Where would you retire to golf?



You have a $125k/yr retirement income and want to find a great golf area to live. Where would you go? Florida, Arizona, California, or somewhere else? Would you become a snowbird? Membership, or public links?
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  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,518 ✭✭
    edited Oct 12, 2012 #2
    I'm not too far off that same age range and thought process. First, I would rent not buy and I personally would do the snowbird thing just to be close to my kids who are soon to both be in college. My number one destination will probably be Florida, but still need a place for the summer. Another serious consideration would be San Diego...great golf weather year round. Not all that reasonable cost wise though. Would love to retire in Miami if I go the Florida route but also pricey thanks to a lot of international investors.



    Also unsure how much $125K will get you these days. Sad to think that that used to be a lot of money but not so much these days.
  • act0fgodact0fgod Members Posts: 164 ✭✭
    I hope to spend my retirement days in multiple locations throughout the years. A place in Pinehurst (my pick), a place in Colorado (my wife's pick) and then somewhere in the UK or Ireland (our pick).



    For the price I don't think you can find a better value for your dollar than the membership at Pinehurst (nearby Pine Needles also offers a great value for members). Probably play the military courses in CO. Join a club in the UK or Ireland (hopefully the prices stay reasonable).
  • Desert GolfDesert Golf Members Posts: 1,573
    I'm 47 and plan on spending most of my retirement years in the Palm Springs area where I have lived for 34 years.



    If my 401K does well, I hope to spend summers somewhere cooler...maybe become a "reverse snowbird".



    The Coachella Valley is a great place to retire. Great weather October thru May, relatively inexpensive housing, and over 110 golf courses in a 20 mile radius.
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  • ukalumukalum Members Posts: 91
    I've heard Palm Springs is excellent, but have never been. How would you say it compares with the Scottsdale area. Same? Different?
  • gibbyfangibbyfan Members Posts: 1,191 ✭✭
    Ive never lived in Palm Springs, but visited there for 5 years frequently and I would say it is a great place to retire if you like that climate. They only thing I see about that area is that you would need to join a club in my opinion, the prices during the peek months would be steep and the top courses are always full. I think, that if I were to retire on a fair income, that I would look towards the southeast. Eastern Georgia or the Carolinas. I think my wife would appreciate it too.
  • DLiverDLiver Members Posts: 2,603 ✭✭
    I did this very thing a few years ago when I moved to the coastal region of South Carolina. It is beautiful here, with a TON of outstanding golf. I live in a private golf community, which has a lot of advantages. My club has reciprocal agreements with all of the other private clubs in the area, so we get to play all the top courses in the area at very reasonable rates. We have a great group of people here who love golf, and we take a lot of golf trips--a lot of my buddies have connections at a lot of nice courses, and our pro is willing to call other clubs to arrange play for us.



    The weather here allows year round golf, although on colder, windy days in the winter no one plays. July and August are very hot and humid, so many people either travel or have a second place up north or in the mountains. There are a fair number of people that retire to Florida, then relocate again to the Carolinas because of Florida's heat/crowding/storms/etc. These folks are called "halfbacks" because they went from the north to Florida, then moved halfway back.



    We "snowbirded" for several years as a transition to a full time move. We belonged to my current club so we had a base of operations, access to golf, and numerous social options. That worked out well. We have considered reverse snowbirding and spending a month or two up north in the summer, but that would involve joining a club up there, and I'm even then I'm not sure what I'd do all day while the rest of the world was working. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    I think that if you retire to a single location, there are inevitable compromises: too cold in winter, too hot in summer, etc etc. I know many folks who keep a place back in their hometowns up north so they can stay in touch with family/friends and spend winters down here. Others will travel/rent back home. Still others are 100% down here. It varies from person to person, situation to situation.



    $125k a year should be enough if you are able to shed most or all of your debt. For that kind of dough down here you should be able to live in a nice private golf community, live comfortably, play a lot of golf and travel too.
  • BrianL99BrianL99 Banned Posts: 5,116 ClubWRX
    DLiver wrote:




    I think that if you retire to a single location, there are inevitable compromises: too cold in winter, too hot in summer, etc etc. I know many folks who keep a place back in their hometowns up north so they can stay in touch with family/friends and spend winters down here. Others will travel/rent back home. Still others are 100% down here. It varies from person to person, situation to situation.






    You sound like you've been down the road & thought this through a little. I live near Boston & have a home in Tampa. I was going to buy in SC or GA, but it just doesn't seem the weather is warm enough in the winter for daily golf, nor cool enough in the summer to be bearable. Giving thought to the situation just last night, it seems if I stay in Florida, I'll probably want to go back up north for about (4) months of the year ... but have spectacular weather in Florida for (8) months of the year.



    If I opted for SC/GA, It seems I'd get at least (3) pretty cold months, (3) unbearably hot & humid months & (6) months of great weather. Am I missing something, at least as it applies to weather? From Thanksgiving through through February, is the weather generally nice enough to play golf 3 or 4 times a week?
  • HackerDaveHackerDave Members Posts: 1,401 ✭✭
    edited Oct 13, 2012 #9
    DLiver wrote:


    I did this very thing a few years ago when I moved to the coastal region of South Carolina. It is beautiful here, with a TON of outstanding golf. I live in a private golf community, which has a lot of advantages. My club has reciprocal agreements with all of the other private clubs in the area, so we get to play all the top courses in the area at very reasonable rates. We have a great group of people here who love golf, and we take a lot of golf trips--a lot of my buddies have connections at a lot of nice courses, and our pro is willing to call other clubs to arrange play for us.



    The weather here allows year round golf, although on colder, windy days in the winter no one plays. July and August are very hot and humid, so many people either travel or have a second place up north or in the mountains. There are a fair number of people that retire to Florida, then relocate again to the Carolinas because of Florida's heat/crowding/storms/etc. These folks are called "halfbacks" because they went from the north to Florida, then moved halfway back.



    We "snowbirded" for several years as a transition to a full time move. We belonged to my current club so we had a base of operations, access to golf, and numerous social options. That worked out well. We have considered reverse snowbirding and spending a month or two up north in the summer, but that would involve joining a club up there, and I'm even then I'm not sure what I'd do all day while the rest of the world was working. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    I think that if you retire to a single location, there are inevitable compromises: too cold in winter, too hot in summer, etc etc. I know many folks who keep a place back in their hometowns up north so they can stay in touch with family/friends and spend winters down here. Others will travel/rent back home. Still others are 100% down here. It varies from person to person, situation to situation.



    $125k a year should be enough if you are able to shed most or all of your debt. For that kind of dough down here you should be able to live in a nice private golf community, live comfortably, play a lot of golf and travel too.




    We are thinking of doing the same thing. We have a vacation place in Hilton Head but would likely sell that and buy a home in a golf community or at the very least join the club and keep the condo. We would then spend the summer here in Michigan. Of course it all depends on where the kids end up. Are you in HHI or north of there if you don't mind me asking?



    The other thought is to sell in HHI and buy a place down in Naples. MUCH better weather in the winter but the storms and heat in the summer make going north more likely.
  • ronnbeeronnbee Members Posts: 1,080 ✭✭
  • avragavrag Members Posts: 5,204 ✭✭
    ukalum wrote:


    I've heard Palm Springs is excellent, but have never been. How would you say it compares with the Scottsdale area. Same? Different?




    This is from a (European) tourist's perspective, so take it for what it is worth, but I guess that Americans from the Northern part of the East Coast or from a big city in the East could feel the same way.

    I visited both areas for a week each in April 2012. I met some GolfWRX members in Arizona, who made my stay there special. But overall, if I had to decide, the Palm Springs area would be my favourite by far.

    Scottsdale/Phoenix is just such a big metropolitan area, which will give you all the downsides of a big city, yet (to me at least), it lacks all the positives a big city should provide. You have awful traffic and long ways to go from one place to another, but there really is no part, where you get the feeling of being "in a city". It is all like one giant suburbia.

    The Palm Springs area on the other hand, is simply a gigantic tourist destination, and it shows in terms of restaurant, shops and so on, giving you a little bit more of that "city" feeling, I think, which, to me would be important, if I planned to live there at least half of the year.

    Also, the surrounding landscape is more beautiful and you can do many things other than play golf.

    The downside is that the people you meet on the better golf courses in the Palm Spings area are (on average) more full of themselves than those in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, who seem to be a lot more down-to-earth. Palm Spings itself is cooler for me in that regard, being somewhat more bohemian, but the further southeast you go in the Coachella Valley, the more people you will meet who (at least for me) are hard to take, with all of the importance and grandiosity they think they have. This also leads to some strange "services" on some golf courses. There seem to be people who measure the quality of a golf course by the number of staff members they have to deal with before they ever hit their first shots. I counted 8 at Desert Willow, which was too much for me. Yet, judging from the golfers I met there, those seemed to be people who expect that sort of unnecessary "service", because it makes them feel better about themselves.
    I see a gap. There definitely is a gap.
  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,518 ✭✭
    You would think there would be better guides out there on retirement options. Most of what I see are very high level Money Magazine fluff pieces on best places to retire. Would be even better if they broke it down by if you had X to retire on, what would be the best options out there. Every time I read one of these "best places to retire" articles, I get more confused, not less.
  • 2putttom2putttom # 1 Oregon Duck fan Members Posts: 9,832 ✭✭
    I live on the west coast. My son and his family live on the East coast (Virginia). I fell in love with the area after spending some time visiting this summer. I have been researching real estate prices, taxes, infrastructure etc... of the lower east states. Every time I see a tournement on the G C that is in those areas I head to my P C and do research on what it would take to retire there. It takes alot of $$$. So Im playin the lottery image/biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />
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  • DLiverDLiver Members Posts: 2,603 ✭✭
    BrianL99 wrote:

    DLiver wrote:


    I think that if you retire to a single location, there are inevitable compromises: too cold in winter, too hot in summer, etc etc. I know many folks who keep a place back in their hometowns up north so they can stay in touch with family/friends and spend winters down here. Others will travel/rent back home. Still others are 100% down here. It varies from person to person, situation to situation.


    If I opted for SC/GA, It seems I'd get at least (3) pretty cold months, (3) unbearably hot & humid months & (6) months of great weather. Am I missing something, at least as it applies to weather? From Thanksgiving through through February, is the weather generally nice enough to play golf 3 or 4 times a week?




    You can definitely play daily in the winter. When you live down here, you tend to become a fair weather golfer, so you won't play on days where the high is just 50º and it is windy. The average high temp here in the coldest months is 59ºF.



    The summer heat doesn't drive you off the course, it just makes you take a cart. There are days where the heat index is 110, but that is pretty rare. That said, our course closes for maintenance for 3 weeks in July (we do two aerifications during that time which is the only time we punch them), and that is when everyone travels.



    We are right on the ocean, so the temps here are a good 6-8 degrees cooler than just a few miles inland. That make a pretty big difference.
  • plus8plus8 Members Posts: 735
    I just retired. I live in northeastern NC, and our house is for sale at present - plan to go to Wilmington, NC (actually, just south in Leland County) - access to GREAT golf throughout SE NC and Myrtle Beach, SC. Additionally, we're thinking about a small condo in St Pete FL as well (there are some steals down there right now)....
  • station2stationstation2station Banned Posts: 6,627 ✭✭
    edited Oct 13, 2012 #16
    Colorado. Last year I skid and golfed on the same day three times. And the golfing weather was over 55*.



    In 2010 I golfed every week through the entire winter.



    And if you do get a rough patch of weather you can book a Southwest flight to Scottsdale for $149.
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  • Thug HunterThug Hunter Members Posts: 2,615 ✭✭
    I've recently heard a few people retire to South America resort style living. Is 125k/yr for all expenses, including mortgage, medical insurance, etc. My parents retired to Sun City, TX over a decade ago and they love it. If golf is your ultimate goal in retirement consider that type of community. It's relatively inexpensive and could easily be had for half your budget depending on your standard of living.
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  • TMLTML Members Posts: 1,792 ✭✭
    my opinion is slightly different on Scottsdale vs Palm Springs.



    1) the natural outdoor beauty of the phoenix/tucson area surpasses anything in Palm Springs/Coachella. There is a lot more natural plant life.

    2) not sure why you think Phoenix/Scottsdale's traffic is bad. If you are retired, there is no traffic problem. Try saying that in socal and san diego. All the socal traffic heads into Palm Spring on Friday and jams up I-10 W on sunday evening.

    3) if you want less "city", Tucson offers a very quiet retirement with fine golf. try looking at the Gallery Golf club in Marana.

    4) Palm Springs is California taxes and property taxes. In the winter time, Palm Springs does get it's fair share of the rain systems that hit california.
  • BrianL99BrianL99 Banned Posts: 5,116 ClubWRX
    plus8 wrote:


    I just retired. I live in northeastern NC, and our house is for sale at present - plan to go to Wilmington, NC (actually, just south in Leland County) - access to GREAT golf throughout SE NC and Myrtle Beach, SC. Additionally, we're thinking about a small condo in St Pete FL as well (there are some steals down there right now)....




    Better do it quick, the market in the Tampa/St. Pete area is getting hot again.
  • BrianL99BrianL99 Banned Posts: 5,116 ClubWRX
    DLiver wrote:

    BrianL99 wrote:

    DLiver wrote:


    I think that if you retire to a single location, there are inevitable compromises: too cold in winter, too hot in summer, etc etc. I know many folks who keep a place back in their hometowns up north so they can stay in touch with family/friends and spend winters down here. Others will travel/rent back home. Still others are 100% down here. It varies from person to person, situation to situation.


    If I opted for SC/GA, It seems I'd get at least (3) pretty cold months, (3) unbearably hot & humid months & (6) months of great weather. Am I missing something, at least as it applies to weather? From Thanksgiving through through February, is the weather generally nice enough to play golf 3 or 4 times a week?




    You can definitely play daily in the winter. When you live down here, you tend to become a fair weather golfer, so you won't play on days where the high is just 50º and it is windy. The average high temp here in the coldest months is 59ºF.



    The summer heat doesn't drive you off the course, it just makes you take a cart. There are days where the heat index is 110, but that is pretty rare. That said, our course closes for maintenance for 3 weeks in July (we do two aerifications during that time which is the only time we punch them), and that is when everyone travels.



    We are right on the ocean, so the temps here are a good 6-8 degrees cooler than just a few miles inland. That make a pretty big difference.




    Sounds about perfect ... maybe I should consider move up from Tampa & down from Boston.
  • ukalumukalum Members Posts: 91
    I have been surprised by the affordability of the pinehurst area. Real Estate is fairly resonable and a membership at Pinehurst only about $5k a year with a $40k initiation.



    Conversely, Reyonolds plantation in GA seems over the top. Even with the low market the real estate prices seem outrageous for the size of home, and a membership will run you about $15k+ a year once all is said and done and a $75k initiation.



    I'm sure there are as just nice of smaller communities as well that are even better bargains.
  • slocagolferslocagolfer Members Posts: 482 ✭✭
    edited Oct 14, 2012 #22
    The Central Coast of California. San Luis Obispo area. You can play year round. Not humid in the summer. Enough very nice public golf courses here at reasonable rates. For a splurge Monterey is only two and a half hours away. The local private country club is a good choice if you're so inclined.
  • Thug HunterThug Hunter Members Posts: 2,615 ✭✭
    edited Oct 14, 2012 #23
    Anyone suggesting California is crazy. I understand the weather is nice pretty much year round (in some parts), but Real Estate is ridiculously expensive for a retiree.
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  • QuasimotoQuasimoto Members Posts: 876 ✭✭
    Anyone ever check out southern Utah? St. Georges area? I haven't been there but heard it is outstanding.

    Don't know about cost though.
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  • rvgolferrvgolfer Members Posts: 533
    edited Oct 14, 2012 #25
    Seems like there are a lot of good areas that might work. But I think another important facet is to evaluate what type of golf you enjoy. Many retirees just enjoy the activity and find no real allure to competitive golf. Some have wives that also play, and will mostly want to play as a couple. And for me, I like a competitive game, but I also have a wife who enjoys playing but its not all that competitive. So I need to balance my play to satisfy not only me but also my wife.



    I also find that playing 7 days per week doesnt work for me. I enjoy it more when I get a day off, then play 2-3 days and then another day off. So the other part of the equation is having something to do on the off days,,or the occasional bad weather day. So my conclusion was to find a community that also has quite a few non-golfers that are always doing something else besides just golf. You many find that having other activities such as fishing, boating, and etc, are in the end just as important to your overall happiness as golf. And with a wife as part of the equation, few wives want to play 4-5 times per week so her having other activities to take part in becomes an important part of the consideration as well.



    My best suggestion is to for you to not make a quick decision, or at least one that provides options to change your mind. Maybe not joining an expensive club in the beginning,,not buying a house, and renting, just leaving as many options open as possible.



    With all that said, I think I'd choose the Phx area. In summer, you can escape to the north for cooler weather. Many many quality golf courses to suit most any budget and reasonable housing options as well. And while it can get hot in the summer, when you can tee off before 8 am, you can beat most of the heat, and the longer you are in a warmer climate, the more your body will climatize to the higher temps.
  • Thug HunterThug Hunter Members Posts: 2,615 ✭✭
    rvgolfer wrote:


    ......... and the longer you are in a warmer climate, the more your body will climatize to the higher temps.




    Great post except this part, but I disagree with one thing. I've lived in Texas for 30 years and I still melt every day I walk out the door during summer months. I absolutely can't stand the summer heat here, which is why I will most likely move away when I retire.
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  • Saluki91Saluki91 Members Posts: 598 ✭✭
    I'm paraphrasing Trevino: A person has approximately 10-15 years of an active lifestyle after retirement. Why spend four of those years in traffic? He was referring to SW Florida, and advocating for the Dallas area.



    I love the Prescott, AZ area... temperate winters and perfect summers. Not as crowded as PHX.



    East/Coastal North Carolina has some very good options as well... moderately priced housing and you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a golf course.



    I find this site very useful: http://findyourspot.com/



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  • profsmittyprofsmitty Marshals Posts: 2,627
    Saluki91 wrote:


    I'm paraphrasing Trevino: A person has approximately 10-15 years of an active lifestyle after retirement. Why spend four of those years in traffic? He was referring to SW Florida, and advocating for the Dallas area.



    I love the Prescott, AZ area... temperate winters and perfect summers. Not as crowded as PHX.



    East/Coastal North Carolina has some very good options as well... moderately priced housing and you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a golf course.



    I find this site very useful: http://findyourspot.com/



    Cheers!




    As usual, Lee may be on to something. Dallas/FW has great golf and at least two retirement communities built around golf courses - Frisco Lakes (a Sun City like development) and Robson Ranch. A significant issue is the brutal summers and iffy weather in the winter. Traffic is no picnic, either. Whether the other advantages of a huge number of courses and big city entertainment and medical facilities overcomes the negatives is, of course, a personal thing. We are considering it. What could be worse than Kansas in the summer, winter, spring, and fall?
  • ukalumukalum Members Posts: 91
    All great points and ideas. I completely agree that you need to find an area that has more to it than just golf.



    Florida and AZ seem to be the easy retirement choices, but the Georgia and Carolina's intrigue me as a much better golf area year round. I like the idea of having seasons, as long as the winter season is short, and still manageable to golf during it.



    I've played a lot of courses in the Phoenix and Naples area and the golf is good. But unless you are playing the very top courses the second tier aren't arent nearly as interesting in golf in the non tropical/desert areas.
  • TMLTML Members Posts: 1,792 ✭✭
    edited Oct 15, 2012 #30
    ukalum wrote:


    All great points and ideas. I completely agree that you need to find an area that has more to it than just golf.



    Florida and AZ seem to be the easy retirement choices, but the Georgia and Carolina's intrigue me as a much better golf area year round. I like the idea of having seasons, as long as the winter season is short, and still manageable to golf during it.



    I've played a lot of courses in the Phoenix and Naples area and the golf is good. But unless you are playing the very top courses the second tier aren't arent nearly as interesting in golf in the non tropical/desert areas.


    check this link out. There are a lot of great value priced options for private golf. Except for AZ country club, you are talking about some premier private golf clubs.



    Bottom line, seeing that you are from wisconsin, you are used to the sticky humid summers east of the rockies. Me, not so much.
  • ukalumukalum Members Posts: 91
    Great article on AZ country clubs. I'd dream of the Whisper Rock membership, but more likely to choose Grayhawk or Gold Canyon and good retirement bets that won't break the bank.
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