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Where do (Us) Nerds Go to Retire?

Original post made by Long-time Palo Altan, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2014

Palo Alto is too urban these days. I don't want to retire here anymore, even if I could afford it.

Please suggest good places for us die-hard nerds when we leave Silicon Valley. I'm looking for:

-Good weather
-Good community/walkability/natural environment/not terribly urban or crowded
-Good medical services nearby
-Safe
-Costs less than here
-Other nice, nerdy people, or at least a place where my spouse can continue to work and we can both have a second creative life in retirement with other people with the same nerdy/techie interests

I'm also hoping to stay away from political extremes on both the right and left, but would like to be in a conscientious, engaged community.

Suggestions? Does any such place exist?

Comments (16)

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:15 pm

When you have calmed down after finding out your 'capital gains tax", if any, on the sale of your home, then I suggest you head down the Coast to one of the small to mid-size towns along the way. Usually there are 'positions' at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. There are other colleges in and around Santa Barbara, but the latter isn't cheap living. There are many positions in the booming tourist industry.
The gold rush country has some charming towns, junior colleges, some industry. So start driving and exploring - and tell the rest of us what you find - after you get your own place. Also read up on Proposition 90.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2014 at 12:16 am

Vancouver or Victoria. In a few years, Seattle and Vancouver will have SF's weather plus there's free healthcare.


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Posted by See ya!
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

If you are too cheap, leave the area. If you are hardworking and have a few bucks, why leave the area and live a much poorer (weather, culturally, etc..) life?

Menlo's nice. Woodside. HMB. Up above Saratoga, or any of the enclaves around Skyline. Brisbane has turned hip. Check out San Mateo, ferrchrisakes, you'd be amazed. Go further and check out the (new) Mission, or Noe Valley.

All of which is still (more or less) on the SF Peninsula.

Leave the area? Go ahead. I read this once: Eugene wants to be Portland. Portland wants to be Seattle. Seattle wants to be Vancouver. Vancouver wants to be San Francisco...


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Posted by Live in rural MN and went temporarily brain-dead
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Your nirvana doesn't exist, especially when you state "good weather", which knocks out a good portion of America.

The "Costs less than here" is the easiest box to check.

You make statements like these below, and you have to live near urbanism because intelligent people need to keep stimulating their brains.

". . . but would like to be in a conscientious, engaged community."

". . . with other people with the same nerdy/techie interests."

When I lived in rural MN and the internet was not yet invented, it was torture. People couldn't converse beyond the basic greetings so it was lonely. It wasn't "living", but simply "existing". If your mind is dead, your body might as well be dead. "Intelligent people" should be on the top of your list - it will also check the box of lack of political extremists because intelligent people are more accepting and rational. Stay in Silicon Valley.




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Posted by Lived in rural MN and went temporarily brain-dead
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

If this thread was posted today, I would have thought it was an April Fool's joke.


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Posted by Long-time Palo Altan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2014 at 10:23 pm

What about Santa Fe? Alamogordo (for the nerds)? Austin or San Antonio? South central Oregon? Anyone have an opinion on them? I have physicist friends who moved to Santa Fe and love it. People just seem to love Austin, though I'm wondering about the weather. Anyplace in Colorado count for good weather (and good for nerds)?

Spent the weekend in SF and while I love the culture, I just will not miss the smell of urine and the nation not dealing with mental illness and homelessness. I can always visit from further away.

I do love SV, but want to be able to choose to travel and while we saved carefully, can't afford to remain here. The quality of life has definitely dipped. And really, if we move elsewhere, we can afford to spend part of the year in Europe.

Lots of good advice. Does Prop 90 let me downsize but rent out my downsized place so that I can come back if I want to later, but still try moving away?


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Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

To long time Palo Altan:

Type " California Proposition 90" .into your 'search engine' Many articles there. There are also issues of capital gains tax on real estate- if you own a home. You could call Avenidas and asked if there is a staff member skilled in these questions. Also a very good realtor could help especially if you plan to sell; and if you have a pre-Prop 13 house, then really get good advice. LIfe can be complicated.


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Posted by ideas
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

What about Boulder? Silicon Beach/LA? Beacon Hill/Boston? (I realize weather could be an issue on the last one, but you will find engaged community for older persons - famously - and a fantastic city)


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

The short answer, you are asking for the location of a wonderful place that nobody else wants to live in.


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Posted by pares
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Brisbane can get very windy in the afternoons and it's more over cast there than here. But it is in a beautiful location near the bay, so it's called the poor man's Sausilito.

Also heard that retirement communities in Brentwood and that area can get very windy too. Still a brand new house would be nice and there are many folks retiring to these communities in order to reduce costs of staying here in Palo Alto.

Good topic -- we could use a story on this!


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Posted by Romanov
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Boulder, CO; Santa Fe, NM; San Ramon, CA; Half Moon Bay, CA; Nevada City, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; anywhere in Vermont.


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Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Go to Portland or Seattle

Guys like me go to Idaho or Montana


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Posted by Long-time Palo Altan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2014 at 11:25 pm

This is a serious question: What about starting a town of our own, I mean, a nerd-branded place? I heard there was a town for sale in southern Oregon somewhere... I mean, Ashland Oregon has become a mecca for ex-Californians of an artistic bent, what about us nerds start one somewhere, striking distance to a city with decent medical and so forth, but more pastoral? Have giant nerd maker fairs there like burning man, only two a year of different types to make it a nerd destination?

I liked Bostonians but not so much the utter lack of sunlight or horizon. I can't handle Portland or Seattle for similar reasons. Love to visit, can't live there...

What about California communities to the north or south of us? Paso Robles? Is Santa Barbara cheaper? (Seems like it would be urban though, if I'm already feeling urban-ed out of Palo Alto?) Montana is gorgeous, but isn't it all like ultra-rightwing? I'm not sure I could handle the winters...


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:07 am

Unfortunately I think Robert has an accurate assessment of the problem here.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

There are some lovely retirement communities in semi-rural areas in Sonoma. Depending on your fave type of weather, here are some other places, leaving out the ones already named, here in Calif:

-Pacifica
-the central coast (Los Osos comes to mind, and inland areas near there)
-Prunedale and Aromas
-Petaluma and Sebastopol
-Santa Rosa
-Roseville

If you plan to rent, perhaps a place with reasonable rent control, such as Santa Monica would be okay.

There are also some affordable areas around San Diego, that have the abundance of culture offered by that sprawling university town.

I know some retirees who are culturally inclined, of a range of economic means, who enjoy Santa Rosa, Murphys, and even Lodi.

I think some of the long range planning must also involve what amenities are offered to those who can't drive, and that's the benefit of an actual retirement community. Some of them are aren't people living on top of each other, which seems much nicer for those who want a bit of space.


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Posted by East Side!
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm

How about the east bay area? Why anyone who has lived in the Bay Area would want to live anywhere else is beyond me.


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