Still exploring where to retire to. Any ideas? Are you familiar with...

I'm reading this with great interest. We'll be making this decision soon. No Florida- hurricanes, snakes, alligators. Asheville was a nice place to visit but to live there, not so much for me I like museums, theatre, ballet, zoos, beaches, everything I can find around here. Possibly just a lower taxed town in NJ?


Nobody is looking at Texas?



sac said:

Nobody is looking at Texas?

I am, but I didn't think there would be a lot of interest on MOL so I didn't bring it up.


My daughter lives in Houston and we have visited many times. it is a spectacular world class city. It has a reasonable cost of living and culturally can give any city in America a run for its money. If my daughter were making.a permanent home there we would consider it with reservations. Living in the inner loop is wonderful, because you are in close proximity to all a fabulous city has to offer. However, through out the city, traffic is a nightmare like most of us have never experienced. Think rush hour into the Lincoln tunnel as normal traffic on most highways....all day. As hot as Florida is, Houston weather puts that to shame. At least 4 months a year the weather is truly oppressive. Another issue is that it is in Texas, a state where ja@ka$$es can legally carry their assault weapons into the grocery store. And it's the state that gave us Rick Perry and Ted Cruz.


@sarahzm - I'm a native of Houston and agree with everything you wrote there. If I went back, I would want to live inside that inner loop for sure - which is where many of the most interesting and eclectic (and progressive) neighborhoods are and traffic more easily avoided. And the Texas political landscape is evolving. (e.g. the Castro brothers, Annise Parker, ...)

The cities in Texas all have (varying) attractions, although certainly all are hot in the summer. No question about that. But AC is ubiquitous and the lifestyle adjusts.

No current plans to relocate for retirement, but if I do, I would take Texas over Florida in a heartbeat.


Here's something on Bluffton, SC. Cheap homes, close to Savannah, Hilton Head, Beaufort and Charleston.

http://www.hiltonheadisland.org/bluffton/


Four huge pluses in Houston I forgot to mention. One is the people. We have found the people of Houston to be warm, welcoming, friendly and gracious. Southern Hospitality is real and alive in Houston. My daughter, and artsy, shy, nerdy NJ liberal has been welcomed with open arms and has never been happier. Two is the medical complex. The medical corridor is home to over 50 major hospitals and research institutions. People come from all over to to be treated there. I've never seen anything like it. Three is that Houston is foodie Nirvana. . It seems on every other corner there is a wonderful hole in the wall restaurant with incredible food at very affordable prices. It puts New York city to shame. Four is House Of Pies. No more need be said. If my daughter was staying there or if Houston were closer to great beaches ( We liked the beaches in FL better than Galveston). We'd be moving there.


House of Pies was our favorite late night hangout when I was in college. I can't imagine retirees in there, but maybe during the day ???


House of Pies is great for everyone.


Re Florida, I don't think I want to live close to the coast. And, I wouldn't live anywhere else. We've been to Asheville a couple of times. It seems touristy in town and country out of town. Dunno, I'm probably getting rigid in my old age.


we visited Charleston and Hilton Head and looked at real estate there. We have very close friends who spend half the year in Hilton Head

Charleston is an incredibly charming and beautiful town. We did not spend enough time there to get to know it well because we quickly decided it was not for us. Charleston felt much more like a charming town than a city. From what we could see, Charleston proper was a relatively small area of beauty and grace (overrun with tourists) amid a sea of poverty. There are islands like Kiawah that are beautiful elite expensive resort/residential areas that are very attractive. I can see the appeal for some but it wasn't what we were looking for. All of Hilton Head and most of Charleston and environs are in major flood zones because they are at sea level. Hilton Head is basically a resort island. The island is divided into the main business area along the main drag, seven wealthy development/resort areas called 'plantations' (all but one are gated) and the poor area where the roads aren't even paved, which is where the black people live. I am white but I find the idea of living or vacationing on a 'plantation' offensive. I found it horrifying that a 13 mile long island chock full of billion dollar resorts and residential areas couldn't manage to pave the roads where the poor people lived. While I am sure many South Carolinians are good and decent people we witnessed more instances of overt racism in a week in SC than I have in 30 years in NJ. I know people from this area who have moved to Charleston and Hilton Head / Bluffton and love it. My observations and experiences are limited andmay be skewed but we left feeling we would never be comfortable in South Carolina.


On Hilton Head all new construction is required by code to be on stilts over 12 ft high. We were not comfortable climbing up 1 1/2 flight of stairs just to get into our house. Recognizing that sea level rise is real and the likelihood of a hurricane hit in the next 25 years was high we were not willing to live in a flood zone


Chattanooga Tennessee. A friend from this area( born and raised in Brooklyn) then lived in Millburn) just retired there. She loves it. It's been written up as a top place to retire.



sac said:

@sarahzm - I'm a native of Houston and agree with everything you wrote there. If I went back, I would want to live inside that inner loop for sure - which is where many of the most interesting and eclectic (and progressive) neighborhoods are and traffic more easily avoided. And the Texas political landscape is evolving. (e.g. the Castro brothers, Annise Parker, ...)

The cities in Texas all have (varying) attractions, although certainly all are hot in the summer. No question about that. But AC is ubiquitous and the lifestyle adjusts.

No current plans to relocate for retirement, but if I do, I would take Texas over Florida in a heartbeat.

I have lived in Texas off and on throughout my life. Austin is amazing. The Hill Country has many attractions as does the coast and Big Bend. I am not sure I can imagine retiring to Houston. Most people I know from Houston were only too happy to put it in the rear view mirror. The lack of zoning laws is not the least of the city's problems and the heat is considered unbearable by Texan standards.



sarahzm said:

Chattanooga Tennessee. A friend from this area( born and raised in Brooklyn) then lived in Millburn) just retired there. She loves it. It's been written up as a top place to retire.

+1 for Chattanooga. People who live there love it and they have one of the fastest internet systems in North America.



sarahzm said:

Chattanooga Tennessee. A friend from this area( born and raised in Brooklyn) then lived in Millburn) just retired there. She loves it. It's been written up as a top place to retire.

I have friends who moved there and love, love, love it.


Chattanooga is a surprisingly pretty town. Of course, I was going to the tourist areas, and don't have an overview.

I know (a bit ) the MOL person who went to Chattanooga. I remember when she was visiting. Glad she is enjoying it. I do wonder what people report after living there for 3 or 4 years.

My problem is, I want to stay put. But, probably not with this big house (though I do love it). The reality of the upkeep and taxes are another thing.


Boone is lovely as is neighboring Blowing Rock. Small towns though.



Klinker said:



sac said:

@sarahzm - I'm a native of Houston and agree with everything you wrote there. If I went back, I would want to live inside that inner loop for sure - which is where many of the most interesting and eclectic (and progressive) neighborhoods are and traffic more easily avoided. And the Texas political landscape is evolving. (e.g. the Castro brothers, Annise Parker, ...)

The cities in Texas all have (varying) attractions, although certainly all are hot in the summer. No question about that. But AC is ubiquitous and the lifestyle adjusts.

No current plans to relocate for retirement, but if I do, I would take Texas over Florida in a heartbeat.

I have lived in Texas off and on throughout my life. Austin is amazing. The Hill Country has many attractions as does the coast and Big Bend. I am not sure I can imagine retiring to Houston. Most people I know from Houston were only too happy to put it in the rear view mirror. The lack of zoning laws is not the least of the city's problems and the heat is considered unbearable by Texan standards.

You/they weren't in the right parts of Houston IMO. I have many friends (including some who spent considerable portions of their lives up here) and also some family, who are loving living there - most of them very close to downtown either in highrise or semi-highrise living or in some of the close-in single-family neighborhoods - Montrose, West U, etc. And also some in the resort/lake communities farther away from the center of the city. You definitely do have to consider location. Personally, I think the heat is pretty unbearable in all of Texas in the summer, more humid but not quite as high temps in Houston than the interior cities, but people who live there for any length of time figure out how to live with it. I must say that I suffer more in heat waves up here than I did down there when I lived in it all summer long, but I don't plan my visits there during the summer when I can help it now that I'm no longer acclimated. And I can't imagine that most of Florida isn't just as bad as Houston on the heat and humidity scale and has less other attractions to me. But everybody has their priorities and it certainly isn't for everyone.


I think we got to Boone but not Blowing Rock. Too small. In fact, Asheville may be too small for me. Let's see...maybe South Orange Maplewood? (laughing at myself...content here. Not sure what I am willing to give up)


Seriously we are thinking of keeping a small place here and maybe another small place somewhere for winters.


I've been to Houston and St Petersburg in the middle of summer and Houston was worse. The air seemed heavier - and it was definitely significantly more humid in Houston. In our experience, in St Pete we could enjoy being outside even in the hot weather because the beaches and water activities were so close. Also , in the evening and very early morning it cools down enough so one can enjoy being outside in St Pete but in Houston the heat just did not let up. Also in St Pete if you are near the water you get breezes from the bay and Gulf. For me, the summer in Houston is more tolerable than winter here. So it would work for me. In Houston there are wonderful neighborhoods right in the center of the city that are surprisingly affordable that offer immediate access to fabulous restaurants, museums, and an incredible variety of cultural activities. For years I had heard about Houston Sprawl and had an image of an unmanageable unattractive city - which is not at all accurate. If my daughter decided to make a permanent home there I would be very happy for her.



Our children and grandchildren are here. We get to see them frequently--like a couple of times a week. We don't want to move away from them.


Seriously, check out Bluffton, SC for yourself. You are close to Savannah/Charleston/Beaufort/Hilton Head and the people are friendly and artsy, and all seem quite happy.



sac said:

And I can't imagine that most of Florida isn't just as bad as Houston on the heat and humidity scale and has less other attractions to me. But everybody has their priorities and it certainly isn't for everyone.

Don't get me wrong, if I had to choose between Florida and Houston I would take Houston in a heart beat. Then again, if I had to choose between Florida and Aleppo, I would take Aleppo.


no mention of south Jersey?

We left our beautiful home of almost 40 years six years ago for Ocean County.

While you are boomer age, the world beckons - however, kids have kids and the grandkids are over scheduled once they hit school. Trips to see grandparents get fewer and fewer.

Does anyone really look forward to downsizing twice? We know of older seniors who have returned to be with family.

Our southern lifestyle has given us wonderful neighbors, easy living in homes designed for creeky knees and backs, and Zone 7a for 'gardening !

And who doesn't love the Jersey shore!


Mtierney, where in south Jersey are you located? We go into NYC often, so we don't want to be too far south. We were thinking of somewhere near Red Bank.


Gerryl, if you want to stay nearby and move to a more affordable home, especially one with fewer stairs consider Springfield right next door. Also, contrary to what many think, Union has some lovely areas and homes there are affordable. Morris County has much lower taxes but housing prices in the closer in communities are much higher. If you are willing to go past Mendham you can do well.


Maplewood homeowner here, and I retired in 2011, and certainly not wealthy, but managing just fine on what I have. My grandkids and daughter are in South Orange, so really do not want to move.



sarahzm said:

Gerryl, if you want to stay nearby and move to a more affordable home, especially one with fewer stairs consider Springfield right next door. Also, contrary to what many think, Union has some lovely areas and homes there are affordable. Morris County has much lower taxes but housing prices in the closer in communities are much higher. If you are willing to go past Mendham you can do well.

Califon always strikes me as an awesome rural oasis. Taxes aren't too bad.



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