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Retirement 101: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

— This article was updated in February, 2020 —
May 22, 2012 — This article will provide a retirement guide and review of 4 southwestern states that are very popular for retirement: Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. At the end we list all of the various region and state comparisons we have developed in the past.

A Few Facts
In contrast to states in the Northeast and Midwest, all of these states are growing fast. Arizona is by far the most popular of these states for retirement. It is also the most populous with an estimated 2018 population of 7,171,646. Utah was next in size with 3,161,105. Growing fast, the estimated 2018 Nevada population was 3,034,392, and New Mexico’s population was the smallest at 2,095,428. The age statistics suggest that Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico are much more popular for retirement than Utah: 16.2% of the AZ population is 65 and over, in Nevada that percentage is 14.6%, New Mexico is next with 13.4%, and Utah is much younger with only 10.3% of the population in that age bracket.  Population and income data is from American Fact Finder-U.S. Census Bureau.

Economics and Home Prices.
All of these states have recovered from the housing bust of 2008. At $350,841,  Utah’s 2020 Zillow Home Value index is now considerably higher than all of these states.  Arizona’s Index was $270,320 in 2020, well above what it was 2 years earlier, and higher and climbing faster than in  New Mexico’s $204,856. The Nevada Home Value Index stood at $302,437.

Within each state there are big price differentials. Scottsdale (AZ) was the state’s priciest Metro at $421,200. Santa Fe was New Mexico’s most expensive Metro at a value of $311,400. Salt Lake City tends to have the priciest homes in Utah with a Zillow index of $281,400 (but the probably more reliable NAR median sales price was $361,000 in late 2020). According to the NAR the Las Vegas Metro median home price was $313,300 in late 2019.

The median household income in Arizona was $53,510, higher than New Mexico’s $46,718, but below Nevada’s $55,434 and Utah’s $65,325.

Being at the same latitude, Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Nevada tend to have similar climates, although New Mexico’s greater altitude makes it a bit more temperate in summer and gives it more snow in winter. Utah is more northerly and at higher altitude, making it cooler with lots of winter snow in the mountains. All four states have a desert to semi-arid climate. The northern part of Arizona tends to be a higher plateau and thus is cooler than the southern part of the state. The eastern part of New Mexico is lower and more in the Great Plains that its mountainous west. Humidity tends to be low in all. All of these states have mountain peaks well over 12,000 feet.

Tax Environment Comparison
Nevada is the the tax-friendliest of these states (see state and local tax burdens below). Arizona exempts social security and some pensions from state income tax. Nevada has no income or dividends tax, no estate tax,and no inheritance tax. Utah and New Mexico tax Social Security. The data below is from the Tax Foundation and For more detail about taxation and other information about each state see our mini State Retirement Guides.

New Mexico

Tax Burden

 Avg Inc Tax 
5% flat rate

State Sls Tax*

Med Prop Tax

*Localities may add additional sales taxes

New Mexico

Tax Soc Sec

Taxation of Pensions
Yes, in-state & milit. exempt
Yes, most milit. exempt


Places to Live by State
Arizona State Guide
The Phoenix area has the biggest retirement population. Most of the towns around the Phoenix area are suburban and tend to be characterized by new growth. The city’s size exploded after World War II, engulfing neighboring farm towns like Glendale in the process. During the buildup that led to the 2007 housing bust development occurred in communities farther and farther out from the center – places like Goodyear, Surprise, and Buckeye to the northwest – and Gilbert, Chandler, Apache Junction, and San Tan to the southeast. The old and affluent suburbs like Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, and the college town of Tempe were less affected by the recent buildup. Over-development in the outlying areas helped lead to the bust, and that real estate hangover caused Arizona’s real estate prices to crash, although they are mostly recovered now.

On the plus side, the Phoenix area is loaded with nice places to live – both towns and active communities. Many have a large assortment of amenities. The Sun City communities are well established and huge, although many of them have an older population.

Northern Arizona
In our opinion some of the nicest places to live in Arizona are in the northern portion of the state among its cooler hills, pine forests, and mountains. Real estate prices reflect that – they are considerably higher than in the Phoenix area.

Prime towns for retirement are artsy and beautiful Sedona (at left) , the old wild west town of Prescott, and Flagstaff, which was America’s film capital before Hollywood. Of all the towns in northern Arizona, by far the greatest choice of active communities is in the Prescott area.

In the northwestern part of the state is another group of less know towns. Those include Kingman, Lake Havasu City, and Bullhead City. Real estate is generally much less expensive than elsewhere in northern Arizona. If you live in these towns you will be closer to Las Vegas than Phoenix.

Southern Arizona
The area along the Interstates between Phoenix and Tucson and down to the Mexican border also has its interesting share of retirement towns and communities. Casa Grande is the closest one to Phoenix. Tucson has many fans for its beauty, warmer winters, the University of Arizona, and mountains. Communities around it like Oro Valley have their attractions as well. Lastly, almost in Mexico are Bisbee and Green Valley – one of the largest retirement places on earth, with close to a dozen or more communities within it.

Southern Arizona is obviously a lot hotter in the summer and warmer in the winter. Much of it is serious desert, although there are plenty of mountains to enjoy. Birdwatching and golf are two popular activities. The farther south you go, the further you are from the mainstream U.S.

New Mexico State Guide
This less populous state does not have that many choices for retirees. The most desirable towns are concentrated in a few pockets of the central portion of the state. Albuquerque, located near its center, is by far the biggest city with the most retirement communities to choose from. North of that is the arts town of Santa Fe, the most affluent town in the state. The popular ski resort of Taos (shown here) is also located in the northern part of NM.

In the southern portion of the state retirees are attracted to towns like Ruidoso, Las Cruces, and Alamogordo. This area of the state tends to be warmer and closer to west Texas. For the most part the towns are beautiful, but isolated.

Utah State Guide
Utah is the youngest of these 4 states and perhaps (so far), the least oriented towards retirement. It has a younger and fast growing population and a vital economy (along with a lot of tourism). Utah also has a significant (60% according to Wikipedia) population that belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which many non-Mormons feel uncomfortable about. That concentration varies by area – it is much less in resort towns like Park City and booming retirement towns like St. George. Much of the state is uninhabited, with most of the population centered within an hour of so of Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City, Park City (above) and Ogden, located in the north, are both great towns for folks who love the outdoors. Although there are some 55+ communities in these towns, you are more likely to find developments or neighborhoods that are not active adult communities. The outlier in the state for retirees is St. George, which is very close to Arizona in geography and feel. Along with Zion National Park, it has by far the most active communities of any Utah town.

Nevada. The Las Vegas area including Henderson is bountiful in 55+ retirement communities, hosting many more than in Utah or N.M. Mesquite, NV also has multiple retirement communities and is continually building more.

Comparisons and Observations
Arizona is by far the most popular state for retirement of the four. Topretirements has reviews of 37 retirement towns for Arizona, but only 14 towns each for New Mexico, 10 in Utah, and 8 in Nevada. Our site has reviews of over 150 Arizona active adult or 55+ communities, compared to 60 in Nevada, 50 in New Mexico and 40 in Utah.
New Mexico has the least expensive real estate.
From a tax standpoint for retirees Nevada is the best choice, since it has no income tax. Arizona is next, with no tax on Social Security and the lowest income tax (although the highest property tax rate).

For further reference:
State Retirement Guides
Gulf Coast Retirement: Sun, Tax-friendly, and a Lower Coast of Living
Retirement 101 Mid-Atlantic States: MD, DE, VA, NJ
Florida Retirement 101
Dueling Carolinas: NC vs. SC
Dueling States Mid-South: TN, GA, KY, AL
Dueling States: Arizona vs. Florida
California Retirement 101
The Mountain States: CO, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY
The Pacific Northwest: Oregon vs. Washington

Comments? We and all your fellow members love to know what you are thinking. Please share your thoughts about retirement in these 3 states in the Comments section below.

Posted by John Brady on May 22nd, 2012


  1. I live in Northern AZ, close to the CA border, in Bullhead City (BHC). There are 3 huge lakes within 45 minutes drive, and the Colorado River. Laughlin with its casinos is less than 10 miles away. Between BHC and Laughlin, there is just about all the dining choices you would have in a major city. Entertainment choices include most of the traveling acts that go through Las Vegas, about 1.5 hours away. It can get hotter than heck here, but my combined electric, gas and water bills for a family of 3 are less than $150/month, even during summer! The house I bought is 7 years old, about 1700sf, mint condition, on a paved landscaped street, with sidewalks and streetlights, at $125K. Gasoline is between $.40 and $.50 less per gallon than in CA. Los Angeles is about 3 hours away. I have seen 2 flies in the house this year, no mosquitos and no cockroaches. I am pretty satisfied with my move from CA for the moment.

    by Steve — May 23, 2012

  2. I’ve lived in Arizona for 14 years, both before and after retirement. I spent a goodly amount of time in the Phoenix area, and moved up to the White Mountains in 2009. Flagstaff is beautiful, but expensive, and cold in the winter. A less expensive four-season town is Show Low, near where I live. Prescott can be spendy, has lovely winters, but will still be hot in the summer. Smaller towns in the same general area with a similar climate are Camp Verde and Cottonwood. Payson, at the west end of the Mogollon Rim, has cooler summers than Prescott, and warmer winters than Flagstaff.

    The water supply is also a factor in desert Arizona, so some research in that area is valuable. Water rationing can be a factor in drought conditions. Arizona is beautiful with its mixture of desert and mountains, red rocks and the white cliffs near Camp Verde, the grass lands of SE Arizona and the Saguaro forests mid-state.

    by Treesaht — May 23, 2012

  3. […] of Florida retirement towns and active communities Part 2: Best Florida Region for Your Retirement Retirement 101: Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah Dueling Carolinas: Which is the Best Carolina for […]

    by » Florida Retirement 101: The Sunshine State is Bigger and More Diverse than You Might Think Topretirements — June 3, 2012

  4. […] California Retirement Towns and Active Communities State Retirement Guides Florida Retirement 101 Retirement in the Southwest Comparison Dueling States: Arizona vs. Florida Dueling Carolinas Posted by John Brady on June 26th, 2012 […]

    by » California Retirement 101: More Diverse Than You Think Topretirements — June 26, 2012

  5. This is a very helpful topic for my wife and me. We’re going to retire in AZ in two years or so. Most likely PHX area, most likely East Valley.
    Any advice for a couple wanting a patio type home, a 55+ community, not so much a “resort” type with everything from soup to nuts…..but a pool (to attract visitors), a gym and a community building. We’re not looking for 3 pools, a golf course, woodworking rooms, jewelry making room, etc, etc.
    I think I like the newer part of Mesa, my wife is not sure. We visited for a week recently, looked around, talked to a realtor, but really got no where.
    Any city/town/suburb recommendations? We don’t want city center, but want to be close enough to make use of events, shows, theatre and such.
    We’re coming from the Chicago area. Any spacific communities we might want to investigate?
    I’m thinking renting for 6 months to take a closer look might be a good option….yes?:shock:

    by Dave C. — June 27, 2012

  6. I was told that basements in AZ is not typical, and would like to find out if anyone knows which towns/cities (if any) in AZ can you build a new home with a basement. Does anyone know?

    by George — October 1, 2012

  7. George – basements aren’t common in AZ because the land is rocky and hard to dig out. You can do a search on for homes with basements this will tell you where a basement is possible but you’ll find most of them are built into the side of a sloping hill or above ground, backfilled and graded.

    by doug061363 — October 2, 2012

  8. George, I live in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, and you can find a few with basements, and you can build one with it. However, the majority of homes here do NOT have basements! This is an article on basements in Phoenix..

    by Holly2381 — October 2, 2012

  9. We looked all over these 3 states in a four year search in most all the areas you list in this article, which I think gives a nice overview and is pretty accurate. We finally settled in Green Valley 14 years ago and obviously are very happy with the choice. We spent a considerable amount of time looking into virtually every 55+ active community around at that time, including all the Del Webb communities, Robson communities, and smaller ones as well. We spent time searching communities, climates, general info and access to cultural recreational, shopping, etc., in St. George, Utah, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Ruidoso, Las Cruces,all over Phoenix, Tucson, Laughlin, Casa Grande, Silver City, Flag, White Mountains, Bisbee, Yuma, Prescott, Payson, and probably some I can’t remember anymore. We know people who retired in many of these areas and have discussed pros and cons with them over the years. Of course, we believe Green Valley is the best bet for us for a number of reasons, but we found things to really attract us in many of these other locations, too, so I would be happy to share my perceptions and information I gained in our searches and discussions with acquaintances who reside there, if there is someone interested in my comments. Some might be a bit dated by now, but I would be happy to comment if I feel I can be pretty accurate about it.

    by mike t — December 2, 2013

  10. I would like to know more about what you found Mike T. Am doing research now for our retirement in 1 to 2 years.

    by kathy o — December 3, 2013

  11. mike t could you please comment more on Green Valley

    by Denise — December 3, 2013

  12. HI Mik,
    Please tell me about the weather in Green Valley. It is pretty far south and it seems as if it ma be just plain way too hot! But here in the East we always hear about how hot it is in Phoenix. Is this the hottest part of the state? My son and his wife lived in Fountain Hills for a few years and then their professional jobs took them to San Antonio, TX, and now to Charlotte, NC.
    I have thought about Sedona area, but it is way expensive. There are some decent places in Cottonwood, Verde Valley area. Just curious?

    Thanks,Elizabeth in NY~

    by Elizabeth — December 3, 2013

  13. Hi everyone. Mike T is right about checking places out first if you can. My husband and I spent several years coming to AZ on vacations, and then for the winter before we found that we wanted to live full time in Prescott/Prescott Valley. We are happy with our choice as well. One thing to understand about the Southwest, is that elevation plays a huge factor in temperatures. When I started doing research, I would check elevations, etc. Some folks do well in a warmer climate, other folks like it a little cooler. Some folks like to have 4 distinct seasons, others don’t. Most towns now have websites that offer good general information, and I always used to try to read any newspapers that happened to be online. Once, I took the Ajo, AZ newspaper for a year, just getting a feel for that area. It is not a bad idea to take a look at real estate listings and rentals in an area, to see what prevailing costs might be. Just some ideas. There is lots of information out there, but an onsite visit is the most fun. Happy hunting.

    by Janet — December 3, 2013

  14. Janet, that makes sense… been doing research online and plan on vacationing in the areas we are interested in just to get a feel. Plus, talking with people I know who are planning or are retired there. Been looking at homes for sale and comparing it to where I currently live. I live in a hot climate now and what I like to call centrally isolated as I live in a valley 18 miles from a free (which is major in California).

    by kathy o — December 4, 2013

  15. Sorry not so responsive to these couple of questions. Since I live in such a retirement playground here in Arizona, I have been so busy playing tennis, mountain biking, and playing pickleball (that’s a game you ought to research for exercise in retirement…it’s for everybody), plus some sports dates I had made at the university this past week that I haven’t been on the site for a while.

    I first of all do not want to throw around biased reporting of Green Valley just because of I have lived and loved it here for 14 years now. Yes, I think it’s great here, but I will try to give facts with the negatives included as I see them for this area to try to answer that inquiry. Then I will try to give information from my searches elsewhere in the Southwest. I’m just one person, but I was a writer here in Southern Arizona for eight of those 14, so I have interviewed literally hundreds of people, including Native Americans, immigrants and Border Patrol, cowboys, business people, historians, artists and athletes, and so on, you name it, and of course a majority of retirees who live or have rented in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, in my journalistic travels. I will try to draw upon my memories of my conversations with them, too, to try to be more unbiased about my perceptions. I warn those who like blog brevity than I can go on and on, but I guess I have seen a lot since retiring here from Michigan in 99.

    Green Valley is a unique small town logistically in that it does not have a typical urban center. It is instead a series of neighborhoods with three different shopping areas dividing it from north to south…about a 25 minute drive up the freeway to Tucson, which has a major university, lots of live theatre, pretty good restaurants, usual bigger city shopping malls, but some upscale boutique style stuff, a safe downtown with decent entertainment options and festivals, a good airport, plenty of good hospitals, some rundown neighborhoods here and there, some gang activity in certain areas, not really very difficult traffic issues for the most part (in fact you would find pretty friendly drivers compared to most bigger cities),not enough freeway so a lot of driving on surface streets, though it’s easy to find one’s way around. Gas is cheaper than the rest of the country, and enough competition and variety of shopping choices to keep costs pretty low for most things. Both Green Valley and Tucson are surrounded by mountains and as you drive the 30 miles south to Green Valley you will note it seems to get greener…there are pecan groves and lots of palms and mesquite and palo verde trees and saguaro cacti. Yes, it’s desert with cactus and scrub and open sky with no tall buildings, but the thousands of residents and dozens of businesses landscape their places which adds to a less barren look than elsewhere in this area. You will see that in the east valley of Phoenix as well, but that is an urban look and feel and this is a distinctly rural and small town feel, and since the observatories here want low light, it feels even more non-urban at night, especially since it is almost exclusively a retirement town so you have to go to Tucson for nightlife unless it’s just a dance or party sort of thing for the most part. You can go to a concert or play or bar, but it’s local and small town feeling and not late for any nightlife. What struck me most when I first looked at it was it’s beautiful open country with majestic mountains, although there is copper mine to the west that can detract from all that. Some might not like that, but I guess I don’t really notice it that much anymore.

    Climate: GV is at 3k feet so is nearly ten degrees cooler on summer evenings than Tucson. Daytime temps in the summer are still hot about the same as Tucson, 8-10 less than Phoenix, but you generally find it easy to be outside till 11 and after 6 in dead of summer, where Phoenix is freaking hot 108-115 not uncommon for days on end and it does not cool off at night. June is hottest daytime here, 100 or so high each day, but cooler mornings and nights and July then starts to get humid (not Fla humid), but still in the 90s and some 100s with some gully washers through August till it cools fairly well by mid September. Rain storms can get heavy, but usually only about an hour or so, then cools off things. Summers can be tolerated okay, much better than Phoenix or Tucson, if you go to the pool or stay inside in mid day a lot and do other things then. Sunny most all the time and astronomers love it at night. Sunsets can be outstanding. It is dry, so you use lotion and always sunscreen and a hat and sunglasses. Rarely use windshield wipers or coats and no snow except in the mountains. Winters get a few overnight freezes so plants are covered and sometimes over the holidays it can be 50s daytime for a while, but usually sunny means you can still be out for most activities (you can tell I love talking about this place). Spring can be windy sometimes, but not like the plains, though you can get a dust storm here and there. Oct 1 to Memorial Day seems like best weather I have seen anywhere other than SoCal, except for Christmas to Jan 20 or so, which can be very unFlorida like cool and cold at night–down into the 30s generally overnight and cold daytime to me 50s and 60s, not to visitors from the north so much. They seem to think it’s warm.

    Demographics and lifestyle: Lots of old people, but most are very active. Lots of HOA’s with rules, but that also means no run down neighborhoods in the whole town. Quiet, quiet, quiet. You can shop for most things you need right here. Every economic situation from manufactured home park to condos to townhomes to big homes with big views of the mountains. Most of the neighborhoods are age restricted, so you will not see young people around very much unless you go to sister town Sahuarita, which has two high schools, or into Tucson. You would have to like being around mostly retirees almost all the time. Homes are very nicely priced, and you can get anything you like, but it’s tract housing for the most part, so builders are the usual corner cutters. You can get 2 b, 2bath from 1200 to 1600 in older const. in nice quiet neighborhoods from 90 to 160 depending on garage, outdoor space, view, location, etc. or you can go to luxury 18k on up in the usual 200 to 400 range depending again on property, location, extras, etc. You can rent easily, too. It’s quiet and safe virtually everywhere.

    Got a tennis match, so will add more later on the border, the recreation, the attitude/politics, services, things to do, the art community, and then my thoughts about Phoenix vs here and NM and Utah vs here on our time in searching and deciding if it’s helpful and as long as anyone is interested.

    by mike t — December 9, 2013

  16. mike t, very helpful and informative information on GV. Thank you and look forward to the rest of your comments.

    by Denise — December 10, 2013

  17. You are no so wordy Mike T……you just explain yourself fully, and that is helpful. I look forward to your post-tennis match comments on Phx and surrounding areas. I happen to be moving to the northeastern section of Mesa in September/October, 2014, so I am particularly interested in your experiences and impressions. I have already purchased a patio home in a small 55+ gated community in Mesa….so our move will happen soon.
    Your comparisons of lifestyles, communities, attitudes and the like are very interesting, and actually very insightful. I can tell you are a writer….so keep it up! Many of us are appreciative of the time you spend sharing your thoughts with the rest of us. :cool::

    by Dave C. — December 10, 2013

  18. Mike T, thanks for the helpful info on Green Valley. What about the water situation? Is there going to be water at a decent price 10 or 20 or 30 years on, or will the aquifers all be used up?

    by Pat J. — December 10, 2013

  19. Well, thanks for the kind words. Will try to give honest insights concisely if I can and avoid commenting on things I’m not certain about.

    Going further with GV specifically, interaction with others is important to most in retirement since you will leave old friendships and family, so another unique aspect of living in a retirement “town” like this, as opposed to a retirement community in a big city like Phx or Tucson, is the striking difference re backgrounds, education, economic history, etc. Sometimes in a “community” it’s an easily read common theme with that…if you really generalized, which I realize is dangerously open to backlash on what you say, you could say in a “country club” type of atmosphere (I found that kind of feel looking into Robson’s communities….doesn’t mean people weren’t very nice and friendly, etc. and that everybody was welcomed it seemed to me)I think you can expect most to be coming from more “upscale” backgrounds, used to and expecting finer top drawer facilities, and maybe more looking for that lifestyle, but in GV you find quickly that the retired bus driver is often living next door to the retired CEO, depending on the neighborhood, and certainly use of recreational facilities means you might be playing tennis with him or her. I liked the Robson choices (Pebble Creek, Sun Lakes, Quail Creek down here) and they do have great facilities and sometimes a relatively younger demographic, but they did seem to me to be more geared toward folks looking for the CC or “resort” style living, which is fine. GV, on the other hand, is a town with manufactured home neighborhoods all the way on up to luxury homes and each home pays a ridiculously low annual fee to use what you want to use (17 tennis, 7 pickleball, 13 pools, 8 gyms, bocce,table tennis, racquetball,woodwork, lapidary, clay, cpu,arts, dance, music, hiking, biking, photo, etc, etc., you get the picture)located all over the town. You have to be willing to drive or bike usually a few miles to get to things, unless it’s one of the rec centers in your neighborhood. This is also an issue for shopping. Some neighborhoods are at least 3 or 4 miles to a gas station, store. The freeway runs thru the town, and if you locate close you will hear traffic noise. On the other hand, it makes it often easier to get back and forth to places. Most neighborhoods are close to a gym and pool and tennis court, but if you are into photography, say, you might have to drive four or five miles to the studio to do your thing.

    It is nice to have a “family town” right next door, so you will see all ages in stores and restaurants, but your neighborhood will likely be just 55+ and you will be surrounded by old folks a lot, which means it could more easily bore you to live here if you are not into the recreation and clubs or crafts and hobbies, etc., but it also means it’s really really peaceful and quiet all the time. The majority are politically conservative, I would say, but there are many more on both sides of the political fence than you would find in places like Sun City, for example. Not much of a minority presence, a little bit, but there is a Latino influence everywhere in this area that is very friendly and seamlessly interactive. There are border issues that people talk about here, but in my opinion they do not have a direct effect on the quality of life here. If you bike in the desert and hike in the mountains, as I do, you will see evidence and Border Patrol presence, but it just has not become a part of daily living in this town. It is a very quiet and peaceful place with most neighborhoods ungated, but there is no question that there is illegal immigrant traffic that comes through this valley.

    Summarizing my pros and cons for Green Valley…pros: 3k feet elevation means you can live fairly easily year round if you use pools and AC in summer mid day, beautiful open country surrounded by mountains, unparalleled recreation facilities, golf, hiking, biking, walking for low costs in sunny weather almost every day of year, variety of backgrounds of people, very very peaceful small town living with no traffic or other crowd hassles, lots of hobbies, clubs, social activities, pretty inexpensive for most everything, including most housing, most anyone can fit in (although it is mostly white middle class and upper middle class), very close and easy access to a great small city with some night life, cultural activities, good medical, and a major university, close to San Diego and close to great mountain retreats in AZ and NM that are much cooler….cons: 100-104 average for much of the summer, freeway runs through the center (though it’s not heavy traffic), very little diversity by race, except for Latino, not much nightlife, closer to the border issues, water is not a problem now, but there is discussion about it so it needs to be looked at, might be too casual, laid back, boring, quiet, unstylish, whatever you would call it (it’s a long long way from Scottsdale), the copper mine is an eyesore to the west sometimes, more churches than bars, not really a great restaurant, old people with old thinking sometimes, if you know what I mean, medical care here but hospitals in Tucson only, although a small one is being built now, shopping is pretty much Walmart tho stores are coming.

    I hope that provides some insights on those looking into Green Valley. It’s not for everybody, obviously. We settled on it because we wanted small town living close to a city, lots of sunshine for outdoor activities we like, and the low cost of living and lack of hassle and traffic. If we were into more indoor things and wanted good restaurants and nightlife and bookstores, coffee shop around the corner, walk downtown, and shopping and those kinds of things to do, we would not live here. If we were not okay living around older folks, we would not live here. If you can’t stand heat, don’t live here year round, although probably 50 to 60 percent use this as a winter home only, Oct thru April or May, and many of us travel, or go to the mountains or San Diego in the summers.

    That is one nice thing about where Dave C is going. Mesas is a great jump off point to head to the White Mountains and Rim Country in the summers. You can be up at 20 degrees cooler in less than 2-3 hours depending on where you go. I can speak about those areas, too, as we have a cabin in the Whites.

    You did not mention the community, Dave, but I can guess which one, and if so you will like the small but active lifestyle with that one. Sometimes a 55 active like Sun Lakes, for example, which is down in Chandler, not far from you, can be overwhelming. It’s so big. Very nice, but lots of things you might never use, and probably not as laid back as where you are going if I am guessing right. I would like probably the smaller more intimate community as long as there were enough things to keep me occupied…I’m kind of a jock. You will be also close to the lakes up in the Tonto area, the Superstitions, Scottsdale for shopping and dining and cultural, nice easy access to the airport, ASU is close by for tons of things to do, and Mesa has a great small airport for some summer getaways to Wyoming, Montana, etc. We liked the east valley for many of those reasons, although we did like Pebble Creek in the west valley very much, too, since it’s closer to California places we like plus some other things out that way, but that’s another story. I already went on and on with this one. Hope it provided some insights for those still searching.

    by mike t — December 10, 2013

  20. Just moved to St. George, UT. from WI

    Completely happy with our decision.

    Have been welcomed by everyone.

    Love the outdoor activities.

    Housing very reasonable.

    No doubt the right choice for my husband and I

    by Carol — December 10, 2013

  21. Would agree with Carol on St. George. We spent some time there. Active outdoor seniors living in lots of sunshine and can tolerate the summers, though it is hot in summer. Plenty to do, very friendly, lots of great recreational facilities. Zion is close and so is Cedar City for summers in the pines…quaint little quiet place not a long drive north with Shakespeare and a nice university and some art galleries, etc. St. George is a real mecca for active retirees who love outdoors and plenty to do with those who have similar interests.

    by mike t — December 10, 2013

  22. […] A while back we wrote an article about retirement in the great American Southwest – “Retirement 101: A Guide to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah“. Recently the comments to this article were rejuvenated when member Mike T volunteered to […]

    by » Due to Popular Demand, Mike Shares His Insights about Green Valley and Other Best Places to Retire in the Southwest Topretirements — December 16, 2013

  23. Sorry Pat J. Some cookies were preventing me from getting back into the site to answer your about water in Green Valley, Arizona.

    I hesitate to give the impression that there is a clear and easy answer to the water issue here, plus a lot depends on who you talk to or what you read, so it’s not fair to give the reader an answer like, “You will be buying a house in a area where there is a definite risk of losing the water supply one day,” nor is it fair to say,” There is never going to be a water problem here.”

    The up side seems to be as follows: Green Valley is part of a water replenishment district and there are albeit limited CAP water facilities that can be used when needed, plus we have a winter run-off agreement with the Apaches. Golf is somewhat on the decline or at least very flat, and probably any new course is going to be true desert landscape anyway. Green Valley itself is very limited in what likely will be any future growth. It is going to be hard to find new building here for much longer unless it’s in Sahuarita, and most newer and remodeled homes are much more efficient on water use anyway. Pretty much all of Southern Arizona has always been pretty good about keeping desert landscape which uses much less water. The replenishment rules for the most part are being used to make the case that we will be okay for decades to come. Not sure when or even if it will, but the plan is to try to bring more CAP replenishment potential further south of Tucson. Water is pretty reasonably priced, although ironically it has been seeing increases over the last few years because we all keep using less and less and when demand is down, the price gets increased. The stories about polluted water seem to be just pretty much stories. Never have seen evidence of it.

    The down side seems to be as follows: Copper mining uses a lot and a new mine is being proposed nearby, although they appear to be applying stricter rules on replenishment than those “grandfathered in.” The proposed mine is spending a lot of money already on the concern and have been trying to make the case that they will put back whatever they take. Will it happen that way? Most of the mining interests from what I can see are unobligated when it comes to water replenishment and use, and we have a very pro corporate state government. The farming and mining do seem to have their hold on what they want and need. Southern Arizona has been experiencing a 14 year drought and only this past summer has there been much hope it’s going to end soon. This is a desert.

    A good bottom line is that one should ask about it before buying and read all you can and form a opinion as to how much of a real “risk” our water issue is going to ever be in your lifetime.

    by Mike T — December 16, 2013

  24. What about Albuquerque. It seems to be getting a lot of kudos as a great retirement location. Does anyone on this forum live in Albuquerque, or retired to Albuquerque from another location? This forum seems to focus on the southeast and Florida, which I personally do not have much interest.

    by Bubbajog — December 17, 2013

  25. I would also like to hear from anyone retiring near Albuquerque or Santa Fe. It does seem that New Mexico taxes seniors more than other states…but again would like to hear what people who have retired there have to say.

    by Lynn — December 18, 2013

  26. My wife and I are planning to retire to New Mexico from Long Island in about a year. We have been to the three 55 and over active communities around Albuquerque. Jubilee in Los Lunas; Alegria in Bernalillo and Sunrise Bluffs in Belen. We have visited each community twice and are leaning towards Jubilee. We have been to Albuquerque in the summer, winter and fall and enjoy the change in seasons. Being close to Albuquerque is a plus. Best pizza; Giovanni’s.

    by Basil — December 18, 2013

  27. Thank you Basil for the info. What made you decide on New Mexico for retirement?

    by Bubbajog — December 18, 2013

  28. Well Bubbajog I guess there is not just one thing to pin it down to. My wife and I have in and through every state West of the Mississippi twice as we both love the West for its fantastic beauty and open spaces. Mostly on our secend trips we would ask each other could we live here; meaning where we were at the time. For myself I might have picked Durango; too cold for too long for my wife and too expensive for both of us. The Albuquerque area gave us the four seasons we wanted as well as the city fix we needed at a modest cost. It also gives us a jumping off place to travel the West.

    by Basil — December 19, 2013

  29. Basil,
    Did you look at changes in your cost of living (taxes and the like) when you made your choice. I know that New York has a high cost of living. How about New Mexico and other places you looked at?

    by Lynn — December 20, 2013

  30. Lynn,
    Coming from Long Island and just 18 miles from Times Square we are very used to a fairly high cost of living and for two salaried workers all these years it hasn’nt been easy. We always spent within our means; I’m waiting for this big box tv to implode so I can get our first flat panel. Don’t get me wrong I’m not crying poverty by any means; we have had many good times in the past. We can aford to retire here but we want more than to just get by; we want to LIVE! Our hard earned bucks will go a lot further outside this area. We will actually be upsizing into our first real home from our 850sq ft CO-OP apartment. Santa Fe is a lovely city but expensive; we will visit from most likely Jubilee in Los Lunas. I realize where your coming from really matters cost wise I met a woman who was downsizing to a 4300sq ft home; blew my mind but for her it was an issue; finally a garage/man cave I felt good.

    by Basil — December 21, 2013

  31. Thanks Basil,
    We moved from Maryland (high taxes and cost of living) to Florida, which has low taxes and inexpensive housing. Our dollar goes further here than back in Maryland. But we are looking to move on in a few years and New Mexico is on our list. It appears, though, that New Mexico has rather high taxes, compared to Arizona and Texas, for retirees, but the housing costs are low. But, as you say, some areas are more expensive than others.

    by Lynn — December 22, 2013

  32. Just returned from our second visit to Prescott AZ. Trying to decide if that is our retirement spot. As we would be relocating from Central Virginia, between Richmond and Charlottesville, this will be a big change. comments on Prescott from those already there would be appreciated.
    Thanks for moving the discussion away florida.

    by Sandie — April 2, 2014

  33. I spent nearly 20 years living in an active adult community north of Tucson, and eventually it became unaffordable due to stupid actions by the insider clique running it most of the time. Be very wary of moving into any large HOA dominated community, especially private ones, because over time their expenses will increase and you may or may not have a say in the matter. You are also on the hook for completely taking care of the streets and other facilities within the community, and that gets very expensive as confirmed by the regular annual assessments and automatic dues increases.
    Finally, if you like being told nearly every move you can make on the exterior of your home and yard, than you are ready for one of these communities.Otherwise, avoid them like the plague.

    by Sheldon — April 2, 2014

  34. I moved to Phoenix in 1980 and now I’m retired. I investigated many options to relocate to a cooler climate but the cost of living in those areas was not affordable in my specific financial situation (2008 was a killer for me). Consequently, I’ve made the decision to move out to the “east valley” to either east Mesa or Apache Junction allowing me to be closer to nature and still close enough to city amenities. Both of these cities have many 55+ active retirement communities. Many of these communities require a monthly HOA fee to maintain the streets, community center, golf course, and all the other activities mentioned above. Noteworthy … Recently, there was an incident in Mesa where the person in charge of the HOA money took off and moved out of state with all the funds. Now that community is struggling with maintaining the streets, etc. So in addition to the prohibitive cost of monthly fees (for me) the issue of management of the HOA funds must be investigated. There are a lot of very large communities 1000+ homes, but also some smaller ones with only 300 – 400 homes. Personally, I prefer the smaller communities so I will have a sense of a neighborhood lifestyle. Most communities have heated pools and hot tubs. There are many that have the golf courses and all the other high end facilities. If you like to golf there are many, many golf courses in Mesa. I could go on and on since I’ve been investigating and driving through many of the communities, but I’ll stop now and hopefully I’ve given you more to consider in making a move into a 55+ active community. By the way, we’re having a beautiful sunny day with an assume blue sky!!! Have a great day!!

    by desertrayn — April 2, 2014

  35. Oops, forgot to mention that most of these communities are land lease. I prefer to own the land, but of course, that’s my choice. There are some land owned communities, it’s just a bit more difficult to find them, but they do exist.

    by desertrayn — April 2, 2014

  36. I spent some time in fall of 2012 looking at all 3 states and many of the areas talked about. I liked Prescott more than any other town I looked at BUT the traffic there was a pain, especially on the weekend. In general I found the climate in all 3 states a little too hot even for me(from PA)in the summer. I am currently now looking in the North Carolina area.

    by Ray — April 2, 2014

  37. This is to anyone out there knowledgeable of the Robson Ranch communities, but mainly Pebble Creek(PC) in Goodyear. Please share some good and bad points. My wife and I currently live in Mass. and are considering PC. Thanks,

    by Ronald — April 2, 2014

  38. the thing that is not talked about is car and RV registration fees, which I have found to be HIGH in AZ.

    by randy — April 2, 2014

  39. I live in the southeastern part of AZ, not too far from Sierra Vista, which offers good shopping. low cost of living, the best weather at 4500-5000′ elevation, one 55+ development, but is run by a bunch of old Army types who think they just tell folks what to do! Plus the area has the poorest medical care in the state. So some good, some not so good. Each has to know what they like now, and what they might need in the future!

    Yes Tucson is only 90 minutes away, (or close to others like Green Valley) but forget about anyplace but the UofA medical, as the Tucson Medical Center, huge and a joke when it comes to care, is not where you want to go. Too many folks have had poor care there, yet all the TMC does is run a big lottery every year to raise more money for poorer care. Never seen a hospital tin cup more than the over priced, under care, for profit Tucson Medical Center.

    It seems that most “younger” retirees forget about medical care…like the availability of doctors, specialists, and quality hospitals with quality people, while those of us “older”, 70+, are a bit more concerned about healthcare and less about nightlife, restaurants, HOA fees, and the like.

    As soon as I can sell my custom 2005 home on 8 acres and a beautiful horse barn, views of 3 mountain ranges,( I can see Mexico from my porch!) I will find a better place. Maybe the Carson Valley of NV, not often mentioned here, but only 30 minutes or less from Lake Tahoe, skiing at multiple areas, low cost of living, no income taxes, moderate climate, good medical, close to Reno and what it offers. Or Albuquerque, Corrales, Tijeras New Mexico. Or Grand Junction CO. Or Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama. All places I have lived or considered. Even the east valley of Phoenix, like Cave Creek or Carefree meet all the requirements, except for hot…but you are not far away from cooler places with an RV or tent for the 3 months you might need to climb out of the pool!

    Being retired is great. Don’t have to worry about Obamacare, getting fired or laid off. Just have to stay healthy, solvent, and have fun.

    by Chuck — April 2, 2014

  40. We lived in Sedona AZ from 1994-2000. Loved the scenery and the weather was tolerable year around. Why did we move? Both my wife and I came down with Cancer and good hospitals were in Phoenix. Since neither of us had any relations out west we felt we need to move east to be closer to one of our children. The cancer has been taken care of. We haven’t exactly determined how we got it. Some doctors blame in on Valley Fever. Maybe it wasn’t environmental. We are in PA now. We are in our mid-70’s. I personally would like to move to a warmer climate again. My wife is not so enchanted about moving away from our daughter. So I have a feeling the west is out forever. We are trying to compromise on moving out of our home into a retirement community maybe down south more either NC or SC. If anyone has any positives or negatives on either of those states would appreciate dropping a note.

    by Chuck Bradbury — April 2, 2014

  41. Retired to utah and after 6 years we were finally able to sell our lovely log cabin home and get out of that state! We are now happily retired in oregon( ca originally) built in a small town in utah and they built oil wells on both ends of our street. No recourse. developers were felons and convicted in another state r of real estate fraud. We , as well as others in develooment , were lied to by them state of utah tried but did little to protect our rights , local law enforcement was lax and we felt it was unsafe and harassed whole time we lived there. Utah has some beautiful scenery , but oil industry is everywhere in uintah basin and little regard for natural resources. Rural area everyone has guns hunts and shoots and little regard for retirees Safety or peace and quiet . It was a bad experience .Would not recommend rural iUtah for retirement unless you area devout mormon and hunter fisher . Salt lake city area has worst air pollution in nation shockingly true

    by Elaine — April 3, 2014

  42. I grew up in Tucson and visit about once a year. I think you should seriously spend at least a month there during the summer before you make a decision to move there. It really is hot! A few years ago in early June it was already 104. Folks from the east say “but it’s a dry heat”…..true, but it’s darn hot! Phoenix is usually a few degrees hotter than Tucson….and it’s too crowded for me. Don’t forget to think about being close to good medical care and a fairly good airport, if you will be traveling to visit family. I find many articles underestimate of don’t mention the true summer heat in southern AZ.

    by Sandy — April 3, 2014

  43. If you have an RV and can afford to live somewhere up north in the summer and come down to Arizona for the winter, that is a good option. I did that some years ago when I lived in Montana and came to an area just north of Phoenix for the winter.
    I haven’t been in Green Valley, AZ for years, so I know it has grown a lot, but what I saw years ago looked pretty good other than it’s far away from any major airport, etc. There is a large Indian Casino not far from Green Valley and they sometimes have some very good entertainment. I don’t know how GV is now, but some years ago they used to have problems with the illegals breaking in, etc. As Mike says, there is a lot to do for the “older” retirees, but for me at a relatively young 75, it could be too boring, particularly since I am alone and have no family at all.
    I now live in Prescott, and I agree that the traffic is outrageous most of the time. Many Californians, New Yorkers, etc. have moved here so the population has mushroomed over the past ten years or so, and the high traffic has come along with that. In the summer, lots of Phoenix people come here because it’s cooler, and there are a lot of tourists as well, so drivers often get frustrated with the heavy traffic and lack of parking in the downtown area. Good medical care is lacking and many of us drive to Phoenix, 2-1/2 hrs. away, if we need any kind of major medical care. A lot of us drive to Chino Valley, about half-an-hour away, for good family medical care because it seems that the doctors, their staff, as well as the inhabitants of Chino Valley still know how to be pleasant, kind, etc. Traffic between Chino Valley and Prescott is bad right now, but they are widening the highway. There is not much in the way of shopping here, but we do have 3 Walmarts now, a Trader Joe’s, 3 fairly good grocery stores, a couple of health food stores, some fairly good restaurants and “downtown” there are some touristy types of shops, bars, etc. It is rather expensive to buy in Prescott, at least for a person by herself.
    Prescott Valley has grown huge over the years and the subdivisions have run just about all of the antelopes out of there, which is a shame. They tried to relocate a lot of antelopes to southern AZ by chasing them with helicopters into pens and then transporting them, which I am totally against. Many of them got killed. Prescott Valley does have a large movie theater, a Kohl’s department store, a Walmart, and 3 fairly large grocery stores, and it appears that Prescott Valley is getting more shopping, restaurants, COSTCO, Sam’s Club, etc., than Prescott itself. Homes tend to be less expensive there, but you need to watch what kind of neighborhood you buy into, as parts of PV can get a bit dangerous with break-ins, shootings, etc., but that’s mostly with the younger Mexican population there.
    I lived in Cottonwood for 4 years and now that I’ve lived in Prescott for 3 years, I feel I should have stayed in Cottonwood, although it gets hotter there. Shopping is not very good and many people drive to Prescott if they want to do much shopping. Cottonwood is about 20 minutes from Sedona and for a single woman such as I am, I feel it’s nice to be able to get to Sedona so fast where there is entertainment and some great restaurants. I was not able to buy in Sedona because homes there are extremely expensive … some movie stars even have homes there. Cottonwood and Prescott are quite a ways from the main freeway north and south, but Camp Verde is right by the freeway, making it easier to get to Phoenix, Flagstaff, or any major connecting freeways east and west. Chino Valley, Cottonwood and Camp Verde all still have some ranching and they have more of a rural feel. Dewey/Humboldt, which is outside of Prescott is also an area that is more rural and I like the “feel” there much more than Prescott. If I were to want to stay in this part of Arizona, I would choose Chino Valley or Dewey because I like the more open feeling there, although it’s filling up rapidly.
    Personally, if I could take the heat, I would live in Phoenix, as they have just about everything down there. Also, I think one can still buy some properties at reasonable prices, since there were more foreclosed homes down there, many of them with pools, two stories, etc.
    The Payson area is lovely, since it’s up in the green mountains, but the last time I was there, about ten years ago, there was not much shopping, medical care, etc., and the people were driving to Phoenix for most of that. Also, Pine and Strawberry, two small communities are not far from Payson, and kind of tucked into the lovely green mountains. One does have to consider the fact that they do often have some forest fires up there, but if one keeps the area around their house clear, that is relatively safe.
    I had a home in Casa Grande, south of Phoenix, and sold it almost ten years ago. I have heard that since then, Casa Grande has grown a lot and now has lots of amenities, which we did not have when I lived there. They do get some horrible sand storms where it looks like a wall of sand is coming at you, which was one big reason I left there, and it gets very hot.
    Flagstaff is a great university town and has almost as good medical care as Phoenix, as well as many nice restaurants and some good shopping. The green mountains with skiing are all around Flagstaff. The town is on Highway 40 so one can get east and west very well, e.g., Laughlin, Las Vegas, California, New Mexico, etc., as well as Utah is not far from there. It does get lots of snow most of the time, although this year they didn’t get much. I’ve heard that homes are expensive so one would definitely have to check that out.

    I lived in Utah, near Salt Lake City, about 15 years ago, before the Olympics were there, and I found it quite nice in that area. Salt Lake is a university city with all kinds of amenities and I liked the fact that it is centrally located on some major freeways if one likes to travel north and south. I imagine that one could still buy a home in one of the outlying areas there at a reasonable price. There are some nice areas around Provo and Cedar City. I would have stayed in the Cedar City area but I discovered there that I am very allergic to cedar and the name of the city tells one that there is lots of cedar there 🙄 I found the people in Utah very nice.
    I also lived in Albuquerque and Santa Fe in the late 1980’s and I loved Santa Fe, but in those days there was not much in the way of shopping since it’s a very touristy area, so one would have to drive to Albuquerque for anything major. Maybe that’s changed over the years. The outskirts of Albuquerque were very nice in those days, and probably still are and the climate is very nice. I also have lived in Truth or Consequences, NM years ago and I found that area and its people wonderful. New Mexico has lots of the “old time” Mexicans and they are very friendly people. They have lived there for many generations and their culture has remained. I don’t think that NM has had the illegal problems that AZ has experienced.
    Well, I’ve rambled on enough and have pointed out more of the negatives of AZ than the positives …. I could have painted a much more positive picture about some of the areas of AZ, but had I known the negatives of Prescott before I moved here, I would not be here now … I’d more likely be in Oregon, Utah, Colorado or New Mexico since I like to have more greenery around me.

    by Ursula — April 4, 2014

  44. Ursula, wow, you really have traveled around. I have only lived in a few places during my lifetime, New York, Connecticut and Colorado. Thank you for all your information about Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. I really appreciated all the “rambling”. I am in Southern Colorado right now, selling my home, and hoping to move to Arizona, around Phoenix. I realize that it is really hot in the summer, but so is Southern Colorado and we have winters, which I am looking to avoid. I am also a single lady, visited Phoenix many years ago and now looking for year around climate. My dream would be to get a small house and a small RV and during the hot months go north and cool off. After I sell I will probably rent for 6 months or so, and check some places out, but Phoenix area is a start. Thanks again for all your info.

    by svenska — April 4, 2014

  45. I moved to Phoenix Az 3 years ago from California after having lived in San Francisco, LA, Newport Beach and Palm Springs. Still love California, and go there in the summer to escape the heat in July and August, but I love it here, wonderful weather about 8 months, great people, and soooo much to do! Great place to retire, wonderful health care, clean, low cost of living as compared to Ca! Easy to get around, wonderful restaurants, shopping, incredible sunsets, wonderful hiking, cool events to go too, sports, music,theater…you can never be bored if you choose to stay active. Everyone I meet that moves here from elsewhere raves about it! Just adding my two cents, this is what I am experiencing! You have to be prepared for the hot summers if you choose to retire here!

    by Loralee — April 4, 2014

  46. Loralee, you said the hot months are during July and August. Is that the only months that are hot. I have been told that probably 4 months during the summer it is really hot. I remember visiting, years ago, Goodnight during April and it was pretty hot. My house is up for sale and going towards Phoenix, still my dream, but just curious about the heat.

    by svenska — April 5, 2014

  47. My in-laws wintered in Mesa for the last 25 years. They always wanted to Be on their way back to Minneapolis by the first week of May. They always said mid-May to mid-September was the “Big Heat” in the valley.
    My wife and I bought their Mesa home and will move there around Sept. 15th. We love the desert, but I bet we’ll do a little traveling in the summer of 2015. We are biting the bullet and moving “lock, stock and barrel” from Chicago to Mesa! I know Arizona & Florida are referred to as “God’s waiting rooms

    by Dave C. — April 5, 2014

  48. Cont.

    “God’s Waiting Rooms”…..but at least I’ll die warm!

    by Dave C. — April 5, 2014

  49. Svenska, I don’t mind June here, but by July I need cooler, so I leave. I would say plan 4 really hot months. It is what it is, you learn to run in and out of air condition! To Dave: I don’t go to Mesa but this is not “God’s Waiting Room” at all. Lot’s of younger cool retirees here too and everything else!!! Good luck to you both, hope you enjoy it! Loralee 🙂

    by Loralee — April 5, 2014

  50. Loralee: Do you know anything about the M H Villages in the Phoenix area? There are numerous sites, and the cost of the manufactured homes appeared to be inexpensive, however they do have lot rentals. My wife and I are also looking at Green Valley.

    by L.D. — April 6, 2014

  51. Loralee thank you. As I said my house is on the market and I am planning to move to the Phoenix area. I will try to get a rental for a couple of months, then travel around and check out the area. I have acquintances in Apache Junction and I have also heard, maybe from you, that north of Phoenix is nice, so will do some research that I was not able to do previously. I appreciate all your info and hope that I will be as satisfied as you are. Really looking forward to this new venture in my life.

    by svenska — April 6, 2014

  52. What is ABQ NM like year round?

    by Jackie Feissle — April 6, 2014

  53. If you look at the Albuquerque weather the next 4 days it will be sunny. They get lots of sunshine. My husband’s family is there but it is mile high and too cold in the winter. We just moved to San Antonio, Texas for retirement. It is an inexpensive place to live. Check Sperlings cost of living comparison. We are from Wisconsin so will go back to Wisconsin in the summer.

    by susan — April 6, 2014

  54. I am on the road to Tucson as we speak. Have a 16′ moving truck, towing my car. I am so excited! Currently in Tulsa, OK visiting my childhood friend. We drove from NY looking for spring…finally found it! Everything blooming here in Tulsa. So pretty. Will head out later this morning, on our way to New Mexico. Hope to make Tucson Tuesday night. Finally got my house in NY empty. Workmen coming in to do my yard, and a few house repairs. Tenants come May 1. Can’t believe I did it! It’s been a long, hard road. Now, when I get to Tucson, me and a coupe of friends will paint the interior of my new house, put down new plank vinyl floors and move me in. I will be home!

    by Ginger — April 7, 2014

  55. Congrats Ginger, ANSI best of luck. Dick and I will be moving out to Saddlwbrook as soon as house in SC sells. We just can’t wait. Barbara

    by Barbara — April 7, 2014

  56. L.D. – here is a link to a site that list manufactured homes for sale. Just enter the city & state or name of the community (i.e., Montesa at Gold Canyon).

    We spent over a week looking at 55+ communities near Tucson and Mesa. Came to the conclusion that most were similar as far as amenities (Of course larger communities had more amenities)and it came down to where we want to be. We were looking for smaller & low cost community based on our age and financial situation. Also wanted to be near Phoenix in case I wanted to work part time. We bought a place at Montesa at Gold Canyon. 1,500 sq ft home for $99K. Perfect fit for our dog and my hobbies.

    Good luck looking.

    by glenn — April 7, 2014

  57. Sandie, You are moving from Central VA and asked about Prescott. We moved from Midlothian (suburb of Richmond) to Scottsdale and ended up buying a second home in Prescott. Prescott calls itself America’s home town. It is quaint and easy to get around. You can find most of what you want or need in Prescott Valley. There is always something going on in Prescott but it is not too commercialized. It has a great home town feel. The population is small and most people know each other. If you want big city you can go to Phoenix in ~2 hrs. Prescott has good restaurants. Its claim to fame is Whiskey Row a section downtown with bars and bands. There is something there for everybody.

    by Ed — April 7, 2014

  58. Barbara, why are you leaving SC? Have considered looking at Myrtle Beach area for our retirement. We like AZ but have read about water concerns.

    by Lee S — April 8, 2014

  59. Glenn: Thank you so much for the link to MH Village and great information. My wife and I will fly to Phoenix in August to see how bad the heat is.

    by L.D. — April 8, 2014

  60. Lee S, leaving SC for a variety of reasons. I’m sure I’ll miss it at times because of some people and the beach, but I know I wouldn’t miss the ridiculous costs of insurance, the over the top nasty political commentary, and all the rhetoric about North vs. South. I was in Hilton Head for 20 years, and when I met Dick, we decided a change would be good. Tucson has the scenery, great weather for much of the year, a good cost of living, a mix of cultures, a university,proximity to two good airports, and while Arizona is polically conservative, things are in flux there. Tucson is considered purple, an I like to hear divergent points of view. Hence the move.
    We saw Saddlebrook, and it seems to meet our needs for golf, companion ship, a myriad of activities and a real mix of people from many different places. We really enjoyed the time we rented there and found it a wonderful base for touring a lot of western states…something on our bucket list.

    by Barbara — April 8, 2014

  61. Ginger, so happy for you and so glad you will be settled soon. I have my house up for sale and as soon as it goes I am on my way also. Did get in touch with your park and the management was very nice. I am not sure yet where I will go but if the house sells quick, will pack the dogs and essentials and drive down to Arizona and maybe rent for a couple of months till I know where I want to live.
    So glad for you and let us know how you are doing.

    by svenska — April 8, 2014

  62. Barbara: I was interested to read that you’ve chosen to leave SC. I’ll be moving to either NC or SC shortly for a few years

    by Sharon — April 9, 2014

  63. Whoops – somehow hit Enter without meaning to, and don’t know if we can edit posts. I’ve been told to stay near cities where there are a lot of transients like Charlotte or Myrtle Beach, because the more rural parts of NC and SC are extremely conservative and unfriendly to Northerners (bless our hearts). Would you agree?

    by Sharon — April 9, 2014

  64. Utah St George (southwest corner of State ) is nothing like Salt Lake City Husband and I recently moved from SE Wisc. and could not be happier!! We are not LDS, looked into SLC area, but agreed with other posts, too busy, and way to much pollution. If you like to hike, bike, and overall be outdoors this is the place to consider. We have been very much welcomed by the community. Housing is a bit pricey, bcz of the Calif. influence, but well worth it. Hospitals great, very low crime. Shopping is easy. And best of all, it is cooler in the summer here than AZ, but the winters are not much diff. than AZ.

    by Carol — April 9, 2014

  65. Ave ska, I think he has other units he rents short-term, if you are interested in Tucson. I finally made it, and have been so enjoying the lovely weather and friendly neighbors!

    by Ginger — April 10, 2014

  66. Svenska, i think he has other units he rents short-term, if you are interested in Tucson. I finally made it, and have been so enjoying the lovely weather and friendly neighbors!

    by Ginger — April 10, 2014

  67. Ginger, so happy you made it and that your knees are holding up. That is a lot of work to pack up and move and sit in the car for long house. I read that Phoenix is today 99 degrees. Please send me again the name of the park as I have misplaced it. Hoping I will join you soon.

    by svenska — April 10, 2014

  68. Sharon, there are lovely parts in both places and wonderful people too. Charlotte and the Research Triangle ( Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) and Asheville have the more diverse populations in all ways. Hilton Head/Bluffton area and Myrtle Beach have a wider group too, although the summer renters in both areas can make for bad traffic. NC is more politically diverse. I really enjoy hearing multiple points of view on all topics. I just didn’t find that, and felt things were going in the wrong direction. In my neighborhood of about 300 homes, there were 6 couples who didn’t agree with the majority position. Two of us are leaving to look for something else. I don’t want to go to parties and hear diatribes from anyone. I don’t want to hear that groups of people are going to hell. You can have your values and opinions, but I want mine to be respected too.

    Just be careful where you go, and you can have a very nice time. I’ve only lived on the East Coast, from Florida through New England. I’ve always wanted the chance to live overseas, but couldn’t because I have an adult child on the autism spectrum and two parents who lived into their 90s and needed me. Now is time for a change, and I thought long and hard about what would make me happy. Dick and I picked Tucson because it meets many requirements. Hope your choices make you happy. I think that’s what this blog is supposed to be about. Barbara

    by Barbara — April 11, 2014

  69. Thanks Barbara. I think we’re a lot alike! I’ll keep your suggestions in mind as I keep hunting, and hope you have a great time in AZ. I’ve seen pictures of Saddlebrook in a magazine, and it looks beautiful.

    by Sharon — April 11, 2014

  70. Ed,
    Thanks for your comments. We too live in the Richmond metro area. One of our big concerns about leaving here is medical care. Richmond has great resources for medical care with an excellent medical school, lots of hospitals and new facilities springing from the ground after it rains. Right now, our health is good, but after helping our parents through their declining years, we realize the importance of good local medical care.
    After last winter, I don’t want to go any place that gets snow. Have been to Prescott twice now and do like the place, but we need to look deeper. Hubby suggesting that we spend next january there to see how bad the winter gets.
    Thanks for all the good input on this site.

    by Sandie — April 12, 2014

  71. Looking for some insight from you all. I am almost 64,work full-time in a management position, high stress job, but I do love it – non-profit organization with a lifesaving mission. But I do need to slow down. Husband is retired, has been for several years and in poor health. Both our daughters live in Raleigh/Durham area as do our grandchildren, ages in utero to 9 years old. All indications point to both daughters staying in the area and setting down roots. We visit every 8 to 12 weeks and have discussed moving down there. But I do have reservations. I have friends and a familiarity where we live now (northern Delaware), am a Rotarian and involved. I have some minor health problems myself, which I am addressing. My quandary is, A) when to retire and B) not sure being that close to daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren is the right solution. Older daughter feels we should be close so that when aging and health deterioration inevitably set in that it would be “more convenient”. Just afraid to pull up roots and move without any connectivity to my new community. We do need to unload our large home that we no longer need. Sorry for the rambling. Thoughts?

    by Mary K — April 12, 2014

  72. Mary K –
    We’re somewhat in the same boat as you. Our daughter & her family moved from NoVa to Holly Springs right outside of Raleigh last summer to slow down their life & make it so she didn’t have to work full-time any more. I am retired at 62, but hubby at 63 still works in DC at a job he loves though he hates the commute. However, we are both aware that what are minor health issues now can turn into larger problems as time goes on.

    We discussed the situation with our son who lives in the eastern MD suburbs as well as our daughter. We have all agreed that we will move to the Raleigh area & we are in the active planning stages now. It’s been a difficult decision because, like you, we have a large circle of friends developed over 35 years. The reality we came to is that we will be able to visit our adult friends about as often as we see them now & they are closing in on retirement, too, & will come down to visit us. Our son & his partner have a lot more mobility & flexibility to visit than our daughter & her husband have to drive up to NoVa since their 6 y.o. attends year-round school.

    I’ve been down for several house-hunting trips to eliminate ones I knew hubby wouldn’t even want to see. We eliminated all the 55+ communities after a careful review of all of their rules & have identified a community we want to live in if we can work it out with the builder. Our agent & I spent hours driving through communities on both weekdays & weekends to get the vibes in different neighborhoods & looked for a good mix between strollers & old farts like us watering the flowers.:smile:

    Good luck with your process. We are all so different in the decision-making process, but we’re really happy that this website gives such a sounding board of opinions.

    PS – I retired now because we are able financially after 40+ years of work & saving. I watched friends & family decide to keep working & retire “someday when I get old” who ran out of time due to health changes or death. We realized that we don’t want to wait until one or both of us is no longer physically or mentally able to do the things we’ve saved for all these years.

    by Anna — April 12, 2014

  73. Svenska ….. Valley of the Sun mobile home park in Marana, AZ

    by Ginger — April 12, 2014

  74. Mary k….. I am 64 and recently retired. Why does your decision have to be considered as if you only get one decision for the rest of your life? You are young enough now that you probably have 20 years before you would seriously need care from your children, and who knows where they will be then? I think there are stages of retirement, just like the rest of life. Why not make a decision that works for you now, with the understanding that you may need to make a change later? I just moved to a mobile home park in Tucson. I have no family or friends here. Maybe in my 80s I will need assisted living, or the care of family. I plan to possibly get LTC insurance plan, save money, keep working part time, prepare for future changes, but I plan to have fun now.

    by Ginger — April 12, 2014

  75. Hi Ginger,
    I am so very happy for you that you have finally completed the process of decision making, etc, and have DONE IT.:lol::lol::lol: YOU WILL LOVE TUSCON.
    We are still here in NY and not making a lot of progress. This is tough, and I know that one ever said it would be easy!!! Congratulations on your Big Move. Yay!
    Elizabeth in NY~

    by Elizabeth ~ — April 12, 2014

  76. Mary K, I totally agree with Ginger that you shouldn’t think of this next stage as being a final one. Plans that you make in your 60s may not work in your 80s, but so what. Do you want to plan for the worst case scenario, or enjoy life for however much more time you have. My parents enjoyed generally good health through their 80s. They lived where they wanted to, away from family. When there was a problem, one of their children got involved. We asked them to move closer to one of us when Dad turned 90 and the issues were becoming more common. Those 30 years they enjoyed living in Florida and traveling in tbe summers were their reward for working hard and raising 6 kids. I’m glad they did that, and my siblings feel the same. Do what you are able to do to make a happy life. Barbara

    by Barbara — April 13, 2014

  77. I feel like I stumbled on the therapy group I needed. 😀 my husband and I relocated almost 15 years ago to Florida and began second careers. He has since retired, and I continue to work (self employed). We have traveled to the Phoenix area several times in the past five years! and have spent several weeks in sedona. Yes.. We know it is touristy as is our area of Florida. Yes we know it is expensive… But we are definitely

    by JD — April 13, 2014

  78. Oops… Accidentally posted too soon. We really love the climate, the scenery, and the area. We are not social butterflies, more in to home, reading, outdoor activities, etc. reading others thoughts and pondering makes me realize that 1) we are not alone 2) no decision is a forever decision, and there are many others in similar positions… Thanks…

    by JD — April 13, 2014

  79. Could anyone tell me about Moab in Utah? We were there a few years ago and I absolutely fell in love with all it had to offer, especially the scenery, the hiking and the general laid-back feel. My husband and I will be retiring back to the States after many years in London so we’re looking forward to a spot where there’s a lot to do outdoors as well as having a healthy arts and volunteer scene. Any suggestions in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona are greatly appreciated! Many thanks for your suggestions!

    by Michele — April 14, 2014

  80. Can anyone tell me about Sun City outside Phoenix? A dear friend of mine is moving there in the next few months and the place seems to have something for everyone. From what I’ve read, the place looks fabulous; does anyone have any personal experience? Thank you! Michele

    by Michele — April 15, 2014

  81. Sun city is nice but every new home purchase you pay a fee for becoming a resdent in that particular retirement community it is added onto the price of your residence. I lived in AZ 9 years and the pollution their is only worsening. I looks pretty but when you live their it is a hidden and unspoken health hazard. Try Hawaii it is the best for air quality and a pristine environments. Also, car insurance in AZ. is high there check rates before moving. Valley fever is only found in this area of the country and I’d become educated on this medical issue prior to relocating. Old properties are over priced and home owner fees for most complexes are high. Real estate prices in AZ have jumped 20% + in the past year. You don’t receive what you pay for any longer. Find a location with good air quality elsewhere.

    by Gaelyn — April 15, 2014

  82. Hi Folks,

    If anyone can help me with this, I would be grateful. If you have any opinions on the following cities, as possible retirement sites, please tell me what you think, good or bad.

    – Benson, AZ

    – Florence, AZ

    – Portales, NM

    – Truth or Consequences, NM

    I am looking for a small town to retire in, so info on these would be great. Or if you have any other small towns to recommend, please let me know.
    Thanks in advance!!

    by Darrel Jaeger — April 15, 2014

  83. Darrel, not far from Florence is Maricopa, a wonderful town of 45,000 that is just far enough from Phoenix to have the best of both worlds. I live in Province , a 55+ community there. Real estate less expensive than Phoenix. Check it out.

    by Carl — April 16, 2014

  84. I moved to Phoenix a little over 3 years ago from California. ALL of my expenses went down, taxes, car insurance, homeowners insurance, etc. Love it! I am 14 minutes north of Scottsdale in a new community, and my homeowners is $122.00 a month for a gym, spa, pool, tennis, basketball courts, hiking trails…it’s awesome. Also we have world class medical care so close by! It has worked for me. All I can say it is a lot cheaper than California!! 🙂

    by lORALEE — April 16, 2014

  85. Loralee, would you mind giving the name of your community? We are in the process of looking at Arizona. There is also going to be a 55+ in Verado at Buckeye and do you know anything about that area?

    by sue cook — April 17, 2014

  86. Just settling in to my new park model home in Tucson area. Wow is this area beautiful! I am impressed everyday. I am still unpacking and arranging. All you folks who are downsizing…be brutal. I am finding that I don’t want to cram stuff into my new little home and have made two trips to Goodwill already, with more to come. And I paid to haul this stuff cross country. What seemed important when I was packing in NY doesn’t seem important here at all. Let go, let go. And the weather is fantastic so far. Hot times coming, but even then the mornings and nights cool way down. So glad to be here!

    by Ginger — April 18, 2014

  87. So very happy for you, Ginger!

    by Jan Cullinane — April 19, 2014

  88. I have the house up for sale and as soon as that goes through I am on my way. I will probably rent for a couple of months, or maybe longer, to see where I want to be but many have mentioned Tuscon so I certainly will check the area out. So glad you are happy and things are working out. So your suggestion is to get rid of “stuff”. I guess the living is simpler in the hot weather but I am planning to have a big “moving sale” and get rid of most of the “stuff”.

    by svenska — April 19, 2014

  89. Sounds great Ginger. Let us know if you find there are any essentials that should NOT be downsized.

    I will get rid of as much as I can, but I am terrible at it. I especially find it so hard to give up some of my books…non fiction books.

    by Elaine — April 19, 2014

  90. HI Ginger,
    Wow, what terrific advice. I still have tons of stuff and I, like Elaine, love to hang on to all my books. I can’t wait to get it all out of this house and to get moved on. We are definitely not ready, although I was ready several years ago.:lol::lol: Enjoy your new life in AZ! Elizabeth in NY~

    by -Elizabeth — April 19, 2014

  91. Elaine and Elizabeth – Most of the active adult communities, 55+ over, have lending libraries and would love to have your books. By giving them, you are allowing others to enjoy your books as well and maybe that would make it easier for you to let them go. Hope this helps.

    by Nikki — April 20, 2014

  92. Maybe this should be moved to admin?

    I do donate my gardening books whenever I move…different climate, but not sure that the dog training/behavior books would be of great interest and I do love referring back to them. Fiction is much easier to donate. The texts I used for teaching are easy to donate. The health admin ones were happily taken by the university library.

    by Elaine — April 20, 2014

  93. Thank you all for your kind remarks. Once I got to Arizona, my internal clock started changing. I am up earlier, and in bed earlier. The light and heat seem to affect that. The first thing I did was paint my interior pale yellow with white ceilings and trim, and put down wood look floors. Everything looked very clean and spare. Then I didn’t want to fill it up with stuff! I want to maintain a clean, simple, cool look. I am just realizing that things that seemed important in other environments may not be right fir your new environment.

    The skies here are amazing. Tucson is headquarters for the dark sky society, and strives to keep city lights low so the night sky will be dark. The eclipse was fantastic here. Also, yesterday I took my friend to the train station and noticed there is an ‘old Tucson’ with beautiful historic buildings. I think there is much here to be discovered. We are entering the hot season, so I may hold off exploring till the fall, but am excited about the options.

    This is a big change for me, so I am going slow and letting my body adjust. Change in altitude, change in temperature, change in time zones. Next week I will visit the university medical school and try to hook up with doctors, for my knee and my lungs.

    I am hoping to rebuild my health here; that was a big part of my desire to move. We have aqua aerobics in our pool I will join, and other activities. And the heat makes me want to live on salad and ice cream!

    by Ginger — April 20, 2014

  94. Ginger, you sound wonderful and happily.expectant for what comes next. As I stated once before on this site, I found Tucson to be slightly “alien” in the

    by Barbara — April 21, 2014

  95. Oops. Anyway.Tucson seems different in a really interesting way. W when you have time check out the talent or call NE Tucson. the biosphere 2 is there and there’s a great little restaurant called the patio cafe for lunch.

    by Barbara — April 21, 2014

  96. That was Oracle for the town. I loved this restaurant because of the fun and funky fibe. They to this dinner they do once a month called Dinner.with Dave. The chef.cooks.whatever.

    by Barbara — April 21, 2014

  97. Site acting up today. Chef cooks, you.bring beverages and and they seat you at big communal tables so you can yourself and meet new people. It was a blast.

    by Barbara — April 21, 2014

  98. HI Nikki and All, I already donate books that I do not intend to use again but there are many I just want! I tend to be sort of attached to some of these books. I may just say Bye to them. I will have to figure it all out.
    There ought to be some great entrepreneurs who will open businesses to help us pack up and clean our homes of all the gathered stuff! There are some but not where I live.
    Great day to All and Blessings! Elizabeth in NY~

    by Elizabeth — April 21, 2014

  99. Barbara, I hope I followed your comments correctly…I found a place called The Patio Cafe in the town of Oracle that looks quite inviting. And I think you said biosphere 2 is there. It is 38 miles from me…think I will head out there soon, maybe today! Thanks for the tip!

    by Ginger — April 22, 2014

  100. Has anyone explored retirement in the Tacoma, Washington area?

    by steve mass — April 22, 2014

  101. Steve, I did. I lived there for 3 years, right after my retirement. I found the housing to be slightly pricey, but the market collapsed after th t. I bought my condo at te peak. It was a nice area, but seemed a bit run down to me…the whole town. And of course there is the ‘Tacoma aroma’ to contend with. Still, you are near Seattle in a much more affordable area. The Summer is fabulous. 9 months a year it rains, although we usually got a week or two of snow in winter. Always gray in winter. October to may. I found it very gloomy.

    by Ginger — April 23, 2014

  102. What about medical care in New Mexico? I have heard it is not good. Have also heard it is very poor and that “I don’t want to be there”. I have visited and stayed many times over many years and I am still enchanted. But is there good medical care? Cancer? Heart problems? Orthopedics? It is important to have accessible and GOOD health care. Thanks for any information!

    by Marcia Maccaux — April 23, 2014

  103. steve – if you’re looking around Tacoma have you considered Sequim? Better weather and more reasonable real estate price.

    by glenns — April 23, 2014

  104. Health Care in New Mexico? I always wonder how some people can make blanket statements like “I heard medical care in New Mexico is not good” Where in NM??
    Also, it is very poor “I don’t want to go there”? Is this stuff you heard of read about really FACTUAL?
    It is a fact that not all areas on any State may have less than adequate healthcare. I moved to Albuquerque from Connecticut IN 2003 where the doctors in one of the best hospitals in Hartford tried to kill me. The care, treatment and kidney operation performed in Albuquerque by one of the best kidney surgeons in the country saved my life. Yes, like many areas of many states in this country lack adequate health care. Like all states poverty does exist in NM. Having lived here for over 10 years I have experienced very good health care and the beauty and kindness of many people.
    I suggest that anyone interested in a specific state or city should spend some time investigating their specific needs and priorities. Making important retirement re-location decisions should not be based on what someone said.

    So, establish your retirement priorities and spend an adequate amount of time in the final 2 or 3 areas checking and validating what is important to YOU.
    Good Luck to all of you!

    by PAUL — April 24, 2014

  105. I love New Mexico… I too had heard that the health care and system is over tacked by uninsured, which is why it gets the bad reputation of being poor. I really love it there. Never lived there, but made many motorcycle trips there. I am planning on retiring this year or next. So far I’m thinking about New Mexico, Arkansas or Tennessee. I would love to live in the Hill Country of Texas, but its too expensive (property taxes and homes). I want to live where its kind of in the country with a few acres that you don’t have to mow and weed.

    by Marcia — April 24, 2014

  106. I lived in the Albq area for 8 yrs….my husband passed away after 3 yrs. of being there. As a widow being active, there was just not enough to do. It’s nice to have some surrounding cities to go to if you want to spread your wings a little. Native NM’s are very guarded..Albq is the big city. The altitude is very high, clean air, it’s very dry and has it’s share of water issues with the drought. I guess I just like more choices and diversity. I moved back to CA…. No not perfect by no means, but sure has lots of choices. Since I lived in NM as a married and single person, this is my opinion only.

    by Carole M — April 25, 2014

  107. Kudos to Paul for reminding people to do their own homework. We all need to identify our unique priorities and needs as we search for the “perfect” retirement spot.

    by Sandie — April 25, 2014

  108. Yes, different strokes for different folks !). I found out first hand that circumstances sure can change our life’s choices.

    by Carole M — April 25, 2014

  109. Paul makes a valuable comment about completing your own due diligence for any location where you are considering moving to for retirement, or for any reason.
    I hope that the many people on this site who ask quick questions like how’s it like in this location or that, are not using the responses as their basis for relocation. I doubt they are. Any information is helpful. And all of our inquiries combine to help us reach our final decision. This is a great site for quick answers. I hope all of our final decisions are based on much more substantial research, I’m sure they are.

    by Dave C. — April 25, 2014

  110. Any info on kingman or bullheadcity az?

    by pete kearns — April 26, 2014

  111. LORALEE,
    May I ask which community you live, if not a home, in Phoenix? I know it is hot and I love the Sedona area, but seems very pricey. I have friends in Scottsdale, and that is pricey also. Thanks, Elizabeth~

    by Elizabeth ~ — April 26, 2014

  112. To Elizabeth I live about 12 minutes N. of Scottsdale road and just North of Desert Ridge Area. The homes in the Phoenix area are getting pricey now. My area now is selling for $300,000 and way up. To get a good lower price now you might need to look out further, maybe Anthem, Suprise, Litchfield, Peoria, Goodyear, Casa Grande, etc. You can find something reasonable in Mesa, but I would not live that far south. That’s just me. I moved here at the end of 2010 when they couldn’t give a house away, so I got a smoking deal on a brand new home with all the upgrades. I love Arizona and good luck in your search!! Smile!!

    by LORALEE — April 27, 2014

  113. LORALEE, 🙂
    Thank you for the information. Isn’t the heat oppressive? My son and his wife lived in Fountain Hills before being transferred to now Charlotte, NC, and they loved it, but their jobs said they needed to move. Oh, we still have a way to go so I am grateful for the input. Blessings Elizabeth~ Be Happy~:lol:

    by Elizabeth S — April 27, 2014

  114. More comments on Tucson…been here 3 weeks now, and am very pleased with the weather. While the days are warm, the temp drops considerably in the evenings. The hot part of the day is after 11am until about 6 pm. But the mornings and evenings are much cooler and quite pleasant. I am up by 6am now, and do chores and errands in the morning and take walks with my dog. In the middle of the day is my quiet time, when I read and nap. When evening rolls around I am ready to swim in the pool (which is warm after the hot day), go to a movie or out to dinner. It works out very nicely. I am trying to get some online work going, and just signed up for an online certification class. Mid-day will be my time for classes and work, all from the comfort of my little air conditioned house. I may travel a bit in July and August, but really I don’t think the heat is going to be a problem, as long as I am willing to adapt my schedule.

    by Ginger — April 28, 2014

  115. Elizabeth, If you are interested in Charlotte, there are a lot of active adult in the Charlotte area (located in both NC and SC). Do not know much about them, but may be worth exploring if you want to move near your children…of course, they may move again.

    by Elaine — April 28, 2014

  116. Ginger, such good news and so happy that you are comfortable and enjoying your little home. No bites on my house yet but as soon as it is sold I will be on my way and probably will see you. I am not sure if I want to rent or buy someplace but I know I want to travel more. But happy to hear about your good news.

    by svenska — April 29, 2014

  117. DON’T OMIT NEVADA! Many people(usually Easterners)think that the only places in Nevada are Vegas and Reno.I have a home in Mesquite at SUN CITY DEL WEBB’S and LOVE IT. Nevada has No Income,Estate,Inheritance taxes.Property taxes are low.Sales tax is above average but Seniors downsize and don’t have major buys to make.Food and Meds are tax free.Another deterrent is the Summer heat.105 degrees in the Mesquite is hot, but it’s far more comfortable than 85 degrees in Florida’s Wet & Humid Summer heat.You perspire in Mesquite but it instantly evaporates,and evaporation is how our bodies cool.You don’t feel like you need to take 5 showers a day.Snowbirds don’t have any probs.If you want to get out of the heat anyway,You can drive to Zion in an hour,or Bryce Canyon in an hour and a half.Driving out West is a pleasure and not like FL’s crowded highways.
    In the Winter you are an hour and a half from Cedar City and Brian’s Head for
    guaranteed Snow and Skiing and cool temps. in the Summer.Mesquite is 80 miles north of Vegas,and 40 miles from St.George,Utah on I-15.Mesquite is away from all the crowds and Din,yet close enough to go there if you want/need that.
    There are 3 casinos in Mesquite,but nothing like Vegas’. You are also within a
    days ride of 9 National Parks,most are closer than that tho’.Mesquite has it’s own water/aquifer unlike Vegas.Mesquite is a Golfing Mecca with 7 championship
    courses(Troon too).There are only about 17 thousand residents.Mesquite has 294
    Sunny days a year…Florida doesn’t.There’s a small satellite branch of the
    college of Southern Nevada.There’s a significant interest in the Arts.A small theater has mulitple performances yearly.It may be a smaller community,yet the involvement and different kinds of activities are remarkable (hot Air Balloon,and ATV festivals to name a few).There is a small
    private airport.It’s also a hub of Senior games and tournaments.A few colleges hold their Spring training there.Before I forget it is a Beautiful and Scenic
    place.You have the Virgin Mountains and River and postcard desert vistas and Canyons. Lake Mead is less than an hour away.Not all the bugs and insects as in FL.Sun City has so many varying clubs and activities that they often overlap.The majority of the residents are Seniors,but there are many young,
    working people and growing.At Sun City you will feel SAFE,so important for we
    Seniors,Comfortable is how you’ll feel.Clearly No traffic issues exist here.
    I think that Sun City Mesquite is head and shoulders superior to several other
    Senior communities which there are in Mesquite.While there are not alot of Restaurants,there are excellent ones in Mexican,Asian,American,Italian,along
    with fine restaurants in the Casinos.The casinos also have the casino buffets
    with sea foods nites etc.The Casinos are well away from Sun City and most of
    the Senior communities.There is a Fabulous Recreation center and Senior center
    should your particular community not have it’s own.There are multidenomination
    churches.People here truly are Nice and engaging,and not rushing around.As an Easterner this has been such a positive change.Naturally helpful and accustomed to this form of interaction.
    Check out Mesquite,NV on line.I am most familiar and so fond of Sun City and the modestly priced available homes here.Check Sun City out on line too.You’ll be impressed if it’s an ACTIVE community that you want.
    But there are several other Senior communities here to consider as well.
    Good Luck wherever you land !

    by Raffy — May 2, 2014

  118. Thank you Raffy for all that info. Was set on going to Arizona when I am ready but will now check out Nevada.

    by svenska — May 3, 2014

  119. Raffy – wow quite a plug – got me interested!! Will you name some of the communities that I can check into. One of the things That concerns me is that “lot rent” seems to be much more than or equal to RE taxes. I.e., I see some of these really nice Mobile home parks in the $500,$600 & $700 a month lot rent.
    Wow, that is (the highest) $8400.00 a year in lot rent = Duh! And quite a few of them have NO CAP on how much they can raise the rent each year. Considerably better than apartment renting (IMO)but then one most have the upfront money to pay for the mobile home. At least in Fl (Nev?) there is no RE taxes on TOP OF THE LOT RENT. I still struggle with – should I purchase a regular small 2 br/2b home or move into a 55+ mobile home community. Yes, there are many amenities associated with the parks and that is certainly a consideration especially if u r a real social person and wish to participate in those sort of activities. Over time Mobile/Manufactured home depreciate much more than a regular built home. Bottom line is personal preference, AGE and last but most important – how much money you have. Tks Raf 4 ur input.

    by Robert — May 3, 2014

  120. Raffy,

    Many thanks! I would move to Nevada in a minute if my wife would go along. 🙂
    I love the no tax and sunny environment. The only negative is having the infamous Harry Reid as a Senator.


    by Tony Conte — May 3, 2014

  121. Raffy, our friends recently relocated for winter to Las Vegas and when we visited we liked some aspects quite a lot. I’ll have to read more about your having your “own aquifer.” The water situation in Nevada is dire, and as Las Vegas and other western states other than Nevada also need water, what’s to keep them from tapping into “your” aquifer? Already quite a lot of debate about dipping into the eastern Nevada aquifer and pumping to LV and CA. Main question, though — if there’s not even an airport there (other than private) what are the medical facilities and doctors like there in Mesquite?

    by Paula — May 3, 2014

  122. Mesquite considering?

    If you are considering Mesqute, drive 40 miles north and consider St. George. Good Health Care, great airport, very clean, lots to do, and affordable.

    I live there and LOVE it!

    Note: Moved from WI and found the SGU residents very welcoming.

    by carol — May 3, 2014

  123. Raffy, I love your enthusiasm. I’ve never considered Nevada for retirement but I might just have to check out the Del Webb at Mesquite.

    Carol, Do you live in a 55+ community in St. George? If so, would you mind providing the name? Thanks.

    by Tessa — May 3, 2014

  124. I think Carol is correct about nearby places offering a lot more than Mesqute NV. I’ve been there several times and I always get the feeling of desolation. However up in St. George or Cedar City UT you are living in a real city with more people and more services. Just my opinion:)

    by John H — May 3, 2014

  125. I believe the most ACTIVE 55+ community in SGU is called SunRiver. Very nice golf course, pickle ball is very popular in SunRiver. There are a few other 55+ communities in SGU, but I believe they are nestled in other subdivisions w/in SGU.
    Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have more questions.

    Yes, Nevada is a wiser choice from a tax perspective; however, I find Mesquite too small a town to be a viable choice for me.

    WE do take occasional trip to Mesquite to purchase beer/wine/liquor which is more competitively priced in NV.

    Cedar City is considerably more cold in the winter than SGU or Mesquite.

    The airport and health care is more developed in SGU.

    by carol — May 4, 2014

  126. I lived in Las Vegas for 5 years and was in Mesquite many times. I like it. Considered retiring there. As to health care.,,not sure what is offered in Mesquite but don’t forget you would be only 80 miles from Las Vegas or 40 miles from St. George, both of which offer plenty of medical care. And good highways with no winters so it’s a quick drive.

    by Ginger — May 4, 2014

  127. My wife who is a breast cancer survivor needs constant medical observation/ care and check ups therefore I think Mesquite would not be a wise choice. We would feel more comfortable closer to excellent medical facilities. reminds me of a story in which a man moved off the grid and way out in the boon docks to become self sufficient. All was well until he had need of emergency care in a real short time. Since he was so far off into the boon docks he didn’t survive because he could not get medical care in the time needed!
    True or not I think we all GET THE MESSAGE.

    by Robert — May 4, 2014

  128. To all the people promoting St George, Utah – Is this a place that is predominately Mormon (LDS) and if so, are people who are NOT Mormon ostracized?

    I have heard rumors to that effect about Utah but not sure whether or not that is true.

    tks, Robert

    by robert — May 4, 2014

  129. Robert, I lived in UT for 23 years and raised my boys in Park City. I love St. George and have since the 70’s. I’m not of the LDS faith but will agree that certain locations are heavier handed than others. With Provo being a 10, St. George comes in around a 3. I have friends that have lived in SGU for over 30 years that are from quite different persuasions, and all get along just fine.. Check out Sunsites, AZ. We have the Cochise Stronghold rocks formations, the Chiricahua National Monument and we’re at 4300′ in elevation so we don’t get the scorching heat nor the cold winters.

    by Murray — May 5, 2014

  130. According to google, st. George is 68.31% LDS

    by Ginger — May 5, 2014

  131. Murray: Can you share by name any specific 55 plus communities you would recommend in the Sunsites, AZ area?

    by judy — May 5, 2014

  132. Also Murray: what is the water situation in that area; Arizona interests me but worry about present and future water shortages in the state. Thanks

    by judy — May 5, 2014

  133. QUESTIONS ABOUT MESQUITE: I’m going to try to respond to your questions and comments collectively and to the best of my experiences and accuracy.For:
    Svenka,Robert,Tony,Paula,Carol,John,Ginger,and Murray.Regardless of what I or
    you say or comment about,please check out everything on line and Objectively,
    not just by someone’s opinion…including Mine ! Go on line to St.George and
    Mesquite and anywhere else as well. Check out the newspapers,C of Commerce,Hospitals,Doctors,Newspapers,airports,Libraries,taxes,churches,temples,restaurants,theaters,Age of population,Do they cater to Seniors,politics,
    weather,Dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s.I neglected to say that Mesquite,my bias,does have a hospital now,as well as a library,and the airport is not private,but has no large commercial airlines.It does have pilots and planes,and Med-Vac capabilities.St.George does have a few national airlines.
    Beware of some of the subcontracting they do to some questionable independent
    airlines..some of whom have had some problems…check ’em out. Also,check out the flight availability and ticket prices to fly in and out of St.George.Mesquite is closer by air,and substantially closer by car to Vegas.
    You can fly from anywhere in the country to Vegas,pretty cheaply,many flights,
    it’s 80 miles from Vegas by car,and takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes at 70
    MPH.Out West on I-15 you’ll be surprised at how little traffic there is.From St.George by car it will take a lot longer.It isn’t just the 40 extra miles,
    You have to drive cautiously through the Virgin River Canyons often with high
    winds as well.So in an emergency You likely would have to fly.I don’t know anything about Mobile Homes and their communities,so I can’t help you there Robert,But I would recommend a small home that overtime will appreciate,and
    don’t forget those hot Summers in both Mesquite & St.George. All of you should also check out the home in both cities.Resales are less expensive than building new anywhere.Tony,in fun,things could be worse,as in
    Dick Cheney !(LOL). Paula,Mesquite has it’s own Aquifer,yes.If you are 55+,like me,you won’t have to worry about any Aquifer take over.That will spend generations with the politicians.More important is that with Water as with Oil,the solution is to stop wasting and use up less.We all need Calif’s
    Central Valley for produce, but so much water is wasted,same thing in the Vegas area.People have to be more considerate period. Mesa View Regional
    Hospital is in Mesquite,I omitted that.Check it out,it’s like New.I think you’ll be impressed with how many Emergency Physicians are there.But sometimes
    Less is better.I went on line to find out how many Hospitals there are in SGU,
    I found only one,Dixie Regional.There are multiple clinics,e.g.V.A..It is strictly my own opinion,yet I think that any serious Med. condition out there,
    in an emergency,belongs in Las Vegas not Mesquite or SGU.Also more places and more professionals doesn’t mean Better.I spent 40 yrs. as a doctor in the supposed Medical Mecca of Boston,MA.There’s plenty of great Hospitals and doctors there. There are also many of the other kind too!Go on line and check out the JCAH hospital ratings,and the Practioner ratings,you can do all this now.Carol the 1st place I checked out in relocating from New England to the
    Southwest was Sun River in SGU,I stayed there.I liked it.Plus SGU is a beautiful place to see,so colorful,lovely.Next I went to Sun City Mesquite,
    with all do respect,in MY Opinion solely,comparing Sun River to Sun City Mesq.
    is like comparing a Volkswagon to a Mercedes for the same price.SCM has so many more activities,they’re incomparable.Check out the SCM weekly Pioneer Press or The Homeowners’ Assoc. Info.Again SGU is one of the most beautiful areas in the S.W. Brigham Young’s winter home is there.If SGU has many more clinics,restaurants,fast food places,stores,movie houses,gas stations etc.,
    It’s because they need to.There is somewhere between 75,000 to 80,000 people
    w/o counting the small towns around/near it. That’s almost 5 times the number in Mesquite. It depends on your test for the type of place/city that you want to live in.I retired in SCM because I wanted to get away from larger,more busy
    locales.Someone else might feel the opposite way.You are correct,SGU is busier than Mesq.I don’t know when you were last in Mesq.,but every time I drive around town there’s more to see.My wish is that Mesq.Never gets to be the size of SGU.If we need to go to SGU for any reason we just drive there ,often spend the day,and do several things,then drive home.WE love to visit once a month,or
    drive to Vegas instead.It’s all what you like most.Again SGU is a fine place.
    Mesquite has 3 small casinos,I don’t gamble,I see an awful lot of Utah license
    plates in the parking lots.I’m there b/c I love the Buffets and restaurants,
    and performances.My wife loves the Spa.Las Vegas has a new BILLION Dollar VA
    hospital.SGU has a lot of Senior games/activities & tournaments.Mesq. has fewer,but enough for me.I love Softball,Tennis,Pickle ball,Golf,etc.I Love the slowness of Mesquite,yet we have a Hospital,Doctors,Pharmacies,Restaurants,
    theaters,Artists,college satellite,7 golf courses in town, designed with and for Seniors in mind.Mesquite has about 16-17,000 residents,and is hardly in the wilderness.I also find Sun City to be unusually SAFE,which is
    to me Critical at my age.I mentioned Cedar City,UT,about 1 1/2 hours driving from Mesq.,as a place to go Skiing in the winter,and to spend a cool day/weekend in July;or maybe Zion for lunch or Bryce Canyon for the day.
    I am not a Mormon,yet I don’t think they would ever ostracize anyone,anywhere,
    ever.They are a gracious,caring,and helpful people,clearly.I do think it is fair to say,that many of the community activities in SGU emanate and are connected with the church. So What! If you find that you don’t want to live in SGU,it’s unlikely to be the fault of Mormon’s.Incidently,they were there 1st..
    They also founded and named a little place called Las Vegas,NV ! Without them we wouldn’t be talking about SGU or Mesq.,NV. I want to mention one other misconception I have heard before.Prostitution is illegal in Clark County,NV.
    That includes Mesq.& Vegas & the entire area from the southern tip of
    above Mesq. We are finding out that it exists all over the country,including
    suburbia,and small towns. Enough! So check out all these aspects in Mesq.,SGU,
    or anywhere for that matter.Do YOUR Homework ! You can’t go wrong in either SGU or Mesq.,NV. It’s an individual’s choice,and should be.It’s not a one size fits all,as you have read.Check out everything you can about both,and any other places as well. I’m sorry I can’t help you out with mobile homes,a lot of people love’em. You don’t have to buy or build a NEW home.There are plenty of resales available.Robert,If you go listingspreviewinMesquiteNV/St.George,UT
    on line,you will find the names of the other Senior communities in SGU or Mesq.NV. I surely don’t know what they all have to offer you ,or what it is that is most important to you either. If I can answer any questions that I know the answers to,for you,just ask in this blog.I Love SCM for Me,yet there are plenty of other choices that might be better for you.Best wishes for all of you and good luck…Again,Do Your Due Diligence Homework,first and foremost.At the risk of you finding me annoying,I want to share one more place I had considered.This was Green Valley,AZ. Also a wonderful place for Retirees.I checked out the Robson properties they are also very nice. I didn’t choose Green Valley for two reasons.The first is the closeness to the Mexican border and it’s drug problems.You will find Border patrols at different locations between Green Valley and Nogales.I don’t know of any problems that have occurred at/in Green Valley or any of the other Senior communities there.
    You are conveniently just 20 miles below Tucson,a great town,not crowded like Phoenix area.The potential border problems with the Mex.cartels and illegal immigration was my concern and fear.It need not be yours,and I spoke to noone who wasn’t happy living in/near Green Valley.You get rain storms in July and August.But it’s also warmer than Mesq. & SGU in the winter. My 2nd concern was
    that in the Summer you are a long way from finding a cool spot.There’s only so many times that you are going to want to drive up to Mt.Lemmon.Finally,Phoenix was out b/c of it’s crowdedness.Plus it has 120(4 months)days a year when the temp. is 100 degrees or higher.
    Adieu,Adios,Ciao,Aloha……Thank You.

    by Raffy — May 5, 2014

  134. Wow Raffy, you are wonderful. Thank you so much for all your information…how very thorough and thoughtful of you.
    We never thought of moving west, but you have us rethink.
    May I ask about leash laws? Do you see many stray animals anywhere?

    Thanks in advanced.

    by Godsgirl — May 6, 2014

  135. Godsgirl, I can only give you Info about Mesquite,NV. Both Cats and Dogs
    must be licensed and leashed. In Sun City there is at least one Dog park
    in each subdivision.The Dog parks are grassed and immaculate with litter
    bags.The parks look like Golf course fairways.To find out the Regs in other
    towns/cities you might look on line under the city name dot com.It would probably be even easier to just call the town and City Halls directly.

    by Raffy — May 6, 2014

  136. I am not LDS, completely welcomed to a very LDS neighborhood. There is a growing non-LDS community in SGU.
    Yes, Dixie Regional is major med. center, many, many satellite offices. Top notch physicians. Check it out somem of the best cardiovascular surgeons live there bcz great place to raise a family and stay health for DR’s family.
    Here’s is my opinion (reality check) when I entered the physicians office. It was clean, very modern, timely and professional. This was not my experience where I moved from in the midwest.
    Again, my reality.

    by carol — May 7, 2014

  137. Svenska and others who asked about Valley Fever..

    Yesterday I had an appointment with Dr. Po at the University of Arizona Infectious Disease clinic. He is also a founding member, and on the board, of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence here in Tucson. He gave me a lot of good data I wanted to share here.

    Valley Fever is a disease that comes from a spore, cocci….can’t spell it…that grows in the desert. It is present all across the southwest and parts of California. Te disease is endemic in Arizona, in the Valley Fever corridor that stretches through Phoenix and Tucson. However, 80% of all cases are in Maricopa County…Phoenix.

    You catch it by breathing spores in the air. If you have African or Pacific Islander heritage you are more susceptible. If you have a suppressed immune system, such as an Aids patient, or if you are on high doses of steroids (80 milligrams a day or higher) you are more susceptible. Certain conditions are best avoided: construction areas, areas where the earth is disturbed…for gardening, for rodent burrows, for any kind of digging or burrowing,.., going out immediately after a rainstorm, dust storms. In other words, any condition or situation that disturbs the earth and causes dust to be in the air. However, cultivated fields and areas with pesticide or fertilizer are less dangerous.

    Dr.Po also told me that people need to be their own advocate. VF presents In a wide variety of symptoms…skin rash, eye infection, even gynecological problems, or the more common flu-like symptoms. Because of this variety, physicians often don’t think to test for VF. This is the biggest problem because, if diagnosed and treated early with readily available drugs like flucanozole, VF is easily managed. Dr. Po says the best prevention is to be educated and to demand a VF test if you ever think VF is a possibility.

    Because I was their to assess my risk, he told me not to worry. He told me to take reasonable precautions (avoid dust storms and construction areas, stay inside immediately after it rains, don’t be digging in the ground) and to relax. He also told me that hooking up with a good infectious disease doc was a good step, and to call him or come see him if I ever had any symptoms, and he would fix me up. He did not see concerned by my age or health (64, diabetic, COPD).

    The Valley Fever Center for Excellence has a website with a lot of info. Just google it. Oh, and by the ay, pets can catch VF as well. Check the website.

    by Ginger — May 14, 2014

  138. Ginger thank you for that info. I live in the prairi now in southern Colorado where the wind and dust fly at free will. No promises on the house yet but still moving to Arizona. Glad you are comfortable and loving it.

    by svenska — May 15, 2014

  139. I live in Phoenix and don’t know anyone that has a problem. I would advise not living in dusty areas where there is a lot of wind. Some areas get the large dust storms, while other do not! Do your homework! Good luck!

    by Loralee — May 15, 2014

  140. Loralee, yes doing your homwork is important, but it helps to have friends that guide you. I don’t know much about Phoenix, have only visited a few times, but know that I want an easier life at this stage in my life. So, a little guidance, where are the dustier places around Phoenix. I remember a few years ago visiting Goodyear and driving into Phoenix there were posting on the overpasses that air quality is poor today. Is that only in the city area. I was planning to go to the east of Phoenix Is the area east of the city better, say 50 miles out, I know the west is windy and dusty. Thank you for your knowledge.

    by Svenskaq — May 16, 2014

  141. In response to Svenskag’s questions about dust, we live in Northeast Mesa about 30 miles to the east of Phoenix. We also get the dust storms that coming into the valley but they are a bit less severe. Because of the increasingly serious drought situation dust storms are more frequent and more severe than in the past. Any one with allergies to dust and pollen (borne by the winds) should be careful about locating in the area. Because of my allergies, my doctor has advised to move to a colder and less dusty locale. Adding to the problem is that Valley Fever, a fungal disease of the lungs, can be carried on the wind. The most effective drug for that disease has skyrocketed in price — increasing by as much as a factor of ten. This is especially discouraging for lower income pet owners whose pet happens to get the disease. I hope these remarks aren’t too discouraging, but it is a factor to take seriously.

    by Dave Moewes — May 16, 2014

  142. Yes, it is a little discouraging. Did your dog get the desease? I have 2 dogs coming with me so I certainly do not want them to catch that. Maybe further North in Arizona would be better?

    by savenska — May 17, 2014

  143. Svenska, did you see in my earlier post that 80% of all reported cases are in Phoenix? Basically anyplace other than Phoenix is much safer. It doesn’t matter if people report anecdotally that they don’t know anyone who has it…the disease statistics don’t lie. As for dogs, it might depend on what kind. The biggest danger to dogs is sniffing the ground and digging. My little girl is NEVER off leash, therefore I have pretty good control over her digging. She does sniff the ground. However, she is mainly an indoor dog, so I think her risk is less.

    There are many lovely areas in Arizona beyond Phoenix, just cone down and look around.

    by Ginger — May 17, 2014

  144. Ginger, thank you I am planning to come down and check out all areas. Maybe even get a small RV and use that for a year or two to get familiar with Arizona and where I might want to settle. My dogs are also indoor dogs, but when we walk or hike they are off the leash. But they are my babies, so they will probably be safe, as I hope I will be. Glad to hear from you and so glad you are enjoying the area.

    by svenska — May 18, 2014

  145. Svenska, I Also want to stress that Dr. Po, who is the acknowledged expert in Valley Fever, told e that if I take normal precautions I shouldn’t worry. He also said that even if I caught it, it is easily treated. Same for dogs. Just be cautious and, if any symptoms insist on the test….and you’ll be ok.

    by Ginger — May 18, 2014

  146. Ginger, Dave and others who live in dust storm prone areas… does the dust come into the houses? Here in W TN, we have a lot of pollen in the air in early spring, and everything outside is covered in yellow most days. Its so bad at times that we see yellow puddles after a rain. While good windows, AC and air purifiers help, we do have quite a mess inside the home as well.

    by Godsgirl — May 18, 2014

  147. For Svenska, are you asking about San Tan Valley area? I would not be concerned about that virus. I think you will find Arizona quite enchanting, at least I did. I wasn’t sure at first, moving from California, but I have to tell you it certainly grew on me, and now when I drive back from being out of state I feel like I am home. I think it is wise to explore all the areas and talk to locals, and then you will feel comfortable in your decision. I came out and visited and asked everyone I saw there opinion. I found that very insightful. 🙂

    by Loralee — May 18, 2014

  148. Really you can get accurate statistical data at the link below. You can also call them for a personal conversation. People will tell you stories both ways (no problem, big problem), but the acknowledged experts in the field say ‘exercise normal caution, report any symptoms and insist on VF test, but RELAX’.

    by Ginger — May 19, 2014

  149. Gods girl, my experience is that the dust comes in as much as it can…meaning I don’t keep my windows open a lot, keep fresh filters in my air conditioning system, etc. with normal precaution it hasn’t been bad at all, but I have only been in mild to moderate dust storms so far. One day the dust was o thick I couldn’t see the mountains…that was about the worst.

    by Ginger — May 19, 2014

  150. Thank you Ginger. From what I gathered during the discussions here, dust storms don’t happen very frequently, so, as long as one takes the necessary precautions, like you do, it should be manageable.

    by Godsgirl — May 19, 2014

  151. Is anyone familiar with CantaMia in Goodyear, AZ? It’s part of the same group that owns Solivita in Kissimmee. I’ll be in the Phoenix area soon and should have time to make brief visits to a couple of communities. So many choices…but people seem to love Solivita so I thought I’d check out CantaMia. Any other recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.

    by Tessa — May 20, 2014

  152. […] For further reference: State Retirement Guides Retirement 101 Mid-Atlantic States: MD, DE, VA, NJ Florida Retirement 101 Dueling Carolinas: NC vs. SC Dueling States: Arizona vs. Florida California Retirement 101 Retirement in the Southwest: AZ, NM, and Utah […]

    by » Dueling Retirement States: The Pacific Northwest (OR vs. WA) - Topretirements — February 16, 2015

  153. Does anyone have comments about Las Cruces, New Mexico? We have visited three times but still have a lot of unanswered questions. I know that New Mexico taxes Social Security but doesn’t the lower housing costs, lower Vehicle registration costs and overall lower cost of living offset that tax? Also, am I wrong that the health-care there is not the greatest. I am interested in hearing from someone else’s perspective. I currently live in Northern California and I know I will probably miss all of the trees and green but I will not miss all of the taxes and high property costs.

    by Carmen Bethel — March 10, 2015

  154. We also spent some time looking around Las Cruces with a realtor, but after a couple of days realized that it really had a long way to go with regard to medical and general interest businesses such as nice eateries, coffee shops, etc.
    While home prices are reasonable, plan on having to drive to El Paso for most medical treatments other than the absolute basics.
    And make sure you’ll be comfortable residing that close to the border even though El Past is reportedly one of the safest cities in the country. Most likely because a huge percentage of residents are directly or indirectly associated with law enforcement at some level..

    by Denny — March 29, 2015

  155. I am thinking about Tucson area but have leukemia(now in remission) so concerned about valley fever and immune system issues. also no one talks about noise from air force base and airport.i don’t want to hear or feel that I have good hearing so its an issue. thanks andrea

    by andrea l. nicoletti — May 25, 2015

  156. Have read much of your comments regarding senior retirement in AZ and find them very true and full of information.
    We have lived in North Tucson, Robson community, and the location is wonderful. Your findings are right on. Some of the residents are very well heeled, known as FIPS, Former Important Persons and are exclusive and very clique in their residency.
    It’s golf, more gold and tennis along with food and beverage with entertainment. Facilities are very good and maintenance as indicated in your comments is a priority with all residences and facilities, streets and grounds kept in top condition, a plus for ownership and resale. There’s a very high percentage of folks that migrate annually back to home territory, upper Midwest and east coast. Compared to Green Valley, low key by comparison, location it’s much better for going into Tucson for good shopping, entertainment and the mountain setting is much preferred over the lower desert.

    by RF Reagan — May 28, 2015

  157. We are in Northwest Tucson area, city of Marana, active adult community of The HIghlands at Dove Mountain. Dove
    Mountain is a master plan community with many different subdivisions. Some are gated some not. Some homes under $200,000 some over $2Million. The greatest thing is the beauty in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains, lots of hiking, we are minutes from I-10 so 20 minutes to downtown Tucson. No noise here.

    by LJ — May 29, 2015

  158. New Mexico here we come!
    We are pulling the trigger and listing our co-op. Our plan is to rent for several months in the Albuquerque area.before committing to having our first home built in one of two 55 and over adult communities. In April we visited Del Webb’s Mirehaven and Jubilee in Los Lunas and will chose between the two. In either case we will be up-sizing from 850 sq ft to about 1400 sq ft. Backyard barbeque and a washer and dryer; Heaven.

    by Basil — May 29, 2015

  159. Tessa late response but when you asked about canta Mia I did not know I would end up buying there. Lots of pros and cons but I found I got a lock for my money and I thought the place was simply beautiful. Also lots of dog people there of which I am one. It’s a little further out but still in Goodyear and I expect things will be built up in the next few years. I did not know I would end up buying there. Lots of pros and cons but I found I got a lot for my money and I thought the place was simply beautiful. Also lots of dog people there of which I am one. It’s a little further out but still in Goodyear and I expect things will be built up in the next few
    Years.. Will be moving late fall and loralee is love to figure out a way to meet you sound like a fun person!

    by Nancy — May 30, 2015

  160. Nancy…love to meet when you move to Phoenix! Loralee

    by Loralee — May 30, 2015

  161. Basil, would love to hear more. I am going to NM in July and will be visiting both places, and the 3rd, which I believe is farther south.

    by Nyla — May 30, 2015

  162. Nancy, Sounds like you found a place where you will be happy. I visited Canta Mia about a year ago. I thought it seemed really low key and I am looking for more activity. That may or may not be the case because all I did was tour the models so not sure what it’s really like. I did like the homes, and I talked to a couple of people that were buying there and they seemed nice. My focus in on Florida at the moment but I appreciate the follow up.

    by Tessa — June 2, 2015

  163. Tessa, they likely only had 200 homes soldiers then, and now 400 residences and first phase almost sold out. I believe activities follow the people, they do have a pretty full schedule posted. But because it is still in start up I found you get for a lot morefor your money, the clubhouse is simply gorgeous. I visited pebble creek but didn’t like the feel….claustrophobic, too many people. I hope it works out it is a bit off the beaten path but still driving distance about 20 minutes to shopping. Time will tell.

    by Nancy — June 3, 2015

  164. People interested in a 55 and over in Phoenix, Az should check out Vistancia in Peoria…tons of activities and lots of friendly fun people. It’s really lovely and close to shopping and freeway! A new 55 and over community is coming to Chandler, Az… it will be built by Pulte.

    by loralee — June 3, 2015

  165. I think a new one also in Mesa built by my builder av homes

    by Nancy — June 4, 2015

  166. Nyla, My wife and I have visited the Albuquerque area several times as well as every other state West of the Mississippi in the past twenty seven years. We both enjoy the four seasons that we have here on Long Island just not the major winter snow. Christmas time at Old Town was fantastic. The balloon festiva in October; amazing.
    We plan on renting an apartment or a home for several months before we commit to purchasing. There is another community in Belen called Sunrise Bluffs that is very popular with RVers.

    by Basil — June 5, 2015

  167. I love Albuquerque! I transferred here with my company in 2008. Since then we have retired and stayed right here. We bought a home with fantastic views of the city and mountains. Yes they tax social security here and they have some extra taxes but you sure save on home buying and utilities and we have some of the cheapest gas in the country. Can’t beat the weather here.. Cool nights in the summer makes it nice for enjoying evenings out. Albuquerque was named the friendliest dog city in America along with being in the top for many things like parks, recreation , bike trails and other outdoor activities. There is a great minor league baseball team with one of the best stadiums! We have the bio park that has a fantastic zoo and the botanical gardens are simply beautiful… We are known for our diversity of restaurants (and we have plenty) because of our diverse population. Living in a diverse area there are always different festivals and things to do not to mention our Balloon Fiesta early October. There is a higher crime rate here but tends to be located in a couple of areas. I have always felt safe here. Health care here is great. We have some of the nations top rated orthapedic surgeons here along with other medical fields that are top notch. Albuquerque is in the process of approving a huge development project called Santolina which will be a city within Albuquere with homes, schools and shopping. Del Webb has started a beautiful retirement village and mixed age homes that will be around 700-900 homes when done… I’m here to stay! We have lived in Connecticut, Florida and most recently from Vermont and we don’t miss the humidity and Mosquitos . I don’t think people realize what a beautiful state New Mexico is as you travel around. Mountains and scenery and so much history. You can have the heat of Phoenix….. We are glad we moved one state east!!!!

    by Jp Peterson — June 19, 2015

  168. Teresa, I live in CantaMia, what would you like to know? Email me directly with your questions if you would like, or answer on the blog. We moved in in January 2015 and have had a wonderful experience.

    by 703Sue — June 20, 2015

  169. Jp, you make me want to move to Albuquerque without ever visiting!

    by EMA — June 20, 2015

  170. […] 101 Dueling Carolinas: NC vs. SC Dueling States: Arizona vs. Florida California Retirement 101 Retirement in the Southwest: AZ, NM, and Utah Comparing the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington for […]

    by » Dueling Mountain States for Retirement: CO, ID, MT, NV, UT, and WY - Topretirements — June 22, 2015

  171. I think the southern half of NV was omitted or overlooked in this Blog topic. It has all the Climate, and Meteorological characteristics of these other Southwestern states. The Las Vegas area ( Henderson, Boulder) is so bountiful in 55+ Retirement communities. Likely having more than all of Utah, and all of N.M as well. The Mesquite, NV city also has multiple Retirement communities and is continually building more. Mesquite is legitimately a Golfing Mecca. Nevada has no income tax (including none on dividends or interest), no estate tax,and no inheritance tax. The absence of all these taxes is very important to so many
    retirees. For some it may be critical.

    For the reasons I have indicated, I think that any discussion of Southwestern retirement living that doesn’t include NV is incomplete and uninformed. Your T-R website is the best available for sure. I think and hope that including Southern Nevada will make it only better. My aim is to be constructive not critical.

    by Raffa — July 27, 2015

  172. Okay, I hope all you AZ people (Phoenix-area) can help me. I have decided to move to Phoenix to be closer to my son but don’t know where exactly to go. My plan is to put all my stuff that I have left from my downsizing from Houston into storage and rent an extended stay place until I find what and where I want to go. I am looking at a 2-bedroom apt, not necessarily a house or condo. I have been downsizing this 2400 sq ft house by myself for the last year and I really do not think a house is what I am looking for. I have been in Phoenix in March of this year and just drove around Phoenix, Scottsdale and Fountain HIlls. I did find some places but wanted to hear what people who actually are there seem to think.
    Any and all comments you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    by SharonA — July 28, 2015

  173. Sharon, besides 2BR apt you never mentioned any other parameters, most importantly is how much money do you want to spend to insure your safety. Big difference between south Phoenix (I carried) and North Scottsdale (where I used to live).

    by art bonds — July 29, 2015

  174. Good question Art. I don’t know. North Phoenix is where I will be looking but I will have to think about that. thanks

    by SharonA — July 29, 2015

  175. A big part of this equation should be where your son lives in the Phoenix area if you wish to see him a lot. It’s a BIG place and the traffic can be quite fierce.

    by Linda — July 29, 2015

  176. Linda: my son lives in north Phoenix. I have been to Desert Ridge mall and also the Mayo Clinic up there are that was very close.

    by SharonA — July 29, 2015

  177. Sharon, our favorite sandwich is the Hawaiian Burgers at Islands in the Desert Ridge Mall.

    McDowell Mtn Ranch, where we lived, has some nice apartments. MMRanch is to the east of Desert Ridge, in North Scottsdale. Also some nice apartments just to the west of Desert Ridge too, just across Tatum Blvd. And I think there are some loft type of apartments (apartments over businesses) actually in Desert Ridge, saw them last time I was there (May).

    As a general rule anything north of the Pima Freeway and east of Hwy 51 is very safe. The further South you go, well… it starts going south, if you know what I mean. You can save money going south, but in my opinion the first crime will convince you otherwise. Check out the links below.

    by art bonds — July 30, 2015

  178. If he is close to the Mayo Clinic then he is probably in North Scottsdale.

    Generally anything east of North Scottsdale Rd and north of Indian School Road should be OK, but given you want to be closer to son I’d stay north of Cactus Rd (considering traffic). If you are in the area also try Streets of New York pizza, Pima and Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Good luck in your search, we loved our time in the Valley of the Sun (specifically McDowell Mountain Ranch and Anthem). Might even go back when we retire.

    by art bonds — July 30, 2015

  179. I retired to Phoenix from Calif. and bought in N. Phoenix…near Desert Ridge. Love the area, and Sharon there are lots of apartment to see, and a lot of real estates agents could help you with your search for that. I definitely would also recommend staying North as others have mentioned. For me Fountain Hills is too far out there.

    by Loralee — July 30, 2015

  180. Loralee, thank you for the info. I did like Fountain Hills but as you said it is too far from everything. I am really sort of zeroing in what I will do when I visit in October. Thanks again.

    by SharonA — July 30, 2015

  181. Is there anywhere that anyone knows to check out local water availability/cost? These southwestern states and California seem to always be mentioned as at risk for running out of water sometime during this century. In particular, any place near the Colorado River (irrespective of whether or not they use wells–as the depth of the well will vary with the Colorado river depth) is at risk. Apparently the reservoirs are also at record lows. I assume that people will pay more and more for their water as time has gone on. Should that be a consideration in planning moves to these areas?

    by Lynn — August 1, 2015

  182. Recently I visited Albuquerque/SantaFe/Taos with an eye for a potential retirement spot (the heat chased me away before the water issue ever came up). I was able to chat up a couple of Master Gardeners who have lived in the area for many years. Apparently as it stands now, each household is alotted a certain amount of water per month at a normal rate, but once that is exceeded, each extra gallon is exponentially more expensive. This fact, plus extreme weather (severe heat, frosts as late as July, a very short growing season) makes it difficult to grow anything. The result is a dependence on California for nearly all of their food supply and, you guessed it…higher prices. It was a real eye opener to see this ripple effect going on now. I can only imagine what the future will bring.

    by Shauna — August 2, 2015

  183. Shauna,

    As I understand it Arizona is most at risk because of its complete dependence on the Colorado River. However, much of the Southwest also lives on “borrowed” water. I would love to see a systematic approach to areas and municipalities, as I suspect some areas may be worse than others. It actually sounds like New Mexico is being responsible–depending on how low they set the bar for water use.

    by Lynn — August 2, 2015

  184. To the Admin,

    I would love to see more climatology info in your blog posts. Information such as the availability of water would be useful. Additionally, danger of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and the like would help in the decision making process.


    by Lynn — August 2, 2015

  185. As much as I love Tucson, I’m moving to an area with ample water when I retire. Tucson has been getting quite a bit of rain (for us) in the past several years, which replenishes the groundwater here; however, due to the high population growth, water will be THE issue in the future. The U.S. has a treaty with Mexico that requires a certain amount of water to flow into that country from the Colorado River, plus the river is depleted more and more as it flows south through the U.S.. Tucson, near the end of the Colorado River distribution, has a water reclamation program, but the main problem of population growth will test all attempts for cities and rural areas in the SW to have enough water. The SW is an important region for growing food, as is Mexico, which is shipped throughout the U.S., and I fear for farmers, ranchers and consumers that there will be a water crisis that pits agriculture against human use of potable water. Anyone who moves to the SW must be aware of how they use water, and treat it as if it is more valuable than Tatingers champagne, because it is certainly worth more, and may become as rare.

    by Elaine C. — August 2, 2015

  186. Where to retire comments & questions:

    I grew up in the midwest, moved to Escondido, Ca. where I spent 24 years and then on to Tampa Bay to be closer to kids and grandkids. Travelled in an RV for several years seeking “Eden” but still unsure as to where it exists. I loved Escondido but when it came time to retire, California wasn’t going to work – unfortunately – as that is the garden spot of the U.S.A. Although I found many wonderful communities with ideal weather – at the time of travel, it was difficult to really know where the best retirement spot is. I liked Tucson for some of the weather as opposed to Fl where I get bit by mosquitos and no seeums at least once a day. I currently live in St. Petersburg which is becoming more “artsy” and great dining is beginning to appear – but so are prices on real estate. More to follow after I figure out how to get comments on this web site.

    by don Heston — October 6, 2015

  187. Wife and I spend half the year up north and the other half in Ajo’ AZ. If you are interested in a small, unspoiled unincorporated town, with a wide spectrum of people from fairly well of to near the bottom of the economic scale, with a small town feel, you might want to check it out. Ther is a medical clinic, a good grocery, a hardware store, a beautiful Spanish colonial plaza, and a very involved art, music, and cultural community, you’ll find that in Ajo. What you won’t find is a hospital, a Walmart, a Home depot, Lowes, sports arena airport, or any other big city conveniences unless you’re willing to drive 80 to 120 miles. For us that’s a plus, but some people can’t stand it, but that’s what keeps Ajo small. Also we’re forty miles from the border, lots of Border Patrol, but no problems from illegals and been here nearly twenty years. John

    by John F — December 7, 2015

  188. A follow up on John F in Ajo, Az… on a humourous note. Arizona town names are interesting. There used to be a town called Fry, named after the founder. They changed it to Sierra Vista, “Come to Fry in Arizona” didn’t seem to bring in the tourist dollars.
    Show Low was named after a card game.
    Why, AZ is still named Why, but I am not sure why.
    The town of Ajo… well, it can be translated in Spanish to ‘garlic’, but remember that the ‘j’ in Spanish is pronounced as an ‘h’…
    And a famous one about how Yuma was named (probably not true, but…). Back when the town was founded nobody knew what to name it, so they left it up to the town marshal. He thought long and hard but never gave them an answer. Then one day a gunslinger rode into town and got into a gunfight with the marshal. Gunfighter won. As the marshal lay dying in the street, the towns folk rushed up to him and implored the marshal to name the town. The marshal looked at the gunslinger and muttered “You mu… You mu…”
    You will never get that minute of your life back… ‘)

    by Art Bonds — December 8, 2015

  189. i like the stories about the AZ towns…

    has anyone retired to or researched Prescott?

    thanks and have a great xmas holiday

    by mike — December 9, 2015

  190. Hi . I was wondering if any body visited or live in Glen lakes Weeki Wachee Florida and can give an opinion about the community . Thank you very much .

    by chris dedes — December 10, 2015

  191. Happy Holidays everyone! I am looking for a 55+ APARTMENT RENTAL community in Arizona. I have researched but have not found one in Arizona although I have found several in Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Thanks for any help you can give me! – Edna

    by Edna — December 11, 2015

  192. Hi Edna:

    There are lots of rental communities in AZ. Phoenix and Tucson areas
    have many. Less populated areas such as Flagstaff, Prescott also have some nice apartment rentals. They would range from amenities, such as having a dining room, etc., to those that offer apartments and activities and a van to get around if you need that. Just check “senior apartments” in any of the areas you might be interested in. Many will have a website that will give you pictures, videos, and leasing information.

    Good Luck.


    by Janet Farrell — December 12, 2015

  193. We have now lived in the SW suburb of Goodyear at Canta Mia for 12 months, moved here in January from the East Coast. Our two sons and families are in CA and that was not going to happen. I can only say it was the best decision of our lives. We have solar and our electric bills were only the service charge through April. In the summer of course we had some charges but overall that also was the right choice. Sales are booming here and all over Phoenix and of course prices are going up. We like the newness of everything after the East Coast. Canta Mia is anything but quiet, it would be impossible to keep up with everything that is offered. My husband and I are both Real Estate agents and have had an opportunity to look at all the 55 plus communities in the Phoenix area and know we made the right choice. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Cantamia!

    by Sue Cook — December 12, 2015

  194. Sue, can you tell us what the HOA fee ranges are at Canta Mia and can you buy a resale cheaper than from the developer?

    by Louise — December 13, 2015

  195. Canta Mia dues are $195 a month

    by Wayne — December 13, 2015

  196. I was in contract to build a unit at canta Mia. It has a lot of positives but it is very secluded and about 20 minutes from the main drag of good year and the free way. After a dispute with the builder, I ended up at the very new community of victory within the established neighborhood of verrado. While the average price is higher, the builder give you most of the niceties that I had to pay for before, things like can lighting, wiring, fixtures, etc, I love the location and you’re fortunate and get in early the builder will pay the association dues for the first year, which is a similar amount to canta Mia’s monthlies.mthe club house is opening next month and it will be like no other. The website is

    by Nancy — December 14, 2015

  197. Janet: thanks for the info. I had already found “senior apartments” but would prefer an established 55+ community. I want a swimming pool with water aerobics, an arts/crafts room, exercise room, etc. Maybe an on-site restaurant.

    by Edna — December 14, 2015

  198. Hi, I am interested in the Calabash, Wilmington area of North Carolina. I am going to spend two weeks over Christmas looking at different communities. I am going to look at Sandpiper Bay, Brunswick, Magnolia Green and Waterford. My husband and I want an active senior community. Any info will be appreciated. Thanks.

    by sue — December 15, 2015

  199. Louise, the re sales are overall more expensive than the builder,but there are a number of Quick Move Ins available for excellent pricing. We built new as we wanted a specific floor plan that had two master closets, and an enormous kitchen island that was new. Now they are building it as a QMI due to its popularity. We also wanted a three car garage for all our Baby Boomer stuff that we carry with us. Even some of the smaller plans can be built with a three car garage which is unusual in this type of home. Cantamia just opened its new amenities including a craft studio, tennis court, several more pickle ball courts, a dog park and a concert area. There are several lakes through out the community which was a real plus, so unexpected in the desert. The Fitness, Indoor pool, whirlpool and steam are fantastic and the large outdoor pool has a beach like entrance to it. We love that it is a 55 plus, really a nice group of people from all over the country. We are from Illinois and so many of our neighbors are also from the Midwest.

    by Sue Cook — December 15, 2015

  200. This is an Az thread. Why are people asking questions about North Carolina? Boomers are old enough to have studied geography!!M

    by Sandie — December 16, 2015

  201. What Sandie said.

    by Basil — December 17, 2015

  202. Does anyone have pros and cons for retirement in Kingman,AZ?

    by Carol — September 7, 2016

  203. I wouldn’t reside in Tucson during the winters any longer, actually some suburbs Phoenix now seem to have more temperate climates from Dec. to April than Tucson and more precipitation. Tucson has significantly more wind and blowing dust. Actually Chandler is much more pleasant during the winter, that’s why we moved from Tucson.

    by Ernie — March 14, 2017

  204. can anybody comment on retiring in Payson Arizona? I am a bit of a foodie, and I have not seen very many really good restaurants there. Also, what is the hospital like? I know it’s small, and it gets average reviews, what does everybody think?

    by Julee Austin — June 2, 2018

  205. Tomi, I am currently in NM and it is a beautiful place. The weather has four seasons but the snow usually only lasts a few hours or so. Every few years we get “real” snow but that too is usually gone in a day or two. Sunshine and warm weather are abundant. Jubilee in Los Luna’s is beautiful and Facebook is bringing in money. Mirehaven in a ABQ is also very beautiful. Now for the not so good: Crime is terrible. ABQ is located at the crossroads of two major freeways and all the drugs that come with that. NM taxes social security and military pensions as well as all other sources of income. However, when comparing the property taxes of some no tax states with NM, it is still cheaper to live here. The city installed a rapid transit system that has turned out to be a huge boondoggle and is currently inoperable. State government has been I. The hands of the same political party for 60 yrs and is corrupt. About 50% of the population is on some kind of government assistance. NM is the perfect place to sell high in another state and buy cheap here. There is a strong appreciation for culture, history and art. The annual Balloon Fiesta is fantastic. There is always something going on around here and you can take the train to Santa Fe for the day or drive up to Taos. We live in ABQ but will probably consider Rio Rancho (suburb) for retirement. ABQ is a college town so you will find concerts, theater, and lectures. If you like to bike or walk/run the trail on the Bosque is there and the city is close to completely finishing the 50 mile bike loop.
    by Laurie — June 7, 2018

    by Jane at Topretirements — June 8, 2018

  206. I would like to hear comments about the large cockroach and similar insects in the southern part of New Mexico or bordering states. Understand many other insects are a problem, too.

    by Ed Harold — May 18, 2019

  207. Any critiques about Scottsdale? I love the area and I’m pretty sure that I want to retire there. I have checked out the Shadows on a couple of visits over the last couple of years and have interviewed owners as I see them. Everyone seems to love it there. It close to lots of things. I love the idea of not having to take care of a house but still having my own little space. I’m tired of the house upkeep and I’m tired of the cold, icy winters here in New York! Thanks everyone!

    by Vicki Goble — November 13, 2019

  208. Vicki,
    we just moved in August from Annapolis, MD and prior to that Chicago Illinois to Peoria, Az. We studied both Scottsdale and Peoria. We live in northern Peoria and if you look at the map it is off of Happy Valley Road to give you some perspective. We loved Scottsdale and we loved Peoria. We stayed in Scottsdale many times but we just could not find a place that we had to put a lot of money in to renovate what we were looking for since so many of the places are older. Other than that we have friends that live there and love it. Close to everything. Some new developments are going up too. Phx area is buliding up fast again and anything in the north going across from Peoria to Scottsdale you will see lots of new places. I think you would be very happy there and not disappointed. the temp today will be in the 80s and it is only 56 right now :-).

    by Terri Ertlmeier — November 14, 2019

  209. We retired to Scottsdale two years ago. The area has every imaginable activity and amenity, including nearly 1,000 restaurants. Friendly people for the most part. We get eight months of New England-style fall weather. But we also get four months is relentless heat and blazing sun. Try it for a month in the summer before committing.

    by Ed LaFreniere — November 14, 2019

  210. I moved to N. Phoenix several years ago and agree with the Terri and Ed. Lovely people here and lots of new housing in all areas. Like Terri, I looked in Scottsdale and found the houses would need renovation, so I found a new up in N. Phoenix about 16 minutes from Scottsdale. I think Peoria would also be a great choice if you want new, I have friends that live there and I am in that area a lot. I try to leave for several weeks in the summer, but the rest of the year is amazing. This area has great roads, is clean and well maintained. So much to do. Everyone that I have met that moved here loves it!

    by Loraleea — November 15, 2019

  211. Any insight into Sierra Vista AZ? I have been watching it for a couple of years. Decent hospital, weather looks doable. Major thing there is an Army base.

    by Len W — November 16, 2019

  212. Hi Arizona folks,
    What about the future of water resources out there? What is the source? We want to bring our son (younger generation) with us so we look for someplace for planting roots, finding employment and sustainability for the future (in addition to it being a nice retirement spot.) We’ve heard that water is in short supply in some of the sunny southwestern states.

    by Cindy — November 16, 2019

  213. Cindy……Most of the communities we visited…we asked the water concern question. Most of the communities that begin constuction must prove a 100 year water supply before beginning construction. Also, great initiatives on water reductions in Arizona, Low flow showera, water saving toiles, desert landscaping and reuse water for some public areas and many golf cpurses. Phoenix is also sitting on top od an AquaFria. The draw back, water is very expensive here compared to other places in the country.

    by Bruce — November 16, 2019

  214. Cindy and Bruce, I totally agree with Bruce about the water. One thing I have to say..We only have had 3 water bills but they have been at $96 a month which is a lot compared to what we are used to. And we do not have real grass. We have some fake grass in the back from the landscapers (this was a new home) We do have a new drip system for desert vegetation. So Bruce is correct water is higher. However in the water bill break down for our area it has the water, sewer, garbage, recycle, etc. So the true cost of the water is less than that. Here is our monthly breakdown to give you an idea. This is for a small landscaped lot with a house of 2400 sq ft. I hope this gives some perspective.
    Water Charges 47.43
    Sewer Charges 26.91
    Environmental Charges 0.90
    Residential Garbage 10.56
    Residential Recycling 4.73
    Storm Water Charge 1.25
    Sales Tax on Water 4.55
    State Water Quality Tax 0.07

    by Terri — November 17, 2019

  215. Thanks for sharing all the AZ water info Bruce and Terri,
    When I have googled homes for sale out there I was surprised to see very few swimming pools. I had suspected the reason. But now I know.

    by Cindy — November 17, 2019

  216. I love this web site , I have absorbed all the into for several years . I was committed to moving to ARIZONA . I currently live in Maryland . Of all the pros and cons I havn’t seen much info if any on the violence in southern border areas and throughout the state. I also see with the influx of political refugees from the west coast The housing prices and rent is rising . I have decent income although I am retired , I have pretty much given up the idea of moving to ARIZONA . Do anyone else share my feelings ?

    by Charles — November 17, 2019

  217. In Phoenix, we feel nothing of violence on the Southern border. I am not sure what you mean about political refugees from the West Coast. We are certainly getting a lot of Californians moving here because of lower real estate prices and cost of living. But there is no sense that people are fleeing here to escape liberal CA. In fact, because many of the new arrivals are young, early career transplants, they are more likely to be liberal which is why AZ is on the verge of becoming a Blue state.

    by Tony — November 17, 2019

  218. I have done EXTENSIVE research over the past 5 years investigating active 55+ communities, and have recently purchased a totally updated 1100 Sq ft golf course condo, ground floor unit, for $168,500 in Sun City West, AZ. Property taxes of $700/yr!!! Incredible “bang for your buck”!! SCW has beautiful amenities, 28 pickleball courts, numerous clubs, and within 5 minutes of shopping, medical, banking, grocery, etc…. Prior to purchasing, I asked numerous residents their opinion of living in SCW and I seemed to always get a variation of the same reply – “We LOVE it!! It’s the best move we ever made!!!”. SCW checks all my boxes, and I will return to my home state when the scorching temps arrive in summer.

    by Blaine Carroll — November 18, 2019

  219. Cindy…..believe it or not there are many pools. We live in a 55 plus community and I would esitmate that one fifth of the new homes put in pools. Guess they just want more privacy.

    I agree with Tony, not seen much violence related to being close to the southern border. Phoenix like all large cities has crime. I see no more here then when we lived in Minneapolis.
    Many folks do relocate here from California. Most have told me it is because of taxes, violence, traffic and over crowding conditions.

    by Bruce — November 18, 2019

  220. I am in Arizona in green Valley, and my water bill is lower than in Missouri. 28.00 a month plus 17 for sewer in 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom home. I do not water plants

    by Patricia reynolds — November 18, 2019

  221. For the last 30 years, we traveled all 50 states, plus Alaska, in RVs, mainly to see the diversity of this great country, but also to find a place for our golden years. We had lived in Pittsburgh all that time, which we love for its food and cultural scene and the great medical support system, we couldn’t stand the climate anymore: summers are getting more and more humid, from October to April, the weather is just dreary, and the air quality is bad from the power plants on the east side of Ohio. We were looking for a place not too hot in the summer, having the four seasons and being close to a decent airport. Everything south on the east cost was not an option for either being too humid (screened porches don’t work for us) or are too far from an airport (NC mountains). While we like the west coast, it is not affordable for retirees which had made a living in Pittsburgh and the Midwest was not an option both for climate and landscape. We found that New Mexico best fulfills our needs. Besides during our travels we had found that it is just the best place in the country, being close to major national attractions and the culture in the Land of Enchantment. We now live east of Albuquerque in the mountains, having all four seasons, 30 min from the airport, and hardly need AC in the summer. And within four months we made more friends than in 30 years in PA. We can’t imagine being happier.

    by Hasso Weiland — February 13, 2020

  222. Hasso, how is the medical care in New Mexico? How far are you from a good hospital? Sounds like you found your utopia, congratulations!

    by Jennifer Lee — February 14, 2020

  223. Back in the 1980’s when I was in my 30’s, I took frequent trips from Los Angeles to Albuquerque to do elevation hiking and climbing. Without a doubt it’s incredibly beautiful country. Thank you Hasso. You just lit a spark in my brain!

    by Bubbajog — February 14, 2020

  224. We traveled to Albuquerque & Los Cruces a few yrs ago. Loved Picacho 55+community. It’s really beautiful and amazing outdoor activities.
    But it still taxes SS&pensions. So we are pretty set on Nevada now. Specifically DelWeb Mesquite & Ovation Pahrump. Prices are fabulous and we will have enough money to travel back to the PNW in the hot months.

    by Tomi Huntley — February 14, 2020

  225. Jennifer: We just involuntarily tested the medical system: needed to call an ambulance at 1 am, paramedics were in the house after 15 min, ambulance shortly after, 40 min ride to the hospital (University of NM). Outstanding medical support there, international teams, I was much impressed. That’s the good side. The bad side: getting access to routine care is not as good. To get into one of the systems, we started seeing nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This is ok for basic support such as check-up and prescription renewal. Appointments to see a physician require waiting two to three months due to a lack of physicians in town. There are movements addressing this lack in access to routine care, but it seems to be a systematic issue based on a school system poorly managed in the past so young professionals do not want to raise a family here.

    by Hasso Weiland — February 26, 2020

  226. Hi Hasso:

    Many thanks for your response about medical care in New Mexico. Since I was a nurse, I am fine with a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant for routine care. They have the knowledge, often specialize, and can do almost anything a physician can do. I used a nurse practitioner friend for a fractured elbow sustained in a fall in the summer of 2016 and all went great.

    The school system is another item. If the schools are bad and there are no good private alternatives, then the whole neighborhood can deteriorate. I have seen this here in Washington, DC. We have many schools and the best ones are private for the most part with a few exceptions. Unfortunately they are too expensive for most families. It was good that you also brought that up.

    by Jennifer — February 27, 2020

  227. hi hasso
    I am from PGH. to were did yinz all look into ???I was looking at st George but i think its kinda high for me Im just looking for a apartment over 62 still in Pgh

    by pete jenson — August 3, 2020

  228. This is for Raffy in Mesquite, haven’t seen any recent posts and was curious if you’re still in SCM and your current perspective on Mesquite. We’re thinking of relocating there and wanted to get some current input particularly with comparing it to SGU. Thanks

    by Ray — February 9, 2021

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