Author Topic: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?  (Read 19858 times)

SnackDog

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2016, 02:08:50 AM »
We have been scouring the US for places with decent winter weather, acceptable summer weather, diverse dining, low cost and culture, particularly a university.  It's not that easy.

Any place with snow is out. The northwest is too rainy and expensive. Southeast is not our cup of tea and muggy summers. Austin is only nice place in Texas but too many allergies and hipsters. Palm Springs is over priced and overrun with vacationing dolts from LA. Santa Fe is too artsy and Adobe for us.

Currently mulling over Reno and Tucson. Leaning toward Arizona in general but only areas with enough elevation to survive summer.

Suggestions?
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paddedhat

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2016, 05:27:15 AM »
We have been scouring the US for places with decent winter weather, acceptable summer weather, diverse dining, low cost and culture, particularly a university.  It's not that easy.

Any place with snow is out. The northwest is too rainy and expensive. Southeast is not our cup of tea and muggy summers. Austin is only nice place in Texas but too many allergies and hipsters. Palm Springs is over priced and overrun with vacationing dolts from LA. Santa Fe is too artsy and Adobe for us.

Currently mulling over Reno and Tucson. Leaning toward Arizona in general but only areas with enough elevation to survive summer.

Suggestions?

We have been snowbirds for the last four years, and spent our lives in the Northeast.  We have been all over North America during our travels, and have found that the only place that we could live year round would be southern CA. When it comes to why we will continue to live a snowbird life and not move to CA. the reasons are numerous, including much higher cost of living, high home ownership costs, and it's far more crowded than I find comfortable. As for mulling over Reno,  any place with an average January low of 25* F and a July high of 91* is no place you will find me.  Tuscon is a bit warmer in winter, but barely, and WAY too hot in summer, for my taste.  As for a perfect climate in AZ. there are a number of RV bloggers who stay in the state ( or the southwest)year round, and migrate, to and from, higher elevations to find comfortable living. When it comes to being retired, suffering through shit weather is not a popular pastime, and finding a year round climate that is comfortable is pretty difficult. If there is a perfect place you are looking for, it tends to be pretty full already. San Diego comes to mind as a perfect example.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2016, 10:53:21 AM »
A friend of mine lives in Flagstaff in summer and winter in Tucson. Flagstaff even this time of year is pretty chilly at night (30s/40s).

Bicycle_B

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2016, 11:53:55 AM »
We have been scouring the US for places with decent winter weather, acceptable summer weather, diverse dining, low cost and culture, particularly a university.  It's not that easy.

Any place with snow is out. The northwest is too rainy and expensive. Southeast is not our cup of tea and muggy summers. Austin is only nice place in Texas but too many allergies and hipsters. Palm Springs is over priced and overrun with vacationing dolts from LA. Santa Fe is too artsy and Adobe for us.

Currently mulling over Reno and Tucson. Leaning toward Arizona in general but only areas with enough elevation to survive summer.

Suggestions?

LOL, guilty as charged. 

Though it appears to me after 25 years in Austin that the allergies thing is, so to speak, overblown.  Learn to sniffle from New Year's until mid January without freaking out, after that no big deal.  YMMV. 

Real estate's gotten pricey, culture here now includes some very spendy layers coexisting with the artsy/musical ones.  Possibly the best of both worlds might be to live in a town nearby and visit Austin on selected occasions.  San Marcos would be an excellent choice for that.  There's even a viable bus line from there to Austin for anyone who wants to be car free. 

Curious to see other replies, and follow your explorations.

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2016, 04:19:31 PM »
We have been scouring the US for places with decent winter weather, acceptable summer weather, diverse dining, low cost and culture, particularly a university.  It's not that easy.

Any place with snow is out. The northwest is too rainy and expensive. Southeast is not our cup of tea and muggy summers. Austin is only nice place in Texas but too many allergies and hipsters. Palm Springs is over priced and overrun with vacationing dolts from LA. Santa Fe is too artsy and Adobe for us.

Currently mulling over Reno and Tucson. Leaning toward Arizona in general but only areas with enough elevation to survive summer.

Suggestions?

LOL, guilty as charged. 

Though it appears to me after 25 years in Austin that the allergies thing is, so to speak, overblown.  Learn to sniffle from New Year's until mid January without freaking out, after that no big deal.  YMMV. 

Real estate's gotten pricey, culture here now includes some very spendy layers coexisting with the artsy/musical ones.  Possibly the best of both worlds might be to live in a town nearby and visit Austin on selected occasions.  San Marcos would be an excellent choice for that.  There's even a viable bus line from there to Austin for anyone who wants to be car free. 

Curious to see other replies, and follow your explorations.

I want to make fun of SnackDog's overly stringer criteria.. but.. I think I feel the same way.
The Flagstaff recommendation is interesting.
What is this about Austin and allergies? BTW, for the Austinite, how would you compare San Antonia, if Austin did get too pricey?
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Bicycle_B

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #55 on: September 16, 2016, 05:02:16 PM »
We have been scouring the US for places with decent winter weather, acceptable summer weather, diverse dining, low cost and culture, particularly a university.  It's not that easy.

Any place with snow is out. The northwest is too rainy and expensive. Southeast is not our cup of tea and muggy summers. Austin is only nice place in Texas but too many allergies and hipsters. Palm Springs is over priced and overrun with vacationing dolts from LA. Santa Fe is too artsy and Adobe for us.

Currently mulling over Reno and Tucson. Leaning toward Arizona in general but only areas with enough elevation to survive summer.

Suggestions?

LOL, guilty as charged. 

Though it appears to me after 25 years in Austin that the allergies thing is, so to speak, overblown.  Learn to sniffle from New Year's until mid January without freaking out, after that no big deal.  YMMV. 

Real estate's gotten pricey, culture here now includes some very spendy layers coexisting with the artsy/musical ones.  Possibly the best of both worlds might be to live in a town nearby and visit Austin on selected occasions.  San Marcos would be an excellent choice for that.  There's even a viable bus line from there to Austin for anyone who wants to be car free. 

Curious to see other replies, and follow your explorations.

I want to make fun of SnackDog's overly stringer criteria.. but.. I think I feel the same way.
The Flagstaff recommendation is interesting.
What is this about Austin and allergies? BTW, for the Austinite, how would you compare San Antonia, if Austin did get too pricey?

Lots of people develop allergies in Austin.  Most commonly it's an allergy called "cedar fever", actually an allergy to juniper trees.  They exude pollen in January. You sneeze, sniffle, have stuffy nose, maybe itchy eyes.  Some people get medication but I stopped after realizing it had no effect for me.  Main result personally:  due to sniffling, I do not sound suave in January.

The most frequent thing is to visit, have no problem, then develop the allergy after some years in residence.  I got mine seven years after arrival - exactly when people said I would. 

Here's a fun link re San Marcos this weekend.  San Marcos is maybe half an hour from downtown Austin, plus any traffic effects.  Far enough to still be a separate town so far.

http://freefuninaustin.com/2016/09/mermaid-parade-festival-supporting-san-marcos-river/

San Antonio is 1 to 2 hours from Austin by car, depending on where you start and finish.  Definitely cheaper, though even there, real estate prices definitely rising.  Obviously San Antonio has the most tacos and the best traditional tacos, fwiw.  Lots of military there.  Lots of Spanish neighborhoods that go back generations.  If you want a more relaxed culture, San Antonio is very homey.  My sister loves it.  Also, there is a largely unheralded layer of Austin-like culture (live bands, intellectuals, cool downtown district, etc) there too. Working out is more common in Austin. 

Also, Austin is bike-friendlier... not AT ALL perfect and still very hot, but there roads with bike lanes and grocery stores with bike racks.  Employers vary - some have bike racks and occasionally an on-site shower, most still don't.  (Those things are important in the heat IMHO).  San Antonio has very little of that as far as I know.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 02:00:35 AM by Bicycle_B »

SnackDog

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2016, 03:51:02 AM »
Spouse and I both lived in Austin long enough to know we are allergic there. People are fabulous but it is also stuck in the middle of Texas with long hours on the road to anywhere of scenic beauty. Texas is very limited when it comes to state or national parks - most land is private. We had several friends with ranches and those were fun to visit but mostly just for eating, drinking and fires. Texas is worth a close look for low income taxes but property taxes are massive.
The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. 傍homas T. Munger

SnackDog

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2016, 04:02:09 AM »
It is interesting to scour the map for places to live in the US.  There aren't many!!  It is hard to find places with natural beauty, lowish COL, stuff to do, higher education, no traffic, decent winter weather, etc.

Currently focused on Tucson and Santa Fe. SF may be too small; not sure, although it is close to Albuquerque. We have some other strange prefernces about cultural diversity which don't mesh that well with NM. I suspect we will end up farther west but winter places out that way are tough going. Southern California is out due to craven population, high prices and shocking traffic. I need a place outside California we can call home for income tax purposes as well. Wish Nevada were more interesting. The landscape in Vegas is so desolate compared to AZ or NM.
The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. 傍homas T. Munger

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2016, 10:59:29 AM »
Following.

Ebrat

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2016, 12:49:21 PM »
It is interesting to scour the map for places to live in the US.  There aren't many!!  It is hard to find places with natural beauty, lowish COL, stuff to do, higher education, no traffic, decent winter weather, etc.

Currently focused on Tucson and Santa Fe. SF may be too small; not sure, although it is close to Albuquerque. We have some other strange prefernces about cultural diversity which don't mesh that well with NM. I suspect we will end up farther west but winter places out that way are tough going. Southern California is out due to craven population, high prices and shocking traffic. I need a place outside California we can call home for income tax purposes as well. Wish Nevada were more interesting. The landscape in Vegas is so desolate compared to AZ or NM.

Let me know if you have any questions about Tucson. I lived there for a few years. The summers are pretty hot. I knew some people who would spend a month or two in San Diego during the summer.

SnackDog

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2016, 02:52:06 PM »
I'm also interested know how retirees manage transportation, division of resources between summer and winter locations, mothballing and taxes.  For example, is it feasible to have a single car and drive between your summer/winter places?  If you keep car, home and other stuff in both locations how do you manage the cost/redundancy?  Do you mothball a location at the end of the season or keep it ready for a visit at any time?  Do you allow visitors to use it or even AirBnB it when you are not there?  Do you optimize your income taxes by declaring residency in the lowest tax location, assuming there is one?   Did you consider alternative ways of "following the sun", like a large RV?

The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. 傍homas T. Munger

SnackDog

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2016, 02:56:15 PM »
And thanks for the Tucson tips.  I know it is hot in the summer - I reckon we would escape to California.  We've never been there so we need to make a reconnoiter of the whole southwest by car in the next couple years.

Reno  looks cheap but is too much like northern California for us, meaning not different enough to escape to part of the year.  It is a pretty area and the snow is super-manageable since it easy to drive an hour away and escape it.  The lure of no income tax in Nevada is a huge plus, that's for sure.  It's also an easy drive from the Bay area.   I reckon we would reverse snow-bird if we had a base there - white Christmas in Reno to ski and summers in on the coast.  We would need to not exceed 9 months in California to avoid income tax, as I understand it.
The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. 傍homas T. Munger

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #62 on: October 03, 2016, 10:32:14 AM »
My parents retired to Tennessee on the west side of Nashville.  Property values in the area are much cheaper than many parts of the nation.  I bought a couple houses around 50k and rent in the Clarksville and smaller cities tends to be around $600.  Mild summers and mild winters.  They have all 4 seasons.

Both of them are originally from Florida.  However, I am looking at possibly retiring to FL myself for the warmer climate.  Both TN and FL have no state income tax.
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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #63 on: October 03, 2016, 12:05:31 PM »
I'm also interested know how retirees manage transportation, division of resources between summer and winter locations, mothballing and taxes.  For example, is it feasible to have a single car and drive between your summer/winter places?  If you keep car, home and other stuff in both locations how do you manage the cost/redundancy?  Do you mothball a location at the end of the season or keep it ready for a visit at any time?  Do you allow visitors to use it or even AirBnB it when you are not there?  Do you optimize your income taxes by declaring residency in the lowest tax location, assuming there is one?   Did you consider alternative ways of "following the sun", like a large RV?

I know many snowbirds who rent and many snowbirds who own (I DO live in SnowBirdLand, after all). People handle these situations in all types of ways and much of it has to do with how much disposable income they have/want to spend.

Some people drive a car/RV, possibly towing a boat between the two locations. Others keep a car or two here year round. There are car storage facilities available - some even climate controlled - if you want to leave a car somewhere other than at home.

In terms of shuttering the house, I would say the vast majority of property owners in my area close everything up for the summer and don't use the property at all for 6-9 months. Obviously, this is not Mustachian! Others are what I call "back-and-forthers" who fly down for 2-4 week stretches over the hot season. I do also know people who rent out their homes when they don't intend to use them, but they use more traditional property managers as AirBnB isn't really a thing here yet.

Declaring residency can be tricky and income taxes aren't the only consideration. There are things like homestead exemptions on property taxes, taxation of pensions and other retirement assets, costs of registration, insurance and licensing. It can be complex depending on your situation.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #64 on: October 03, 2016, 12:44:55 PM »
I'm also interested know how retirees manage transportation, division of resources between summer and winter locations, mothballing and taxes.  For example, is it feasible to have a single car and drive between your summer/winter places?  If you keep car, home and other stuff in both locations how do you manage the cost/redundancy?  Do you mothball a location at the end of the season or keep it ready for a visit at any time?  Do you allow visitors to use it or even AirBnB it when you are not there?  Do you optimize your income taxes by declaring residency in the lowest tax location, assuming there is one?   Did you consider alternative ways of "following the sun", like a large RV?
 

Not a snowbird myself, but a pattern I've heard personal testimony on is reverse snowbirding that uses an RV as one location and a home as the other, leaving the RV in place instead of driving it "home".

An acquaintance owns a campground in the Northeast (Maine or New Hampshire).  There are customers who summer there in an RV, enjoying the beautiful outdoors in relative cool, or using the place as summer base amidst other adventures.  He lets them leave the RV there during winter if they like for a nominal fee, avoiding the hassle of driving for those who have their main home far away in warmer climes.  The nominal fee is zero if they plan to summer again at the campground. 

It sounds like they fly home after the summer.  I suppose there could be cases where they drive a car back and forth and still don't want to park the RV at home, but I didn't hear him describe that.

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #65 on: October 20, 2016, 05:19:42 PM »
We started renting a home in AZ for the winter months (Jan - April) to see how we liked  a few of the 55+ communities (the newer ones!)  Did this for about 3 years.  Best way to check out an area/community.  After realizing how hard it was getting to find a rental because of our 2 cats, we decided to buy a home in AZ - got a good deal on it before prices started to go up (in 2012).  Right now we are spending summers in our mid-west home (June - Dec) and heading out to AZ right after the holidays.  Next year we'll be heading to AZ in mid-Oct. & flying back for the holidays with family.  We are planning to sell our mid-west home and purchase a small place up in the Denver area - easy drive from AZ to spend the summers somewhere cooler.  We love AZ - lots of hiking, biking, swimming, golfing.  Denver seems to be just as good weather-wise, just not as hot in the summer.  We figure what the heck - if we find out it's not what we want/like, we'll just sell.  At this point in our life I don't want to spend years deciding - lets just do it and see what happens.  We aren't getting any younger (at 54 & 64).  Thankfully finances aren't an issue. 

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #66 on: September 30, 2017, 04:52:18 PM »
we are enjoying Portugal and Spain, and Croatia. Just a vacations now, but imagining migrating every 6 months.

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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #67 on: October 01, 2017, 03:27:00 PM »
More of a rainbird. At the moment, DH and I try to take two 10-day vacations in the Canary Islands during the dark and soggy British winter, but when we retire we plan to hop off for six weeks in January and February every year, staying in hotels cheaply at low season and riding our bikes a lot.



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Re: Snowbirds: What's your migration pattern?
« Reply #68 on: October 01, 2017, 05:23:09 PM »
Northern NV has a mild 4 seasons.