Date: January 09, 2017 03:41AM
Having lived in Fort Walton Beach and Ocala, FL and now living in Enterprise, AL, I love visiting Florida, but not too sure if I would live there again. The taxes, higher cost of living, crime, traffic, etc. are much higher now that when I lived there. Whenever I return to Fort Walton Beach (my parents, younger brother, and I moved there in 1971,) it is now so developed and not the sweeter town and area I remember in my younger years. I love Enterprise because it's very middle class, not pretentious, and...it has PUBLIX! The greatest grocery store in the world!
Being in my early 60s, I much prefer a smaller town, not too far from a much larger city. I've thought of Branson, MO, Santa Claus, IN (closer to the Kentucky area I'm from,) LeGrande, OR (I love I-84 between Pendleton and Boise,) Tuscaloosa, AL (I'm an Alabama fan...ROLL TIDE,) and Auburn, AL. You might look at Gulf Shores-Baldwin County, Alabama as well. You can have Florida-like living for MUCH LESS. Birmingham has world-class medical care (UAB; Dr. Mickey Andrews for orthopedics, etc.)
You may want to search Where to Retire magazine to learn more about all kinds of places you can retire to. As an aside: If you do move to Florida, do not do so in July or August. The heat and humidity then are INTENSE (a couple I know moved from Orem to Tampa, Penske rental for a do-it-yourself move, and moved their furniture up three flights of stairs, to be near their son and grandkids. He doesn't miss the ice or snow on the roads.) Here in Enterprise, from mid-May to mid-September, it is HIGH, but the rest of the year is pretty nice. I love not worrying about ice or snow on the roads except occasionally here in LA (Lower Alabama.) As we say here, "We don't have white Christmases, we have wet Christmases." (It rains, rather than snows.) I do miss mountains, as I think Huntsville, AL would be a great place to be.
I've lived in three places in the Western US (Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach, CA; Bellevue/Renton, WA; and Provo/Salt Lake City, UT; graduated from the UofU in 1990.) I love the West, but since leaving MORMON, INC. in April 2006, I will likely remain here in RED STATE AMERICA!