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Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire – And Why

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 22, 2012 — OK Topretirements members and readers, it’s your turn to help. We have been trying our best to give you practical advice about the best places to retire along with general retirement advice – now we need your (brief) input on a specific question. That is, tell your fellow members “Where are you going to retire, and why others should consider it”. For our part, we promise to analyze and categorize the responses in a future article. The project depends on getting many people to contribute, which will give us valuable survey data that everyone will appreciate. A similar survey that your editor worked on for NARFE, So Many Great Towns, So Hard to Choose, a few years ago generated hundreds of responses – we have every confidence our 22,000 subscribers can do the same. After all, this site is free, think of this assignment as your small payback.

Your Instructions – It’s Easy!
We need your response to the question in 140 characters or less (140 is the maximum length of a twitter message, or not more than 2 lines of text on this page). So it’s easy, because you have to be brief. You can respond directly in the Comments section below, or you can send an email with your comments and we will put them all together. Either way, it won’t take long, and it will be a real help to yourself and everyone else in this community. Just say where you plan to (or think you might) retire, and why others should consider it – that’s it!

After we posted this invitation we followed up with a Summary of your intended places to retire – and why, as posted in over 200 comments. Don’t miss it!

Comments: Post your 140 character answer below, or send us an email or even a Tweet @topretirements

Posted by John Brady on February 21st, 2012


  1. A house at The Great Outdoors Resort Titusville fl (for Rvers.) Like FL’s no tax, lower cost of living, winter weather, resorts location & amenities.

    by alan — February 22, 2012

  2. We would like to retire in a active community somwhere in Tennessee or N. Carolina that is close to shopping and restaurants. We are not golfers and hate the humidity. Love 4 seasons and hubby would like to work part time.

    by LisaJ — February 22, 2012

  3. Fort Myers, FL – weather, beaches, amenities in area and price of homes. We will be there in March to buy. Looking at 55+ and regular gated communities. Like what we see!

    by ToniO — February 22, 2012

  4. I am looking for low cost of living with a warm climite. Looking at Belize because of the use of the English language. Also Panama and Nicaragua because of the cost of living.

    by Terpsma — February 22, 2012

  5. We’re spoiled rotten living in MD, with mountains, ocean, the Bay, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, and much more all within easy reach. It’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. Now if we can just figure out how to afford it!

    by Nancy — February 22, 2012

  6. I’m closing on a house in The Villages, Florida in two weeks. Why – No tax on my Army pension, lower cost of living, weather, and especially the very active lifestyle.

    by Nancy H — February 22, 2012

  7. I’m struggling between being close to family which would be somewhere between NC and Texas panhandle and FL which has been home for several years, but I will locate from far south farther north at least for distance sake.

    by Linda D — February 22, 2012

  8. We are looking at the western NC area. Asheville would be great, but it looks like Hendersonville area is cheaper.

    by Bill Yoder — February 22, 2012

  9. We were originally looking to move to the Prescott area, but recently we visited San Luis Obispo and fell i love with a small community in Atascadero just north of SLO. lovely old oaks, views, climate and close to lots of outdoor activities.

    by Eric — February 22, 2012

  10. I’m longing for the mountains, and Wyoming is the primary focus for me at the moment. Having lived in hot climates the majority of my life I’m ready for a huge switch. The humidity is my deal breaker, and the current NC summers are too draining for me.

    by Victoria — February 22, 2012

  11. I would like to retire to Florida because of the warm weather and beaches. Golf is alright to play but I’d rather be fishing or swimming or learn pickleball.

    by jim — February 22, 2012

  12. Like AZ,GA,FL,or TN; biggest concern is visiting grandchildren in Chicago and Portland; looks like Mesa, Knoxville, Atlanta,or Orlando would work;love water, golf,university facilities, and lots of activities; we’re the new 60’s.

    by Russ — February 22, 2012

  13. We plan to settle in a warm-weather college town – lots of activities at affordable prices, good health care options … and college kids to keep us thinking young!

    by dina — February 22, 2012

  14. Dover, DE area. Low housing cost and cost of living – no sales tax, no income tax on SS and government pensions, low property tax. 4 season climate, close to airports, hospitals and 2 hour drive to DC, Baltimore or Philadelphia.

    by Harry — February 22, 2012

  15. Just started looking but we like The Villages, FL. because of the weather, no income tax, over 55 restriction, active lifestyle and convenient shopping. We hope to visit there soon.

    by Karen — February 22, 2012

  16. Still prefer Phoenix area. Hot dry days in Summer. Rest of the year is magnificient. Close to Sand Diego, Las Vegas, & mountians. East Valley rocks.

    by DrJCA1 — February 22, 2012

  17. Looking at the Carolinas or Florida (maybe Mt. Dora). Need lower cost of living, less taxes, warmer climate than CT.

    by Katie — February 22, 2012

  18. Carlisle, PA – Because of 1) very tax friendly for retirees, 2) four seasons, 3) as a military retiree, access to military health care and other benefits at Carlisle Barracks, 4) low cost of living, 5) proxomity to DC, Philly, Baltimore, and 6) when the weather gets cold, we’ll escape to the SW in the motorhome!

    by Mike — February 22, 2012

  19. Staying put! We love DC’s age and ethnic diversity. It’s an entertainment bonanza, it’s rich in history, culture, and hiking trails, and our friends are here!

    by Janice — February 22, 2012

  20. Williamson/Rutherford County TN, near offspring and thier families. Lots of activities, convenient for auto travel ie shore, DC, etc. Taxes, growth,climate a plus. Not into an over 55 community.

    by Norma — February 22, 2012

  21. We will retire to the southeast from N.E. 3 of our 4 children & 2 of our 3 grandchildren live there. Will save at least $1500 per month by moving.

    by Fred — February 22, 2012

  22. Heh everyone – these are great comments. Please keep it up and we will have some very helpful survey information!

    Here are some more comments that came in from other sources, including Facebook (note, we have occasionally made some minor edits to keep the comments brief):

    Robert: I’m looking for a retirement community that is very, very affordable. After saving for over 25 years, I thought my $525,000 nest egg, along with social security, would allow me to retire satisfactorly. Alas, I didn’t figure on my company going bankrupt. Now I subside on social security and a small annuity. I research every day for an affordable locale.

    Holly: Fairfield Glade TN Great views & nature Many choices of home types and styles Low cost of living Low taxes 4 seasons Close to 2 major cities

    Sandie: A college town with intellectual amenities and excellent health care
    nearby in a moderate climate. Any suggestions?

    Linda: On the road!!!  My husband will be retiring in 2013, if all goes well and we will be selling the house and going full-time in our motor home and seeing the USA.

    Cassin: My wife and I are very interested in Prescott, AZ.  The area has 4 seasons and there are at least 3 eco-systems within 20min drive.  The town is great and the people very friendly.  Lots of outdoor activities

    Jane:  New Bern, NC    It’s on the water,near the ocean, lots of sunshine, friendly people, fascinating town with lots of history, affordable.

    Sebastian: North Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. It is at least 20% cheaper to live there than in CT. My Financial Planner (FP) said that I will have enough money to retire to North Carolina as opposed to retiring in Rhode Island. I love the beach area and that it doesn’t get as hot as Florida which is why I pick North Myrtle Beach.

    Sharon: We are going to retire in Venice, Florida. We currently living in Wisconsin—-need I say more?

    Susan: Lodi CA from Alaska 2014 – beaches on one side, mountains on the other, good friends, easy travel.

    Ida: If I ever retire, I want to stay as close as possible to New York – always something new to see or do; great diversity; great medical; how folks n NE pick up and move to places on the list is beyond my comprehension.

    Carol: My best place to retire is Lawrence, Kansas.
    The reasons include the following: College town – University of Kansas. One hour, at most, from Kansas City. Current events climate with the Lied Center and the Dole Institute. My encore job is a sorority house director

    Ramad: Retirement place (Philadelphia Suburb) within where we live now. Great overall tax benefits in PA on our retirement income. We will rent a place out in sunny states during the winter months.

    Ella: I have many friends who have moved to Florida retirement villages and just love it.  I am most interested in Clearwater and Palm Beach areas.  I would love to live close to the water, but have some fear of hurricanes. I’m looking for a place where it is warmer, no state taxes and hopefully my social security won’t be taxed.  I know that there are some areas that don’t tax pensions and social security.  I don’t want a large place.  It is too much to take care of.  I’m interested in a reasonable insurance rate area, low crime, and low tax area.  I’m also going to compare Home Owners Association fees.  I have a couple of years before I plan to move, but am actively looking now so that I will know what is out there.

    Peter: 7-Oaks Rancho Bernaedo, CA 92128 55+ community (1750 Homes)Activities, Major Shopping Mall, Major Restaurants, Major Groceries, Hospital and Doctors, all within a 10 mile radius.

    Margaret: Lititz/Lancaster County PA for the unusually high quality of care at most assisted living facilities due the fact that a majority of the employees are from the surrounding Mennonite communities. Also, for the four-season year and being close to where I was raised (Berks County) and close to the magical hamlet of Mount Gretna with its outstanding cultural resources. PA is tax friendly for retirees (my pension won’t be taxed and I have no heirs to be concerned about the inheritance tax) and relatively safe from huricanes and earthquakes.

    Ken: Retired Americans with incomes over $26,600 yr. could enjoy the highest level of life retiring in Bangkok Thailand from 1971 when I arrived there up until 2010 when I left. That is the amount of income required in order to obtain a retirement visa and stay in Thailand un-interrupted. I think Oceanside CA offers the best year round weather, beaches, available for me even though I am struggling and living month to month.

    LaNell: We really like the Asheville, NC area and it seems to be asthma friendly. I have asthma and really suffer in extreme cold and heat. Of course we want to live someplace that has a low cost of living index. From all the research I have done Asheville seems to be a good choice for us. We also liked the mountains, the art community and educational opportunities for seniors.

    Deborah and Dave: My best place to retire is Port St. Lucie, Florida. This area offers a large selection of homes, stores and medical facilities. This is a regular working of city and not a touristy city. Everything is only minutes from your home. Cost of living, weather, and things to do where our factors. Dog friendly too.
    A great article on pet friendly areas would be very helpful to those who must consider a good new home for their pets…not all towns are dog friendly.

    Jeanne: We are looking to retire to the suburbs of Philadelphia, preferably north, to be near our children/grandchildren. Would like to find a nice small town and will probably rent. Any suggestions?

    Larry: The wife loves the Colorado mountains. Me, I’m done with snow and cold. I think our solution will have to be a summer home and a winter home.

    GlennP: Puerto Rico is the place to be.The most wonderful people you’d ever meet (and) almost all the things on the list of retired people. Will spend summers in NY where our kids are and where we own a small house and pay cheap re taxes and little income taxes on our soc sec and none on our federal and union pensions. NY has every kind of activity, all accessible by cheap transportation.

    Mike: Going to retire in New Smyrna Beach Fl. Good year round temps, variety of housing, protected inland water way and harbor. Nice coastal environment.

    RW: Plan to retire in SE VA. Has everything a retiree needs. Convenient to shopping and travel.

    jc: Delaware A house that has low taxes. Great Fishing and Hunting. Great Tax breaks for Seniors. Close to family and we like 4 seasons, but mild winters. Many cultural amenities.

    Jude: I will likely retire to Minnesota; returning to my “home state”. Why? Because I have family and friends there. I plan to “snowbird” to various sites in Florida, Texas and Arizona for the winters. Currently planning to rent in those winter sites.

    Alaskajack: We have lived in Alaska for the past 15 years. We need WARM weather, but if you LOVE
    winter, Alaska could be for you. Living n Anchorage, there is no Sales tax, and no state tax anywhere. Every October, every Alaskan citizen receives the “Permanent Fund” distribution from the state. Last year, each man woman and child in the state, (over 600,000) received a check from the State of Alaska for approx. $1200. It varies a little each year.Housing is on the high end and Alyeska ski resort is a mere 35 miles away from Anchorage. So if you like winter, Alaska beckons!

    Carol: I always preferred cold to hot (so Florida is out for me). Nothing so far south! the farthest would be parts of Va where my grandson is and several daughters!

    Jody: We are considering Charleston, SC — we love our accessibility to NY but cost of living is killing us (especially
    property taxes) Can’t leave a semi-sophisticated lifestyle though and hope Charleston can offer some of this — along with its gorgeous beaches. We still have to try it a little more first — and will rent in the beginning. Pluses and minuses in all areas. Not sure I can take the summers but hopefully will travel then.

    Regina: Researching areas in NC — active adult communities. Want 4 seasons, culture and activities with possibility of non-stress P/T employement available. Really like Asheville area.

    Beverly: I just bought a Class B Motor Home and intend to take a tour of the USA with my 3 yo golden and 16 year old cat–any tips appreciated.

    Richard: As a resident of New Smyrna Beach, FL, an idyllic, ocean-side, quiet little town we find Prince Edward Island, CAN, the land of Anne of Green Gables, an optimum Summer retreat where Celtic entertainment, great golf, lobsters, sunshine and warm ocean water prevail.

    Linda: We want to retire to an active community in a resort type atmosphere. Like being on a cruise ship or living your vacation everyday!! We’re looking at Florida or Maryland.

    Dan: Delaware is the little known “gem” of the east coast for reetirement. Delaware offers all the seasons yet, they are not
    harsh. The State beaches are well maintained and as nice as other beaches along the east coast. Taxes and the lack there of is a big plus. We found our retirement home in the Longneck area. It is Delaware’s best kept

    Pat: I live in a Dallas suburb and am paying on a home that is worth less than what I bought it for 10 years ago. I’m 61 and when the current well-paying job I have ends in a couple of years I will be forced to try to sell or just walk away from a home that doesn’t have enough equity to do a reverse mortgage…for many of us single, senior women, I fear retirement will not be a pretty thing. I have several single women friends my age and we joke about starting our own trailer park commune – maybe it’s no laughing matter any more.

    Donna: I hope to retire in Wilmington NC. It is beautiful, friendly, close to beaches and has something for everyone. You can buy a house for $1M or rent an apt for $600 per month. Did I mention it can boast of public transportation and close proximity to an airport?

    Lareen and Craig: We have chosen Savannah TN due to the small town with everything and Pickwick lake 20 minutes away. Three international airports two hours awway.

    Greg: My wife and I are going to take a second look at Lake Providence in Mt. Juliet, TN. It’s a gated Del Webb community and
    offers many amenities. About 10 miles or so east of Nashville. Many of the residents are from Illinois, where I live now.

    by John Brady — February 22, 2012

  23. After 20+ years restoring a Victorian house in a SE PA town with more than 50% rentals, we bought several acres in WV so we can enjoy the quiet and nature. Definitely not for everyone but it will work for us as long as we are healthy.

    by Lori — February 22, 2012

  24. Looked in all over -settled in Leland NC. Beaches, great medical, reasonable real estate,close to Wilmington with all it has to offer!

    by Linda — February 22, 2012

  25. Hi We have looked at the southwest and Florida as future homes and Florida comes out on top. We like central Florida. We plan on looking more in the year ahead. I have asked for input from others about this area. If you live in one of the 55 active areas in central Florida, Ocala. Thank you for you ideas and help. Brad

    by Brad — February 22, 2012

  26. Will retire in Reno. Friendly people, diversification, volunteer oppertunities for the active, lots of sun and four seasons. Have taken time to really decide what’s important to me and I was in for an education.

    by Ginger — February 22, 2012

  27. Would love to hear from anyone who has retired to the Ft.Myers, FL area and what they like/do not like about the area. Also looking for comments on the various communities, particularly Pelican Preserve and Botanica Lakes, both of which we are considering buying in….

    by toniolsen — February 23, 2012

  28. We are sticking with our choice of Winter Haven FL, a city with 36,000 between Tampa/Orlando and an hour from coastal beaches on either side. Beautiful places with lake views under $75,000 in a city with lots to do and it is clearly on the upswing. You can’t beat this city for convenience and inespensive flights to everywhere!

    by David M. Lane — February 23, 2012

  29. After deciding we wanted to buy in Arizona, we looked at all the 55 & older that were still selling new homes only. We felt we just wanted to be with people our own age 62 & 60. We spent 3 weeks in the phoenix area in 2011 and found the perfect place on our 3rd trip.
    We bought at Robson Ranch in Eloy, AZ. Besides the normal stuff all of them had, We had a feeling of warmth and belonging there.
    It’s going to be a hard move from the east coast, but we are looking forward to it.

    by Howard — February 23, 2012


    by CHARLES — February 23, 2012

  31. We have narrowed our location to SW Florida between Venice and Naples. Looking for input from others regarding good retirement location. Big question in the down housing market, have the municipal governments been able to maintain their infrastructure ?

    by Richard — February 23, 2012

  32. I am going somewhere that all the cops, robbers, jersey girls, New yorkers and public pensioned people don’t go.

    by Bubba — February 23, 2012

  33. Hopefully Delaware if I can get more information on living in the state. EG: Lewes, Smyrna, Georgetown. Rental apt, moderate weather. Would like a:library,veterinarian, basic grocery store.

    by KAY — February 23, 2012

  34. DC area/Marin Co if could afford; NO golf courses but bike/walk trails; no kids or pets; small apt or manufactured home; no income tax. So, somewhere in WA, TX, FL, DE, WY, etc. (not AK) – not sure yet. May do extensive traveling first.

    by Mad Monk — February 23, 2012

  35. Don
    Wife is from Panama , would like to rent in Panama for 6 months and then decide weather to stay. Be hard to leave family in the states. Plan on leaving Ohio for warmer weather.

    by Don — February 23, 2012

  36. 6 mos: FL-Safety Harbor, Dunedin, DeLand, Vero Beach, or elsewhere – who knows? 6 mos: Staying put at our cottage in Sylvan Beach, NY.

    by Robust54 — February 23, 2012

  37. Trilogy at Vistancia, Peoria (NW Phoenix), AZ. Friendly, active adult, lots of community service, resort-feel. Phoenix has great baseball, concerts, warm weather, and excellent air service.

    by Charlotte — February 23, 2012

  38. I am a divorced female, age 61 who is athletic, well-educated who does not want to live in a community setting. I am afraid that I will not fit in because I am single. However, I have to get out of Michigan and move to a warm climate before I go crazy. Are there any other singles out there who are struggling with this same problem??? Where to live – and fit in?

    by Donna — February 24, 2012

  39. Deborah and Dave: We too are looking at Port St. Lucie, Fl. The homes are quite affordable and it is a nice area. The only question I have is about the home owners insurance. They had direct hits from 4 hurricanes so isn’t it high? Thanks for your input.

    by Karen — February 24, 2012

  40. We have narrowed our search down to the Branson, MO area and Pensacola, FL.
    Any input from anyone on these particular areas? Thanks.

    by Sue — February 24, 2012

  41. Already tried Tuscon, AZ – too hot,dry and brown. Tried Columbia, SC (Lake Murray) too hot and humid. LOL Now building a house in the mountains of NC (Jefferson) at 4,000 ft up. Out initial home before moving was in Northern NJ.

    by Anne — February 24, 2012

  42. Donna, I am in the same boat, but living in Nebraska. I’m still searching.

    by Mollie — February 24, 2012

  43. Donna, yes I feel your frustration. Living in NC currently, and not coping well with the sweltering summers here-I am focusing on WY or perhaps WA. Still need to visit some areas to decide which will feel best.

    by Victoria — February 24, 2012

  44. Donna – We share the situation. I live where there is way too much snow (most years, but not now) near the Aidrondacks. I lived in South Central Pennsylvania for many years and loved it there. Yes, it gets hot and humid, but there is so much sun and all I get now is clouds and some kind of precipitation. Being alone makes everything that much more difficult. I’m doing my homework and trying to figure out how far I want to be from family. Wouldn’t be so tough if we weren’t alone.

    by JoAnn — February 24, 2012

  45. Our last military assignment was in Cheyenne,WY. On the way there, my wife and I discussed seriously about staying after I retired. We eventually decided against it. One because of the biting cold during the winters and two, the wind blows incessantly. Can’t speak for other areas of this state.

    by Shelbygtdriver — February 24, 2012

  46. Three towns I’m seriously considering right now. Twin Falls, ID; Roseburg, OR; and Prescott, Ar. These are the best year round climates I’ve seen. Prescott leads.

    by Scottp — February 24, 2012

  47. Those worried about homeowners insurance in Florida – we are moving to FL from Texas and even tho we do not get hurricanes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, our homeowners insurance is about as high as anywhere in Florida. We expect to have to get our homeowners insurance thru the State of Florida Citizens Insurance as virtually no one is writing new policies in Florida. So far estimates show both states about the same on insurance.

    by toniolsen — February 24, 2012

  48. We live directly on the ocean in NE Florida, and pay $3200/year for Homeowner’s insurance, which includes wind damage. Flood coverage is an additional $500/year. If you look at the stats for NE Florida through NOAA, you’ll see very little damage from hurricanes in this part of Florida over the past 20 years.

    Jan Cullinane, The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

    by Jan Cullinane — February 25, 2012

  49. To Donna, Mollie, Victoria and Joann,
    Ladies, you might consider sharing resources and a home(s). A communal type living arrangement might fill a void and be financially beneficial.

    by Bubba — February 25, 2012

  50. I’m really enjoying the dialogue amongst everyone! It’s educational in itself. I know I’m repeating myself but there is truly no perfect climate, for weather, taxes, insurance, etc. I’ve made a list of the states that do not tax social security -27 in all. There are 7 states with no personal income tax but none really interest me for a variety of reasons. I had an interest in TN but discovered they only tax dividends & interest – not good for seniors. I guess doing your homework and setting your priorities is the best bet which means our choices will be very individual indeed. Trying each out for a year of full seasons is a great idea even if you feel like the 3 bears – too hot, too cold, too humid, too dry – at least you know what they each offer. BTW, Jan Collinane’s book about retirement is very good and worth reading through. Nice to have Jan on the blog!
    Also a note to Bubba: communal living appealed to me in the 60’s but not in my 60’s!! Good neighbors are lovely but after a certain age, most women don’t want a roommate again!
    Personally my partner and I have narrowed our choices to NC, KY, VA (close to NJ family) and NM/AZ high desert, just for sheer beauty, pie in the sky reasons!

    Editor’s note: Thanks for the great post, Cherie. And also for mentioning Jan’s very useful book (she is just about to publish another on “retirement and the single woman”). Support your authors and local bookstores – go buy the book!

    by cherie — February 25, 2012

  51. Thanks so much for the endorsement, Cherie. And, I just want to reassure everyone that Cherie and I don’t know one another!

    This is a terrific site, full of valuable information and honest discussion.


    by Jan Cullinane — February 25, 2012

  52. We are going to retire to Texas half the year and Wisconsin the other half. Texas is less expensive than Florida and Arizona where everyone we know goes. We travel a lot (went to Peru, Chile, Antartica, Argentina in Jan.) so by retiring to Texas we can still afford to do our traveling. Getting ready to go on a safari in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbobwa (which I guess I better learn how to spell).

    by Susan — February 25, 2012

  53. Have just put Jan’s book on hold at the library. Can’t wait to read it! So glad to hear about a good book on retirement. Thank you!

    by Terry — February 25, 2012

  54. Prescott, AZ vs. Denver, CO for a retirement city. Due the other advantages of Denver overcome the colder weather in winter? Anyone lived in both and have a preference?

    by John — February 25, 2012

  55. Would like to retire south to pensacola, Good or Bad ?

    by j labhart — February 25, 2012

  56. Boise Id. overall climate, culture, downtown dining,clean air

    by Mike Q — February 25, 2012

  57. I really like the the Tucson area and will be renting first to check out different locations there.

    by Lefty OMalley — February 25, 2012

  58. I’ll stay in Reston, VA if I can afford it. Everything is close…shops, restaurants, churches, culture, loads to do, pretty, and great health care.

    by Judy — February 26, 2012

  59. I, too, am a single, athletic, well-educated financially secure 61 year old looking for an attractive area to move where I would fit in. Donna, I feel your frustration. Please post any advice or insights you have as a result of your search.

    by Karen — February 26, 2012

  60. I’m considering New Bern, NC but would like to be closer to the ocean. Also, southern Delaware. Any comments appreciated. Will rent before I buy.

    by Sharon — February 26, 2012

  61. Bubba – Thanks for the advice – not a bad idea. With all the singles out there a communal type living arrangement sounds like a good idea.

    by Donna — February 26, 2012

  62. Staying in Calif. Likely moving from SF Bay Area to Shasta County. Love Calif climate (no humidity) and enjoy year round outdoor activities. Affordability is the downside to CA, so working hard…

    by Dachsie — February 26, 2012

  63. Going to go Panama (David,Panama)to visit wife’s family and search for retirement rental or home. Would like to be closer to the water, if anyone knows anything about Panama I would appreciate the help Most of the rental information I get on line they want 1500 a month or more for rent.

    by Don — February 26, 2012

  64. Another acitve “not-so-old” single here. From where I stand, I think those in a good paired relationship could retire most places and enjoy a good life–having company and someone to defuse the nerves of relocating and starting over is golden! I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life, and have come to the conclusion that this could be a great place to grow older. Close to beaches, mountains, good hiking, museums, live music, medical care, universities, and our community of active online seniors posting social opportunities is small but growing (90% women). I’d love to stay on here post-retirement but it’s sooooo expensive! Single retirees, if you are well heeled consider the SF Bay Area! Meanwhile, I’ll keep looking!

    by Julie — February 26, 2012

  65. Singles, consider co-housing communities. I lived in Lyons CO in a co-housing community in my early 50s. You have your own complete home without anyone living in your own 4 walls, but live close to each other and intentionally form a strong community. Read about it before you say no. Google co-housing and visit some of the web sites for communities. They are in many states. Some allow you to rent a room in the community building to see if it is for you. Some are intergenerational and some are age restricted, but where I lived there were many singles who no longer felt alone, but could be if that was their choice. Co-housing is a Danish lifestyle transplanted to the US. Best of luck!

    by Holly — February 27, 2012

  66. Can I change my answer? Have decided against The Villages, FL after reading how crowded it gets in the winter. Now seriously considering Fairfield Glade, TN.

    by Karen — February 27, 2012

  67. Don,
    Try a trial subscription to International Living, great articles on living in Panama. Maybe online, I subscribe as I plan to move in a year if things go well.There is a seminar about to happen in Panama and it covers everything you would ever want to know. Covers lectures from lawyers, real estate, insurance etc. in April around the 12th if I remember correctly.

    by San Penniston — February 27, 2012

  68. Karen,
    What do you like about Fairfield Glade, TN? As a single female, do you think it is wiser to retire near friends or family?

    by Donna — February 27, 2012

  69. No place hot and humid. No place frozen half the year. No place with pickleball and golf. A place with all ages and interests, but most of all a place close to my kids!

    by Kenton Macy — February 27, 2012

  70. We are thinking about the Austin Texas area. We are planning on looking into Georgetown, TX.

    by Mary — February 27, 2012

  71. Sun Lakes in Banning CA, Really like all that is available and we will finally be close to our daughter, son and the grandchildren. A daunting move from Maryland but ready for the next phase of our life.

    by Kats — February 27, 2012

  72. Ladies – I will be in Fairfield TN mid March for a week. Before buying the house we rented condos through VRBO, or Gwyn Realty. I suggest you try out the exercise classes in the community building and the health center. They are next door to each other, but different memberships. Both have day passes. I met many nice ladies before the classes and most stayed after for a cup of coffee or water. There are two newspapers that list single group activities as well as other group activities; The Vista and Glade Sun. The coummunity website is and gives you tons of information. If you play tennis or pickle ball check out the tennis club – again many friendly people there. The pools won’t be open yet, but the golf courses are open except for one that you can’t play on the grass during winter. If you’d like contacts I’d by happy to connect you with some of the most welcoming people I have met – just let me know.

    by Holly — February 28, 2012

  73. We have been full time RV ers for 12 years. Have saved many dollars with no income tax, Texas residency, thru Escapees organization. No property taxes and live where we chose in nice Rv resorts. Now in the thinking process to have a home. Love Austin area but far from family. Maybe Delaware which would be hour from family in Md. Ashville, Nc is nice too. Have lived in many retirement areas in the motorhome in 12 years . A great way to decide.

    by Bonnie — February 28, 2012

  74. Donna, we found out about Fairfield Glades from friends. They will be moving there in a year or so. We are unfortunately farther out than that. We like the fact winters are mild, real estate taxes are low and you can get so much house for your money. Moving near family or friends was not a consideration as we really have no family – I am an only child married with no kids. My husband has one brother who does not live close. Hope this helps.

    by Karen — February 28, 2012

  75. Holly, not sure this is the forum to be asking you this but do you know where I can get a complete list of clubs availabe at The Glades? Have other questions as well. Is there a way to do private messages on this board?

    Editor’s Note: Karen, these Blog comments aren’t set up to be a message board with private messages. The best place for that is our Forum. You can always ask a question via the Comments in the hopes that someone will see it and respond though. Your question is a good one as is it quite specific. However maybe we have heard enough about Fairfield Glade for now, as this topic is really trying to elicit all of the places that people are considering for retirement! The types of questions that no one ever answers are the ones that go along the lines of “I am interested in such and such a community. Please tell me everything you know about it”. Those are asking for a little more than anyone is willing to give.

    by Karen — February 28, 2012

  76. […] you intend to retire and why. To keep all of those in one place, please post them to our “Tell Us Where Are You Going to Retire” article. Posted by John Brady on February 28th, 2012 Comments (0)  Email This Post […]

    by » Your Editor Picks: How We Rank the 10 Best Places to Retire – And Why Topretirements — February 28, 2012

  77. Still looking, but The Villages is at the top of my list.
    Great weather, lots of interesting people, and a ton of activities.

    by Kayaker — February 28, 2012

  78. no mosquitos (i live in maryland now), no humidity (ditto), and no snow (well – if it’s gone the next day :wink:). tucson is looking pretty good.

    by suzq — February 29, 2012

  79. We currently live in Charlotte NC area and enjoy the weather and active cultural scene,but hate that we are 3-6 hours from coast. Retirement is about 2-3 yrs away. We may just stay put here, but have also been looking at Palm Coast, FL and North Myrtle Beach, SC thinking we might split our time between “home” and a coastal area – winter on the coast (possibly in an RV) and summer in Charlotte.

    by Genie — February 29, 2012

  80. We are planning to retire in the Raleigh/Durham area in about 3 years. The cost of living, culture and climate are the main reasons.

    by Mary Gallagher — February 29, 2012

  81. haven’t seen las cruces new mexico mentioned. good? not so good? any opinions would be appreciated.

    by suzq — February 29, 2012

  82. Southeastern coast of NC. The climate is much warmer than NJ, less crowded and a lot less expensive. We can drive back to visit family in a day.

    by DanD — February 29, 2012

  83. Looking for an active equestrian town/city. Aiken, SC, seems to fit the bill. Been here since Nov., so need to see what summer will bring. Lots of friendly people and close enough to a good amount of diverse activities.

    by Liz — February 29, 2012

  84. Love anywhere in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Portland, Eugene, or Ashland offer cultural attractions with easy access to the coast and the mountains. Lots to do in a beautiful environment.

    by Kathy — February 29, 2012

  85. After looking at Utah, Nevada and Arizona, we decided on Granbury, TX (SW of DFW). Low taxes, low cost of living (literally 50% of what it was in Maryland), on a beautiful lake. And, we live in a gated community on a pecan plantation – how cool is that? Unlimited golf included in low HOA fee.

    by Jim — February 29, 2012

  86. Moving near Milton, DE – low housing cost and cost of living, no sales tax, low property tax, has 4 seasons, close to beaches and shopping. Close to NJ and our family. Can’t wait!

    by Florence — February 29, 2012

  87. close to family in Va or NH where we love to vacation. I don’t like hot weather and we love the lake in NH and our kids love to come up there. but grandsons are Va and LA for now…3 other daughters likely to have children before long too!
    I heard Winchester Va is a nice place to retire

    by carol — February 29, 2012

  88. Morgantown, WV has mild winters, college town, top notch medical college. Moved from Albuquerque, NM. way too dry, severe drought issues, crime, high housing costs, Winters are cold! There may not be a lot of snow(drought) but the wind will get you! I will travel south a couple winter months to avoid what snow there is. Originally from MI, way to cold and humid there!

    by Lisa — February 29, 2012

  89. After much travel and research, we will be retiring in the Hill Country of Texas northwest of San Antonio. Great housing market, no state income tax, great climate, proximity to large, diverse city and good medical care.

    by Louis D — February 29, 2012

  90. I am going to retire in place (Houston). Why leave the city I was born in? It is where most of my family still lives, my significant other’s profession is in Houston [College Professor], my friends, my doctors, the resturants, the night life, Opera, Symphony, performing arts theaters, and the major league sports teams. Most imoportantly the World’s largest medical complex is in Houston [the Texas Medical Center]. You can fly directly or with one connection to most places easily from Intercontinental airport including overseas.

    by Randall — February 29, 2012

  91. This is a difficult decision. Don’t want to be too far from the grandchildren in the NE but can’t take the cold snowy weather and gridlock traffic in Northern Virginia anymore. We are thinking South Carolina. Weather is warm, less expensive, lots of outside activities. Hoping to find a single family home with a nice community atmosphere, decent shopping and good medical facilities nearby if needed.

    by JesseL — February 29, 2012

  92. I don’t see anything about anyone moving to Las Vegas. Anyone have any comments out there?

    by Jack McCay — February 29, 2012

  93. Colorado plains an hour from Denver. We like small town quiet but like to travel, less than an hour from DIA. Others should not consider this location because we want to be away from crowds 😀

    by Pat Franzen — February 29, 2012

  94. Santa Fe, NM. Housing is still a little pricey, but I’m going for 1) sunny climate 2) mild summer 3) arts, food, books, classes, colleges, martial arts 4) natural beauty. Visited again last month and it felt right.

    by Alan — February 29, 2012

  95. We’re retiring in Ft. Mill/Indian land, SC because it is close to Charlotte and the city’s benefits and offers a lower comfortable cost of living.

    by Norris Adams — February 29, 2012

  96. In the state of NM. I am still researching the best place for price and cost of living. Need 1) sunny climate 2) mild summer for my wife’s health. 3)arts, good food and 4) natural beauty to enjoy. Will start to visit in the next couple of years to find locations.

    by MIke M — February 29, 2012

  97. We would like to live somewhere in Florida but: we need an area where we can find GHI providers…low crime…lots of activities…near good beaches..great restaurants,we dont want to veg out! Don’t care about traffic or crowds.Being from NYC we’re sort of spoiled. Does a place like this even exist? HELP!!

    by Steve — February 29, 2012

  98. Sandpoint Idaho – Nice town – close to Spokane. Great local skiing and easy access to many other resorts. Beautiful Lake surrounded by mountains. Great boating and fishing. Great hiking and biking. Easy access to Glacier NP, North Cascades NP, British Columbia, Alberta.

    by Jim — February 29, 2012

  99. My husband and I (mid-50s) will be “semi-retiring” and moving from upstate NY to the Fort Myers, FL area next month. Biggest reason is because the kids/grandkids are there, but also attracted to the lower cost of living, warm weather, beaches, sunshine. No more shoveling snow (like today)!

    by Susan — February 29, 2012

  100. Live in WI now but looking at Corpus Christi/Rockport, TX area. No income tax on my pension. Love fishing and want warmer weather. Bad thing is not close to kids/grandkids but hope to RV back to WI every year.

    by Marcie — February 29, 2012

  101. Glad you agree with me!!.. have been scoping out potential retirement towns for several years, and personally would be very happy in either place in Fla. or Beaufort/ the Low Country,South Carolina, and hope to make a decision soon!.. thanks for all the useful information..

    by Gerri — February 29, 2012

  102. We are retirees who currently live in Boise ID – what I call a very “user friendly” mid-sized city that has all the cultural activities we need. Enjoy the dry climate but can no longer take the (relatively mild) winters. Plus, all our family is on the East Coast and the grandkids are growing up! So, we are seriously considering relocating to the Beaufort/Bluffton SC area. My brother lives there and loves it – the weather, cost of living, and proximity to Savannah (beautiful city). And the plane trip to DC and Boston is much shorter and cheaper!

    by Jane — February 29, 2012

  103. We live in the burbs on the East Coast and have gotten a great deal on a condo in New York City. We love it. Most transportation, museums, talks, have senior discounts. Medical care is excellent. There are other seniors in the building which supplies breakfast downstairs followed or preceded by a morning group walk (3 per morning). There are expeditions to Bear Mt, Catskills, leaf peeping in the fall. It is never boring in NY.

    by Pat — February 29, 2012

  104. Probably – greater Albany area – have worsening macular degeneration and feel living near relatives and adequate medical facilities is a good idea. Would really prefer the SW though, NM or AZ

    by Dorothy Pfeffer — February 29, 2012

  105. I don’t have a clue! I have been reading and doing research for several mos. now and I am totally confused. Big step to make a wrong decision.

    by Carl V Sparrow — February 29, 2012

  106. Does anyone have any comments or worthwhile information regarding Newport, WA? Was considering WY, but after recently reading on this site that WA is a retiree friendly state I’ll add it to the list of places to investigate.

    by Victoria — February 29, 2012

  107. We will probably stay here in Palm Coast, Fl. My husband is retired Navy and uses NAS Jacksonville for his medical. It works out great. Being able to shop at the Commissary for groceries is a life saver as the prices are so much lower. Palm Coast is really beautiful. Very low crime rate, great resturants. If you like the outdoors they have preserved areas to walk that have lots of trees, nature trails. Flagler Beach is right here, the weather is awesome. If you want to buy a home you have a variety, all price ranges. Housing is very affordable. From private homes to apartments the rentals are very affordable. Seafood festivals, rib cookoffs etc. Just a great place.I feel we have found the ideal place. They also have great medical services. Flagler hospital is one of the best. My doctors are here in Palm Coast only about 15 minutes from my home so this works out great for me due to the fact that I have some medical problems and to be able to have all of them close by without having to deal with a lot of traffic is just great. I truly feel we have found our ideal place.

    by Gloria — February 29, 2012

  108. Husband I have a dilemna – we are in the DC area and he refuses to go south and I prefer to not go north. Compromise may be Philly suburbs – we’re looking at Buck’s county and other suburbs within train-ride of the City. We want walkability, 4 seasons (we can escape winter to go to Puerto Rico), trees, old houses and neighborhoods, etc. And PA is tax friendly for folks who will live on a pension (us!). Might consider DE also… can’t wait to get out of the congestion here in DC…

    by AnneB — February 29, 2012

  109. Loved idea of Asheville NC or western SC but am leaning to Wilmington and Charleston areas for warmer climate or Ponte Vedra or Bradenton, Venice or other Florida like St. Augustine, Amelia Island. Where to go single and find community with year round swimming?

    by Mercer — February 29, 2012

  110. Atlanta, great place to travel from and grandkids

    by steve — February 29, 2012

  111. I am early in my due dilligence. I see either Florida (Southwest area Naples), SC area (HH area) or NC (around Outer banks). I think Florida and SC will be narrowed.
    I also want to have my my cake and eat it. I want to live in south in winter but have main base of operations in Northern VA near DC corridor (grandkids are there).
    I am about three years away from retirement and will look in VA when I sell in present NJ location.
    Anyone else in similar situation?

    by Tom — February 29, 2012

  112. My wife and I were first looking at overseas (primarily Central or South America) but now have changed our search to the states. We currently live in the suburbs of Chicago and are looking primarily to a warmer climate and cheaper cost of living. So we are interested in Central Florida and the southwestern states.

    by Ken — February 29, 2012

  113. After much research, and 2 visits for in person research, we’ve picked the Smith County Texas area. Tyler, the county seat, has a population of about 100,000. The health care setup is incredible, an important feature, at least for us. A warmer winter climate than we are used to in Ohio. Yeah, the summers are hot, but the dry 100 is no worse than Ohio’s humid 85. No state taxes help significantly. Property taxes vary widely, so that will be a consideration.
    Finally, it is only about a 2 hour drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport which has direct flights to many areas of the country.

    by Brent — March 1, 2012

  114. My husband and I are retiring next year and cannot decide whether to move to the Myrtle Beach, SC are or Venice, FL. Has anyone looked in these areas. Would love to hear your views on these two areas. Thanks.

    by Kathy — March 1, 2012

  115. Family ties are becoming more important at this stage of life, so we need to head west. (45 mins further east from here and we’d go SPLASH in the great Atlantic…) Pretty TN seems to be a mid point for us to reach our scattered kin. We like the countryside, laid back attitude (New Englanders are so uptight!) and getting away from the astronomical taxes of the NorthEast!
    Take us home, country roads!

    by SassyD — March 1, 2012

  116. I agree with Donna, I am also single, retired and looking to move to a warmer climate and from all the ads for the 55+ communities, they always show
    couples. Where are the single communities?

    by CJ — March 1, 2012

  117. To Don – Re: Panama, also check out the free publication “Overseas Opportunity Letter” from “Live and Invest Overseas” by Kathleen Peddicord. She is based in Panama, writes a lot about that area as well as other WW locations.

    by Linda — March 1, 2012

  118. Austin, TX area. Lower COL than Calif. Great schools (have a 7yo and 3yo twins :eek:; retiring in 1 yr or less). No snow, housing more affordable, taxes better than here; good medical for hubby; univ. nearby.

    by SoCalGirl — March 1, 2012

  119. Everybody’s talking about FL, but not much about the Florida Panhandle, specifically the Panama City area. Any advise out there?

    by Ellen — March 1, 2012

  120. We chose Lake Weir Living for our retirement. My husband and I had researched many areas and developments in Central Florida. Lake Weir offered us the freedom to choose the features that we wanted for our home. It is this personalization that made us feel “special”. Adriana, (Marketing Head) and Neil Schuster (Co-Managing Partner) accompanied us on our visits for flooring, cabinetry,hardware, etc. We never felt like we were alone in a process that can at best be overwhelming. Their customer service doesn’t end when you purchase your home. We are very happy with our choice and would invite any questions you might have for us

    by Tina & Dave Shapiro — March 1, 2012

  121. It’s beautiful southern Utah for us. After traveling the Country for 20 years in the Air force and then another 20 in local government we have had a chance to see it all. We happened upon Ivins Utah by chance, and we were wowed. The blue skies, the town beneath the Red Mountains at the entrance to Snow Canyon State Park were enough to sell us but there is more. A thriving arts community at Kayenta and Tuachan and proximity to Las Vegas fro traveling and shopping puntuated our amazement with the area. The taxes are favorbale and housing is reasonable. And Im not a member of the prevailing religious denomination. Know from experience that culture is a plus not a minus. So when you think of the many Natioanl Parks (Bryce and Zion) within a few hours drive think Ivins Utah.

    by Gary — March 1, 2012

  122. We are “young” retires (49 & 59) and are spending our second winter season in the PHX area. From NE Ohio, we are looking for somewhere with great weather (no humidity) where we can hike, bike, walk and easily get to other cities. PHX is looking good for us!

    by Susan — March 1, 2012

  123. Best time to take advantage of this unfortunate economy and retire to Florida, with an all time low in the housing market. As far as seeing family and grandchildren, dont worry they will be coming down there to visit often, for the fun and great weather

    by Howard — March 2, 2012

  124. I agree with you, Howard. I’ve been looking at housing prices in Florida and they are somewhere now where my husband and I could actually think about being able to purchase a home and retire there. My husband believes they are going to fall even further. What do you think?

    by Karen — March 2, 2012

  125. To partially answer Kathy’s query on Venice, FL. We researched this area last year and liked the town very much but we want to be near public access beaches and we found Venice lacking in that area. Downtown area is nice. We checked out communities from just outside Tampa all the way to Naples. Have decided on Ft.Myers due to beautiful beaches, an abundance of things to do, and the good availability of new/resale homes for reasonable prices.

    by toni — March 2, 2012

  126. For Toni – we had originally thought about the Ft. Myers area but several people said that there were so many businesses closed down in that area and kind of depressing. Up to that point we had really wanted to move there. We will be visting Venice in May to look around. Are there no publc beaches around and do you find better deals on homes in Ft. Myers vs. Venice? Thanks for your help.

    by Kathy — March 2, 2012

  127. We would like to retire in Pensacola Any opinions thanks

    by Kathyl — March 2, 2012

  128. Karen,
    I live in St. Petersburg and housing prices seem to be continuing to fall throughout the area, although not as much as in the past. Also, there are a lot of foreclosure and short sales.

    by Charm — March 3, 2012

  129. Kathy-we are seriously looking at Myrtle Beach for retirement. It seems perfect for us all around. Now, it does get crowded in the summer, but Florida gets crowded in the winter. I have not heard any other negatives about MB. How far have you gotten with your research? I am curious. We moved to Texas-and had done little research. This is not a good place for us.

    by diandto — March 3, 2012

  130. For Kathy…we were just in Ft.Myers in Oct. looking around and honestly all we saw was construction – shopping centers, homes, roads. Ft.Myers has been thru the recession just like the rest of FL but believe it is recovering. We are planning another trip this month to look more seriously. We really loved Venice and we have a Realtor there sending us alerts on homes but are finding them quite a bit more expensive and a lot less to chose from than Ft.Myers. Venice does have public access to beaches but very limited parking for residents and the beaches just are not as beautiful or expansive as the Ft.Myers/Sanibel area. Found the people in Ft.Myers very friendly and helpful to fellow retirees. Hope this helps!

    by Toni — March 3, 2012

  131. For Toni – thanks for all your information. I guess we wii be making up our minds in a couple of months when we visit both areas. Both Venice and Ft. Myers sound wonderful. Best of luck with your venture and if you come up with any suggestions let me know.

    by Kathy — March 3, 2012

  132. For diandto – we have a realtor that is sending us information on homes. I have not heard anything negative about the area. We will be going down in a couple of months to look around so I will keep you updated. I always vacationed there as a child and have relatives close by to there so that is a plus. Also have a daughter in Texas but wow the heat in the summer is brutal.

    by Kathy — March 3, 2012

  133. Moving from VA to Lakeland/Plant City area. Would like a senior community or community mostly seniors with residents run activities. Have been looking around but not finding anything yet.

    by Connie — March 3, 2012

  134. We are 10+ years away from retirement and are looking at moving/retiring on Gulf coast Florida, due to the weather (golf), cost of living and low taxes.

    by Ted D. — March 3, 2012

  135. We live in Venice full time and I can tell you, there is plenty of parking at the beaches. The South Jetties become crowded for parking, but this isn’t the place to enjoy the sand and the gulf waters. Venice Beach Pavilion is the place for one to enjoy the full scope of the beach lifestyle.
    Want to enjoy concerts, art shows, and theater? Venice has it all as well as nearby Sarasota just a few minutes north. This is the Sun Coast for a good reason!

    by Lynn — March 4, 2012

  136. Connie, my sister-in-law and husband live in a senior community in Davenport, very close to Lakeland/Plant City. It is called High Vista at Ridgewood Lakes. We have visited and found it to be very nice.

    by Dick — March 4, 2012

  137. Kathy-we too are working wit a very nice realtor in the Myrtle Beach area; she send us listings-it is so fun to look. We would like to ideally check it out in a couple of months as well-funny. Where does your daughter live in Texas? We are outside of San Antonio; you are right -it is HOT in the summer-a different, unbearable kind of hot.

    by diandto — March 4, 2012

  138. I’m researching the perfect home and land in beautiful TN. Have lived all over the country and now in WV. TN and WV are very similar culturally and geographically, but TN doesn’t have income taxes. TN property valuves are a little bit lower than where I am in WV but of course, they do have high sales taxes. I plan to have a farmette so shopping won’t be on the schedule.

    by AJ White — March 4, 2012

  139. My husband and I spent two weeks at Venice looking for a place. I will be retiring in September. it was beautiful, but expensive. Beaches were great, no cost to park like at Ft Myers. Still looking for a place. we want to rent next year my be at the villages just to see what they are like. Any help everyone could give us would be nice.

    by marilyn — March 4, 2012

  140. I keep looking at Florida to retire in.
    Venice, Sarasota, Naples. Does anyone
    have any comments on the humid summers.
    Reluctant to have too much humidity. Is there
    another city in Florida where the weather
    is not so extreme?

    by linda — March 4, 2012

  141. Linda, I think Florida has the most temperate weather than any other state in the union. One look at and you see there’s only a 20 degree temperature change all year round. The west coast in particular always has a nice breeze off the gulf.

    If you want spring and summer weather all year long Florida is the state for you. Hope this helps. Doug

    by Doug0613 — March 5, 2012

  142. Since Florida weather is being discussed, I like the state but I’m kind of put off by hurricanes. Do some areas in the state get them more often than others?

    by Larry — March 5, 2012

  143. To – Lynn- Venice is sounding better and better to us. Can hadly wait to look at homes. Any pointers you can give us about housing areas or the area would be great. I feel a whole lot better after hearing your experience in Venice, Thanks.

    by Kathy — March 5, 2012

  144. To diandto – my daughter lives right outside Dallas but raised on the east coast -she misses it here so much. Good luck with you venture – we will have to compare notes.

    by Kathy — March 5, 2012

  145. We love the change of seasons, especially enjoy autumn and would miss this if we moved to Florida, Arizona, etc. Does anyone have any comments about retiring in the state of Maine?

    by Rory — March 5, 2012

  146. Does anyone have a favorite place in Delaware where they are retired?

    by Beverly — March 5, 2012

  147. To Lynn & Kathy…thank you Lynn on the Venice beach info – we didn’t have that much time there last visit so guess we missed the Venice Beach Pavilion to get a better perspective on the beaches. As soon as we sell our darn house in Texas we will be on our way and will definitely be checking out Venice again as well as Sarasota and Ft. Myers. It’s so difficult to chose. Lynn, since you already live there in Venice can you recommend some communities by name so I can check out houses for sale on line? Any more info you would like to share on pros/cons of Venice would be much appreciated.

    by tonio — March 5, 2012

  148. what about renting in retirement – does everyone always buy?

    Editors note. Plenty of people rent – either at first or for the long term. It has many advantages, with one of the best of those being flexibility. You don’t like it or something changes – you’re gone!

    by veronica — March 6, 2012

  149. To AJWhite and others investigating TN for retirement: while there is no state income tax, I believe there is a state tax on income from dividends, interest and captital gains. If seniors like my husband and I will be deriving a sizeable portion of our living expenses from that source, TN could be less than ideal. And regarding renting in retirement – it’s not an unreasonable idea in this down housing market where a home make take some time to sell. But in our area in PA, there was a large article in today’s paper about how with foreclosures & short sales, the demand for rental housing is sharply up, along with the prices and supply is down. No easy answers.

    by cherie — March 6, 2012

  150. Veronica, renting seems to make a lot of sense, until you are certain that you want to stay in that area/town. It also allows you to determine which part of a town or area you want to buy in…and watch for the perfect house at a good price 🙂

    by Steve — March 6, 2012

  151. I would like to have one of these beautiful little houses built somewhere in Florida on the Atlantic Coast, not the mobile ones, for retirement, but I need help putting thought into this, you need land to do this. Does anyone have a suggestion? This is how I would like to retire, I love the ocean and listening to the surf, it is my thing and the ocean air and breeze, I know that that is romantic and there are hurricanes. I would not want to stop working, I am single and a widow looking for someone, am full of life and vigor and talent and am not a couch potato……..Pamela

    by Pamela — March 7, 2012

  152. My wife and I are considering retiring to PA, since it does not tax federal annuities, IRAs or Social Security, although property taxes can be high, depending on loaction. We would certainly appreciate feedback from anyone who has retired to PA or is contemplating retirement. Thanks, Al

    by Al — March 7, 2012

  153. My partner and I live in South Mississippi, 50 miles North of New Orleans. The winters are lovely and mild here, but the summers are hot and humid. We don’t want to move away and leave friends and family behind. So, we will be spending august through mid-september in Blowing Rock, NC. Asheville is nearby. There is lots to do and we can bring our pups. Vacation rentals are steep but it’s worth it to escape the peek hurricane season and the heat.

    by Joan Romaguera — March 7, 2012

  154. There is an adorable town near Destin, Fla. called Seaside. It was planned to represent a Victorian seaside community, very picturesque. I’m sure you could look it up on your computer to learn more about it.

    Editor’s Note: It is adorable, although perhaps more of a vacation spot than retirement destination (although some live there for that). To find out more look at the review on Topretirements!

    by Joan — March 7, 2012

  155. Linda and Fla. humidity.
    Linda, if you want to be comfortable in the Fla. summers you need to be near the beach. If you live inland, like Orlando, you’ll melt.

    by Joan — March 7, 2012

  156. We’ve been in SE Tennessee for 5 years now and cannot wait to go back to New England. Its too hot and too southern here! Love Maine but thinking the Albany, NY area would be perfect – easy to get in and out, a few hours drive, or train from the coast, mountains or city. In case we cannot afford NY, second choice is Wilmington, NC. We have time (10 yrs) yet to go look it over. Pays to plan ahead though.

    by Holly — March 7, 2012

  157. My husband and I live in Sierra Vista, AZ, because of work, but we’re planning on retiring in NC because that’s where our grandchildren will be. I want them to grow up with grandparents a big part of their lives. Probably around Concord, where my son lives.

    by Donna Chizewsky — March 7, 2012

  158. I think I want to go back home to Lake County FL (I’m a native Floridian). The Villages is one choice but I don’t want to buy a house at me age (mid 60’s), maybe rent or share one w/another lady since I am single. It’s just me and my cat on a limited income. I’m not ready to move in with the kids yet!

    by Cora Jean — March 7, 2012

  159. We are from Ontario Canada and have been looking in the Phoeniz area to buy a retirement home in the next few years. Financing for Canadians is just about impossible. We really like the Canta Mia Estrella area just west of Phoenix but are really interested in finding that “hidden gem” that might be just around the corner. Any and all comments are appreciated.

    by Bob & Kelly McAulay — March 8, 2012

  160. This is a work in progress. I would like to be near my Daughter and her family in NC, but I am looking at many factors. Cost of living is the priority – this includes tax friendliness toward seniors – due to our modest savings. We prefer a moderate climate, leaning toward warmer rather that colder; Florida is not out of the question. Another factor is a laid-back culture. After a career in the NE US, which, to me, is an uptight pressure cooker, I’m eager to get away from that. NC tends to fit many of those requirements, as well as northern SC.


    by Dan — March 8, 2012

  161. Holly: Be aware that NYS taxes are very high. Property taxes are outrageous. The Albany area is very cold and snowy in the winter(except this winter) and very humid in the summer. In town traffic is horrendous. Come up and stay for a while before you make the change.

    by KAY — March 8, 2012

  162. 1. Must be affordable based on income. 2. Limited inclement weather. 3. Near family. 4. Activities.

    by Louis — March 8, 2012

  163. Retirement? thinking about South Euclid (Cleveland), OH. Active Orthodox Jewish community, Russian community, people seem friendly, housing prices low; the colder the winter the better.

    by yos — March 8, 2012

  164. Pueblo West, Co. is where we’re looking. Four seasons, does get cold and a little snow, however the golf course is open year around. Very affordable housing, and the lots are 1 acre +. May spend a couple winter months in near by Tucson, AZ.

    by Mark — March 8, 2012

  165. My partner and I currently live in the Pocono Mountain area of PA and while we’re not fully retired, I collect social security and he works part time. Yes, the state doesn’t tax SS and IRA’s but depending on where you live, local municipalities have taxes that are rising, school taxes are through the roof and property taxes are about average. The roads, by the way, are horrible. It can be very rural so look around carefully and know what lifestyle you prefer. Winters can be rough further north but on the positive side, NYC is only 2 hours away from the this section of the state and Philadelphia even closer. Sales tax is currently low but we all anticipate that will increase very soon.

    by cherie — March 8, 2012

  166. We will be retiring in Prescott, AZ. The summer weather is great, not real hot and low humidity, the winters are not colder than Northern VA, and it is sunny year round. Also, people are very friendly.

    by Bob K — March 8, 2012

  167. We currently live in CT – yes..the ‘worst state to retire in”, and are thinking about heading South. I’ve spent a great deal of time in NC, and while I understand SC has a few more tax advantages, our thought process is..we have positioned ourselves to be able to stay in CT if we so decide – we love the area we live in (just not the winters, but you don’t have to go out during this time once retired), so we have a lot of research left to do – ie we are established here…know the area/friends/close to family. We plan to investigate NC and possibly bordering SC towns. I’ve been talking with all the folks I know in NC who are trying hard to convince us to go down. One thing we’ve thought about is just about any place down South will be less expensive than CT, so it’s really now a matter of determining ..will we be happy down there, and like the home we choose. We have positioned ourselves to have no debt, so we are at an advantage to be more flexible and have no plans to make a firm decision until we are positive about where we want to be. We do not want to live within an Association, want a basement, and want to be close to wildlife, while also within 10 miles of all the conveniences – shopping/restaurants/things to do.

    by LC — March 8, 2012

  168. Would like more info about retirees renting instead of always buying home/apartment.

    by Trish — March 8, 2012

  169. specifically considering NH for retirement….renting, not buying.

    by Trish — March 8, 2012

  170. Staying in the real world in CT near family and all-ages community. No special “retirement community” for us..

    by Tom Ferguson — March 8, 2012

  171. I’m considering returning to Washington State. I worked there for a number of years so I know the area, have friends there and can pursue my love of the outdoors.

    by Larry — March 8, 2012

  172. Cheri: I’m originally from Carbon County and focusing on southeast PA, but far enough from Philadelphia where taxes “should” be somewhat lower. We’re even contemplating renting, but this too requires quite a bit of research, etc. Our hunt continues… al

    by Al — March 9, 2012

  173. We are taking a scouting trip the end of April from Ohio to Palm City, FL for retirement places in a couple years. Any great suggestions for someone just starting to look?

    by Trish R — March 9, 2012

  174. We actually retired in 08 in Castle Rock, Co. Loved it, but had to leave for personal reasons. Am currently in Upstate NY, but would prefer some place in the south. Lived in Tampa, FL for 30 years, but humidity not good for health reasons. Thinking now of TN, KY or SC. Here’s hoping…

    by Kim — March 9, 2012

  175. I’m originally from NJ and am thinking moving to Mass near the coast or Portland, Maine.

    by Louise Cooper — March 9, 2012

  176. Would love to hear more comments on the Venice FL area. I think we have ruled out N Myrtle Beach and will most likely settle in Venice FL. We would like more of a “beachy” kind of town and love the Medterean look of this area. Everything we have read about this area sounds perfect for us. Any comments? Thanks.

    by Kathy — March 10, 2012

  177. Everybody is talking about Fl. … I lived there for 8 years. (Tampa Bay)… It is not as cheap as everyone thinks …. housing is the only thing that is cheap. Everything else is the same or more than where I live now (Northern NJ).
    summers are brutal …landscape is as flat as a pancake … property tax, water and electric bills are high .. so you don’t pay state income tax but you pay tangible tax (whatever that is) …small compromise … you pay for everything else … We moved back to NJ..

    Editor’s Note: Florida discontinued the state tax on intangible assets several years ago. FL ranks 47th highest for total state/local tax burden and 16th highest for per-capita property tax. One expense that can be high in Florida is property insurance, particularly in hurricane-prone areas.

    by dudu — March 10, 2012

  178. Traditions of America Silver Spring near Mechanicsburg, PA. Recently visited; houses beautiful, residents (really) friendly, great amenities, PA tax burden for military/Federal/Social Security non-existent.

    by Kirk — March 10, 2012

  179. North Carolina. I’m only 55 and unable to get individual health insurance due to a pre existing condition. Nc has a state run high risk pool that is reasonably affordable and requires only a 30 day residency for eligibility. So we are leaving our fully paid for, much loved home in Mesa, AZ. Not exactly what we planned, but we are thankful we have the freedom, flexibility and resources to make this choice. And thankful to the state of NC for giving us a viable option!

    by Jeanette — March 11, 2012

  180. We are looking for a place in Co. for the 5 mo. in the summer as we live in Fl. and its just to hot. Any sugestions?

    by john — March 11, 2012

  181. Jeanette-Please tell me more about the insurance that is reasonable, but for high risk people that NC offers. I am 61 and am ready to retire in a couple of months. We are having a problem deciding between NC and SC. I don’t know much about any kind of health plan in SC either or if there is one. I know I have three plus years before able to get Medicare, so I need something to bridge the gap. Thanks

    by diandto — March 11, 2012

  182. For Leslie Cooper We are also considering Portland, Maine or somewhere in Maine. We agree with dudu that Florida it too flat but has warm weather year-round. One person we know was considering Florida but moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas. Nice town with lovely affordable homes, many golf courses, lakes, a lot of retirees and the scenery is beautiful.

    by Rory — March 11, 2012

  183. My husband and I have lived in Bella Vista, AR for 10 years now and our families have lived in the area since the mid ’60’s. Bella Vista is a fairly new incorporated town. Please check out the website for more information. for a lot more information.

    by Debora — March 11, 2012

  184. John Look at Campground of the Rockies in Hartzel, Co.for your 5 month summer stays. You buy your own lot, very reasonable, place a park model, there are several for sale right now or have an RV. Reasonable HOA Clubhouse, Indoor Pool, tennis, bocci, activities. We have two lots, one with a Park Model. Have neighbors who are buying a house hear by and have two properties for sale right now, with housing. Excellent hospital 40 miles away in Salida, Co. Views and wild life. Hundreds of elk comes thru the park in the spring heading for higher elevations for the summer.

    by Bonnie — March 12, 2012

  185. PAYSON, AZ. World class golf, fishing, hiking, rodeo town with 4 mild seasons and a stones throw from Scottsdale. At 5,000 ft elev. Payson is GREAT. A new campus of AZ state will be built soon bringing all kinds of energy to the town.

    by Mike Ferguson — March 14, 2012

  186. I am considering the Tucszon, Arizona area or Asheville, N.C. Wyoming is too much cowboy country for me – not a culture with which I can identify. My choices will boil down to cost of living, tax benefits, warm climate and lots of activities around.

    by Karen B. — March 14, 2012

  187. […] March 27, 2012 — Last month we asked our members to briefly share with us where they are thinking about retiring, and why. The results are in, and they are fascinating – the diversity and common sense approaches to decision making are guaranteed to get you thinking. We are grateful to the more than 220 people who took the time to tell us about their retirement destination plans. One side benefit was finding about several active adult communities not on our radar. We especially enjoyed hearing from the folks who haven’t yet decided on a place, but nevertheless let us in on their their often conflicted thought process. And to those of you who didn’t respond – you owe your fellow members a big favor! The thoughtful inputs they so graciously provided below is going to be very useful to you. You can see the actual responses in the Comments section of “Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire – and Why“. […]

    by » Where You’re Retiring – And Why Topretirements — March 27, 2012

  188. My husband and I have decided to stay in North Jersey, because that’s where our kids and grandkids are. We did consider South Jersey and took a trip to see some communities. While the living space would be bigger in the South as opposed to an active adult community in North Jersey, the taxes are about the same. So we will be relocating to a adult community, but staying up North.

    by Judi M — March 28, 2012

  189. I was thinking about Sun City Center on the Gulf side of Floida because I want budget housing that is not a manufactured home (lot rents are too expensive), and I want a house (nothing with adjoining walls). Sun City looked like an affordable place to me, but with the recent predictions that Florida and other coastal states are likely to be under water by 2010 or at the least dealing with flooding, I have lost my way and now don’t know where to retire. I scour your lists of active adult communities across the country, and am dismayed so many of them are intermediate or luxury which I cannot afford. And when I do find ones that say budget they’re condos, or townhomes or duplexes, or manufactured housing, which I don’t want. So I have no clue at the moment where to retire.

    by Cathy E, — March 28, 2012

  190. I’m looking at the Myrtle Beach area. Washington, D.C. area is getting too congested, taxes keep going up, and frankly, I’m tired of getting up at 5am to go to work.

    by Chris — March 28, 2012

  191. Not sure where it is but it sure would like it to be close to Trout Streams (me) and the beach (my wife). Sure love to find this place !!!

    by Mark B — March 28, 2012

  192. We are considering 4 places at the moment. We currently live in North Texas and would be considering a smaller town in Central Texas. The second spot, because we like living near the ocean would be either Pensacola, Florida or near Mobile, AL. The third and fourth spots are international. Costa Rica and Belize. Because we have saved little for retirement and will be relying on Social Security, we can live a better lifestyle in those countries.

    by Bruce T. — March 28, 2012

  193. Huntsville, AL. Mild winter and summers are not ungodly hot and humid (like further South). Low cost of living. High quality of life. Great place to retire!

    by Dennis — March 28, 2012

  194. We are looking at NC, in Raleigh/Durham area. We like Fearrington Village due to a sense of community, lovely single story low-maintenance options, nice village center, walking trails as well as nearby fitness center and Duke-run medical center. We live in DC suburb (MD) but cost of living and traffic are moving factors. NC cost of living/housing is much better. Other factors on our spreadsheet – close to Southwest Air, easy drive to family in VA & TN and four seasons. We are 4-5 years away until retirement benefits kick in.

    by Tim — March 29, 2012

  195. Bruce T-We live in New Braunfels, if Central Texas is your desire…Cedar alleries are terrible through the winter-be prepared. The real estate taxes are quite high, so being on a fixed income will be tough. Our allergies are terrible!
    Mark B-Check out North or South Carolina shore areas-best of both worlds-beach and streams in some areas!

    by diandto — March 29, 2012

  196. We are trying to find out if living in coastal Florida (gulf coast) makes your insurance sky high. We would not be directly on the waterfront. Any comments would be welcomed. Thanks.

    by MKB — March 29, 2012

  197. Were thinking about 20 miles north of Pensacola?Is the Ins high?

    by j& k — March 29, 2012

  198. Tim – I, too, live in a DC suburb (VA) and am thinking of Fearrington Village south of Chapel Hill, NC. It appears very retiree friendly. In addition to the factors you mention, there are lots of clubs and an organization called “Fearrington Cares”, a volunteer group for in-home help, errands, etc. My one pause is Fearrington’s somewhat rural setting and distance from retail choices. There is a Harris-Teeter nearby, but I would miss what is available within two miles of my current home…Harris-Teeter, Giant Foods, Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, etc. In Fearrington, I feel like I might be spending a lot of time in my car. Nonetheless, it still is at the top of my list should I decide to re-locate.

    by Judy — March 30, 2012

  199. Funny how sometimes the Universe seems to speak but you have to listen to hear the voice! I stumbled upon the Villages at Fearrington quite by accident and not being inclined to explore “communities,” I really didn’t pay attention. But after reading several posts about Fearrington, I went back and looked in more detail. I find it very interesting and a definite possibility. So much so that in May, we plan to visit and check it out along with Asheville and Charlotte. I love the idea of building a development around open space and a working farm!

    by cherie — March 31, 2012

  200. MKB;
    My son lives in Fl. (Brooksville, about 45mins NW of Tampa). In his area insurance for hurricanes are lower,because they usually don’t come in on that area. He also says the futher south you go the high housing is, and insurance is different in all areas. My husband and I were thinking of retiring in his area, but we would like a small town to live in where you could walk to things. If anyone one knows of a small town area that is not abandon, I would love to know of it. We want to move south of the Michigan winters.

    by Jill — March 31, 2012

  201. My daughter lived close to Fearrington Village so I visited. I was not impressed.

    by Dick — April 1, 2012

  202. Dick, please expand your review of Fearrington. What about it did not impress you? More info please for us inquiring minds!

    by cherie — April 1, 2012

  203. The part I saw seemed older and was not bike friendly.

    by Dick — April 2, 2012

  204. Cherie – A tip for a preview tour of Fearrington neighborhoods. Go to any of the real estate search sites like, trulia, etc and find Fearrington listings of interest. Then go to Google maps with that address and, more often than not, there will be a street tour of the house and neighborhood. The Google camera cars seem to have driven a lot around there.

    by Judy — April 3, 2012

  205. To Jill – thank you for your response. We are looking in Venice which seems to have what you are looking for. Have you looked into that area of FL?

    by MKB — April 3, 2012

  206. HELP PLEASE! I have been so confused where to live and move to… Lived in upstate NY 41 years and the snow and cold was enough for us. Now lived in Fl. 14 years and the heat and humidity are awful 7 months a year. My husband loves the heat I hate it. My husband would like to stay but I want to leave. One of the problems is I feel so guilty because my husband has a cancer that is not curable and he has to be on chemo drugs all the time and he wants to be near a great cancer center like he is now at Moffitt in Tampa. We can’t afford to live in 2 places and it would be too hard for us to go back and forth every year as I don’t know when he will get sick and he needs to be at a Dr. once a week for treatments. I am thinking were ever it is it needs to have a good cancer center not to far away so my husband and I feel better.
    Any ideas out there? Sure could use some HELP!

    by Kathy — April 5, 2012

  207. We are looking to retire next year and will most likely move to the eastern seaboard – we are in CA now and due to the outrageous politics and expenses will not retire here. We have a summer camp in Maine and will most likely pick South Carolina or the Florida gulf coast to live the rest of the year. It will be a lot less expensive and the warm winters are definitely attractive. We are looking for an over 55 gated community so we won’t feel apprehensive about leaving our home for months at a time.

    by Karen Techeira — April 7, 2012

  208. To Kathy-
    The answer is obvious- Given your husbands situation, and the fact that he likes it where you are, you need to stay put. He needs to keep his current DRs etc, not be subjected to starting over again with new Drs and Hopsitals etc just so you can be cooler for half the year. You can stay inside in the airconditioning when its hot. You have been there for 14 years, a few more wont hurt.

    by alan — April 8, 2012

  209. Hi Alan, Thanks for the reply. I would have to agree with that except. I said once a week and I meant once a month. I also left out my husband can live on the drugs he is on for 10 years. It seems a lot of people live on these drugs very good for up to 10 years. WE ARE HOPING he lives for 20 and they find a cure before that time is up. So with this being said I have sat inside for 14 years 7 months a year all ready and IT IS TAKEN A TOLL ON ME AND MY HEALTH. So if he is willing to move I need to find some where that there is little snow or icy roads to drive on but warm most of the year just not steamy hot. I wish we could afford CA as they have the weather and great cancer hospitals but we can’t. So I am hoping people can tell me where they have lived and if the weather would be good for both of us. We drive 2 hours to his Dr. every month so a 2-3 hour drive to a good cancer hospital would be close enough. But Alan, your right I should be stronger as I do have guilt feelings but if I could here from people and know some places to research we could go there on a vacation and see if we both like it. SO IF ANYONE IS READING THIS…Please let me know. THANKS!

    by Kathy — April 8, 2012

  210. Kathy Check out the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area especially all the small towns in the area. Great hospitals and healthcare, affordable housing, no state income tax, hot summers but rest of the year the weather is pretty good. Don’t feel guilty, anyone who has dealt with a serious illness which involves daily alteration of what was once a normal life will tell you not to feel guilty. We have visited Dallas often, once in January and saw flowers blooming while we were walking outside.

    by Rory — April 8, 2012

  211. Kathy-

    check out areas near the best cancer hospitals in the link below.
    Good Luck in finding a place that works for both of you.

    by alan — April 9, 2012

  212. To Kathy-I am not a big fan of Texas, besides Dallas is considered Tornado Alley, plus the real estate taxes are HIGH. However, I have heard WONDERFUL things about the Chapel Hill-Raleigh-urham area. It is called The Research Triangle and they are ahead of the curve with medical breakthroughs. My very good friend lives in Chapel Hill and loves it.If you like the beach, North Carolina beaches are a couple hour away; I am not sure it may be a three-hour trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Good luck in your search. We are looking at South Carolina, so I have been checking out the area.

    by diandto — April 9, 2012

  213. Hi Kathy- We lived in Florida for 5 years and absolutely could not stand the heat and humidiy. We live in Chattanooga, TN and love it! Great weather, close to excellent healthcare, restaurants and shopping.

    by LisaJ — April 9, 2012

  214. Kathy, I agree with diandto. The Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham area is a good area to consider.

    by Dick — April 9, 2012

  215. Thank you all! My husband wants us to check out the 2 areas mentioned. The Chapel Hill area and the Chattanooga, TN area. I have mixed feelings about NC & TN areas because from what I have read it is just as hot and muggy as Fl. Only not as long. Anyone know of an area in NC or TN that is not as muggy? I was thinking out west but we have never lived out west so we are very apprehensive. If anyone thinks of anything else please let me know. Thanks for the support!

    by Kathy — April 9, 2012

  216. Hi LisaJ…What areas around Chattanooga are the nicest? Someone told us about a place called Soddy-Daisy. What do you think? Thanks!

    by Kathy — April 9, 2012

  217. Hi Kathy – I hope you find a wonderful place to share your time together. I just did a google search on “cancer center TN” and found a number of responses. I would thaink that you could do similar research for any state. We have purchased a home in TN at 2,000 feet elevation in the Cumberland Plateau (Fairfield Glade outside of Crossville). Although we have not spent much time there yet, everyone tells us that we will experience weather in the summer 10 degrees cooler than if we were nearer Knoxville (1 hr away) or Nashville (2 hours away), both at a lower elevation. Best of luck to you in your search for the best place.

    by Holly — April 9, 2012

  218. I’m retiring in June 2013. My wife and I have vacationed on Sanibel Island for almost 25 years at different times of the year. Yes. Summers too! If we can’t live on Sanibel, would love to retire in the Ft. Myers area.

    by Ron — April 9, 2012

  219. We also live in CA and know we can’t afford to retire here. Although I’ve never been to the Ft. Myers area, I’ve done some research and we hope to make our first visit there in June to look for homes. Any hints on best places to retire in Ft. Myers and Naples area. I’d LOVE to visit Sanibel Island too. Hope your responses will also help Karen find a good place to retire with her husband.

    by Joyce — April 9, 2012

  220. We live in MD – just outside of the Washington DC rat race. Looking forward to retiring at the end of the year and moving to DE in the Spring. Only 2 1/2 hrs from DC but milder climate, lower cost of living, and relaxed lifestyle! Many communities for active adults as well as those restricted to 55 and over. Beaches are always less than an hour away. Good bye 5 AM alarm clock!!

    by KathyJ — April 10, 2012

  221. Hi Kathy- Soddy Daisy is beautiful however, it is a little remote. If you want to be closer to town the Harrison, Ooltewah and Hixson area are very nice. Yes, it does get humid in July and August (nothing compared to Florida)We dont have days where you open the door and the heat just “hits you.”

    by LisaJ — April 10, 2012

  222. TN may be great; I cannot live there because it is so landlocked; I need to be near the salt air. However, I have heard so many good things about it. I have checked medical facilities in the Carolinas and have been pleased with what I have found. Also, an interesting note…many states have their own health care plans and some really take good care of their residents. You should research this-it is not easy to find info, but when you do it is interesting to compare the things that are offered from one state to the next.

    by diandto — April 10, 2012

  223. Kathy – Is your spouse retired military (Miffitt seems to hint that)? If so, there are VA hospitals across the country that you could use as a basis. I think Tampa/St. Pete area has much to offer, but agree that summers are a “trial” … but, that “perfect spot” seems to elude us all … more a matter of what compromises one can live with. Besides that, I was trying to think of the site that provided the medical ratings, but Alan had provided the link to USNews. There may be other ratings groups. Also, consider that many major med centers now do “remote medicine” and have satellite centers. Doctors in Central America have access to the best research at JHU, etc. Speaking of Johns Hopkins (Baltimore area), they rountinely are at top of most/all ratings in all med disciplines. Their cancer center is actually north of Baltimore and easier to get to. UPMC in Pittsburgh is another fantastic facility (and Pittsburgh is usually ranked VERY high as a livable city … yeah, I know the OLD ways Pittsburgh was described … it’s improving a LOT!). Boston, truly great medical care, but cold and a young person’s heaven. Then you have Mayo in MN, the cancer center in Dallas-Ft. Worth area, also Seattle, Lots of major cities also have bennies for military (commisaries, PX/BX/etc). If you narrow down to a couple regions, you might ask current doctor(s) for recommendations in that area. I believe that you do have options. You have both spent many years together, thus you have both learned that being a couple, and staying that way, involves compromises reached by talking to each other … you are both doing GREAT! Best wishes to you both.

    by Mad Monk — April 10, 2012

  224. Mad Monk, Hi…I have a list of all the cancer centers in the country that have treatment for my husbands kind of cancer. There are 41 in the USA. Most states have at least 1 cancer center a couple of states have more some states HAVE none. So I do go by that list when I am looking. MD has 1 but that area is very congested and they get to much snow from what I have read. No, my husband was not in the military and Moffitt is not a VA hospital it is a cancer hospital. We lived in the Tampa area 12 years and that is were Moffitt is. We moved 2 hours north of Tampa just before my husband was diagnosed. Any where you live in Florida will be hot and muggy 6-7 months a year so I really don’t wish to live out the rest of my life in it. That’s why I would love to know where other people have lived and what they think about it. Have a GREAT day! Thanks, Kathy

    by kathy — April 11, 2012

  225. LisaJ, Hi, if you mean remote like nothing is close by we do not want to live in a remote area as we would like everything to be close by like grocery stores drug stores Dr. office restaurants stuff like that. The closest cancer center to Soddy-Daisy is in Atlanta GA. 2 hours away. We don’t mind a 2 hour drive as long as the area we live in is safe nice has everything close by and not heat extreme and not a lot of snow. From what you are saying there are only 2 months July and Aug. that are really hot and humid? If that is the case I can handle that. Again, I get so confused because I look at web sites like City data and looking at there charts it shows a lot more long hot humid summers in this area of Tenn. Thank you for all and any info. Kathy

    Also, Does anyone out there know if when you see the grafts and weather temps stuff and all other info on the, city data web site if it is all up to date and accurate? Here is an example I see that differs. I read in an article about Little Rock that said, WE DON’T GET TORNADOES…City data shows they do and have had them. Something else that differs, LisaJ says an area of TN. Is only really humid in July and Aug. City data shows it very humid like 5 months a year. DOES ANYONE know a good website for me to use that is like city data but better?

    by kathy — April 11, 2012

  226. Florida weather. Often in July and August, the east coast of Florida is one of the cooler places compared to the east coast. I was often jealous of my parents less than 90 degree weather when the temp in my area was in the high 90s. Of course of you do not like humid, you may not like the rest of the southeast.

    by Elaine — April 12, 2012

  227. Kathy, I made the mistake of comparing weather between Menifee, California and the San Antonio area in Texas by looking at and speaking to people who live in the SA area. I thought that I would get a very accurate comparison-WRONG! People who live in this area, compare it to the Texas coast, so it isn’t humid in comparision and they still rave about how dry it is…I think it is humid and because we are not near the coast, I cannot stand it.’s humidity must not have been accurate-because they seemed to match, but the humidity levels do not match in reality. AS for the weather-nothing is close to California-it is ideal, in my opinion. I would go for a week or so, when conditions are supposed to be the worst and see if you can deal with it. You really don’t know until YOU experience it if it will be good for you-I learned the hard way.

    by diandto — April 12, 2012

  228. Kathy, try and click on “Compare Climates.” An easy to use and accurate site.

    Jan Cullinane, The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

    by Jan Cullinane — April 12, 2012

  229. Hi diandto, that is exactly what I am afraid of. We can’t afford to go to a bunch of places so I have to try really hard to get it down as close as possible before we make a trip to some where. Where do you live? I wish I could aford to live in CA as from what I here the weather is ideal. I am still trying to figure out how the middle class can aford to live any where in CA. Thanks!

    by kathy — April 12, 2012

  230. Can anyone tell me about Loxahatchee, Florida? It looks like you can buy a home with small acreage for a reasonable price. Any information would be appreciated! Thanks

    by Karen — April 12, 2012

  231. My husband and I are sick of being cold. We live in Northern California and I know most people think the weather is ideal, but personally I don’t like fall or winter. I don’t like temps below 60 degrees. Some people love the four seasons, but I only like spring and summer with warm temps. CA is not retirement friendly as we are taxed to the extremes out here. Anyone with suggested retirement locations? My husband says no to Arizona–he doesn’t like the desert landscape.

    by Brenda — April 12, 2012

  232. it amazes me that so many of us live in places we dont like (at least anymore) Guess thats one reaon we like our RV- we can just leave if we dont like the weather… the neightbors dog..the neighbor, or just to try someplace new. 🙂

    by alan — April 13, 2012

  233. Hi Kathy. We live abut 20 miles north of San Antonio. Our home is for sale; we have outgrown it; it is 3000 sqft, but there are only two of us nd it is too much space. We will be headed to Bluffton, SC. Southern California is wonderful, weather wise, but gasoline and groceries are high. Housing prices are not terrible in the Menifee area and real estate taxes are not terrible either, but everything else is pricey.If you can handle the craziness of government (although they ARE trying)-it is nice. Medical centers are great because you are not far from San Diego or even LA.

    by diandto — April 13, 2012

  234. @Brenda: Although N.Cali has some lovely sites, I agree it can be cold and expensive. Have you ever considered Central Florida — such as just north of Orlando?.. It’s not as hot or congested Orlando or south Florida. There are a combination of Palm Trees and Oak Trees with Spanish Moss, and lots of back roads for beautiful rides in a classic car, motorcycle, or RV. Taxes are low and cost of living is incredibly affordable. Check out Marion County!

    by Neil S. Schuster — April 13, 2012

  235. Kathy- I agree with Jan. You really need to experience the weather yourself. Many people used to tell me “You will get used to the heat in Florida.” My husband and I never did. Some would say Chattanooga is too cold in the winter. We love it. The weather is very subjective.

    by LisaJ — April 13, 2012

  236. My friend and I, both divorced women with no kids except the furry variety, have decided to retire together. I live in NYC. She used to but has been living in the metro DC area for 20 years now. We have known each other for over 40 years. Due to financial considerations, we’re looking at FL. I am very attracted to Sarasota because of the cultural opportunities in the city itself. We’re going there for a week in December to check it out. Anyone have any suggestions? Are there other places that offer a bit of city life that they can recommend. We’re open to GA and NC/SC as well but it seems that housing is more expensive there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Oh we have 4-5 years before we retire so we can fully explore our options. Thanks!

    by Staceyjill — April 13, 2012

  237. diandto, we are Probably going to end up in NC somewhere. I would still love to know more about Oregon as it seems the weather there is a lot like CA. but again I have never been there so I have no clue…THANKS!

    Brenda, I live near Marion County as Neil pointed out. I have a beautiful home here for sale if you’re interested….Mid Fl. is very nice and it’s pretty. Not tropical looking like the coast. But really safe as we get very little bad weather here. We live on a channel that goes into a lake but with all the drought in Fl. the past couple years we don’t have water in the channel and like all of Fl. all lakes are way down and lots have no water. Homes are low now because of the real estate market and taxes and just about everything is cheap. So if you like hot humid weather 7 months a year and nice weather the other 5 months a year you will love it. At this time you can go all most any where you want to in the state of Fl. And find nice homes very cheap. So just pick out an area you think you would like and you can find lots of nice homes at great price as most are below average cost.

    by kathy — April 13, 2012

  238. Hi just read the note from Neil S. about Central Florida. We have also been looking at this area and feel it might work for us in retirement. Niel do you live in this area? If so can you give me a bit more input about your likes about Marion County / Ocala. Your help would be great! Thanks Brad

    by Brad — April 13, 2012

  239. After much consideration, we have moved from Texas to Fort Myers, FL and are purchasing a new, single family home in a 55+ community called Pelican Preserve. We looked extensively at 55+ communities throughout the west coast of FL and always came back to Pelican Preserve as offering the most for the cost. Also, long time residents here are selling their smaller condos/villas and purchasing larger homes here because they like the community, the residents and the amenities so much. There is much to offer in the Ft. Myers area – beaches, Sanibel, good hospitals, performing arts centers, etc. We feel we got all the amenities of where we came from (Dallas/Ft. Worth area) but in a much smaller environment. We are still getting used to the clean air and sea breeze vs the dirty air in the DFW area and allergens galore. Our allergies have completely cleared up after years of suffering so yes, we will have to put up with some warmer months, higher humidity in the summers but that is what we all have AC for…and, it appears our taxes, insurance and utilities will be lower than in Texas…not by much but that is ok as we budgeted the same for cost of living here vs Texas.

    by Toni — April 14, 2012

  240. Brad- I live 3 miles from SW Ocala. I live in Citrus County. What do you want to know? The area is very congested just like most of Fl. is unless you live way out in the country some where. If you do that you will drive at least 15 mins. to get to a grocery store. Half a year it is worse because the folks from the north come down. Out of the 14 years I have lived here we have had no weather problems with bad storms. But then this area of Fl. has been so dry and in a drought for years so you get very little rain at any time through the year. It is steamy hot 6-7 months a year and is nice most all winter. You just need to wear a sweater most of the time during winter. There is not much to do socially. You can get to Disney in about 1 hour and the ocean is about 2 hours. If you are healthy and don’t need a lot of different kinds of Drs. that’s good as I have not been able to find good Drs. I have had to drive about 1 hour to try and get a good Dr. Most of the time I end up 2 hours away going to Tampa. My neighbor found a Dr. in Gainesville he goes to and that is 1 hour away. I really don’t know what the problem is with finding a good Dr. in this area. From what I here Fl. is not the only state that is so congested. I have read NC SC GA & MD are just as bad. We are trying to find a all around great place to retire also and have had a hard time.

    by Kathy — April 14, 2012

  241. To Kathy: If you’re still considering the Chapel Hill area, I’ll be putting my 1500 sq. ft. townhome on the market this summer in Apex. It’s 20-30 minutes from Chapel Hill and just a bit further to Duke in Durham. Although, summers do get pretty warm and humid here.

    by Victoria — April 14, 2012

  242. I’m looking to retire in Albuquerque,New Mexico. Has anyone one lived there or in northern New Mexico?

    by Mary — April 14, 2012

  243. So many write to say they hate heat and humidity, traffic congestion, etc. I think we will stick with Maine, lots to do, university towns offer cultural events, beautiful country, not flat and boring, a little more expensive but might be worth retiring in a place we enjoy. As far as the snow in winter, great for curling up with a blanket and a cup of cocoa or snow skiing. Not interested in chasing a little white ball the rest of life or sitting in the hot sun turning into a raisin.

    by Rory — April 14, 2012

  244. Rory (et al), if one chose between Pacific Northwest & Northeast (mostly WA vs ME) what are your thoughts?

    by Mad Monk — April 15, 2012

  245. Seattle, Washington vs Maine — hmmmm. Seattle is beautiful, mountains and the ocean, lots of cultural events, great healthcare options, acutally has less rain per year than many parts of midwest. Maine is a beautiful state as well, lots of options there with places like Acadia National Park, the ocean, good healthcare in some of its cities, snowy days with a good book (and warm blanket and cocoa or a little Irish coffee). But it is more expensive to live in these two states, not like Florida without a state income tax. I guess one truly has to decide on a place which is affordable, with good healthcare facilities, a retirement community (55+) vs just a neighborhood, a house vs a condo (what are the HOA fees in the area), churches to attend, family and old friends close to the area and I guess the list goes on. There are a lot of options/choices available but for most of us what is all comes down to is what we can afford, as we all know. We do not want to outlive our money. Speaking of money, almost April 17th!

    by Rory — April 15, 2012

  246. My husband and I just returned from spending some time in central Florida checking out different locations. Sarasota appears to be ideal for us – its closeness to the beach and its urban setting. We would appreciate any advice or comments on this area, such as neighborhoods, access to activities and meeting people, etc. Thanks in advance for the input.

    by Diane — April 16, 2012

  247. That’s the big question for us, we still don’t know and we are both 65! We live in New England and want to escape winter, but don’t want/can’t afford two homes, so we are trying to decide where to move to permanently. We’re going to Fl. in May to check it out, we’ve eliminated the SW.

    by Edwina — April 16, 2012

  248. Victoria- Thanks for asking but I have a 2300 sq ft. 4 bedroom home I have to sell here in SW Ocala area first. Anyone want to trade????:lol:

    by Kathy — April 16, 2012

  249. Kathy thanks for the input. We live in the Seattle area cool most of the year and things to do and see. We have good medical care in this area also. I enjoy the sun and living in an area where you could wake up most the time and have sunshine would be a joy to me, way too many gray and wet days here. The thought of exploring beaches and living in a active 55 development sound good to me. We have been to Orlando and done that and enjoyed it and would still be fun but a quite and relaxing living area is still #1 on the list. You said that you have to travel a ways for good medical care. Are the Hospitals and Doctors a problem in Ocala and or Marion County? We enjoy Baseball spring training for that would be great. Thanks again. If anone has more input about Mariom County / Ocala area I would like to hear. thanks Brad

    by Brad — April 16, 2012

  250. Diane we have friends who live in Sarasota, Fl. They do like it there very much but are looking for a place to spend the summmers as they cannot stand the heat and high humidity in the summer months.

    by Rory — April 16, 2012

  251. @Brad, Marion County is wonderful. It’s incredibly inexpensive! The medical in south Marion County is fantastic. We have several specialists and facilities in the tri-county area (4 hospitals), as well as a Moffitt Cancer Center and a brand new VA Facility. Marion County is park friendly! It has the most concentration of natural springs and park preserves in the State. Marion County is perfectly located — 55 miles to Daytona, 55 miles to Orlando, and 55 miles to the Gulf! It’s the smart boomers hot spot! Check out all the communities from gated-hoa to no hoa communities! Shop around & compare!

    by Neil S. Schuster — April 17, 2012

  252. Brad, I see you live in the Seattle area but are bothered by the cool, wet and cloudy days. I had to move away from that area a couple of years ago but loved the outdoors activities that the area provides and thinking about moving back but, to a community on the eastern side of the mountains. Have you ever considered going over to the east side of the mountains, I understand that Walla Walla and Wenatchee, for example is very nice. Not as warm as Florida but I would expect that it is sunnier than Seattle and can provide the four seasons. I would appreciate your point of view about that area.

    by Fremont — April 17, 2012

  253. Thank you all for your help. First I have lived here in the Seattle area for over 25 years. Washington dosn’t have a state tax system. Homes in the Seattle area are more expensive than in Florida as we have found in our trips there. You can buy a much larger home with many up grades for less in Florida. Property tax is about the same. If you are looking for a active 55 area here or east of the Mountains there are a few but nothing like you will experience in Florida or other states in the South East. I do believe that the over all cost of day today living is higher in the Seattle area. I do enjoy being outside and yes you can enjoy the state of Washington it is very beautiful. Six months a year it is gray, cold and wet. If you own a home it can be a bit much,keeping things nice and for me the gray days get to be way too much. Neil thank you for the info. on the Medical in Ocala this is important to all. We are in good health but one never knows. My wife is a retired Veteran and I served in the Navy many years ago. So we plan on using Tri Care if we can in retirement. We have loked at a few 55 areas in Ocala and like “On Top Of The World”. Plan on looking again. Again thank you all for your help in providing information. Brad

    by Brad — April 17, 2012

  254. Brad, as you see you will find lots of different oppions. We have found medical care here is not as easy to find as in say the Tampa area and not as good. As you have heard 55 miles from hot spots and that takes 1.5 -2 hours to get to each place depending on how close you live to the express way. This is a very busy area with lots of traffic. Butttt I have not found an area in Fl. that does not have a lot of traffic. UNLESS you live out in the country. But then you have to drive 15 minutes to get to a grocery store. If you like more of a country life Ocala is that. Kathy

    by Kathy — April 17, 2012

  255. Humidity question. I know how humid Florida gets as I just spent some time in Orlando in summer 2010. Is the humidity less the closer you get to the coast and is it less humid toward the Atlantic side as opposed to the gulf side? I live in So Cal but don’t plan to retire here (though that is a few years off) due to the high taxes, cost of living, crowds, traffic, etc. Thanks!

    by Loni E — April 17, 2012

  256. Hi Loni, I have made some excursions to Fla in the past 34 years. I have been to many towns, & never found one I wanted to live in due to the heat & humidity, until Nov of 2010. My brother in law had relocated from CT down to Cape Coral in Lee County on the gulf coast. We spent one week there that Nov & I really liked the weather there. Yes it can get humid, but very tolerable compared to the other towns I had been to around the state. We had occasion to spend 2 more weeks there in JULY of 2011 during the early part of the “hot” season. I have been “hooked” on that area of Fla ever since. I have been to Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and a few other cities over the years, & swore I would never live there, until discovering the Cape Coral area. I found that the proximity to the gulf waters made this part of FL very comfortable & tolerable compared to all the other areas I have been too. That is not to say that they do not get very hot there or have their share of sudden torrential down pours, but they end quite quickly and shortly afterwards, there is little to no sign that it ever rained. That coupled with the taxing structure of Fl, has me currently seeking a home there right now. I currently live in CT(21 years now), on a fixed income, where the taxes are the worst I have seen in the country, coupled with a very high cost of living in a town with NO SERVICES at all other than Police. Cape Coral doesn’t compare well with a lot of other towns in that area, depending on which web-sites you visit, but it has some of the BEST quality water in the state, most of the homes are well cared for in nice neighborhoods, the taxes are reasonable, and insurance is reasonably priced if you stay out of the flood zones. I am currently seeking a home in that area now, & will own my CT home free & clear in two years, so I will find a Fl home & become a legal resident there, ride out my 2 yrs of mortgage payments in CT, then sell the CT home and put every dollar from that sale into my pocket & either “buy up” in Fl, or “fix up” the home I do buy there to exactly how I like it. Right now in Cape Coral, home prices are very affordable but climbing due to the great prices & the town’s upswing, and are showing steady sales improvements. Good luck in your search, & I hope this info helps you.

    by JP — April 18, 2012

  257. Loni, great question I am wondering the exact same thing. We are looking on the Gulf coast but about 5 miles from the ocean. I wonder if you ever get any breezes that far away.

    by MKB — April 18, 2012

  258. Loni & MKB, No it is not any cooler and the humidity is still the same any where you live in Florida. You may get a little bit of a breeze sometimes living by the ocean but it is still the same. Hot and humid 6-7 months a year. I lived 1/4 mile from the gulf for 10 years and it was never any different feeling than living 2 hours in land where I live now for the past 4 years. Good luck…I’m still trying to find a great 3-4 season place to live.

    by Kathy — April 18, 2012

  259. We are about 15 miles inland from Sanibel/Fort Myers beaches and are very pleasantly surprised at the daily breeze we are getting in our community. We chose not to buy closer to the beaches because of the higher prices of the homes and home insurance. In FL you will wind up in a “flood zone” if you are not careful closer to the beaches. There is traffic but we just went to Sanibel Island on Sunday and it only took us 20 minutes. Humidity can be higher here certain months but we are finding it is good for our skin. Doesn’t feel near as dry as it did in Texas. Using a lot less lotion!

    by Toni — April 18, 2012

  260. Brad, Have you ever considered being a west coast “snowbird”? Spend late spring -> fall in CA (perhaps renting at different places throughout the state)? If you spend > 6 months in WA (the “nice” months?), you would retain residency for (no) taxes. Though CA is expensive for year-round residence, I would think that great rentals could be found throughout the state (beach, city, inland, mountains, north, south, central, etc. … it’s big enough with great variety). If leaving a home empty for such periods is a concern, there seem to be numerous retirement rental communities from Bellingham to Takoma and other areas). Selling the primary residence would then free up money for renting and travel. Just a question? You may have lived in WA long enough for personal prefereneces and wish to experience a change. Just wondering.

    by Mad Monk — April 18, 2012

  261. We are doing the same as Kathy. Would really like a great place with 4 seasons, good health care facilities, cultural events, friendly people and a decent cost of living. High heat and humidity are physically draining, heat stroke is no joke. Perhaps, Florida will not be THE place for younger boomers in their 50’s, early 60’s as it was for our parent’s generation. I’m glad it works for some, but just like any other place, it does not work for all. Also want to stay put in one place, not go back and forth seasonally.

    by Rory — April 18, 2012

  262. M.Monk We plan on having one home and if it works will travel from there.California is too busy for me nice to see as most places.Not for living. Having a home vacant for a number of months any where would be a problem for me and a big job to deal with when you returned. If we owned a home in a gated community I’d feel a bit better and could get someone to care for our yard and home. Looking forward to making our plans and getting settled that should be fist part of 2013. I feel it will be Central Florida Thanks Brad

    by Brad — April 18, 2012

  263. Toni- are you actually in Fort Myers? We have been looking in the Winter Haven area, but would love to be able to get the Gulf breezes without the high prices! Absolutely love Sanibel.

    by roxanne allard — April 19, 2012

  264. To JP. If you are going to find a home in Florida and become resident there, why don’t you sell your CT home at that time? No need to “ride out” the final 2 years of payments – you can sell it now. No more payments, or taxes, or utilities/upkeep etc. Doesn’t have to be paid off to sell it. Just a thought.

    by Linda — April 19, 2012

  265. To Roxanne Allard…

    Yes, we are in the Southeast section of Fort Myers – there are many communities around us between Daniels Parkway and Colonial Blvd. along Treeline if you want to look at a map of this area and see where we are in proximity to the beaches. We are at Pelican Preserve.

    by Toni — April 19, 2012

  266. Cherie,
    We lived in Charlotte for 46 years and recently moved to Central Florida for the weather. We are not happy with Central Florida and miss NC and are planning to move back. While Charlotte is a wonderful place it has become a large urban city that is more difficult for retirees. We are looking at the Cary area near the Triangle as well as Pinehurst a New England Village that is known for the Pinehurst Resort as well as many other qualities which is near the Raleigh/ Triangle area but with milder winters. Asheville is a lovely place but is very congested because it has become a retirement mecca and the winters are colder. We also plan to go to the NC area in May to investigate possibilities. Has anyone been to the Pinehurst/Southern Pines area and what do you think?
    Linda L.

    by Linda L — April 20, 2012

  267. To Linda,

    The Fla market in the Cape Coral area has bottomed out & is on the rebound. The market here in CORRUPTICUT, is going down now, & fast. My home has devalued from $475,000.00 to $300,000.00. So if I ride out the 2 years, hopefully the values will be back up a bit (the value on mine just went up $9,000.00 in 30 days), & every penny I get for it will go right into my pocket, then either “buy up” in Fl, or “fix up” the home I do buy there to exactly how I like it.. In the mean time I still have the property taxes from both CT & Fl as a deduction to offset my federal income taxes.

    by JP — April 20, 2012

  268. Thanks everyone. Good info about Florida. It’s still on my list but I’ll also consider coastal areas of GA & SC.

    by Loni E — April 20, 2012

  269. To Linda L – Pinehurst/Southern Pines has so much going for it…Many single-story homes on nice lots at amazing prices, super health care, low crime, and low taxes. A small disadvantage is the high cost of water and a big disadvantage is the limited choice of Medicare Supplement plans in Moore County. But if you can find a plan that suits you, Pinehurst is a great choice.

    by Judy — April 21, 2012

  270. to Judy,
    Please tell me what you know about Medicare Supplement plans or an info in the Pinehurst area. Thanks!
    Linda L

    by Linda L — April 25, 2012

  271. To Linda L – Last I checked about a year ago, Moore County, NC had no HMOs or Medicare Advantage plans, but basic Supplement plans are available. A sample of the major carriers for the basic supplement includes Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, and AARP/United Healthcare. Separate coverage would be needed for prescription drugs. It can get pretty pricey.

    by Judy — April 26, 2012

  272. Toni, Enjoy your comments about Ft. Myers FL area. We live in CA and are coming down in June to check out the area. How do you like Pelican Preserve?

    by Joyce — April 26, 2012

  273. To JP – Thanks – I get it now. We’re in a similar situation in Western NY – it’s all about timing isn’t it. Best of luck to you.

    by Linda — April 26, 2012

  274. For Joyce…we love Pelican Preserve. The grounds are so well kept and beautiful. We have been here almost a month now and have joined in a variety of activities, met a lot of nice neighbors, and are settling in awaiting the building of our new home. The staff at Pelican Preserve is outstanding – could not be more helpful. Be sure and tour the model homes and check out the Town Center. Ask for Terry Brown at the sales center when you arrive. She is a wealth of information. If you play golf, check out the Clubhouse. I believe Pelican Preserve offers a 2 night reasonable “get away” stay in one of their villas. You might check that out on their website. Still checking the Fort Myers area out – spent today at the Edison and Ford estates and gardens in the downtown area…been going to Sanibel once a week to spend a day at the beach – great island. Hope you enjoy your stay in June – it will be hotter here then but that is Florida…where are you coming from?

    by toni — April 27, 2012

  275. Toni, thanks for the info on Pelican Preserve. So are you renting there while your home is being being built? All the things you are doing sound great. We are coming from Orange Co. Calif.

    by Joyce — April 27, 2012

  276. Charleston has been a good fit. Not retired and still options open. San Luis O. a long shot with cost.
    Charleston rocks due to the rich activites ; always so much happening each weekend; Picking is Hard.
    Downside, find shade and breeze in July, Aug.; City is great, caution to suburbs only due to more
    real slow down southern country fried attitude. Mt. Pleasant is fine. We live here now.

    by vicki ann — April 28, 2012

  277. Joyce…yes, we are renting in Pelican Preserve which makes it nice to watch the house being built and also to get familiar with the community.I’m originally from San Diego…you will find the prices here reasonable compared to CA. Most of my family is still in San Diego and can’t believe the amount of house we get here compared to what they are dealing with even after the housing crisis. Look forward to hearing from you when you visit to see how you like the area….

    by Toni — April 28, 2012

  278. Victoria,
    We are looking in the Pinehurst area and will look at Cary and Apex as well. Can you give us info on Apex and Cary? Thanks so much.
    Linda L

    by Linda L — April 28, 2012

  279. Still cannot decide between Venice, Englewood or Cape Coral Florida to retire.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    by MKB — April 29, 2012

  280. We are retiring at Wildflowers in Wallkill New York. It is centrally located, between New Jersey, Pennsylvania NYC and our children. If we want to take a vacation, we will go south for a couple of weeks. We looked in Florida over and over again over a period of 5 years (and we do have family and friends there) – but we did not like the humidity, mold issues, flat identical land all over the place. Wildflowers is a wonderful community in Wallkill – we wer so lucky to find it – …. 283 homes being built… it is more than half sold out – our house which is 1500 square feet started at $236,000.00 and there are homes that go up to 4,000 square feet. The taxes are very low, actually lower than the taxes we would have paid in Florida the Homeowners charges are half of what the HOA charges in Florida were. We have a large club house, indoor pool, tennis courts, etc. Great active community with a social director….The nicest people and we are looking forward to closing on our house this summer. Jackie

    by jackie — April 29, 2012

  281. Linda L. Apex is a bit smaller than Cary, but both are growing equally. Apex, I don’t believe have any active subdivisions, but Cary Preserve is quite nice if that’s your budget. My previous career had me working quite a bit throughout the neighbor and it is lovely. A couple, that are acquaintances of mine, absolutely love living there, and they are very active in the community. The clubhouse is spectacular, with pool, shuffleboard, tennis and other activities. I wouldn’t say traffic is an issue, having lived previously in the Miami vicinity, although if you’re traveling westbound, towards RTP (Durham/Chapel Hill) during rush hours there is some traffic. The weather can get quite toasty here, which is why I’m preparing to move to the mountains, and the humidity is also a great factor here in the summertime. We’ve already been near 90 this spring, but have a little break currently. The area has a great big family of IBMers here & they seem to enjoy the climate, and that includes my next door neighbors. Cary has more living restrictions, ie number of pets you’re permitted, but again both areas have been enjoyable to live in coming from one that’s moved a bit in life. Great theatre, symphony, ballet, and other music venues here. Durham has the fabulous nearly new DPAC (performing arts center). Cary has great summertime symphony events and other concerts at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre, as does Pinehurst. Golf is plentiful in the area. There are a number of great neighborhood parks and the lakes are beautiful here. Cary even has a super dog park. Hope that helps.

    by Victoria — April 29, 2012

  282. Is anyone is lives in or is planning to move to the gulf region of Florida concerned about the damage to gulf and its inhabitants due to the BP oil disaster? I’ve been seeing some pretty frightening things (like mutant fish) coming out on the Internet. Yet tourism ads on TV gush about how clean the area is now. Hard to believe that the massive amount of oil dumped into the waters wouldn’t cause some long-lasting (or permanent) damage. What are your thoughts?

    by Barb Newton — April 29, 2012

  283. Victoria,
    Thanks so much for the info on Cary. We are still favoring Pinehurst/Southern Pines. However, coming from Charlotte before Florida we really enjoyed the culture and thought Cary may offer that. Where are you going to the mountains? In NC? If you need any info we are very familiar with all of NC mountains and have a daughter there. Let me know if you need anything. We are planning our trip to your area and Pinehurst May 12th(after our grandson’s graduation at Carolina). Thanks again so much!
    Linda L

    by Linda L — April 29, 2012

  284. Rented in Port Charlotte, Fl. Feb. & March 2012. First time in Fl. Had great warm weather with a nice breeze. Visited Del Webb’s Stone Creek in Ocala and really loved the community but afraid the winters will be too cool and the summers hotter than southwest Fl. Visited many other communities mostly in southwest Fl. but none were quite as impressive as Stone Creek in the beautiful amenities and development. Did visit his Ave Maria in Naples but that community had no clubhouse, fitness center, etc.., but had broken ground for one due in December 2012. Area seem too far removed from Naples and very few homes. Any suggestions? We want a golfing community that is afforable and my husband seems to like South West Fl. the best.

    by Linda L — April 29, 2012

  285. Linda-take a look at Lely Resort in Naples. They have very nice amenities as well as golf. We are looking at Asheville and would love some names of developments. We want something close to shopping, restaurants,somewhat walkable with a clubhouse/fitness center. Do you have any suggestions on any other areas we should look at in the mountains in NC?

    by Lisa Janes — April 30, 2012

  286. Interested in moving to sc to retire i am a widow and from Long Island Ny are there
    Any Long Islanders in SCCL 55+ dont want to make the same mistake i made in 1990 when We moved to CLT NC and we felt very unwelcome returned back to LI NY now a widow looking for a friendly 55 + community ..why SCCL becus my kids live in NC .. Thank you for reply

    by Jean taybe — April 30, 2012

  287. I’m currently living in No. VA, having moved there for family reasons. Lived in the Seattle area for 30 years and know I don’t want to deal with the cloudy weather there. I’m basically retired after being laid off (try to get a FT job when you’re 62!!). I know I do not want to continue living in VA because of weather (humid/hot in summer) and the horribly high cost of living/housing. I’ve thought of going back to Salt Lake City, where I moved after I was laid off, and loved. I’m now considering Las Vegas, NV because of weather, tax considerations, and the low cost of housing. I have ruled out FL and NC, as I have sisters who live in both places and I have visited extensively and know I can’t stand the summer humidity.

    As someone else asked on here, has anyone considered LV? I’m considering it because of low housing, dry weather, and no income taxes, not because of the availability of gambling. As a single woman, making the right choice is important as I can’t financially keep moving around the country and I don’t want to move AGAIN!! Any input from those who have lived there or are considering it would be appreciated!

    by Cindy O' — April 30, 2012

  288. We visited Las Vegas for 5 nights in the middle of the month last September, 2011. It was 104 degrees and sweltering! Not fun!

    by Betty T. — April 30, 2012

  289. Linda L. You’re welcome. No, I’m in search of colder weather, and considering WA or WY. I’ll probably visit during the summer to check out some areas I’m not familiar with.

    by Victoria — April 30, 2012

  290. Looking for suggestions. Need country living where it is animal friendly-would like a small farm. Have thought of FL and SC, but am really concerned about the heat/humidity. On the other hand-don’t want winters like here in VT? Anybody……

    by Roxanne — May 1, 2012

  291. Roxanne, Marion County (Central Florida) has small farm properties for sale. The humidity in Marion County isn’t horrible like south of Orlando. Marion County resides in shortest distance to both coasts — it’s what I like to call — the neck-tie of the State. The Reason being is that it has the most hills and curvy backroads in the State, and is about 55 miles from each coasts. Marion County has a daily breeze because of Lake Weir and all the nearby lakes, and the Ocklawaha River, as well as over 35 natural artisan springs. Marion County is very outdoorsy, pet-friendly, and big toy-friendly because of the Ocala National Forest with over 60 miles of ATV terrain and lots of RV camping, and it’s inexpensive to buy a home or build new construction. Marion County is one of Florida’s best kept secrets for active adults! (In my opinion.)

    by Neil S. Schuster — May 1, 2012

  292. Would like to rent somewhere close to my brother, who lives in Land O’Lakes, Florida. Not sure where to look.

    Editors Note: Start by asking your brother for ideas. Then go online and search for “rentals in Land O’Lakes FL”

    by Joyce Redman — May 1, 2012

  293. Betty T.: Yes, I know it’s hot there from May through September. I grew up in SoCal and it can be hot there during those months too, just not continuously. I guess I would be reversing seasons, i.e. in Salt Lake City I was inside during the winter, in LV I would be inside more in the summer. I plan on purchasing a home with a pool if I choose LV. Can’t imagine living there without one, just as I can’t imagine living in NC or FL without one!

    by Cindy O' — May 1, 2012

  294. Not even the snow will keep me from retiring back to my alma mater, town of Bloomington, IN. It’s one of the most beautiful campuses, and the people in that area are WONDERFUL! The community is exactly that — a community. They still care about each other. There’s plenty of culture thanks to the University; the I.U. sports teams are terrific; lots to do with Monroe Reservoir ten minutes away, and several major cities within driving distance (or flying). Costs are relatively good…

    by Julie — May 21, 2012

  295. Victoria, You mentioned WY and thought I’d throw out a couple of areas of interest. Sundance is in the Black Hills and very pretty as is Hulett which is in the shadow of Devils Tower. Sheridan is beautiful and backs up to the Big Horn Mountains. Cody is on the east slope of the Rockies and on the eastern access to Yellowstone Park. There is always Jackson Hole but quite expensive and beautiful like no where else. Laramie is also a beautiful area and is the home to the University of Wyoming. Tax wise it’s hard to beat WY unless you go to AK.

    by Larry P — May 22, 2012

  296. Larry P: Thanks for your input! Cody, Laramie and Sheridan were actually towns on my list to check out over the summer. Jackson would be at the top of my list, having been there before, but I know it would be out of reach cost wise. Sundance or Hulett are not areas I’ve heard of so I’ll check into them. It’s a shame to dedicate your life to a company only to find your income is reduced by half upon your departure, so a simpler lifestyle is in store.

    by Victoria — May 22, 2012

  297. Victoria – Where in WA state are you considering or visited? Bellingham area is actually on our list to visit/consider. Years ago (30 yrs) we travelled through Wyoming (and OR, WA, ID, MT) and loved them all, but that was 30 years ago … and we were young and crazy in love … now, we are older … but still crazy in love! 😉 I am being forced to retire on June 15. We have intentions to travel to Denver to visit our grandson, then head either northwest to Coeur D’Alene, ID to check out the bike trails there, then due east to Glacier Natl. Park (make use of my forever Natl. Park pass!) or just north to Glacier and into Canada. Travelling as cheaply as possible and celebrating the new “feedom” … AND LACK OF SALARY! 🙁

    by Mad Monk — May 22, 2012

  298. Mad Monk: Funny how being forced into retirement changes your life! How well I know. In WA I’ll be visiting the Newport area which is as close to Coeur D’Alene as I can get. I visited Sandpoint and Coeur D’Alene several years ago and found it to be quite lovely, and as you said quite close to Canada as well as being a nice easy drive. Enjoy your journey!

    by Victoria — May 23, 2012

  299. If you enjoy Gray, Cool Weather! Western Washington is just your place. Summer and early fall is nice. If you enjoy sun shine not your place to live. The gray days might get to you. Washington is a very beautiful state. No state tax but the sales tax can be high almost 10% in some counties.

    by Brad — May 23, 2012

  300. Linda L, we bought a home for retirement in Riverwood, Port Charlotte. Beautiful golf community with good access to all major roads. 20 minutes from Englewood Beach, 25 minutes to Boca Grande Beach. I suggest you give that a look.

    by Karen L — May 28, 2012

  301. Can anyone tell me about Hernando, Florida? Not Hernando county but the small town of Hernando near Spring Hill/Brooksville, Inverness area. From what I’ve read about it I think it sounds nice. Any input is appreciated. Thank you!

    by Karen — May 29, 2012

  302. TO KAREN: My husband and I bought a place in the City of Hernando 6 years ago. My Mom daughter and grandson and some cousins live here also. It is a small town where everyone is friendly and nice. It is known to be a very safe place from bad weather. It is centrally located. No matter what way you drive you can get to shopping within 12-15 minutes. It has a nice size lake with a small beach or you can get to the gulf in 35 minutes or to the ocean in 1.5 hours. We are getting ready to sell our home here now. We had it built 3 years ago and we live on a cannel that goes out to the lake. Hope this helps. Kathy

    by Kathy — May 29, 2012

  303. Thank you Kathy for your information on Hernando. If I may ask, are you selling your house in Hernando or another house? If you’re moving away from there is it because you would rather live somewhere else? Just curious. Thanks again! Karen

    by Karen — May 29, 2012

  304. Karen, I am getting ready to sell my home in Hernando that we had built 3 years ago. There ar a couple of reasons we want to move. It has nothing to do with the area. It is nice living in this area with no traffic. I will fill you in on more after I here from you.>>> Kathy

    by Kathy — May 30, 2012

  305. Kathy and Rory, I am not suggesting that you do not use this website, but I think “What is the Best “FLORIDA” Region for Your Retirement” may not be the best blog on the website for you How about “Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire – And Why” also on might be less active than this blog, but have more targeted info for you. I do not want to retire to FL, but enjoy this blog.

    by Elaine — June 12, 2012

  306. oops that was supposed to go to the Florida blog

    by Elaine — June 12, 2012

  307. What about the fruit and nut historic district of Fairhope Alabama? Nice shops, restaurants, Wal-mart, not far to Daphne to go to movie. Nice weather

    by DGLUNSFORD — June 13, 2012

  308. You left one of the top ten off your list…St. George, Utah. Has everything but a Trader Joe’s
    Paul…Green Valley, Arizona

    by Paul — June 23, 2012

  309. What state DON”T tax pensions and is this the think I should be looking at when choosing a place to retire? Also, I plan to retire in 2/2013 at the age of 62. I have investments of $500,000 and would get about $1,075 a month in SS. My husband is retired and gets a monthly income of $2,145 and he will be age 69 this month. He does not have other investments. The $500,000 I have is money I inherited from my father at his passing and is in my name. I also have a pension of $200,000 that I will take a monthly income of about $1,200 per month when I retire. Our house is paid for and both our cars are 2009 and paid for. I will get my health and dental benefits from my employer in which I will not have to pay into. I just want to know if it looks like we will have enough cash for me to retire in Feb. 2013 – we would like to travel in our retirement years and this will take a lot of cash to do so.

    We live in a house that is larger than we need and in the next few years I want to sell it and either go into a 55+ community or purchase a smaller home and I would like to move out of Michigan – but do not know where I would like to move. At one point I wanted to move to New Mexico and that is not out of the question but maybe other places would be better for us. I have so many thoughts and getting confused and concerned as to the best life I can live in retirement.

    I am just so uncertain as to knowing if I am doing the right thing with retiring soon. Any thoughts you can give me – I do appreciate! Or if you know of another venture I can go through with asking questions like this.
    Come on retirees – give me some thoughts on this, please!

    by Kathy J — September 18, 2012

  310. Kathy,
    First piece of advice is to get a good financial advisor. From a layman’s perspective, you will currently receive $4200 per month between the two of you. Not sure what investments the $500k is in, but a rule of thumb is that you can take 4% out yearly safely, which could provide you another $1800 per month, which would total $6,000 per month before taxes.

    As far as where to live, this site gives you tons of info on states that are tax friendly, weather compatibility, etc. do you like winters? Do you live near family? Do you like where you live? Answer the questions and take lots of time to explore.

    by Locobill — September 19, 2012

  311. We are relocating to Georgia! I hear they plan to eliminate pension tax in 2014. Being close to family seems most important to me in this Next Chapter. Anyone have good experiences with mover/storage they can recommend? thanks, suasn

    by susan cicio — September 19, 2012

  312. We are relocating to Texas because that state is financially sound and does not tax pensions and such. There was a report last week that McAllen and Harlingen, Texas are 2 of the 3 least expensive places to live in the US. We have spent the last 2 winters in McAllenn and love it. Don’t move to Wisconsin as it has high taxes and Kiplinger rates it as one of the 10 states not to retire to. You’ll find a ton of information on this website and I check it daily. The only thing I don’t care for is that they focus on the east coast. Florida is more expensive than Arizona and Arizona is more expensive than Texas.

    by Susan — September 19, 2012

  313. We are considering moving to CA from ND. Big change! Our daughter and only grandchild are in CA near Santa Rosa. Any suggestions on moderate housing just north of Santa Rosa?

    by Katy G — September 20, 2012

  314. Where in McAllen did you spend the last two winters? Thanks for any detailed info that you can provide. We are currently renting in Tucson, Az.

    by paul hall — September 20, 2012

  315. Does anyone have any comments on retiring in Wilmington, NC. We have toured both Landfall and Porters Neck gated communities. Very nice but we are not golfers and wonder if this would be a problem.

    by Winston — September 21, 2012

  316. Katy G, I think you will find that moderate housing in North Dakota and moderate housing in California are two vastly different things. I suggest you go and stay with your daughter for a while and go around with a realtor. Your eyes will be opened. I love California, but there is no way I could afford to live there.

    by Linda — September 21, 2012

  317. I’m wondering if the 55+ communities consist of really 70+ individuals. My husband is concerned that most of the people are much older than ourselves. Does anyone find this to be true?

    by Karen — September 21, 2012

  318. I will traveling to North Myrtle Beach in the next month. I plan on looking at Myrtle Trace( looks really nice online), are there other areas that might be interesting? Any sugestions will be helpful.

    by WayneB — September 21, 2012

  319. Karen- generally I found that the older the 55+ community was, the older were the residents.

    by Lou — September 22, 2012

  320. People tend to use vague terms such as inexpensive, moderate and affordable. Put some numbers behind your questions if you want real answers and the same if your offering answers. I can tell you everything you ever and never wanted to know about NJ.
    Where am I going and why? I’m considering buying a second home.
    Where – I have it narrowed down to Northern Arizona, East Central to E Northern California, East Texas north of San Antonio with Western South Carolina along the Blue Ridge Mountains as a back up plan.
    Why – My choices are based on cost of living, availability of homes under $250K and suitability to my personal lifestyle choices.
    How I narrowed my choices down is the real question. I can live anywhere. Choosing a place to live without proper planing can be a disaster. I used a process of elimination to lengthy a to describe in a comment.

    I’ll write a detailed paper on how I made my choices listing the resources I used for research and ask John Brady to post it if anyone is interested.

    by doug061363 — September 22, 2012

  321. To Karen…we moved to a 55+ community in FL in April. One of the things we looked at was the “age” of the community. It was started in 2004 so the early residents are mostly now in their late 70’s & early 80’s. Then as the community grew there was a “new” late 50’s and 60’s group. So, if you go with an established community that is still building new neighborhoods or areas, you should be fine. We are 65 & 68. What has surprised us most is the number of new residents coming in who are just barely 55! Am sure it is early retirement baby boomers who have been laid off their jobs or forced into early retirement. We highly recommend a 55+ community though. We were not sure we would like it but we do and have so much in common with our neighbors.

    by Toni — September 22, 2012

  322. Toni, thank you so much for answering my concerns about the 55*community and the “ages”. I too have thought about all the individuals lately who are “forced out” and have taken early retirement rather than start all over. It would be nice to have a lot of different ages at your place. We’re checking out one community in November in the Hobe Sound, Florida area. What area are you at? Thank you again for the information as it keeps our hopes up that we will like this place.

    by Karen — September 22, 2012

  323. To Susan Cicio, we too are plannning to relocate to Georgia when we retire, have you found the best towns to retire in Georgia? Any informatioon will be helpful. Good luck to your moving and retirement.

    by Rosie — September 22, 2012

  324. Winston

    I live in Wilmington and my thoughts are these: Landfall is an overpriced golfing community and you better be rich to live there. I believe a golf membership is required whether you golf or not. Porters Neck is also overpriced but not as golf driven. I would actually recommend Brunswick Forest across the river in Leland. Although it does have a golf course, there are many other amenities which might interest you and has several neighborhoods with different styles and prices of homes. Good luck in your search.

    by Dick — September 22, 2012

  325. So many good comments here, but I can’t help but notice this is a very ‘eastern’ oriented community. After living in the west most of my life, I am now in Albany, NY. NOT where I want to be; winters are terrible and LONG. I have looked at Florida and visited Florida but am put off by the heat and humidity. In fact, the humidity throughout the east bothers me. So I am looking west.

    Las Vegas – I lived in Las Vegas for 5 years and loved it. I had a townhome in a small community. The pool was across the street. That is preferable to me; I don’t want the cost or upkeep of a private pool when every community has a public pool. Almost all homes in LV are in a gated community, by the way. So there is always a HOA fee, but they are generally pretty low. It is very hot from mid-June thru mid-September. Those are the months to stay inside. The rest of the year is great. And even in the summer, the nights are fabulous. And no mosquitoes.

    Prescott, AZ is one area I am very intrigued by. It has a very mild 4-season climate, and Prescott is a very artsy, interesting town. And only 90 minutes from Phoenix, which has excellent medical facilities.

    Kathy, I think Prescott, Cottonwood, Dewey AZ are places you should consider. No humidity to speak of, not as hot as Phoenix, but close to excellent medical care and, of course, great airport. Maybe even Flagstaff, which is a bit cooler, but a lovely town.

    California – I have also been looking at certain areas in the south eastern part of the state. Hemet and Lake Elsinore are both at higher elevations, thus not as hot as the desert, and do not have the high prices of places near the coast. Yet, at only 60 and 80 miles east of the coast, the beaches are a quick drive, as is Orange County, San Diego and other coastal cities.

    I am also single, and concerned about going somewhere I will fit in. I have a girlfriend, 8 years younger but getting to retirement age, who has a home in northern Wisconsin. I am trying to convince her that we should share: I’ll spend the summer in Wisconsin and she can spend the winter with me, somewhere in the southwest. That may be what we end up doing. the advantage to this is that there are a couple of months in each ‘shoulder’ season that we could also spend apart, and not be in each other’s space all the time. Let’s say I move to Tucson (another possibility; love the cultural scene there with the University). I could live in Tucson easily from October thru May. Spend June thru September in Wisconsin. My friend is happy in Wisconsin until January, when she really wants to leave. So she could come to Tucson for January through April, when she is ready to head home. That means I would have the month of May to myself in Tucson, and she would have October, November and December to herself in Wisconsin. Just another possible solution for your single ladies to consider.

    by Ginger — September 22, 2012

  326. I’m thinking of moving to Olympia, Washington. I have not heard any comments on Washington state. I grew up in California and moved to Arkansas with my now ex who is from here. Big cultural change when I moved.

    I have been doing a lot of research on possible areas to relocate that include…moderate weather (not a lot of snow and little humidity), affordability, low taxes, good medical, good transportation, low crime rate, not in the bible belt (south), politically moderate or with a little more liberal stance. Oh….and no chiggers! ;).

    I just returned from Washington state …. Olympia is an hour from Seattle and has a lot to offer. There is no state income tax, property tax is not too bad….I’m looking to spend around 165k on a small home (lower utilities)…with no condo fees or hoa fees that you are stuck with. Taxes will be around 2k a year. It is gorgeous there…beautiful, lush, and puget sound. I know it rains a lot …but the summers are great…I can get away to the sun 2-3 months in the winter and live with it the rest of the time. I have lived in Oregon so I know about rainy weather….it doesn’t keep you in like hot humid summers and bitter cold winters.

    by Iwashere — September 23, 2012

  327. It would be so helpful if when mentioning a .55 community or subdivide that people say which specific ones. It’s very daunting and endorsement are appreciated., especially for those of us on our own.

    by Nancymichogan — September 23, 2012

  328. To Karen:
    We are on the west coast in Fort Myers at Pelican Preserve which as far as I know at this point is the only 55+ community in this area that is still building new “neighborhoods” so the ages of the residents are staggered…we are building a home here and it looks like this new neighborhood will mostly be those in their late 50’s to mid 60’s with a few other ages sprinkled in so that to us is an ideal mix. Good luck with your search. There are also resales here from small condos, cottages to villas and single family so there is something for everyone and people are very, very friendly and welcoming.

    by Toni — September 23, 2012

  329. For Paul Hall- Texas- We actually spend our time in Mission which is right next to McAllen. Everything is nice and new. We are only 20 miles from the boarder but you are totally safe unless you are a drug dealer (lol). There are places their where you can own your own spot. We paid $22,000 for our 45 x 75 grassy spot with large new cement slab, 2 palm trees, 2 orange trees and Ponderosa lemon tree, new shed with washer, refrig, storage cabinets, sink. Our maintenance fee for the year is $1,000 including taxes and everything. It has already gone up in value. We put our fifth wheel on the spot but most places are park models. It is much cheaper for us to be in Texas than in WI.

    by Susan — September 23, 2012

  330. For Doug061363- We are happily situated in McAllen, Texas but this winter will look at buying a home outside of San Antonio in the Dell Web community. Also looking at a development in Mission. Visited Dell Web Georgetown outside of Austin last year and loved it. Where outside of San Antonio are you looking? Is it a 55+ community? We will spend our summers in WI and become residents of Texas for tax purposes and be there in the winter.
    We travel abroad and our Texas savings will help up afford it: been to Antartica and Africa this year.

    by Susan — September 23, 2012

  331. Hi,
    Ginger,most of what you say, I agree with, for I too have lived in many areas of the west. I love California weather, Southern CA to be exact. I do not like Hemet, and it is not on a mountain top, but rather in a bowl with mountains surrounding it. The farther East one goes, the worse it gets-the air has no where to go and therefore, East Hemet is terribly unhealthy. Lots of agriculture, so sprays and cow smells permeate the air. I lived there for 16 months and was told my doctors to get out of Hemet. I remember that there were quite a few retirees there, but they did live more West in the city. The best place in that area, in my opinion, would be the Menifee-Sun City area. It is about 12+ miles west of Hemet on the other side of the mountains and very convenient to San Diego and Riverside, since it is located right off the 215. In Hemet one has to travel TO the 215, and thus further adding to the trip. Menifee-Sun City also has many doctors, shopping, etc. right there.It is a nice mix of retirees and families.

    by DianaF — September 23, 2012

  332. I agree with DianeF. I lived in S. California for many years, and for a period of time in La Quinta,Ca, and often drove thru or by Hemet. Horrible air quality, and other negative stuff. I would not live there. Palm Springs area has great air quality, but very hot in the summer, however, it is a 2 hour drive to Newport Beach, San Diego, etc. 🙂

    by holly2381 — September 23, 2012

  333. Thank you for the feedback on Hemet; I haven’t made up my mind. I will definitely look at the area you recommended, Menifee. I cannot afford to purchase in Sun City, nor do I have sufficient credit, as I mentioned earlier. I’m pretty much stuck with buying something cheap, probably no more than 40K at the outside. So that means park model or mobile home.

    Susan, please tell me more about Mission Texas. What is the name of the community you are in? I actually have a number of friends in that area, so that would definitely be possible for me.

    For Iwashere: I lived for three years in Tacoma, WA. There are pluses and minuses. Until you have lived there I don’t think you can really ‘get’ how long, grey, chilling and depressing the winter is. And in the three winters I spent there, there were terrible blizzards every winter. One winter the streets were completely iced and many closed for a week. Our power was also out once, for several days, due to ice storm. Personally I also did not find the area culturally appealing. Of course I was comparing to San Francisco and Las Vegas, the other two places I had lived. But I just didn’t see the great art, the great performances, the great museums, that you can find elsewhere. Even the club music scene was dull by comparison, if you do that. And, it is not a cheap place to live at all. In fact, it is only slightly below the San Francisco Bay area. Las Vegas was cheaper. But i agree, the summers are beautiful, although only a couple of months long.

    by Ginger — September 23, 2012

  334. Iwashere:

    Hi, I lived in the Seattle area for close to 10 years and found that area of the NW delightful if you like the out of doors. More than enough to do, with all the parks. The flip side of that however, is that from what I have learned real estate is quite expensive and as Ginger says, Olympia wouldn’t be a terribly exciting place if you like museums, art galleries, etc. I don’t care that much for them myself. I was working at the time so, the rainy winters didn’t bother me, personally. I did live through several snow/ice storms and they are really tough in that part of the country. You can lose your power and heat for an extended period, perhaps a week. I had to move back to the midwest to help care for a parent but, I guess to sum up, I think of Washington as living life in technicolor and most other areas as living life in black and white.

    by LFremont — September 24, 2012

  335. Ginger have you thought about getting roommate? This would help you with expenses. There are many other people who are in the same boat. You should Google senior roommates and see if you can locate a roommate. Just a suggestion. Best of luck with your search.

    by Barbara — September 24, 2012

  336. We are in W and I
    My dad is in Fiesta Village.
    Ours is very pretty with palm trees lining the roads. We have two on our 45feet at the front. It is a small park of only about 300 units. It is in an area that has everything you could want and it is all new because it is somewhat recent that Mission was developed. We will be looking at buying a house in Alladin which is right down the road.


    by susan — September 24, 2012

  337. Susan, what is W and I? Could you please give me enough detail that I can google?

    by Ginger — September 24, 2012

  338. Ginger-do check out Sun City-it is nt one of those that come to mind when thinking a Sun City community…it is nt like that. i think it must be the original one or something…really.

    by DianaF — September 24, 2012

  339. Just came back from scoping out St. Agustine FL. and Myrtle Beach SC.,love both areas. What turns me off about Florida communities is the builder’s fee which could range from $1000 a year to $2500 a year, where thats unheard of in the Myrtle Beach communities.

    by Lou — September 25, 2012

  340. Lou Where in Myrtle Beach were you looking ?
    I am also interested in that area.

    by WayneB — September 25, 2012

  341. Lou Can you explain what you mean, Builder’s fee? I have never heard of this.

    by Brad — September 25, 2012

  342. We love Myrtle Beach and especially Carolina Forest! In Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet are also VERY nice. It seems to be really affordable-which we like, of course. We went to Bluffton too-it is so pretty there and not too bad. We liked the way Sun City Hilton Head looks, but we have heard bad things about the builder…well, the houses built like 10 years ago at least.

    by DianaF — September 25, 2012

  343. How do folks feel about Vero Beach, FL, particularly the barrier island. Have been visiting, bought some investment property there and thinking about living there about 6 months a year. The beaches were wide and quiet and the weather appears temperate, at least in the winter months.

    by Steven K. — September 25, 2012

  344. Does anyone know if the Myrtle Beach area have the same high homeowners insurance issues that Florida coastal towns do ?
    Also, how is the heat and humidity there in the summer months?
    We are spending Feb in MB, so we should get an idea of what winters are like.

    by Bill — September 26, 2012

  345. I also would like any info on the homeowner insurance around Myrtle Beach. How far inland would you have to go to lower this insurance.

    by WayneB — September 26, 2012

  346. The insurance rates in MB are higher because of the threat of hurricanes but I don’t know how they compare to Florida. You have to be west of I-95 for the rates to go down.

    by Dick — September 26, 2012

  347. Brad, its called a DDC fee or a CDD fee. When a contractor builds in a community in Florida you are actually paying for their bank loans to build the the roads and installations of the utility lines, the fee could range from a $1000 a year to $2500 a year, I heard you can negotiate the fee when your buying the new house in the community.

    by Lou — September 26, 2012

  348. Wayne I was looking right outside the Market Commons in Myrtle Beach there are nice communities right by the park and ballfields.

    by Lou — September 26, 2012

  349. I’ve been to Myrtle Beach one time since I’ve lived in Tennessee (about 12 years) and unless you like very high humidity I wouldn’t go back. We were to stay in a condo on the 14th floor on the beach for a week in the month of Aug and just stayed overnight and left the next day. It was so humid that when we got to our room we opened the door and stepped out on the patio for less than 2 minutes when we came back in everything was soaking wet including the glass top tables,TV screen and tile floors. I don’t know if it is like this all the time I just know that was my experence and that was enough for me. East Tennessee is humid,but not that bad

    by Terry S — September 26, 2012

  350. We actually looked at homes in the Pawleys Island to Myrtle Beach area. We were looking at townhome type places; insurance would run about 80-100 per month.The humidity, to us, was not as bad as Texas! There was always a breeze and We really liked that. The temperatures were in the low 90’s and we were there in mid to late July.I found nothing wrong with the weather-but we do like that beachy feel AND know that loving the beach does come with humidity; it just was NOT bad. Now, we need to sell our home in Texas, so we can move to Myrtle Beach!!!

    by DianaF — September 26, 2012

  351. I think a lot of you that hate humidity should come out and look at Arizona, I grew up in Ga, lived in the other southern areas for a lot of my life, and always hated the humidity and cold rain and snowy winters. Arizona has reasonable housing, low real estate taxes, exempts part of federal pensions, doesn’t tax SS. Yes hot summers, but not as bad as humidity filled east coast. You wake up to sunshine almost every single day, and we have the most beautiful sunsets! :smile. Makes you feel good! :smile::smile:

    by holly2381 — September 27, 2012

  352. I’m sorry, I have to disagree with DianaF. You can be on the beach and not suffer from humidity if you are on the Pacific ocean. The west coast has virtually no humidity compared to the east coast or gulf.

    by Ginger — September 27, 2012

  353. I second that Ginger. I was born and raised in N. California about 45 min,from Pt. Reyes National Seashore and the beachs out there are not only rugged but there is no humidity at all. Now if it only weren’t so expensive,crowded and crazy I would be back there

    by Terry S — September 27, 2012

  354. I agree with with your assessment of Arizona Holly. I have planned on spending much of my retirement years there and all I need to do is figure out where in Arizona I’ll live. I’ve always liked the Tucson area and will check it out more thoroughly as well as the area between Tucson and Phoenix.

    by lefty Omalley — September 27, 2012

  355. Lou, I know what you are talking about on the CDD fees. Some developments are payed off and as we have found that the developers will pay them off in your closing costs. Alot of areas in the country have them hidden in the cost of a home in one way or another. You pay for conection fees for sewer, electrical, roads and sidewalks here they are tap permits but they are all ways that the contractor or developer get there up front cost payed back.

    by Brad — September 28, 2012

  356. Ginger-We spent many weeks vacationing in Laguna Beach, CA, so we are familiar with SoCal. The humidity is not a big factor in Laguna because the DEW point is lower. Much of the time the day time temperatures in Laguna are not much more than 85 degrees, night time temps lower and so even though the humidity may be 60 percent or even 80 percent, plus a breeze-it does not feel bad at all. In many of the East Coast cities, the temps are high as is the humidity thus they have a high Dew point and making them uncomfortable.

    by DianaF — September 29, 2012

  357. Yep Diana, it is all about the dew point. The dew point actually measures the amount of water present in the air, while relative humidity measures how much the air COULD contain. People are familiar with referring to humidity, but really it is Dew Point that determines whether a climate is comfortable. And yes, the dew point is much lower on the west coast, causing the area to be much more comfortable, even though the relative humidity is not much different than the east coast. I lived in California for 35 years and am very familiar with that climate. I just wish I could afford to live there now, but I can’t.

    by gingermc — September 29, 2012

  358. Thanks Brad for your input, I also heard you have the option to pay the CDD fee up front or pay it yearly.

    by Lou — September 29, 2012

  359. We lived in Southern California as well-just not in Laguna Beach-we only vacationed there :). We lived in the Menifee area and we are sorry we ever left. The weather was nice (a bit hotter, since we were inland) and very conveniently located. It is probably one of the more affordable areas to live in SoCal.We had many happy years there, but things change. We are looking into retiring to South Carolina; family is on East Coast and it fits our pocketbook a lot better. It is cheaper to drive 800 miles than take a plane 3000 miles.Good luck in your search, Ginger.

    by DianaF — September 30, 2012

  360. Well, we retired to Texas 7 years ago to be close to grandkids. We are now planning to “re-retire” to another locale. Altho’ no state tax here and homes are cheaper – lots of other things are expensive. House insurance; flood insurance; car insurance are more costly than most other states. Our home has little equity ’cause houses don’t appreciate here like others places. We are moderates/independents and find the politics of Texas too extreme – this means finding friends of like mind is tough. The heat is extreme – too extreme – and lasts too long. We love 4 distinct seasons. Our grandchildren are now teens and while we love them and they love us they are always busy with their own interests and so we only see them on special occasions. We love theatre and outdoor activities – too hot to golf most of the time and to fish and hike too. Lots of theatre here in Houston – lots to do, but the weather is so intensely hot (not to mention mosquitoes) that we rarely enjoy going outdoors. So please think about all these things – wish we had – before you make your decision. Right now we are considering PA, NY, DE – good tax rates on pension, lots to do, outdoor activities easy to access. Need place with good medical facilities too – in the event we need them. So please think about those Southern locations – you’ll pay more if you live in a hurricane/tornado/earthquake zone. And, by the way, Texas makes sure it gets its taxes by taxing everything you use (i.e. cable, telephone, etc. etc.). We’ll be moving within the next 24 months.

    by Sheila — October 1, 2012

  361. Thanks, Sheila. Many of us do think about these things and it is with posts like this that help narrow down the list of where we want to visit. I just cannot visit everywhere. We are all different and need to evaluate our own priorities. For me this list is great when people share their personal experiences with both pros and cons of their chosen area and/or neighborhood/community. Let us know how the search goes. I would particularly like to hear about your PA and DE explorations.

    by Elaine — October 2, 2012

  362. Thanks Sheila…we totally agree with you on your assessment of Texas. We re-retired to Fort Myers, FL this past April from the Dallas/Fort Worth area and you are exactly right on all your points about Texas and the various costs. Plus, same situation with us, as grandkids get older they have their own lives and you do not see as much of them. So, we are very happy in Florida and they can all come visit! We are not in a flood zone where we bought so have been pleasantly surprised our house insurance will be about 1/3 of what we paid in Texas. Sales taxes are lower here…we do find that food is higher and of all things, auto insurance but utilities are lower – especially electric.

    by Toni — October 2, 2012

  363. I would be interested to know where you are considering in PA, know someone who moved there, property tax on a small home is $3500+, it is pretty, weather for the most part is nice, although it does snow, sometimes a lot, most everything (except h/o ins. no hurricanes) is more expensive.
    Have never been to TX but if the humidity, bugs, storms, government are anything like North FL don’t think I’ll be stopping by.

    by Ann — October 2, 2012

  364. Can anyone tell me about the area of Vero Lake Estates community in Florida? Thank you.

    by Karen — October 2, 2012

  365. Sheila and Toni- We could not agree with you more!! Texas is not for us either. We were initially enticed and then found out that it is no bargain to live here. We live outside of San Antonio and the deal is this here-if you want something nice, it WILL cost you. The real estate taxes are high, yes-but compared to the Northeast, they are not. Then again the Northeast taxes, I feel are CRAZY high.We do not like the weather-it is darn hot in the summer and it is uncomfortable hot-hard to describe. We went to South Carolina this past July and expected unbearable humidity; it was NOT bad compared to Texas; we enjoyed it so much. There is one REAL grocery store and if you do not want to shop there, well there is Walmart or Super Target, but they are not around the corner for us. The truth is ONE grocery store-you’re stuck with it. It is not a terrible store, but if they do not have something or stopped carrying it-you are out of luck. Everything IS taxed-everything to the point of ridiculous. To us it is not retirement friendly. We don’t mind the politics where we are-Austin is nearby and they are Liberal and then we are in the country area which is quite conservative, but independents abound, however. I do believe the state is Conservative on the whole. So, Texas is one of those place one MUST visit a few times-especially in the dead of summer before making the decision to move here.

    by DianaF — October 2, 2012

  366. Anyone have a comment on Peachtree City, Georgia? I have read that it is a
    nice community near Atlanta with low crime.

    by May — October 3, 2012

  367. As I said, Texas is not for those who like outdoor activities and hate high humidity and terrible heat; taxes on everything (except personal state income taxes); higher costs on car and house insurance and flood insurance (even if you’re nowhere near water) and an extreme political environment. We are looking at PA and the NE because we have decided NOT to buy again. We no longer want to look after property and use our disposable income to fix things in the house. This after replacing an air conditioning system, updating bathrooms, etc. etc. We have someone who looks after our lawn but again this is a cost we don’t want nor need. So we’re looking for a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment where we can close the door and not worry about anything (unlike owning our home where we need someone who watch over it when we’re travelling). We’ve set a timeline of about 24 months to do the move. That will give us time to do some research – go visit and see what’s the “best bang for buck” on a number of fronts: cost; amenities; medical facilities; access to public transportation; theatre; outdoor activities. So pls research and visit when considering a move. Once there it may not be what you think it will be. (Our grandkids will come and visit us wherever we may go – as they grow up they aren’t as likely to be coming over regularly and look forward to coming to see a new city when we do move).

    by sheil — October 3, 2012

  368. Our search for a place to retire included primarily FL and DE (family, familiarity, etc.). We currently live in MD and desire to escape the taxes and reduce our costs of both living and home ownership by downsizing. We initially liked FL (a) because one of my brothers and his wife live there, (b) home prices seemed very reasonable, and (c) I enjoyed living in Boca Raton as a student many years ago. But, I performed a detailed analysis of costs other than homes and (at my wife’s request) of humidity (she’s not a fan).

    We looked hard at Lewes, Bridgeville, Georgetown, Millsboro and Milton, all in Sussex county. The following things led us to choose Lewes: property value and resale-ability, proximity to culture and activities, medical facilties (Beebe is very highly rated), taxes, low HOA fees, and milder weather than MD and DC in general. We looked at one 55+ community in Bridgevile. It was a nice community, but we are not golfers and the HOA fees were overly high from our perspective. The final reason we chose Lewes was our fantastic realtor who knows DE extremely well. She provided outstanding education and assistance. Finally, we will not miss so many days of FL dew points above 70 degrees. I studied the issue. In the Melbourne/Daytona Beach area, the dew point exceeded 70 degrees for 153 out of 260 days. By comparison, Annapolis (where we lived for 30 yrs) had only 45 days with a dew point over 70 degrees for the same period.

    by — October 4, 2012

  369. Roger,

    I, too, am interested in Lewes, DE. Can you give me the contact information for the realtor you mentioned? Thanks.

    by Nancy — October 4, 2012

  370. Does anyone have information or recommendations about retiring in GA? Also looking into the obvious, NC, SC & FL, AZ, NV If I could afford it I would also look into CA. Relocating from the NE

    by MarkG — October 4, 2012

  371. One of the other things we’ve found as we’ve aged in retirement is that we need to live fairly close to where we have some social life. That has to do with the fact that we don’t really enjoy driving at night – particularly in locales with which we aren’t familliar or that aren’t well lighted. As well, we decided to not live in the country because we need to be fairly close to good medical facilities – a hospital for sure. We were concerned that if there was an emergency and an ambulance needed to get to us then we need to be easy to find. The humidity/weather has been an eye opener too. AS I posted earlier I come from a cold climate and HATED snow – when I was working. Now, I actually miss it – well, the four seasons at least. Since I don’t work any longer snow doesn’t really matter that much as I don’t HAVE to clean the car when I leave work nor leave the house if I don’t want to do that. We now want to enjoy four seasons and when its too cold just go where its warm for a bit and then come back to our four season home. You don’t have to buy two homes – just decide where’s your base and rent a summer place for a few months if you need to do that. We’ve learned a lot over these 7 years living in Texas (wouldn’t have made this choice if I’d known what I know now). Really enjoy these posts and am learning about other areas for our re-retire in two years. Thanks everyone!

    by sheila — October 5, 2012

  372. I first chose to live in Naples, FL; after one year i’m not considering the east coast of FL; actually, Wynmoor Active Adult Community in Coconut Creek, FL. It seems to be more my style.

    by Tom — October 5, 2012

  373. Nancy: Please send me an email (mine is listed in my post) and I will be happy to supply the contact info.

    by Roger — October 5, 2012

  374. Sheila…Your words really resonated with me. I,too, found to be important the closeness of cultural and social opportunities, especially during the day, as well as suoperior medical facilities and convenient retail. And also, having grown up near the Canadian border, I am a four season lover. What I have now in Reston, VA is just about perfect. However, there are two big drawbacks….it is very expensive and summers can be stifling. If I ever wanted to get relief from the weather and could afford it, it would be to go north or to the mountains to escape summer heat, rather than south to escape winter cold. I think about moving to a less expensive locale, but it is hard to give up what I have here. In a pinch, I would consider someplace along the Blue Ridge between Roanoke and Winchester.

    by Judy — October 6, 2012

  375. I would also be interested in the realtor in Lewes. I currently live in Chestertown Md which is a delightful small college town on the water. The taxes (real estate) are out of sight and not much to do for a single 64 y o woman.
    I have been looking in Lewes, Millsboro area also – inexpensive taxes, close to the ocean, Cape Henlopen and yet still able to drive to Baltimore, DC or Philly for a day trip. Two of my children live in Delaware so I would be an hour away to two from them.
    I have looked into mobile home parks near the beach to maybe buy a second home for a few years and see if I really like it down there. They are very inexpensive – the only drawback is the lot rent. Any feedback on this?

    Any more information would be great.

    by Carol — October 6, 2012

  376. I guess I think if you are really thinking of relocating somewhere the best bet might be to find something to rent for a few months. This to see if you really want to relocate there. We wish we had done that instead of buying. In retrospect we should have kept our home in the north and rented here during the winter months until the grandkids got to be teens. If we had rented for a few months….over a couple of years maybe…we would not have chosen Texas. As it is now, it will take us about two years we figure to finally determine where we want to land as our last move and sell our hoome (as it takes some time to sell houses here).

    by sheila — October 6, 2012

  377. To those who have asked for info about my all-time favorite DE Realtor, I will send her contact info to each of you by email.

    by RogerB — October 6, 2012

  378. Tom, Everyone that I met from Wynmoor loved it. When first in the area, I thought that it was full of very much older folks because that is what I saw getting off the bus at Publix’s to shop for food. Then when I would take a share ride to airport got to see a whole other side as we would ride through to pick up/drop off. It is huge and seems to have a lot to offer and ALL ages. I never met anyone with any complaints. Most were gushing about it.

    by eric — October 6, 2012

  379. We just purchased a half acre in Kona, HI, maybe to build on but we are also still looking at resales in the area. We’re a gay couple that has been together over 25 years, and we want a very tolerant community.

    We own our house in SoCal now – but the taxes and earthquake insurance is high (all taxes are high here). We hope to hold on to this home and are already working to have it listed fully furinished with a corporate / film temporary housing management co for additional income. We want to start fresh & down size when we retire in the next couple of years – but we have a daughter just now entering high school so being near to her while she is in college is a desire. My folks LOVE Destin, FL and have been there for 20+ years. I’d like to be near them as well or be able to offer them a place to stay should one pass before the other (which will happen). I guess we are Baby Boomers in a unique situation – “gay resorts” like Palm Springs have never appealed to us and we should be financially secure. We’ve been working with a financial planner for over 5 years with excellent results. Our daughter’s college is covered and we both love HI, golf is great and the local produce markets are plentiful.

    I’d welcome hearing what other greying gays are considering.

    by Jeff H — October 6, 2012

  380. Retiring in flagler beachFL in a few months. Building a house near the ocean and looking forward to tax relief, sunny winters and no snow!
    Summer in the Finger Lakes of NY !

    by Linda mc — October 6, 2012

  381. Heading to the Ozarks – high on a bluff overlooking the old mountains and the White River -trout fishing in view -bass fishing a few miles away -nature everywhere Mountain Home/Cotter Arkansas -great entertainment only 40 minutes away in Branson – wonderful people wonderful place

    by Bratman — October 6, 2012

  382. Eric,
    Many thanks for the feedback re: Wynmoor Village. T

    by Tom — October 7, 2012

  383. Hi Linda,

    I live in Hammock Beach right up the street from Flagler Beach. Just went to an art opening at Ocean Publishing on Friday night.

    Jan Cullinane
    The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement
    The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life

    by Jan Cullinane — October 7, 2012

  384. Selling a home in Texas is the toughest thing we have EVER done. It took my sister in law five years to sell her home in Naples, FL and I remember feeling very bad for her; she has now lived in The Villages for about 18 months and is happy. Our home in Spring Branch, TX, so far, has been on the market for over two years. It is five years old, single story, 3000 sqft and in a LOVELY lakeside community-we do not understand WHY it is taking so long! We are on our third realtor-they do not “like” to work on Saturdays (this baffles us)then they seem to lose interest after about 6 months and so stop trying to promote our home. We are interviewing our 4th realtor this morning-and plan to interview a couple more before making a decision as to whom we will give the listing. I would really like to retire and cannot as long as we own this home; it is depressing.Any and all advice woud be appreciated. We have rented it out-that was a disaster (plus we went through an agency who would “handle” it all for us).

    by DianaF — October 7, 2012

  385. Diana: We live in Kingwood, TX and put our house up last year to “test the market”… One showing only. It was disheartening. We have an older home but we have spent close to $100K renovating and updating it. It is beautiful. Our style is contemporary with lots of “flourishes”. We will try again in 2 years. We know we will lose about $60K its just the reality. When we are ready we will have to price it to sell. I watch houses sit and sit and no takers. Its just the way it is here becaue there seems to be so much inventory. I know what you mean about the realtor getting bored and not promoting the house. Ours left town the week we listed and a colleague of hers took over. Nothing happened. Maybe pricing it lower would help? I know thats tough because we need all the money we can get when retiring. Thats why we so regret buying. We won’t do it again! Good luck.

    by sheila — October 7, 2012

  386. I was able to retire young, and moved to Phoenix Az 2 years ago near Scottsdale…close enough…but with lower home prices, and low real estate taxes. I was able to buy a beautiful new home in a lovely friendly community. I moved here from Californis with crazy taxes, but I summer there…San Diego for two months to get out of the heat. I planned my lifestyle well in advance. I still love California, so for me driving or flying there is easy, and I have more money being a resident here! I don’t like humidity or long cold winters, so for me this is the best choice. It is beautiful out here!

    by Holly2381 — October 7, 2012

  387. Sheila: I flipped houses for awhile (successfully), and I can tell you that you do not see your house the way strangers will see it. You should get a stager to come in and assess your house and give you feedback on what you need to change for it to show best. That’s the first step. The second step is to lower your price. If it is properly staged, and doesn’t sell, then there is only one reason. We all are attached to our homes and believe they are wonderful; that doesn’t mean we are correct from the viewpoint of others.

    by gingermc — October 7, 2012

  388. Sheila-In the past two years we have lowered our price almost 100,000. We tried to take advice from our realtors as for price and lowered as suggested. We interviewed yet another realtor yesterday and he told us things we heard before, all GOOD, of course. How was he different? He was young and a go-getter and met with us on a SUNDAY. That was impressive.We have to figure out what sets one realtor apart from another. The young man yesterday was young and hungry, and not so well established as the other three that we have used. He met our criteria otherwise, so that may be the trick…ahhh youth!

    by DianaF — October 8, 2012

  389. There’s nothing surprising about not being able to sell a home today. This is the time to buy, sit tight or rent it out. If you rent it out get landlord insurance if your tenant trashes the house you get all new work done for your deductible. If your buying and going to live there pay cash if you have it. If it’s a foreclosure have the bank that owns it give you a loan, start at 0% interest rate and go from there. Remember these homes are liability’s to the bank and they want to get rid of them. If you happen to have a buyer and he wants repairs make small concessions on the price. Unless you plan to sit on it for a few years renovating a house to sell it is a losing proposition today, slap on a fresh coat of white paint, make it presentable, functional and that’s it. I’m 49 this is the fourth “housing crisis” in my lifetime there’s nothing new going on here. Buy low sell high and don’t be greedy.

    by doug061363 — October 8, 2012

  390. Ginger/Diana/Doug/Holly: We sold two houses before this one. One in Canada; one in Las Vegas -well before the housing crisis. I am a stager myself so it wasn’t the staging. We bought an older home here in Kingwood because we like the area and our grandkids are 40 mins. away. Because we had done so well in selling our home in Canada – 8 years ago we made $100K – we assumed – wrongly – that if we renovated we would recoup the investment. Not smart of us. We had this house up for only 3 month a year ago. As I said one showing. We took it down. We will put it up again when we’re ready to go. DIANA: hope this young realtor is the ticket for you. We are seeing lots of house sales now – many more in our area than previously. But its homes under $200K or homes over $500K that seem to be doing pretty well. The issue of course is getting mortgages is tighter – they need stellar credit and a hefty down payment. And I guess a lot of younger people don’t seem to have that these days. Anway, good luck and let us know what happens. Really like to hear what folks are doing to move to a new retirement locale.

    by sheila — October 8, 2012

  391. Sheila/DianeF and anyone trying to sell a house these days – I totally understand what you are going through. We put our home in Texas on the market last November after doing some final renovating (we had gradually updated it over the 12 years we owned it). We put what we thought was a fair price on it based on our neighborhood and other sales nearby. This is what we had done in the past with three other homes over the years and never tried to get top dollar. Well, times have changed and this market is brutal. We had many, many showings throughout the holidays and into January. What was discouraging was the critical comments. We put $6,000 worth of new stainless appliances in the kitchen. Had comments we didn’t have a double oven even tho there was plenty of room to add at minor expense. We had carpet/tile/hardwoods. Comments ranged from want all hardwood to want all tile. Bottom line – a couple came along and saw what we fell in love with when we bought the house – the spacious rooms, the private half acre yard, etc. and they did not make one comment about carpet, etc. So…they made an offer $30,000 under what we were asking. We were insulted. Our Realtor said stay cool and counter. We did. They did. Finally we said ok at $20,000 under asking. Done deal right? No….we got down to one week before closing and their bank said they would not fund the mortgage even though they had enough cash from the sale of their house to pay cash for ours! I won’t bore you with the details but it was two agonizing weeks before the bank changed their mind and funded their loan. Other items once you do get a contract. Appraisals and home inspections are totally different these days. All these folks got burned in the housing meltdown so they appraise very conservatively and even if your house is in tip top condition, home inspectors will put down negative things to the point of being ridiculous. Case in point – inspector could find NOTHING wrong with our house except the new oven needed calibrating on the temperature (was under warranty) AND our windows “could” use replacing. When asked to elaborate, inspector pointed out they were 19 years old. Well, gee, none were foggy, none were cracked or scratched so we asked why he put that down and he said, so help me, “I had to put something down”!!!!!!! Finally the end of March we closed, hit the road and are renting in Florida awaiting our new home to be finished. Now that is another story also but a better one as this is the LAST house we will ever own….I wish all of you the very best in selling your homes!

    by toni — October 8, 2012

  392. Toni,
    Where in Fla. are you building your new home? Who is the builder and are you happy with the work? My wife and I looked at several communities (55 and over) last year in South Fla. but did not find the quality of the homes to be what we wanted. The amendies were good but the houses were SO close to each other and had very little storage space. We hope to return next year to look again and hope we find better constructed homes. Any info. would be appreciated from anyone!!1

    by Walter M. — October 8, 2012

  393. Hi Toni: I know what you mean about appraisers and mortgage companies. We redid our mortgage this year to get a better rate and at that time had an appraisal done. I had a list of all the improvements and when they were done. Next time I will put the cost down for each as well. This list helped – the appraiser told me. Well, we bought the house 7 years ago for $112K, we put about $90K in improvements – including all new windows; new hardwood; complete gut and reno of kitchen and master bath with granite and all; new bathrooms; etc. etc. The appraisal was $145K. We were stunned. But it is what it is. So we reckon we might get our own done before we list the next time and then use it IF and WHEN we get an offer. It is hellish trying to sell here in Texas. We will never buy anywhere again. All the best in FL

    by sheila — October 9, 2012

  394. Tom, re: Wynmoor. When I said all ages, I meant not all 80s and 90s. Plenty of younger retired people, but active adult. Just didn’t want anyone looking there to be misled. If you move there let the list know how you like it.

    by eric — October 9, 2012

  395. Sheila, now you know what return you get on home renovations. New windows, doors, bath, kitchen, paint and carpet are great selling features if your buyer likes your work. A roof, windows, bath, kitchen are not assessed improvements all houses have them. To raise the appraised value of a home you have to add tax assessed improvements such as; a new bedroom addition, an additional bathroom, a deck, an in ground pool, a garage. Adding bedrooms is the largest improvement you can make to a homes value.

    Owning vs Renting – It’s easy to assume you make a profit owning a principle residence where you buy at a price sell for more years, therefore your profit is the difference. This doesn’t account for all the indeterminate costs of home ownership over the long term or investing the difference if there is one in renting vs owning. Doing an indepth analysis of the actual costs to Rent vs Own my home over a time period of 20 years two conclusions are realized. It cost approximately $30K more to own my home than to rent it and my break even sale price is $20K above today’s market value. Knowing this puts home ownership as an investment into it’s true light. Comparing the two yields these results; Selling at the height of the market would generate a $100K profit, selling today would create a $25K loss. I won’t try to explain the entire calculation but considering the cost of the home even selling at the peak value attaining a $100K profit for an investment of this amount over a term of 20 years is a poor performing investment.

    by doug061363 — October 10, 2012

  396. darn thats supposed to read “It’s easy to assume you make a profit owning a principle residence where you buy at a price sell for more years LATER”,…

    by doug061363 — October 10, 2012

  397. A consideration: you can reverse mortgage a home you own, if the equity position works.

    by — October 10, 2012

  398. I think owning a home can be a great way to make money. I have owned a number of homes over the years and made a great profit on everyone. Location, location, location is the key and knowing when to sell. I bought a new home in a nice neighborhood less than 2 years ago and can make 50k if I sell it now. Some homes here are getting multiple offers over asking price. Like I said location location!! Also rents are going up like crazy! I think now is an excellent time to buy!:smile:

    by hollylorilee — October 10, 2012

  399. Thanks Doug. Thats a great assessment. I’d never thought about it that way. We know many seniors in our position want to keep their homes to leave to their kids. We aren’t doing that. WE;ve told our kids to do well on their own and not count on their “inheritance” – neither house nor investments. We intend to spend it all and enjoy ourselves as we worked for it all our lives. Thats why we no longer want to own. We don’t want to spend our disposable income on fixing the house; paying taxes; house insurance, flood insurance; gardening costs; lawn care, etc. ROGER: I guess I can also see your point about a reverse mortgage being available but wonder if there are any actuarial studies on the what it costs vs what you get back in equity and whether it might be better to find that money somewher else. This would also depend on where you live I guess. For example, don’t think you’d get much in equity in a Texas house vs what you might find in a California/LA home. DOUG: do u have any thoughts on this one?

    by sheila — October 10, 2012

  400. hollylorilee – Sheila and I aren’t talking about flipping houses, our discussion is about principle residences we’ve owned for many years and realizing their actual value at the bottom of todays housing market. Note my comment on October 8th which concurs with your position. In addition my Owning vs Renting analysis takes into consideration the total cost of ownership for a specific property which if I were to take a more short sided approach I could also say I can make a profit if I sell it now. However from an investment point of view housing is a poor performing vehicle due to high overhead cost and volatile market conditions.

    Sheila – a reverse mortgage is a very specific vehicle for people who have a home with a lot of equity that want to stay in that home but can no longer afford to. So they draw cash for living expenses using that equity. Think of it as breaking off pieces of your home and selling it to a bank eventually that bank will own your home. From what I gather I really don’t think you have enough there to make a go of it. I would just sit tight for a few years and make the best of it or rent it and go live where you want now.

    by doug061363 — October 12, 2012

  401. To Walter M…
    We are building a home in Pelican Preserve a 55+ community in Fort Myers. We are about 4 weeks from closing. Having grown up in Florida and previously owing homes in FL, we are finding the construction to be excellent and the building codes are very good in relation to possible hurricanes. We have not found one resident in PP that is unhappy with the construction. Pelican Preserve has all kinds of new homes going in from small condos to fairly large homes. They are all clustered in “neighborhoods” and yes, they can be fairly close to each other; however, we are currently renting in PP and have not found the closeness to be an issue. I have to chuckle over your comment about “storage”. There is NO storage in any homes we looked at here at PP and elsewhere. You do not get storage like most of us are used to in northern or midwestern homes. These homes do not even have a coat closet! BUT, when you talk with residents they all smile and tell you that when you move to this lifestyle you shed many of your former life possessions and then continue shedding them when you move in as you realize this is a much simpler lifestyle and you really don’t want to store all that “stuff” from your former life!

    by Toni — October 12, 2012

  402. I’m traveling cross country NOW I post a daily log with pics on facebook anyone interested can find me as doug0613 there…mention topretirements if you comment

    by doug061363 — October 13, 2012

  403. I’d love to get out of here (Viera, FL) but the cost of living is hard to beat. Climate (heat) and culture (none) leave much to be desired.

    by Bigfoot — October 16, 2012

  404. Retireing from Wisconsin to lower Oregon. Summer has warm days cool nights. Not a lot of rain and only 15 inches of snow in the winter. No sales tax . Income tax is high but I only have SS which isn’t taxed an an annuity which would put me in the lower bracket.Great area for outdoor activities

    by Alan — October 16, 2012

  405. I found what I was looking for in Sedona, AZ. Placed a bid on a house so my search has ended if the seller accepts. I’ll still be traveling around to see the sights but from a tourist point of view.

    by doug061363 — October 17, 2012

  406. it’s all about the taxes. we were originally looking at tucson – love the dry hot weather. but taxes in delaware are as low as you can get, so that’s looking better. live in maryland now and the taxes are killing us. we will not stay here! two years and counting!!

    by suzq4114 — October 17, 2012

  407. Hey Doug 061363. What made you stop at Sedona. I am retiring the 1st of Feburary. I have kids in Vegas but am still interested in Arizona…..

    by Roy W. — October 17, 2012

  408. In my mind, “retirement” is a life stage, not a destination. (Those of us who are “empty nesters” have learned that the nest isn’t often empty — “revolving door” might be a better name for it.) So, I think more about what I’m retiring from than where I’m retiring to. I’m retiring from 60+ hours a week working, with over 20 of them spent on trains and planes. I’m retiring to what matters most for my wife and I — church, family, community. We will make decisions on locations based on those values for the forseeable future. Perhaps someday a warm climate will be possible.

    by John — October 17, 2012

  409. We are leaving California day after tomorrow for Pagosa Springs Colorado. It is so pretty there, 4 seasons, over 300 days of sun a year, low crime, great outdoors spot, people are super nice and respectful, small town politics that are fun to watch, good prices for real estate.

    by Mitch Miller — October 17, 2012

  410. Alan, I’m not sure what part of lower Oregon, but I’m surprised by your comment, “not a lot of rain”. I have spent a lot of time in Souther Oregon and, except for the summer, there was a LOT of rain.

    Doug061363: Yay! Congratulations! I am strongly learning towards Prescott as well. I thought you said you believed it would be too much snow? What was your ‘selling point’?

    by Ginger — October 17, 2012

  411. For those of you looking into the Myrtle Beach area – I looked into a lovely 55+ community in Murrels Inlet called Seasons at Prince Creek. Beautiful homes, clubhouse, pool and activities. Far enough away from Myrtle Beach to not have congestion but close to beaches. For me……I am now swaying towards DE. Have seen a couple of communities so far. Anyone have any opinion on Spring Arbor or Riverbend? Those are my next stops!!

    by K moyer — October 17, 2012

  412. I did not read every singe one— but I don see any one saying Boise, ID.
    Any comments on that?

    by Rachel Hayward — October 17, 2012

  413. Donaa and Company……Single here too….I have been “researching” for 18 months and am no closer to deciding where to go.Have looked at everything from taxes to housing to medical to employment to all the things we check out. Know where I don’t want to go….do not do golf, LOVE the water, can’t do the high humidity or cactus climates. Have lived in the Rockies for 30 years after being transplanted from the East Coast. All ideas welcome

    by Carrie — October 17, 2012

  414. We’re considering Asheville, N.C. Beer capital of the world,lots of folk and bluegrass music, and mountains. What’s not to like? Black Mountain, about 10 min. away by interstate is also a strong contender, with a quaint downtown and residential side streets.

    by Ed — October 17, 2012

  415. What you may not like is what we did not like – the hippie influence that completely turned us off. We visited with the intention of seriously considering the area. The day we arrived, there was a “hippie happening” downtown – where a bunch of young unwashed, non-deodorant users danced in circles to the beat of about 30 people playing a mind-numbing repeating beat. They thought it was great – we didn’t. It was so disappointing to see this “neuveau hippie” culture that we left the next morning. You’ll have to be prepared for that influence if you go there.

    by Kelly — October 18, 2012

  416. I had the same experience as Kelly. We visited Asheville in July based on many lists making it the no. 1 retirement destination. Not only were hippies everywhere unclean and in your face but they were openly rolling joints from a big plastic bag of weed on their lap as they sat on the sidewalks of downtown. So you had to walk around them. Another ow was so stoned that had to be grabbed by others so he wouldn’t fall in the street and get run over. Besides being offensive what was really horrifying is that this conduct is tolerated by the police.

    by Valerie — October 18, 2012

  417. Carrie and donna, we started a section for single women that hasn’t really gotten off the ground, please join us and share.

    by Nancymichogan — October 18, 2012

  418. Retired 6 years ago and now looking for a warmer weather/snow-free, low cost, low crime golf area to move to. Think I might rent but will buy if price is right. I have been to The Villages and not really my cup of tea (but not off the table completely). I want to work half time (possible college teaching or student advising). Can’t take the snow and cold of Wisconsin any more. All ideas welcomed.

    by Patrick — October 18, 2012

  419. I also went to Asheville with a girlfriend to check out the area.What a beautiful area..We too saw the “new” hippies but wasn’t bothered by it. There is so much more to the area.There are quite a few smaller towns close by to look at,,and what can you say about the Blue Ridge Mountains…

    by barb — October 18, 2012

  420. To Roy W – I’ve really done a lot of research as to where to live. I chose Arizona as a logical process of elimination of factors compared to other states; weather, population density and cost of living being the top three. I compiled a long list of requirements that included a lot of demographics, I used a lot for info. I chose the village of Oak Creek (Sedona) because its not as busy as Sedona, it’s probably the most progressive town in Arizona with a lot of art and cultural events and lastly SEDONA IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES ON THE PLANET. I also have very specific requirements for a house due to my unique lifestyle. My realtor Bob Bruno found a house that’s a perfect match for me. I want to mention that buying a house in Arizona is not like buying in New Jersey. When an offer is accepted in NJ your realtor hands you a pile of papers and tells you to give this to your attorney. In Arizona your realtor or at least mine handles and helps you with EVERYTHING from start to finish.

    by doug061363 — October 18, 2012

  421. Thanks Doug061363, I’ll have to check into this a bit. My wife has to move to Vegas to be near the grandkids (12, 10, 6). My boy has been in the Air Force stationed at Nellis for 14 years, kind of unheard of being in the same place for so many years. He also likes the Arizona climate better than the Vegas one as I do also. Have found lots of really nice places in Vegas for a good price. I know we will never loose money on the housing market there but am going to keep checking on places like Sedona and vicinity for a few years down the road…..

    by Roy W. — October 18, 2012

  422. Doug061363. just curious when was the last time you bought a house in NJ? Things have changed everywhere and the housing situation makes realtors more “user” friendly in most locales today especially on the buyer side. Of course it has been 30 yeas since I lived in NJ.

    by eric — October 18, 2012

  423. Have lived in Prescott, AZ area and can’t imagine a better place in the U.S. (for us, at least) to retire. Currently in Bend, OR. Beautiful, but too cold in the winter. Love California (esp. Central Coast area) but too expensive, and too many other drawbacks (unfortunately) to list here. So, Prescott AZ (which is warmer than Flagstaff but much cooler than Phoenix area) gets my vote. 😎

    by Stan — October 18, 2012

  424. I have a good deal of family in Southern California. They recently picked up a steal of a deal in Palm Desert, California. I also have an uncle that lives there as well. Does anyone have any input about this area? Have you visited for any length of time? The taxes and economy scare me a bit but housing there seems to be prime right now and I like the idea of no harsh winters after 30 years of law enforcement in the Kansas City, area. There are some nice tax benefits for my pension staying in Kansas and I do like it here, but, I am tired of the winters.

    by David — October 18, 2012

  425. My wife and I will be closing on a house in Bend, OR in a few weeks. After three visits, we just loved the lifestyle, activities, weather, and beer. We are working toward retiring early, so we can begin enjoying it that much sooner. We’ll live with the higher taxes to get all the other good stuff.

    by Scott — October 18, 2012

  426. To eric – I have neighbors and know many people who recently purchased to rely on for information about home buying in NJ. To this day I’ve never heard of anyone closing on a house in NJ without a lawyer.

    I’m sure someone out there will chime in to tell about someone who didn’t. NJ has a nice “short” 40 page pamphlet titled “EVERYTHING You wanted to know about…BUYING A HOME” that refers to The New Jersey Homeowners Security Act of 2002 (NJHOSA), with amendments in 2004 a mere 34 pages of requirements. In that guide they state your realtor cannot represent you in legal matters and recommend you hire legal counsel. I would say that the good old home buying process in NJ is alive and well.

    by doug061363 — October 19, 2012

  427. David, you can get a great deal in Palm Desert, Ca. It is lovely there. I am going out there this weekend to look for a second place…. to rent it out mostly. My daughter lives in LaQuinta, and I am there very often and have spent a lot of time there over the years visiting her and friends. I moved to Az. from Ca. to make it my primary residence. California has very high taxes and here in Az I have a lot more money in my pocked by moving here! Everything is less expensive! Yay for that!

    by holly2381 — October 19, 2012

  428. Doug, I’m not a realtor but I wouldn’t think about buying a property without a lawyer, especially in N.J. As much as I dislike dealing with them they can protect the average home buyer from unpleasant surprises.

    by Billy — October 19, 2012

  429. Thank you Holly. The high taxes and fuel prices do concern me. In Kansas I don’t get taxed on my pension but property/personal property taxes are high and there is sales tax on food, ect. I might check more into Arizona as well.

    by David — October 19, 2012

  430. A few odd comments to various folks:

    Not sure why Roy W. thinks you ‘can’t lose money there’ on property in LV. LOTS of people lost money on property in LV. I didn’t. Lived there 5 years and made money on both homes, but got out in 2005 before things went bad. LV property values can be very unstable.

    Palm Desert is beautiful and has a beautiful winter climate, but is unbearable in summer. So HOT! good for snowbirds, but not for year-round living, in my opinion.

    Dou0613 – Oak Creek. Is that pretty upscale? I love Sedona but doubt I can afford to live there.

    by Ginger — October 19, 2012

  431. My new home in Sedona is the product of three years of research encompassing this entire nation.

    TO Billy – I was talking about my home buying experience in Arizona. I mentioned that in NJ when your offer is accepted your Realtor hands you a pile of papers and says give this to your lawyer. When buying a home in Arizona your Realtor is required by law to handle every aspect of the sale, nothing is overlooked not even utilities. Arizona lawmakers really worked this process out well.

    TO Ginger – YES, The Village of Oak Creek is very upscale, not as crowded as Sedona, progressive AND has bike lanes EVERYWHERE that’s why I chose it to be my new home. You can get a small studio condo there starting at $150K. I need 1200 sqft of garage space in a home, to suit my needs I had to spend more. 😉

    by doug061363 — October 20, 2012

  432. Comment to Ginger:
    My statement about not losing money on property in Las Vegas, I was referring to buying something now and in maybe 5 to 10 years selling and recovering all and probably more of what you paid. Just by taking care of your property and doing the normal upkeep you should be OK. I think the values have hit bottom and they will be starting to trickle back up here in the near future, hopefully. I say this because as we wait out this upcoming election to see what way our next Leader will pave the way for us…..Roy W.

    by Roy W. — October 20, 2012

  433. I took advantage of the housing prices and just purchased a small home in St. Augustine, FL. I plan on FL being my primary residence (selling condo in northern VA) and doing some traveling in the summer months – I still have family and friends up north I can visit. This may not be my ideal “forever” home but it’s a fun adventure to start to my retirement. Looking forward to the tax relief and warm winters –

    by Deb — October 20, 2012

  434. Ed, Valerie and Kelly, we have been looking at Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Fletcher and other small towns just south of Asheville. We too are turned off by the new hippies. Just spent a week in Hendersonville and love the mountains and people. Hendersonville is only 15-20 minutes south of Asheville. Close enough to visit, but not be impacted by the prevailing youth movement. There are two hospitals, lots of restaurants, events most every weekend, a “walk-able” downtown with plenty of shopping. Also has a couple nice, modern retirement communities with graduated care. We’ve been looking in this area for 2 years. I have 2 years before I retire so we go visit about every three-four months to get a feel for each season. So far, Fall has been the best. The day we went to Mt. Micheal had nothing but blue skies – wow what a view! Black Mountain is very nice. Hendersonville downtown is larger, more stores. Both have great German restaurants. Hendersonville has both an HO and N scale model railroad clubs across the tracks from each other if you are in to trains. Also, the Greenville/Spartenburg airport is about an hour away, has more airlines/flights than Asheville’s airport. Lots to see and do in Asheville, we took the Red Trolley tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. Learned a lot about the history of Asheville and got to see downtown without driving through it. Hope this helps.

    by Doc — October 21, 2012

  435. Roy- Las Vegas has been tricky through the years; there are clearly areas one must stay away from and will never recover. Then there are areas that have been nice, but can go either way once recovery begins because there is “such a nice, trendier area” to live in. I think investing in an area such as Summerlin and immediate surroundings will probably be all right, and certain areas of Green Valley…but one must really research areas of Las Vegas before buying anything.

    by DianaF — October 21, 2012

  436. Comment to DianaF. You are absolutetly right about the type of area. There are lots of neighborhoods to avoid and lots of neighborhoods to search. Summerlin and Green Valley are areas to look and also We are looking in the North (Aliante) also. I would have also liked to pursue the Pharump area but Grandma said its to far from the kids. I’m an ol’ country boy and would’ve liked to roam around up there…..Roy W.

    by Roy W. — October 21, 2012

  437. For Roy W.and other Las Vegas commenters: I just bought a new house in North Las Vegas. Yeah, you heard all about North Las Vegas on the news awhile back. Nothing here, move along! However, where I live, just north of Aliante, almost up on the side of the Sheep Mountains, is quiet but near everything you could want as far as shopping, entertainment, healthcare, and very easy to get to McCarran. When I was looking for a property here, I had a hard time finding a house because the new home communities were selling as fast as you could put an offer on a house. I’m not worried about losing money here, if the government would leave the housing market alone, let it bottom out, and start to come back by it’s own volition. 😈

    by Cindy O' — October 22, 2012

  438. I’ll be retirement age in 2-1/2 years and my wife in 5 years. We want to head south somewhere between NC and Georgia after I retire. Preferably near the beach if affordable. We live in a rural area in Northern VA & would like an area not too crowded or busy. Each summer we travel south & really have taken a liking to the New Bern, NC area and south towards Topsail, NC. I would like information on these areas and any other areas in this general location.

    by Ralph R — October 23, 2012

  439. Cindy O’- You are right about N. Vegas, but don.t come out with so many good points. It will fill up soon enough anyway. With the 15 right there you are only minutes from anywhere. I am just waiting for my house to sell (Washington St) and am retiring the 1st of Feburary to move down and be close to my kids…..Roy W.

    by Roy W. — October 23, 2012

  440. Wilmington, North Carolina has the highest burglary rate in the country.

    by Lana — October 23, 2012

  441. I’m looking for a very small town to retire in. I’m from Chicago and I just want to live a simple rest of my life.

    by David K Slatton — October 25, 2012

  442. Have been looking at Central Florida- Winter Haven area because it is close enough to either coast and so, so many activities that we love…beaches, fishing,shopping, eating…but…we are very concerned about Florida being pet friendly. I have been following Hernando County and the insane dog ordinances they are trying to pass and know that many places won’t allow animals or have a limit or weight limit. We’re not looking to have a kennel….but, I don’t want anyone telling me I can only have one dog that weighs 25 pouns. Any suggestions or thoughts? Thanks.

    by Roxanne — October 26, 2012

  443. Roxanne – We have 3 small dogs and as you know it is hard to find a suitable place. We found that Summerglen in Ocala allows dogs and is very nice. We are not ready to buy yet but have found an apartment in Boynton Beach where our dogs are allowed. We will rent until we sell our house up north then consider Ocala. Good luck.

    by Louis Ortiz — October 26, 2012

  444. Ralph, re: New Bern, NC
    do not know area well just that it is pretty, but in studing Medical School formation, I know that New Bern about an hour away has Brody Medical School (ECU). There is probably a clinic of the hospital/medical school in the area…also docs often stay in area.

    by elaine — October 26, 2012

  445. My husband I just returned from a tour a few central Florida communities. We learned so much, mostly about our own wishes. We discovered that we do not want to be in a golf course community. It starts with the break of dawn mower cavalcade, followed by a day-long procession of golf carts stopped at the tee box outside your window. Something I would not thought of, unless I stayed a night and experienced it.

    by jean — October 26, 2012

  446. Be careful in Florida when it comes to homeowners insurance Orlando rates are nearly 4 times what we are currently paying in Oregon. However if you go a little to the north into the next county, they drop dramatically.

    by Mark — October 27, 2012

  447. We are looking to retire near our kids in Oregon. Anyone have any information on Woodburn Estates in Woodburn, Oregon or Salemtowne in Salem, Oregon?

    by Shirley — October 27, 2012

  448. Shirley, We live in South Salem, 20 miles from Woodburn. Woodburn Estates is an older community mostly smaller homes It is a clean area. Many, including residents refer to it jokingly as “Wrinkle City”. It appears to be a clean well kept area. There is another golf club area not far east of Woodbrun Estates with upper end homes. That too is nice. Salemtowne is a nice area too. Had friends that lived there once. Salemtowne is in WEST Salem on the other side of the Willamette River. The only drawback is there is only one bridge out of Salem. Altho that is not a big problem once in a while it is. There is talk of a 2nd bridge, which they have studied for more than 30 years. Then no one knows where the $$ will come from. I hear tho that property taxes are lower in West Salem.Being in Polk County, Salem being in Marion County. I would prefer Salemtown to “Wrinkle City”.(nicer, newer homes).Be aware that altho the winters are relatively mild, we only get 60-70 sunny days per year. And even tho statiscally we only get 40″ of rain annually it seems (to me anyway) 100″. So as you can see it is light rain or drizzle, or cloudy and overcast much of the time. The transition from spring to summer is agonizingly slow. The rain tapered off and stopped June 30 this year and finally warmed up mid July (a little unusual, every year a little different) Once it warmed up the summer was fabulous. Think we had nearly a 100 day run with virtually no rain, maybe 4/100 inch. We do not however have the stifling humidity other places have and compared to the east coast humidity (dew point) is virtually non existant. We hope to “winter” to dryer climate. Hope this helps.

    by Mark — October 28, 2012

  449. My husband and I live in the Northern Va area and are planning on retiring in 3 years. I’ve read wonderful things about living in the Myrtle Beach area and then I’ve read awful things (crime worse than the city? Really?). I realize it’s a tourist town June-Sept, but does it really affect the people who live on the outskirts of the beach area? When we visited we found the people to be nice and considerate and much of the housing is affordable though we found a nice lot in beautiful neighborhood in which to build a house. Would really like some answers from those living in and who have retired in the MB/Conway area.

    by Barb — October 28, 2012

  450. If you are looking for a very small town that does have cultural appeal then come to Chestertown Md. We are on a river (Chester) and have alot of water around us – the Chesapeake Bay. Yet we are 75 miles each from Baltimore, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. 50 miles from Annapolis. Best yet, the ocean is about 75 miles and Delaware is very retiree friendly. If you want to be closer to the ocean and not a large city, then I would suggest looking at small towns in Delaware – Bridgeville, Milton, etc.
    Chestertown is a college town – Washington College so that there are always cultural events availabe and we have alot of parades, downrigging – tall ships, historical recreations, etc.
    Check it out –

    by Carol — October 29, 2012

  451. Thank you Mark. I guess it is a trade off-being near grandkids or nice weather.Giving up cold Michigan winters will be nice, not much sun in Oregon, not so nice. The kids live in Portland, but we didn’t see any single home retirement communities there.

    by Shirley — October 29, 2012

  452. Always wanted to live along the shore, very happy to live inland right now. The coasts of CT, RI, NY and MA are taking a beating. If you are interested the TV Stations in Connecticut and New York are streaming their local coverage of storm Sandy.

    by markg — October 29, 2012

  453. Shirley, remember the summers are fabulous, and the weather is different in different parts of the state. East of Salem on the east side of the Cascades the sun shines probably more than 250 days of the year but it does get cold. We are transplants from New England and it is definately milder and very little if any, snow. We get a snow/ice storm on average once every seven years. If we get snow it is gone usually withing a few days.

    by Mark — October 30, 2012

  454. Carol – I likes the looks for Chestertown, MD. Would it be a good place to move to on my own? I love history and would like to get involved. Is it an easy place to fit in?

    by Barbara — October 30, 2012

  455. Barbara – Yes I think so – it is a little different from the rest of the eastern shore – actually over 50% democrats – we voted for Obama last election and people are not as conservative here due to influence of college.
    There are at least two different health spas – indoor pool at one and at the college. WE have a small theater here and one about 7 miles from here; also have historical groups – Sultana.
    As everywhere, there are not many single men except for college age –
    We do have a hospital and a retirement community as well
    I would look on the website for the town’s page as well as Rock Hall which is about 12 miles down the road. Also, the Chamber of Commerce and Washington College – good luck

    by Carol — October 31, 2012

  456. Again, to all of you who are looking at Florida, think twice and then some. It is a COUNTY GOVERNMENT State and each county sets their own rules and regulations. Been living here for almost 16 years, orginally from Connecticut
    My husband works for the State, retiring in 2 1/2 yrs. Insurances ARE high because of fraud, weather, illegals, uninsured. Golfing is one of the State’s livelihoods. For Louis Ortiz, be careful in Boynton Beach. Becoming a high crime area-gangs and deteriorating mall. We live in Palm Beach county. Don’t stay there on a permanent basis. Have friends there too. Will tell you the same and they live in nice developments in West Boynton.

    To Mark, we’re from CT and grew up on the shore during the summers, beautiful-this was a freaky storm and we went thru the last Perfect Storm in 1991.

    by marsha — October 31, 2012

  457. Any opinions out there on vero beach, specifically the barrier island. Seemed quiet and temperate weatherwise in the winter months. Thanks

    by Steven — November 1, 2012

  458. STEVEN: We have CAnadian friends who bought a condo in Vero Beach a couple of years ago and Love it! We visited them last Spring and thought it was a lovely little community. Lots of things to do and very pretty. They are there during winter months – December until April and then head back. Its working well for them.

    by sheila — November 1, 2012

  459. CAROL: Like the sounds of Chestertown, MD. Looks like a good fit for us. How are taxes on pensions? How are the medical facilities/accesibility to Docs? We are currentlyin Houston and planning a move back to NE in about 2 years. We will not buy again tho’ so how is rental market? I’ve been on the Chestertown website – looks lovely. Any insights would be great. Thanks.

    by Sheila — November 1, 2012

  460. Any thoughts on Port Charlotte FL area. Thank You

    by Alan — November 1, 2012

  461. Marsha-thank you for that info on Florida. I have become very concerned about some of the rules and regulations pertaining to animals, in non-HOA properties! I just can’t believe some of the crazy stuff and willnot subect my animals to any such stuff. Luckily I read of some proposed changes in Hernando County from a posting on FB. Think Florida is off my list!

    by Roxanne — November 2, 2012

  462. Perhaps it is only a small group of pet owners who mess things up for the rest. However, many are tired of animal feces in their yards/on sidewalks/etc., dogs barking, gardens/plants dug into by cats and dogs, cats fighting outside one’s windows at night, and the list goes on and on … and the occasional “animal-lover” who might have 23 cats and four dogs … it happens! I have personally seen people blithely go on after their dear fidos have littered an area. I have no problemm with others having their toys and pets to whatever quantity and quality they like. However, do not believe that others share your views as to “crazy stuff” to protect those who do not share your likes. Remember, your freedom ends where mine begins … and vice versa. As always, one is NOT being FORCED to live in an area that does not allow their: pets, toys, pink house, muffler-less car, rowdy friends/relatives, etc. etc. One may merely need to hunt a little more to find those like-minded lovers of “freedom.”

    by Mad Monk — November 2, 2012

  463. Thank you, Mad Monk for your posting! Some people are so blind to other’s feelings, so sometimes being blunt is what needs to be done. I absolutely love dogs, but do not have one; however, my friends who do, take care and understand that their dogs are not to everyone’s liking; they get it. We live in an area now, where people take their dog for a walk and pick up after them! This is how it should be done and everyone is fine with having to do so.It is common courtesy. So, if places have to be ultra strict about their pet policies, it is probably because people were not “taking care” of their pets-things happen for a reason.

    by DianaF — November 3, 2012

  464. I am a responsible pet owner: I have an 8 lb Yorkie-bichon mix who I love dearly, and I pick up after her always. I want to make the point here that animals can’t really be equated to ‘toys and muffler-less cars’, even though apparently there are people who THINK that way. There are countless studies on the benefit animals bring to a community, and the humans in that community. This is why we have therapy dogs that visit the ill and elderly in hospitals and homes. This is why people who have pets live longer. While it is important that people be responsible with their pets, and while I totally understand and sympathize with laws to protect a community from the incovenience of irresponsible pet owners, I think it is pretty inhumane and uncaring to equate living creatures with ‘toys and muffler-less cars’. This attitude is what allows for the mindless mistreatment of animals that is constantly occurring in the US. It takes nothing from a human to be kind to an animal. As Gandhi stated: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Please forgive my typos, my visiion has been impaired by my Bell’s Palsy.

    by Ginger — November 4, 2012

  465. Thank you, Ginger. That was very eloquently said. The benefits of owning animals are well documented. I agree, to equate the unconditional love of an animal to an inanimate object is totally mindless. Owners need to be responsible for their pets. As a cat owner, I never allow my cats to go outside. Additionally, they have been altered, so yowling in a backyard would never happen. Also peaple owning 23 cats and 4 dogs is certainly not the norm. Not only isn’t that good for people, it’s very harmful to the animals.

    by Stacey — November 4, 2012

  466. I should just not say anything but; first I like animals and have never miss treated any animal. That being said I do not believe animals are people and animals should not have the same rights as people. Some pet owners believe they should be allowed to take their pets into grocery stores and drive with their pets in their laps. When you cannot go to a store without taking your pet with you and even if you leave the pet in the car for hours makes me sad.

    Oh yea, My wife and I have just purchased a place in Woodland WA, about 30 minutes North of Portland OR. We tried living in St George UT but in the end it was too far from family and too hot in the summer but had some great winter weather and is about 1.5 hours from Las Vegas. We had a wonderful summer and I will miss the sun for the next 6 months.

    by maxit4fun — November 4, 2012

  467. To Steven re: Vero Beach. It is a nice area. My brother and sister-in-law live there 1/4 mile from the beach. Not much to do there, but your are close to Space Coast and St. Augustine for get-a-ways. Keep in mind, anything EAST of I-95, insurance will cost you a lot more-HURRICAINES. The higher you go in the tower buiildings(condos) along the coast,the more damage you will have because of the resistance. Consider living more inland in the general area. Get some good buys. It is a more retirement area.You’re close to I-95 and the Florida Tpke. You can get to the west coast of FL in abt 2 hours crossing State Road 60 in Vero and will take you stright to Tampa and from there you can get anywhere up and down the west coast of FLorida. That’s how we go. We took our cruise from the Port of Tampa which is nice and not as crazy as the ports in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Easy in and out. We live in Palm Beach county.

    To all of you, Florida is NOT was it was years ago. Good luck. Marsha

    by marsha — November 4, 2012

  468. Ginger and Stacey,

    I agree that the problem lies with the owners. We have had our quiet disturbed by barking dogs who are left in the backyard because it is “inconvenient” to walk them or allow them indoors. I believe this is what the poster was alluding to in his comments, ie, the noise factor. When I lived in Switzerland, new pet owners were “encouraged” to take their puppies to training classes…many people had dogs but I was not aware of incessant barking such as I have experienced living in the US. A different mentality, to be sure, and one that seems to work for the majority.

    by Fionna — November 5, 2012

  469. I have asked several complexes about their policies and my take is that you’re under a microscope when walking your dog. I too pick up,after a dog but I cannot control their sniffing and harmless marking or peeing. Yet i read by laws of pebble creek in az that forbids dogs walking anywhere but common areas. Not very dog friendly ,sure they aren’t the only ones.

    by Nancy — November 5, 2012

  470. My son lived in Switzerland for 2 years and I have traveled extensively in Europe, especially France, where dogs are completely integrated into society. Wherever you go, the dogs go to. Stores, restaurants, theatres. And ALL the dogs are very well-behaved. Most people wouldn’t even notice the dogs under the tables in the restaurants. I have never checked but I assume perhaps they have special training programs and are also encouraged, both by law and custom, to carefully train their animals. I tell this story to make the point, again, that it is the owners that are the problem, not the animals. In the US, in my opinion, we are a spoiled and careless lot. We have big yards to put the pets out in. Or we take them off to the kennel for boarding. In most European cities people live in small apartments; they do not have the endless suburbs that we have. And they are very responsible with their pets. I am not saying I object to regulations regarding animals, but I am saying that the criticism should be leveled against the owner’s, not the pets. And I am also saying to please not devalue the value of animals in a community. You may not care to have a pet, but for many people pets are extremely important.

    by Ginger — November 5, 2012

  471. Ginger is absolutely correct. I too have spent a lot of time in Europe. Dogs go everywhere. It’s the owners’ habits, not the dogs’ habits that account for the difference. It’s about discipline in the end.

    by — November 5, 2012

  472. If that is the only problem you have in your retirement years, worrying about dogs, then you should consider yourself lucky.
    I would not want to live in a complex where people are so picky. For the same reason I do not want to live in a 55 plus community. I like babies, toddlers, children and teens – how boring to be with only “older” people and with houses that all look the same.
    My mother is Swiss but unfortunately all my kids are here so I can’t go to Europe to live even though I am a social Democrat and have more in common with their countries way of life.

    by Carol — November 6, 2012

  473. For Carol.

    Far out. You hit the nail on the head…..

    by Roy W. — November 6, 2012

  474. Can anyone tell me about the Hobe Sound area? It’s right above Jupiter, Florida. Thanks!

    by Karen — November 6, 2012

  475. To Karen re: Hobe Sound. Its a small, coastal community, old and very expensive. Also its in a flood zone area-heavy rains and hurricaines. Again, to all of you are reading my input re: Florida- think high insurance rates east of I-95 and flood zones along the coastal communities. Yeah they’re nice, BUT you would not to be there during a storm. Keep “Storm Sandy” in mind as a reminder, and, all the other storms we have had in the past. I cannot reiterate this enough to all of you. Consider Jupiter, Very nice, little more inland, but goes east to the beach which is very nice and the pier area and goes west past the Florida Tpke.-big area. Lots of housing, homes,condos, apartments, shopping and a good hospital.Google “Abacoa” master development in Jupiter. Has little of everything-including Spring Training for baseball. I live in the western suburbs of West Palm Beach and know this like the back of my hand. Been here for 15 1/2 yrs. Family has been in FLorida since the early ’60s. Let me know what you think. Thank you. Marsha.

    by marsha — November 6, 2012

  476. I’m about 3 yrs out from retiring from the Government. I’m currently in VA and have always looked to retire to FL. Being from Jersey and seeing the Jersey shore devistated, has me rethinking how close do I want to live to the water. I have visited the Villages and its nice but no water, no condos or townhouses and I’m not a golfer and I don’t want a house….so does anyone have any thoughts on a place in FL thats would satisfy my “beach” cravings? (lol)

    by Carolyn — November 7, 2012

  477. I’m not thrilled with looking at cookie cutter houses either but I do have bigger concerns that lead me in that direction. Hopefully the people there are warm and welcoming.
    Marsha, I looked at abacoa as a drive by and it looked so average, maybe it was isolated due to the time of year in heat of summer. The rest of area very nice.

    by Namcy — November 7, 2012

  478. Thank you, Marsha, for your comments about Hobe Sound. We love to visit there each year and have always wished to retire there – by next year. However, we really have found in looking at houses on line that money doesn’t go very far there. We’d have to revert to living in some small fixer upper in order to buy a house and that’s not our idea of a comfy retirement. I believe we’ll have to resort to living in the central part of the state to make our housing dollars go further. Does anyone else have any comments about housing in Florida? Thanks so much.

    by Karen — November 7, 2012

  479. Does anyone have any input about Tybee ISland, Savannah Ga. area Good or bad

    by Mark — November 7, 2012

  480. I am a faithful reader of Top Retirements and have enjoyed reading and writing about information on the blog as we are very seriously looking for a relocation. I just saw the One level Living newsletter article (the weekly Active Adult Communities East newsletter for 11/5) and it may be mostly one level living. However, one of the areas we are looking into in Chapel Hill NC. Your site has just presented Rose Walk. These are three level townhomes with mostly masters up as I am sure you can see and that is not what retirees need. This seems to be just an advertisement for Chapel Hill by the builder. I realize you need clients to make your site work but this is not the type housing this these people need. Of course, this is my opinion but by the many, many articles and blogs that are written for retirees and seniors, this product is not it. Also, as North Carolina has grown to be the retirement state that it is, the suitable and livable housing for retirees and seniors is not in abundance. It is sad that many builders and developers are jumping on the band wagon to build and call it empty nester, retiree and senior housing. I do hope buyers do research into any community that are looking at to get all the facts and do not end up in a situation that makes life unhappy. I do appreciate all the quality work you put toward Top Retirements. I would just ask that you really research each of these companies so that unknowledgeable seniors do not get caught in a sad and unhappy situation. Thanks and look forward to continued reading.

    Editor’s note:
    Thanks so much for your insightful comment about this week’s Active Comm’s East newsletter. You are correct, not all of the communities in this week’s edition were one level – most were so in trying for some commonality in the headline that’s what we picked, for better or worse. It obviously led to some confusion.

    Couldn’t agree with you more that what we aging baby boomers do not need multi-level housing with MBRs up. We have amended the review of Rose Walk to reflect your observations about the upstairs masters.

    Anyway, we love it when our members give us feedback on places they have visited – we can’t check them all ourselves so you do a valuable service to everyone in this community!

    by Conrad — November 7, 2012

  481. Where I want to retire might sound strange-but I would like to move someplace where it snows. So far I am considering Colorado, such as Boulder, Denver or Loveland. I also would like someplace scenic.

    by Kim — November 7, 2012

  482. I have been reading your newsletter for several years now. We are
    60 and will retire in three to five years. Our biggest question is

    How difficult is it to move to a completely new area and make
    friends, settle in, etc. We are not interested in an over 55
    community. We will downsize. My husband wants to move
    to where one of our children resides, but I say no. We are currently
    in NJ (not from here, will NOT stay), our son is in Oakland Ca and
    our daughter in Melbourne AU. Children move! Our daughter moved
    from DC to AU in January.

    I worry about going to a place where we know no one and having
    problems making friends. getting involved etc. I would love to know other’s experiences moving to a city/town
    where they are/were strangers.

    by Deborah — November 7, 2012

  483. Deborah,
    One example: You’ll find a newer master-planned community (not age-restricted) an easy place to make friends. People are looking for social connections, “cliques” in a newer community won’t have formed, and there is a lifestyle director who organizes all kinds of activities to ease the process of meeting others. A community where there is an influx from lots of places is good. Ask to see the list of activities, and attend some while you’re checking out a place. I moved to one of these (I knew one other person at the time), and had absolutely no problem meeting people and forming new friendships. You’ll also be able to volunteer in your new community (great way to meet people), join neighborhood committees, and start new groups (for example, I started a movie club) as well.

    Jan Cullinane
    The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement (John Wiley & Sons)
    The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

    by Jan Cullinane — November 8, 2012

  484. This is to Mark re: Tybee Island/Savannah, Ga area. Two of my sister-in-laws have summer homes in Tybee Island and love its quaint, relaxed, easy-to-meet-others environment. They’re trying to get us to buy a place there (we’re retiring in about a year) but we’re Rocky Mountain bound.
    Though a ‘housewife’, one is so enthused about Tybee that she comes off as a highly motivated real estate salesperson :). Due to the recent housing downturn there are many houses available and if they had been fortunate enough to buy after the housing bubble broke they’d both probably be on the beach!
    If you are interested and provide a means (your email or a phone #) I will hook you up with her as (I bet) she’d love to share everything she knows about it.

    by Charles 'Jesse' Wenzel — November 8, 2012

  485. I am also interested in Tybee Island but as a primary residence.

    by Richard — November 8, 2012

  486. We are considering retiring to the Branson, Missouri area next year. We love the abundance of water features and beautiful scenery. We live in Minneapolis now and are looking forward to MUCH milder winters. Does anyone have any input regarding retiring to that area? We’d really appreciate it.

    by Sue — November 8, 2012

  487. This is to Carolyn. Have you looked at Ocala, Florida? On Top Of The World, this will be our new home. We are having a new home built for us begining in January. We have looked at a number of locations in the country an believe OTOW to be one of the best. It may what you are looking for.

    by Brad — November 8, 2012

  488. I’m looking for a list of colleges where I can take free classes as a senior retiree, but have found so far I have to email the registrar at each one to get the detailed information. Is there a list somewhere showing all the detailed requirements and benefits? In particular, I want the credits to count toward a degree. Thanks. George.

    by George — November 8, 2012

  489. My parents lived in the Savannah area for more than 30 years and loved it. Tybee is a beach community and often evaucated for hurricanes. You might want to look at the Wilmington Island area, about 10 miles from Tybee, but closer to shopping and other amenities and less crowded during the summer tourist season. Keep in mind that, while Savannah rarely gets hit by hurricanes, it is overdue for a direct hit, just like NY/NJ.
    A lot of people like Savannah because it has a modified four seasons climate, with a bit of snow every decade or so.

    by Sandie — November 9, 2012

  490. Deborah: You are right on about not moving where the children moved. We did and it was a mistake. Altho’ we love the fact we have had the past 6 years to have a great relationship with grandkids, we don’t see them that often. Usually during summer and holidays because they are now getting older and want to do their “own thing”. You must move where you are comfortable and they can visit during summer and holidays if they want. And u can too. We came a new community in Kingwood, Texas – knew no one. We have met many people and have a small circle of friends. Altho’ we don’t like Texas, nor the suburbs and so we will re-retire in 2 years – I’ve found if you search for groups to join, volunteer (I joined a Mentoring group in the public schools and sit on the board of a small recycling group + met some folks in a group of my politics of choice) too them you will meet even more. We miss the four seasons and are political moderates so the heat, bugs and extreme politics of this State don’t suit us. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll find a place and make friends easily once there.

    by sheila — November 9, 2012

  491. To Deborah: I have moved all over the country. I spent most of my adult life in San Francisco, then moved to Las Vegas in 2001. Spent 5 happy years there. Then moved to Tacoma/Seattle area for 3 years. Then I moved to upstate NY. My experience with moving to areas where I don’t know anyone has been educational and exciting. Some of the things I do are: join a gym and work out. I often meet people this way. Get involved in community activities. This depends on what you like. You can volunteer at a hospital, join a little theatre group, attend church, etc. If there is a college in the area, there are often interesting classes to take where you might meet people. the key thing is to be open and not expect the culture to be the same as wherever you have moved from. Different parts of the country are different culturally and people may do things a little differently. This is a good thing; keeps our minds active to adjust to new things.

    About Branson MO: I grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, a very short distance from Branson. I love the people in this part of the country; they are the salt of the earth. When you make a friend, they are a loyal, friend for life. When you go visit, they’ll bake you a cake. they are a pretty politcally conservative bunch however, and of course this is the bible belt. The weather in this part of the country is pretty unpleasant. the summers are hot with very high humidity. A climate bugs thrive in – mosquito heaven, chigger heaven. Spring always bring tornado season and it can be devastating. While the winters are not as cold or long as Minnesota, they can still be unpleasantly cold with biting winds. the country geographically looks a lot like Minnesota, and the towns may look similar as well, with a lot of brick buildings and, in older areas, the wonderful yellow brick you rarely see anymore. this might help you feel more at home. but if it were me, I’d rent there first and see how you like it. I suspect you won’t be too crazy about the weather.

    by Ginger — November 9, 2012

  492. Sedona question
    Am hoping to visit Sedona area sometime this winter w my wife, exploratory pre retirement journey. Any suggestions on hotel, motel to stay in for a week or so. Plan to tool around.
    We have been told that it’s beautiful but expensive. Thanks in advance

    by Steven k — November 11, 2012

  493. Looking for beautiful place to retire to? A place with 4 seasons, glistening lakes and surrounding mountains? Look no further than Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

    by Dorene Russell — November 14, 2012

  494. Yes, Sedona is beautiful. It’s getting cold already. It is rather expensive to stay in Sedona. Cottonwood is not too far away and much less expensive. Only takes maybe 15 minutes to drive to Sedona from there. I’ve stayed at the Super 8 in Cottonwood and it was fine. Have even stayed in Motel 6 in Cottonwood, and it was fine also. There is also a Best Western in Cottonwood. A good Mexican restaurant in Sedona is Oxaca. I now live in Prescott and we have cold weather already. Even had a bit of snow. We can see the tips of the San Francisco peaks in Flagstaff, and they are totally white already. Cottonwood would be a bit warmer than Sedona. Lots of people retire in Prescott, where it is beautiful also, but we don’t have the red rocks of Sedona. Wishing you all the best.

    by Ursula — November 15, 2012

  495. I, too, love Idaho and when I spent a week in Boise to see if maybe I’d like to move there, I found the people great. Coeur d’Alene is GORGEOUS! But I heard it is very cold in winter. I also heard that Boise gets very cold. I’ve only been in both places in the summer. Sandpoint is very nice also. I don’t care for the eastern side of Idaho as much as the western side.

    Montana has some lovely places also. I’ve lived in the Bitterroot Valley, south of Missoula, and it was wonderful and the climate is temperate. It’s called the banana belt of Montana. But I heard it has gotten overpopulated. The outskirts of Missoula are quite nice also and may not be as overpopulated yet.

    Does anyone know very much about Eugene, Oregon? How is the climate, and is it very humid? Some people tell me it rains all the time, yet others have said that it doesn’t rain as much in Eugene and Grants Pass as it does in other parts of Oregon. I loved Florence and some of the other coastal towns, but you would have to like fog, because when it rolls in you cannot see a foot in front of your car when you are driving. I spent a couple of months there in my RV and used to go berry-picking, found a mountain spring where I used to fill my water jugs with great water, and at least one restaurant in Florence had great pies.

    by Ursula — November 15, 2012

  496. Getting back to the Sedona, Arizona area ….. one thing I forgot to mention is that medical care in the Sedona, Cottonwood and Prescott area, and probably some of the other smaller towns in Arizona, is lacking. We pretty much have to go to Phoenix if we want a good doctor, and the drive is about 2 hours minimum. The remark around here is “don’t let any of the local doctors touch you, or they will kill you” (smile) In Prescott we now have “concierge doctors” and “membership” doctors who require a large fee up front…. minimum seems to be $350 and you cannot submit this to your insurance for reimbursement. The plus side is that it seems these doctors will take their time with you and you don’t get shuffled to their physician’s assistants … those doctors see you personally.

    by Ursula — November 15, 2012

  497. I seem to recall reading about a “senior” community near Grants Pass, Oregon where everyone had a small home, and I think you could rent one of them, or purchase one if you so chose. I don’t remember much about it, so if anyone knows where that community might be, please let me know. Here in Arizona, most of the senior retirement apartments are outrageously expensive … $2,000 or more a month….and they are not very large.

    A while back, I checked into communal living and I had a book that listed many communities all over the U.S. One I checked out was Milagro, in Tucson, but they wanted a large chunk of money to join their community. Some of the others didn’t interest me because of such things as that your car belonged to everyone, or you lived in a building where all you had was a room and shared everything else. I guess communal living isn’t for me 😆

    by Ursula — November 15, 2012

  498. Ursula…I’m exactly in your shoes. Went to ALL the same places as you. I found the temperature too cold in Idaho, too crowded in Bitterroot. I wish I new about Eugene as I’ve been researching Oregon. What I know is Medford has the temperate more sunny climate, and the amenities one needs are there vs Grants Pass which requires a commute to Medford to acquire necessities. If you find out something positive about senior co-living please share. I think that’s the way to go for affordability, socialibility, and all around comfortable living. (Not a commune though.)

    by Shari — November 15, 2012

  499. Ursula, I am seriously considering the Sedona/Prescott areas for retirement next year. Your info about medical care concerns me as I am dependent on the military Tricare system. It works very much like Medicare. The “membership” doctors – how are the fees collected? One time or once a year or what? And can you tell me a little bit more about Sedona/Prescott? Is the average cost of living reasonable? And which town do you like the best?

    by Donna Marr — November 16, 2012

  500. Dear ursula and others
    Thanks for all the sedona feedback. Your comments about the health care situation are very important. Keep your comments coming

    by Steven k — November 16, 2012

  501. Hi, I’m not Ursula but I have lived in Arizona for 14 years. Both Sedona and Prescott are beautiful with great weather, and both are more expensive than many other towns in AZ. Sedona is really pretty small and very touristy. Prescott has an entirely different character and is three times bigger. There is also a VA hospital in Prescott. Really, you need to spend time in each place before you make a decision.

    by Theresa — November 17, 2012

  502. The “problem” with the mountain areas of AZ (Prescott, Sedona, etc) is that they still get winter. Some snow and quite cold. I lived in the East Valley of Phoenix for years and loved it. Hot in the summer during the day, but otherwise perfect. I am going down to look for a full time retirement home this coming year. Cannot wait to go back.

    by DrJoel — November 17, 2012

  503. Ursula…I believe I have found the community in GrantsPass you are searching for. The name is Horizon Village, it’s not a “commune”. There is not a “buy in” feature. Check it out on the web…I have.

    by Shari — November 17, 2012

  504. Donna, there is a VA Hospital/Medical Center in Prescott and I’ve heard both good and bad about the care there….so can’t give an opinion. Sedona and Prescott are the colder small towns, Sedona being quite a bit smaller than Prescott. Sedona is much prettier, but also much pricier. Cottonwood is hotter in the summer but not as cold in the winter, and more reasonably priced. Cottonwood has a kind of “Mexican” store….used to be a Bashas….and it’s quite inexpensive to get great produce there. Also, there are farmer’s markets in each town. Camp Verde is “greener” than Cottonwood and I think it’s smaller, but you only have one grocery store there. Walmart and 3 large grocery stores, plus somewhat of a “mall” type of place where there is a Penney’s, Maurice’s, Subway, etc., are all located in Cottonwood, including the local hospital. Many people go to Phoenix for good medical care. I recently had to have shoulder surgery “reversal” done by a specialist in Phoenix because a local doctor in Prescott who is supposedly very good, did not do the original surgery correctly. Personally, I don’t like to drive all the way to Phoenix for good medical care, so I do end up with some very mediocre medical care in Prescott, and before that in Cottonwood where I used to live. People here always say that they would never use the hospital up here, but I did O.K. when I had to stay overnight in the one in Cottonwood and the one in Prescott….it’s the local doctors that are not very good :sad:. These “concierge” and “membership” doctors want the money up-front but some of them let you make payments. That money will never be applied for medical care and you cannot get reimbursed by your insurance. It seems to be a rip-off, but I’ve been told that these doctors will take more time with you and supposedly are quite good. I’ll be “interviewing” one of them next week to see if I want him for a family doctor. I had been going to a Nurse Practitioner out of desperation because I could not find a doctor here that I liked, and now the Nurse Practitioner is rarely ever in her office because she has taken an outside job….which certainly does not make for good care if one needs a doctor quickly. She is very good ….. WHEN she is there 😕

    Dr Joel’s comment about the mountain areas of Arizona being cold in the winter, with some snow (especially in Flagstaff, Show Low, and Payson) and the East Valley used to be less populated than it is now. It does get hot in the East Valley in summer, and I can’t deal with that miserable heat :roll:. When it’s “monsoon season”, then it is very hot and muggy and some places in the Phoenix area get flooded….something that rarely occurs in the mountain areas. I’ve seen in the paper and on TV where people had to be rescued off the tops of their cars in the Phoenix area, but often it’s their own fault because if there is a sign saying “do not cross when flooded”, it means just that, even if the water level looks very low. The water level can change in seconds and water flow can get so fast that it can take a car along with it. A friend’s ex-husband had a big heavy truck and decided to cross one of these “washes” on his way home one night and they found his truck, with one wheel torn off, about two miles or more downstream, and found his body farther down a while later.

    I love Flagstaff because it’s a university town, but it gets too much snow for me in winter, plus I’ve heard it’s very expensive there. They have lots of eighteen-wheeler accidents on the highway up there in winter. They do have some good medical care in Flagstaff and if one has to take transportation to medical care there, the shuttle service from Prescott, Cottonwood, Sedona and Camp Verde is much cheaper than if one has to get transportation to Phoenix for medical care. One “medical transport” charges around $300 or more, round trip, to Phoenix and back. Taxi service is not available to Flagstaff or Phoenix. There is no “public” transportation, but in Cottonwood and Sedona, as well as Camp Verde, there are volunteer services available if one only needs transportation locally, other than to Flagstaff or Phoenix, plus these volunteers will also help if one needs something done at home. We don’t have much of this available in Prescott, although there is talk of a public transportation system being started here. I drive, but there are times when one has to have a procedure done at a hospital or doctor’s office where one then is not allowed to drive oneself.

    All in all, Phoenix and maybe even Tucson has just about everything that one could need …. transportation, shopping, medical … if you can stand the heat in summer :evil:. I spent one winter in Yuma in my RV and I loved that city, except for the horrendous sandstorms they have there. Summers get extremely hot there. People were very nice in Yuma :grin:, nicer than in Phoenix. I think crime rate is less in Yuma than in Phoenix or Tucson, but I’m not sure. One can walk across the border to Mexico for dental and vision care at much cheaper costs than in the U.S., but in winter when thousands of Canadians flock to Yuma, you may often have to stand for 2 or more hours in line to get back across the border, where you must show your passport, into Yuma. You can get bus service from Prescott directly to the border once a month for about $55 round trip. You can also catch that same bus from Cottonwood, Sedona, Camp Verde, etc., but you have to drive either up to Prescott Valley or down to Cordes Junction to catch up with the bus, and that requires getting up about an hour earlier and getting home an hour later 😉 and I’m not a morning person 🙂

    by Ursula — November 17, 2012

  505. Shari, thanks for the name of the senior community in Grants Pass …. I will look it up online. Am not ready to move just yet, but eventually want to get to a place where it is greener, where there is water … ocean or river, not man-made lake … yet where the four seasons are not too extreme. Also want to be where the is culture and maybe a university.

    by Ursula — November 17, 2012

  506. Is there any way we can receive only the “new” comments every day …. and then still be able to read the older comments when we have time to do so?

    Editor’s note: Not sure from your question how you are reading the comments. If you subscribe to our Daily Digest, in most browsers the link in the Digest takes you directly to that comment. However if you are on an iPad for some reason it only goes to the beginning of the article, in which case you have to scroll to the bottom of the comments, which is not very convenient. We are working to see if there is anything we can do about that situation. Until then the best thing is to use the slide on the side to move to the bottom.

    by Ursula — November 17, 2012

  507. Does anyone have any info on Menifee. California? Such as cost lf living, medical care etc

    by Mark — November 17, 2012

  508. Mark, We lived in Menifee, CA for about seven years and truly liked it a lot. We moved about five years ago, and moved to Texas-and regret it. Menifee has a great location since the 215 runs right through it, so one is close to Temecula and not too far from Riverside. It took us about an hour to get to the beaches in San Diego (Oceanside) and deoending on traffic about an hour and half to Laguna Beach. When we lived there, the doctors were either in Sun City or in Menifee itself; there are also many doctors’ offices and specialists in Murrieta (not ar at all. Since we left Menifee, there have been much expansion, so it is even better now. Utillities were no higher there than where we are in Texas and at the time, taxes were fair. It is however, a lovely place to live.

    by DianaF — November 18, 2012

  509. We are considering relocating to Coastal Carolina for our retirement in several years. Would like to read comments from anyone who has lived here or is knowledgeable about the retirement possibilities in the area. We are looking at anywhere in the inlet area between smaller towns like Elizabeth City on up to Wilmington and everything in between (New Bern, Jacksonville, NC). We do love the water and fishing but are wary of the hurricanes & humidity. Please post any comments about weather, amenities, crime, housing prices, etc. that you are familiar with. Thank you all.

    by 3asurvivor — November 18, 2012

  510. To Mark,
    We lived in Riverside for 25 years. My elderly father retired to Menifee from Redondo Beach, so we know something of the town. Menifee is in a safe, pleasant retirement community where he has access to major medical, home nursing care, stores, banks, etc. My father likes living there very much — it is a recently incorporated city that is particular to elderly folks because they comprise such a large percentage of the population. As DianeF mentioned, it is situated along the I-215 and has relatively quick and easy driving access to Temecula/San Diego, the beach areas, and the Inland Empire (Riverside/Ontario/San Bernardino). Some decent wineries grow grapes in the microclimate of the Temecula area and have wine tasting if you like that. They have hot air balloon festivals as well. I’ve always enjoyed camping out in the desert areas in Anza Borrego. The Palomar telescope is nearby and worth a visit. Julian is an old mining town that provides an historical attraction in the hills of northern San Diego. And of course Mexico is only a couple of hours away, including some of the smaller border checkpoints like Tecate which don’t see the huge lines of traffic at Tijuana/San Ysidro or Mexicali/El Centro. Not much fishing out that way except for local reservoirs like Perris Lake which is always crowded but has good bass fishing. Best of all, on clear days, you have an impressive view of the surrounding mountain ranges (San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, & San Bernardino). Winter weather is very mild, rarely dipping below freezing, but the summers can be wretched, with periods soaring into the 100+ range. (it is the southern Mojave desert after all). Ontario Airport is the closest major airport, 42 miles away. Bottom line, although it’s not for my wife and I (we’re living in Colorado at the moment), it is certainly NOT a poor choice for retirement.

    by 3asurvivor — November 18, 2012

  511. Diana we are looking at Lake Conroe TX, what do you dislike about TX, and if I may ask what city/town do you live in now?

    by CB — November 18, 2012

  512. Dear Folks,
    Thanks again for all your thoughts on the Sedona, AZ area. Question. My wife and I are not looking to relocate year round, but primarily be snow birds. We live in Boston and th4e Cape and islands areas. Are there areas of AZ , or in the Sedona/Prescott area that we could explore, where the winter would be temperate. Not looking for hot, maybe in the 70s, even 60s-70s, say four months a year or so. Am considering mid Florida, along one of the coasts, possibly Sarasota area on the gulf side, possibly Vero Beach on the Atlantic, but am attracted by the lesser humidity of the desert. We also may just need something that’s more off center than Florida retirement world. We also could be closer to family in Northern California. Buying something that we would like in Northern CA would be prohibitive, although we could rent there, I suppose. Should we be considering being closer to Phoenix, Flagstaff. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    by Steven K — November 18, 2012

  513. Steven,
    My husband and I just returned from another trip to evaluate the Phoenix area. We had already decided against anything north of Phoenix, as I want to avoid winter weather. And, it’s probably not warm enough either in Phoenix for me in winter, but I was willing to compromise. After spending another week there, the one thing we both decided was that it was far too spread out as a city. Wherever we went, the amount of time spent in the car was unacceptable. We would like to be where things are easily accessible and exploring is fun, not tedious. All our friends who live there acknowledge that driving is a way of life. So, we finally eliminated it from our prospective retirement location. Oh, and the other issue was the lack of humidity. Dried out sinuses and eyes were very uncomfortable. We, too, will be splitting our time with a northern locale. We are now pretty sure that Sarasota/Bradenton will be the answer for us. There is a lot of exploring to be done with reasonable distances. Plus, local conveniences are close by. We will avoid the hot, humid summers by heading north. I don’t know that I could live ther year round.

    by Kathi M — November 18, 2012

  514. Note on the links to newest comments. It works for me on some blogs and not on others. You may want to try a different browser. I use three different ones, but haven’t really looked to see if that is an issue

    by Elaine — November 18, 2012

  515. Hi Everyone,
    I have lived in several retirement locations,although I was employed.
    1.New England,New York City,Maine-too cold for year round
    2.I lived for 20 years in Phoenix,AZ working as an RN in Sun City & many retirement areas(homes,condos,mobile home parks).Arizona is very nice.It is very dry & hot(feels much hotter than Florida). You can escape the heat by traveling to many AZ elevations,nearby Colorado & to Carlsbad,CA (San Diego 6 hours).It has excellent medical care,shopping,professional teams & shopping.
    3. I lived for 2 years @ Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Grove OK.This is rural living.The people are very kind.All Services extremely limitted.We had a Lake front home but nearby Chicken Farms(MO) pollute air..We had to travel 2 hours to Tulsa for Medical Care,good restaurants…
    4. Now living,retired, Florida’s west coast(13 years), living in a gated +55 community.The air is velvet & clean(Florida is a peninsula).Clearwater Beach,Caledesi island 40 mins.away & beautiful.We escape to Fairfield Glade,Tenn. for a month of summer & travel cruises(leave right out of Tampa).
    My opinion is live where you have a good lifestyle with a nearby escape to cooler climate.We like 55+ communities friends/activities readily available.Paramont is Excellent Medical Care.My husband (68)had a recent heart attack. A major Medical Center is just out our back gate.I would recommend both Florida & Az. Jeanne

    by Jeanne — November 18, 2012

  516. Kathi M.
    Your Phoenix comments were very, very helpful. The last thing I want to do is have to drive distances to get to places. I assume you are familiar with the Sarasota area. If not, I can say a few things. I am personally interested in Longboat Key(LBK), one of the barrier islands off of Sarasota. Have been out with realtors, and stayed in LBK and Siesta Key I have nothing negative to say about the area, we just aren’t sure that we are sold on Florida. Intangibles, I guess, which is why we want to explore other winter options. I know that I’ve had it with New England winters, ice and snow and such. Looking for a laid back small town near a reasonable amount of activity. Sarasota, although larger than that, has the barrier island options I mentioned. It really does have everything. Like I said, just interested in options that others have found, primarily for temperate winters. Direct flights to Boston would be a plus. Continuing to appreciate everyone’s comments. Thanks very much.

    by Steven K. — November 18, 2012

  517. Ursula: Thank you so much for all the helpful info about Prescott/Sedona areas. It seems that no matter where we choose to retire, there will always be some good and bad. May I pick your brain for a little more detail about Prescott? Do you know what the average monthly water,sewer,trash fees are? I currently live in a rural area of Gloucester, VA and have a well and septic so I am wondering what these additional costs of living in your area would be. Also any info you have to offer about heating/cooling and what is most economical and efficient there. I use a heat pump here and it is efficient and cheap to run. I don’t see them mentioned when I look at real estate in your area.

    by Donna Marr — November 18, 2012

  518. CB-We live in Spring Branch-New Braunfels, TX area; it is known as the hill country. Conroe, as I understand it, is near Houston, right? I can’t speak directly to that area. What surprised us is the real estate taxes. I do not know where you are coming from or what the taxes are where you are. Another thing, where we live there is basically one super market besides Walmart. Thankfully, HEB is a decent store, but one does not have a choice of where to shop.If you have specific questions, please ask and I will be as honest as possible 🙂
    3asurvivor-We too are looking into the coastal Carolinas, but concentrating on South Carolina due to their real estate tax structure.

    by DianaF — November 19, 2012

  519. Every state has one way or another to separate you from your retirement income…:twisted:…and from what I have been reading no one ever mentions it…:oops:…when my wife and I were looking into South Carolina we downloaded the state’s tax forms and filled them out based upon what our retirment income is going to be…:evil:…what a surprise we got…for after filling out the forms we found it cost more to retire in South Carolina than in Florida…hard to believe…but true!!!!
    As far as being a snowbird…:shock:…do your homework before you sign on the dotted line…In Florida a snowbird who owns a home is taxed differently than a full time resident with the homestead exemption…:roll:…after all, it is alot easier to tax someone who lives in another state and does not vote where the second home is located…
    My thoughts…before you set your heart on one area…download the state’s taxforms…fill them out…and see what exactly it is going to cost you before you find your perfect home…

    by Russ — November 19, 2012

  520. Thank you Diana we currently live in Carson City NV, I have checked out Realtor websites for homes, and yes the taxes did scare me, even if the power, water, DMV registration cost is low along with other items you would purchase is lower, the house taxes I have a hard time with. We loved the Walden area, my husband can fish everyday, that’s why we looked at Lake Conroe, outside of Houston. Healthcare everywhere, major airport, easy travel to other states, and we do like the Caribbean weather. I am just not sold on TX yet. If you know anything about that area, like cost of living, medical, people in general, job market, weather and so on, I would love to hear anyone’s comments back. Just a quick second note I lived on Anna Marie Island in FL., about 30 years ago and loved the whole coastline, for one of my 2013 travels looking at spending 2 weeks up/down the FL., Gulf coastline.

    by CB — November 19, 2012

  521. CB if you would, tell us about Carson City. I was looking at Carson City for retirement. Found out about earthquakes and high winds. Is carson City a good area to retire? Thank you.

    by Dan Wilson — November 19, 2012

  522. Steven,
    Yes, we’ve been to Sarasota and spent time with a realtor. Yet we haven’t found the community we like yet. I believe that is more important than finding the right house. I don’t really want to be in an age restricted community unless it is newer. However, I do really like the variety of ages. On our last visit this year we took the time to get involved with the locals. We went to a jazz concert (they have a jazz club), we went to the weekly farmer’s market and just talked to a lot of people. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. We asked all what it was like to live there and it was unanimous – they all loved it. My favorite comment was that it was like living in a resort. We are headed back next month and will expand the community search to include Bradenton.

    by Kathi M — November 19, 2012

  523. Hi, I am considering Palm Desert, California. It looks lovely. Does anyone have thoughts on that area?

    by Ava — November 19, 2012

  524. Hello CB 😀 … I would also like to know abbout Carson City. I am looking at Nevada for my retirement. I live in NY now…

    by AaBeeda — November 19, 2012

  525. We are considering Sun City Carolina Lakes in Fort Mill, SC. Does anyone have any info on this area and community?

    by Carol — November 20, 2012

  526. We are looking at Live Oak Village in Foley, AL. Does anyone have any info on the area? We spent a week at Orange Beach and loved it so we are a little famiar with the area.

    by Kathy — November 20, 2012

  527. Hi Dan & AaBeeda, I no longer like the year long cold weather as I get older, you need to like many things living in Northern Nevada. CC is colder then Reno, however CC is much nicer looking then Reno. We can have snow in Sept., & I have been boating in Lovelock in July, while other’s are snow skiing in Lake Tahoe. Sometimes you can have a summer, other times a month or two for a summer. You must like the cold and the very dry heat, other wise you will spend your whole time inside. Remember CC sits high, most people have a hard time breathing, and yes we have very high winds. In the winters we don’t go over the “Hill” (Lake Tahoe,)see two many death’s from the black ice, and a lot of time Reno either cause of the snow and black ice, unless you are spending the night there. Not very many places to eat here either, it is a 24 hour town, with slot machines everywhere. The news stations are very poor issuing any good news. They don’t treat there senior’s very nice. To cold to have very many bugs, but we do have lot’s of black widow’s, snakes, scorpions, and in the mountain’s outdoor wild animals, that may think you are there meal. If you like to hunt, there’s a lot to hunt. Remember we are next door to Ca., and a lot of laws that pass there, drift to our side, there called “FEE’S” and we are having a lot more of them. All in all if you have a young family to bring up, this small town would be nice for them with a few lakes, snow and a small town feel. If you have any other questions, please ask.

    by CB — November 20, 2012

  528. CB – We live in Kingwood, Texas. 30 miles North of Houston City Centre. Lake Conroe is about a 50 min. drive north of us. As both Diana and I have stated, neither of us like it. Not only are property taxes high, but you pay a lot more for house insurance (we’re in Hurricane zone) + flood insurance. Car insurance is higher and altho’ there’s no state personal income tax you are “fee’d” to death and sales taxes on everything. The sales tax is 8.25%. We see fees that make our eyes roll back in our head. Then there’s the weather – today on Nov. 20th we are expecting close to 80F. While that might seem attractive its hot, hotter and just damn hot – most of the year. We get a reprieve for about a month in January. The summers are unbearable – very humid in Houston – known as the “bayou city”. We can’t use our patio and lovely yard because of the heat and bugs. There are lots of them and snakes too. We have mosquitoes by the dozens – this year lots of West Nile Virus. The city comes and sprays the whole area at night! To keep them away. Lake Conroe is kind of off the beaten track as it relates to City of Houston. Houston itself has lots to do – museaums, theatre, sports. Many activities for seniors. Most communities have seniors programs. Although we love all those activities we reckon we can find it elsewhere too. So we are planning to re-retire somewhere else. POssibly in the North. I know, I know, lots of ice and snow but after 7 years here we are longing for 4 seasons and less summer. We can always go to the summer if we want to in the winter. As well, if you are very conservative politically then Texas is the place for you. If you’re not – look elsewhere.

    by sheila — November 20, 2012

  529. Is there anyone that can tell us about living/retiring in the Tucson, Arizona area? Other than the heat in the summer! In particular Oro Valley, Arizona.

    by Rory — November 20, 2012

  530. Kathy,
    Thank you for mentioning LiveOak Village in Foley, Alabama. You can now find the link to the 55+, gated community here:

    Great suggestion !

    by Jane at Topretirements — November 20, 2012

  531. :eek:Thank You CB …

    by AaBeeda — November 21, 2012

  532. I spent a week in Oro Valley last year. I purposely went in the summer (August) because I wanted to see how bad the sumemr would be. It was HOT! However, I have to say that the Oro Valley is stunningly beautiful. it is surrounded by mountains, and the desert is loaded with big saguaro cactus and flowering shrubs. It is about 15 – 20 minutes into Tucson, which is a fabulous city, to me. It is a very ‘active’ town with a newspaper loaded with various group and club activities, live music options, etc. The University area is especially appealing with lots of shops, cafes, etc, and a very youthful vibe. Tucson is definitely a place I am considering, and the Oro Valley was breathtaking. Just know that you will have to deal with some heat, and don’t forget that it is also at a high elevation, which can be difficult to adjust to. Of course, there is virtually no humidity, which I love. Well, a touch more humid and cooler than Phoenix, but not much humidity. But so much more visually appealing than Phoenix, and not as spread out.

    by Ginger — November 21, 2012

  533. Russ, thanks for the advice on taxes…but first I must find a few areas that I like.

    by Elaine — November 22, 2012

  534. Thank you, Ginger, for the information on Oro Valley. It is someplace we are interested in visiting soon!

    by Rory — November 22, 2012

  535. Thank you Sheila

    by CB — November 23, 2012

  536. Think we have decided on the Venice, FL area. Housing is affordable. Great community spirit . Lots of things to do. Great beach! Year round temps are good. Close to major airport in Tampa. We can’t wait to get there.

    by Richard — November 24, 2012

  537. I am looking to retire in Sarasota. I would like some suggestions on great communities. We are active, and love socializing. If you know great spots or web sites you can suggest, we woul love to hear from you.


    by kim — November 25, 2012

  538. Does any one have any experience or knowledge of Concordia in Monroe NJ? ED

    by Ed Klein — November 26, 2012

  539. Hi
    We were looking at Venice also,Can you tell me where you have found a place.
    John & Cookie

    by john lombino — November 26, 2012

  540. Kim,
    Village Walk in Sarasota is a gated community with a town center, and offers over 30 activities and clubs for an active lifestyle !

    by Jane at Topretirements — November 26, 2012

  541. 3asurvivor. there is a very nice golf comunity not far from elizabeth city called Albermarle plantation .they have lots, condos and houses . their webside is

    by chris dedes — November 27, 2012

  542. Kim: We too are looking in the Sarasota/Venice area. We also are active and social; we’re spending the month of January in the area and are going to do some serious scouting, with hopes to relocate this year! I will post any and all info that I can find then. If you learn anything about the area, will you do the same? Many thanks!

    by Kimbee Jeanq — November 27, 2012

  543. My husband and I leave this Saturday for a one-week scouting trip of southwest Florida from Fort Myers up to Sarasota. We’ll be visiting a variety of communities this time. We want to have a good overview of all types of homes and communities, all ages and 55+. I found many of the communities by searching the lists on this web site. I’ll post an update after next week with my thoughts.

    by Carole — November 28, 2012

  544. I hear the Meadows is a lovely spot in sarasota. My husband and I will rent for a few months and then decide if that is where we want to be.

    by Kim — November 28, 2012

  545. Carole,
    I would be very interested in what you discover in Sarasota? We are planning on a scouting trip to South Carolina and Georgia in January. Has anyone on this blog looked into retiring in the Atlanta Area. North of Atlanta is one of areas we now have added to our list. The reason, we are living in the Northeast and are concerned we will miss the a large city atmosphere with a Transit system, Museums, and Major League Sports, etc… We are driving so we are open to seeing other places along I-95. Any suggestions?

    by Markg — November 29, 2012

  546. to Markg-My college roommate lives in an all-ages planned community in Canton, GA called Bridgemill. It’s about 45-60 minutes north of Atlanta. I visited her last spring and it’s a lovely community with loads of activities and amenities. She’s super busy participating in all the clubs. Her 2000+ square foot home on a small lot cost less than $200K.

    by Carole — November 30, 2012

  547. Carole,
    Thank you for the information.

    by Markg — November 30, 2012

  548. Carole,

    My husband and I are going on our third scouting trip to Sarasota towards the end of the month, so I will be interested to hear what you found out. Hopefully you’ll write again before we leave. We thoroughly scouted out the area on the first two trips and then started on some community research. Like you, we are looking at all ages and 55+. We prefer to stay closer to the northern areas, so will be primarily looking in Sarasota and probably Bradenton, as I’ve seen some interesting things there. It’ll be fun to compare notes.

    by Kathi M — December 1, 2012

  549. My wife and I are considering Houston. Any comments?

    by jim k. — December 2, 2012

  550. Hi Jim. Both Diane and I have posted a number of comments since October about Houston/Texas. Have a look and if u need further info. let us know and we’ll be happy to comment.

    by sheila — December 2, 2012

  551. Hi Jim, my husband I flew into Houston last May and stayed at Sliver Leaf on Lake Conroe,we both enjoyed the area, and drove to Walden on Lake Conroe. This area we really liked. We are flying back late July 2013 to see how bad the humidity is, bugs, and so on. What concerns use are the high taxes on property. Other people I have spoken to have lived in Georgetown, outside of Austin, they loved living there, but had to move to Las Vegas due to job relocation.

    by CB — December 2, 2012

  552. I’m going to post information on our scouting trip to the west coast of Florida as we travel this week. Yesterday we visited Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers, a lovely community on the outskirts of Fort Myers, east of I-75. This community felt a bit remote from downtown but is surrounded by other planned, all-ages communities. Shopping is within 5-10 minutes of the community, mostly strip plazas, though there may be a mall nearby that we didn’t see. The Southwest Regional Airport is within 15 minutes of the Pelican Preserve. Now that’s convenient. Beaches are about 30 minutes away during the off season. Plan for longer trips during the high season but you’re within striking distance of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva, or beaches to the south nearer Naples. We were given a tour by DJ Johnson who spend about two hours with us, giving an overview of the amenities and houses within our price range. The town center is where most of the activities happen. There’s a nice woodworking shop, arts and crafts room, place to play cards, indoor swimming pool to swim laps, indoor walking track, billiards room, function hall, etc. Outside there are horseshoe pits, pickle ball and tennis courts, sand volleyball area, community garden, butterfly garden, 27 hole golf course, resort-style swimming pool, etc. There are biking and walking trails, also sidewalks, inside and outside the community. On a Sunday there wasn’t much traffic on the main road outside the community. Nice thing about this community is that you don’t have to subsidize the golf course but can play there as a non-member if you want. There are golf memberships and perks you get with that, like a separate gym and restaurant for members only but it’s your decision if you want to join. Many homes are built around the golf course, small ponds, and a 37-acre nature preserve. There’s a premium for having your home built on one of these lots though, usually $5-6.5K. The community is about 50% built out. We looked at the smallest unit, which was a duplex called Milan, and came in at 1200 square feet. That included a two car garage, two bedrooms and two baths with an enclosed lanai. You could go crazy upgrading the unit but this one started at a base of about $155K. Now that seems like a bargain since I come from MA. where real estate is expensive. The HOA fees for the Milan are about $3900 a year, which I think is reasonable for all the amenities you get. Lawn maintenance/irrigation and cable TV are included. There’s also a CDD fee included in your taxes, which runs about $600. HOA fees can differ depending a on the size of your lot, of course, so $3900 is on the low end. There are resales and we saw low rise condominiums, which they’re no longer building. We really liked the community, all the amenities and would be satisfied living in the low rise. This visit was just to look at the new homes though. It was quiet on Sunday and the realtor told me that many people go “home” for the holidays and come back after New Years when things really pick up. This community will probably be on our short list though the trip has just begun, and who knows what else we’ll find this week.

    by Carole — December 3, 2012

  553. Hi Jim,
    My wife and I moved to the Houston area almost five years ago with a job transfer. We live north of Houston in The Woodlands and love it. The Woodlands is a great place and provides easy access to Bush Intercontinental airport as well as to Houston. Medical care is plentiful and close, people are very friendly, the cost of living is very low, there is a lot to see and do, and the weather is great! When we moved here we had not expected to stay when I retired but we were surprised at how nice it is and have decided to do so. There are many nice areas around Houston besides The Woodlands but I think you would do best to look west of I-45 and avoid areas east of I-45. Also avoid the extremely negative comments of some and judge for yourself. Texas is great but yes it is hot in the summer so if you do not like hot weather don’t move south unless you are happy with it or can afford to seek travel to cooler areas during the hottest part of the summer. I never see all the bugs that some of the posters seem so hyysterical about. In the south we have what are called pest control businesses that we have treat around our house quarterly that takes care of any bugs lurking about. Old or houses that have set vacant for awhile and have not been properly taken care of might be a different story. With regard to real estate taxes, check and form your own opinion. I find that the real estate taxes are higher than some but lower than other places we have lived; however, there is no state income tax! And other taxes on goods and services are not any higher and even lower than most other areas I’ve lived. Overall, we are amazed at the low cost of living here. If you are a bitter, unhappy person then you won’t like Houston or anywhere in the south and will find lots to complain about. Sometimes we have to decide to be happy and look on the positive side, don’t we?

    by Morris — December 3, 2012

  554. More on communities we’re visiting this week in southwest Florida. Yesterday we visited Heritage Cove in Fort Myers, a 55+ community. Heritage Cove is closer to shopping and the beaches than Pelican Preserve, which I wrote about in my last posting. Like Pelican Preserve, the community is very neat and well maintained. This community is a mix of mid-rise condos and villas. We toured both types of units. Built around 1999-2004, you can buy a small condo (about 1200-1300 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths) for about $120-$130K. The units we toured had the bedrooms at the back and the open concept living area with kitchen and lanai at the front facing a lovely small lake. You’d still may want to upgrade the counters in the kitchen and bathrooms but for an additional $10K or so, you’d have a nice little place. There are larger, penthouse type condos, that will run you about $160+. These are really nice with two bedrooms and a den, two baths, and a separate storage room. If you like homes, they have villas (detached homes.) The one we looked at was $212K with two bedrooms, den, and two baths. Large open concept living area and kitchen with eat in nook. Also, there was a large lanai with an in ground hot tub. This unit was set on a small lake too. We visited all the units with Guy Mangano, who was the original sales person when Heritage Cove units were first sold. Now he’s back doing many resales. Most realtors are in agreement that sales are on the upswing in FL and prices will continue to creep up. So, don’t expect these prices if you wait long. Amenities in Heritage Cove-the clubhouse was smaller than Pelican Preserve but they had as many activities taking place as that community. Heritage Cove is not a golf course community but plenty of golfing is nearby. From observation I gathered that many people are a bit older than we are (we’re 60 & 62). But I have a former work colleague who lives there in the winter and said that younger boomers are buying into the area, so the demographics will change.

    For a change of pace, we visited a manufactured home community in North Fort Myers where you lease the land your home is on. The community is called Del Tura Country Club and is located on the southbound side of Route 41 or the Tamiami Trail. We really didn’t know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised by the community. It’s a bit remote in that good shopping is probably a 15-20 minutes away. There’s grocery shopping near by though. These homes look like any on-site built home that you see but the pricing is well below. For instance, we saw a 1500 square foot home built in 2005 (with all the hurricane safety features) that was $98K and we were told we could probably get it for less (and it was fully and nicely furnished.) This home had all the bells and whistles: Corian counter tops, tile floors, large lanai looking over a preserve. Community amenities were fabulous. This is a golf course community but you don’t subsidize the course unless you choose to join. On Sunday it was active too with people eating out at the pub, golf carts whizzing about, people in the gym, etc. Now about that pesky lease fee, it varies based on your site. The most expensive was $914 a month for a golf course and water view. The least expensive leases are the perimeter lots at $684 a month. This cost though includes the amenities and property taxes, so you need to figure out the math versus a traditional condo. Even though I think leasing in the long run may be more expensive, it’s a matter of lifestyle and this community gives you a big bang for your money. The sales person we worked with was Charles Spradling. More news after today’s visits in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.

    by Carole — December 4, 2012

  555. One more thing I failed to mention about manufactured homes, when they’re sold the property is subject to sales tax in the state of Florida. So, a $100K home would mean a $6K expense at closing!

    Also, I found information to explain the own versus lease land options available in some communities. Follow this link– . This is a realtor but I think the information is fairly unbiased.

    by Carole — December 4, 2012

  556. To all of you looking at manufactured homes, DON’T jump into it as nice as some may seem. The total property(land) can go into foreclosure like some have on the east coast of Florida and you have to leave and find somewhere else to live. There is an on-going community in Palm Beach County right now in this dilemma and it is full of retirees. Its along the coast. They were on the local news this past week. I have lived in Florida for 15 yrs now, my family for over 40 yrs.(all originally from Connecticut) and now it (is not nice) here. Crime is increasing, crowded (edited). My husband and I are retiring in 2 yrs and hope to leave this god-forsaken State. He works for the State and I’m not working at the moment-my nursing job eliminated like many here-healthcare (not nice). Don’t let the real estate agents snowball you-some of the worst are here. I came across a lot when we bought our house and they will take advantage of all you seniors-please be careful and use your common sense before you sign on the dotted line especially if you have not lived here. The east coast and west coast of Florida are very different. We live in Palm Beach County and vacation a lot on the west coast, also have family and friends on the west coast.Do your homework. If you need any advice, please contact me through this website and I’ll help you as much as possible. Especially, with my husband working for a very large, high profile State agency, I know a lot more than the average person, even those who even live here. Please listen to me.

    by marsha — December 4, 2012

  557. To Carol- I read you are looking in Punta Gorda- pay attention to the area. This town almost got destroyed during hurri-
    caine Charlie during “04-“05 hurricaine season when we got all those storms on both coasts. My girlfriend’s parents have a winter home in Punta Gorda and had major damage-of course, repairs have been made. Insurance is expensive-coastal town. Like I said in my previous note-be carefull with the agents-they’ll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge if they could!!!Let me know how you make out.

    by marsha — December 4, 2012

  558. […] came this morning when we read the wonderful Comments from Carole in response to our “Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire – And Why” Blog article. Carole has done just what we hoped would happen – she has written a […]

    by » Scouting Reports from Our Members: Florida and Texas Topretirements — December 4, 2012

  559. Carole: Thank you SO much for taking the time and making the effort to give such great reports on your FL observations. My husband and I are both 63, so we have some of the same concerns as you do re: the average ages of those in some of these “over 55” communities…some are WAY over! We’re spending a month in Sarasota in January and intend to spend lots of time looking and investigating, and I’m taking copious notes on your comments. We really love Sarasota and Venice, but want to keep open minds about the rest of the Gulf Coast, too. Thanks again, and if anyone else can give us any info on that area, we sure would appreciate it!

    by Kimbee Jeanq — December 4, 2012

  560. My sister in law lives in The Villages and absolutely loves it. We truly have no desire to live in Florida. My very good friend from grade school lives in Chapel Hill, NC and loves it. We liked Chapel Hill when we visited, but want to be closer to the coast, so it would not work for us. It is a very lovely area though…my husband and I like South Carolina. We visited Bluffton, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. All three areas were very nice. We went in July when the weather was hottest, and found the areas pleasant; however, we are in Texas now and well any place is probably more pleasant than Texas in the summer. We would like more info about Bluffton and Myrtle Beach; we did not really like the Sun City area of Bluffton, so do not include that area. We talked to locals and all seemed to like it. Myrtle Beach is also in the running…the Carolina Forest area especially, any ideas?

    by DianaF — December 5, 2012

  561. More on our travels from the west coast of Florida-
    Here’s another post on a manufactured home community, Windmill Village in Punta Gorda. If you own a boat, you may be interested in this community. Windmill Village is different from Del Tura Country Club that I commented on earlier this week. At Windmill Village the residents own the land. No land lease like Del Tura! When you purchase your home in Windmill, you pay a share and bond, which is returned when you sell. This amounts to about $20K when you purchase. The homes we looked at cost about $150K but they weren’t as nice or solid as the ones at Del Tura. And, they were packed in close together. However, all the homes and common grounds were neat and well maintained. The draw for this community is that there are a couple of marinas on site where you can park your boat. As one person commented, Punta Gorda was hard hit by Hurricane Charley in 2004. This is evident at Windmill because many of the homes have been built since 2005. The sales person who took us around kept on pointing out the “survivor” homes that made it through Charley. We declined to visit the club house, which is very nice on the outside. The thought of another hurricane tearing through the community was more than we could handle at this point, let alone when we’re in our 70s or 80s.

    More to come on our visits to Port Charlotte, North Port, and Venice.

    by Carole — December 5, 2012

  562. To Carol: Thanks for your blog of info along the west coast of Fl. We too are looking along the west coast..have no idea about Fl. What about Naples? I understand that Del Webb is building “Del Webb of Naples” for 55+. Do you have any plans to check this one out? Hope you do and look forward to the reviews.

    by Barbara — December 5, 2012

  563. Diana.

    I changed my mind about sun city bluffton sc due to the bloggers numerous complaints about the poor quality of their homes built by Pultie builder, not only in Bluffton but through out the USA. Just Google poor quality Pultie. It’s too bad it seemed like a nice community. There are too many complaints to be ignored.

    by Skip — December 6, 2012

  564. To Carole: We have also been focusing on the Venice, Northport area for over a year. I sold my father’s place in Northport about 10 years ago and always thought I would retire there. The place has changed substantially, lots and lots of growth with many new families. This means many new tax dollars are needed to build more schools, ball fields, parks, libraries etc. to accommodate the younger crowd. After much investigation we decided to focus on Venice because in the very depressed Florida market we’ve learned that the shorefront communities that have their own beaches for residents have seen less of a decrease in value than the inland communities. And Venice seems to have an older population which will not place a future tax burden on our retirement dollars. I believe they have about 7-9 miles of beachfront for Venice Residents too! And being a licensed NY & CT real estate agent, I tend to look for value in housing. One of the ‘open’ items for us is homeowners insurance. It is difficult to get a true number here, but I understand it might be up to 4 times higher than what we are currently spending in the greater NYC area due to storms and hurricanes. So be sure to check into that closely. We have an excellent agent in Venice and for one house we were interested in he obtained the actual figures from the owner of all the carrying and maintenance costs. We were surprised to find that on this $299K listing it would be about $15K a year to carry this property, which included taxes in one of the lower taxed subdivisions in Venice, about $2K in taxes. Golf communities in Venice can have taxes more in the $4-5K plus range by the time you add up the actual Real Estate Taxes plus annual/or monthly HOA fees and on newer construction the annual CDD fees (development costs that the builder passes on to the buyer). These CDD fees can last for a set number of years similar to a municipal assessment. My real estate trade newsletters and journals still discuss the ‘shadow inventory’ of foreclosed houses in Florida. Most recently they have stated that for every listing, there are 3-4 unlisted foreclosed properties waiting to come on the market. So take your time, do your research and don’t let anyone fast talk you into ‘buying now’ while the price is low. who knows, they might go lower?!!! 😉 Good Luck, Happy Hunting and keep us in the loop.

    by Jane — December 6, 2012

  565. P.S. to Carole: We began our focus on newer construction because we wanted to benefit from the newer building codes in FL which went into effect after the 2004 Punta Gorda Hurricane. But the trade off for the newer building codes is that due to the huge increase in construction after the hurricane, inferior sheetrock from China was used and now many of these homes have mold issues, some requiring total replacement. We also noticed over the past year that a number of the listings have mentioned being re-piped! Here was our Realtors response: COPPER VS. COUNTY WATER

    It seems that either something in the County Water
    or in the Copper piping used in the 80’s is causing
    some of the pipes to develop pin hole leaks.

    When this happens, the owners will have
    the house re-piped. Because one pin hole
    leak means there are many more to come.

    What the plumbers will do is
    run new PVC pipe, through the
    attic and down the walls to the
    bathrooms, kitchen and utility rooms
    as well as the hot water heater
    and Washer. They will also have
    main cut off unit, that would be sorta
    like a fuse box, so you could cut off
    water to any part of the house in
    the future if needed to make a repair.

    This cost is usually about $2,500 to $3,000 depending
    on the size of the house and length of the pipes
    they need to run.

    I hope this info is useful Carole? I am a very detailed person so I like to inquire about a lot of items before I put my $$$ down. Good Luck

    by Jane — December 6, 2012

  566. P.P.S. to Carole: Here are a few more answers to our questions from our Realtor which I thought you might find helpful:
    We would like to know how the taxes are handled in Florida?
    It is based on an assessment which is adjusted year to year to meet the municipal budget.
    Every property is appraised every year on January 1st. That value is multiplied by
    a millage rate, so that everyone pays taxes based on the value of their property.
    There are also some taxes that are just flat fee. If you are a permanent resident,
    then you are able to take $50,000 off of your properties value as a “homestead deduction”,
    we figure that comes out to a $700 to $800 yearly savings.

    Also we noticed that Snapdragon and Dancing River seem to both be in the same subdivision, but only Snapdragon has a CCD fee . . . and exactly what is this fee for? A CDD fee, stands for Community Development District.
    It is a fee to repay the tax-free bond (loan to the developer), for establishing water & sewer, roads,
    community pools, etc.

    Is there a public beach or waterfront park for all Venice residents use?
    We are KNOWN for our beaches
    with 7 miles of uninhabited beaches as well as 4 or 5 public beaches
    with ample parking and facilities. We have a Jetty, which allows boat access
    from the bay and intra-coastal for boats to go into the gulf, otherwise
    you would have to navigate your boat down to Englewood, or all the way up to
    Sarasota if you wanted to boat in the gulf. We are on the Beach !!!

    And will there be gated communities that allow motorcycles?
    That will depend on the Deed Restrictions and Rules and Regulations
    of each individual Subdivision.

    We haven’t looked into Nokomis yet . . . how does that community compare to Venice?
    Even though Nokomis has it’s own name, it is really not
    a town, just the northern part of Greater Venice Area.

    by Jane — December 6, 2012

  567. Does anyone have any info/experience on eastern Tennessee. We are currently in Vermont and really donot want to leave but the taxes and fuel prices are killing us and we are both still working. Looking for a milder climate but need to have mountains and lakes……

    by Roxanne — December 7, 2012

  568. Skip Yes we have no interest in the Sun City located in Blufftom We did like Bluffton in general though. Would like info about Bluffton area closer to Hilton Head Island.

    by DianaF — December 7, 2012

  569. I’m interested in retirement in Tennessee also. I currently live in San Diego. CA is so bankrupt all they think of doing here is raising ALL taxes.

    by Julie Gibson — December 7, 2012

  570. Has anyone ever been refused an application in a 55+ community?

    by Jane — December 7, 2012

  571. Julie Gibson California is out of control. I have friends in the Riverside area and some actually voted to pay extra sales tax and income taxes. Some of my other friends are looking to relocate as soon as they can retire. They are concerned about the state they grew up in. San Diego is so beautiful, it is a shame this has happened.

    by DianaF — December 8, 2012

  572. Carole’s Dec. 3 commentary on Pelican Preserve – Carole – you are doing an excellent job at pointing out valuable information on communities in SW Florida.

    I have contributed to this site over the past 8 months as we rented in Pelican Preserve awaiting our new home to be built. We moved in on schedule and could not be happier with the result. The builder here – WCI – is excellent. Follow up on minor problems (in any new house) has been great. Carole’s commentary on the ammenities, golf, etc. at Pelican are very accurate. The community is well kept. Maintenance is constant and all the grounds look beautiful. We are very happy we bought in Pelican Preserve. Just a couple of side notes to add to Carole’s commentary. This is a 55+ community; however, because this community was started around 2001 I believe and will continue for approx. 10 more years to be built out, you get a wonderful mixture of ages here as people age in place. The new neighborhood we bought in “Carena” is composed mostly of people 55 – 65. Older areas have people in their 70’s and 80’s. Also, we like being a bit “remote” from Fort Myers town area – very quiet here. Major malls are about 20 minutes away and strip malls with everything else are anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. Same with hospitals and doctors. If anyone has specific questions about Pelican Preserve at any time I would be happy to try and answer them.

    by toniO — December 8, 2012

  573. Does anyone know…if I lived in Washington more than 6 months during the year and California the other 5 months; would I be subject to paying income taxes in California? Would I have to file a part year resident for California? Or would I be a Washington resident and not subject to California income taxes?

    by Mark — December 8, 2012

  574. Diane F, yes it is out of control in CA. It’s a beautiful state but totally unaffordable for retirees unless you have millions. No tax breaks whatsoever. Anyone thinking of retiring here better check out all taxes. Sales taxes are up over 8.5% alone. Real estate is super expensive as everyone should know. Mark, I’m no expert but this state will find a way to tax you if you live here for part of the year. It’s the mentality of the politicians here.

    by JulieG — December 9, 2012

  575. After several years of research of where to retire in Florida, East Vs. West Coast, my wife and I have decided on the Jupiter area (east coast-north of Palm Beach Gardens). We have been looking over the last 3 years and after recently spending another week looking at re-sales and new housing we have decided on new construction.

    What we found when looking at re-sales was that mostly all of the seller’s where hung up on what their home’s use to be worth and/or what zip code they were in and would not budge much on the asking price. Most if not all needed 100K worth of upgrades and what made things even worse was when they skimped on upgrades thinking that was good enough. We did not consider Short Sales or Fore-closures, for we are looking to retire and not start another project.

    What we found was, we could buy new construction for the same price of a re-sale and everything was new. Something else to consider, mentioned earlier, is the home owners insurance, at one “for sale by owner” the owner slipped and mentioned one of the reasons they were selling was the cost of the Home Owners Insurance. Imagine that nite-mare after you have signed on the dotted line. My thoughts, after you decide where you might want to live, check out Home Owner’s Insurance before you make your choice.

    by Russ — December 10, 2012

  576. Saw the request for information on TN and I would like to echo the same. Currently in central SC but want to go north towards family in NYC and MA but TN may be all the climate change we can tolerate. I am retired USAF and finishing a second career one year from now at age 66. My wife, who’s younger, plans to work another 5 years before we down-size and move north. If our health hangs in there, we think a single family home in a small town (college town?) might be right for us. But, we will want to consider the possibility of health related problems making home care too big a chore. Not interested in being near the beach, golf course or the pool and financially we are NOT as well healed as most of the folks in this blog – got to make our retirement dollars go pretty far. What about TN?

    by Steve — December 10, 2012

  577. Now that I’m back home I have time to write up the remaining posts on our trip to southwest Florida. I’ll focus on Port Charlotte, North Port, and Venice in this post.

    Port Charlotte-My husband and I are familiar with this small city since we owned a condo there for about seven years in the 1990s. Nestled in next to Punta Gorda, it’s located about 45 minutes to the north of Fort Myers and one hour to the south of Sarasota. Port Charlotte is located on a beautiful harbor, which gives you direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not glitzy like Sarasota and has lots of strip malls. If you like that old Florida feel and a smaller city, it may appeal to you. There are many great beaches within an easy commute of Port Charlotte, like the beaches on Boca Grande and Venice.

    We visited Lakes Edge on Loveland Boulevard, where we use to own, out of a sense of curiosity and were pleasantly surprised how great the place still looks. This isn’t a 55+ community but, after talking with the community manager, we found out that most of the occupants are over 55. There are one-floor bungalow homes and condos both with 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths. After a quick search of the Web, you can pick up a unit for under $100K but it may need some work. The one drawback is that there aren’t a lot of amenities. There’s a nice outdoor pool, fishing pier, and screened lanai for a gathering place but that’s pretty much it.

    While in Port Charlotte we hooked up with a real estate agent, Joe Hayden. Joe is with ERA Properties (941-321-2964) in Venice but he covers south of that area too. He was very accommodating and spent the afternoon showing us around Port Charlotte, North Port, and Venice. Our first stop with Joe was King’s Gates (Centex developer) in Port Charlotte, a 55+ gated community. Located near I-75 the community includes an 18-hole executive golf course, beautiful club house (though smaller than other communities we visited), pool, etc., all the amenities that you’d expect at a nice resort. Located right next to a small shopping plaza, owners will often drive their golf carts to the shopping plaza to grocery shop. We viewed the Waterford golf villa, a very nice two bedroom condo/two bath (1700 sq. ft.) on the golf course that costs $160K. (That may have been a special. Prices can go up from there and you could pay almost $195K if you add in all the other options they offer.) The finished home included tile floors, granite counter tops, tile baths. There are no CDD fees and flood insurance is not required. Monthly maintenance is $333 per month and includes exterior maintenance, landscaping, irrigation, event coordinator, and cable TV.

    Our next stop with Joe was in North Port. This town is northwest of Port Charlotte and just west of I-75. The area of North Port we saw struck me as a bit sleepy but I heard the town is bringing in more businesses as more and more people move in. We visited Cypress Falls at the Woodlands (gated), another Centex development. This is a 55+ active adult community though a small percentage of home owners are under 55. The amenities were wonderful. There was a gorgeous clubhouse and a resort-style pool that would make you feel like you’re on vacation every day. Homes are situated among wetlands and there’s no golf course in this complex. Single family home plans start at $160K for a 1600+ sq. ft., three bedroom/two bath. That base price is deceptive though. We found that with all the new communities we looked at, you could easily add on another $50K or more in options and for premium home sites. HOA fees are $282 a month and include landscaping, basic cable, irrigation, etc. This community has a CDD fee of $949 a year that is added to your tax bill. I’m not sure how many years are left before the CDD is paid off.

    Our last stop of the day with Joe was Venetian Falls in Venice. (We never got to visit Island Walk in Venice but you may want to add that to your list too.) Venetian Falls is fully built out and the sales rep was moving on to Island Walk later that week, so you’d be looking for resales here. This is another Centex development and looked similar to Cypress Falls. The community has the elaborate clubhouse and pool. We toured garden villas, two bed/two bath homes, with about 1450 sq. ft. The cost for these homes is about $182K, and includes granite counter tops, kitchen appliances and washer/dryer, and tiled bathrooms. I think you get a lot for your money here, especially when you compare it to the pricier Lakewood Ranch neighbor, which I’ll write about tomorrow. HOA fees run about $230-$250 a month, and include landscaping, basic cable, and fitness/social club.

    by Carole — December 10, 2012

  578. Russ, I would like to know why you chose the Jupiter area over others?

    by Tom — December 10, 2012

  579. @Roxanne, DiannaF and Russ TN is a gorgeous area with no income tax. Their is a very nice active community about 30-40 minutes from Knoxville called Tellico Villlage. They have a golf course (pay as you play) a marina (you can get a slip if you want) and a beautiful amenities center (pool, exercise classes, workout room) etc. Another area that is very nice is Chattanooga. We live in Chattanooga and absolutely love it! Originally from Michigan, lived in Florida for 5 years (which we hated) and know here.

    by LisaJ — December 11, 2012

  580. We bought a home in Fairfield Glade TN – a resort development with no age restriction. We are here part of every month, still splitting our time between Eastern TN and IL. Our realtor gave me an information booklet to take back to IL since many of my colleagues are now interested in “The Glade” after hearing about it from us. I will share a few highlights from the booklet with you for Cumberland County:

    Climate: Annual Avg Temp 54. Monthly high Jan 39, July 82. Monthly low Jan 21, July 64. Annual avg Precipitation 52 inches, of that 12 inches of snow.

    Education: 10+ elementary schools, 2 high schools, 2+ private schools, 1 Technology College, 2 other colleges.

    Medical: 1 Hospital, 8+ clinics (more being built all the time), 6+ nursing homes and 2+ assisted living facilities (again more being built all the time including a beautiful perpetual care development right inside the resort).

    Taxes: There is no state income tax on wages and no personal property taxes other then real estate property. There are no school taxse in Cumberland County – they are funded by the sales tax which is 2.75% locally in addition to the 7% state sales tax.(I really like paying as I buy for school taxes instead of having them in my real estate tax bill as they are in IL).

    Real Estate Taxes: (directly from my tax bill) Take Appraisal times 25% (1/4)assessment rate divide that by 100. Tax Rate per $100 is $1.4975. So for each $100,000 of home appraisal the assessment is $25,000, divide by 100 to yield 250, multiply by $1.4975 and the real estate tax becomes $374.375 per $100,000 of house value. This is 1/10th of what we pay in Illinois! There are currently condos and individual homes selling within Fairfield Glade from under $100,000 to well over a million. You are welcome to build with any builder and any style of home – just need plan approval from the Architectual Board and meet the minimum footage requirement for the individual neighborhood you will be building in.

    The fee structure at the resort is basic. We are required to pay the monthly dues that provide us membership in all the ammenities and pay for upkeep on the common areas, but then it is pay as you go for each round of golf, tennis court or pickleball time, trip to the pool or horseback riding.

    Fairfield Glade is on the Cumberland Plateau at 2000 feet above sea level. We have a beautiful view of the Smokey Mountains to the East. There are 11 lakes in the resort development as well as swimming pools – indoors and out and 90 holes of golf. It is a heavily wooded and rolling 12,000 acre resort.

    Fairfield Glade is located outside of Crossville Tn. We are 75 miles west of Knoxville (shorter to the shopping centers), 120 miles East of Nashville, and 75 miles NW from Chattanooga.

    I suggest a visit. Gwin Realty (877-733-2577) manages furnished rentals for short and long term visits and golf stay and play packages. For home tours I suggest our realtor, Shelly Zelling (931) 484-0077, also with Gwin.

    If you have questions I didn’t answer, please let me know.

    by Holly — December 11, 2012

  581. Holly – I gather that you feel you made a good decision with the Glades? I plan a trip there in the spring.

    by Barbara Witthoft — December 11, 2012

  582. Holly and Lisa J
    Holly…the Glades has been on my radar for awhile and this info is useful.

    LisaJ , I am surious about Chattanooga itself. I grew up in North Jersey and like the amenities of a city…much of North Jersey is urbanized suburbia and it is comfortable for me. Now after the last 20 years in the south (AL, NC and VA), I want a gentler ubranized suburbia…do you think that Chattanooga would be an possibility for retirement? age targeted or just community might work for me.

    by elaine — December 11, 2012

  583. To add to what Russ said, do your research on insurance. There is a web site where you can go to compare costs by county. I was amazed to find that a 2000 sq ft home in Orlando costs 4 times! what we are currently paying in Oregon, making a seasonal home in Orlando unaffordable (good thing I did my research). However if you go north into the next county the rate drops significantly.I will post the link to the ins site if I can find it.

    by Mark — December 11, 2012

  584. Tom…what took us to the east coast of Florida was the ocean…what took us to Jupiter was my wife’s step-mother who sells real estate in Fort Lauderdale. She recommended Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and lower Martin County explaining that alot of residents in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area are selling and moving to those area’s. Stuart is not really developed enough and does not offer the amenities that we are accustomed to in NY. We also found that many residents of Stuart/Palm City are selling their homes and moving a little further south, for basically the same reasons. Palm Beach Gardens and the surrounding areas offered us everything you could want, but the prices and homes just did not appeal to us.

    Jupiter on the other hand offers all that Palm Beach Gardens has to offer, without the congestion/taxes and it is only 15 minutes away. The new construction home we plan on buying is cheaper than many of the homes we looked at and has a larger lot. Is it perfect – NO – but what is.

    by Russ — December 11, 2012

  585. Lisa and Holly-thank you so much for the info on E. Tenn. We are in VT, and never really planned on moving but the taxes are killing us and going up every day. VT is listed as one of the highest taxed states in the country. We thought about Florida, but I really need the mountains and lakes……and not all that heat. How big a city is Chattanooga? I’m not really a city girl…live in a very rural area on 30 acres……I need a hobby farm set up as we do animal rescue……thanks for all the great info.

    by Roxanne — December 12, 2012

  586. We have chosen the Roanoke Valley in VA for our first stretch of retirement. The rural nature of our property presents some challenges, with a decent grocery store being 15 miles away, but we can kayak out our back yard on a fabulous clean and clear creek that is also fantastic for tubing and fishing. Lots of great hiking in the area as well, or if we are lazy we can just sit on the deck and watch the wild life while listening to the rapids on the creek. The cost of living is so cheap compared to the Philadelphia area, while doing a good job of providing amenities like a great public library, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The air and water are incredibly clean.

    There are many options in this area, which is best for those wanting an active outdoor life, low cost of living, and good interstate access. We can head West on I-64 or N-S on I-81, and the airport at Roanoke can take us farther than a road trip. We knew we wanted our creek, which we have vacationed on over the years, but if you prefer to be less rural, Roanoke, Lexington and Charlottesville are not that far away. If you don’t need to be waterfront, the very low cost housing in the mountains is plentiful, but it took us 4 years of active searching to find the right place on our creek, where properties tend to be handed down from generation to generation rather than sold.

    We are retiring in our mid 50’s, and recognize that at some point we will want to be closer to civilization. We are looking at taking off in the winters in a small motor home to explore all our options thoroughly. Particularly retiring so young, there is a temptation to lock everything down from the start to eliminate as much unknown as possible. We are taking the approach that the journey is as important as the destination, rather than commit ourselves now to a lifestyle that may or may not work for us in the future.

    by Julie — December 12, 2012

  587. @Elaine Here is a link for Chattanooga Chattanooga has approx. 171,000 people and has great healthcare, shopping, restaurants etc. I am a city girl as well and like being close to shopping, restaurants, exercise, Starbucks, movie theatre,etc. We live in a condo on the water with a boat slip. We love boating, the mountains, football, and various sporting events. Personally, I think Chattanooga is a great place to retire! It also has a walkable downtown if that is of interest. Plus, Chattanooga is very affordable!

    Fairfield Glade is a lovely community as well.

    by LisaJ — December 12, 2012

  588. Russ – I live in Royal Palm Beach – 20-30 minutes away from Palm Beach Gardens/Jupiter. Jupiter right now is FLOODED from the horrific thunderstorms most of the day yesterday 12/11/2012 with more rain to come today 12/12/12. Read the local news. Crowded? Drive here now and takes about 1/2 hr to go 5 miles-snowbirds & vacationers. SR7/441 through here is a nightmare with all the traffic, shopping and the Wellington Green Mall in Wellington/Royal Palm Beach. The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens is very crowded right now going up and down PGA Blvd.because I shop there. We have lived in this area for almost 16 yrs now originally coming from New England. My family lives in western suburbs of Broward County(Ft. Lauderdale) and the traffic is even worse. I remember when University, the main drag, was full of farms and horses, now an overbuilt disaster.My family lives in Weston and Tamarac and used to live in Davie, Hollywood and Cooper City. If you have read any of my statements, check insurance rates. Some of the highest in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties because of FRAUD here and anything EAST of I-95-STORMS. Call the insurance companies and they will tell you that, plus we pay a lot of underlying taxes the general public is not aware of like the highest State gas tax.Now that things are starting to pick-up a little, the impact fees are making a comeback, especially in the housing market. If you need additional information, contact me through this site.

    by marsha — December 12, 2012

  589. LisaJ, thanks for the information and the website. The website was very interesting…the where on lists was very informative…hmmm. #25 on crime list! I like having a choice of food stores close to me and it quialifies there. It may be a bit conservative for me (I am and have always been single and want to stay that way…and conservative may or may not embace that), but I will keep Chattanooga on my list of cities…it has a lot to offer.

    by elaine — December 12, 2012

  590. I noticed a few people asking for information about Tucson and Oro Valley Area. Oro Valley is beautiful and it gets very hot in the summer as does the entire valley. People who live there love it. There is no official hospital in Oro Valley you have to drive 20 minutes to Tucson.

    However the one thing I would suggest to anyone considering a move to Oro Valley is to do a search on “Oro Valley water supply sustainability” and ground water pollution from the copper mines. I’ve discovered this is not something anyone wants to talk about but it’s definitely an issue to anyone considering living there. Then you can make your own choice.

    by Don — December 12, 2012

  591. After reading everyone’s caveats, I’m thinking maybe it’s best to avoid actually moving and instead “snowbird” it. Yes, it’s probably more expensive in the long run, but who wants to get stuck with (more) high taxes, very heavy seasonal (if you’re lucky) traffic, house construction woes, etc., etc.? Maybe if you’re younger (in your 50s or so), moving makes financial sense. My husband and I are in our mid-60s, still living full time in upstate New York. We’ve done a couple of seasonal rentals in Florida, amounting to almost $10,000/year, which sounds like a lot of money. If we’re lucky enough to snowbird for another 20 years, with inflation, it may cost us $250K, the cost of a sunbelt house but without the noted problems. What does anyone think about this?

    by Mary — December 12, 2012

  592. We are in our early 70s. Selling our condo in HI (we hope!), planning to move to W. coast FL. Want a manufactured home (little upkeep and tired of condo living) in a sr. community, near or on small body of water. We have no dogs, but do have 2 med.-sized parrots (strictly indoor pets). Our needs are small, and so is our budget thanks to high cost of living in HI. Would appreciate any advice. Note: we are accustomed to heat/humidity.

    by Gail Mac — December 12, 2012

  593. You recently had an article regarding Cary, NC. I would like to see it again. Where would I be able to see it?

    Editor’s Note: Not sure which article you meant, but here is our review of Cary

    by Lorraine — December 12, 2012

  594. Marsha…thankyou for the information…we are looking a little further north/west of the affected area’s – Indiantown Rd/Island Way…just east of 95 – I could not find any information about that area…we have had similar storms here in NY…not quite as much rain…but 1″ hails balls were hitting the ground so hard…that there was actually flames as they hit the ground…

    I guess no where is safe in today’s warming climate…

    by Russ — December 12, 2012

  595. I am looking to retire in the southeastern corner of Wisconsin, moving closer to one of my daughters. I have been living in the northwestern corner and want to cut the commute to an hour or less as she lives close to Chicago. I’ve been looking at Kenosha-Racine. I’m single and just 59. Retirement came a bit earlier than expected. I’m looking for suggestions as to where would be a good area settle down. I don’t want to buy and I want to stay in an community that is maybe age appropriate (55+).

    by Jolene — December 12, 2012

  596. Mary-We have thought of that very idea. The taxes are so high in Vermont, we thought of downsizing in order to stay there and go somewhee during the winter. Instead of buying, we thought we could go different places every year.If we look for reasonable places to stay, we figure we would still come out ahead compared to buying, paying upkeep and taxes.

    by Roxanne — December 13, 2012

  597. Here’s my last post on our trip to the west coast of Florida to scout out the various towns and communities. We visited the Sarasota/Bradenton area where we have good friends that just moved (rental) to Lakewood Ranch this past year. And, I have a former work colleague that has lived in Lakewood Ranch for the last 11 years. She’s now a realtor, so we spent the day with her looking at various neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch. (Terri Gagliardi at 941-705-0767)

    First off, Lakewood Ranch is a planned community with about 9-10 neighborhoods, which are then subdivided into smaller neighborhoods. Each of these smaller neighborhoods are built out by one developer only. Lakewood Ranch is situated in Bradenton to the east of I-75 with easy access to the highway via a 2 or 3 exits. Though the community is in Bradenton, it has its own zip code. It’s, of course, very close to Sarasota with all its cultural activities but Bradenton has many events too. Lakewood Ranch has tons of clubs, so you get to meet people from different neighborhoods. Since most neighborhoods are all ages, you meet a nice variety of people with and without families.

    The first small neighborhood we visited was Central Park, an all ages community. Even within Central Park there are smaller sections, like Piedmont Park and Forest Park. Homes in Piedmont Park begin at a base of $149K (1040 sq. ft.) and go up from there. As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of these new communities have a lot of add ons, which will really inflate the home’s price. This community has low HOA fees of about $155 a month but it doesn’t include exterior maintenance. I was told by Terri that one can hire a lawn crew to come by to mow and trim the bushes for a very reasonable price. I personally liked the model in Piedmont Park called Freedom 2, which began at $174K with 1323 sq. ft. Now there isn’t a community center in this neighborhood, which keeps the HOA low. What you can do is join the larger athletic club for all of Lakewood Ranch that includes a resort and lap pools, tennis courts, gym, etc. Membership prices vary depending on the type of membership you choose but an aquatic/fitness membership will run you about $100 a month for the family.

    The other all ages, smaller neighborhood we visited was called BelleIsle. This is part of the larger Country Club East neighborhood. Homes here are being built by Neal Communities, a well-known and respected Florida builder. BelleIsle is a bit pricier than Central Park, which may be your best value in Lakewood Ranch. BelleIsle homes begin in the low 200s. One ready to move-in home (model name is Imagination) with 1594 sq. ft. and a small caged pool was available for $294K. I think this community have a central clubhouse but I never toured it, so I’ve asked Terri to go take a peek and send me pictures.

    There’s one active adult neighborhood in Lakewood Ranch called Esplanade, which has all the amenities you’d expect with this type of community like a full-time lifestyle director, lap, resort, and resistance pools, pickle ball courts, walking trails, etc. When we visited, the clubhouse was not open but would be within the month. The builder is Taylor Morrison. We liked the Roma floor plan with1688 sq. a base of $227K but all the extras could easily drive the price to $270K+. HOA will run about $330 a month.

    After a week of visiting the west coast of Florida, Lakewood Ranch is our favorite. We like the diversity of ages in the neighborhoods. A retired couple could live next door to newlyweds, a couple with small children, or middle agers. The whole ranch is very clean and well maintained. There’s plenty of shopping in the main downtown area as well as greater Sarasota/Bradenton. A brand new mall is being built within the ranch and should open in the next couple of years. If you decide to visit on your own, I recommend visiting one of the information centers where you’ll receive a short orientation. They’ll also point you to the neighborhood that fits within your budget.

    Editor’s note: Thank you Carole! Your updates are so well written and so helpful. All of us in the Topretirements community are grateful for your sharing – you have helped us all a lot!

    by Carole — December 13, 2012

  598. TO:MARY/SNOWBIRDS, I want to snow bird to Florida also.Does anyone have suggestions on how to start to find rentals? Would also like to hear from other OHIO folks especially those on PERS and STRS.

    by JohnH — December 13, 2012

  599. My husband and I had also thought of snowbirding to various locales for the few months of bad winter weather. We came up with 2 downsides, the first being that you wouldn’t have any of your “stuff” with you while you were gone. The second thought was that you wouldn’t really feel part of a community while you were gone. I’m not sure I just want to feel like an outsider, like I’m on vacation for all those months. People and connections have become more important to me as I age. Perhaps in early retirement, for a few years, it might be fun. I don’t know. Has anyone out there ever done this? I do think it would be nice not to be saddled with an additional home and those expenses though.

    by Kathi M — December 13, 2012

  600. Greetings. Love all the info. Any comments on Wilmington, NC? Looking to get out of Ct and move somewhere with less taxes, nice environment and local amenities inc medical. This is a big step & want make the right move. Thx, Dominic

    by Dominic — December 14, 2012

  601. The day after Christmas we are starting out onour first snowbird experience. We have a 2 BR house rented in Orlando for January. Then we are traveling up to Myrtle Beach, SC for Feb. We found a nice 2BR condo on e beach. Both places accept our dog, so we will pack up what we need and head out. Hope to look to explore several areas in both locations. Come March 1, if the weather hasn’t improved in NW Indiana, we will find excuses to stay in the outh or maybe even drive west some. So long winter!!

    by Bill — December 14, 2012

  602. John H and other snowbirds – when we were looking to rent before buying in Florida I used but there are numerous other sites. You might also research some of the communities where you want to rent through the community website. Here in FL many times there is a local real estate company that handles vac. rentals in various communities and they will be on the community website as a link.

    by tonio — December 14, 2012

  603. Mary/Roxanne: That’s our plan too. We are going to sell and then rent something. Then we’ll take trips. We don’t want to continue the upkeep and really are not using half of the space in the house – but paying property taxes and utilities to heat and cool it those spaces. We have a lawn guy and have spent a lot of money renovating the house. We are keeping our fingers crossed we don’t need a new roof until we sell in the next two years. We replaced air conditioning and gutted the kitchen and all three bathrooms – amongst many others things. We’re fortunate to have pensions and not have to rely on our 401K, so we can make a move. Taxes on our pensions is another consideration and the cost and access to medical as well. We are both well (and in our mid-other side of 60s) so its not a need now but who knows in the future. We are considering moving to Canada (I’m Canadian and my husband is American) however, cost of living is higher as are taxes but healthcare is available to all, is of high quality and is readily accessible in my city. However, hate to leave the grandkids and all the friends we’ve made. As well, we want to be in an area with lots to do and where we can have friends of all ages and a diverse environment. The thing that appeals to us about an apartment is being able to lock it and leave it and not have to worry about weeds, snow, rain, etc. etc. The only issue is living in the right place with good neighbors. We’re also looking at Philadelphia (tax friendly to pensions and has four seasons – which we miss here in Texas) and then we could travel south in the winter. I’m reading about all the various places in Florida and some sound great – pretty sure we could find seasonal rentals there too.

    by sheila — December 14, 2012

  604. Bill: would love to hear about your “snowbird experience” upon your Spring return. Sounds like a fun thing to do. We too have a small dog so will be interested in how things go. Have a great Christmas and a wonderful trip. Look forward to reading about it!

    by sheila — December 14, 2012

  605. Does anyone have any knowledge on Palm Desert,California, or La Quinta, California? Thank you!

    by loralee — December 14, 2012

  606. I am planning on snowbirding to Mcallen Texas or around the Rio Grande area. Does anyone know about this area?

    by Sonja — December 15, 2012

  607. You can also find rentals for all over the world at VRBO-Vacation Rentals by Owner- In the Bradenton, FL area, you can contact Terri Gagliardi at 941-705-0767. She works for the Michael Saunders realty group, and though she doesn’t usually handle rentals, she’ll be able to connect you with someone at the office who will assist you for rentals in the greater Bradenton/Sarasota area. Also, see my earlier scouting reports in this blog for the Venice area. Joe Hayden is with ERA Properties (941-321-2964) and he may also be able to assist with rentals from Venice and farther south.

    by Carole — December 15, 2012

  608. Loralee, Palm Desert and La Quinta are right next to each other and lovely areas. They are desert, so you already know, I guess, that it is very hot in the summer. There are plenty of senior activies in the Palm Springs area and I remember people were very friendly in general. We used to go for a week end here and there and always found that to be the case. I am not sure anymore, but the area is reasonably priced for homes and used to have reasonable property tax. So much has changed in California in the past year, that I really cannot speak to cost of living. But, it is very pretty there.

    by DianaF — December 16, 2012

  609. Based on our quiz results and comments we’ve read here, we’ve pretty much ruled out AZ and FL. Currently it is a “warm” 36 degrees and snow is slowly melting here in central Washington state. Our dream is to be able to move where it is warmer in the winter. We figure we could use our time shares to go to cooler climes in the hot summer. Staying here is not an option because we need to sell our house and buy something much less expensive including maintenance costs. Since I am 70 and my husband 65, we are open to possibly condo living ( as long as I can grow a few potted plants on a balcony). But we would really rather have our own home for as long as we can manage. We are both golfers, although my husband’s game is not as strong as it used to be due to health issues, so reasonable golf fees are important to us. We also love to feed birds and watch beautiful sunsets. Although we are not into the casino scene at all, I’ve wondered about retirement communities in the Las Vegas area. We would welcome any suggestions or insights into that area or any other possibilities out west.

    by Angela — December 27, 2012

  610. For those looking for a warmer winter climate, but not in southern FL, LA, TX, NM, AZ or CA, I would suggest checking the Huntsville, AL area.
    The cost of living is decent, taxes are reasonable for property, no taxes paid on Social Security payments and most other retirements, hospitals are good, they have an airport with a number of major carriers and homes are reasonable in price (as often is the case, from quite low to very high – for me that is a million plus).
    Finding the “right” place is a challenge and probably becomes wherever it is one selects for a multitude of reasons important to them. However, it is good to hear of others’ opinions for it gives us something to consider if we had not done so before.
    Note: I have not moved to Huntsville yet; planning for late 2013, early 2014. I want to find the best time to sell the home I have now, perhaps rent for a short time and then purchase the next home in the Huntsville area.

    by Gene M — December 28, 2012

  611. Sonja: we have spent parts of two winters in McAllen and are headed there for the full winter next week. After much research we decided it was the cheapest and warmest place for winter. I wish there was some way we could connect.

    by susan — December 28, 2012

  612. Some comments for various folks:
    Mary…there are cheaper places in Florida. Depends on how fancy you want to be. This place near Ocala: rents for $4K or $5K a year and has many people return year after year. You can use it as much or as little as you want during that time. And there is a sister property with the same deal closer to Orlando.

    About McAllen…I have a number of friends there, and they love it.

    About Las Vegas…I lived there for 5 years and enjoyed every minute. It is hot hot in the summer but everything is air-conditioned. Good cheap restaurants, lots of entertainment, good health care, and affordable.

    by Ginger — December 28, 2012

  613. To Angela: I too am from central Washington (grandview) and will be moving to Las Vegas hopefully this spring after we sell our house here. Have been checking with a realtor in Vegas and there are some nice places for a good price. Am looking only at places with a swimming pool, need it for the exercise and grandkids. My boy is stationed there in the Air Force (I’m a veteran also) and will be staying there when he retires. Checked on some retirement communities but opted to go instead with checking on regular communities first. E-mail me at…..Roy W.

    by Roy W. — December 29, 2012

  614. To Gene M.

    I never considered Alabama! What is their weather like? I visited Lousiana
    in the fall and found the humidity enervating. I have always wanted to live
    near the ocean, but as the climate changes, and I want only ONE home, I fear
    it is not wise to live in the coastal areas. Are there lakes in Huntsville,
    Moving South

    by Moving South or CWBirch — December 29, 2012

  615. Does anyone have information on retiring in the Central California Coast, possibly near Solvang?

    Editor’s Note: You should start with our reviews of Solvang and Ojai. This is pretty nice part of the world – IF you can afford it or very creative.

    by John T — December 30, 2012

  616. Does anyone know of, or have experience regarding Mesquite,NV and Sun City
    Del Webb there? Thank You

    by Rolf L — December 31, 2012

  617. Any one have information on The Villages of Rio Rico AZ. I can’t find much on the Internet. Looks like the climate might be just a little milder in the summer. Pretty close to Mexico. Maybe problems with crime. I wonder if water is an issue there.

    by Ragsgolf — January 1, 2013

  618. Rolf. My wife and I took a three day trip to Mesquiete, Nv. A year or so ago. If you enjoy Golfing and Gambling you will do fine there. That’s all that is there, as for Del Web we asked them if we could make changes to there homes, they were not very willing to do that. We new there would be costs to changes but they said no to most. I have been in construction all of my life and was suprised when it was a basic no! The other draw back was the temp. 108 to 111 with 30 to 40 plus winds felt like a blast furnace. Just not what we could live with. But we all have our likes. We have looked around the southwest and have decided Florida has the best retirement. We are now in Ocala, Florida watching our home being built at On Top Of The World. It has all the things we were looking for plus much more. I hope you are able to find your slice of the good life, we all have our likes, I’m sure others may or may not care for Florida but have found it to be the best home for us. Brad

    by Brad — January 1, 2013

  619. Ragsgolf, if the place you are looking at is close to Mexico, I would strongly advise against it. Major crime issues due to drug dealers. My son lives in Yuma and the police there pretty much admit they’ve lost control over the parks.

    by Linda — January 1, 2013

  620. John T, re central CA & Solvang, you better have $500K+ a year to support yourself. If so then go for it. I’ve lived in CA for over 30 years and am getting OUT. The area is beautiful as is most of CA (stay away from the Mexican border).Check out the TAXES and housing costs if you haven’t already. It’s an extremely regulated state in all ways. I almost can’t breath any more.

    by Julie G — January 1, 2013

  621. Ragsgolf: Please note this is only my opinion BUT NO to Rio Rico, AZ. Four years ago we lived in Vail, AZ, about 45 minutes NE of Rio Rico. Nogales,AZ and Nogales Mexico are Soooooooooooooooo close to Rio Rico. Even in Vail we had Mexicans in our backyard and the washes. After the rains water brought all the rain down from the mountains through the washes and brought backpacks and all other things that they had brought across the boarder. If you’ve never lived in the desert I think you’ll find this area too remote. Mind just going out in the dark in your yard is scarey not only for the animals of the dark but people trafficking though the desert. This is the area where Boarder Patrol Agent, Brian Terry was killed a couple of years ago. Not much happening down that way as far as stores and services. In fact the area looks very poor. My suggestion would be to RENT first and then you can always walk away without loosing thousands. Sorry I don’t have a brighter picture to paint. Arizona is beautiful but I would be scared to live that close to the boarder and believe me you’re close in Rio Rico.

    by Anne MacKinney — January 2, 2013

  622. Thanks for the comments on McAllen Texas. We visited there a few time and liked the warm weather and the people. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of things to do except for shopping. What fills the time for the snowbirds? Is the entertainment changing to attract the younger retirees?

    by Sonja — January 2, 2013

  623. Brad, did you visited Del Web next to Top of the World? Do you have any info./view of that Sun City? Thanks.

    by Wendy — January 2, 2013

  624. Wendy, no we didn’t as the experience with looking at other Del Web sites in Arizona, New Mexico and a community west of Orlando has been the same. That they wouldn’t or gave you all kinds of excuses as to why they wouldn’t or just won ‘t make any changes to there home plans. After looking at the homes at On Top Of The World we were impressed with the construction of there homes and that they would make any change you wanted most at no cost or at reasonable prices. I have been in construction for 40 years and have been an Electrician involved in all sorts of building and feel I have a good eye for quality workmanship and feel that the homes built here are very well done. When looking for your retirement home there a lot of decisions to make and they were very helpfully in the process of design. The community has a lot to offer. Check out there web site it is amazing we feel. Brad

    by Brad — January 2, 2013

  625. Does anyone have any information on Sun City Carolina Lakes in
    Fort Mill, SC. Good or bad? Carol

    by Carol A — January 2, 2013

  626. We are looking into retiring in a community in Leland, NC which is in the Wilmington, NC area. Anyone familiar with Leland? Look forward to hearing from you- Gail

    by Gail Cook — January 3, 2013

  627. Does anyone have any information on Brunswick Forest community in Leland, NC? I am a widow in mid-70’s, very active. I’m looking a 55+ communities where it might be easier to meet new people. Am a golfer and love the beach.
    Also, any information on communities in the North Myrtle Beach, SC area?

    by Susan — January 3, 2013

  628. Carol A, I visited when they first opened. My assessment was that the construction was not up to the standard I would have expected for the price. The finishing was just not there and this was in the model homes. I wondered what the actual homes would be like. Not to thoroughly discourage you as things might have improved. Hopefully someone has visited more recently but Sun City Carolina Lakes is off my list.

    by Dick — January 3, 2013

  629. Gail & Susan

    I live in Wilmington, across the river from Leland. It is a growing area with several very nice developments. Included among them is Brunswick Forest. Although it is not a 55+ community, it does have a variety of homes and lots of activities. I recommend you visit the area.

    by Dick — January 4, 2013

  630. This is a wonderful site to peruse and read everyone’s opinions about where to live. I grew up in Tucson (1957-1984) and loved the small quiet city of that era. It’s changed a lot as places do. Lived in Statesboro Ga for 6 years – beautiful little pine tree city near Savannah, pretty inexpensive. Moved to Southern Illinois for 8 years (Carbondale) and liked it except for the cold winters. We now live in a little town called Argyle TX (north of Dallas and Ft. Worth) and YES our property taxes are very high (6K +) and its hot in the summer! We are looking to retire in about 5 years (we will be 67 & 63) so reading all of your comments is very helpful. My husband wants to retire near water (beach and fishing) I want it to be green with lots of trees, gardening and cultural opportunities (smaller town – not tourist filled.) We are thinking about Bluffton or Beaufort SC or someplace in FL maybe. If anyone has any specific plusses or minuses to relate about these places please let us know. OR maybe someone has some ideas for other places we might not have considered. Its never to early to start doing some research. Thanks

    Editor’s Note: Thanks for the comments. Just to let you and others who often ask other members what it is like to live in (fill in the town), there are some resources on this site that might be of help. Obviously you should start with the helpful overviews in our City reviews, found from either the “Find a Community” pull-down menu at top right of pages, or the “Best Places” link in the top navigation bar. At the bottom of each of those reviews is a section called “What people are saying about (name of town)”, where people have a chance to discuss that town without having to go anyway. For example, there are several comments on the Beaufort page that you might find helpful. Lastly, in our Forum each city has a stub where people can comment about that city (it ties into the “what people are saying” feature).

    by Dianne C — January 4, 2013

  631. My husband is a ret. Army officer and in one of the latest MOAA (Military Officer Assoc) magazines was a state by state ‘report card’. I am from the south and wish to remain on this side of the Mason Dixon and with sons in Virginia and daughters in Florida we are looking at the Tennessee Smokey Mtns. Yes, this takes us away from amy major military faciiity since we are looking in the Gatlinburg area, but I need to be near a major Univ. medical college due to some unusual but not terminal medical annoyances. Frankly when I asked my family practice doctor what us ‘old folks’ could do with the coming of Obamacare, she said, ‘settle new a major medical college since they will probably be the only physicians who will take Medicare patients’! So with that in mind, and since I am now a patient at the Univ. of Virginia Medical College, we are looking at the Univ. of Tennessee Medical College. We are not counting on any care from a military hospital since they are going to be stripped to the bone, and very few offer medical assistance to retirees, at least those we know.
    Back to that report card – Tennessee was one of the few states that tick off all the boxes, no taxes on military retired pay (or any retired pay) – I can’t remember all the ‘boxes’ but almost all were ‘green’ and in Virginia almost all were red – while in Georgia almost all were ‘yellow’, i.e. pending state legislation which means maybe or maybe not. Florida almost all were green, however due to an adverse reaction to heat and sun, this is not an option, and we cannot afford to remain in Virginia (nr. Richmond) since they do not even have tax free military retired pay! … and that really surprised us.
    We have spent a week in the summer and a week in the winter in Pigeon Forge, and really enjoyed it all except the traffic and crowds in the summer (we found back roads to eliminate almost all the tourist traffic), and the surprise, even for Tennessee, Christmas snowstorm, that left us creeping, although my husband told me not to lease anything that was up too ‘high’! Still we were surrounded by mountains and my Florida grandsons enjoyed the skiing and the snow. My husband says he likes the idea of waking up on vacation for the rest of his life, and I think that sound pretty good too. Does anyone out there see anything terribly flawed in our thinking? Seriously I need comments.

    by Diane S Sanfilippo — January 5, 2013

  632. We always enjoy the Gatlinburg area when we travel through there to get to SC where our sons live. However, we think that Pidgeon Forge area is way to touristy for any long term stay. Two other area you might be interested in near Knoxville, are Tellico Village and Fairfield Glade. We haven’t been to the former but have heard good reviews from friends who have relatives living there. We fisited Faifield Glade and thought it was very nice,

    by Bill — January 5, 2013

  633. Dianne C We visited Bluffton, Charleston, Beaufort and Myrtle Beach area last July. We loved Bluffton and Myrtle Beach (Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet especially). We did not like Sun City Bluffton because we heard many negative things about the way the homes are/were built, it there are so many lovely communities within Bluffton, plus a short drive to Hilton Head Island. We liked the trees and how “hidden” the store signs are on 278…it was just lovely. What we liked about the areas around Myrtle Beach was the smell of the sea, the taste of salt on our lips and the lovely com ties we saw…very clean. We flew into Charleston and rented a car (perhaps the easiest transaction I have ever had for renting a car) and drove to Bluffton; this was an easy drive and didn’t take very long…after staying a few days we drove through Beaufort, which looked nice, but we did not stay, to Myrtle Beach. Once again a nice drive. We stayed in that area a few days as well. Then we went up to Charleston and stayed there a couple days before flying back. We looked in the Summerville area. That was our least favorite, and we cannot pinpoint why. Anyway, we realize there is a lot of humidity, but that does not bother us when we are near the beach because of the breezes. It was most definitely something we can deal with. We are excited about retiring in either Bluffton or MB area, either one we will love.

    by DianaF — January 5, 2013

  634. Sorry about the typos in my post. I am getting used to this IPad and the touch screen…

    by DianaF — January 5, 2013

  635. Diane, about 25 years ago we lived in Knoxville for 5 years. We used to go to the Smokies and surrounding areas, including Pigeon Forge quite frequently. Even after we moved away, we used to vacation there every year. That being said, I would never consider retiring in Pigeon Forge. The tourist season is long and can get intense. It would become tiring trying to avoid it all the time. And, yes, in winter, it doesn’t take much snow to close roads or require tire chains.

    by Kathi — January 5, 2013

  636. Diana,
    Have you looked at the Johnson City area of TN. They are not too far from Pigeon Forge, so very similar, but Johnson City does not have the tourist base. Bristol (part of the tri-city area) was designated as a certified retirement community, meeting all the criteria established by the Federal Govn’t for retirees. It does have a Medical College, too. Maybe you would like to review it

    by Roxanne C — January 5, 2013

  637. Diane thank you for the info on sc. Did you find any home,condos, th etc in high $90,s or very low $100,000s?

    by Skip — January 6, 2013

  638. Does anyone out there have an opinion on Houston,TX as a location in which to retire? Thanks.

    by jim k. — January 6, 2013

  639. I have lived in Houston a long time and don’t really know why! I am retiring this year and will most likely go out of state. The weather is horrible – terrible summers and if you like to be outdoors, you won’t like it. I get tired of constant air conditioning and just want some fresh air and seasons. And don’t get me started about the traffic and crime! If you have any specific questions, I will be glad to try and answer.

    by Barbara W — January 6, 2013

  640. I totally agree with Barbara W. Have lived here for almost 4 yrs. and will definitely look elsewhere for retirement. I have already posted about Houston several times – Jim K., I would advise that you go back and read previous postings.

    by Fionna — January 7, 2013

  641. Skip-I assume you are asking me about SC, since there have been posts from me and someone name Diane; I am Diana. Anyway, yes, we saw quite a few in MB and there are some very nice condos in Bluffton, that are new and well priced. It depends on how many bedrooms and baths you need. There are also homes in the 125,000 to 140,000 price range-it does depend on what specifics you are looking for. We have a very specific criteria and have a real estate agent in Bluffton and Myrtle Beach areas who look att hings for us. We also have an agent in Charleston, but he sends us listings from the Summerville area ( we didn’t “love” that area, as much as we did the other two). I suggest you check out things on the internet, plug in your criteria and see what is there. Good Luck, and if I can be of any more help-just ask.

    by DianaF — January 7, 2013

  642. Planning to retire in the next 6 mo’s in CdA, Idaho. Tired of Houston’s hot and hotter weather.
    Anyone can give advice?

    by George — January 7, 2013

  643. I have family in NC and SC. Currently in N. VA, and working. Will retire in about 3 years. Not sure exaclty where we will go, but NC/SC is the best bet. I was born and raised there.

    by Norman Prevatt — January 7, 2013

  644. George – I have been to CdA numerous times although have never lived there. If it wasn’t so far from family, it would be on my list. I love it there. It gets pretty cold in the winter of course but the summers are perfect.

    by Barbara W — January 7, 2013

  645. My wife and I are planning on retiring at the Rock Till Ya Drop… community of musicians, artist, and folks who love the arts. We haven’t grown up yet and don’t plan to… anyone wanna join us?

    by Jerry M — January 7, 2013

  646. We are looking at the Greenville, SC area for retirement, I am looking for some feedback on areas to consider, ie: Mauldin, Easley etc. We are looking for a safe area.

    by Alex K — January 7, 2013

  647. Jerry M – it sounds like you’ll have fun there or probably wherever you go…lol

    by Karen — January 7, 2013

  648. Hi, does anyone have any ideas of where to live in or not far from the New York City area (Manhattan) that is safe and has lots of shops parks etc. We can’t aford to spend more than 1800 a month. OR we are even thinking New Jersey area if you can tell us a really nice place to live in NJ. ALL INFO any help is so APPRECIATED! Thanks so much!

    by kathy — January 7, 2013

  649. To Jerry M Where is rock till ya drop community? Sounds like something we would enjoy, Dianne T

    by Dianne T — January 7, 2013

  650. @JerryM I will see you and your wife at drum circle in Asheville?

    by easilyamused — January 8, 2013

  651. Alex – my BIL lives outsice Greenville and we thought about going there too but I want to be in the mountains – to see the mountains and close enough to reach out and touch (well not really). Larry is a retied Hialeah FL law enforcement officer and he did a lot of visiting and research before he settled on Greenville. Wish I could remember the area – and if I see it I will remember.
    Oh we have seen the worst of the traffic in Pigeon Forge – took us 1 1/2 hrs. to reach the rental house from the interstate but this was in June. Every time we got near the parkway the treffic was horrible but not so much on Wears Valley Rd and the short ride to the Kroger store. We took a day and drove around looking at the area and never ran into much traffic at all. We rented a cabin in The Preserve and felt surrounded by mountains – in Dec. we rented a house closer to the ground – and not as far out as the Wear Valley Rd. and there as almost no traffic. We made the ‘run’ to the UT hospital and it took about 45 min. I looked seriously at Johnson City but did not find any log cabins, and I really want a cabin. Also look at it this way – if we live near a tourist resort we will see the grandchildren more often! Summer and Winter for the skiing.
    Looked at Tellico too – a bit far out and not easy to get to the interstate. I am slso looking for a place where I can live if my husband goes first – and I will need some form of transportation – but my dream is to wake up every morning smack dab in the middle of the Smokies!
    I wasd born in Charleston at the Navy Base Hospital during WWII – thus not a boomer but a ‘war baby’… and when my father went bck on active duty during the Korean War, we lived on the Isle of Palms twice – my mother loved the ocean however the sun is deadly for me. I really am confused now.

    by Diane S Sanfilippo — January 8, 2013

  652. Kathy – I live in a small upper northeast Bergen County town – Manhattan is 20 minutes away. Go to: and click on Rentals and find all the rentals. Towns you want to research are: Closter, Cresskill, Dumont, Northvale, Norwood, Tenafly, New Milford, Oradell,Emerson, Demarest, Harrington Park, Haworth, Westwood, Harrington Park, River Edge, Bergenfield. Those are towns clustered in this one area. Going a little farther away you want to look at Hillsdale, Park Ridge, Montvale, Paramus
    (very congested as it is a big shopping center), In the search you can always expand the miles but the towns I listed are nice towns. The more expensive the rents, the closer to NY you will find you are. You can find homes to rent in the 1800 range but you pay all utilities, etc. Hope this helps a little

    by Irene Hass — January 8, 2013

  653. My question. Unlike Kay wanting to come to this area, I want to leave because it’s too expensive. I am a single senior and looking to purchase a home in the northern Maryland/Delaware area – Suburbs – with some food shopping stores within maybe 10 or 15 minutes drive and I won’t get lost finding it. A nice little town. Anyone who knows specific towns, please advise

    by Irene Hass — January 8, 2013

  654. To anyone wishing to live in near the mountains, this is what I can tell you about Franklin, NC. It is a sleepy little town with as much as you want to do, or as little as you want to do with elevations from 2,500 – 6,000 ft. We have a good hospital,good doctors, plenty of grocery stores, NO TRAFFIC, plenty of pharmacies, only 1.5 hours SW of Asheville, mild winters with little snow,wonderful colorful spring, fabulous summers with little to no humidity. A good variety of restaurants, theatrical art center that brings in top name intertainment if you want that, festivals abound all season long until winter sets in. At Christmas time the downtown puts on a Christmas extravangaza with horse drawn carriages, store fronts with the owners dressesd in period clothing sitting in rocking chairs with their dog and grandchildren, knitting, etc, serve hot cider and hot cocoa and carolers that walk down the street, like a Norman Rockwell painting! All free to the public. Our real estate taxes are very, very low (my $465K custom built timberframe home runs $1,000 a year), the people are kind and help one another. Crime rate is very low. No drive by shootings, no home invasions, no murders, no rapes. Biggest news is about how Aunt Susie won the bake sale and then donated all her pies to charity! We moved up here to Franklin, NC 10 years ago from Orlando, Florida. Have never regretted one minute of it. Being part of the Great Smokey Mountains with views to die for is only another bonus for living in Franklin. If you want the big city life you are less than 2 hours from Atlanta, or a little over an hour to get to the outskirts of Asheville, NC.
    I remember when they put in a new traffic light and the whole town was in an uproar because they felt like it was not needed! I have a vegetable garden in the summer that produces enough vegetables to share with neighbors and no bugs eating it before harvest (unlike Florida gardens that I tried in the past). For the most part this is an idyllic place to live. Could not ask for better weather or more beautiful views. The Pigeon Forge, TN area is a tourist trap area with a lot of traffic and outlet stores,so there is no comparison to Franklin. We have only 39,000 people in the whole county, about 3,500 in the town of Franklin itself that swells to around 25,000 in the summer when the Floridians come up to escape the Florida heat, but still no traffic jams to consider. This is the sleepy little town that resembles Mayberry RFD like the TV show. Our sheriff put up a billboard that said “If you can’t reach me at the office here is my home phone number”…….I’m not kidding! The crimes reported in our little town paper are usually related to someone driving without a drivers license, or someone had a fight with a relative and the neighbors called the cops on them. The only murder in over 35 years was a man from Florida that came up and killed his ex-wife and her new husband…….it made big news here since murders are unheard of. We do have drugs here that our sheriff stays on top of. I guess you can’t get away fromn that anywhere you live in the USA or world. But you can leave your front door unlocked and no one robs you blind. My husband became so complacent at one point he was leaving his car keys in the ignition of his unlocked car when he ran to the store! I stopped that one…….after all we are originally from Florida where everyone lives behind gated communities!

    If you are really interested in living in the Smokey Mountains you should check out Franklin, NC and see if it fits your needs. I’m glad we did. If you want to email me privately I can send you some pictures of the kind of setting we see on a daily basis from our back deck…

    by Joyce Howland — January 8, 2013

  655. To Moving South or CWBirch (your comments on 29 Dec 12):
    I have only visited Huntsville (Alabama) twice over the last two years. Here is a web site that would provide a bit of information about the area: The Tennessee river is just south and Guntersville Lake is not far away to the southeast. I should think the dangers of living by the ocean would be removed, but there are tornados in the area from time to time.

    by GenoM — January 8, 2013

  656. Jerry m….please tell me more about rock til ya drop…very interested. I can’t find on google.

    by Ginger — January 8, 2013

  657. We are going to South Carolina next week to see if we like it there. I have talked to Real Estate agents in Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Columbia. We are staying at a Time Share in Myrtle Beach and traveling out from there. We are driving from CT. Any suggestions? Is there any place we should stop and see as we drive down 95? Never driven south of DC.

    by MarkG — January 8, 2013

  658. To MarkG–check out the Bluffton/Hilton Head Area. We like Hampton Lake in Bluffton.

    by Jennifer P — January 8, 2013

  659. For those of you that are considering places like Mexico and South American countries to move to – REMEMBER on thing. When the SHTF you are the GRINGO in the neighborhood/town/country. All Gringo’s are rich right?

    by Robert — January 9, 2013

  660. Hi Irene, Thank you for this info. I will look them up. I would love to live in Manhattan because everything is so close but at 4000+ a month it’s a bit much. I would love to live close to a boardwalk and water. If anyone out there can add some more info PLEASE do. I am looking in NY and NJ. Thanks!

    by kathy — January 9, 2013

  661. IRENE: thanks for NJ info. Do u have info. on towns in NY state – outside Manhattan… that u think would work for retirees?

    Anyone else with NY info. pls share. NJ taxes too high…

    by sheila — January 9, 2013

  662. IRENE: sorry, looking for rentals – not buying again at this stage. Thanks for any info. Anyone else have info. on NY State or anything in range of Philadelphia – appreciate your help.

    by sheila — January 9, 2013

  663. Jennifer P says
    To MarkG–check out the Bluffton/Hilton Head Area. We like Hampton Lake in Bluffton.

    Sorry Jennifer P. Not to sound bias, but reference to “places to retire” that cost $150K for a HOMESITE and $300K for a 1350 SF house is not exactly what I had in mind. What retirement money I still have left after the CRASH has to get me threw the next 20 years and that’s at 7% interest if lucky and monthly SS and Pension payments. You must be one of the wealthy retirees… If that is the condition of most people on this forum, I need to look elsewhere for info on “best places to live”.

    by Art J — January 9, 2013

  664. Don’t worry, Art, we are out there looking for a homesite AND a 1300SF house for $150K!! You are not alone nor are you UNwealthy. If you have your health and your sense of humor, you are wealthy!
    I too would like to know if Jerry M is pulling all our chains about the Rock Til Ya Drop community! While I suspect he is, I think it’s not such a bad idea for those of us with the Peter Pan Syndrome. My former airline employee friends and I used to sort of joke about Happy Landings, where we would sit around on our porches and drink out of those little airline bottles and reminisce about all our wild experiences and then go out and have some more!:wink::wink:

    by cherie — January 9, 2013

  665. Shelia – the site on the left (I just looked) has Sales highlighted but if you look under that it says Rentals. Just click on Rentals and then fill in your information and you will get a list of rentals.

    I do not know anything about New York Suburbs only the NJ side but the towns I listed are all close to the George Washington Bridge. If you want to live closer to the Tappan Zee Bridge (more upstate as we refer to it), you then want to look into towns like Piermont, Nyack, Pearl River (you want Rockland County). Those towns are on my side of the Hudson River. If you want to go more north – I understand Warwick, NY is a lower income town but you are now getting into “the sticks”. Problem around here is everything is very expensive.

    South Jersey you have to be careful. It’s probably lower in cost for rentals but don’t rent anything unless you come see it cause there are lots of “very poor” and run down neighborhoods. Southern Central NJ has major flood problems so again, you have to do your homework. In New Jersey, if the costs seem really good there’s a reason.

    I’m retired and after living in NJ my whole life, I’m looking at Maryland and Delaware but I’m interested in property tax costs.

    Hope I helped a little

    by Irene Hass — January 10, 2013

  666. Sheila. The suburbs of NYC are pretty expensive, I am thinking Westchester County. It really depends on how much money you have to live on each month. A very cute area close to the city is Hastings On Hudson, but depending on what you are really looking for it could be pricey. I grew up in New Paltz, NY. It is much more reasonable, but an hour and half from Manhattan by bus. Google New Paltz and you will see it is a lovely area, a college town, and upbeat. It is no bargain either but compared to NYC, well a good deal. Good luck with your search; I would check with a realtor in Westchester and see what they can suggest.

    by DianaF — January 10, 2013

  667. To MarkG,
    My husband and I just bought a lot in the Myrtle Beach area. We visited twice and just felt at home. I have a name of a good Realtor if you’re interested. You’ll find lots/homes in all price ranges from the mid 100’s to over a million. We found the people to be nice and the area very lovely. You might want to checkout Conway while you’re there as well. Not sure if you’re looking to be on the water or just w/in driving. It was important to us to be outside the mandatory evacuation area, but at the same time, we are only 7 miles from the beach. We’ll be building in 2015 when we both can retire. Good luck!

    by Barb — January 10, 2013

  668. Have visited the Mytle Beach area last Nov. and I will be going back this Nov. We like the look of the area and visit many areas in and around Conway, SC. I have been told that the sale tax is higher in Mytle Beach than in Conway. Does anyone have any input on this?

    by wayneB — January 10, 2013

  669. Thank you for the info.
    I also heard that Myrtle Beach has a higher sales tax. Conway is high on our list, and the real estate agent I am working with has supplied me with a lot of information. I meet with her on Monday. Although our kids are out of school and college we want to live in an area with a decent school system would should help re-sale value.
    Barb, good point about living outside the evacuation area. Always wanted to live on the beach but after seeing the destruction along the Connecticut coast during the past couple of years that is no longer a desire. Plus the further away from the coast, lower property insurance cost.

    by MarkG — January 10, 2013

  670. Here’s the link to the flood area in and around MB: Not sure about the sales tax being different as both MB & Conway are in Horry Co. which has a 5% sales tax. I would think your Realtor could answer this question. Now being within the city limits of Myrtle Beach vs the area of Myrtle Beach might be higher…more info here if you’re interested: Our lot is in the Carolina Forest area which is just outside the MB city limit and we were told our taxes would be lower due to this (homeowners Ins too). We found this area to be a varied and beautiful location depending on ones budget. Our realtor (The Willis Team) has been very helpful in finding potential builders and was/is quick to answer all of our questions. The only troubling info I have found about the ares is the supposed high crime rate which you can read about on citydata web site. But when visiting I do not feel this to be a threatening place what-so-ever. Nor do the people I speak with who have family living there or have vacationed there for over 20 years feel this way. Perhaps coming from the DC area has something to do with that…lol Well, enjoy your stay (we too stayed in a timeshare while looking around). We drove from Little River (which is nice)Longs all the way down to Murrells Inlet (also nice). Didn’t’ care for Longs or Loris. It all depends on how close in to the stores/beach/entertainment you want to be. The nice thing is you can drive 20 minutes and feel you’re in the country. One last thing…if you don’t mind being 45 or so minutes away from the beach we found a neighborhood in Tabor City, on Tabor Lake right over the NC line to be beautiful and quiet with large homes on the lake priced in the 300K range. But it was just to far from “everything” for our liking.

    by Barb — January 11, 2013

  671. Barb, thanks for your info about evacuation routes in case of flooding. My question would be, is Carolina Forest outside the really rough area? We too really liked Carolina Forest when we visited the area last July. We are also interested in looking at Conway. We truly liked the Murrells Inlet area as well; it just felt good to be in either place. Do you know anything about Conway? We did not get a chance to see it when we were there.

    by Dianaf — January 11, 2013

  672. DIANAF/IRENE: thanks, as always, for the info.

    by sheila — January 11, 2013

  673. Can anyone give me info about retiring in Sedona, AZ. I am seriously considering a move there. I would like some idea of the monthly cost of living there, such as heating and cooling, water, sewer, trash collection etc. I am also very interested in walking & hiking in the area. Are there local organizations/groups that offer this? And medical care. Is Medicare widely accepted in the area?

    by D Marr — January 11, 2013

  674. This is a bit off topic but I see many postings where people ask if an area has walking/hiking clubs or any other type of club. You can use the Meet Up web site to locate clubs in any area of the US or internationally. The URL is I found a French conversation group in the Worcester, MA area in this way. Also, for D. Marr, I found a hiking club in the Sedona area with over 500 members.

    by Carole — January 12, 2013

  675. Thank you very much, Carole. Most helpful.

    by D Marr — January 12, 2013

  676. I am currently living in NY State and can’t imagine why anyone would retire here unless you can live in the City. that might be great; I love Brooklyn and you can’t beat the art and cultural opportunities. But…the taxes are high, the winters are long and cold and the utilities are high, the traffic is terrible. if you are outside NYC metro area, the public transportation is nothing great. As mentioned in an earlier post you not only have property taxes you have separate school taxes, which can be high. Not a tax friendly state at all, and not cheap in other ways. I will be leaving as soon as I can, although it is a great place to visit.

    by Ginger — January 13, 2013

  677. We have visited the Bluffton SC and HHI area for many years and now are ready to hang up our snowshoes and snow shovels in Maine and head to SC for good! We discovered Beaufort a few years ago – about 45min. north of HHI. We fell in love with this lovely, historical ” mini-Charleston”. We have stayed at Dataw Island near Beaufort and loved the amenities and location, true low country living. However, we would love any input about this area, the Dataw Island community and other gated communities in the area. We have heard only realtor pitches and need to hear from others before plunking down a deposit!

    by Sandy — January 13, 2013

  678. This topic has lost its way from the original question of “Tell us where you are going to retire and why” to a lot of blind requests for information on various locations. I have a suggestion for the admistrator. This may be available on this site already but I couldn’t find it. I suggest for those who want to learn more about a location or cummunity, a page that lists sites to use to research these things. Some have been listed in this thread already. How about pulling all these resources together in one place to make it easier for people to do their research. For instance, sites to research climate, temperature, crime, real estate prices, employment, state and local taxes, property taxes, etc. Those who have done this research could make suggestions for this resource page.

    Editor’s Note: Great suggestion. See new article doing what you suggested: Please help make it even better by adding your own best links!

    by LS — January 13, 2013

  679. Hello Kathy… while NY rentals are HIGH..:eek:..there are quite a few targeted Senior Buildings Call 311 and ask for a lsiting of NYC area Senior Buildings..then you may be able to contact them..many in Manhattan..and find out about availablity, applications and/or wait lists. I live in NYC and I am nearing Retirement.

    by AaBeeda — January 13, 2013

  680. Another thought would be to divide the responses into east and west…clearly a lot of people have ideas, questions, comments, welcome advice, etc about where they are thinking of retiring. I am finding this the most valuable blog online as we research all the options out there. thank you.

    by Sandy — January 13, 2013

  681. AaBeeda, Thank you so much for the info! I will try the # 311 you gave. OK, I tried to call just 311 and it does not work. I live in Fl. so I probably need a whole #. Can you give me the number to try? Thanks, Kathy

    by kathy — January 14, 2013

  682. Kathy: I did some google searching on 311 in NY (I live here) and found this website that maybe helpful:

    by ginger — January 14, 2013

  683. We made it to Myrtle Beach. Looked at several properties today in Longs and Little River. It is going to be in the mid 70’s tomorrow. Beach day. Then it is off to Columbia then Charleston. May stop at a few places in NC on the way home. So far, not really impressed.

    by markg — January 14, 2013

  684. Mark- what was if about the areas near Myrtle Beach that you didn’t look at? Did you get to Conway or Carolina Forest in Myrtle Beach? Very curious. Are you heading to Bluffton at all and what part of Charlesfon are you checking out?

    by DianaF — January 15, 2013

  685. Markg

    CAN you please tell us who which communities you visited and why you where not impressed?
    Thank you,


    by Barbara — January 15, 2013

  686. We didn’t like Longs or Loris. Little River is ok depending on the neighborhood. What we found in the entire area of MB & Conway is that its hard to find a “nice” area that isn’t in a neighborhood w/an HOA. The zoning is such that you could buy a nice lot (several acres) and build a beautiful home and then have trailers all around (we saw a lot of this on our search). This we didn’t like. That is why we ended up buying a lot in a gated community in a neighborhood we just love w/minimal amenities which equals low HOA costs.

    by Barb — January 15, 2013

  687. Ginger, Thank you I will check it out! I have been searching for a year now and we plan on coming there in March. I have been looking for the city or town that has a low property tax. I think we want to rent for the 1st year but then would like to buy something small 1-2 bedroom and small yard as I have 2 very small dogs. Do you have any suggestions on an area that is safe and nice but less expensive to live in? My husband has terminal cancer and I hope and pray he will be with me for many more years but if I find myself alone I need to be able to afford it on my own and I will get half of his SS..Thanks much! Kathy

    by kathy — January 15, 2013

  688. :razz:Hi Kathy and Ginger… Thank You Ginger for giving Kathy the NYC Housing Link.. and Kathy if you still would like to contact 311 and ask if they would be able to mail you a packet on Senior Housing in New York City the 311 number for outside of the City is 1-212-New-York that is 1-212-639-9675.. I had a friend dial and this does connect to NYC311. Good Luck,,

    by AaBeeda — January 15, 2013

  689. We have purchased a home in Reunion Resort, Reunion Florida. It is not a 55+ community,however we did consider several of those. Reunion has 3 championship golf courses (a Palmer, Watson and Nicklaus). 11 Community pools and a water park. Most homes have a pool in addition to the community ones.

    Will let you know over time how we like this lifestyle. Our plans are to spend 3 to 4 months a year in Reunion.

    by John Taylor — January 15, 2013

  690. Unfortunately, you won’t find low property tax in NY. However, it is higher in NYC and Yonkers. And it can change radically from county to county. I live in Albany county, but the county next door, Schenectady, has much higher property tax. My advice would be to find places that appeal to you asthetically, then check with a realtor in that area on the property tax rates. And be sure to ask about school tax, as you will have that too! You might want to look on Long Island, just above Queens. There are some nice little towns there. But I don’t know how the taxes are. And of course upstate is always cheaper.

    by ginger — January 15, 2013

  691. Kathy, if you get out of NYC area, you could look at Kingston, Woodstock, or if you don’t mind a bit of a drive, a darling town is Saratoga Springs. It is the sight of the horseraces and has the cutest downtown ever. near a lake. You would be about 3 hours from NYC if you were in ‘toga. Kingston is much closer, maybe 1 to 1.5 hours north. Hudson is cute too.

    by ginger — January 15, 2013

  692. […] there”. That is certainly apparent among the amazing member comments made on the “Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire” story we wrote about a year ago, where 691 Comments have been made (so far). […]

    by » Find Out What It’s Like to Retire in (Just About Anywhere) Topretirements — January 15, 2013

  693. Kathy, New Paltz, NY is about an hour and a half north of NYC and a very lovely little town. It is in Ulster County. Kingston, while nice, it is a good two hours north of NYC; I grew up in New Paltz so I am partial. We shopped the malls in Poughkeepsie, which was a bit closer than Kingston, but there are cute little shops in New Paltz. Which may be all you need. Newburgh, which is only about an hour from NYC is also all right, it is in Orange County; just check out the areas closer in Newburgh regarding crime etc. however, West Point is right near Newburgh, so it is a beautiful area. Happy hunting.

    by DianaF — January 16, 2013

  694. Today we are going to Columbia to look at several properties then it is Charleston. Once we return to CT, I will write about the areas and my impressions.

    by Markg — January 16, 2013

  695. just started looking. KIds and g’kids are in Huntsville but it’s so humid and hot there not sure about that. Retirement communities there more like nursing home type. I’m a widow now so would like to be nearer to kids but know nothing about this part of the country. Difficult to do any of this when you’re going on as a single.

    by Anne — January 16, 2013

  696. Re: Rock ’til Ya Drop – I think Jerry was referring to his/our mythical Shangri-La … or else he has been rolling on the floor laughing and, seeing our reactions to his post, attempting to copyright the name and sell franchises throughout the world ;-). However, a small intimate venue was always my choice. My all-time favorite has been the long-closed Cellar Door in Georgetown (DC).I would suggest that road warriors find State Bridge, CO and visit when events are occurring ( Stay in a yurt and ck out the school bus. Better than that huge outdoor theater west of Denver. Also, these are young bands getting started (with some older “friends” joining now and then), rather than just older bands trying to relive their glory … though some of these can still ROCK … look at the Stones!). SF, CA area is replete with such venues. If we could afford it I would live ANYWHERE north of SF (especially Marin Co.). Last June saw Charlie Neville and Youssoupha Sidibe in some old theater in a small town north of SF. What a show (music!!!). The opening act was a wall-of-sound group a la Chicago/BS&T, but at his age Charlie Neville could play with the very best of them (and better than most!). There is a place in SF called Yoshi’s that seems to have great music and atmosphere (haven’t been there). There s also a ranch north of SF that was bought and turned into a music venue. Whole area is music-rich. We found a small place east of Jacksonville (FL) on coast that is supposedly where Leonard Skynard began. Those are the places to see music. Shows in huge arenas can have great light shows (Trans Siberian Orchestra!) to be a fantastic Rock Opera, but for me being “part of the music” in a small venue was always the best.
    Now, more to topic of this thread, the Monk & his Mrs will probably remain in our current retreat in Garrett County MD for a few more years and make trips when we can. We have seen many areas, and besides the winter weather, this one has much to offer (“close” to major health centers in Pittsburgh, Balto, & DC) w/adequate local health care including two hospitals in Morgantown WV; local grocery stores with organic/natural foods sections; large lake with ski slope and other tourist attractions, fantastic public libraries that loan DVDs and have free Wi-Fi and public PCs; super bike trail nearby (Great Allegany Passage + C&O Canal bike path), etc., etc. I was forced to retire last June. When wife finally retires in a couple years, we will do more traveling along with selling our current home, and travel for a few years (renting 1 – 6 months as we do so, depending upon what we find in that area). These travels, along with the shorter trips we have done over the yrs will hopefully provide enough insight to settle somewhere. Right now, we are considering eventual settlement in Pacific NW or FL. If we do west coast, we would be snowbirds from there to SW USA or Cabo/CR/Belize/etc. If FL, we would be reverse snowbirds from FL to Quebec/Ontario/Newfoundland, Pacific NW, SW Canada, Europe. Or, maybe we won’t do any of that ;-). However, I DEFINITELY do not see us owning a home ever again … never! We will rent, even when/if we ever settle down.

    by Mad Monk — January 16, 2013

  697. To Mad Monk – What are your reasons for never owning a home again? I am thinking the same thing.

    by Bob P — January 16, 2013

  698. Mad Monk,

    I like your idea of never owning a home again, but have to ask how long has it been since you have rented? We have rented several times in the past few years but have been “forced” to move due to noisey neighbors, lax management, etc. Last rental was in a new “upscale” building but didn’t seem to matter much. I believe if you rent a house vs. apartment things could be somewhat better. As for us, we finally bought a home and will do so again.
    Rental life may sound “carefree” and could be, just do due diligence as much as possible.

    by Fionna — January 17, 2013

  699. Mad Monk:

    I too loved the Cellar Door in DC. Saw Neil Young there when I was stationed at Fort Ritchie near Hagerstown. Loved that area – but not during winter. I am thinking about the southern Blue Ridge mountains for my retirement destination. Somewhere like eastern Tennessee or northern Georgia.

    by LS — January 17, 2013

  700. Mad Monk

    I too have tons of fond memories of the Cellar Door, I am a widow now, but met my husband in Georgetown. Loved the area back then, but don’t think I would tolerate the hot humid summers and cold winters anymore. Spring and Fall are delightful there! I now go back and forth between Az and Ca. Love the weather and diversity!

    by Loralee — January 17, 2013

  701. Like all things, there are pluses and minuses to home ownership vs renting. One thing I strive to do in retirement is control my expenses. It is easier to do this in a home I own than being subject to the rent increases of my landlord. Rents have been escalating and are projected to do so for some time to come. Yes, I can always move to a cheaper place, but I hated moving when I was younger, and I sure don’t anticipate moving getting easier or more fun as I age.

    For those of you who want to check out areas by renting for several months at a time, check out websites that advertise vacation rentals, like or Places that are pretty expensive by the week can be quite reasonable when rented for a few months, particularly when rented outside of prime season. These two websites have listings worldwide, and there are many others out there.

    by Julie — January 18, 2013

  702. My wife and I finally decided to buy a Mobile Home 20 miles north of Portland Or, in a small town in Washington. We have been here since the end of July. We looked at Nevada and Southern Utah but found we did not wish to be that far from the kids and grand kids (they all live north of us in WA). This is a compromise between good weather and kids. While looking for a place to live in retirement we rented for 5 years and moved a lot. We put our belongings in storage and lived in furnished condos but decided we like our own stuff around so we moved most of our things with us and my wife realized that our furniture was taking a beating, not to mention that it is expensive putting down deposits (you lose most if not all when moving) and renting a truck paying for gas … So, now we live in a park and we really like our new home but just recently we have become aware of residental discord among some of the people living here. It has taken us 6 months to realize that it is not all good here. It is so bad my wife who said we would never move again has decided that maybe (after 5 years) we may need to move farther south in search of better weather during the winter. Personally, I think as we age instead of becoming more tolerant of people we either shut everything down or become more like Jr High Schoolers.
    Good luck to all in your search, we thought we had it right but maybe not … We don’t want to rent and move again from place to place. It can be quite expensive. Personally, I love retirement but all I need is sun and I am happy, Hmmmm haven’t seen the sun for a while.

    by maxit4fun — January 18, 2013

  703. maxit4fun, what do you mean by residential discord? Are you in a park for only 55 plus? I agree that as we age we probably become like kids again. And for me the sun is top priority.

    by Bob P — January 18, 2013

  704. Yes, we live in an over 55 community. The park is really well taken care of as far as the homes and grounds around the homes. People being upset is nothing major, I guess people being upset with each other over what I would not get up set about is hard for me to understand. There are clic’s just like Jr High school and the gossip is incredible.

    I forgot to mention that we really like the fact that we pay no state income tax and we do drive to Oregon to shop for big items that have sales tax attached in Washington. It really helped with some construction and appliances we had replaced. By the way complaining about the weather worked. It was sunny here yesterday.

    Also, my wife and I like the fact that we do not have a lot of humidity extreme heat/cold or snow and no snakes or bugs except for the occasional house fly. Everything is a trade off. I wonder if I can get two sunny days in a row?

    by Maxit4fun — January 19, 2013

  705. I have owned five homes in five different locations (when I moved for jobs). The last move I rented because RE was so high and I knew I would not be staying in area when I retire. With 2 dogs and a bird, I needed to find a fenced yard (no, I do not heave my dogs outside), but need to have a few jumps, tunnels, etc to exercise the dogs). When you are buying you just need fenced or “fence-able”.

    The first rental became bank owned. The second home (I am still in it), I had a CO emergency and the landlord’s first comment was “I didn’t know we had a CO monitor (he didn’t, I did) and that the batteries must be dead. Hmmm…and all those firemen had dead batteries as well. To be fair, it was my first thought and I did change the batteries. And I finally got a new furnace. I had trouble with for the entire time that I lived there prior to this. I have had a rood leak for almost two years. He has sent folks over, but it hasn’t gotten fixed yet. So renting houses has issues.

    Both of these houses are in nice neighborhoods and are decent houses, but upkeep has been spotty. The first was run by a property management company and it took two weeks in July to get A/C fixed. The second is a professional who supplement income with some rental houses. So I agree that owning allows you to control expenses better on the structure itself, but we all know that there can be other issues like HOA etc., etc., etc.

    I like the idea of renting for awhile although I didn’t do it when I did own…but the RE market was different then. I was reasonably lucky in my choices.

    by Elaine — January 19, 2013

  706. Maxit4fun – what small town do you live in Washington? I live in Spokane where the winter does get cold (can stay indoors) and the summers are something to brag about. No humidity! I am orginially from Pennsylvania and do t think I want to go back to the extreme humidity in the summer months. Where did you move to Washington from? I do not tolerate snakes – scared to death of them – have lived here for 36 years and have never seen one although we know they are in the woods, etc. This is what prevents me from going South.

    by Debbye — January 19, 2013

  707. “So I agree that owning allows you to control expenses better on the structure itself, but we all know that there can be other issues like HOA etc., etc., etc.”

    Elaine, yes, there are certain increases in expenses that are out of your control, but you don’t have to buy a property ruled by an HOA, (I won’t,) and you don’t have to buy a condo subject to condo association fees. You can look for a property where the taxes are stable and there is a good commercial base to help fund the schools. If you do buy a condo, make sure you get insurance that covers you for surprise special assessments. Not every company has that clause, but having this insurance recently saved a friend about $45,000 after a major issue was found requiring the front face of their city building to be rebuilt. (Travelers perhaps?)

    In retirement we can be more particular, not needing to be in a specific place for work. While we can not prevent the unforeseeable, and just about anything is possible, with careful planning we can minimize probable causes for increase of expenses.

    by Julie — January 20, 2013

  708. No body wants a HOA, Condo Association, etc… but what you have sometimes without them is a nightmare…When looking at homes in Florida, both East & West Coast’s, what I found was almost every home I looked at without a HOA you had your future neighbors using their property as storage for their mobil homes, boat trailers, run down sheds,etc…not what I want to look at as I’m driving home or waking up in my retirement home. So before you fall in love with your new home without an HOA, ride around the neighborhood and see how your future neighbors live.
    Before you eliminate a home with an HOA fee, see what the fee covers, some cover the landscaping, community center, pool, common areas, water, basic cable, etc.., when you deduct the covered items, the HOA fees may not be that bad!
    As far as Condo Association’s, truly a pain in the Ars, try finding an apartment style building without one…my in-laws live in a town house in Fort Lauderdale, with only 4 units, and by some law they have to have a HOA to govern the common area’s…
    Besides HOA’s you have to look for CDD(Community Development Districts), DRC(Deed Restricted Community), CRA(Community Re-Development Agency) and then the one builders like to slide in Recreation Fees-something similar to what the hotels/resorts add to everyone’s bill for using their grounds…No one ever talks/mentions these four, but something you need to look for if you want to buy something, especially in Florida.
    Just something else to think about, before you buy…

    by Russ — January 20, 2013

  709. Debbye … My wife and I live in Woodland, WA … About 25 miles north of Portland, OR. My wife spent her early years in S. California until she was an adult then lived for a short time in AK and TX. Then she moved to Everett, WA for 25 years or so.

    I have lived mostly in the NW except for HS and I lived in New Orleans. For 5 years we moved and rented quite a lot to see where we really would like to live. Southern Utah and Nevada had really good winter weather but was too far from family and too hot during the summer for my wife. California is out of our price range but has some very nice weather and interesting places to visit.

    by Maxit4fun — January 20, 2013

  710. To the one that suggested Menifee CAlif. Thanks.. We visited last week and were suprised. My map is dated 2007 showing the pop at 100. It was incorparated in 2008 and now has a population of 80,000 !! It was a nice area but the growth is tremendous. One of the developments called Audie Murphy Ranch is supposed to have 2800 homes upon completion.

    by MArk P — January 20, 2013

  711. We returned yesterday from our house hunting trip to South Carolina to freezing temperatures in Connecticut.

    We met with three different real estate agents in Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Charleston.

    The real estate agent in Myrtle Beach showed us a combination of condos and single family homes in Little River and Longs. She picked this area because she is from New England and knows the area we live in and felt these were the best communities for us. Overall we did not care for the Myrtle Beach area. Unless you are an avid golfer or shopper which we are not there is not much else in the area. If you want to work part-time it is retail unless you have a trade. Also we did not like any of the properties that the realtor showed us. But several people we met told us to look into the area along Carolina Forest Blvd. and Tournament Blvd near the TPC. Looked at these neighborhoods on our own and did like the area. One more thing about the Myrtle Beach Area, to save on insurance look to purchase property north of the 17 Bypass. There are actually some areas north that do not require flood insurance.

    Next it was the State Capital of Columbia, to us it was a mini Boston. Liked Columbia very much we looked in the Forest Acres area which is north east of downtown. This is an upscale neighborhood and saw several homes we liked very much. There is a lot to do in Columbia seeing it is the Capital and there is a huge college community there University of South Carolina. We had dinner near the campus and it was like eating in Cambridge, MA. For work there is a little bit of everything. The only complaint is that it is a three hour drive to the beach. If you go house hunting in Columbia suggest making a side trip to the State Museum, State House and Governor’s Mansion.

    Then it was onto to Charleston. On the ride down from Columbia we passed the new Boeing Plant in North Charleston and you could see the Completed Boeing Dreamliners from the the highway, pretty neat.

    by MarkG — January 23, 2013

  712. Sorry for the separation, Our realtor showed us properties in Summerville a suburb north of Charleston. This community reminded us of the community we live in now. Properties were very affordable and it was a very nice community. Summerville is about 40 minutes from the beach and home owners insurance is reasonable. Other communities highly recommended by the realtor were West Ashley, Mt Pleasant and Folly Beach.

    We only had a day and a half in both Columbia and Charleston but I feel we got a pretty good feel of the area. In Charleston we stayed with friends in West Ashley and they gave us a tour and a real insight to the surrounding area.

    Several notes about South Carolina; If you own a property and it is not your primary residents the real estate taxes are triple. Once you turn 65 taxes drop by about 50%. Water and sewage are expensive, the monthly rate is the same as my quarterly rate. It is very buggy in the summer and a screened in porch/patio is recommended. Most condo complexes have a termite bonds, if you by a house again because of the humid weather a termite bond / a pest control contract should be included in your estimated house expenses. You pay taxes on your car when you register it and a driver’s license can last up to 10 years depending on your score on the eye exam.

    If we move to SC most likely it will be to Summerville. If you drive on 95 you have to stop at least once at South of the Border and JR Discount Outlet.

    by MarkG — January 23, 2013

  713. MadMonk, I spent 33 years in San Francisco and only left because it is so expensive. For my money, that is the best town on earth. Music over the top.

    Mark…tell us why you won’t buy again.

    by Ginger — January 24, 2013

  714. Does anyone know of a SMALL town near Birmingham, AL to retire ? We want some land to look at as former City dwellers !

    by Patsy Locks — January 24, 2013

  715. Mark G…. Don’t know where you got the idea that “If you own a property and it is not your primary residents the real estate taxes are triple.” I have owned property in the Myrtle Beach area since 1997 and the property taxes are the same as my neighbor who lives there full time.

    by Dick — January 24, 2013

  716. Patsy Locks you might like Tuscaloosa, Al. I lived there some time ago, and thought it had a charm, and enjoyed being by lake Tuscaloosa! It is about 1 hrs drive from Birmingham.

    by loralee — January 25, 2013

  717. Mark – Dick…the property taxes are different for a primary resident vs out of state. Primary Residences pay 4.0% of fair market value, out of state owners pay 6.0%. A homestead exemption of $50,000 is available to residents who are 65 years of age. These figures are from the South Carolina Dept. of Revenue.

    by Barb — January 25, 2013

  718. Patsy,
    You may want to visit some of the suburbs of Birmingham like Mountain Brooks (expensive) see English Village area or Vestavia. There are some very nice neighborhoods that have a Birmingham address (like Hoover) and a smaller feel. If you really want acreage try Shelby county (Sterritt). It has been many, namy years since I have been there so much may have changed. So I have no real recommendations.

    by Elaine — January 25, 2013

  719. Can anyone explain the car tax in California? I can’t seem to get a straight answer from DMV’s web site. For example MAssachusetts the was a fee for registration (plates and tags) then in the fall the town you resided in billed you annually for an excise tax ( a road use tax) currently $25 per thousand based on NADA book value. So I guess the quetion is, what is the registration fee for plates and tags. What is the title fee? what is the road use tax or excise tax, is it annuel? Thanks

    by Mark P — January 25, 2013

  720. Retire? They say you need at least 1 million per person to retire and more like 2. looks like I will be working until I am dead for 3 years. It is scary. I have no pension, not a gvt worker and like so many got laid off at 57 and had to dig into my retirement accounts.. Good luck to you. I am dead serious.There are millions of us out there. Maybe I may be one of your caddys on the golf course.

    by salty — January 25, 2013

  721. My wife and I are considering a move to St. James Plantation in Southport, NC
    Any one have any knowledge of the plantation or the area? Thanks

    by Steve W — January 25, 2013

  722. Steve W, we visited St James Plantation in August. It is beautiful and has many wonderful amenities. It is more than we want to spend, about $300,000 for a home and fairly high monthly fees.

    by Kathy C — January 26, 2013

  723. Charleston SC has been rated as the friendliest city in the US several time. We live about an hour away in Columbia. There is so much to do in Charleston. From the beach to golf. Most folks that move down here just go on and on at how much better it is that up north. I spent a nice evening waiting for a table at at beach restaurant with a fellow that I did not know but he was from NY and had moved 2 years before, he was happy that he had. Taxes are not too much of a pain. We almost never see any snow. and if you are a golfer you can play just about every day of the year.

    by Ron — January 26, 2013

  724. Salty,

    I’ve never understood the back of the napkin requirements for $$ needed to retire. It depends on how much you need to spend, not a percentage of your income before retirement. Figure out what your budget needs will be in retirement and work up what your nest egg needs to be to supply it. My parents retired early with much less than $1MM each and we are doing the same. We had a review with a financial planner who ran the numbers for us, and was shocked to see that the numbers indeed told him we could do as we planned, and even have bonus money to spend. It’s all about having reasonable expectations on how much you can spend. Check out this website for some less conventional retirement tactics:

    by Julie — January 26, 2013

  725. I am glad to read that other retirees (besides me) want budget living. Most
    of the blogs on your site are luxury residences. I currently live in a small
    cottage which is well built and easy to heat with a landlord who does good
    maintenance. I am looking for a similar home in retirement but in a warmer
    location near water.

    From reading your blogs, I am leaning toward the Carolinas. On a lake. My
    dream would be a year round vacation spot. Ocean front seems too dangerous and expensive for year round living. Many warmer climes are reported as too humid in the summer. I am definitely looking for one, year round, modest,
    residence. Any suggestions welcome.

    by Moving South — January 26, 2013

  726. We too are thinking along your lines, Moving South. The ocean front is very expensive with higher taxes and from the recent storm activity a little too scary. You might want to look around the area of Lake Lure, NC. It’s not far from Asheville or Charlotte but considered a beautiful vacation spot. Smaller homes on the lake are not outrageously expensive.

    by cherie — January 26, 2013

  727. For Mark – We have relocated to California twice and their system is very different from what you experience in MA. We’re from CT originally with a similar system as MA. California, although an absolutely beautiful place, is the land of fees and taxes. All info here is from 2007 but it gives you an idea of what you could expect. The state is in serious financial trouble so I am sure these figures have only gone UP! Your initial visit to DMV will put a space in your wallet for sure. They have their pile of fees that you pay when you bring a vehicle into the state. If your vehicle does not meet their clean air standards than you have an additional fee which is added at the time of initial registration. Our last relocation was in 2007 at which time we registered two 2004 Acuras costing just under $700. You are required to have a vehicle smog inspection ($60 in 2007 $$$) upon entering the state. Annual DMV registration renewals ran about $260 each vehicle. No additional tax bill from the city you live in. Driver Licenses cost about $27 and each driver is required to pass a DMV driver’s test before the licenses are issued. They can send you the booklet up front to study from, possibly found online. Some items that may be new to you is the proper way to curb your tires while parking on a hill, and the parking time requirements based on the color of the curbing. There are 4 different curb colors, mess up and they are very happy to tag you quickly. Just an FYI, the CA gas is formulated differently for clean air so of course it is more expensive and they only produce it for a certain time period during the year (my neighbor worked for Chevron) when the supply runs low the prices jump because they can’t change over quickly to produce the cleaner fuel. You will pay a premium at the pump when the retailers have to go into their reserves. The good news is that the DMV itself is quite efficient. You can schedule an appt online (highly recommended) and they actually take you on time! You can process your registration and then have your eye test and driver’s test completed all in one visit. Be sure to check out your auto insurance rates based on your zip code before you plant yourself somewhere. I hope this helps in some way, and welcome anyone with newer info to jump in. Good Luck with your search!

    by Jane — January 26, 2013

  728. We are thinking of moving to Carson City Nevada. Can anyone please give me as much info on this area as possible. Thank you so much! Kathy

    by kathy — January 27, 2013

  729. Hi all, A few months ago there was a name of a man who would drive your car for you when you move. I think there was also a way to get a hold of this man. If anyone remembers this please let me know as I want someone to drive my car from where I live now across country to my new place I will be living. Thanks so much! Kathy

    by kathy — January 27, 2013

  730. For Kathy: I just retired and am thinking about being a driver and doing this some in retirement. Give me a note as to where you are and where you are going. Maybe we can work something out. I am in Washington State and my email is I will be leaving Tuesday the 28th for a week on Maui but will be back the 6th of Feb….Roy W.

    by Roy W. — January 27, 2013

  731. Cherie, thank you so much for the suggestion of Lake Lure, N.C. I googled it and find the temperature not much different from where I live in Virginia. Blog comments report Tennessee and Kentucky about the same. So I guess I am looking further south. Suggestions welcome!

    by Moving South — January 28, 2013

  732. Looking for an open minded area in Virginia to retire. Am single and active and will be working part time. Love Williamsburg but believe it is too expensive and have only visited so am not sure of the social climate.

    by Rita 88 — January 29, 2013

  733. D. MARR …. I used to live in Cottonwood, AZ, not far from Sedona. I was unable to afford to live in Sedona. Rent, or to buy, is outrageously expensive. Grocery stores are about the same as everywhere else, and they have two nice natural food stores. Sedona, with its red rocks, is very beautiful and there is lots of hiking opportunity. I don’t know the cost of utilities, etc., because I lived in Cottonwood, about 20 minutes drive from Sedona. Medical is not too good, although they do have a fairly good Cancer Center there. Most people drive all the way to Phoenix in order to get a good doctor. Prescott is also nice, but doesn’t compare to Sedona in beauty, and the medical situation is equally bad up here. It’s a hassle to have to drive to Phoenix for competent medical care, but it’s the best way to know you are in good hands medically. Best thing for you to do is to come for a visit to Sedona to see it for yourself. I think I’d like living there for a while, but then I’d have to move again …….. but I don’t like Arizona and it’s residents, which probably causes me to think that way. Flagstaff is a nice town and has much better medical care, but still not as good as Phoenix. It is a University town so the mentality is much better there than in these small towns

    by Ursula — February 21, 2013

  734. Ursula – Thanks so much for your input about Sedona and surrounding areas. I agree about the cost of living in Sedona. The only reason that I can even think of moving there is because the housing market has dropped so much in recent years. And I will be swapping a beautiful waterfront home in Virginia for what I am sure will be a much more modest one in Sedona. So, we shall see.

    Would you mind telling me what it is about AZ that you do not like? I lived in Tucson for a few years, but that was about 30 years ago, so your feelings about the locals is of great interest to me. I intend for this move to be my last, so want to make sure I make the right choices.

    Thanks again for your insight.

    by D Marr — February 22, 2013

  735. My wife and myself have lived in The Villages, FL for 17 years I played my 533 hole of golf yesterday. We have over 100 full service resturants golf cart accessable. Walmart,Sams, Target,Kohls, Best Buys, Belks. Would not want to live anywhere else.

    by Tom Nay — March 2, 2013

  736. My husband and I have been to The Villages, FL and really liked it. Now, it was just a visit and we stayed in one of their life style homes for about a week. We don’t know what it’s like to actually live there. What is so different there in The Villages than any other 55+ community? Is there any down side?What is the healthcare like in the Villages? We have also checked out the Del Webb communities in FL and Nashville and found it’s pretty quiet. We haven’t decide on where since I do have 2 more years of work. Thanks.

    by Betty — March 3, 2013

  737. Would like any info abut Austin, EX. Daughter and family will be mmoving to Austin and would like to know about the Del Webb community or any other info would be helpful. Never have been to Tx. Thanks for any input.Judy

    by beemantj — March 3, 2013

  738. Austin is nice. It is a liberal city and is home to a couple nice universities, UT being the most “famous”. It is a bit more expensive than San Antonio, about fifty miles to the South. The Ailey in Austin is easy to use, easy to get to, easy to rent a car, just easy all around. Georgetown is I think where the Del Webb community is located, which is just north of Austin. Check the property taxes out; we have found living in Texas, that property taxes are high. I also have a lot of allergies, and it has not been good for me. However, there are thousands who are fine or who live with them. We have a home between Austin and San Antonio that we have been trying to sell.. It is in Mystic Shores, Spring Branch; we built it in 2007 and it is a custom, one story. If you’re interested let me know. It is too large for us now. Good luck in your search. Mystic Shores is on the shores of Canyon Lake, many retirees but no where near the restrictions of a Del
    Webb Community.

    by DianaF — March 3, 2013

  739. I am not too computer savy and am learning a lot from this site. Is there a way to delete old comments so you do not have to scroll thru all to get to ones you want to consult?

    by Moving South — March 3, 2013

  740. Moving South,

    If you sign up for the daily summary, (and I don’t remember how I did that, but perhaps Admin can chime in,) you are sent links to the new posts. Clicking on them takes you right to them.

    Note from Admin/Editor: Thanks Julie, you are exactly right. The Daily Digest will take you right to the latest comment. However, if you have an iPad and a few other devices that might not work. In which case use the arrow on the side to scroll down, or flip it down with your finger. Here is where you can sign up:

    by Julie — March 4, 2013

  741. Moving South,
    If you want to keep the blog, but delete the irrelevant (to you)comments), I really do not know a way to do that. You could probably select the blog, but in a word doc and then do it yourself, but that you would need to keep updating. others have said how to get to most recent.

    by eric — March 4, 2013

  742. Hi anyone has info about Bear Delaware? thanks

    by rosie — March 4, 2013

  743. Thanks for all the tips on deleting some posts. I will try them.

    by Moving South — March 4, 2013

  744. We have been in Austin this first year of retirement…..came because of our adult kids. It is NOT all that great. The traffic is HORRIBLE, the heat for five months of the year way too HOT,and new houses are shoved together and are cookie-cutter. Luckily we are in an apartment and left all of our things in storage (thanks to Uncle Sam)). We are now thinking Cincinnati. No one mentions Ohio much. But Cincinnatti has tons of parks, four seasons….we sure miss fall…and is closer to the east coast which we love. Anyine living in Cincinnati? Give me you thoughts. Oh, and we do have family there. Our kids will just have to visit us and we may well winter in Austin.

    by Linda — September 14, 2013

  745. […] further reading: Here is a link to a similar article asking for member input on best places to retire in 2012. It received more than 700 comments. The article has a link to our analysis of those comments. 100 […]

    by » Results Are in: Where You Think the Best Place to Retire Is Topretirements — April 26, 2014

  746. […] where these inputs came from, many of which had astonishing numbers of comments – for example Tell Us Where You Are Going to Retire had 745 fascinating […]

    by » Tell Us Where You Are Living in Retirement - Topretirements — October 21, 2014

  747. Linda, We will be leaving the Cincinnati area for FL at some point after we sell our home in N KY. We love it here and have no trouble finding many things to do. We are 10 min. from downtown and can see the skyline from our house. I can walk the dog in the park 2X a day. BUT the winters have gotten more severe and there are just too many grey days with everything else brown. The forecast is for much snow this winter and we really don’t want to be shut in for days at a time. It would be great to be snowbirds but we really can’t afford 2 residences and it would worry my husband nuts to leave a home for months at a time. So we will join the herds for the south and see what it brings. Cinci. is a great town and just about anyone with sense would love it here. Best of luck finding a place outside of Austin.

    by deb h — October 22, 2014

  748. We currently live in northern New York with very cold winters and lots of snow. As we are getting older with a few more creaking joints, we are looking for something warmer but still with the beautiful Fall changing leaves. So, are thinking of Virginia. We plan lots of exploring trips this summer but think we want to concentrate on the north and east so we are not so far from family. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

    by Nancy Y — March 25, 2020

  749. We moved from Rochester to the Richmond area three years ago and love it. We’re within two hours to the ocean, two hours to the mountains and within two hours to DC where our kids live. Spring is beautiful now, summers can get hot and humid but doable, fall is beautiful and winters are mild. There’s so much to see and do, so many historical sites and great places to explore. New housing construction is booming.

    by Patti R — March 26, 2020

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