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Need retirement location in US - pls see criteria

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May 3rd, 2013, 11:38 AM
  #1
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Need retirement location in US - pls see criteria

So, I am about 5-6 years away from retirement. Don't want to stay where I am now, too cold in winter and my arthritis is bad. Have list of other criteria as well (pls see below). Given the criteria, where would you suggest I investigate? Thanks!

* Mild winter, at least 65 degrees, and preferably not much humidity (arthritis)
* Large enough city to have vibrant cultural and educational facilities
* DECENT shopping! Nordstroms's equivalent, good brand-name discount outlets
* Large amount of small owner-operated Chowish resturants
*close enough to good airport hub with reasonable international airfare
* Vibrant Jewish community with supportive social services
* Must have excellent heath care options - teaching hospital or major medical center
* Can buy a decent house or condo for around $250K
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May 3rd, 2013, 11:55 AM
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If you've ever read the various "best places to retire" websites, then you know they're all over the place.

As an example, I've seen Phoenix as one of the best places to retire and also one of the worst.

My wife and I have been websearching for many cities. We want to go to a similar place as you describe.

We're kind of down to Henderson, NV or Tucson, AZ.

Tucson doesn't get as hot as Henderson, and there is a lot of winter agriculture there. There are even nearby wineries.

They have joked that southern AZ wants to secede from Arizona as it's a liberal (more liberal than Phoenix)community.

We've pretty much ruled out most of CA because of gang activity and/or price.
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May 3rd, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Consider San Diego.
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:05 PM
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San Diego? For $250K? Let me know what neighborhood.

Tucson might work. Maybe Vegas.
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:07 PM
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We aren't quite that warm in winter [sunny days that feel warmer than the actual temp]and little to no snow and if it does snow, it melts quickly.

Also, as of now, limited international flights, but easy to get to connecting cities.

It will be built out by the time you move, but resales will be possible -
http://www.delwebb.com/communities/n...80/index1.aspx

http://jccabq.org/main/index.php

http://www.simon.com/mall/abq-uptown

http://som.unm.edu/
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Lots of condos in the La Mesa (Baltimore, Lake Murray) areas for that price.
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:36 PM
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San Diego would be perfect for you.

Right now there are quite a few nice condos on the market for under $300,000. The problem is they won't be on the ocean but the further away from the beach areas the warmer and drier the weather will be.

San Diego hits all your must have points as well.

1. Mild winter, at least 65 degrees, and preferably not much humidity (arthritis)
CHECK.

2. Large enough city to have vibrant cultural and educational facilities
CHECK - UCSD, SDSU, USD

3. DECENT shopping! Nordstroms's equivalent, good brand-name discount outlets
CHECK. We have more than enough large shopping centers and well as cute shopping areas in some of the smaller communities.

4. Large amount of small owner-operated Chowish resturants
close enough to good airport hub with reasonable international airfare.
CHECK. Our airport is conveniently located downtown and within about 20-25 minutes of most bedroom communities.

5. Vibrant Jewish community with supportive social services.
CHECK. Although not like NYC or LA it does have a strong Jewish community with social services. It doesn't have a lot of Jewish restaurants but has some good ones.

6. Must have excellent heath care options - teaching hospital or major medical center.
CHECK. We have some of the top doctors and medical research facilities in the country. UCSD (Univ of Calif at San Diego) is one of the best. It has a first class medical school in La Jolla and hospital in downtown. The guy who discovered the DNA molecule and many other top Nobel prize scientists have & still do teach at UCSD.
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Phoenix is unliveable in the summer and most of the residents move in to San Diego from June until late August.

Tuscon is nice and beautiful, but doesn't have most of your check off points. I wouldn't say it has major world class hospitals, restaurants or shopping. It does have the world class U of Arizona (go Wildcats)!!

Las Vegas, is flat & brown, but meets your criteria for hot and dry. There is a reason home prices are low.
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May 3rd, 2013, 02:07 PM
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LBloom, we have similar criteria and were very pleasantly surprised at how much we liked Tucson, though I can't speak to the shopping. I had wonderful interactions with the rabbi of a very interesting small synagogue. If you want to email me at my screen name at icloud dot com I would love to talk with you about that aspect if you would like to.

We are not planning to buy but I know the housing market is favorable.
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May 3rd, 2013, 08:39 PM
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I didn't know you lived in Tuscon jubilada. For some reason I thought you lived in Texas. Again - go Wildcats!! My DD went to college there and loved it - except in the summer.
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May 4th, 2013, 03:54 AM
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We have been spending the winter in Richmond, VA, for the past few years.

It isn't as warm as you want in the winter, but we do not suffer from our arthritis when there and are shocked when we go back up north for a visit

Richmond has a broad and vibrant Jewish community dating back to before the Civil War ( there is a section of Holyrood Cemetery for Jewish Confederate soldiers) and worship opportunities for everyone from Reform to Young Israel and Chabad. The Weinstein Jewish Community Center is fantastic, open to and used by Gentiles like us.

Excellent medical care (a med school), cultural life includes a wonderful free art museum, lots of concerts (and Washington is easy by train), an incredible neighborhood restaurant/locavore scene, and inexpensive housing. Also Nordstroms.

Downside: it's too hot for us in the summer.
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May 4th, 2013, 07:21 AM
  #12
TC
 
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AARP magazine just ran an article on this with several recommendations of smaller towns (for pricing) near large metro areas. It featured locations on both coasts. If you haven't already read it, have a look at this for a start.

10 Affordable Cities for Retirement

http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/liva...le-cities.html
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May 4th, 2013, 07:52 AM
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I had no idea that San Diego on the ocean had low humidity. Perhaps "east county"
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May 4th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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It's hard to say what the price of housing will be in six or seven years.

As of now, I'd suggest looking into San Bernardino County (housing prices have dropped dramatically in some places and could be within your range). SB County is adjacent to LA County without some of the more negative aspects. You are close enough to LA to have access to some of the best hospitals/doctors or you could use some of the SB facilities, like Loma Linda University (one of the top cancer treatment centers in the world). You're also very close to Pasadena et al; check out maitaitom and guenmai's recommendations for restaurants in that area. Very hot, but it's dry heat.

For arthritis you'll be pretty much limited to a swatch from Texas to California - hot, dry climate.

San Diego would be a possibility. Try inland areas for better housing prices and also staying away from the "canyons" which have been, so far, left untouched, become park areas, or commercial areas. Culture-wise San Diego is better for children than for adults. It lacks, for example, a dynamic Philharmonic like LA (this is obviously my biased opinion, since I'm somewhat in love with Gustavo Dudamel).

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/blog/2...eather-cities/

You might also want to look into Austin, Texas or environs. Prices for housing in Texas would really be within your range. It's a fairly liberal city and it has good health facilities. For culture you would have to travel a bit further to either Houston or Dallas to get your culture fix. The Texans on Fodors can tell you a lot more about Austin than I can.

Those would be the three primary choices I'd suggest your looking into first before trying for other areas that may be lacking in more than one/two of your criteria.

Happy hunting! (Hunting is half the fun!)
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May 4th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Nana ee, I live in Western Massachusetts not Tucson or certainly not Texas! I am planning on wintering inTucson.
I realized just now that I did not read the OP well enough as I would not want to live in Tucson year round
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May 4th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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It's hard to find a place that is suitable year round. One that is perfect weather wise but very expensive is Santa Barbara. Perhaps an adjacent community would have more reasonable prices such as Goleta or Ventura.
Our criteria included a university, an airport, a teaching hospital and good local chef owned dining scene. We spend winters in Tucson which fits our criteria well and travel different to places during the summer, usually back to NYC and somewhere internationally.
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May 4th, 2013, 02:02 PM
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Do you know about Laguna Woods Village? I think there are still reasonably priced 2-bedroom condo units in your price range.
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May 4th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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We had a friend whose Mother stayed for years in Leisure World, now known as Laguna Woods Village. It's a gated community for seniors. The cost of a unit may not be that much, but watch out for the monthly HO dues!

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/u...es-laguna.html

That's what I personally don't like about condos, etc. that have homeowners associations. These associations charge huge fees sometimes and an individual resident doesn't know where all the money is going. The HO sometimes behaves like a dictator - everyone has to have the same color roof, the same color paint on the outside, what plants are allowable and which are not, when you can fly a flag and when not, and so on.

If you're going to buy anything that has a HO association - and I'm not discouraging you from doing so - just watch out for all the fees and rules that come with the unit.
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May 4th, 2013, 07:13 PM
  #19
 
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Easytraveler's article refers to the Towers and the monthly fees include housekeeping and nightly meals. I believe the other two options are the coop and then the condos which have HOA fees in the $500s. Remember these include cable, water, trash,building insurance, exterior maintenance, etc.

Probably better to get your info on HOA dues from a realtor than a newspaper.
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May 4th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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Albuquerque New Mexico would be a little too chilly for you from November through February. Austin Texas is worth looking at.
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