Which city for part time home during retirement?

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krannerd
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by krannerd »

Tucson AZ

1- Affordable: I think $400k gets you quite a bit there (depending on neighborhood).
2- Liberal leaning city: Typically elect democrats to state office and much more liberal than Phoenix. Not terribly liberal, but left of center
3- Weather: Winter is awesome! Sunny, dry, 50's during the day. Snows in the mountains and can get below freezing at night in the foothills...really only in January.
4- Walkable and near trees/hiking: Downtown is walkable and hiking is very near. Would still probably want a car.
5- Near culture: Plenty of culture, museums, etc. No pro sports...and I think MLB spring training is gone.
6- Has healthy options for food & groceries: Winter veggie prices are rock bottom. Lots of healthy options
7- Airport: Tucson has international flights (not to Europe) and PHX is 2 hours away with a few international flights
8- Is Global Warming proof - not sure about this one...but it is a very desert adapted town now. Gets lots more rain than does PHX and is much more tolerable in the summer without AC. The water situation in the desert southwest is complicated to be certain, but IMO....there is plenty of water to go around should it be consumed by people rather than used to grow water intensive crops (like cotton).
9- Taxes: AZ taxes are relatively low on income...property is also low. Sales taxes are high.
Wellfleet
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Wellfleet »

VictoriaF wrote: Those who live in large cities with walkable streets and good public transportation ignore snow. For example, during Snowmagedon in the metropolitan DC area, suburban dwellers complained, whereas those living in the city went on the streets to have snowball fights. When you are retired and can walk to all your physical and cultural needs, a winter in DC is just fine. The same is probably true for Philadelphia, NYC, and Boston.
Victoria: I greatly respect your opinions but Boston's public transit system is awful in winter: http://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2 ... -got-worse

While it was a record setting winter, I would have been much more comfortable driving a car that winter than taking public transit with uncleared bus stops, frigid weather and horrendous delays!
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VictoriaF
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by VictoriaF »

For me, a critical requirement is extensive public transportation, and specifically metrorail. This requirement subsumes other requirements such as walkability and airports, because only large cities have extensive rail service. Cities I have in mind include:
East Coast: Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, DC
West Coast: San Francisco
MidWest: Chicago

MidWest has cold winters and hot summers. I have lived in Illinois and would not go back.
West Coast has a nice weather year around.
East Coast has hot-humid summers and tolerable winters.

Thus, as I like to travel in Europe in summer, I can comfortably live on the East Coast. I live in the D.C. area, which I highly recommend. The OP can also consider Philadelphia.

Those who like to spend winters outside the U.S. and summers in the U.S., may consider Seattle. Washington state does not have state income tax, and summers there are excellent.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by VictoriaF »

Wellfleet wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: Those who live in large cities with walkable streets and good public transportation ignore snow. For example, during Snowmagedon in the metropolitan DC area, suburban dwellers complained, whereas those living in the city went on the streets to have snowball fights. When you are retired and can walk to all your physical and cultural needs, a winter in DC is just fine. The same is probably true for Philadelphia, NYC, and Boston.
Victoria: I greatly respect your opinions but Boston's public transit system is awful in winter: http://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2 ... -got-worse

While it was a record setting winter, I would have been much more comfortable driving a car that winter than taking public transit with uncleared bus stops, frigid weather and horrendous delays!
Snow in D.C. also wrecks havoc on the Metrorail, but it's not a problem for those who can walk to their main destinations. I have not been in Boston in winter, but in Washington there are no more than two-three days per winter that can be called "frigid." Transit delays are not a problem when you are retired.

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Sandi_k
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Sandi_k »

OK, so what about:

- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Sacramento, California
- Long Beach, CA
- Second San Luis Obispo
- Reno, NV
- Bend, Oregon

Finally, have you considered Louisiana, or Puerto Rico or somewhere in the US Virgin Islands?

I also agree that the Research Triangle Park are of Raleigh-Durham, NC are worth exploring.

We were looking at Southwest Airlines routes - as long as the town was within an hour of a Southwest location, it was worth a look. :D
radiowave
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by radiowave »

While many have told me of Denver's unique weather (lots of sun and more than most realize) it simply appears to be too cold in the winter (especially at night). Winters get into the teens. For me personally, this is just too cold. Add feet of snow to the equation and it's not a good spot for me weather-wise. If I end up swapping seasons like some prior posters suggested (doing summers in the US and winters in Europe) then these two spots could be perfect! They seem to tick many other boxes for me.
Just for the record, Denver is a dry cold. I'd rather be in Denver, 20 something degrees, 20% humidity, some snow on the ground and bright blue sky than FL in the 40%, high humidity and overcast.

But I certainly understand.
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Big Mig
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Big Mig »

Toulouse seems like it would check most of your requirements (though you'd want to read the tax treaty with your own kind of income in mind). It sounds like you're interested in living in Europe but you seem to have done only superficial research on what's required for an American to live there. Sure, some countries have these golden or investor visas that require substantial investments, but there are other routes to official permission. Look into a long-stay visa for non-professional purposes in France or a residence visa for retirees in Spain, etc.; you'll have to demonstrate you can afford to live there, but you won't need to hand the French government a half-million euros. I don't know what income or resources France considers sufficient (and in any case I have a European passport so would never need the visa--and actually live in Atlanta), but I'd be surprised if 5,000 euros/month (quite possibly less--and almost certainly less in Spain) wouldn't be enough for 1 person, at least outside Paris. Many Americans manage to retire to France and other European countries on reasonable retirement incomes.

If Europe really is out, Atlanta could be a good option. I wouldn't rely on crowdpac or on any commenters who don't distinguish between the 6 million people who live in "Atlanta" and the 500,000 people who live in the city itself. That's where you'd want to be. I'd pick one of the redeveloping neighborhoods adjacent to the BeltLine before the more established Midtown, Druid Hills, or even Decatur, but you could certainly enjoy a mostly walking-based lifestyle in a number of places in town--and you won't be there in the summer anyway.
simmias
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by simmias »

sperry8 wrote:
BlueCable wrote:I really disagree with many of the cities you list as being non-liberal. Nashville and Charlotte are kind of liberal islands in the middle of conservative states. Sure, there are conservative suburbs, but they cities themselves are liberal. Not Berkley liberal, but liberal.
Please let's do our best to not make this a political post as I don't want the thread to be closed since this thread is helping me think about the best place to have a home base. I am not in any way attempting to disparage anyone's views. As I have stated numerous times in the thread I am using this website to identify liberal leanings: https://www.crowdpac.com/games/lookup/h ... otte,%20NC Perhaps it is removing many parts of cities that are liberal islands as you say. Or perhaps it is flat out wrong. I am not seeking Berkeley liberal. Just liberal leaning.

I appreciate your comments but have to draw the line somewhere and use some online tools to identify and narrow down possibilities. Please know I have visited both Nashville and Charlotte and found both to be charming cities. I especially liked Nashville's music scene! However at this time, neither city is under personal consideration for me.
You're using a site that shows the party that rich people give political contributions to. I think that's a poor way to measure how liberal a city is, but to each their own. I'd probably examine voting records. For example, Charlotte went 60%+ to Obama. Charlotte also has a thriving arts scene and ticks off every single item on your list.
FireProof
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by FireProof »

simmias wrote:
sperry8 wrote:
BlueCable wrote:I really disagree with many of the cities you list as being non-liberal. Nashville and Charlotte are kind of liberal islands in the middle of conservative states. Sure, there are conservative suburbs, but they cities themselves are liberal. Not Berkley liberal, but liberal.
Please let's do our best to not make this a political post as I don't want the thread to be closed since this thread is helping me think about the best place to have a home base. I am not in any way attempting to disparage anyone's views. As I have stated numerous times in the thread I am using this website to identify liberal leanings: https://www.crowdpac.com/games/lookup/h ... otte,%20NC Perhaps it is removing many parts of cities that are liberal islands as you say. Or perhaps it is flat out wrong. I am not seeking Berkeley liberal. Just liberal leaning.

I appreciate your comments but have to draw the line somewhere and use some online tools to identify and narrow down possibilities. Please know I have visited both Nashville and Charlotte and found both to be charming cities. I especially liked Nashville's music scene! However at this time, neither city is under personal consideration for me.
You're using a site that shows the party that rich people give political contributions to. I think that's a poor way to measure how liberal a city is, but to each their own. I'd probably examine voting records. For example, Charlotte went 60%+ to Obama. Charlotte also has a thriving arts scene and ticks off every single item on your list.
To be fair, many cities in the South are liberal due exclusively to their African-American population. Realistically, OP, if he's not black, may be less likely to run in black circles, and thus may not find the culture very liberal. About Charlotte, in particular, I cannot say.
randomguy
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by randomguy »

FireProof wrote: To be fair, many cities in the South are liberal due exclusively to their African-American population. Realistically, OP, if he's not black, may be less likely to run in black circles, and thus may not find the culture very liberal. About Charlotte, in particular, I cannot say.
African-American's in the south are not a very liberal population. Voting democratic and being liberal are not remotely the same thing. Most of those southern towns have some what liberal (for some definition of liberal) circles around the universities but when you hit the suburbs you get more conservative in a hurry. Realistically you need to spend time in an area to figure out if you fit in or not.
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englishgirl
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by englishgirl »

We have been lazily thinking about moving somewhere further north due to potential sea level rise (currently in Miami metro area) and it seems like we have many of the same criteria for a city as you, OP. I'd love to hear where you end up eventually!

We've done some driving around and were pleasantly surprised by Gainesville, FL, as already mentioned. Orlando is possible although sprawling and we would want to stay away from the entire Disney side of town. North and west of Orlando are some nice small cities in the "hills" (using hills in the Florida sense of it's a few feet higher rather than actually mountainous).

Nobody's mentioned Austin, TX? Perhaps that's not affordable any more, but it's on our list to go and check out at some point, along with Waco and San Antonio. That may be our roadtrip destination in a couple of years. I really liked Chatanooga TN when we visited. Obviously it's not as liberal as somewhere like Asheville NC, and it does have an average low in the 30's in January and February but really not much snow.

For hiking in the south, actually north of Orlando is somewhat hilly and while northern FL may not be mountainous there are still some nice trails. We searched out Florida's allegedly hilliest hikes, and there are some around Tallahassee that were good. Into the foothills of the Appalachian mountains there are plenty of hiking opportunities.
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orca91
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by orca91 »

See post #2 and #3, girl. :happy
sperry8 wrote:
tludwig23 wrote:Portland, depending on your definition of decent weather in the winter.
Austin, TX
Thanks.

Portland weather would be too cold in the winter (with highs in the upper forties and lows just above freezing). It does tick many of the other boxes although I'd likely increase my tax burden as property and income taxes are higher than CA (and I don't really spend much annually which is where the tax savings is).

Austin is not near a major International airport (London only via AUS - although Frankfurt is avail summer only). Further I was underwhelmed after a recent visit.
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by orca91 »

simmias wrote:
sperry8 wrote:
BlueCable wrote:I really disagree with many of the cities you list as being non-liberal. Nashville and Charlotte are kind of liberal islands in the middle of conservative states. Sure, there are conservative suburbs, but they cities themselves are liberal. Not Berkley liberal, but liberal.
Please let's do our best to not make this a political post as I don't want the thread to be closed since this thread is helping me think about the best place to have a home base. I am not in any way attempting to disparage anyone's views. As I have stated numerous times in the thread I am using this website to identify liberal leanings: https://www.crowdpac.com/games/lookup/h ... otte,%20NC Perhaps it is removing many parts of cities that are liberal islands as you say. Or perhaps it is flat out wrong. I am not seeking Berkeley liberal. Just liberal leaning.

I appreciate your comments but have to draw the line somewhere and use some online tools to identify and narrow down possibilities. Please know I have visited both Nashville and Charlotte and found both to be charming cities. I especially liked Nashville's music scene! However at this time, neither city is under personal consideration for me.
You're using a site that shows the party that rich people give political contributions to. I think that's a poor way to measure how liberal a city is, but to each their own. I'd probably examine voting records. For example, Charlotte went 60%+ to Obama. Charlotte also has a thriving arts scene and ticks off every single item on your list.
The OP is looking to buy a $400k place for a part time home, while living the rest of the time in another country/continent. I'm thinking that site represents the OP's peeps well. :happy

As mentioned, Democrat does not necessarily equal liberal. I haven't spent all that much time in the South. And, when I did it was mainly in military areas. But, having been down there some and living in areas like Seattle and Denver, Y'all thinking you have liberal areas down there.... :wink: :happy .... I don't think you quite get what the OP is looking for that way.
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Hayden
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Hayden »

sperry8 wrote:
BolderBoy wrote: Are these criteria in the order of importance to you? If not, could you please rank-order them?
Sure here they are ranked:

1- Affordable (I'd like to pay $400k or less for my pad). I cannot afford to pay significantly more (as an example Los Angeles would cost double).
2- Liberal leaning city (I have been using this for a quick glance to identify https://www.crowdpac.com/games/lookup/hometown?)
3- Decent weather in the winter (this is typically when I'm in the States). e.g., if the place sees snow it is too cold.
4- Walkable and near trees/hiking (no more than 1 hour away for hiking). I have been using this: https://www.walkscore.com/ to identify walkability
5- Near culture (restaurants, concerts, festivals, etc.)
6- Has healthy options for food & groceries (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, farmers markets, or other large sources of organic foods available).
7- Near a major International airport or at least near an airport (1 hr or less away).
8- Is Global Warming proof - that is, I don't want to buy in a place that will be underwater or have no water and/or will have me lose my investment (think Louisana). Please no political posts about this - don't want the thread closed. Just want to find a safer place where my home purchase will maintain value in the event weather warming continues on its current trajectory.
9- It'd be nice to have a lower overall tax burden although of all the things above I'd give on this first (after all I'm in California now so I'm likely to drop my tax burden post move).

1-3 are must haves for me. 4-6 are important but I could likely make due with 2 of the 3.
I checked out that crowdpac website for a town in know well. It ranked as extremely liberal, and yet the people one would meet living here tend to be very conservative. I guess we have a few very rich people who donate large sums to Democrats. Perhaps you can find a better way to gage how liberal a town is.
michaeljc70
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Typically, walking cities are either big and expensive or small and not close to an international airport.

I would consider N Carolina, S Carolina, and parts of Florida other than Miami.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by VictoriaF »

michaeljc70 wrote:Typically, walking cities are either big and expensive or small and not close to an international airport.
This is a good summary. Note, however, that "expensive" is important only for those who can't afford the expense. Many Boglehead retirees can afford to live a large city, and look for low-cost areas out of habit rather than out of necessity.

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michaeljc70
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by michaeljc70 »

VictoriaF wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:Typically, walking cities are either big and expensive or small and not close to an international airport.
This is a good summary. Note, however, that "expensive" is important only for those who can't afford the expense. Many Boglehead retirees can afford to live a large city, and look for low-cost areas out of habit rather than out of necessity.

Victoria
Well, they said affordable and listed $400k as the top price for a place. Of course, we need to know more on what they are expecting. Where I live in Chicago, $400k will get you a nice studio or one bedroom in the nicest walkable neighborhood but a 5 bedroom house if you go 30 miles outside the city (which then would negate it being walkable).

Is that $400k for a 1,2,3 bedroom? How many sq ft? How "walkable"? Does that mean a few stores, dry cleaners, etc. or all the major sites of the city? I think these all play a big factor.
chuckb84
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by chuckb84 »

I had a list a lot like this and we settled on Santa Fe, NM. Been here 1.5 years now and it has worked out well.

Very liberal (although the city, county and state governments are not what I would call models of efficiency!)

Walkable, well depends on where you live, but very bike-able. I get around nearly the whole year on a scooter, and one thing I didn't know is that any motorcycle under 500 CC's gets free, reserved, covered parking in 3 city parking garages, so even at the height of tourist season I have no issues getting around town and parking.

It's a major tourist venue, so amenities are way better than you would expect for a city of 70,000.

Housing is expensive, especially by NM standards, but I think your $400K budget is realistic for what you want. You might not get the swankiest part of town on that budget, but you could find something nice.

Better to buy if you can, as the rental market here is very tight (see "Tourists" above).

ABQ is an adequate airport. Not sure about direct international flights, but if you connect through Denver or Dallas, you can even fly out of the tiny(!!) Santa Fe airport.
Dimitri
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Dimitri »

Palm Springs perhaps? We've actually considered moving pre-retirement from Las Vegas to Palm Springs to get a little bit warmer weather in the winter. Come retirement Bangkok is the likely choice as it is easy to get a retirement visa (http://www.thaiembassy.com/retire/retire.php) and the weather is warmer in the winter.
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sperry8
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by sperry8 »

Sandi_k wrote:OK, so what about:

- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Sacramento, California
- Long Beach, CA
- Second San Luis Obispo
- Reno, NV
- Bend, Oregon

Finally, have you considered Louisiana, or Puerto Rico or somewhere in the US Virgin Islands?

I also agree that the Research Triangle Park are of Raleigh-Durham, NC are worth exploring.

We were looking at Southwest Airlines routes - as long as the town was within an hour of a Southwest location, it was worth a look. :D
Sante Fe, quite interesting idea... I will take a look at it. I do wonder if weather there is similar to Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale. I've been to all three in the summer and it's brutal. I don't intend to be in this place in the summer, but would like the option. Further these desert towns may have water issues as the weather changes. But I have heard really nice things about Sante Fe so going to consider.

I lived in Northern California for 11 years and Southern California for 7. So really places like Sacramento/Davis, Long Beach, SLO, Palm Springs are all out for me. I've been to them all and although they absolutely tick some of the boxes, they are lacking in the culture I am seeking. Reno is not an option for me although I do love to visit Tahoe in any season. Gorgeous!

I've heard amazing things about Bend but it is far from any airport. Just doesn't work with my traveling nomadic lifestyle (although perhaps as I get older it could be a nice place to settle into). Portland and Seattle are too expensive (I checked for 1 BR condos and would need to break my budget to be in the downtown or nearby walkable areas).
chuckb84 wrote:I had a list a lot like this and we settled on Santa Fe, NM. Been here 1.5 years now and it has worked out well.

Very liberal (although the city, county and state governments are not what I would call models of efficiency!)

Walkable, well depends on where you live, but very bike-able. I get around nearly the whole year on a scooter, and one thing I didn't know is that any motorcycle under 500 CC's gets free, reserved, covered parking in 3 city parking garages, so even at the height of tourist season I have no issues getting around town and parking.

It's a major tourist venue, so amenities are way better than you would expect for a city of 70,000.

Housing is expensive, especially by NM standards, but I think your $400K budget is realistic for what you want. You might not get the swankiest part of town on that budget, but you could find something nice.

Better to buy if you can, as the rental market here is very tight (see "Tourists" above).

ABQ is an adequate airport. Not sure about direct international flights, but if you connect through Denver or Dallas, you can even fly out of the tiny(!!) Santa Fe airport.
Thanks, added Sante Fe to the list of possibilities. I've relaxed my International airport requirement so it could work. Just want a well served domestic airport within an hour drive.

I am also going to take a look at some of the North Carolina cities in more detail since they are repeatedly coming up on this forum (Charlotte, Asheville, and perhaps one other). I'm not sure they lean liberal enough but they are surely worth another look.
michaeljc70 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:Typically, walking cities are either big and expensive or small and not close to an international airport.
This is a good summary. Note, however, that "expensive" is important only for those who can't afford the expense. Many Boglehead retirees can afford to live a large city, and look for low-cost areas out of habit rather than out of necessity.

Victoria
Well, they said affordable and listed $400k as the top price for a place. Of course, we need to know more on what they are expecting. Where I live in Chicago, $400k will get you a nice studio or one bedroom in the nicest walkable neighborhood but a 5 bedroom house if you go 30 miles outside the city (which then would negate it being walkable).

Is that $400k for a 1,2,3 bedroom? How many sq ft? How "walkable"? Does that mean a few stores, dry cleaners, etc. or all the major sites of the city? I think these all play a big factor.
Looking for a small 1 BR although I'd like it to be nice with SS appliances, granite countertops, etc. (not a fixer upper). $400k is the absolute max, I'd really rather be in the $300k range is possible. Walkable means in or near the downtown area where there are no less than a dozen restaurants and bars. So for example, two areas that fit the bill are Midtown Atlanta (currently under consideration as it ticks many of my boxes) and downtown/Brickell area in Miami (also under consideration although I do worry about sea level rise so hoping I can find someplace else). I can find a small 1 BR in either area for $300k or less for ~900 sq ft, which is acceptable. Another example is downtown Santa Cruz where you can walk to many of the restaurants and shops and even the beach (but it is too expensive coming in at $500k at least for the type of 1 BR I seek). Pearl District Portland is also lovely and fits the walkability requirement - but it too is budget busting and requires $450k for a nice 1 BR. Hopefully these examples give you a sense of what I mean about walkability.

Re those that are discussing the Northeast, sorry it is too cold for me. Clearly that goes for Chicago or other Northern Midwest cities. I appreciate many of you love the area and there is a lot to love including food and culture. But for me and what I'm looking for at this time, it won't work.
englishgirl wrote:We have been lazily thinking about moving somewhere further north due to potential sea level rise (currently in Miami metro area) and it seems like we have many of the same criteria for a city as you, OP. I'd love to hear where you end up eventually!

We've done some driving around and were pleasantly surprised by Gainesville, FL, as already mentioned. Orlando is possible although sprawling and we would want to stay away from the entire Disney side of town. North and west of Orlando are some nice small cities in the "hills" (using hills in the Florida sense of it's a few feet higher rather than actually mountainous).

Nobody's mentioned Austin, TX? Perhaps that's not affordable any more, but it's on our list to go and check out at some point, along with Waco and San Antonio. That may be our roadtrip destination in a couple of years. I really liked Chatanooga TN when we visited. Obviously it's not as liberal as somewhere like Asheville NC, and it does have an average low in the 30's in January and February but really not much snow.

For hiking in the south, actually north of Orlando is somewhat hilly and while northern FL may not be mountainous there are still some nice trails. We searched out Florida's allegedly hilliest hikes, and there are some around Tallahassee that were good. Into the foothills of the Appalachian mountains there are plenty of hiking opportunities.
Funny that we are both thinking along similar lines. I will surely update everyone on what I choose although it is not imminent since I'm currently off traveling :D

Re Austin, I visited it for a week to get a sense of the place. People speak so highly of it I had to see if it was an option. I was quite underwhelmed. I visited during a time when there were no indie music festivals. Perhaps those are as good as everyone says. But without them the town didn't do it for me. There is a bar block area that is packed with college age youth drinking to excess (not my scene and I like bar areas). I walked around and ate at the Whole Foods in the area which was nice. But nothing really stood out to me re restaurants or the quality of food in town. No cute little walkable blocks with indy stores or organic foods. A few here or there for sure, but culture appeared limited and people were nice but nothing that stood out in any way that would make sense for all the talk Austin gets. Everyone has a different feeling about what they like so I'd suggest you go visit personally to see if it's for you. But for me, I was underwhelmed. I do know some people absolutely love it though. I much preferred the Pearl District in Portland and walking around there.
Big Mig wrote:Toulouse seems like it would check most of your requirements (though you'd want to read the tax treaty with your own kind of income in mind). It sounds like you're interested in living in Europe but you seem to have done only superficial research on what's required for an American to live there. Sure, some countries have these golden or investor visas that require substantial investments, but there are other routes to official permission. Look into a long-stay visa for non-professional purposes in France or a residence visa for retirees in Spain, etc.; you'll have to demonstrate you can afford to live there, but you won't need to hand the French government a half-million euros. I don't know what income or resources France considers sufficient (and in any case I have a European passport so would never need the visa--and actually live in Atlanta), but I'd be surprised if 5,000 euros/month (quite possibly less--and almost certainly less in Spain) wouldn't be enough for 1 person, at least outside Paris. Many Americans manage to retire to France and other European countries on reasonable retirement incomes.

If Europe really is out, Atlanta could be a good option. I wouldn't rely on crowdpac or on any commenters who don't distinguish between the 6 million people who live in "Atlanta" and the 500,000 people who live in the city itself. That's where you'd want to be. I'd pick one of the redeveloping neighborhoods adjacent to the BeltLine before the more established Midtown, Druid Hills, or even Decatur, but you could certainly enjoy a mostly walking-based lifestyle in a number of places in town--and you won't be there in the summer anyway.
Re Atlanta, can you please describe what neighborhoods you mean by "adjacent to the Beltline"? I have found a variety of nice places in my budget in Midtown. Midtown appears to be quite walkable and have many of the boxes ticked. Druid Hills or further east seems nice but more family/child oriented.

Re your first comment I'd like to think my research wasn't superficial :shock: I know there are some countries where I can get a retiree visa (or similar) such as Spain. I did not know France did the same. This is making me wonder if other countries do this, like Italy (which I'd prefer over France). I have researched extensively re Italy and didn't find anything, but hey I missed France so clearly more effort is required. Oh and don't get me wrong... France is also lovely and I surely could live there for a bit. I have never been to Toulouse and will now add it to the list of cities to see next summer. Thanks!

I still think I'd like to have a place in the States even if I figure out how to stay in Europe. Bi-Continental sounds just lovely to me :D

Thank you for all the suggestions and ideas everyone. This has been a BIG help! :sharebeer
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daveydoo
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by daveydoo »

With all due respect, and although you've "tired of SoCal," you're looking for cheap California outside of California. So, seemingly, is everyone else. And the Goldilocks replies ("this one's too cold") aren't going to find you what you want. How many temperate, liberal, cultural beacons are there in the country? I think we can pretty much name them even without a map. Not gonna try to sell you on my neck of the woods. This may be entertaining but it's not actionable; no place perfectly fulfills those criteria so the entire exercise boils down to where you are willing to compromise, and that's a "you" thing.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"
ClaycordJCA
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by ClaycordJCA »

A second vote for Davis. It is quite liberal, walkable and bikeable and the Sacramento Airport is only 25 minutes away. Don't know about condo prices, though. Another option in the same locale could be downtown Sacramento.

And if you want to venture a little farther out, check out Chico. It's more than an hour from the Sacramento Airport, but lower cost of living may make up for that. Consider how much you want to pay to avoid what is probably only six hours of travel a year (3 hours in the Spring when you leave and 3 hours in the summer when you return).
TravelGeek
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by TravelGeek »

sperry8 wrote:
I've heard amazing things about Bend but it is far from any airport. Just doesn't work with my traveling nomadic lifestyle (although perhaps as I get older it could be a nice place to settle into).
RDM (Redmond) is 20 mins by car from Bend. Direct (non-stop) flights to all major west coast hubs (LAX, PHX, SFO, DEN, SLC, PDX, SEA). The flight to Portland is often faster than security at PDX :)

I don't quite understand your airport requirement. How often do you plan to fly in and out of your new hometown? I got the impression that you leave in the spring, travel all over, then come back for the winter and live in your hometown.

Speaking of winter: Bend gets cold in the winter and you should expect ice and snow.
FireProof
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by FireProof »

daveydoo wrote:With all due respect, and although you've "tired of SoCal," you're looking for cheap California outside of California. So, seemingly, is everyone else. And the Goldilocks replies ("this one's too cold") aren't going to find you what you want. How many temperate, liberal, cultural beacons are there in the country? I think we can pretty much name them even without a map. Not gonna try to sell you on my neck of the woods. This may be entertaining but it's not actionable; no place perfectly fulfills those criteria so the entire exercise boils down to where you are willing to compromise, and that's a "you" thing.
Normally I'd agree with you - you can't get something for nothing, and there's a reason California is more expensive. Except he's willing to give up some things - he's only concerned with the winters, and that means he open up states usually disqualified by unbearable summers: Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as inland California, and he doesn't care about employment, which open up smaller college towns. Which is not to say I have any particularly informed ideas, but at least puts it cities in play (some of which were already rejected), like Davis/Sacramento, CA, Athens, GA, Austin, TX, Gainesville, FL, Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, etc.
orca91
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by orca91 »

sperry8 wrote:Sante Fe, quite interesting idea... I will take a look at it.
Well, that's out...

http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/sa ... s/usnm0292

Too cold and gets snow. :twisted: :happy

Santa Fe is about 7000 ft above the sea, probably similar to Flagstaff, AZ than any other AZ.

OP, looking for a winter home and then only accepting perfect weather is really going to limit you with all your other check boxes.
Barefootgirl
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Barefootgirl »

deleted
Last edited by Barefootgirl on Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
vested1
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by vested1 »

I don't know if you've looked at the Citydata website, but it may help you narrow down your search. You can pick virtually any city in the U.S. where all of the information you are looking for is available. There are also forums that have helpful comments by residents and those asking the same kind of questions that you are.

http://www.city-data.com/
Big Mig
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Big Mig »

sperry8 wrote:
Re Atlanta, can you please describe what neighborhoods you mean by "adjacent to the Beltline"? I have found a variety of nice places in my budget in Midtown. Midtown appears to be quite walkable and have many of the boxes ticked. Druid Hills or further east seems nice but more family/child oriented.

Re your first comment I'd like to think my research wasn't superficial :shock: I know there are some countries where I can get a retiree visa (or similar) such as Spain. I did not know France did the same. This is making me wonder if other countries do this, like Italy (which I'd prefer over France). I have researched extensively re Italy and didn't find anything, but hey I missed France so clearly more effort is required. Oh and don't get me wrong... France is also lovely and I surely could live there for a bit. I have never been to Toulouse and will now add it to the list of cities to see next summer. Thanks!
In Atlanta, I'd look at the neighborhoods south of Midtown and just east of downtown: Old Fourth Ward, Cabbagetown, Little 5 Points, Reynoldstown, Grant Park, Ormewood Park, and Inman Park, depending on your interest in a house (small, with a small yard) vs a condo or loft. Maybe these areas don't have all the infrastructure you're looking for yet (they will, eventually); that might send you north to Midtown, Virginia Highlands, or Poncey Highland, though it will be more difficult to stay in your price range for a house.

Sorry if "superficial" was too strong. For Italy, Google "Italian elective residence visa" and look for the result from the consulate in LA. They are more forthcoming than France about requirements.

(Edited to add ", and Inman Park")
Last edited by Big Mig on Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Valuethinker
Posts: 42392
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Valuethinker »

To the OP:

- check out College towns, they are almost all "liberal", but beware living in the student ghetto. Grad students are generally OK (and in prestigious universities, disproportionately foreign) but undergrads you want to avoid-- you want to live where the profs live, generally

There is such a thing as "too liberal" -- friends of mine say that about Berkeley CA, say -- but since you don't have to daily commute, you can live further out (say up to 45 minutes away) and drive in when you want the amenities.

- there's 3 main places in America where you meet highly educated people (3 in fact) who consume culture, bookstores etc. Affluent suburbs (which tend towards the conservative, but Westchester County is not suburban Dallas, say), downtowns that have gentrified and university districts

- some of these are reasonable drives from major international airports (Ann Arbor?)

- they don't all obey the "nice winter" criterion

- they will not have the high COL of major metropolises, and probably not the high crime rates, but they will have cultural events and quite a lot to distract you, and major cities are often reachable by driving/ bus/ train

Ann Arbor. East Lansing MI. Bloomington Indiana. Somewhere up the Hudson? Some of the MA college towns? Haverford PA? Don't know the W Coast very well but where are Reed College and Lewis & Clark located?

Charlottesville VA is lovely, but it is a fair haul up to Dulles, say, given the traffic. In my inimitable way I wound up taking the bus to Washington and the Amtrak back. But I flew from Dulles to Charlottesville, first, and that would have been fairly expensive.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Valuethinker
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Valuethinker »

FireProof wrote:
daveydoo wrote:With all due respect, and although you've "tired of SoCal," you're looking for cheap California outside of California. So, seemingly, is everyone else. And the Goldilocks replies ("this one's too cold") aren't going to find you what you want. How many temperate, liberal, cultural beacons are there in the country? I think we can pretty much name them even without a map. Not gonna try to sell you on my neck of the woods. This may be entertaining but it's not actionable; no place perfectly fulfills those criteria so the entire exercise boils down to where you are willing to compromise, and that's a "you" thing.
Normally I'd agree with you - you can't get something for nothing, and there's a reason California is more expensive. Except he's willing to give up some things - he's only concerned with the winters, and that means he open up states usually disqualified by unbearable summers: Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as inland California, and he doesn't care about employment, which open up smaller college towns. Which is not to say I have any particularly informed ideas, but at least puts it cities in play (some of which were already rejected), like Davis/Sacramento, CA, Athens, GA, Austin, TX, Gainesville, FL, Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, etc.
From my understanding, Austin TX has really sprawled too far, and the traffic is really now too bad, to count as a relaxing place to live?

Chapel Hill is absolutely lovely, but I believe the traffic problems are quite severe there, too (and the parking).
Valuethinker
Posts: 42392
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Valuethinker »

Sandi_k wrote:OK, so what about:

- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Sacramento, California
- Long Beach, CA
- Second San Luis Obispo
- Reno, NV
- Bend, Oregon

Finally, have you considered Louisiana, or Puerto Rico or somewhere in the US Virgin Islands?

I also agree that the Research Triangle Park are of Raleigh-Durham, NC are worth exploring.

We were looking at Southwest Airlines routes - as long as the town was within an hour of a Southwest location, it was worth a look. :D
Given Puerto Rico's financial problems, I'd take that one off the list? They are going to struggle to support any kind of infrastructure in the next few decades. The young will head out for better opportunities on the Mainland, and the place will likely decline.
WildBill
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by WildBill »

Chapel Hill, NC ; RDU airport, mild winter, fairly affordable, nice college town, very walkable, nice people

Raleigh, NC; DITTO to all above on Chapel Hill, larger than Chapel Hill, more happening, also a college town with NCSU, but more than a college town, also state capital, with attendant cultural amenities, - live downtown, it is very nice, walkable, lots to do, nice people. My top recommendation

Boulder, Co; Denver airport easy to get to, cold in winter, but not cold cold, U of Co.

Eugene, Ore (a little chilly maybe per your criteria) college town, smaller, not as much happening as other places, lots of nearby nice hiking and etc
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid
WildBill
Posts: 696
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by WildBill »

I looked through your comments again and I think Raleigh NC would work for you.

A condo like you describe downtown will be under $300k, and probably under $250k - check Zillow. Look in the areas around Cameron Village, Hillsborough Street, Glenwood Avenue and downtown.

Basically stick a pin in the State Capitol and look in a 3 mile radius. That is the place to be - concerts, museums, clubs and restaurants and university all in walking distance.

You had a recommendation for Santa Fe - It is really nice but it is basically a tourist town. I have visited and liked it a lot, it is a great place to visit, but IMHO not a place to live, even part time. Also, there are serious water issues there that are not getting better. YMMV

Good luck

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid
Traveler
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Traveler »

I grew up in Portland, Oregon and have lived in the Atlanta area for the last 15 years. Portland of course is more liberal but if you like to see the sun once in a while, it's not the place for you during winter - one can go weeks enduring gray, drizzly days with no sun. That was a big reason I moved away. You'll also be hard-pressed to get much for $400K in a decent area. That said, the Pacific Northwest has a ton of outdoor activities, but many of them are limited to summertime when it's not as sloggy muddy and warm enough to enjoy them.

Atlanta, on the other hand, while not as liberal, there are pockets of liberalism in Decatur, Virginia Highlands, Midtown and most anywhere in between those areas. If you live near a Marta station, it's an easy commute to the busiest airport in the world, but if you choose to drive from those areas, the airport is about 20 minutes, maybe 30 in heavy traffic. One day of snow or ice per year, if that, and people golf almost year round if you're not afraid to wear a jacket while doing so. We get a few cold spurts each year, drops into the 20s, but it's back in the 50-60s soon thereafter. We have all the sports teams you could want, except an NHL team, and have theater, festivals and museums if you're into those. And you can find a decent place in a decent area for much less than $400K. Summers are rough with temps above 90 and relatively high humidity, but if you plan on being out of town then, it probably doesn't matter. There are surprisingly a lot of trees in Atlanta and there are many nearby parks in the metro area with hiking trails, rafting, etc and if you go 90 minutes or so north, you can catch the AT and hike to your heart's content.

Note that some of the places others have mentioned are either nowhere near a major airport or are quite small towns that don't seem to meet your other needs of cultural activities.
Barefootgirl
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Barefootgirl »

yes, actually Raleigh/Chapel Hill might be worth looking into. It has a mild climate, I believe it may be an airline hub, It's a center for research/academia, had a liberal vibe last time I checked (plenty of music venues, coffee shops, organic food places and the like)...and it's close to Cary - which the locals once told me was shorthand for "Containment Area for Retired Yankees".

As a Yankee, I take that as a compliment.

Further, you could make quick visits to this place: http://theorangepeel.net
and similar venues....since you mentioned the Nashville scene.

BFG
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
Wricha
Posts: 740
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by Wricha »

Check out Asheville NC . Was there a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful mountains, college town, reasonable housing cost and plenty of outdoor activities.
happyhiker
Posts: 15
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Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Post by happyhiker »

How about Santa Rosa? A little cheaper than Santa Cruz because it's farther from the beach, but still an easy drive to SFO.
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