When I first started planning my retirement, I made a list of desirable attributes for the locale where I would reside after retirement. Weather topped my priority list. I like to stay active so I wanted to live in a place where the weather allowed outdoor sports year round. I feel good when the sun shines, so I wanted to live in a place with a place with relatively high number of sunny days. And I hate high humidity. I also like to have convenient access to urban amenities like culture, dining, and airports. So that means living in or the burbs of a city.So here's my list:- Year round access to outdoor sports- Low to moderate humidity- Relatively high number of sunny days- Urban amenitiesWhat you look at the list, what cities pop into your mind:Honolulu? Los Angeles? San Diego? San Francisco? I agree that all of those cities would meet my requirements. There's just one thing--I would find it difficult to live in those places on my budget. OK here's a second list:- Albuquerque- Las Vegas- Phoenix- TucsonGuess what these cities have in common? That's right--they all meet my requirements and it's easier to RWOL in those cities. Everyone has his or her own "must-have" list for a retirement locale, however I believe it possible to find a good fit in an inexpensive place to live. You may have to be creative--perhaps moving outside of the US. Or you may find that a place that would have been hell to live in while working (bad traffic for example) is not so bad after you've retired. But it can be done.
How about the Denver area? I live in Boulder... which is too expensive, but Denver and many of the 'burbs are cheaper and meet your criteria. As many sunny days as So. Cal!-JennyCurrently high 70s and sunny... ahh...
OK here's a second list:- Albuquerque- Las Vegas- Phoenix- TucsonThat's pretty interesting. When we decided to move for our early retirement a few years ago, we also made up a list of possibilities. Here was our list:- Albuquerque- Las Vegas- Sacramento- TucsonI lived in Phoenix for a few years, and didn't like it that much. It was TOO hot, and the traffic was terrible. I don't know if they've fixed the latter or not (this was about 15 years ago), but I'm pretty sure it's still too hot. ;-) Tucson & LV are supposed to average about 5-10 degrees cooler in the summer; they might still be too hot, though.We started at the top of our list (which was not arranged alphabetically as above), and never got past the first city: Sacramento. Not exactly inexpensive, but we managed to find a place that was priced just a bit above the house we sold. We could have found a similar house for about $100k - $125k less in the other 3 cities, but we felt we had to give up too much for that. We like being closer to the ocean, the more moderate climate (well, compared to LV & Tucson), and being just 6-7 hours from LA (family). Being 2-4 hours from Tahoe, Yosemite, Sequoia, Mt Shasta is also a big plus. In short, we love it here. Someday, though, I'm going to get around to checking out those other 3 places. :-)Ken
Weather topped my priority list. I like to stay active so I wanted to live in a place where the weather allowed outdoor sports year round.One thing that's keeping me away from places like Arizona and Las Vegas is the heat in the summer. Maybe some people can play out in 100+ degree heat, but I'm too much of a wimp! ;-)Anyway, I may just end up staying right here, in the Seattle area, when I retire. Granted, it's a bit damp and dark and gloomy some parts of the year, but the scenery is marvelous, and when the weather is good, it's to die for! There's plenty to do outdoors, and I figure I can work out indoors when the weather is bad. I also like the fact that there is good public transportation, which means I can save auto expenses. For some reason, auto expenses are a big nuisance for me, and I would have been able to save a lot more money and retire sooner if I didn't have them.Alternatively, retiring to a small town in NOrthern Idaho or Western Montana might work. The weather is drier, there is some snow in the winter, they have FANTASTIC summers, and the people are really laid back and friendly. Some of the small towns are like resort towns in the summer. No public transportation, but if I can live in the middle of a small town, I could walk, bicycle, or cross-coutry ski to where I need to go.
Alternatively, retiring to a small town in NOrthern Idaho or Western Montana might work. The weather is drier, there is some snow in the winter, they have FANTASTIC summers, and the people are really laid back and friendly. Some of the small towns are like resort towns in the summer. No public transportation, but if I can live in the middle of a small town, I could walk, bicycle, or cross-coutry ski to where I need to FWIW - I lived in Coeur d'Alene until last year (sans 4 years for college and my first 3 years of life) - it is a beautiful area - and when the summers are as planned - they are PERFECT! Winter's are long! But, if you ski, snowmobile or other winter sports - it's a perfect area - but it's NOT cheap! Of course you can pick Sandpoint or Bonners - but then you are looking at 9+ month winters!!My dad is a RE Developer in CDA and knows the area well - I worked with him for 7 years just prior to moving east - if you have any questions about the area, at the very least I can point you in the right direction.Oh and CDA gets PACKED in the summer. I happen to like it - lots of locals don't.C.
FWIW - I lived in Coeur d'Alene until last year (sans 4 years for college and my first 3 years of life) - it is a beautiful area - and when the summers are as planned - they are PERFECT! Winter's are long! But, if you ski, snowmobile or other winter sports - it's a perfect area - but it's NOT cheap! Of course you can pick Sandpoint or Bonners - but then you are looking at 9+ month winters!!My dad is a RE Developer in CDA and knows the area well - I worked with him for 7 years just prior to moving east - if you have any questions about the area, at the very least I can point you in the right direction.Oh and CDA gets PACKED in the summer. I happen to like it - lots of locals don't.Thanks for the tips. I've been to CDA and Sandpoint, and have checked the local papers for housing costs, etc. I found places in all ranges, but the older, smaller places in town were quite reasonable. I didn't really check out food, utilities, etc.And yes, since we were there in the summer, I know how packed these two places are. WE loved it!!
I lived in Phoenix for a few years, and didn't like it that much. It was TOO hot, and the traffic was terrible. I don't know if they've fixed the latter or not (this was about 15 years ago)FYI, in the last 15 years, they've finished the 51, extended the 202, and put in a loop (101) around the whole dang area. Which is great if you're driving off-peak hours, and on-peak it means that the surface streets ain't so bad any more! (Cuz they've also improved light signal timing in the last 10-15 years.) OTOH, I miss the Dreamy Draw, which they basically turned into access for the park, now that the 51 cuts through the hills. Sigh.but I'm pretty sure it's still too hot. ;-)Keep meaning to check historicals. Either my tolerance for humidity has evaporated, or we're getting more damp than we used to. I know we didn't get to 100 until late April, early May this year, temp-wise, which took many of us by surprise.Hear tell that Tucson's as nice as ever, climate-wise, but apparently is growing by leaps and bounds.How cold does Sacramento get in the winter? Is that high up enough for snow? (My only visit there was summertime.)ILC
How cold does Sacramento get in the winter? Is that high up enough for snow? (My only visit there was summertime.)There's some foggy days in the Winter when it gets down into the 40's-50's, but it never snows in Sacramento.--B+C
but it never snows in Sacramento.Yeah, I was told the same thing. But our first winter here (Jan '02), it DID snow. ;-) For about 30 minutes, and of course nothing stuck to the ground (or even the grass).The lowest average monthly low temp in Sacramento occurs in Dec-Jan, at 39, with the average high those months in the mid 50s. Record lows dip down into the teens, but needless to say, that's quite rare.http://www.weather.com/weather/climatology/monthly/USCA0967?from=searchBismark, it ain't. :-)Ken
You forgot to mention 105°F in July, August, September, and October!cliff
You forgot to mention 105°F in July, August, September, and October!No, I didn't. :-)When comparing Sacramento with LV, Phoenix, or Tucson, it isn't that bad. The average # of days above 100 in Sacramento is 19 per year. I think Phoenix has that many days in a normal Summer week (at least, it felt like it sometimes). ;-) When we have 7 days in a row above 100, people here are complaining like crazy. When that happens in Phoenix, people know it's Springtime. :) Seriously, though, Phoenix averages 89 days above 100 each year, which is considerably hotter.Ken
I'm afraid my view of retiring well doesn't include Phoenix, Sacramento, or any such place, but it might include Petaluma (just above Marin County), San Louis Obispo, Pismo Beach, the harbor area of Ventura, or a small town along the coast between San Diego and San Jaun Capistrano. I'd guess there are a number of small towns along the coast south of DC and north of Miami that could be pleasant, Virginia Beach comes to mind. For me, Montecito (a small town adjacent to Santa Barbara) and Pebble Beach come to mind, but now we are talking about pricey real estate.db
iamdb, all the CA places you mention are pricey compared to Phoenix or Sacramento. I had the same idea, so I shopped a bit. Pricey, pricey, pricey!cliff
Here is a link to an informative site on where to RWOL:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19755519It's a search engine for "Best Places To Live", and you can specify 40 different factors - like lowest taxes, most libraries, whether lots of local golf courses or professional sports teams are important to you, and so on.cliff
Seriously, though, Phoenix averages 89 days above 100 each year, which is considerably hotter.Yes, but it's a DRY HEAT. *snort*Giggled reading your post about snow in Sacramento. My first (second?) winter in Phoenix, we had snow flurries in the eastern part of the city! I was told it happened every 3-5 years or so. Of course it's gone as soon as it hits the ground, but is still kinda cool to see.ILC
<So here's my list:- Year round access to outdoor sports- Low to moderate humidity- Relatively high number of sunny days- Urban amenities>To that list, we added:Cool summers (DH thinks that if you need air conditioning, something is wrong with the climate).Warm winters (I hate the cold).Enough water to support a green environment (I hate dusty brown; rules out desert states, like AZ and NM).Within striking distance of a large city (i.e. within 2 hours).Reasonably low housing prices and cost of living.Result:Sequim, WA.Our 1 acre property, with 15 apple trees, surrounded by woods, cost $185K. For renters, there are apartments listed in the paper for $600/ month. We are 5 miles from Olympic National Park, and 2 miles from Sequim Bay (visible from our deck). The Olympic Discovery Trail runs 1 mile away from our house. Small as it is, Sequim has several nice parks.Sequim is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. When Forks got 7 inches of rain an a 24-hour period, last week, Sequim got 1/2" of rain. Sequim is a "4 Flower"-rated town, an active member of the town beautification movement.When the daily high temperature reached over 70°F, 50 days in a row this summer (I'm talking August here), the "heat wave" made the TV news. Despite the cool summers, winter temps seldom go below freezing. I planted a garden of cold-tolerant veggies in late September, and ate my first harvest of salad today. I expect to harvest all winter, and into the spring.Urban amenities are thin, but we are 2 hours from Seattle. Sequim and its neighboring towns, arty Port Townsend and gritty Port Angeles, do have art museums, music festivals, and theaters, as well as visiting artists (such as "Celtic Storm," which we enjoyed this week). The library is respectable.The only thing I miss is a nearby university. There is only the local community college. The excellent universities in Seattle are just too far to attend.Wendy
cliff,Obviously pricey is relative. We live in Montecito which is pricey, but I'd be happy to live in Carpinteria which is much less pricey, but still likely to be pricey compared to Phoenix or Sacramento where I would not be happy to live. Give me that ocean breeze and summer fog.db
DH and I aren't quite ready to RWOL, but we're planning for it in about 8-10 years, after our kids are through college. We've decided to split our time between Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Hot Springs, Arkansas, so have bought a condo in each place. The condo in Gulf Shores we do short-term rentals on, and use it ourselves a couple of weeks of the year, so essentially, other people are making most of the payments on that one. The one in Hot Springs is near our home, so we use it lots, and family and friends do also. We will have them both paid off in 6 years.We figure when the winter weather is bad in Arkansas, we'll be at the beach, and when the tourists get to be too much in the summer, we'll go to cool-in-the-summer Arkansas!Plus we figure the kids'll WANT to come and visit if we're always either at the lake or the beach!teachermom
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