Early retirement to Florida

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
yobria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by yobria » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:20 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:Hi Victoria:

FWIW, my experience doesn't match up with that of protagonist on two major fronts.

First, for a while, I owned properties in both PA and FL with equal value. My PA real estate taxes were more than 3x higher than my Florida RE taxes (they're now 4x higher, but I don't have to pay them because I sold the PA property). Tourism pays the lion's share of Florida taxes, not the residents.

Secondly, even though I live right across the street from the ocean, my insurance is about the same as it was in PA.

Not having to pay a state income tax in FL was a nice bonus, too.

But the major factor for me was waking up each day, knowing that the sun would be shining nearly every day, that I'd see clear blue skys with puffy white clouds instead of grey smog, and I knew that I wouldn't have to deal with cold, snow and ice. I can't tell you how great that makes one feel on an ongoing basis. Not to mention the low cost of casual clothing like shorts, casual shirts and flip flops or sandals and not having to have summer and winter wardrobes.

Bottom Line: I feel like I died and went to heaven when I moved to Florida.
I must say coming to California 15 years ago from Philly I felt the same way. But I wanted to see how Florida (my birth state) stacked up. So last year I flew to Miami and did a grand tour. Best surprise was the gas mileage my rental car got - because Florida is so flat, I later realized. Worst part was the unmanned toll booths, when you don't have change. Lots of older folks - I've never overheard so many WWII stories in public places. A few weeks in FL and you'll feel like you were actually at the Battle of the Bulge.

For a retiree who likes ocean activities (boating, the beach) I'd pick Florida. For a younger person working in Tech/Finance etc., or who likes cooler/mountain activities (hiking, biking, skiing), I'd pick CA. Philly if you really, really like cheesesteaks. No places it perfect - are you more annoyed by state taxes or palmetto bugs?

btenny
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by btenny » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:36 pm

Well Victoria early early retirement has lots of challenges and lots of rewards. I did it but had a golden parachute opportunity that forced my decision. Your decision is a little more difficult. Here are my thoughts.

Take a leave of absense from your job rather than quitting at first. If you have a good job and you are valued by your boss he and the company will let you go for 3 months with little fuss. You might even talk them into 6 months if you say the alternative is quitting. Your key issue is they are not giving you money to go away so you need to make sure your plan is good before jumping out the window. You also have the medical insurance cost issue. If you are on LOA you can still keep employee insurance for a while. You can always quit after 3-6 months if you like it and go back if you find you are not really ready. The key is to travel to Europe and go to Florida for a long vacation and visit. Try out your plan. What are you going to do all day when you stay in Florida? Do you really want to study/write 4-6 hours a day several days per week? You may find many things you thought are great are bad. You may find new adventures you never thought of when you really have time to relax....

In my case I thought I would consult and work part time in my area of security engineering. It never happened. Yes I had clients that wanted to hire me but all wanted heavy involvement for lots of months a year, eg FULL TIME hard work. Not a way to start retirement. So I found better stuff to do (in my case home downsizing and teaching snow skiing 6 months a year) that was sort of work but more fun than real work.....

I boxed up all my library and self moved it after two years. It weighed tons and most of it has never been opened. I ended up after 5 years of so giving away 30 boxes or so of books. I had to throw away at the dump about half of my books and ALL my technical books and stuff. NO one will accept them.

I kept my old home for 2 years or so while I focused on what I wanted to do next and where I wanted to live next. I thought the physicological issues of retirement were more important at first than the physical and money stuff. This gave me security and comfort and familiarity. It also stopped me from worrying about what to do with my stuff and where I was going to live while I focused on what I wanted to do all day and what hobbies I really wanted to pursue and what friends I wanted and so on.

After two years I downsized my home and moved and gave away about 60-70% of my stuff. It was wonderful. I ended up staying near my old home in Arizona as the cost of living and taxes are very low there and I like the area. I stay there about 6 moths a year. I also rent another place in another state and also travel some. I will probably downsize more in the future as things change. You just don't need that much stuff when it is just you and your significant other in full retirement....

The key is to do only what you want and get up when you want IMO. Enjoy and Good luck.

Bill

PS.. I also read Paul Terrhorsts book. I made me stop and realize that our time here is short and working a lot is not what I wanted out of life.....

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VictoriaF
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:43 pm

btenny wrote:Well Victoria early early retirement has lots of challenges and lots of rewards. I did it but had a golden parachute opportunity that forced my decision. Your decision is a little more difficult. Here are my thoughts.
Hi Bill,

Thank you for your thoughts. In my situation retirement will work better than leave of absence. Once I retire, I want to do some studies, for which I currently do not have enough time. And so yes, I do plan to spend seven or eight or more hours per day doing just that for about half a year, each year. If my independent work produces any interesting results, I may try a part time job, e.g., doing research or teaching. But that would be in a different area from what I do now. I would work only on what I am interested in; my retirement planning does not depend on additional income.

Medical insurance will not be an issue, because I will start the retirement after I become eligible for insurance from my current employer, in just over a year.

I need many books for my studies, and I am not ready to get rid of most of the other books. In a few years, I may decide otherwise, but in the mean time I will be using a public storage facility as my "library," where I will be picking up and dropping books as I need them.

My downsizing will be helped by the fact that I don't own my home (and not planning owning a home) and that -- apart from the books and some personal items -- I will dispose of my stuff. When traveling, my belongings will be in my backpack; when in the U.S., my belongings will be in my car.

It probably will not happen exactly the way I currently envision it, but I have a plan, and the more I think about it, the more real it appears.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:03 pm

clearwater wrote:Here's my take on this, and I really hope you are able to use what I've learned.... it's wisdom I acquired the hard way, and at great cost.

Stuff is not good for you. You have to pay to acquire it, maintain it, store it, protect it, and ultimately, one day, dispose of it. And all the while, it takes up mental energy as you worry about all these things during the time you "own it".



Take my advice on this. Don't be burdened by your possessions. Live where you want, but do it without worry. Get rid of your stuff, and be a traveler, not a tourist. Who knows where that kind of freedom might bring you?

Still not convinced? Check out this excellent TED video that does a better job that I could:
This is great advice and this is a great thread; our storyis as follows.

Six years ago my wife and I had great jobs, decent pay, good colleagues and an ability to have a life outside of work. An opportunity came up to teach/consult in China, we took five months off from work and really enjoyed our time away. After working for another year, we decided to go back to China so we left the jobs, rented the house and went for another semester. We then realized we could take "retirement" (there is nothing retiring about working in China) so we came back, sold the house (on Craigslist) and moved in with single friend who had some disabilities and was grateful to have some help around the house. We continued to spend winter in China (southern Guangdong Province) and spring and summer in Vermont, wonderful.

More recently we have moved into a small apartment attached to the rural home of friends, I do some work around here as they are in Europe in the summer (!) and our rent is less than $500 month, utilities included. We have downsized from 2000 sq. ft. to about 600, still have stuff in storage (that is the next hill to climb) and we live like royalty on less than $45,000 a year (we do not get paid for our work in China, it is with small organizations trying to establish social society.)

Most days I have a full agenda but once in a while I wake up in the morning, realize I have nothing urgent that needs being done, so I go to the library, get a new biography (my weakness, I am now reading one on Eisenhower's yeas in the White House) and spend the day reading, total cost ZERO.

I am amazed by all the narratives in this thread and loo forward to more postings.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

btenny
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by btenny » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:49 pm

Physical vs Mental jobs and activities.... How things change as we age.....

Most posters on here are very cerebril people. We have passed through life as more thinking beings who study and primarily use our brains to make a living. Most of us were not very physical as kids or adults. I think this thinking approach to life is a good deal of what draws us to this site. We can see how the Boglehead numbers work to our advantage. In my case my profession was electrical engineering, very cerebral. Many on here are also engineers or software people. Others are chemists or doctors or similar "thinking specialty profession"... . But some of us had desires and some skill to do more physical jobs and hobbies. Think things like sports athelete or puppeteer or carpenter or plumber or ??? So I am I am curious how many others took up serious "heavy physical" activies and hobbies as they got older and had time in retirement? Maybe this is a whole other thread but for now I am just thinking...

In my case I had always been a skier but never put in enough time to be very good at the sport. But in my youth I was offered a spot doing a ski job so I guess I have some natural talent in that direction. But the money was low so I never pursued it. I have a friend who loves golf and was good at it in college. He had similar desires but never pursued it. Well in retirement I became a ski instructer and teacher and pretty good "ski athlete". I now spend many days per year doing this "physical thing" versus the thinking lifestyle I did for years. My friend now spends many days playing golf for money. He does very well. We both love these alternative life styles.

Similarly since I retired I see lots of people who pursued other "physical life paths and life styles" I never knew existed. I have some friends now who are full time ski instructer athletes and teachers but have extensive real estate holdings they built themselves as carpenters and builders over the years. I have other friends who make a living as carpenters and roofers in the summer and ski teachers in the winter. I know others who are professional snow skiers and water skiers and make movies and TV shows for a living. These are very physical people who make a living with there well trained bodies. Much different than a thinking life...

Have others on here seen this change in themselves? How others have forged physical lifestyles?

Bill

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by protagonist » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:24 pm

btenny wrote:
Have others on here seen this change in themselves? How others have forged physical lifestyles?

Bill
-

In my humble opinion, I think the key to a fulfilling retirement is balance. I had a very cerebral and, though rewarding, at times a very stressful job. With retirement my stress level plummeted, making it much easier to attain balance. For me, balance means taking care of not only one need, but all needs. It is important to have a cerebral outlet, a physical outlet, an outlet for expression and a social outlet (many would also include a spiritual outlet).

Cerebral is easy to satisfy in many ways, no matter where you are, especially with access to the internet.
For physical, I windsurf. I spend my winters at a world-class windsurfing destination and I windsurf every day. Other seasons I go to windsurf on Cape Cod when it is windy or I go to the gym.
For expression, I play the sax. I started at age 52, and now I play in a jazz combo, a latin combo, and multiple jams. In the summer I go to a jazz course in France for a few weeks.
For social, I have much more time to devote to my family and friends than I did when I was working.

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kramer
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by kramer » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:19 am

Those are interesting comments about how many cerebral folks want to finally focus on physical stuff when they retire, and also to regain balance.

I found I was really desiring to do physical things that I had not made time for while working. Since retiring, I learned to Scuba Dive and ride a motorbike (with certifications for each). I got in the best muscle and cardio shape of my life and have actually maintained it -- I had scarcely gone to a gym in my life before then. I just joined a billiards league. I took lots of dancing lessons in Colombia and Thailand. Two things I still want to do are to learn basic self defense and surfing.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Carls » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:01 am

VictoriaF wrote:[

And one of the things I'd like to do is to take a 3- to 6-months French course in France; Lyon and Montpellier have some good offers.

Victoria
Note that there is general agreement that the "best" French is spoken around Tours and that one of the best schools for adults is at http://www.cle.fr, which may be useful to you for the following reason.

Please see:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_t ... _4361.html

Where you'll find the following warning:

Note: Travelers for business or tourism are permitted to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a six month period. Once the 90 day maximum is reached, leaving for a brief period and re-entering the area does not entitle a traveler to 90 more days within the Schengen states.

It's serious. Once the US started to enforce our 90-day visitor rule on Europeans, so they have started enforcing the Schengen rules on Americans.

So your 180-day European stays may have to be coupled with a visa application. And here is where being a student in a school that routinely handles adults vs. young students can be very helpful, whence my reference above.

Good luck on what seems like a very nice path to follow.

Carls

PS: There are several well-informed Bogleheads here who can give expert advice on how to avoid potholes that we've fallen into. Better to avoid than become yet another expert...

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VictoriaF
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:24 am

Carls wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:And one of the things I'd like to do is to take a 3- to 6-months French course in France; Lyon and Montpellier have some good offers.

Victoria
Note that there is general agreement that the "best" French is spoken around Tours and that one of the best schools for adults is at http://www.cle.fr, which may be useful to you for the following reason.
I've been to Tours when I backpacked along Loire Valley some years ago. My vague recollection is that it was a nice place but not one where I would want to spend several months. But I will do some research. Lyon and Montpellier have formal schools, too, and seem more exciting places even if the quality of the French they teach is a notch lower.
Carls wrote:Please see:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_t ... _4361.html

Where you'll find the following warning:

Note: Travelers for business or tourism are permitted to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a six month period. Once the 90 day maximum is reached, leaving for a brief period and re-entering the area does not entitle a traveler to 90 more days within the Schengen states.

It's serious. Once the US started to enforce our 90-day visitor rule on Europeans, so they have started enforcing the Schengen rules on Americans.

So your 180-day European stays may have to be coupled with a visa application. And here is where being a student in a school that routinely handles adults vs. young students can be very helpful, whence my reference above.

Good luck on what seems like a very nice path to follow.

Carls

PS: There are several well-informed Bogleheads here who can give expert advice on how to avoid potholes that we've fallen into. Better to avoid than become yet another expert...
I had no idea about this! Thank you for the warning. I suppose a formal study of French would take care of this. But very disappointingly, many European countries I wanted to visit are on this list. The exceptions are the United Kingdom and Croatia.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Bammerman
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North Carolina taxes

Post by Bammerman » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:35 am

Victoria, i don't know what you did for a living, but if the BAILEY RULE (Google it!) applies to you, you may pay no NC state income taxes.

My wife and I, both born and raised in central Florida, never considered retiring back there for a second. Too hot, too humid, too many bugs, too flat, too piney-palmettoey.

We love it here in Asheville!

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by hicabob » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:56 am

yobria wrote: Philly if you really, really like cheesesteaks. No places it perfect - are you more annoyed by state taxes or palmetto bugs?

I'm sorry but I think Philly cheesesteaks are extremely overrated - and I have tried both Pat's and Geno's - I like a decent cheesesteak too - best I have ever had was from a little place in Buffalo when hungry and hungover as a student - good steak/good cheese/fresh fried shroons/onions/peppers and a decent roll - drool - one of those meals you remember forever

S&L1940
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:57 am

Bammerman wrote:Victoria, i don't know what you did for a living, but if the BAILEY RULE (Google it!) applies to you, you may pay no NC state income taxes.

My wife and I, both born and raised in central Florida, never considered retiring back there for a second. Too hot, too humid, too many bugs, too flat, too piney-palmettoey.

We love it here in Asheville!
as a relatively new (8 years and counting)Florida resident, I am just now realizing that like most other areas in the U.S., there is more than one Florida. (actually, I can think of five distinct areas of Florida that offer different lifestyles.) living in the Metro NYC area most of my life, I seem to recall some fairly hot and humid summers - besides some really cool and snowy winters. just saying the above description - except for the flatness - does not fit Palm Beach County in southeast Florida. not knowing the bad rap on Florida, sometimes folks get lucky and fall into a nice environment for living the good life - in Florida.

go figure...
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

Carls
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Carls » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:51 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Carls wrote: Where you'll find the following warning:

Note: Travelers for business or tourism are permitted to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a six month period. Once the 90 day maximum is reached, leaving for a brief period and re-entering the area does not entitle a traveler to 90 more days within the Schengen states.
...

I had no idea about this! Thank you for the warning. I suppose a formal study of French would take care of this. Victoria
Not generally, no - unless you are planning to be a full-time student. Please see:

At: http://www.consulfrance-washington.org/ ... article385

You'll find the following instructions:

1. Do I need a visa ?
Yes except if you are a citizen of Switzerland, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco or of the European Economic Area.
American citizens who intend to study in France for less than 90 days do not need a visa. Holders of Permit to re-enter or Refugee Travel Document do need a visa.
2. How to apply for a student visa ?
All applicants for a student visa must first register with “Campus France”. _ Please visit http://www.usa.campusfrance.org
e-mail: campusfrance@ambafrance-us.org for more information.


Very few language school are on the list of Campus France or can be of much help to non-full-time adult students. At least that was the case a few years ago, and it seems more restrictive now. Again, good luck.

Carls

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by yobria » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:55 am

hicabob wrote:
yobria wrote: Philly if you really, really like cheesesteaks. No places it perfect - are you more annoyed by state taxes or palmetto bugs?

I'm sorry but I think Philly cheesesteaks are extremely overrated - and I have tried both Pat's and Geno's - I like a decent cheesesteak too - best I have ever had was from a little place in Buffalo when hungry and hungover as a student - good steak/good cheese/fresh fried shroons/onions/peppers and a decent roll - drool - one of those meals you remember forever
I lived above a 24 hour cheesesteak place in West Philly in college. The grease seeped through the floor into our carpet. The kitchen staff were all packing heat, so you couldn't ask them to turn down their radio at night. Kind of turned me off from them as well.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by g9ujra » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:45 pm

Victoria,

Have you considered Austin, TX? It's still a mid size city with a strong college town feel thanks to the various universities around. There are 2 main airports close by (AUS & SAT) and rents are relatively affordable.

Also, have you considered teaching while traveling? One of the best ways to really get the feel for a place is to live there for a few months so maybe you could find out about getting an apartment in an European university town and teaching a class, seminar, or workshop during your stay.

Best of lucks with your plans.
Paul

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VictoriaF
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:47 pm

g9ujra wrote:Victoria,

Have you considered Austin, TX? It's still a mid size city with a strong college town feel thanks to the various universities around. There are 2 main airports close by (AUS & SAT) and rents are relatively affordable.

Also, have you considered teaching while traveling? One of the best ways to really get the feel for a place is to live there for a few months so maybe you could find out about getting an apartment in an European university town and teaching a class, seminar, or workshop during your stay.

Best of lucks with your plans.
Paul
Paul,

I have thought of Austin as a possible place to retire. But Florida is closer to where I live now and to my friends and family members. Also, in Florida there is plenty of housing for people who move there just for the winter. In other places it may be more difficult to find part-year furnished rentals.

I don't want to teach for the sake of teaching. I would be interested in teaching topics in the areas of my interest, as teaching is one of the best ways to acquire deep nuanced knowledge. But formal teaching is also a chore. It requires preparing the contents for a comprehensive course, devising test questions, grading tests, and performing related activities. I was a teaching assistant for over a year and was glad when it had ended.

I think, the key to a successful self-directed research is to come up with novel ideas, thoroughly analyze them, publish several papers, present the work at reputable conferences, and only then consider giving seminars or teaching. Each of these steps is a prerequisite to the next one. If my ideas are not good, the rest is futile. If I cannot sustain long periods of research and writing, my ideas are useless. If nobody is interested in publishing my papers, it is quite likely that nobody would be interested in my seminars either.

I realize that what I am about to write will sound presumptuous. But I suppose I am not the only one who reads about other people and thinks, 'I wish I could try to do the same.' For example, Paul Erdős has spent most of his life as a vagabond, traveling among people and conferences with few possessions. While I cannot match Erdős' brilliance, the idea of living as a vagabond is highly appealing to me. Andrew Wiles has spent seven years secretly working on the Fermat's Last Theorem. Michel Montaigne has retired from the public life to write his essays. Like Wiles and Montaigne I want to pursue my interests unencumbered by any obligations. I am motivated to try it, and I have to be careful not to introduce diversions.

I will also experiment with durations. If 6-month studies / 6-month travel is not optimal, I will try 7/5 or 8/4. Sometimes, it is important to ride the momentum. In other cases, it works better to put aside the work and go away for a while.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by chaz » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:02 pm

Victoria, it sounds like you are going to have a fine retirement.

Good luck.
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Fallible » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:09 pm

VictoriaF wrote:[quote ...

I realize that what I am about to write will sound presumptuous. But I suppose I am not the only one who reads about other people and thinks, 'I wish I could try to do the same.' For example, Paul Erdős has spent most of his life as a vagabond, traveling among people and conferences with few possessions. While I cannot match Erdős' brilliance, the idea of living as a vagabond is highly appealing to me. Andrew Wiles has spent seven years secretly working on the Fermat's Last Theorem. Michel Montaigne has retired from the public life to write his essays. Like Wiles and Montaigne I want to pursue my interests unencumbered by any obligations. I am motivated to try it, and I have to be careful not to introduce diversions. ...
I see no presumption here. (Why is it that people who think they're being presumptuous aren't, while those who are presumptuous don't realize they are?). You're not saying you'll be the genius these men were (then again, who knows?), just that you want to pursue a similar lifestyle built around your own interests and abilities. Onward!
:thumbsup
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g9ujra
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by g9ujra » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:55 pm

Victoria,

As I read what you write, I realize that I too am looking towards a similar type of path when my time comes. That's the kind of quest for knowledge I've tried to follow and hope to continue following in the years ahead. Dedicating more time to it will still have to wait another 10 years or so though. In the meantime I'll still have to deal with the daily grind.

Regardless of where your path takes you, please remember to always continue to contribute here. I've enjoyed reading your postings throughout the years.

Ultreya...

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Barefootgirl » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:34 pm

This thread was one of the most interesting I've read here, likely since it hits personal for me, as I have been considering similar plans.

We are nearly a year and half down the road from this discussion.

I am wondering if decisions were made? any updates?

Thanks! BFG
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VictoriaF
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:41 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:This thread was one of the most interesting I've read here, likely since it hits personal for me, as I have been considering similar plans.

We are nearly a year and half down the road from this discussion.

I am wondering if decisions were made? any updates?

Thanks! BFG
Hi Barefootgirl,

A year-an-a-half update is as follows:
1. I decided to delay my retirement from early 2013 to early 2014.
2. One of my "study" ideas was trashed earlier this year, which caused me significant grief. Recently it was revived; now I am cautiously optimistic.
3. I will probably stay in the D.C. area upon retirement but will move much closer to the center.
4. Each year I will be spending several months abroad, but trying to use part-year rent would be too disruptive. After a year I will reconsider.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by midareff » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:45 pm

jidina80 wrote:When planning my early retirement, I considered Florida (gulf coast) but dismissed it after a couple of vacations there. The primary negatives are:

1) Too many old people. Maybe a university town would be different, but there are a lot of clueless people driving slow in the left lane with their blinkers on.

2) Mosquitoes. In many areas of Florida, one has difficulty enjoying the outdoors without a mosquito net over the pool or a dose of bug spray.

WOW... you are in the contemplating retirement group and don't like old people. I think you have quite the surprise coming. Florida in the winter does not have a mosquito problem.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Barefootgirl » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:08 pm

Thanks for letting me off the hook on my suspense level ;)


Each year I will be spending several months abroad, but trying to use part-year rent would be too disruptive. After a year I will reconsider.

I roll this around in my head and think of the expense of unused living space, although costs are highly dependent on location. I realize these situations are highly personal...so I respect your reasons.

At the risk of repeating my story - I sold my home at the end of 2011 and moved to an apartment. I really enjoy living mortgage free. I discovered that I downsized a bit too much (now that I telework, the place sometimes feels like a small cage), so I am moving farther away where I can get more space/natural light for my money...my point here is that renting allows one to get a feel about right size/right location before getting tied in.

I hope you will continue to keep us updated on how you end up filling your time in retirement and lessons learned, etc.

Best to you, BFG
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:21 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Thanks for letting me off the hook on my suspense level ;)
But have not I generated some new suspense? {laughing}

Barefootgirl wrote:Each year I will be spending several months abroad, but trying to use part-year rent would be too disruptive. After a year I will reconsider.

I roll this around in my head and think of the expense of unused living space, although costs are highly dependent on location. I realize these situations are highly personal...so I respect your reasons.
An allure of Florida is that it's easy to find winter rentals there. However, when I looked at the Sarasota online ads I saw very few with office furniture such as a writing desk, a computer desk, a desk chair, and bookshelves. It's not impossible to find something like that, but it could be a hassle searching for it every winter. Apparently, people don't spend winters in Florida at a desk {a revelation}.
Barefootgirl wrote:At the risk of repeating my story - I sold my home at the end of 2011 and moved to an apartment. I really enjoy living mortgage free. I discovered that I downsized a bit too much (now that I telework, the place sometimes feels like a small cage), so I am moving farther away where I can get more space/natural light for my money...my point here is that renting allows one to get a feel about right size/right location before getting tied in.

I hope you will continue to keep us updated on how you end up filling your time in retirement and lessons learned, etc.

Best to you, BFG
I rented all my life and will probably keep it this way. But I have learned (multiple times) never to say never. My current problem seems opposite of yours. I am renting the largest and the most comfortable place I have ever had, but it's far from D.C., and I miss my former opportunities to take a Metro or even walk to the downtown. Start to think of it, the isolation is the strongest driver for my considering a retirement.

Best of luck to you, too!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by chaz » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:38 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:This thread was one of the most interesting I've read here, likely since it hits personal for me, as I have been considering similar plans.

We are nearly a year and half down the road from this discussion.

I am wondering if decisions were made? any updates?

Thanks! BFG
Hi Barefootgirl,

A year-an-a-half update is as follows:
1. I decided to delay my retirement from early 2013 to early 2014.
2. One of my "study" ideas was trashed earlier this year, which caused me significant grief. Recently it was revived; now I am cautiously optimistic.
3. I will probably stay in the D.C. area upon retirement but will move much closer to the center.
4. Each year I will be spending several months abroad, but trying to use part-year rent would be too disruptive. After a year I will reconsider.

Victoria
The center of the D.C. area is the White House or Congress. Right?
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:45 pm

chaz wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: 3. I will probably stay in the D.C. area upon retirement but will move much closer to the center.

Victoria
The center of the D.C. area is the White House or Congress. Right?
The Capitol is the center. I will move closer to it because it houses some of my favorite people {you should see my facial expression as I am typing this},

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by jdb » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:07 pm

Victoria, you sound like someone who needs the stimulation of a sophisticated city in warm winter weather. Come on south, get a condo overlooking the ocean in Miami Beach. Best weather in Florida, Gulf Stream breezes, great beaches and restaurants. Plus easy access to Miami International Airport when travel to Europe.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:19 pm

jdb wrote:Victoria, you sound like someone who needs the stimulation of a sophisticated city in warm winter weather. Come on south, get a condo overlooking the ocean in Miami Beach. Best weather in Florida, Gulf Stream breezes, great beaches and restaurants. Plus easy access to Miami International Airport when travel to Europe.
jdb,

Thank you for the suggestion. I definitely should come to Miami and see it for myself. For now, after talking to several people, I consider Sarasota a default Florida location, but I have not been there either {guilty smile}. The biggest change in my plans is that I will not try to move to Florida immediately upon retirement. However, next year I will have time to explore it.

Victoria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by jdb » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:25 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
jdb wrote:Victoria, you sound like someone who needs the stimulation of a sophisticated city in warm winter weather. Come on south, get a condo overlooking the ocean in Miami Beach. Best weather in Florida, Gulf Stream breezes, great beaches and restaurants. Plus easy access to Miami International Airport when travel to Europe.
jdb,

Thank you for the suggestion. I definitely should come to Miami and see it for myself. For now, after talking to several people, I consider Sarasota a default Florida location, but I have not been there either {guilty smile}. The biggest change in my plans is that I will not try to move to Florida immediately upon retirement. However, next year I will have time to explore it.

Victoria
All good comments Victoria. For my money, having travelled the great State of Florida for many years, I like Winter Park, Sarasota and most of all the Miami Beach and Coconut Grove areas of greater Miami. Personally I like the beach access. But come on down, you will find the winter weather delightful and the natives to be welcoming.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:34 pm

jdb wrote:But come on down, you will find the winter weather delightful and the natives to be welcoming.
Thank you!

Victoria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by chaz » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:36 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
jdb wrote:But come on down, you will find the winter weather delightful and the natives to be welcoming.
Thank you!

Victoria
Also visit Tampa.
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:39 am

chaz wrote:Also visit Tampa.
Yes, sir!

Victoria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by protagonist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:33 am

VictoriaF wrote:
chaz wrote:Also visit Tampa.
Yes, sir!

Victoria
While you are there, check out the Dali museum in St Pete. Who would have guessed?

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by EternalOptimist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:42 am

I've been retired 2 years (63yrs old). My plan is to sell my home next year, rent a place in Fl (probably in the Sarasota area) for ~ a year. Check it out, use it as a base to explore other part of FL and see if it works for us. I'm in NY and my guess is that I will be back and forth between FL and NY for a while and see what happens. I'm not inclined to buy quickly as I've been a homeowner my entire life and am not sure if that works for me now. Good luck Victoria, stay flexible!
"When nothing goes right....go left"

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Barefootgirl » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:48 pm

ok, yes, I confess. It is killing inquiring minds to wonder as to you might be doing after retirement in the central nervous center of the country, but I do understand if you cannot disclose here.

BFG
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Old Guy » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:26 pm

Victoria:

I am glad you like DC. After 30 years living on Capitol Hill and in Fairfax County, and especially after 9/11, I was glad to retire in 2004 and start a second career in a vibrant, but small, university city in the Midwest. We bought a condo in Chicago to get our city fix and go two to three weekends a month. I would not move back to DC. I had a chance to take a position at George Mason a couple of years after I left. I had no interest in it. I do not dislike DC but I do not miss it. Too tension inducing.

When actual retirement finally comes, perhaps the beginning of 2015, I want to move to Hilton Head SC or possibly Palm Springs/Desert CA since our son lives in LA.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by DouglasDoug » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:50 pm

Good luck with this new chapter. N.C. has Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill and is seasonal. Depending on your sensibilities, the exotic wildlife finding its way these days to Florida may be something to consider, e.g., pythons.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:12 am

Barefootgirl wrote:ok, yes, I confess. It is killing inquiring minds to wonder as to you might be doing after retirement in the central nervous center of the country, but I do understand if you cannot disclose here.

BFG
Without getting into the personal specifics, here are some general reasons for living in D.C.:

1. The highest proportion of educated population in the country
.....- A relatively narrow income range in comparison to New York and other major cities
.....- For example, the D.C. Bogleheads chapter is representative of the city population and is one of the best ones with a competent stable membership
.....- The same is true for the other groups I belong to
.....- International flavor of many people you run into
2. Easy train or bus ride to Manhattan
.....- Amtrak auto train can take you and your car from Lorton, VA, to Sanford, FL
3. The Smithsonian and other major museums
4. Smithsonian Resident Associates' programs including lectures, courses and tours
5. Thinktanks with their free politics and economics events and prominent guest speakers
6. Embassies with their cultural events, many of which are free
7. Government institutions with access to the deliberations and debates
8. Numerous film and theater festivals
9. Numerous meetups, hiking and other groups on a wide range of interests
10. Beautiful gardens around the city
.....- My favorite Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle where I come up with some of my best ideas
.....- Hillwood Museum and Gardens
.....- Magnificent Rock Creek Park
11. Three major airports
12. A place that family and friends like to visit
13. Relative proximity to mountains and the ocean

I prefer to be able to walk to these things, except perhaps #13.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by gerrym51 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:17 am

reasons to be in florida-at least nov thru march-weather.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Random Poster » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:59 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:ok, yes, I confess. It is killing inquiring minds to wonder as to you might be doing after retirement in the central nervous center of the country, but I do understand if you cannot disclose here.

BFG
Without getting into the personal specifics, here are some general reasons for living in D.C.:

* * *

13. Relative proximity to mountains and the ocean

I prefer to be able to walk to these things, except perhaps #13.

Victoria
:confused

It is around 1700 miles from D.C. to the Rockies...

:)

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:20 pm

Random Poster wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: Without getting into the personal specifics, here are some general reasons for living in D.C.:
* * *
13. Relative proximity to mountains and the ocean

I prefer to be able to walk to these things, except perhaps #13.

Victoria
:confused

It is around 1700 miles from D.C. to the Rockies...

:)
It is around 7700 miles from D.C. to the Himalayas ... but who is counting?

Victoria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by simpsonlang » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:35 pm

I live in Florida specifically St Pete. Here are my observations.

1: Mosquitos: Yes they can be bad. If I sit outside they may attack me so if I'm in one spot I'll setup a fan. Otherwise I grin and bear it. Bad habit from the Marines. :D
2: No State Income taxes
3: Sales Tax can be deducted on your federal return (so far).
4: No Property Taxes on RV/Campers
5: No yearly impact type taxes on vehicles. You do have a tag renewal but it's reasonable.
6: Property taxes can be high but it really depends on where you live. Obviously a city will be higher. I consider this ok considering all the other taxes I avoid.
7: It rains allot but see number 1 on how I handle it
8: It's hot and humid but see number 1 on how I handle it.
9: Winters are mild.
10: I've lived in the Panhandle and jobs can be tough even near cities. So if you move to their keep that in mind. It's why they call the Panhandle South Alabama.
11: Some places are just to overbuild and hectic. Pinellas County reminds me of megacity if you follow judge dredd.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by DouglasDoug » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:02 pm

Anybody waiting for the finale of "Breaking Bad"; NM looks charming, in an off-color sort of way.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:24 am

DouglasDoug wrote:Anybody waiting for the finale of "Breaking Bad"; NM looks charming, in an off-color sort of way.
D.C. tends to break bad too, in its own charming way,

Victoria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by eucalyptus » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:29 am

VictoriaF makes a wonderful case for living in DC, probably should be a sticky.

For me, the negatives outweighed the positives. Some random observations after 20+ years in the area, having lived in all three jurisdictions.

Concentration of quite self-important, uptight, unfriendly people. Not everyone by a long shot, but many.

Central nervous center of US politics, great if you agree, very uncomfortable if you disagree with the US as it is.

One party politics of two of the three jurisdictions; great if you agree, marginalizing if you don't.

Active govt regulation of life and business (referring in particular to Montgomery County). Again, great if you agree.

Without a doubt the worst drivers I have encountered. South Florida drivers are much better.

Not a financial or cultural center.

Unreliable electrical service! Hilarious to write that, but it's true.

High tax levels.

I could go on at length. I could also write nice things about the area, but Victoria has done a better job than I ever could.

Florida is a mess. Yet I much, much prefer the craziness, sleaziness, outright dangerous criminality and casual attitudes of Florida to the neat, ordered, perfectly fair lifestyle DC and the Maryland suburbs seems to want to cultivate.

Their regulation of cars nicely illustrates the difference between Maryland and Florida: Maryland finds 55 mph speed limits (beltway and elsewhere), front license plates, speed cameras, and inspections are essential to public safety; here in south Florida, we slow down to the 65 mph speed limit if we see a trooper, don't need front license plates, find other ways to raise revenue and assume you're smart enough to take care of your own car. Getting a drivers license, and registering cars, in Florida, is vastly easier than in Maryland.

To each, his own, as ever.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:55 am

eucalyptus wrote:VictoriaF makes a wonderful case for living in DC, probably should be a sticky.
Sticky as in steamy and sweaty? I think that's a trademark of both DC and FL.
eucalyptus wrote:For me, the negatives outweighed the positives. Some random observations after 20+ years in the area, having lived in all three jurisdictions.

Concentration of quite self-important, uptight, unfriendly people. Not everyone by a long shot, but many.

Central nervous center of US politics, great if you agree, very uncomfortable if you disagree with the US as it is.

One party politics of two of the three jurisdictions; great if you agree, marginalizing if you don't.

Active govt regulation of life and business (referring in particular to Montgomery County). Again, great if you agree.

Without a doubt the worst drivers I have encountered. South Florida drivers are much better.

Not a financial or cultural center.

Unreliable electrical service! Hilarious to write that, but it's true.

High tax levels.

I could go on at length. I could also write nice things about the area, but Victoria has done a better job than I ever could.

Florida is a mess. Yet I much, much prefer the craziness, sleaziness, outright dangerous criminality and casual attitudes of Florida to the neat, ordered, perfectly fair lifestyle DC and the Maryland suburbs seems to want to cultivate.

Their regulation of cars nicely illustrates the difference between Maryland and Florida: Maryland finds 55 mph speed limits (beltway and elsewhere), front license plates, speed cameras, and inspections are essential to public safety; here in south Florida, we slow down to the 65 mph speed limit if we see a trooper, don't need front license plates, find other ways to raise revenue and assume you're smart enough to take care of your own car. Getting a drivers license, and registering cars, in Florida, is vastly easier than in Maryland.

To each, his own, as ever.
I agree with almost everything you wrote, especially the last line. My slight disagreement is about the cultural value of D.C. It's not New York or London, but it's not too bad. As for the self-important people we have plenty of those, but they are easy to avoid in private life.

Are you in Miami?

Victoria
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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:57 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:ok, yes, I confess. It is killing inquiring minds to wonder as to you might be doing after retirement in the central nervous center of the country, but I do understand if you cannot disclose here.

BFG
Without getting into the personal specifics, here are some general reasons for living in D.C.:

1. The highest proportion of educated population in the country
.....- A relatively narrow income range in comparison to New York and other major cities
.....- For example, the D.C. Bogleheads chapter is representative of the city population and is one of the best ones with a competent stable membership
.....- The same is true for the other groups I belong to
.....- International flavor of many people you run into
2. Easy train or bus ride to Manhattan
.....- Amtrak auto train can take you and your car from Lorton, VA, to Sanford, FL
3. The Smithsonian and other major museums
4. Smithsonian Resident Associates' programs including lectures, courses and tours
5. Thinktanks with their free politics and economics events and prominent guest speakers
6. Embassies with their cultural events, many of which are free
7. Government institutions with access to the deliberations and debates
8. Numerous film and theater festivals
9. Numerous meetups, hiking and other groups on a wide range of interests
10. Beautiful gardens around the city
.....- My favorite Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle where I come up with some of my best ideas
.....- Hillwood Museum and Gardens
.....- Magnificent Rock Creek Park
11. Three major airports
12. A place that family and friends like to visit
13. Relative proximity to mountains and the ocean

I prefer to be able to walk to these things, except perhaps #13.

Victoria
There is a phenomenal amount to see and do in Washington:

- there is a lot of culture and talks by academics, foreign policy experts etc. - my guess would be second only to NYC in USA

- museums galleries zoo etc.

- all the Civil War stuff- battlefields and museums etc

- the mountains aren't that far away

- neither is the sea side

- the winter weather is certainly milder than further north, and somewhat less time in the southern heat humidity swamp during the summer months

Because it's a national capital it has an unusual concentration of cultural and intellectual resources for a city of that size. And as Victoria points out, public transport good for an American city.

Downside is (relatively) high cost of living including taxes and housing, the traffic and congestion. Probably not as exciting a 'downtown' as a place like New York (or even Philadelphia?)-- city has a slightly artificial air (speaking as someone who has only been there as a tourist) but, then, so does Manhattan these days.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by travellight » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:24 am

I would put in a plug for Vancouver Washington which is essentially Portland without state income tax. I would travel to s. America in winter and Europe in spring or fall when prices are lower. Best wishes on your retirement!

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by eucalyptus » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:51 pm

"Are you in Miami?"

You'd think so, reading my comments about DC! But no, I'm in the cultural and financial capital of the universe (according to residents), Palm Beach.

I would have preferred Miami, but my wife disagreed.

Actually my first choices in the US would be NY or San Francisco, while living overseas for a few months every year.

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Re: Early retirement to Florida

Post by protagonist » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:55 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Downside is (relatively) high cost of living including taxes and housing, the traffic and congestion. Probably not as exciting a 'downtown' as a place like New York (or even Philadelphia?)-- city has a slightly artificial air (speaking as someone who has only been there as a tourist) but, then, so does Manhattan these days.
Interesting....I have a similar impression of DC (like you say, even cf. 2013 Philly)....but I don't really know DC all that well and I know people love it. It was interesting to hear you describe it that way. If you want to escape the "artificial air" of Manhattan, you only need to go to Brooklyn.

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