Friday, August 26, 2016

Retirement Relocation Report #1

Since last week's request for suggestions, I've been on a fact-finding mission,
looking into all the possible places where I might relocate the 7MSN. 

Here's the current map:
click on the map to enlarge

 The only way I know how to make an important decision is to make a list,
with the pros on one side and the cons on the other. But this decision is so important
that my list has turned into a giant spreadsheet.

click on the spreadsheet to enlarge

How did people do research before the internet? 
My favorite go-to site so far is
Type in the name of a city and bam! Data starts shooting out of the screen.

The data is just that and doesn't mean much until I compare it to where I am now. For example:

Average afternoon humidity in June in East Tennessee = 59%
Average afternoon humidity in June at the 7MSN = 18%
I hate humidity. East Tennessee probably doesn't stand a chance.

People per square mile by county in Brazos County, Texas = 333
People per square mile by county in Socorro County, NM = 3
I'm basically a hermit and would like to stay that way. 
Brazos County probably isn't for me.

Average precipitation days in Central North Carolina = 113 
Average precipitation days at the 7MSN = 53
Clear skies are a priority. Do I want to live where there are twice as many fewer? 
Probably not.

Note all those "probablys." I'm not pulling the pin on any place yet.
I keep telling myself I've got a few years to make this decision and there's no need to be hasty.

I'll use my precipitation days to stay indoors and continue my research.


  1. I'm the one who suggested East Tennessee. Humidity is certainly a minus. The Smoky Mountains are a temperate rain forest. Now, Sequim Washington, on the other hand is a much more moderate climate. I have a friend who lives there and I have visited the area. Lavender fields. Beaches. Legal pot. What more could one want? It is a beautiful area, the Olympic N'l Park is nearby, as is the ferry to Victoria BC. Well worth considering.

    1. Hahaha! Now THERE is an additional item to add to your spreadsheet that we forgot about. lol

  2. I think you are going to have a hard time finding a place better than where you are!

  3. My cousin lives in Bozeman, MT. As I was trying to go to sleep last night, I was thinking about trying to go see her. Then, I thought about how wonderful a place it is and how it should be on your list too :-)

  4. Central NC reporting in ....

    I have found that when watching the weather reports (multiple stations) and they have the 'AVG' whatever temp/rainfall/humidity posted ... sometimes I just want to laugh. It can often be nothing like the current weather pattern. I have lived here all my life and I'm a 1950's baby.

    It may be of some statistical reference when you look at 100 years-plus data, but for daily type living it rarely has any meaning (for me .. and I do follow the weather even though I don't have my own weather station). Though Average Rainfall is helpful ... and knowing WHEN that rain is likely to arrive (average rainfall per month).

    I find the daily Highs/Lows of more use.
    Another set of stats is the number or 90-Deg days or 100-deg days depending upon location (the piedmont crescent from Fayetteville North Carolina to Columbia South Carolina ,sometimes extending to Augusta Georgia) is NOTORIOUS for extreme heat. Its a peculiar little mini-climate.

    Yes, the humidity can be excruciating at times .. but it isn't 300 days a year like a tropical island.
    Another variable you might want to consider is your Latitude. That will make a difference in the number of 'light hours' per day (longest day/ shortest day). What time does the sun rise/set on these days and how important is it to you and the herd?

    For piedmont NC (that's smack-dab between the mountains and the coastal plain), my personal observation is that we seem to have about 2 weeks of extreme cold in the winter and then 1 to 2 sets of extreme heat in the summer. This summer has seen a bit more of the extended heat cycles. They say we average about 29 (twenty-nine) 90-Deg days each year. We are into the 40 day range by the airport (which I think is in some peculiar mini-climate that hasn't got a CLUE how really hot or really cold it is) (wondering whether all those jets taking off stir up the air and moderate the readings ... along with all the major roads/highways that surround the place).

    So, this summer has been a bit warmer with less breaks in the heat. We just finished with a lovely cool down and low humidity, the High Pressure is slipping over Bermuda and the heat and humidity will be returning.

    As you may know, altitude will figure into the heat/humidity factor , so don't remove a pin from the map based upon just Avg temp or humidity. The East Coast climates have quite a bit of variability with the mountains, gulf stream, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean influences.

    Apologies for running on ...

    M in NC

    1. Hi Carson, I've got to weigh in here .. I'm another M in NC (Maggy, though) .. and if you don't like humidity, then this is NOT the place for you! I've lived in the Triangle all of my life, and after the high heat/high humidity (and 70%+ dew points), I've decided that it'll be my last summer here! (Don't get me wrong; I love NC, but I can't stand being cooped up inside for the summer months.) Our mountains might be a better choice; cooler in the summers, fairly mild winters, glorious views, and enough remote spots to suit any hermit unless she wants to socialize.


  5. I'm going to have to study that spreadsheet a little more. I've been to Prescott, AZ, and I love it there. I also loved Silver City, NM. If I had to choose, it would be Prescott, but Silver City isn't far from the Gila Cliff Dwellings and that's really neat too.

  6. You are a I suggest sticking with the southwest! I've lived in AZ all my life and I think you would like Silver City better than Prescott. Prescott is very tourist-y - they have a mall , for heavens sake! You might want to take a look at Sierra Vista, AZ. We are retiring to Bisbee, which is close by and has recently garnered national attention as one of the "Best Small Towns". SV has wide open spaces yet good retirement amenities (hospitals, etc.) yet only about an hour from Tucson.

  7. I would love for you to come to Colorado. Similar weather to 7msn except more cold, snowy, icy days. Old people like me are ok with that until March. Aunt Jean

  8. Cheers to the person that suggested Billings, Montana! That is the area I am looking for retirement. Love the whole state and the weather is so different throughout the state. My vote is for somewhere in Montana! Love your spreadsheet and map!

    Sydney - NE Oklahoma

  9. Hmmmmm, looking at these numbers I'm hearing the clicking of heels and a voice saying "there's no place like home, there's no place like home." But we all know that home is where the donkeys (and the dogs and the cats and the chickens, etc...) are. Looking forward to the list getting pared down.

  10. Have you considered building a caretaker's house a short distance away from your house? Finding and keeping the right couple to live there could sometimes be problematical-----the distance to the airport remains the same---but everything else is a PLUS!

    1. I consider the caretaker house thing all the time, but the fatal flaw with that plan is finding and keeping the right person to live there. I'm convinced it's an impossibility.

  11. Within the continental US is fine. But as one having gone through an oversea move (France to Canada), I vote against Portugal or NZ, as marvellous as they probably are. When one gets older, it's smart to stick close to your loved ones. It really does matter.

  12. Re: rain days in central NC - I don't find the rain too much here. Once in a blue moon we get a string of days in a row and barn residents get grumpy but it's really rare. Remember, the rain is what means we don't have drought. And why we have plentiful, nice hay for sale locally. And why you don't need to feed hay at all if you have pasture. And you can plant grass varieties that grow winter/summer so there's a good chance with donkeys your hay costs will be very low. And you don't have to water the garden or wash your truck. :)

  13. If you hate humidity, NC or TN are not for you. I live in the NC piedmont & it is HUMID about 8 months of the year. Right now my de-humidifier in the cellar can only dry it out down there to 59% -- let alone what the open air percentage is. If you don't stay in NM, I vote AZ for most of the traits you like. Agree that finding a caretaker who would fill the bill & stick around for good is unlikely -- besides, how can you be a hermit with somebody hangin' out all the time?

  14. I agree with Two Blue Chairs, staying out west but near water and less snow. Would that be northern AZ or southern CO? Have you talked to Justina about their weather? It's so beautiful and green there. Humidity is our friend, good for your skin.

  15. Have you looked at Real or Uvalde counties in Texas? My late dad retired to Camp Wood, Tx. The area is at the southern edge of the hill country, sparsely populated, transition area to the desert.... Uvalde had a population of 18,000. Google the area and look at images of the terrain. A lot of people retire to the area. Not as sparsely populated as what you have now, but certainly not overcrowded. Real county has a population of 3,350, not counting all the deer, turkeys, armadillos, and other wildlife.

  16. Piping up from the MOUNTAINS of NC. The weather has it's good and bad. With climate change, it's bound to get hotter. This year was by far the worst, but getting away from people makes it worth it. Where I am (Burke County), home of the famous Linville Gorge, one can find cool breezes and cold water almost anywhere. That being said, if you had children, I'd NOT recommend my state because of what our governor has done to education (yes, one has to look at the political climate). I'll not leave, because I'm a hiker and the mountains are my home. Middle TN might not be bad, once you get up on the Cumberland plateau, although the great valley of east TN has high ratings as well.

  17. We're so happy to see a pin in Middlebrook. xo

  18. Dont you just love Excel? Could you maybe email me that spreadsheet lol?? That is exactly what I'm going to do soon. And with most of the same requirements. Hope you find someplace wonderful.

  19. DON'T come to California! High taxes will kill your pension. I just retired and the damn state is taking 23% of my RETIREMENT income!!! Boo, hiss...I'm a native Californian with 2 children and grandchildren here, but Nevada is sure looking appealing to me. THEY won't tax my retirement income! We also have a horrific drought.

  20. Since you still have some pins in Colorado, I think you should consider Florence, Colorado. It's not much of a tourist town except for antique seekers. It appears to have landscape somewhat similar to yours (distant mountains, etc.). It has that small town feel, with lots of space if you live just outside town. Yet it has access to Canyon City, Colorado Springs and the Denver Airport within reasonable distance. It DOES have some snow. No, I don't live there, but visiting made me suggest it.

  21. I saw this video on Marfa TX the other day and thought of you and your search for a good place to retire. I've only passed through Marfa once, but after spending a day exploring it I can vouch for the wonderful feel of the place. It did seem to have both a wonderful sense of community and some wide open spaces. Good luck with the search! Mary

  22. An American in Tokyo8/29/16, 6:20 PM

    It's fun to read everyone's comments!

  23. I just checked out and
    my town (Rock Island, IL) is horrible! LOL!
    Now I'm depressed.
    Maybe I need to move too!

  24. I know I'm a little late for the party, BUT. I work on a dude ranch in Crawford, Colorado. It's much more rural than the other towns you have on your Colorado map so far, but you're still close to an airport (1.5 hours away) and the grocery store (20 minutes). Look for anything around here, Crawford, Hotchkiss, and Paonia. There's still plenty of land around here.