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Retirement Relocation Question

Retirement Relocation Question

Old Feb 10th 2005, 4:23 pm
  #1  
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Default Retirement Relocation Question

Honestly, I'm not the type of person who moves. I've been in the same town all of my life and in the same apartment for 29 years. I like where I live and I love my apartment and its location. But my Canadian, now American husband, does not like living in New York. He wants to move when we retire. Well, you guessed it, retirement is fast approaching and we were thrown some new stats by my daughter is moving back to Las Vegas the end of the month.

Comparatively the cost of living in Vegas if 45% less than the cost of living in New York City. Apartments are relatively inexpensive in comparsion to where we currently live. More for less.

We've also been looking at Arizona. Again, more for less.

The only problem: We want to own a home; not rent and real estate prices for buying a house is out of sight in Vegas and the surrounding areas. Somewhat lower in Arizona.

So for all you expats who have moved to these two places, what has been your feelings about the state, the community, job opportunities (not computer related), cost of living, etc.

Thanks.

Rete
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Can't really help, but there has been a couple threads on relocation that had some good links about salary converstions and cost of livings etc.
Also, craiglist, they must have some cities listed for Az and co?
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

I can't give you any specific infromation about AZ, but I'm sure you realise that you would be switching to a completely different lifestyle. So you'd need to make a list of things you would really miss about NYC, and whether the occasional visit back would be sufficient to make up for not having these at hand. (As well as a list of things that attract you to AZ, of course, and an assessment of how important these are to you both.)

For instance, I'm a Londoner, love London and everything it has to offer, particularly opera and art galleries. Now I'm stranded in rural CA and feel like a fish out of water. I know that I can function here for a few years, but definitely not for the rest of my life.

So I think a move such as the one you are contemplating has to be considered very carefully. Would it perhaps be possible to go and stay there for just a few months and see how you like it, without 'burning your bridges' as it were? I know this may seem expensive but might be cheaper in the long run than moving there, hating it and moving back.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Hi Rete,
I just moved back to AZ after being in NJ for four LONG years. The only thing I can tell you about buying out here, in my area, (not sure if it's all over or not to be honest) is that houses (brand new) are selling like hot cakes and now the building companies are doing lotteries on them. I don't quite understand it all, but what I did get is that you can put your name down for a lot and if your name gets pulled out of the 'hat', then you get to buy that lot.

I love it here, NJ was too cold for me, I like my heat. I do still yearn for England, but since returning back here, I finally feel settled and content with where life is taking me.


Don't know anything about the Vegas area, never been, although I'd like to. Hope this was a little bit of help
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

DonnaElvira hit the nail on the head when she said it’s a totally different lifestyle from the northeast. I think you may find it a bit of a soulless, cultural desert. Having said that, if you park yourself in or around the over-55 communities there’s certainly an active social life.

One suggestion for you in Arizona is anywhere in the region between Lake Havasu and Bullhead City. The former is slightly up-market and a destination for CA retirees, while the latter is more blue collar but also has a large number of veterans. Both are a couple of hours drive from Vegas (practically next door in terms of the southwest!) and are still reasonably affordable.

Last edited by fatbrit; Feb 10th 2005 at 6:10 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Here's a good calculator for figuring out cost of livings differences: http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/citypick.html
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Originally Posted by UKintheUSA
Check out Henderson Nevada Rete. A friend of mine is a realtor there and they moved to that town as it is so much less expensive there. Very near to Las Vegas and just as fun as she says. Lots of jobs available as well. I can put her in touch if you'd like.
They bought a home there as soon as they arrived as they were much less than she thought! They are loving it.
Debs

Henderson is Vegas -- there's hardly a field between 'em! The whole area has had massive increases in house prices in recent years. The only cheap places are the places you probably wouldn't want to live, i.e. anywhere north of the strip.

I always think the nicest place to live close to Vegas is Boulder City -- again not cheap but a real nice little town.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

IMO Vegas is a mess and getting far too expensive. The city has been built too fast without much thought and the roads and freeways are the worst I have ever riden on. I have friends who live there and they were paying $850 a month for a two bedroom apartment about 3 miles west of the strip. Their rent just went up to $1075 and they have decided to leave this area for another two bedroom place that is costing them $1200 a month, why I don't know.

I agree with Fatbrit, that Boulder City is looking better and better everytime I drive through it.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Also, AZ is extremely pricey. My mother in laws house which is 3 bedroom in mid to north Scottsdale has risen by $160,000 in 10 years.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Originally Posted by Rete
Honestly, I'm not the type of person who moves. I've been in the same town all of my life and in the same apartment for 29 years. I like where I live and I love my apartment and its location. But my Canadian, now American husband, does not like living in New York. He wants to move when we retire. Well, you guessed it, retirement is fast approaching and we were thrown some new stats by my daughter is moving back to Las Vegas the end of the month.

Comparatively the cost of living in Vegas if 45% less than the cost of living in New York City. Apartments are relatively inexpensive in comparsion to where we currently live. More for less.

We've also been looking at Arizona. Again, more for less.

The only problem: We want to own a home; not rent and real estate prices for buying a house is out of sight in Vegas and the surrounding areas. Somewhat lower in Arizona.

So for all you expats who have moved to these two places, what has been your feelings about the state, the community, job opportunities (not computer related), cost of living, etc.

Thanks.

Rete
Rete: you're your own boss, so take what I write here with a pinch of salt; but some stuff to help provoke you to think hard about such a move.

Rete: those are average stats ... is my memory correct, you get a really good break on the rent you pay for your NY apartment? Isn't it a controlled rental? If so, those stats don't really apply to you, as your current cost of living is relatively low within NY and so the stats are not really useful in your case. Also keep in mind that you will rely more on car use in Vegas because things and shops will be more distant and harder to get to than where you live at present; also, the heat can be very severe making it very uncomfortable to drag shopping home or be out doors for more than 30 mins at a time. On a visit to the Hoover Dam the guide told us that when it is around 110F it is hard for most folks to be outside more than 10 or 20 minutes. But it is "dry heat", which of course means you will have to drink more and take greater care of your skin, hair etc.

I guess these are several questions you need to answer, including, but not limited to: (1) could you afford to live in the Vegas (or abc area); (2) could you adapt to living in abc area; and (3) could you end up loving/liking living in ABC area.

Rete: I think you know you will be giving up an awful lot if you move to another state. Frankly, given that the current cost of living for you is very good bearing in mind your live in New York, and you love living there and will miss it like crazy ... well, it will be tough on you if you move. I am not you, but if I liked a place as much as you did, and it was very affordable for me to stay, I would stay (but that "is me that is"). You have a lot to lose if things don't work out at your new place.


I visited Vegas a week ago and like you found out that the real estate prices around there have exploded. Good news is that if you do manage to buy you shouldn't lose out on property prices (but who knows the future) given that more people are moving to the Vegas area than leaving.

But moving there will amount to a huge change in lifestyle and climate.

Have you stayed in the Vegas area? If you stayed there for a month or so this might enable you to get a better line on the place. Visiting as a tourist might not do that. But staying in some out of town place or with friends who live out in the burbs could help some.

I must stay I really would never live in the Vegas area, while there are cool places to visit along the strip; the place is otherwise (imho) one of the worst places to live on the planet. But that is just my personal opinion and no doubt there are plenty of others who might write that they would love to live in the Vegas community. But I have had a lot of experience of moving to different places and can assess pretty quickly if I could adapt and like a place - I could adapt but I don't think I could ever like living in the Vegas area; but I don't like gambling so my take on Vegas will be different from most folks (gambling is found all over the Vegas area, not just along the strip).

The desert around Vegas is very hostile, the desert area around, e.g., Tucson, is less hostile and consequently more alive with plants and animals. A tour guide said the desert around Vegas is the most hostile in the USA, I don't think he was "boasting". But the desert area around Vegas is actually moving into full bloom (happens every few years, at a guess the plant life needs to propagate and get seed spread out every decade or so) so we were blessed to see this.

Keep in mind that people who have lived around Vegas for a long while have a different take on life. They might drive you crazy with their different outlook. Then again you might love it! But the bottom line is that you will be giving up a good lifestyle for an unknown lifestyle, if you can afford to move back to NY then this isn't such a big thing to worry about. But I have seen plenty of seniors get into a real mess, homesickness can be a lot worse for older folks who are not used to moving around and living in different places. I think your new spouse should be a LOT more understanding about what you will be forced to give up and face, it could prove to be a disastrous move for you but then again if you live in ABC area for a few weeks (preferably more than a month) this might help you decide if you could cope with such a move and be happy in so and so community thousands of miles from your current home which you know so well etc.

But it's your life, just some quick stuff to provoke you to think hard about such a move. But if money was tight, I wouldn't move so late in life just because a new spouse couldn't adapt or like where I live. Making a serious error is much more difficult to fix if one is on a tight budget and no longer working full time. Really think this through. Children move around, if you move closer to children are they going to be around in the long haul when you need help? What if you can't drive anymore - will Vegas area living be suitable given the greater importance of having a car vv living in a more dense and more convenient for shops, public transport etc. area like NY. Really think about this. It's a VERY BIG decision for you to move from a place you know so well and where you already fit in so well for a place with so many unknowns. Really really think hard. Don't be bumped into making a bad decision is all I am saying, its your life and (if my memory serves me right) you love it just as it is so why move? I'm not saying don't move - but provoking you to think: "Why move?".

Good luck with your life and with your decision.

Last edited by Franklin; Feb 10th 2005 at 6:34 pm.
 
Old Feb 10th 2005, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Thanks Donna and FB

Working is not a problem as we will both be retired by the time we move. I'm in the process of studying for an Immigration Law Certification which will allow me to work for non-profit immigration agencies and will use that to supplement our retirement income and keep me active. The old man will do whatever it is that will make him happy (building, fixing and giving away computers). Our problem is financial in that our funds will be minimum and buying a home for over $200K is out of the question or at least the old man won't even discuss a place at that amount. My issue is that I want my own garden and can't see having the type I want in a desert climate. But will learn to cultivate cati if necessary ;-)

I've been to Vegas many times over the years while my daughter lived there and do like it and the surrounding areas.

The search and research continues.

Thanks.


Originally Posted by fatbrit
DonnaElvira hit the nail on the head when she said it’s a totally different lifestyle from the northeast. I think you may find it a bit of a soulless, cultural desert. Having said that, if you park yourself in or around the over-55 communities there’s certainly an active social life.

One suggestion for you in Arizona is anywhere in the region between Lake Havasu and Bullhead City. The former is slightly up-market and a destination for CA retirees, while the latter is more blue collar but also has a large number of veterans. Both are a couple of hours drive from Vegas (practically next door in terms of the southwest!) and are still reasonably affordable.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Originally Posted by Pimpbot
IMO Vegas is a mess and getting far too expensive. The city has been built too fast without much thought and the roads and freeways are the worst I have ever riden on. I have friends who live there and they were paying $850 a month for a two bedroom apartment about 3 miles west of the strip. Their rent just went up to $1075 and they have decided to leave this area for another two bedroom place that is costing them $1200 a month, why I don't know.

I agree with Fatbrit, that Boulder City is looking better and better everytime I drive through it.

My daughter has rented a two bedroom in the Fort Apache area for under $900 a month. Locked/Gated community, security, pools, sauna, gym, solarium instead of a patio/balconey. She was impressed with it over what she left when she lived there four years ago.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Retirement Relocation Question

Franklin

Thanks for your detailed response. Very good points there and many of which I have thought of. In particular the rent issue. But that would be compensated by the pay off of credit debt so it comes out to a plus no matter where we move.

Unfortunately, Jim is not understanding. While he is supportive of my return to school, he is not happy in New York and can't wait to move out. He actually would like some place where he can have a basement or a large room for his computer building needs and lakes for fishing. As long as he had those two things and no snow in the winter, he would think he were in heaven. Being 7 years older than me, he will be retirement age next year while I still have 8 more to go.

What we hope to do is narrow down to four or five states. Visit each one over the year two or three years, find what feels right, purchase land and put up a home. I'm leaning towards a modular home and he is as well. Hey we agreed on something.

My ideal would be to stay where I am or move to Massachusetts, Vermont or Naples, Florida. Those that the four places I love most in the US. Have been in all three for enough time over the years to feel like I could call any of them home. Jim, unfortunately, dislikes them all.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 9:28 pm
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One thing I did pick up on my trip to Vegas was the head of security at our hotel. The crime rate in Vegas is really high. It's kept quiet because of the whole tourist thing but he said it's a real problem for people who live there year round. Having lived in a high crime area (Spain) I'd be really careful with that.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 9:28 pm
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I know you haven,t mentioned SC and do not know if you have been but you can certainly purchase nice properties for under $200,000. The climate is good, certainly no heavy snow falls from Columbia down and plenty of areas to go fishing. Driving in this area is also a pleasure. You are 2/3 hrs from the beach or the mountains. I personally love it and am only too pleased to offer the info.
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