Where To Live In Early Retirement?

We had the joy of spending a few days in Tennessee earlier this week with good friends of ours who used to live in Minnesota. No surprise, when we arrived from the Bold North, we brought snow with us! People we talked to in Tennessee said it was the first snow they had gotten this entire winter.

Our friends moved here a few years ago in preparation for their forthcoming retirement lifestyle. They were hugely diligent in scouting the country (flying & RVing) for an area with both mountains and lakes and found it north of Knoxville in East Tennessee.

Before they did so, they had the important discussion that many people have about the “one or two home solution”. Some people want to have a single house to retire to – one expense and set of ‘stuff’ – but in a place that is sufficiently warm in the winter time. Others go for the ‘two house solution’ with a place where it is very warm (Florida, Arizona) in the winter that they can snowbird from the North in. They keep their house back home for the beautiful summer months.

We haven’t decided what will be right for us in the future. It kind of depends on where our son goes after college. In the meanwhile, we’ve planned a few getaways each winter to escape the cold. Or, in this case to have the cold follow us to Tennessee!

Image Credit: MrFireStation.com

14 thoughts on “Where To Live In Early Retirement?

  1. Let me know if you need someone to house sit while you’re gone! I can’t imagine why on Earth you’d want to leave the feet of snow and week long sub zero temperatures of Minnesota, though. It’s simply magical.

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    • MN was magical until about three weeks ago. Then we gave up and hit the road. Will be home soon and hopefully the snow has melted a LOT! 🙂

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    • The picture is from our friend’s backyard on Cherokee Lake, near Rutledge. Huge lake created by the TVA dam. Its 2x the size of Lake Minnetonka back home!

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  2. We’re in Virginia full time (for now). Virginia, like Tennessee, has a wonderful four seasons with mountains and beautiful lakes, but has the advantage of a beach too. It’s worth considering! Just stay away from the high cost areas like DC. Check out Smith Mountain Lake, VA. It’s a beautiful man-made lake with over 500 miles of shoreline. We have been considering the snowbird option as well. We have been trying out the Florida Keys for a couple of years, and are now considering more time there during the winter months. (BTW, enjoyed your other FB site!) -Thom

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    • It sounds like you’ve been renting, then? That will be our approach in a few years – rent and see what works the best for us.

      Smith Mountain Lake looks like a beautiful area. A bit remote for us, as think. We’re city folk and I don’t think I could be that remote.

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      • Yes, definitely renting in the Keys. Still own our permanent in VA. Haven’t found it practical to buy property in the Keys, so far. We really like VA and will likely keep that as our primary for the forseeae future. We prefer the rural setting, to each his own! But it’s hard to beat the low taxes, high quality of life, and four seasons Plus it’s where we’ve built a our rental property business.

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  3. We just returned from Kauai, trying to escape the Idaho cold…went there to get rained on! What ya gonna do? It was our “winter escape trip.” And yesterday, we went to an RV show to gather information about eventually purchasing a Class B travel van. Not quite ready for the “purchase a condo in one place” phase. We did use Air BnB in Scottsdale this winter, and it gave us an introductory taste of the area. We loved it! We’re still in the “exploring” stages! ~ Lynn

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    • I think exploring and renting places (AirBNB) is a great approach. If you got to Hawaii AND Scottsdale this winter, you are definitely having some fun too. The RV show was in Minneapolis while we were gone on vacation. Maybe next year!

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