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Ramjet08
January 2nd, 2012, 10:33 AM
Ok, this might be a strange question but here goes. Considering weather, cost of living, outdoor activities and masters swimming, any suggestions on the best places to retire in the Western US?

ElaineK
January 2nd, 2012, 02:33 PM
Ok, this might be a strange question but here goes. Considering weather, cost of living, outdoor activities and masters swimming, any suggestions on the best places to retire in the Western US?

Cost of living can be quite subjective- unless you use the Cost of Living Index. This tool might be helpful:
http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/bestcities_sort/

So, based on the index, what do you consider affordable cost of living? Compare where you live now, in Washington, to other western cities to help you make that determination, then let us know where on the index you consider your limit. We lived in San Diego most of our lives, when the index was at 145. My husband retired at 55, we cashed out (sold our paid-off home) when the housing market was sky-high, in 2004, then headed to San Antonio, where the index was around 90. 41/2 years of the heat (and Texas) was enough for us, though, so we moved to a Sun City community, in Georgia, 40 minutes south of Atlanta, where the index is also around 90. It meets everything on your criteria list except one thing: It's not in the western U.S. For my husband to retire at 55 and for me to not have to work full time, we had to head east in order to also meet the other criteria on our list.

It was a good move for us. I would highly recommend a Del Webb community; great activities and ammenities, including an indoor pool and fantastic gym. On the negative side: They keep the indoor pool at 84 in the winter :afraid:and there are those pesky noodlers... :censor: (But, we have found our compromise, and, although it's not :bighug:, we at least don't :argue:.) Sorry, I digressed; that's another thread entirely...

Anyway, throw out some specifics, so we can help: What weather do YOU like, what can you afford, what outdoor activities do you enjoy, and how close do you need to be to a masters team or meets.

Also, check out AARP Magazine; they rate cities every year and would be a good resource.

Feel free to send me a PM, if you would prefer to take this conversation off the thread.

Good luck!
:cheerleader:

Cokie
January 3rd, 2012, 08:17 AM
We did a lot of research before we settled on a Del Webb Community, Sun City Grand which is located in Surprise, AZ, about 20 miles NW of Phoenix. After two years of part time visits, we moved here Jan 1st of this year. I LOVE it! Have to agree with Elaine, my only complaint are that the pools are too warm. You can check it out at www.grandinfo.com. Feel free to shoot me any queries!

pwb
January 3rd, 2012, 09:17 AM
We did a lot of research before we settled on a Del Webb Community, Sun City Grand which is located in Surprise, AZ, about 20 miles NW of Phoenix. After two years of part time visits, we moved here Jan 1st of this year. I LOVE it! Have to agree with Elaine, my only complaint are that the pools are too warm. You can check it out at www.grandinfo.com (http://www.grandinfo.com). Feel free to shoot me any queries!I'll second the greater Phoenix area as an awesome place to live, retired or not. Plus, with the real estate market in the toilet, it's really a buyer's market. As a Masters swimmer, there are great teams at both Phoenix Swim Club (central/slightly east PHX) and Mesa Aquatics Club (definitely east valley). The city of Scottsdale (where I live) has two awesome pools with dirt cheap lap swimming year-round (McDowell Mountain Ranch and Cactus Aquatic Center), along with a couple of other semi-seasonal pools. I'm very biased towards Scottsdale -- pools, restaurants, cultural events, running/biking trails, dog parks, etc.

Ramjet08
January 3rd, 2012, 09:50 AM
Thanks Elaine, Cokie and pwb:) We were focusing in on Phoenix and your info has really helped. The cost of living is definitely less than the Seattle area. We're going to visit in February. Thanks so much!

Michael Heather
January 3rd, 2012, 10:33 AM
Eagle, Idaho has some new interest. Ask Bob Strand.

geochuck
January 3rd, 2012, 10:51 AM
My wife and I are looking into a place to have our motor home http://happydaysrvpark.com/photos/photos.html


Thanks Elaine, Cokie and pwb:) We were focusing in on Phoenix and your info has really helped. The cost of living is definitely less than the Seattle area. We're going to visit in February. Thanks so much!

KatieK
January 3rd, 2012, 10:56 AM
I'll second the greater Phoenix area as an awesome place to live, retired or not. Plus, with the real estate market in the toilet, it's really a buyer's market. As a Masters swimmer, there are great teams at both Phoenix Swim Club (central/slightly east PHX) and Mesa Aquatics Club (definitely east valley). The city of Scottsdale (where I live) has two awesome pools with dirt cheap lap swimming year-round (McDowell Mountain Ranch and Cactus Aquatic Center), along with a couple of other semi-seasonal pools. I'm very biased towards Scottsdale -- pools, restaurants, cultural events, running/biking trails, dog parks, etc.

I can never, ever leave Arizona because of the swimming. Scottsdale actually has 3 dirt-cheep aquatic centers--don't forget Eldorado Pool in the south part of town. My neighborhood even has 2 pools with one lap lane each (outdoors, heated in the winter).

And there's plenty of open water swimming. From my house in N. Scottsdale, I'm 45-50 minutes from Saguaro Lake, an hour from Bartlett Lake, and a little over an hour from Lake Pleasant or Canyon Lake. Check here http://www.watergirl.co/content/open-water-swimming-arizona or here https://www.facebook.com/groups/167847399892134/ for more info on open water swimming in Arizona.

The summers are unbelievably hot, but I don't even feel it because I'm in the water every spare minute.

gull
January 3rd, 2012, 11:06 AM
Austin. Great people. Lots of sun. Good food. Music and film festivals. No state income tax. And open water swimming year round in Barton Springs, where the water is a constant 68 degrees.

Hey Robert Plant just moved here.

Ramjet08
January 3rd, 2012, 01:14 PM
Thanks so much:)

orca1946
January 3rd, 2012, 01:16 PM
Somewhere in northern cal.

ElaineK
January 3rd, 2012, 01:53 PM
We did a lot of research before we settled on a Del Webb Community, Sun City Grand which is located in Surprise, AZ, about 20 miles NW of Phoenix. After two years of part time visits, we moved here Jan 1st of this year. I LOVE it! Have to agree with Elaine, my only complaint are that the pools are too warm. You can check it out at www.grandinfo.com (http://www.grandinfo.com). Feel free to shoot me any queries!

Hey, Cokie, happy new year! I'm glad to hear you are enjoying your Sun City community!

Off the thread subject :hijack: for a moment, I just wanted to let you know your SwimFest coaching has had a lasting impact. Now, instead of just hearing King Frog's (Allen Stark) tips go through my head when I swim breaststroke, I hear yours, as well. I've been working on my turns daily and have gotten my stroke count down where it belongs! Thanks, again!

Fresnoid
January 3rd, 2012, 02:37 PM
Ok, this might be a strange question but here goes. Considering weather, cost of living, outdoor activities and masters swimming, any suggestions on the best places to retire in the Western US?

Fresno:

Weather - Winters are cool, but it never snows and almost never freezes. However in one hour you can be skiing. Summers are hot (every day in July WILL be over 90) however, it gets down into the 60's every night even on a 100+ daytime peak.

Cost index is 109. Higher than I thought, but low for the west.

Outdoor activities - Camping, hiking, running, biking, endless miles of trails and roads, both flat and mountain. 3 national parks within one hour. Plenty of lakes for open water. Millerton is only 15 minutes away, the surface temp is in the 70's by May and there are group swims there almost every week. The Pacific is 3 hours away. San Francisco and LA are both close enough for weekend trips. Tremendous running community with lots of race opportunities including the popular Runner of the Year Series, now in its 26th year. http://www.proracegroup.com/valley12.html

Masters Swimming -two great programs that work well together - Fig Garden and Clovis Swim Club. In fact the teams ran a joint workout 12/31. There are 6 50 meter pools within 15 minutes of my house. The only down side is any meets are 2 1/2 to 3 hours away.

edit: Fresno Dolphins just added a Masters program at the new Bullard HS 50 meter facility. http://www.teamunify.com/ccsfdst/__doc__/BullardMasters.PDF

ande
January 3rd, 2012, 02:39 PM
Ok, this might be a strange question but here goes.
Considering weather, cost of living, outdoor activities and masters swimming, any suggestions on the best places to retire in the Western US?


Somewhere beautiful, sunny & warm

Do you want to train indoors or out?

Do you have fairskin?

you wrote
weather,
cost of living,
outdoor activities,
masters swimming
is anything else important?

What are your priorities on your list?

Do you have children/grandchildren?
if so where do they live?

Do you want to train on your own or with a team?

Do you want to be near beaches or mountains?

pwb
January 3rd, 2012, 03:56 PM
We're going to visit in FebruaryI'd suggest also visting in late June / July so you can feel the heat. I love the heat and it doesn't phase me (I actually find our winters still too cold for me in AZ), but more than a few other people actually seem to think the 115 or so is a tad on the toasty side. I've gone through summers in both Virginia and Texas, though, and AZ is much more tolerable. That "it's a dry heat" does have truth to it.

Ramjet08
January 3rd, 2012, 08:13 PM
Ande - Thanks and great questions. No kids so no worries there. Terrain not so important but mountains over beaches. Training with a team over on my own.

PWB - Thanks again. We're planning a visit to Phoenix in February and again, probably, in May after Nationals. I may try to swim with the Mesa Masters Team while we're there in Feb.

jaadams1
January 3rd, 2012, 08:35 PM
I'd suggest also visting in late June / July so you can feel the heat. I love the heat and it doesn't phase me (I actually find our winters still too cold for me in AZ), but more than a few other people actually seem to think the 115 or so is a tad on the toasty side. I've gone through summers in both Virginia and Texas, though, and AZ is much more tolerable. That "it's a dry heat" does have truth to it.

I've been to Phoenix twice in the summertime, and once in the spring. All were for swimming events of course. My first summer (Aug. 1994) it was hot, and I forgot my sandals...big no-no. I burned the bottoms of my feet so bad on the pool deck, and that all day heat was tough on a visitor like me.
2nd time was for USMS Nats at end of April 2011. More tolerable, but it was still in the upper 90s then. Big change when eastern Washington was in the 50s/60s then.
3rd visit was last fall, end of Sept. 2011. Came into town and it was 107. Hot yes, but like Patrick mentioned, dry heat, so it's not bad, as long as you HYDRATE. (I still chose Mountain Dew). :banana: The morning wasn't bad, high 80s/low 90s, but quickly rose back over 105 again by lunchtime or so.

Wonderful place though. I see myself heading back again sometime in the future.

aztimm
January 3rd, 2012, 11:46 PM
I'll second the greater Phoenix area as an awesome place to live, retired or not.

Along with the Del Webb properties, there's also Sun Lakes (another developer, Robson did this one). The advantage of this is that it is very close to Chandler, and you'd be within a few miles of the 2 pools Chandler keeps open year-round for swimming. I know a few people who live there, min age is 45 (I'll be there in a few years). They have decent lap pools, both indoors and out, and a small masters-type group right in the community. There's golf and all of the other activities that are typically found in retirement communities. I sometimes bike through the area, and people are always friendly, waving to me as they drive past in their golf carts.

One great advantage of Sun Lakes is that you'd be an easy drive to swim with either the Mesa team (at either Kino or Skyline pool) or Sun Devil Masters @ ASU (at either the Rec Center or Mona Plummer).

There's also Leisure World out in east Mesa, which would be well-situated for the Mesa-Skyline facility, and not a bad drive to Kino. There's many other retirement communities in Mesa that you could select from.

Housing prices in Sun Lakes or the Mesa retirement areas are typically much less than elsewhere in the area. Even at the housing peak, most houses in these areas didn't get much above $200-250,000. Now you can probably find something for $100,000 or less.

geochuck
January 4th, 2012, 08:24 AM
Just to let you know the rental for the motor home lot in Apache Junction is under $225 a month for a 12 month rental. They have WIFI so I can keep in touch with the world. I already have my Magic Jack Arizona phone #. We will soon be there.

Kino or Skyline pool are not far away. They do have a small pool and a hot tub at the RV park...

Midas
January 4th, 2012, 10:59 AM
Have you considered the Sacramento/Davis area? In terms of swimming, that would be hard to beat. Davis Aquatic Masters is a huge and very good team. You'd be located in the biggest LMSC in the county in Pacific Masters, giving you access to lots of great swim meets and probably the best open water program in the country. You'd also only be an hour or so from Lake Tahoe (since you prefer mountains) and an hour or so from San Francisco and Napa. In terms of cost, I'm sure places like Arizona are cheaper but Davis/Sacramento is as reasonable as you can get in California. The weather is better than Arizona too (and you can still swim outdoors year-round, which is awesome).

Ahelee Sue Osborn
January 5th, 2012, 04:15 PM
Have you considered the Sacramento/Davis area? In terms of swimming, that would be hard to beat. Davis Aquatic Masters is a huge and very good team. You'd be located in the biggest LMSC in the county in Pacific Masters, giving you access to lots of great swim meets and probably the best open water program in the country. You'd also only be an hour or so from Lake Tahoe (since you prefer mountains) and an hour or so from San Francisco and Napa. In terms of cost, I'm sure places like Arizona are cheaper but Davis/Sacramento is as reasonable as you can get in California. The weather is better than Arizona too (and you can still swim outdoors year-round, which is awesome).


:applaud:

philoswimmer
January 5th, 2012, 11:24 PM
Have you considered the Sacramento/Davis area? In terms of swimming, that would be hard to beat. Davis Aquatic Masters is a huge and very good team. You'd be located in the biggest LMSC in the county in Pacific Masters, giving you access to lots of great swim meets and probably the best open water program in the country. You'd also only be an hour or so from Lake Tahoe (since you prefer mountains) and an hour or so from San Francisco and Napa. In terms of cost, I'm sure places like Arizona are cheaper but Davis/Sacramento is as reasonable as you can get in California. The weather is better than Arizona too (and you can still swim outdoors year-round, which is awesome).

:applaud::applaud:

One benefit of having such a big Masters program is having many workout times to choose from. There is even a workout that gives preference to seniors, though of course they can choose other workouts if they want.

bud
January 6th, 2012, 09:59 AM
Thanks for posting this thread. I'm not at retirement, but I am looking at possibly moving to a more economically friendly place. I've been in Austin, TX for just over 6 years and have been unable to reach most of my primary goals, mostly due to the toughness of the job market here (especially if you are "older"), and the high cost of living. (Property taxes are high here. Most of my friends my age [I'm 53] say they will work till they die so they can keep their house.)

If you have a lot of "spreadin' around money" however, Austin is a great place to retire for swimming, as Gull mentioned. The SNAFU is that there are no USMS pool meets here, mostly OW events (that may or may not be USMS sanctioned). If you offered me $500K I might swim in Ladybird Lake, but anything less and I'd have to think about it a long time. Lake Travis is OK, most of the year. There is a lot of competition for lane space here, but if you like swimming with a program, then there are nearly limitless choices. So if you got lots of cash, and like swimming in coached sessions, Austin is a fantastic place to retire, especially if you like Music and Art festivals. Politically Austin is pretty liberal, but this is Texas... and then there is the heat... and water shortage (http://www.lcra.org/water/drought/).... Yep... dang ol' tell you what man....

Don't know if this will help you, but this is the process I'm currently using to see about relocating.

First I narrowed down the State because I have some health issues and want to have the option to possibly partake of a unique treatment ('nuff said on that). The short list was OR, NM, HI, CA. Since cost of living (COL), water availability, population density, and general economic stability are top issues, that left OR. I've been judging the COL using Property Taxes, and (as mentioned early in this thread) the COL Index. I then went to the USMS Places to Swim page and started looking up what pools were listed. My reasoning is that if it is listed there, it must be a pretty decent pool. Some LMSC webs have great lists of their groups and pools.

Once I identified cities through the above process, I started looking up info on them. Wikipedia is a good resource for that. There are a number of web sites that allow you to compare cities, and list loads of demographic info, etc... try:
http://www.google.com/search?q=compare+cities

I've moved a lot. I'm convinced now that I'm part Gypsy. A few times I've just "bottled up and went". All I can say for sure is that you cannot know for sure if you will like a place till you live there. As for Austin I misjudged the job market, and was clueless at the time regarding Property Taxes vs. COL (yeah, I know, I'm not always the sharpest tool in the shed, but I get by).

The Grateful Dead- Ripple - YouTube

:-)

Be Well... Have Fun!

pwb
January 6th, 2012, 11:06 AM
... that left OR...The greater Portland area has a number of GREAT masters options and pools, but might be high on the COL index. If you want, I think, a lower COL, consider Bend: beautiful town, smaller, less rain and an awesome masters team with an awesome facility (http://www.comaswim.org/).

debaru
January 6th, 2012, 01:32 PM
I've been to Phoenix twice in the summertime, and once in the spring. All were for swimming events of course. <stuff deleted> ... Wonderful place though. I see myself heading back again sometime in the future.

And when you do, be sure to let me know. My club hasn't scheduled any meets yet, but Mesa Aquatics already has several listed:

http://www.mesamasters.com/Home.jsp?team=amsmac

As you know firsthand, their meets are always a lot of fun. :agree:

Hope to see you soon!

Chris Stevenson
January 13th, 2012, 09:02 AM
I guess the Texas people may be onto something:

http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-09-2010/10-best-rated-states-for-retirement.html

(Don't see AZ anywhere on the list... :))

Then there is this:

http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-09-2010/10-worst-rated-states-for-retirement.html

Of course, shame on the AARP for not including masters swimming in their so-called "objective" rating!

pwb
January 13th, 2012, 02:20 PM
I guess the Texas people may be onto something:

http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-09-2010/10-best-rated-states-for-retirement.html

(Don't see AZ anywhere on the list... :))
I'll give them Texas, but they lost all credibility with this reader when they put both Oklahoma and South Dakota on this list. Have you ever heard anyone say,"Man! I can't wait to retire ... but I'm struggling between which retirement mecca to choose: Wounded Knee or Norman?"

debaru
January 13th, 2012, 06:25 PM
I'll give them Texas, but they lost all credibility with this reader when they put both Oklahoma and South Dakota on this list. Have you ever heard anyone say,"Man! I can't wait to retire ... but I'm struggling between which retirement mecca to choose: Wounded Knee or Norman?"

I agree, Patrick. More than one place on the list is in "Tornado Alley", which is definitely not on my list of places to retire. Besides, I don't have to worry about it too much as I'm already living where I will be retiring. :)

Klondike
April 22nd, 2014, 04:49 PM
I agree, Patrick. More than one place on the list is in "Tornado Alley", which is definitely not on my list of places to retire. Besides, I don't have to worry about it too much as I'm already living where I will be retiring. :)

Charlotte County FL. We have 2 county pools (constant 79-81 degrees) 8 lanes each, lane swimming 10-7 Tuesday - Friday 11-5 weekends plus 6:30Am T-F. Oh yes the cost $80 a YEAR!

Add zero state income tax, on the gulf with tons of canal homes. We are between Sarasota and Naples. Add golf, gators, fare restaurants and shopping.

But we have no master swimmers....but we could start.

smontanaro
April 23rd, 2014, 09:20 AM
If you're thinking of the Gulf Coast of Florida, you should probably consider Sarasota. USMS headquarters are there, so I imagine you will be able to find someplace friendly to swim nearby.

Me, I'd opt for something with more interesting cycling terrain. That said, I will probably follow Ellen wherever she wants to go. :)

orca1946
April 25th, 2014, 04:12 PM
PWB would say Mesa & I agree!