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Best Place for an Old Car Guy to Retire?


63RedBrier
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Canadian here. We have some good things going on. Some beautiful places to live. Then there's the winters...There's nothing I like about snow and freezing temps. Anywhere warmer-ish with less harsh winters is seems jam packed with people. Generally the majority of our population is within 50 miles of the USA border. I know that I'll retire here in Canada, but surely I will be going to Az, Ca, Tx, for at least a few weeks every winter to get away from this weather. The Coastal winters are milder and have little to no snow. Out West you need $1.5M for a house with a shop. Back east coast you get colder spells and salt. Then there's the imports...Millions of 'em. Happy to live in metro car clogged chaos. Nothing against them, just not for me. I can't do it. Having a bit of a time here trying to keep up with inflation, real estate prices, taxes, fees, general cost of living. It's sure getting expensive to even stay at home and do nothing these days.

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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The Good and bad about Tenn.

 

No State Income tax

High Sales Tax 9.25%

Low Property taxes I have 5.23 Acres Pole Barn,small house old barn and buggy shed less then 700 a year

bad is no side walks

not many street lights

roads barely can pass two trucks side by side have smacked mirrors on back roads twice Ram won both

gas good Prices

Not so good drivers like to tailgate all the time

Nice people

We have a Rural metro Ambulance & fire fee around 300-350 a year but they come as much as needed really geared for elderly but it stays that price for years

We could use more Original car people Seems like every one here destroys cars chopping and ruining them Just to be different

I have thought about Kentucky Some really pretty rolling hills but I do not know much about that. 

I lived in Florida for 27 years (south) to crowded 90% hwys North South gridlock and tolls, I would only consider North North west now to old for beach thing now lol

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This is a great question, all of us have different needs and desires. Financial factors, physical issues, social needs, and family issues all play a very different part in each one of our lives. I have a houses in Florida and in NY, and from my observation the hobby in Florida pretty much hibernates from June through mid October. Snowbirds head north and It is not just hot, it is expletive hot! Compounded by massive afternoon pop up thunderstorms. Activity is limited at that time of year, but not non-existent as it is in the freezing cold salt brine covered roads of the north in the winter.

 

On Long Island there are 4 or 5 AACA regions and I don't belong to any of them because they don't offer me the social connection I am looking for, same for the region close to my home in Florida. The region that is close but it was just not for me. I did belong to a region in Florida  that unfortunately folded, and that was about 100 miles away, but I found a connection with those people and well worth the ride. Just a little tough t get someone to by to help me bleed brakes.

 

I have a good friend from Long Island (50's Mopar Collector) who used come down to visit me when I was down in Florida and he liked it so much he bought a house in my development two blocks away, but was complaining to me that he has not met anyone in the hobby, but he has not made any attempts to either.  

 

Good luck!

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

The rarely over 95 part still seems warm, even with the low humidity.

 

As someone that grew up with lots of tall trees over my head,  I find the "high desert" is not quite right for me.   At least what I have experienced in Utah and Idaho.    Idaho in particular I find interesting,  right up until I saw frost on my windshield in the morning when we are still in Summer.

Prescott at 5,000 feet IS surrounded on THREE SIDES  by forest!  I have 27 trees on my property! We might or might not get 95 degrees a few days a year Like Seattle or L.A. did this year. And early this unusual year we did get a record 12" of snow that lasted a hole of two days. 

Three sides of this;

Image result for pictures of prescott national forest

and on the other side;

See the source image

See the source image

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14 hours ago, alsancle said:

Find me this:

 

1.  Within 1 hour of a major airport

2.  Within 30 minutes of a real hospital

3.  Moderate climate

4.  Low to moderate tax state

5.  Limited number of frequent natural disasters.

 

I'm thinking Ashville NC.

North Texas, DFW area. From where I live north of Dallas, 40 minutes to DFW airport, 10 to 20 minutes to at least six major hospitals, great climate, no state income or personal property tax with 8.25% sale tax. Housing prices have gone up but not as bad as some other areas and property taxes are high, you have to pay somewhere. We are in the southern part of Tornado alley but pretty much immune to the hurricanes and flooding of South Texas.

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Wife and I are thinking either PA(outlying Lancaster area) or eastern shore of MD.  For me, both offer rural countryside for driving, less noise from traffic, aircraft, sirens and general nonsense. Personally I would retire just about anywhere rural country roads are in abundance.     

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Don't spend all of your effort on taxes.  States without a sales tax get their money from you in one way or another.  Go where your Grand kids are and accept  the rest  Look at the quality of life your location provides.  College towns are usually above average.  Make a priority  list of what is important to you and have your wife do the same.  Remember that if MAMA ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

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Just now, Robert G. Smits said:

Don't spend all of your effort on taxes.  States without a sales tax get their money from you in one way or another.  Go where your Grand kids are and accept  the rest  Look at the quality of life your location provides.  College towns are usually above average.  Make a priority  list of what is important to you and have your wife do the same.  Remember that if MAMA ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Ever see the commercial where the kids move away and they are moving into their new house and discover a for sale sign on their next door neighbors lawn, Later , and seeing their expressions when they realize the people who bought next door are the parents of one of them. 😉

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41 minutes ago, Pfeil said:

Ever see the commercial where the kids move away and they are moving into their new house and discover a for sale sign on their next door neighbors lawn, Later , and seeing their expressions when they realize the people who bought next door are the parents of one of them. 😉

 

Everybody Loves Raymond.

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1 hour ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Don't spend all of your effort on taxes.  States without a sales tax get their money from you in one way or another.

 

I realize there are more than a few of you here that think that way and I don't want to start a political discussion. But you are not right.   If I told you that the difference in after tax income living in state A is 25k a year less than B would that matter?   What if it was 50k or 100k?

 

I agree that other things,  such as where your kids or grand kids live may be more important,  but there are real cost of living considerations with regard to tax load.  

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Original poster here...  A BIG THANK YOU for all of your replies!  I'm going to single out and reply to a good many, but I'm sure there are other lurkers who may thinking along the same lines of where an old car guy should retire...

 

My wife, Virginia, and my immediate family live: 3 stop lights away (MIL), 2 siblings and their families in Richmond VA (about 1:45 away), my sister lives between Carlisle and Hershey (2:30 away), and my Mom lives near Dover DE (2:15 away).  So staying in the mid-Atlantic region makes the most sense right now.  DE is too flat for me and too close to my mother...  I do like to go there and enjoy the slower pace, especially the manageable amount of traffic.

 

Real Estate Taxes:  My wife and I toured a beautifully restored Victorian home within the city limits of York PA.  The owners spent over $500,000 restoring the home and were selling for $299,000!  The tax benefit they received for saving the old house was ending and the taxes were going up to about $12,000/year!  Yikes!  Tiny lot, no room for a garage...

 

Personal Property Taxes:  I live in Fairfax County.  Property taxes are reasonable and the services are great.  We live between two full-time fire departments.  The tax that I don't like are the personal property taxes!  We have four "modern" vehicles.  Here is my bill for each for this year:  2015 Chevy SS - $754!  (Remember this is a FIVE year old car!)  Each year it goes down, but not by much.  It discourages ME from buying a NEW vehicle...

                               2006 Chrysler 300C (my son's daily driver) - $99.

                               2005 Suburban (123,000 miles) - $128.

                               2000 Cherokee Sport (206,000 miles, will be my daughter's first car) -$54.

                               2006 Harley (my commuter) - $59.

 

John S in PA: Thank you for your vote for south central PA.  I forgot to mention Macungie in my original post (1:30 or so to the east but worthwhile)

 

VermontBoy: Great response and vote for central NY state!

 

KFLE:  To answer your question, a little bit of both  (Too many people have taken advantage of me over the years when money is not mentioned up front.  Live and learn...)  I can fix your car or house, but I expect to be paid... 

 

51Dyno:  I would love to escape the HUMIDITY and MOSQUITOES on the east coast, but I know that may not be a reality.  No, I do not fish or hunt (but I grew up next to 13,000 acres of State Games Lands in NE PA, so I do like the woods!)

 

Spinneyhill:  Sorry!  New Zealand is just TOO FAR!  But, I'm sure it is beautiful!

 

Nick8086:  Thanks for posting the SuperFund Sites!  I can tell you the location of every landfill close to where I have lived over the years.  A scourge on the earth, but a necessary evil.  Are landfills in developing countries sanitary?  Do they use liners there?

 

EdInMass, KFLE, & others:  Western Michigan does sound appealing and close to a myriad of old car go to places.  I went to the Corvair convention in Kalamazoo about 10 years ago, so I am a little familiar...

 

Keiser31:  Sorry...  Oregon is just a little too far from immediate family.

 

McHinson & Alsancle:  We have good friends in Wilmington NC in a huge over 55 development on an old paper plantation.  The homes there are huge and beautiful, but many are for sale at unrealistic prices.  A very good friend of mine who retired from the NVA area considered Ashville NC as his #1 retirement location on the east coast.  I'll have to ask him why he decided on SW New Mexico instead.  (How is the humidity and mosquitoes in Ashville?)

 

Ronnie & The Handleman:  TN sounds appealing on many levels.

 

Dynaflash: Thank you for telling us your story...  I hope we all learn something from your decisions!  Godspeed...

 

Restorer32:  I don't know if you recall, but my son and I visited your shop about a year ago on our way back from checking out Penn College in Williamsport.  I may be in touch over the next few years...

 

John348:  Expletive HOT!  I went to another Corvair convention in Jacksonville and as soon as the sun was up the glass wall to the parking lot was covered with water droplets and the HEAT was oppressive!  I will NOT do another convention in July in Florida!

 

Pfeil:  Prescott looks beautiful!

 

RGSmits:  No grandkids yet!  My kids are only 19 & 15, so hopefully, it will still be many years.  I never understood why my aunt & uncle from northern NJ moved away from their kids and 5 grandchildren to Vegas!  As they get older the flights back and forth for various family events must be wearing...  

 

The quality of life in the Washington DC area is crazy!  I usually leave for work between 6 - 6:15am.  If I wait until 7, I can add at least :20 minutes to my morning commute.  My evening commute is :45 minutes and I only live 11.5 miles from work.  This is on a good day.  If there is an accident on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, add another :30 minutes!  What I really don't understand is Beltway/Route 66 traffic on the weekends.  It's 2pm on a Saturday and I'm sitting in traffic for no apparent reason.  In-fill development is gobbling up any free space with mostly townhouses and condos/apartments.   

 

Thank you for listening and weighing in!  Greg

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

16136896687_4f7879a3d2_k.jpg

 

Wow, that's so perfect that it almost looks like a computer-generated image. Gorgeous! I'd live there happily.

Matt, I would say in one year we get at least get 250-300 days that we can see the San Francisco Peaks that are behind Flagstaff Peaks shot from Prescott. That's 133 miles away. See below;

Image result for Views from prescott to san francisco peaks images

Also Prescott sunsets are famous. I am also 5 minutes from the shot below;

 Image result for prescott az sunset images

Image result for prescott az sunset images

 

 

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I like:

Trees and mountains

Being surrounded by water, and being an hour and a half from the ocean

I like not having to turn on the AC in the car more then a half dozen times a year, and not even having to have AC in the house (I hate heat and and humidity, as well as snow in the lowlands)

I like being able to tour in my old cars without any heat discomfort, or threat of rain for three plus months in the summer

 

Is our world perfect, is anything perfect-of course it isn't, but what isn't right with this place pales in comparison to everything else. It may not be for everybody, but for those of us who live here, few of are looking for somewhere else to move.

 

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1 hour ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

I like:

Trees and mountains

Being surrounded by water, and being an hour and a half from the ocean

I like not having to turn on the AC in the car more then a half dozen times a year, and not even having to have AC in the house (I hate heat and and humidity, as well as snow in the lowlands)

I like being able to tour in my old cars without any heat discomfort, or threat of rain for three plus months in the summer

 

Is our world perfect, is anything perfect-of course it isn't, but what isn't right with this place pales in comparison to everything else. It may not be for everybody, but for those of us who live here, few of are looking for somewhere else to move.

 

 

You don't mention where you live.  Have you already died and went to heaven? :)

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6 hours ago, 63RedBrier said:

KFLE:  To answer your question, a little bit of both  (Too many people have taken advantage of me over the years when money is not mentioned up front.  Live and learn...)  I can fix your car or house, but I expect to be paid... 

 

Understood and agreed. I was more thinking of volunteering at a museum.  For example there are several retired car guys who come in and maintain the cars at the Gilmore on a volunteer basis because they love working on old cars.  They also have a garage works program where they teach high schoolers to work on and do a car restoration and that again is a volunteer program.  

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18 hours ago, 63RedBrier said:

Original poster here...

 

1.  You get the gold star for coming up with a great original thread.

 

2. 90% of the guys on here north of the Mason Dixon and over 50 are wondering the same thing as you.

 

I'm in Massachusetts.    It has two things going for it.    Sept 1 to Nov 1 is the best weather you will find anywhere on the planet.   Sometimes it is 6 weeks and not 8,  but basically 65-70 degrees and zero humidity.    The second thing is the economy made up of hospitals, colleges,  tech and finance tends to ride out most bad blips in the economy.     I won't go in to the negatives because I will bore you.

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Well I was born in Morgan,town West Virginia,have no desire other than to visit,moved to ferndalemich where we lived for several years have been back for a visit a couple of times like it don’t love it,moved to so calif,have lived here   years hate it except for the weather,politics suck,very very high auto registrations,utilities are a killer,,home prices astronomical,more people moving out then in,then there’s immigration,we’ve all heard about calif immigration problems they are worse than you’ve heard,my wife  passed away two years ago so I’m alone now I only have to worry about me,personally I’m lookIng at Prescott Arizona,I have nothing to lose,p.s. take care of your partner I was with mine for 47 years and it’s lonely without them,   Dave

 

 

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UCF, Rollins, and Nova all have Orlando campuses

Many hospitals in area (Orlando Health has six alone) including a major VA hospital and at least three lesser VA sites.

To make up for no income tax, we have "resort fees" that apply to hotels, attractions, and such. Sales tax is 6.5% in Orange county.

Many gated and senior communities

"Restaurant Row" is four miles away. Universal is 2 miles. Dizzy is 16 miles.

Many many mallls

Some nice "Pick a Parts" with online inventories.

 

But the ultimate characteristic of Orlando is we have a Prada...…......….outlet.

 

ps weather is now under 90 and will stay that way until June. Of course even my garage is air conditioned.

 

 

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4 hours ago, JustDave said:

Well I was born in Morgan,town West Virginia,have no desire other than to visit,moved to ferndalemich where we lived for several years have been back for a visit a couple of times like it don’t love it,moved to so calif,have lived here   years hate it except for the weather,politics suck,very very high auto registrations,utilities are a killer,,home prices astronomical,more people moving out then in,then there’s immigration,we’ve all heard about calif immigration problems they are worse than you’ve heard,my wife  passed away two years ago so I’m alone now I only have to worry about me,personally I’m lookIng at Prescott Arizona,I have nothing to lose,p.s. take care of your partner I was with mine for 47 years and it’s lonely without them,   Dave

 

 

 Dave, sorry for your loss. Life sometimes isn't easy as you already know. There are a lot of guys and gals here in Prescott in the same situation.

Here in Prescott the attitude is very much God and Country and it's easy to make friends. It's a place where you feel safe. There are always Car related things to do ( organized and unorganized ). This morning and every Saturday morning for example about 40 of us car guys always go to our local donut shop for coffee and then we head for breakfast. Yesterday 60 of us ( there are over 100 guys on the email list) met at a restaurant for lunch which along with the donut shop is a routine that happens every week. Here in Prescott if you are a car guy or if you are a church going person you are never alone if you don't want to be. This afternoon My wife and I are going to another car buddy's wedding.

 I know all about California, I lived there for 61 years. The only thing that kept me from going was my love of surfing. With a back problem and surgery all of ended so there was nothing left to hold me from leaving. My old state is destroyed.

 

Today as I write. The high for today 75, humidity 12% Chance of some rain next week. PM me if you ( or any of you ) want more details.

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The only thing keeping me here is my kids an grandkids.i know all to well about back surgery but each day I challenge myself to continue to do as much as possible,I have noticed home prices are rising in Prescott,when I leave calif I’m going to give my home to my daughter so I’ll just have my little savings and about 2.000 a month retirement,but calif is sucking the life out of me and I have to get out,  dave

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22 hours ago, padgett said:

Many gated and senior communities

 

This I don't get. If the area is so crime ridden one needs to live in a gated community to stay safe, I want no part of it!👍

 

 

 

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My father retired to Hill Country (Central), Texas. Fredricksburg is expensive, but towns 20 minutes away are cheap. There are scenic routes for cars and bikes that people come to drive from across the country. Weather is mild in the winter and better than other parts of Texas in the summer. Cars shows run nearly year round due to the climate. 

 

I am going to be listing his garage for sale next week and his house soon. Check out some sale prices on homes in Harper, Texas. I can’t believe how cheap they are, even with property. His 2002 double wide with 5 acres will sell for well under 200k. 

https://texashillcountry.com/3-scenic-drives-texas-hill-country/

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12 hours ago, JustDave said:

The only thing keeping me here is my kids an grandkids.i know all to well about back surgery but each day I challenge myself to continue to do as much as possible,I have noticed home prices are rising in Prescott,when I leave calif I’m going to give my home to my daughter so I’ll just have my little savings and about 2.000 a month retirement,but calif is sucking the life out of me and I have to get out,  dave

 Just a suggestion. Why don't you sell your house, move out of Ca. and buy a new house and will that house to your daughter. Later she can move in and also rid herself of Ca.

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I would except she’s lived and raised her family in that house.years ago my wife and I bought a Newhouse about a mile or so from this one so the oldest daughter and her family moves in this one they are to keep the house up and make the payment,the wife and I talk about moving to Tennessee,,at that time my wife’s health is failing real bad,just asthingscantget any worse my youngest daughters partner,soulmate husband what ever you call it gets killed in a motorcycle accident,at that time my youngest and her disabled 3 year old daughter move back in,at that time my partner moves away and wants the business sold,well the business was sold with a small down and monthly payments,at that time I receive some sma. Payments but I’m unemployed and have lost my  medical ins,a year later the wife is getting  more and more frail when the guy buying the business up and dies at 42 years old, after several months of fighting I end up losing the house,at that time I sell my restored cars and motorcycles and move to an apartment.after a year my youngest decides to move out on her own,at that time my wife is pretty frail. So my oldest daughter asks us to move in so she could spend her last days with her,after about a year my wife passed away in August 2017.so here I am once on top of the world now just a pauper,,but I wouldn’t trade one bad time for one less day with my wife,    Dave

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27 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Gated reminds me of southern Florida which does make me think of crime.

Gated community means " Private Keep out "

Image result for images of what a gated community is

 

It's a layer of safety to keep the unwanted public out.

One of the primary purposes of a gated community is to offer its residents safety that they wouldn't experience in nearby non-gated communities. One way a gated community increases safety is by eliminating through traffic.

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21 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

This I don't get. If the area is so crime ridden one needs to live in a gated community to stay safe, I want no part of it!👍

 

I agree and that is why most "gated communities" exist, it's to keep out the local troublemakers. I live in Detroit metro and people tell me i should get a CCW, my reply is I'm not going to live anywhere that I feel I need to pack a gun. When I feel I need to, I will leave. It isn't worth the hassle, a friend of mine carries all the time, he forgot and left his gun in his girlfriends car and she didn't know it was in there and tried to enter Canada, she got in a big hassle on the bridge and they made her turn around and go back.

 

-Ron

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

And most are a joke - anyone who wants in gets in

 

Worse yet is if the community is large enough, it is residents that commit the crimes! 😵

 

Happens around here all the time in the few gated communities we have.

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Personally I always felt small rural towns were best (say 300 to 800 people). Everyone knows each other, houses are close enough you can watch out for each other, a strange car is unusual, and it avoids the problems related to being "too remote".

 

We lived in such a town in upstate NY for over 25 years. When we closed on the house the sellers couldn't produce a key - they said they never locked their doors. Come to find out none of the locals ever locked their doors. If you ran into the local store in the wintertime you left the motor running to keep the car warm. People coming to the house would knock and enter asking "Anybody home".

 

People would let you know if your kid smoked, drank or was getting into trouble without being judgemental - everyone remembered when they were kids. In the summer kids left the house after breakfast, might be back for lunch (or eat at someone else's house) and always came home for supper (or called).

 

To me, that is the kind of place to retire to..

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that is great Vermont, but what about world class hospitals?

 

most dont exist anywhere near rural areas, and it certainly is a consideration.

 

My buddy lives in the rural mountains of Livermore CO. He has had 4 heart attacks and thank God, he has helicopter insurance! they saved him each time........... but...........

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Would expand that to a small rural town close to a metropolis for stores and restaurants.  Thirty five years ago this was rural (in the county and in what used to be an orange grove before it started freezing this far North. Now can watch the Universal fireworks from my roof.

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