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retiring to Arizona or Utah, pros and cons?


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

  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 32,776 Senior Member
    edited October 9
    We had good friends who lived in Gilbert. Loved to visit them in the winter! Kiddo spent a few summer weeks at a sports camp near Phoenix and did just fine - we went to pick her up and survived, too. Do you know that competition swim pools in AZ have cooling systems?! Loved, loved, loved visiting AZ in December. Have a foot tall saguaro cactus that baby kiddo smuggled out of there as a tiny baby cactus blob. Need to repot that thing!! :)
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 7,244 Senior Member
    @Sybylla Thank you for citydata suggestion. Wealth of information I am combing through.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,130 Senior Member
    If you want a Pro for AZ or UT as a place to retire, I suppose you could point out that neither of them are Clark County, NV, where unsuspecting wealthy retirees regularly get robbed by court-appointed guardians they've never met.
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 7,244 Senior Member
    Who knows? The same may be happening there, too and we just don't know about it. A close-knit small town worries me in that sense.
  • fractalmstrfractalmstr Registered User Posts: 2,283 Senior Member
    edited October 10
    Phoenix is a fantastic city, and I am not at all a city person. It's one of maybe two or three cities in the entire country that I would ever consider living in. You really have to visit/stay regularly though to appreciate the true beauty of it. There is so much to do and see... tons of great restaurants, shopping, and hiking trails. Hardly any smog, and crystal clear skies most of the year. It's also predominantly a single-family home/"sprawl" type of city which means the sky is much more open, giving you great views of the surrounding natural scenery. Some people complain about Phoenix's sprawl and inefficient use of land but I actually prefer it that way. And yes it's hot in Phoenix for ~4 months of the year, but the rest of the year is excellent.

    Prescott is also a great place to retire to. Excellent shopping and restaurant options for a metro area of only 80k people. It's up at 5,000 ft, so you will get four seasons with ~85-90 degree summers. If you are into outdoor activities, including off-roading/Jeeping, this is the place to be.

    Tucson, also excellent... If I were to retire there I would pick somewhere just out of the main city, either south or in Oro Valley.

    If you are feeling adventurous and want to get away from big cities all together, there's Kingman, in particular the southeast part of the city near Hualapai mtn, or estate land out in Golden Valley. Beautiful area, IMO, but a bit isolated from big city amenities.

    Lastly, I can't speak for Utah, but New Mexico also has some excellent spots to retire to, in particular Albuquerque itself, and Las Cruces.

  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,244 Senior Member
    "I guess the main question for me, would be what options are available to meet new people, establish new support (friends, churches, hospitals, doctors, mechanics, etc)"

    My father-in-law moved to a Sun City development and found a new network almost instantly. Not just acquaintances, but devoted friends. When he had a health scare, I was impressed by how many friends insisted on coming by every day, driving him to the doctor, etc.
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 7,244 Senior Member
    I will move to a retiremnet community. For now, I think I still have juice to last 5-10years. If I can, I'd like to live withing a walking distance from a national park.
  • fractalmstrfractalmstr Registered User Posts: 2,283 Senior Member
    ^ Not sure if it was mentioned yet, but St. George is another great option in SW Utah. Very popular retirement area, and close to Red Cliffs and Zion. Also, kinda-sorta-not really close to Lake Powell which is stunningly beautiful.
  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom Registered User Posts: 2,729 Senior Member
    Tempemom, aww....old acquaintances started Changing Hands, and was part of the scene when I lived in Tempe eons ago. I am one of the Arizona snobs who does not like the sprawl of the Phoenix area, and the endless strip malls.....except that it is home. When I needed to move back there for job purposes from Prescott a few decades back, I realized living in the Phoenix area makes me quite happy. Walking the canal banks, the numerous places to hike, the arts, the interesting restaurant scene, the orange blossoms in the spring, and the ease of escaping the heat with a few hours drive make the place a pleasure if you can avoid a long commute. For those of a certain political orientation, you are needed to change the demographics.

    I just returned from Phx last night, and am not sure where I will end up, as I do love the state.

    Regarding the wind, when I lived in the Prescott area, I felt it was incessant and intolerable in the spring. On Monday afternoon, it was close to intolerable on the south end of the Navajo Reservation and the Grand Canyon. But that may be unseasonable, and is part of what fueled the California fires. In the Phoenix area, I have no memory of wind being much of an issue.

    Regarding the wood 'haboob' us old timers resent the imposition of that word on the dust storms we grew up with. Dust storms they will remain, in some circles.
  • collage1collage1 Registered User Posts: 1,199 Senior Member
    I know we'll never move to AZ but I went to summer camp in Prescott for several years and was a counselor for a couple more during college. I love seeing the references to Prescott and, while I'm sure it's different now it's bringing back incredible memories and I recall a darling town and good weather.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,463 Senior Member
    edited October 12
    re small towns. Need to fit a smaller demographic- politics, religion, ethnicity. Smart readers come in many forms. easier to break into a group that doesn't know each other forever as well. The intellectuals in a small town may not be your tribe. Think Venn diagrams with overlapping interests- will you find enough people that are like you in enough ways? Is the small town static- with residents who have been there a long time as have their relatives? Or is it like places many retire to with people from other areas? FL and AZ can be many old newcomers.

    re retirement communities. "Over 55" could be many over 80. Retired has many ages and stages in life- it includes your parents! They also may have restrictions that include no visiting children. Look carefully at how things are run and all sorts of factors. The Villages in Florida work for Republicans, but not liberals... There may be get togethers with food- but it needs to be the kind of foods you like. Consider the financial stability of the community. Is it becoming rundown as residents age and do not keep things up or care to pay for amenities anymore? Are property values stable? All sorts of considerations.
  • IgloooIglooo Registered User Posts: 7,244 Senior Member
    If it is a tourist town, would the residents be so entrnched in their ways? I am considering a tourist town and hoping there's enough people coming and leaving.
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,082 Senior Member
    @Iglooo - If it is a tourist town, would the residents be so entrenched in their ways?
    Very likely, and the more the religious homogeneity and the smaller the town, the more likely.

    Perfect examples would be Torrey and Bicknell, just outside Capitol Reef National Park. Beautiful spots, I've had friends relocate there only to leave within a year or two.

    Though larger, the dominance of the predominant religion in St. George is too much for me. I prefer Cedar City which, as a college town, is more diverse, and also has a nicer climate due to its higher elevation.

    Moab's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. Much more diverse than the other places I've mentioned, but IMO, a little too full of itself in the "hip and cool" department.

    Have you consider the area around Reno, Nevada? Close proximity to Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, and no income tax.
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