Periodic Contributor

Want to find out about places to move from CA

I'm interested in talking to connecting to other AARP members in other states.  I am single and not quite ready to completely retire, I want to work. However, I wish to buy a house and become part of a community (not really a retirement one, I like mixed groups).


I live and rent a apartment in CA now.  I have open to places but I come from Virginia, there are places in North Carolina, Tennessee, and other places. (But I'm doing research now.  I have family in L.A. but I don't want to move there. 


I do research and can share ideas, talk, and maybe even visit others.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who is interested in finding places to live. Thank you.


Marianne McGlynn

Periodic Contributor

Thanks. Where did you live in VA? How did you like it there when you lived there? I'm hoping to get more information.  I am not interested in Florida, btw, but I understand being close to your child.
I am giving some serious consideration to Raleigh, NC, too, btw. 

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1 comment 👉 Hi @mariannemoxy , I moved to Virginia in 2015 but needing to move back to Florida. I will miss Virginia but as I age, I need to be closer to my only child. Thanks, Nicole 🙃

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Periodic Contributor

Thanks. Where did you live in VA? How did you like it there when you lived there? I'm hoping to get more information.  I am not interested in Florida, btw, but I understand being close to your child.
I am giving some serious consideration to Raleigh, NC, too, btw. 


I have read most of the replies in the discussion on where to live when you retire.  I have two thought processes in mind.  The first is FAMILY.  If you have family you should always be apart of it even if that mean a small sacrifice in you life style.  The love family (if you have that relationship)  can give out weighs to some extent the cost of living in a certain area.   I live in San Antonio and although it is a crowed city there are plenty of entertainment venues to consume as well as being close to Austin, the hill country and the coast. Sadly we are missing are mountains 🙂 .  The second is finding a NO STATE TAX state and a state that doesn't have a Social Security tax.  Texas.  You do pay a tax when purchasing products which today I believe is around 9% which isn't so bad in my humble opinion.  Peace my brothers and sisters.

Periodic Contributor

I know a lot about Texas, not for me personally. I am looking at VA and NC for now. Taxes are important but not the only item on my list, but thanks for the input. 


Whether you’re from Cali and are looking to move, or you’re just trying to figure out where to make your next home, deciding where to move to from California can be difficult. If you're moving out of California, here are 10 of the best places (in no particular order) that many Californians have decided to call home.New york, Idaho, Utah, Florida, Colorado, Las Vegas, Portland Oregon, Seattle, Arizona and Austin Texas. Each of these places have their peculiar advantages depending on what you are looking for. But in my opinion the best would be Austin considering you still have the desire to keep working. Ranked by Forbes as the #1 city in the nation for jobs in 2013, Austin has a strong and growing job market with jobs in a diverse range of industries.
With a motto that reads: “Live Music Capital of the World”, Austin is sure to keep those moving from the “Entertainment Capital of the World” entertained.
Austin is also know as Silicon Hills in homage to the ever popular Silicon Valley in San José, CA. Austin is home to an expanding number of tech companies with an estimated one-third of those tech companies having been transplants from California.

Trusted Contributor

I'm in a position that I should leave California because of the high cost of living; and the political and cultural landscape went from being nice to plunged.   We have the most inept Governor ever known and, sad to say, he's up for re-election and probably win.  That's so hard for me to understand. 


I'm still stuck at knowing where I could go.  It would help me out tremendously if I knew someone at a place where I'd like to move to.  I don't have that going for me right now.   


Personally, from my assumptions in my head, I would agree with less than half of those places mentioned.  Idaho and Utah seem to the best.  Florida and Arizona would be borderline to me.  The climate wouldn't appeal to me and these two places seem like everyone else goes there.  But what I would like about those two places is that they're more conservative.   I especially like Ron DeSantis.  Colorado would be borderline for me also but more on the negative side.   It's pretty there but I heard that the people and living there is not as good as it used to be.   The remaining places on this list - forget it!   They seem like cesspool places to me.   They may have been nice one time but not anymore.    




Hello Marianne,

I found a website that was great help to me and I have been using for many many years.  It has anything you may need.  There is a forum for each state to ask questions plus overseas.

Regular Contributor

Hi Marrianne,

Thank you for your reply. I, too, am open to exchanging information though I am two years in to retirement. Being without family,  I visited a CCRC  here in Jersey and downloaded information about them in North Carolina, a state that perhaps I'd be interested in living in. However, I am not ready for that environment. I also looked at retiree tax treatment using Niche, a website I found on the web that uses many types of indexes for retiring but in this case I focused on tax treatment and found that SC, AZ, NM, and Nevada were favorable towards our group. However taxes are not the whole story. I, for one, found smaller housing, 1bdrm "casitas" prevelant in Tucson and less so elsewhere an attraction within a community, not necessarily a gated community. I've been in Phoenix during August monsoon season and yes it is hot but the inverse is true up north and I simply dislike the constricting cold. So my thought for myself is to Air BnB a small furnished residence for three months within a multi generational community and a decent tax and social services for elders and see if I like it.

I am going to look at the tax treatment for seniors in Virginia and have been told that Charlottesville is an attractive small city to consider....but caution dictates not to "fall in love" with an area and be blind to it's shortcomings as there is no Shangri-La and every considered area will have some ugly spots.

Just a couple of random thoughts.

Best wishes,


Trusted Contributor

To @dgl310 

I want to move to a smaller - quiet type place myself.   I've been on I-81 in Virginia and found that it was a nice scenic drive and had appeal to me.   Charlottesville, I think, is near I-81.  One time my sister and her husband were thinking of moving there or North Carolina.  I would have visited them and possibly move to either one of those places if I liked it.  Unfortunately, they settled in a place I didn't like.  I'm not crazy about them but it would have been nice for me to move to a likable place and at least know someone.  


The one drawback for me to settle in Charlottesville, I think, is that the university is there.  I prefer not to live in a college or university town because it seems like the whole community revolves around it.  Everything in that community would be for the college kids.  Also there tends to be problems in those kind of places; mostly excessive drinking and rowdiness.   I have a friend who lives in a state university community in a section of the city we live in now.   The neighbors constantly complain about how the students are.


It's so true about what you said that there are always some kind of ugly spot in any place.  There is no real "Shangri-La" here on earth unfortunately.       

Regular Contributor

Hi Tom,

I understand your concerns about "football factory/university town" and unruly behavior but not all towns are like that. I imagine a more sedate setting with an educational environment with lectures, theater and other benefits. A small city where the emphasis is on intellectual pursuits and not sports. Say a place with a prominent medical presence, even better.

I say stay away from country settings where medical care is spare and life revolves around churches and schools.

Regular Contributor

Good afternoon Marianne,

I've recently rejoined AARP and one of the reasons was to hear about other's experiences regarding a move from where they are situated to that abstract, yet undefined place that will fulfill their retirement plans. It seems to me that there are about five indexes one should look at.

Proximity to medical care

Taxes and cost of living

Cultural access

Community of peers and weather

Transportation and related quality of life issues. 

Now having said all that, New Jersey, where I am from all my life has many mid state retirement communities and they are affordable.....but isolating in my opinion and therefore while you are with peers, that is about it. Travel to a metro area for cultural offerings is a hike. Medical care does exisist but is limitied.

Another factor for me is decent weather. I feel constant sunshine nurtures a constant healthy balance in one's outlook. Then there is the cold here in Jersey with gray overcast skies for much of the winter. Ugh!

I have thought about renting an Air BnB in a place like Tucson for three months to see if I can get a lay of the land. 

I would love to hear about your thoughts and some research that you have done. 


Doug McMahon

Periodic Contributor

I wrote a long piece re: VA and my login was not recognized. Virginia is one place to consider. But I'm still looking at other places. Tucson/Phoenix is WAY too hot in summer, so live in a place when the weather isn't perfect. Also, I'm not a desert person, I love green trees and landscapes.  You're idea of living in a place NOT to be a tourist is the best way to test a place. We need a webinar or a forum on this topic I think, I'd suggest it to AARP.


Periodic Contributor

To all, I think we need a webinar or formal program on sharing our thoughts on this topic.

Gold Conversationalist

Hi Marianne....I am a native Californian who is now living in Florida.  It is affordable but was a difficult decision to move across the country.  I would never have been able to retire in California.

Trusted Contributor

I'm retired by many years now and can't wait to get out of Florida. Approaching my elderly years I could care less about all the young influx and their activities and changes they want to make, ie 'I was over in (insert trendy city name) and they had this or that and we need that here. All these changes too 'I think we need this or that' just cost more in property taxes to create and maintain. So if your coming from California or many of the northern states to Florida we are already at the tipping point here in Florida as to why those states were ruined.




"Don't worry about the oil running out, worry about the food running out"
Professor Al Bartlett PhD (emeritus 1923-2013)
Trusted Contributor

That's interesting hearing this from you.   A couple of people in my family have encouraged me to move to Florida.  I've lived there before and wasn't crazy about it.  To me it strikes me that so many are moving to Florida now and I prefer to not "follow the herd".   


My brother lives in the central part of the state.  He has encouraged me to move there to be with him and his wife.  That area doesn't appeal to me.  He told me that, near his trailer park where he lives, there was empty land.  And now there are apartments being built close by.   


Since the US is a large country in size, it seems to have "sub-cultures".   When it comes to me deciding to re-locate, I would prefer to go to a place that shares my personal values than to a place that doesn't; and then try to change that place hopefully making it different than what it is.   There are a lot of depressed areas in this country where it's not expensive, but maybe the people already living there may want to keep it that way.     

Trusted Contributor

I live in CA and retired a few months ago unexpectedly.   It's pretty expensive here and I feel that I have to leave because of it.   I don't know where to go.   I noticed that you said that you are from Virginia.   I was thinking of moving there.   I would like to travel to somewhere to explore where I want to move to, but the pandemic has put a stop to me.   I don't have a fear of getting it.   It's just that traveling doesn't seem like fun with this thing going on.   


Do you think Virginia is a nice place to live?  I've driven through there many times and had fallen in love with it.  I'm single myself with no kids and 65.  By the way, I posted something on the Housing Forum last November about wanting to move but don't know where to go.  If you read it, perhaps you might know where I'm coming from. 


Periodic Contributor

Hi Tom,


Thank you for responding to my post.


I can relate to your dilemma. I will read the Housing forum (part of AARP forums, yes?) I grew up in VA, I was looking at areas near the Blue Ridge, medium or smaller towns with lower cost-of-living. I also feel that the quality-of-life is decreasing in CA, too. VA has nice areas to consider for sure. I'm also looking at parts of North Carolina, maybe Tennessee.


HOWEVER, I agree with you, re: traveling to explore in a pandemic. Traveling is a bit risky but the real issue is meeting people would be very tricky now.  Researching a place is a good start (of course) but real places and real people is so important. I have some other ideas, too.


I live in the South Bay area (south of San Francisco). If you want to connect outside of this forum via email or phone, let me know.  I'm just looking for helpful friends and I am willing to share what I know with them. But I'll check the Housing forum, too!

Regular Contributor

I just saw this week that you can't find a U Haul in CA because so many people are leaving the state every week. I like WI but I live across the street from where I grew up, kind of a homeboy.

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