Contributors to this thread:
Where In Western States To Retire:
Here's what I'm looking for: A state, city or town where the cost of living is retirement friendly. The furthest East I would want to go would be Colorado.
The Winter's need to be mild and not too harsh (My sweetheart isn't fond of freezing temps and I don't want to have a second career shoveling snow). I am thinking this may make the northern states a little sketchy but I am not sure.
Decent elk, deer and maybe waterfowl hunting without having to wait a decade to draw a tag for.
With all the above hunting done on public land.
I'm open to archery and rifle hunting and some decent fishing wouldn't hurt I guess :-)
Please give me some Direction if you know of such a place that exists. Thank you.
I would look at southern Utah or Az if you want to stay out of the cold
Western Colo may be an option? OTC elk tags in most units with relatively easy limited deer tags on a draw. OTC elk units can get pretty crazy with hunters but you can elk hunt every year. Lots of fishing and decent bird hunting. The Grand Junction area is relatively mild in the winter but gets mighty hot in the summer....but you have mtns just above town. If you don't want WIND 360 days a year I'd stay clear of Wyo! It meets all of your criteria but the wind and nasty winters aren't fun!
Utah may be an option but limited tags can sometimes be a pain in the rear to draw. You can likely hunt deer and elk every year. New Mexico may work but you may have the same problem drawing tags. Southern Idaho may be ok. They don't have a pref pt system so everyone has the same chance to draw...and they do have general tags available. Alaska would be super fun but there are only around 3 months I'd enjoy living there....it would be 3 months of nirvona heaven each year though!!!!
Interesting question, and one that comes up at our house from time to time. Although this is a question for far in the future for me, I still wonder about it. I'm headed southern UTAH in April ... sounds like a great place, but what's the OTC hunting like there?
Grand Junction, Pueblo, or Canon City in Colorado.
Anywhere your spouse will let you! Ha!
Another vote for Grand Junction CO. Has everything you want. If I wasn't so embedded in the Fort Collins area with a house and a cabin I'd pack up and move that way.
My wife and I have given this some thought and traveled in search of the best spot...Prescot Ariz....Pocatello Idaho, and southern Utah are all decent climates and great places for an outdoors sportsman to live.....But...surprise here....the winner was Roseburg, Oregon!! Mild climate..84 degrees average summer temp...hardly ever snows...turkey capital of the western US, Roosevelt elk to the west 20 miles and Rocky mtn elk to the east 50 miles, blacktail deer all around with some white tails, 2 forks of the Umpqua with salmon and steelhead, waterfowl nearby...4 months of archery deer and elk with mostly OTC tags....and NO sales tax!!...the downside 1. liberal politics prevail because of Portland...2. overcast days can be disheartening. If it wasn't for grand kids...I would be there!!
I moved out west, it was beautiful, and bowhunting was good,,,, but I missed a million lakes,, streams and trout holes with no people, and the northwoods,,,,, plus I like to trap too much, and found that a hassle in the west,,,,,,,, so now to elk hunt I drive out, but have all the time in the world, than I get back up to the UP
Get her a really warm coat or a Heater Body Suit.... buy a nice woodstove and move to western Wyoming!
i like the hunting in NM but not much else. been to several areas that are.....rough to say the least. Almost unilaterally my NM friends say crime and drugs are a major issue in the state. based on your criteria i would focas on AZ, UT and Co
Thank you very much for all of your replies.
I lived in a windy area a while back and I completely hated it. And that was in Northern California so I can imagine what Wyoming would be like LOL.
Green Forest and Mountain living would be ideal. The little woman would probably continue to work in the nursing field so we can't live more than a half hour away from a hospital.
She loves hot weather and I can go either way and like all climates. But she is told me that during the colder times of the year, she will stay inside in front of the fireplace while I go out and hunt LOL. But as I said in the original post, I'm trying to avoid crazy snow to shovel. But DEFINATELY not looking to live in the desert.
I've been considering WY or MT. If WY....locals say it gets very windy in the S - SE part of the state due to the down slopes. Northern WY seems logical. WY is good for military retirees WRT to taxes. For MT........maybe the Great Falls area. No sales tax and not overly Californistic on income taxes.
I was considering moving to Washington because they have no income tax is there. And if you live near the border of Oregon. Oregon has no sales tax so there's a good money saving opportunity there. I was just have to find a city that means the rest of my requirements of not that much snow, Green Forest and mostly sunny days.
The political atmosphere of a state is a major factor (for me), one of the reasons I can hardly stand NM much anymore...
There aren't too many places in Wyo it doesn't blow! I grew up in Cheyenne and Casper. I went to college in Laramie and worked several years in Rawlins and Buffalo. It may have blown 260 days a year in Buffalo compared to 360 days everywhere else! The wind may blow closer to 260 windy days/year in Lander as well. If I was going to live in Wyo I'd look into Lander, Buffalo, or Sheridan. I HATE the wind and would have a hard time moving back! There is 0 way my wife would live there!
In comparison we only have around 10 "windy" days/year here on the Front Range in Colo. Unfortunately there's a gob of people and it's nearly impossible to get away from the crowds. I think the word is out that the weather is good and it's a nice place to live. If your wife likes gobs of restaurants and shopping there's plenty of them between Ft Collins and Colo Springs. It can be 60 degrees one day in December and snowing the next. You can be 90 degree heat one day in Denver in August and head up in the hills and it's snowing.,,,you never know! There are some great hidden gem towns to live in Colo such Hotchkiss, Montrose, Meeker, and others. A lot depends upon how isolated or to the other extreme... how close to shopping your wife prefers!
HDE is correct. I lived in NM and that it one beautiful but screwy state. Very Democratic but not like California Democratic. The state is very corrupt from the large land owners all the way to their politicians. Albaquerque is a very violent city for being not being a huge city. I don't like to generalize but the Spanish natives and god forbid don't call them Mexican, are about the most prejudicial people I have ever met. Don't believe me? Go to Espanola some time.
Some interesting tax info by state.
I think about this often as well. My criteria is simple, I start with a solid Red State and then I would weigh everything else. That's why anything in the NW, Colorado and NM are non-starters for me. I live in a Blue state (CT). It's hell. I refuse to retire anywhere that is, or can potentially be run by liberals.
The bad thing about the west is all the smart Californians are leaving but wherever they go they want it to be like Kalifornia. AZ used to be a great state but it is changing by the day. Parts of Montana, Colorado, Washington and Oregon have already fell prey to the dreaded liberal mental disorder.
I agree with Pat...I live in Wisc. and Illinois. It`s night and day....including the outdoor policies.
Please retire to CO and out-vote the freaks from CA that are taking over the state.
Coastal Oregon has pretty mellow weather with little cold. There’s OTC tags for deer and elk , rifle and archery. I’m always a little jealous of a buddy that lives in AZ. The archery deer season is about 3 months which is pretty sweet. Have to draw for elk though, but if you just want a tag you can probably draw every 4-5 years.
My criteria would be the same as Pat's. After living in Texas for 69 of my 70 years, it would be really hard, if not impossible, for me to live where liberals rule. Wyoming would probably be my only consideration. But, I'm too damned old to think about that now anyway. I first started thinking about it 15 years ago but my wife and son didn't like the idea, (her mostly because he didn't), so I just dropped it.
Not sure if I would really care about politics once I retire! I would be having so much fun doing the things I enjoy that it wouldn't really matter! I would much rather live in an area with decent weather and lots of exciting game and fish to watch and chase around!
I was thinking of Washington at one point as they have no state income tax. Oregon has a fairly high income tax rate but no sales tax. Live on the border and it would be great. I am unsure of where to look where it is not grey and/or raining most of the year. And without a ton of snow.
Texas doesn't seem too bad although I am guessing the deer hunting is awesome but no elk. Maybe I could compromise and just shoot deer if it is easy to draw tags.
A hour north of Phoenix, AZ. Lots of public land. Waterfowl is not going to be easy, though, lots of critters to hunt. An hour north of Phoenix puts you jus south of Flagstaff and rarely gets to 100F in summer and most snow there melts in a few days so you get all four seasons but not a lot of winter snow piled up outside your front door. Great hospitals in Phoenix which can be important for old guys and gals. An airport in Phoenix that flies non-stop to dozens of cities. If into sports or concerts then you can head into Phoenix for those, too, but most your days are not caught in big city traffic or big city expensive living.
Check out Prescott. I was really impressed with the area. Not too hot like Phoenix and nowhere near as much cold / snow like Flagstaff. The only negative is the absolutely unbelievable amount of trash scattered around in the desert.
Lots of places in Colorado fit your bill! FYI. Do NOT move to Pueblo. ;-). It is a $h!thole.
State politics does matter, even in retirement. It may affect hunting and fishing opportunities as well as what you can do it with.
+1 Kooskia Idaho. Great area. Everything right at your door and you have both mulies/WT (big ones) plus every big game species available.
What ever you do make sure you do your homework because a lot of western states you have to drive 2+ hours for each species. Doesn't sound like a lot but would get old especially if you are used to hunting in 30 mins or less.
Kooskia, ID? Wow, thats a surprise to me. I can see one thing that might be appealing (public lands), but if any of the local politicians got there way the whole county would be nothing but clearcuts, mines and private land.
Grand Junction, CO...see ya in 3256 days!
Agree with Lungshot, Pueblo is ghetto and it is hot in the summer. Go a bit farther south to Walsenberg or Trinidad.
Where do you currently live? have lived?
How much of the west have you visited?
Green forests, no snow, lots of sunshine doesn't really mix. Many areas with lots of sunshine and no snow in the South West arid regions. For Green forest there are many areas but they are usually higher elevation and snow, or in the North West and rainy overcast and not much sunshine. Can't have your cake and eat it too.....
A good priority list may help narrow down viable areas. There are many other things to consider-Family, friends, daily activities, housing, healthcare, travel (airport), entertainment, taxes, spouses employment, etc that will have a much greater effect on your retirement than big game hunting.
One thing to consider is time usually becomes more available so taking off 2-3 weeks to go on an elk hunt out of state isn't an issue. You need to find somewhere you want to live, and be happy to wake up every morning. I know many places with great hunting but would never want to live there!!!
I would look hard at the political leaning of the states you are targeting, the cost of living, taxes, and the hunting/fishing opportunities.
Looking at your criteria, Alaska is probably out. Sounds like the best options for you would be Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, or Nevada.
Alpine, Greer, Show Low-Lakeside, Heber-Overgard, or Payson up on the rim in AZ. Or Young if you want to get further out off the grid.
Of the bunch, the Payson area may have the best to offer. Clean town and nice subdivisions outside town. Not too far from the big city - Phoenix and easy striking distance to lots of outdoor activities. Show Low would be a close second but a little further out.
Those areas get a little snow, but nothing like I am used to. You can drop down toward Roosevelt Lake and be in much warmer weather in no time.
Decent fishing in the area, but not as good as Colorado or Wyoming. Archery deer OTC and drawing, resident elk pretty regular if you want for good quality.
Grand Junction, Montrose, Delta, Paonia, Crawford, Mesa, Ridgeway, Ouray, Cortez, and Durango areas all have a lot to offer.
Weather is really nice all along that western side with the exception of (for me) Grand Junction being really hot in the summer.
I really like the area around Paonia but it is a bit far to the larger towns. Ridgeway would be very nice - close to Montrose and mountains.
Spectacular fishing with several world class fisheries in your backyard. Lots of hunting opportunity but lower quality and lots of crowding to deal with. Close to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico for NR opportunities. Wyoming:
Star Valley or the Cody area. The north end of Star Valley (Alpine) is really nice and not too far from Jackson Hole. Colder than Arizona or Colorado, but not too bad. Not as windy as many other areas of WY.
Great fishing all around, great General tag hunting opportunities for deer and elk. Better drawing opportunities for many species. Close to Idaho and Utah for NR opportunities.
Your overall cost of living is going to be lower in WY than in CO or AZ.
I don’t have as much experience with NV, but have been to Elko and there are some nice areas to the east around Spring Creek. Also out around Reno. Both of those areas can be pretty cold in the winter, but not too bad and not for very long.
The hunting is much more limited due to everything being draw, but the residents I know seem to get tags very regular. There are some great fishing opportunities in NV that don’t get a lot of press.
Love the big empty in NV with tons of country to wander around in and not be bothered by the hordes of tourists.
Nevada may be the lowest for taxes and cost of living.
I hate to break it to you guys, but if you look at current migration patterns and the low populations in MT and WY, those states will probably end up blue before too long. Additionally, there's a reason so many millions of people live in SoCal: wherever there's really nice weather, people migrate there. So if you want to live in a place in the West with nice weather, you're probably going to end up with a lot of people.
I'm seriously considering retiring in NM because I'm hoping to have a section of land there within the next few years and some elk tags. If not, I'd consider WY.
All of you giving me some great advice. One of the best things that was said was that there are plenty of places with great hunting but it might not be the best place to live, especially with me retiring and her still working for at least 10 more years.
I really do not want to live in a desert climate and I know that I may have to contend with some cold and a little bit of snow and I'm willing to do that and so is she. That being said, I'm not sure about Arizona and New Mexico and if they are pretty much all brown and desert like throughout the state. I have only been to Southern Arizona in Tombstone and it looked pretty dry there. I've also lived in Reno Nevada and again it just seems very desert like.
She does not want to move to Wyoming or Montana and I definitely do not like the wind.
Here's what it seems like or that I've learned from all of you so far:
Montana/Wyoming: She is against and it is either windy or freezing with tons of snow.
Colorado: sounds perfect and awesome except for tons of people and Hunters and a very liberal state.
New Mexico: some people say it is awesome and other people say it is a shithole. Seems like it might d too much of a desert state but I'm not sure.
Arizona: See Above-New Mexico.
Utah: might have to wait years before I get a deer or elk tag.
Idaho: it sounds nice except for the name and she refuses to say the name but is open to living there LOL. Being up there with Wyoming and Montana, I wonder how cold or windy it would get.
Washington: sounds really awesome but also sounds like west of the Cascade Range, it will be gloomy and rainy a lot of times and east of it, it is more like a desert. And again, being so far up north, I'm wondering how much snow and how freezing it will get.
Oregon: See Above Washington (But sounds awesome.
Nevada: I lived in Reno for a year and I did not like that at all. I also wonder how many years I would have to wait to draw a tag.
California: Where I currently live. I live up north in between San Francisco and Sacramento. I know that whole area well and up north is beautiful with awesome green forests. I grew up in the Los Angeles area and I know the weather is great with, like someone else said, a ton of people...she hates it here. My sweetheart and I can't wait to move out of here but we have time to plan our move.
I think as long as we don't live in the desert, there is not several feet of snow each winter, there is sunshine at least 6 months out of the year, there is not a ton of people, we can purchase a house or cabin for under $300,000, hunting is within an hour's Drive, a hospital where she can work is under an hour drive away and most importantly, after I establish residency, I can go to the counter and get an elk and deer tag without having to wait a few years, then that is what I'm looking for.
I also know that I might be a little ignorant on my preconceived notions about some of these states so please let me know if I have the wrong idea about some of them.
Yes, I know that I am looking for Utopia, but I know it's out there and I know that someone on this forum has either been there or is living there now. :-)
Here's a picture of Show Low.
Yes, you are looking for Utopia. I hope you find it. Perhaps you should take a 2-3 week road-trip.
You made it more complicated with your wife needing to still work. What type of work?
I would look at cities like Boise - growing, lots of opportunities and not too big (vs. a Denver, etc).
You know another option is to stay where you are (and probably love) and have a summer/fall place. Sounds crazy but when I retire will likely do that as my wife would never want to live remote 24/7 but during the beautiful months. Sure, why not!
Sounds like Durango, CO or general area may not be bad for you. Mild summers, not bad winters, a hospital, right on the edge of the big mountain ranges. Liberal college town but lots of down to earth ranchers in the surrounding area like Bayfield and Hesperus. A little south into NM around Aztec, Farmington. It’s considered High Desert here with lots of Juniper, Ponderosa Pine, and cedar trees. Very mild winters but it gets into the low 100’s for about week or so in July. Usually in the mid to low 90’s during the summer. If it gets too hot then head north a short drive into CO or a little east in NM for cooler weather.
San Juan county NM is a Republican county. The rest of the state is blue. Stay away from Santa Fe lol
Where do you actually live in Cali?
Utah- you can pretty much get a general archery deer tag every year and hunt from Aug-Nov. some nice bucks. OTC elk every year and can choose to hunt fun higher success cow/spike units or try the Any bull units. Yes, Limited Entry Units are hard to draw, but very close to ID and CO for OTC whenever you want more hunting, plus waterfowl and fishing are alright.
I'm thinking Colorado Springs and heading there tomorrow for the week to look around. What I'm looking for is someplace with decent weather, kinda centered so it's a days drive to KS, AZ, SD, MT or TX and the women aren't all fat. If I never kill another deer again I'm fine with that but elk are a different story.
But tell you what, if a guy really likes to kill stuff Georgia has a long deer season and you can shoot a bunch of them plus plenty of hogs all on public land. 12 months of hunting if you can stand the heat, bugs and snakes.
Kind of depends where you go
Kind of depends where you go
"New Mexico: some people say it is awesome and other people say it is a shithole. Seems like it might d too much of a desert state but I'm not sure. "
I've heard Brookings, OR is nice but never been there. Those extra five miles gets you out of Kalifornia to better hunting ops. I quickly realized OR is too liberal for me and my wife so rejected that as a location early on. We went with the only reasonable and conservative option, Wyoming. Looking forward to getting away from dirty hippies.
"...the winner was Roseburg, Oregon!! Mild climate..84 degrees average summer temp...hardly ever snows...turkey capital of the western US, Roosevelt elk to the west 20 miles and Rocky mtn elk to the east 50 miles, blacktail deer all around with some white tails, 2 forks of the Umpqua with salmon and steelhead, waterfowl nearby...4 months of archery deer and elk with mostly OTC tags....and NO sales tax!!..."
I just found mine...dayum! Thanks Wyliecoyote. Although, as some have said above, the reality is that family and friends will determine where I end up, and that is good. I would enjoying hunting anywhere, to be honest.
I hate to tell you this, but since I'll never move I guess I will :)
If I ever moved, which will never happen, I'd move to Buffalo, WY. Beautiful country right on the edge of the Bighorns and the Powder river basin there. That's where I'd go. Big enough for good services, not big enough to be called a "city". Couple hour drive to bigger towns.
I imagine it's cold though in the winter :)
Buffalo, with a population over 4,000 might be too big for me :) But it would definitely be WY for me, either side of the Bighorns. Man that country is gorgeous!!!
Look at state income tax and property taxes before you think Oregon is such a great deal.
I bet most all the beautiful low country that butts against the Bighorn Mts and is full of deer around Buffalo,WY is private. Something to at least look at.
Sounds like you might be interested in the towns along the Columbia River on the Wash-OR boarder. For example I know a lot of folks have moved to Vancouver, Wash for the no income tax, and shop at the biggest Costco in the US, in Portland, OR for no sales tax. The hunting options are good for Elk & Deer, and the salmon fishing is great.
I would also consider Bend, OR because it has Elk & Deer near by, and excellent fishing.
If I was looking at AZ, I'd focus on those areas that are at about 5,000 ft. elevation. Prescott would be my first choice.
Like others have said, Utopia probably doesn't exist. I would make sure that the wife is really up for the move. The thing about retirement is that you'll have a lot more time to travel to hunt. Good luck.
The town of Bonanza, CO is offering incentives to new residents.
“I hate to break it to you guys, but if you look at current migration patterns and the low populations in MT and WY, those states will probably end up blue before too long.“
I’ll take that bet. Not happening Ike.
A large percentage of Californians moving to Idaho are extremely conservative and I would expect that is similar in other locations as well. Its not been a good thing either
Native Okie, the reason CO is now blue is because of liberal people moving in, especially from CA. Wyoming is the least populated state in the Union. It'd take a small % of CA to move there to turn it blue. 1/2 million people live in the entire state of WY. There's over 40 million people in just the LA basin and wealthy people from CA are buying up land across the west and moving.
The salt-of-the-earth types in those states wont change, they'll just be outnumbered if you look at current migration patterns. In the 80s and 90s, people were moving to CA en masse and now people are leaving. They're going north and east.
Need to build another wall between Western/Southern Cali and "Paradise!"!??
Naw, just extend it north once it gets to the middle of San Diego county.
if you don't like cold don't move to Montana this is what my yard has looked like for the last two months. We don't have any sales tax either and in NE montana you can still buy a house for around $60 K
Another thought that may/may not mean anything. I live in northern MI and it's nice to be close to Canada. It's a short hop to the border for new hunting and fishing opportunities up there.
Bend Oregon sucks, all 61 years I've lived here.
Why would you care about income taxes if your not earning an income?
“Why would you care about income taxes if your not earning an income?”
Because you have to pay taxes on your retirement income ( pension ,S.S. , 401k, annuity’s) it can make a big difference if you retire in a state with no state income tax.
Oregon is and will continue to be a ‘blue’ state...Like CA, the rural areas are awesome and red, but it’s also ran by the libtards in the bigger cities, as we are!
Ike, I’ve lived in Colorado and worked everyday in Cheyenne, Wyoming the last 4.5 years. If Colorado was void of Denver and Boulder it would be a red state, that’s been obvious the last several election cycles. A few California millionaires buying tracts of land in Wyoming won’t change it from red. If you have ever spent any amount of time in Cheyenne or Laramie you would know that hoards of liberals from California won’t ever be moving there. Why would they? Are they going to work for oil and gas companies or coal? Maybe Sierra Trading post?
My point is Wyoming doesn’t have the industry or the metropolitan appeal to attract the left like Colorado does.
Good link- Rob in VT ....... the map with all of the states by tax advantage is here
Dart, if you now live in Kaliforny, just throw a dart (get it ?) into a US map and you would probably be moving up......
Seriously, if it's a few years until you retire, just keep up with the weather of the places on your short list for a couple years. Politics, population, game availability, etc. can all be gleaned by research. Vacation in some of your choices and get a feel for them. Good luck in your search for Utopia !
I have lived in most of the western states/ Oregon where I live now is the nicest . Absolutely gorgeous, Great hunting. Great seasons, Great fishing. Most species of game in abundance. Buttttttttt It is not only Blue. It is Dark Blue. All sanctuary with all the problems. Pot grows with the inherent problems. Lot of drugs lot of crime. Every problem fully grown or rapidly getting there that California has plus some/ Full term abortion paid with tax dollars for the asker. Legal right to death. Pay for parking on any pullout off gravel roads. Have to have permits to float trip. yada yada yada. Colorado, lived in Montrose, Grand Junction and Rangley. SAme deal. Montana. SAme deal minus the pot. but no sales tax. Wyoming. Wind is synonomous/ Nevada, Worked there, wind every day but fairly nice in the mountains/ Worked in Utah and its really beautiful but hotter than fire in the summer and lots of strange game laws ect. Arizona , lived in cAsa Grande 6 years and lots of love and hate. Super hot, 120 plus, dusty and lots of poison from the crop dusters. Big rattlesnakes, Big black widows, scorpions. Do not lay down on the carpet and check the bed./ Average summer electric bill of 700.00 But love the desert and desert mountains./ Lots of great exploring and coyoting ect. Idaho. love it in every respect/ Nothing to not like/ I moved for family and church. In process of selling my place in Medford Oregon and moving back to Idaho soon. Kamiah, Kooskia, Salmon . Orofino is the tickets. God bless, Steve
I agree Wapitibob Bend Oregon sucks but Redmond is good! Blue state is hard but haven’t found better yet
I have a friend in Roseburg, OR and he loves the hunting (archery and gun) and fishing, says the community is pretty great, and the local politics (including the Sheriff) is fairly conservative. That said, he is talking about moving to Idaho because he doesn't like the state level politics.
The Spokane, WA area is pretty, fairly green but much sunnier than west of the cascades, close proximity to lots of great places, and locally fairly conservative. WA as state is quite liberal though.
For my part, I'd be looking for somewhere with decent weather (according to my standards), small community but close (within a couple hours) to a large city (intl airport, hospitals, etc.), close to family, close to things I like to do, lower taxes, low crime, and politically conservative (I wouldn't want too my absurd laws affecting me in my latter days).
Obviously, everyone is different, and one man's paradise is another man's prison.
My wife lived in Laramie for 2-3 decades so we were very carefully to research the windroses for any location in Wyoming that we were considering. There are places that are better blocked from predominant wind directions.
I know every place has a problem of some kind. I like to check the geologic problems, Storm problems, Earthquakes, Earth shift and climate change forcasts for certain areas, and vulcanism. Washington has a ton of problems. So does Wyoming, parts of Idaho and parts of Oregon. EArth shift US forcasts most of Washington state underwater, Strangely Oregon , Idaho and Montana , Not. Main Problem with Montana has been extreme cold but this year its like 50 degrees right now and no snow pack. Very strange. Basically Idaho, Montana have balmy weather but N Dakota and S Dakota , Wyoming have way below norm. I would avoid being downwind or close to Yellowstone. God bless, Steve
I live in Roseberg, Or. Lived here thirty years. Everything above spot on. Will add there are a lot of retired people that live in this area. Not a young population. Good fishing and hunting. Sunny for about six months of the year. Cool, damp, and cloudy the other six.
No snow in Montana! we have lots
I'm heading to Utah shortly for my post-military life. This thread has me thinking it's a pretty good choice for me. The wife doesn't like snow or I would be in Wyoming or Montana. Currently live in New Mexico and it definitely wouldn't be my first choice due to crime, lefties and short seasons. Went to college in Colorado. It has changed a lot. I'll swing through to hunt deer and elk, but wouldn't want to live there. I lived in Spokane before. Nice area, but the left coast politics are obnoxious. Plus hunting opportunities aren't very good. Will probably try hunting Idaho, but the wolves have hammered a lot of that state. Too far north for the wife anyway.
So....Utah is more conservative than most, hunting is pretty good (can draw decent tags every few years), close to a some good hunting (Wyoming, Montana), close to otc Colorado, New Mexico for stuff like turkeys and quail, Arizona late deer, maybe something in Nevada some day. Anyway, seems like the best choice for my situation.
Not sure I will be that particular about politics, but the liberal states certainly have higher tax rates!
I plan on the best of both worlds. I will stay a Texas Resident and retain my house here, however, I will have a "cabin" in Colorado. Can stay up there all summer and fall (hunting) until the snow flies and then head south. For those that can maintain both houses, it seems to be the best of both. I will have my house here paid off and might owe a little on the Colorado cabin (under $50,000), so no big deal
I know some people who sell the house and just live out of an RV, but I am not built that way mentally
Great Thread! At 62 1/2 I am soaking this information up like a sponge. My needs are similar to all that have commented. Mountain beauty, favorable tax status, access to hospitals and medical care, hunting opportunities, decent fishing, and political situation I can stomach. I'm no snow flake and I can enjoy the company of friends and family that don't agree with me. That said I don't want to be cut down because I'm a conservative, older, non-Spanish white guy, and a back-sliding man of faith that hasn't been to church in years, and has made his living in the Oil Industry. I am however, an un-repentant Oil Field Service hand. LOL! I enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine and think recreational drugs are not going to serve our society. I believe our youth should stay sober, question the status quo, and not be miss-lead by the elitists agenda. My Sister's family in Conn. and sister-in-law and Brother in Colorado are often so condescending and rude that I can only stand there company for brief periods of time. I still miss them and love them and their kids very much. I have a near life-long friend (Obama Disciple) that has almost cut me off over our differences. His views have done a 180 from or days growing up in Western Mass. I'm not down with the socialist agenda that has replaced the Democratic party's mind set to hold power at all costs. I do admire there resolve. Only wish our invertebrates in the republican party were as committed. I know the difference between legal and illegal emigration. It saddens me people are being targeted in social media and even with weapons over party affiliation. In a state run by leftist, could I be overtaxed, denied healthcare, fined, denied due process, harassed, mistreated or even shot at? Two years ago that sounded far fetched.
Once I pull the retirement plug, I hope to tour the Rocky Mountain West and look for my utopia. Thanks for bring this up! LaGriz
Give New Jersey some serious thought... ok never mind
Txhunter58, that is my plan too, buy a nice house somewhere warm in the winter and then live in a cabin for the summer and fall. Might not be Texas and Colorado, maybe NM or AZ instead. My wife hates the cold but loved visiting Colorado around the breckenridge area.
52 years in Minnesota, and now 26 years in Alaska. When we decide to move south, I think it would be the U.P Mich. Wife and I hunted there many times. Good fishing and hunting and the taxes are low, and a long ways from Calif.
I wouldn't rule Grand Junction CO out. Fairly mild winter but can be cold in certain years but not a whole lot of snow. Grand Mesa close by with plenty of good hunting, and Lake Powell is only 3.5 - 4 hours. I could live there in a heartbeat. Palasade peaches are to die for, Olathe sweet corn, farmers markets down town on Thursday nights. Good stuff!
I've looked at the western states and I've narrowed it to Montana and South Dakota. And yes I consider SD in the western states. Both states rank high for LOW taxes. And you can't beat how friendly the people are! And...I love to ice fish too!-)
Most Cali's that end up in the southern black hills are pretty happy. Pretty mild winters....well for SD. Can roam the Black Hills...get an elk tag once in a while, archery deer and antelope every year. Duck hunting in eastern SD very good and some places west river at times. And pheasants,grouse,coyote etc. Nursing in hot springs and other towns no prob. But being from California won't like the pay here.
Tundrajumper, not looking to bust your bubble but the hunting in the UP is "OK" at best depending on where you land and fishing is the same. And it's colder than AK with a bunch more snow.
And Bigdan you ain't got much snow but it's those -25 degree nights that I'd hate. -13 this morning in Froid. Screw that.
Most Cali's that end up in the southern black hills are pretty happy. Pretty mild winters....well for SD. Can roam the Black Hills...get an elk tag once in a while, archery deer and antelope every year. Duck hunting in eastern SD very good and some places west river at times. And pheasants,grouse,coyote etc. Nursing in hot springs and other towns no prob. But being from California won't like the pay here.
To each their own. We just bought a home in Montana so we could go north for the winter. My wife and I are avid skiers.
I live in one of the most oppressively liberal states, CA. However, nothing beats the weather, we have a beautiful mountain home 5min from the ocean, the ocean salmon fishing is great, I can shoot archery outdoors year around, the restaurants are among the best in the US, and we are an hour or so from 3 international airports, and Stanford Medical Center. When all the dysfunctional BS of CA get to me, I can just hang out at our property that is 18min in the mountains outside of town. So for now were stayin here.
Their's no perfect place. It depends on your priorities and resources. As one poster said, he "loves ice fishing". I can't imagine wanting to put up with living in a freezer unless it involves skiing.
If you can manage it, for many, two homes would be best.
Best of luck to all on finding your "Utopia".
Check this site out for lots of helpful info for different areas
Very nice links, nice pictures and a lot of great information. Thank you very much. Here is what I have found so far.
Washington has no income tax but they do have a Fairley High sales tax. West of the Cascades would be a little on the grey and rainy side but the east would be more sunny.
Oregon has a pretty high income tax rate but no sales tax. From what I gather, it is a very liberal state.
Nevada also has no income tax but a sales tax very comprable to California.
All the rest of the states in the western area have a moderate income tax and sales tax which makes them pretty comfortable in those arenas. Except for Wyoming which has no income tax.
Everybody keeps screaming Colorado but then everyone couples that with it being extremely liberal state. Quite frankly I could care less about liberals and their politics but I I am afraid that they will start trying to impose a lot of gun legislation like California has, painting guns as killing machines that pull the trigger all by themselves because they are in the shape of an AR-15.
From what I have gathered, Arizona and New Mexico are fairly close with what they have to offer. The good news for them though is there climate is pretty warm most of the time.
The only bad thing I hear about Idaho is that they have wolves which are putting pressure on deer and Elk.
Depends on what you say is "warm" the mountainous areas of NM and AZ have about 2 to 3 weeks of really warm (hot) and the same for really cool (cold).
Otherwise they are very seasonal. For the time being, very little politically will affect you in NM as a retiree but not trying to sell you on it either...
Colorado went through some gun restriction laws a few years ago. The wolf hippies are trying to bring wolves to Colorado also. You can ignore the libtards personally, but you can not ignore their politics. It's not just Boulder and Denver. There is also Manitou Springs and Woodland Park infecting the Springs. Then there are some smaller liberal towns too.
Wherever this place may be...... I hope they have OTC unicorn tags for residents......
Thank you to everyone for all of your input and advice. I am completely overwhelmed with the response and I never thought this thread would take off like this. All of you are amazing and I appreciate it.
Being in law enforcement for the past couple of decades, I have learned that in the eyes of most liberal people, we are the enemy that should be hated or feared. It's very irritating to me because I see so many good officers who are completely professional when it comes to dealing with people. I would love to live somewhere where I can be proud of being a retired lawdog and not have people look at me as if I was a terrorist.
So I came up with a couple of ideas that I wanted to throw everyone.
I was thinking of Walla Walla Washington because they have no state income tax, it is near the Oregon border or they have no sales tax and it is not too far from Idaho. I figure I can always get a non-resident over the counter license for Oregon and Idaho and hunt all three states. The only issue might be dealing with Washington's liberal politics.
The other idea I just spawned was living in the southwest corner of Wyoming. Wyoming also has no income tax and their sales tax is fairly low. I could get a non-resident license for Idaho, Utah and Colorado since I would be close to all three of them. The only question or concern that I have is how much wind and snow I would have to contend with.
Keep in mind that I don't mind a little bit of snow, maybe three months out of the year. As long as it is not several feet of snow.
I would be happy to live in Evanston if I could talk the wife into it, but you are going to get plenty of snow and wind. Lived down the hill in Ogden for several years.
Look into Kanab Ut sitting right on the Nortern Az border . Kane.Utah.gov . We have a mild high desert climate in the Southern Ut red rocks and are 30 min from Az North Kaibab mt and 45 min away from Ut mt country . Including the famed Paunsagunt plateau. Oh ya 45 min from Wal-Mart if you like that sort of thing. About 5000 people at 4900 ft elevation. Lake Powell 1 hr drive also.
Dooner, you didn't need to buy a home in Montana. I live in Montana close to a ski resort. We could have swapped homes. You could have enjoyed the skiing, while I escaped the snow and cold. HA!
Southwest WY = Evanston as well. ;^)
No way I would live in SW Wyoming- way colder and windy, sage flats and not much there (other than pronghorn!) Really small towns. I would take UT over there every time- Look at Heber/Midway area if you want smaller town, mountain living, great fishing. all within 20 min of Park City, and 1 hour from SLC
Only part of WY I like is Star Valley to Jackson, but then you are dealing with snow and high prices...
Star Valley is pretty darn close to heaven.
You might want to look at Star Valley prices again if you think they are high. My wife was looking about a year ago and I was seeing shockingly low prices so I had to work at it to steer her to the other side of the state! I thought some industry had collapsed in the area it was so low.
How about Cody Wyoming, spent some time there and liked the area. Lived in northern Wisconsin for many years but the deer hunting here is not doing it for me.
H, did you even go look at the place you bought in WY??
I studied the area you showed me, and it looks like you'll have to ride your bicycle a long ways on dirt roads to resupply your twinkies. I think the road to the north could by used as an airstrip, though.
For you guys concerned about red and blue states, Idaho is probably the reddest of the red, but it comes with a price. The state's elected officials and their law proposals are often goofier than a pet coon. I'm pretty sure some of those people would lose an IQ contest with a house cat.
And speaking of raccoons, I was driving down the street in Orofino one morning and a coon without a tail was sitting on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street. Figured it was the mayor out for a morning walk.
"H, did you even go look at the place you bought in WY?? I studied the area you showed me, and it looks like you'll have to ride your bicycle a long ways on dirt roads to resupply your twinkies."
Yes, there's a REASON the closest "town", population 7, is called "Recluse", lol. I'm a little bit nervous being that close to a Blue State and all those Montana hippies.
Utah or Northern Arizona.
Colorado won't have strict gun laws, at least for many, many years. The only gun laws passed after Columbine and the theater shooting were about magazine capacities. You can get a concealed carry permit easily. There are too many rural State Reps from the Plains and West Slope for things to get crazy. Yes, the Front Range is liberal. The climate is wonderful near Fort Collins and you can be in the mountains, Plains, or Wyoming quickly but without most of the wind. You can still get away from people and other hunters if you get away from roads and it's fairly easy to draw the Front Range units and quality is great for elk compared to OTC units farther west. We have the best draw system of any western state hands down plus the most diverse landscapes and species. There are more mountains above 10k elevation than in all the other states combined - just stay away from the 14teeners and you can avoid a lot of hikers. The towns are very clean and well organized - not a lot of junk like some places in other nearby states. You cannot lose on real estate here (once you buy) because it goes up 8% a year. Slightly more taxes than WY or NV but less than UT and NM. There are direct flights from Denver to about anywhere popular to go. It is a very attractive state for quality of life, weather, outdoor activities and hunting.
I bought land and a house in southern Colorado several years ago. The idea is to retire there and we are in the 3-5 year time frame now to do that.
Many positives such as lower cost of living compared to East coast, 300 days of sunshine a year, many different species to hunt, largest elk herd in US, pretty good Mulie Deer hunting, and fairly close to prime whitetail states, spectacular scenery. Of course some draw backs like anyplace would have, but all and all we are looking forward to becoming CO residents.
Besides they say X marks the spot and this was over my CO house :^)
Damn you guys! Just when I head erased Colorado from my list, you guys are talking me back into it LOL.
Let's get real about this and bring up a subject that might be uncomfortable for some. But I figured since we have brought politics into it regarding conservative and liberal states, why not delve into this hairy subject.
My girl is black, or if you are uncomfortable with that we can say she is African American. Both of her parents were law enforcement officers as well so she is pro law enforcement and of course against criminal activity. And ESPECIALLY against people who walk around sagging their pants!
Does this change anything in regards to our acceptance in a community in any of the states or cities that have been named?
Having lived in Colorado 35 years I don't think that would be a problem. At least I would think not in the larger front range cities.
My wife and I have been together almost 40 years. We got together when a white guy and a good looking black woman were very much an anomaly. We met in the SF Bay area and she liked camping and coming hunting with me. We have travelled to most of the western states for various reasons and I can say that my experience is that the larger the metro area or proximity to a metro area the less reaction you will get. I'll say this, we never got denied use of a meat locker in Utah, Oregon or AZ and no problems so far in Nevada where we plan on retiring soon. That said, I've had issues with booked up lodging and "full" meat lockers in northern CA, never outside. Go figure.
When you say larger Front Range cities, do you mean places like Grand Junction or Durango?
The Front Range Urban Corridor stretches from Pueblo, Colorado, north along Interstate 25 to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and includes the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Fort Collins, CO area
CWOotr - " We have the best draw system of any western state hands down..."
^^^^^^ highly debatable ^^^^^
Grand Junction and Durango are WESTERN SLOPE. more conservative, oil/gas, Agriculture, about 4-5 hours from the Front Range and very politically different from the denver/boulder like.
Housing in western CO took a big hit in 2009, and still is not back to pre-recession levels, maybe this year it will be from the outrageous prices in Denver. If looking to buy in Western CO now is the time.
Lot of Aryan Bro hood in n Idaho. Avoid that.
God bless, Steve
Sixby, thank you for the heads up buddy.
I never noticed any Nazis the times I've traveled thru the Idaho Panhandle but I definitely kept an eye out. Maybe they were all holed up on their compounds in the hills.
Sandpoint seemed like a very nice little town.
Those that bought a house and don't live there, is the house "safe" while you are not there? That's something that makes me nervous, having a house across the country that I only visit periodically?
That was a concern of mine as well Bob. Our house is in a gated community and we also have good friends that live in the area that check on it.
Regarding racism, I haven’t seen much of it where we are. Many Hispanics and some native Americans plus a surprising amount of Europeans. Mainly agricultural, potato farms and alfalfa circles plus large ranches.
Keeping everything in mind above, and all that has been said I have narrowed it down to two:
Where in Utah should I move?
Where in Colorado should I move?
To stay away from the desert parts of Utah, but near a decent size city you would want the Provo area. Farther north means more snow.
In Colorado, I would vote for Grand Junction.
When we came back from P&Y in Arizona we took Hwy 12 in Utah to see Bryce Canyon National park headed north on hwy 12 we drove through a little town of Boulder. What a nice little town no walmarts there. Its real small but a place for sportman to live
move to either Grand Junction or Montrose, Colorado
Stay away from South Dakota,particularly the SW or NE parts.High taxes,high cost of living,rampant racism,low gun tolerance,hostile people,libtards everywhere and no hunting or fishing.Sure sorry I retired there.
I would not move to Utah if you are a bowhunter. Opportunity is shrinking rapidly and our wildlife is managed by special interests. It has been said general deer hunting can be had almost every year. Not entirely true better units are now on every other year basis. Elk is ok if you are content to shoot spikes or cows if you haven't got a boatload of points already you will most likely never draw a good limited entry tag for any thing but an antelope. I hunt colorado almost every year and it is much more bowhunter friendly.
Not sure that you would want to go to Utah. Pretty limited opportunities for hunting there.
For Colorado - Grand Junction, Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Ridgeway, Crawford, Paonia, Hotchkiss.