Showcase Listing

Few towns in the Southeast offer more gracious charm than Aiken, South Carolina.  Take a relaxing stroll through Aiken's tree-lined ...

Showcase Listing

Birchwood at Brambleton is an exciting new community for active adults 55+ located in the heart of Loudoun County, and is intentionally d...

Showcase Listing

Embrey Mill® is an all-ages master-planned community located in Stafford, Virginia, just north of Fredericksburg, and offers a totally st...

Showcase Listing

Welcome to Cresswind Charlotte!  This nature-rich refuge of inviting streetscapes, manicured landscaping and miles of walking trails...

Showcase Listing

Bon Ayre is a 55+ active adult, manufactured home land lease community located in Smyrna, Delaware, a town which was recently ranked 31st...


Time to Share: Where Do You Think is the Best Place to Retire?

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 6, 2013 — Like we did in 2012, it is time again to ask our members to share their retirement plans. But we would like to ask the question in a little different way. Specifically, where do you think is the best place to retire, based on what you know now. When we asked a similar question last time (“Where are you thinking about retiring”) the results were incredible – you provided over 700 thoughtful responses. Our new question is a little different – you can either answer where you intend to live in retirement, or where you would retire if you could. We are anxious to see what you all say!

For our part, we promise to analyze and

categorize the responses in a future article. The project depends on getting as many people as possible to contribute, which will give us more valuable survey data. So please, take just a moment to give something back to the many other people on this site who have shared their stories and plans!

Your Easy Instructions
We need your brief response to this question (in 140 characters or less, or not more than 3 lines of text):
“Where is the best place for you to retire (city and/or community if known). Why do you think that might be a good place?”

Your brief message keep the comments easy to read and not so difficult to analyze. You can respond directly in the Comments section below, or you can send an email with your comments, or you can even tweet to @topretirements with #mybestretirement in the message/post. We will put everything together in the Comments section, and then summarize and analyze in a future article.

This won’t take long, and the results will be a real help to you and everyone else in this community. Thanks!

Comments: Post your 140 character answer below, or send us an email or even a Tweet @topretirements with #myretirementspot in the message

Posted by Admin on May 6th, 2013


  1. For my husband and myself it will be the gulf side of florida within a 30 mile radius of Clearwater. We are looking in a 55+ resident owned mobile home park..after visiting my parents when they retired there we are going to follow in their footsteps. We will be spending the month of July finding our new home and will be moving down before the end of October…that is our plan:smile:

    by Angela — May 7, 2013

  2. Probably in a adult community in the Denver area. Tired of the heat and drab landscape in Texas. If we find that too cold, it may be eastern Tennessee or northern Georgia.

    by LS — May 7, 2013

  3. We just purchased property at Dataw Island in Beaufort SC. We plan to build our retirement home there in the next few years. We love the Lowcountry area -the water, the friendly people, the history, and yes, the heat! After 34 years in Maine and 6 months of bitter cold winters, we can’t wait!

    by Sandy — May 7, 2013

  4. I don’t want 7 mo of winter (upstate NY) any more, so I’m search, and thinking of Ocala or Gainesville, Florida, 3 seasons more or less, cool moderate winters, low humidity during that time, and then I can tolerate the hot months. At least I can be outside 7 or 8 months enjoying life.

    by millie fitzpatrick — May 7, 2013

  5. We’re moving to Florida in Augsut. We have no specific place yet, but we’re looking at the Sarasota/Tampa area. We just sold our place and plan to rent month to month in different location until we find the location for us. One reason we’re first moving to Florida is tax purposes. Once we become residents, the tax implications of withdrawing money from our 401k/403B/TSP make it a non-brainer or us Same would apply if we moved to any state without income tax. We may withdraw a large amount so as to purchase a property and even if we don’t like Florida and move to the Carolinas or back to Maryland. With the move we are able to net about 8% more from our tax deferred savings than if we stayed in Maryland.

    by Mark — May 7, 2013

  6. We bought a lot in Myrtle Beach seven miles from the beach in a small quiet gated neighborhood with large tree-filled lots bordering a preserve. We will build and move in two years (Lord willing). We chose MB for the beach, low taxes/cost of living, friendly people, plenty to do and its midway between family in MD and FL. Hoping for many visitors 🙂

    by Barb — May 7, 2013

  7. Just last month we bought a lot and found a builder in Sarasota, after a 2 year search around the country. Sarasota, along with its beautiful beaches, has a WOW factor that we couldn’t find in other warm weather climates. Wonderful urban atmosphere and amenities. We will be snowbirds so don’t have to worry about the hot summers. There was a reason (many) that it was voted number 1 place to retire last year.

    by Kathi M — May 7, 2013

  8. Kathi,
    Mind sharing where you are going to build in Sarasota.

    by sue — May 7, 2013

  9. I am looking for “Walden’s Pond,” but I can’t find it. I will keep searching.

    by Bob P — May 7, 2013

  10. Reading this site for almost a year has helped me decide to retire near a lake in North or South Carolina. I want to rent in or near a 55+ community.
    Why? Water,weather, climate, walkability and I may need help in a few years.

    by Moving South — May 7, 2013


    by Wayne — May 8, 2013

  12. Barb hi when you looked at Myrtle Beach did you see any over 55 communities that were new or nearly new that you would recommend? I don’t want to build. Either a townhome or 1800 sq ft house or attached house would suit our needs.

    by rubytuesday — May 8, 2013

  13. We are in the process of buying a patio home in Mesa, AZ. We will move there within 16 months. Like so many others, we are done with months and months of cold Chicago winters. Summer heat in AZ? We’ll use some of that time to visit the kids and grand kids. Maybe we’ll spend a week or two in the AZ “high country”. Retirement means what we do is now up to us. I think I will quickly get used to that when I finally pull the plug and retire!! 🙄

    by David — May 8, 2013

  14. Hi rubytuesday,

    We were not interested in an over 55 community so I cant give information on those. However, a mother of friend of mine lives in Myrtle Trace and according to her, it is a beautiful community in Conway (which is in the Myrtle Beach area). According to her, there are mostly older people living there, but some younger couples are starting to move in. By younger she meant in their 50’s. I hope that helps. If you want I can give you the name of our realtor. He was very good in showing us the type properties we were interested in and there was no pressure.

    by Barb — May 8, 2013

  15. Wayne-You might want to take a look at Tellico Village and Rarity Bay. It is a beautiful area and has a wide range of prices. Good luck with your search and let us know what you find.

    by LisaJ — May 8, 2013

  16. Madison Connecticut

    by Jerry McGurkin — May 8, 2013

  17. The big Island is our next stop. We like the weather not much change from day to day. Looking to use my veteran medical and kaiser medical which will be covered on the big Island. Cost of living is what we can live with cali has now passed the cost of Hawaii. I want to be warm year round.

    by Dave — May 8, 2013

  18. We found an idyllic spot in the Republic of Panama. Climate and ease of access were the primary considerations: 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean with cool mountain breezes. Taxes are important: we maintain stateside residence in a tax friendly state and our home in Panama has no property tax for 20 years. Health care is provided by US trained, English speaking doctors at about half the stateside cost. Every conceivable recreational activity is at our fingertips and there is a large and growing expat community. Family loves to visit us here. Very safe, negligible crime, great food and friendly locals.

    by Dennis — May 8, 2013

  19. Does anyone have any experience with the manufactured homes in Florida? Any 55+ communities.

    by Joy — May 8, 2013

  20. My wife and I have property on Lake Keowee outside of Clemson SC that we are going to build on in the next year. Mountain lake, college sports, active Crescent community with swim and tennis club. 2 hours to Atlanta, 2 hours to Charlotte, 45 minutes to Greenville SC. Can’t wait.

    by Tom — May 8, 2013

  21. I would like to retire where the winters are very mild, and with beautiful views. I am thinking somewhere west. I’m working on a degree that will help me manage one of these great retirement communities.

    by Sandy — May 8, 2013

  22. SW Florida because of great climate compared to Minnesota cold winters. Soft ocean/gulf breezes much better on asthma & allergies.

    by Curt — May 8, 2013

  23. My wife and I are seriously considering retiring to Charlottesville, VA, relatively close to our children in the Washington, D.C. area. Charlottesville has the four seasons without extremes, excellent medical and educational facilities at the University of Virginia, history, and the extraordinary beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While not one of the lowest tax states, Virginia has reasonable taxes.

    by Everette — May 8, 2013

  24. Barb yes i would like the name of your realtor and I will look into the suggestion. Please email me (email provided)

    by RUBYTUESDAY — May 8, 2013

  25. This comment came in by email:
    Hello, I would like to know which is the better place to retire to in 2 years. I have two choices, Klamath Falls, OR or Sonora, CA. We would eventually like to purchase a home in either and in regards to cost of living, property tax and sales tax.

    by Topretirements editor — May 8, 2013

  26. Bullhead City AZ / Laughlin NV are adjacent to each other. Bullhead has cheap fuel, inexpensive insurance and housing. Laughlin has the casinos, entertainment, cheap food and no income taxes. They share mild winters, off-road activities and ready access to the Colorado River, Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu for water sports and fishing. Lots of golf in the area. Many events are held in the area throughout the year. Southern CA and Las Vegas are within a 2 hour drive. Crime seems quite low. Downside is it can be very hot during the summer and local medical care could be better.

    by Steve — May 8, 2013

  27. We just bought a home in Sun Lakes, AZ and should be there full time within the next 12 months so we are hoping that is “The Place”. Sick of winter in the MW but plan to come back for the summers for visits.

    by Steve H — May 8, 2013

  28. Like Bob…I, too, searched for Walden Pond. The closest thing I could find was Colonial Heritage in Williamsburg, VA. Close enough to DC and friends still working. Far enough from the coast to avoid hurricanes but still easy to get to the beach. No flying roaches like Florida! (I hate bugs and snakes)

    by Shirley — May 8, 2013

  29. We plan to split our time between Las Cruces NM, where the weather is wonderful for 9 – 10 months a year and then in the cental valley of Costa Rica where we found a little piece of heaven this spring.

    by Ed and Cristina — May 8, 2013

  30. Sounds like everyone else plans on moving. As much as I’m tired of Minnesota winters, our daughters and grandkids are still here in MN. I would miss them too much if we moved. Ideally, we would stay in MN, live in the town of Excelsior, MN and travel south in the winter.

    by Craig E — May 8, 2013

  31. After years of looking around the state, moving to Gulfport FL in the Fall. Close to St. Pete Beach, Tampa, Clearwater, etc., but no traffic, quiet, artsy, very casual and low-key, and great restaurants…a Key West vibe on the west coast at a much lower cost.

    by Doria — May 8, 2013

  32. So subjective, but we retired 10 years ago and have lived in the same woodland house for 20 years south of Chapel Hill, NC. Since retiring, we have made two 5-week car tours of the western US (know the east well) to see if we could find a place we might prefer. Nope. Climate, comunities, medical, universities, beauty, overall cost — we love our “enchanted forest”.

    by Rich — May 8, 2013

  33. My husband and I are from MI and just bought a house in Carillon Club, Naperville, IL, a 55 community 15 minutes from our grandchildren. Our reason for choosing to stay in the cold midwest is family. This is a new community, still under construction, so we are hoping to make lots of new friends and find lots to do.

    by Jeanne — May 8, 2013

  34. We are hoping to shed our MN house and net enough to buy 2 houses: one for the winter in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area and one for the summer in Hot Springs Village AR. I am shopping!

    by speedlady — May 8, 2013

  35. For me the best place to retire is WYNMOOR in Coconut Creek Florida. An adult condominium with 19 pools, tennis courts, golf course. Wonderful theatre with name entertainment at very low prices. Grounds are manicured, apartments are spacious and reasonably priced. Near to everything you might need.

    by Roseann — May 8, 2013

  36. Has anyone looked into DE? I have seen quite a few 55+ communities in that state, and am still searching. I love the MB area as well, and have visited Seasons at Prince Creek. Does anyone know of that community? My only hesitation is the distance from family in PA. Thanks!!!

    by Kathy — May 8, 2013

  37. I’ve vacationed in FL for years and would like to retire there when it’s time. Thinking about central FL and probably a 55+ mobile home community. A friend lives in one now in Winter Haven and they love it. Lots of activities and hobbies and they’ve met lots of great people.

    by Karen — May 8, 2013

  38. I think that Eastern Tennessee appears to be one of the best places to retire. The scenery is beautiful, cost of living is low to reasonable……weather is great….

    by Carol — May 8, 2013

  39. For two years we’ve researched and visited locations across the U.S. and we’ve narrowed it all down to downtown Dunedin Florida. Quaint, walkable, water access, low crime, traditional neighborhoods, warm climate, numerous public parks, great library system, friendly,…

    by Tom — May 8, 2013

  40. We just purchased a home in Green Valley, AZ. to move to permanently. The best of all worlds. Beautiful mountains, safe retirement community, low cost of living and taxes, and NO humidity. Being it is 3000 feet elevation, it has gorgeous landscaping and cool nights. Not at all like the desert of Phoenix. Has 15 community centers for seniors to enjoy. Terrain is similar to southern California. All homes are on terraces overlooking the mountains. Goodbye snow in Wisconsin and hello to a beautiful place to retire and have fun.

    by Jim — May 8, 2013

  41. We are looking for a climate that is warm and dry throughout the year, that is close to a city and in a part of the country that has access to interesting places to visit. For us, that will be the Phoenix metro area with Gold Canyon, Goodyear, north Peoria and Buckeye being our top choices. After lots of research, this area seems to be a good choice with taxes, cost of living & housing and medical being considered. We are not at all interested in a seniors only community.

    by Keith — May 8, 2013

  42. Anybody out there by themselves and trying to find a reasonably priced place to retire where there are things to do that don’t always scream “couples only?”.

    by Sandra — May 8, 2013

  43. We plan to retire in or near State College, PA to be close to Penn State and all the cultural and sports related activities. We like the 4 seasons and the active community there.

    by John — May 8, 2013

  44. I am also a soon to be divorced 62 year old woman. I am looking for a good place to retire with reasonable home prices (I have a lot of pets), good weather, low cost of living and taxes. I have relatives in Las Vegas, but my family was from there and it is just too hot in the summers. Also Lake Mead is nearly dried up and I think that will be a problem in the future.

    by Tina Key — May 8, 2013

  45. Have a beautiful custom built home in Toledo,OH, right on Lake Erie. Kids have moved on (Columbus,OH & D.C.) so we bought a condo by our daughter in Columbus and a 30′ RV to travel anywhere we want in the winter. Love all year round warm whether & beaches but love my grandchildren more! We’ll be retiring January 2014 and will be selling our lake home.

    by Karen — May 8, 2013

  46. we are looking to build at house at St James Plantation in Southport, NC.

    by Jim — May 8, 2013

  47. Strong concideration to retire in Lexington KY. area, home to pretty horses and fast women !! All kidding aside mild climate each season and love the horse country, near a major university and near major airport of Cinncinatti . Plenty of good outdoor activities thruout the state and taxes not high compared to rip off CT.

    by GARY — May 8, 2013

  48. We were looking for an active lifestyle in a moderate climate in Canada (no more snow). We found it on Vancouver island after driving coast to coast. Affordable waterfront, with a golf-course in a gated community. Good access to all major amenities including healthcare, banks, airports, restaurants etc. clubs: to stay active and meet other 50 plus people with common interests.

    by Brenda Hayter — May 8, 2013

  49. the wife and i will start our 1 yr search for retirement, at the end of july 2013. we have spent the last 2 yrs downsizing/selling/dumping our clutter. over the past 20 + yrs, we have visited washington, oregon, idaho, nevada, utah, colorado, arizona, new mexico, north carolina(twice), illinois, florida, arkansas, mississippi, texas(born & raised), tennessee, alabama, georgia, louisiana by way of vacations. the one thing we both agree on is, california(current home) will not be an option. after 30 + years, the golden state has become a mess of too many wrongs, with a dark future. it is way past time to leave. if you still choose the golden state, we wish you the very best of luck. as for as our current plans, we like the west/north west, but north carolina really looks promising. need to go see it again.

    by david f. huckabee — May 8, 2013

  50. My search so far has been primarily for the weather / climate I would enjoy most, and so far Prescott, AZ is in the lead. Mild winters (by my standards … although they do get some snow …) and any summer heat (90s) mitigated by no humidity and cool nights.

    by Scott — May 8, 2013

  51. Has anyone checked out the Mississippi Gulf coast?

    by Ira — May 8, 2013

  52. I was planning on retiring in May, but have had difficulty deciding where to retire, so am still working. I’m a single woman and am looking for a community where I would feel comfortable as a single. I’ve looked at several 55+ communities in AZ and FL and am leaning toward Tucson. I think my main concern about these communities is how far away they are from a major town or city. I’m also considering the area around Denver, as my son’s family now lives in that area. So, I would be interested in any information anyone has from their travels.

    by Liz Hull — May 8, 2013

  53. We will probably retire right where we have lived for 30 plus years in Southern California. We want to stay close to our children/grandchildren. Fortunately we live in an area with a lot of amenities (good health care, stores, parks, libraries and a pool in the back yard). I’d rather live someplace a little cooler in the summer, but am otherwise happy here.

    by Starry Starry Night — May 8, 2013

  54. Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico. Less than 30 miles south of San Diego, CA I’ve lived here for over 10 years. Weather is great, I’m into downtown San Diego in 1 hour. Lots of Americans, and Yes it is Safe!! All types of things to do, golf, tennis, water sport, horseback riding, anything you can do in the states you can do here. Cost of living about 1/3 of U.S. Housing can be from $100,000 and up. Where can you find ocean living at that price in US?

    by CC Baja — May 8, 2013

  55. Looking for a small to mid-size, progressive community in a beautiful place where I can walk to shops, restaurants, library, etc. I’ve seen a few in Colorado, but they are too expensive.

    by Victoria — May 8, 2013

  56. We currently live in the Dallas TX area. Although the state has no income tax, the real estate taxes are high. We are planning on retiring in a few months and just bought a house in Palm Coast, FL. No income tax, close to the ocean, inexpensive real estate, and low taxes.

    by Stan Gruchawka — May 8, 2013

  57. The west side of San Antonio. A large library system; a large zoo; Sea World; miles of bicycling in Texas Hill country; no rain; no state income tax.

    by OldNassau — May 8, 2013

  58. My husband and I have property in NE Georgia in the Appalachian foothills. Why Georgia? Taxes for retirees is good. Will have 4 seasons, but mild winters and less humidity. We live in Louisiana and want to get away from hurricanes.

    by Cynthia — May 8, 2013

  59. On the Treasure Coast of Florida somewhere between Vero Beach and Hobe Sound (Already own property in Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties.) in the winter for certain. And maybe in the summer as well since the breeze out of the SE off the water provides cooler daily high temperatures than many locations much further north. Also, to quote Stan: “No income tax, close to the ocean, inexpensive real estate, and low taxes.”

    by Clark — May 8, 2013

  60. Sue, We ended up buying a lot in a new section of the Rosedale subdivision. The old section has 500 homes which is what the new one will end up with. There is golf, a pool, dining, activities director. It is not strictly 55 and over. There are NO CDD’s. Fees are reasonable. It is close to I75, which means quick access to beaches, downtown or even St Pete. Other places to check out, depending on what you are looking for, are Lakewood Ranch (big) – they have one 55+ section called Esplanade with all the amenities and a new clubhouse, etc. There is also a brand new Esplanade further south, very close to Siesta Key. University Park is wonderful, close to Rosedale. Another new one is Harbor Isle by Anna Maria sound – it is multi level condo, very fun and unusual floor plans with optional elevators. To get a good overview of Sarasota and its communities, go to the site “We Sell Sarasota”. We found our fabulous realtor here. His name is John Brinks. The site is very comprehensive. If you can’t tell, I am supremely excited about Sarasota. If you are serious about it, I would be willing to be in touch for more details.

    by Kathi M. — May 8, 2013

  61. If you can handle going international, not speaking the language, but want a cheap but accomodating lifestyle then Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have friends here who live well on only their social security check.

    by dpcjsr — May 8, 2013

  62. We live in CA but will retire to AZ. We wanted to be in a state close by CA so looked at AZ and NV. Wanted a 55+ community, they remind us of a cruise – you can be as busy as you want or choose not to be. Sun City Festival was for us and where we bought. I have told two co-workers to check it out with their “stay-n-play” and both did and both bought. Elaine Ransom a great sales associte to ask for. Quite at night, close to Surprise, Peoria by day.

    by Billy Bap-AZ Bound — May 8, 2013

  63. My wife and I are outdoor people. Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 20 years, we are ready to retire where there is sunshine and warm weather for a change. We are moving to Peoria, AZ. The weather is great for outdoor activities year round and the 40% lower overall cost of living is certainly a plus. CA is not what it used to be. It is now ranked as the worst state to retire in, is #3 in states with the highest exodus of taxpayers and businesses leaving due to high taxes, high cost of living, and regulations, and now tops the list of states with the highest taxes. Take it from one who lives here – unless you have money to burn, don’t consider CA as your retirement destination.

    by Mike L — May 8, 2013

  64. for those of you looking into Loudon, Tn., I would suggest that you also check out Maryville. very close to the knoxville airport, good medical care and home to a small private liberal arts college. also, the national park is 30 minutes away.

    by ellen — May 9, 2013

  65. RUBYTUESDAY, I emailed you the information however my message was rejected due to the fact you only accept messages from specific people. But here’s the information: The Willis Team: We found both Linda & Larry Willis to very helpful and straight forward. Tell them Barb & Jeb referred you.

    Good Luck!

    by Barb — May 9, 2013

  66. Fort Myers, FL Pelican Preserve 55+community. Have lived here just over a year now. Built a new home. Great community, lots of new homes being build and sold, friendly neighbors, many activities, beautiful grounds on 1000+ acres. Close to I-75, beaches (30-45 minutes) great sea breeze most of the time, wonderful doctors and hospitals. Come see….

    by Toni — May 9, 2013

  67. Anywhere with warm temperatures, low humidity and no overbearing homeowner association, and this definitely includes large active adult communities. At this stage of life I don’t need to pay a fee and ask for permission from a committee before planting a particular kind of rose bush in my back yard…

    by Denny — May 9, 2013

  68. I retired and moved to Phoenix, Arizona 2 years ago from Southern Ca. It’s beautiful out here! I finally decided to get out of S. California…best decision for me. I do not miss all those high taxes. My real estate taxes in Az are less then half for a comparable home that I had there. It’s great because I am so close to Ca, and go back often to visit my daughter and friends, then escape back to my slice of the good life!! Yay!

    by loralee — May 9, 2013

  69. Kathy,
    Thanks for info on Rosedale. Haven’t been there, but it sounds interesting. Did visit LWR, fees are high. Would love to discuss with you. Just let me know how we can get in touch.

    by sue — May 9, 2013

  70. We have three requirements, low humidity, lots of sunshine, and low taxes. North Central California would be best except for the uncertain fiscal situation. Reno, Nevada is looking good.

    by Lady Jane — May 9, 2013

  71. I hear that Delaware is a cheap place to buy a house and retire compared to Annapolis which is also cheaper than NY where I live. Some of my family is thinking about moving to the Baltimore, Annapolis area and I might look into Delaware some day but for now I have a retirement home in NE Pa I plan to move to in a few years.

    by Scott — May 9, 2013

  72. My wife and myself want to try out 2 or 3 months in Florida before we decide if we can be happy staying there longer. Require close to beach, blocks not miles. Northern FL out. We want warm. We looked at Cocoa beach, Indialantic. My wife’s sister lives in Palm Bay.
    Myself, I have pleaded with her for years for us to try Florida.

    We live in Virginia…Norfolk/Chesapeake/Virginia Beach region.
    Financially we are not well off or poor. Ideally we could lease 2 or 3 months January 15-April 15 2014.
    Ps we went to Key West for a couple of days and loved the climate. The only problem there was how expensive lodging was. Might there be alternatives for a short stay of several weeks there?

    Editor’s note: I think you are doing the right thing by going to FL and checking out different areas. It is the only good way to find things out, so keep it up. Key West is glorious but expensive. Sometimes you can find small studio apartments to rent. A lot of people buy an RV and live in it, usually just above town. Also, buy or rent a houseboat. Especially good for retired military since they have a couple of RV parks.

    by Jim — May 9, 2013

  73. I’m finding these suggestions very helpful. I will have a 4-year gap between last kid out of college and grad schools (I was an older Mom) and retirement. I don’t want to move more than once after I sell the family home. I’d like to find a retirement location that would work for a widow, but am also concerned about being far from our kids. They are in their 20’s and it’s too soon to know where their careers will take them. Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to post. I’m researching every place you identify!

    by Beacons — May 9, 2013

  74. Hey Gary,
    I’m from ripoff Ct. too but still haven’t decided where to go. I know where I don’t want to go and that’s Fl. While it’s nice to be around people your own age I do think that it’s like anything else. Diversity is a good thing and I think Fl has become to much of a retirement state. Great place to visit but wouldn’t want to live there kind of thing. Ok, now, all you in Fl or going to Fl that’s just my opinion so don’t go nuts on me here. Hadn’t actually thought about Kentucky. Have been thru there several times on various trips. Agree with you, horse country is quite beautiful.

    by Anne — May 9, 2013

  75. Anne….Actually, the average age in florida is somewhere around 40..but if you drive around during day light hours it would be hard to prove…I guess the under 50 groups come out after dark when the roads are safer…

    by Russ — May 10, 2013

  76. Beacon,
    If you want to make only one move, consider a CCRC (continuing care retirement community). You can move from independent living to assisted living to perhaps nursing care or Alzheimer’s support if necessary, all in one location. You can find a list of accredited communities at You can filter the list by state as well to find ones close to your children. I’m not associated with any of these, just passing on the info.

    Jan Cullinane, AARP’s The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

    by Jan Cullinane — May 10, 2013

  77. “…but am also concerned about being far from our kids. They are in their 20?s and it’s too soon to know where their careers will take them. ”

    Beacons, while I understand this sentiment, there is no way to predict where your kids will wind up long term. Today it is relatively rare for professionals to stay in one job very long, often transferring from state to state. Particularly when younger, this is often how professionals move up in their career and pay more quickly.

    We are in a similar position to you, in that our kids will not be out of college when we retire. One in fact will be just starting, so we are faced with having a place they can still come back to for breaks, and need room for them to store their stuff. We also have no clue where they will wind up, and it is unlikely that they will wind up in the same area.

    Our solution to this is to stay relatively mobile. We were fortunate enough to buy a place we love in the Roanoke, VA area, and hope to move there in a couple of years when our last child is out of high school. We are looking forward to buying a small used RV to use when wanderlust strikes, and in the long run to visit the kids. My parents used to do this, even insisting on staying in the driveway when they visited, with an extension cord and hose connecting their RV to the house. Some of the RVs are no bigger than the minivan I drive now, and get similar gas mileage, so I feel confident I can handle driving it. Because we spent so little on our retirement home, the RV is very affordable, and can even act as a second car.

    Our kids won’t know where they are going to be for more than a few years at a time. Since they are important to us, and we know all too well first hand how hard it is to go visit parents when occupied with career and family, we will stay flexible.

    by Julie — May 10, 2013

  78. For their best and worst states to retire to check out

    by Barbara W — May 10, 2013

  79. That was very helpful! We don’t have any other family, so I’ll have to start off by myself wherever I go. I’m keeping 2 things in mind though – 1) my parents relocated to FL, and told us that they had all the time in the world to travel and visit us frequently. Sure enough, bad health hit them and they were unable to visit. I was a caregiver for a spouse with a degenerative illness, holding down a job/supporting the family and only had 2 weeks’ vacation time (and limited funds). (FMLA isn’t that great when you have to use limited vacation time and the rest of the time is unpaid, not to ention the concern that they might discover they can manage without you!) As my parents in FL refused to move or leave their FL doctors, they went through hospitalizations and illness by themselves. When 1 died, funeral expenses and shipment were so expensive that the parent was buried in FL…and of course the other parent refused to leave FL. I was unable to get there emergency after emergency, I decided I’d try never to do that to my own kids. 2) I recently had a medical emergency of my own in the middle of the night. Fortunately a kid was home, got me to an emergency room, and I ended up having surgery that day. Scary stuff, and a reason to have a family member not too far. Lots and lots of things to think about.

    My threshhold question is whether to buy a small house, a condo or a 55+ community. I’ll be paying cash for someplace in that $200K-$280K range, and then my goal is probably going to be to live on about $50K a year. I’m currently in Western PA. There are surprisingly places with one-floor living. I’ve also discovered that many of the places that advertise low prices mean completely stripped units, and that the cost of adding pesky things like light fixtures quickly results in prices that are a lot higher than the base price.

    by Beaconn — May 10, 2013

  80. Whoops. Hit “post” before I corrected the typos. Meant to say that there are surprisingly few places with one-floor living. Many older ranches have garages and laundry in the basement, so you have to deal with stairs. I spend a lot of time on LOL.

    by Beacons — May 10, 2013

  81. To Kathy, we just visited Delaware this week. Please check the thread in We visited 5 communities there. We were not beach people so they are all in-land, but less expensive than beach community, and 30 min drive to beach.

    by Francesca from NY — May 10, 2013

  82. DELAWARE…we love it here. Moved just off Coastal Highway in a beautiful development (Hearthstone Manor) of one floor homes, Villa’s and one floor condo’s with elevators, pool and club course right next door. Only 11 minutes from the beautiful beaches of Lewes and Rehoboth with TONS to do. LOW taxes, NO sales tax and no State SS tax! Mild winters and gorgeous springs, summers and fall. Easy access to airports. Perfect Coastal Mid-Atlantic area.

    by Coastal Lady — May 10, 2013

  83. We liked what we saw in DE, and liked the idea of tax advantage (no sales-tax, etc) and close to NY (where my step-daughter is) and MD (where my sister-in-law lives). We will visit Fort Mill, SC and Summerville, SC next. Anyone decided to retire any of the above?

    by Francesca from NY — May 10, 2013

  84. Francesca from NY: Our daughter and family live in Fort Mill SC..they love it. We visit often. Very busy, young area but much to do. Sun City Carolina Lakes is there. Went through it. Beautiful. We may relocate at a later date, loving the beach here in DE right now. Maybe in a few years…we are 62 now and just can’t pull ourselves away from the Coast right now, LOL:cool:. Good Luck in your search!

    by CoastalLady01 — May 10, 2013

  85. Hawaii yes I don’t enjoy the cold have no desire to go thru several changes of climate, hate snakes (no snakes on the islands) I hate those wood cockroaches in the south. Don’t appreciate gangland style living and two sets of clothes hanging in my closet year round. In Hawaii I can have one style shorts and shirt. I have also found the Big Island of Hawaii affordable home range from $56,000 to over million. Depends what your life style is and not being a tourist you might find living affordable. Only challenges are the distance away from family. But they might enjoy a break from the cold weather. I have not moved yet but going back in Sept to try and purchase something before the market gets past me.

    by bcan — May 10, 2013

  86. Question for editor – what is the best way to share contact info with someone ? I’m always paranoid about sharing with other than the intended person.

    Editor’s response: Good question. Rather than post your email here in public where a spammer could grab it, let us know either in the Comments section or as a Blog comment that you want to respond to a particular person who left a Comment. We will forward that message to them for you, then it is up to them to respond.

    by Kathi M — May 10, 2013

  87. I’m headed back west for the dry weather, bright blue skies and milder winters in northwestern Colorado. Colo. exempts some retirement income from state taxation and has much lower property taxes than the midwest.

    by Sandy — May 10, 2013

  88. One thing most people do not know about Hawaii is there is tax breaks for retired pensions. Yes cost of living can be high if u shop like a tourist. Costco does great for me and there is walmart and several big box stores. Hawaii is voted one of the best places for long life and peace of mind.

    by Dave — May 10, 2013

  89. Just what do you do w/grand kids as you try to retire/how do you leave them behind w/parents who are gone as professionals 16 hrs / day

    by Daylily — May 10, 2013

  90. bcan

    Hate to rain on your parade…but there are snakes in Hawaii…the BROWN SNAKE…highly venomous…I believe one of the top 10….

    They come over on the bananna boats/etc…and are completely destroying the wildlife environment…just google it…

    by Russ — May 11, 2013

  91. Do think twice about retiring and relocating at the same time. Both are big adjustments. I do not miss work, but I REALLY do miss my friends.

    by Linda Kerin — May 11, 2013

  92. The original intent of this column is getting lost with personal stories and people seeking info about certain areas…there are other sections for that…I am interested in hearing a variety of answers to the author’s question in 3 lines or less:

    “Your Easy Instructions
    We need your brief response to this question (in 140 characters or less, or not more than 3 lines of text):
    “Where is the best place for you to retire (city and/or community if known). Why do you think that might be a good place?”

    by Sandy — May 11, 2013

  93. We are pretty excited because we are in the process of buying a condo, a large condo in Murrells Inlet, SC. There are many medical facilities, restaurants, golf courses, and the beach is not far. The taxes are low too!! They are less than ten percent of what we have paid in Texas! There is an airport in Myrtle Beach and one in Charleston for really bargain fares!! Cannot wait!!

    by DisnaF — May 11, 2013

  94. To BCAN – I have been dreamily checking out Hawaii, but have only found a few below 400,000. I’m at a loss as to where to further research home listings that are reasonable for the average family. Can you suggest some? Thank you Barb

    by Barbara — May 11, 2013

  95. Barbara now Iam not a realtor and remember we are looking on the big island. Look at waikoloa, oceanview, discovery harbour, kona, waimea. Lot of people like hilo but its rains too much for. You’ll find alittle bit of everthing we r looking at buying property and then having a kit home built from HMP home line. Good luck

    by bcan — May 11, 2013

  96. Also remember hawaii got hit hard with the real estate crunch so look at repo`s. We were tracking a home and it went fo 50000 less then asking price.

    by bcan — May 11, 2013

  97. bcan, isn’t that HPM home line? Looks like a neat option – good luck!

    by Clark — May 11, 2013

  98. Barbara…

    There is a TV show about Hawaii…called Hawaii Life…on Sunday nites at 9:00PM on HGTV…they are also a real estate company and you can go to their web-site and research homes on all the main islands…Good Luck

    by Russ — May 12, 2013

  99. We found Venice, FL a few years ago and think it is perfect!

    by RichardinTulsa — May 12, 2013

  100. Thanks Clark it was HPM homes. Hey I just noticed they are looking for help on their site for those that need to continue working here is a shot. Thanks Russ I am just relaying what the Park Ranger told us about snakes so next time I am in Hawaii just to clear this up I’ll stop by the University in Hilo. Barbara sorry I was not being helpful with a realtor name but you will find their is so many realtors willing to help. Kurt & Kirsten Carlson were very helpful and always keep in touch.

    by bcan — May 12, 2013

  101. My friend and I are looking for the “perfect” retirement community in Florida in which to retire, so next month we will begin our search. We have so far earmarked Jupiter in So. Florida, Palm Beaches, Clermont (sp?) near Orlando area, Venice, Naples, and perhaps Boca Raton. All areas have been recommended by Florida friends. “Perfect” would mean: near a nice beach;great grocery store (such as a Wegman’s or Whole Foods), nice safe shopping and residential areas, low traffic volume but within 15 or so miles to major highways, condo or rental in gated community would be great, and located near EXCELLENT medical facilities. Active communities which include Senior interests would be nice. Also,lower humidity would be nice! I welcome any comments as we are going on our journey south to seek our retirement destination in a few weeks.

    by ElizaMcD — May 12, 2013

  102. The best place to retire is northern Arizona. Have looked at Flagstaff, Sedona, and Prescott (and surrounding communities) and Prescott is in the lead. Beautiful outdoor environment and climate. Good balance between low cost of living and good public services. And the people… since it is a retirement area there are nice people from everywhere. A small city without the ‘locals only’ feel to it.

    by Dachsie — May 12, 2013

  103. ElizaMcD great that you are planning to check out so much of Florida! You will find a Whole Foods in Palm Beach Gardens off of PGA Blvd., just a bit south of Jupiter, and in Boca off of Glades Rd.
    As for lower humidity, it would be beneficial for you to understand a bit about the climatology of the state. Keep in mind that there are two main reasons that the east coast of FL was developed prior to the comercialization of air conditioning: 1) Flagler built his railroad all the way to Key West, and 2) The prevailing wind direction for all of the east coast of FL south of around Daytona is from somewhere in the southeast quadrant every month of the year except December when it is from the NW as fronts move through with cooler, drier air. The prevailing wind direction from ocean to land the other 11 months is why daytime high temperatures in the summer in places like Boca and Jupiter are typically cooler than Savannah and Charleston, for example.
    Have a safe and productive trip – happy discoveries!

    by Clark — May 12, 2013

  104. We are thinking of the Houston area. Lots to do, major hub for air travel and you can get cruise ships there. It also has great medical. Any recommendations for an active retirement community other than the woodlands?

    by Vicki — May 13, 2013

  105. Hi still deciding and so far it’s southern west fla..don’t want 2 homes so will be full time fla retiree..any info avail about Naples area and living there in summer and healthcare…would be appreciated..
    and .finally, is home owners insurance in Fla a real difficulty as I often read

    by robbie — May 13, 2013

  106. After much research including visits, we just bought a lot in the historic district of Montford, a 10 minute walk from downtown Asheville, NC. We’re also only 10 minutes by foot or bike to UNCA and 4 blocks from a new Harris-Teeter grocery and a Whole Foods and a variety of wonderful coffee shops, restaurants and craft breweries. We plan to put down a small modular Craftsman-style bungalow. Perfect retirement for us!

    by cherie — May 13, 2013

  107. Robbie,

    Yes to your question regarding insurance. When my wife and I were looking to move to Florida one builder’s agent told us to shop insurance before we decide to purchase a resale that might be cheaper. At 1st we thought just a sales pitch, but they were right.

    Apparently, any home over 10 years old has not been built to the current standards and insurance can start at 3K+ for a 2000 Sq Ft home. We found this out when looking at several resale’s on both the East & West Coasts of Florida. Every insurance agent cited the same things: new building standards, wind mitigation reports, etc…and then you have to add flood insurance which is a separate policy.

    We ended up in Jupiter, Florida, new construction and when searching for insurance we found most angencies were willing to talk but would not give us a quote. Hell, you even have to get hurricane/wind insurance on your cars!!!

    Try this site the governor added a compare insurance rates.

    good luck

    by Russ — May 14, 2013

  108. Vicki,

    I would advise spending some time in Houston (particularly summer months) before moving here. I don’t know where you live now, but heat and humidity are oppressive and traffic can be a nightmare if you are traveling on the interstates (especially if you live in the suburbs and are trying to come into the city). Cruise ships do leave from Galveston, but (again) you need to time your trips so as not to sit in traffic! Medical Center area is close to downtown, so if you live in the suburbs you would have a bit of a trip. I don’t mean to discourage you, just wanted to point out the negatives of living here. Good luck!

    by Fionna — May 14, 2013

  109. Cherie-your plan sounds perfect! Could I email you for specifics?

    by LisaJ — May 14, 2013

  110. Anyone have any ideas about Colorado? Specifically Durango? Would like to retire to a mountain state with plenty of sunshine

    by Jon — May 14, 2013

  111. We will be vacationing in Delaware in July to check out all of the areas generally near Lewes/Rehoboth Beach. I have spoken with 2 DE retirees in the last month and both have highly recommended the state. DE makes sense from a financial perspective due to the low taxes and affordable home prices, and I understand the winters aren’t as severe as in NY. We plan to leave the expensive metro NYC area in another 1-2 years. We have family in NY, PA and VA (and CA), so DE is fairly well located. We hope to make extended visits to our son in CA and maybe find someone to house-sit for while we are there.

    by Judy M. — May 14, 2013

  112. To Lisa J: Absolutely! We’re very happy to share our excitement over our Asheville retirement plans. My email is

    by cherie — May 14, 2013

  113. Jon, specifically Durango, CO. no but I believe you can’t go wrong in CO. I have family and friends in different areas of CO and they all love the 300 plus days of sunshine. They love their seasons and the weather never seems to last long. Pick your elevation or which side of the Rockies and you greatly change the climate. Enjoy the many things there are to do. As with many states you can spend a life time exploring and never experience it all. Have fun.

    by Larry P — May 15, 2013

  114. My husband and I are thinking about moving to Tellico Village in TN. We would love to hear from you if you know anything about it – good or bad.
    Thanks! BTW – I love the blog – thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts.

    by Cyn Rogers — May 15, 2013

  115. I’m still a few years off from retiring, but that hasn’t stop me from looking around. I’ve been interested in Durango, CO, Sedona AZ, and a few spots in N.Carolina near Asheville and Durham. I’m tired of the NY weather and Long Island Taxes

    by Mike S — May 15, 2013

  116. We’ve always dreamed of spending some of our time in Belize but we also need to stay in the states some too. After a recent trip to southern Colorado, we found a great climate, beautiful scenery, a noticeable lack of bugs, plenty of wine and oh that new little law they passed this year. You know the one that makes it legal (state wise anyway) to consume a natural high.

    by M&M — May 15, 2013

  117. Just retired to Florence oregon.. Its great no sales tax , small town but 1 hour from Eugene and intl airport. Town is ectremelynsenior friendly. Every store and restaurant has senior discounts, every health issue can be dealt with here , including assisted living and hospice. Has taxis , shuttle to eugene, city shuttle bus, senior center, library , great shopping and cute old town with restaurants and thrift and antique stores . Even a concierge program to offer services like housework help etc . Wonderful arts and volunterer opportunities, gorgeous scenery and good prices for housing. If you dont mind rain as opposed to no snow or heat in summer it has no drawbacks, im in heaven after leaving Utah which was awful!

    by Susan — May 15, 2013

  118. We have decided on Athens, Ga. We’re tired of New England winters, so Georgia seems like a good weather choice. Athens is only an hour outside Atlanta. It is a smaller city, but has lots to do.

    by Lynn — May 15, 2013

  119. Barb we thought about buying a condo in MB is yours new? Insurance is quite high In MB because of the water,my neice has a samll home and pays 2200 per year for a 1700 sq ft home. Hope yours is less in a condo

    by RUBYTUESDAY — May 16, 2013

  120. Barb I guess you are the same Barb that tried to email me and couldn’t I have not been on here in a few weeks due to hospitalization but as I mentioned the price of homeowners insurance has turned us off to buying a home in MB. We are now considering moving in an apartment in my daughters home for the summers and getting a condo in MB so any info you would be willing to share about yours would be appreciated. My emails are open to all now ,, thanks Ruby

    by rubytuesday — May 16, 2013

  121. Houston is well known to me. I am in DFW and have been to Houston many times…in the summer. I really want a very large city with a large air hub in a warm area. So looking for Houston options communities

    by vicki — May 17, 2013

  122. Hi Rubytuesday. We did not buy a condo, we bought a lot to build a home on in a gated community. Our lot address is MB however, it is just beyond the city limit, not within the evacuation zones and not in a flood plane. Therefore, our insurance shouldn’t be so bad. If you do consider a condo, especially waterfront be sure to check out the HOA fees. Even when you can get a deal on the purchase the HOA’s can be very expensive.

    by Barbp — May 17, 2013

  123. Barbp would you mind emailing me about your find? (second request first was not posted) 🙁

    by rubytuesday — May 17, 2013

  124. I love Estes Park, Colorado. The public transit is free and you can get anywhere. There is so much to do there. The free transit will take you to the National Park and pick you up. However, it is very cold and snowy in the winter time. We’ve crossed it off our list due to the heavy snows. We are now looking at Durango, Co. and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Is anyone else looking at these locations?

    by Jony — May 17, 2013

  125. Vicki, I have to agree with Fionna. I don’t know what lifestyle appeals to you. We have a condo in the Galleria area, so traffic is not always a major problem. I hate to drive in Houston. I’d rather take a cab. There are tons of reasonable condos here. If you want to be outside of the city itself, I love Kingwood. It is a well established area with everything you could need. It is well planned, lots of green space and reasonable traffic. But the drive into Houston can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 and 1/2 hours, depending on the time of day. The summer heat is very awful and humidity is high. Good Luck

    by Jony — May 17, 2013

  126. Hi Ira, I grew up in New Orleans and have spent a lot of time on the Ms. Gulf Coast. It is great if you like the gambling casinos and fishing. The water isn’t pretty until you get out passed the islands. They trap the dirt on the mainland side. I now have a home 30 miles inland from there. We have a lot of hurricanes here, along with heat and humidity. It’s not too bad compared to Houston. Hope that helps a bit.

    by Jony — May 17, 2013

  127. We are looking at Santa Fe at this time. I was very surprised at how much cheaper it is to lease a home there compared to purchasing. We definitely want to rent a house in the area before making a final decision to move there permanently. We have spent time in Santa Fe and love the people,the weather, and the culture. We do want to spend some time in Durango, Co. this year before making a move. Decisions, decisions.

    by Jony — May 17, 2013

  128. What about Boise, Idaho? I’m wondering what people think of the Boise area. Where I am – it snowed today so everywhere sounds warmer than here.

    by Alaska — May 18, 2013

  129. Hi, I presently live in Boise having relocated from South Carolina and originally from the Midwest. If you live down here in the valley, winters are mild with little snow but still have cold, weather is dry as we are high desert. Crime is low, people are very friendly as most people here are transplants from somewhere else. If you love outdoor activities, the place is a winner. Having metro population of 300,000 this is the largest city within 4 hours.

    I am a real estate agent and what surprises people the most is that lots are small…very small. As in, .25 acres is considered a large lot. You have to go to the outlying areas to get a larger parcel and it will be flat or desert. So, don’t expect to get something nice for 150,000 which is what most people seem to think when they move here.

    by Vickie — May 19, 2013

  130. Vicki, Jony, Fiona: We live in Kingwood – a suburb of Houston. Its a master planned community with lots to do. Its a beautiful setting – with most houses set amongst green space (its called: “Kingwood – The Liveable Forest”). Housing is very easy to buy – prices from under $100K to over $1million. With median prices around $150-$300. There is a very active YMCA with many programs – active and non-active. The Y has a seniors group that organizes trips to downtown Houston and other nearby locales. As well, the local community college offers many courses of interest to seniors – at a nominal cost. Then there are the groups – several for women – and for men there are a number of groups i.e. one that flies model planes another races model cars. And then there are the golf courses! Too many to mention. Lots of green space and Lake Houston nearby for fishing and boating. There’s actually a boat launch in the neighborhood. The trip to Houston can be planned outside of rush hour for theatre, etc. Downtown Houston has a lot of theatre, concerts and a myriad of Museums. Medical facilities in Kingwood include two hospitals and many providers. The downside is the weather – hot and humid and hurricane country. We;ve been here 8 years and experienced two of them. We didn’t have any damage tho’ and did quite well with our generator. Altho’ the politics are very conservative here – not our preference – we’ve made many friends. So, I think its worth taking a look and spending some time to see if it is “up your alley”! It isn’t for everyone so please do spend a good amount of time living like the locals. Good luck!

    by sheila — May 20, 2013

  131. Vickie – thank you for your comments about Boise, Idaho. You touched on several issues we were wondering about. Recently we looked around the general Boise area and realized the lots are smaller than expected. We also were surprised at new construction everywhere we went. Is the area expecting an influx of new residents? What are your thoughts on that? Since our point of reference is up here in Alaska, I know everything is different Outside. Alaska.

    by Alaska — May 20, 2013

  132. Hi Millie and both express a plan to retire in Florida..well so di we..and looked at beautiful communities (55 plus)..and intended to decide and buy in need to mention specific location..but in next step as we always do was check insurance rates (home/car) our present company in NY declined us and said they have not issued a homeowner policy there since 2008..and stated that they were among 8 major carries who will not insure in the state,
    ..there are some small companies as well as state insurance but in a major storm we wonder if that is a reliable road to travel on..
    so just a note to anyone looking in Florida..please, do you homework..and surely if anyone can provide more info it would be helpful

    by Robbie — May 21, 2013

  133. Does anyone have thoughts on Wilmington NC. I’m in a small town in NY with big taxes.

    by barbara — May 21, 2013

  134. Does anyone else care to give us their input on where they think is the best place to retire? Trying to finish up our commentary for the summary article. Please let us know!

    by Admin — May 21, 2013

  135. […] So thanks to the more than 130 members who took the time to answer our recent survey – “Tell us where you think the best place to retire is, and why“. Your answers are always so rich with details and interesting reasons! It was fun to look at […]

    by » Results Are in: Where You Think the Best Place to Retire Is Topretirements — May 21, 2013

  136. There are so many good suggestions on where to retire, like renting in various places. My DH and I retired and moved to the White Mountains of Arizona in 2009. Unfortunately, that was not a good choice as I have been diagnosed with respiratory issues and our 6800 ft altitude is difficult for me. So, we are going to RV to various areas we are interested in, and stay for at least a month (or more) to get a feeling for the place. That way we don’t have to pack before we move as our house will always be with us. Many RV parks have economical monthly rates, and if we only do long distance driving every month or three, fuel will be affordable. I need a low altitude, low humidity, warmth, and few bugs. That really limits me to the West, but as I have always lived in the West, I’m okay with that.

    by Theresa — May 21, 2013

  137. RVing. Hi Theresa, We thought that RVing would be a great way to see the areas that we are interested in and stay a while. That was until we priced RV’s that we felt comfortable with. Oh my goodness!!! We don’t want to purchase a used one because we would be unable to fix anything that went wrong. I guess it is hotels for us.

    by Jony — May 21, 2013

  138. Sheila, I love Kingwood. I couldn’t talk my partner into living there because she still works every other week near the Galleria. I’m retired and loved everything Kingwood has to offer. That is definitely my favorite area with access to town. We have the condo which is walking distance to the Galleria and a short drive to her office. But it’s not the same. I’m not much of a big city gal.

    by Jony — May 21, 2013

  139. Jony: “We don’t want to purchase a used one because we would be unable to fix anything that went wrong.”

    It is a little scary buying a used RV, but given how many there are out there with little use and low dollars, it’s worth the risk. Find a mechanic who can check out your purchase before you buy it.

    My parents lived in one for 10 years full time at the start of their retirement. They traveled extensively, and repairs were needed along the way. Sometimes, parts needed to be ordered. They would just live out of the RV in the parking lot of the repair place until the repairs could be done, unhooking the car to go places during the day.

    So why are there so many lightly used RVs out there? People buy new thinking they will love the life, but it takes a certain soul to be able to deal with the nomadic life. It is not for everyone. Rent an RV of the type you are interested in buying before you actually buy.

    by Julie — May 22, 2013

  140. Whatever you do….DO NOT retire to IL, unless you want to live in a #1 state. We are first in murders, first in exorbitant gasoline price-gauging, first in property taxes, and first in criminally convicted governors. We have long, cold winters, gloomy spring and autumns, and during our very humid summer heat waves, beautiful Lake Michigan’s beaches are often closed due to e coli contamination. I cannot wait to get out of this place!!

    by patty — May 22, 2013

  141. Thats funny Jony because I am a city girl and would love to live downtown so we could walk everywhere and easily attend theatre, etc. Altho’ Kingwood is lovely, it is the suburbs. I think your partner may be on to something. You need a car here to go to: grocery store, doctor, mall, theatre, etc., etc. We are from the north where living downtown allowed us to walk everywhere. We miss doing that to get food, go to bakery and to butcher and to enjoy all of the great activities offered by downtown living. So, I guess there are trade offs no matter where you live. Kingwood is pretty no doubt but for those who want to have everything close by – I think you are already ideally situation.

    by sheila — May 22, 2013

  142. We are originally from NJ, 1/2 hr. outside of NYC. Five years ago we move 30 miles SE of Tuscon. Too hot, too brown and the Mexican boarder was closer the we thought. Next, 3 years in Gilbert, SC – OMG – humidity worse then FL and the winters weren’t as mild as we would’ve thought. Next to the mountains of NC – Creston, NC. NW corner of NC, 3800 ft up and it’s beautiful. I finally got my dream home and I couldn’t ask for anything more. Somewhat isolated but I love it. My husband is still out on his vote. Certainly not a place if you like a neighborhood but we have met several locals that have welcomed us with open arms. This past winter after we looked at one another for 3 weeks straight and the wind was howling outside we ventured to Punta Gorda, FL. Bought and inexpensive condo and my husband it currently renovating the place. It has provided him with a project and I’m so flexible that all I need is a bed and the internet:-) We’re looking forward to going back to NC and enjoying the beautiful summer and fall weather. It is truly gorgeous and the fresh air is wonderful. So next Dec. we’ll venture back to FL and see how long we last as snowbirds here. My husband needs to have others around him even though he won’t admit it and I like the walkability of Punta Gorda. Boone, NC and Abingdon, VA have very good medical facilites and we’ve been told that our area in FL is very good as far as medical facilites.
    We had wanted to be closer to our daughters in CA but when we saw the prices and traffic we decided it was just like being in NJ and we left for those exact reasons. It’s a gamble to move to a new area but if you don’t try it you’ll regret never taking the adventure. Sooner or later we’ll have to settle down and I figure that will be when we can no longer take care of ourselves – hopefully I’ll be heavily sedated and still think I’m in heaven in the mountains or paradise in FL.

    by Anne MacKinney — May 22, 2013

  143. We bought a used travel trailer from a dealer. The dealer checked out the basic things like water, cooling, heating, water pump, stove, fridge, etc. We also took it to our mechanic to have the brakes and bearings checked and/or replaced. Tires are good, battery is new. It could use a little sprucing up as far as decor goes, but minor fixes. He have had TTs before, so we know what to look for. I like a towable rather than a motorhome because if something does go wrong, it will probably be with the tow vehicle, and it can go to the shop while our home is in a nice campground.

    by Theresa — May 22, 2013

  144. Theresa, We tried towing a small trailer with hilarious results. It was obvious that towing a trailer was not in our future. We don’t want to put the other drivers on the road in jeopardy. We looked at the Sprinter travel vans. Love those because they are easy to drive and park. But, even the used ones we priced started at $65,000. I think we should pursue renting one until we can decide if it is right for us. We don’t know where to go to rent one, but we’ll find out.

    by Jony — May 22, 2013

  145. Jony, I chuckled when I saw your comment about the towable travel trailer. We had a similar experience although it wasn’t hilarious then, just now! I had to pry my husband’s curled and whitened fingers from the steering wheel after we arrived at the campground! It was anything but relaxing because all he could think about was the drive home! Another option you might look into – our school districts have relatively frequent sales of used equipment including the small school buses. There’s probably an app (or website) for that!

    by cherie — May 23, 2013

  146. Joni, You might try renting a Class C motorhome. Those are built on a van chassis and usually have a bed area over the cab. They are easy to drive and roomier than a Class B on a Sprinter chassis.

    by Theresa — May 23, 2013

  147. Hey Barbara

    Yes I can give you information on Wilmington, NC. I was there three times last year. Please e mail at

    by Guy — May 24, 2013

  148. Ruby

    I own a townhome in Murrells Inlet near MB/SC. The homeowners insurance is very reasonable. Please e mail at I can give you info on p&c insurance.

    by GUY — May 24, 2013

  149. Barbara, I have spent the last few days in New Bern, NC, something of a smaller version of Wilmington. You might consider a community called Carolina Colours. I attended their regular Friday night residents’ gathering at the clubhouse and had time to talk with some of the residents and club members (there’s a semi-private golf club). They are mostly from the I-95 corridor — VA up to NH — and genuinely ecstatic about their choice of a home in the New Bern area. Half of them do not play golf but like the greenery and landscaping. Sweet spot for homes seems to be $200K to $300K. Nice place. If you want more info, I can be reached at editor@homeonthe

    by Larry G. — May 25, 2013

  150. Would like to hear comments from single women who have children in the northeast (mine are in NJ & PA) who are retiring. I have tried FL but it is hard to be so far away if your health begins to fail. I’ve met lovely people in FL but not having family or long time friends if problems arise is a concern. It’s definitely cheaper to live in FL instead of NY and the weather is certainly better but I would appreciate any comments. Right now I spend six months in each place but can’t afford to continue owning two places.

    by Char — May 25, 2013

  151. We are in the process of buying a townhome in Murrells Inlet, SC. That bring said, we tried to buy a condo…which seems to be a hassle. We thought we were on our way to closing, after jumping through a few hoops. First the condo should be on an FHA list, even getting a conventional mortgage, the place must be in the list. The place new were buying, was on the list, so we thought all is good. We felt the price we agreed upon was fair, so we felt good again…then came the appraisal; the place appraised at 16,000 less than what our deal wad for.the sellers would not budge, although, we did come up 4,000 more than the appraisal…still they would not budge. This is their second home. We were sad since we thought we were all set snd ready to close about a week after the appraisal. Since, all the condos are appraising low, the sellers probably waiting for a cash buyer, but if we were cash buyers we would not pay more than the appraisal…that would be stupid. Anyway, we like the area, so hoping to find a townhouse there and avoid the hassle of a condo purchase. Anyone else having these issues?? Any advice and all advice will be appreciated.

    by DisnaF — May 25, 2013

  152. “Disna: but if we were cash buyers we would not pay more than the appraisal…that would be stupid. ”

    While I understand this line of thought, it is important to understand that appraisals take their comps from past sales, and in a rising market, which many areas are in, they are not a true reflection of value. Conversely in a declining market, an appraisal will show too much value.

    An appraisal tends to be more of an art than a science. Our home was appraised last year for a refinance and assigned a value that was at least $75,000 higher than the property would actually sell for. I follow our local market closely, to the point of going to see future comps for sale to make sure they are a true comp to our home, and keeping a file on the eventual selling price, so I know our market pretty well.

    So I guess that is a long winded way to say that while appraisals are one tool to measure the value of a property, it is not the end all be all exact measure that we have been led to believe. If you really like the property, then consider paying the premium. Of course if you are simply dealing with unmotivated sellers who firmly believe their home is worth more than you believe, walking away is the best bet. I usually approach a seller like that with the request to provide me with reasons why it is worth more than the appraisal. I’m willing to be educated, though usually it is the seller who learns the most from that process, as they try to justify their emotions with data. I’ve walked away from many an overpriced property, (I invest in vacation homes,) and rarely does it sell for more than I predict. I’ve also paid more than a property appraised for in it’s current condition, because the potential for increased value with minimal investment was huge. Many shades of gray in pricing a property.

    Best of luck.

    by Julie — May 25, 2013

  153. Julie-thank you for your input. The market is volatile andv that is one of the reasons we walked on that property. There was quite a big difference between the appraisal and agreed price and, although we liked the condo, not enough to make up the difference, plus put twenty percent down. The market could very well go way down in a year; I just heard this. Of course, no one has a crystal ball, so who knows? Although appraisals are not accurate to what a home is really worth, the lenders use it as just that. The home we sold recently appraised at 60,000 more than we sold it for…but that is water under the bridge. I still would be wary of paying more for a condo than what it appraised for since it was so very low compared to the agreed upon price….certainly not in this market.

    by DianaF — May 25, 2013

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment