Retirement location suggestions

GON

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SLC, UT
This thread is kind of a takeoff from CourierDriver's thread.

I will retire in August 2024, I will hit the mandatory retirement age then. Our domicile is Alaska, but Wife does not want to retire in Alaska due to the dark winters, and I am now finding myself a slug and a wimp when it gets cold outside in fairly moderate winter Utah. I took off the snow tires today, and did it so I could be in the sun for all four tires.... really disliking the cold.

While stationed in Chicago from 2004-2006, we purchased a home. It is still underwater financially, so we just rent it out. We could sell it if we pay $50-100k at closing, but have chosen not to do it. I know most of the USA has seen huge increases in real estate, not so in Illinois. Funny, I have a coworker who was also stationed in Chicago the same time I was, and he can't sell either and rents his house out. The good news is I refinanced at 2.25 percent, and now have a positive cash flow of $400 per month, although I had to extend the mortgage to 30 years. We just speculate the house will never sell and it will go to auction when we die. And the funniest part, its on two acres and has a awesome pond in the back, somewhat rare for Chicago area homes.

We have 200k set aside for a down payment on our retirement home. But we are not looking to mortgage much. My pension will be about 6,000 per month, and will adjust with COLA. So we don't have a lot to work with. Our grandkids live in Denver, so we would like to be west of the Mississippi. My Wife loves mountains and country views and privacy AND HIGH CEILINGS.

In our neighborhood in the Heber Valley, a far suburb of SLC, every single one of my neighbors is from California. I read another post from a BITOG member in Northern AZ that all he sees is California plates in his area. BTW- I am not bashing California- if I had the money California has such awesome weather and terrain I would be super tempted.... Same with southern Utah, St George is California East...... Colorado is cold , we have friends that live on the Colorado New Mexico border and they see single digit temperatures in the winter.

So we are priced out of most places in the mountain west, south west, and west USA. Are there any places that are warm in the morning in the winter west of the Mississippi river that are a good match for retirement and have not seen a boon in real estate prices? I love El Paso, but my Wife does not.... So that is not an option.

Finally, the guy next door, grew up in San Francisco and sold his SF home and bought in Utah. He just bought a 2021 Corvette. He did extremely well selling his SF home. One thing he said that stuck with me (he is about 80 years old), is he is not thrilled with sitting every day in Heber Valley waiting to die in his big house. In SF he could go to dozens of coffee shops, Chinese restaurants, abundance of fresh seafood, you name it... he could do it in SF. Pickle ball is the best he can do in Heber Valley.... so i have learned just just buying a place at retirement becuse it is cheaper may make retirement boring and painful.

Any thoughts or suggestions on places to retire will be greatly appreciated.
 
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GON

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598
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SLC, UT
A lot is going to depend on climate preference. Also do you prefer mountains or ocean? As for real estate prices they are going up pretty much everywhere.
PimTac,

We would gladly take either. Would love all the ocean offers, when we did a search from Washington State to San Diego, found prices far beyong what we can pay without a bug mortgage.
 

CKN

Messages
6,473
Location
Utah
This thread is kind of a takeoff from CourierDriver's thread.

I will retire in August 2024, I will hit the mandatory retirement age then. Our domicile is Alaska, but Wife does not want to retire in Alaska due to the dark winters, and I am now finding myself a slug and a wimp when it gets cold outside in fairly moderate winter Utah. I took off the snow tires today, and did it so I could be in the sun for all four tires.... really disliking the cold.

While stationed in Chicago from 2004-2006, we purchased a home. It is still underwater financially, so we just rent it out. We could sell it if we pay $50-100k at closing, but have chosen not to do it. I know most of the USA has seen huge increases in real estate, not so in Illinois. Funny, I have a coworker who was also stationed in Chicago the same time I was, and he can't sell either and rents his house out. The good news is I refinanced at 2.25 percent, and now have a positive cash flow of $400 per month, although I had to extend the mortgage to 30 years. We just speculate the house will never sell and it will go to auction when we die. And the funniest part, its on two acres and has a awesome pond in the back, somewhat rare for Chicago area homes.

We have 200k set aside for a down payment on our retirement home. But we are not looking to mortgage much. My pension will be about 6,000 per month, and will adjust with COLA. So we don't have a lot to work with. Our grandkids live in Denver, so we would like to be west of the Mississippi. My Wife loves mountains and country views and privacy AND HIGH CEILINGS.

In our neighborhood in the Heber Valley, a far suburb of SLC, every single one of my neighbors is from California. I read another post from a BITOG member in Northern AZ that all he sees is California plates in his area. BTW- I am not bashing California- if I had the money California has such awesome weather and terrain I would be super tempted.... Same with southern Utah, St George is California East...... Colorado is cold , we have friends that live on the Colorado New Mexico border and they see single digit temperatures in the winter.

So we are priced out of most places in the mountain west, south west, and west USA. Are there any places that are warm in the morning in the winter west of the Mississippi river that are a good match for retirement and have not seen a boon in real estate prices? I love El Paso, but my Wife does not.... So that is not an option.

Finally, the guy next door, grew up in San Francisco and sold his SF home and bought in Utah. He just bought a 2021 Corvette. He did extremely well selling his SF home. One thing he said that stuck with me (he is about 80 years old), is he is not thrilled with sitting every day in Heber Valley waiting to die in his big house. In SF he could go to dozens of coffee shops, Chinese restaurants, abundance of fresh seafood, you name it... he could do it in SF. Pickle ball is the best he can do in Heber Valley.... so i have learned just just buying a place at retirement becuse it is cheaper may make retirement boring and painful.

Any thoughts or suggestions on places to retire will be greatly appreciated.

First of all-I lived in So. Cal my entire life-until retiring to Utah 9 years ago. You are right, the weather in California is great-and every other aspect of life stinks. Go to the burger place-wait in line, go to Walmart-wait in line. Live in the suburbs and want to go to the Westside to the Getty? It's a 12 hour affair. NO THANKS. The quality of life in Utah is great, and under normal circumstances plenty of free to low cost entertainment. Yea-a little cold in the winter, but nothing like Chicago or even Denver. If you want cheap-you are going to need to look in the Southern part of the United States or as someone mentioned the Carolinas. My best advice-is don't go in to retirement with a mortgage. Choose wisely.

BTW-we are in the Southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley-half way between Downtown and Provo. Great options for entertainment and dinning. The Heber Valley-while absolutely stunning is rather isolated-except you are close to the ultra high prices of things to do in Park City.

The Corvette guy from California obviously didn't choose wisely.
 
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GON

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SLC, UT
Did you check the Carolinas? they are beautiful and from what I recall, property prices there are very reasonable.
Actually, I am being transfeered to FT Jackson (Columbia NC) in the next few months. Wife wants to be west of the Mississippi to be closer to the Grandkids.
 
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Kentucky
This is one of the situations where you have to compromise. If you want to get reasonably close to Denver, you're going to have to face the cold-- even if you go south, you're still going to encounter cold night-time temps and spells of cold weather due to elevation.

To get a truly warm climate without a real winter, that puts you near the coast or AZ (unless you consider south/central TX close enough), then you have all the headaches that comes with living there, most importantly property values and cost of living.

I'm thinking Socorro, NM area would be a good location that's sort of a happy medium. Property values shouldn't be too out of whack and that area is beautiful with good scenery. It's not too far flung, about an hour away from a reasonably large city (Albuquerque) and Socorro itself is big enough to have all the essentials.

Pahrump, NV is also a decent area that's not crazy expensive (yet).
 

OVERKILL

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Actually, I am being transfeered to FT Jackson (Columbia NC) in the next few months. Wife wants to be west of the Mississippi to be closer to the Grandkids.
Go figure!

I've spent a fair amount of time around Chapel Hill and Durham and am really fond of it. Great place, really well kept and very nice people. It's also a lot greener than Cali but it does get a touch cooler too.

Staying close to the grandkids makes sense. My parents are about two blocks from me and they moved back with that as one of the reasons, but they are also from here, so it was an easy choice.
 

Nick1994

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I love Arizona, our summers are brutal though. But if you can find a house with a big garage, put a swamp cooler on it and you'll be fine for the summer. Then do stuff outside of the garage when it's cooler outside, late October to early May.
 

GON

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SLC, UT
Also consider how many levels. I can't mention how many people look for single level living, can't go up the stairs with age and medical issues.
Thanks Wolf. Yes will will limit the search to a single level/ ranch style. Thanks for bringing it up.
 
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5,614
Location
NJ
I would not want a mortgage in retirement. But you have to do what you need to do. Are you getting any SS in top of pension? I'm interested in places like Surprise, AZ or Sun City, AZ. The outskirts of Las Vegas has mountains and privacy with reasonable prices. Mesquite, NV is very nice but s little pricey. Some depression in Vegas due to the virus so you might be able to pick something up for a good price now.
 
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10,759
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MA
I would not want a mortgage in retirement. But you have to do what you need to do. Are you getting any SS in top of pension? I'm interested in places like Surprise, AZ or Sun City, AZ. The outskirts of Las Vegas has mountains and privacy with reasonable prices. Mesquite, NV is very nice but s little pricey. Some depression in Vegas due to the virus so you might be able to pick something up for a good price now.
Keep in mind that it's hard to refi or get a loan when you're in retirement as they go by income. No income means no loan amount. But no age discrimination and you could be 90 and as long as you have the income, they'll give you a 30 year mortgage even though they know you won't make it to the end.
 
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NJ
He may be able to buy a garage west of the Mississippi.......no where desirable in Nevada for that price Leo99.
It's all about priorities. Can't get high ceilings, mountains, privacy, vibrant retirement community, desirable location, and affordability. I'd compromise on the house and enjoy the extra monthly spending money. But that's me.
 
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