Author Topic: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?  (Read 15209 times)

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« on: November 08, 2013, 01:58:52 PM »
You are financially independent. Job considerations no longer shape where you live.

How did you decide where to live in your retirement?


  • Did you follow the crowd to Florida? If you did just go with the flow, was it worse than you thought? Was it better than you thought? Why?
  • Did you follow the grandchildren? Or if you're still young or have young children, did the schooling options have an inordinate amount of pull on where you live?
  • Was it all about the health issues and you want to live near a decent medical center?
  • Did you, as some people did at the ERE forum,  decide long before retiring to move to your ideal retirement spot as soon as possible? In this way, your children become sentimentally attached to the place (and therefore are likely to visit) and you do not have to move from the town that you've loved for 25 years?
  • If you're already financially independent and retired for years now, was the spot you've chosen everything you thought? Do you find yourself wanting to move somewhere else?
  • Did you just throw a dart against a map?
Giving myself carte blanche to live anywhere on earth has been a problem for me since... forever. There are so many options. At least your highest paying job offer gives a reason to chose a direction. But people change. Tastes change. How do you know where you'll want to live once you retire?



footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 02:10:33 PM »
About eight years ago, we became FIRE(ish). Basically we could live anywhere and did not want to stay in the location of the most recent corporate job.

We narrowed it down to three locations, one of which was Florida. We were least familiar with Florida, so we decided to live there for one month to "test drive" it. We rented a house to force ourselves to really live like residents. (= No Room Service!)

We rented a lovely home on the Gulf side of the Keys with its own dock. The first two weeks were like vacation, of course. Look, a dolphin! I scuba'd with a manatee! Ooohh, what a gorgeous sunset!

Then... reality settled in. I won't detail everything we experienced, but by the end of the month, we realized Florida wasn't a good long-term match for us.

So if you have the wherewithal to choose anywhere, I highly recommend taking the location for a 1 - 2 month test drive, renting a house and experiencing the environment like a regular native.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 02:15:45 PM »
I'm on the younger side, so I plan on traveling for a few years to find "the spot(s)" before settling down. I guess that would go under option 4, although I don't really care whether my potential children have an attachment to the place or not, and I expect I would move again anyway as my values change. No reason you have to stay in the same place for the rest of your life no matter what.

My parents say they plan on following me and my sister, although I expect my mom will have a hard time getting my dad to actually move.

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 02:19:48 PM »
Russ - Ironic: Madison was one of our three potential destinations!

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1127
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2013, 03:01:28 PM »
A few factors on our list are:

- Taxes (specifically state income and property taxes)
- Healthcare (ACA costs still vary by state)
- Real estate costs
- Climate
- Proximity to family
- Fun stuff to do
- Opportunities for rewarding future PT jobs (if needed/desired)
- Culture that matches our values

Picking a place to retire is a lot of pressure, especially if moving is part of your financial plan to make retirement work.  For that reason, the wife and I moved to a "transition" city last year -- one on our retirement short list where we can prototype our low spending and get to know the place while working our last year or two at our full time jobs.  Now when we do pull the plug we won't be in any rush to move -- we'll be able to kick back and take our time enjoying where we are and exploring other potential future cities as well. 

Regarding your specific questions -- Florida isn't on our list (seems like an East coast retirement thing); No kids so grandchildren aren't a consideration (although friends/family certainly are); Major health centers aren't a worry as most metropolitan areas have good choices (we aren't rural types); We can easily see ourselves living several places over the years, so the idea that the first place must meet all our expectations isn't so important.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4058
  • Location: On my bike

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2013, 03:23:02 PM »
To Tyler's point, ACA costs vary wildly across the U.S.:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/50-states-obamacare-113318311.html

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2013, 04:58:13 PM »
footenote and Russ - Thanks for reminding me to test drive a place. Very good idea.

Tyler - I had never thought to pick a place where good part-time work might be found. I haven't ruled out working a job after becoming financially independent.

Eric - Ah!  couldn't find any threads on this. Thanks.

vern

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 571
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2013, 08:56:13 PM »
I chose Washington state because...

-No state income tax.
-No sales tax next door (in Oregon.)
-Great skiing, hiking, salmon fishing.
-My house is already paid off and I don't want to buy another one!




chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2936
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2013, 05:16:15 AM »
About eight years ago, we became FIRE(ish). Basically we could live anywhere and did not want to stay in the location of the most recent corporate job.

We narrowed it down to three locations, one of which was Florida. We were least familiar with Florida, so we decided to live there for one month to "test drive" it. We rented a house to force ourselves to really live like residents. (= No Room Service!)

We rented a lovely home on the Gulf side of the Keys with its own dock. The first two weeks were like vacation, of course. Look, a dolphin! I scuba'd with a manatee! Ooohh, what a gorgeous sunset!

Then... reality settled in. I won't detail everything we experienced, but by the end of the month, we realized Florida wasn't a good long-term match for us.

So if you have the wherewithal to choose anywhere, I highly recommend taking the location for a 1 - 2 month test drive, renting a house and experiencing the environment like a regular native.

I'm actually curious as to what drove you away.  I like the test drive a place for a month or two idea

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2013, 05:58:18 AM »
About eight years ago, we became FIRE(ish). Basically we could live anywhere and did not want to stay in the location of the most recent corporate job.

We narrowed it down to three locations, one of which was Florida. We were least familiar with Florida, so we decided to live there for one month to "test drive" it. We rented a house to force ourselves to really live like residents. (= No Room Service!)

We rented a lovely home on the Gulf side of the Keys with its own dock. The first two weeks were like vacation, of course. Look, a dolphin! I scuba'd with a manatee! Ooohh, what a gorgeous sunset!

Then... reality settled in. I won't detail everything we experienced, but by the end of the month, we realized Florida wasn't a good long-term match for us.

So if you have the wherewithal to choose anywhere, I highly recommend taking the location for a 1 - 2 month test drive, renting a house and experiencing the environment like a regular native.

I'm actually curious as to what drove you away.  I like the test drive a place for a month or two idea
As I mentioned, we were on the Gulf side of the Keys (Marathon). We were in KMart our first week and I said "Wow - an entire aisle of scented candles?! Wonder what's driving that?"

We did not know that the waters around the Keys (where we had stayed on vaca twice previously) periodically develop an incredibly sulfurous stench. Well, when the stench enveloped us in the last two weeks of our stay, we too visited the scented candle aisle!

On a more serious note, the "Manana" speed of business in general and service in particular, while charming on vaca, began to wear on me.

Finally, for a three year period in my career previously, I had traveled to Tampa at least monthly. I started to remember some of the summer trips and how truly tropical southern Florida gets in the summer. It is more annoying to me than cold weather is to many others in the winter.

So... Florida ended up being for visits for us, not for residency.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2936
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2013, 06:06:12 AM »
I appreciate the information.  My company is pretty big in Florida and I'm an inner beach bum, so I've though about trying to get a relo pre-retirement down there.

My biggest issue from my visits seems to be that a large portion of the population is very rough around the edges due to the low paying service industry jobs.

I'm also kicking around taking a sabbatical in a year or two and spending a couple months in Hawaii, much more my style as long as I don't develop rock fever.

Kristin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2013, 06:47:54 AM »
We are pretty young (early 30s) and starting to think about kids.  My parents are currently in VA but will start moving further south in the next few years.  My spouse's parents are here and very close by.
We are not necessarily thinking about where we will retire, but we are thinking about a 2nd weekend home in the mountains as a family getaway/possible vacation rental, and hopefully it will be where we want to move when we become FI.  I know second homes are not Mustachian, but we currently live in the heart of the city.  We love it no while we are working, but we won't want to stay here when we get closer to FI.
My big concern is most of the places we are interested in are in PA and NY, but if all the future kid's grandparents are in FL or NC, I don't think it's reasonable to be so far away from our parents.  Is this thinking way too far ahead?
We are not planning on purchasing anything in the next few years, but if we figure out where we want to be and find a great deal, we may jump on it.  Ideally, I want to buy a few acres of land and build a small (800 - 1000 sf) super energy efficient home.  That way we will have a place to get out of the city and enjoy nature, have a place for the whole family to congregate for holidays/summer vacations, ad eventually live there as empty nesters. 

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2016
  • Age: 39
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2013, 07:01:42 AM »
We live in the house my DH grew up in, and it's less than an hour from where I grew up.  Both of us love it here.  Amazingly, if I had been given the chance to design a house from scratch, this house has very nearly everything that I could ever want, down to the 1950's breakfast nook, whole living area in the basement including kitchen, awesome built in lazy susans, hardwood floors, ranch style, enough land for a way awesome garden and orchard...the list goes on.  I really don't think I could have done better if I had set out to find a place like this!

So, I'm already in the house and town that I will retire in.  The only thing that could change that is if DH passes away, this house is just too large for one person to maintain.  I would be very sad, but I would sell and find a smaller place in the same town.

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2013, 07:52:45 AM »
Does anyone roam around without a long term home in any particular state?  This is our plan but I do not know exactly how to nail down a state to claim ACA and taxes.  I am not sure if a mail forwarding service is enough for ACA or how you get services if you are across the country for a few months.

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 08:31:57 AM »
Does anyone roam around without a long term home in any particular state?  This is our plan but I do not know exactly how to nail down a state to claim ACA and taxes.  I am not sure if a mail forwarding service is enough for ACA or how you get services if you are across the country for a few months.
I signed up for our ACA account yesterday on our MNSure (state-sponsored, not the federal) website.

They appear to really, really care about verifying where you are living now and where you will (continue to) live when you are in the plan year you are signing up for. (They even ask whether you are currently in jail or prison.)

From what I saw, I doubt a mail forwarding service is going to cut it. But try it on the federal site through your current state of residence and let us know if it works.

On getting care when you are out of your home state of service, you will need to read the fine print on out-of-network care for the policy you choose. In general, I expect you will pay more for a more generous out-of-network care policy.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2013, 08:35:17 AM »
Does anyone roam around without a long term home in any particular state?  This is our plan but I do not know exactly how to nail down a state to claim ACA and taxes.  I am not sure if a mail forwarding service is enough for ACA or how you get services if you are across the country for a few months.

It depends on the state. IIRC the Dakotas (I forget which one is best) are popular among RV'ers for their "permanent address" because they're flexible about that sort of thing and decent on taxes. You do need to be a resident of somewhere though.

I don't know what it is, but I'm 100% sure there's a way to make it work.

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 09:41:40 PM »


As I mentioned, we were on the Gulf side of the Keys (Marathon). We were in KMart our first week and I said "Wow - an entire aisle of scented candles?! Wonder what's driving that?"

We did not know that the waters around the Keys (where we had stayed on vaca twice previously) periodically develop an incredibly sulfurous stench.

Ha! When we're on a road trip and go into a chain store, we also pay attention to what's different, what people seem to buy the most that they are not buying back home. Never thought of that as an indicator of where to live, but it's as good as any.

I know a guy who likes green smoothies and wants to move because the grocery stores keep only wilted lettuce. This means no one else is bothering with it. Clearly, he's the odd man out.

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2014, 09:01:03 AM »
Bump. Since there are new people who've joined the forum since the last discussion.

Undecided

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2014, 09:46:13 AM »
Does anyone roam around without a long term home in any particular state?  This is our plan but I do not know exactly how to nail down a state to claim ACA and taxes.  I am not sure if a mail forwarding service is enough for ACA or how you get services if you are across the country for a few months.

It depends on the state. IIRC the Dakotas (I forget which one is best) are popular among RV'ers for their "permanent address" because they're flexible about that sort of thing and decent on taxes. You do need to be a resident of somewhere though.

I don't know what it is, but I'm 100% sure there's a way to make it work.

Assuming you're a US citizen, you're basically treated as a resident of your state or territory of prior residence until you take a new one, for things like where you vote in federal elections and where you are directed to submit your tax return. Beyond that, though, I wouldn't concede that residence means much if you're outside of the U.S. Some states are aggressive about asserting that you're still a resident until you take up a new residency (in the U.S.), but even California won't (in my experience) won't push this infinitely far. If you're just roaming the U.S., you may have a tougher time arguing that you've left your prior residence behind.

phred

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2014, 12:42:36 PM »
no one state has perfect weather - probably the reason the wealthy have a winter location and a summer location.  The most important decision is to decide what you want to do in retirement, and you can't decide this unless you are already doing it.  Do you want to frequently go sailing-then you need to be near water.  Hunt small game year around - then Michigan might be good.  Hike long distances - Colorado.  Play golf daily - then anywhere with a Putt-Putt.

  After you pick a place for its natural features, then focus on state income tax, investments tax, liberal or conservative, and so on.

I liked Florida, but where I was got too expensive.  Plus, the number of scam artists increased (everyone likes Florida at some time).

Lastly, when you feel you've made your decision, spend two months there in summer and two months in winter.  Don't stay at a resort; rent a house or apartment on a short-term lease.  Live as a local
 

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4750
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2014, 04:25:44 AM »
^+1  I think that's a great idea/way to do it!! I have often thought of the place I would want to retire but why not experience as you said for a month or too to see if its all what one might think it is!

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1034
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2014, 11:17:56 AM »
Does anyone roam around without a long term home in any particular state?  This is our plan but I do not know exactly how to nail down a state to claim ACA and taxes.
Assuming you're a US citizen, you're basically treated as a resident of your state or territory of prior residence until you take a new one, for things like where you vote in federal elections and where you are directed to submit your tax return.

It also determines things like whether you pay state taxes and on what, and vehicle insurance rates, which are things that RVers care about. 

I can't speak to the author's expertise, but this blog post:  http://stephaniehenkel.hubpages.com/hub/Full-Time-RVingHow-to-Establish-State-Residency seems to offer a reasonable introduction to some of the issues involved.  A quick search on "state residency full-time RV" will turn up a plethora of sites.

yyc-phil

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1007
  • Location: Yellowknife NWT
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2014, 11:41:27 AM »
For us, retirement will take place in exactly 2 years and 6 months, and will mean to remain fully active and engaged as much as possible while we are still healthy and young (I am now 56, my wife is 39). We already live a very frugal yet quite comfortable lifestyle on less than $25K per year but once we are out of the active full time workforce, I expect our annual budget will likely be under $20K, as we plan to move to Vancouver Island where the COL is much lower that Calgary's and the weather much nicer. The main factors for us, in finding a permanent pied--terre, were weather, quality of life, and affordability. In my particular case since I have children from a previous marriage, another factor was to stay relatively close to my children, considering the fact that one is in Montreal, another 4,600 km away in Nanaimo, and two in the middle in Calgary (nope, Winnipeg in the middle was never on my list...). We considered moving to Spain which would be simple and easy because we love everything about Spain, and I have kept EU citizenship, but for a number of reasons, we opted to keep whatever real estate assets we will have left in Canada, although we might spend a lot of time there in a family-owned hacienda. So our plan is to spend most of our summers on Vancouver Island, then spend 3-5 months abroad either in Spain, or in Asia, where my wife would probably teach Japanese and me ESL and/or scuba diving.

choppingwood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 531
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2014, 12:23:56 PM »
I haven't retired yet, but a few years before I planned to, I moved to the kind of place I wanted to live. For me, that was someplace with lots of hiking and outdoor activities and easy access to nature, a warm community culture, and not too far from a city for what was not available locally. I also was looking for very low cost of living. Since then, I have done lots of activities that help me get to know people. So far, so good.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5272
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2014, 02:06:46 PM »
I have lived in many different states and am really sick of moving & starting over with friends, etc.  We considered moving to a cheaper place when we retired but in the end just stayed where we are because we love our lives.  Where we live is not cheap but not super expensive either.

pac_NW

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Have the stamina to work on it until it's right
    • Take Next Steps
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2014, 05:42:43 PM »
We did bullet 4. Found the place on this Earth we love, love, love, earlier in life. As we decided, a key goal was picking a place we could retire because building a community is so important and really hard to do in a new location when you are at a typical retirement age. We call our spot "home base" and travel from there, always returning to "home".

ch12

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 593
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2014, 11:22:03 AM »
no one state has perfect weather - probably the reason the wealthy have a winter location and a summer location.  The most important decision is to decide what you want to do in retirement, and you can't decide this unless you are already doing it.  Do you want to frequently go sailing-then you need to be near water.  Hunt small game year around - then Michigan might be good.  Hike long distances - Colorado.  Play golf daily - then anywhere with a Putt-Putt.

  After you pick a place for its natural features, then focus on state income tax, investments tax, liberal or conservative, and so on.

I liked Florida, but where I was got too expensive.

I like Florida's lack of state income tax, especially since I live in Wisconsin. I am also secretly a beach bum, as someone else said, and my parents are going to be down in Sarasota, so that's where I'm going.

My parents live about 5 minutes from Siesta Key (#1 beach in the US), but we pay significantly less for the pleasure of living in Sarasota than people whose homes are there. We also face less risk from hurricanes. The picture attached shows the difference between zip codes. Longboat Key and Siesta have tons of college-educated people with relatively high incomes, while the mainland has more of a blue-collar population. As retirees, my parents can avail themselves of the lower COL on the mainland, while also having access to the beach and other stuff that people who live off the coast have.

I'd really say to live somewhere else or travel in August and September. Hurricanes scare me more than tornados do, since I grew up in Indiana. Retirees have the luxury of easily evacuating and hanging out somewhere else for those 2 months. I might head to Denver, where my sister will live. I can also easily see my parents taking a little trip to France in September after Labor Day, so they can get shoulder season prices but good weather. (France shuts down in August, although that is slowly shifting.)

It's true that Florida is close to sea level, and it's at pretty high risk of flooding. I think that it should be relatively safe for the next 20 years or so. Over the longer term, I can see myself moving to Denver.

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2014, 08:51:25 PM »
There have been newbies since the last post, so I'm bumping this up to get their stories.

Ozstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 831
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2014, 12:53:55 AM »
After being in the military for 30 years, and being moved many times as a result, I came to the realisation that you have to make the most of wherever you live. When you do that often enough, you realise that it doesn't really matter where you live, so we just retired where we last lived. Simple!

begood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2014, 06:35:50 AM »
After being in the military for 30 years, and being moved many times as a result, I came to the realisation that you have to make the most of wherever you live. When you do that often enough, you realise that it doesn't really matter where you live, so we just retired where we last lived. Simple!

Bloom where you're planted! :)

I think about where to retire a lot, even though the decision is probably 10 years away.

I'm Goldilocksian when it comes to the ideal spot I want for retirement:

Not too cold and not too hot
Not too big and not too small
Close to a metro area (airport access is key) but not a high COL

So far, my list includes:

Jacksonville, FL
Charlotte, NC
Triangle NC Area: Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill
Triad NC Area: Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem
Asheville, NC
Richmond, VA

I like Maryland and Delaware too, but it's tough anywhere in the northeast corridor to get close to an airport without bumping up the COL.

Where I am now is high COL and way too cold for me in winter. But we're also only 35 minutes from an international airport, which goes in the plus column.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 07:54:35 AM by begood »

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2014, 08:28:27 AM »
When I quit working (retired) I was 42 and had older parents I wanted to stay near - as well as other family and friends (but no kids and was divorced). However, I didn't want to stay living in my area and in order to ER I had to sell my house and downsize.  So I ended up moving 100 miles away and 7,000 ft up to a small snow ski/lake mountain resort town. Still close enough to visit everyone but really a world away from the SoCal metro area I had been living in. I knew that place wouldn't be permanent though so moved on since then, and also plan to move from my current place soon. Not sure where to though as I plan to travel full time for a bit before settling down somewhere again. I have no idea where that will end up being - definitely not Florida or the Southeast or Southwest - so probably New England or Pac NW as I like 4 seasons and cooler wetter weather and snow. Want to live downtown in a small city where I can be carless much of the time, not rural or suburban, close to a VA hospital, close to things like mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, and the ocean, good public transit, good bike paths, and not a big population. Have places like Burlington, VT, Portland, Maine, Bellingham, WA and similar on my list.  If I didn't have a dog I'd probably live in Northern Europe somewhere. The biggest things that will effect my decision as to where to live will be weather, natural areas, and COL and housing prices - probably utilities also for heating.

ETA: Like a lot of people here I was in the military and have lived in many many places (Key West to Anchorage, Honolulu to Maine and many other places in between) so I think that helps when deciding where you want to live permanently. 
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 08:52:43 AM by Spartana »

MooseOutFront

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Texas
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2014, 08:47:08 AM »
"The Plan" calls for us to be done working our current careers in 6 years at age 40.  We'll have 2 elementary school aged kids at that point.  I want to be able to just move somewhere based on objective criteria.  FL, CO, WA, ID, TN, and MO all rank on my list, but I feel a huge obligation to stay close to family.  I'm currently inside of 2 hrs from both sets of parents in opposite directions.  We could end up FIREd in either parents' hometowns for perfectly good reasons, but it tugs at me that this is settling a bit geographically.

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2014, 08:56:39 AM »
So if you have the wherewithal to choose anywhere, I highly recommend taking the location for a 1 - 2 month test drive, renting a house and experiencing the environment like a regular native.
This is something I strongly agree with. And try it in different seasons too. Renting a vacation house off season for a month or longer can be pretty inexpensive and it's one of the best ways to "test drive" a new place before making an long term commitment.

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2014, 09:04:07 AM »
About eight years ago, we became FIRE(ish). Basically we could live anywhere and did not want to stay in the location of the most recent corporate job.

We narrowed it down to three locations, one of which was Florida. We were least familiar with Florida, so we decided to live there for one month to "test drive" it. We rented a house to force ourselves to really live like residents. (= No Room Service!)

We rented a lovely home on the Gulf side of the Keys with its own dock. The first two weeks were like vacation, of course. Look, a dolphin! I scuba'd with a manatee! Ooohh, what a gorgeous sunset!

Then... reality settled in. I won't detail everything we experienced, but by the end of the month, we realized Florida wasn't a good long-term match for us.

So if you have the wherewithal to choose anywhere, I highly recommend taking the location for a 1 - 2 month test drive, renting a house and experiencing the environment like a regular native.

I'm actually curious as to what drove you away.  I like the test drive a place for a month or two idea
As I mentioned, we were on the Gulf side of the Keys (Marathon). We were in KMart our first week and I said "Wow - an entire aisle of scented candles?! Wonder what's driving that?"

We did not know that the waters around the Keys (where we had stayed on vaca twice previously) periodically develop an incredibly sulfurous stench. Well, when the stench enveloped us in the last two weeks of our stay, we too visited the scented candle aisle!

 .
HA! I remember that smell! I was stationed in Key West when I was in the coast guard (and often took the longgggggg drive up to Marathon to go to K-Mart) and almost every morning in summer the beaches would get this rotting, fly and midge infested, seaweed on them in mass quantities. The smell was massive and over powering. In winter, during the cooler tourist season, they groomed the beaches better so less seaweed, but on broiling hot and muggy summer days it was terrible and all-pervasive. Homeless people and druggies too all along the sidewalk along the beach with shopping carts too. On a 2 mile by 1 mile island, little things like that can make a big impact on wanting to live there full time.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 09:06:59 AM by Spartana »

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2014, 09:17:51 AM »
Does anyone roam around without a long term home in any particular state?  This is our plan but I do not know exactly how to nail down a state to claim ACA and taxes.  I am not sure if a mail forwarding service is enough for ACA or how you get services if you are across the country for a few months.
I plan to do this for a couple of years before I re-settle down again once my house is sold. I'm planning to keep my Calif residency (I'm low income enough not to have to worry about paying income taxes) and can use a Veteran's hospital anywhere in the country if needed. My understanding is that, in some places at least, it takes awhile (months? years?) to become a resident of a state even if you can get driver license and vote. I know in Cali you have to live here 18 months before you are entitled to certain "resident" things like college tuition. So that might be the case for each when signing up for a new state's ACA and/or Medicaid plan. I think many of the full time RV sites talk about this stuff.

For me I plan to travel/live fairly unencumbered by car (with dog) and mix up camping, budget motels and longer term off season vacation house rentals for longer stays. 

iamadummy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2014, 09:54:07 AM »
I think a lot of it has to do with where your kids end up and grandkids

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4058
  • Location: On my bike
Re: How Did You Choose Your Retirement City/Place?
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2014, 05:22:12 PM »
Bloom where you're planted! :)

I like that!  We'll have to move in order to FIRE, and I'm sure we'll be happy wherever we end up.  If not, we'll transplant ourselves!  :)