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Best Area to retire - golf, weather, affordability and "things" to do


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The title says it all. It's a tough topic to tackle and has more questions than answers, but I have a friend approaching retirement next year and I'm 8 years away so we talk about it. Most of the conversation has been southern North Carolina and Palm Beach, FL area.  I think we are both most interested in the east coast of the US but please share any and all thoughts.

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  • Oriole05 changed the title to Best Area to retire - golf, weather, affordability and "things" to do
  • 2 weeks later...

I’m glad the OP asked the question—even though it’s entirely dependent on wealth, taste, grandchildren, and a million other subjective facts—because the more retirees or near-retirees that chime in, the better. Like ND2005, it’s not happening soon—I’m only 40—but we talk about it a lot. 

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14 hours ago, PJ Blake said:

I just retired on the Monterey Peninsula and couldn't be happier. Yes taxes and real estate are a bit higher, but to me its only money, and for the years I have left, its worth it. I cant imagine living anywhere else for the weather and beauty and golf. Now I'm sounding like Jim Nantz.

 

Where are you playing golf?   

 

I lived one year on the peninsula.   Unfortunately, it was an El Nino year (Winter of 1982-83) where it rained nearly everyday for 4 straight months.   

 

 

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Texas, Florida and Tennessee have no state income tax.  

 

I would choose Florida.  Not sure what "things" you are into but I enjoy sports and the outdoors.  Florida has decent enough hunting (save maybe waterfowl) to keep me interested.  Freshwater and saltwater fishing are world class.  Downsides I could think of would be tourists, heat and humidity in summer and potential for hurricanes.

 

There is still some "Old Florida" left if you stay away from the panhandle and larger cities.  I don't know what they call the stretch between Apalachicola and Tampa but that curve seems to be less developed and, from an outsider's perspective looking at recent history, less likely to get hit with a hurricane.

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On 10/1/2021 at 7:46 AM, vallygolf said:

As a west coaster, I cant think of anything less appealing in retirement than to work hard my whole life and look forward to the bay area.  As a former resident and frequent visitor it represents everything I want to get away from in retirement.  This has to be a trolling post.

I 100% agree. My son works for a large streaming company and his office was downtown SF. He lived there 5 years when the pandemic hit and went totally online from home. After we had been retired in Monterey a couple years, he did what tons of people did who were in the same boat, got the heck out of SF and moved here. He grew really tired of that place. Great place to visit...I guess.

8 hours ago, DrDon said:

 

Where are you playing golf?   

 

I lived one year on the peninsula.   Unfortunately, it was an El Nino year (Winter of 1982-83) where it rained nearly everyday for 4 straight months.   

 

 

I play a number of courses, but the membership is such a good deal at Bayonet/ Black Horse I play there mostly. With the NCGA membership there is a pretty good discount at Poppy Hills given it is one of the NCGA courses. Love playing there. We play Spanish Bay and Del Monte with the Duke's Club membership as well.

 

I remember those el niño years, including that winter. I was living in Santa Cruz in the Redwoods and we feared a big one was going to come crashing down on our house. We could use another winter like that though (unfortunately the floods come with it)... this drought is taking its toll. 

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  • 1 month later...

we bought in the Cliffs Communities- Cliffs Vineyards specifically- to have a lakehouse and plan to retire there. The Cliffs is a fabulous concept. 7 communities spread across upstate SC and NC, 7 individual clubs and excellent courses all for a ridiculously reasonable initiation fee. With that fee you're a member at all.  2 Fazios, 2 Nicklaus, 1 Player, etc. 

 

https://cliffsliving.com/

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9 hours ago, bbanksp said:

we bought in the Cliffs Communities- Cliffs Vineyards specifically- to have a lakehouse and plan to retire there. The Cliffs is a fabulous concept. 7 communities spread across upstate SC and NC, 7 individual clubs and excellent courses all for a ridiculously reasonable initiation fee. With that fee you're a member at all.  2 Fazios, 2 Nicklaus, 1 Player, etc. 

 

https://cliffsliving.com/

How are the winters? I live in central NC, and I always thought the winters in western NC were much worse than here.

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Some retire to Florida, but the extra winter golf they play is offset by being 
too hot in the summer to play.  
 
NC/SC is a medium if you are from a Northern state with cold winters and
high taxes.   Then narrow it down further to places like Charlestown, 
Pinehurst, Myrtle Beach, etc.    Visit + vacation is some of the spots recommended.    

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What it came down for me is what I was willing to compromise on in choosing a location. I ended up in Ocala, FL. Yes it is hot in the summer and you get thunderstorms almost every day. But I was willing to accept that in where I live. I can still get out and do things in the mornings and early afternoon during the summer. And after 20 years living in the Atlanta area, yes there is year round golf, but in the winter is cool, it is wet, and it is cart path only most of the time. And no snow in Ocala. 

 

Spend some time and do your research on communities that are available. Get an idea on amenities that are offered in the community and home prices. The same type of home can vary in price significantly depending on location. You might want to go as far as renting a home first to see if the area has what you really want, not what you think you want.

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Our plan is to kind of rotate around.  We bought a place in Pinehurst.  For quality, quantity and affordability I don't think you can beat Pinehurst.  We also plan to buy a place in DC.  My wife is a caps fan and we lived there right out of college and love the place.  DC/Pinehurst combo fit well together.  We also plan to spend a couple months each year in the UK/Ireland.  Memberships are affordable (have one already) and the golf is great.

 

Just have 8 years to go.

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Former midwesterner and AZ snowbird, just recently moved to north Texas.

 

It seems like north Texas has the heat of Florida, if not actually worse in the hottest months.   But it has the winters of Georgia.  Golf is expensive and there aren't really enough courses IMO.   The people are great, though.

 

I will add that it is possible to snowbird more cheaply than you might think, if you are willing to live in a park model RV for a few lovely months in the winter.  And those kinds of parks have tons of activities.   Florida or AZ are your choices for that.  You could always start with this route, then look for your ultimate home.

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1 hour ago, act0fgod said:

 We also plan to spend a couple months each year in the UK/Ireland.  Memberships are affordable (have one already) and the golf is great.

 

 

 

Are they okay with you playing a lot during the couple of months?  I recall reading that some places want to sell you a non local membership but don't want you to use it very much.  I ask because your plan is something I've thought about looking into.

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I've been retired in Austin for ten years and still think I made the correct choice for these reasons;

 

  • Cost of living is lower than east and west coasts (although it's going up rapidly).
  • We have the best Mexican food in the USA.
  • Weather is a good compromise.  Summers are very hot but Winters are mild and we play golf every month of the year.
  • The city has about everything anybody could want.
  • Being in the middle of the USA means it's convenient to travel to both coasts and Mexico is just a flight away.
  • We are a one day drive from the mountains in northern NM.
  • Many of my golf buddies have a summer home in cooler areas such as Jackson, WY and Colorado.  That adds too much complexity and stress for me.
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I retired to Florida last year. Very happy with the move. Lots of golf at all price points and quality. Lots of other things to do. No state taxes. Cost of living relatively low (except for the monthly water bill). The only problem is the uncontrolled growth. They are clearing citrus groves and building residential communities at a crazy pace without any master plan. The traffic is getting like L.A. in some places.

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On 11/25/2021 at 9:23 PM, ArtMBgolf said:

Some retire to Florida, but the extra winter golf they play is offset by being 
too hot in the summer to play.  
 
NC/SC is a medium if you are from a Northern state with cold winters and
high taxes.   Then narrow it down further to places like Charlestown, 
Pinehurst, Myrtle Beach, etc.    Visit + vacation is some of the spots recommended.    

 

Summer is no hotter in South Florida than it is in NYC. 95* and humid. Just starts earlier and last longer.

 

Maybe 14 days or so every Winter one has to wear a heavy sweatshirt and long pants. Another 3 weeks or so with a lightweight sweatshirt/windbreaker.

 

Rest of the year is shorts and a tee shirt.

 

Further north you go the more likely you are to lose some golf days to colder weather. Those cold fronts that sink down from the north sometimes get as far as mid-Florida so northern Florida, Georgia, SC and NC will get a week or so, maybe even 2 in a row where you won't want to play. More days than that if you are more affected by colder weather.

 

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