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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 07:40PM

I've been exploring a couple of areas in Arizona as potential retirement locales ... as alternatives to Utah. Median housing cost is less expensive overall, and my health insurance is accepted there by many more doctors than where I'm looking in southern Utah. Of course the median housing depends on what area I'd be considering.

Prescott and St George are tied as retirement communities in the United States per Kipling Report recently. Prescott's housing is extremely pricey, moreso than St George.

Another alternative to there is either Flagstaff or a city in western Arizona called Lake Havasu City. Flagstaff would be a bit cooler as it's northerly. Lake Havasu is in the Mojave Desert, and hot as heck. But has some redeeming qualities.

Does anyone here have some ideas about any of these places? Have you lived there? Or are you already an Arizonian? Or perhaps know someone who lives there per chance or considering retiring there yourself?

I'm looking for ideas since retirement is on the horizon (in a couple more years!!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2019 07:41PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: dogbloggernli ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 08:17PM

I dont think those choices are stable for a 30 year retirement.

The forest in Flagstaff is struggling with climate change. Theyve been hitting mid 90s in the summer in flagstaff now for a few years and almost no one has AC because they never needed it before. Considering climate change and the power grid, I would only consider AZ viable for the next 10-15 years. Because you want to get out before the property values tank as things get worse.

Southern UT is probably only 5 years beyond AZ before things start to drop value and ruin the investment.

Now thats all from my how I value the proposition which likely differs from yours.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 08:38PM

This is an important analysis, dogbloggernli--I had not considered climate change, and you are right to make it a central issue in any decision because it is, indeed, centrally important.

Thank you.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 10:33PM

Thank you for that input.

My son is on the same page as you are regarding climate change and the sunbelt. And here I was thinking people are use to the warmer climate there. It takes a newcomer a year approximately for their body to adjust to a hotter climate. But if climate change is going to become so extreme that may make it more insurmountable for everyone involved.

If you're correct in saying southern Utah is only a few years behind in catching up to Arizona from the effects of that same climate change creep, well you may be right.

And yet, heat waves occur up here in the Northeast as well unexpectedly. We've had extreme weather patterns both in winter and summer in recent past. Last year Montreal, Quebec had a severe heat wave and lost somewhere in the dozens of its residents from the extreme temps. They were not prepared for that.

I just think it's going to be a phenomenon globally, no matter where we live - this global climate warming. But thinking about living in those temps of the Mojave desert are quite a lot different than my actually doing it. I'd be indoors during the hottest times of the day, like most other sane people would be doing.

Ideally, I'd have a winter home and a summer one. But people do live there year round and make it work. I'm so tired of winters up north. But here we have beautiful summers, springs, and falls. So that's been our trade-off.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2019 10:34PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: dogbloggernli ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 11:19PM

I pass through flagstaff about every other month for the last 3 years. Its clear what is hapoening to the forest there in that time.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 12:19AM

The southwest is going to have serious water problems. Ask any geopolitical analyst and water will be the number one resource fought over in the 21st century.

I retired in western Wyoming. No state sales tax. It snows here but I'm a skier. Summers are beautiful!

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 09:44AM

I would be concerned about water supply there too. That's important. Water rationing, if it ever comes to that, isn't fun.

My sis in law in Phoenix pays $500 a month for air conditioning.

I don't like hot weather, dry OR humid. I'm glad to be back where it cools a little at night and snows.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 08:28PM

I don't know about the other places you mentioned, but I did, briefly (I was on location), "live" in Havasu for I think about ten days (I have forgotten how long we were all there).

The people in Havasu were all super nice to us in every way (which may, or may not, have had something to do with the fact that we were enriching the town and its residents quite a bit for the time we were there: hiring locals for jobs both before and behind the cameras, hiring catering services, hiring casual labor, etc., etc., etc.).

It is undoubtedly hotter there now than it was when we were filming.

If I was thinking about moving there, I would check out the prevailing political views (Arizona is overall conservative, and the town was built by a very wealthy man--who played a bit role in our film as a homeless drifter passing through), access to things I use (the health food stores in town, do they have a reasonable bookstore, etc.), and what Jewish congregations (even if they meet in someone's living room) might exist.

For the time I "lived" there, Havasu was a nice town with nice people--but I wasn't there long enough to know what less sunny truths might lurk under the genuinely friendly and open exterior view.

P.S. Prior to our arrival in town, there was an enforced local law forbidding the throwing of anything from London Bridge, and the local authorities had to write a new law, specific to our script, which allowed the legal "throwing" of things (a body, etc.) from London Bridge for film companies who, from time to time, might shoot there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2019 08:31PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 10:47PM

That would have had to be interesting working there on location while you were making a film.

The London Bridge sounds intriguing to me, there in the little city of Lake Havasu, all the way from London, England.

It would seem with its population size and proximity to Las Vegas and Los Angeles there would be some Jewish presence there, one would hope.

The thing I'm not impressed with is the lack of flora in the area. It is missing a lot of greenery which I love.

The housing costs are maybe a good third lower from southern Utah's though, and the climate isn't a whole lot different.

Access to good quality medical care will be tops on my list wherever I move. I won't qualify for Medicare before age 65. So my health insurance will be my primary health insurance until then. Lake Havasu, like Las Vegas, has lots more physicians who participate with my insurance than St George does. That is an important consideration for me. And Lake Havasu looks more inviting and down home than Las Vegas does, although Vegas has a large Jewish presence and well established places of worship.

But I've gotten out of attending services here lately. It's been hard on me being a hybrid Jew. I feel like I'm caught between two worlds. One where I was raised LDS, but no longer one nor any desire to be one again. Nor any Christian denomination I fit in. And being Jewish is as close to a "home" I've found since leaving Mormonism, yet I still feel a detachment because I didn't grow up Jewish taught and I can't speak Hebrew, so that puts me at a disadvantage. I'm terrible learning new languages. My children are multi-lingual, and that's just something I will never be.

Maybe I should just go visit there like I have Saint George, to find out in person whether I like or not. That will give me a sense of its personality and flavor for the town and community. Pick a synagogue if it has any, and visit it while there. Just to check the whole area out. Looking where to retire can be a full-time job. I don't want to make more difficult than it has to be, but I don't want to go blind-folded into making any decisions willy nilly either.

Thanks for the warning about not throwing anything from the London Bridge, lol. Except bodies when filming on location. :)

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:00AM

I thought someone would smile about it being uniquely legal to throw bodies off London Bridge--assuming that it is a film company which is doing the throwing. :D

They do have one shul: Temple Beth Sholom. There are no services in July, and in August they have one Shabbat service (August 16), and a "Saturday Shabbat Torah Discussion" the next morning (August 17). They go back to a regular Jewish schedule in September, starting with the usual lineup of High Holy Day services.

They do not give a movement affiliation (which probably means they are Reform-ish), and I am impressed with their self-description:

"Temple Beth Sholom Jewish Congregation is a relaxed, open, inviting, and spiritually alive Jewish community, located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. All are welcome to join our congregation of Jews by birth, Jews by choice, and Jews at heart. Temple Beth Sholom Congregation was founded in 1992 so that families and individuals might experience the sense of Jewish belonging that comes from shared worship, religious instruction, Tikkun Olam, and social events at a location not too far from home. Please feel free to call us, email us, or visit us at any time."

I have never heard or seen the phrase "Jews at heart" before, and I am immensely impressed that they specifically say this.

http://tbshavasu.org/



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2019 12:00PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:29PM

Oh, thank you so much. So there is an alive and active Jewish presence there. :)

Suffice to say I am Jewish at heart, and have always been.

Which is maybe why I was able to make the break with Mormonism when I did. I wasn't the first in my family to though. One of my brothers did before me.

My mother did used to tell me that I was her most spiritual child out of all her children. That hasn't changed since my departure from Mormonism. If anything it has been reinforced because my spiritual hunger and reserve is still very much a part of who and what I am made of.

God has been an active presence in my life, so that is why perhaps Judaism speaks to me as well as it does. In Judaic worship, God is alive. In Hebrew it's called "Elohim Khayyim," for 'Living God.'



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2019 01:23PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 01:22AM

Hey, girlfriend - we'd practically be neighbors, with me in New Mexico!

NM has terrific "Mexican" food (actually, "New Mexican" food has a few spins of its own on traditional favorites.) Both English and Spanish are recognized as official State languages. (I speak both, so I'm fine with that.)

Winters can be cold, but not New York kind of cold. I'm a Southern Californian by birth, and have lived in a few other States, but NM has been my home for 30 years now, and I love it.

The High Desert Country is a lovely place. I hope you give it a try!

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:33PM

Thanks, Catnip! Yes, we would practically be neighbors. :)

You're in a higher altitude from Arizona's desert country aren't you? You probably get a more seasonal climate where you are, or at least a more moderate climate.

One of my step-sisters lives in Los Alamos. She and her husband worked for the nuclear base there during their careers, both since retired.

I hear it's lovely there. One of my former bosses (and the kindest man I ever did work for,) longs to retire to New Mexico. His wife is from Brooklyn where he lived during his career. Now he's retired, I wonder if he's going to get his wish??

:)

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 11:13PM

Although Denver refers to itself as "the Mile-High City," we are just about that far up, as well.

When I visited my aunt and uncle in their retirement home near Leadville, CO. some years ago, I had a dreadful bout of altitude sickness. I've never had any such thing here.

We get snow in winter, but not a lot. And of course, summers are hot, it doesn't seem to go over 100 degrees very often. Where I grew up (East San Diego County, CA) I can remember the adults moaning and groaning because the temps sometimes got in the 100 - 112 or so range. We kids didn't care - it was summer and school was out and life was GOOD.

I've never gotten very good at driving in snow, so I let my DH (who spent many years in Idaho and Utah before we met) do the driving most of the time. (I don't really like driving, period.)

I remember when I was working for Social Security, I saw a LOT of former New Yorkers who had retired in AZ. I guess those were the ones who didn't want to go to Florida.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 01:47PM

Last I heard London Bridge is still in London. One up river from Tower Bridge.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 02:06PM

I'm sure the reference was to the dismantled one that was moved to Arizona.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 03:32PM

True but it is a London Bridge not the London Bridge as there has been many. Picky on my part? Likely.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 02:10PM

kentish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Last I heard London Bridge is still in London.
> One up river from Tower Bridge.

Its forebear was dismantled, "stone by stone" [quoting my remembrance of dialogue here], in 1967 and reconstructed in Arizona.

Except, so the MOW (film script) story goes, one stone in London, back in 1967, was inadvertently overlooked, was then discovered twenty years later, and was then shipped to Arizona....

....but that last stone which was shipped over, it wasn't ONLY a "stone"--it was the creative seed for a film made for television.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 08:38PM

I've been to both Flagstaff and Havasu and it wouldn't even be a question, I'd pick Flagstaff. It's beautiful there and it's next door to Sedona. It's near the Grand Canyon and it's a days drive to Vegas or even St. George. It's got 4 seasons. Havasu is stark, hot, dry and small. And it's not close to anything except Vegas.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2019 08:40PM by Devoted Exmo.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 10:57PM

Thank you for that recommendation.

Flagstaff was someplace my son was willing to meet me last month when we were discussing where to meet while he was visiting the states. There was a bit of a kerfuffle with the meeting times and schedules with airlines and neither of us knowing a thing about Flagstaff, so we ended up meeting in Salt Lake City instead.

For his generation Flagstaff just seems like a cooler destination I think to hang out or check out than somewhere I would want to visit lol.

But there housing is still a bit lower than either in Sedona or Prescott, where both those places are very expensive in my opinion, or rather, my budget. Flagstaff may be more affordable place for me to live in retirement than Sedona or Prescott (or Saint George.)

If it has the four seasons, that could be a definite plus for me, a four season person for all of my life. If it's still a more moderate climate which I'm pretty sure it is compared to where I'm living now. Polar vortex winters upstate New York. Note: we didn't get polar vortex winters either before this whole global warming pattern has been taking the world by storm. When we've been getting them they make it feel like we're in Siberia. People who've lived here all their lives have not been prepared for the Polar Vortex winters. They're unabashed and frigid. A moderate climate would probably be ideal for me, but I haven't found a place with a moderate climate that would suit me I could afford and that has participating providers with my health insurance (which is a vital consideration for me in retirement wherever I may wander.)

Thanks for your assistance. (And Tevai's, and Dogblogger's.)

:)

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Posted by: desertwoman ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 08:59PM

Amyjo:

When my dad retired from his job in the 1980s, my folks decided to return "home" to the Phoenix area, so they made a scouting trip in April. The heat in April dampened their enthusiasm for the Valley of the Sun, so they decided to look northward. While Prescott (rhymes with "biscuit") was expensive for them, they looked at the towns surrounding Prescott and settled in Prescott Valley, to the east of Prescott. PV was founded to be a more affordable place to live.

Check out the real estate prices of Flagstaff. Also check out Williams, AZ. Williams is on I-40 about a half-hour west of "Flag".

Prescott and its surrounding towns are centrally located, allowing you to drive about 90 minutes to Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Sedona.

Go online to City-Data dot com for climate and demographics of cities and towns you may be interested in. A useful, fascinating website. (Keep the hyphen and replace "dot" with a real dot.)

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Posted by: wondering ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 10:57PM

I lived in Arizona for over 25 years. Flagstaff has always been expensive. Prescott a bit pricy, however it is pretty far from Phoenix or Flagstaff and no backup transportation if needed.

If you are looking for a cooler climate check out these places. Benson is in Se Az about 45 minutes from Tucson. It has Amtrak for backup. If I remember it is about 3500-4000 feet in elevation. It snows occasionally but not enough to plow. Check median temperatures. Another is Payson. It is about 50 miles from East Phoenix/Scottsdale. It also gets snow but it does require plowing. Many from Phoenix flock there in the summer due to the cooler temperatures. You are in the pines.

Probably the best climate year round is Sierra Vista. South of benson. About 5000 elevation. Mild winter no plowing, mild simmers. About 65 or 70 miles to Tucson. It has Fort Huachuca attached. So a military town. Lots of retired military there.

It just depends on what you are looking for and how close to medical you want to be.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:35PM

Thank you very much for those suggestions. I will check them out, especially for housing costs, amenities, and services.

Mucho gracias.

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Posted by: grendel ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 11:24PM

I am a native Arizonan and currently live in Flagstaff and work all over central and northern AZ. Here are my observations and recommendations:

Flagstaff:

Medical- Great Hospital (5 star rating from CMS) lots of specialists and Primary Care Physicians.

Climate - Beautiful 4 seasons, temp has yet to top 85 degrees this summer. Winters - maybe 5 or 6 days where we are snowbound for a morning. Built my home 2 years ago with air conditioning and have used it less than 10 hours in total - not necessary. Utility bills (gas & elec total less than $100/month).

Culture - Very diverse with the University in town. Lots of students and faculty. Lots of nature lovers here - we are a certified Dark Sky community. Lots of tourists to Grand Canyon and lots of desert dwellers looking for a cool weekend getaway.
Sedona is just 30 minutes south.

Housing - typical 1500 sf home in good shape is priced between 350k and 400k. Rent for a 1 br apt is 1250-1300/month.

Prescott:

Medical - Good Hospital and lots of specialist and PCPs.

Climate - usually about 10 degrees warmer than Flagstaff.

Culture - Very retirement oriented with lots of activities for retirees and a lively night life.

Housing - Not quite as pricey as Flagstaff. There are bedroom communities outside of Prescott - Prescott Valley, Dewey-Humboldt and Chino Valley that are more reasonable.

Payson:

Medical - Small Hospital and few specialists and PCPs. Only 1 hour drive to Phx. area.

Climate - almost identical to Prescott.

Culture - a smaller community and geared to retirees.

Housing - much more affordable than Prescott or Flagstaff.


LHC - Lake Havasu City:

Medical - Small Hospital and few specialists and PCPs.

Climate - 2 seasons unbearable hot ( june to sept) and pleasant
( Oct to May)

Culture - tourist and retiree focused

Housing - affordable


other considerations: Western AZ - Bullhead City and Kingman.

Central AZ - Cottonwood/Clarkdale and Camp Verde.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:38PM

Thank you. Many towns and locales there to explore.

I will look into those.

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Posted by: westernwillows ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 11:45PM

My husband and I "retired" to Arizona last year (he's in his 40s, I'm in my 30s, but he completed a 20 year career in law enforcement in a cold northern state and our agreement when we got married was that we would leave that state and go someplace warmer for his second career). I've owned a home here since 2012.

We landed south of Tucson, but we would have chosen Lake Havasu City if we didn't have livestock. We aren't far from Green Valley, which is an active retirement town. Sure, it's hot in the summer, but I don't have to shovel snow in the winter or have to mow grass. We're 5-15 degrees cooler than Phoenix most days, and get much cooler than the city at night. We had three days of snow this winter. Even though I spent the last 16 years in a cold northern state and moved to Arizona in the spring, I adapted just fine, and so did my animals.

However, our cost of living here with livestock is ridiculously high, so we may not stay. Many Arizona farmers are selling their hay to China, keeping prices high. Up north, we got a single cutting of hay per year, and I could buy it for $135/ton. Down here, hay grows practically year-round and I'm paying $410/ton. I fed hay year-round in both locations for the same number of animals, so the amount of hay I need each year hasn't changed. I know that probably doesn't influence you either way, but it's a financial fact that will probably lead me to leave the state.

Have you looked in the SE corner of the state, near Sierra Vista? Real estate costs are lower and the climate is cooler.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:42PM

Gosh sakes, the hay prices alone are staggering! That sounds nutty as all getup.

Thanks for the suggestions, and your own experience of relocating. There's no experience like your own.

I'll check out Sierra Vista to see what housing options are like there, and the community in general.

Thanks again. And best wishes for what you decide on doing &/or where you go in the future.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 11:47PM

I solved the where-to-retire question by deciding to become a nomad. I now live all over the West.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 09:35AM

Oh, and retirement communities, or towns dominated by us senior citizens, give me the creeps.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:00PM

I hear that there are some homemade canoes available at bargain prices for Western nomads like you.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:32AM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Flagstaff would be a bit cooler as it's
> northerly.

Flagstaff is colder because it's elevation is 7,000 feet. It can be a LOT colder. One day I drove from Page, where it was in the 60s to Flagstaff where it was in the 30's and snowing, to Phoenix where it was in the 80s.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:43PM

That is pretty extreme and they aren't too far apart either.

:)

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Posted by: hgc2 ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 01:30AM

We lived in Arizona 16 years and another 10 in Seattle area before retiring 9 years ago to Henderson, NV. We live in a retirement community with many amenities.
Some advantages we have over Arizona is the climate is a little cooler and prices for real estate are a little less. I think medical care is better and more accessible in Arizona.

I would suggest you give us a look before you decide.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:49PM

Thanks for the thumbs up. I may do that. Henderson is near to a renowned Conservative synagogue that has been in Vegas since at least the 1950's I would love to visit. And Vegas is home to more than 80,000 Jewish people - equal to the Mormon population of Las Vegas!!!! :)

I lived in Las Vegas as a very young child, following the death of my brother from cancer. We lived there for maybe just under a year, but I have some fond memories of the place.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 04:08AM

Sierra Vista is high on our list. I have been watching it for a couple of years. It is the US Hummingbird Capital :) The weather seems doable, there are several Sr. developments. I do worry about the political climate. That alone may keep us in our current Pac NW state. I also worry about the long term water availability. I watch the houses listed on Realtor.com

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:54PM

Thanks for the thumbs up! That makes two votes for Sierra Vista.

I love Hummingbirds. That would be a pleasant sight to see.

Will research it more for the community environ and demographics to get a feel for the area. Like you, I peruse realtor quite a bit to give me an idea for an area's housing market and a sense of an area topography and layout.

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Posted by: nonmo_1 ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 06:39AM

"Another alternative to there is either Flagstaff or a city in western Arizona called Lake Havasu City."

Having lived in AZ, those 2 areas are 2 extreme differences in weather and lifestyle.

Step one- what kind of climate do you want to live in?

I don't think many retirees stay in Lake Havasu in the summer, definitely not around the major summer holidays, where the young-folk, bring their boats, RVs, and loud parties..

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:59PM

nonmo_1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Another alternative to there is either Flagstaff
> or a city in western Arizona called Lake Havasu
> City."
>
> Having lived in AZ, those 2 areas are 2 extreme
> differences in weather and lifestyle.

They certainly are. The question for me is how adaptable am I really?
>
> Step one- what kind of climate do you want to live
> in?

Warm and moderate climate ideally. Since I haven't been able to find one in an area I can afford, then I may be able to adjust climate wise to a warmer climate year round, once my body adjusts to the temperature changes from a cold northern climate to a southwestern one.
>
> I don't think many retirees stay in Lake Havasu in
> the summer, definitely not around the major summer
> holidays, where the young-folk, bring their boats,
> RVs, and loud parties..

That would be a disincentive for us older folks, for sure. I like my peace and quiet.

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Posted by: nonmo_1 ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 08:21AM

Warm and moderate climate ideally. Since I haven't been able to find one in an area I can afford, then I may be able to adjust climate wise to a warmer climate year round, once my body adjusts to the temperature changes from a cold northern climate to a southwestern one.

- Anywhere in a desert will have extremes. Might want to look at Oregon, Washington, parts of Calif (if you can afford Calif..)
OR and WA will have more rain but fewer extremes in temperatures


"... bring their boats, RVs, and loud parties.."

That would be a disincentive for us older folks, for sure. I like my peace and quiet.

- Then Havasu, Parker (AZ), and most desert locals on the water are not for you.

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Posted by: shylock ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 09:28AM

I have lived in Phoenix for 30 years. I would stay away from Flagstaff and Havasu. Prescott is nice, but expensive. If I had the money and could live anywhere I would look into Strawberry or Pinetop. Communities around Tuscon could be good choices too. This year we had a good cool off and the uptick for getting hot was slow... first time I can remember in over a decade. I have never gotten used to the heat... so living in the lower altitudes is for the strong... good luck on your search!

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 01:10PM

I've noticed that about Prescott too. The housing there is in high demand, sells quickly, but seems overpriced by my standards. :)

Thanks for the suggestions re Strawberry and Pinetop. I haven't heard of them before. Will check them out too.

So you live in Phoenix? How do you like living there? Isn't that low altitude? Or more moderate altitude?

One of my nieces and her husband recently moved down to Phoenix for work, from Idaho. It's their first time living there.

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Posted by: wondering ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 03:13PM

Strawberry and pine top just up the road from payson

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Posted by: Lumberjack ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 11:52AM

I have lived in Flagstaff for 6 decades now, so I have a petty good idea about living here.
As to climate change, we have been in a drought since the mid-90's, as has all of the Southwest. But the forests around us are not dying away. In some ways they may be returning to what they should be. Basically, we are just an island in a desert here.
Some years are very good for moisture, some not. We had 43 inches of snow in two days this past February. The previous winter we had maybe 2 inches of snow in total.
The problem with living here is the cost. It is expensive. This is a place that people want to live in, thus high costs. The population is growing a bit faster than us old-timers would like. The university is over 25,000 students now and that puts pressure on the infrastructure.
I am biased, but I think this is a good place to live. The culture is accepting of just about everyone. Politically, it is a blue oasis in a sea of red in a state that is gradually becoming more moderate. To keep this on-topic, there is not much of a Mormon influence in Flagstaff anymore.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 01:07PM

Thanks for your input. I wouldn't have guessed Flagstaff is getting as expensive as everywhere else, but then that is the real world catching up.

If you've lived there for six decades, you've got your housing secured already. Good for you! :)

Glad to hear it is more moderate than conservative though. That sounds positive and upbeat to someone considering a retirement there. Yet if the housing is becoming more expensive then I will probably be looking elsewhere.

I'm trying to cut costs in retirement, not increase them. It's difficult to do with housing prices on the rise. Sure I can use the equity from my current home sale, but do I really want to sink it into another house where I'm going? That is what I'll end up doing when I move. My housing prices have stayed more stable where I live. They haven't risen as astronomically here as they have in the west or southwest these past few years.

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Posted by: Lumberjack ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 01:38PM

Amyjo,
You are welcome. Yes, my house is paid for.Its value has really gone up since I bought it in 1996.
If you like the area, one possibility to look into would be the small town of Williams 30 miles west of Flagstaff. It is a small little place. Pretty, but not too much to it. But also just a short drive from Flag.
I know you have lived in NY so the winters here would not be much of a challenge for you.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 01:47PM

although my boyfriend and I might spend some time on the island in Canada his daughter lives on and in Denver where his son lives, but I do not deal well with heat. Never have. I'm really paying the price today for being out in the heat yesterday. The heat is harder on me the older I get. My boyfriend's best friend just bought property around Prescott, but it is out in the country as he has waited to buy horses until he retired. He was a lawyer in the LA area.

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Posted by: shylock ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 02:06PM

Phoenix is sea level and hot as hell... because of all the concrete and black asphalt it usually adds a few degrees extra and the lingers well into the night... Arizona like most midwest states is Mormon... I think we have 3 temples in this state.. so stay away from Mesa which is in the valley and heavily Mormon Inc... Saphire is in the middle of nowhere Mormon town... It has 5 (had 5) hot springs... local legend tells when the Mormons moved in in the 60's the didn't want the hot springs to attract any hippies so they dynamited 3 of them. ?. Strawberry and Pine Top are really nice, but also super Mormon towns.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 10:31PM

shylock Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Phoenix is sea level...


Actually, it's 1,000 feet above sea level. In comparison, Yuma is 140 feet above sea level.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 01:41AM

Arizona isn't a midwestern state, nor are most or any of the states in the midwest heavily populated by Mormons.

shylock Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Phoenix is sea level and hot as hell... because of
> all the concrete and black asphalt it usually adds
> a few degrees extra and the lingers well into the
> night... Arizona like most midwest states is
> Mormon...

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Posted by: Happy_Heretic ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 04:28PM

AmyJoe:

The wife and I are nearing retirement and are dealing with much the same predicament. We have some friends who moved to Logandale, NV three years ago. They love it. The climate is great, the infrastructure is well planned, and the taxes and costs are much lower than Arizona or Utah. We are giving it great consideration. It is smaller and that can be a problem, and if you want a Walmart its 15 minutes away in Mesquite.

HH =)

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 07:18PM

Northern Arizona Si!!
Southern Arizona NO!!!

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 08:12PM

I'm not a fan of Arizona, too hot. How about considering just east over into the San Juans, Durango. This is an old trading post town. The Silver mines of Silverton and Ouray use to send their bullions down on the historic railroad through the San Juans. It's a lot like St. George except without the Mormons.

You would have access to the most picturesque, Rocky Mountain lifestyle anywhere on the continent. And it's close to Pueblo,

Also I've heard Texas is pretty good.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 12:26AM

Pick New Mexico instead...

https://smartasset.com/retirement/best-places-to-retire-in-new-mexico



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 12:27AM by anybody.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 07:48AM

Thanks everyone for all your wonderful suggestions and feedback. I spent the better part of yesterday (off work due to doctor's appointment,) perusing realtor ads for a good chunk of the state of Arizona. So far I've gotten to Sierra Vista, Prescott (will look at Prescott Valley today,) Flagstaff, and Green Valley.

Compared to southern Utah, honestly it seems the prices are as competitive if not more favorable. Especially in some pockets like Sierra Vista and Green Valley. I saw some slightly better deals in Prescott from Flagstaff. So will look further out to Prescott Valley to see what's there, and to Williams, west of Flagstaff to see if they're markedly in a more favorable price range to what I'll be willing to sink myself into when the time comes to relocate.

Pinetop and Strawberry I still need to research and some of the other places. I've looked into Henderson before, and will again. That has some advantages because of the size of the metro area and number of doctors in Las Vegas who participate in my insurance plan.

One thing I'll say for Prescott though. Out of all the places I'm considering it has the most moderate climate year-round. That much I like. Even better than Saint George. They are ranked as two of the best places to retire to. One recent year they were tied as the top retirement destinations in the US. That likely drove housing prices up too, just having that ranking.

As for Lake Havasu City, there is still something about the London Bridge being there all the way from London, England that has its appeal. Maybe I just need to go and visit to see it for myself. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 08:03AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 11:22AM

Amyjo -- here are some things to think about. As you get older

it may get more difficult for you to climb stairs and do outdoor maintenance. You might want to look for a one-story home, or a home with the MBR downstairs and only guest bedrooms upstairs. Or perhaps a condo where lawn mowing and outdoor maintenance will be done for you. Another thought would be to get a place with low-maintenance desert scaping.

One thing that I've noticed with my condo is that it tends to pick up coolness from the air-conditioned units surrounding it. Ditto with heat in the winter. So my heating and cooling bills generally stay in the $80 - $120/month range. I don't think I've ever spent over $140. It is very important when you are house shopping to ask about heating and cooling bills. There can be a considerable difference between units or houses. I've heard that the topmost units in my building can cost up to $400/month.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 11:24AM by summer.

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Posted by: Nottelling ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 11:53AM

I live in Las Vegas and have been thinking of Williams, Arizona to retire, it is tiny only approx 3000 people, has 1 grocery store and a clinic about 30 minutes to Flagstaff. Perfect weather in my opinion as I am not a fan of the desert heat. It is known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon, has a lot of summer tourist but Jan/Feb is very quite almost a ghost town. I looked at Flagstaff but found the housing to be to expensive.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 12:18PM

I lived in Arizona for a time and liked it in spite of not being a desert person. If you enjoy desert living, I think you'd like it there. I've spent time in all of the places you named. I think you'd need to go to them or do more research to determine which one would suit your needs best. Last time I was in Arizona I was a little sad to see much of the Phoenix area turn to blight. It had a sad downtrodden feel to it, so I'd say to stay away from areas like some of the ones I saw in that part of the state.

The desert skies, sunsets, and cacti can be beautiful. I understand its appeal and everything except wine tends to be less expensive there than in California.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 01:02PM by Cheryl.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 12:56PM

I've spent some time in Phoenix and Tuscon.

Flagstaff is OK, Tuscon is OK, but Greater Phoenix (Mesa,etc) is super hot, super crazy, and Utah Del Sur.


"Remembered Earth: New Mexico's High Desert"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACF4Q9vORpU


https://www.homesnacks.net/best-places-to-retire-in-new-mexico-127148/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 12:58PM by anybody.

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Posted by: Old Al ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 06:49PM

Look at Hot Springs, S.D. in what is referred to as the banana belt because of its moderate temps. Low taxes as well. Or look at Rapid City.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 07:44PM

Lots of food for thought, thanks peeps!

Just checking out Wilson, AZ, and Logandale, NV. Nevada doesn't have a state income tax (win win!)

Wilson has some nice digs it looks like too.

I'll need to keep an open mind for sure.

Sierra Vista and Green Valley both look like nice retirement locales - greener than Lake Havasu City. There is so much to think about. St George is still on my bucket list, but I'm open to other options between now and retirement.

There's a lot of planning to do between now and then still. I'm hopeful the housing prices might stabilize like my realtor cousin predicts (in the St George housing market ...) but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen either.

I am content where I'm at in the meantime if it weren't for the harsh winters. Now that I have a Swiss Bernese Mountain puppy - they were made for the cold winter climates. Maybe it will help me to tolerate them better myself for as long as I'm still here. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 07:44PM by Amyjo.

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