Author Topic: Ultimate location?  (Read 14114 times)

DollarBill

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Ultimate location?
« on: January 17, 2016, 07:29:51 PM »
So I'm in the early stages of looking for a new place to live. This is the first time I've ever had the ability to choose a place to live. I retired from the AF after 23 years and have always been told where to go and what to do. It's been kind overwhelming for me because I don't have any direction of where I'd like to be...since I don't have an SO or any kids or someone whispering in my ear.

If you were in my shoes where would you go?

- I'm 41 (M), Single and no kids
- Monthly Income about $3-5K (The lower the better but would spend more to be in an awesome place)
- Invested=?? a good amount but not crazy high
- Housing under $300K (Would only need to finance about $100K max)
- Love the outdoors
- Lean toward a warmer climate
- Love mountains and Ocean
- Hiking, Biking, Scuba diving, Boating, Skiing, Fishing, 4 wheeling...best to least relevant.
- Best things to do in a 6 hr radius...things within a decent rode trip for the weekend or day trip
- My Dad and extended Family are in Maryland/Virginia area and Sister/Mom in Austin TX. For some reason I'm more drawn to the western States but not indifferent.

What would you do???

« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 06:22:33 AM by DollarBill »

acanthurus

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 07:36:18 PM »
I would look for some of the smaller communities in the hill country west of Austin. You'll have to fly for decent scuba, but the hill country out there is beautiful and Austin night life is just a drive down the highway.

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2016, 07:45:31 PM »
I would look for some of the smaller communities in the hill country west of Austin. You'll have to fly for decent scuba, but the hill country out there is beautiful and Austin night life is just a drive down the highway.
Interesting my Sister lives in Dripping Springs. When I look at things on a map Las Vegas looks very good.
- Good weather
- Lake Mead close
- Mountains on both sides
- 4 hrs from LA Beaches
- 6 hrs from Salt lake city
- 7 hrs from Denver
- 2 hrs from Lake Havasu
- 4 hrs from Grand Canyon
- 4 hrs from Flag Staff
- 6/7 hrs from Tucson (Got buddies there)
- Cheap flights for people to visit (But could be a bad thing too)

NV Teacher

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2016, 09:32:44 PM »
I would look for some of the smaller communities in the hill country west of Austin. You'll have to fly for decent scuba, but the hill country out there is beautiful and Austin night life is just a drive down the highway.
Interesting my Sister lives in Dripping Springs. When I look at things on a map Las Vegas looks very good.
- Good weather
- Lake Mead close
- Mountains on both sides
- 4 hrs from LA Beaches
- 6 hrs from Salt lake city
- 7 hrs from Denver
- 2 hrs from Lake Havasu
- 4 hrs from Grand Canyon
- 4 hrs from Flag Staff
- 6/7 hrs from Tucson (Got buddies there)
- Cheap flights for people to visit (But could be a bad thing too)

I lived in Vegas for 15 years.  It's big, busy, crowded, and smoggy.  What about something like St. George in southern Utah.  Still close to what's around Vegas but so much better.

funcomesfirst

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2016, 09:38:31 PM »
Fort Collins.  My husband & I have always talked that college towns seem to be the way to go, especially with 1 or 0 car.  Colorado has moderate temps but all 4 seasons.  We still have a lot of research to do before we leave the frozen tundra of MN, but it's on the top of our "we definitely need to visit a few times" list.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 09:51:25 PM »
Northern California is an under-appreciated area, IMO. I love living Oregon, but so many people are coming that things are getting more expensive by the day. Flagstaff, AZ is pretty awesome. Issiquah, WA.

How big a town or city? Or even rural? That'll change people's answers a lot I'd guess.

Greenroller

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 10:03:48 PM »
Bend OR

mxt0133

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2016, 10:38:21 PM »
Does it have to be in the US?  You US dollars right now will go a long way in many countries outside the US and if you get tired of living abroad, you can just move back when the dollar starts to weaken.

TheNick

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 11:53:42 PM »
Does it have to be in the US?  You US dollars right now will go a long way in many countries outside the US and if you get tired of living abroad, you can just move back when the dollar starts to weaken.

That's what I was wondering as well.  I was considering Ecuador as one potential location for when I retired.  You can get a place in a gated community up in the mountains where the temperature is a little more moderate, yet you can still be a 1-2 hour drive away from a touristy city on a tropical beach so you'll have plenty to keep you busy.  Seemed like a pretty good balance to me, and from what I've read a 20ks USD per year budget down there is a pretty high class life style.  Even if you don't want to live in another country full time but you love nature and love the out doors it would still be pretty sweet to line up an apartment and go on a six month vacation that ends up being practically free after you factoring in all the savings due to cheaper cost of living while away.

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 06:00:30 AM »
Other random thoughts:
- I also need to look more into my healthcare options. Most of the places I've looked so far were close to an Air Force base/VA hospital because then it would keep the cost very low.
- Before I retired I would dream about traveling around the US in a RV/fifth wheel but now I don't know if I would like to do it full time by myself. If I had a travel buddy it would be different.
- I think more toward having a home-base in the US and take 2-4 week trips (With a few long trips in the mix) because who doesn't like coming home to their own bed and other things.
- I've lived overseas for about 8 years of my life. I enjoyed it when I was in those places but always missed being close to the US and would still like to be "somewhat" close to my Family.
- Being in Wichita KS is nice because I can hop in my car and be just about any where in a day or two but that's the rub..."everything" I want to do is about a day or two away.
- I have an older dog...love him to pieces but he's slowing down my traveling days. I've only been visiting people/places that welcomes dogs. I am planning a 14 State tour (Most of the Western States) at the end of Feb/early Mar. My Sister said she'll watch my Dog during that time. This would be another perk if I lived in Austin but after he's gone options will really open up. 
Quote
I lived in Vegas for 15 years.  It's big, busy, crowded, and smoggy.  What about something like St. George in southern Utah.  Still close to what's around Vegas but so much better.
I understand Vegas is big, busy, crowded, and smoggy but "IF" I was there I would be on the outskirts with the option to go see a good concert or show. I'm not big on City life but after living in many remote places around the World it would be nice to partake in some of those things I've missed out on. St. George sounds nice but for some reason I feel like I would want an International Airport closer for cheaper travel options...but I wonder if this is really that big of a deal.
Quote
Northern California is an under-appreciated area, IMO. I love living Oregon, but so many people are coming that things are getting more expensive by the day. Flagstaff, AZ is pretty awesome. Issiquah, WA.

How big a town or city? Or even rural? That'll change people's answers a lot I'd guess.
California never really appealed to me but mostly because I haven't seen much of it...it's on my State tour. I'm sure Oregon is beautiful but there does seem to have a big push of people moving there...just like Austin which is busting at the seams. I really like the idea of Flagstaff or Santa Fe and these seem like the right size for me but I wonder if I'd like to be closer to a bigger City. Tucson was a good size for me too but I haven't been there since 1998.

Does it have to be in the US?  You US dollars right now will go a long way in many countries outside the US and if you get tired of living abroad, you can just move back when the dollar starts to weaken.

That's what I was wondering as well.  I was considering Ecuador as one potential location for when I retired.  You can get a place in a gated community up in the mountains where the temperature is a little more moderate, yet you can still be a 1-2 hour drive away from a touristy city on a tropical beach so you'll have plenty to keep you busy.  Seemed like a pretty good balance to me, and from what I've read a 20ks USD per year budget down there is a pretty high class life style.  Even if you don't want to live in another country full time but you love nature and love the out doors it would still be pretty sweet to line up an apartment and go on a six month vacation that ends up being practically free after you factoring in all the savings due to cheaper cost of living while away.
I can see doing this for 2-6 months at a time but think I would still like to have a home-base in the US. Spent many years overseas and the only place I think I could move full time would be New Zealand. A place like New Zealand would be my dream but dang talking about being remote. Plus if I chose a place that remote would be like giving my Family the middle finger...lol. Sometimes I do think to myself "YOLO" let's do this but then I regress.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 06:04:12 AM by DollarBill »

andy85

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2016, 06:18:21 AM »
ever thought about the east coast? something like ashville, NC...got the pisgah national forest and smokey mountains right there and 4 hrs or so to the beach...just a thought..

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2016, 06:32:37 AM »
ever thought about the east coast? something like ashville, NC...got the pisgah national forest and smokey mountains right there and 4 hrs or so to the beach...just a thought..
Your right I should give the East Coast more of a fighting chance. I think I have a mental block on it...I think that's because I grew up South of DC and lived in Dover for about 5 years. I have thought about Savanna GA, Norfolk/VA beach area and panhandle of Florida.

GrOW

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2016, 07:22:45 AM »
Savannah has a growing shipping business, is close to a few military locations, and has alot of charm so friends and family may want to come visit you. Short trips to Charleston, Hilton Head. Short-Medium trips to SC and NC mountains as well as Florida east coast. GA Southern is not far away at all so you could enjoy a college town vibe if you live closer to the university.

On the down side, July and August can get oppressively hot. Like the kinda hot that melts asphalt. Also, local airport is small and somewhat expensive. Trips to Atlanta, Columbia SC, and Charlotte NC help alot on price but that is not a 30 minute drive...

elaine amj

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 07:39:15 AM »
Hiking is the ultimate free Mustachian activity. If you like hiking and biking, I suggest choosing a place where you can do it on a regular basis without having to travel far from your home. It would suck to be in Vegas and have to drive 30 mins for good hiking and then be limited to just a few places. That said, the Valley of Fire was gorgeous!!

I love where I live - but the hiking stinks. There is only one halfway decent forested area near my house where I can wander around - and even then, 2 hours is the absolute max I can hike around in circles. The next interesting spot is an hour away. I have to travel to indulge my love for hiking.

SeanMC

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2016, 07:54:50 AM »
Sounds like you have a nice plan to start traveling and exploring. Remember to take time to spend and check out a place "like a local" if you're trying to scout for future moving. Doing a 10+ state drive by of the best parks, coasts, and hikes is a lot of fun and a great experience. It's a terrible way to pick a place you're going to live. There are significant cultural and lifestyle differences between many of these places that are being suggested. Have fun exploring and seeing what feels right!

Also, RVing doesn't have to be solo or isolating. It does seem daunting to start out on your own, though, because it often feels like it's couples on the road. There are various clubs and internet forums for connecting with people who have similar travel interests and hobbies (and travel styles). So if you want to travel and find people who are similarly-minded, it's out there. The question is whether you actually like living in an RV/camper/trailer and think of your home "base" as the temporary stop gap or if you're trying to live somewhere full-time and take an occasional trip.

big_slacker

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2016, 08:01:54 AM »
Hiking is the ultimate free Mustachian activity. If you like hiking and biking, I suggest choosing a place where you can do it on a regular basis without having to travel far from your home. It would suck to be in Vegas and have to drive 30 mins for good hiking and then be limited to just a few places. That said, the Valley of Fire was gorgeous!!

Red Rock canyon itself has like 20 trails, then the Cowboy Trails in the same area and the Blue Diamond/Cottonwood system all along the same road. Those trails are all gorgeous desert scenery.

Bootleg canyon to the SE is not quite as scenic but has a ton of hiking trails as well. This would be good for someone who lives in henderson or boulder city.

The entire area is an awesome jumpoff point to so many awesome western outdoor spots. Easy drives to zion, bryce, hurricane, gooseberry mesa, flagstaff.

I'm making this sound good, but Vegas itself kinda sucks. It's cheap housing but the people suck, the summer is hellish, not walkable, tourists suck, etc. Lived there for 5 years and couldn't wait to get out.

I'm from Tahoe, that's got your mountains, biking, boating, skiing and some diving. But it's only warm till the snow starts falling in the winter, haha!

Norcal might be an option. I've been to crescent city and it was fairly affordable, some surfing, ocean stuff. Seemed kinda white trashy in parts though. Maybe there are other coastal towns that would work?

cgofish

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2016, 08:15:17 AM »
Rincon Puerto Rico:
- Love the outdoors  -  Check
- Lean toward a warmer climate - Check
- Love mountains and Ocean - Check Check
- Hiking, Biking, Scuba diving, Boating, Skiing, Fishing, 4 wheeling...best to least relevant.   Check all - Skiing
- Best things to do in a 6 hr radius...things within a decent rode trip for the weekend or day trip  - Plenty to see on the island and an easy flight out of San Juan to the rest of the world.

Plenty of US folks, English spoken just about everywhere, VA Hospitals and military around the island.   Closest thing to living outside the US while still being a US Citizen.

Downside right now is the local economy.  Depending upon perspective its bad or possibly an opportunity as its certainly a buyers market down there.  Parts of the island are hit hard with the economic situation but the north west coast around Rincon seem to be much less impacted.   I plan to be there FIRE'd in the next two years.

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2016, 09:20:06 AM »
Savannah has a growing shipping business, is close to a few military locations, and has alot of charm so friends and family may want to come visit you. Short trips to Charleston, Hilton Head. Short-Medium trips to SC and NC mountains as well as Florida east coast. GA Southern is not far away at all so you could enjoy a college town vibe if you live closer to the university.

On the down side, July and August can get oppressively hot. Like the kinda hot that melts asphalt. Also, local airport is small and somewhat expensive. Trips to Atlanta, Columbia SC, and Charlotte NC help alot on price but that is not a 30 minute drive...
I haven't been to Savannah but in my head it does seem chamming. Then I get into my mental block for the rest of the area...why is this?? lol. I'm sure it's very nice but when I think of places like Flagstaff, Salt Lake City, Tahoe, Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Moab, Grand Canyon, Sedona...I get little twinkle in my eyes; even though I've only seen a little of Flagstaff and just looked at the Grand Canyon.

Hiking is the ultimate free Mustachian activity. If you like hiking and biking, I suggest choosing a place where you can do it on a regular basis without having to travel far from your home. It would suck to be in Vegas and have to drive 30 mins for good hiking and then be limited to just a few places. That said, the Valley of Fire was gorgeous!!

I love where I live - but the hiking stinks. There is only one halfway decent forested area near my house where I can wander around - and even then, 2 hours is the absolute max I can hike around in circles. The next interesting spot is an hour away. I have to travel to indulge my love for hiking.
I would like to hike/bike on a regular bases without having to drive that far. But also have the choice for a day/weekend trip to kick ass places.

Sounds like you have a nice plan to start traveling and exploring. Remember to take time to spend and check out a place "like a local" if you're trying to scout for future moving. Doing a 10+ state drive by of the best parks, coasts, and hikes is a lot of fun and a great experience. It's a terrible way to pick a place you're going to live. There are significant cultural and lifestyle differences between many of these places that are being suggested. Have fun exploring and seeing what feels right!

Also, RVing doesn't have to be solo or isolating. It does seem daunting to start out on your own, though, because it often feels like it's couples on the road. There are various clubs and internet forums for connecting with people who have similar travel interests and hobbies (and travel styles). So if you want to travel and find people who are similarly-minded, it's out there. The question is whether you actually like living in an RV/camper/trailer and think of your home "base" as the temporary stop gap or if you're trying to live somewhere full-time and take an occasional trip.
Great points! I've had my map out scouting places/routes and I got a little overwhelmed so I need to whittle it down...lol. I think for the first trip I'll just camp with the occasional hotel and stay with Friends who live in Tucson, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Seattle. They all want me to move to their City so it will be fun to see them win me over...lol. Once I figure out where to go and get settled in I'd buy a Truck and small camper to venture out but I don't think I could do it long term unless I have a bigger rig.

I think I'll also have the option to store my house hold goods for a year after I sell my house. I could use this time to be homeless and travel in the Truck/small camper/Class-C. It would be cool to find some like minded travelers.

Hiking is the ultimate free Mustachian activity. If you like hiking and biking, I suggest choosing a place where you can do it on a regular basis without having to travel far from your home. It would suck to be in Vegas and have to drive 30 mins for good hiking and then be limited to just a few places. That said, the Valley of Fire was gorgeous!!

Red Rock canyon itself has like 20 trails, then the Cowboy Trails in the same area and the Blue Diamond/Cottonwood system all along the same road. Those trails are all gorgeous desert scenery.

Bootleg canyon to the SE is not quite as scenic but has a ton of hiking trails as well. This would be good for someone who lives in henderson or boulder city.

The entire area is an awesome jumpoff point to so many awesome western outdoor spots. Easy drives to zion, bryce, hurricane, gooseberry mesa, flagstaff.

I'm making this sound good, but Vegas itself kinda sucks. It's cheap housing but the people suck, the summer is hellish, not walkable, tourists suck, etc. Lived there for 5 years and couldn't wait to get out.

I'm from Tahoe, that's got your mountains, biking, boating, skiing and some diving. But it's only warm till the snow starts falling in the winter, haha!

Norcal might be an option. I've been to crescent city and it was fairly affordable, some surfing, ocean stuff. Seemed kinda white trashy in parts though. Maybe there are other coastal towns that would work?
This is some of the same thoughts on Vegas but I just wonder if the City would eat my Soul...lol. Tahoe sounds great except less of the white fluffy stuff. I would just like to be close enough to drive there for a weekend ski trip. Norcal will get extra attention during my tour, always heard good stuff.

Rincon Puerto Rico:
- Love the outdoors  -  Check
- Lean toward a warmer climate - Check
- Love mountains and Ocean - Check Check
- Hiking, Biking, Scuba diving, Boating, Skiing, Fishing, 4 wheeling...best to least relevant.   Check all - Skiing
- Best things to do in a 6 hr radius...things within a decent rode trip for the weekend or day trip  - Plenty to see on the island and an easy flight out of San Juan to the rest of the world.

Plenty of US folks, English spoken just about everywhere, VA Hospitals and military around the island.   Closest thing to living outside the US while still being a US Citizen.

Downside right now is the local economy.  Depending upon perspective its bad or possibly an opportunity as its certainly a buyers market down there.  Parts of the island are hit hard with the economic situation but the north west coast around Rincon seem to be much less impacted.   I plan to be there FIRE'd in the next two years.
Puerto Rico sounds great but it would need to be later in life. I need to explore a little more in the States first.

 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 09:26:14 AM by DollarBill »

clarkfan1979

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2016, 10:16:30 AM »
I lived in Fort Collins for 5 years. It would be difficult to find a house under 300K right now. However, it's much easier to buy in a neighboring city or on the outskirts of town.

My secret for the last 10 years has been Erie, CO, just east of Boulder and north of Denver. However, 3 years ago, the secret got out. It's more expensive than Fort Collins now. My sister-in-law lives on 2 acres in Erie. We lived in a camper on her property last summer and will do the same next summer.

mm1970

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2016, 10:30:47 AM »
I would look for some of the smaller communities in the hill country west of Austin. You'll have to fly for decent scuba, but the hill country out there is beautiful and Austin night life is just a drive down the highway.
Interesting my Sister lives in Dripping Springs. When I look at things on a map Las Vegas looks very good.
- Good weather
- Lake Mead close
- Mountains on both sides
- 4 hrs from LA Beaches
- 6 hrs from Salt lake city
- 7 hrs from Denver
- 2 hrs from Lake Havasu
- 4 hrs from Grand Canyon
- 4 hrs from Flag Staff
- 6/7 hrs from Tucson (Got buddies there)
- Cheap flights for people to visit (But could be a bad thing too)

I lived in Vegas for 15 years.  It's big, busy, crowded, and smoggy.  What about something like St. George in southern Utah.  Still close to what's around Vegas but so much better.

loong drive to the beach from there

misshathaway

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2016, 06:28:57 AM »
According to the radio today one of the winners is Greenville SC. The primary factors they considered were good school system / lower than national average cost of living. The details are here:

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2014/09/15/greenville-makes-list-best-places-live/15666103/

The best places survey was a few months ago. Don't know why it was news today.

Never been there, but it's now on my list of places to possibly live in next.

AZDude

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2016, 08:13:28 AM »
At $3K to $5K per month, you could probably live anywhere.

The bay area in Maryland was really nice the one time I visited. I always thought that part of the country was a shithole, until I actually went there. I loved it. San Diego meets everything on your list except for the housing under $300K part, but you could find a decent rental for maybe $1200 a month.

NinetyFour

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2016, 08:24:55 AM »

I would like to hike/bike on a regular basis without having to drive that far. But also have the choice for a day/weekend trip to kick ass places.


This perfectly describes where I live (southwest CO).  I live right downtown, and am 4 blocks from an awesome mountain biking trail system.  We have plenty of in-town hiking trails.  Once the snow melts, the mountains surrounding us provide virtually unlimited opportunity for hiking/climbing/camping/mountain biking.

For a change of scenery, southeastern Utah is just 3 hours away.

We are also 3.5 hours away from Albuquerque and Santa Fe and Taos.

One can also get to Flagstaff/Phoenix/Salt Lake/Denver in one day.

Housing here is a bit pricey, but if I were you, I would rent.

Capt Stubble

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2016, 09:20:17 AM »
Prescott AZ ticks a lot of your boxes. I currently live in Las Vegas (suburbs). It's not as bad as some people say. There's a lot to do and not all the people here suck! But I won't stay here when I'm retired. I wouldn't mind it, but I plan to live overseas at that point. Best of luck.

Sojourner

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2016, 09:22:53 AM »
San Diego meets everything on your list except for the housing under $300K part, but you could find a decent rental for maybe $1200 a month.
DollarBill, I'll rent/sell you my extra house in San Diego for around those figures.  Rent maybe even less.  The area has all that's on your list except skiing would be about 1-1/2 to 2 hours drive north.  Downtown is 10 min away and beaches 15 min.  Lots of military bases.  The house is on a hill with spectacular western views of downtown, the harbor, and the ocean.  I abandoned the house and upgraded due to SO not liking the neighborhood.  The catch?  The neighborhood.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2016, 09:47:48 AM »

I would like to hike/bike on a regular basis without having to drive that far. But also have the choice for a day/weekend trip to kick ass places.


This perfectly describes where I live (southwest CO).  I live right downtown, and am 4 blocks from an awesome mountain biking trail system.  We have plenty of in-town hiking trails.  Once the snow melts, the mountains surrounding us provide virtually unlimited opportunity for hiking/climbing/camping/mountain biking.

For a change of scenery, southeastern Utah is just 3 hours away.

We are also 3.5 hours away from Albuquerque and Santa Fe and Taos.

One can also get to Flagstaff/Phoenix/Salt Lake/Denver in one day.

Housing here is a bit pricey, but if I were you, I would rent.

If you don't mind me asking, where exactly in CO? DH and I went through a few towns there on our "campingmoon" after our wedding and LOVED it. If you're not comfortable posting it on the forums, maybe you could message it to me? We're not looking to move long-term, but have considered a summer rental situation somewhere in CO.

Cookie78

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2016, 09:54:01 AM »
I think I'll also have the option to store my house hold goods for a year after I sell my house. I could use this time to be homeless and travel in the Truck/small camper/Class-C. It would be cool to find some like minded travelers.

+1

I'm up for that, as I feel the same way. But I have another 18 months to go before FIRE!

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2016, 05:25:59 PM »
Checkout/google Asheville, NC...

Thats were I am headed sooner or later!

andy85

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2016, 06:49:41 AM »
ever thought about the east coast? something like ashville, NC...got the pisgah national forest and smokey mountains right there and 4 hrs or so to the beach...just a thought..

Checkout/google Asheville, NC...

Thats were I am headed sooner or later!

Great minds....

NinetyFour

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2016, 12:12:00 PM »

I would like to hike/bike on a regular basis without having to drive that far. But also have the choice for a day/weekend trip to kick ass places.


This perfectly describes where I live (southwest CO).  I live right downtown, and am 4 blocks from an awesome mountain biking trail system.  We have plenty of in-town hiking trails.  Once the snow melts, the mountains surrounding us provide virtually unlimited opportunity for hiking/climbing/camping/mountain biking.

For a change of scenery, southeastern Utah is just 3 hours away.

We are also 3.5 hours away from Albuquerque and Santa Fe and Taos.

One can also get to Flagstaff/Phoenix/Salt Lake/Denver in one day.

Housing here is a bit pricey, but if I were you, I would rent.

If you don't mind me asking, where exactly in CO? DH and I went through a few towns there on our "campingmoon" after our wedding and LOVED it. If you're not comfortable posting it on the forums, maybe you could message it to me? We're not looking to move long-term, but have considered a summer rental situation somewhere in CO.

Sending you a PM.

StockBeard

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2016, 12:33:50 PM »
I can see doing this for 2-6 months at a time but think I would still like to have a home-base in the US. Spent many years overseas and the only place I think I could move full time would be New Zealand. A place like New Zealand would be my dream but dang talking about being remote. Plus if I chose a place that remote would be like giving my Family the middle finger...lol. Sometimes I do think to myself "YOLO" let's do this but then I regress.
Now would be the right time though. You could travel now for a few months, up to a year, to new zealand, then come back to the US and look for a home then.
To me it would make more sense than the other way around.

I moved from France to Japan 12 years ago, for something that was supposed to be a one year deal. I never returned to France since then except for holidays, and I'm now in the US.
I'm pretty sure everyone who travels long term has the same fears of "I'll get homesick after a few months" and "this is giving my family the middle finger". These concerns never totally go away, but I can tell you, they're worth it. I don't think I've met anyone who's traveled across the world (not as a tourist, but "longer" term) and told me they had any regret about it. It's pretty addictive (and I speak as someone who's never been fond of "tourism" travel, I hate how "artificial" tourism feels).  your family can wait 6 months :)

sisto

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2016, 02:13:13 PM »
I vote Northern California, but I suppose I'm bias as that's where I live. The Sacramento area specifically Folsom, CA would nicely fit all of your criteria. There is also a very good VA hospital nearby. It's at the former Mather AFB very close to Folsom. You definitely must at least check out the area.

Panfish

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2016, 02:36:01 PM »
If a warm climate is a deal breaker this probably won't matter to you, but Laramie, WY is a nice place.  College town, small (30,000 people), between 2 mountain ranges, really good community biking structure, relatively cheap, 2 hours from Denver, 1 Hour from Fort Collins, people are super nice, houses on the "wrong side of the tracks" can be had for 150K (there is no wrong side of the tracks in Laramie, one side has all the amenities, the college, and Downtown so it's more spendy...Both sides are very safe and almost crime free).  Hiking is amazing either 10 miles east or 25 miles west, great fishing and hunting, mountain bike trails all over that double as cross country ski trails, a local ski hill 30 minutes west and 2 hours from steamboat springs; with almost no crowds at any of these places.

gt7152b

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2016, 02:44:03 PM »
Another vote for western NC. I just moved here myself and for my family it is the ultimate location. The hiking and biking is awesome here and there is only a little bit of snow in the winter. In fact I got an inch or two of snow during a bike ride today in Pisgah National Forest but it will mostly melt tomorrow. CA or CO would also be good choices but in my case we have most of our family in the southeast.

mpg350

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2016, 04:03:40 PM »
I live in the Tampa Bay area but I do like NC.

I think it is the best state on the East Coast geography wise.
You have mountains and nice beaches and mostly mild winters and warm in the summer if the mountains were a little closer
to the beach it would be the perfect state for me.

North Georgia isn't bad also but it can be sort of rural but that isn't always a bad thing for when you get a little older
and not needing to work.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2016, 09:31:23 AM »
Like to see all the NC likers out there. My Son will be going to college there. While I have loved NC for many many years it wasn't until recently with him I got to see and visit Asheville. Not only is the cost of living 4% less than the rest of the state I truly think its the most beautiful part. In addition you have a nice college there and just an absolutely awesome city district thats lively but quaint as well.

Pylortes

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2016, 01:22:45 PM »
I believe Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC are pretty close apart (maybe an hour or so).  I've only been to Greenville, but it was really nice and its on my list (awesome downtown area).  Everything I've read/heard about Asheville makes it sound appealing as well.  Both have lots of hiking/rivers/outdoor activities, moderate climates (less hot/humid than near the coast because of the mountains), but still within driving distance (3-4 hours) to the ocean, and reasonable housing /cost of living. 

I also think Colorado, Flagstaff, Salt Lake City are very good choices if you didn't mind a little more snow/winter and maybe a little higher cost of living.   I've lived in San Diego, its great you get no winter, has a big military presence but trade-off is higher cost of living/traffic than some of the other areas on the list.   The beach/coast is great, and there are mountains and desert within driving distance, but its very dry outside of the coastal area so you won't really be able to hike to say waterfalls and rivers.  Northern California (Lake Tahoe!) may have more greenery and rivers but also has the higher housing prices.  Like everything else, its probably a trade off as to what climate/cost of living/amenities you rate higher.   
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 01:33:50 PM by Pylortes »

goosefraba1

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2016, 01:49:37 PM »
^I second Asheville. That place is amazing! Very progressive town in the mountains with lots to do.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2016, 02:02:10 PM »
So I'm in the early stages of looking for a new place to live. This is the first time I've ever had the ability to choose a place to live. I retired from the AF after 23 years and have always been told where to go and what to do. It's been kind overwhelming for me because I don't have any direction of where I'd like to be...since I don't have an SO or any kids or someone whispering in my ear.

If you were in my shoes where would you go?

- I'm 41 (M), Single and no kids
- Monthly Income about $3-5K (The lower the better but would spend more to be in an awesome place)
- Invested=?? a good amount but not crazy high
- Housing under $300K (Would only need to finance about $100K max)
- Love the outdoors
- Lean toward a warmer climate
- Love mountains and Ocean
- Hiking, Biking, Scuba diving, Boating, Skiing, Fishing, 4 wheeling...best to least relevant.
- Best things to do in a 6 hr radius...things within a decent rode trip for the weekend or day trip
- My Dad and extended Family are in Maryland/Virginia area and Sister/Mom in Austin TX. For some reason I'm more drawn to the western States but not indifferent.

What would you do???

Have you considered the Albuquerque NM area? I lived there for most of a decade and could never excede 3k a month in expenses. It also offers almost everything on your list within a 6 hour drive. There is even little bit of diving and boating in the area. Personally without the need for a job I'd probably move to a smaller town in the mountains. Pagosa Springs is really nice but it's probably a bit more expensive and it is farther to an airport.

JoJo

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2016, 03:32:37 PM »
I just sent you a PM - in a very similar situation.

sisto

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2016, 10:42:16 AM »
I vote Northern California, but I suppose I'm bias as that's where I live. The Sacramento area specifically Folsom, CA would nicely fit all of your criteria. There is also a very good VA hospital nearby. It's at the former Mather AFB very close to Folsom. You definitely must at least check out the area.
This is one of the few places that you could actually snow ski and water ski in the same day if you wanted to. So many things so close by. Also we have almost no natural disasters and 4 full seasons that are fairly mild.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2016, 12:43:03 PM »
I've been looking at Chattanooga a lot recently; it might tick all of your boxes (looks like the beach is about 6 hours away).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 12:44:39 PM by Kriegsspiel »

Vilgan

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2016, 02:11:37 PM »
PNW is amazing. It isn't what people think of when they say "warm", but it also doesn't really get cold either. It seems like we get below 30 1 or 2 weeks in the winter and the rest of the time it bounces between high 40s and mid 50s. I haven't seen snow in 4 years.

Seattle is obviously very pricey, but get away from the job centers and things get better. I would personally look at Bellingham WA in your position or some places in Oregon. Eugene perhaps? I've lived in or visited many of the places people recommend and find the PNW to be far superior to most of them. If I wasn't allowed to consider the PNW, I'd probably look at CO.

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2016, 04:25:31 PM »
Dang I'm a little behind, had to take a break because it was keeping me up all night. Thanks for all the replies!

So I'm getting this whittled down. When I take my State Tour in March my Sister will be watching my Dog. So if it goes well and she's willing to watch him again then I will plan a 3-6 month tour in NZ after I sell my house and put my stuff in storage. Possibly more trips if all is going well but I don't want to push it.

If it doesn't go well then hopefully by then I've figured out where I want to be and would rent a place or maybe spend a couple of months in each of these.
Las Vegas: Is sitting high on my list...reasons listed previously but mostly because it's a good jumping point and cheap airfare, no State tax.
Phoenix/Tucson: Tied for second, mostly because I'm familiar with it and I enjoyed it and already have Friends there.
Austin TX: I'd be close to Family, I already know people and it's a good City but I think I'd be happier if I was at one of the above Cities.

Overall I think all of these would be a good fit for me if I was married or didn't have much of the travel bug in me. Plus, I've been single (As in non-dating) for about 5 yrs and yes I have been putting myself out there but Wichita has slim pickens. I'm thinking a larger City would help me feel better about myself.

Erie/Fort Collins CO: Thinking it might get a little too cold for this sissy...but will check them out.
Greenville/Ashville SC/NC: I could be happy with these but a lot of the places I want to see are on the West side. I don't know when I'll get a chance to see this area but if I'm ever close I will check it out.
Maryland: I grew up in Southern MD and I have no plans on returning...got a mental block on that one!
Laramie, WY: This sounds like a great place if I was married.
Prescott/Flagstaff AZ: I think I would be happy at either but wondering if it might be better in Tucson/Phoenix since I'm single. Also, don't know if I'd like to drive the 2 hrs when I want to catch a flight.
Seattle: Seems a little too far from places I'd like to see but I'm sure it could open my eyes up to places I haven't thought of...like exploring Canada.
St. George UT: This is a great jumping point but maybe at a later point in life.
Salt lake City UT: Don't know enough about it, need to visit and read up more.
NorCal: Don't know enough about it, need to visit and read up more.
 

San Diego meets everything on your list except for the housing under $300K part, but you could find a decent rental for maybe $1200 a month.
DollarBill, I'll rent/sell you my extra house in San Diego for around those figures.  Rent maybe even less.  The area has all that's on your list except skiing would be about 1-1/2 to 2 hours drive north.  Downtown is 10 min away and beaches 15 min.  Lots of military bases.  The house is on a hill with spectacular western views of downtown, the harbor, and the ocean.  I abandoned the house and upgraded due to SO not liking the neighborhood.  The catch?  The neighborhood.
I've only been to SD once and I liked what little I saw. What's wrong about the neighborhood? PM me a link to it!



robartsd

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2016, 05:26:32 PM »
Sacramento's my hometown. I like the climate - cold here is when there's frost on windshields, a heat wave is consecutive days in the summer with no delta breeze (highs 100-105, lows near 90). A few hours west and you're on the coast, a few hours east and you in the Sierras. California's not great on the COL end of things, but Sacramento region is better than SF, LA, San Diego, or most other Costal California locations. Other places in the California's Central Valley may be lower COL, but tend to have hotter summers (the key in this area is getting a good share of the delta breeze). Sacramento's not so great for getting to international destinations by air, so if that's a high priority Las Vegas would be much better. If outdoor adventure without much travel is more what you're looking for, foothill communities near Sacramento may provide great opportunities. A great bike path runs along the American River from downtown Sacramento to Folsom.

Since you're single but don't want to stay that way, I would expect that you want the freedom of renting for the forseeable future. I think you're likely to revisit your choice of place to call home in just a few years if your single status doesn't change. Any particular qualities in a SO you're looking for that might make one location better than another?

CATman

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2016, 09:48:17 PM »
I'm living in Phoenix right now and I'd recommend it to anyone. It's got some great neighborhoods that would have housing well within your budget and offer a ton of small, local businesses with a lot of character. The hiking out here is great. It's only a couple hours north to places like Flagstaff or Sedona and about 5-6 to California depending on where you'd like to go.

I did just get back from working a month in Portland and Bend in Oregon and I would take a look at those as well. The hiking and biking opportunities are amazing and you can get about an hour outside Portland and live in some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. That budget could buy you a nice little home and a few acres up there.

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2016, 10:07:59 PM »
So I'm in the early stages of looking for a new place to live. This is the first time I've ever had the ability to choose a place to live. I retired from the AF after 23 years and have always been told where to go and what to do. It's been kind overwhelming for me because I don't have any direction of where I'd like to be...since I don't have an SO or any kids or someone whispering in my ear.

If you were in my shoes where would you go?

- I'm 41 (M), Single and no kids
- Monthly Income about $3-5K (The lower the better but would spend more to be in an awesome place)
- Invested=?? a good amount but not crazy high
- Housing under $300K (Would only need to finance about $100K max)
- Love the outdoors
- Lean toward a warmer climate
- Love mountains and Ocean
- Hiking, Biking, Scuba diving, Boating, Skiing, Fishing, 4 wheeling...best to least relevant.
- Best things to do in a 6 hr radius...things within a decent rode trip for the weekend or day trip
- My Dad and extended Family are in Maryland/Virginia area and Sister/Mom in Austin TX. For some reason I'm more drawn to the western States but not indifferent.

What would you do???
  SoCal! Has everything you want but housing is expensive close to the coast. You can look at places like Temecula that are within 50 miles of ocean, mountains, desert, etc... Near military bases, wineries, cute downtown, casino and nightlife, big horse ranches and/ farms, lakes, and much less expensive.  While SoCal wouldn't be my choice there are some nice areas that do have it all. However if I were in your shoes (and I am)  I 'd wait until after your old pup passed away before travelling or making a permanent move. It might be easier on both of you and allow you much more freedom in the future to travel and move.
[/b]
Well my big problem is that I got my extension for the AF to move my house hold goods which ends in November and won't be able to extend again (but I can store it for a year). Plus, who knows how long that little joker of mine is going to hang in there...he's been getting spunkier since I walk him daily for an hour, damn the luck...lol. 

VAR

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2016, 09:58:09 PM »
Check out Gig Harbor, WA (and nearby areas) - extremely dog friendly, biking friendly etc but nothing like the $$$ of seattle. Beaches, mountains. The Puget Sound is amazing. Bald Eagles flying overhead, orca, otters, all sorts of "Wow"

I lived in Asheville for many years. In many ways it's a wonderful place to live...but it's extremely touristy and has been increasing each year as it's gotten on all the lists for great destinations. Housing prices have just gone up up up. Not very biking friendly due to narrow roads/mountains. There are bike lanes around the downtown area - but the town is VERY small - you can walk all of downtown easily. Outside of the main downtown area is  spread out along the 2 big highways and is basic suburban sprawl complicated by the surrounding mountains. There are a LOT of retirement communities. The joke was if you lived in several of surrounding suburbs is that traffic was awful ----cuz it goes at 15 mph due to 1. old people driving slow/confused and 2. the ambulances picking people up to take them to the hospital.

DollarBill

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2016, 11:17:14 PM »
Check out Gig Harbor, WA (and nearby areas) - extremely dog friendly, biking friendly etc but nothing like the $$$ of seattle. Beaches, mountains. The Puget Sound is amazing. Bald Eagles flying overhead, orca, otters, all sorts of "Wow"

I lived in Asheville for many years. In many ways it's a wonderful place to live...but it's extremely touristy and has been increasing each year as it's gotten on all the lists for great destinations. Housing prices have just gone up up up. Not very biking friendly due to narrow roads/mountains. There are bike lanes around the downtown area - but the town is VERY small - you can walk all of downtown easily. Outside of the main downtown area is  spread out along the 2 big highways and is basic suburban sprawl complicated by the surrounding mountains. There are a LOT of retirement communities. The joke was if you lived in several of surrounding suburbs is that traffic was awful ----cuz it goes at 15 mph due to 1. old people driving slow/confused and 2. the ambulances picking people up to take them to the hospital.
That's great to hear from someone who lived in Asheville! I can only imagine what happens to a place once the word gets out. It might be pretty profitable to move to a place like that...flip a house and move to the next hot spot.

tyleriam

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Re: Ultimate location?
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2016, 07:36:49 AM »
I spent a 2 week vacation in Asheville a while back and travel there for work every so often.  I saw people biking downtown and road cycling groups on the Blue Ridge Parkway but outside of that virtually nothing.  I would agree that outside of the core biking would be hard and very abnormal. 

Compared to Boulder, for example, it was not even close.  I vacationed for 3 days in Boulder 2 years ago and rented bikes and spent a day riding around.  That town sets the standard.  From what I could see you could get around Boulder by bike and possibly never have to even get on a road with a car and if you did there would be a shoulder and respect given from the drivers.  So cool, love that place.