Great Lakes retirement location advice…

I find this discussion interesting because I thought all cold staters retired in Florida.

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I grew up in Michigan. Joined the Army at 21 and spent 29 years living mostly in Ft Bragg, NC. If I could get my wife to retire, and we could pry ourselves away from our grandchildren, I would retire in the Midwest or West.

I’m amazed by how many Northerners are retiring all over North Carolina. Even here in Fayetteville, there seems to be quite a few (non-military) retirees coming from New York and New Jersey for the cost of living, climate and ease of visiting back “home”.

Kind of like Florida is full and the overflow area is the Southeast.
We have the same grandchildren limitations. That and we grew up here and love it.

Thanks Bud and Holly. We’ll check out the area.

Steve and Linda

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Several homeowners on the lake where I live are in residence spring through fall, then head south right after Christmas. Snowbirds.

My brother does the same. Summers in MD and winter’s in south Florida.

Not that I hate it here, but the heat and humidity has worn me down. My Father-in-law used to say no matter where you live you have to put up with 3 months of bad weather, it’s just about what bad weather you want to put up with. I’m ready for a different kind of bad weather.

The part of living in the north that I hated was the struggle of getting up and getting to work in the winter months and then fighting the weather returning home at the end of the work day. Retirement solves those problems. You get up when you feel like it look outside and put the coffee on and enjoy the snowstorm. When the storm passes you take your time and go out and clean up the mess and have time to go over and help the neighbors with their snow. You go shopping when you feel like it not when you have to. The added bonus is no grass to cut for a few months and when spring comes it is time to think about planting the garden and getting the canoe out.

I for one like the 4 seasons.


You have me sold IF the house has a fireplace and easy access to hardwood on property.

You really want a wood stove. A fireplace is inefficient unless it’s a Rumford.

Around here hardly no one runs a fireplace trying to heat their home. A few fire them up for effect and a cozy fire but most of the heat in the house goes up the chimney in the process. Glass doors help a little and heatilators help also. Most people buy a wood fire insert or just have wood stoves and anyone serious have outside units the make hot water and send that to the house for heat. Many put them under a roof or in a pole barn and then fill the barn with split wood.

We have a neighbor that has an outside unit and he wont drive even a half mile for a load of wood because he has so much access to wood on his property. Burning wood is great on saving money but is also a lot of work and quite a bit in expense in equipment. Saws, splitter, Truck/tractor, trailer and a lot of time.

My nephew heats with wood and he only burns slab wood. We have a lot of sawmills around and they sell what’s left over pretty cheap.

For a few years I would saw and split wood from dead trees for us and friends. Firewood does warm you twice and I loved the work.
My career was mostly writing and enforcing specifications in manufacturing. Sometimes I think I would have been happier doing physical work.
I really enjoy staying up as late as I want and sleeping in now that my working years are over.

Our friend’s old cottage up north has something called a Russian Fireplace that heats the cottage with very little wood, and the masonry stays hot long after the fire is out. It involves sending the smoke back over the firebox to get 100% burn then the flue zigzags to get it to warm the brick. But the critical part is the combustion air is piped in from outdoors instead of sucking warm air out of the room.

One of my father’s friends had a cabin in the north woods that we visited when I was young, in the summer.
The first and last time I ever saw a combustion toilet for winter use. My thought was that it must really get cold up here!

Bingo about the fireplace for the effect - best place to relax and read a book(s) I’ve ever found.

And, of course a wood stove for heating.

Is anyone familiar with the Akron, MI area (maybe 10-20 miles South of Sebewaing)? If so - general thoughts on that area? Livability, lake conditions, prevailing winds?

How about Euclid, OH - roughly near Cleveland, OH on Lake Erie?

Pennsylvania has more miles of waterways than any US state except Alaska.

My comments were not on paddling opportunities but on the cultural and political atmosphere of portions of the state, which can be quite backward and even creepy.

My family goes back to the earliest settlers in Michigan before it was even a state including a 3X great grandfather who was a voyageur/trapper there 200 years ago. There are places in the state named after my direct ancestors. I lived there in early childhood and for 8 years as an adult more recently. Half my living 1st and 2nd degree family still live there and I visit yearly. Nice place to visit in some ways, and I liked the low property taxes. But there are many reasons I would not care to live there again.

Euclid is somewhat of diverse community, I don’t like saying this, but the school system has problems…My thoughts about that are that families are able to better themselves , and move to a better neighborhood , but the kids come from a much lesser school system and need more support just to get by…Housing can be from smalll bungaloos to very nice places especially along the Lake. It used to be a very industrialized area, but most BIG companies have left which means homeowners pay more taxes to to keep things going. Not unlike many locations throuout this contry

Willow, you previously made your hatred for the State of Michigan clear, so there’s no need to continue insulting those of us who live here.

I’m sure there are areas in Pennsylvania some find quite backward and even creepy but that’s a subjective opinion and has nothing to do with the topic of this thread.

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Thanks for the info - we sure appreciate it. Just online pictures and prices sure don’t let you know much about an area.

There appear to be some reasonably priced homes in Shaker Heights - which seems odd - because there are also lots of very high-priced homes. Do you know why there is such a wide price range there? High taxes there too?