Author Topic: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?  (Read 1948 times)

bhallissey

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My wife and I recently paid off our debts and anticipate starting our FIRE life in 4 years just before our son starts school. We currently live in the northeast and are tired of snow. I have a work contract that continues for 4 more years and should provide us the remainder of the money needed to hit our number. We are hoping to hear from mustachians on locations that meet the following criteria:

No Snow
Low crime
Average or better cost of living. Currently we are in a high cost area so even average will be a savings
Good school and community
Walkable and bikeable
Easy access to outdoor activities like fishing and boating
Within an hour of an ice hockey arena(this is my odd ball one but as a mustachian i want to optimize without giving up ice hockey)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Any other mustachians leave the cold and snow behind for a better fit?

Bicycle_B

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 06:53:23 PM »
You might do all right in San Marcos, TX.

No snow, check.
Low crime, I think it's low.  Lived in nearby Austin for 2 decades, never heard anything bad; friends who live and work there like it.
Cost of living good, much cheaper than Austin when I checked last year to help a friend who was being priced out of Austin.
University town, schools and community should be good.
Walkable and bikeable - I think so.  Town is not big (a few miles across).  I remember seeing sidewalks when visiting a neighborhood of older homes.  Not sure how many bike trails though - research this one.  IIRC, saw lots of bikes on the spacious, beautiful campus of Texas State University when visiting on business.
Outdoor activities - must be.  Floating on nearby river is a common pastime.  College students loaf near it banks.  Must be fishing somewhere, though protected areas cover some of the waterways (no fishing in those, except scientists tagging fish). 
Ice hockey - According to Google Maps, Texas State University in San Marcos is 52 minutes by car from the home rink of the Texas Stars, farm team for the NHL's Dallas Stars.


Rollin

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 06:14:26 PM »
We have all that here - Pinellas County (includes places like Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg, etc.). Professional hockey 30-45 minutes away in Tampa, at least one arena I am aware of in Oldsmar (north end of county).
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:18:04 PM by Rollin »
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MoneyStacher

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 07:27:16 PM »
I'm in total agreement with you on weather and have been thinking it over for some time. Should I have a permanent home in a northern-ish area and rent in the south for a few months when cold or do the opposite? Today I saw this article and I'm sold on San Diego with zero days below 32 and only 2 above 90. Can't comment on crime or other stuff you might want to have or avoid.

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/the-20-best-places-to-live-in-the-us-for-the-weather?slide=21

spartana

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 09:33:47 PM »
I'm in total agreement with you on weather and have been thinking it over for some time. Should I have a permanent home in a northern-ish area and rent in the south for a few months when cold or do the opposite? Today I saw this article and I'm sold on San Diego with zero days below 32 and only 2 above 90. Can't comment on crime or other stuff you might want to have or avoid.

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/the-20-best-places-to-live-in-the-us-for-the-weather?slide=21
San Diego is pretty expensive for housing so might not be an option for most people looking for lower COL areas. I'm from coastal SoCal and have been doing the reverse snowbird thing... sort of. Stayed home in Calif during winter (except to ski), spring and early summer and travel in late summer and Fall somewhere cooler.  I found Aug to mid-Nov to be too hot and dry and smoggy in SoCal for me but Spring and early Summers tolerable. Added bonus is that its MUCH cheaper to travel off season and fewer people too. Since I prefer cooler weather places over hot places my end plan is to move to a move somewhere with cooler temps (most likely a Western mountain ski town) to spend summers as well as part of winter for skiing but travel in early spring and late fall

As to the OP most of Calif is expensive so a lot of people move to Arizona. WAY to hot and dry for me and not a desert fan myself but lots if people like it.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 09:38:30 PM by spartana »
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FINate

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 12:37:14 AM »
Davis, California may check all of your boxes, though the cost of living may be higher than you want (Spirling's has it at 172.5, where 100 is US average). Known to be a very bikeable town. Lake Tahoe area is ~2hr east, SF Bay Area ~1 hr west. Yosemite is ~3 hrs. Lots of fishing in the Central Valley rivers/lakes. Low crime. UC Davis so a college town with the associated pros/cons. No snow, though summers get hot (not quite southern AZ hot, but still triple digits)...unless along the coast in California (very spendy) then generally you have either cold/snowy winters or hot dry summers (or both in the high desert).

Prescott, AZ may also be worth checking out. Has a walkable/bikeable downtown. Cost of living is about average. Lots of outdoor activities (mountain biking near town and in nearby Sedona, and Grand Canyon is not far). However, being in the mountainous north of the state (somewhat cooler summers) they get snow...but they also get a lot of sun during winter so I think it's different from the winter gloom of the NE.

lefty

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 05:45:51 AM »
I've been thinking about Santa Clarita, CA. So far things look reasonable to me for what you get.

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hoping2retire35

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 12:15:54 PM »
http://www.swamprabbits.com/schedule/

30-40 mins to the west are several large lakes

Rubic

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 01:29:18 PM »
Tennessee has no income tax.  In Nashville we're got the Predators:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_Predators

Each year we usually get a few days of snow, but it melts in a day or two.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 12:42:49 PM »
Eastern Tennessee-Western NC.  Or Knoxville To Asheville, NC would work wonderfully for me! 
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

ixtap

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 12:59:12 PM »
Eastern Tennessee-Western NC.  Or Knoxville To Asheville, NC would work wonderfully for me!

My parents are quite happy living near one of those and frequently vacationing near the other. Of course, they also come to see me in CA a couple of times a year. Going to be interesting to see what they do with themselves if Dad ever stops consulting!

Holyoak

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 01:07:05 PM »
BH, how does humidity + warmer weather figure into your decision?  I have lived in the deep South (S. Georgia), and Mid-South (Knoxville), and can tell you the humidity factor can be absolutely brutal.  As much as I am growing a bit tired of snow (30 miles south of Erie PA), I never could, or did get used to very high humidity, and high summer temps.  I did live in Utah where there was plenty of snow, but my God the lack of humidity was absolutely blissful. 

Maybe St. George UT is worth a look...  Perhaps a day or two of same day melt snow once or twice a season, and I think they even built a new ice rink in 2013, and have a hockey team.  I lived in Provo way north of SG, but the southern part of the state has some of the most beautiful scenery, and hiking this country has to offer.  Simply breathtaking, and so much no snow activities to do anywhere in the state, spring-fall.  Good luck.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 04:09:32 PM »
Eastern Tennessee-Western NC.  Or Knoxville To Asheville, NC would work wonderfully for me!

My parents are quite happy living near one of those and frequently vacationing near the other. Of course, they also come to see me in CA a couple of times a year. Going to be interesting to see what they do with themselves if Dad ever stops consulting!


Just a beautiful part of the country!
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zinethstache

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Re: Relocating for warmer weather and lower cost of living...but where?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 09:46:44 PM »
We are currently lake hopping in Texas. Circling the Dallas area for nine weeks. It is our first time staying this far east. We like where we are currently, but it is very sleepy and agricultural. I assume with just a one hour drive to the city that you would be able to tick all the boxes. There are many lakes in Texas to consider.

Cost of living is low compared to where we are from (PNW- north of Seattle). We can buy a home on this lake (Lake Tawakoni) a decent small 3/2 SFH with a dock and boat lift for under 200k. Gas starts at 2.29/g. We've been saving over $80/week in groceries since our arrival here. We cook all our own meals.

There is lots of camping here (we are full time RVers).

We like Arizona better overall, the desert is a huge change for us so we are drawn to it. Someone mentioned Prescott and that is the area we are also considering.  DH says Texas is too boring for him. I say it could grow on us as we spend more time here.