I'm retiring in six months and living outside of Los Angeles. It's very expensive here.
I am 68 years old and my wife is 61 years old. We will have about $ 800,000 total in savings and IRAs, and $ 7,000 monthly income including my social security. We are currently renting.
We want to avoid summers with high humidity, but also try to stay away from the desert heat. I also try to avoid shoveling a lot of snow.
We love gardening, biking, hiking, boating, and fishing, so access to water would be a blessing. It would be great to afford half an acre or more.
Our next two generations could follow us, so employment opportunities would be an added asset for them.
I don't know where to go so your help would be greatly appreciated.
Congratulations on your upcoming retirement and the start of a new adventure.
I hear you say that both the south and the southwest are outside given the weather. There are still plenty of options, but you may have to compromise a little with winter weather. (How much snow? How much rain?)
If you want the next two generations to follow, you need an area where unemployment was below average (at least before the pandemic). A fast growing area could be a bonus. You may want to ask them what compromises they are willing to accept before choosing a seat. I hope it's not just wishful thinking on your part.
One Thought: Why not look for a townhouse or community over 55 where homeowners association fees include shoveling snow? Maybe mow too? That might mean giving up half the morning, but you can still do a lot of gardening on less land. Just check out these HOA rules. A community garden could be a backup plan. Still, don't underestimate how much work half a morning can be!
Read: Four Questions To Ask When Looking For An Active Adult Community Over 55
There are three very different places to consider here. The "Where should I retire?" MarketWatch tool can show you more options.
The Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge is south of Salem._ReedLanePhotography
Reed Lane Photography / Courtesy Travel Salem
You will escape the summer humidity in the capital of Oregon, home to 175,000 people. You don't have to shovel a lot either – although the downside is rainy winters.
You can find these fishing opportunities on the Willamette River within city limits, but you can also drive less than 45 miles to Silver Falls State Park, which is considered the crown jewel in the State Parks system. Two hours east is stunning Detroit Lake, 400 feet deep and more than 9 miles long. It is located in the Willamette National Forest, which extends over 1.6 million acres in eight wilderness areas. So you also have many hiking opportunities. And if you want to ride a bike, start with the 11-mile Minto-Brown Island Park Paved Path in Salem.
Salem is in the center of the Willamette Valley so the vineyards are not far away. If grapes can flourish, your garden can flourish too.
Housing costs are slightly above the national average. Find information about the latest offers on Realtor.com (which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.). You can easily turn around to see rentals.
An alternative could be Corvallis, which is suggested here.
Read: Health care will cost so much in retirement – but probably more
A man fishes in the Watauga River in Sycamore Shoals State Park near Johnson City.
Johnson City, Tennessee
This part of northeast Tennessee could make the fisherman in you very happy.
You're also west of the Blue Ridge Mountains so there are plenty of hiking opportunities. In fact, the Appalachian Trail isn't far if you want to hike some sections. To go biking? Start with the 10 mile Tweetsie Trail to Elizabethton.
Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine described the reader-selected winner of its 2018 top middle class poll as a relatively new adventure town with a "downtown revived".
They have moderate summer humidity and average July highs in the mid 80s. The average snowfall in January is 3 ½ inches, so there isn't much to shovel.
In addition to outdoor activities, Johnson City also offers live music. Eastern Tennessee State University, which is here, has a prominent bluegrass music program.
On the money side, Tennessee has no state income taxes, and the exit from the capital gains tax (known as the Hall Tax) will be completed on January 1st. Housing costs are well below the national average. They are the cheapest among my three suggestions.
With Realtor.com you can find the following in the market.
Johnson City is also the smallest of the three proposals with around 67,000 residents. More than 500,000 people live in the larger metropolitan area of the Tricity, which extends into southwest Virginia.
If this is too small for the younger generations, they may want to settle in Knoxville (suggested here) less than two hours away.
If Johnson City isn't quite right, an alternative might be Roanoke, Virginia, which is recommended here.
Read: What should you do with all of the money you have saved for retirement? This man is spending it and it feels great
A street in the revitalized and vibrant Short North Arts District in Columbus, Ohio.
Courtesy Brand Columbus
You can find your half-acre property here in the Ohio capital or the suburbs of Franklin County.
The fast growing Columbus has a population of 900,000 and is home to Ohio State University. The larger metropolitan area exceeds 2 million, so you'll find a range of parishes as well as property prices and rents. The website Livability described Columbus as "quickly becoming one of the most popular cities for millennials" when it was named one of the top 100 places to live in 2019. In 2020 it rose to 11th place when the list was reconfigured for our COVID. 19 world and the increased ability to work from anywhere.
One reason is jobs. The younger generations find corporate headquarters from companies such as Cardinal Health, Nationwide Insurance and L Brands, as well as many other well-known employers.
For the water lover, visit Griggs Reservoir on the west side of the Scioto River in Columbus towards the suburb of Hilliard and its boating club. Or head to one of several lakes north of the I-270 loop.
I know … you think it's the Midwest, so what kind of hiking can there be? There are plenty of forest opportunities. Start with the Christmas Rocks State Nature Reserve 40 miles southeast of town. . Or tackle the Buckeye Trail – more than 1,400 miles circulating the state.
There are many bike paths, including the 40 km long Alum Creek Greenway Trail. It's also part of the 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail between Cincinnati and Cleveland if you want to keep cycling.
In terms of the weather, it's no surprise you get four seasons. January is the snowiest month with an average of nearly 7 inches. The average summer highs reach the mid-80s and the humidity is moderate. Your garden will love it.
Despite its size, on average, housing doesn't cost much more than Johnson City. See what to see in the Columbus and Franklin County housing market on Realtor.com.
Reader, where do you think Russ and his wife should retire? Leave your suggestions in the comment section.
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