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Where to Live
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Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Retirement move on 10/11/2011 23:18:43 MDT Print View

Bozeman, Montana for me, after some consideration of Missoula.For me, skiing and fishing accessibility (in addition to backpacking) were important to me, so I'll brave Montana's long cold winters. I gave Crested Butte some thought too - friendliest people of any of the dozens of ski towns I've visited, and great hiking opportunities.

Mary D's first post gives you a good list of things to consider. I'd add airport access, particularly if you're hoping for visits from friends and family, and in my case some continued business activity.

I'm looking forward to life in Montana.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Where to Live on 10/13/2011 15:12:54 MDT Print View

“…where would you move to? I'm looking at Montana, ”
“…An active hiker and backpacker, cross-country skier…”

Well Montana is close to ID. Actually I left the Midwest (IL) for the very reason you’re thinking. But I didn’t retire. I just up and moved my family and took an electrical engineering job in Eastern ID.

The backpacking and the summers around here are amazing. No humidity! Yee Haw! This was the first year I didn’t have to use air conditioning in the summer. And in the winter it gets down to 0F for 2 months. Yet I never had to wear my WM Flash; that felt too hot on me; I definitely needed it in the Midwest winter.

Instead of driving 4-6 hours somewhere, there are dozens of trails within an hour’s drive. I’ve been hitting the white clouds, sawtooths, Caribou and Targee National Forests, and Teton and Yellowstone.

And it’s the cleanest air I’ve ever seen. Remember how humidity smudges the horizon? Now w/o it, I can see mountains 150 miles away.

I have several cousins out West and I’ve been backpacking with them. My daughter also invites her HS boyfriends on trips. And that’s been enlightening. She has learned backpacking shows the true color of boys; and she has weeded them out :)

The yearly electric rate is about 5.7¢/KWhr and gas is 74¢/Therm. That is much cheaper than IL. And my property tax dropped in ½ for the same size house.

It was funny when our IL governor said no one will move when we raise state income tax; and I know a lot of people who did. It was just coincidental when I left for the mountains.

Good luck in your choice.

The mountains were made for Tevas :)

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
Re: "Where to Live" on 10/13/2011 19:20:23 MDT Print View

I want to retire in Costa Rica. I've never been :) but it's cheap, has a ton of trails, the beach, laid back people, good weather etc. Or Hawaii. Or Thailand. Maybe just rent and live in a few places for a little while.

"Look at Nevada. Easy access to California's amenities, without the expense....."

+1 I know a lot of people don't want to retire here because of the higher taxes and higher cost of living but I feel lucky living spot on in the middle with easy access to everything. Nevada would be a good alternative. I think Tahoe on the Califonia side has a pretty high cost of living so maybe close to stateline would be better.

I envy you! All the options.

"If I can, I'd like to move to mid-to-northern CA. The backpacking is great, the area is gorgeous, all that. But my main motivation at this point is the very active BPL group there. They're a wonderful bunch and they get out often, so moving there would give me an established group of great folks to backpack with. That's hard to beat. FWIW."

Have you tried We have a ton of groups here for backpacking, hiking, kayaking, biking etc. so I'm thinking there might be a couple there and if not start one and people will join.

Edited by jenhifive on 10/13/2011 19:27:42 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Moving to Michigan on 10/14/2011 03:18:52 MDT Print View

Hi folks,

I am from the Couth Coast of Ireland but have been working in Belgium for the last 3 years and in January I am moving to Michigan for 3 years (working in Midland area)and was wondering has anyone recommendations a nice place to live.



Edited by stephenm on 10/14/2011 03:48:57 MDT.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Where to Live on 10/14/2011 21:50:32 MDT Print View

Hi Everyone -

I'm sorry I'm late in responding (been working a lot of overtime; not that I mind - overtime means more money for backpacking gear! haha).

Thank you so much for all your great responses! I really really appreciate your input. You've all given me a lot of good advice, too, which I will definite take to heart. When I get a break from work, I'll respond more in length, but for now, I want to say again how very much I appreciate your input. What a great group you are!

This is so exciting!


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Where to Live on 10/14/2011 22:17:15 MDT Print View


I live in an area that has everything you are looking for, but it is really too hot for most people.

I travel a lot on airplanes and every month every airline prints a magazine for its passengers. Almost every month every magazine highlights one city and presents all the advantages of that city... of course they then sell advertising space to those entities in the highlighted city. But there is a lot of good information. You might try to see if the airlines post these magazines online. Would be a great place to start. Although not on your list (or mine) North Carolina and Tennessee have a lot going for them, aside from humidity.

One thing I have learned is that many cities have their own "culture." Hard to pinpoint exactly what this means, but some have some very unique personalities. I think that would be important. If I were thinking about moving, the one city that would be high on my list of possibilities would be Boise, ID. I have been there 6 times in the past few years. Although I have not had time to really explore the city, I really like. Big enough to have a diversity of cultural offerings, enough big city amenities and the feel of a small town. Varied climate and really, really nice people. Deserts, mountains, rivers and lakes nearby.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Montana on 10/15/2011 20:13:26 MDT Print View

there are some drawbacks to living in Montana, while we have no sales tax (pretty smart move on our part as tourism has now taken over agriculture as the number 1 industry :( )- our income tax (including your retirement) and real estate taxes are very high

our housing market twenty years was truly a bargain, it's now pretty much caught up with most places :(

weather- our weather is often less than ideal (and for long periods of time!) :)

if you live outside one of our "large" towns (you can count these on one hand), you're likely a long way from decent medical care and other amenities that one associates with urban areas

of course it's all not bad either :)

I have to say that I was very impressed w/ SW New Mexico (Silver City area)- reminded me a lot of Montana, except with better weather!

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Test the waters on 10/15/2011 21:55:19 MDT Print View

Congratulations, Kathy! Whatever you do, have fun.

I've had the great fortune of traveling all over the world in my 20's and 30's (I'm 42 now so take my retirement advice with a grain of salt). I'm sure you're wanting to be conservative financially, and you have to, but don't feel like you have to immediately plant roots somewhere and do the traditional retirement thing. Don't be too tied to your stuff. I'd urge you to do some slow traveling and get to know places you've never experienced, especially outside of the US. If your energy and health are up to it, you can do this very economically. If you are a backpacker, I'd bet that you would enjoy a cheap room, apartment, or bunk on a sailboat in paradise for a few weeks or months. And don't worry about healthcare unless you really need to worry. Medical and dental care outside the states is generally very good and much cheaper.

And I'm not suggesting anything unprecedented: I spent a great day walking some super steep hills outside of a Mexican town, walking to the point of exhaustion, with an 83 year old woman. She had been traveling non-stop for 3+ years after her husband passed away. She was Swiss and probably had billy goat lungs and a favorable exchange rate, but I think she was one of the wisest, happiest, and most interesting people I've ever met. My point is that there are other women out there happily doing what they want on their own. Just because you might not know anyone living that life shouldn't deter you if what I'm describing is at all interesting.

Whatever you decide will be the right thing. And yeah, get out of the area you are in...great people there...but go do some new stuff.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Test the waters on 10/16/2011 10:49:41 MDT Print View

Brian, wonderful post and excellent advice!

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Test the waters on 10/16/2011 10:54:53 MDT Print View

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered...

"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Where to Live on 10/16/2011 12:57:35 MDT Print View

Reno, Nevada has everything you could want in small city, no state income tax, but no public assistance health services your on your own with health insurance. Housing is relativity cheap.
Senior mobile home communities that you own the lot are great and cheap to live in very social and lots of activities and friends to meet and do thing with . They all seem to stick together and help each other out.

It's 30 to 40 minute minute drive to Tahoe and Truckee,Ca., 2 to 3 hour drive to the bay area of California. 2 to 3 hours from Mammoth Mt. June lake area. Cross country skiing in the winter in the local mountains, You can hike the sierras in the summer and the Nevada desert or death valley in the winter, 8 to 10 hour drive to southern California.

It's nice old town it only has one vice that is a draw on retired peoples life savings gambling if you hate gambling move there. But if you gamble don't or you might become a compulsive gambler like my parents did, The casino are just to much of a draw for bored retired people. But the casino do offer one good thing inexpensive dining.

Edited by socal-nomad on 10/16/2011 13:02:53 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Test the waters on 10/16/2011 18:01:33 MDT Print View

"The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered...

"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

That's why he's the Dalai Lama, Chris. I hope everyone here reads this one. Thanks for posting it.