Looking to Relocate ... Ideas?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by MikeKardec, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm not in a rush, but I think my days in California are numbered. I have loved this place immensely. In my youth it was the most amazing, cosmopolitan city in the world. It was full of people who were full of aspirations. People came here to remake themselves and start again. It had it's dark side, but I was at peace with that. I understood it. Now things have changed ... or I've just gotten old. So now I'm looking to do what so many did when they came here, to go somewhere else and find a better life. I won't do it without careful planning and I won't move permanently so long as certain family members are still alive but I'm thinking about managing my exit in stages, the first of which is to pick a new location.

    High on the list is a state with lower taxes but, with the exception of our property taxes, we pay so much in CA that nearly anywhere is better. My goals is to find a place that is a bit more "old fashioned," but still has the conveniences of a small to mid sized city: some home grown culture, a good hospital, a decent sized airport. I have spent a fair amount of my life in a town of around 10,000. If I was looking to move smewhere that small, I'd go back there. That said a smaller town within a hour (a short LA commute!) of the center of a bigger city might give me the best of both worlds.

    On the larger side I am considering Dallas or Ft Worth or somewhere nearby. On the smaller, and more remote, side possibly Coeur d'Alene ... I'm not sure it qualifies in the airport and good hospital categories, though Spokane is right near by. I'm not very familiar with the South East and Mid West. I still want to live a life full of interesting people and retain the sort of freedom that we had for so long here in CA. It's not just Covid that is pushing me into this, it's been coming for ten years or more. Now it's time to start figuring out what to do. It's time to start thinking about the next adventure.

    Who has ideas? I'd love to hear about the places that people here have liked and why they might recommend them!
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  2. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,420
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    I visited Dallas for a wedding and found the town quite attractive.
    Went to law school in Oklahoma City, a great mid-sized place with minor league
    baseball, U of Oklahoma football, NBA Thunder, cultural offerings, the Full Circle Book Store
    has wood burning fireplaces, and Remington Park for thoroughbred racing.

    But Chicago is home, problems and all. Cannnot recommended it for relocale though.
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.

  3. I’m in a very similar position. I’ve lived all but a couple years of my life in California. If it had 1-5% of its population and different politics and taxes I’d never consider leaving. I’ve lived in Southern California, the Mojave Desert, the San Joaquin valley, the Bay Area, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the North Coast (my favorite).

    I have similar places as you on my list to retire to (four years and counting). There are a lot of considerations in the decision, but I also have great medical care and a major airport close by as huge factors. Good luck, and let us know what you decide on.
     
  4. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,838
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Maybe take a look at Ithaca, NY. My daughter has fallen in love with that place. It is small (pop 30,000ish), located on the Finger Lakes, surrounded by agriculture, is considered to be very “livable”. Intellectual and cultural opportunities because it hosts both Cornell University and Ithaca College. Has an airport. Only 50 miles to Syracuse. Probably the main negative point is the winter, which can be very cold, snowy, and long. As I said, my daughter loves the place.
     
    Alice Blue likes this.
  5. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,420
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Ithaca has been on my radar off-and-on occasionally when pipe dreaming with a smooth whiskey.
    But the winters are brutal, that I know. US Marshalls once relocated a dues paid member of their
    Witness Protection Program to Ithaca, smack dab dead center bulls eye old man winter. Great timing.
    And the club member soon wanted out of Dodge, fast. I heard California got picked.
     
  6. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,199
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    My wife and I have spent the past 6 years touring the western states...eschewing big cities in favour of the small town America we love so much. Two years ago I would have advised to look at smaller towns in range of Portland or Seattle but now with the homeless/political scene they approach unliveability and would no longer be on my list. Salem a bit further down the I5 might qualify or a bit further Eugene with the Uni gives it more of a cosmopolitan feel than it s size might warrant. Central Oregon is wonderful. Bend with much in its favour although there are a lot of Californians there! Coeur d'Alene is wonderful while Spokane still seems to be a working man's town and may seem too back water after LA but it does have Gonzaga U. We really like Boise and its suburbs are amongst the fastest growing regions in the US. Boise State adds a dose of culture to the small town mix. Meridian, Eagle, are two upscale suburbs of Boise. Only know West Texas and the oil patch and not a place I would choose except to work the patch. We love Montana but that likely does not qualify as even their 'big' cities are small...I think the largest, Billings is only 100,000 and Helena the capital at 60,000 or so? But it truly is big sky country with Bozeman the cultural exception now housing many Cali and CO refuges making it the one town that is not so much Montanan any longer......dog spas, designer fashion stores, high end recreational equip stores, wine boutiques give it a more Sun Valley feel than anything else. Working Montanans in the rest of the state tend to scrunch their faces at the mention of Bozeman.
     
  7. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,593
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Check out Chelan, Wash.

    Spectacular scenery (truly). Small-town charm, lotsa outdoor recreational opportunities, good eateries (it’s something of a tourist destination, so you gotta have that), orchards, vineyards, etc.

    About a three-hour drive to Seattle; same to Spokane.

    It’s a scenic drive alongside the Columbia River to Wenatchee, a much larger settlement about a half hour away, where you will find shopping malls and big-box stores and auto dealerships and medical specialists and many other conveniences and amenities blessedly absent in the smaller towns.
     
  8. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,199
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Lots of sunny days too but I would check out the current Seattle situation to make sure that was the metropolus I wanted to be close too. It ain't pretty.
     
  9. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,199
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    i do not know the tax burden but another place to consider is Grand Junction CO. About 60,000, U of CO has a satellite campus....decent weather, a nice old time downtown with sculptures/art installations along the sidewalk throughout the downtown core, a symphony orch, other cultural activities that come with the uni and all the big box shopping surrounding the core. It gives the appearance of affluence without the chi chi symbols, a good coffee/bagel shop (if that is important). 250 mile drive to Denver and Utah with its beauty just around the corner. Durango a short distance south and the weather is not too extreme. We have friends retired there and they love it. Another note about Boise ID.....it has The Pastry Palace....in our top three of donut shops in the western USA. Top spot goes to the Donut House in Anacortes WA....our choice if we could retire in the USA but we would drive north to Vancouver not south to Seattle. It sits about equidistant.
     
  10. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,896
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I have to plug Lincoln, Nebraska. It's a small city that has the feel of a small town. Lots of cultural stuff going on here - we have the university, plus a wonderful local arts scene, music, food, museums, etc. It is relatively safe, and the people here are friendly. We do have an airport, and the Omaha airport is just 45 minutes away. Lots of recreational areas for boating and hiking and other nature adventures. You're only 3 hours from Kansas City, as well.

    Contrary to what a lot of people believe, eastern Nebraska is not flat, but has gently rolling hills and is wonderfully green in the spring and summer with lots of trees. Autumn is absolutely gorgeous here. However, you'd have to get used to the winters, which can be quite cold and snowy. Summers are beastly hot but that's not a problem since you're from CA!

    But, property taxes are a bit high here, and that is definitely a drawback. My boyfriend and I are house hunting for a place and it isn't easy. However, I suspect that the prices are much better here than in CA.
     
  11. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,079
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Two years or a bit more ago I would have moved to WA in a minute. I have a small book retail business that a buddy of mine runs out of a town just west of the Cascades. It was high on the list (same with the Portland area) until things got ... weird.

    Montana sounds great and I've spent some time there. I've just never paid attention to the cities all that much.

    Been there but I wasn't really checking it out for living conditions. That whole area, including CDL and Boise, are on the list.

    Sounds like it's time for a donut tour! The small town I used to live in and visit was Durango, so I've known it and that whole area for 50 years. Absolutely lovely and it meets nearly all my categories except for air travel in and out leaves a lot to be desired and the hospital, while fairly new, has the same issue. Perhaps I know too much! Colorado overall has a good tax situation. Not the lowest in any category but low over all and that end up being better than a lot of states.

    I'm going to have to look into it. Of course summers in CA are hot but, you know, it's a dry heat. The mid west can be humid. However, I'm considering TX so I can't complain about heat!

    All great suggestions!!!
     
  12. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,896
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Oh, forgot to mention that we have fantastic hospitals here, and we are also only 45 minutes from Omaha which has the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) - (I see two wonderful doctors there) as well as Creighton University Medical Center. UNMC is on the cutting edge of a lot of stuff right now, and were instrumental in the early days of the pandemic. Here in Lincoln, we have three hospitals and a LOT of great doctors and dentists. If you can't find it in Lincoln, you're just a short drive away from finding it in Omaha.
     
  13. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,593
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    That bookstore wouldn’t happen to be in Sultan, would it?
     
  14. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,593
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    There’s a thing or two to be said for Hood River, Oregon.
     
  15. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,199
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Our first trip to Montana we stopped off on the way home to revisit Butte, our favourite town in the state. I asked the young server for her thumbnail of Montana cities.....Butte: working man's town, hard working, hard drinking town. Missoula: where the hippies live. Bozeman: where the Cali refuges hang out, destroy the property market, sip lattes, and expensive wine.....in their rush to escape Cali they have replicated it in miniature in Bozeman.....and she said it all with such disdain. Helena: staid and snobby filled with state bureaucrats. On subsequent trips we kept her words in mind and found them uncannily accurate.
     
    Cornelius likes this.
  16. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,593
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    ^^^^^
    I’ve had plenty of good times in Missoula. But then, I was, and am, something of a hippie myself, minus the hair.

    Butte is one helluva town. Great architecture. Got awakened by curious feral horses (or seemingly so) who wondered what my then-girlfriend and I were doing in that tent in their scrapyard on the outskirts of town.

    Livingston has a well-preserved business district.

    I’ve never regretted a trip through Montana.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  17. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,199
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Maybe it is the aged hippie in me but I love Missoula. The hippie section is small and is across the river from downtown....they really do have a crystal shop.
     
  18. Seank

    Seank One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    195
    Nashville
     
  19. KILO NOVEMBER

    KILO NOVEMBER Practically Family

    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Cheapeake Bay Drainage Basin
    I remember, oh, twenty or thirty years back, a bumper sticker that I saw more than once here in the Chesapeake Bay Drainage Basin. It resembled the Colorado license plate from the period (green background, white mountains). It read, "Don't Californicate Colorado".
     
    belfastboy likes this.
  20. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    In the Maine Woods
    You could always come to northern New England. You'll be surrounded by impressive snowy peaks, as you attempt to traverse the sidewalks after the plow trucks have some through. You may think the winters intimidating, but there are many mechanisms and compensations for it. Believe me, there is nothing quite so warming as the smug feeling you get when hearing people from other parts of the country speak of 25 degrees F as "cold," or as though a foot-and-a-half of snow were something worth remarking on. We are, of course, known for our many outdoor activities, and even in the deep freeze of February you can rent a small, mobile shack and go out to the nearest frozen lake for a spot of ice drinking. Fishing. Ice fishing, that's what I said the first time.
    And lest you think we are just a winter wonderland, let me dissuade you. In the summer, the climate here can reach near-tropical levels of humidity. Perhaps, as a Californian, you fear you may miss something like a good drought. We have them! And they are all the more remarkable to contemplate when you recall the 63 straight days of gray sogginess you endured in March and April.
    Peace and quiet you will find in abundance. We were way ahead of the COVID curve in curtailing the hustle and bustle of public life. You will find yourself untroubled by the din and clamor of any kind of public transportation worthy of the name, or the sharp, unpleasant aural poke of people pronouncing the letter 'r' distinctly.
    Our lack of diversity may lead you to believe that the residents here are, shall we say, less than cosmopolitan in their outlook. In truth, they can be quite worldly. People who have barely ever seen an ethnic minority can have a roster of opinions about them.
    And don't forget the arts! You will never find yourself wanting for pictures of lighthouses and fishing boats. I myself haven't wanted to look at another one since I was about twelve.
    There are many places here, within a comfortable distance of the frightfully expensive coastal towns, that are ideal for settling down into and waiting for death.
     

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