It’s October, and yesterday, even though I am still sick, I swam in our pool. It’s still hot. So very hot.
Originally when we moved to Texas, we liked the sunshine and the heat, but the longer we stay, the harder it is to make it through the summer. We can’t walk the dogs. We can’t open the windows. Yes, we get mild winter, but it still tends to be cold and crappy, because “mild” means no snow but still okay for ice storms.
So the other day, I asked a friend from Northeast where she thought would be a nice a place to live, somewhere close to a big city, but not in it, with 4 seasons, a body of water nearby… She responded and asked, “So a retirement home?”
I felt so old.
Writers typically don’t retire, so a true retirement is probably not in the cards, but I guess, since we don’t have to commute and don’t care about school district, we do have similar requirements to a retired couple. Except I don’t think we would ever be old enough for a retirement community. You see those a lot in Florida, and while some people adore the HOA and planned community, for me it’s a bit of a nightmare.
It really depends on what the kids will do. We may end up permanently in Texas – if so, probably in a different house. We love this one, but we need less bedrooms and more common areas. So a different house somewhere on a hill.
Or we might move. Gordon still wants to go to Florida. Unfortunately he wants the mythical Florida from his childhood. We’ve gone twice now to look at different areas and he hated everything. He wants Florida beach, but Texas roads, groceries stores, and sensible city layouts and that’s not happening.
I don’t know why we can’t settle down. It’s as if something had been permanently broken in both of us, for Gordon in childhood, and for me at 16, when my parents sent me off on my own.
So my question to you today is, retirement home. Where and why? Share your dreams.
For me, retirement location is not about a place, it’s about community. I don’t make friends easily, so wherever my people/tribe/friends/family are, I will be. I will do what I need to do to make the weather/house/grocery stores work.
Right now, that’s Tucson and oh golly yes, it’s hot. Building a house with insulation R factor 40 in the walls and 80 in the roof.
Arizona. Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona. 4 mild seasons. Lovely.
Pismo Beach or Carlsbad CA….small town feel with mountains, ocean, hills… Not 4 seasons but I figure that’s what vacations are for
We’re planning to move somewhere cooler because I just can’t take the heat. If the winters are too bad, we’ll rent somewhere else for a few months. Obviously nothing that’s going to be underwater in 50 years. I really like the Blue Ridge mountains, used to live there.
I feel your pain about Texas and the heat. We’ve lived there now almost 30 years and lived elsewhere (overseas) for the last 5 years. We arrive in Texas and it’s complete enervating with the heat and the humidity. I thought my husband would fight me like a tiger on retirement elsewhere until we started coming back from overseas. I’m leaning toward Colorado, but, like Gordon, I don’t think the Colorado I remember from my childhood is still there.
I would love to retire in Marquette Michigan right on Lake Superior. It looks like pictures I have seen of Maine but with fresh water so there is so brine smell (really the air up there just smells cleaner), there is a very active community and many walking and biking trails. Yes the winters are very cold and there is a lot of snow but is it beautiful and in this day and age you can have almost anything delivered to your door so you only have to go out when you want to. My moms family if from there and I have gone up every summer I have been alive. It just gives off a feeling of deep peace. I could watch the water up there forever.
If cost of living wasn’t so high and I had a better tolerance for 5+ feet of snow, I’d go to Colorado. Maybe a little cabin on the west side of the mountains. Beautiful mountains, lakes, trails, plenty of sunshine the majority of the year, plenty of things to do in the winter if you enjoy face-planting in snow, plenty of reasons to curl up by the fire and watch people face-plant in the snow.
In truth, I’ll probably stay in my home state of Missouri. We have killer heat and humidity in the summer and freezing winters, but the tiny time between those is great. And cost of living is super cheap. Some parts are not so great, but you get that everywhere.
Canada! Come up to Toronto – wide, big roads (and grocery stores). 4 seasons and with climate change, our winters aren’t sooooo bad anymore.
Charlottesville, VA. Still get 4 seasons, but can easily escape to mountains when summer is too hot. Near to DC, so whatever culture that a University town can’t provide, DC can (and it’s usually free). Beautiful landscape all around (I love the picturesque horse country look). Fall is gorgeous with the Blue Ridge.
Having lived in Charlottesville. It’s all those things but be sure you know how to drive in the snow on mountain roads.
I second this. Or somewhere in the Shenandoahs. Four seasons, with the summers not quite as oppressive as lower altitudes, not too far from DC, and a reasonable drive to nice beaches. Plus the area has excellent medical services, which is always important, but even more so in retirement.
Charlottesville is absolutely gorgeous, and all of the above is true. A little on the expensive side though not as bad as some of the larger cities.
I live in MN, summers can be hot and humid, but you do have all 4 seasons. The Twin Cities also have everything. However, taxes are relatively high here and there is that little thing we call winter which can range from mild to I am not stepping out of the house until march.
There is more shoreline than FL just fresh water ????
I love Colorado. Even in the winter, it’s sunny and it’s dry, so the cold isn’t so bone chilling as back east. Plus, all the other seasons are so lovely. Best body of water you could find would be a lake though…
Annapolis! It’s a wet humid heat though, but winters are mild. Agree that you will want to be near kids and ???? grandkids eventually. Maybe summer/winter apartments?
Retirement is a long way away for me, but the longer I’m in the northeast, the more I want to snowbird for a few months each year; mid-January to mid-April would be nice. I used to love winter, and I do still love the snow, but I just don’t handle the cold as well as I used to and seasonal depression is a thing :/ That said, I DO love that it’s kind of a forced break in the crazyness that is spring/summer/fall, and the warm sunny days are all the more magical because of the cold and dreary parts of winter.
It’s financialkt impossible for me to retire. But I’ve lived in the Deep South for 30 years so, two points: 1. It’s been abnormally hot the last couple of years. And I’m acclimated and usually don’t mind the heat. This is suffocating though. I moved around about every two years in my life before that and it got old after I hit 30. So I’m not thrilled at all about moving frequently. Just moving once seems formidable now. 2. I’ve been on the lookout for a place to be for the rest of my life for awhile. I learned the hard way that places I grew up aren’t the same and to me seem somehow to have grown in ways I dislike. A lot. So after looking a bit, I think I’d like to go some place hilly (or old mountains) with four seasons and some access to college towns so it’s not too much urbanity but enough to buy things you can’t get rurally. I thought maybe Asheville. Pricey there. But the towns nearby are cheaper. I hope y’all find what you’re looking for.
I would choose Duluth, MN. Gorgeous water and forests, little city nearby, big city a couple hours away and one of the most climate resistant locations on the planet. Texas won’t be getting any cooler anytime soon but Duluth might warm up a little which would be nice. Alternatively, Colorado because it is damn beautiful. Either way get a good coat, four wheel drive and a sunroom and you will have a happy life.
Forget Fla. water will be an issue and climate change will bring more storms. I recommend visiting the shore, so when it moves I am still dry. We retired to Worcester, Ma. Small city with many rural places nearby. Good music, theatre, art, high class medical, close to both Boston and Providence. Easy transport to NYC.
We love it. Yes winter, but not too awful and nice summers (I hate ac)
I have lived most of my life in NC but moved all around during John’s medical training. I know y’all don’t have fond memories of NC mountains but I think further east is nice. Weather is good for the most part. Just the politics is frustrating.
Omaha! Or maybe one of the bigger towns around DesMoines? Still south-er than where I live now but still has all the seasons, real landscape/habitat parks and more likely to get hugged than mugged!
We’re hopefully in the process of buying our perfect home. We may change our minds in a decade or two, but for right now, it has everything we want: all of the city amenities five minutes away, but backs to green, and in a pretty, hilly area. And fast internet. That one is key.
I think we’re planted in Texas, unless all of our friends move away. *ahem* ???? In fact, there are some very nice houses available in our new neighborhood… ????
You still haven’t sent me the new address. how can I send housewarming presents?
We’ve lived in Manhattan, Connecticut, Indiana and now California. We bought a retirement house on the central coast. Cool summers and temperate winters. If you really crave snow it’s 1-2 hours away in the mountains
My husband and I have started talking about where to move when he retires from the federal government. He would love Hawaii….wouldn’t we all! I am leaning toward either Santa Fe, NM or northern Arizona. Our daughter is working in DC and living in our basement currently, and son is in college in OK. We know we are moving out of DC, we don’t like the traffic and anywhere would be cheaper to live. Our parents are west of the Mississippi River (OK & AZ) so that is where we are heading…..
I’m going through a similar thought process. The humidity is just draining, and it’s torture for the poor dogs to be outside. I work from home, so I could go anywhere I’d have high-speed internet. I’m leaning towards the east coast, Delaware or one of the Carolinas. The ocean makes up for a lot of seasonal shortcomings, but you do have to have a Hurricane Plan. On the positive side, you almost never need tornado alarms….
That would be a plus.
Southwestern Pennsylvania for all four seasons. No weather too harsh. And few chances of major disasters. However, as for roads that make sense…not so much. Our state flower is the orange road cone, after all!
I plan on buying a big pickup and a fifth wheel and just driving my home along with me wherever I go. I don’t have kids so when I get to a point where I can’t work anymore, I’m going to wander. The reason it is a pickup and a fifth wheel is that I don’t need a lot of space and I can have an easy driving alternative to an RV for forays without the ‘house’.
In Australia we call that being a Grey Nomad.
Constant travel is fun when set up properly. Some vans are very comfortable.
Advantages…Avoid any weather you don’t like by driving to a new place. Changing scenery. New people to meet.
Drawbacks…not as much space as a house. Rising cost of petrol.
One thing to be aware of is a small loss of social skills. Unless you are regularly travelling with a community of other grey nomads, you will gain tourist manners of not really connecting with people.
If you really want four seasons and water nearby, then… Michigan. We’re surrounded by the Great Lakes with a thousand smaller lakes peppered throughout the state. Harbor Springs is lovely year round if you’re looking for beachfront although Torch Lake is so beautifully clear. That far north, though, you’d definitely get some serious snow. Of course, there are other communities along the southish end of the west side of the state that are also beautiful. Oh, but then you’d get lake-effect snow… ???? Never mind. ????
Trying to figure that out ourselves. So looking forward to what folks have to say.
Well I’m in my early 30s, and I just said the exact same thing to someone the other day about my little part of the world in Australia, so I don’t think it’s a retirement thing ;). Nope. I did not sign up for over 100F and people and pets dropping like flies. CPR shouldn’t be a “fun” summer activity. I’m thinking cruise ship until we find the right place. The kids will come when their cell phones melt :D.
I don’t know if people ever really retire in the kind of career I chose but I love the idea of owning a cottage somewhere later in my life. Close to Vancouver, Canada if I can afford it or maybe in Nova Scotia. I love the ocean and it would be neat to stay close to the water. 🙂
Kat Marvel says
My dreams involve a European castle, goats, lavender fields, and horses. It’s completely impractical. I don’t care. I want a castle and goats.
Lauren M Owen says
Try Las Vegas Nevada, We get what I call cotton candy snow every few years. We are few hours from mountains and lakes in all directions. We have 2 and 1/2 seasons
Have you thought about Spain? Lovely country, we do indeed have four seasons in most parts of the country, but have almost 300 days of sun from the center to the south and east. Great healthcare, great public transportations and great cultural heritage.
We did, but the kids are not yet employable in Europe.
Kelsey Aletti says
I moved from central Florida to southwestern Connecticut a few years ago now, specifically Fairfield county. If you guys are looking for a place with four seasons and to beat the oppressive summer heat, Florida is not the place for you. But you know that.
Personally, having never been to Connecticut before I moved there I didn’t know what to expect. I quickly realized I loved it here. We get four distinct seasons, but since we’re on the coast winter is milder than more northern parts of the state, and summer is a tad cooler because of the breeze coming off the Long Island Sound. I live 35 miles from NYC. I’m well outside of the city craziness, but can take full advantage of it’s amenities when I want or need to. The only true downers up here are state income tax (6.99% is the top bracket rate), and the price of real estate (you cannot even buy a condemned shanty for less than $300,000). But, it sure is beautiful here in the Fall.
On the flip side, I grew up in northwestern Montana. Gorgeous, stunning, seasons there as well. But be prepared for rugged winter weather. State income taxes, but real estate prices are fair, at least for now. No large cities, and bad roads though =D
Nancy Schneider says
Sequim, Washington. 15 inches of rain a year, never hit 100 degrees historically, water views of Canada. Four seasons but little snow and rarely ice. Good medical locally and hospital 20 minutes away. Great walking paths and things to do. Lavender capitol of the U.S. Costco in town! Reasonable home prices, no state income tax. Sales tax about 10%, car tabs cheap, property taxes highish compared to Texas.
I came from San Diego and have no plans to go back. Love it here for the last 13 years, retired for the last five. Come visit!!
JENNIFER QUINTON says
I would choose northern Wisconsin. Specifically the Lake Minoqua area – people are super friendly but not stifling, fishing and hiking trails are amazing, craft beer and wineries close by, and has four glorious seasons and offers fun in every one of them.
And it sometimes snows in June. Just saying. I love Minoqua in the summer. It gets every bit as hot there as anywhere else, though, and the mosquitoes are quite impressive.
Any body if water or specifically ocean? Because Beaver Lake in AR seems to be a hot destination. All 4 seasons and water. But I’m staying in KC. We have it all here. As long as I can take a vacation by the ocean I’m fine. But ocean on east coast is hurricane prone and ocean on West coast doesn’t really have strong 4 seasons. I like snow but i don’t want as much rain as the NorthWest has. It’s a tough decision and you just have to weigh what means the most.
We are in Arizona and a lot of people like the Prescott area so you get more of the seasons. We could just stay where we are but eventually will need help with the yard (horse property) but we have talked about moving more North when I retire.
Heather Jackson says
You might look at Missouri there are a few really nice lakes in the southeast. I grew up in the Kansas City Area in St. Joseph MO. You have the Missouri River which is really big and wide there. Great Cat fishing. There are lakes all over and it is a four to six hours to the Ozarks big lakes lots of vacation homes. San Antonio is 15 hours from St. Joseph driving.
Toscana. An old stone farm house on a hill. Some years ago we rented a villa there for 3 months (from Martch till June) and it was the best time of our lives. My husband and I work location independently and we used to travel all over Europe, but now we’ve got a toddler aaand we settled 🙂
I’m not near retirement age either, but I’d want to live along the southern coast, either California or North/South Carolina. I want to live by the ocean. I really loved driving the Pacific Coast Highway, but it seems like they have so many problems with wildfires and then mudslides. I’ve never been to coastal Texas. You hear about hurricanes in eastern Texas (and humidity) but I don’t hear about as many on the west coast of Texas.
All of my brothers have moved or are in the process of moving to Texas, so I might have to look at their coastal areas. If I win the lottery, though, I’m moving to Malibu or San Diego. 😉 San Diego is supposed to be really nice.
Texas coast is not great.
Jamie W says
Fairhope, Alabama. Such a cute little town near the Mobile Bay. Lots of good food, water views, and a spa at the Grand Hotel at Point Clear. At Christmas they give away free mistletoe in front of the courthouse. That’s my dream.
We’re looking at Texas (sorry), and the Pacific Northwest. SoCal is just too expensive.
Hill country has a lot of CA transplants. 🙂
Reno NV, we have a true 4 seasons climate! We can hit 100 a few days a year in the summer, but it’s a “dry” heat and it still cools down to 50 at night. Fall is awesome, winter isn’t too bad, but we do get snow about 10 days out of the year. There are quite a few “Over 55 planned communities” in the area and we don’t have any State tax. Just 5 miles in any direction and you’re in the country and most of all, WE HAVE LAKE TAHOE! The greater Reno area (100 mile radius) has over 35 smaller Alpine lakes and several reservoirs with great boating and fishing. People think of Casinos when they think of Reno, but that’s only a 5 block area in downtown, and locals never go downtown. It has a major airport that is in the center of town, meaning no matter where you live, you’re only 20 minutes from Reno airport. We have a booming economy, thanks to the tech centers right outside of town like Tesla, Microsoft and Amazon. And did I mention super low humidity….and we boast 355 sunny days a year. There’s also a rather large arts community in our area, all of July is an ArtTown celebration, and a big writers community as well- Just sayin’
Oh yeah. As a public service worker my opinions are different. Sadly the key feature is political climate of location. All humans need services in their lives.most of those come from govt. Without good water maintained roads public safety access to health care mosquito abatement etc life is impossible. Location needs good webbing of workers families with children college students all create community filled with businesses like skilled animal vets restaurants mechanics on and on. Weather is essential but sometimes we MUST hide inside to have access to everything we need. Working with retirees in special areas it becomes stunning to see how necessary connections become.
aarp has really good reviews for best retirement states. Cost of living, public services, etc.. My dream is to snowbird south january thru april, and the rest of the year here in wisconsin. Great lakes in the doorstep. ????
This is how I feel right now. Currently living in Los Angeles but wanting to live somewhere like Washington maybe. With lots of trees but the city nearby.
We are looking for it actually, in preparation for when we can retire – not too many years from now hopefully so I can spend my days indulging in crafts and books. A smallish house in the north of Sweden, when the daylight is endless in the summer and the snow waist deep in the winter. A couple of poodles, occasional northern lights and lots and lots of quiet.
I live in Alberta Canada and absolutely loathe the weather here. I am jealous of people who get hot summers and mild winters with no snow. Seriously. What about somewhere like Louisiana or New Mexico?
Ashley R says
So, I’m not to thinking about retirement yet, but I am a military kid so I’ve lived tons of places. If you want seasons, smaller communities and still have amenities, I’d recommend the Midwest. I’m in Omaha, and we have CWS and Berkshire shareholders as larger events each spring, but also have several local teams that do well, a decent airport, and parks. Not many lakes, but we do have the river. Minneapolis was great too, but might be too big and too cold in the winter; same for Chicago.
It’s a short flight to Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis/ Saint Paul, and housing isn’t crazy yet.
Morgan Smith says
I’m staring “retirement” in the face so my plan is to buy a step van, convert it into my tiny house on wheels, and wander from place to place, avoiding weather I don’t like.
But first I need to finish Book Three,
I live in the UK and my dream retirement is in North Devon near the coast. A place we have been on holiday called Saunton with the most beautiful and natural dog friendly beach to enjoy daily walks, friendly and calm pace of life, lots of local independent shops and plenty of local friendly (and dog friendly) pubs with great food. It’s our dream retirement or earlier with a lottery win 😉
We are probably looking at Tennessee. Still 4 seasons, but not bad swings in temperatures, great views with mountains, lakes and forests. Good taxes, decent healthcare (which my 89 year old in-laws say is the most important thing as you grow older) and it is close to family….meaning same side of the country.
I would say I’d like a cottage on the edge of a wooded area, but I’m allergic to grass, so I can’t do yardwork. So, I guess my ideal would be condo with a view of a forest somewhere. I’d like to be on the edge of the city, close enough to get great internet service and reliable Amazon delivery service, but far enough away to avoid traffic and crowds. I doubt this will ever be a reality, but one can dream.
Idk. Near a major airport city if i want to travel. I figure spokane wa, they have 4 seasons. Or midwest but idk about tornados, flooding, etc. Somewhere else than seattle (too expensive, traffic, but great sushi)
Maui. You guys should come down here. It’s vacation all year round and the weather is great. ????
How about the Carolinas or Georgia?
Retirement is not in the cards for me either…..
It is so far outside my current framework it is more fiction than any of your books.
Dreaming would put me in a position to travel to Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia… spending a couple months in each before coming home. Home being some property in the country, a little ways from a big city, but more than 5 hours out. I’d want 3 seasons (no snow as shoveling is not fun) ….so mild winters.
Fiction. Nice to dream.
For us, it’s been a tiny town outside of Charlotte North Carolina called Kings Mountain. We are close to the mountains, close to the beach, away from any real city life but we can be at an airport in 30 minutes. Small towns are what we love the most and we decided to raise children here so that makes it a lot easier. I’ve lived all over the east coast and have never found a place that I love quite as much as this. 4 seasons, life on a hill and no HOA. Chickens and dogs galore and as a born and raised southerner perfection. For me at least.
We moved from NJ to Lexington, KY and we love it. Lexington is beautiful: rolling fields, horse farms, not far from State parks. The city itself is small, but it’s a college town, so there are tons of restaurants, bars, festivals, etc. The population is educated and the cost of living is cheap. You’re about 90 miles from either Cincinnati or Louisville, if you want to go to a larger city. Lexington also has a nice regional airport with very cheap flights to Orlando….
If you’re miserable in Texas in the summer, coming to Florida is not the remedy. Our winters are definitely mild, but that’s because we don’t have them. It’s October and it’s still in the 90s. My dream is to move anywhere else.
I agree about Austin summers. I would love a couple of smaller houses in 2 different parts of the country. Any chance that would work for you?
Heather Langston says
A few years ago I visited a friend in Grand Junction, Colorado-off the western slope and right on the border of Utah. Since it is closer to the desert, the area gets about 2 inches of snow a year. I was there over Christmas- the temperatures were in the 30’s but the dry air was comfortable.
We visited Moab, Utah and several beautiful mountain areas that were less than an hour away. I got to sit on the side of the Colorado River and enjoyed some of the most peaceful “me time” that I’ve ever experienced.
There aren’t beaches and there is still heat and snow, but that area is beautiful. Some day I’ll retire out there and live in a little house with all my ferrets.
I love Colorado. 10/10 stars. San Diego area is also amazing, especially in the surrounding towns. Florida… less stars. :-\
I’m with you on the Texas summers. May – Oct is too much. You can’t even open windows at night because it’s still too muggy. ????
My husband is from Grand Junction and my in-laws are still there. They love it! Such a special place.
I loved Charleston! The laid back atmosphere and the beautiful architecture were so great.
Lately i’ve heard Washington, Oregon & North Carolina are good places to retire.
We’ve justed started that process ourselves. We lived in west Texas for a few years and enjoyed it. ” It’s a DRY heat.” We made plans to retire in the SW.
Plans,as they often do, changed
We are now in Lancaster, PA where there are 35+ retirement communities in this county alone. These are not your grandparents’ nursing homes.
There’s Hershey Med, Johns Hopkins, UPENN all within a half hour to a couple hours drive. PA does not tax SS, retirement, clothes, and food. Subject to change at the whims of our Congress at anytime.
Yes, wr have humidity, yes we had a stinking hot summer. It’s probably been about three yers since we’ve had a significant snow storm (10+inches). However, you’ll be inside and it’s no longer your job to shovel.
We ended up spending the summer in the Canadian Rockies and the US Rockies. Low humidity, significant snow and I don’t think they have the communities the are here in Lancaster County. Lancaster County has been designated a #1 place to retire.
Check out Garden Spot in New Holland, a leafer in Retirement Communities, and Willow Street in Willoe Street, PA. Thet bill themselves as the Cadillac on retirement Communities.
Amy R says
I have a few years yet, but I’ve been looking. Specifically in the south west. Nevada appeals to me for a number of reasons, weather and taxes being the two biggest. If I never have to deal with humidity again then I’ll be happy.
My retirement home is the house I am currently in, It was built in 1956 and it is small 3 bedroom house. It was built originally for a family of 4. Its perfect though, for the 2 of us and 6 cats. It has stairs, which I hope never become an issue. We’ve already landscaped the yard to our liking and it’s a garden paradise so it will keep us busy. With the way the city is changing, when we eventually leave, I’m sure the new owners will mow everything flat and put in a huge house.
My dream is to never get old, but I guess that is not in the cards. I will probably stay where I am, not because it is a great place to retire, but because the thought of finding new doctors, friends, and places to do to things is just too much. Where to retire is as much a financial decision as anything else. I have a friend who spends in the summers here in the mid-West and the winters in Arizona. If you want access to a beach and reasonable weather have you considered the Carolinas (in-land enough to avoid hurricanes). The weather is relatively mild and you can drive to nice beaches. The San Diego area is also nice if you can afford it.
Walla Walla WA I live here. We have distinct seasons. Research it, year after year we are rated as one of the best small towns in the country. Wine industry is like a young Napa. Fabulous dining, lots of art. https://www.wallawalla.org/ Bennington Lake isn’t large but it is here. Mill Creek runs straight through town. Beautiful places to walk, gorgeous parks. Come visit, stay at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel, you will not be disappointed. It is quiet and serene.
Diane Lang says
I agree, George. My daughter & her family live there. Driving in I always get the feeling I’m approaching the “last homely house” from Tolkein’s books. Beautiful small town feel with serious mountains in the background. Surprisingly mild climate too. Whitman Mission is there & Pioneer Park has huge trees over 100 yrs old.
I used to go to the Puyallap fair here in Walla Walla during the summers. So beautiful and easy to find things. Great food and lots of outdoors activities.
Wisconsin. You get the body of water, all four seasons, and cities (Milwaukee, Chicago to the south, or St. Paul/ Minneapolis to the west, though its a drive). Downside is the summer can be a humid hot instead of the dry hot you get down in Texas. I also read somewhere it was a good state to retire if you take into account state benefits(I can be wrong though).
Debi Murray says
Having moved out of Wisconsin after living rhere all my life, I can tell you that you will be taxed to death over everything besides being frozen stiff 8 months out of every year. I find Florida to be my ideal ace to retire and I am glad we made that decision 3 years ago
We live in the SF Bay area, and luckily bought a house before everything got SOOOO expensive. I would NOT recommend here as a place unless you are rich. However, there are some nice places up and down the California coast which are small towney, but that might be difficult for your kids.
My husband and I have actually discussed Vancouver Island – Victoria, BC as a nice place to retire. We have been there a couple of times, and it seems wonderful! A hop over to Vancouver by boat or near Seattle. https://travel.usnews.com/Victoria_and_Vancouver_Island_Canada/When_To_Visit/
Sara T says
We also live in the Bay Area. 🙂
The only two places I have so far agreed to eventually retire in are San Diego or South of Spain. I want nice weather (no snow) and beach.
Right here, the apartment I’ve been living in my whole life with my family. Rent controlled, awesome large garden, very central to everything in my city, but not feeling like a big city (many trees, much green, people in my district know each other and hold together). Couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
For more rural surroundings, the “Farm Coast” of SE New England. http://farmcoast.com/ , or, for a livelier experience, Salem, MA https://www.salem.org/. Four robust seasons, close to big cities, lots of character.
I grew up in Tillamook on the northern Oregon coast. Summers are incredible – 65-70 degrees every day and right next to the ocean. Winter is very wet but the temperature is usually around 45-50 degrees.
If you can handle the rain, it is wonderful.
Most of us trade the big family house for two smaller houses.
I’ve always said that if I win the lottery and “retire” early, I want two houses: one in the mountains to escape the summer heat and one at the beach for when I either want the heat or the milder winters. I live in North Carolina, so there is only a few hours travel between the mountains and the coast, so theoretically, it’s feasible, right? Of course, in this fantasy, I have boatloads of money and could pay people to help me upkeep two houses.
Hubby and I are nearing implementation of that precise thing.
We want rural, but not to far from a city with an airport with enough flights that I can still work my current job as a traveling consultant. Not insanely expensive. High speed access. 4 seasons but not too much snow.
So we’re in the midst of getting ready to sell our house, move to Chattanooga, buy property in the mountains where summers are a bit cooler and build a home exactly the way we want with amenities we’ll need as we get older.
R Coots says
Wow, I’m so far away from this being a reality. But…hmm. I want my mountains back. I miss the ocean. I miss living far enough out of town that you forget you have neighbors. But I also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to leave the state and affordability is a factor too, so Alaska is right out. Northern Idaho sounds nice. Or far northern MN (we went to Duluth last weekend and if I could have camped on the beach and stared at water to the horizon all day, I would have. I’d still be there actually).
Have you checked out SWFL? I live in Naples and it is such a weird mix of small Florida town and mega rich people. There are like billionaires that live here during the season but then the Red Robin and Boston Market went out of business. But the beaches are lovely and while it is very hot there is usually a breeze that makes it somewhat ok. Oh and the median age is 65 which makes my late 40s self feel youngish until some octogenarian jogs past me while I am trying to walk for my meager exercise.
Tina Long says
I’ve lived in different areas of Florida off and on most of my life. Most recently, before relocating to Texas again, was in Clearwater. I still miss it. It has everything you need: fantastic beaches, close to major highways, and great shopping. There’s a little town just north of Clearwater named Dunedin. It, too, has all of those same wonderful things but add in fantastic restaurants paired with a lovely small-town vibe. My dream is to retire there.
This is a question we are struggling with. We moved to Houston 15 years ago and I never want to live thru a true winter again. But all of our daughters have settled in California. Two are living in ski resort towns and our first grandchild has been born. Retirement is a just years away but I don’t know where. Right now we are flirting with a home in Texas but a camper for summer visits. Or somewhere in Nevada along the California state line ( one kid is in Tahoe and the other 3 hours away). I always dreamed that retirement would mean the freedom to go anywhere but now I have discovered that your kids choose where they want to be and they lure you by adorning the hook with bright shining babies.
I am a third generation Chicagoan and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have a lovely classic brick bungalow with just a little bit of a garden and the best neighbors. When we get to the point we can’t take care of the place ourselves, I have my eye on a great old co-op. With an indoor pool, a library, a craft room, and a pool hall. In a neighborhood where you can walk everywhere and get everything delivered. But I still hate the weather in the winter so travel will be required certain times of year.
I live in Springfield, OR, and while I do want to travel the world and live in other places, this area is my home and where I will always come back. 4 seasons, lots of hiking nearby, chill people, great beer and near different exciting places without being in the thick of it. Plus, I’m never selling my house so I always have a home base.
I love the Delmarva Peninsula. MD, DE, VA beaches close at hand on one side, DC, Annapolis, Baltimore on the other side. Even the mountains are only a few hours away, but being surrounded by ocean on three sides calms down the winter while still giving you 4 seasons. Beautiful area, lots of outdoor activities, and you can choose to be right in town or as rural as you prefer!
Nicki Shaw says
We currently live in Chapel Hill, NC and really like it! We’re close to Raleigh, which has a lot of stuff, but are also close to trails and lakes. The weather is also pretty mild year round. I could see eventually retiring here… But I would ideally love to retire at a beach somewhere. My current favorite is Monterey, CA. I love their aquarium and year round cool weather! ????
I grew up in Tillamook on the northern Oregon coast. Summers are incredible – 65-70 degrees every day and right next to the ocean. Winter is very wet but the temperature is usually around 45-50 degrees.
If you can handle the rain, it is wonderful.
Go north to Oregon or Washington on the coast. Their winters are probably similar to Vancouver Canada which are pretty mild and yet summer is decent as well. The west coast avoids hurricanes and tornados and is mostly geologically stable (at least compared to California and Vancouver which are sitting on massive fault lines)
Personally I find most people are far too scared of snow, a good set of winter tires(very important!) and you can drive a 2 wheel drive car around all winter with no issues at all.
We spent 18 months in Portland and couldn’t do it. The weather just killed us.
That is fair 🙂 Personally I like more snow and less rain than the coast gets so I live a lot farther north and inland -30 or -40 for a couple weeks a year isn’t for everyone though but I guess I am used to it.
I hope you find your sweet spot
Have you looked at Kerrville? Lots of retirees there and being in the hill country (don’t laugh, non-Texans) it’s a good bit cooler than even Austin. You can always buy a condo in Belize for Gordon and rent it out when you’re not there-that way he’ll get his time on the beach. Southwest even flies there now.
Jenn D. says
14 years ago, after living in Southern California my entire life, I moved to a suburb of Richmond, Virginia. Our plan was to live here a few years and then move back west, most likely to Oregon or Washington. But we absolutely fell in love with living here, and I don’t believe we’ll ever leave.
Richmond has four beautiful seasons, some snow but nothing crazy, warm summers but triple digits is rare. You can live near the James River if you’re a water lover, plus VA Beach is 2 hours away, and the Outer Banks (North Carolina) is about 4. The Shennendoah Mountains are about a 1.5-2 hours drive, as well.
You can be out in the country, but still just 30-45 minutes away from the state capital. Washington DC is 2 hours north, and New York isn’t all that much further. It’s pretty incredible.
I never dreamed I would enjoy living here, let alone come to love this place. The only thing missing is a few good fast food joints, lol.
Jenn D. says
Sorry, I meant to add a general response, not a direct reply to the comment above! :-/
+1 though. We have family in the Richmond area, and are considering moving to the outskirts having visited for thirty years worth of holidays and cookouts.
My parents chose Pensacola, FL though if my mother had been able to get a job at a different hospital it would have been Fort Walton Beach, FL. I’ve been in FL for sometime but miss some aspects of traveling (military brat). I want a real fall and a real winter, a nice spring, and not so humid summer with dollops of rain. Not sure such a place is realistic. I visited Portland, Oregon and liked it. Seattle seems nice and Colorado has a lot of areas that are an hour or so away from Denver so that’s always appealed to me- there extremes on the summer and winters lol. I would like to do a lot of traveling though so I suppose the location wouldn’t matter so much to me as long as I was surrounded by family and friends whenever I returned. I just have this image in my head of beautiful trees in the fall and an amazing white Christmas where I could watch the snow while enjoying hot chocolate and a nice chimney fire….pretty sure I’ve seen too many Hallmark movies lol
elizabeth cheung says
Santa Fe. I love the high desert. It’s beautiful and not too hot in the summer, and snows sometimes in the winter. Or a beach in Mexico or Costa Rica. Currently, my favorite is Sayulita, but I haven’t been there during the tourist high season.
For my retirement I have a few thoughts about where to move to and live out my years. I am a northeasterner. I would choose bristol or newport, rhode island; or williamsburg, va. The area of Rhode Island,that I refered to earlier, has a nice micro-climate. The summers can be hot, 90s ,but not for more than 5 day stretch. The water on the coast tempers the length of winter. It can snow, but we don’t get dumped on too much in janurary and february. There is a lot of coastline too.
David Donahoe says
I am a hermit. So I don’t care about the place as long as I have: at least 100Mb internet connection, good central heating/air, and grocery stores that deliver. But If I were to choose my ideal place, I would look at Washington state. Somewhere between Tacoma and Seattle. Beautiful landscape, all four seasons but nothing overly serious, and if you want a bit of culture you can go to one of the cities.
Gail G says
I’m not sure anyone has four seasons anymore. I’m in NJ where the leaves are turning brown, the days are still hot (80s to 90s forever but it’s supposed to drop 30 degrees by tomorrow for a minute), and then? uprooted trees, wicked winds, deluge, ice, mud? Who knows?! I think I’ve opened the windows three times this year for “real air.” I’m not sure it matters where you live as long as your favorite people are nearby. Have internet, good to go. Have fun looking.
I’m like Gordon, my ideal community no longer exists. The Pacific NW has been home since the early 90’s, and the dreary winters here are going to kill me one of these years, but the California of my childhood is long gone. I need a mild climate year round…cold and damp triggers significant pain and other chronic illness flareups (plus I cannot physically shovel snow), heat above about 80 triggers debilitating fatigue. The south end of the SF Bay Area in the 1970’s had the perfect climate for me, but that disappeared once they poured concrete and asphalt over the orchards. And of course, anywhere that might exist still with that kind of weather is outrageously expensive. So I’m pretty much screwed.
Cynthia in Olympia says
Western Washington state. I’ve lived in FL, VA, CA, MT, CO and made three long & slow road trips from coast to coast. Western WA is the best. Clean air, ocean coast and Puget Sound, old growth rain forest and cultivated tree farms, lakes and rivers, mountains and waterfalls, prairies and good government (I live in Olympia, state capitol). Population is diverse and mixed (including Russian emigres), active/retired military with JBLM (Joint Base Fort Lewis [Army] McChord [Air Force] plus Navy bases, great casinos if you’re into that, excellent concerts, outstanding high-speed fiber to-the-house technology near universal, excellent higher education. Bonus: no cockroaches, no snakes, no giant bugs, moderate temperatures and VERDANT greenery in zillions of trees in lush landscapes. I’m not exaggerating. Median house prices in Olympia is about $350K but we’ve got $1M+ neighborhoods and plenty of outside the HOA homes readily available (my niece just bought $800K house on many++ wooded++ acreage). Western WA used to be a lovely secret but everyone is escaping their home states and moving here, yet we’ve still plenty of room. If you like to hunt or fish (not my gig but hey!), everything from halibut to salmon to steelhead is here along with turkeys, deer, elk, etc . Let’s not forget our famous crabs and oysters, too. Go boating, kayaking, skating, biking, skiing (water and snow), hiking or museum crawling – we’ve got you exercised and entertained. Check us out! Western WA is fresh, clean, lush and pretty!
We are looking at northern Italy – you can buy nice houses with a view of the lake, close to Milan for 250k to 350k. (Lake Maggiore, Lake Iseo, Lake Como …)Bonus is extremely low property taxes. You pay a fee (2% if you will be a resident) when you buy the place but after that the costs are nominal – so no escalating taxes as you age. No capital gains tax for residents. You get snow but since you are on the south side of the Alps it is not outrageous. Can’t really swim in the lakes (too cold) but lots of outdoor activities. Lots of hiking – take the gondolas up to the top of the mountain and walk around from there. Great food, cheap cost of living. Further south in Italy properties are cheaper. And reasonable medical insurance. There is the government insurance but you can buy additional private insurance for a lot less than the USA. Get a pet passport for the critters and there is no quarantine period. We also considered Granada Spain and Porto Portugal. Both great places but Granada is too hot in the summer. Porto is still in the running.
How about your own restored tower from 962ad for 290K Euro? Listed prices are usually negotiable – especially in the winter.
In the year 962 Emperor Otto I of Saxony was saved with his crew during a storm on Lake Maggiore by some fishermen of Maccagno. As a thank you the emperor appointed Maccagno Inferiore “Corte Regale”, flying its own currency and under the protection of the Empire. The Emperor then built the Tower called “Torre Imperiale”, in defense of the village below. The Imperial Tower, historic symbol of the town of Maccagno, stands in a dominant position, immediately above Piazza Roma and the port of Maccagno Inferiore. The property, completely immersed in a forest of chestnut and mimosa trees, is spread over a total area of 239 square meters on four levels
I know western NC is out, but central NC may be good, maybe in the Raleigh/Durham area (RDU). I would suggest any place with a strong college or university presence, as you end up with a lot of cultural opportunities, fun things to do, and people who tend to be open-minded and educated. Once you’ve figured out an area of the country, maybe that could be a characteristic in the decision-making process.
For me – it’s Georgia, southwest of Atlanta, to be specific. Why – my sister already lives there and has my room waiting for me. LOL Mild winters, spring and summer – yes they have the heat & humidity but generally cools down in the late evenings. Mountains and ocean each just 2 hours away, in different directions 🙂 Also city life just minutes away and her home, while it looks like any suburban street from the front – all homes have their own mini-forest in the back!
The only downside….Fire Ants, which thankfully has not been an issue since her move to different house.
Diane Kassmann says
“nice a place to live, somewhere close to a big city, but not in it, with 4 seasons, a body of water nearby” Sounds like where I live, the Finger Lakes region of New York State. You can be more north, near Lake Ontario (one of the 5 Great Lakes) in the Rochester area, or more central near one of the many gorgeous Finger Lakes. If you enjoy wine we’re famous for all the wineries around those lakes. It’s a strong agricultural area with plenty of recreation. Easy travel to NYC and Toronto. We only get around 2 weeks of spring, but a long and glorious autumn, a not-overly-hot summer (coming from Texas you’d have zero problems), and a winter that many complain about but I find very tolerable – and I don’t even do winter sports! You owe it to yourself to check it out.
Wilmington NC is a pretty nice place. I also love Charleston SC. Cities by the coast.
As much as I’d like to say around Ottawa probably not your best bet. The air hurts your face in winter and the summers are very humid. Prince Edward county is nice. wineries lovely picturesque hills. the winters are milder but the summers are still humid.
Tough question. We live in Western Washington but I grew up in Eastern Washington. My husband grew up in Moulton Tx. I’ve/we’ve done a lot of traveling, and I’ve in CA + MO at different times in my life. All of those locations have wonderful areas to live, each unique and different in its own ways.
As we get older, it’s even harder to decide where we’d like to land later on. When we bought our current place, we thought for sure this was it. However, with the constant loss of farmland around us and rising crime rates, that may change.
As much as I love Texas, it’s too hot and too constantly sunny for me to want it all year round. As the others are saying, the areas we grow up in aren’t the same either. I feel like I lost my connections to roots a long time ago.
We like four seasons and the mountains. So we will probably stay in the NW. Though we have considered Montana and Colorado.
Where ever “that” is, we’d still want access to good cultural arts (2 hrs max), and good health care facilities. No matter where, we hope to keep traveling and seeing new places.
I love central Virginia and live in Richmond. It’s got the river, is a “foodie” paradise, and is close to a lot of things but with good suburbs.
Our grocery stores deliver, we have Amazon Prime Now, and all the uber eats/grub hub/doordash stuff but still have the land and space we need. We have an airport and train station and aren’t far from DC and the hub there.
4 seasons (spring and fall do tend to hang around more than other places i’ve been to) winter is definitely WINTER but not devastating. Summer can be miserable (we are humid and have mosquitoes). But the Beach is near by and the river and lots of fun activities and festivals. There is also a lot of Wag walkers to brave the heat if you don’t want to but your dog needs the exercise.
COME TO VIRGINIA ON A BOOK SIGNING AND EXPERIENCE THE AWESOME!!!
– the crazy fan with the dog that drove from Richmond to the book signing in Kentucky
Jenn D. says
I just posted a long response about the awesomeness of Richmond, and I didn’t really even touch on most of what you said! Love it here.
We live in Colorado and it’s just crazy expensive. I don’t see how anyone can afford to retire here. It’s beautiful and I love it. My husband and I plan to buy a super awesome RV and go wherever we want once we get to that point. With all the wireless things we have now it’s not really a necessity to be tied to one place. We still have kids at home so it’s a ways off. ????
After being in the army for 20+ years, my husband and I get antsy if we stay in one place too long. Our kids are in college, so we’re staying put till the youngest graduates (Houston). After that, we talked about going off to Europe for a while, maybe Eastern Italy or thereabouts. After that, we’ll probably settle for an apartment in Panama, Central America and another house near wherever the kids settle.
William B says
I know you said you don’t like HOAs
and didn’t have a good experience previously living in South Carolina, but I like my gated community of Keowee Key. We have a lake, golf course, fitness center, walking trails and a dinner club. It does get a little hot in the summer but the spring and fall are wonderful. We are a little over an hour from GSP airport and Atlanta is two hours away.
We live in Delaware and we get all 4 seasons. You are right near Philly, New York, Chesapeake Bay, MD for fun and there is no sales tax and low real estate tax.
The southern parts of the state are lovely, especially where there are beaches. Some beach areas are congested but you can avoid those easily.
Rose Alvarado says
I’m a Michigan girl born and raised. You’re never more than 80 miles from a Great Lake and the lakes protect us from weather extremes to some extent. You don’t have to worry about hurricanes, shark attacks, or earthquakes! Just stay away from the lake effect snow areas if a lot of snow isn’t your thing. It’s a beautiful state with lots to offer. I love it!!
We live in Colorado Springs, CO. Close to mountains, easy access to a larger city (Denver) if we feel the need. Actually we’ve got better weather than Denver, due to the topography. (Google Palmer Divide.) I am originally from Boston and have lived in WI and Raleigh NC. I think we will stay right here. No, there’s no major body of water, but we’ve got the seasons, nice people and great quality of life. COS has made plenty of top ten cities in the US lists for a reason. I would recommend checking out Utah and Colorado – there are some very livable smaller cities.
I saw someone mention Spain up above. I live outside of DC at the moment, but Spain and Portugal are on my retirement shortlist at the moment. Love the climate, love the people. My son is 16, not sure what he wants to do or where, but I’ve seen too many friends move to be near their kids and then said kids up and move away. Where ever he and I end up, it’s only a plane ride away :).
I live in Las Vegas and absolutely love the weather here. Definitely not a city that everyone likes. I don’t go near the casinos though, I live pretty far from the strip and tourists. Summers suck but it’s only for 3 months.
I would definitely recommend Southern California though. Best weather! Lots of beaches. I have family that live there. There’s lots to do. Nice all year round. A little pricey but it just depends on where you want to live.
Hope you find somewhere that you guys both love. My husband was born in Reno and absolutely hates the snow so he loves vegas weather. Even the summer heat. There’s definitely somewhere out that for you guys ????
DH and I have been trying to figure this out for YEARS. We live in NYC. He can retire in 2031, I can retire in 2034. Just finding a a general area is difficult. We’d like someplace without extreme weather, for example, and a state where our money will go further than here.
I’ve spent my life living cheek-to-jowl with neighbors. I want to live somewhere where I can’t see any neighbors, and I can have coffee on my front porch in my bathrobe if I like. And a ranch house, because my knees can barely handle our stairs now, never mind what old age will do to our bones.
But there’s practical requirements too—good nearby doctors and hospitals, access to transportation options (I’ve never lived further than 35 min from an international airport), nearby supermarkets and pharmacies, and we both loathe (LOATHE!) HOAs. I don’t know if this mystical retirement Eden exists.
Brittney Butterfield says
I wont suggest Portland because I know you already lived there and didn’t like it but it is great if you can get used to the constant clouds. We are back in Idaho now and miss Portland but Boise does have it’s benefits. How big of a city do you want? I would call Boise a small city but it is growing. What kind of body of water and how close? There are many lakes and rivers all over Idaho but you are an 8-9 hour drive from the coast if you want the ocean. Idaho’s weather is fantastic! 4 seasons, no extreme weather, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no humidity, no excessive rain. If you go with Boise or Twin Falls or somewhere else in the southwest corner of the state the winters are mostly mild, some snow but usually not too much, just enough to really make it feel like winter. If you were to go for more eastern or northern Idaho the winters can get more extreme.
Big island of Hawai’i. SouthEast part of the island is a bit more affordable than the rest. University, hospitals, all sorts of athletics, tourist-watching year round, and cheap hop flights to other islands. We have acreage and enough space for multi-generations. It is a bit rustic–3 miles to a bus stop, 5 miles to the main road, 15 miles to a grocery store–but the scenery makes up for it. Some people might not like an island (I don’t understand the whole island fever thing), but it works for us.
Michelle D says
New Zealand may be the answer . I’ve heard amazing things about the country. A few friends have moved there. I’m going on my first visit next year. Between the north and south island you’ll have all possible weather possibilities…
Oh, please! The longest decade of my life was the 3 years I had to spend surviving in Houston, TX. I literally left my husband behind to escape it with our children. He followed, we ended up in southeastern Ohio. When we moved into this house in 1986, I told him that I was done moving and he’d have to burn the house down to get me to move again. Granted, we had four different rentals in 11 years and had two children coming into school age, which prompted that, but this area is by far the best I’ve ever known. We have four seasons, but winter is far less snowy than along Lake Erie — which is the greatest of the Great Lakes, in my opinion — and in the foothills of the Appalachians, you can find yourself a nice hill to stay away from any possible flooding issues. Ohio offers much more than just inexpensive land. We have farms, we have cities, we have lots of “country”, we have lots of “city”. We have horses, cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, hogs, and all the other animals farms raise. We have them in sizes, too. Yes, the miniatures; yes, the draft sizes. We have forests and trails inside the cities, and on our 1.5 acres, we actually have close to 100 trees. I mean, lilacs counts as trees, don’t they? Rose of Sharon counts? The maples and sassafras and oaks and cherry and apple and pear give us gorgeous colors in autumn and shade in summer. They stand fast in winter and when we do get snow or ice, they shine in the sun.
What’s great about living here is that because I do not appreciate people in the face constantly, I only have to deal with people when I go out. I’m near one of the little towns, outside city limits in a township, but the cities are not far. Columbus will offer every big city amenity you could ask for, and yet the farms spread out and keep isolation possible. Being outside city limits means we can have our mini-horses in the back yard and nobody can quarrel with us over them. In fact, when people look at houses near us and see them, they bring their own and we ended up surrounded by horses here.
Because we are only halfway south in the state, we do get snow. But we don’t get it often or as heavily as northern Ohio gets it, which causes issues because outside city limits, we don’t get snowplows on the roads much. Some places do, some don’t. We don’t. If you go a little further south, snow is fairly rare. AWD is fairly standard on the cars of people who live in this area because we have to get home.
We have rivers and dams and fishing and hunting and all that other jazz. Ohio used to be called “The Heart of it All!” but they changed that slogan and now they just say “Find it Here!” And you can find it here. We have it all. And keep in mind that if you don’t like the weather here, give it a few minutes and it’ll change for you.
Years ago, we did get hit by Hurricane Ike. We lost 15 trees that were not small, the small trees bent with the wind and remained here. But most major storms pass us by for reasons only God knows. Southwestern Ohio gets slammed, but we are snug bugs in the rug here.
Best of all, the cost of living is not very high. Lots of people here have condos or second homes in “the south” and flee winters. We don’t need to, because we grew up in the snowbelt of far northeastern Ohio and learned to dress and drive in winter. Once you learn to stock your freezer for the times when snow does fall, you don’t even have to venture out to have food on those days when the snow plow fails to arrive.
So look into Ohio and Find it Here!
I hear you. I’ve got to get out of the Texas summer heat. I love it outdoors, but I live in the ac for six months of the year anymore. I did a long weekend in Rocky Mtn Ntl Park at the end of Aug and it was delightful. I spent the entire time outdoors and hiking, even did an 8 hr hike one day – the temps up high were in the mid 70s!!!
I don’t particularly want to sell my house and start over somewhere, but I’ve been toying with the idea of finding a small duplex or condo in the mountains that I can go to for summer relief. And some snow visits. Hiking! Snow shoeing! I love the snow, but I sure don’t want to live in it for 4-5 months any more than I want 3-4 months of 95-105. So that’s the plan at the moment, keep the Austin house and travel to escape the heat and humidity. Ideally I would like to find someplace with 4 real, usable seasons and mountain hiking. That I can afford – Colorado is filling up with Texans, no joke. So prices are sky rocketing.
My mom would have loved to move to Florida after she retired, but like Gordon discovered, the Florida of her youth with the beautiful uncrowded beaches was long gone. So she just stayed here and went to the beach and took sailing lessons.
I’m in the Walker Co area of Texas and it is on the edge of the Piney Woods. A half hour drive west or north your are in the prairie lakes area of Texas and south becomes more bayou. I love it here! Everything closes down by 9:30pm ish and most stores are closed on Sundays. Houston is about an 1 1/2 hour drive to Houston, only 1 hour to Bryan/College Station. Its very slow paced like a retirement community. I hear that Livingston TX is much more of a retirement community.
My only requirements will be close to the grandkids. Unfortunately my oldest daughter with the grandkids moved back to California, after living in Oregon for two years, because she and her husband missed family (all the free babysitting). So right now they are living and working (school teachers) outside of silicon valley, as it is less expensive there, compared to the bay area. So now I am looking at lengthening the commute to work and being able to buy a house in a less expensive area of California.
I’d buy a trailer or a camper van and Travel around the country. Could check out the real estate along the way. There’s a lot of places to see.
Laura Gifford says
May I introduce you to south central Pennsylvania. We have 4 seasons, but usually lack the extremes of weather. We are 2 1/2 hours from DC, Philadelphia, and just a bit further to NYC. If you can deal with Texas’ politics, you deal with ours.
We are looking at Southern Pennsylvania. Our family is in NJ and we want to be close, but NJ is crazy expensive. Like you said, 4 seasons, close to Philly, NJ and New York.
I’m in Southeast Pennsylvania, as in, just 2 minutes from Delaware, 1hr from Philly, 2 hrs from DC, 3.5 hrs from New York. The houses are relatively affordable, many farmers markets to choose from. My neighbors are friendly, they wave to you when you drive by, but not in your face friendly. We get seasons, but mild winters with some snow.
I’d like to defend Florida. I would. But it takes a certain type to survive down here. For one thing, you have to accept your seasons are not going to show up on a calendar nor will they share names with traditional seasons. We have Snowbird, Love Bug, Hurricane and one week of “We’ll call this Winter”. Also, you have to accept that there is only one, true grocery store: Publix. On the roadways, you either drive 10 over or 20 under. Also, you must either have your blinker on for 25 miles or never use it. Finally, Florida Man/Woman is real, so proudly fly your freak flag because you’ll hopefully never reach that status. Unless you’re already training turtles to attack federal agents.
You’re funny and right! I live in Florida, and it feels like I’m part of a carnival show almost daily. However, I love my town. I live in an old house and can walk to restaurants, entertainment, etc., but my “urban” neighborhood is quiet. It’s been wicked hot, but “winter” is just around the corner! We are not retired but we moved here to our retirement home and town in order to have our mortgage paid off on this glorious old house before officially retiring. My fear is that we will age out of this house quickly. The maintenance is consuming and staying here is predicated on doing much of the work ourselves. Not all of Florida is HOAs and planned communities, but all of Florida gets hot during the summer.
Lol killing me up her in ny
If you are going to have a second house, outside Texas for milder summers I’d chose one that doesnt have a state tax. Like Wyoming, Washington, South Dakota, Nevada
Florida or Alaska.
Washington doesn’t have an income tax, but we do have property taxes. That’s good if you end up working here, but not as good if you just own a vacation property.
I don’t have much to offer that hasn’t already been said. I’m a native of the SF Bay Area and plan to stay. One kid is in the military so no telling where he’ll be or when, and the other will most likely end up in a major city somewhere so being here near two big airports is our best bet. We love the weather and I love my suburban lifestyle. It’s expensive, not gonna lie. We bought before it got really nuts which helped. I can’t honestly recommend moving here because the home prices are ridiculous and I don’t think they will hold. I love Oregon, our son was in school in Salem then moved to Bend. Both really nice. I have a friend from Portland who moved to Port Townsend WA but isn’t happy because it’s too hard to get to the airport etc from there. No easy answers but I agree that excessive heat is a deal breaker. I tolerate it less every year. So here we will stay.
I also plan to stay in the East Bay (north of Oakland, Berlekely etc.) because 1) the house is paid off and 2) the average temp year round is in the 50s – 60s. No need for AC and we lived for 20+ years in our craftsman bungalow with only a wall heater in the dining room! Now that we’ve remodeled we have honest to god central heat but we set it at 65 and most of the year it doesn’t even run. If you want warm go inland, if you want colder go to the coast. Sad to say, however, the cost of housing for newcomers can be a dealer breaker.
My husband and I vacationed in San Diego Coronado. The weather was perfect. Like too perfect. Sunny, 72 degrees every single day for the 2 weeks we were there. If you like that sort of thing that’s a good place to retire. We live on the east coast in southern Maryland, in a very small town. The weather is always changing here, and I guess that’s what I was used to and what I like. We grew up in Raleigh NC and it was nice when we were living there but it is too busy now. We have family in Texas and they say Raleigh is the Austin of North Carolina. It’s too busy for me to live there now.
My impossible dream is to live/ retire in Iceland. My husband and I vacation there and we just love it. The water is nothing like you’ve ever tasted. The air is so fresh and clean. Waterfalls everywhere you look. I love cold and snow so it’s perfect for us. This will never happen though because I don’t believe they allow foreigners to move there.
We also love the beach. If I had to chose a place to retire that was in the USA it would be Sunset beach NC. I prefer NC beaches to any other state, but I’m biased as I have fond memories of family get togethers every summer. This also won’t happen. My husband hates moving and he loves where we live now. I think we will be in this house forever! Which is fine. I don’t mind.
Julie Robertson says
Although we are from UK i too have happy memories of Coronado island san Diego. Great beaches and restaurants, temperate climate and dog friendly. Loved travelling into san Diego to shop on a ferry. I still get emails from Real Estate agents (I like to dream) and realise it is stupidly expensive but would be my first choice if we win the lottery????
Oooh … Marblehead, MA or perhaps Salam, MA. Close to Boston so long as you don’t make the attempt during rush hour. Water is nearby. Music, Theatre, history, Not that you need them, but great hospitals nearby. Boston Logan airport is good. Sailing. 4 seasons but since you are by the water, you won’t get the Maine snow. Great walking. Apples, horses. There is a moose calling contest in Maine and don’t forget Ben & Jerry’s in New Hampshire. King Arthur offers cooking classes nearby. People like to visit the area, too. So your kids will look forward to visiting. Simply gorgeous.
+1 to Massachusetts, I used to live there and I loved it! The summer is hot but nice, autumn is beautiful with the pumpkin patches and Indian summer, winter has lots of options to ski, spring is nice and normal. Sensible political climate, too, from what I remember.
We love it in MA! But housing is expensive here, so be prepared. But you get the convenience of being close to everything which is great! Maine & Vermont are more reasonable in price. We get our share of crazy weather but like they say, if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes it will change.
Patricia Schlorke says
I went to Worcester, MA with my mom to see where she use to live, and so I could talk with the administration people at Suffolk University in Boston. My maternal grandfather went to law school there. I felt like I was home even though it was my first time out there. I am so use to big states, like Texas, that in 8 hours you’re still in the same state. Not out there. You go 8 hours in any direction, and you’re in another state or country ( Canada anyone?).
Colleen C. says
Michigan has 4 seasons, lots of access to water and it’s pretty. You have to like winter tho… I have been in Texas for 5 years and thought I would be happy with the warm. What I didn’t realize is it’s blazing hot or damp and rainy with freak ice storms that, even though they happen every year, no one is prepared for. If there is a spring or fall it’s about 2 days. Retirement someplace else is starting to look very good to me.
My dream retirement is in Michigan too. Somewhere around Petoskey/Traverse City. Four seasons, close to Lakes, good outdoor life, just town to make things interesting.
I am a TN girl myself. Currently live in AL & if you enjoy music of all types & fishing, then look at Tuscumbia AL. Lots of music ALL THE TIME around here, not far from Huntsville which is a surprisingly active city. (No one is sure why they are surprised given NASA is there, & several manufacturing plants with all the jobs & money, but hey.)
As for the music, we are less than 2 hours from Nashville, 5 hrs from Atlanta, & have several recording studios used by people world wide. (Strangest moment of my life was getting gas & seeing Steven Tyler drive by to give you an idea. Know it was Steven Tyler because there was a piece in local paper how he was here at the Fame Recording Studio.)
But all that aside, I prefer eastern TN. Looking to move to the Johnson City area because it is a small town with lots of activities, low taxes, cheap property, but close to VA, NC, SC, GA, & KY. They have an unfortunate winter complete with snow. That only lasts 2-3 months and then goes away and I can live with that. What I can’t live with is a winter that lasts 9+ months like I grew up with in PA. I will live out of my car before I do that again.
Melissa B says
My aunt lives in Johnson City Tennessee. It’s lovely and they have a quilting festival/workshop etc that my mom used to go to annually. Quaint town.
Melissa B says
Johnson City TN is great. Quaint town. Wonderful quiltmaking shops and festival each year there too
I live in California so I would love to go just about anywhere cheap and safe. The plus side is once you live in the most expensive state there is, retirement anywhere else will be so much cheaper. I can imagine being in many places but being a football fan, i would love to try Pittsburgh and watch every Steeler game i could at Heinz field. Pennsylvania has many historical landmarks to visit and it isn’t far from other very historical places either. I’m a restless guy so country places would be way to calm for me to enjoy.
My husband and I spend quality time together looking Zillow to see what our home’s worth would buy in other places. We call it “real estate porn”.
We don’t know where we’ll eventually move, but we do like the mountains in Colorado.
Haha! “Real estate porn” is so real! I do that all the time with my California “wine country” home.
Melissa B says
I hear Greenville SC is a great place to retire with a lake not far and has lots to offer between a good city, shops, community and good weather. Regardless of where y’all go look for family and friends to be nearby. As relationships matter so much and is what holds one together especially during hard times. Oh and have a very reputable hospital within 15-20 minutes. Not like 30-35 minutes (Ie my mom and dad’s situation) as every minute counts in an emergency.
Our 5yr plan is to move to Oregon near Oakland Oregon. We loved it there and it has mild winters. We have kids in Idaho, Oregon and Washington state.
Yup on the retirement thing: a matchmaker mentioned I need to think about who I want to retire with and I had this moment of ‘I’m single and 42, retirement isn’t THAT close’.
FWIW: Lake shore property is more available in Minnesota (land of 1,000 lakes), and before you say anything about cold, climate change maps have the temperature shifting a lot. Also, my experience is that northern states do a MUCH better job with snow removal and you get fewer ice storms. The summers are GLORIOUS! Minneapolis also has the 2nd highest amount of theatre after New York (they value the arts).
There’s a map a climate scientist has done showing what each city will feel like as climate change gets worse (and every year they update the acceleration predictions).
I have to vote for Minnesota, also. While I live in Alabama (born here) I went to school in Bemidji, MN. I think close to the Twin Cities would fit your bill and it offers so much. I long to return but moving doesn’t look to be in the cards.
I think there’s good and bad no matter where you choose to go. If you can afford to have a winter & summer residents, that great. As someone with some health issues, the critical things to me is having good local health service and food delivery (groceries & prepared meals). I don’t want to live in a city but I can’t be too isolated so I’m happy with a semi-rural area and there are lots of those around the country. Next are living close to family and something that’s affordable. I feel like anything after that is gravy.
James B Franks says
Southern Minnesota, somewhere between Albert Lea and Rochester.
I think you are too young to think about settling down. You don’t even have grandchildren …
You are young, your job allows you to work from anywhere in the world, your kids are grown. You could pack your bags and go live and work from anywhere in the world.
This is like the time before kids when you were free as a bird except even better because of your profession (which you are so good at!).
So my advise, don’t plan settling down. Soon you’ll have grandchildren and will want to be close to them and that will determine everything. Enjoy your freedom.
Teh Gerg says
Northwest Georgia. Not too cold in the winter, and snow is rare. Summers are getting hotter, but still manageable. It’s in a triangle between Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Birmingham. There are plenty of reasonably sized towns with fewer social problems than big cities, low cost of living and home purchases, and decent schools. It still has Georgia politics, but you already know about that. Life can be good here, and there are opportunities to make what you will of it. It’s far from perfect, but it’s pretty decent here.
Kris Ten-Eyck says
The cold and snow in the winter might turn you off, but my dream is to retire on the eastern Lake Michigan coast (in MI). If you go midway up the mitten you are still fairly close to Grand Rapids (for the city life and advantages such as medical care) you don’t get the grey days the middle of the state is cursed with, and being on the lake shore there usually a good breeze when the summer days get hot and humid. Not that our hot and humid is anywhere near that of Texas (or even Missouri where I am from). It was 85 degrees here yesterday while St. Louis MO was at 95, and I can only imagine the temps in Texas.
Patricia Schlorke says
I’m originally from the St. Louis area and can say an ‘amen’ to the heat and the humidity. ????
Outside of Asheville N.C saeville is not huge but it is artsy, and has everything. The high in the summer is the low 80s and yes it does snow but not all the time and the views are breath taking.
We chose northern Colorado, rural living with all the comforts and accessibility of suburbia, four seasons, cost of living half what it cost in California. Good medical, universities, and Denver is a foodie panacea. Though cost of living is higher then in Texas.
Lynn L says
Seems like half of Texas empties out in the summer and goes To Colorado. Maybe a summer rental there.
Come to North Carolina! North Carolina beaches are beautiful, you can live in a sleepy coastal town. Or near Raleigh if you want more excitement it’s in between a big and small city and the closest beach is 2 hours. We get all 4 seasons. Summer DOES get pretty hot but it’s bearable until fall. It’s a growing state. The mountains are also stunning in the fall. You can own acreage or be in a development. Lots of options.
I live in the Northern MidWest, and we have a crapload of snow. Which sucks… BUT (!) the seasons are all represented, and the summers are AWESOME. And when I retire, I will do so by moving into a condo where I will not be required to shovel the white stuff, and yet admire it drifting past my large window that will overlook the city.
Ok. This may end up being more like a large window overlooking a parking garage , but you get my point?
No earthquakes, floods, fires, excessive heat, rat infestations or cock roaches. No hurricanes either.
Come up north and retire!!
There are some beautiful places around Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Low cost of living.
Maybe outside of America? Here in New Zealand a lot of retirees get motorhomes and just wander around. My partner would love that.
I’m in Monterey, CA and I love it. It’s “cold” compared to Texas and Louisiana (was 49 this morning, but is 65 and sunny right now).
It’s a small town with little traffic, but thanks to the $$ in Pebble Beach and Carmel, we have a Whole Foods and other good shopping options. The fresh fruit is UNBELIEVABLE, and there are walking/hiking trails all over the beaches and surrounding hills.
I’ve only been here for 3.5 months, but interviewed in December and flew out in April to find housing. It doesn’t get much colder than 45 or hotter than 70 (there are a few hot days, but it cools down at night).
I don’t know if I want 4 seasons because that’s lots of clothes. I’ll take the endless “October” weather here in Monterey Bay.
You two might want to look into the Delmarva Penisula. In Delaware the tax laws are dope. And you are 2 to 4 hours of travel to some of the biggest cities on the east coast. In Maryland their are alot of very cool interesting towns and the shore of Virginia are prettier than a post card and have a very small town feel. Also the Carolinas are breath taking and moderate.
Just some thoughts.
Mountains in south Carolina, TN or Georgia. A stream, creek river or lake in or around. 4 acres which includes 2.5 wooded and 1.5 for my dogs to be able to run around.
I think the dilemma is hinted at in your blog. Let’s face it, as we age, most of us want to be near our children (if we did a good job raising them.) And grandchildren are just what someone else said, shiny baubles on the tree to hook us. Relax, find out where the kids are going to be and hope it’s somewhere with those four seasons and close to water.
I grew up in San Diego and live in LA. San Diego weather is much better. My family still lives there. My sister moved back down there from Orange County, CA. It’s pretty idyllic.
I’ve just bought a “retirement” home in Northern Arizona (Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley area) and I’m loving it. I’m a native born Southern California resident who was sick of the heat and cost of living too. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is finally experiencing four seasons. I don’t know if House Andrews has ever been to Northern Arizona. There are many wonderful towns and places with lots to see and do. Here are just a few… The Grand Canyon,
Sedona, Monument Valley,
Williams, and Jerome. I recommend vacationing or at least take a good long brows about the area on the internet.
Debra K Hoffmaster says
We live in Michigan. When I look at the projections for changes due to global warming, I think that we will stay here in retirement.
Shannon from Florida says
The Villages! Hahaha (not)
I’m in Ohio and I love it here…..except for the driving in snow part, that sucks. Stay in the rural areas near cities but not too near, near farmland but not too near the Amish farms (great to visit them though) I spent a long time hating living here but decided to look at my home with tourist eyes and I have been happy ever since, except for the driving in snow part, that sucks.
Heidi Price says
Sara Lancaster says
Even better, Western Australia!
Middle of Victoria is nice. Sort of like WA, but summer is not as long. On days of over 40, the temp drops down to comfortable before midnight. Plenty of Bush compared to the southern half of Victoria. Even amongst the cold, rain and clouds of winter, sunshine and blue skies are often seen. (Mortlake in winter, the sky clouds over by 10am and isn’t seen again until 8am at dawn the next day.)
Husband is coming up on his 20 yrs in the USMC, so we are saving for house but picking a state is proving difficult. We both hate winter so ideally we would love to go back to Okinawa Japan. But its very hard to migrate there, even though hubby’s father is a citizen.
New Jersey is where both our mother and siblings live, but its really expensive. Pennsylvania and Virgina are looking like good option but I haven’t stayed long in either state so I’m not sure. VA has mild 4 season weather and is close to beaches so this might be our best option.
All this as our oldest graduating high school in 2021 and still isnt sure what he wants to do post graduation.
We live in Phoenix, with much the same complaints. We are starting into the good period, mid October through mid May, if lucky. Other than that, I walk the dogs early in the morning.
I love the people. I love the infrastructure. I HATE the heat. I’m from the most temperate place recognized as within the U.S. (one TN woman in a great deal of outrage told us we couldn’t take our leased vehicle out of the United States….completely overlooking the fact that Hawaii IS a state, thank you very much). Mike is from Tennessee. Jamestown, to be precise, which is halfway between Nashville and Knoxville. Still mostly country but the one tiny subdivision that they were breaking ground on when we moved back to Hawaii in ’95 has, like any other fungus, led to a number of other ‘mushroom suburbs’. So it won’t be small or country much longer.
There is little to no invested infrastructure in Jamestown proper. Still just a few stores, only a couple restaurants. But it is lovely.
So our plan of ‘escape’ is to have a ‘home base’, most likely a tiny house in Tennessee because there is no income tax, they don’t tax your pension and the properties are still inexpensive if you are outside of the major metro areas. Then… an RV. Bucket trips. Visit our kids, that are spread all over the midnorthwest. <– don't blame me, my understanding of geography is hazy beyond a series of islands they actually have to 'blow up' on a globe so people can see them. Visit the sibs, all in Silicon Valley; visit his family in Greenville, SC (no. Just…no.) and Indianapolis, IN.
Not feasible for your needs, in all likelihood. Won't be feasible for us once in 'dotage'. But for now, for us… that's the plan.
The Florida Panhandle has some epic areas and cooler temperatures if Florida is a preferred state. Personally, I am happy in Central Florida, but I would have loved to return to the Caribbean where I am from originally.
(language barriers for some family members and careers have prevented it ).
New Zealand? Indonesia?
For me retirement would mean to have a flat in the city, a house in our child village, and probably somethin close to a beach. We could move between the depending the weather, season or what we want at that moment. So basically retirement means to me that you dont need to settle in a particular place.
I love in a small country, compared to US
log cabin (not typical roughing it log cabin but two stories, quaint with a huge kitchen and loads of storage with fireplaces on both ends – yup i do visualize it) on property just set off the beach on either a) Chesterman beach in Tofino on Vancouver Island (yes it is spectacular) or b) on Agate beach on the northern part of Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia, it is pristine and breathtaking. neither of which accommodate the 4 seasons you want but you could do the “snowbird” life – 6 months in one place and 6 months in another.
Would you like to be around a lake instead of a beach?
There are a few nice lakes in Texas. LBJ is one that’s relatively close. If you still want access to Texas restaurants and grocery stores there is lake McQueeny and Canyon Lake.
Mind you at 30 and as a single mom with no career this is a dream. But I’d live in Montana or Idaho. In a town less than 5k with less than an hour drive. The mountains call to my soul. Yes the winters but winters will never be easy for me since I’m allergic to the cold. I loathe heat and humidity. Probably be living out of my car or that be derailed by my parents needing me after my daughter graduates, but that’s my dream. Sweet 1900s craftsman with a hike always ready out the door.
There are still areas of “old” Florida. Consider Edgewater, for example. But I prefer central Florida. You might consider some of the older, calmer areas of central Florida, with easy access to the beach. There are lots of cute towns which become rural fast. I’m in Lakeland, about an hours’ drive to either coast. I love it here, there is almost always a breeze even when it’s hot.
Missoula MT is described as Austin 30 years ago. Western Montana has 4 seasons. Montanians are very much like Texans, laid back.
Personally, if I could throw all other considerations aside, I’d move back and live in Pittsburgh (PA) in a heartbeat. But that’s me, which by definition, is not you.
If you 1) want milder summers and still mild winters, 2) are still determined to have four seasons, and 3) don’t want to live in the PNW, I think your only option is to become a snowbird. Which is what retired folks up north do when they decide they can no longer handle the cold and snow: seasonal migration.
Rene Jensen says
Boise, Idaho is gorgeous and very livable. It’s high desert and has surprisingly mild winters, and four distinct seasons. Some hot days in the summer but nothing like Texas. Hiking, bicycling, white water rafting and kayaking, and ski slopes are about an hour away. Not as affordable as it used to be but better than the coasts.
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
I live on Copper Island, the Keweenaw Peninsula, in Lake Superior. We’re the peninsula that sticks out into Lake Superior that is really an island. I love spring, summer and fall here… But last winter we got 36 FEET of snow.
That I could do without.
So my husband says “Florida? Arizona? California?”. I say “nope… Too wet, too hot, too crowded. What about New Orleans? Great old houses, great food, interesting people…”. He says “hurricanes”.
Yeah…maybe we’ll deal with the snow.
Catherine Johnson says
Scotland, specifically the Cairngorms, for me. I love the climate, wildlife and landscape there, the accent is a bonus.
Stephanie Craddick says
My husband and I are looking at North Eastern Tennessee, near the hills. Might be a good idea for you too.
Barbara Smith says
We have spent the last year searching for our retirement home. Sold the house in hot and humid Atlanta, put everything in storage and hit the road. High and dry, access to a decent airport within 3 hours, a pottery community, decent skiing nearby and other fun stuff to do are our key criteria. Oh, and not too big. I am so over Atlanta traffic.
So far, Santa Fe, NM, Highlands Ranch, CO and Bend OR have made the cut. Spent three months in New Zealand and Australia too. Would love to move to New Zealand but it’s difficult to retire there. However, since you have a “job”, might not be so hard.
I don’t know where we will finally land, but oh boy is the journey fun.
My husband and I live in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Unfortunately big cities are about 2-3 hours away but we have a large university (VA Tech) with a new arts center, lots of technology, and interesting lectures. Besides there is always Amazon Prime ???? It is beautiful here. We have 4 seasons although I don’t this summer will ever end. Lots of available land and beautiful views. A few climate scientists have actually moved here because they feel this will be an area less impacted by climate change. Don’t know if that is true but something to explore. I wouldn’t want to move anywhere that will underwater in a few years.
MARGARET COPELAND says
Delaware ! We just “retired” here. The people are lovely. The seasons are mild. Low property taxes. No value added taxes. Social security is not taxed here either. The home prices were drastically lower than where we moved from in NJ.
Love Delaware beaches!
I live in Wisconsin and love almost everything about it. When I retire, just to make sure I am not missing anything, I plan to buy an RV. I will keep my home for when I need a rest and more room but will wander and see what else the US has to offer. Sometimes you don’t know what you are missing and sometimes you aren’t missing anything. In any case it should be an adventure.
My husband and I were both born, raised and still currently living in a big city desert wasteland. Lol. He wants a small town in Montana. I want the Pacific Northwest coastline. Maybe when the kid moves on to his own life we’ll do both. ????????♀️
I live in a small montana Town. IT SNOWED throughout the entire state over the weekend, IT WAS STILL SEPTEMBER. having said that it’s a beautiful state, but it’s getting expensive to live here.
In my dreams, i’d like to live on a beach, not florida but maye the carolinas…not too much tourist traffic, not to many hurricanes, but enough large cities to fulfill shopping and craft needs. Someplace I could take peaceful walks and knit, big enough for guests, but small enough for them to not stay too long 🙂
Sheila Jacobson says
4 seasons, cost of living is good, lots of lakes close by, a river flowing through the middle of the city, easy to find your way around this planned grid city, you can drive from one end of the city to the other in under 30 minutes, green green green, snow skiing 45 minutes away, no sinkholes (like Florida), NO humidity, extreme heat lasts for about a week each Summer, a medical hub with 3 hospitals and a heart clinic and lots of choices in your doctor, you don’t have to get on a freeway to go to the grocery store (like a lot of places I’ve found), an international airport 30 minutes outside of town, Seattle is 4 hours away (but why).
Funny how where you grew up sound different when someone else talks about it. I alway found it funny they label the Spokane airport as international, since they have not had any international flight there since I was a kid in the 80’s.
I’ve retired just outside of Charlotte,NC. Summer is hot (especially the last few years). But winter isn’t bad and there is decent shopping and food choices along with greater health care.
Ruth Ray says
While I am a Washington native who has gladly returned to the state I will warn you that the tax laws for creative people like writers wasn’t friendly in the past. Frank Herbert of Dune fame had a lawsuit against the state. So while I think Spokane meets your requirements please double check the tax laws. Oh and I suspect most travel will be through SeaTac there is an Amtrak station.
Kelly M says
Ok, you’ve sold me, *I* want to move here now.
My husband and I are in NY and it is too expensive to retire in! My husband wants seasons, I want somewhere near the water (no coast too expensive sigh, maybe a lake) currently looking in NC
Storm Rise says
That’s the topic on our table too. We’re looking at Tasmania as it’s one of the few places with a projected increase in rainfall over the next 30 years- a big concern down here in Australia, as the continent dries up.
Gorgeous, green, plenty of water, good internet, close to everything without being IN everything, and bar one or two spots, pretty inexpensive too. Bonus!
Cheyenne Wyoming I have friends who moved there from Calgary and are pretty pleaseed with the weather or Cranbrook BC. Canada which is where I would like to live. Small city with short winter little to no snow. Airport with 1 or two hour flights to Vancouver or Calgary so easy out and close to ski resorts, hot springs, golf and Rocky Mountains on one side Purcell’s on the other. Oh and health care too
I lived in Cheyenne for several years. It’s great if you’re into outdoor stuff…hiking & fishing. But it’s pretty remote and doesn’t have much. We would drive down to Ft Collins, CO to hit different restaurants and shop. We even drive to Nebraska to get a decent hamburger!! And the WIND!!! Winter is constant wind…75 mph is normal. Beautiful place to visit, but don’t ever want to live there! lol
We have moved to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Four seasons, we are currently experiencing the unbelievable beauty of a New England autumn. We love the culture and the sense of community. A commitment to education means there are very good schools. We are surrounded by small farms providing locally grown organic food. No traffic ever. Good healthcare. Montreal is an hour away. However, winter is long and cold and snowy. You have to embrace it and get outside and enjoy it!
Colorado has a lot to recommend it. 4 seasons, but even in the hot days in the summer the air is dry enough that there’s no issue going outside, walking dogs, etc. and the sun still shines on the cold days in the winter which makes them considerably more bearable than what you’d find in the midwest or northeast.
Denver’s a great city, but there are really nice smaller communities up and down the front range, or in the mountains.
No body of water close, but the mountains are pretty dang nice.
Ruth Ray says
The winter humidity goes into the single digits. Good news most snow is off the roads within a day but with my propensity for nosebleeds I absolutely required a humidifier. Also stay away from Aurora. Colorado Springs has the same conditions and is prettier.
I agree with both of them. I’m in northern Colorado, been here from the midwest for 3 years. The lack of humidity is amazing. I have some friends who moved here from TX and they say they’ll never go back to the humidity. It’s beautiful, you can see for miles in any direction. Mountains to the west, plains to the east, or mountains everywhere you look when you’re in a ski town. July gets hot here though 90-100, not as bad as TX oc.
I’ve been in North Carolina for 10 years now (job related) and I can’t wait to retire back to Colorado. Probably not Denver where I lived before, I loved it but I can’t afford it anymore. But I have family along the front range. Everything that you said about the sunshine and humidity. True the humidity can get too low, my niece says you know you’re back when you have to put on lotion in the airport. But at least there I don’t walk outside, become drenched in sweat AND get eaten by mosquitoes
Also, the mountains.
The Smokey mountains-probably in eastern Tennessee, because it has no state tax. Yes you have some snow but you also have 4 seasons. In the middle of the summer you have humidity but it drops down in the early evening. All in all, a good balance. As I grow older, I have noticed how important that is.
We live in Tennessee too. Nashville. As much as I think middle Tennessee is one of the prettiest and greenest states and I don’t plan to live Nashville anytime soon, I think east of Nashville over into the Smokey’s would be my retirement choice. This past summer was uncomfortably hot and it’s pretty humid but we don’t even come close to the oppressive heat of Texas. Our falls are gorgeous as is our Spring (as long as we don’t have a late spring freeze. We still have a lot of the small time feel that it sounds like Gordon is looking for with a good airport to get anywhere in the world. So, I’d vote for Nashville east to Asheville, NC. A nice little slice of happy in our big ole’ country!
I second this! I’m originally from Texas, moved to NC, & now we are in Tennessee. We are in the Fort Campbell area. We love it, but the summers seem to be getting worse. I told my hubby that I want to go east closer to the mountains.
I’ve been in North Carolina for 10 years now (job related) and I can’t wait to retire back to Colorado. Probably not Denver where I lived before, I loved it but I can’t afford it anymore. But I have family along the front range. Everything that you said about the sunshine and humidity. True the humidity can get too low, my niece says you know you’re back when you have to put on lotion in the airport. But at least there I don’t walk outside, become drenched in sweat AND get eaten by mosquitoes
Also, the mountains.
I am from East TN originally and I think it will be the next big retirement area. Blows my mind, because it’s so familiar/boring to me that I can’t imagine it being trendy.
A lot of Northeastern retirees are getting priced out of the popular Western NC market. I saw an add in my father-in-law’s AARP magazine touting TN’s lack of a state income tax. They are trying to cash in on the Northeast/halfback retiree market. It’s hotter there than in WNC though, at least Pigeon Forge and Johnson City are in n my opinion. I don’t remember it being so hot when I was a kid, but every time I go home to the JC area I complain.
My husband’s cousins in HI fell in love with Gatlinburg, which seems weird to me when they live in freaking Hawaii!! I suppose it is all in your point of view.
Marcia Glenn says
Come back to Oregon. Seriously, come back to Oregon. The western part might be too wet and cloudy for you, but the Eastern part just might fit your bill. Perhaps to the border with Idaho? Warm in the summer, winter, spring and fall are nice. However another option might be Sequim Washington (my dream move would be to there). Not as windy nor wet as the rest of the coast, across a small ferry ride to Victoria and lovely lovely lavender growing weather.
Pacific Northwest needs you back!
We just visited Sequim along with Port Angeles. Both areas seem very boring. We were very excited to find our retirement home no joy. Still trying. Going to look near Olympia area next.
Port Angeles is a great place to live! I spent a year there and it was hard to leave such a wonderful community.
Greensboro, NC. Mid sized city, great road system, super low grocery prices (it’s a supermarket test market). Weather is the best! Low humidity, occasional snow in the winter. My parents live there and I live in Tampa so I understand your pain with weather. Greensboro has similar weather patterns as Florida in Winter, just 10-20 degrees cooler.
I wish you good luck. I am sure there’s a place where the pluses outweigh the minuses for you.
Sorry I’m no help. I’ve spent almost 68 of my 70 years in Texas and neither of the winters I spent away from here (Oklahoma City and London, England) makes me long for “colder climes”.
I would love some place cooler than Houston in the summer, but I’m not seeing myself affording it.
Now, if price were no object, I’d be looking for a home on the Big Island in Hawaii, probably near Hilo. When you get well up from sea level, it’s cool in the summer. There are small towns all around, where your neighbors won’t automatically assume you are just another tourist. The volcano is a minus, but the weather is familiar and the view is spectacular.
The second child is here in Houston, someday there may be grandkids, and I like my house. Also, I never take air conditioning for granted. I lived without it until I was 16, in a small town farther south and closer to the Gulf of Mexico than Houston. Believe me, I like my AC!
Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Or in coastal Northern California.
Mary Byerwalter says
Try Santa Fe NM or try the Travel in an Rv till you gind your perfect spot. You can discuss plot while you drive.
Florida will still be as miserably hot and humid. Louisiana has unbearable 8 month summers just like Texas. I don’t remember GA (Savannah & Athens) being as miserable. I have never lived in NC, but would kind of like to. West TN reminded me of North GA, hot and humid summer, but doable with one good shut everything down snow storm a year, but though I like the region, Memphis itself was a hellhole.
One thing I always say about sw Louisiana winters… when you are being assuaged by mosquitos while putting up Christmas lights, something is wrong.
My hometown in the souther cost of Spain (I work abroad). The weather is nice the whole year, the people is friendly and I will most probably miss it by then.
Hopefully most of my family will be enjoying retirement as well with me by then (I have around 20 cousins in my mother’s side of the family only..)
Aurora Ebonfire says
I live in San Diego, Cali. And the cost of living compared to wages is stupidly out of balance. So anywhere but here, sure the beach is 30 mins away but the traffic sucks and roads are bad, and most people are rude. I would like to try living either up state or in another with all 4 seasons and more green space.
CM Rodriguez says
The Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz county! Mountains, beaches, dog parks, farmer’s markets, micro breweries, U-Pick farms, artists crawls, Greek, Chinese, Portuguese, Mexican, Croatian, Japanese festivals every year. Bookstores, knitting circles, Nordic Naturals, Fox Shox, Driscoll’s berries, California Giant berries, Annie’s Glass etc. Short drives to Monterey, San Jose, UC Santa Cruz and Casa de Fruts Ren faire. Just live on flat land LOL, makes rain, fire and earthquakes pieces of cake.
Popular Science did a pictorial spread in Jan of 2017 or 2018 on the best place to live in 2040 with climate change. Seems like the East and Southeast will suffer increased storms and floods, the west – drought and disease carrying insects, the NW – forest fires and the middle – tornados. Its recommendation: Sault Ste Marie in Canada – close to the US border, with government provided healthcare. Toronto is lovely for a large city, very international and livable, with snow bypassing it for Buffalo, but housing costs are high.
Yes, housing costs are very high in (and even around) Toronto (in Ontario, Canada).
Housing is more affordable in small towns: some of which are very pleasant, and about an hour or two of a drive from Toronto.
Ditto! I’m a UCSC grad and I love Santa Cruz County.
Akeru Joyden says
Upper north west… mild and cooler than the deep south. And lush with greenery toward the coast. I hate mosquitoes! And Ticks! And fleas… but mosquitoes are anathema to my existence. Near one of the cities… but then I would have to travel back visit family… or be saddled with family land later…
We drove around North Florida last summer. Most of the area around the cities has developed to the point of unrecognizable as being Florida. It wasn’t till we drove down near Cape Canaveral that I saw areas that felt like the Florida I grew up in. So they still exist, you just have to hunt them out. They tend to be off the beaten path and a bit quirky in that weird Florida way. The bar we ate in had NASA memorbalia right next a large collection of gator heads. And yes gator was on the menu. It was delightfully funky and oddly disturbing at the same time.
I grew up in Los Angeles, moved to the North Carolina coast in high school, joined the military and lived all over the US and world. We settled in Nebraska for a job 14 years ago. Didn’t know what to expect, but did not expect to love it. It’s got incredibly cold winters and scorching hot summers. Spring and especially Fall are wonderful. Taxes are outrageous. Native Nebraskans can’t wait to retire somewhere warm like Arizona. I can’t explain why, it just feels like home and this is where we have decided to retire.
Katelin Campbell says
I enjoy living in Orlando. Mount Dora might be a good option for you. Central Florida definitely has options for a more rural living and still not being too far from cities when you need it. Plus, central is better than the cost because when we do get hit hurricanes, they aren’t as bad as being on the coast. Just a thought. 🙂
My husband and I are looking at Kentucky. 4 seasons, reasonable cost of living, and in the middle of the US so we can get any where with a plane ride pretty quickly. Also not known for hazardous weather like tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat, or extreme cold.
Pacific northwest is my dream and I am trying my best to get there! I’m in my last year of grad school and hope to get a position out there next year.
This is such a fun topic. I am looking at retirement locations too. I am single and have two daughters. One graduated college, got married, and worked to pay their living expenses while her husband went to law school. He graduated in May and now they are expecting her first baby,, yay I get to be a granny! And the second is working on her Master’s in English. I teach history at a community college in Mississippi. I understand your pain about the heat and humidity. It was 98 today. So my oldest daughter and her husband live in Falls Church VA he went to George Mason law school but they really don’t want to stay there because of the cost. They hope to move to Charlotte NC or Atlanta Ga in a few years. Their timeline is planning to move before the grandchild would need to start school. So Brittany is like Mom when we get moved and settle in you need to come live near me. I asked daughter number 2 what she thought about that and she said that I should do that! So I am researching Charlotte NC and Atlanta Ga… I did warn my oldest that if I move near her and help with the grandchildren she would be the one stuck driving me to my dr’s appointment when I am too old to drive myself.. She just laughed and said Mom I’ll call you an uber! lol… Seriously though, she is such a nurturer that when I am walking with her she constantly checks to make sure I am ok,,, she even held my hand not long ago crossing the street when I visited her.. I told her I wasn’t quite that old yet! But it is nice to be loved!
H. Imre says
For me, I’ve always wanted to travel and haven’t been able to with my job. So, the husband and I are thinking Europe! But that’ll be years from now…
As I get close to retirement I have found (from much research and looking around) that there is no dream location. The good winter locations are way too hot in the summer and the good summer locations are too cold in the winter. A happy medium for me is probably somewhere like the place my parents retired. Fairfield Glade, Tenn. It is a retirement community (sort of). All regular houses, on regular streets with large lots and anyone can buy a house there. It just so happens that 90% of the people are older. It has a great activities center with more activities to join than you can shake a stick at. Population of 9,000ish and an hour from Knoxville and 2 from Nashville. It has Mountains and Lakes. Personally I would live on the lake. Has all 4 Seasons. And Tenn. has a very low cost of living. Right now my summers are high 90’s and humid, so I too don’t go outside and winters are high 40’s (burr!). This sounds just about right.
We currently live in San Jose, Ca. I love the weather but it is expensive. We are seriously looking at Sparks, NV for retirement. Our bigger arguments come about size and style. My husband keeps looking at two story homes and I keep telling him, we won’t use them. Good Luck on your search.
I hear you. I’ve been nomadic most of my life–started out as a Navy brat, and with a few exceptions, have moved every few years since. I love the Upper Midwest, but only in September and October. I tried settling down in WA, but the western part of the state is sunless in winter and ungodly expensive, while the eastern part seems to catch on fire all the time now. Same for Oregon. CA is a mess, anything coastal in the Deep South is going to end up underwater, and Texas seems determined to experience every single natural disaster known to man, with the possible exception of blizzards and volcanic eruptions. I’m not so sure about the blizzards.
I’m currently planted in AZ, which I thought would be the Happy Place, and it’s great in a number of ways. It has a serious lack of water, though, and the summers are hellacious. I’m starting to think that the snowbirds have the right idea–follow the good weather!
I’m actually looking hard at the western Carolina area, although I swore I’d never move back to NC (lived on the coast for a few years while in high school). Asheville is a cool town that I’ve always enjoyed, it’s pretty weather-stable, and Atlanta and Charlotte aren’t far away, if one needs a trip to a major metro. I know that Gordon is from western NC, and that the Appalachians have their own special charm (and lack thereof), but it might be an option. Just stay out of the hollers.
Cindy L says
Somewhere close to the grandkids. We are in Northern California and unbearably hot in summer. My husband and I considering two locations. One in Sacramento area in upper elevation where cooler and vaca home on Maui.
I don’t want a retirement home, I would like a retirement RV and spend most of the time going around the US and sight seeing.
Have you considered VA? VA seems like a nice halfway point. We live in CT and I love the weather here, we get all 4 seasons but a lot of people don’t like snow.. I love it.
I’m in Virginia. I wouldn’t settle in Richmond. that’s where I am and honey it’s hot. It’s terrible for allergies, but Charlottesville is wonderful.
We’re at a different stage of just starting a family. Turns out his parents live in silicon valley and my parents live in the NYC commuter suburbs of NJ. There’s no winning in terms of affordable cost of living if we want to raise our kids nearby family. I think my parents are thinking something like New Hampshire to retire and his parents are thinking southern CA. Vermont is trying very hard to encourage people to move there with draws like gigabyte internet and whatnot.
Helen W. says
We live in Northwestern PA. Sure we get snow, but if you don’t have to leave the house to work…so what. Erie has a lot of things going for it, 2hrs from Buffalo, Cleveland, and 1 more to Pittsburgh. And Erie has 11 fabulous free beaches at Presque Isle State Park, most of them smoke free with white sand. Erie Philharmonic free summer concerts. Affordable housing, Erie playhouse, Jr’s Last Laugh, a comedy club. We live 30 miles from Erie, a 40 minute drive, we love it here.
Helen, as a Pittsburgh native, I agree that western PA is a great place to live, but they would have to be willing to deal with snow and lake effect in the winter. Not sure that’s their interest. But for you and me, sounds like it’s home. And we’re just coming into the best time of year, when the landscape gives us all of Mother Nature’s glory for several weeks. Have a great autumn!
yes, get a cute place for the summer months near JF. No sense spending summer indoors.
Can an architect fix your space?
I grew up in southern NH next to a city. I **loved** it. I had all four seasons (fall is my favorite), smallish neighborhood that was pretty safe for kids to run wild in, groceries were a 5 min drive, and I walked to school for most of my life. The city was across the river with all the big stores and stuff to do, but the White Mountains, the seacoast, and Boston was within an easy daytrip. With my town being a suburb, the winter roads were taken care of pretty well, and during a snow storm, the city lights made it so glowy, you could see everything in color getting covered in soft white. Idyllic.
I now live in coastal Mississippi (OGM! The heat! The humidity!) and dream of moving back. Except, nowadays, up there the summers are stronger, the winters are weaker (is that necessarily a bad thing with all that shoveling?), and the prices on homes are through the roof (ha ha).
I would still love to move back because I have family there and I *do* love the area. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the Pacific Northwest has some spectacular areas, too, and at MUCH lower prices for equivalent homes. Sadly, the Northeast, in general, is one of the highest priced areas in the U.S.
Nikkilina Danaher says
I just retired to Costa Rica. The Central Valley has Spring/early summer year around. a little bit of rain each day during the wet season and moderate housing costs and cost of living. Bonus is you get to learn a new language even though you don’t need to speak spanish, it is only polite to learn, and a new culture. The people are extremely nice to ex-pats and the ex-pat community is quite significant. And, Thea Harrison just retired here!
Helen, as a Pittsburgh native, I agree that western PA is a great place to live, but they would have to be willing to deal with snow and lake effect in the winter. Not sure that’s their interest. But for you and me, sounds like it’s home. And we’re just coming into the best time of year, when the landscape gives us all of Mother Nature’s glory for several weeks. Have a great autumn!
Kristan Paige says
I live in Texas too, and if I could, I would probably live on the lake in Austin or somewhere on the coast. Either location would means cool breezes from the water. The one thing I do not like about Texas is the political climate. If things continue as they are, I would want to move out of the states to a beach on the ocean in Latin America. Or Gotland off the coast of Sweden. So many choices!
Amy Jervis-Gober says
Look into Charlottesville Va. I wouldn’t say it’s a big city, but it’s close to all the Virginia wineries. It’s beautiful. It has four seasons. I think a number of writers live there. Stay in the lowlands. Also I hear Charlotte NC is nice. I’m in Richmond Va. I would recommend it, but it’s really bad for allergies.and honey it’s so hot .
New Hampshire- beautiful, with a mix of rural and suburban communities. We have four seasons, close to mountains, ocean, Boston, about 3-4 hours to NYC. No tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes are just rain storms by the time they get here (knock on wood to all of that). We do have long winters, sometimes with lots of snow, but it’s pretty and you can ski or snowmobile if that’s your jam.
Cape Cod is lovely in summer. It had a fair bit of rain when we visited at the end of June one year … wasn’t very hot then, either.
Gorgeous in July & Aug … and even into Sept …
I don’t know about winter.
I would guess that the winter storms (and snow) might be hard, given the ocean effect …
Any suburb of Portland, Or. Salem is good – state capitol. Within about 1 hour of the beach, skiing, Detroit Lake, and Portland for when you want to do city stuff. Yes, I’m biased. We moved here 33 years ago and have, not even once, considered moving elsewhere. (We were in Phoenix for 10 years prior, so I feel your pain about the heat!) All of our kids love it here, as do our grandchildren. Not to mention that there’s no sales tax.
I haven’t seen anyone pipe in for the Midwest yet. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and moved to South Western Minnesota and have been here for over 20 years. The winters can be a bit rough sometimes, but I think the milder summers make up for most of it. We have talked about moving to other parts of the country. I love to travel but I can’t stand high humidity and temps. He travels all the time and hates winter. His sister moved to Colorado and his parents to Arkansas, both are beautiful areas, but we can’t agree on a location yet.
We “retired” after 31 years in the military and moving is in the blood. We’ve been in this house in Las Vegas for 3 years and are ready for a different house. We love the options in Vegas and plan to stay here, but you are out of luck for 9 months of the year if you want to open the windows.
Angel Mercury says
If I returned to the states to retire I’d probably stay close to the Chicago burbs as that’s where my family all is. They have seasons but enough population to make sure roads are in good order after a storm. Closer to lake Michigan will take off some of the weather’s edge but it is more pricey closer to the city. If you don’t mind being a bit further north or west you can get a bit more relaxed and rual.
I did have the silly idea of retiring in Oregon for a while. Have a small house in a foresty area just outside of a decent city. Privacy and trees while not comepletely in the boonies. More logging around there than farming, I like the forest vibe.
That all said, New Zealand is absolutely gorgous and the lower population density means it usually avoids feeling over crowded even in the city. In 45min you can fly south for true winter or north for proper summer from the Wellington region and there’s a lot of wine country all around. My current hope is to be able to buy some land on the other side of the mountains where it’s a bit warmer through the year and eventually build a little house with room for us, our pets, and our hobbies.
anne-marie stager says
I live up in Seattle. Pretty mild winters (usually) and summers usually average 75 – 80. Only month with humidity is August. There are several towns in and around the area that are not as expensive, but with good access to amenities, theater, doctors, restaurants, etc. You’ve got all 4 seasons, plus snow/water skiing, fresh/salt water, desert/mountain all in the same state!
I lived in TX for 49 years, I completely understand about the heat. I finally moved to CO, west of Colorado Springs. The summers are very tolerable on this side of mountains. The winters ARE very cold but we get the snow to go with it. I still walk my dogs in the snow cuz it can be 20 degrees but if the sun is out it’s really not bad. Beautiful and inspiring scenery….I would not move back south unless I just had to. Something to think about……:-)
Tina C says
I live in San Diego, California. More specifically, I live juuuuuust outside the city and in the next city over (La Mesa) a lot of my friends are even happier in neighboring cities where properties are still *relatively* (for So. Cal.) affordable (Jamul is popular without getting into so-cold-it-snows territory). I’m a 2nd generation San Diegan and would love to retire here. 1 hour to snow, 2 hours to desert, 15 minutes to beach. That said…it’s expensive. Many of my friends are moving to Arizona and Texas (a previous wave left for PNW when we were in our 20-30s).
I have great memories of San Diego. Understand its prohibitively expensive now.
If money were no object, then I want http://southpacificrealestate.to/realestate/island-for-sale-vavau-islsand-group-tonga-south-pacific-real-estate. It is a small I off of Tonga. Not hot, not cold. Mild year round. And I want someone else to clean and serve drinks. I will likely get a manufactured home in Nevada. Sigh.
Rosemary beach florida like the book of abbi glines with hot boys >D
Anne - Books of My Heart says
I grew up in Iowa and Minnesota. In 2014, I rode my Harley 19,000 miles in 29 states and ended up choosing North Carolina for a variety of reasons. The summer is hot but not too hot. I’m in Raleigh because of schools, jobs etc. You could choose a different or smaller town. It is a few hours from the ocean and a few hours from the mountains. The range of temperatures is much narrower than IA or MN. The range is mostly 30-95. The humidity doesn’t seem as bad as the midwest either. We get 2-3 days of snow/ ice a year. There’s a good ethnic mix of people and food. It’s warmer enough to grow 2 plantings of a garden, a spring and a fall crop.
New Zealand South Island, probably Picton
No deadly spiders, not very many snakes. Lots of green green land. Beautiful bay.
Hendersonville, NC. just outside Asheville. Although I recall you had some poor experiences in WNC. It’s mostly a world of its own though. Totally different from the surrounding rural counties. More transplants than natives.
So many changes since I moved to Asheville in 1997. I moved to Hendersonville because housing was a ‘bit’ more affordable and the traffic is better. Asheville roads were not built for the number of people moving in and nothing gets done to the roads without a protest. A volcanic event is actually more likely than I26 ever being completed. Seriously.
Ellen D says
My husband is from Chicago and I’m from southern Ohio. We’ve lived in NW of Atlanta for 30 yrs. We love the southern states. Will always live here and travel to the Carolinas, Tennessee, Florida… but home is NW Georgia.
Nicole Desson says
I feel like you should check out Portland, Oregon. It is, bar none, my favorite city in the US. Everywhere I’ve ever been in Texas is a close second.
For my husband and I, we are seriously looking at Belize, but a smaller, less touristy town. I need the equilibrium of temperature and high humidity year round.
We also think about retirement and living in the wild. But..you have to think of access to healthcare also. As we age this becomes a reality even for a healthy person. A critical access hospital in the northwoods can only do so much.
I live in Colorado. It is great. You get sick of a season and then another is upon you. Rock Creek Farm pumpkin patch opens this week. Pumpkins as far as the eye can see. Colorado does have it’s own issues. We are a landlocked state. The cost of living has increased quite a bit. Because of that, I keep saying I am going to move, then I think about it and remember how much I love the mountains. And I love my neighborhood. My grandmother moved to McKinleyville in California because she couldn’t deal with the snow anymore. Her house was surrounded by redwoods and was a mile from the ocean. She felt like she was in the mountains of Colorado, and that made the move easier for her. McKinleyville is on the banana belt. It rarely freezes there. Though while I was there, the tsunami alarm went off (they set it off by accident), and I was reminded that being so close to the beach may not be the greatest thing.
I have been to Spokane, and it is beautiful too. Hop skip and a jump to Canada. Seattle and Portland are an easy day road trip away. Leavenworth is about three hours from Spokane. Going on a road trip to the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell would be difficult though.
But then we have DIA, which I can to via a train. And getting on a non-stop flight is not an issue. San Diego is a 2-hour flight away if I miss the ocean. Long story, I know.
Valerie in CA says
I like small town USA. I think I’d like to live back in New Jersey. Across a bridge from Philadelphia. Even maybe in a retirement community. Why? As I get older I have less patience for other people’s screaming kids. And more concerns about safety and awareness a retirement community sometimes offers.
New Jersey you say? Yes. Each season is exactly that-a season. Two, close enough to a major city to enjoy the arts and differing cultures.
Yay for New Jersey. We get a bad rap, but it’s a great place to enjoy the seasons and varied geography. I spent most of my childhood bouncing between Florida and NJ and I am happiest here.
After 40 years we left a bedroom community located about 50 miles from Washington DC and moved to the woods of Northern Central PA. We have spring, summer, fall and lots of winter. We have mountains, hills and valleys, A short distance and we have the Finger Lakes area in NY with wine and orchards. NYC is only several hours away. We designed the house to fit our oncoming golden years. This area feels like home.
I am still noodling this myself but I have narrowed it down: Aruba, Panama or Costa del Sol in Spain. Warm weather, good seafood and quality of life are big priority for me.
Panama offers a good “pensionado” program and there are tons of US expats. Great healthcare and plenty of direct flights back to the states without hassles. Cost of living and quality of living is great too and you can go cheap or expensive. The dollar and the balboa are equivalent. Real estate pricing is reasonable and affordable depending where you settle.
I love Aruba. It is outside the hurricane belt. Beautiful weather all around.
Costa del sol is amazing right by the Mediterranean Sea and you can move anywhere in Andalusia.
My husband and I are looking at Western Montana; right now we’re in Western Washington state.
Ms. Kim says
While on the train a fellow passenger raved about Western South Dakota. She said weather is milder than people know. Its the great secret.
How about Hawaii? ????
Kathy He says
Come to Canada! It’s great here! I live in Toronto which is probably not for you but the surrounding area is great! Can’t say enough good things about southern Ontario!
+1 Canada. Southern Ontario has less snow than Atlantic Canada … and a shorter winter …
But Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are especially beautiful in summer and autumn …
Linda Anderson says
I live in Alaska. Will never leave…its in my bones. But North Carolina is one i would consider. The mountains…actually hills compared to what i see. Four seasons. I went to Charlotte NC. For a womens bowling tournament years ago. The most gracious people.
“The mountains…actually hills compared to what i see.”
???????? Ahaha, so very much! I’m from WA (though with family in Alaska) and while I have found that mountains* are way up there on my list of things needed for my happiness, Seattle is built on what people call mountains in the eastern half of the country. One of the things I really miss about Woodinville is being able to be in the Cascades in half an hour. I am loving NC, though I’m wondering if I’m going to end up wearing shorts on Halloween…
* Though maybe it’s about features that are so much bigger than humans?
My husband and I are thinking about Portugal. We’re planning a visit next summer to decide. It has a temperate climate, everywhere is close to the beach, infrastructure is great, healthcare is excellent, and the cost of living is cheaper than retiring in the US.
Northern California would be the best. I live in Los angeles now and I would love to retire here but it’s expensive. I spent a year in San Jose and it was awesome. Warm but not too hot summers and cool winters but no snow.
I’ve kicked the idea of moving a few times. I live in south Louisiana – I love the state. I have family and friends here, the food, the culture…..but every once in a while I think surely the grass is greener… I’ve been to Northeast during the changing of the leaves, Washington DC for Cherry Blossom season, Chicago was wonderful, Tennessee picturesque, but I hate snow. Maybe think 2 homes for cold and hot seasons. Rent on 6 mo. leases while you’re not there?? Think where do I want to be Christmas and July 4th 🙂
Hawaii is home. Well, I’m a born and raised New Englander but still, Hawaii is home. We went on our honeymoon and I don’t think I ever completely came back. So we are saving like crazy and plan to retire to the Big Island. Aloha
Angela T says
This is a big question we’ve kicked around too – and we’ve moved a lot in the last 12 years: upstate NY, Connecticut, Vermont, eastern France near Switzerland (for my husband where he was born), Seattle, Beijing, Boston, San Francisco, Florida, Boulder Colorado, and right now we’re living back in Seattle.
Honestly – each place had its charms but we talk about moving back to Colorado or thereabouts when we retire. Colorado for what you’re looking for might be a good fit – groceries, decent city layouts (especially if you’re not in a commute), lakes in the mountains, wide open. Cost of living is decent if you’re not wanting to live in the thick of the Denver Area (anything east of Lakewood and Golden) is great in that it’s near the mountains and near enough to the city to reach it. The only thing I’d complain about was the dry heat – it can feel like the desert in that it can get super cold at night in the summer but the dry heat will sneak up on you. It’s also gorgeous in that you get the big wide Sky. When we lived there (for about 6 years)we kept imagining the ocean being nearby – because that would make it just perfect. Partly why we live in the PNW now – it’s a wetter region so in the winters it’s dark but you get some wonderful bodies of water.
My parents meanwhile retired in the last five years and they’re snowbirds – they do 6 months (and a day) in Florida on the beach then trade back and forth for the off seasons and nicer weather in Vermont (summer/winter). My dad has talked a lot about moving out to Montana (which feels very similar to Colorado to us) or Colorado (since I’m on the west coast and my brothers are on the east coast still), or even North Carolina. My mother in law checked out New Mexico / Santa Fe which she loved but settled in Tampa to be near her husband’s brother. Too many wonderful options on some level to choose just one place for continuous retirement – my husband keeps talking about buying a big boat like Hugh Howey and doing a boat life – but I get sea sick so probably not for me..
Good luck in your hunt! (And let us know where you end up.. we’re always on the lookout for something lovelier even.)
Erin Valentkne says
My husband’s family loves Fort Collins, Colorado. Surprisingly temperate weather because of its topography and lots to do.
If you’ve never seen Northwest Arkansas, come see Bentonville. We are very different from the rest of the state, especially since the Crystal Bridges museum was built. I’ll give you a tour. 🙂
Fort Collins ia my hometown. Lots of good stuff there!
I happen to LOVE where I live now, but it is not cheap. We used to live in the San Juan Islands until it became way too expensive. It was so beautiful there, but glad to be on the mainland now. Of course, not everyone can handle grey skies from Oct-May, and then some! I love the rain so the Pacific NW really suits me. I grew up in high mountain desert which meant HOT summers and COLD winters and little in-between. Ugghh! So glad I’m not there anymore (for many, many reasons!)
I’m just guessing you wouldn’t be any happier living too far from your kids than they would. But I do hope you find your HFN house! Maybe with room for a moat?
I bet you haven’t settled because you haven’t found the right place. 🙂 i was born in borderland NM and i will die here. But i’d go for a summer home in Hawaii to take break from the heat. Have you been to Hawaii? It sounds like what Gordon is looking for. Well not the sensible grocery stores, but everything else.
Not retirement age, but we found a sort of compromise in Fairhope, AL. It’s beautiful, on the Bay, technicolor Mayberry. It’s great for our kids and close to family. However, I HATE this heat. I grew up in Alabama, but the gulf coast is just ridiculous heat. No ice storms though ???? I keep trying to talk my husband into going somewhere cooler. Somewhere with more than two seasons. Personally, I think this magical land may be in Tennessee. I’m biased against Tennessee, having grown up with in Alabama, so it’s beyond amazing that I’ve come to this conclusion. I think it actually snows a couple of times a year, it’s got a few bigger cities to choose from, and it’s culturally very similar to Alabama. Now, if I could only develop an appreciation for country music ????
My husband and I live in the San Francisco area. The weather is great, arts are thriving, with ocean and mountains close by. While the traffic can be tough, if one doesn’t have to commute, it isn’t really an issue. I wish the price of homes was lower but outlying areas are more affordable.
Ms. Kim says
Ft Walton Beach Fl might be close to old Florida. I think its far enough away from Destin to not have all of that traffic. Sarasota is very nice. But Alabama coast is lovely. I remember driving from San Antonio to Tampa and coming over a rise and seeing Alabama. I wanted to stop so badly, but my report date didn’t allow a stopover.
I would love to retire to the Pacific Northwest on the ocean side. I’m originally from CA and lived in Idaho recently but it was too dry. Wanted more rain! Lol My mom just retired and moved to Spokane from the high desert in CA and loves it. Currently moving from Illinois to Michigan. Am hoping to survive the winter first before I could recommend it to anyone. ????
Bend, OR. 4 seasons, quaint but also trendy downtown. A community that seems to welcome all ages.
No idea what happened to my post….so sad….anyway…I recommended Maryland for the 4 seasons….plus it’s just far enough from DC that you don’t feel like ur living in the city
Maryland and Virginia have a lot to recommend them. I wouldn’t buy coastal property, though. Three decent sized cities – DC, Baltimore, and Richmond. Lots of beautiful rivers, mountains (not big ones), beaches, and Virginia has the Great Dismal Swamp if you get to missing Florida too badly. Lots of university towns with all their amenities, good air and rail travel options – bus too. You can go up or down the East Coast or west over the mountains easily.
That said, I would wait until your kids settle down a little before you make any huge changes. Access to family is, at least to me, the biggest consideration.
Theodore D. says
My folks have 40 acres and are desperate to move… but I’ve advised them to do their research about where they like and then set down together and counsel with each other.
Once they have settled on a place, I’ve asked them to pray about that.
Mom got mad and dad snickered because she had her heart set on a place just up the road with only 15 acres.
Come to find out, the place broke a water line and it would take over $15,000 to fix all of the damage. Thankfully, it is no longer getting considered.
There is my advice!
Sara K. says
I do not know if you want to be near a “BIG” city, or moderately sized cities. Around Madison ,Wisconsin ,the scenery is just beautiful. You will see huge rolling hills and the fall colors are spectacular. If you went there, you would think you are in miniature Switzerland. The further west the higher the hills. You can see for miles. Madison is a decent size city, capitol of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin and a lot of lakes. The draw back is, of course, winter. But you will not get the incredibility incessant heat and humidity in the summer. Cooler nights, warmer days in summer and 4 distinct seasons.
Sharon A says
Hi. We’ve been discussing this for awhile. Wisconsin for 8 months and then Air BNB or VRBOIn different places during the winter. That allows us to choose different places every year and stay warm during the cold months without caring for 2 places. Good luck!
This exact thing except we’re across the pond in Michigan. Three quarters of the year, there’s no better place to live.
If I never saw another snowflake again I could die happy.
Below the Mason-Dixon line for winter.
Charlene Teglia says
So, you might love eastern Washington. TriCities is big enough to have all the conveniences, nice airport that isn’t too busy, lots of really quiet neighborhoods but still very central to everything, and just outside you have nice little towns like Prosser and Benton City where you can have some acreage if you like that. It’s 4 seasons, and summer is hot but not Texas hot, there’s always a breeze and the temps drop right off in the evening, and winter doesn’t usually have too much snow, and the year-round outdoor recreation is pretty great. Three rivers make lots of water recreation, and lakes and mountains aren’t far away either. We love it, we kind of reached our breaking point with western WA’s inconveniences and endless clouds/rain.
Susan B says
I grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast, went to UT Austin for college and stayed in the area for another 10 years because I loved Austin. Left in 1982 and moved to Houston so I didn’t have to work 2 jobs to pay the bills, but always said I didn’t want to die while living in the Texas Gulf Coast. Twenty-two years ago I married my high school sweetheart who had established himself in northern Maryland outside of Baltimore, and have really enjoyed living here. We have 4 seasons, though the winters seem to be warming up enough that we haven’t had a lot of snow the last few years (after we finally bought a snow blower). The summers are nowhere near as brutal as they are in Texas, but housing in Baltimore County is rather pricey, though probably not any worse than the Austin area.
I had wanted to think about relocating to Asheville, NC, but we decided to remodel this house and stay put since all our friends are here. We’re not on the coast, but the Chesapeake Bay is a good stand-in for the ocean. And there are nice places to live on the Eastern Shore of MD and Delaware.
I love Tasmania. I would retire in a small town there. My other favourite place is the Bunya Mountains in Queensland but it is in a National park, so no cats or dogs so that cuts it out for me.
Megan M. says
How about the Oregon Coast? 4 seasons, winter is gray but not that cold and if you’re right on the coast summer never gets too hot. Also no hurricanes and all beaches are public access. Portland and Seattle both a quick drive away.
I get Gordon. I was a Navy brat, so move move… Cali is nice Central to North but so darn expensive. I hear Long Beach is nice now. Have you thought of a small summer house somewhere like Maine? June – Sept. some regular place to be during the HOT SEASON.
There are small towns in North Florida but … the political climate can be pretty South Georgia. Quincy near Tallahasse was nice.
Melissa B says
I’ve lived in Northern and Central California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Colorado, and I’m not leaving Colorado. Though New Mexico has a lot of good things going for it, like beautiful land, less people and red/green “Christmas” Chili. California is only okay for visits anymore since it would require more dollars than I want to spend to live there. Pennsylvania Falls were brilliantly awesome but Summer Sucked the Life out of me (and gave me frizzy hair). 😀 But Colorado has the magic! Four seasons, plenty of sunshine, gorgeous mountains. Did you know that even when it’s really cold, the sun is usually shining? Plus most of my family is here which is a win-win. You can always hire someone to shovel snow for you…
Central Coast of California… Beautiful!!! You don’t get all the seasons, but average of about 70 degrees all year long. The beach is right there, but a trip to the mountains is close enough for a day trip or weekend get away.
It’s out there. Y’all will find it.
Since the word retirement was mentioned – some are Florida snowbirds if they can afford it. Maybe Delaware and Florida with smaller homes and switching off seasons would help with the itchy feet? People do the house shuffle drive with pets, too.
Maybe the answer isn’t one but two, or always summer elsewhere by booking a multi-month rental house and pack up the workstations & pets. I recently met a Floridian couple in Alaska who travel in the summer as the wife couldn’t take the heat anymore. Travel monitors are a thing nowadays https://www.androidauthority.com/best-portable-monitors-994670/ and add a good gaming laptop, your favorite keyboard + mouse (or two since they get a lot of use), and ergonomic accessories. Still would fit into a carry-on or two, or Fedex?
I was pondering as one who is not qualified for Medicare and was wondering what people do for healthcare. Some ACA plans do cover other states, based on a state by state (and what’s available under the Affordable Care offerings), though multi-state doesn’t actually mean it is for multiple states on a single plan.
Google brought up a few things, too, for those wanting to split their time across multiple states and need a good healthcare plan
Digital nomad or expat plans also exist for those going abroad though some don’t seem to cover pre-existing conditions and routine things, only emergencies? https://www.annawickham.com/health-insurance-digital-nomad/
Living in multiple locations might be trickier for those with aging pets who need some more attention, too. International Quarantines and travel methods seem less than comfortable for the average pet (vs Olympian/Polo horse, high end breeding animal, or megarich owner). But being able to drive to a better climate within the US and having a local provider for doctor, dentist, and vet seems do-able though I guess the pets would have to get along-ish in one or two cars.
I am from India. I had an almost heart attack when i read you were on your own t the age of 16. Cultural shock yes.
We are all giant babies here. Some how always depending on our parents
I don’t like our house but could handle it better if I could lose the clutter.
If I had the freedom, I’d probably go and stay a month or two in Costa Rica, just to try it out. I hear a lot of people are retiring there. Thea Harrison just moved there.
I should add that I would not want to move permanently out of the country, but wish I had the freedom and means to travel. Work, pets, family, etc.
I retired to Louisville KY when I retired 2 years ago. I worked here in the 90’s for 6 years and found a group of friends that have endured. Louisville is a good size city with city problems, but it has a very active, diverse cultural scene, great restaurants, cool neighborhoods and very friendly people. We have 4 seasons, although summer seems to be getting longer. Life on the Ohio River is good. Plus, we have a track record of successful writers here!! And Derby!
Jeffrey Smith says
I was born and raised in Southern California (born in Orange County and raised in San Diego) and while there are some nice quiet areas in San Diego’s rural east county mountains I wouldn’t return there for any reason due to the expense. Moved from there to the Tidewater area of Virginia and while it is a nice area if you like the navy and are into history it is not an area I’d return to and again that is due to the expense of living there. Moved from there to Northeastern Indiana following a relative. I’ve now been here for 24 years and can’t see myself living anywhere else. Reasonable living expense, decent universities, decent cultural amenities, excellent sports related amenities (both to watch and to play). Three outstanding zoos in near proximity (Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, and the Columbus Zoo). Fort Wayne where I live also has an outstanding library system with the largest public Genealogy collection in the US. Only the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) collection in Salt Lake City and a University collection in Chicago are larger and they are both closed to the general public. In addition our library has a huge collection of papers and writings from President Abraham Lincoln that has been and is still being digitized. We have an extensive parks and trails system and have extensively updated our downtown in the last 20 years. About the only thing we don’t have is the ocean but Lake Michigan and its lake front are not that far away.
Jeffrey Smith says
I know not quite kosher to reply to yourself but my dream retirement location is Ireland around Dublin. One of the reasons I stressed the Genealogy center at the library is I’ve been using it extensively and just about have the proof I need to migrate back to Ireland as a returnee.
I want to retire to a Lake home.
Jim Huffman says
I enjoyed living in California for two years, but the summer was similar to what you describe, I loved 70 degree days in February, but the drizzle and the Thule fog left something to be desired. I Could grow so many more plants there, but we returned to Central Washington, so I have to squeeze my frost hating plants into the house for almost 8 months of the year. Washington State…the Eastern side has all four seasons, but like many places it’s getting Crowded. 20 years ago the roads didn’t seem to be so busy…maybe we just need to move further out into the sticks. I think Northern California, South Western Washington, or maybe somewhere in Oregon might be a good place, but my wife needs to stay near agricultural regions for her work. Aahh, well, a guy Can dream.
My parents have done up an Ex Australia Army UniMog (Gordon will know what I am talking about) they made a living area back with friends (beer and pizza payment) it has a pop up roof, its painted with camo, and they plan to travel until they can no longer change the tires over themselves. They will be old farts not in a caravan park (direct quote). The whole point is to be able to go anywhere.
As I am the dutiful daughter I bought them a Personal Locator Becon (like an eperb but for land) incase the can no longer change the tire comes when they are in the middle of nowhere and am in the process of finding a house with land big enough to build a granny flat at the back incase they want to spend some time in civilisation.
Not normal retirement living but great for them.
Oregon is great! I’m originally from Louisiana, so I thought winters would be hard. In southern Oregon (Medford Area), the skies are a little grayer but the temp is not that different AND if you go for a drive you can usually find sunshine with a little elevation. Summers are hot but NO humidity. You stand in the shade and it’s obviously cooler, and once the sun starts going down, its cooler. Lots of outdoor stuff to do…its very pet friendly!
The Oregon coast/Pacific is beautiful but it is not warm sandy beaches on the Gulf. But again lots of stuff to do. Come visit, I’ll show you around!
I really do not understand the obsession with moving to Florida when you retire. Apart from the lack of an income tax, what else is so alluring? If all you’re going to tell me is the weather and the beaches, global warming is only going to make the weather hotter and the sea levels will rise so most of it will be underwater anyways lol. My aunt and uncle just retired down there about a year after my aunt was laid off from her cushy job she’d had for 30 years. They live in one of those planned 60+ communities and it just sounds like a nightmare to me. My aunt got a new job down there for the health benefits and she keeps going on and on about how it’s so great but I don’t believe all the gushing. I’m sure it’s nice, but it is not the paradise she makes it out to be. And her college age daughter is not going to want to live down there with a bunch of old folks when she graduates.
As for where I want to retire, I don’t know, the USA is too big! I would say Vermont and with global warming the winters will probably just get milder so maybe? I have always lived in the NYC tristate area (minus college in central PA and two years in Madrid, Spain): Westchester County (where I grew up) and then Manhattan and Brooklyn. My parents relocated across the border to Connecticut for the cheaper taxes. They will never move down to Florida as my mom also wants a place with 4 seasons. I have this dream I might retire to some lovely rustic farmhouse type place in southwestern France, I have dual citizenship so why not! But honestly there is no perfect place in my opinion.
The fact that your aunt’s daughter will not want to move to Florida and live with them after she graduates might just be the reason they moved there.
Fresno, California (Central CA) has just about every season. No ice storms, maybe a hail once every 10 years. Temperatures get up to 110° in the summer and down to about 40s in the winter. 3 hr drive to any major city (San Francisco/Los Angeles). Cost of living isn’t as high as in big cities, pretty much half the cost of coastal or big city rent/mortgage. Yosemite mountains are about 45 minutes away, traffic isn’t nearly as awful as big cities. Decent art scene downtown, lots of diversity in the population, and you’re bound to get a stop on a concert/book/movie tour as people always hit up California for these things. Air quality isn’t the best however, a number of native born Fresno citizens have gotten asthma and having days where it’s not healthy to go outside for people who’re sensitive to air quality are also numerous. Pros and cons of every place. ????????
This has been such a subject. First among a group of friends… whom I adore, but ugh, while I love the PNW, I have really mixed feelings about going back to Seattle itself, and people agree… and then buy places in Seattle proper.
And then there’s the one with my sister. She was all “I need to get out of Seattle! I need to go somewhere warmer, and with less seasonal swing in daylength!” She had a bunch of ideas, some of which were definitely “Sounds lovely, I’ll visit!” ideas for me. (Hey, having a sister on Hawaii would be awesome.) But some were possibilities.
Then, I moved to Chapel Hill, NC, which totally meets her requirements, and so far I am loving it. Meanwhile, her best friend bought land on Whidbey Island, off the Washington coast, and between that and spending time on Whidbey for other reasons, she’s decided that she wants to buy property there. Ideally, we’d really like to get a place together? Nearish, at least. And both of us sleep a lot better when not in cities. So we’ve kind of flipped. Throw in her somewhat launched but we want to be there for him son, aged relatives we want to be there for, and a handful of kith who it would be nice to rope into things… Eh, we’ll see. But I am not leaving my wonderful little cottage in the woods here until there’s a really good reason.
I have lived in Hawaii since the 1980s (moved from cold New England and would never, ever go back). However, if you don’t have roots and connections here, it just may not be the right place for you. Plus, the last two summers have been super hot. Although the warm winters, IMO, more than make up for it. My children lived in Seattle for a while, and neither they nor I could get over the consistent grayness of the winters. If I were footloose and fancy free, I would look Or a place in Maryland outside of Baltimore (blue state, four seasons, access to DC if you really need some culture) or Vancouver, BC. However, I don’t know the issues of American citizens living long-term in Canada.
There is no way I am moving to Hawaii! First pass – it makes no sense either professionally or economically (even if I’m looking more towards a place to settle down, I’m not retiring for a bit yet.) Second involves a lot of the climate change effects.* But my sister had a kid when she was nineteen, and hasn’t had many adventures, and for her it likely would have made sense. (Less so for her partner or her kid, though, which i think played a roll in her pulling back from the idea.)
I’m sure a lot of my happiness with NC is that I’m living in the research triangle, which makes for a pretty great social environment for me. (Also, it’s just such a warm and friendly culture – I mean, interpersonally.) Part of it is that I don’t have to live in the city or suburbia, though! Seattle weather doesn’t bother me at all – I just am sad that the economic changes in Seattle have driven out so much of the more interesting culture. (Though I’d love to live on a housebarge again.) I do have a number of friends who have gone to live in Canada… and I’ve thought of that, but it’s a better option for me than my sister, in terms of climate (it might be decent professionally for her. Though I’d been looking at Quebec, and she’s not nearly as comfortable as I am picking up new languages.)
There’s at least one big fork in the road coming up, when I decide (based in part on what options are available, I’m sure, and I have a history of weird and unexpected options appearing) whether I stay on the academia ride – or some variant of it – or go into policy. Or go back into industry. Both of those first two have geographic constraints that complicate things.
* This is why I’m the Death of Fun sister. I always go over fault maps – though hey, I lived near Seattle! it’s risk management, not total avoidance – lahars projections and the like, floodplanes… and then, look at sea level effects, long term water availability, general temperature trends etc. Certainly if I’m buying. The climate change issues stresses my sister the fuck out, but honestly, this is the kind of stuff I deal with through work all the time?
Personally the northeast. Somewhere like Maine. Near the ocean, outside a city. Lots of small farm outdoor property. Close to lots of big cities, trees, hills. Far enough away from ocean to miss most of a nor Easter. Love it
Denmark have 4 seasons. Sometime in the same day if you’re lucky.
And because it’s so small you’re always close to a body of water ????
You can get quite a lot of that in the UK too. Of course you’d also have to listen to talk about Brexit …
I moved to Anchorage AK for over 5 yrs. Loved it, the winter in anchorage better than around the great lakes.(speaking from experience) long moderately hot summers great falls tons of things to do. Pretty good writer’s area. Friendly people. Can live in city because of all the parks, trails. I saw wolves, bears, lynx, and more moose than you can shake a stick at. Snowshoe in town lots of cross country skiing, fishing. It has a great arts community, esp winter time. Tons of sun in winter and summer. Really miss that area. I had to leave my parents were ill
Barbara Erwin says
I left central Texas last year. It wasn’t the weather but loneliness for my grown children and my grandchildren that got to me. So I purged a lot of things and moved to Alaska to be with my oldest and his family. It’s been a win win for all of us. And I discovered that I don’t mind the dark winters and I love the snow! I’m an hour from the ocean and live on the side of a mountain. It’s gorgeous. Nearest city is Anchorage and it reminds me of Odessa in the 1970s. Prices are high and taxes are low. Summer and fall are beautiful, but spring is the season of Mud. I don’t think it’s what you are interested in. I think to get what you want you might want to look at Europe or SouthAmerica. Good hunting.
Linda Anderson says
I live in Alaska. Will never leave…its in my bones. But North Carolina is one i would consider. The mountains…actually hills compared to what i see. Four seasons. I went to Charlotte NC. For a womens bowling tournament years ago. The most gracious people ever have come across.
Florida has all those big reptiles. Try Northern California.
Oh, and Florida has those palmetto bugs–gigantic roaches that are everywhere.
And ants from hell in your home all year! We too go to FL we keep thinking it’s the place then red tide comes, the ants and bugs in the rental, my hair and the humidity and worse is the grocery stores. Umm no fresh salad bars set up and produce in grocery stores is crazy expensive. Live the year round markets, love being close to the ocean to get the breeze all year. I’m with Gordon old FL is becoming non existent. Pinellas Cty has an area. I don’t think I could ever call it home.
Could you live any where if you had your people there too?
We have family in Colorado. It offers tax breaks for seniors and has a balanced state budget which turns out is really important during recessions. Sadly Denver’s air quality is poor which knocked it out of the running for me (asthma). It was in the top three worst pollen count nationally this year on a regular basis. The real estate prices are escalating wildly and rival Bay Area California prices.
Our Florida friends are dying of boredom. Volunteers are waitlisted, They miss neighborhoods with young families. Gordon really got lucky being there when it was still magical.
I left home at 16 years old too. It was easier for me than staying. The writing on the wall was clarified after my parents brought home an honest to god Canadian Mountie with the clear intent to marry me off. It was their way off shutting down the crazy talk about my wanting to *gasp* get a college degree. That was 1979. (Achieved BA from UC Berkeley.)
Segue from previous topic of dreams. My mother died the week before midterms. I was on a self imposed three years to degree trajectory: community college to University. I dreamed that I was standing at the mail box filled with college rejection letters when my mother’s hand surged out of the earth, grabbed my ankle and she said gleefully, “Gotta cha”.
I am too young to think about retirement just yet, but my mother retired early. She spends January through mid-May in southern Arizona, leaving just before it hits 110 degrees outside. She goes to Michigan, right when the lilacs are blooming. She enjoys summers there on Lake Huron, watches the leaves change in Autumn, and experiences snowy white holidays. But, by New Year’s Day, she’s done with winter and ready to leave the snow belt. She then goes back to AZ to see the desert blossom in the springtime. Sometimes she misses seeing the Forsythia bushes flower, but she says the Desert Poppies make a wonderful substitute!
What part of AZ if u don’t mind my asking
We had this conversation 2 years ago and stayed in Central Washington, in the Eastern foothills of the Washington Cascades, just outside Yakima. We have 4 seasons here, and are spared the winter gloom, the intense traffic and higher housing costs of Seattle. We live around wildlife and beautiful vistas. We can drive to Seattle or Portland in about 3 hours where there’s more choices in shopping, concerts, and visiting family. Our region grows amazing fruits, vegetables, wine and hops, and we love buying local.
Lisa Rae says
I’ve worked at resorts here in The Golden Isles for several years now, and I see the appeal of the “snow bird” lifestyle. Living somewhere with a nice mild summer, then coming down to the islands for the winter. Honestly though, I think I’d want to go a step further. I’d love to be able to travel more. A really nice RV to take a bit of home with us sounds perfect. Spend a little time here, a little there, maybe stay longer if we decide we’re not ready to leave. No real schedule or deadlines. Then maybe have a “home base” to get off the road for a while. Sounds pretty amazing to me.
If you want mild winter, come to Thailand!! We have 3 seasons, hot, hotter, hottest.
Phil Sell says
I’ve lived in Thailand for the past eight years and I love it. The Thai culture and adjusting to “Thai time” take some getting use to, but overall it’s a really wonderful country. Thailand also offers a Retirement Visa and the cost of living is ridiculously cheap……
Hi! I’m from Ecuador, and actually, a lot of people from the U.S. and Europe live their retirement years here, at a province in the south called Loja. The city is clean, the people are really kind, everything here is cheap compared to the U.S, dollar is our oficial currency; and it have a locality called Vilcabamba that its famous for its water. supposedly, it gives you longevity. There’s a magazine targeted to retired people, and Loja appears there most of the years at the best place to live, and some wins the first place. Just a thought. I love my country so much, and try to promote it every opportunity I have :-). Have a nice month!
Just came back Ecuador, absolutely wonderful. I understand Cuenca, a beautiful city is the retirement place that North Americans are preferring. Same temperature year round. Beautiful crisp mornings, ok crisp by south east queenslander’s point of view. If not, come to the hinterland of the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast of Qld Australia. If you don’t mind a little humidity then the coast. I am biased Redcliffe is a pretty spot. No snow and if it drops to ten degrees Celsius or below that is considered freezing cold. It can get up to 32 to 35 in Summer but afternoon coastal breezes, fantastic.
Oh and I know a great independent bookstore in Brisbane called Pulp Fiction (s i first, fantasy , crime and mystery). They have all of your books. You could visit, sign books and claim the visit as a tax deduction. Lots of great things to see and do in Qld. Lots of fans too. Come visit, it would be great.
Why would one call it a retirement home?
That’s just a perfectly normal home to settle down to/live. Half the people who grew up in houses have that here. If you grew up in such home, can’t really call it a retirement home, now can you?
Well, I’d say that’s practically what you’d find in a dictionary if a Latvian looked up “house/home” in it. Guess that’s a cultural difference – a norm for us, while a retirement in US.
I’ll be 27 this fall and that is pretty much what I want as well down the road – a house in the country side with a body of water somewhere nearby for summer swims and winter ice skating – only a city being near won’t be a problem at all since our country of Latvia is a small one, so there really isn’t a problem of a city being too far away no matter how deep in the country side you’d move, because there will definitely be a city somewhere an hour or so away.
And even if you live in a house with the closest neighbour a kilometer or two away, even if a small one, there will also be a grocery store within 10-15 minute ride, since we have plenty of towns and villages spread throughout the whole country as well.
We pretty much have a quite good spread out of populated places throughout the whole country with cities being in the center, then towns the next center and villages being the closest local center, thus even the remotest house will have access to everything not too far away.
And we have 4 seasons in Latvia.
And sea for about a third of our border.
And plenty of rivers in the whole country – smaller or bigger.
And lots of lakes if you live deeper in the east or south east and don’t want to go 3-4 hours to sea.
And ponds aren’t scarce either, practically every village has one or even lots of houses, so summer heat can be easily avoided by a swim or in a shade from a tree.
And though we don’t have what can be considered mountains, we still have our little hills so skiing and snowboarding in the winter is also possible for we have several places with all kinds of tracks.
With all the ponds/lakes ice skating in the winter is also easily done.
Yup, confirmed yet again, our country of Latvia truly is the best ;D
I love it here and don’t want to move abroad at all – our nature, culture and traditions are wonderful.
Therefore, my dream of a house in the country side will be easily achieved and should I need to commute to job, won’t be difficult either.
I want a house somewhere close by to a village so I can attend concerts and activities held there but with enough free space around me that my closest neighbour would be down the road and not sitting on my front porch, at least a kilometer away so we’d have plenty of our own space for our garden, lawn and such. Also animals – definitely a dog and a cat.
The only problem now is also to figure out just where exactly I want to live, because we have 4 regions each with it’s own nature – one has the sea with pine trees, other is with the rolling fields of wheat, third has our little hills & forests and the fourth has hills & lakes.
Love them all, yet still don’t know where I’d love to live the most – a problem indeed ;D
I guess that’s the beauty of our small country, if you want peace and quiet in the country side with forest or fields around you – no problem, plenty of space. And a city for a theater isn’t too far away either. ^^
I’d say you shouldn’t call it a retirement home at all, it’s simply a home ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Northern California, in the foothill (mountains to Easterners) with the pine trees and the creeks and lakes. Choose the right place and there will be rare snow, very warm, but not killer summers, space between you and neighbors, and several cities to go to (San Francisco, Sacramento). Paved roads won’t always have all the paint or shoulders to them, some roads will be dirt. The wildlife is abundant for watching, plenty of fish, and clean air.
I am in the process of eying Centennial Colorado as a retirement potential. It gets snow & cold, but it also gets a ton of sunny days (at least compared to the Northeast which is where I am currently). So, snow one day the next day it’s sunny and in the high 40s low 50s so you get a lot of melting. Close to Denver, lots of good restaurants, you’ve got Bingham Lake park which is a 25 acre lake with plenty of hiking. The area is pet friendly, so it has a lot going for it. It’s probably on the more expensive end of places to retire, compared to Florida and some of the cheaper states.
I live in the same city since I was born (I’m lucky), and the climate is changing. I remember a colder winter, and less hot summer. I’m 34. So I understand your sensation, but I think it’s becoming universal.
Climate change is a huge unknown factor. Everything is more intense: hotter summers, colder winters, monsoon vs. dry season, stronger storms. If you want to be near a body of water, make sure you’re on high ground.
Lizz D. says
My husband and I started planning our dream retirement (we’re 32 so, um… we have a few years)earlier this year.
We LOVE Gatlinburg, TN. We have been there 5-6 times together, and countless times as children there. We even got married there. This last time we were there, while we still did some of the touristy things, we mostly just… lived. We hiked a bit, did a bit of shopping, but we stayed in a condo, not a cabin. And it wasn’t even a super nice/vacationy condo, but a plainer condo. It was right on the strip in PF though. We shopped at Walmart for groceries, like we do here at home, and we cooked in most of the time. We talked about it. It’s about a 7 hour drive from Indy, where we currently live, so, not crazy, if our kids decide to stay local. Condos aren’t crazy priced there either… $300,000 for NICE ones. We realized that this is a totally attainable dream. We plan, when we retire, to live 6 months there, 6 months here, until we get tired of doing that, and just live there permanently. We even joked about where we’d get part-time jobs if we got bored. We’ve fully committed to this idea, and we’re planning for the future. 🙂
I’ll second Madison WI (yes, there’s a lot of snow) and add Evanston IL. Home of Northwestern University, on the border of Chicago, lots of good public transportation, and right on the lake (although again, lots of snow).
Expensive. I work at NU and can’t afford to live in Evanston. It is a good location though.
After living in a few places and visiting lots more, I am very happy close to where I grew up, in the SF Bay Area in Nor Cal.It’s creative, a hub of happening things, yet there are still quiet neighborhoods and communities where people can still get to know each other. The universities have international reputations and the is reflected in the general culture. There are areas that have seasons. Incredible beauty abounds. The food is amazing and many cultures come together. Yes, earthquakes, fires, and expensive. To me it is part of a unique experience that is well worth the bad with the good.
My ideas of retirement have always been mirage-like. I did save and sock money away in retirement funds as soon as I started earning. A series of truly unfortunate events has caused me to spend much of this money recently so my kids and I did not end up homeless. They are getting so much out of where we are now, that I feel it is worth it to stick it out here despite the insane housing costs.
I also have a special needs kid, so my “retirement” is to keep working and pull almost the last of retirement out to be able to afford a small place of my own. There is much truth to the caretakers saying they can never die. I know I will, so having a place of our own, small as it is, is the best gift I can give my kids, and that gives me peace of mind. It’s kind of retirement lite.
I am still putting away funds for retirement age, but it’s not the with the earning power I once had.I expect to be working as long as I can hold out, while caring for my special needs kid and trying to see if I can help both my kids to launch into adulthood and live as independently as possible.
I like my job and coworkers and I love my kids. I took my time settling down before I had them, living abroad and seeing the world. Having crazy fun with friends across the US and traveling to Europe, Hong Kong and New Zealand. I spent years doing just about everything I wanted. Now I am digging in for the responsible, long-haul stuff. I am pretty happy about that. Maybe I am doing it in reverse? To each their own.
I really like the DC metro area (I am biased, grew up in MD and moved to northern VA after marriage) There are 4 seasons and none of them are really bad consistently (we will get a few hot days and sometimes a bad snow storm) there are 3 international airports nearby (and lots of travel deals) and its a quick trip (and cheap $25 bus ride) to NYC for a Broadway show but also only 1-2 hrs(traffic) drive to Shenandoah and some great hikes. There is a TON of food diversity and culture diversity ( Around the World Embassy Tour!) and free museums! The problems are 1) traffic 2) high cost of living, but they mainly affect people who have to commute to the office during normal work hours or decided to forgo the commute and instead buy (expensive!) place near the city. If you worked from home and lived a little more in the suburbs, neither of these problems would be as bad
So Virginia beach has all 4 seasons, a nice beach and the roads can get busy mostly touristy season but otherwise not terrible. It’s close to many areas of interest and good food and wine. Not much snow a little hot in August and Sept buy otherwise pretty mild. Near mountains if you wanna visit.
Santa Cruz CA!
LuVerne Haydock says
The mountains of Western North Carolina has 4 seasons most of the time. The elevation keeps it cooler. We don’t usually have a lot of snow where I live. In the summer it gets cool at night. I live near Asheville. If you go further north and west there is a lot more snow. There is seldom tornadoes and the ones we do get are 0-1 on the scale. We do get tropical storms at times, they usually come up from the Gulf. My caveat is don’t build on a steep mountain side.
Cathy Boland says
I was going to suggest WNC as well. Love it here. We are in Franklin, NC just an hour SE of Asheville. The weather is fantastic most of the time, we have 4 seasons, the air is clean and the traffic is minimal. You can also get alot of house for the money compared to the big cities. Lots of outdoor activities and the scenery cannot be beat.
Columbus area… Ohio. Beautiful seasons and countryside, great outdoor living, rivers and lakes nearby, a world renowned zoo, booming city without huge urban sprawl, you can live in a small town within a 20 minute drive to downtown. Low cost of living. Friendly people. I’ve lived all over the country, but I’m definitely here to stay.
Go spend a month, or two, in New Zealand. I bet you find an place where you’d like to retire to.
(Not a Kiwi)
Mary Allen says
We live in Tampa Florida for most of the year but have four lots w/ double wide trailer and 42 by 8 foot porch on a ridge overlooking the Tennessee river. On the porch ar three rockers and three porch swings and we spend every morning on our porch. We are mid way between Scottsboro and Guntersville Alabama. We spend spring and fall up there. This area is one hour from Huntsville, or Chattanooga . Three hours to Atlanta . Two hours to Birmingham. We put up a three car garage so my husband can work on wood working projects. My husband was from this area so have a lot of family and friends still in the area. It is so restful to get away from all the traffic. We sometimes don’t even turn on the cable. The trees change color in the fall and it gets cold enough at night in the spring and fall to not have to use the heat. We are on a septic tank and well so living expenses are less. Food is much cheaper. If our sons, my mother, and our grandchildren weren’t in Florida we would move in a heartbeat.
Wow good info have never seen this location!
I second moving to Tennessee. I’m currently across the time line on the Cumberland Plateau in central TN, but we’re only an hour from Knoxville (great city) and two hours from Nashville, Gatlinburg and Chatanooga. While I am in an HOA, there are plenty of beautiful places nearby without HOAs. Someone I know just bought a 3-bedroom ranch on nine acres for $235K about ten miles from me. We have four seasons, and this summer was pretty hot, but this past winter had barely any snow on the ground and only two weeks of temps in the teens (which we are told is unusual). There are lakes and rivers nearby, a phenomenal Equity-level theater, lots of cattle farms and beautiful scenery. I think it’s at least worth checking out. If you go farther east, the Smoky Mountains are gorgeous and you’re closer to the Carolinas and the sea. Happy hunting, even if you’re not ready to move yet!
Georgina Guagenti says
I love living in New York, specifically in Long Island. It’s about 30 min to Manhattan via train and about 2 1/2 hours to Montauk via car; beaches in all directions; four seasons; excellent hospitals; you can use public transportation or car anywhere; parks galore; any size house, any amount of money. Only drawback is taxes, but we have services for people that taxes pay for, so I don’t mind too much. Nassau County is becoming crowded, Suffolk County has a bit more room. Best of luck to you!
Bend, Oregon–or the surrounding area. It is a beautiful semi-small town, with culture, some snow in the winter and lots to do for you and the dogs. It’s at about 3,500 feet, and nestled in the foothills in the middle of Oregon. And, it is still affordable and there is no state income tax in Oregon. The Deschutes River runs through the town, and has such gorgeous walking trails next to the river. And, there is Pilot Peak State Park, which is an old extinct small volcanic dome in the middle of the town, that you can walk up and have a view of the town and the surrounding area. Good exercise for you and the dogs. The weather is crisp at night, summers are around high 80’s to low 90’s, and it cools off at night. Also, great shopping and restaurants. Oregon prides itself on it’s restaurants, some chain, but a lot not. And, there is food styles for everyone. I have also found Oregon to be really friendly and a beautiful place to live. Check it out online.
I have lived in Wyoming and Colorado, and when I retired at 66 I moved to Sun City in Georgetown, just up the road from you. I read the posts from folks about the view and the weather and the longing for homes past. Retirement comes with its own set of needs that have little to do with those things. As your body ages it comes up with its own retirement criteria.
You need some good medical services nearby. Driving 100 miles to get your colonoscopy, going 5 hours to the big city for the hip replacement will get to be a real incentive to move. Been there, done that, got out of town.
Can you take living in the 20 degree weather and shoveling snow off your car and driveway or will it make that arthritic joint hurt so bad you have to get the neighbor’s kid to do it for you every time? Same with the 40 degree drizzle in Seattle. After a month of that how do you feel? I had friends who moved back to Texas after 4 years, and friends who will never leave it.
How much home maintenance do you want to do at 75? Do you want a maintenance free retirement community or do you love to mow the lawn?
Do you need to be near a major airport? Flying out of that tiny airport with bad connections, only to miss your connecting flight because you were delayed by snow becomes an annual event. If you are going to book signings regularly this could be an issue.
Paying Taxes, utilities, HOA dues, and Medicare costs on a fixed retirement income can be difficult if you live in a state that doesn’t give a break to seniors.
Last, do you want to live in only one place? Many folks here go north for the summer.
I spent three years picking out a retirement spot. Many folks rent for 3-6 months at each spot until they decide which one is for them. Good luck, and have some fun picking out your next home.
Meagan Q Macklin says
The suburbs around Philadelphia Pennsylvania (and those of Pittsburgh, a surprisingly beautiful city) are lovely. I am originally from New York (City) but have traveled all over the world and PA, Philadelphia in particular is one of my absolute favorite places with four seasons. Philadelphia strikes me as a more European City, reminiscent of Dublin, with a lot of history seeping from its anatomy, an appreciation for the arts that peeks through every aspect of culture and a population with a zeal for food and drink. Public transportation is decent and the city isn’t sprawled out into strip malls like a lot of Texas, but dotted with adorable towns each with their own main drag and particular flavor. The country-side is beautiful all year round and is also dotted with vinyards, historic villages and wild spaces. I’ve lived here with my husband and 2 kids for the past 10 years. My second suggestion would be in the Blue Hills of Virginia, North Carolina & Tennessee. Ashville N.C. in particular is amazing.
Good luck with your decision either way! Retirement is just a label you can choose to put upon yourself or ignore, so it goes.
I apologize if this is not relevant BUT I am a HUGE fan and would love to see some of your work translated into graphic novels. Marjorie Liu’s ‘Monstress’ is a wonderful example of what an excellent writer can do teamed up with a great artist. If you are not aware of Mike Mignola’s ‘BPRD’ series you may want to check that out, he weaves mythology into his stories like a historical fiction novel, similar to the Kate Daniels series (which I loved) and has characters that are all dynamic and mysterious who warrant their own spin-offs (Abe Sapien is a favorite) . I think you could be extremely successful in this genre!
Make a calendar for a year. Color coded for temperature, the I’m fine or I’m out of my mind feelings i.e.
After a year you will have enough data to take into consideration to remain in Texas or not.
I think every place has pros and cons. You know yourselves, so be faithful to your preferences as much as possible. I hope you all feel better soon.
P.S: I love the Canary Islands, so I’m super biased to recommend them ♡
I don’t need a graph. We’ve had 2 month of average daily temperature – average! – of 95 degrees. That means highs about 102 or so.
Then you have your answer 😉 Next phase of the analysis could be: which places do not have this average temperature?
I hope you feel better.
I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with the U.S. to come with any valid suggestions.
Our dreams? Right now, we’re thinking two homes in two countries. Best of both worlds, that kind of thing. Or maybe a third country altogether? Who knows. 🙂
OK, let’s be logical. If you want to escape winter including ice storms, excluding deserts, and vast tracts of flatness, you’re looking deep south or California, parts Washington and Oregon. For my money forget the latter two They are way too gray and wet. Great if you want to look like a prune. But if a tan is your thing there is a lot of California with great weather, lovely scenery, proximity to cities, cultural events. Hideously expensive, with major forest fires and earthquakes. Not on my list of places I want to live You don’t want to have oppressive heat either. That really does let Florida out, you know? And yes, the Old Florida is going, going, not to be seen again. The Coastal Carolinas and perhaps Georgia have beaches to die for, not bad winters, but boy those summers! We commuted from NH and MA to Florida, escaping both winter and bad summers. That eventually takes a toll even if you are” retired”. Full time RVing suits some people, but we like roots. For pure weather I second the western portions of North Carolina, but I know you’ve been there, tried that. We’ve ended up in Midstate South Carolina. We like it a lot. Plenty of sunshine year round. Pretty much inland of big storms coming up along the coast from the tropics and we’re south or east of the big storms coming out of Canada and the Midwest We really like the fall, winter and spring.. Summers, especially this one, are fierce, but early mornings are cool and that’s when we garden or walk the dog. Central air makes the rest of the day enjoyable. No we don’t open the windows after about 9 or 10 AM during the summer. Big deal. Less dust to contend with. We are not in a flood prone area either. We are minutes from a large city and a day trip to Charleston. I have my choice of shopping areas and types within minutes of the house. Medical care and hospitals are good and close. And, frankly, the days of an insular society are pretty much gone the way of the dodo. In the last 10 years the population of SC has jumped 30% and at an increasing rate. They are all coming from someplace else. Can you find idiots? Sure, but if you find someplace that doesn’t have them, I’m afraid you may have gone to a Better Place. You may be happiest where you are with perhaps extended vacations. If you are thinking of a smaller place, can you afford two of them? Winter and summer? Or you may just require change to be happy. The search can be fun,
Anna L says
I live in Ithaca, NY (please come visit in the summer, its beautiful and gorges). So we do have 4 seasons, and near some amazing lakes and we have 4 seasons, but it might be too cold for you. Maybe north carolina? The carolina coast (beaufort, NC) is absolutely beautiful and will probably hold out against global warming for a while. PA is also not bad if you end up near Pittsburg. What are you specifically looking for?
Jill B says
North Carolina. We just moved here about 6 months ago from Georgia and South Carolina for me and my husband is from Korea/Germany/Arizona (military kid). We LOVE N.C. The weather is so mild and there is a long fall (no opinion on spring yet). The people are kind, and generous. We are so happy here. My vote is to find a *place* that you love first, then find a house.
We are in N. Texas, moved here from Norther California nearly 20 years ago. I am so over the heat and lack of seasons. We are looking at the Ozarks – the Arkansas side for retirement. Beautiful trees, water and real seasons.
Mandy Y. says
That’s near the area I’m considering, as well. I WANT the possibility of 4 seasons.
Mandy Y. says
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, too. I moved to Liberty Hill (north of Austin) and this summer has been absolutely unbearable. Even the pool felt like bath water half the time. I also dream of a time when I could open the windows and walk outside without the threat of heat stroke. But I miss having a winter with the chance to see some snow.
My boyfriend moved here from St. Louis this year, so we have been considering the possibilities of somewhere on the outskirts in Missouri. I need to live near a large city for work, but I would prefer some land with no HOA and less people in general. I don’t yet know where my kids are going to head for college (one is probably going to just come along wherever I go), but the prospect of heading someplace with more than two seasons AND cheaper real estate sounds really appealing.
When I moved to Idaho in 1999 the winters were brutal but the other three seasons more than made up for it. Now… due to climate change, the winters are far more mild, shorter and wetter. The spring and fall are still glorious. Summer has it’s moments but I hate the heat so YMMV.
Cola is low, medical where I live is absolutely fantastic and easy to navigate and the amenities are there. We are even getting a Costco!!!
I think the Florida of my youth is gone. Climate change is affecting the entire southern half of this country and I honestly think there will be a migration north for a lot of folks that don’t tolerate heat. You can bundle up if it’s cold. You can only get so nekked before it’s a misdemeanor.
I live online 50% of the time so my needs might not be yours. A walk along the Snake River makes me happy. Taking a drive to the Tetons in the fall is fabulous. Even winter, although cold, isn’t bad. I’m a knitter so I enjoy my handknits and the creation of same.
Since your family isn’t tied to Texas I’d say grab an RV, rent or borrow a friend’s, and take a look at what the country has to offer. If you can, write along the way. Who knows what stories you may find on the open road.
Being more practical, take a look at each state’s tax profile, that’s an eye opener for some states like the Northeast and the Northwest.
Wherever you land, I hope to enjoy your life story and your written words for some time to come.
Doris Martindale says
How about Georgia? Does get a little snow, not really in the tornado zone and the humidity is less than La or Fla. Second choice would be around the Savanna area because it’s beautiful. But the weather is crankier. Also Virginia is for Lovers……
Pollyanna Hopson says
I haven’t read any of the other comments but… Have you looked into Port Aransas or maybe somewhere near Corpus Christi? There’s beaches and some of the areas are very nice. And if kids 1&2 stay in Texas, you’ll have a convenient place to evacuate to in case of a hurricane(which seem to be hitting Florida more than Texas anyway)
Next time you go to Florida, check out Reunion. It’s right outside of Orlando, so you have easy access to Disney World but no hurricanes. Just a thought. 😀 I’m in my thirties and nowhere near retirement, but I grew up north of Chicago with absolutely brutal winters, dreaming of sunshine and snowless winters. This place is quite wonderful.
My fiancé (still smile to say that — just got engaged) and I love this little neighborhood on Amelia Island. It’s our hope-for retirement area.
Beaches nearby. River views. A real community. Amenities nearby. But hot and humid and hurricanes. So — what’s a body to do?
I understand about what you mean about not settling down. Since I turned 18 I have lived in Southern California (born there), moved to Portland, Oregon after graduating from high school and touring the US for a year. Lived there for 20 years but left because I couldn’t take the grey days anymore. Didn’t mind the rain, it was the grey. Then I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina where I lived for five years. Liked it but like you, never got use to the humidity. Then moved to Phoenix, AZ to be close to my grandmother who was ailing. Lived there for two years and hated every minute of it. Too hot but I did love having a pool in the backyard. After leaving Phoenix I moved back to Portland for three years. Lost my job and got a new one in Ellensburg, Washington, smack dab in the middle of the state. Love it. High desert so get all four seasons, small college town but no shopping. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime. Want to retire from my job here in 18 years but not retire here to live. My dream is to find a small town on the coast of Oregon or Washington. Hopefully something like Yachats or Manzanita, which you might be familiar with since you lived in Portland. But no Seaside or Cannon Beach, too touristy.
We are not retired yet. We are in VA, which we find too hot and muggy in the summer (but not nearly as much as TX). We are staying here after retirement- our doctors are here, good health care is here, many of our friends are here and travel to others is easily accessible. Family is not here, but we have no kids so we can travel when necessary. We found a great house – perfect for transitioning to retirement whenever that would happen and will be moving in the near future. So I would recommend looking at what you have in your current life as well as what you want. Maybe a new house in your current location will serve you better, especially if the kids are staying in TX.
Muddy Mindy 4realz says
I lived in 38 states before I was 16. My husband has lived in WI. I’m the only one in my family left here, my husband’s family is pretty much all here or a nearby state. We checked all around the country and I came to the conclusion that I need WI weather except for winter. So, that’s when we travel. We visited a lot of places, from Asheville NC to Seattle, River Falls Wi to Texas (I loved discovering Austin from your directions, lol). But the summers bite. Traveling, at least for 4 weeks, is our answer.
Huge dream=New Zealand
Big dream=Vashon Island, WA
Medium dream=Vancouver, Canada
Small dream=a winter home in Port Aransas, TX
Lona M Hoxworth says
I live in the Pacific Northwest. We get a LOT of rain in the fall and spring, but mild summers and usually about 2 episodes of snow/ice a.winter.
Research Tri Cities Washington, or perhaps cities with less than 35 thousand population on the Columbia river.
Another amazing area is Albany Oregon. Grants Pass is stunning but they will have 4 distinct seasons.
It’s hard for Easterners to love the West, but our rivers and streams are the best.
No swimming in our ocean. Cold as heck.
My choice of I were to ever move would be Coeur D’Alene Idaho on the lake. With a winter condo in Arizona.
I live in Albany, Oregon, and can definitely recommend it!
I used to live in Albany and loved it, now I’m back in Portland where I grew up, for my job. If only I could fuse the best of both… I loved Albany but you need a car. Right now I’m living 8 blocks from where I grew up, 1 block from two busses that connect me to 90% of the places I need to go. I’m walking distance from the library and groceries, 15 minutes from the best airport in the country, and a 45 minute walk to downtown. I haven’t owned a car for 21 years, but I have Zipcar if I need one. (I’m not opposed to owning a car, I just don’t need it, and at some point in the future it will be better if I don’t drive.) When I was growing up Portland was a small town with big city conveniences, but it is becoming a straight up big city. What I WANT is to live in Portland 30 years ago.
If you like Texas but want to be by the water what about somewhere down around Galveston? You could live on or by the beach and get some ocean breezes.
Kenneth A Burkenheim says
I find the east coast too humid. Anywhere in southern CA away from the city is great. If money is less of a problem, I would suggest Santa Barbara. The weather is mild, the people friendly and the food is good.
Don’t go to Palm Springs. The winters are great, but the heat is blistering in the summer. I have a Sister-in-law who lives there in the winter and Wisconsin in the summer.
Muddy Mindy says
That’s what we do. Wisconsin for 3 seasons, loved Tx hill country, my mom in Fl, and anywhere else but here in Winter!!!
I live in Santa Barbara and I love it. It’s paradise, but it’s also very, very pricy.
Helen Lehn says
I retired to the small town of Hilo, Hi on the Big Island 23 years ago. Very laid back, more like the mainland in the early 70’s. Housing goes anywhere from low 300k on up. Great weather average 83 most of the year. Quiet peaceful living. Seven cars at the stoplight is a traffic jam here. I see Mauna Kea from the one side and the ocean from the other. Major downside is lots of things need to be ordered from the mainland, for me that means shoes but Honolulu is only 45 min flight away with all the major big city stuff. Another issue is complicated medical problems also need to be handled in Honolulu , which is where I am now for a big check up as a 10 year stage 4 cancer survivor.
Property taxes are on the low side here , mine are $1673 on a 400k house. If you desire great shows, great restaurants , and lots of nightlife don’t come. If you enjoy the outdoors, we can offer most every climate zone somewhere on this island. Get used to hugs from your local friends.
Aloha. (Love, hello, goodby) depending on the context.
The Adirondacks. It’s home.
Kelly Jacobs says
The French West Indies of Guadeloupe.
Tropical, “old Florida” but with Spanish & French and a vanilla sauce on the fish.
Island living is not for everyone.
I liked it.
Geneva S says
My retirement 4 years ago involved selling my house and car, giving things away to my 4 kids and buying a 25 foot motorhome. As I told my kids it’s my turn to run away from home.
I’ve been traveling the US since then. This is the third winter I will have spent in different areas of Texas. Like a lot of places it’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there full time.
When I retire again I will be looking for somewhere in the PNW-Oregon or Washington coast would be nice. That would be my retirement dream.
Faith Freewoman says
Northwest New York, on the Erie Canal and on the way to Niagara Falls has the requisite four seasons, can get hot and muggy in July, but not nearly as often or as long as Texas (I HATE Texas weather!), Just enough snow…maybe a foot or two at most (so far). Spring rains.
Rochester is a nice town, you’re about 20 minutes to half an hour from Lake Ontario, plus tons of parks and a few waterfalls in the city and throughout the state for hiking or driving tours.
And all the usual small city amenities.
My favorite part of Rochester? Broad boulevards, lots of wetlands and older trees even in more modern neighborhoods, some colleges, and easy access to Adirondacks, Catskills and Appalachians if you like to meander around in the mountains.
Housing’s probably way cheaper, too. But maybe not. I only know NE and North Central Texas housing prices.
I don’t recommend Buffalo…too industrial for my taste.
Top of my list is temperate climate and low taxes. There are a few states that do not have an income tax. However – you should consider Tennessee. No income tax, except a very minimal one on investments only. Low property taxes, all four seasons, beautiful country, lakes and mountains. Low cost of living, unless you are actually in one of the cities.
if you liked the climate in a place a decade ago, look about 200 miles north, because that is where the climate will be in another decade or so. We’ve lived in central Arkansas our whole married life, and we are two climate zones warmer than in the 80s.
Seriously, there is a reason so many Texans retire to Arkansas. Also, we have hills in half the state.
Cynthia E says
Very good thought process!! I live in Vegas now with my daughter here and four grandkids. Been here about 12 years and I can feel a difference. Winter a little wArmer , summer a little hotter and maybe a month longer. I can see us moving in the future . Hate the heat–only so many 112 degree days in a row I can tolerate!!
Canada. I’m marrying a Canadian, and we want to move closer to his family in Calgary when our kids are grown. We’re trying to think long term because of climate change… winter will be milder, summer hotter in Alberta (they’re already experiencing this), but we have to be careful of the growing wildfire threat. That will dictate how close we live to the forests. Unfortunately, going north is your best bet. It’s just going to keep getting hotter and storms/flash floods more violent. I read a study by some climate scientists about six months ago suggesting Michigan as a good place to go as climate changes.
carmen caspar says
Hawaii any island! Beautiful weather year round. Or San Diego which has the best consistent weather of continental North America.
Would absolutely LOVE to stay in New Zealand. But in America, you could go to Ohio. You get all 4 seasons along with beautiful sunsets. I love being there. It’s a quite place with enough city like feel without the crowd lol!
We’ve got all 6 seasons + two fake seasons in Ohio: Summer, Fake Fall, Second Summer, Fall (2 weeks), Winter, Fake Spring, Second Winter, Spring (1 week). 🙂
Rowan Eden says
Same as PA! Lol
Eastern Ohio is flat-out gorgeous. Every time I drive through it I want to stop and stay.
Erin O'Keefe says
I lived in Albuquerque, NM for many years and it’s very popular, mostly for the weather. It’s in the desert with an average of 9” of rain per year, which means no muggy air and sun most of the time, but it’s at high altitude with no mosquitos (unless you live in the lower part of the valley) and a little snow every winter. The main employers are research laboratories and the university, so there’s a reasonable amount of culture, with the artsy city of Santa Fe only an hour north. If you’re interested in visiting, they have the largest international hot air balloon fiesta in October. I moved because I was sick of rock yards (though they’re really easy to maintain).
Asheville, NC, next year!! Artsy town, great views, 4 seasons! Like Austin, but prettier/cooler.
The hubs and I have decided that we’ll retire on a cruise in 40 years. If they don’t have an End of Your Life cruise where you “check in but you don’t check out ” a la Hotel California, we’ll crowd source it into existence ????
Consider southwestern North Carolina – 4 seasons, close to large-ish lakes, 1 day to the ocean, in the mountains.
Currently live in the suburbs of Atlanta – we have 4 seasons, but summer is definitely hot, as we are still pulling the 90 degree weather here. The plan is to buy a condo on the beach in the yucatan peninsula of Mexico and split the difference. Both the husband and I are toes in the sand kind of people.
We just moved because I retired from the Federal Gvt (DC). We looked at options for 4 years, even putting a large US map on a cork board and pinning/covering to bes and not to bes. We settled on Roanoke, VA. Since we moved 2 weeks ago, I can’t attest to winters yet. Reasons for here: 1) Not the west coast – too expensive and overdue for a major earthquake, 2) not the southwest – I don’t want a water war as part of my retirement plans, 3) not the central US – tornados?, 4) so…somewhere on the east side of the Appalachians – not further north because I don’t want more snow. We found Roanoke in May 2018, returning from a songwriting workshop. It’s just over 100K people, revitalized downtown (historic market area), lots of green space/trees, lots of outdoor activities, 30 miles of paved walking/bike path that parallels the Roanoke River, restaurants, breweries, entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, nice regional airport. It is a couple of hours to the nearest ‘big city’ – since I’ve only done the DC route, that’s 3 1/2 hours by car; 5 hours direct Amtrak (pretty ride). In our search – we started with ‘what’ mattered to each of us, and then searched for the ‘where’. (sorry for the long comment; hope it helps!)
I don’t really think about retirement but I love my mum’s story.
From 10 to 12 years old, she was sent to Noirmoutier for summer camp, it’s an island on France’s west coast. Sadly, as an adult, she couldn’t live there but she still went, every time she could. We never had to wonder where we would end up for our summer holidays.
And at 60 or so, this is where she retired with my dad, at the exact same village she used to play with her sisters, and they absolutely love it.
I think it’s amazing, to go somewhere and just know, it’s where you’re meant to be. I felt that way a little bit when visiting Scotland.
Anyway, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be nomad but I understand wanting to settle down somewhere nice. I always thought the US’ east coast looked nice and breezy but I can’t help you at all, since I’m french 😉
Born and raised on the MS Gulf Coast moved to FL when I was 23 (1973). I was married then and we settled in Tampa. We moved to Bradenton in 1975. Single, I moved to Zolfo Springs in 1995 which is basically a “wide spot in the road” onto 13 acres where I had dogs, sheep and a Llama who minded the sheep. I loved it but got a job offer I couldn’t pass up and moved to a Ocala in 2002. Florida is a pretty fascinating place as it goes from subtropical to tropical then the northern part of the state has large moss draped oak trees, and in the spring there are azaleas, wisteria and red bud trees. Ocala northward are areas like Gordon remembers from his childhood. I live on small acreage where I see an occasional deer, owls call at night, hawks nest nearby and squirrels play in the treetops. FL has no state income tax, property taxes are low as is the sales tax. Where I live is 2 hrs from Jacksonville (north), 2 hrs from Orlando (East) and 2 hrs from Tampa ( South). Gainesville about 45 minutes has one of the premier medical facilities in FL and maybe the South. I can be on a beach on either coast in about 1- 1/2 hour. If the summers are too hot there are cabins/ houses for rent/purchase in the Smokey, Blue Ridge or N. Georgia Mountains…just saying.
Villa in the South of France 🙂 This has been the retirement plan for me and my husband since we got married 😀 It’s surprisingly more affordable than you’d think. I love to garden and hate winters (I live in the Canadian prairies…). There are many areas that are close to the coast and not too far from cities. The options for travel are also awesome.
We’ve also considered Italy, since going there many years ago for our Honeymoon (Under the Tuscan Sun is such a romantic dream).
Theoretically, from my perspective, anything closer the the equator would be better but I’ve experienced early summer in Houston and it was no joke (and I was told repeatedly it gets worse). As far as Canadian options, both the Toronto and Vancouver areas are good options (I’ve lived in both) but Vancouver is damp all the time, which I hare because of my arthritis (yes I’m in my early 30s but it’s a reality). Between the two, I’d vote for southern Ontario. You get 4 actual seasons, none of them particularly extreme, and many beautiful areas you can visit. Keep in mind, this is coming from a Canadian bracing herself for the upcoming – 40C weather 🙂
You have great flexibility with your career choice. I encourage you to live somewhere that makes you happy. You could always downsize, get two places and be snow birds (or perhaps in your case, live somewhere less humid/hot for the summer).
Tennessee has all 4 seasons. It is hot in the summer but you know it will only last for a little bit. You get mountains but no beaches in east tenn.
I’m from the Midwest, Indiana to be specific. I think if you want all of that, you should try towns/suburbs outside of large cities like Chicago or Philadelphia or Columbus and the like. I also went to college in Rhode Island. I loved RI. The food was amazing, you’re close to Boston, you can take a train to NYC or DC, it’s small, it has farm land, and it has seasons. I can’t say enough how much thinking back to living there gives me warm feelings of homesickness, moreso even that Indiana. Providence, RI was a great place to live and I highly recommend.
Cleta Rackers says
I can understand your dilemma. I have spent the last week in Gonzales camping with several hundred “sister on the fly”. OMG! The heat and humidity! I couldn’t take it long term. I lived in North Texas for 20 years then went home to 4 seasons in the midwest. You might consider a large lake instead of the ocean. Anyway, enjoy the AC.
Cindy Wiggins says
Virginia has four seasons, there are some great lake towns. Richmond has some good suburbs and near those lakes. The Appalachian mountains offers variety and it’s an easy trip out to the beaches of VA or NC.
Remember, it’s getting warmer. Those winters are going to mellow out.
Think Anne of Green Gables.
Léa Bourg says
I’m very far from retirement (26 years old) but I’ve a pretty good idea about the where : I’m not fond of sun or heat and I lived all my childhood in Auvergne in the center of France (lots of green, sleeping volcanoes and four seasons without extremes phenomenons)
Because of my work, I live now near Paris : I love my job and the people here but I hate the place (everything is too expensive, weather is cold, very cold, rainy or scorching hot in summer and I miss the “family” feeling of Auvergne …)
So when I will retire, I would probably do like salmons and go back to Auvergne =) Or to Bretagne because it’s a region I visited many times and I love the vibes there (and the sea !!)
Pacific Northwest! Four seasons, major cities, LOW HUMIDITY (can’t stand the East Coast for the humidity). I traveled all over the world for 33 years in my job, and I’ve never found another place I wanted to live. I’ve retired to a suburb of Seattle, and I love it. Personally, I find it very relaxing to curl up with a book and a fire in the fireplace when the rain comes. All snuggled in. I’m saving for a Tiny House, and I’d love to put it on one of the San Juan Islands; beautiful areas! I can ski within one hour, I can boat within one hour, we have good college and pro football teams. Our baseball team is “building”, again, but I don’t watch baseball anyway. And all the restaurants and Broadway shows. Happy camper! (I cannot conceive of living somewhere where it is so hot as Texas!) If you want sun, we have places on the Olympic Peninsula where they are in a rain shadow, and get less than 10 inches per year. Sequim (name of city.) Enjoy dreaming!
Becky Pullum says
We have lived in Texas all our lives, growing up in Corpus Christi and living in the D/FW area for the past 40+ years. I am hoping this year’s heat is an anomaly. The winters are bearable but the occasional ice storm does lay waste to the Metroplex, and I don’t know how long the people of Houston can survive the flooding. I don’t believe we will ever leave here (too much stuff in the attic) but I could take another look at Lake Havasu, Arizona. That town really captured my attention when we drove through there a few years ago.
Well i’m from Switzerland and we have 4 seasons, it’s near a body of water and close to a “city”. So i think the requirements for retirement homes are different from country to country. I really like the diverse scenery Switzerland has to offer. It’s also expensive…
We plan to age in place in Indianapolis. We like the conveniences that come with living in a state’s capital city, with a population of only 700,000. Starbucks is close by, but if you want to venture into farmland and pick your own apples in the fall, it’s only a 20 minute drive. Where we live, traffic is only bad (bad = there’s a car in front of you, behind you and on either side of you) when they’re doing road construction. There are more good medical centers than probably should be here including a university medical center downtown. There’s plenty to do and you can walk outside every day of the year (we do) if you have a insecticide for the summer and good boots/coat for the winter. Things, including houses, are noticeably cheaper here than in nearby cities such as Chicago. Both of us come from broken families that struggled with addiction and domestic violence. In addition, we’re an inter-racial couple who don’t attend church and have no children. Because of that, we have struggled to find a place where we felt we “belonged,” was peaceful, where we didn’t have to worry so much about cost of living and where we could be as social or as anti-social as we wanted. To our surprise, we have found this city to be all of that. However, we do have snow in the winter (but few ice storms, which are usually south of us in Tenn or KY) and, fair warning, Mike Pence was once governor of the state.
My husband and I are looking around for area to “retire” to also.
This is my list of requirements some of which sound like yours too!
4 seasons (shorter winter season)
Near good healthcare
Within an hour to an airport so friends and kids can visit
Above the alligator line, too many stories of women walking dogs and being chomped on ????
And near a lake, been through hurricanes on a coast too scary and costly
Right now the lakes around Charlotte NC are the next area we are checking out.
Barbara E. says
I’ve lived in a retirement community in Banning, California (near Palm Springs) for the last 1 1/2 years, after I retired at 66. I’m still getting used to it after living in Florida for 14 years, but California is home so I feel more comfortable. We don’t have 4 seasons, but we’re very near lovely mountains that get lots of snow in the winter and not that far from beaches for summer fun. My only complaint is that we don’t have much shopping besides Walmart and a few other stores. I have to drive at least 20 minutes in either direction to reach a Target and other nicer shopping (and about 40 minutes to Palm Springs). It does get really hot in the summer, but here it cools down in the evening (nice thing about the desert), so I walk my dog in the morning and evening. It gets fairly cold in the winter, but we only get slight snow once in a while (not every year). I love living in a retirement community, it’s gated with security so it feels a little safer, the HOA is fairly restrictive, but it keeps the place really nice, and there are a lot of clubs and activities for all the old folks to do, as well as 2 golf courses, 3 pools, 3 gyms and 4 libraries. I chose this place because my sister and her husband live here, as well as her mother-in-law, so I have family nearby, which is awesome. The home prices were comparable to what my house sold for in Orlando, so that helped. Prices are much lower than Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego (this is Riverside County).
Susan A Tipton says
Have you looked at the Ocala/Gainesville area? It is definitely not on the coast but Florida is a pretty narrow state. That is one of the few areas in the state where there are at least a few hills. Might be worth checking it out the next time you are passing through.
Jennifer Lorca says
I’ve been on disability since the beginning of the year, and my health is unpredictable, so I have been spending A LOT of time sloooowing down, & letting go of the idea that my worth is tied to my productivity. A couple of weeks ago my sister asked what my plans were for the day, and I replied, “Oh, I dunno, I think I’ll go for a gentle walk, have some tea, eat soup, read a bit, and probably take a nap. Maybe go to yoga later.” My sister said, “Huh, sounds like you’re already in semi-retirement.”
I realized that if/ when I go back to “work” (which will look different from my previous life as a hospice nurse), with creative thinking (and Universe willing) I could probably maintain this “semi-retired” pace for the next 25+ years–I may have to anyway. Life is finite and precious, and so is health.
We live in the Vancouver, Canada area. But if it gets unsustainable (ie, if our needs outweigh our resources) as we get older then maybe Belize. Or Portugal. I could learn Portuguese. I already know how to say “Obrigado” 🙂
+1 to everything on climate, four seasons, natural beauty. Watching my parents and in-laws age, (and me, too) one thing that really matters to me is high quality health care. I want to be under an hour to a major medical center, including level 1 trauma care. My MIL has too many stories of poor care from the doctors in the area where she lives. My parents go an hour to see specialists attached to a university hospital. And second, for me personally, I don’t ever want to live where having water is in question. Water may become a commodity like oil and the older I get the less I want to fight or pay for water. For me – Madison, WI, Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids MI, etc., university towns with reasonable costs of living and good care are top of the list.
Ideal: West coast of Ireland, pretty much anywhere along there.
Actual: Probably dying at my desk/in my classroom because can’t afford to retire.
Wisconsin has lovely summers, apocalyptic winters. Most people here snowbird to Tx, NM, AZ in the winter. I’m good April-December but will need to find a southern Hidey Hole for the other 3 months.
I’m in my 50’s working in health care in Canada. Given the numerous changes and cut backs in health care, I’ve been seriously considering slowing down or retirement before I burn out. I like living in southwestern Ontario but there’s been definitely some very cold winters and several flood warnings in recent years.
I’m considering living abroad, not sure where yet. Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador or even somewhere in Europe. I’ve read that depending on location, heating and AC costs could be minimal and it’s supposedly possible to retire on $2000 per month. Plus, some of these places have very good health care at a very reasonable price.
It might be easier to get my kids to visit me if I live in an exotic location.
Why not rent something for 2-3 months a year somewhere else and incorporate the surroundings into a current book. That way you can experience living somewhere else and still have a permanent residence close to your kids.
Oregon – if I am in a depressed mood.
North Carolina – I swear, the whole state smells like pine.
Prescott (I think, it Prescott) Arizona – Four seasons with a mild winter, anything is better than Michigan winter.
Donna A says
I used to think I would be able to move up to a small town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, afterall, I loved it so much as a child growing up and visiting family in the summers. Then through my late teens and early 20’s I slowly realised I’d been utterly spoiled by growing up in London (I’m talking central, not even suburbs – I’ve never lived further out than zone 2!). I’m not a driver and need public transport, I absolutely loathe even travelling out to the edges of London – wait more than 10 minutes for a bus or train? Outrageous! No McDonalds or Tesco Metro on every second street? Ridiculous! What would I do if I had to wait for the once an hour bus just to soothe an urge for takeaway? How would I randomly get a midnight doughnut? If I fancied a sudden cultural museum visit there would be only one!!! Yes I might get fresh air and a castle and gorgeous dales but I found that it was one of those daydreams that after a fortnight or so didn’t quite live up to expectation. So at 38, I’m a proud Londoner who is unlikely to change location other than for holiday’s. Even with bloody Brexit on the horizon.
I’m looking at Elko, Nv. Well, just outside of it. It has 4 seasons, lots of rivers and lakes and darn few people. I like the concept of people, just not the reality. So yeah, Elko.
Laura Patterson says
We are not retired yet.
We live outside Reno, NV.
We have hot 100 degree days in the summer. And winter can get cold and snow. Spring is rainy, fall is nice. Lots of sagebrush though.lol.
My husband and I are planning to drive up the Oregon and Washington coast and maybe check out Boise too. I’ve also been looking into 55 and over communities. I am not a fan of humidity but I’m not sure if I want snow as I get older too. I do want to be by the water.
Maybe you guys should make a list of what you want or don’t want in your retirement. Then look for places that match that.
Due to climate change, I recently up and sold my ‘forever’ home in Alameda, CA that I had been in for 19 years (beautiful 1908 Craftsman Bungalow) . However, Alameda is a landfill island and the water table is maybe 2+ feet down in the off season. Climate change predictions for coastal waters is that they will rise 18″ within the next 12 years and my lovely house can’t take that. Since I will be older than dirt by then, I also didn’t want to dink around with flooding basements during the rainy season.
This prediction also caused somewhat of a dilemma about where the next place should be. Despite loving the water, it wasn’t going to be near a coast. I’d already lived in the Midwest, TX, DE, NM and San Diego (Air Force brat, so used to moving all the time) and for various reasons, wasn’t interested in trying them again.
I’ve landed in Atlanta. Yes, it’s hot during the summer (and yes, it’s still 95 degrees today). However. Lots and lots and lots of beautiful trees. Very green and everywhere I drive seems like a neighborhood with great shops/restaurants even tho I know I’m in the heart of a city. They have more rain than I’m used to and I have had to start carrying an umbrella in the car, but it’s pretty cool to have rain showers after so many years of minimal occurrence.
Tied for biggest airport in US so easily able to get wherever I want/need to go. There are lakes close by, lots of diversity and pastimes for every interest. You could have a pool, you can walk dogs early and late and A/C for middle of the day. You can have your windows open…I’m pretty certain it’s not as blazing as TX.
Given that we lived in Italy for 4 years when I was younger, I’m also wondering if I could have a small place there. Being in Atlanta, makes the flight ‘short’ enough that I could consider doing it and the cost of living (compared to the Bay Area) means it’s probably achievable.
Like others, I encourage you to try out all/any idea that sounds halfway interesting and see how it looks/feels/costs. Best of luck with the search!!!
Kara Shindle says
I have lived in Pennsylvania my whole life. Within about 3 hours of 4 major cities including Philly, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, DC. Pretty much all 4 seasons as you’d expect. I live out in “the country” and drive about 45 minutes to get to work. I’m surrounded by trees and deer. I can’t stand too much heat and my husband can’t stand too much humidity, and this suits us both. PA is considered a “retirement” state, but I think much nicer then Florida. PA is where they all go during the summer :). My sister lives in anew Zealand, and while I think no snakes is a plus, a lack of central air and insulation makes her miserable every winter.
Retirement isn’t a place, it’s a state of mind. I am retired in the house I didn’t and would never choose, in a place I would never choose. But I am with my husband, and him I chose. Together we explore new worlds . So many books to read, so many worlds to explore, who cares where you plant your body when you retire, it’s where you plant your mind.
I grew up in Florida and have lived on both coasts and have no desire to move back. I would like to go back to NC. You get four equal seasons and when you do get snow it is a big deal and you just stay off the roads for a day or so.
Patricia Giles says
Military father then military husband instilled a nomad instinct in me. When I was a teen my father retired and we ended up on a farm in western Washington. The farm instinct tried to burrow into my psyche and met a “Hell, no!” block, but while I was fighting that off, the west coast instinct was permanently downloaded. In my nomad-ing years, I always returned to the Seattle-Tacoma area. Mild summers, magnificent springs and autumns, depressing winters. Snow once or twice, but a lot of rain. A good time to travel. There are some beautiful small communities on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles. I would highly recommend Western Washington.
Margaret Shelley says
I recommend the Pittsburgh, PA area. I retired from California about five years ago. Never lived anywhere else. I live in a small home on ten acres about an hour north from the Pittsburgh airport. Obviously not a giant hub like Atlanta. Pittsburgh has three major rivers running through and around it. Lots of things to do. Since I am not a native you will need research Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania in generaI. The area is beautiful. I like my home but it is relatively rural. I would recommend taking climate change into consideration.
Cby bailey says
My dream place to retire is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It was listed in one of those “10 Best Places to Retire” articles. I have family in Spokane, Washington so I wouldn’t be alone, no tax on my SS checks. And it promised low crime and violence.
My reality is I love my job here in Beaverton, Oregon. Many of my co-workers are in their late 60’s and early 70’s. The Company thinks we are gems!
We are a four-season state and we do get nice gentle rains. It really clears the air. I like the centrality of this suburb. There are mountains nearby, an ocean, lots of rivers and waterfalls but my little town has plenty of places to shop, and a good bus and Max service. I live in a huge Apt Complex which is like living in an Airb&b. It keeps me snug and dry when it rains and cool and comfy when it gets hot that one week in the summer.
It’s true we live in an area where an earthquake is overdue. I lived through at least three so far. I remember Mt St Helen’s erupting and it was messy but otherwise not even close to apocalyptic. I dream about Coeur d’Alene but I would miss Beaverton!
I have been looking at places close to where i called home in my teen years. Ohio. So now I’m looking in the northern Kentucky southern Ohio area. Economically speaking its a good choice. My husband and I are also contemplating full time RV Retirement, but I would like to have a permanent base. And a small two bedroom two and a half bath is so cheep in that area. Currently we live in Hawaii and have for over thirty years but we would be able to live like a king and Queen on our retirement in that area, and make it so we are close enough to a big city to have senior care when we both lose it. My daughter likes Tennessee, and we may just have her get a house with a mother-in-law suite or cottage for us to hook up to in the off months of RV trips.
Well in 2 years I retire and I am buying a motor home of some type and traveling. Its the Gyspy in me. I have never been happy living in MI I am convinced I was born into the wrong family( I love my family) and should be a Southerner ( because I am always cold even with hot flashes!) LOL, I travel a lot now and see lots of places but for me, I know 6 months in one place will be enough. When I am really old I will be back here as all my children live here. So I will travel while I can. You guys are lucky you can work remotely from any place. Wish my work allowed it 😉
Tim McCanna says
I lived just south of San Francisco on the coast for 35 years. I’d still be there but I can’t afford it. I am back in the Pacific Northwest in Eugene and am still adjusting to the size difference (population wise). We do get a winter but not like the Midwest or Northeast. Portland is nice but the roads can’t handle the population. They are trying to fix that. Seattle is about the same price point as SF.
The main problem I have with the PNW is that areas are extremely racist still.
Jane Lee says
If moderate weather and accessability to a major city is what your looking for you could try down her in Tasmania Australia, we are a small state so any where is always close to a major city. Even in the depths of winter it may snow but we also get warm sunny days and summers here are very mild.
My parents are looking at the highlands of Belize for warmth and cost of living. I’d love to retire to the Big Island of Hawaii, since you can just drive to whatever season you feel like, but I think I’d need to make a lot more money for that to become an option. :-p
I live in Tn and we have the same weather issues so while do live to have u guys closer…its not for you. I’ve heard colorado is nice and has the seasons…michigan has 2 seasons…hot and freezing. I wish u luck.
Molly Wyatt says
Come live up by Portland, Maine! Awesome food scene, the ocean, and great independent bookstores and micro breweries. (I swear this is not motivated at all by improving my chances of meeting you at one of said bookstores…..)
Alane W says
Living in New Mexico I’ve come to the realizations I don’t want the HOT summers anymore, nor do I want the snow or frozen rains of winter. I’ve looked via Google and Zillow and am interested in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Now I’ve never been there so don’t know for sure, the weather averages and max-min temps are what have me interested. Also if it’s a retirement location of dreams than the foothills give me the chance to be a horse owner and riding into the mountains sounds lovely.
The California foothills are nice, but their fire season is nasty.
Florida hurricabe seasons are no fun either…..
Right now I am looking between Tahoe and Reno, on the Nevada side. Much cheaper than Cali and pretty good weather. The base of the foothills has pretty moderate weather, but still 4 seasons.
Bridget Curry says
And you have to put up with the politics of CA. We lived there for 33 years and left last year. Couldn’t be happier.
Judy B says
You have to be very careful in those areas, because of the water shortage.
You don’t even own the rainwater that falls on your roof in CA. You’re not allowed to catch it in barrels for your own use because it belongs to the utility company for the urban centers downstream. I find this horrifying.
I agree, water laws in the west sound crazy. I can understand owning rights to the water when it is in the ground but not before it hits the ground. And somehow, the water “owners” are not responsible for paying for water damage to your house, not responsible for snow removal, not responsible for any flooding expenses to private individuals or the community. They don’t have to dry clean your damaged clothes or buy you an umbrella. It makes no sense that the owners only get the good parts of ownership($$$), but none of the bad.
When I was a kid we went on a family holiday to the island of Skye and there my brother and I spotted an old people’s home called The Coorie Doon. In Scotland ‘coorying doon’ is our version of hygge. The idea of cosying up under blankets with a cup of tea, maybe its raining and the fire is burning and you have nowhere else to be that evening. You have cooried doon!
We still torment my mum with that retirement plan…..
Come to Canada! We’d love to have you guys! If you google Okanagan, BC, you’ll find a temperate climate and at the south end, there’s a true desert.
Rita W says
We visited Kelowna and the surrounding areas a couple of years ago and could see moving there for the summers and Puerto Vallarta for winters. The Okanagan Valley is beautiful with so many delightful wineries. My favorite is the honey wine (originally called mead-marketing is everything!)
We’re kind of in the same situation. We’ve recently relocated from Dallas to Atlanta to be closer to in-laws on GA coast. But, we’re originally from FL and that’s where I want to retire. Not a fan of GA taxes. Maybe Fernadina or Ponte Vedra…..still own our home in Tampa, but Destin is prettier. It should be the time for home downsizing, but Mom’s health is declining and she’s moving in with us. Got to have an in-law suite or two masters . Decisions, decisions…
Brenda R Cutter says
I live in Maryland, north of Baltimore. We have four seasons, so far none too extreme. Just about the time you cannot stand whatever weather, it changes. We have mountains, the bay, the Atlantic to enjoy. DC, Philly, NYC, all within easy reach.
Live near you in southern pa. It’s pretty in fall and spring. Just wish there was better shopping.