Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:52 am

Lots of variation in what folks want in retirement per all the replies and it is pretty clear that no one location is perfect - all single locations represent a choice of pros and cons and related set of compromises. The critical thing is to understand what features in a location are a priority in making you happy and comfortable and what compromises you are prepared to make to live in that location.

We knew we very much dislike big cities and the horrible traffic and huge crowds that go with it despite theater, culture, museums, etc being easier to find in a big city. We knew we much preferred small town life even if it meant medical care would be harder to find (or require travel). And we knew we don't mind long summers and humidity if it means there is little to no winter - absolutely despise living in ice, snow and miserable dark cold winters. As such it was much easier for us to identify where we wanted to live as well as which locations were completely unsuitable, and luckily we absolutely love the area that we chose to retire in.

mikefixac
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by mikefixac » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:52 am

I've been wanting to move to the eastern US for a long time. I find it beautiful, woodsy, full of history, and so much more interesting than the west. If you ever look at Google Maps, the east is covered in green and the western US is brown.

Living in So Cal, I've always felt my local destinations limited: Big Bear, San Diego, Catalina, Palm Springs, Las Vegas etc. But lately, I've come to being at peace to where I live. I spend lots of time outdoors and the weather is the biggest factor why I will not move. Also, for the most part, we don't have bugs.

So while I adore the east, I'm content living here and will always take my longer trips visiting Eastern US.

financeguy88
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by financeguy88 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:01 am

I’m not retired or close to it yet, but curious if anyone has retired to a (relatively) upscale mountain town. I’ve been going out to Park City, Utah a lot over the last 5 years and really like the area.

Low taxes, great outdoor activities, near an international airport, and relatively moderate cost real estate if you aren’t right on top of the major resorts.

Lately I’ve been dreaming about early retiring there someday but don’t know anyone that has actually done it (or similar place).

SQRT
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SQRT » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:04 am

financeguy88 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:01 am
I’m not retired or close to it yet, but curious if anyone has retired to a (relatively) upscale mountain town. I’ve been going out to Park City, Utah a lot over the last 5 years and really like the area.

Low taxes, great outdoor activities, near an international airport, and relatively moderate cost real estate if you aren’t right on top of the major resorts.

Lately I’ve been dreaming about early retiring there someday but don’t know anyone that has actually done it (or similar place).
See my previous post re Canmore Alberta.

Ready3Retire
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Ready3Retire » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:04 am

I would also like to retire to a mountain town. I've always dreamed of being a ski bum for an entire season. Not sure if I'd get tired of skiing after doing it day after day but I really want to find out. :)
I've used this site to compare cost of living relative to my current location: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/
It considers housing, food, transportation, utilities, and health. Not sure how accurate it is however.
Park City BTW shows as 62% higher than my current location - mostly due to housing costs.

theplayer11
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:13 am

just give me 4 distinct seasons...couldn't imagine living without. Then again, we humans are an adaptable species.

dcd72
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by dcd72 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:47 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am
I retired to Washington DC because that's where I've lived my entire life, and no other location has been calling my name. I'm a city guy at heart, so I'm not sure I would be happy in a suburban or rural setting (which is where most retirement communities are located).

I think the DC summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy. The spring and fall are usually pretty decent. This description probably describes the entire Mid Atlantic region and much of the Mid West.

Like others who have commented, I would like to be near my children and grandchildren, but I'm not convinced that they've truly settled and put down deep roots in their current locations. I don't want to move to be near them only to have them move across country a few years later.

I have thought about moving to Spain, which is where I vacation, but family, Medicare, and issues related to investing from abroad keep me in the US.
This is interesting, because it's all a matter of perspective. Based on your screen name, Upper NW Guy, we probably live about a mile or two apart (I'm across the line in MD), and the areas likely are very similar. I consider them suburban. I am a city guy at heart as well, and when we retire we'll either move back to the truly urban areas of DC, or perhaps Manhattan. While I intellectually understand the multitude of people who have retired to rural Oregon and love it, I know that I wouldn't.

SQRT
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SQRT » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:55 am

Ready3Retire wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:04 am
I would also like to retire to a mountain town. I've always dreamed of being a ski bum for an entire season. Not sure if I'd get tired of skiing after doing it day after day but I really want to find out. :)
I've used this site to compare cost of living relative to my current location: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/
It considers housing, food, transportation, utilities, and health. Not sure how accurate it is however.
Park City BTW shows as 62% higher than my current location - mostly due to housing costs.
Mountain resort towns tend to have very expensive real estate. Also, they often have two very different type of residents. Those that can afford the expensive lifestyle. These are usually part year residents. The other group are those that serve these people (ski instructors, wait staff, hotel staff). The two different groups have different demographics and very different experiences. Retirees would be in the former group.

Cruise
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Cruise » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:33 am

Ready3Retire wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:04 am
I would also like to retire to a mountain town. I've always dreamed of being a ski bum for an entire season. Not sure if I'd get tired of skiing after doing it day after day but I really want to find out. :)
I've used this site to compare cost of living relative to my current location: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/
It considers housing, food, transportation, utilities, and health. Not sure how accurate it is however.
Park City BTW shows as 62% higher than my current location - mostly due to housing costs.
Thanks for sharing the link! While interesting, it fails to include tax burden within its cost of living metric.

financeguy88
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by financeguy88 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:45 pm

SQRT wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:55 am
Ready3Retire wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:04 am
I would also like to retire to a mountain town. I've always dreamed of being a ski bum for an entire season. Not sure if I'd get tired of skiing after doing it day after day but I really want to find out. :)
I've used this site to compare cost of living relative to my current location: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/
It considers housing, food, transportation, utilities, and health. Not sure how accurate it is however.
Park City BTW shows as 62% higher than my current location - mostly due to housing costs.
Mountain resort towns tend to have very expensive real estate. Also, they often have two very different type of residents. Those that can afford the expensive lifestyle. These are usually part year residents. The other group are those that serve these people (ski instructors, wait staff, hotel staff). The two different groups have different demographics and very different experiences. Retirees would be in the former group.
The thing with Park City, UT area from what I’ve been able to gather from my visits is that normal families seem to live full time in the area due to proximity to Salt Lake City / jobs. This seems to make it different than other mountain towns. Definitely a mix of second home part timers, tourists and folks that serve as well. Though real estate is relatively expensive real estate taxes are extremely low. And it seems like if you go 10 to 15 min drive from the resort areas the real estate prices drop dramatically vs. the very high prices near the resorts.

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Nestegg_User » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:01 pm

dcd72 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:47 am
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am
I retired to Washington DC because that's where I've lived my entire life, and no other location has been calling my name. I'm a city guy at heart, so I'm not sure I would be happy in a suburban or rural setting (which is where most retirement communities are located).

I think the DC summers are always too hot, and the winters are often too cold, and sometimes too snowy. The spring and fall are usually pretty decent. This description probably describes the entire Mid Atlantic region and much of the Mid West.

Like others who have commented, I would like to be near my children and grandchildren, but I'm not convinced that they've truly settled and put down deep roots in their current locations. I don't want to move to be near them only to have them move across country a few years later.

I have thought about moving to Spain, which is where I vacation, but family, Medicare, and issues related to investing from abroad keep me in the US.
This is interesting, because it's all a matter of perspective. Based on your screen name, Upper NW Guy, we probably live about a mile or two apart (I'm across the line in MD), and the areas likely are very similar. I consider them suburban. I am a city guy at heart as well, and when we retire we'll either move back to the truly urban areas of DC, or perhaps Manhattan. While I intellectually understand the multitude of people who have retired to rural Oregon and love it,I know that I wouldn't.


*** Guilty as charged *** :beer

(indeed, the problem is that the price of housing has gone up so much for the local residents that most are priced out in the Central Oregon/Bend area ....
http://www.ktvz.com/news/bend-median-ho ... /764486520
...the “median price” of $450 k is likely about twice that of typical family affordability )

but even in places like Breckinridge or Lake Tahoe/Incline Village, the costs of housing far outstrips the typical wage earner... and health care can be another problem, as the small employers wouldn’t be offering HI, and plans may be fairly limited due to fewer hospitals and participating physicians

tindel
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by tindel » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:46 pm

This is a great thread. Posting to keep it on my radar.

I'm only 36, but I'm already starting to think about retirement and where I'd want to live. I like the mountain west. I've lived in Tucson, Phoenix, and Denver. I really like SLC, but I think the political and religious background of the area would wear on me after a while. I like NM a lot, but the summers are warm. I do prefer the cooler temps to the hotter temps as I get older. We'll see if that trend continues - I've certainly got time to think about it. I've thought about remote living in Nevada too.

I'm now in Longmont, CO. There's a lot to like about this town. 300 days of sun, arid, 4 seasons, good community theaters and art, extremely walkable and bikable, great library and library system, rec center, etc. It's also close to a CU Boulder. And close enough to Denver to enjoy a professional sports game if I desire, and an "International" Airport. It's great to raise a family, but I've wondered if it will be a good place to retire. Downsides is rush hour traffic is getting to be a nightmare, crime is moderate, homeless population is high, and drugs are a problem in this town. The Denver/Boulder metro area is seeing more growth than infrastructure to support it.

I really like the idea of moving to southern France too. I just love France. It's on my radar for sure. I want to spend 6 months there sometime.

One of the things I hadn't considered is where my daughter will end up in her future and if she will move multiple times. I don't think I want to chase her around the country or world trying to be with her. Access to a good airport is probably better for me/us.

marcopolo
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marcopolo » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:58 pm

tindel wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:46 pm

One of the things I hadn't considered is where my daughter will end up in her future and if she will move multiple times. I don't think I want to chase her around the country or world trying to be with her. Access to a good airport is probably better for me/us.
As we were choosing our retirement destination, this was a something we thought a lot about. Did we want to try to be close to our two kids. What happens if they move, do we chase one or the other. In the end the thing that probably persuaded us to not worry about being close to them is that we did not want to end up being an impediment to them pursuing opportunities that might require a move.

If we moved close to one of our kids, and then he got a great career opportunity in another location, would some part of him consider turning it down because it would result in leaving us behind, or forcing us to move again? We did not want that added burden on them as they build their own lives. We opted to be near an airport and in a location that the kids will be happy to spend some vacations.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

AlwaysWannaLearn
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:53 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tindel
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by tindel » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:16 am

AlwaysWannaLearn wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:53 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:58 pm
tindel wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:46 pm

One of the things I hadn't considered is where my daughter will end up in her future and if she will move multiple times. I don't think I want to chase her around the country or world trying to be with her. Access to a good airport is probably better for me/us.
As we were choosing our retirement destination, this was a something we thought a lot about. Did we want to try to be close to our two kids. What happens if they move, do we chase one or the other. In the end the thing that probably persuaded us to not worry about being close to them is that we did not want to end up being an impediment to them pursuing opportunities that might require a move.

If we moved close to one of our kids, and then he got a great career opportunity in another location, would some part of him consider turning it down because it would result in leaving us behind, or forcing us to move again? We did not want that added burden on them as they build their own lives. We opted to be near an airport and in a location that the kids will be happy to spend some vacations.
Marcopolo, this is one of the most thoughtful posts I've seen on this forum.
Agreed, very heartwarming, but logical thinking.

hudson
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by hudson » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:35 am

I like staying put...small town...mid south. I'm in an area with rolling hills and lakes. 1000-feet-elevation-change mountain bike rides and hikes are easy to find. I'm about 4 hours from the mountains or beaches. I'm just the right distance from the nearby urban area...no interstate highway. It's good having lots of local connections.
The places discussed in this thread sound exciting. Places that I would love to stay until I got tired of them include: south central Cape Cod, the Southern Mountains of NC (not in Cashiers but not far), Linville, NC., Fairplay, CO, and the Orkney Islands.
Last edited by hudson on Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

mak1277
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by mak1277 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:58 am

marcopolo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:58 pm
tindel wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:46 pm

One of the things I hadn't considered is where my daughter will end up in her future and if she will move multiple times. I don't think I want to chase her around the country or world trying to be with her. Access to a good airport is probably better for me/us.
As we were choosing our retirement destination, this was a something we thought a lot about. Did we want to try to be close to our two kids. What happens if they move, do we chase one or the other. In the end the thing that probably persuaded us to not worry about being close to them is that we did not want to end up being an impediment to them pursuing opportunities that might require a move.

If we moved close to one of our kids, and then he got a great career opportunity in another location, would some part of him consider turning it down because it would result in leaving us behind, or forcing us to move again? We did not want that added burden on them as they build their own lives. We opted to be near an airport and in a location that the kids will be happy to spend some vacations.
My mom and I had a running joke for years...she'd threaten to move next door to me and I'd respond with "It's a big country, you'll have a hard time finding me."

marcopolo
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by marcopolo » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:39 am

mak1277 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:58 am
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:58 pm
tindel wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:46 pm

One of the things I hadn't considered is where my daughter will end up in her future and if she will move multiple times. I don't think I want to chase her around the country or world trying to be with her. Access to a good airport is probably better for me/us.
As we were choosing our retirement destination, this was a something we thought a lot about. Did we want to try to be close to our two kids. What happens if they move, do we chase one or the other. In the end the thing that probably persuaded us to not worry about being close to them is that we did not want to end up being an impediment to them pursuing opportunities that might require a move.

If we moved close to one of our kids, and then he got a great career opportunity in another location, would some part of him consider turning it down because it would result in leaving us behind, or forcing us to move again? We did not want that added burden on them as they build their own lives. We opted to be near an airport and in a location that the kids will be happy to spend some vacations.
My mom and I had a running joke for years...she'd threaten to move next door to me and I'd respond with "It's a big country, you'll have a hard time finding me."
That's funny. I pretty much expect that is how it will be with our kids.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Gnirk
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Gnirk » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:31 pm

Yes, we are happy with our choices. We spend 7 months in our "regular" home in the Pacific Northwest, and the 5 winter months in our snowbird home in the California desert. It's worked well for us. Personally, I would have preferred a snowbird home in Hawaii, but DH wanted to be able to drive the distance, rather than take a plane. We feel very fortunate to be able to have a snowbird home.

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220volt
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by 220volt » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:36 pm

My grandfather always used to say
I'm happiest living in a place where I'm currently not.
"If I had only followed the advice of financial analysts in 2008, I'd have a million dollars today, provided I started with a hundred million dollars" - Jon Stewart

Freefun
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Freefun » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:43 pm

220volt wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:36 pm
My grandfather always used to say
I'm happiest living in a place where I'm currently not.
+1. That pretty much sums me up lol.

Or like Groucho, I'd never live in a town that would accept me as a resident.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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aj76er
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by aj76er » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:24 pm

CurlyDave wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:55 am
Ended up buying 40 acres in Southern Oregon and building a home. When the home was finished, we sold the motorhome.
Nestegg_User wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:34 am
We ended up farther north than CurlyDave .... central Oregon, north of Bend
Don't the high state income taxes in Oregon give you some concern? I currently live here, and would love to stay, but the thought of paying a high state tax on future roth conversions makes me cringe. Unless I'm missing something about how this is taxed at the state level?
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:19 am

You’re probably not missing anything...

but we’re retired
the state I came from (not Cali) had only slightly lower income tax- - but had sales tax on everything, higher property tax, personal property tax, city tax, ...

I get a bit of a break on my pension income and this state doesn’t tax SS ( agreed that most don’t), and my property tax is lower, cost of electricity is lower but gas tax is higher...but overall we’re paying less in taxes here. (our WR is under 2% right now though, and we’ve got well over two in savings plus a pension and haven’t even started SS, so we don’t have as much difficulty. after all, it’s a progressive income tax. )

wrongfunds
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:45 am

mikefixac wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:52 am
I've been wanting to move to the eastern US for a long time. I find it beautiful, woodsy, full of history, and so much more interesting than the west. If you ever look at Google Maps, the east is covered in green and the western US is brown.

Living in So Cal, I've always felt my local destinations limited: Big Bear, San Diego, Catalina, Palm Springs, Las Vegas etc. But lately, I've come to being at peace to where I live. I spend lots of time outdoors and the weather is the biggest factor why I will not move. Also, for the most part, we don't have bugs.

So while I adore the east, I'm content living here and will always take my longer trips visiting Eastern US.
Do you know how many of a Easterners would be willing to trade with you in a New York minute?

CurlyDave
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:12 pm

aj76er wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:24 pm

Don't the high state income taxes in Oregon give you some concern? I currently live here, and would love to stay, but the thought of paying a high state tax on future roth conversions makes me cringe. Unless I'm missing something about how this is taxed at the state level?
Our children and grandchildren are relatively close and we are happy here.

Our CPA fills out our taxes every year and we pay them. Every time I get a chance to vote for lower taxes I do.

If I spend too much energy figuring out how to snooker the tax man I will miss out on a lot of the life I have left.

I see way too many people on this board tie themselves into knots, and give up significant income, in order to avoid taxes. I fight back by increasing income instead of avoiding taxes. I am much happier for it.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:14 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:45 am
mikefixac wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:52 am
I've been wanting to move to the eastern US for a long time. I find it beautiful, woodsy, full of history, and so much more interesting than the west. If you ever look at Google Maps, the east is covered in green and the western US is brown.

Living in So Cal, I've always felt my local destinations limited: Big Bear, San Diego, Catalina, Palm Springs, Las Vegas etc. But lately, I've come to being at peace to where I live. I spend lots of time outdoors and the weather is the biggest factor why I will not move. Also, for the most part, we don't have bugs.

So while I adore the east, I'm content living here and will always take my longer trips visiting Eastern US.
Do you know how many of a Easterners would be willing to trade with you in a New York minute?
Do you think it's more than one or two?

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

SenecaTheYounger
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by SenecaTheYounger » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:51 pm

I am not retired but I am from Richmond and currently live in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is a great town with cultural amenities far above what a typical 50,000 person city has. Big musical acts, comedians, and famous authors come to town regularly. The medical care is excellent because of the university, and it also means the local economy is strong and stable. The weather can be hot in the summer, but it is usually about five degrees cooler than Richmond. The winter weather is mostly mild, with 1-3 snow storms each year. The airport is surprisingly good with daily direct flights to Philly, DC, NYC, Charlotte, and Chicago. Sadly no directs to Boston, but Richmond does have one. Charlottesville's main downside in my mind is the housing stock. Your money will go a lot less far than it will in Richmond.

Richmond is a great place to live as well, but it is an order of magnitude larger. The Charlottesville Metro area has about 200,000 people and Richmond has about 1.3 M, with all the good and bad that goes along with having more people. In my mind, it puts it in a different category of places.
You won't necessarily get the "small town" vibe in Richmond, outside of a few neighborhoods. There is a vibrant food scene, and a great art culture anchored by the VMFA. There is excellent medical care because of MCV. The airport has marginally more flights, including a direct to Boston.

In my mind, both places are great with their own unique strengths. Good luck in your search.

wrongfunds
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Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:42 pm

Trading MetroWest Boston house for a similar one in San Diego? Where does the line form?

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