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Old 04-20-2008, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield
If you are going to live in south Texas (anything south of Amarillo {9 years in Dalhart}), you should consider the Hill Country.

Another nice place is the Florida Gulf Coast.

There’s always the Ozarks in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.

For spectacular desert atmosphere, Moab, Utah merits a visit.

I remain confident that you will keep Lubbock flat. Hang in there!

Texas Has tropical winters in the far Southern Rio Grande Valley, and High Desert Summers with little humidity and cool nights near Alpine. there are the Piney Woods of East Texas, and the Flat Great Plains of cotton & cattle in the Panhandle.
The County I live in is approximately the size of Rhode Island, and Texas is pretty much 900 miles from North to South, and 900 miles from East to West....
Whatever you are hunting for, (with the exception of 10,000+ ft Rocky Mountains....you can probably find it in Texas.

Moab, UT is great except when it is 108 in the Summer or in the single digits in the Winter. Spring and Fall are wonderful.
Click the link below to see pics of places in Utah....I love visiting there.
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #16
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there are several GOOD guidelines to consider...

the classic is 'places rated almanac'...

i used the 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions with great success.

it is now in the 25th ed i think, and they've gone web...

Places Rated Almanac

it really IS THE BEST GUIDE on this topic.

the trick it to get IN ahead of the curve.

for example moving to seattle a few years before it was #1, and started a string of top 10s was nice....

but making the same move 5-6 years later would not have worked as well,

because SO MANY others had the idea and important parameters changed.

a couple of other useful ones are...

Sperling's BestPlaces

Best Places to Live: Compare the Best Cities & Small Towns for You!

all of the guidelines have parameters so find the one that best fits your needs...

climate, economy, education, medical, culture/arts, recreation, taxes, cost of living, air/water quality,

community size and distance from 'home' are just a few.

the weather info in that guidebook is very very good without being complicated.

retirees have a similar but different set of issues...

search google using 'best places to live' or retire or whatever and start scanning websites.

there are now lists for most secure, lowest taxes, least crime, lowest unemployment, most flavors of ice cream and so on...

but imo the places rated almanac is the best guide available, with the least fluff and most relevant info...

it really helps the search process to make a list of parameters in 4 areas like this...

-ablsolute requirements
-highly desired needs
-bonus features
-absolute deal breakers

then while searching re-access the listings in each group.

moving is often based on job or family requirements but having the luxury to look around and be selective is nice.

sort of like house hunting, make a list and use your head, but be open to emotional/magnetic attractions too...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:12 PM   #17
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Great thread idea!

Hard to choose... like others I would think about "splitting" time between once place and another. [Other than staying right here, I would enjoy spending part of the year in San Francisco and the other in Monterey, CA] But, if I had only one ultimate choice. It would be to stay right where we are. Northern California (very Northern) ~ 4 distinct seasons. Lots of camping, fishing, hiking, things to do and see within an hour or two at most. Small town, but close to major medical care (which at our age is a "deal breaker") The little town we live in is like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Doesn't suit everyone... suits us!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:08 PM   #18
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Personal choices priortized and plenty of research. Their have been a number of good suggestions and here is one more. SW Colorado has 4 seasons. Dependinding on location, you have high desert, mountains, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking , camping as well as winter sports. The mud season is when you spend your time doing your spring check list to have your TV and TT ready to go. Finding the right place is like a marriage, there's always some compromise.
Good luck,
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:16 PM   #19
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Every place has its "bad stuff", that could also be a way to cull the herd. If you like place A and place G, then you can look at things like pollen counts (if you have allergies) to tilt the scales.
I like the Gulf coast of Florida, the temps are pretty moderate all year, it has never been 100 degrees here since they started keeping records, and the lowest temp was 18, for one night. It does rain a lot here, so if you don't like rain, that would rule out Florida, and Western Washington state and Western Oregon.
I don't like arid climates, and my bones (arthritis) limit the cold weather exposure.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:46 PM   #20
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I've lived in PA, Oh, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, and Indiana.

Don't think it matters a whole lot.
There are things I think are important. Yes there's access to education and transportation but the things I've grown to appreciate are a little harder to put down into 5 pages in a 'zine article.
For example:
A community that's good to live in - one where outsiders can be assimilated (although this often is more about the outsider than the community)
A community that values its downtown, with an active group committed to making it a good place to live.
Zoning that doesn't prohibit gardens, or expression (if my neighbor wants a blue house, he should have one).
Zoning that discourages anonymous, unwalkable neighborhoods. My kids should be able to walk to school if I live in town.

In short, people matter. A lot. Geography... meh.

The weather thing is way overrated. I flew sailplanes in New Mexico, did XC skiing in Michigan, a fair amount of running in Mississippi, and haven't ridden a bike less than 150 miles a month in Indiana since February 2003.

All that said, places that have impressed me favorably include Portland, OR, Chattanooga, TN. We're pretty taken with our current town of Columbus, In.

I liked the Andes, I liked the high plains of New Mexico. Liked Socorro, but could not be paid enough to live in Santa Fe.
I've visited Colorado a number of times (tourism, work, bike races), and do not wish to live there. Sort of a Yogi Berra thing: "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

My all time favorite place... I've cycled through it, driven through it, camped there, but never lived there, is Champaign and Logan counties in Ohio. Mostly agricultural, a little rolling, access to cities & transportation, yet peaceful, and posessing a beauty all it's own.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:54 PM   #21
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Thank you all. 2air as usual great advice and Redshed you hit it right. The community is something lacking where we are now and where we've spent our entire lives. Thanks for the run down of your living experiences.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:07 PM   #22
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I love where I have always lived,

North Carolina,

Beaches, mountains,

we have it all.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:17 PM   #23
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Minnesota.

We have pond hockey!
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:19 PM   #24
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Brian and Donna, What is it you want to do? Do you want to be more active in outdoor sports or hobbies? Do you want to participate in more cultural activities? Do you want to earn more, building a nice nestegg, or do you want to experience more? Do you want to have access to an extreme variety of possibilites or can you get by on a select few?

If you really want to learn to windsurf and kitesurf, Sedona wouldn't be on your list. If you want to learn to pilot a hot air balloon, forget Corpus Christi. If you don't like hot and muggy, forget a lot of places. If you don't mind cold but don't like damp cold then a lot of places wouldn't be on your list. Truth is, the answers need to come from within. Then you choose where.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:22 PM   #25
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Forget the States and come to British Columbia! The beauty is unparalleled!
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:36 PM   #26
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We have already found it. It's the Florida Panhandle. We are both Florida natives (Miami and Jacksonville) and came to the middle Panhandle 12 years ago. We originally transfered here with work, but have decided to stay right here in retirement. The weather speaks for itself. There are no big cities here, and no big city problems. You can do rurual or the beach. Crime is not a major issue. There is no state income tax, and the other taxes are reasonable.

The Panhandle may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it sure works for us.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:11 PM   #27
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Thumbs up Great question, RI

We live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon (Portland). There are definitely 4 distinct seasons. Coolest thing is that even in the height of summer, it is still lush and green and only over 100 for a few days a year. Every tree is green, every flower blooming. In the depth of winter the snow sticks around long enough to play in for a day and allows to all get back to work.

It does rain a lot. Even more, though, is it is pretty cold (35-50 degrees) for 4 or 5 months a year. It's doesn't usually freeze, but it isn't too hospitable for outdoor activities for about 4 or 5 months year. Funny thing is, February is usually dry and gorgeous, the same as all summer, but a little colder.

Most people think of summering other places and forget about Oregon, but you can't beat NO SALES TAX!!

Last funny thing...they don't let you pump your own gas. For the same price, it is all full serve here so when it is cold and rainy, you don't even have to get out of your car!
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:23 PM   #28
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I was born and grew up (to 14) in Michigan. Spent my teens and 20's in the SF Bay Area (awesome for young adults things to do). My 30's in the hot central Californa valley. My 40's in the Reno Tahoe Nevada area. The last 2 decades we finally 'rooted' here in the California foothills between Sacramento and Tahoe. I love it here but I will have to say Reno Tahoe was my favorite.
Neil
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