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retiring to Arizona or Utah, pros and cons?

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Replies to: retiring to Arizona or Utah, pros and cons?

  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 1,274 Senior Member
    edited October 9
    Have you tried citydata forum? It is more likely to have real information from residents of these areas. Moab in high season has this really great, enjoyable dirty backpacker vibe, that would get really old, really quick when you are not one of those youngsters who can do all that fun stuff, or worse, that you might need a job or ongoing health care.
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 7,046 Senior Member
    I can still do all of that fun stuff!! :)
  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 Registered User Posts: 5,897 Senior Member
    Agree that the town of Moab would be tough to take on a permanent basis. While it's developing quickly, in terms of of real estate right now it is pretty low end. I think as tourist dollars continue to flow the town might eventually get some polish. Although I think that is what a lot of people like about it. You can go into the best restaurant in town in your hiking gear and no one cares. If you are looking for Michelin starred restuarants or 5 star hotels, this is not the place.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,043 Senior Member
    There are lots of things to do when you "visit" Phoenix...desert botanical gardens, MIM....but when you actually LIVE there...you might want to do things differently. Maybe you would want to be a docent...or maybe find local things...like the libraries (many have speakers, music programs, etc). Maybe become involved with a house of worship. Maybe take up an interesting hobby (I have a friend who teaches quilting, for example).

    If you plan to move there...you want to explore the things you might want to do as a resident. These might be different than a tourist. As an example...if I lived there, I would join a local gym, and a community chorus. I wouldn't do either as a visitor.
  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,455 Senior Member
    @kjofkw Many people move with their jobs across the years and get used to making new friends. Even for those leaving a 30 year home, if moving to a retirment area there are many new residents looking for friends. Now, having grown up in a small town, it would be an awful place for a stranger to move in retirement if he or she had no ties. Not a problem in AZ retirement areas.
  • MagnetronMagnetron Registered User Posts: 2,142 Senior Member
    Sandstone rock climbing and mountain biking, Iglooo? I'm a big outdoors fan and even I feel that Moab lacks too many amenities to use as a home base in retirement. Many from the Seattle suburbs retire to the small mountain/rural towns and it gets old fast. Even two hours away gets old. Our next-door neighbor is on a rural lake and can't wait to move back. She did not realize how isolating it is to live without smart, well-read people.

    Also, unless it is a ski house or on a beach, I don't think location is as enticing as people think it would be.
  • toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,778 Senior Member
    We just bought a small home in North Scottsdale, after over a dozen trips through the years. Visiting in the summer was helpful, as I decided I couldn't handle living there during the summer. We will keep a home up north. I always wanted to buy something in Florida, but my husband loves AZ for the golf courses. We also have a son and DIL that decided to live there. The lifestyle is very low key and the people are very friendly, so I think I will like it.
  • TatinGTatinG Registered User Posts: 5,303 Senior Member
    There are smart, well-read people in small towns too. Sheeesh.
  • LeastComplicatedLeastComplicated Registered User Posts: 448 Member
    The hot summers are not the only negative weather related issue in Phoenix. Spring winds in the SW can be brutal - sending sand and dust flying everywhere and making life pretty miserable. Sometimes the "spring" winds start in Feb. and don't end until June. I once went on a camping trip in the NM desert in the Spring, and we were stuck on the shore of a lake away from our campsite dealing with some kind of problem, and the wind was so bad and relentless that I crawled into a little trench that was about 1 foot deep to get some relief. I was on the verge of going mad.

    Then there are "haboobs", which mostly occur during the monsoon (rainy season) that begins around July 4th.

    I'm wondering if anyone agrees with me about how awful spring can be also. We lived in the SW for many years and there were things I absolutely loved about it, but those darn winds were definitely not a positive.
  • greenwitchgreenwitch Registered User Posts: 6,985 Senior Member
    There are vineyards in AZ too. Grapes hate humidity. If you visit, go to Page Springs along Oak Creek between Sedona and Jerome and there are several vineyards there.

    There are also commercial pecan groves, especially in the southern parts of the state. It surprised me, since I think of pecan trees as being more at home along the gulf coast.

    Don't forget that AZ does not do daylight savings time (although the Navajo nation, a big part of the northeast corner of the state, does). I like that but not everyone will.
  • anomanderanomander Registered User Posts: 1,103 Senior Member
    edited October 9
    I'm wondering if anyone agrees with me about how awful spring can be also. We lived in the SW for many years and there were things I absolutely loved about it, but those darn winds were definitely not a positive.

    I can't say that the winds bother W and I at all. We do notice occasional windy weather, but not so often that it's an inconvenience. For whatever reason I've never been out and about during those heavy winds - do they generally happen in the early evening when the weather is cooling off? Anyway, a couple times a year we might look outside and comment, "wow it's really windy" but that's about the extent of our exposure to it. We live in N Scottsdale so maybe location has a lot to do with it?

    Haboobs were a bit of a letdown for me, tbh. The first big one that came through, I was envisioning heavy sand-blown winds like in that episode of Mission Impossible or any other desert-sandstorm movie scene. Instead it was just a cool picture on the horizon but not noticeable when it actually passed through. Except there was a nice coating of dust on everything the next morning. There's only been a few noteworthy haboobs in the past couple decades that I can remember. Again, location may have a lot to do with it. Other phoenix-area residents might chime in with a different experience.

    Oh, one non-weather related downside is Spring allergies. OMG life can be miserable for a month or so in Spring even with all the windows closed and several HEPA purifiers running in the house.
  • LeastComplicatedLeastComplicated Registered User Posts: 448 Member
    We lived in ABQ and location might have been a factor, but my job required me to travel around the region frequently, and during the really windy years, it was windy region-wide. I think we lived there for 16 years, and it seemed like the spring winds were an annoyance pretty much every year for a short period, but every 3-4 years they they were so strong and lasted for months and could just drive you bonkers.

    I will say that I worked outdoors so I had to spend a lot of time out in the elements. But I also found it annoying just going about daily life in the city.

    And no, if I recall correctly, the winds actually died down in the evening when it got cooler.

    And yes, I agree the spring allergies are bad also. I didn't have allergies until I moved to the SW and they got so bad I had to take shots. When we moved to a city in the NW, I went back to PHX in the spring for a work related meeting and I got the worst allergy attack in my life - I coughed so hard that blood vessels in my eyes burst.

    But no place is perfect - I don't like the area that I live in now because of the horrible humidity. Which makes me fondly remember all the pleasant summer evenings we spent outdoors in ABQ because the temps dropped a lot after the sun went down and there was little humidity - and no mosquitoes.

    Note***I just googled both AZ and New Mexico spring winds, and got MANY more hits for New Mexico, so it is probably is a matter of location - although there were definitely several sites that addressed spring winds in AZ.

  • MagnetronMagnetron Registered User Posts: 2,142 Senior Member
    There are smart, well-read people in small towns too. Sheeesh.

    I would guess everyone here knows that. It is near universal in our neighborhood @TatinG, so easy to interact on that level. We have two retired Microsofties now writing novels. It is rare in her new place to the point that she has not yet met one. Data point of one and I try not to overgeneralize. My parents are in a small town peppered with retired professors and such, not isolating at all. But it's a risk to consider. Let's assume Iglooo does not care but it is enough of an issue with our friend I thought it was worth mentioning. I see now that Moab has a USU branch campus, so likely not a big deal.
  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,455 Senior Member
    Winds are strong in SW AZ and feel like a blow dryer in July - but I still think it's worth the next 7-8 months. Moab can be quite hot as well but I just visited one week in August.
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 3,547 Senior Member
    We lived in Scottsdale for 16 years and have now retired to the SE valley. I'm unfamiliar with the winds @LeastComplicated mentioned. My experience is similar to @anomander's, but no allergies, so can't comment on that. The main negative for me is no large bodies of water. We will be traveling back east for a few months each summer so I can get my fix of both water and greenery. Otherwise, for us, AZ met our cost of living/quality of life sweet spot better than anywhere else.
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