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My search for the (almost) perfect retirement climate
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scottp



Joined: 01 Jan 1970
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:20 am    Post subject: My search for the (almost) perfect retirement climate Reply with quote

I'm from the Northeast (Rochester NY), and I'm looking for a climate that is in the 20s at the lowest in the winter, and in the mid-80s (ok, maybe upper 80s) with low humidity in the summer. In addition to this primary criteria, I'm also looking to spend no more than $250K on a 3 Bd / 2 Ba single family home, with cost of living less than or equal to the National Average, and a reasonable crime rate. (And San Diego is too expensive for my budget ...BTW).

I originally thought my ideal retirement spot would be the Blue Ridge Mountain area of NC or Tenn. I've even done some serious looking at Fairfield Glade, TN, and have an offer to spend a week down there to kick the tires. (I'm an avid golfer.) But I'm not a big fan of heat, and especially humidity in the summer. Heck, there are a lot of days in the summer here in Rochester that I moan about.

So lately I've been focusing on the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado and Northern New Mexico because of their very low humidity. I'm even poking around in Oregon, which seems to have a lot less summer humidity than you'd guess. (I love the mountains and mountain scenery ... just as long as they can also lay out a golf course ! Very Happy )

So the purpose of this thread is to try to tease out the area of the country that best meets these requirements. I'm hoping to generate a lot of discussion that will appeal to a wide range of (prospective) retirees. I'm sure there's alot of you out there in the same boat. I intentionally did not add recreational activities (well, ok, I mentioned I golf), because I was hoping this could be an out of the box discussion more based on climate in general.

See my next post for what I've got so far ...


Last edited by scottp on Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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scottp



Joined: 01 Jan 1970
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a lot of research, I've got a few towns on my radar now ...

Canon City, Co: I was originally looking at the Colorado Springs area but wanted some place that looked a bit warmer in the winter, and I stumbled across this town.

Hood River, OR: Just a little east of Portland. Close enough to take advantage of the big city, without being in the big city. Just wondering if any locals can comment on the reputation for Oregon to be on the damp and dreary side. The climate info I've seen doesn't seem to suggest that.

Rio Rancho, NM: Basically a suburb of Albuquerque, but it just looked a little nicer to me.

Let's hear what you have and why.


Last edited by scottp on Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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topretirementseditor



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Thanks for your discovery thoughts Reply with quote

Thanks so much for starting this thread.I am sure there are hundreds if not thousands of other visitors to this site who are going through the same discovery process as you. I hope they will share their findings, and we can all learn together. Also, thanks again for suggesting that we review Hickory, NC. Glad to have learned about this interesting town in western NC, certain to be a good retirement spot for a lot of people.
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Ginnylee



Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

l610024 wrote:
After a lot of research, I've got a few towns on my radar now ...

Canon City, Co

Hood River, OR

Rio Rancho, NM (Ok, this one stretches the real estate rule)

Let's hear what you have and why.


I've lived in Portland, OR area most of my life, now across the river in Vancouver, WA. I'm on the same quest as you, I'm tired of the gray, damp, lots of rain days. (Of course, it's blazing sun as I write this - trying to make me feel bad).
Hood River has awesome wind surfing and less rain than Ptld. Oregon is hard to beat for beauty (when it's nice) and there is much diversity in landscape & activity - Eastern OR is dryer and more desert like. It's close to the ocean, which is a huge plus for me. So why would I think about leaving? The many long, dreary, overcast, damp days. You can't really plan any outdoor activity with the assurance of good weather until end of June through end of Sept. That's not to say there aren't lots of other wonderful days, but you can't count on them.
Being a "snowbird" seems to be the best answer for this area I think. Still looking...............Gin


S
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    scottp



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 38

    PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ginnylee wrote:

    I've lived in Portland, OR area most of my life, now across the river in Vancouver, WA. I'm on the same quest as you, I'm tired of the gray, damp, lots of rain days. (Of course, it's blazing sun as I write this - trying to make me feel bad).
    Hood River has awesome wind surfing and less rain than Ptld. Oregon is hard to beat for beauty (when it's nice) and there is much diversity in landscape & activity - Eastern OR is dryer and more desert like. It's close to the ocean, which is a huge plus for me. So why would I think about leaving? The many long, dreary, overcast, damp days. You can't really plan any outdoor activity with the assurance of good weather until end of June through end of Sept. That's not to say there aren't lots of other wonderful days, but you can't count on them.
    Being a "snowbird" seems to be the best answer for this area I think. Still looking...............Gin




    Gin - thanks for your insight. (As you can see, I edited my first "reply" post before I read this.) Why not take a look at some of the towns I mention and stay tuned to this bat channel to see what others have to offer.
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    win2354@comcast.net



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 4

    PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I live in Norhtern California moving here from Portland. Now that I am retired I'm looking at Reno as a place to relocate. The weather is close to your requirements. They do have some beautiful golf courses there and if you have a need for diversity the area has it. I like the size of Reno, it's reputation for medical services, and the University Campus. I've looked into Oregon as well. The farther east you go the more sun and fewer people. I have lived in North Eastern and Southern Oregon as well as Portland. Medford/Grants Pass area holds some interest, but it can get hot in the summer.
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    scottp



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 38

    PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Win" - Reno looks like a nice suggestion. I'm definitely adding it to my watch list.

    Since you have some knowledge of Oregon, what can you tell me about La Grande, OR or that area? A co-worker of mine mentioned the area, and it seems to fit my basic criteria. The only drawback I see so far is it's a long way away from any decent sized airport, so would make travel more cumbersome. Real Estate is VERY cheap though.
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    win2354@comcast.net



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 4

    PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    La Grande is a nice place. Winter can be cold and roads a real challenge including the road to the airport. It has a nice College Campus and the air is clear. You are a distance a city of any size. La Grande is one of those places where you might want to spend a few weeks before you decide to move. I like more diversity than I think I can find there so it hasn't been on my watch list.
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    Robert Dambrauskas



    Joined: 12 Dec 2010
    Posts: 3

    PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I'm also from Rochester, NY and looking for a retirement destination.
    Have you looked at Prescot Arizona? It looks like it has a lot to offer...
    Bob
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    win2354@comcast.net



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 4

    PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I don't know much about Prescott, however some places in AZ have the 4 seaseons and it may be one of them. I was in Peroria, AZ area in November and liked it. I think it's elevation is lower. Since I grew up in snow country, for me a good place for snow is on a Christmas card, so that figures into my search. Even though places like Reno gets snow I've been there enough to see what it has to offer socially and have used the transit system to get to some of the events. Sometimes I would rather not drive, park, etc. Before retirement, work occupied the bulk of my time so having venues to fill that void is also important to me. It depends on what you and yours want your lifestyle to include.
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    scottp



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 38

    PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Win" - thanks for the update on La Grande. That seems to lineup with what I've seen about it, but it still seems worth keeping an eye on it.

    Bob - I've definitely looked at Prescott. The climate there looks great. However, my notes say the real estate seemed a bit more pricey, and that it gets a lot of snow ! Unless, of course, you know if it snows and then immediately melts. In which case, it's got a strong case to get back on the watchlist !

    "Win" - Peoria = too hot for me in the summer, but everyone's different.
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    2putz



    Joined: 20 Dec 2007
    Posts: 29

    PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject: Goldilocks climate Reply with quote

    Scott - thanks for starting this discussion. As i see it, it is very hard to find the perfect year round (goldilocks) climate. You are on the right track with eastern OR, Reno, northern Arizona. You could add to that places in NM like Albuquerque or Alamagordo. But inevitably you will find the extremes of winter and summer might be uncomfortable - unless you retire to Hawaii. I love it there but the wife thinks it's too far from home and too expensive, which it is. Climate hardly ever changes in Maui. I agree with your recommendation - if your intention is to retire to 1 place full-time, spend some time there in both the cool and the hot season to see if that's ok with you.
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    setabt



    Joined: 15 Apr 2007
    Posts: 1

    PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reno -55+ gated communties? Reply with quote

    Also looking at the Reno area. Any suggestions for active 55+ communities? Thanks!
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    retirehappy



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 2

    PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Wher I've been, Where I'm looking Reply with quote

    I'm a beach type person & lived in Myrtle Beach (liked MB better) & Gulfport. I currently live about 27 sth of Birmingham, Al. Like it here but would rather be closer to the beach. Maybe Dothan, Al or Fl Panhandle. I've been to Edgewater, Fl several times & really like it there. It's about 25 Sth of Daytona (GO NASCAR). We get some snow here but it doesn't last long, however we do get freezing rain/sleet & ice I could do without. Gives us snow days. I was born & raised in WV & back then snow days were something we never had. Very Happy
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    geaudy1103



    Joined: 01 Jan 1970
    Posts: 1

    PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Where I've Been, Where I'm Looking Reply with quote

    My criteria is sunshine, mild weather,dry climate and not too expensive. I have been researching retirement locations for about four years. I had a list of places to visit in Arizona and New Mexico. In Feb 2009 I went to New Mexico and visited about 10 retirement communities from Sante Fe all the way down to Carlsbad N.M. I made notes and came back to Boston and my picks dwindled down to 5 and then 3. Las Cruces and Carlsbad N.M were top choices because they had more sunny days and the temperature is always 10-15 degrees warmer than Albuquerque. I followed the weather all through the year and I decided on Las Cruces. It was 75 degrees when I visited in February. It does snow but it melts quickly after the sun comes up. The 55+ community I chose had manufactured homes on rented lots. That was then now I am thinking I don't want to own I just want to lease and revisited N.M. Nov 2010 to see 5 leasing communities in Sante Fe, Albuquerque and Rancho Rio. Nice places, all inclusive meals, housekeeping, activiities, etc. Disappointed none in Las Cruces or further south. Have a little time left but have to decide soon.
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