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August 17, 2010


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This comment probably proves my age but being near my kids is becoming more important to me every day

This is an amazing coincidence...I grew up in the Fayetteville/Rogers, Arkansas region and now currently live in Charlottesville. Maybe I am attracted to to high quality retirement areas even though I am in my 20s. haha

How nice to see Moon Twp listed! I lived there from about 2003-2005 and really enjoyed the area--and very affordable too. I miss all my friends at the Sea Shell Lounge!

Really didn't enjoy PA's income tax, but yet the area was still far cheaper to live in than here in the Seattle area. I may be back again some day!

Maintaining contact with one's children (by more than e-mails or the phone) is important. Our experience has been that if your children are raised in California they may move away but most of the time they come back.
We moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1960 after 2 years in Denver and 2 years in Toronto, Canada.
It's very difficult for people from other states to retire here because of the high property values. Even our gasoline is higher because the state mandates a special, cleaner burning formulation. Fruit and vegetables are a bargain however because we are surrounded by growers which provides lots of competition, and transportation costs are low. I have found the area even more attractive after retiring because I like to hike for exercise and I can hike all year round in a multitude of county, and state parks that are within an hour's bus ride for our senior hiking group. The weather is delightful where we live in the heart of the Santa Clara (now Silicon) Valley and we have found A/C to be unnecessary, and enjoy the low humidity and absence of bugs. There are many different micro-climates in the area. For example, I would not like to live in San Francisco, it's far too chilly much of the time. Likewise in the summer there is a marine layer that keeps the sun from coming through for most of the day along the coast. The coast has its best weather during the Winter, though the Winter storms are heavier than in the inland valleys.
We also have a sales tax that is 9.25% and a state income tax with a maximum rate of 9.55%. Property taxes are low if, like us, you have owned your home since the 70's but new buyers are re-assessed at the purchase price.

Bottom line - There is nowhere else in the world we would rather live but that's because we came here in 1960 when property values were low and jobs were plentiful. We have had one major earthquake since living here, it was in 1979 and 7.1 on the Richter scale. Our home was undamaged and a condo we own, by the ocean, a few miles from the epicenter was also undamaged. The best type of construction for avoiding damage is a single story, wood frame building, without brickwork, that sits on flat, undisturbed orchard or ranch land. The damaged homes were primarily in hilly regions near the edges of the valley and on land produced by filling in portions of the bay many years ago. Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Snow, Hail and Ice, & electrical storms are not an issue, and flooding has been eliminated by flood control projects that route runoff into the Bay. We also have two international airports within a 45 minute drive and are close to world class universities and medical centers, two NFL teams, two MLB teams, one NHL team, one MLS team, and one NBA team.

I can relate to the kids thing. One in Alaska, one in Australia, one in D.C., my wife and I in Md. Australia will likely be back next year to settle as pastry chef in New Orleans.
Trying to talk wife into selling house, buying huge RV. Then 4 mos. in Alaska, 4 mos. in Assateague, 4 mos. in deep South.
How does that plan sound?

Staunton, VA

Thinking about retirement now even though it's 20 years away or so. I'm planning to have "enough" $ to be able to live (I hope) near/in a city of some size, so I can enjoy doing things that I like--museums, concerts, lunching out etc. Also, I'd make it a priority to be near my kids.

I currently live in a smallish town in the midwest. None of my family live here. It has a low cost of living but I'd be bored stiff if I didn't work! No way am I retiring here.

Saving money isn't the main thing about retirement. You need interesting things to do.

There are a lot of factors to consider in retirement. I would prefer an interactive menu to select the things that are imoprtant to me and suggest places to live rather than someone listing what they consider. Things like cost of living, weather, healthcare provisions, entertainment, etc and you rate them from 1 to 10. Then determining by your answer it give you suggestions of where to look.

I hate hot weather so the south is off my list, I would prefer to move away from the big city due to the cost of living but still want places to eat and places to be entertained and have a good hospital nearby. No college town for me.

You get what I am saying.

But then again I am only half of the family unit and her priority list may be WAY different, like near grand kids, near friends and family. etc.

We'll be retiring in a suburb around Houston, TX...we love it here despite the heat and humidity.

I think the biggest draw that any of these 5 US locations has over most any of the 5 foreign locations is
political stability. I may not like the high property taxes, or the high cost of heating oil, utilities, food, and health care, but i REALLY dislike juntas and coup de tas and mass genocide even more.

Franklin, Tennessee (just south of Nashville) has been home for 15 years and will be for as long as we can fend for ourselves. Luckily, no mortgage, no debt, nice pension and decent investments will allow us to live in this confortable area for as long as we want. Most family is within 2 hours. But Matt, it sure does get hot/humid so don't expect you to visit anytime soon.

I think Diamondhead Gated Community in Hot Springs, Arkansas is a better place to retire than Rogers... Number 1, we are right on Lake Catherine and a lot of our residents are here b/c of the lake… That’s why we’re here, my wife was determined we were going to retire on a lake- and here we found lakefront property we could afford that you just can’t find on other lakes.
THEN, I got into the golf, and we have a very fine golf course- it’s just as good a golf course you can find anywhere in Arkansas. And not only that, but we’re bordered by a very large state park- with horseback riding, camping, nature trails... I had some friends visiting me one time and stayed at the state park and camped instead of staying with me! Rogers/Northwest Arkansas has none of the above...

I read the MSN article on Best Places to Retire and I note that they're all college towns. In fact, college towns offer the retiree so very much... educational opportunities, of course. But also a heightened cultural environment and a selection of friends of a high intellect. Bill

If you LOVE to sweat and stay inside a lot from June-Sept than the southern belt is fine, but, the A/C bills are horrible though everything else is cheap and Bubba is near, the Northeast is fine'cept for the liberals and heating bills, long season of snow/ice/Dark, the northwest is great but, the damp/grey skies for 6++~ months take the happineess of low heat/low cooling expenses (no income tax in WA for example), CA is best but, THE most expensive and SO Cal has traffic that you get old in just being in line, come to the conclusion in the US you have to have (save invest) to TRAVEL in retirement to spend time everywhere but, not all the time on one place...

I see the best option we have is Pa. Pitssburgh is a good area though we're considering Lebanon County or similar areas away from the city and just within driving distance from NY, near kids and grandkids.

If you're considering Lebanon, check out Alden Place in Cornwall area. It exactly fits what you're looking for. In Pa, away from the city, and yet within driving distance to NY.

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