Which city to start early retirement?

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jjunk
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Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

DW and I are thinking about retiring this year and we've narrowed it down to three cities based on our own internal criteria. The areas are Boise, ID (Meridian, ID specifically), Las Vegas, NV (Henderson, NV specifically) and Columbus, OH (Dublin, OH specifically). The criteria included generally low cost of living (we'll be renters), low ACA premiums with reasonable number of providers, safety and a relatively solid part time job market. We have a preference for the West Coast as we live in the PCNW now but I'm originally from NE Ohio and wouldn't mind returning to the area. We've broken down the areas into positives and negatives and I was wanting input from the group as to anything I might have missed (or other cities I should consider). Here's how we're seeing it:

Boise (positives): cheapest COL, safest based on crime statistics
Boise (negatives): isolated, smallest, least diverse, smallest number of specialists

Las Vegas (positives): lots to do, driving distance to several major cities, diverse, easiest job market
Las Vegas (negatives): weather (HOT!), highest crime among the three choices

Columbus (positives): best healthcare, lots to do, solid job market, close to other major cities
Columbus (negatives): highest ACA premiums, highest COL among the three

Would love to hear opinions as to where you'd pick if you had to start out.
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slayed
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by slayed »

what do you mean by "diverse"
The Wizard
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by The Wizard »

I'm not sure I would relocate at the start of retirement.
I'd take some time to explore, poke around, and ponder first.
Even if you are renting...
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

slayed wrote:what do you mean by "diverse"
Racial and cultural diversity is what I meant by that comment. Boise is mostly white, Las Vegas seems to be the most diverse statistically and Columbus is kinda in the middle.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

The Wizard wrote:I'm not sure I would relocate at the start of retirement.
I'd take some time to explore, poke around, and ponder first.
Even if you are renting...
I would love to be able to do this but unfortunately the area I live in now (Seattle) is simply too expensive to allow me to poke around and reasonably expect to pay my bills given the amount I'd like to retire on. We currently spend ~3750/mo for all of our expenses but 2200/mo of that is rent on a small 1BR apartment (and there arent a lot of cheaper options here). Moving and retiring will drop both of those significantly while also allowing us to hopefully find a 2x2 in one of our other cities.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Well, the good thing about renting in Columbus is that you get to experience winter without making a commitment to buy.

Columbus is not a place I would choose to move TO, it is a place I would move from. I moved from PA to the southwest on retirement.

Columbus is not in what we call the snowbelt (where they get lots of lake effect snow) but it is not far from the snowbelt.

One positive thing about the area- the Cleveland art museum is excellent and free. Just don't go there on a snow day.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Trader/Investor »

I would pick Boone NC but since it is not on your list would go with Boise (hands downs) I've lived all over especially Ohio as well as out west in Reno among others. As you alluded to, Las Vegas far too much crime and too hot as well as an ugly landscape. Columbus is nice but far too big and flat landscape. Boise a beautiful setting compared to the other two. Of course it's what we want in retirement and for me it is hiking, hiking, and more hiking hence Boise would be an easy choice - but you may not be into the outdoors
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Flobes »

I would not move to a more challenging climate in early retirement, as you're proposing with all three of your choices. Weather is a significant part of how you'll enjoy your days.

I sent you a PM.
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AllieTB1323
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by AllieTB1323 »

Plus 1 for Boise.

We moved from Seattle to escape the cost, traffic, neighbors, screwed up school systems, etc to Eastern Washington. Pluses, no income tax, decent health care and affordable housing. Boise would have much the same qualities. Disclaimer, both DW and I grew up in Southern Idaho before moving to Seattle.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Valuethinker »

jjunk wrote:DW and I are thinking about retiring this year and we've narrowed it down to three cities based on our own internal criteria. The areas are Boise, ID (Meridian, ID specifically), Las Vegas, NV (Henderson, NV specifically) and Columbus, OH (Dublin, OH specifically). The criteria included generally low cost of living (we'll be renters), low ACA premiums with reasonable number of providers, safety and a relatively solid part time job market. We have a preference for the West Coast as we live in the PCNW now but I'm originally from NE Ohio and wouldn't mind returning to the area. We've broken down the areas into positives and negatives and I was wanting input from the group as to anything I might have missed (or other cities I should consider). Here's how we're seeing it:

Boise (positives): cheapest COL, safest based on crime statistics
Boise (negatives): isolated, smallest, least diverse, smallest number of specialists

Las Vegas (positives): lots to do, driving distance to several major cities, diverse, easiest job market
Las Vegas (negatives): weather (HOT!), highest crime among the three choices

Columbus (positives): best healthcare, lots to do, solid job market, close to other major cities
Columbus (negatives): highest ACA premiums, highest COL among the three

Would love to hear opinions as to where you'd pick if you had to start out.
These are such wildly different places that I suspect you need to add criteria?

Which one works best for you?

For me, street level diversity would be important as well as bookstores, cinema etc. But I like old fashioned cities, walkable areas etc. So Las Vegas would almost certainly not suit. Boise would work for 3 months in the summer, probably. An elderly relative and her partner live in a small town 90 miles north of Toronto (greater Toronto Area has 6m people) but as a retirement community it has cinema, public lectures, a good public library, used bookstores, live theatre and her condo is within walking distance of the (old fashioned) downtown.

Does your Cost of Living include taxes? Because that would seem to be a significant factor-- state income taxes? Property taxes will be factored into your rent.

Proximity to family seems to matter more and more as one gets older-- that's particularly true if there are grandchildren (downside of that is you can become the on demand babysitting service ;-)).

On crime it tends to be very localized. A city can have a bad crime reputation, but you can experience very little of it if you live in a safe suburb. Or a city can have a low crime rate, but you happen to live in one of the worst bits. I think *where* you live in a city has a big impact on your experience of crime in that city.

If you consider Boise, would you also consider Spokane? (possibly geographically naive question)

My "guess" is you need to rent and try, because these places are so different.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jimb_fromATL »

As a matter of curiosity, how did those three turn out to be your choices?

jimb
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TxAg
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by TxAg »

The minute I saw Idaho, I didn't care what the rest of the options were. Of course, I love the mountains and the hunting/hiking that comes with it.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

jimb_fromATL wrote:As a matter of curiosity, how did those three turn out to be your choices?

jimb
Good question. My DW and I have pretty different requirements (as I think others have noticed with the choices of cities). She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium. Boise and Columbus meet her requirements. For me, if I could pick, I'd love to have mountains in my backyard but anywhere that I can get outside will do. Boise fits that well. Vegas has proximity to other great options.

The way we ended up on this list is we started with where we thought we wanted to live. Orlando topped that list because we both love the theme parks and they have lots of zoos in the area. But, the best places to live in the area (like Celebration) were higher than our budget is going to allow so it was scrapped. Atlanta was also high on our list but crime is a bit of an issue there. Afterwards was Cleveland (my hometown) and again, crime is the issue. We then cast a wider net and used sites like citydata and areavibes to look over other areas of the country. Boise immediately popped up as checking a lot of the boxes we liked, I just worry its too remote (but that might be a good thing). Vegas recently made our list because of LCOL and healthcare premiums. And Columbus is on our list because it's safer than Cleveland but still allows me to go home from time to time.

Few other small points that seem to have come up above. First, we dont have any living family, so being close isnt a concern. We're used to being alone at this point. Second, it's unlikely we would buy in any area. Renting gives us flexibility to move if we want to/have to. If we did buy, Ohio would be off the list because property taxes there are crazy. Lastly, yes our budget includes taxes but they "should" be minimal. We're likely going to be living on 30-40k/yr, mostly from LTCG and we've planned for state taxes in the areas which charge them.

We'd considered Boone (having lived in Charlotte for a bit of time) and I may need to reconsider it. We've also looked at Spokane, as suggested earlier, we just couldnt find anything there which fit what we were looking for.

Would love to hear more thoughts.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Trader/Investor »

Few other small points that seem to have come up above. First, we dont have any living family, so being close isnt a concern. We're used to being alone at this point. Second, it's unlikely we would buy in any area. Renting gives us flexibility to move if we want to/have to. If we did buy, Ohio would be off the list because property taxes there are crazy. Lastly, yes our budget includes taxes but they "should" be minimal. We're likely going to be living on 30-40k/yr, mostly from LTCG and we've planned for state taxes in the areas which charge them.

We'd considered Boone (having lived in Charlotte for a bit of time) and I may need to reconsider it. We've also looked at Spokane, as suggested earlier, we just couldnt find anything there which fit what we were looking for.

Would love to hear more thoughts.


I said Boone sort of tongue in cheek not realizing it would be on your list. The High Country there and around Banner Elk and the Blue Ridge Parkway is by far the best (and most scenic) place to live in the eastern U.S. You feel like you are on vacation 365 days a year. Of course I am into the outdoors so am very biased. But the winters there can be really bad. Albeit, my hiking group there goes year round with very few hikes cancelled by snow. Have you looked at Asheville? It has become a mecca for retirees. It's not for me because I prefer *small* and no interstate highways. But Asheville has a lot going for it.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by tanstaafl »

I agree with Trader/Investor that Boone is beautiful. It will be much warmer than Boise, but you'll be happy about that in the winters. If you are looking for places close to Cleveland, have you considered Pittsburgh? If I could move to any city I would go there. Grand Junction, CO might be attractive, though its population is much smaller than those on your list. Looks like you've already found two great options, though (and also Vegas).
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by zaboomafoozarg »

I'm planning to ER in northeast Ohio. Crime and property taxes aren't much of an issue once you go far enough east or west of Cleveland.

Slightly warmer weather would be nice though.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by yukonjack »

Working within the parameters of your list I would consider replacing LV with Tucson. And instead of Boise which is a fine choice, I would consider Colorado Springs, Grand Junction or Fort Collins. Personally I wouldn't consider Columbus at all but I understand that it is your home state. Best of luck
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Shackleton »

yukonjack wrote:Working within the parameters of your list I would consider replacing LV with Tucson. And instead of Boise which is a fine choice, I would consider Colorado Springs, Grand Junction or Fort Collins. Personally I wouldn't consider Columbus at all but I understand that it is your home state. Best of luck
I agree with this.

Funny, when I read Columbus on your list, my first thought was "there's nothing to do there." My husband and I very briefly entertained the idea of moving to the Cleveland suburbs due to work until we realized that what passes for mountain biking (our favorite pastime all year round) in NE OH is nothing remotely like what we are used to in CO. And that was the end of that! :D
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by dore »

I'm biased, but I would pick Boise. I've lived in a variety of places (Dallas, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Umea (Sweden), Baltimore, and Toronto, and Boise is easily my favorite. Great outdoor activities, low cost of living, low crime.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Thanks, Colorado is definitely on the list of states we were interested in, it was just hard to get solid numbers on their ACA implementation. Boone wouldnt be a poor choice, I did enjoy going there when I was in the Carolinas but there arent a lot of healthcare options in the city. Seems like Boise get's the most votes so far (which makes my DW happy since thats her first choice :happy)
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by FrugalInvestor »

Be aware that there are a number of providers dropping out of Marketplace insurance in 2017 and premiums are also likely to increase significantly in many areas. In other words, for planning purposes you should not just be looking at what's available this year.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

FrugalInvestor wrote:Be aware that there are a number of providers dropping out of Marketplace insurance in 2017 and premiums are also likely to increase significantly in many areas. In other words, for planning purposes you should not just be looking at what's available this year.
You're absolutely correct. Idaho didnt lose any providers, Ohio and Nevada (in the areas we're looking) lost one a piece. Looks like the rate increases across all three areas will be 10-20% from what we've been tracking. I havent looked into Colorado enough to know how many they're losing but I believe its 2.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by hicabob »

Reno perhaps? (considering the others on the list). Not the fanciest city but better climate than Vegas, great for taxes, and a really good location for outdoorsy stuff.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by SurferLife »

We are in a similar situation and something we are considering is buying a small, used RV, and living at campgrounds across the US as we explore areas where we'd like to settle. Once we find somewhere, we can then sell the RV. There is an initial cost for the RV, but you can pick up a used one pretty cheaply, when you calculate in no rent, then it gets to be an even better deal over time. Granted, this lifestyle, even though temporary, is not for everyone.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by LarryAllen »

I would go Sun City Summerlin in Vegas.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Sun City will be awesome once I'm over 55. I have ~13yrs left til then :happy
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Crimsontide »

Boise??? Don't they play football on BLUE turf? That ain't right. I'm not having anything to do with folks that think it's OK to play football on a BLUE field. You should cross Boise off the list right away :twisted:
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Carter3 »

jjunk wrote:
jimb_fromATL wrote:As a matter of curiosity, how did those three turn out to be your choices?

jimb
Afterwards was Cleveland (my hometown) and again, crime is the issue. We then cast a wider net and used sites like citydata and areavibes to look over other areas of the country. Boise immediately popped up as checking a lot of the boxes we liked, I just worry its too remote (but that might be a good thing). Vegas recently made our list because of LCOL and healthcare premiums. And Columbus is on our list because it's safer than Cleveland but still allows me to go home from time to time.

If we did buy, Ohio would be off the list because property taxes there are crazy.
I'm Cleveland born and raised. Chimed in simply to say property taxes are killer then saw you realized that. I never realized how bad property and regional taxes were there until I left. So just wanted to point out that a no tax state had its benefits.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by boomer »

This is an interesting thread. I have lived in Idaho (not specifically Boise, but I have visited Boise) and have visited Las Vegas many times, as well as lived in a desert climate. So here are my perspectives:

Idaho has wide open spaces and, as several have mentioned, hiking, fishing and hunting. If you love those things, you may love it there. I don't know too much about the cultural activities in Boise but it is a larger city, so they may have enough to satisfy. The negatives: A cold and snowy winter (not as cold as the east though), fairly hot in the summer (not quite like Las Vegas) and plenty of wind. Also, it is not a tax-free state, so I think state income tax is around 5 to 7%? Am not positive on that.

Las Vegas is definitely the desert. Hot in the summer, but no snow in the winter. No state income taxes. It takes about four hours to drive from Las Vegas to Anaheim, California, the home of the Happiest Place on earth. I have heard that Henderson is a safe place to live. The negatives: It is HOT in the summer. Having lived in a desert climate, I think I could get used to it. Most people just stay indoors a lot in the summer, similar to what people do in the winter in a cold climate. The heat doesn't have to be shoveled, though. :) There is more crime; you'd probably need to be careful when and where you go. The landscape is stark; there isn't any pretty scenery to look at, but you can drive to it within an hour or so.

You have been living in the Pacific Northwest, so do you have any idea if you would prefer heat or cold? I feel like when I have moved, I've had to live in an area for a couple of years before I really know whether I like it or not. So, I think it is good that you are planning to rent.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by neilpilot »

jjunk wrote: My DW and I have pretty different requirements (as I think others have noticed with the choices of cities). She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium. Boise and Columbus meet her requirements. For me, if I could pick, I'd love to have mountains in my backyard but anywhere that I can get outside will do. Boise fits that well. Vegas has proximity to other great options.
Going back to the OP's original question, and then the OP's followup statement quoted above.

Isn't the answer painfully obvious? Boise is your only common selection.

Why isn't that obvious to the OP?
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by SumOfDivs »

I plan to retire to sun city summerlan when I am 55.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by JamalJones »

yukonjack wrote:Working within the parameters of your list I would consider replacing LV with Tucson. And instead of Boise which is a fine choice, I would consider Colorado Springs, Grand Junction or Fort Collins. Personally I wouldn't consider Columbus at all but I understand that it is your home state. Best of luck
+2 to this (Tucson). Both sets of grandparents lived there and an aunt and uncle still do, so I've visited there many times. SUPER LCOL! I know Tucson has, I guess, at least one of those "Sun City" communities. I've been to one. Really nice neighborhood.

My aunt and uncle own a house in I middle to lower middle class area. Not bad though, crime is low. The homes in the area where they live are what I called as a little kid: "box houses" (smaller, one story, ranch style, etc). Front yards are rocks and cactus, but that's what you do in the desert. But I know you said you're going to rent. Rental rates are great, extremely affordable.

It is definitely hot, but I never had a major problem with it. They have this high tech new device called "air conditioning", so they're comfortable in the summer.

I would say your money will far there. Plus, with Southwest airlines, you can get really cheap flights to So Cal, Vegas, SF, Reno. And don't forget Flagstaff is just up the road (nice town, kind of reminds me of northern California). In addition you have Sedona, Az which is just a 3 and half hour drive north (Flagstaff is just north of there). Sedona is a great area to hike, camp, etc.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

neilpilot wrote:
jjunk wrote: My DW and I have pretty different requirements (as I think others have noticed with the choices of cities). She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium. Boise and Columbus meet her requirements. For me, if I could pick, I'd love to have mountains in my backyard but anywhere that I can get outside will do. Boise fits that well. Vegas has proximity to other great options.
Going back to the OP's original question, and then the OP's followup statement quoted above.

Isn't the answer painfully obvious? Boise is your only common selection.

Why isn't that obvious to the OP?
LOL, it's becoming more obvious to me. The draw of "home" (aka Ohio) is really strong for me though. Boise could be perfect for us though and you're right, with the DW really wanting to go there, that should make it even more obvious.

To boomer; I prefer the cold to the heat. My DW is the exact opposite. So again, I lost that battle :sharebeer
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Erwin007 »

We currently live in Boise (Eagle, actually, just north of Meridian) and have lived here for the past two years. To set the record straight on a few things that people have mentioned, technically Boise does have an "aquarium" but it is really more of a glorified pet shop that shares a building with a bail bonds place. Not exactly Shedd Aquarium or the Vancouver Aquarium. The zoo is average, and is probably the difference between the Columbus Zoo (world class) and the Seattle Zoo (pretty good, but not great especially for a city its size), if you compared the Seattle Zoo to Zoo Boise.

Last winter we had snow on the ground for a couple of weeks, tops. The year before was just over 4 weeks. It does get cold, but Columbus had way worse winters for the 4 years we lived there. It is also nothing like its southern neighbor, Utah, for winters. The elevation is less here and so there is less snow and cold. It is also not very windy on this side of the state. The eastern side is very, very windy, however, so if someone had only lived there I could see how they would say that Idaho is windy.

Having said all that, Boise is a wonderful place to live. It is incredibly beautiful and close to mountains and wilderness areas if that suits you (it does us). It is also more diverse than I anticipated, but certainly not as diverse as Columbus. We are also foodies and have plenty of options here in Boise. It is also very safe. I work in health care and there is very little we refer out (to places like Seattle or SLC). I see patients from Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and even southeastern WA.

We also loved Columbus. It is definitely bigger, for better or worse. I always felt like it was a big city that didn't feel like a big city. Real estate is definitely more expensive there than here in Boise. Lots to do though with the zoo, arts, sports teams, but definitely not as much outdoor stuff to do. We also found that January through March in Columbus were pretty miserable weather wise--cold and grey. Health care would also clearly be better there with the OSU medical center.

I don't know much about Vegas from a residents' perspective. I've visited a lot and although I know places like Henderson are different than Vegas proper, I usually couldn't wait to get out of Vegas and back home. It's a nice place to visit occasionally but I could never live there.

I think both Boise and Columbus are great options. The Boise airport is also pretty good. I've had direct flights to Chicago, San Diego, and of course Seattle. My wife and I love it here and even though my job would permit us to live just about anywhere, I don't think we would ever move.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Erwin007 wrote:We currently live in Boise (Eagle, actually, just north of Meridian) and have lived here for the past two years. To set the record straight on a few things that people have mentioned, technically Boise does have an "aquarium" but it is really more of a glorified pet shop that shares a building with a bail bonds place. Not exactly Shedd Aquarium or the Vancouver Aquarium. The zoo is average, and is probably the difference between the Columbus Zoo (world class) and the Seattle Zoo (pretty good, but not great especially for a city its size), if you compared the Seattle Zoo to Zoo Boise.

Last winter we had snow on the ground for a couple of weeks, tops. The year before was just over 4 weeks. It does get cold, but Columbus had way worse winters for the 4 years we lived there. It is also nothing like its southern neighbor, Utah, for winters. The elevation is less here and so there is less snow and cold. It is also not very windy on this side of the state. The eastern side is very, very windy, however, so if someone had only lived there I could see how they would say that Idaho is windy.

Having said all that, Boise is a wonderful place to live. It is incredibly beautiful and close to mountains and wilderness areas if that suits you (it does us). It is also more diverse than I anticipated, but certainly not as diverse as Columbus. We are also foodies and have plenty of options here in Boise. It is also very safe. I work in health care and there is very little we refer out (to places like Seattle or SLC). I see patients from Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and even southeastern WA.

We also loved Columbus. It is definitely bigger, for better or worse. I always felt like it was a big city that didn't feel like a big city. Real estate is definitely more expensive there than here in Boise. Lots to do though with the zoo, arts, sports teams, but definitely not as much outdoor stuff to do. We also found that January through March in Columbus were pretty miserable weather wise--cold and grey. Health care would also clearly be better there with the OSU medical center.

I don't know much about Vegas from a residents' perspective. I've visited a lot and although I know places like Henderson are different than Vegas proper, I usually couldn't wait to get out of Vegas and back home. It's a nice place to visit occasionally but I could never live there.

I think both Boise and Columbus are great options. The Boise airport is also pretty good. I've had direct flights to Chicago, San Diego, and of course Seattle. My wife and I love it here and even though my job would permit us to live just about anywhere, I don't think we would ever move.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.
Thank you, this is very helpful. We've looked at Eagle and Meridian, both look great. It's nice to hear good things about the healthcare there. I have GI issues which I was worried about finding a specialist for and my with will need an ophthalmologist close by. When we looked, both seemed to be available. Natural beauty is important to me and I know Boise has that in spades over Columbus. Hopefully internet access isnt as horrible as I've heard (datacaps) but even that I can work around if I needed to.
manuelku
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by manuelku »

Key for me to this decision would be tacos - shredded beef or carnitas with bathtub cheese. I have found lots of great places in henderson and north las vegas, never been to boise or columbus but I think they're taco deserts.

Heat is a bummer but people don't realize how much cheaper it is to run the AC in a smallish two bedroom apartment than a house - pretty sure I can afford summer comfort in henderson. And although nowhere as important as tacos, the las vegas area is a great base to spend time in utah and arizona in some great parks. If you - lord forbid - tire of tacos in a few years you can always move to boise.
TravelGeek
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by TravelGeek »

jjunk wrote:She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium.
That part surprised me a bit. We love animals and zoos (though we of course prefer them in nature). When we lived in the Bay Area we visited the SF Zoom about a dozen times, the Monterey Bay Aquarium at least five times. Over the course of 20 years! We have visited many other zoos and aquariums as we traveled the world. Local access to a zoo or aquarium would not be a selection criteria for us (unless we wanted to volunteer there). Just a thought.

Of the three places, I know Henderson well. Have family there (in-laws). Told my wife I would never, ever move there. I know nothing about Columbius, so no opinion, but as a west coaster I would probably stay on this side of the Rockies. Never been to Boise either, but it's on my to do list to visit. I hear it's great.

Congrats on your upcoming ER!
TravelGeek
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by TravelGeek »

SurferLife wrote:We are in a similar situation and something we are considering is buying a small, used RV, and living at campgrounds across the US as we explore areas where we'd like to settle. Once we find somewhere, we can then sell the RV. There is an initial cost for the RV, but you can pick up a used one pretty cheaply, when you calculate in no rent, then it gets to be an even better deal over time. Granted, this lifestyle, even though temporary, is not for everyone.
That is an excellent idea. Friends of ours did that and when they finally settled down at the place they liked best we visited them, decided we liked it, too, and moved to that neck of the woods. So far happy with the decision :)
TravelGeek
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by TravelGeek »

boomer wrote:The negatives: It is HOT in the summer. Having lived in a desert climate, I think I could get used to it. Most people just stay indoors a lot in the summer, similar to what people do in the winter in a cold climate.
Where I live, people go snow shoeing or skiing in the winter. I walk all over town in winter. In Henderson when it's 100F I am either in the pool or indoors. I wouldn't want to spend half a year hiding out in an A/C-ed apartment :)
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

TravelGeek wrote:
jjunk wrote:She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium.
That part surprised me a bit. We love animals and zoos (though we of course prefer them in nature). When we lived in the Bay Area we visited the SF Zoom about a dozen times, the Monterey Bay Aquarium at least five times. Over the course of 20 years! We have visited many other zoos and aquariums as we traveled the world. Local access to a zoo or aquarium would not be a selection criteria for us (unless we wanted to volunteer there). Just a thought.

Congrats on your upcoming ER!
Actually volunteering is exactly what we hope to do :happy which is why it's high on the list. When we lived in the Carolinas we were at the zoo every weekend (either in NC or SC) and we regularly drove to Atlanta for the zoo and aquarium. It's not as great as seeing things in the outdoors obviously but I also wouldnt want to run into half the stuff in the zoo outside either <G>
daveatca
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start anywhere

Post by daveatca »

jjunk wrote:We will be renters
Does not matter where you start
TravelGeek
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by TravelGeek »

jjunk wrote: Actually volunteering is exactly what we hope to do :happy which is why it's high on the list.
Ok, then that is certainly a reasonable criteria.

Looks like the Las Vegas zoo is permanently closed. We never actually visited that one, but it didn't have a good reputation.
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Nestegg_User
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Nestegg_User »

Crimsontide wrote:Boise??? Don't they play football on BLUE turf? That ain't right. I'm not having anything to do with folks that think it's OK to play football on a BLUE field. You should cross Boise off the list right away :twisted:
Funny "Crimson tide". Obviously you would then have to vote for Columbus -- home of the current national champs☺️

I would second the idea to expand your search and recheck your criteria.
We'd looked at North Carolina (Asheville specifically ) and found it was too expensive, had too high income taxes and too high sales taxes for us.

Of the three, Boise would be best-- not that different in size from Columbus when you include the surrounding area and good outdoor opportunities. Their airport is not unlike Columbus' as well, not a hub but served by regionals.
Of the other suggestions: Reno, Ft Collins, CO Springs, Grand Junction: I would look into Ft Collins before the springs , grand junction is far more isolated- nice but isolated. Rather than Reno, consider Carson City which is not that far away but much lower crime and real close to Tahoe.
Valuethinker
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Valuethinker »

jjunk wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:
jjunk wrote:She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium.
That part surprised me a bit. We love animals and zoos (though we of course prefer them in nature). When we lived in the Bay Area we visited the SF Zoom about a dozen times, the Monterey Bay Aquarium at least five times. Over the course of 20 years! We have visited many other zoos and aquariums as we traveled the world. Local access to a zoo or aquarium would not be a selection criteria for us (unless we wanted to volunteer there). Just a thought.

Congrats on your upcoming ER!
Actually volunteering is exactly what we hope to do :happy which is why it's high on the list. When we lived in the Carolinas we were at the zoo every weekend (either in NC or SC) and we regularly drove to Atlanta for the zoo and aquarium. It's not as great as seeing things in the outdoors obviously but I also wouldnt want to run into half the stuff in the zoo outside either <G>
Considering what is going on in the world, the "good" news is that most of these animals will be extinct in the wild in 20 years so there will be no risk of meeting them there ;-).
carolinaman
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by carolinaman »

I see that you have lived in Charlotte. Did you consider it or perhaps its western or northern suburbs which get you within an 1.5 hours of mountains. It seems to have a lot of what you are looking for except LCOL. Charlotte has great health care although it can be expensive. Asheville area also has good health care due to the influx of retirees.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

carolinaman wrote:I see that you have lived in Charlotte. Did you consider it or perhaps its western or northern suburbs which get you within an 1.5 hours of mountains. It seems to have a lot of what you are looking for except LCOL. Charlotte has great health care although it can be expensive. Asheville area also has good health care due to the influx of retirees.
I dont have Charlotte on the list for purely personal reasons. It's a great city and does meet most of our criteria but it wont be on our list.
wadefish
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by wadefish »

I live in now (Seattle)
Just curious, did you consider any spots in western Washington, that you later eliminated for various reasons?

I'm curious, as I'm in a similar boat to you. I'm a renter in the Puget Sound region (southern end), looking to FIRE within a year or two. I'm currently in Tacoma, which is quite a bit cheaper than Seattle. But it's starting to build out, and rents are rising accordingly.

So, i've been considering some of the smaller towns on the peninsula, and SW Washington.
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Hayden
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Hayden »

I've also been thinking about moving to Idaho. Pretty much the only thing holding me back is the taxes. 7.4% is high to me (compared with 0 in WA). I'm debating between Idaho and eastern WA.
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