Middle of Nowhere Retirement

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Valuethinker
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:37 am

notBobToo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:57 am
Alf 101 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:05 am
I like the west...somewhere with forests...
Eastern Washington and Idaho have some appeal, probably somewhere north of Boise in the trees, vs. west of Pullman in the wheat. There is some dry country in eastern Washington, with some interesting places to explore, but a more forested area might be better for us.
Not to be a killjoy, but the only thing that would scare me more than being in the path of a F3 or above tornado is a forest fire. I remember right after moving to Colorado in 1988 or 89, the year that Yellowstone went up, (also) watching flames and smoke of fires along the front range. And with the water situation and beetle kill since, the mitigating factors have only gotten worse. So good luck in the (West) mountains. Maybe that helicopter mentioned upthread isn't such a bad idea.
https://www.amazon.com/Firestorm-Wildfi ... oks&sr=1-1

I found this to be a very interesting read. By a Canadian journalist who covered the Fort McMurray fire (about 1/8 of maybe the world's biggest town centred on oil production only).

Other books that look interesting

https://www.amazon.com/Land-Fire-Realit ... XC19WGWSFN

https://www.amazon.com/Between-Two-Fire ... XC19WGWSFN

https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Brief-Histo ... XC19WGWSFN

https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Planet-S ... XC19WGWSFN

Valuethinker
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:41 am

notBobToo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:57 am
Alf 101 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:05 am
I like the west...somewhere with forests...
Eastern Washington and Idaho have some appeal, probably somewhere north of Boise in the trees, vs. west of Pullman in the wheat. There is some dry country in eastern Washington, with some interesting places to explore, but a more forested area might be better for us.
Not to be a killjoy, but the only thing that would scare me more than being in the path of a F3 or above tornado is a forest fire. I remember right after moving to Colorado in 1988 or 89, the year that Yellowstone went up, (also) watching flames and smoke of fires along the front range. And with the water situation and beetle kill since, the mitigating factors have only gotten worse. So good luck in the (West) mountains. Maybe that helicopter mentioned upthread isn't such a bad idea.
Besides the wildfire problem there is the one of persistent water shortage.

As I understand western USA water law, it is based on a doctrine of prior appropriation, tracing back to the original European settlers. Thus in buying a property you may/ may not acquire a water supply. In addition, doing something like catching the rainfall on your property is illegal - you are taking water who has prior ownership of it (downstream).

This then leads people to drill for groundwater. But that is a finite supply too, recharged only very slowly in dry climates. Many of the major western aquifers are fast-depleting.

I don't know how much this affects the individual homeowner as opposed to farms or businesses, but it is something to keep in mind.

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vitaflo
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by vitaflo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:56 am

Almost all of the people retired in my extended family live "in the middle of nowhere" and they do just fine (mostly rural WI and MN). As far as health care facilities, it's not hard to find places an hour or so from good health care but still live in remote locations. An hour is not far to drive. This ignores what an ER visit to a local hospital might be like but everyone in my family makes that tradeoff and are quite happy with it. They would all be miserable in a city (or heck even a town, they're all rural).

Personally I'd find an area you can enjoy and live your life out. It's much better to do that than be stuck in a place you don't really like "just in case".

Slapshot
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Slapshot » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:08 am

I like Montana. A friend moved to just outside Missoula and loves it. We were in Bozeman a few years ago and loved that. Both are college towns with every outdoor activity imaginable close by. And Bozeman has a good airport. Not familiar with the hospital situation, though.
This time, like all times, is the best of times if we but know what to do with it.

clip651
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by clip651 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:40 pm

You mentioned no kids, no grandkids. That simplifies things, but may also leave you without practical supports that family can provide in retirement. So while you're looking for "middle of nowhere" also consider something of a local community (even if small) you can be involved in, in some way, so that you have some options for friends to talk to, people to call in an emergency, etc. Also consider how/where either of you might want to live when one of you eventually passes. Do either of you have siblings or other extended family that live in a place that would interest you? You could explore your options near them while visiting family.

I have extended family members that moved to a lovely remote spot, then complained that the extended family didn't visit them often enough. It was a very long drive away for the rest of us (nowhere near an airport, train station, etc) and visits were infrequent. I think they would have been happy with visits once a year or so, but it was more than could be managed for most. The experience ended up being sadly much more isolating for the wife than the husband, as he was more of a loner than she. And now that they are much older, health care has become very complicated. Things like needing to wait a month or so for a specialist to come through the small town that is an hour or two away, or making a many hour trip to a bigger city. (Is that unusual recent vision change an eye problem or a stroke? Well, neuro will pass through in 3 weeks an hour away, ophtho will be here in 6 weeks...) Eventually, one 80+ year old person that probably shouldn't be driving long distances anymore, driving the 80+ year old seriously ill spouse to appointments far away, etc. They moved far from their kids who could have helped them and been a bigger part of their lives in their old age. Beautiful place, though. I'm not sure if they have regrets, or not, perhaps they think it was worth it. But it has been difficult for family to watch from a distance, and be unable to help them. You won't have kids worrying about you, but you may face similar struggles.

If you can afford two home bases, as some others have suggested, that might be a good option. We have friends who have done that, and enjoyed their retirement split between two places they like but that have different advantages (weather, medical access, near old friends, etc). And now as they are getting older they can pick the place that suits their needs better now, and let the other place go. This can be done by purchasing two places, or buying in one area and doing long vacations in the other (rentals, RV, etc). Another option might be to keep one home base and add an RV and travel a lot to different areas you'd enjoy. You could enjoy the western states, while avoiding wildfires by picking up and driving away, for instance.

Just some ideas. Hope you find the right place for the two of you.
cj

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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:44 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:56 am
Almost all of the people retired in my extended family live "in the middle of nowhere" and they do just fine (mostly rural WI and MN). As far as health care facilities, it's not hard to find places an hour or so from good health care but still live in remote locations. An hour is not far to drive. This ignores what an ER visit to a local hospital might be like but everyone in my family makes that tradeoff and are quite happy with it. They would all be miserable in a city (or heck even a town, they're all rural).

Personally I'd find an area you can enjoy and live your life out. It's much better to do that than be stuck in a place you don't really like "just in case".

I agree - this is a good point. That's living in fear to some extent IMO, but to some people, living close to a hospital might be something they value. The solution will differ for everyone.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by BrooklynInvest » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:04 pm

Great question!

Me, I've loved tine spent in remote locations. The lack of light pollution and a telescope and I'd be able to entertain myself for ages snd learn some stuff.

BUT I'm not sure I could do it 12 months a year. Remoteness + winter weather and short days get me down. I'd need to split my time between quiet solitude where the weather was good and my city life when it's less so.

Different strokes eh?

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praxis
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by praxis » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:29 pm

What is your list of the 10 priorities for what you need where you retire? What does "middle of nowhere" look like to you? How many miles away from town would you be willing to live year 'round? Or could you maintain two residences for a time?

Is "good health care" important enough for you to limit the distance to town? Are social interaction, restaurants and entertainment important enough to stay close to a city or college town at least?

We've been living on 8 acres on a mountain at 9000 ft in Colorado for 15 years since retirement. It's 30 minutes one way to a small grocery and an hour to a medium sized grocery and a decent hardware/lumber store. We can make it to Taos in an hour and Santa Fe in two. But we are undeniably in the middle of nowhere by our definition. (but note: since January, we have optic fiber wifi speed up to 1 Gig).

The summers are glorious here. Clear rivers with trout, trails all over, beautiful forests and wildlife. We feel more self sufficient each year.

This covid quarantine has truly challenged our need for social contact with friends. DW & I are better friends because of the isolation.

However, after 4 or 5 months in the mountains, we return to our modest home on a quiet street in a small Gulf Coast college city for the winter. It's never too hot for us during those months and there are flowers blooming year round. No snow and delicious seafood restaurants and many friends.

You are smart to ask these questions early and visit or vacation in your top locations first. Good luck!

ballons
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by ballons » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:44 pm

tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Healthcare and hospital with an ER are two different things. I would be more worried about the latter.

45 minutes to get to the ER = 90 minute ambulance ride + however long it took you to call 911.

egrets
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by egrets » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:59 pm

Various places in New England. There are a lot of rural areas here and Boston hospitals are about an hour's drive away.

I live in Rhode Island, There are lots of wilderness areas. RI Hospital has a breast cancer center. Brigham & Women's has a cardiologists outpost at Kent Hospital in the middle of the state. Arrowhead Dental is a large, very good dental practice. The state is 40x60 miles, so you can easily get anywhere for healthcare.

egrets
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by egrets » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:02 pm

ballons wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:44 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Healthcare and hospital with an ER are two different things. I would be more worried about the latter.

45 minutes to get to the ER = 90 minute ambulance ride + however long it took you to call 911.
You seem to be assuming ambulances are dispatched from the ER. I think towns and cities have ambulances.

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MrBobcat
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by MrBobcat » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Slapshot wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:08 am
I like Montana. A friend moved to just outside Missoula and loves it. We were in Bozeman a few years ago and loved that. Both are college towns with every outdoor activity imaginable close by. And Bozeman has a good airport. Not familiar with the hospital situation, though.
I'm not sure Bozeman and Missoula qualify as the middle of nowhere, matter of perspective I suppose. Housing in both places are a bit pricey too IMO, Bozeman more so. Nice places though.

ballons
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by ballons » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:25 pm

Middle of nowhere is just the same old grass is always greener on the other side.

You go on vacation/visit there and think it is better than where you live. In 1-2 years you do everything that is possible and get burned out. You then start begging friends/family to come visit more often but they don't because of how much of a hassle it is to get there. Next up is demanding better internet because you are so lonely/bored. Next is "We need X to move here!" X = costco, aldi, or whatever you miss.

Go jump on zillow and see how many remote "house"/cabins with tons of land there are for very cheap. More often then not the house is unfinished and they abandoned whatever dream they had.

ballons
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by ballons » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:56 pm

egrets wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:02 pm
ballons wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:44 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Healthcare and hospital with an ER are two different things. I would be more worried about the latter.

45 minutes to get to the ER = 90 minute ambulance ride + however long it took you to call 911.
You seem to be assuming ambulances are dispatched from the ER. I think towns and cities have ambulances.
My uncle had a stroke last year in the middle of nowhere next to a small town (~1700 pop). This town has zero ambulance service (they lack the tax base). Ambulance service was dispatched from the city 30 minutes away turning that into a 60 minute wait to get the ER; this city has three hospitals and a huge well rated medical school. Do I know if the ambulance came from the ER? No, my point is it came from the city.

Big Worm
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Big Worm » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:13 pm

tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:16 pm
Big Worm wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:30 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Va Tech hospital is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I was referring to Virginia Tech the school and its med school being in Blacksburg. I live in Roanoke and am not familiar with a hospital called Va Tech being in Roanoke. There’s a large hospital system called Carilion and Lewis Gale. I know Tech and Carilion have a healthcare initiative building that’s in Roanoke.
I don't know where the students spend the first two years in the classroom but they spend the bulk of the next 2 years at Carilion. To get quality healthcare you would go to Carilion, not Blacksburg.

tashnewbie
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by tashnewbie » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:29 pm

ballons wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:44 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Healthcare and hospital with an ER are two different things. I would be more worried about the latter.

45 minutes to get to the ER = 90 minute ambulance ride + however long it took you to call 911.
Quality hospitals are in Roanoke, probably a 10-15 minute ambulance ride, depending on where you’re located.

tashnewbie
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by tashnewbie » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:32 pm

Big Worm wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:13 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:16 pm
Big Worm wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:30 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Va Tech hospital is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I was referring to Virginia Tech the school and its med school being in Blacksburg. I live in Roanoke and am not familiar with a hospital called Va Tech being in Roanoke. There’s a large hospital system called Carilion and Lewis Gale. I know Tech and Carilion have a healthcare initiative building that’s in Roanoke.
I don't know where the students spend the first two years in the classroom but they spend the bulk of the next 2 years at Carilion. To get quality healthcare you would go to Carilion, not Blacksburg.
Seems to be a lot of confusion about my post. OP, I apologize if that’s the case for you.

Roanoke has two great hospitals that are local and easily accessible if one lives in the city or probably even some parts of the county.

Blacksburg is a “big college town” that is 45 minutes away that is a research university and has a medical school. Virginia Tech has a lot of healthcare collaborative initiatives in southwest Virginia, at least one of which is in Roanoke. A lot of the med students probably do clinical rotations at local Roanoke hospitals.

livesoft
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:36 pm

Speaking of ambulances and the Middle of Nowhere ... A camping buddy keeled over in the Middle of Nowhere. Two of our party canoed upstream to where we had seen a backcountry ranger station which had no power and no roads to it. A ranger was actually there with a satellite phone. Ranger said, "No helicopter can reach us here, but if we have the ambulance roll, you will have to get your colleague somehow downstream where the road is, but you will have plenty of time because it will take the ambulance 6 hours to get there. And, of course, there is the 6 hours back to the hospital."
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lthenderson
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:28 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:36 pm
Speaking of ambulances and the Middle of Nowhere ... A camping buddy keeled over in the Middle of Nowhere. Two of our party canoed upstream to where we had seen a backcountry ranger station which had no power and no roads to it. A ranger was actually there with a satellite phone. Ranger said, "No helicopter can reach us here, but if we have the ambulance roll, you will have to get your colleague somehow downstream where the road is, but you will have plenty of time because it will take the ambulance 6 hours to get there. And, of course, there is the 6 hours back to the hospital."
Reminds me of an incident during my boat trip down the grand canyon. A fellow had a heart "incident" in late evening. Since it was dark in the middle of a deep canyon with no helicopter access to be had, we just told him to get some sleep and we'll try to do something when it was light out. The next morning we oared him several hours down the Colorado river to a remote wash with "road" access. I put the quotes around road because it required a four wheel drive jeep with a winch, jerry cans of fuel and 12 hours of spare time to get from the nearest paved road, down the wash to the river. We packed the man into the jeep and sent him on his 12 hour plus drive back up the wash. I never learned if he made it.

livesoft
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:06 pm

Scary. Our guy was fine the next morning and continued on with our trip.

Re: Grand Canyon, here's a screen grab from a video I took of an unexpected helicopter landing/take-off at Indian Garden while I was camped there.

Image

I think it is always strange to see a helicopter well below the rims of the Grand Canyon.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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CFM300
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by CFM300 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:09 pm

tashnewbie wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:32 pm
Big Worm wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:30 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school
Va Tech hospital is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I was referring to Virginia Tech the school and its med school being in Blacksburg.
...
Blacksburg is a “big college town” that is 45 minutes away that is a research university and has a medical school.
Virginia Tech's medical school for MD's is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg. VT does have an osteopathic medicine (DO) school in Blacksburg though.

tashnewbie
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by tashnewbie » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:20 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:09 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:32 pm
Big Worm wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:30 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school
Va Tech hospital is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I was referring to Virginia Tech the school and its med school being in Blacksburg.
...
Blacksburg is a “big college town” that is 45 minutes away that is a research university and has a medical school.
Virginia Tech's medical school is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I stand corrected on that point. My aunt graduated from med school at VT back in 2007 when it was still in Blacksburg. I see that it’s VT Carilion School of Medicine now, based in Roanoke, offering both MD and DO programs.

OP, good place to live with great access to lots of outdoors activities. Roanoke itself is about 100k people.

rossiFan
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by rossiFan » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:12 pm

Marmot wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:25 pm
Alaska in a heartbeat. Homer (I like) and for some reason Juneau (have not been there though).

Anywhere in the Yukon of course (whitehorse area). Out there, but not.
We (wife and I) have lived in Juneau since 2013 and love it here. Moved from Fort Worth Texas after getting tired of the concrete jungle and the searing Texas heat. We love it here but we likely won't retire here. Fairly high cost of living mostly because there are no roads that connect to the outside world... everything comes in by air or water. Travel outside to the lower 48 is expensive and flights/connections are limited. The fall is mostly rainy and windy and dimming day by day, the winter is mostly dark with short days but pretty when the snow starts sticking. The darkness here is compounded by the fact that we're surrounded by mountains so even when the sun is up there's a good chance you won't be getting direct sun.

But the spring/summers are glorious and well worth the other stuff. We can ride our bikes to the glacier in 20 minutes or go hiking/mountain biking from our house. Wildlife is abundant. We also have a Costco and a decent local hospital so it's not too "out there". You can choose to live out the road and feel like you're in the middle of nowhere but still be 20-30 minutes from town.

When we retire we'd like to be on a road system so we can some road trips without flying or taking a 3-day ferry trip. We'll still stay in the Pacific North West just because we like the rain forest vibe.

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:19 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:36 pm
Speaking of ambulances and the Middle of Nowhere ... A camping buddy keeled over in the Middle of Nowhere. Two of our party canoed upstream to where we had seen a backcountry ranger station which had no power and no roads to it. A ranger was actually there with a satellite phone. Ranger said, "No helicopter can reach us here, but if we have the ambulance roll, you will have to get your colleague somehow downstream where the road is, but you will have plenty of time because it will take the ambulance 6 hours to get there. And, of course, there is the 6 hours back to the hospital."
sounds a lot like a trip to parts of alaska...
plane might get there in a few hours, a boat would take most of the day, and you could try to hike out to (any version of) civilization in a couple of weeks!! :shock: needless to say, we were very cognizant of grizzly activity nearby... and remember that we only had to outrun the slowest of the group :twisted:

wfrobinette
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by wfrobinette » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:26 pm

tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).

I also agree with mountain towns in North Carolina like Asheville.
Lived there 2 different times. Once in my mid 20's then again in mid 30's. Roanoke itself has quality health care no need to go to Blacksburg. Several smaller communities surround the area and can be "middle of nowhere" pretty quick. You'll get 4 seasons but the winters are not brutal.

Plenty of other places in VA too. Eastern Tennessee(Chattanooga), NC, SC and down to GA are going to be an outdoor persons paradise. I wouldn't touch Asheville as it's getting over crowded and expensive.

Big Worm
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Big Worm » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:11 pm

tashnewbie wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:20 pm
CFM300 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:09 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:32 pm
Big Worm wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:30 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school
Va Tech hospital is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I was referring to Virginia Tech the school and its med school being in Blacksburg.
...
Blacksburg is a “big college town” that is 45 minutes away that is a research university and has a medical school.
Virginia Tech's medical school is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I stand corrected on that point. My aunt graduated from med school at VT back in 2007 when it was still in Blacksburg. I see that it’s VT Carilion School of Medicine now, based in Roanoke, offering both MD and DO programs.

OP, good place to live with great access to lots of outdoors activities. Roanoke itself is about 100k people.
No. VCOM is an osteopathic medical school that awards a DO degree. Va Tech Carilion is an allopathic medical school that awards the MD degree. The two schools and degrees are entirely distinct from one another.

tashnewbie
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by tashnewbie » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:19 pm

Big Worm wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:11 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:20 pm
CFM300 wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:09 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:32 pm
Big Worm wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:30 pm

Va Tech hospital is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I was referring to Virginia Tech the school and its med school being in Blacksburg.
...
Blacksburg is a “big college town” that is 45 minutes away that is a research university and has a medical school.
Virginia Tech's medical school is in Roanoke, not Blacksburg.
I stand corrected on that point. My aunt graduated from med school at VT back in 2007 when it was still in Blacksburg. I see that it’s VT Carilion School of Medicine now, based in Roanoke, offering both MD and DO programs.

OP, good place to live with great access to lots of outdoors activities. Roanoke itself is about 100k people.
No. VCOM is an osteopathic medical school that awards a DO degree. Va Tech Carilion is an allopathic medical school that awards the MD degree. The two schools and degrees are entirely distinct from one another.
Well, then I was partially correct originally when I said there is a med school at VT in Blacksburg. VCOM-Virginia is located on VT's campus in Blacksburg.

I don't think any of this is relevant to OP's question.

3feetpete
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by 3feetpete » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:32 pm

In the middle of nowhere a heart attack is almost certain death.

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LilyFleur
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by LilyFleur » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:08 pm

3feetpete wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:32 pm
In the middle of nowhere a heart attack is almost certain death.
This could be a positive.
In the middle of nowhere could prevent a miserable and expensive slow death of two years in a nursing home.
Perhaps middle of nowhere is better than my thought of buying a Harley if I make it to 80. :mrgreen:

Perkunas
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Perkunas » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:12 pm

wfrobinette wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:26 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).

I also agree with mountain towns in North Carolina like Asheville.
Lived there 2 different times. Once in my mid 20's then again in mid 30's. Roanoke itself has quality health care no need to go to Blacksburg. Several smaller communities surround the area and can be "middle of nowhere" pretty quick. You'll get 4 seasons but the winters are not brutal.

Plenty of other places in VA too. Eastern Tennessee(Chattanooga), NC, SC and down to GA are going to be an outdoor persons paradise. I wouldn't touch Asheville as it's getting over crowded and expensive.
How would Blacksburg/Roanoke or other areas that you're familiar with compare to a place like Asheville or Boone? I am familiar with the latter 2 but not the former.

I live on the NC coast but miss the mountains for cycling (both road and mtn), running, hiking, and skiing.

randomguy
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by randomguy » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:37 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:08 pm
3feetpete wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:32 pm
In the middle of nowhere a heart attack is almost certain death.
This could be a positive.
In the middle of nowhere could prevent a miserable and expensive slow death of two years in a nursing home.
Perhaps middle of nowhere is better than my thought of buying a Harley if I make it to 80. :mrgreen:
Or you could have it at 55 and miss out on 20+ years of active living:)

When you read through this there tends to be a big gap between
a) living in small town america. Sure you might have to drive an hour, but you are still pretty close to most of civilization. You can probably even get decent internet
b) living in the middle of nowhere. An hour drive gets you close to the road that takes you back towards civilization. Another 3 hours actually gets you there. And you get to learn the joys of satellite internet

Neither is really right or wrong but you sort of have to know who you are.

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ram
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by ram » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:47 pm

For the initial approx 40 years of my life I lived in big cities across 3 countries. For the last >10 yrs I am living in a relatively small town of about 25000. That was my definition of "middle of nowhere" when I initially came here. This is in north Wisconsin. We have more than 10 churches and more than 20 bars in town and a good hospital which is the place where people from more remote areas come for specialty care. I am one of the specialist physician in town and I know people whose back yards open onto lake Superior. Some of my patients live in towns where the summer population is 1000 and winter population 20. Some need 3 big dogs to go out for a walk to protect themselves from bears. Many of them show me pictures of Lynx and mountain lions that they saw on their walks. The better off people inevitably spend their winters in Florida, Arizona, California and Hawaii. Those with limited resources are frustrated with the amount of travel they have to do for medical care which for some is an 8 hour round trip frequently necessitating an overnight hotel stay during the shorter daylight hours of winter. Some of these people prematurely end up in less than ideal small town assisted living facilities when they have no family or friends to help them with routine things like snow cleaning. It is my opinion that only people with adequate resources should attempt living in remote areas, and preferably with another residence for part of the year. Many elderly people in remote areas are dependent on the kindness of neighbors and that is not how I would like to plan my retirement. (My opinion might be biased as I have to frequently call social services to get the elderly widow moved from her crumbling cottage in the woods to the assisted living facility.)

The OP should consider northern Wisconsin and upper peninsula of Michigan if he can accept the severe cold or consider it for 6 to 8 months of the year. Abundant hiking, biking, fishing, boating, snowshoeing, skiing and hunting.
Ram

maroon
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by maroon » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:46 am

randomguy wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:37 pm
Or you could have it at 55 and miss out on 20+ years of active living:)

When you read through this there tends to be a big gap between
a) living in small town america. Sure you might have to drive an hour, but you are still pretty close to most of civilization. You can probably even get decent internet
b) living in the middle of nowhere. An hour drive gets you close to the road that takes you back towards civilization. Another 3 hours actually gets you there. And you get to learn the joys of satellite internet

Neither is really right or wrong but you sort of have to know who you are.
This is a good point. I live somewhere in between a) and b), in an unincorporated area ~25 minutes away from the nearest small town. It's about an hour drive to the nearest Lowe's or "real" supermarket or hospital. And I do know the joys of satellite internet.

littlebird
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by littlebird » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:49 am

Thirty two years ago, when my now deceased spouse and I contemplated where in the desert SW ( that part of the decision was already made) we would live, we were very attracted to the middle of nowhere style, called “desert rat” living here. But we decided to go with the large “active senior” community, largely because of the proximity of healthcare.

When my spouse, who was extremely healthy all his life reached his early 90’s, he was hospitalized several times. The value of being five minutes from a large community hospital, enabling me to go back and forth several times a day, keeping an eye on him, while also attending to my own needs at home, cannot be overstated. And when he needed possible neurosurgery and the world class neurosurgery center was only 40 minutes away in “soulless Phoenix”, I was even more grateful.

Most of the patients in my spouse’s unit there had been helicoptered in from rural AZ and the adjoining 3 or 4 states, their spouses having hopped on the helicopter with the clothes on their backs and little else, or else driven for many hours with a bag packed and no place to stay, or stayed home altogether when the other two options were not feasible for them. The result in each case was extreme stress and distress for both patient and spouse. I was one of very few spouses who was able to visit each day, while not having to make frantic arrangements with neighbors and near-strangers to send clothes, feed the animals, find a room for them. And as for rehab and post- discharge visits, I just don’t know how they did it.

This is not to say that everyone should make the same decision we did, or that proximity to healthcare should trump all other considerations, but just that when healthcare is needed, like other things in life, it can be more dramatic and complex than it seems when contemplating it.

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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:35 am

ram wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:47 pm
For the initial approx 40 years of my life I lived in big cities across 3 countries. For the last >10 yrs I am living in a relatively small town of about 25000. That was my definition of "middle of nowhere" when I initially came here. This is in north Wisconsin. We have more than 10 churches and more than 20 bars in town and a good hospital which is the place where people from more remote areas come for specialty care. I am one of the specialist physician in town and I know people whose back yards open onto lake Superior. Some of my patients live in towns where the summer population is 1000 and winter population 20. Some need 3 big dogs to go out for a walk to protect themselves from bears. Many of them show me pictures of Lynx and mountain lions that they saw on their walks. The better off people inevitably spend their winters in Florida, Arizona, California and Hawaii. Those with limited resources are frustrated with the amount of travel they have to do for medical care which for some is an 8 hour round trip frequently necessitating an overnight hotel stay during the shorter daylight hours of winter. Some of these people prematurely end up in less than ideal small town assisted living facilities when they have no family or friends to help them with routine things like snow cleaning. It is my opinion that only people with adequate resources should attempt living in remote areas, and preferably with another residence for part of the year. Many elderly people in remote areas are dependent on the kindness of neighbors and that is not how I would like to plan my retirement. (My opinion might be biased as I have to frequently call social services to get the elderly widow moved from her crumbling cottage in the woods to the assisted living facility.)

The OP should consider northern Wisconsin and upper peninsula of Michigan if he can accept the severe cold or consider it for 6 to 8 months of the year. Abundant hiking, biking, fishing, boating, snowshoeing, skiing and hunting.
Thanks for sharing this. You raise some important points about the challenges of small towns/rural areas later in life. I don't think a lot of people plan for long term needs (or can't due to finances as you noted.) It was sad to hear about you having to call social services for the woman but I imagine this happens frequently.

But similar challenges also happen in more urban areas (albeit plenty of hospitals/good medical access). I have a friend in his mid 70's and he and his wife have been in their house for 45+ years. After 2 joint replacements, underlying chronic issues and his wife needing a knee replacement after 2 bouts of cancer, I worry about their choice to stay in their home even though it is not built for this phase of their lives (all living space is on the 2nd floor up one narrow flight of stairs so they can't install one of those stair lifters if they needed to). Also they have a huge lot which requires a lot of yardwork/upkeep which they refuse to hire out. While they are doing ok now, one serious health issue from now, they could be in trouble. No children to help in the future. Logically, it seems they should consider moving to a one-level home with no stairs (I worry about falls since that is how he broke his hip 7 years ago, falling on ice) but that seems to be a low probability event for several reasons. :(

They could easily afford to move or at least spend winters in Arizona, etc. but they don't like to travel anymore. Sometimes challenges at this stage of life aren't financial but personal preferences.

retire2022
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by retire2022 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:30 am

BrooklynInvest wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:04 pm
Great question!

Me, I've loved tine spent in remote locations. The lack of light pollution and a telescope and I'd be able to entertain myself for ages snd learn some stuff.

BUT I'm not sure I could do it 12 months a year. Remoteness + winter weather and short days get me down. I'd need to split my time between quiet solitude where the weather was good and my city life when it's less so.

Different strokes eh?
+1

Op
I wrote about my upstate property story more on this link below:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=276265#p4447032

I own 89 acres In the Catskills in a town (2800) and have an apartment in NYC.

I would concur with Brooklyninvest

There are big box stores near my vacation property 13 miles away, most places need a population a certain size in order to sustain rural living.

I have not been on the property this summer as there been concerns regarding my safety during Covid and me being a minority.

Medical care is not accessible as in NYC although I was able to get to my chain of optometrists in one day two years ago when my frame broke.

My property did not set me back, but finding contractors and local help been a challenge. One needs to take that into consideration before deciding to seal the deal.

It took me six years to find this property, using Zillow.

I found some brokers were less than helpful. The one I finally closed the deal with worked out.

nigel_ht
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by nigel_ht » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:44 am

egrets wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:02 pm
ballons wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:44 pm
tashnewbie wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:48 pm
What about someplace like Roanoke, Virginia? Very close proximity to many mountains in the Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Trail, access to quality healthcare (Virginia Tech is 45 minutes away and has a medical school; many healthcare initiatives are being started in Roanoke).
Healthcare and hospital with an ER are two different things. I would be more worried about the latter.

45 minutes to get to the ER = 90 minute ambulance ride + however long it took you to call 911.
You seem to be assuming ambulances are dispatched from the ER. I think towns and cities have ambulances.
Still round trip and response time concerns. My place is 15 mins from the nearest firehouse with one ambulance. If the EMTs are out then who knows how long before they get here. The hospital itself is a 20 min drive.

Pretty much figure on missing out on any golden hour care.

btenny
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by btenny » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:11 am

Be careful what you wish for. My friends lady friend just sold her middle of nowhere retirement home. It had been for sale for 4+ years since her husband passed away. She found there was just little demand for big expensive remote homes. This widow was only in her 50s and her husbands passing was early and unexpected. The sale price was several $100K below their costs and initial asking price. She loved the home and stables and 20 acres. But she was lonely by herself and decided to do charity work to keep busy. So this meant a 30 minute drive to town every day and hiring helpers to come out to the spread for various projects. All the constant driving back and forth just go to be too much for her so she decided to sell.

So choose and think about your plan carefully.... Good Luck.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:57 am

LilyFleur wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:08 pm
3feetpete wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:32 pm
In the middle of nowhere a heart attack is almost certain death.
This could be a positive.
In the middle of nowhere could prevent a miserable and expensive slow death of two years in a nursing home.
Perhaps middle of nowhere is better than my thought of buying a Harley if I make it to 80. :mrgreen:
I had the same thought.

A close friend began discussing his retirement plans with me years ago. He and his wife decided to stay in their same city primarily for healthcare access. As he aged and his health deteriorated, he had access to plenty of physicians and LTC facilities but he was never satisfied with the care he received from any of them.

Although hardly anyone would choose to move where I live for access to healthcare, I am quite satisfied with the experiences I have had and anticipate no lack of acceptable care in the future. My friend would have been no worse off here than in his city. Of course if you need a trauma center immediately ...

OldBallCoach
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by OldBallCoach » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:15 pm

Anywhere near Yellowstone...Wyoming has great tax rates and when it comes to outdoors I know of no place better...I have 900 acres that we will be building on in the next few years and plan to spend a lot of time in the area...sold our Florida condo so its go time now...will be 100% off grid and easy flights to anywhere from there...Enjoy!!!

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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:20 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:11 am
Be careful what you wish for. My friends lady friend just sold her middle of nowhere retirement home. It had been for sale for 4+ years since her husband passed away. She found there was just little demand for big expensive remote homes. This widow was only in her 50s and her husbands passing was early and unexpected. The sale price was several $100K below their costs and initial asking price. She loved the home and stables and 20 acres. But she was lonely by herself and decided to do charity work to keep busy. So this meant a 30 minute drive to town every day and hiring helpers to come out to the spread for various projects. All the constant driving back and forth just go to be too much for her so she decided to sell.

So choose and think about your plan carefully.... Good Luck.
Interesting. 4+ years is incredible (wonder if the price point was an issue).

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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:23 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:15 pm
Anywhere near Yellowstone...Wyoming has great tax rates and when it comes to outdoors I know of no place better...I have 900 acres that we will be building on in the next few years and plan to spend a lot of time in the area...sold our Florida condo so its go time now...will be 100% off grid and easy flights to anywhere from there...Enjoy!!!
Beautiful part of Wyoming! I always wondered if the Teton/Yellowstone and surrounding area was less windy than the other parts of Wyoming. :happy

Barkingsparrow
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by Barkingsparrow » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:39 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:15 pm
Anywhere near Yellowstone...Wyoming has great tax rates and when it comes to outdoors I know of no place better...I have 900 acres that we will be building on in the next few years and plan to spend a lot of time in the area...sold our Florida condo so its go time now...will be 100% off grid and easy flights to anywhere from there...Enjoy!!!
What will you do in the winter?

ballons
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by ballons » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:56 pm

randomguy wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:37 pm
When you read through this there tends to be a big gap between
a) living in small town america. Sure you might have to drive an hour, but you are still pretty close to most of civilization. You can probably even get decent internet
b) living in the middle of nowhere. An hour drive gets you close to the road that takes you back towards civilization. Another 3 hours actually gets you there. And you get to learn the joys of satellite internet

Neither is really right or wrong but you sort of have to know who you are.
"Who here has retired somewhere out of the way in the woods, and who might have thought that way previously and reconsidered?"

The OP is talking about b) and those that did that.

randomguy
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by randomguy » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:23 pm

ballons wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:56 pm
randomguy wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:37 pm
When you read through this there tends to be a big gap between
a) living in small town america. Sure you might have to drive an hour, but you are still pretty close to most of civilization. You can probably even get decent internet
b) living in the middle of nowhere. An hour drive gets you close to the road that takes you back towards civilization. Another 3 hours actually gets you there. And you get to learn the joys of satellite internet

Neither is really right or wrong but you sort of have to know who you are.
"Who here has retired somewhere out of the way in the woods, and who might have thought that way previously and reconsidered?"

The OP is talking about b) and those that did that.
Are they? I have seen tons of suggest places (see Blacksburg or Bozeman for example) that are definitely in the A camp and not the B camp. If you live in NYC you might consider Blackburg in the middle of nowhere. But compared to the towns 50 miles west into mountains, we are talking about a major city.:) For what the OP listed as reasons for moving, small towns seem like a much better match for what they want. Go 20 miles outside the town to some forest and your good to go.

brajalle
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by brajalle » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:57 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:00 am
Nicolas wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:14 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:05 pm
I loved the PBS special about Dick Proenneke's life. :happy
I did too, he was quite a guy. I’m not sure I could live alone for thirty years, I bet his stress level hit negative numbers. I remember he said he didn’t hear about Bobby Kennedy’s death until months after it happened, not until his next supply plane arrived, he didn’t even have a radio. He said he didn’t think people needed to know the news. Sometimes I see his point.

Also it was so interesting watching him build that cabin and even making his own tools.
If you haven't read the book based upon his journals, you should. Excellent read. "One Man's Wilderness". Another good book along the same line is "An Island To Oneself". I have both books in my library downstairs.
It's fairly difficult to find a hardcopy of Tom Neale's book - they average $100 or more used when I last looked. I got one as a gift for cruising friends after they visited Suvarov and have an electronic copy - it's a good read. As Tom mentions in the book, his friend, Robert Frisbie, was a writer, and his books are good reads too on the culture & islands of the area - one even recently got republished (Puka Puka).

OldBallCoach
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by OldBallCoach » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:54 am

Barkingsparrow wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:39 pm
OldBallCoach wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:15 pm
Anywhere near Yellowstone...Wyoming has great tax rates and when it comes to outdoors I know of no place better...I have 900 acres that we will be building on in the next few years and plan to spend a lot of time in the area...sold our Florida condo so its go time now...will be 100% off grid and easy flights to anywhere from there...Enjoy!!!
What will you do in the winter?
I suppose we could go back to our place in SW MIchigan on Lake Michigan...but why...Winter near Yellowstone is amazing. You should visit in winter sometime.

btenny
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by btenny » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:13 pm

Old BC. Where are you planning on building? Near the plowed road for winter access?
Or back in the woods for peace and quiet? I live in Tahoe part time and have been to Yellowstone in winter. It is absolutely beautiful and quiet. Mostly no people and no access. The animals even hide out. You need a big long range snow mobile to get around. Too much snow to plow. Are you sure you will stay there in winter?

The reason I ask is this remoteness and big winter snow is one reason why my lady friend took 4 years to sell her home.... Her place was high in the California mountains and north so lots of winter snow and way off major roads.

Good Luck with your plans.

retire2022
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by retire2022 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:34 pm

btenny wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:13 pm
Old BC. Where are you planning on building? Near the plowed road for winter access?
Or back in the woods for peace and quiet? I live in Tahoe part time and have been to Yellowstone in winter. It is absolutely beautiful and quiet. Mostly no people and no access. The animals even hide out. You need a big long range snow mobile to get around. Too much snow to plow. Are you sure you will stay there in winter?

The reason I ask is this remoteness and big winter snow is one reason why my lady friend took 4 years to sell her home.... Her place was high in the California mountains and north so lots of winter snow and way off major roads.

Good Luck with your plans.
Oh that is so true, which me thinks of the movie the "Shining" by Stanley Kubrick see link: https://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandcul ... ow-in-film

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lthenderson
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Re: Middle of Nowhere Retirement

Post by lthenderson » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:03 am

brajalle wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:57 pm
It's fairly difficult to find a hardcopy of Tom Neale's book - they average $100 or more used when I last looked. I got one as a gift for cruising friends after they visited Suvarov and have an electronic copy - it's a good read. As Tom mentions in the book, his friend, Robert Frisbie, was a writer, and his books are good reads too on the culture & islands of the area - one even recently got republished (Puka Puka).
I bought mine used 20 years ago for probably less than a dollar and have kept it all these years. I had no idea is was worth that much. I think I'll keep it awhile longer.

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