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3 More Retirement Planning Case Studies: Vic, Karen, and George

Category: Retirement Planning

Sept 3, 2016 — Today’s installment is Part 2 our series with 3 more Topretirements Members and their retirement planning stories. It is interesting how everyone has a different approach, experiences, goals, and results. You can find links to Part 1 and Part in the “Further Reading” section at end of article.

1. Vic Chooses Port Charlotte Based on Affordable Lifestyle
Vic: Although we have not yet moved to our retirement destination, Topretirements has played a key role in our strategy and planning. It is almost 5 years ago that a general Internet search resulted in subscribing to your email news feed. At that time, retirement was years away, but the concept of winding down our careers and taking the next step was becoming a frequent topic of conversation. This stage began not long after the adjustment to being “empty nesters” was firmly established. We found ourselves asking, “Who are we” or perhaps, “Who WERE we” and can we be those people again?

Our decision to purchase our eventual home four years before moving there resulted from a morning coffee conversation. Why not lock in on low housing prices and low mortgage rates while we’re both still working? We hoped to retire when I turn 62, still young enough to enjoy an active lifestyle. It has been a stretch, but we’re now about 8 months from completing our goal. We have favored Florida as a vacation destination for years, and have experienced the brutal late summer heat. Yet, being locked in the house during long subzero stretches in Chicago is brutal in its own right. A swimming pool was a requirement. A canal with a boat was a plus.

At about that time, Topretirements published a link to the Money Magazine list of the 10 best places to retire in 2012. Port Charlotte, Florida was featured for its
affordability. As residents of Illinois, we have a very unfavorable tax environment.
We had never heard of Port Charlotte, so we began researching. By coincidence,
a former coworker purchased a house there, which he rented to us for a week in
November of 2013. It served as our home base during our property search. Nine
months of exploring on Zillow and assistance from a local realtor narrowed our
search to 15 properties, one of which we bought. The day after we closed on the house, I sat on the lanai having breakfast, enjoying a picture perfect 75 degree January day. Back home it was 25 below zero. 100 degrees of separation. Retirement could not come soon enough.

Meanwhile, it has been a wonderful vacation home and we got very lucky to settle into a neighborhood with demographically similar neighbors who are fun and look after each other. Our home has a pool and is on a canal with access to the Gulf of Mexico. We look forward to an active outdoor lifestyle that we can enjoy year-round. We’ll be the couple that looks after our “snowbird” neighbors’ homes when they fly north for summer.

2. Karen – Perspective from a Single Retiree
(These are her answers to our interview questions)
Where did you live before you retired, and how old were you when retired?
Have lived in TN, VA, NH, PA, IL, CT. Am 62 years old, readying for retirement.

How has Topretirements helped you in the retirement process?
Where not to go. What to look for in the way of amenities and logistics. What to think about as the trade offs of taxes, cost of living, proximity to family, ease of travel to/from, what to look for in the character and recreational, educational and medical support of a community.

Where did you end up retiring, and why? or, are you still looking?
STILL LOOKING! can’t find that balance between college town, very active 50’s plus group, mountains, great medical facilities, cultural, intellectual, and physically appealing place to call home – and affordable!

Are you pleased with your choice of location and lifestyle?
Cannot stand where I am now, and do not want to live where any family lives other than to be near that person, but not for the place they live (although Salt Lake is sort of an option to be near a daughter).

Anything you would like to change about Topretirements, or things we should keep the same?
Address the needs of singles too, because all too many of us are divorced or have lost spouses. Its really different to be single and 60 something, getting to a new place and navigating one’s way through unknowns with no social support present. Focus on colleges that welcome/at least give substantial tuition discount to seniors. Focus on groups that adults can join, e.g.; hiking clubs? book clubs? dinner clubs?

Special Request: Look at intentional communities as an option.

Anything else we should know about your retirement adventure?
Serious need to fill: as a single, I need travel partners to go everywhere from hiking in Bhutan to seeing Northern Lights in Lapland, to touring Copenhagen. Single supplements are financial disincentives. Not a matchmaking service, a Travel Companion service! Maybe a bulletin board for your readers of individuals seeking travel partners? I wonder how much interest there is in this.

Where I am in My Retirement Calendar
Past ready to go but can’t figure out where to go because I have too many unanswered questions. There is no obvious answer or I would already be there.
I am looking for a place that is functional, 4 seasons, easily traveled to and from, (travel is one of my top passions, and I have children and grandchildren), inspiring to me personally, spiritually, socially, and intellectually, and offers easy access to at least one major category of importance to me (e.g. university, outdoor recreation, or plenty of ways to meet others with similar interests. How welcome are newbies? How I order my priorities and what I trade off are the major challenges. Pretty is pretty. But if its lonely, the pretty fades and makes me sadder. Great access to shops is wonderful unless I have to live with lots of urban noise for that convenience. How do I make a new place work for me at this stage of life?

Being near a university setting is a must for me, unless I am the grandma on the block and therefore somewhat socially isolated. The university setting that has excellent opportunities for continuing education is ideal for me. How much do taxes really matter? What does a spreadsheet look like if I live in X or Y? (How do I really figure this out?) How much house can I afford? Don’t want to be house poor, or live down a notch that I did not really need to do. Am I willing to make the trade for an adult community and lose the daily interaction/connection with other age groups? What do I want to live near, and what do I want to drive to?
These are the kinds of “Ready-Set” questions I need to figure out before I go to the huge effort to relocate. All of this is both simplified and complicated by being a very outdoorsy, intellectually and culturally active single female. Bottom line: I am longing to find that place that is a balance of what I need and want so that I get the most out of my last chapters.

3. Wisdom from George, heading to a NC retirement after a change in direction: “The only thing worse than having to go to work, is getting up with nothing to do!”
(these are George’s responses to our interview questions)
OK. In order: Born & raised/worked in northern NJ. (specifically Morris County) Retired (I call it relocated) from there at 62. Wife made me wait until eligible for SS (haven’t yet taken it) Can’t say for sure when I found Topretirements because computer life was new to me when I retired, but I might have stumbled over the site thru my research on various retirement info sites. Been checking in pretty regularly for probably 2-3 years now. Topretirements has been a wealth of knowledge (along with City-data forums) in terms of listening to all the various opinions/suggestions. Yes, most definitely has aided the whole retirement quagmire!

Prior to 62 we had purchased a home with property in Wytheville, Va. Have long loved the Blue Ridge region, and had traveled extensively in the area for decades. Became a foregone conclusion that we would wind up in the area. I love the area, and have blended into the decided rural/small town/southern style. This has been directly attributable to me immersing myself in part time work with a rural transit company serving seniors, and operating a DAV van transporting veterans. My wife, being less involved, has not adjusted as happily. This has resulted in a move we are about to make to Waynesville, NC. It’s a more diverse area with a completely different vibe, one that will probably be more suitable for my wife. Especially, when-as statistics say-she will outlive me.

Regarding Topretirements, I personally have no complaints with the site. Why change a good thing? Lastly, I’ve always loved the comment that: the only thing worse than having to go to work, is getting up with nothing to do! I learned that approx 2 weeks into retirement. For the first time in my life, had nothing to do, no where to go, didn’t fit in. I didn’t realize how work had defined me. A huge awakening!!! With my Asheville move, I’m looking at this as retirement 2.0. We’ll see what happens!
Thanks Vic, Karen, and George for taking the time to share your stories. We wish you good luck on your retirement adventures!

Comments? Please share your Comments in the section below. Thanks!

For further reading:
Part 1: Robert and Jan’s Retirement Planning Adventures
Part 3: 6 More Retirement Planning Case Studies

Posted by Admin on September 2nd, 2016


  1. Karen, what is an intentional community? I appreciate your feedback as a single.

    by Karen C — September 3, 2016

  2. As a single myself at 65, also 2nd what Karen says about more info/articles geared to us. Karen check into those communities that have Osher Learning Centers in the college towns.

    Thank you.

    by Elizabeth — September 3, 2016

  3. also a Single, I am renting in The Villages near Ocala Fl, 32162. There is an abundance of things to do here, people are extremely friendly, lots of golf courses and they are free if you live here, lots of Clubs, fitness rooms, country clubs, but you have to seek them out and figure out what you like.

    by jean — September 3, 2016

  4. Hey Karen, you obviously struck a nerve with all us singles out there! Bravo!! Have you checked out Athens, GA? That’s where I’ll be heading eventually. Has UGA and the Osher Lifelong Learning. Within the Lifelong Learning community, they offer not only courses but walking groups, brunch groups, single groups, etc. Should be fairly easy to find kindred souls. I am definitely don’t want a 55+ community, and this seems like a perfect choice to me. Check it out!

    by Stacey — September 3, 2016

  5. Thank you for suggesting Athens, Stacey. Will look into the area. I, too, am searching for another area which affords singles the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities. Since my husband passed away earlier this year I have found that in my current situation “being the odd person out” in the group is less than satisfying. Need to make a new life in a new area.

    by sharon — September 4, 2016

  6. I checked out The Villages…..looked really nice but $1000 monthly fees is just too expensive. …

    by Mary11 — September 4, 2016

  7. Karen, thank you for addressing the need for more information or forums specific to singles. I am single(divorced) and the words “retirement planning” don’t apply to those of us who divorced late in life. Many of us had our plans blown up with an unexpected divorce. There is life insurance for death to support a widow, but for those of us whose marriages end in divorce, it is devastating in every way, including financially. I say life is what happened when Imwas busy making plans. There are so many of us in this position. We don’t have the same needs as couples. It would be great to have a forum to discuss singles in retirement.

    by maryNB — September 4, 2016

  8. Can anyone recommend a good place to retire in Washington State? Any comment on Tacoma? Olympia? Puget Sound? etc. Thanks so much!

    by Mary K. — September 4, 2016

  9. Put me in the singles group who’d love more information and focus on our needs and wants. I’m in my mid-70s and still trying to identify a good place for me. I moved to Portland, OR to be near family but have discovered that they just aren’t enough to balance the negative effects that many months of grey skies have on me. I’m facing moving someplace where I don’t know anyone and at my age that is scary!
    I’m very interested in the concepts of intentional communities and co-housing, active adult communities, and shared housing all of which offer ready made community which is so important when starting over in a new place.
    At this point, I’m focusing my search on locales that are already popular retirement destinations because I think they will already have established services for seniors. Before moving to Portland, I lived in Sun City Lincoln Hills, in Lincoln, CA, near Sacramento. The Sacramento area has long been popular with retirees and Sun City was surrounded with stores and services focused on the needs of seniors – very nice! Portland, on the other hand, is not a retirement destination. So we seniors just blend into the general population and have to actively search out the services and goods we need.
    So, yes please more information for singles!

    by Laney — September 4, 2016

  10. Karen, I think you will get a lot of attention! :<) I think your idea for Top Retirements, "Not a matchmaking service, a Travel Companion service! Maybe a bulletin board for your readers of individuals seeking travel partners?" is excellent! It's not just singles. For various reasons, even couples may be looking for a traveling companion but not a relationship. We also have single friends who are currently looking, but, for example, my wife wants to visit New York City and I have absolutely no interest in visiting there again (or any other major US city). My wife wants to visit Paris, but I have no interest in returning. But I DO very much want to AGAIN visit London and Rome or run the Scottish distillery tour (or the Bourbon trail for that matter), but my wife is more of a "been there, done that" person. We enjoy travel and our relationship is solid, but interests evolve over 47 years despite our commitment to each other continuing strongly.

    Also, you mention the kind of place you might like, but don't specify any of that "type" that you may have looked into. Such as Athens, GA, as suggested by Stacey. Or Asheville, NC, as suggested by myself and many others. I can also suggest Boone or Cullowhee, NC, as being communities that might interest you but which are vastly different. You lived in TN, but didn't comment on Knoxville or Johnson City or Maryville or Memphis area. All have potential based on your listed thoughts.

    by Rich — September 4, 2016

  11. I too am divorced late in life which came as a surprise. I am currently living in NJ but when I retire sometime in the next 18 months I will need to move somewhere more affordable. I am thinking about coastal NC. Does anyone have any thoughts on that area?

    by Diane — September 4, 2016

  12. I enjoy the sense of community in an over-55 setting.

    by Janet Harvey — September 5, 2016

  13. Rich and Karen,

    My business is a travel assistant/companion business. It is designed to assist people who need to get from Point A- to Point B but for whatever reason do not want to do so alone. Maybe they do not want to travel alone and are perfectly fine physically. Paying a single supplement is not an option for many people. We also provide a service so that family members do not have to take off work to get an older family member to an event such as a wedding of graduation. We can get people settled into their winter or summer destinations and make sure that they have what they need as far as food, medications, etc. My company is Assisted


    by Jennifer — September 5, 2016

  14. what a wonderful service, Jennifer! Laney

    by Laney — September 5, 2016

  15. Laney, your comment made me chuckle. I am in my early 70’s, living in middle Tennessee and looking for the GOLDEN GIRLS house of my dreams wherever that might be. What a hoot it would be to find oneself back in a mini-sorority setting with senior women of like tastes or not and lots of time to explore their new environment. Where is this Utopia? Since we all do not arrive at widowhood at the same time in our “couples”society, we do need a forum to seek out individuals who have like visions. I would be most willing to brainstorm with others. Could a THINK TANK for women of vision? If so, I’m in!

    by sharon — September 5, 2016

  16. Single here, no plans to be a couple. I’m 65, almost retired. Pacific Northwest and Idaho are my interests. Looking for cottage type senior community with activities and affordable. Do not care for the south or east coasts. Born raised in CA, but want out. Would love nature setting with my peers and fun activities and meeting new people. Can the site research more of these communities for us singles. I think they are called “pocket neighborhoods,” but the “few”I’ve seen are way to expensive, more affordable for couples. Please. Thank you. Vickie

    by Vickie — September 5, 2016

  17. Well, I’m certainly glad to see that “singles” are being addressed. I am in my early 70s and have been divorced forever. A couple of sites that you might find interesting: On Facebook – it’s a closed group, you just need to request to “join” – Elder Orphans. Another site: for the over 50s. This last one I just discovered and haven’t really explored but could offer those that are interested some options. Now, I’m desperate to find a retirement spot to relocate to and have moved 3X in the last 10 yrs – yuk! ….presently in PA and am not a fan. Have ck’d out The Villages (no), Asheville (expensive), Myrtle Beach (lived in the area but keep in mind, it’s a tourist area – maybe), Wilmington, Delaware (no), Lynchburg, VA (lived there – maybe), Northern VA (loved the area – lived there for 32 yrs but it’s expensive and the traffic is not to be believed!) Soooo, I keep reading these comments from everyone hoping that, just maybe, someone will have a suggest as to where I might head to – would love to be near water again – I just keep dreaming!

    by K L Fulford — September 5, 2016

  18. Let’s keep this discussion going. I just know there is a place for us…somewhere.

    Editor’s Comment: Actually you will find a much better Blog article with lots and lots of ideas and comments from our single members at Probably a better place to continue the discussion

    by MaryNB — September 5, 2016

  19. Mary11 commented that the Villages are $1,000 a month for I assume HOA fees! Is that for every home in the Villages or are there less expensive fees too? WOW!

    by Louise — September 5, 2016

  20. From your editor: Regarding HOA fees, it is always important to know what is included. The link below gives average HOA fees for a $250,000 home in The Villages, which are slightly above $1000. However that includes $145 for amenities, plus real estate taxes, cable, garbage, gas/electric, water, development fees, telephone, and insurance. Most of those items have to be paid one way or the other – if you live in an HOA or not.

    by Admin — September 5, 2016

  21. The last comment was spot on. I live in a co-op In Washington, DC circa 1929–old world elegance. I used to think our fees were really high until I realized they cover everything but the cable TV. Many HOA’s cover that too–they negotiate a basic cable TV rate and roll it into the monthly fees–we don’t do that here. My fees are about $900 or so a month and include garage parking and a reserve fund too. We usually have an annual increase of three percent. Many seniors live here and all of us work hard to keep the fees down, or somewhat reasonable for our neighborhood. If I had a home chances are I would have to pay all the fees mentioned by ADMIN above plus save for a reserve anyway for emergencies. If you pay an HOA make sure the reserves are in good shape so you can avoid special assessments.

    by Jennifer — September 5, 2016

  22. Jennifer is right on concerning avoiding the special assessments. I live in a 2 Bedroom condo in Sandiego. My HOA is 420 and we continue getting special assessments every 3 yrs. They didn’t maintain the property appropriately over the years and now we’re paying for that error. Cable was included in the HOA and that was taken away recently too. And if you don’t have the money to cover the assessments they put a lien on your property. Over the years several owners have lost their properties. So, you need to seriously budget carefully before choosing a HOA community.

    Editors Note: We recently updated our 3 Part series on HOA’s. If you go there you will find a lot of facts and many Comments as well. Here is the link to Part 1.

    by Mary11 — September 6, 2016

  23. Regarding HOA’s and their financial condition. Before making any decision with regard to a location, hook up with a local Realtor. They can tell you who manages the HOA and should be able to get you a contact name and number. Make a call first, get the information before making a buying decision. Unfortunately many people forget this important step before committing to a purchase. Having a local Realtor represent you costs nothing, it is well worth the time to investigate before buying. Not sure if it is possible to return email through this site but If so and you need help contact me, happy to help anyone if I can.

    by Dick Pierson — September 6, 2016

  24. Mary11 having lived in the Olympia area for many years, if you are thinking of retiring in the Northwest (remember gray sky’s for 6 months a year) I have to recommend Olympia. It is the state capital, is at the southern most tip of the Puget Sound, an hour away from Seattle, a hour and half away from Portland, a hour away from the Pacific Ocean and a hour away from some of the most rugged and beautiful mountain areas in the world. A few good retirement communities, most notably Jubilee in the NE area of town. Easy commute to anything, golf (summer months), club house, etc. reasonable pricing unlike the Seattle and surrounding areas. The further away from Seattle the better prices, Tacoma would certainly not be my choice but you could check it out. I have many years there, if you like more specifics is be happy to fill
    you in.

    by Dick Pierson — September 6, 2016

  25. Re: Janet Harvey. Hi Janet. Did you have a plan of action for finding the right 55 and over community?
    My husband and I have begun looking at active adult over 55 communities in North Carolina. That’s a lot of area to cover. We spent 10 days last month looking at communities in Durham, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Chapel Hill, Hendersonville, Charlotte and Hickory. We now have pictures and about 10 pounds of materials to sort through.

    by Liz RR — September 6, 2016

  26. I am looking for an ideal retirement location for a person with COPD. It should be at lower elevation to make breathing easier and should have clean air, free of pollution and pollen. There also needs to be good healthcare facilities near by. Any suggestions?

    by John J — September 6, 2016

  27. I echo the responses on seeking retirement places for singles…I lived in the PNW for 14 years and the expense and the gray skies which were year round is too much. I’d love to find a community with people of all ages, where I could see little ones, up to elders. Where there’s openness to newcomers and widening one’s circle of friends.
    Am thinking of Austin area, Albuquerque area, Southern Colorado, San Antonio, would love to hear how it is in those places!

    by Vicki — September 7, 2016

  28. For the women that wants to travel, here is a website for women traveling solo. I have not used it but read a few years back that it had good reviews.

    by Laurie — September 7, 2016

  29. John J : I just sold the house of a man with severe COPD. It is in Olympia, WA. elevation 100 ft.+/- Very clean ocean air, but lots of pollen in the spring. Mild climate but you have to be OK with cloudy skies for many months of the year. And did I mention the 60 inches of rain, nice clean air as a result though. Good place to retire, many people doing that there now. I’ve lived there for many years, let me know if I can help you with questions, etc.

    by Dick Pierson — September 7, 2016

  30. Singles! Count me in on this subject for topretirements to concentrate more on. Hesitate retirement communities bcuz I don’t want to be “old” yet. Yes, i need to go visit some. Love the idea of a Golden Girls (and Guys) community. Need 4 seasons, prefer mountains to shore. Don’t want an apartment (worked hard all my life to buy my own home). On my must list is an indoor pool (!) so I can exercise. And, must be affordable. Too many (expensive) sites are geared to couples. Can the coverage get a bit more localized?

    by Rosemary — September 7, 2016

  31. Please help me find a great place for active singles over 60. Somewhere warm, near the coast…a lively and socially active, walk-able community. But not The Villages (too fake and just a little tacky!). I’m looking for a smaller home, but must be updated and modern and within a moderate price range.

    Surely not too much to ask! Where is this place?

    by Suzanne — September 7, 2016

  32. I am also single and would like more articles relating to single women in particular. I have retired and moved to TN, but flying in and out will be a problem and all family live in either NY or CA. Affording retirement communities is a problem on one income and not having a travel companion is another problem. I have not located colleges that offer affordable tuition or senior programs of my interests. There isn’t even an American Association of University Women group in this area. But, the area is very pretty and affordable allowing me to stretch my retirement dollars. I moved here from Wisconsin be Use I wanted to be in a warmer climate, but not as warm as Florida.

    by Brenda — September 7, 2016

  33. I will be traveling single because my husband does not want to travel as much as I do so I would be more comfortable traveling with a group single travelers than be total traveling alone. Where can you find these groups to check out if you would be compatible with the group?

    by Marge — September 7, 2016

  34. Marge,

    Here’s is an article I wrote about solo travel: for Ideal-Living Magazine.

    You’ll see I went on a trip to Israel with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) – usually about 35% of OAT’s travelers are solo, OAT doesn’t charge a single supplement, and on the trip I took, 8 out of 14 in the group were solo women travelers. Some other suggestions included as well.

    by Jan Cullinane — September 8, 2016

  35. To Liz RR: What did you think of Hickory and the retirement community you visited there?

    by Amy — September 8, 2016

  36. I have several single women friends who are going on trips offered by Road Scholar It used to be Elder Hostel. One is going to New Mexico, the other to Egypt. Jan mentioned OAT which one of my friends has also used.
    As for finding a good place to live, I have two passions – horses and fibers (tapestry weaving, spinning and knitting). So I look for horse (trail riding) friendly communities that also have active fiber groups. Those give me an immediate way to meet people who share my passions. If you don’t already have non-work hobbies and interests, I’d urge those looking for the next place to live, to think of activities you’d like to try and then focus on communities where they are available.

    by Laney — September 8, 2016

  37. I loved Karen perspective on her retirement location search. I am 64 and in exactly the same situation as Karen (except I don’t have children or grandchildren). I am looking for possible travel companions also and other single retirees to do things with. I hope will offer more information for us.

    by Christie — September 9, 2016

  38. Hey Laney, I will be going on my first Road Scholar trip in 2017 to Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon. The single supplement was about $400 additional which isn’t bad. If you want to share a room, they have a room sharing program. I chose not to.

    by Stacey — September 9, 2016

  39. Stacey – Road Scholar is great! I’ve done six trips with them – another coming up in October (a Pacific coast cruise) and a 2017 trip to New Mexico. Their single supplement is usually very reasonable so I always get my own room. I always meet other solo women travelers on these trips.

    by Carol — September 10, 2016

  40. Amy,
    The community in Hickory did not appeal to us. The homes were nice enough. The development, as I understood it, has not yet completed its first phase, yet it has been in existence almost 10 years!, Seems like there is not that much of a demand for the area. Downtown Hickory (the original part) had shops and some places to eat – we liked it.

    We have narrowed down our search to either the Charlotte or Raleigh-Durham area. The folks we met in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill were so-o-o friendly and courteous to us. Very impressed with that. It is quite a distinction fromn where we live in Ohio. I think it was the degree of friendliness that made such an impression. Not nosy, just genuine.

    Didn’t spend as much time in Charlotte. It seems more cosmopolitan – and VERY clean downtown, but we will need a second look to get a better feel. Plan on doing so to both areas over Christmas break.

    Hope this helps,

    by Liz RR — September 10, 2016

  41. Mary11 .. from Jean renting in the Villages near Ocala. The $1000 monthly fee includes Everything, even taxes as I understand it. What you have to watch for here on the newer homes there is a CDD (bond) that pays for the infrastructure, this is inluded in the property tax bill, the $1000 monthly fee included all of that plus the HOA the broker told me.

    by jean — September 10, 2016

  42. Re Washington state, consider Walla Walla, I understand it very trendy now and wine country.

    by jean — September 10, 2016

  43. To Jean, it’s probably better to rent at The Villages. Anyway, I lived in Clearwater fla for 10 years and couldn’t handle the humidity. So not interested going back to Florida, but would love all the activities that you have available. I just can’t decide which town on the coast of oregon that I should move to. I’d appreciate any input on that…..

    by Mary11 — September 11, 2016

  44. Mary, my brother just closed on a home in Lincoln City, Oregon on the coast and he and his wife love it. They have been going there for years for getaways from Portland. My sister-in-law recently sold a home she owned in Nehalem, also a nice place to live.

    by Jennifer — September 11, 2016

  45. Thanks Liz RR. Please let me know what you thought of Charlotte after you go!

    by Amy — September 11, 2016

  46. Mary, coastal Oregon is humid, just like Florida, just not as hot. Just checked the NOAA weather page for a couple of coast towns – humidity in one=97%, the other=75% both in the 50s temp-wise. Even here in Portland the temp is 52, humidity 83% forecast high of 71 degrees today.

    by Laney — September 11, 2016

  47. maybe the stats show the humidity numbers the same for Oregon coast and Florida.

    But in NO way is the same heat index of comfort level the same.
    You don’t need to change your clothes due to heat/humidity in OR as you might in OR.
    Plus, you don’t get the summery thunderstorms or hurricanes…

    You might get more dreariness though.

    by mike — September 11, 2016

  48. Will do, Amy 🙂

    by Liz RR — September 11, 2016

  49. I like the humidity in FL after living 11 years in AZ. Soo dry there, hurt my eyes (dry eyes) and nasal passage Many of us in FL who moved from AZ experienced the same health problems, also a lot of pollution in the PHX area, I was in Surprise, AZ, which is west of down town PHX. It grew into quite a nice small town where there are several 55 plus communities, gated AZ Traditions, Sun City Grand (by Del Webb/Puelte) and Sun City West (also Del Webb), older community, also by Del Webb, but very nice

    by jean — September 11, 2016

  50. Thanks for the input everyone. ….now I’m confused, should I move to inland central oregon (where there’s less rain, but hotter in the summer or the coast where it can be pretty wet and windy too bUT alot more to do…?.

    by Mary11 — September 12, 2016

  51. Mary,

    I would just go and visit and see where in Oregon you feel is a good fit. Oregon as a whole has less humidity and certainly cannot be compared with Florida in heat or humidity. My brother refuses to come east at anytime during the summer months due to our humid days. It is overall moderate in Oregon although they did have some days where the heat index was over 100 degrees and they do not use air conditioning–because they usually do not need it. Good Luck to you in finding your dream location.

    by Jennifer — September 12, 2016

  52. If you like Oregon, but not the rain and gray skies, check out Brookings, just north of the California border. It’s considered the “banana belt” of the Northwest with a lot more sunny/warm weather that most of the area. It’s a small town with not a lot of cultural activities, but if you like the outdoors and want to be near the ocean without paying CA prices, it might be a good option.

    by Gary — September 12, 2016

  53. Liz RR,
    I would be interested on your findings and thoughts on Hendersonville NC. That is one spot on my radar and would appreciate any feedback on that locale.

    by Elaine Scott — September 12, 2016

  54. I’m considering Brookings, Florence, Lincolncity and Astoria. And going inland, Ashland or Medford. Most of my life I’ve lived by the ocean so would love having a home by the beach or a lake/river.

    by Mary11 — September 13, 2016

  55. to elaine scott
    Elaine, I live in Hendersonville and have for 11 years. Overall, Hville is a great place to live.Our summer this year seemed hotter and more humid than ever before but bearable considering other states in the southeast. Downtown is very vibrant. State theater does a great job with plays and music (2 venues). Give me some specific questions and I will give you the facts. Cheers bob

    by bob payton — September 13, 2016

  56. Have you considered the Grants Pass area near Ashland and Medford. It’s a popular retirement place. It’s beautiful, especially the Applegate Valley between GP and Jacksonville (another cute town). Grants Pass is on the Rogue River and not far from the coast. The weather is more like California than western Oregon – rainy winter and hot, dry summer.

    by Laney — September 13, 2016

  57. Thanks Laney. I’ve researched grants pass. I thought it might be too much in the country but I’ll look 8nto it more as an option.

    by Mary11 — September 13, 2016

  58. we spent a 10 day trip last August in our Motorhome thru Oregon
    looking at possible retirement places (we live overpopulated SF Bay Area).
    the State of OR is very pretty (due to rain) and so much less populated/congested.
    SF Bay Area has more people than Entire State of OR!

    We stayed/checked out
    Southern Oregon (CA climate, sunny warm summer, wet winter) –
    Ashland (hilly, rather expensive, nice if like Theatre)
    Grants Pass (small town, great river location, would consider)
    Medford (larger town, ok, nothing to exciting)
    Jacksonville (near Medford, rural, somewhat expensive)

    Central OR –
    Eugene – large college town. downtown ugly
    outskirts East on McKenzie river VERY Nice,
    Corvallis – OSU college town. nice setting. could consider

    Eastern OR –
    Bend – very pretty setting. High Desert/Mtns. More expensive. Somewhat isolated.

    Coastal –
    Bandon, Brookings, Florence, Gold Beach, etc. – All are VERY SMALL towns.
    Weather is mild, will get dreary except for Brooking/bananna belt.
    so, if you don’t mind small/limited then ok choice.

    by mike — September 13, 2016

  59. Mike, thanks so much for your insight. Since I haven’t had the opportunity to visit much of these areas yet it’ll help me with the search. Now the next thing I have to do is decide if I should rent or buy now or wait until the home prices come down a little. Also any input on annuities would be very helpful.

    by Mary11 — September 14, 2016

  60. George, I hope you will keep us updated on your move from Wytheville to Waynesville, NC. I am leaning toward the blue ridge mountains either in mid to SW VA or Western NC and appreciate your insight on comparisons between the two areas. Thanks for your candid input on what was working for you but not your wife in Wytheville. I will be interested to hear how she likes Waynesville.

    by Rosemary — September 14, 2016

  61. Anyone have any experience about retiring in Panama City Florida

    by Ron — September 14, 2016

  62. Mike, from what I know, your analysis of various Oregon places is right on. I spent some time exploring the Grants Pass/Medford/Ashland/Jacksonville area several years ago. At first they seem far apart, but really they aren’t. Medford is definitely the commercial hub – big box stores, airport. The real divide is cultural/political. Ashland stands out for its progressive cultural focus; the other towns are more traditional and conservative. The entire area has been popular with retirees for a long time with choices for all pocketbooks.
    As for isolation, to me, the coastal towns are isolated since you have to cross over the coastal range to get to them. They really aren’t all that far from larger inland towns though, between 1-2 hours drive I think. Bend and the rest of central Oregon is also kind of isolated but has grown and developed enough to have everything needed except a big city feel and maybe top level (tier 3) medical facilities. Then there’s Eastern Oregon…

    by Laney — September 15, 2016

  63. Rosemary, I’d be happy to keep you in the loop. I’m very conversant with the general SW VA area, but Asheville(Waynesville) will no doubt be a different experience. Simply “commuting” back and forth on weekends has portrayed an entirely different culture and a big difference in the local population. We are on track to be full time residents approx November 1st or thereabouts. Drop me a line…. vastickel@gmail. Be happy to share our experiences!

    by Doc Stickel — September 15, 2016

  64. Laney, your welcome.
    we have quite few friends who have left CA for OR. Most have migrated to Southern OR
    since it’s still close to CA and the weather is warmer , less rain and cloudiness.
    the ones that live Medford enjoy it. many like the Corvallis area too.
    we found many who like the Grants Pass/Rogue River area.

    the best part of OR is how easy it is to get to coast, rivers, woods vs. CA
    (assuming you don’t live near Portland’s traffic).

    by mike — September 15, 2016

  65. Hi, Eva in Morristown, Nj.

    i would also like to ” jump ” on the singles bandwagon conversation.

    am in my 60’s, divorced recently after a very long term marriage, with lovely , but primarily coupled friends, not quite sure where i belong socially.

    many newly divorced women/men, are much younger, most of my friends from my ” previous ” life are married and in a very different it would be really nice to connect with singles in a similar situation.

    perhaps those of us who have written in on this subject, could arrange a ” meet up” somewhere and view the possibilities, explore the options.

    i was totally planning on selling my home and moving away, post divorce, and while very independent, social, active, the idea of moving to an area i know nothing about, know no one, became daunting, and i bought my ex out and stayed in the house,

    i love my town/area/proximity to NYC, but would like to be part of a larger/like minded community of peers.

    i am open to the ” golden girls” concept, or just being near friends with similar interests/cultural/social inclinations,
    to be there for each other for on many different levels,as we go through this new stage of life.

    would love to hear more thoughts on this.


    by eva meller — September 16, 2016

  66. Thanks so much for the offer of the updates, George!
    I will take you up on the offer once you’ve had a chance to settle in. Best of luck on a smooth move!


    by Rosemary — September 19, 2016

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