East Coast Search for Retirement

Old Aug 16th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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East Coast Search for Retirement

We are a couple in our mid 50's and are taking a road trip beginning in Savannah and ending in PA searching for a coastal place for retirement where winters are tolerable and short. We currently live in NH. Can anyone give us suggestions on where to go and look at for a great area to live where we can walk everywhere? We are on a mission to do this and are flying down from NH to Savannah next Thursday to do this. We are staying in Savannah for a couple of days and then just driving up the east coast while we explore. Please help us make good choices! Thanks everyone!
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 07:36 AM
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Consider Southport, NC, and Beaufort, SC.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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Good luck, but don't forget that instead of long cold winters you will be enduring long hot humid summers. And mosquitoes. And hurricanes. I live in NC and am seriously considering moving somewhere cooler! I would certainly be looking at the mountains (think Asheville) rather than the coast.

Do you want small or large? How do you feel about sharing your town with loads of tourists? I would check into public transport in Savannah and Charleston. For small I would think the other Beaufort, NC, might also be an option.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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Beaufort, NC, is nice as well.

Do not be surprised if it's more expensive than you expect. My best friend in Charleston is a real estate agent. People come to look there all the time and are stunned that it's not cheap.

I lived in Charleston for decades. The summers are very hot, but people live through it. Any place that has a few freezes in winter will have fewer bugs that places where it doesn't.

And learn to love biscuits.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 03:07 PM
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Beaufort has a LOT of retired military folks which may explain some of the costs.

This question of yous IS, IMO, almost impossible to answer. WHY/ You say absolutely nothing about your interests, your price range, what is and is not acceptable to you, and so forth. A little more information might help folks narrow down the range a bit since there are a LOT of possibilities. You don't even say how far north you are willing to settle although I am assuming Delaware is going to be the furthest north since Pennsylvania has no coastline.

Simply trying to be helpful and please that "hurricanes" thing while true enough is not a deal breaker IMO but for you perhaps it is.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 04:09 PM
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Do you want a gated community?

What are the amenities that you would like--golf, gym, pools, card rooms, etc etc.

Need to be near an urban area for doctors, "culture," etc.?

How important are beaches?

Would you consider Florida, for another foray?

Agree with the knowledgeable Dukey, Thursday, SueWoo, above; you ought to provide more info on your needs, wants, and budget.

I've been vaguely looking for a place further south myself; there are so many options!!
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 04:35 PM
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Wilmington, North Carolina. Tybee Island, Ga.
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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Article that may of of interest, from today's NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/yo...l?ref=business
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Yes, it matters for us to know if this is going to be your year round home or your winter place.

Beach or boating/ fishing or golf/tennis?

Costs: below a certain line on the map, you will spend as much on air conditioning as you now spend on heat. Taxes and license plates and other fees in some of these states will horrify you. Still no income tax or sales tax in NH, right? These are significant taxes everywhere but Delaware, which has no sales tax (still?) and SC, which does (did) not tax military retirement. Sales taxes on groceries are all but universal.

Unless you move to one of those "communities" built so the elderly can play golf until they die, you may find certain things very different from NH. NH is a very white state; these states aren't. Many areas have African American majorities or nearly so. Agricultural communities have strong Hispanic populations. While there is a growing African American middle class, there is still a great deal of poverty, particularly near the coast. Religion and which church you attend is far more important in many area than it is in New England, especially urban New England. Take a look at who represents your district in the legislature and congress and see how they vote. Are you comfortable with their politics?

Fortunately, you live in the Live-Free-Or-Die state, so you won't be shocked by guns, pickups, camouflage jackets, universal hunting, or the Tea Party.

I can say all this because I am a Southerner who has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, though I now live in Massachusetts.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 09:01 AM
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I'm not a born Southerner, but I've lived here for nearly 40 years and Ackislander has given you an accurate picture. Except that there are some enclaves besides the retirement communities. I live in the Research Triangle area, which has one of the highest concentrations of PHDs in the country, a good seasoning of expats, and a town (Chapel Hill) often derided as socialist by the right wing. I would think of Asheville and possibly Charlotte as other enclaves, but I don't know that I would look for one along the coast.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 10:43 AM
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It depends on what you are looking for. My first pick is Jekyll Island GA. It would be the last pick for many. Simple, natural, low key. If you want a bit fancier, St Simons Island. If you want more exclusive, the coastal islands outside of Charleston. For a real town, Wilmington

I love the quietness of Jekyll and that no matter where the house might be it's a traffic less stroll or bike ride to the beach.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 10:47 AM
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If you'd like to venture 2 hours inland (where you can be at the beach in a short time, you might look at Pinehurst area and Greenville SC.
And the Triangle. NC has pretty great weather to my thinking.
As others have said, more information would be helpful.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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If you consider non-coastal, my #1 pick would be Asheville. It would be an easy transition from NH and the coast is close enough for weekend trips.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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My brother lives on St Simons Island. My sister lives in Greenville, SC, in a high rise right downtown.

Both are happy. I like to visit but both are waaaaaaaay too hot for me in the summer.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 04:00 PM
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Yes, the Triangle is different. I got a degree at Chapel Hill and worked at EPA in RTP. Both my kids graduated from Chapel Hill as out of state students. Believe me, I loved my two trips a year from Boston to deliver them in the fall and pick them up in the spring.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Ackislander - quite agree! Spring and fall in central NC are quite beautiful, and winter is tolerable, but the summers are just brutal. I am considering either a move back to Europe (I grew up in the UK) or all the way to the Pacific Northwest. I want to be somewhere I can be outside in the summer without being totally miserable. I don't mind being indoors in the winter, but it feels like such a waste in the summer.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 07:36 PM
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Thursday, move to the mountains. At the higher elevations, the temps are delightful and the humidity is virtually non-existent. It's amazing what a difference it makes.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 08:18 PM
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starrs - but I also want somewhere with decent public transport and access to a major airport...
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