How did you choose a location to retire?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
vested1
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by vested1 »

emoore wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:23 pm
vested1 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:35 am We wanted to live on a lake and spent at least a decade looking at different locations in a number of states. When one of our daughters moved with our granddaughters and great granddaughter to a southern state we started looking there. We couldn't believe the low prices for real estate. The equity we had built over 25 years in our previous home in CA allowed us to pay in cash as well as furnishing a much larger house with 100' of lakefront and purchasing all the lake toys we wanted. We've been here a year and a half.

The downside is the weather. Everyone here pays close attention to the weather forecast, for good reason. Storms are almost biblical at times. Our town receives an average of 48 inches of rain in a calendar year. We had 84 inches in 2020. It rarely snows and never stays on the ground for any length of time. It's hot and humid for about 3 months, cold for about 3, and pleasant for the remainder. We had accepted the fact that we would be battling the bugs constantly because we had encountered them while renting here, but that hasn't turned out to be the case in our new home. A quarterly treatment for $85 is very effective, and the rare bug we see is dead (maybe 3 a year). We left perfect weather on the central coast of CA, but since our previous home was tiny, buying a larger one there with the proceeds of the sale was impossible. Buying a lake home in CA requires ownership of a hedge fund.

The upside is that we are now the place where all family and friends want to visit, and all are welcome. COVID ended that temporarily but we expect visits to increase tremendously when this is all over. In the meantime, a glass of wine with my wife at sunset on the dock while feeding the turtles is the fulfillment of a dream.
Sounds like an awesome place. What lake?
Lake Hartwell. 50,000 acres with almost 1,000 miles of shoreline and the 3rd cleanest lake in the state behind #2 Lake Keowee which adjoins Lake Hartwell, and #1 Lake Jocassee. Lake Jocassee is like a more intimate lake Tahoe. It's located about an hour from our home, and boasts gigantic trout. We live on a cove about 200' across at our dock, and can see the expanse of the lake widening rapidly about 1/4 mile away from the dock looking west. We see tournament bass fishermen in our cove whenever there is a Bassmasters tournament or similar event. We feed the fish/turtles every day. We used to feed the deer until they became a nuisance, but still feed the birds from several feeders.
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22twain
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by 22twain »

HomerJ wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:25 am
vk22 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:58 pm Informative thread! thank you

why do most folks include college town as one of the factors? Are you going back to school?
Taking classes can indeed be fun, but college towns have a ton of activities even if you don't audit a class or two.

Sports, theatre, music, various public lectures and speakers, etc.
Also, if the "college" is a Big State U with a medical school, you have good medical facilities nearby.
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Wilderness Librarian
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by Wilderness Librarian »

HomerJ wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:25 am
vk22 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:58 pm Informative thread! thank you

why do most folks include college town as one of the factors? Are you going back to school?
Taking classes can indeed be fun, but college towns have a ton of activities even if you don't audit a class or two.

Sports, theatre, music, various public lectures and speakers, etc.
I would also add to this the overall energy and vibrancy of the community, pleasantness and economic stability combined with the ebb and flow of activity in accordance with the academic calendar. Summers are often casual and easy going with reduced traffic and activity, start of the fall semester brings renewed energy and enthusiasm, Christmas breaks are peaceful and serene and spring brings an urgency to go outside and be physically active.

I grew up in a college town and moved back to family home after retirement. I do not want to grow old with zillions of people around me talking about their prescription meds and wonderful grandchildren.
Cruise
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by Cruise »

Living close to universities in retirement is becoming so popular, a market has developed such that the universities are leasing land for retirement communities:

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/plannin ... mmunities/
sofarsogood
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by sofarsogood »

To those who want to test drive a retirement destination by renting 6 months to a year, what do you do with the primary residence? Keep it empty or sell and store household belongings? Rent it out short term? I retired in 2018 and DW will retire this year and we are considering moving out of state.
ubermax
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by ubermax »

We're New Englanders and are use to the change in season , we've adapted as we age , DW more than me - our son and family including our 3 grandchildren are in Vegas , only like it to visit , not enough green there - our daughter and family including 2 grandchildren are in Boston where the seasons look they do here in CT - we decided to retire and stay in CT - except for last year , we spend a month near the ocean in SC every year - but dear wife ands I aren't totally on the same wavelength , I' d like to rent a place in Fla for 4 months every Winter , DW thinks a month in SC is sufficient .

My message - as a couple approach retirement have discussions , one party may still have to bend more than the other but you adapt there too and move on :(
vested1
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by vested1 »

sofarsogood wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:25 pm To those who want to test drive a retirement destination by renting 6 months to a year, what do you do with the primary residence? Keep it empty or sell and store household belongings? Rent it out short term? I retired in 2018 and DW will retire this year and we are considering moving out of state.
We sold our home in CA and used UPack for the move. We intended to rent for 6 months to a year and were going to rent an unfurnished house, using the furniture we had kept and keeping the rest of it in their garage. UPack made a mistake and gave us an extra 30 days (60 total) of storage to make up for it. We found a great home in that time so lucked out in not having to rent or lease for a year. Because we found a house so quickly we didn't need to unload and reload our belongings multiple times and didn't have to pay for storage, but unpacked the 28' trailer from UPack only once at our new home. We also had relatives that we stayed with about 4 hours from our target area for a week at a time while we were looking. We used Air B+B and similar to do short term rentals.

We had made multiple trips before selling our home in CA however, and knew where we wanted to settle before we sold in CA. We lined up agents and looked at homes during those trips. We also brought a lot of listings with us, printed out from the internet for those trips. The house we eventually bought was one of those that we had identified previously before arriving.

It was the last showing of the day, one that my wife insisted on going to, and one that I had discounted because, from the pictures you couldn't see the lake. She loved the pictures of all the upgrades that had been done however and wore me down. There was no mention of the lake view on the listing, which was a marketing mistake, as you could see the lake from the house, something not all that common on a Corps of Engineers lake because of their restrictions on cutting trees. There was also a flat walk to the lake, not mentioned in the listing, yet another marketing mistake, as most houses on our lake don't have that. Because of those mistakes there were few showings and we got the house for a bargain, 25k below the already lowered asking price. We also asked for and were granted some of the existing quality furniture (beds and dressers) and a golf cart.
phxjcc
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by phxjcc »

1. Elderly relative that was the last living relative. PERIOD.
Lasted 8 years; priceless memories. EXCLAMATION POINT.
2. After that....winter house climate; hot/dry, no bugs, no snow.
3. Proximity to premium health care. 2 hrs max.
3. Summer house climate: cool, dry, no bugs, no rain, close to beach.
4. Both reasonable costs.
5. Both places flat barometric pressure conditions. (Weather induced migraines)

Done.

5-10 years I will have to choose one.
Am completely on the fence as to which one.
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HomerJ
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by HomerJ »

phxjcc wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:55 pm 1. Elderly relative that was the last living relative. PERIOD.
Lasted 8 years; priceless memories. EXCLAMATION POINT.
2. After that....winter house climate; hot/dry, no bugs, no snow.
3. Proximity to premium health care. 2 hrs max.
3. Summer house climate: cool, dry, no bugs, no rain, close to beach.
4. Both reasonable costs.
5. Both places flat barometric pressure conditions. (Weather induced migraines)

Done.

5-10 years I will have to choose one.
Am completely on the fence as to which one.
I suggest winter house...

Hot summers where you stay inside all day are better than cold winters where you stay inside all day...

For two reasons.
(1) Stuck inside on a hot summer day, at least it's bright outside, with a blue sky. Stuck inside on a cold winter day, it's grey and dreary outside (although the first snow is always pretty - tenth snow, not so much)
(2) You can go outside in the evenings and at night in a hot summer area and be comfortable. You can't easily go outside in a cold winter area.
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vitaflo
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by vitaflo »

vk22 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:58 pm Informative thread! thank you

why do most folks include college town as one of the factors? Are you going back to school?
After several multi-month road trips around the US, my wife and I have put college towns on the list of things to look for when we move in retirement (which is coming up here in a few years).

A few reasons are colleges bring things like the arts, programs, etc to town, as well as the extra energy a university brings. If it's a school with a medical program it brings a hospital as well, which is important especially if it's in a smaller town.

But the other thing we noticed on our travels is that most of these college kids need jobs to help pay for school, and at least in the college towns we've visited, you tend to get good service from college student employees when out and about, whether it's at restaurants, stores, etc. The only other places we've found this to be really true is resort towns, which we'd also love to live in but are obviously much more expensive.
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vitaflo
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by vitaflo »

HomerJ wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:42 pm I suggest winter house...

Hot summers where you stay inside all day are better than cold winters where you stay inside all day...

For two reasons.
(1) Stuck inside on a hot summer day, at least it's bright outside, with a blue sky. Stuck inside on a cold winter day, it's grey and dreary outside (although the first snow is always pretty - tenth snow, not so much)
(2) You can go outside in the evenings and at night in a hot summer area and be comfortable. You can't easily go outside in a cold winter area.
On #1, I feel like at least where I live it's more sunny in winter than summer (upper midwest). Maybe because it get so cold here (sometimes too cold to snow) the sun comes out more? But at the same time, in the winter I leave my blinds open to get all that sun to come in because it warms the house up (free heat). In the summer the blinds are shut so I'm not paying outrageous energy bills. So I sometimes like stuck inside in winter more, cuz I actually see the sun more often! Nothing like warm winter sun shining on you in the house when it's below zero outside.

Agree with you on #2 though.
jlawrence01
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by jlawrence01 »

Cruise wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:49 am Living close to universities in retirement is becoming so popular, a market has developed such that the universities are leasing land for retirement communities:

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/plannin ... mmunities/

There is a possibility that a lot of this "luxury student accommodation" that has been built adjacent to college campuses will be converted to senior housing as students find out that they can do much of the learning from remote locations.

Just a thought.
7eight9
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by 7eight9 »

We are stuck in Las Vegas until international borders open. It isn't the worst place to be. It isn't too cold (although this morning was 43 according to the car which is kind of miserable). We are keeping the house at 73 degrees but night requires two blankets and a comforter.

If we were to stay in the United States Las Vegas would be under consideration as well as Palm Springs. We really don't appreciate the cold at all. Given a choice, Bangkok/Khao Lak or Ho Chi Minh City/Da Nang would be the preferable.
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pezblanco
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Re: How did you choose a location to retire?

Post by pezblanco »

vitaflo wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:34 pm
vk22 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:58 pm Informative thread! thank you

why do most folks include college town as one of the factors? Are you going back to school?
After several multi-month road trips around the US, my wife and I have put college towns on the list of things to look for when we move in retirement (which is coming up here in a few years).

A few reasons are colleges bring things like the arts, programs, etc to town, as well as the extra energy a university brings. If it's a school with a medical program it brings a hospital as well, which is important especially if it's in a smaller town.

But the other thing we noticed on our travels is that most of these college kids need jobs to help pay for school, and at least in the college towns we've visited, you tend to get good service from college student employees when out and about, whether it's at restaurants, stores, etc. The only other places we've found this to be really true is resort towns, which we'd also love to live in but are obviously much more expensive.
Just to strike a slightly contrarian note. There is a big difference between being a college town and being a town/city with a college in it. After living in college towns for most of my life, I'll just say that you can have them, but not for me anymore.

People like to talk about the great lectures and the fantastic arts that they are going to enjoy in the college town they're bound for. My experience with that is that a little of that goes a long way. University departments are so wrapped up in their specialties that there really isn't THAT much done for the general public. The vast majority of lectures at a university are given for specialists.

The supposed "energy" I think is way overrated at least it is for me. There is a lot more energy but that isn't necessarily a good thing. What I remember is that some neighborhoods (usually those near the campus ... known as student ghettos) become unlivable due to the noise, the drunken college students carousing in the downtown, etc. Lots of bad, cheap, restaurants (hamburgers and pizzas anyone?) abound to serve the penurious students. If sports are big for that college, god help you, as you will have even more of the above but include the returning alums.

The only real advantage I can think of is the ability to take classes at the college/university. Depending on policy these can be free or at very low cost. There is so much available now on the internet that I think even this advantage is now steadily eroding.
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