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The Xenophile Historian

Where You Can Retire In the USA

There is no perfect place to live in the USA. Sure, you probably have your idea of where "Godís country" is, but at best it only comes close to paradise; every place has drawbacks to offset its advantages. Hawaii, for example, has the kind of climate most of us would enjoy, but the cost of living there is terrible, because anything that canít be made or grown locally has to be transported across the ocean. And every part of the nation has to deal with natural disasters at one time or another: blizzards, tornadoes, floods, etc. I heard once that when it comes to natural disasters, Utah is probably the safest state, because hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes never strike there -- but Utah still gets some fierce thunderstorms.

Anyway, if you are looking for a place to retire, here is what you can expect from several retirement havens.

You can retire to Seattle where:

  1. You can rust, grow moss on your back and webbed feet all at the same time.
  2. Coffee is a major food group.
  3. You can wear socks with your sandals and shorts with your parka.
  4. You can go to the Seattle Rain Festival--starts in January & ends in December.
  5. The four seasons are rainy, rainier, sunbreaks and rain, and construction.
  6. And, no matter how much you try, you canít drive as fast as the Canadians.

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where:

  1. Youíre willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
  2. Youíve experienced condensation on your hiney from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
  3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
  4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
  5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
  6. The 4 seasons are: very warm but tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU FRICKíN KIDDING ME??!!

You can retire to California where:

  1. You make $250,000/year and still canít afford to buy a house.
  2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
  3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
  4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
  5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
  6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.

You can retire to New York City where:

  1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
  2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but canít find Wisconsin on a map.
  3. You think Central Park is "nature."
  4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
  5. Youíve worn out a car horn (if you have a car).
  6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can retire to Minnesota where:

  1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
  2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
  3. You have more than one recipe for casserole, which you call "hot pot."
  4. Sexy lingerie is anything made of flannel with less than eight buttons.
  5. The four seasons are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.

You can retire to the Deep South where:

  1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
  2. "Yíall" is singular and "all yíall" is plural.
  3. "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.
  4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Ray, Bonnie Sue, Betty Jean, etc.
  5. Everything is either "in yonder," "over yonder" or "out yonder." Itís important to know the difference, too.

You can retire to Colorado where:

  1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
  2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center.
  3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
  4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a ponytail.
  5. The seasons are: Hiking, Feels Like Snow, Snow, Melt/Snow/Melt.

You can retire to the rural Midwest where:

  1. Youíve never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
  2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
  3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
  4. You end sentences with a preposition, like, "Whereís my coat at?"
  5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"
  6. You actually believe you don't have an accent when you speak.
  7. Your favorite church hymn is #372, "In Heaven There is No Beer."
  8. Badgers and Wolverines fight with each other for sport.
  9. Lutherans are the strongest gang and have the best colors.

You can retire to Florida where:

  1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon, to catch the early bird special.
  2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
  3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
  4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
  5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.
  6. Youíve gotten used to having bugs in the kitchen, and lizards and snakes in the yard.
  7. The seasons are: Early Summer, High Summer, Late Summer, and Not Summer.

You can retire to northern Michigan where:

  1. You donít take your dog(s) to the vet when they return home with two hundred porcupine quills in their mouths, nose, gums, and tongue, because it happens too often to pay that much money, so you hold them down with scissors and pliers and do it yourself.
  2. Your trashcans/bags at the end of your driveway are in a protective structure in order to keep wildlife out, up to the size of a raccoon, because the bears will tear down any defense you build anyway.
  3. Locals fall into three categories: Yoopers (live north of the Mackinaw bridge), Trolls (live under/just south of the bridge), and Fudgies (downstaters on vacation).
  4. You know why downstaters are called Fudgies (their specialty is Mackinaw fudge).
  5. Snowfall is measured for the season in tens of feet.
  6. "Pasties" are what's for dinner, not something stuck on strippers.

You can retire to Massachusetts . . .

but I canít think of one reason why you would. Ever.

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© Copyright 2021 Charles Kimball