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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been "semi-retired" for 10 years - no not really retired, we started a publishing company - wrote some books (www.secondstar.us), but realize the place we are living in Kansas City is a holdover from working at Hallmark... and as a holdover - we've been here 14 years - the longest I've ever lived anywhere (I was a navy brat.)

So -time to move! (long past time to move really). Maybe homesteading - finally. But for now, IT IS JUST TOO HARD TO CHOOSE! We can go anywhere - and all that implies.

The only family to consider is my Mom - last parent left - and we are NOT moving to Florida.

No kids. We wrote a book about that, too.

So - we have too much freedom. We finally realized one thing that would help was to decide where we did NOT want to live. That eliminated a lot of places, and helped some.

Strangely enough, our "top few" are now:

Denver corridor (NOT Denver) - somewhere in Colorado...
Asheville NC area
Portland ME
Boise Idaho
Portland OR area

See? Still varied, and too much freedom. We'd probably rent for a time, then try to find a place to stay - we're both near 60.

Some have said (and it is tempting) - to do them all - like rent 1-2 years in each - then, who cares... (well, we do, but it does seem interesting)

But back to homesteading - we've only done it peripherally, but maybe we're too old.

Sigh. Any thoughts appreciated!

Dan T. Davis
www.secondstar.us
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - every one of these cities is like a "center" - so Boise Idaho probably incorporates your suggestion - but thanks for that suggestion - because we'll give that area more attention.
 

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I can understand the "CAN BE A CHAIN". Just like deciding what to watch on TV. When we had 3 channels, no problem! If I had the chance, Montana would be my choice. Really, Idaho or Wyoming, would not be bad either.
 

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Maybe you could consider staying put and do a month long vacation in each of the areas that interest you. At least you'd have a better idea of how you feel about these other locations. For myself it takes about a week before I'm ready to say bye and return home, but you may have that happen in a month or never.
 

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My guess is that you wish to remain a free thinker and independent person? Unfortunately both Colorado and Oregon have recently been following the pattern of who can become the biggest nanny state. Also, they are very Christian hostile and I gathered from a scan of your book that you are people of faith. I visit Idaho hunting from time to time and cannot say enough positive things about the area and the people. Good luck.
 

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Been missing your post's, and wondered about you and your wife. Why not get a Winnebago type, and stop in places till you decide?
 

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I'm with Pearl B and ceresone! Get an RV, travel, stay a while where you enjoy the place and the people, and when y'all find YOUR place, settle down.

Mon
 

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One place not on your list is the Spokane WA-Coeur D'Alene ID area. I think housing is cheaper, the cities are smaller but big enough, great homesteading area, great recreation areas, pretty nice weather.
I can second the Spokane area. DH is retired Marine. He retired a bit over 3 years ago, so we spent the last couple of years of his active time mulling over where we wanted to live. Both of us are southern east coasters by birth, but had no desire for the east coast at all.

Spent time thinking between rural Spokane, rural Idaho, rural Montana, and rural Colorado... CO has water issues where we would have gone. And we can't afford the $$$ areas. Idaho was $$ depending as well. Same with Montana... Our semi-random dart method landed us on rural Spokane. :)

Rural Spokane is a little gem that it seems hasn't been discovered yet... We love it here... honestly, I am really wishing I had had to chutzpah to go farther north and away- Newport, Kettle Falls... etc. :)
 

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I too highly recommend making an extended visit in each area you are considering. And after you narrow down your choices visit in different seasons.

I will add my two cents on the inland northwest (Spokane area). We have been here seven years now. Love the area and our neighbors. And all four seasons.

Susan
 

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Is weather a consideration? Do you enjoy the cold and snow, are you OK with being more cooped up during the winter? Do you have hobbies or interests you now have time to pursue and location would be a factor? Lots of things to consider and would perhaps narrow the field of where to move.
 

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We retired 30 min west of Asheville 3 yrs ago, beautiful here and very 'moderate' in most senses. Plenty of water, but doesn't flood in most areas. Weather is good, not too hot in summer or too cold most winters, little snow to speak of. Mountains, but not high scary ones (although my HS friend who visited last week and is a true flatlander found them nerve wracking). Can find a million $ property or a $50,000 one. Plenty of restaurants/entertainment/shopping if that's important to you. We enjoy it here :)
 
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Consider the weather that you are used to. Moving to a place that is very cold in the winter is going to be hard on you. People who grow up in the north retire to the south.

Colorado is dry, but I guess Kansas is too. Any way, I’d be asking why so many people retire to this state or that state. Low wages mean property/housing costs less, but it also means less help from the state. Before you decide, find out what the area has in the way of caring for the aged. This will not only vary from state to state, but from county to county.

You are not too old to homestead as long as you are realistic in what you can do. I can’t do it anymore, but plenty of people can. Make it easy on yourself. If you have a little greenhouse you can extend your growing season, which means less canning or freezing. If you have neighbors that sell produce you like, you can have a smaller garden and buy from them. If you have neighbors that grow livestock on pasture you can buy a 1/4 cow every year instead of growing your own, same with sheep and pigs. You get the picture. Make raised beds that are high enough to make gardening easy on you as you age.

If you buy a house, consider how you will be impacted if you are using a walker or cannot take the steps. Is the stairway wide enough for a lift? Are the hallways wide enough to use a walker? If you build, build it for someone with limited mobility.
 

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Have you considered the Moses Lake, WA area? Nice small city, better weather than Spokane, not too much of a drive to Spokane if you want more "big city" events, good hospital and lots of retirees there. My ds and bil moved there a number of years ago and love it. I like visiting there.
 

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We found ourselves in a similar situation 20 years ago. Here's what we did. We got a big map out and sat at the dinning table and pondered it. We decided we didn't like up north, too cold so the top half was out. Then decided we didn't like out west, too dry, and so on. We came down to 3 places we thought we should consider. No internet at the time so I contacted the cities and ordered packets of material and went to visit all 3. We moved to MO and loved it until my husband got sick a few years back and then we were on the move again for warmer weather. This time we used citydata.com to compare everything from cost of living, crime, racial profile, income level, climate, etc. and found it very helpful. We've been extremely happy with our choice. What is important today was not even on our radar 20 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions!

Sounds like we DEFINITELY need to add Boise/Spokane area to our "visit" list. Because, yes, just as you suggest, we've done some visiting and are about to do some.

The winnebago concept is tempting, but another comment says "what do you want to do" - well, we're both writing. So we love to travel, but we need a home base. And weather? Well, when we thought of Portland, ME, people said "it is so cold!" - and we said - the perfect time to write! We'd be the people stared at: "that rental home, no one shovels the walk! does anyone even live there?"

That said, we love to garden, we love organic, a greenhouse and chickens would be fun. OR, just a rental house, and travel. Still working on figuring that out. And yes, age is a consideration.

As for all the suggestions to visit - YES. We were in Portland OR in February, Boston and Portland ME in July, Santa Rosa CA in July, MO, KS, OK, TX and Colorado in August, and plan to visit AGAIN - Asheville NC area in November, Colorado and Maine again in December (to test the winter months).

No we're not rich - tons of frequent flyer miles from when I was at Hallmark/Procter & Gamble, and people to stay with (usually)

So, the one definite miss is we have to schedule a visit to Idaho/Washington soon.

We want to move by spring/summer 2015. The other big task? GETTING RID OF THINGS. We are in a big house - we always planned on kids, but you fill the rooms - and we do NOT need all the things we have.

Thanks for all the thoughts! More appreciated if you have them.

Oh, and go buy my books - every box we can get rid of out the basement will help.... :) :) :)

Thank you all.
Dan T. Davis
www.secondstar.us
 

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Discussion Starter #19
As for thoughts about location, water issues, and such - I'm writing a novel now called Secession - and water rights (and states rights, obviously) factor into the situation.

The main character is Jim Roberts, a state senator from Idaho in about 2045 - so maybe I should indeed prioritize that Idaho/Washington visit!

(Secession / Revolution / 2084 ) - all coming before 2020 - he says hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wouldn't cross MO off your list just because you want to get away from big city life in KC. Lots of potential homesteads out there in the show me state that would put some distance between you and big city living.
We definitely want to get away from "big city" - which is why Denver is not on the list... and neither are the ski areas. but we've always liked the mountains, and we loved the Colorado Springs area when we visited - you get rural quick there, and the city is nearby.

but you noticed - Portland ME won over Portland OR because of size difference.

And yes, we SHOULDNT cross MO off the list, but we are, at the moment. We want a new area, and a new thing, and a new direction. That's why Cincinnati and Kentucky are off the list - we lived there over 10 years.

It's time for something different - even acknowledging that rural MO would be different.

Thanks.
 
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