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We need to retire to a enjoyable lake home, however we additionally need metropolis facilities. Our finances is $450,000. The place ought to we go?


We’d wish to retire on a lake, however not in a small city since we each love the symphony and the facilities a metropolis affords (Costco and good healthcare). We additionally need to be inside an hour of a good-size airport since we like to journey. 

We’re each from the Southwest and humidity doesn’t hassle us. However we’re not enormous followers of snow. 4 seasons is ok so long as there isn’t a lot snow and the solar comes out usually. We hate winter inversions. 

We’d like a enjoyable lake home for us, but additionally to entice the children and grandkids to come back see us. We don’t know the place every of their households will land and don’t need to chase them across the nation, therefore the shut airport. Gainesville, Ga., is gorgeous and suits the invoice, however we all know there are different locations we’ve but to find. We’re now exploring Bella Vista, Ark., and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Our home finances in retirement could be not more than $450,000. 

We’re beneath no delusions that we’ll be within the lake residence perpetually. Will probably be 10 years of go-go, 10 years of slow-go, and 10 years of no-go. The lake residence will likely be for the go-go years. Then we’ll promote it and doubtless lease.

Any options the place to retire?




No shock that nice lakefront houses are expensive in one of the best of occasions. Lake communities general have been in demand throughout COVID; costs have jumped and bidding wars have been frequent, even when the house isn’t straight on the water. 

You’ve acquired some nice concepts (although Bella Vista is hardly snow-free). I’ll counsel a couple of others. The MarketWatch “Where Should I Retire” tool may give you extra.

One phrase of warning: choose the place since you like it, not since you need the children and grandkids to go to and also you want the house to host them. They might produce other concepts for methods to use their restricted trip time, and even lengthy weekends could also be tough through the faculty 12 months. And don’t neglect the calls for from the opposite grandparents!

A minimum of speak to your grownup kids first. And acknowledge that you simply’re those who usually tend to have time to journey. 

An alternative choice: lease a giant lake home and boat yearly and get everybody collectively that means.

I’ve provided lake options in earlier articles (this one focuses on Texas, for instance, whereas this couple also stressed cultural offerings). I hate to repeat myself, so listed below are another concepts:

Lake Wylie, South Carolina


Lake Wylie has about 12,000 residents so it might appear small, however you need to see it as a suburb of Charlotte and all of the big-city facilities you’d anticipate in a metropolis of almost 900,000. Downtown Charlotte is about 20 miles away and throughout the state line, with a Costco alongside the best way. Carolinas Medical Heart in Charlotte is the third-best hospital in North Carolina, based on U.S. Information & World Report. And the Charlotte airport is an American Airways hub.

For if you need music however no big-city site visitors, Lake Wylie can also be an analogous distance to Rock Hill, South Carolina and its symphony.

The city meets your climate standards, provided that it has only a hint of snow on common and common winter highs round 50. Common summer time highs are close to 90.

Right here’s what’s on the market now, utilizing listings from Realtor.com (which like MarketWatch is owned by Information Corp.)

If Lake Wylie isn’t fairly proper however the Charlotte space appeals, think about the Lake Norman space, suggested here. If you need different South Carolina choices, think about Clemson(suggested here) Columbia (suggested here) and close to Lake Murray, or close to Greenville, suggested here.

Huntsville, Alabama

The U.S. Area and Rocket Heart in Huntsville.


This metropolis of 200,000 is nicknamed Rocket Metropolis due to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and extra space historical past. The web site Livability.com put it on the prime of its best cities for STEM workers in 2018.

What may matter extra to you is that it’s residence to Alabama’s longest continuously operating professional orchestra (amongst many cultural offerings) plus the Huntsville Hospital that ranks second in the state, based on U.S. Information. The price of dwelling is about 11% under the nationwide common. And there’s a Costco on the town.

Huntsville has its personal airport. You too can drive two hours to airports in Birmingham, Nashville and Chattanooga; the Atlanta airport (a Delta Airways hub) is 3 ½ hours away.

Common summer time highs listed below are round 90, whereas winter highs common within the decrease 50s. It’s possible you’ll get a pair inches of snow yearly.,

Whilst you’ll discover houses close to water in and round Huntsville, in the event you’re keen to drive a bit additional, you need to go searching Guntersville Lake (created by a dam on the Tennessee River). No symphony, however you’ll find free live shows organized by the native arts council.

Right here’s what’s in the marketplace now in Huntsville and around the lake, once more utilizing Realtor.com.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Courtesy Go to Tulsa

This Art Deco city of 400,000 on the Arkansas River is my wild-card choose. I do know, Oklahoma isn’t the primary place you consider for a lake residence, however when Livability.com put Tulsa on its 2019 list of 100 best places to live, it described it as “an reasonably priced, under-the-radar cool metropolis that’s residence to a historic downtown and an unbelievable arts scene that rivals cities twice its dimension.”

In a metropolis this dimension, the symphony (and extra, on the Tulsa Performing Arts Center), Costco and the airport are givens. Nonetheless to come back is the Bob Dylan Center (opening in 2022), a museum  backed by a wealthy local that can have greater than 100,000 gadgets created and owned by the singer, simply down the block from the Woody Guthrie Center, honoring a folks singer from Oklahoma. The identical philanthropic billionaire is a driving drive behind town’s new $465 million, 66-acre riverfront park, the Gathering Place

The price of dwelling is greater than 11% under the nationwide common.

As for the lake home, begin your search with Keystone Lake west of metropolis limits. 

Tulsa does have extra snow than my different decisions with a mean of about 6 inches a 12 months. However it boasts of extra sunny days than the U.S. common. Temperatures common a excessive within the higher 40s and low 50s through the winter and mid-90s in the summertime. I’m glad you’re good with warmth and humidity.

Right here’s what’s in the marketplace now in Tulsa and across Tulsa County.

The place ought to Alec and his spouse retire? Depart your options within the feedback part.

Extra from MarketWatch’s “Where Can I Retire?” column

My husband wants to be by the ocean, but I lived through Katrina and love lakes — where can we (semi) retire and rent for $2,000 a month?

‘I really need more sunshine and a bigger body of water’ — where can I retire on $40,000 a year?

We want a $250,000 home within an hour of the mountains or the ocean — where should we retire?


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