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post #1 of 28 Old 07-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Where to retire?

I'm nowhere near retirement (easily 15-20 years), but still like to wonder and dream about where we'll end up retiring.

I want to retire somewhere on the coast so that I can sail regularly. While I hope to cruise full-time for a year or two, we'll settle down somewhere on shore. I want to continue to be able to cruise (weekends, weeks, months) when we feel like it and enjoy a local sailing scene (day-sailing, racing, etc.). And of course an affordable area will allow me to put more money into my dream boat!

I'm from the East Coast -- SC. I want to be within an easy drive of SC because of family (which means somewhere from DC to the MS Gulf Coast), but other than that I'd like to hear some suggestions on good places to retire.

Hampton Roads? Further up the Chesapeake? New Bern/Oriental? Charleston or Beaufort, SC? Georgia or Florida? Gulf Coast?
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

Things can and do change a lot in 15 to 20 years.
Look for low cost of living, low taxes, warm and good community.

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post #3 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

Hmmm...what about the Maryland Eastern Shore? As long as your post-retirement income is not so large as entice the commissars in Annapolis to steal it all, the eastern shore has what you appear to be looking for.

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post #4 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula of Virginia are hard to beat. Some counties have zero percent personal property tax on boats. Weather is moderate and the cost of living is decent. The recent economic crisis, even though it is over in most of the states according to the MSM, has devasted the area/continues to do so and property prices are still the lowest they have been in decades. This area will play catch up for the next ten to fifteen years....now is the time to buy/build as it can only go up.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

None of those. I have been planning to retire to St. Johns since I was 14. I'm 42 now and still waiting/planning.
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

Originally Posted by abrahamx View Post
None of those. I have been planning to retire to St. Johns since I was 14. I'm 42 now and still waiting/planning.
St. Johns or St John? Two *very* different places.
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

All the part except the need to stay close to family would be found in Chile, if you like cheap and good healthcare facilities and low cost of living. Airplanes go to the States even from there haha.

I personally am going to end up in Southern Chile probably in about two or three years, but I have a lot of friends already there. A three bedroom house on the coast with everything I need plus my own private dock is available for $50k on almost five acres. Cannot beat that, and I like the cool weather, so it is great for me.

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post #8 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

My plan is to down size on the current house and property to a condo in a mixed community area (shop, restaurants, bars and condos). Then travel to the places of relaxing like the BVI's, PNW and Chesapeake bay as the urge hits. Probably another 5 to 8 years for the land prices to go up some more.

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post #9 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

Well, I've traveled throughout the United States and to more foreign countries than I can recall the names of, and from my perspective, from a sailing year round point of view, I would think seriously about the lower Florida Keys, with Marathon right at the top of the list.

Keep in mind that in the mid Atlantic region, particularly in Chesapeake Bay, winter essentially begins in early to mid October and continues through till mid May. Sure, there are exceptions, but those exceptions go in both directions. Last October was one of the coldest I can ever recall, and this spring was extremely cold as well. Warm weather, weather where you you could wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt, really didn't arrive until mid June. Then, as if someone threw a switch, the hottest summer we've experienced in decades was upon us. Today, the temperature in the Chesapeake's upper reaches is 97 degrees, and the humidity is nearly 90 percent. Just like stepping into a sauna.

And, in this part of the world, summer winds average 5 to 10, mainly from the southwest. The only interruption to this is the normal, late afternoon and evening thundershowers, when the winds can suddenly kick up to 50 or more MPH.

Ironically, the weather in Marathon this summer has been about 8 to 12 degrees cooler than it has been here, and the humidity has been about 20 percent lower. Sure, it's hotter longer there, but when you hit retirement age, warmer is a lot better, especially during the 7 months of winter we get here in Maryland and norther neck Virginia.

Now, lets examine the other aspects. The waters of Chesapeake Bay are nothing more than an open sewer. The fish are unfit to eat, as are the shellfish. A few days ago I sailed down the bay just below the confluence of the Elk, Susquehanna and North East rivers, the stench of rotting fish corpses was nearly nauseous, and the water color ranged from dingy brown to greenish gray. There were people wading and swimming near one of the newly created spoils islands just south of Havre de Grace, and for the life of me I really don't know why they would allow themselves or their children be exposed to this kind of health hazard.

In Marathon, there are dozens of edible species of fish, and none with health hazards other than ciguatera, which is extremely rare. The underwater visibility in Boot Key Harbor, which has some pollution issues, ranges from 6 to 15 feet on most days.

As for sailing, on one side of the key is the open waters of the Atlantic, which can quickly be accessed via two inlets, both of which are easy to navigate. On the other side of the key, the Gulf of Mexico offers you some incredible sailing in waters that are relatively shallow, but on average provide depths ranging 6 to 12 feet.

So lets see, Chesapeake Bay or Marathon. Believe me, if it were not for my wife and her family ties, I would have been there 40 years ago.

Good luck,

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post #10 of 28 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Where to retire?

I would second the Chile recommendation. Particularly the southern part. Puerto Montt is amazing. I lived in Santiago in the early 90's. I never could get used to not being the good old US of A, though. I know this is where I'm retiring.

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