeasterners who retired to Florida are moving half the way back primarily to the Carolinas. Half the distance VDOT them or family to travel, much lower cost of living and housing, I think taxes are lower too.

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Response to underpants (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:49 PM

58. Our retired friends relocated from Chicago to Savannah and love it.

They moved to the Historic District.

Its great for dog people,walking in the squares, lots of parties and sociability for seniors plus they love the weather.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:09 PM

41. N. Carolina is getting a number of recommendations.

I will do my research.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:42 AM

16. Where ever you decide,

A town with a college or university is important. Even in red areas, they keep a community more tolerant, younger and livable, IMO.

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Response to yonder (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:48 AM

18. I am currently just outside of Madison, a capital city, college town.

If it weren't for the winter I would stay.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:02 AM

19. New Mexico. I live in Santa Fe

It has Winters but they arenít harsh at all. When it snows it usually melts right away, many times on the same day. The lowest it gets which is not often enough to bother you is around 19 degrees but only at night. The days are in the 30s.
H
The skies are great! Big ass thunderstorms that roll through pretty quickly and can get spectacular. Compared to California the cost of living is quite low.

The greatest part is the amazing cultural mixture here. The Native American, old Mexican and white mixture is like no other place in the country. We have the first two Native American women Congresswomen elected in 2018. New Mexico is called the Land Of Enchantment and thatís very true.

Itís a solid blue state, has a couple of colleges, has a fabulous tourist industry based on itís Native American history and is an world class art center and ski lodges.

And it has absolutely none of the big city problems because in spite of being the Capitol od NM itís more like a large town.

I have a two bed, two bath condo in a luxury complex with a swimming pool, gym, and kitchen and recreation rooms we can use for $250,000. I live here on my SS and a pension which arenít large.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:47 PM

57. Plus you have...

Kakawa Chocolate House, Ten Thousand Waves, Meow Wolf, George R R Martinís theatre, abundant art galleries, the Georgia OíKeefe Museum, so much more . . . and easy side trips to Taos, Ghost Ranch, and Ojo Caliente!

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Response to RobertDevereaux (Reply #57)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:58 PM

60. It's a great place to live!

I lived in Oshkosh, Wisconsin which is where the OP lives and quite frankly the winters are brutal. I grew up in Mexico City so I had no idea what winters are like in the northern states.

Brrrr!

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:03 AM

20. I live in N. central NM

The northern 2/3 of the state is blue and the winters are cold but usually not snowy. Cooling in summer, especially at altitude, is by evaporation instead of refrigerated air, which is a damned sight cheaper. There is a large aquifer under the Rio Grande Valley, one we were warned was being depleted in the 90s, resulting in most people getting rid of lawns, and now the aquifer is deemed "healthy." There are golf courses here, a few have gone to artificial turf on the fairways and natural grass on the greens, but most are still old school. The cost of living is not steep, the state is a natural gas producer and the solar and wind farms sprouting up like mushrooms have kept the electrical rates reasonable.

The disincentive is the state income tax, which taxes a big bite.

While the winters are cold, that desert sun is very warm. I live at about 6000 feet (water boils at 200F) and get some snow but it's usually gone off pavement by 10 AM.

I moved out here while I was still working and even after decades, it feels like paradise compared to Boston.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 11:54 AM

37. wow blast from the past!

wondered about you from time to time.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:32 AM

21. Lafayette LA

Reasonable cost of living, wonderful choice of restaurants, plenty of doctors, 2 interstates, flowers bloom in the winter

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Response to IphengeniaBlumgarten (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 05:29 AM

27. But not blue, right? Though current governor is Democratic

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Response to catrose (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:17 AM

32. True. Lets increase the headcount. nt

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Response to IphengeniaBlumgarten (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 12:10 PM

43. I've lived in Mississippi, it was tough to be around so many rightwing people.

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Response to AJT (Reply #43)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:08 PM

44. South Louisiana is a whole different culture-- laizzez les bons temps rouler nt

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Response to IphengeniaBlumgarten (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:16 PM

45. 😊

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:35 AM

22. AJT,

Memory Eternal. Blessed Be Her Memory Eternal. 🕯

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 04:12 AM

26. Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 is an hour and a half from MIA Airport.

Many Canadians and expats live there, there are American vets for your pets, etc.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 07:28 AM

28. Asheville, NC

Mountain-ringed and progressively minded, the city that calls itself Land of the Sky is renowned for its creative spirit.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/10/travel/what-to-do-36-hours-in-asheville-north-carolina.html

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 07:39 AM

30. Another recommendation for North Carolina

Last edited Thu Jan 2, 2020, 10:53 AM - Edit history (1)

Yes, it is a purple state and there are parts that are deep red, but there are also very blue areas. I lived in Chapel Hill, home of UNC flagship campus, for 17 years and loved it. There are small towns like Hillsborough and Pittsboro only 20-30 minutes from Chapel Hill with less expensive housing. Durham, home of Duke University, is very blue. Raleigh( I now live in a high rise downtown apartment where I can walk to everything) is blue and home to NC State and several small private colleges. Someone upthread already mentioned Asheville, in the mountains, which is very blue. Parts of Charlotte are blue. And parts of Wilmington, on the coast, are blue, but frankly, I'd stay away from owning property at the coast because of the high probability of hurricane hits.

NC does not tax Social Security, which is a help if you are that age. I recently made the decision to stay in downtown Raleigh. I had been considering moving abroad, or back to Chapel Hill, or even out of state if I could find a city with cultural amenities that I have here without harsh winters that had a view of water and wouldn't have a higher cost of living. My research did not yield a better alternative to where I am now. I only lack the water view, but I do have a spectacular city view from my apartment on the 17th floor. Witness the sunrise from my balcony this morning not long after I wrote this post:



If you decide to come take a look at NC, let me know. I'd be happy to get together to answer any questions you might have about living here.

On edit: I was born in NYC, grew up in northern NJ, lived in southern CA for 23 years, and spent 6 years each in St. Joseph, MO and Lincoln, NE before moving to Chapel Hill in 2000. I wouldn't live in any of the states where I have previously resided--including CA--and as a Yankee never thought I could live in the south. There are a lot of northeast transplants here in the Triangle area (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill), but it still has a vibe of southern hospitality.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:58 AM

34. I'm in the Atlanta suburbs.

I love the culture and the diversity. The weather is usually nice, and I can drive to the mountains in the spring, summer, and fall, and to my favorite place, Siesta Key, in the winter. There are miles of hiking trails scattered around the city and within a couple hours drive from me. If you're retired, just find a location near the stores you need most, and don't drive during rush hour on weekdays. Bonus, my daughter and son in law live near me, so I have company. I also volunteer at the Assistance League. Another bonus, I live half way between their two locations. In DeKalb county, if your income isn't high, you can get a senior property tax deal, so taxes are low for me.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 10:37 AM

36. Depends on your finances and ability to tolerate rednecks.

NE FL land is fairly inexpensive and FL has no state taxes. My friend lost his job, sold his house and bought an old house out in the woods in Green Cove Springs for almost nothing. Now, it is over an hour drive to get to a hospital, so that rules out some folks. A lot of small towns around here are very redneck and not tolerant of liberals - but my friend likes to drive and shops in St. Augustine. That's a low cost option if you don't need to be proximate to a hospital and are good with driving and having a very quiet place to live with few neighbors.

If you have a few $$, and like people around and like parties & the beach, Jimmy Buffets' Lattitudes in Daytona Beach and Amelia Island are fabulous options. We can't afford to buy there, but you can rent places so we're going down there for a 3 day weekend soon just to have a little r&r.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 01:32 PM

47. Retirement? I looked it up. I might try it some day.

Maybe I'll be able to fit it by the time I'm 93, but the way things are going, I doubt it.

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Response to DFW (Reply #47)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:36 PM

51. From your posts it sounds like you enjoy your work and live

a good life. You may not like retirement!

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Response to AJT (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 12:51 AM

70. The very idea unnerves me

I know we all die of something, but I would prefer it not be of boredom.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:39 PM

53. I was going to say come to Wisconsin

but you're already here.

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Response to mokawanis (Reply #53)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:43 PM

54. I like Middleton, but just yesterday I nearly fell on ice.

I am in my 60s and osteoporosis runs in my family.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:43 PM

55. I'll state the obvious (cause so many people do it) ... Phoenix area ...

If you can tolerate 3 months of it being 90-115F for 24 hours a day, there's a lot else to recommend it.

Traffic other than during rush hour is pretty chill, cost of living and housing reasonable, everywhere has AC, lots of areas (house and amenities) are very 'new' if you like that sort of thing.

You can drive to the beach in about 4 hours in Rocky Point, Mexico or 6 to San Diego.

Yeah there's a lot of wingnuts but Phoenix itself is Blue and diverse.

State taxes are moderate level, sales tax is under 9%. Public transit does kinda suck but there is a light rail from some outlying areas into Phoenix proper.

I'll add that winters are beautiful here. I can go outside right now in jeans and long sleeve cotton shirt with an undershirt and be fine.

Worst part apart from Summer is probably that there's no proper 'fall' season here. You don't see a lot of yellows and oranges in Oct/November, IOW.

WE NEED MORE DEMS HERE

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 02:58 PM

59. I like Tucson.

But it has grown quite a bit over the years and the traffic can be bad. Hot summers, but 9 months out of the year are beautiful. Surrounded by 4 mountain ranges! Check it out.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 03:09 PM

61. sorry about your mom. it is hard to make a decision during sorrow, but

how about a trip to check out Portugal's Azores islands?
Those islands are conducive for deep reflection and philosophy about life. Great for a quiet retirement, also.
Ponta Delgada has an airport and inexpensive restaurants and hotels. The Portuguese have great culinary skills.
Very quiet, great wine, food, deep seas, expansive shores.
Mainland Portugal is more active, more expensive hotels but great tourism with grand monarchy architecture and more of an urban cosmopolitan agenda.
The Portuguese are polite and respectful. You could find some bars with the "Fado" music, so reflective of the terrain, the isolation and sense of the passage of time.
I think the Azores would be ideal to reflect on life.
Best wishes.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 03:29 PM

62. Another vote for New Mexico.

I'm in Santa Fe, own a small (900 sq feet, two bedroom, two bath, three skylights) townhome (not condo, no association) I bought in 2009. Perfect for one person.

Santa Fe has a reputation for being so expensive only millionaires can afford to live here. That's not true. The median home price is right around $400k, but that means half of all homes are less than that. That median is skewed upwards by the multi-million dollar homes that are here. And my little place is considerably less than that median. I refinanced last year and the appraisal came in at just about exactly $200k.

Again, good climate. Chilly winter, not bitter, snow is almost always gone in a couple of hours. Summers here (7,000 feet) simply don't get very hot. I finally got a/c last year, and truly used it only occasionally for about six weeks. I'm almost regretting getting it.

Personally I cannot abide hot weather. I've lived in Tucson, Phoenix, the DC area, the Kansas City area. Heck, my first three years in DC were without a/c and that was miserable.

Another thing to like here is great social and cultural life. Tonight I'm off to Geeks Who Drink which is giant fun.

Oh, and no bugs. No mosquitoes this high up. No roaches. I believe cats and dogs don't get fleas or ticks, but I might be wrong there.

Also, in Santa Fe we have incredible clear night skies. Walk outside and you can really see the stars. And if you live even a little ways out of town, or were to live in one of the smaller nearby communities it would be even better.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #62)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 06:09 PM

63. Santa Fe is on my list. I will plan for a trip.

The cost of your townhouse sounds perfect. I don't want to live in a condo. I hope I can find a place like yours if I choose to move there.

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Response to AJT (Reply #63)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 08:12 PM

64. Do check it out very carefully.

Alas, the realtor I used when I purchased this place has retired, and I really don't know any others. If you look at the Sunday real estate section of the paper you will, understandably, see listings that are invariably above $300k. Which makes sense, but don't think that all of the properties are that expensive.

I live on the south side of Santa Fe, off Airport Road, in the Las Acequias area. Acequias means ditch or canal, and refers to community owned irrigation ditches. I am not certain if there ever were any on this side of town, but they are somewhat common, if slowly disappearing in this part of NM.

I decided to move here after a divorce. I'd been to Santa Fe several times, attending summer programs at St. John's College. I also grew up partially in Tucson, AZ, so I already knew the desert Southwest, although this is not full-on desert.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #64)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 08:21 PM

65. I went online to read up on the area.....

Wow there are a lot people who really don't like Santa Fe: "the people are rude", "there is no middle class", "racial tensions are high", "there is a lot of gang activity", "it isn't the nice small town it used to be", "it's boring", "the uber wealthy have ruined the area", " there is a lot of poverty".

Any of that ring true?

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Response to AJT (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 03:02 AM

71. Nope. None of that rings true. (long post)

For what my opinion is worth.

This is a very Hispanic town. As an Anglo (and for what it's worth all four grandparents came from Ireland, so I may as well have a giant A tattooed on my forehead) I'm constantly amazed that I don't run into more hostility to people like me. But I don't. I'm a senior citizen, 71, with the gray hair to prove it. The local culture is deferential and supportive of its seniors. Especially its older women. In the grocery store, in a line anywhere, I've learned NOT to chat up the young people in front of me, as friendly as I naturally am, because they will very quickly offer to let me go ahead of them. I look like Mom or more likely Grandma to them, and they would NEVER go ahead of Mom or Grandma. But I don't want to take advantage.

The rare times I get a traffic stop, I never get a ticket. I think it's because the cops aren't at all inclined to ticket Mom or Grandma. And I can think of some egregious stops. Like the time in western New Mexico, just outside Deming, when I ratcheted up the speed because I knew the road and knew the speed limit would rise to 55mph in a quarter mile. Big mistake As soon as I reached that speed I saw a cop car behind me, lights flashing. Darn. I pulled over, and when the cop got out I figured I'd get a ticket for sure. He was a man about my age, so I doubt I looked like Mom, much less Grandma. Plus, he was obviously Hispanic and in case I haven't already mentioned, I'm obviously Anglo. But nope. He looked at my license, noted I was headed to Santa Fe ("Yes, sir, I'm returning home after spending Thanksgiving with my brother and sister in Tucson" which was true) and gave me a warning rather than the ticket he could readily have justified.

And that's only one of several stories.

As an older woman, the deference accorded to me is both unexpected and wonderful. I go back to Kansas a couple of times a year, and travel to other parts of the country once or twice a year. And while people are nice everywhere, I simply don't get the Old Lady deference anywhere else. It's very noticeable in places like the grocery store, but elsewhere also.

As for gang activity, I'm not aware of what may be happening here, which may say more about my obliviousness than anything else.

People are rude. Huh? I have no idea what's being referenced. It's my personal experience that most people are nice, so the "people are rude" statement may say a whole lot more about the person saying it than any reality of rudeness. It's my experience here that people are quite nice, nicer than anywhere I've ever lived. And I've lived in several parts of the country, traveled to many more, and I'll hasten to say that people are nice everywhere. They really are. Perhaps that statement says a whole lot more about the person making it than any objective reality.

I'm sure Santa Fe is not the "nice small town it used to be" but I honestly have never had anyone express that sentiment to me. Least of all the locals who truly ought to say that. On occasion I've brought the topic up, but in my experience the locals are just fine with the changes in the last few decades.

The wealthy have ruined things in a lot of places, I'm sure. In Santa Fe the wealthy have impacted housing prices, but not at the lower end. I lived in Boulder, CO, at exactly the time when people from California came in and drove prices up. We sold our house there in June, 1990. Six months later we'd have gotten double the price. The last time I checked the value of that place it was more than 6 times what we sold it for. Which is vastly more than the price increases in Santa Fe in comparable housing. So, no, the wealthy have not ruined this place.

There is poverty here. Unlike everywhere else, she said sarcastically. The real problem is that, despite what I've said about home prices, affordable housing is lacking. Especially in the rental market. Not sure to what extent this is connected, but I've never lived in a place where there are so many mobile homes/manufactured housing. When I was first here I worked for a time in the office of a mobile home park, and I was completely appalled by what they charged for the spaces they rented out. Most of the people there, who probably earned less money than I did, were paying much more between the cost of the space and the cost of the unit, than I was for my rental apartment. So basically, like in a lot of places, there are structures in place to keep people in poverty.

But I will say this. When I first moved here in 2008, I rented a two bedroom, two bath (and three skylights!) apartment for about the same amount of money I'd have paid for a comparable place in Overland Park, KS (where I moved from), which is considered to be a relatively low cost of living place. So why is Santa Fe considered so expensive? I will add that Johnson County Kansas, which includes Overland Park, has long had a reputation in that area as being too expensive for normal people to live in. I never quite got that.

To say it's boring is mind-boggling. There are museums. Several colleges. Quite a few theaters. Did I mention museums? For someone who is a member of a faith group, there are endless and wonderful opportunities. Better yet, there's an inter-faith community that is fabulous. I myself am not religious, but I have friends who belong to a faith group and with them I volunteer at the Interfaith Community Shelter, which is to say one of the homeless shelters. We serve meals a couple of times a year. I work in the kitchen, cooking and serving food to our guests, the homeless. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Anyone who is bored here needs to look in the mirror. Earlier this evening I was at Geeks Who Drink, which is fabulous. Check it out.

No place is perfect. I've lived in more places than many people, and for what my opinion is worth, I love it here. That does have a lot to do with my specific circumstances, that I came here after a divorce, re-invented myself and started a new life. I can tell you that this is a great place for an older woman (I turned 60 right after I got here) to re-invent herself. I have no idea what it's like for a man (hopefully as good) although I wouldn't want to be a young person here. They basically roll up the sidewalks at 9pm. I got to have my dissipated youth in the Washington DC area. After the Pill and before Aids. It really was great.

In a similar conversation a while back, a local friend said, "No one winds up in Santa Fe by accident." She was, of course, referring to those who moved here, not those who grew up here. Although I will say that many who grew up here do their best to say. But for everyone else, if you move here and don't like it, go somewhere else. Life is too short to stay in a place you don't love. I really, really mean that.

I feel incredibly fortunate to live here. Despite my above statement, I recognize that most people don't really get to choose where they live. They're there because of things they have little control over, such as the job. I love it here. I love the climate. I love the people. I especially love the ethnic mix, the Hispanics and the Native Americans, who I haven't even mentioned before this. There are 19 Pueblos in Northern New Mexico, what would elsewhere be called Reservations. I see Native Americans all the time. When I worked at the information desk at the local hospital I saw them every day, and often heard them speaking in their native languages. I thought that if I stayed there long enough I'd learn to recognize the different accents (Navajo, Taos, Santo Domingo, etc) of the different tribes. I am reasonably sensitive to my being Anglo (and it's possible I miss a lot, for which I apologize) and appreciate the contact I get to have with these other people.

Oh, here's something else. All of the Pueblos have times/days when they are open to outsiders visiting. I have never taken advantage of that, mainly because my personal sensibility about privacy is such that I can't imagine walking into someone's home. And yet, they are happy for that to happen.

To summarize, those who don't like Santa Fe can simply go elsewhere. I'm reminded of the "Best Places to Retire" that you see in certain magazines. What's best makes certain assumptions that we might all not necessarily buy into.

So, to summarize: Santa Fe has an amazing climate. Not too cold in the winter, little snow and what snow there is melts very quickly, not very hot in the summer to the point you can easily live without a/c. No bugs. No mosquitoes. No roaches. No ticks or fleas on your cats or dogs. Very low humidity. Which means both hot and cold weather, such as it is, can be very bearable.

Here's a story about relative humidity and cold. In January, 1970, I lived in Washington, DC and worked at National Airport as a ticket agent, meaning I essentially got free flights everywhere. One time I was planning to fly to Utica, NY to visit friends. When I left my apartment to wait for the bus to the airport, I was nearly in tears because it was so cold. They were having record temperatures, in the low single digits. And, as I heard on the radio right before I headed out to the bus stop, the wind chill was minus 20. Shiver.

I got on the plane, flew up to Utica, about an hour flight, and when I got off the plane I laughed out loud. Keep in mind, this was in the days before jetways, especially in places like Utica. So I walked down the stairway attached to the plane, out in the open. Anyway, I could tell immediately that the air temperature was 20 below, but because of vastly lower humidity, it simply didn't feel that bad. And sure enough, the giant thermometer on the outside of the terminal building registered -20.

So yeah, where you live and the relative humidity does matter. Me? I've lived in a lot of places, and I've come to really dislike high humidity. We are all different, and that might not bother you.

But more to the point, I'm totally gobsmacked by those criticisms. None of them ring true. I have lived here since July, 2008. My decision to move here after my divorce was perhaps the best decision I could have made. I looked at several other parts of the country, and as I'm fond of saying, Santa Fe kept calling my name. If it doesn't call yours, if somewhere else does, then don't come here, go elsewhere. Life if too short to be in a place you don't love.


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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #71)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 11:38 AM

75. That is a wonderful, and enlightening, response. Thank you.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:09 PM

66. I have been everywhere. (almost)

The Emerald Coast of Florida is the best!
I know that some may disagree, but all things considered.

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Response to EmeraldCoaster (Reply #66)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:15 PM

67. How red is it up there?

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2020, 09:56 PM

69. The blue parts of Florida are nice

Though there are not as many as I'd like.

I live outside Tallahassee and it is in the middle of a blue zone. Living costs are cheaper up here in North Florida, winters are a bit colder than the rest of the state, but the hurricane hits are fewer than down south.

The median home price is about $200,000 but that means there are a lot of places available for less. One advantage is the universities provide a lot of cultural features not normally found in a community this small, plus since so many students stay in town, the people are highly educated. There are strong liberal groups which are always ready to welcome newcomers.

With the state capital here, we do get an influx of Republicans every year for a few months, but at least they don't stay here very long. And they provide amble opportunities to protest their actions!

If you're looking, stay in Leon, Jefferson and Gadsden Counties - Wakulla is cheaper but very, very red, as are most of the counties east and west of here and along the coast.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 07:05 AM

72. FYI if your retirement income is limited to Social Security

and pension, then living in a state where that income isn't taxed, might help it go farther. Here is some info about that https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/08/04/37-states-that-dont-tax-social-security-benefits.aspx

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 11:35 AM

74. Jimmy Buffett's LATITUDE MARGARITAVILLE in Daytona FL.

https://www.latitudemargaritaville.com/

https://s3.amazonaws.com/busites_www/latitudemargaritaville/1-connect/1-latitude-margaritaville/gallery-media/latitude-margaritaville-where-to-retire-7838-1562765533.pdf

Only problem is it's Florida. But come on down and help us turn the state Blue!!

So Sorry you lost your Mom. No matter the age, it's never easy.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #74)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 11:56 AM

77. How long have you lived there?

I would like to stay under $300,000 for a home. I am not rich, but I have an ok steady income since retirement. How do you handle the humidity and hurricane fears?

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Response to AJT (Reply #77)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 06:28 PM

86. I can't believe it myself, but I've been here 20 years.

Last edited Fri Jan 3, 2020, 08:19 PM - Edit history (1)

Just to be clear, I donít live in the Jimmy Buffet community. Itís about an hour drive south of me, but hear good things about it.

Hurricane fears you just live with. Maybe a couple a year. At least you have a chance to prepare for them unlike tornadoes. Although we get a couple of tornado warnings a year too. Generally they are very small. Last year was a doozy with Hurricane Dorian. It tracked up the East Coast of Florida for over a week, and it was difficult to predict where it would make landfall. The waiting is the worst part. If you live near the ocean or a waterway, flooding is a major concern. But again, that's maybe 2-3 times a year and you generally have plenty of time to prepare.

I'm originally from the Northeast, Boston area. So the humidity really is tough to deal with even after 20 years. Everyone just stays in the house with the A/c cranked up. I can handle the heat up to the mid 80's after that I just don't spend a lot of time in the outdoors.

Florida is a big state and the weather differs from the east coast to the west coast, north from the south. Other states have their issues too. What scares me the most are the wildfires in the south, Midwest and west. Every region has their risks.

You could do well with $300,000 depending on where you want to live. Property by the ocean obviously will be more expensive, but even a couple of miles inland you see lower prices.

Good luck!

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 11:56 AM

78. Florence, Oregon

Blue state, blue county, on the Pacific and 55 miles from U of Oregon. No snow (well, an inch every couple of years that melts) flowers in February. Good, healing vibes here. Come check it out.

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #78)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 11:57 AM

79. A reasonable cost of living for a retiree?

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Response to AJT (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 12:02 PM

80. Yes, we have a lot of retirees here from all over.

Gas is higher than some places but not terrible. Median home value $273,346.

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Response to AJT (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 12:06 PM

81. Listed in Best Places to Retire 2019

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #81)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 12:18 PM

82. Thanks

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 12:58 PM

83. Wherever your family and social circle are.

Wherever your family and social circle are.

My mother could have moved to Florida (from Maine) but her extended family and social circle were almost all in Maine.

She only know a couple of people in Florida.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #83)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 01:46 PM

84. My family is spread all over. I have a few friends, but I'm an introvert so I am ok without a lot

of social interaction.

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Response to AJT (Reply #84)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 01:52 PM

85. Yep. That is a factor both ways.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 07:30 PM

87. I like you and all that but

don't move to west central florida, gulfcoast edition.

There are just too many people here and they are nasty. They don't grow oranges or grapefruits, the schools suck, the box stores have taken over the landscape, the drinking water has to be from bottles, taxes are so low the roads and infrastructure sucks and there are potholes everywhere, marijuana is not legal or even close to being so, red tide is here 9 months of the year, green algae takes care of the other three months but you have to guess which ones, flesh eating bacteria is always an option, but other than that. It's a hell of a place to live.

Sincerely,

Chamber of Commerce

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Response to onethatcares (Reply #87)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 09:32 PM

90. Don't forget the sink holes.



Very common in West Central Florida.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 08:19 PM

88. Colorado!

Iím getting close to retirement. I will likely stay put, so much good stuff here...

Also would consider NM, the Oregon coast or the Seattle area.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 08:47 PM

89. Delaware

Mild winters and no state sales tax.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2020, 05:48 PM

92. I'll put in another vote for North Carolina.

Especially the Asheville area as many have already mentioned and Hendersonville. I no longer live there, but I did for almost ten years in Charlotte and I really, really, really considered it for my retirement until my daughter had to go and have a baby and now I'm a grandma. This will be my only grandchild, so I'm relishing my time watching her grow. I figured I can always go visit NC whenever I want. However, sometimes I still think about moving there.

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Response to AJT (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2020, 06:03 PM

93. Carpinteria, California

A reasonable cost of living is subjective, but it does have a LOT to offer.

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