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  1. #1
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    where should i retire?

    So am turning 51 in a few months and i expect to retire at 55. I am originally from Toronto Canada and will go back and live there - but only for 6 mos of the year (ya Apr thru Sept). I am now living in Cincinnati but I don;t want to stay hear for the winter since it is too cold for me ( especially after the last 2 weeks). Now I want to buy a winter home somewhere in the south - and my criteria is somewhere where I can enjoy biking from Oct to Mar - not too hot, certainly not too cold. After a weekend visit with my wife to Charleston SC, i think the area is a real possibility. I'd love to hear from others on where they chose to live, what the biking is like, why it is a good place for bikers etc.

    thanks

    rick

  2. #2
    Senior Member RDW3261's Avatar
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    I too am from the cold north. During Christmas I went to the Flordia panhandle and was really loved the many roads they have with bicycle lanes. Flordia is also more flat than I thought. I don't know if I would enjoy living there 6 months out of the year but I think I could handle the months of January and February down there. I am not a beach person.

  3. #3
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    Professor spotlights 60 best places to spend retirement

    Reviewed by Robert J. Bruss
    March 13, 2005
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont...13brubook.html

    RETIRE IN STYLE: 60 OUTSTANDING PLACES ACROSS THE USA AND CANADA


    By Dr. Warren R. Bland (Next Decade Publishers, Chester, N.J.), 2005, $22.95, 311 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and Amazon.com.



    If you plan to relocate for your retirement years, "Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the U.S.A. and Canada" provides an objective look by geography professor Warren R. Bland. He uses a 12-point rating scale and personal observations for the places he deems best.
    What makes this retirement location book unusual is it doesn't just include towns with great weather. Instead, Bland objectively approaches his topic by including the well-known retirement havens, such as Sarasota and Naples, Fla., but also reviewing offbeat places like Fairhope, Ala.; State College, Pa.; Madison, Wis.; Bend, Ore.; and 10 retirement locations in Canada.

    As a geologist for the last 36 years, Bland has extensively traveled throughout the United States and Canada. Somehow, he became interested in retirement locations. Although he lives in Los Angeles and is a professor at California State University Northridge, Los Angeles is not on his list of potential retirement spots. Gosh, I wonder why.

    The 12 criteria Bland uses to rate the 60 best retirement locations are landscape, climate, quality of life, cost of living, transportation, retail services, health care, community services, cultural and educational activities, recreational activities, work and volunteer activities, crime rates and public safety.

    Next, the author divides his top retirement choices by area such as Northeast, Midwest, Upper South, Southeast Coast, Interior South, heart of Texas, Southern Rockies, Desert Southwest, California, and Pacific Northwest. Originally from Canada, Bland also includes Canadian retirement havens.

    In addition to area maps, and ratings of the 12 criteria for each town, every community has monthly climate statistics included. For example, when I looked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, I was surprised to learn its average low temperature in January is 16 with average high of 32. December is downright balmy there with average lows of 23 and average highs of 37 degrees. Summer is very pleasant with 73 degree average highs in July and August.

    If the book has a bias, it seems to be toward college towns as retirement destinations. Included on the top 60 list are State College, Pa.; Madison, Wis.; Hanover, N.H.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Charlottesville, Va.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Gainesville, Fla.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Chico, Calif.; and Eugene, Ore. Although certainly not a college town, Bland extols the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

    Even though most retirees don't move, preferring to stay where they lived before retirement, a significant number do relocate. This new book provides an objective look at the best retirement locations, including their pros and cons. Each retirement destination's overall rating, plus the comparative charts, help readers compare Bland's 12 criteria with a final number. He includes a chart of his top 50 retirement towns, followed by "the next 10 best retirement towns," which are unrated.

    So where does author Bland plan to retire? He doesn't say. Perhaps he is confused by all the near-ideal retirement locations he discovered in his many years of research.

    Based on Bland's composite rating system, what is the top retirement town? You will be surprised to learn it is Victoria, British Columbia, followed by Boulder, Colo.; London, Ontario; Portland, Ore.; and San Antonio, Texas. This is a thinking person's retirement book. It doesn't contain chamber-of-commerce fluff. Instead, it is objective with lots of detailed information about each town, including its history, to help prospective retirees consider if they are even interested in checking out a location on a vacation trip.

    If you or your parents are considering a retirement move, this new book is a great place to start your quest. It is filled with facts, plus the author's opinions, about locations you might never have considered.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Robert J. Bruss is a San Francisco lawyer, broker and nationally syndicated real estate writer.
    © Inman News Service

  4. #4
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    The Sarasota area of SW Florida has a very pleasant climate with year-round cycling and very diverse groups of avid cyclists. This morning, my wife and I (in our mid 60s) rode our tandem 32 miles in 70degF (21C) with a group of 60- and 70-year-olds who cruise at 18+ mph. Tomorrow I shall ride with 35-50 year-olds.
    There are few hills, a lot of bike lanes and a great cycling community. Our neighbours are from Toronto.
    I should add that we are originally from the UK, so any weather is better than that. We live here year-round.

  5. #5
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    I too am a northern blood. I am thinking 6 months in Canada. I kind of like St. Louis, maybe for the late fall then off to the south east for the winter and early spring. Great question, I will check back.

    The reason for St. Louis is that the Katy trail is close and if you want you can ride some hills nearby. I have always had a great time there, and housing is cheap, food is good and it seems close to the rest of the south and south east.

  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    There's a lot of places in Florida that you can't get home owners insurance, and if you can it's sky high. If you do decide on any of the coastal states you better do your homework. Good luck.
    George

  7. #7
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    There are so many factors to balance. What temps do you want in the winter? How much rain? Access to beaches? Mountains? Large Cities? High Density population? Medium? Low? Do you care about the political climate? Cost of Living? Crime Rate? Access to the Arts? Sports? Beautiful scenery? Forests? Do you speak Spanish? Do you want to Fish? Surf? Hunt? Raft? How important is closeness to family?

    Answers to these and dozens of other questions will guide your choice.

    I've been to the Charleston and liked it a lot. Can be kinda expensive. Nice moderate temps. I love the old historic section.

    I would love to have a split arrangement, north in the summer, south in the winter.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottogo
    Professor spotlights 60 best places to spend retirement

    You will be surprised to learn it is Victoria, British Columbia
    This place has the nickname as the land of newlyweds or nearly-deads
    LOTS of retirees
    Kelowna & surrounding area is another BChotspot
    yep.

  9. #9
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick11
    So am turning 51 in a few months and i expect to retire at 55. I am originally from Toronto Canada and will go back and live there - but only for 6 mos of the year (ya Apr thru Sept). I am now living in Cincinnati but I don;t want to stay hear for the winter since it is too cold for me ( especially after the last 2 weeks). Now I want to buy a winter home somewhere in the south - and my criteria is somewhere where I can enjoy biking from Oct to Mar - not too hot, certainly not too cold. After a weekend visit with my wife to Charleston SC, i think the area is a real possibility. I'd love to hear from others on where they chose to live, what the biking is like, why it is a good place for bikers etc.

    thanks

    rick
    Wow.....we looked at Charleston and determined it to be too cycling unfriendly although
    I do love the city. Cincinnati must be a tuff place

  10. #10
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    Pretty opened ended question. Is your budget unlimited? 6 months at home and 6 months travel would be my ideal retirement.

  11. #11
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    I live in Weaver, AL 1 mile from the Chief Ladiga Trail, a rail trail running along an old railroad. Sometime this spring the final 9-miles will be paved connecting the Chief Ladiga trail to the Silver Comet trail in Georgia. This provides 32 miles of non-motorized paved trail in Alabama and 58 miles of paved trail in Georgia providing a continuous 90 miles free of motorized vehicles. Weather is moderate during the winter but not as warm as Florida. I am able to ride all winter here as long as I am properly dressed for it. If you can ride with temps in the mid 40's (F) during daylight hours you can generally ride at least 3 days a week from mid January to mid February. I ride almost every day. Housing prices are the big draw in this area for retirees. Homes that would cost upwards of 1 million in other parts of the country can be purchased for less than 100,000 here and property taxes are among the lowest in the country. I live in a 2,000 SF 4 bedroom home on 2 acres and my property taxes would be $125 a year but that is exempt as I retired on disability so I don’t pay any property taxes. Land along the trail is easily available at low cost, as are homes right along the trail.
    http://www.trailexpress.com/chiefladiga/index.php
    The large cities of Birmingham AL, Huntsville AL., and Atlanta GA. are all within an easy 2 hour drive so access to amenities not found in small towns are easily available.

  12. #12
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    My neighbor across the street was going to move to Florida until he learned that this year they are charging huge amounts in property tax for buyers of new homes in the state (or somethihg like that, he is not real clear about it), and then there is the insurance problem. He is sticking around here for now.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-11-07 at 09:16 AM.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    My neighbor across the street was going to move to Florida until he learned that this year they are charging huge amounts in property tax for buyers of new homes in the state (or somethihg like that, he is not real clear about it), and then there is the insurance problem. He is sticking around here for now.
    Yep, property tax around here is 1.5 - 1.7% of assessed value and insurance has jumped by as much as 5-fold in the past couple of years.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    It depends on the person who is reaching retirement age. I don't think 55 is that close. Some retire later. But I guess it depends on one's finances and things that make you want to wake up every morning.

    Dr. Warren Bland, I don't know if he ever mentioned that in Southern California there are more bike shops than anywhere else in the U.S. But I did notice he mentioned San Luis Obisbo. While its not exactly Southern California, its close enough but yet far enough to be a great place. Lots of riding there.

  15. #15
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    You could try Slab City, near the Salton Sea in California, which is a place where people park their RVs and whatnot and live rent free for months at a time. It's unincorporated, very different. Kind of like a Burning Man RV park, if you can imagine that.

    Have a look!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDW3261
    I too am from the cold north. During Christmas I went to the Flordia panhandle and was really loved the many roads they have with bicycle lanes. Flordia is also more flat than I thought. I don't know if I would enjoy living there 6 months out of the year but I think I could handle the months of January and February down there. I am not a beach person.

    Bicycle lanes - that sounds great. i wonder if the weather is going to be a bit too hot for me in the months of Oct or Apr - that's why I thought South Carolina might be nice - Jan avg high is 57F. But will need to check Florida out - although I think home insurance is going to be an issue. On the other hand no State Income tax - which may offset the insurance cost - thanks for the tip

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottogo
    Professor spotlights 60 best places to spend retirement

    Reviewed by Robert J. Bruss
    March 13, 2005
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont...13brubook.html

    RETIRE IN STYLE: 60 OUTSTANDING PLACES ACROSS THE USA AND CANADA


    By Dr. Warren R. Bland (Next Decade Publishers, Chester, N.J.), 2005, $22.95, 311 pages; Available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and Amazon.com.



    If you plan to relocate for your retirement years, "Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the U.S.A. and Canada" provides an objective look by geography professor Warren R. Bland. He uses a 12-point rating scale and personal observations for the places he deems best.
    What makes this retirement location book unusual is it doesn't just include towns with great weather. Instead, Bland objectively approaches his topic by including the well-known retirement havens, such as Sarasota and Naples, Fla., but also reviewing offbeat places like Fairhope, Ala.; State College, Pa.; Madison, Wis.; Bend, Ore.; and 10 retirement locations in Canada.

    As a geologist for the last 36 years, Bland has extensively traveled throughout the United States and Canada. Somehow, he became interested in retirement locations. Although he lives in Los Angeles and is a professor at California State University Northridge, Los Angeles is not on his list of potential retirement spots. Gosh, I wonder why.

    The 12 criteria Bland uses to rate the 60 best retirement locations are landscape, climate, quality of life, cost of living, transportation, retail services, health care, community services, cultural and educational activities, recreational activities, work and volunteer activities, crime rates and public safety.

    Next, the author divides his top retirement choices by area such as Northeast, Midwest, Upper South, Southeast Coast, Interior South, heart of Texas, Southern Rockies, Desert Southwest, California, and Pacific Northwest. Originally from Canada, Bland also includes Canadian retirement havens.

    In addition to area maps, and ratings of the 12 criteria for each town, every community has monthly climate statistics included. For example, when I looked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, I was surprised to learn its average low temperature in January is 16 with average high of 32. December is downright balmy there with average lows of 23 and average highs of 37 degrees. Summer is very pleasant with 73 degree average highs in July and August.

    If the book has a bias, it seems to be toward college towns as retirement destinations. Included on the top 60 list are State College, Pa.; Madison, Wis.; Hanover, N.H.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Charlottesville, Va.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Gainesville, Fla.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Chico, Calif.; and Eugene, Ore. Although certainly not a college town, Bland extols the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

    Even though most retirees don't move, preferring to stay where they lived before retirement, a significant number do relocate. This new book provides an objective look at the best retirement locations, including their pros and cons. Each retirement destination's overall rating, plus the comparative charts, help readers compare Bland's 12 criteria with a final number. He includes a chart of his top 50 retirement towns, followed by "the next 10 best retirement towns," which are unrated.

    So where does author Bland plan to retire? He doesn't say. Perhaps he is confused by all the near-ideal retirement locations he discovered in his many years of research.

    Based on Bland's composite rating system, what is the top retirement town? You will be surprised to learn it is Victoria, British Columbia, followed by Boulder, Colo.; London, Ontario; Portland, Ore.; and San Antonio, Texas. This is a thinking person's retirement book. It doesn't contain chamber-of-commerce fluff. Instead, it is objective with lots of detailed information about each town, including its history, to help prospective retirees consider if they are even interested in checking out a location on a vacation trip.

    If you or your parents are considering a retirement move, this new book is a great place to start your quest. It is filled with facts, plus the author's opinions, about locations you might never have considered.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Robert J. Bruss is a San Francisco lawyer, broker and nationally syndicated real estate writer.
    © Inman News Service

    THanks for the book lead - it is not avail in our library system but found it on amazon and the abstract looks pretty good. I think the idea of an unbiased account is a good one. Magazines do after all need to be true to their sponsors and readers which is not always possible. Am going to get a copy and check it out. Did you use it to pick your favourite spot? and if so where?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo
    The Sarasota area of SW Florida has a very pleasant climate with year-round cycling and very diverse groups of avid cyclists. This morning, my wife and I (in our mid 60s) rode our tandem 32 miles in 70degF (21C) with a group of 60- and 70-year-olds who cruise at 18+ mph. Tomorrow I shall ride with 35-50 year-olds.
    There are few hills, a lot of bike lanes and a great cycling community. Our neighbours are from Toronto.
    I should add that we are originally from the UK, so any weather is better than that. We live here year-round.

    Artmo - yes there are not too many places I've travelled to (and I have travelled a lot) that compare to the weather in the UK - of course a collegue of mine was really bummed when he had to leave London and move to Brussells - after he moved he said he did not see the sun for 6 mos! Btw did you kick but riding with the 35 - 50 year olds? sounds like you put quite a few miles/kilometres on those tyres!

    rick

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamcompi
    I too am a northern blood. I am thinking 6 months in Canada. I kind of like St. Louis, maybe for the late fall then off to the south east for the winter and early spring. Great question, I will check back.

    The reason for St. Louis is that the Katy trail is close and if you want you can ride some hills nearby. I have always had a great time there, and housing is cheap, food is good and it seems close to the rest of the south and south east.

    Only been to St Louis once and was not there long enough to give it a fair test. But I don;t think it will work for me - too cold in the deep winter and I don;t want to have 3 places. Where do you think u will live in Canada - I grew up all around southern ontario but in recent years revisited Toronto and I love the downtown - multicultural, nice restaurants, theater and safe! I could easily see myself walking from my condo to get an espresso in an italian cafe, bagel and lox at the deli, some brie and bagette for lunch, a beer in an irish pub and dinner - well too many to choose.... of course now I need to get on my bike and ride ride ride to burn off all those calorie!

    thanks!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    There are so many factors to balance. What temps do you want in the winter? How much rain? Access to beaches? Mountains? Large Cities? High Density population? Medium? Low? Do you care about the political climate? Cost of Living? Crime Rate? Access to the Arts? Sports? Beautiful scenery? Forests? Do you speak Spanish? Do you want to Fish? Surf? Hunt? Raft? How important is closeness to family?

    Answers to these and dozens of other questions will guide your choice.

    I've been to the Charleston and liked it a lot. Can be kinda expensive. Nice moderate temps. I love the old historic section.

    I would love to have a split arrangement, north in the summer, south in the winter.
    Yes - all good questions. My wife wants to insure there is a community wherever we live. We moved into a neighbour hood that has great schools but was not very friendly so she is kind of bummed and wants to insure this doesn;t happen again. We were thinking of one of those active lifestyle communities since everyone is over 50 - which isn't the point; but all folks have moved in so making connections is easy - and they all have great facilities. We want to be close to a nice size city so that there are some good restaurants some sights etc. My family is in Toronto area so we will spend 6 mos a year there. One thing someone once told me is to pick a location where your children would want to visit. I have 2 daughters in college and they will likely move around so i don't think it feasible to try and be near them - but what would be a nice location where they would want to visit. They keep telling me Italy - and that would be great except for the social piece. We wouldn;t really know anyone there and it is difficult to "break into" a community.

    thanks for your perspective

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0_emissions :=)
    This place has the nickname as the land of newlyweds or nearly-deads
    LOTS of retirees
    Kelowna & surrounding area is another BChotspot
    well I am certainly not a newlywed and don;t want to be nearly dead! ha. What about the rain - i really don;t like riding in the rain! My wife and I did Sonoma in Oct with a bike group and we had rain on 3 days - probably the only 3 days it rained in California! But in the end my wife still said the vacation was an 8 out of 10! I am hopeful that she becomes more of a bike enthusiast!

    thanks

  22. #22
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    You might want to look at the area around Inverness Florida. Great 46 mile Rail to trail, lots of good back roads, club rides out of LBS 3 days a week. Also the Suncoast trail and Hawthorne trail are not far away. As for taxes and insurance, if you don't buy a new home you don't have to pay the extra taxes. I live in the same county as inverness and my homeowners insurance is $1995 a year (12 miles from coast). I have relatives that live in Iowa and they pay $600 a year for a comparable house, but they more than make up the difference heating it. You may want to also consider renting 6 months a year and let someone else pay the taxes and insurance. Check out the citrus county link. http://www.visitcitrus.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
    Wow.....we looked at Charleston and determined it to be too cycling unfriendly although
    I do love the city. Cincinnati must be a tuff place
    I have to say that what i mostly noticed was how nice the weather was when we were there - total sun and in the high 50's, low 60's - but that was a sample size of 3 so i need to be careful. But I am really interested in what you found that makes it too cycling unfriendly. The downtown seemed quite nice for a very relaxing cycle and there were some nice country roads - but as i recall they were kind of narrow so this could be an issue. I'd be very interested in your thoughts

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106
    Pretty opened ended question. Is your budget unlimited? 6 months at home and 6 months travel would be my ideal retirement.
    I love the idea of 6 mos travel and my budget is pretty good but I would not say unlimited. How do you transport a bicycle in these post 9/11 days. I travel for business almost every week and it seems taking a bike could be a real pain? any advice is appreciated!

    thanks

  25. #25
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick11
    We were thinking of one of those active lifestyle communities since everyone is over 50 - which isn't the point; but all folks have moved in so making connections is easy - and they all have great facilities.
    FWIW, my wife and I rejected one of those "over 50" places.

    We enjoy seeing the families, little kids, bigger kids, etc. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law live in one. All they do is talk about how much money they made and how they made it, and their illnesses, and do you have your pre-paid funeral arrangements made yet.

    No thanks.

    Also, the one they live in does not want you if you should become disabled and need a wheel chair. We inquired about making a home wc accessible (for our son to visit) and, man, did we run into a brick wall. They finally said they would do it for an extra $10,000.00 - that was just to enlarge some doors and ramp the place.

    We got the new home we finally bought fixed up for $500.00.

    Wheelchairs don't mix with their image of an "active" lifestyle. Bad publicity.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

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