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Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind #55079
05/17/2015 11:08 AM
05/17/2015 11:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 165
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murphycpcu Offline OP
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murphycpcu  Offline OP
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My wife and I are SXM addicts plain and simple. 10 years from a comfortable retirement ( absent a stock market collapse heaven forbid ) we plan on many weeks each year on the island. Maybe 12 or 15. This is a solid truth and we have only made 5 trips to the Carribean Heaven.

We reside in city of Cincinnati. Great for family, affordable housing... many other things but not weather and not affordable airfare. Next January round trip is $700. We will certainly be relocating.

The same dates from Tampa are $308. Almost $800 would remain in pocket for a trip. Not sure how that can be but it sure factors in when considering what we want to do. I am wondering if I am thinking rational when the airfare to/from SXM is such a priority.

I hope the island stays as is. Days at Orient, Mullet, Karakter.... Followed by dinners at Calmos, Pascal's , Skip Jack's dot dot dot fill our heads during the time between annual visits.

Am I alone in this regard? Another question. Has anyone recommended SXM to someone and had them complain about the recommendation? This would assume the people visiting have similar interest in vacation qualities.

SXM Sponsors
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55080
05/17/2015 11:27 AM
05/17/2015 11:27 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,582
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
I only know about relocating to Florida, per se, and would have the following observations...

Are you talking about 12 to 15 weeks in one shot, or divided up into several trips throughout the year? If you're talking about staying a few months at a time, the airfare for one yearly round trip wouldn't make nearly as much difference as if you're talking about a half dozen or more trips in a year. If the weather in the winter is what you want to get away from, you could stay where you are and just be snowbirds in SXM in the winter, perhaps. And if your number one and only priority is getting the best airfare to SXM, the best airfare is going to be from the NYC area. Florida airfares are generally much higher than many places from the Northeast and the ONLY non-stops in Florida are from south Florida, as of now. This looks like it will not change, even if more carriers do non-stops from Florida, like Southwest and Jet Blue. Apparently the powers that be have already decided the new non-stops will also be from south Florida, which already has two non stops. Anywhere other than Miami or Ft Lauderdale is going to be a connection for you, or you can do what we do, which is drive 3 1/2 hours one way for a non stop.

As far as weather in Florida is concerned, weather from October through April or May is great! The weather in the summer here s*cks. As far as property in Florida is concerned, prices here are still low, so if you can afford to go ahead and buy now, you can do very well.


Carol Hill
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: Carol_Hill] #55081
05/17/2015 11:41 AM
05/17/2015 11:41 AM
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irina Offline
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Wow. So many unknowns. First of all, everything changes, nothing stays the same.
Second of all, I agree with Carol. Consider being a snowbird. And the NYC area is much cheaper airfare than here in South Florida.
Another consideration is medical care. If you do "live" in SXM for 15 weeks at a time, that can be an issue.
We bought a place there rented it out. Worked out well financially.
Think more! Nice dream though.
Good luck.
irina

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55082
05/17/2015 12:18 PM
05/17/2015 12:18 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 14
OH
MelandI Offline
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MelandI  Offline
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OH
we used to fly our of CMH, or CLE (Columbus/Cleveland, OH.) However with it only being 6.5 to 7.0 hrs driving to JFK we save almost $800.00 to $1000.00 when its just the wife and I. This year we are going with other family Members joining us and saved roughly $350.00 per person by making the drive X 5 people is a savings of $1750.00 overall. more than pays gas tolls and parking total roughly $210.00. We have more money to drink and gamble on or dine out more. A drive from Cin. OH. would be about 10hrs. Gas tolls, and parking would be about the same. $210.00.

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: MelandI] #55083
05/17/2015 12:47 PM
05/17/2015 12:47 PM
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Posts: 165
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murphycpcu Offline OP
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murphycpcu  Offline OP
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I am planning about 4-6 10 to 20 day visits. I agree a 6 week stay would minimize a $500 airfare savings but we would like to frequent several times throughout the year,

The weather where we are is too hot in the Summer and too cold in the Winter so visits home in Fall and Spring. I never thought Florida would appeal to us but this year's January and February weather was inhumane.

No comments on the recommendations to others? I kind of liken it to telling a few people about a great new restaurant and in a few months you can't get a table. We have been to too many places where the beaches are great and the views are nice but the food and nightlife are just not sustainable for more than a few days. We have a timeshare in Punta Cana and have not been back since discovering SXM. Fortunatly there is no annual fee so the weeks owned roll over.

We used to despise the idea of food being much of factor in vacation choice but the healthy seafood and other healthy options are not found in other places we have encountered unless you want o jump to $400 - $600 a day accommodations.

I guess I need to sneak in a visit before January. I might use the 747 KLM flight ending as an excuse!

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: irina] #55084
05/17/2015 01:07 PM
05/17/2015 01:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,582
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Medical care for sure is a BIG issue! That is the number one reason why we decided not to move to the Caribbean when we 'retired'--although we're both still working here in Florida...... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />

I do think the original poster was talking about retiring in the US though.


Carol Hill
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55085
05/17/2015 02:42 PM
05/17/2015 02:42 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 473
Central Coast, CA
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cruzer Offline
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cruzer  Offline
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Central Coast, CA
If what you are asking is if it is rational to base a relo decision solely on airfare differences to SXM, my answer would be a resounding no! The fare differential may be a contributing factor to a relo decision, but, at least for me, there are many other considerations as well. Airfare is just one of many considerations.

That said, you are asking about 10 years down the line, so blue sky questions like this really help your retirement goal setting.

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55086
05/17/2015 02:58 PM
05/17/2015 02:58 PM
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Posts: 675
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phillygirl7 Online content
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I know of 3 couples that have gone once and not gone back to SXM. One couple it was way too busy of an island and lack of green space that said no more. One other couple went in September to heavy rain all week and said no thanks, no more. The third couple never hardly left the resort, not adventurous enough I guess, they like their cabin vacations much more. It's not for everyone, thankfully. Airfares seem to be up as many people are posting lately, airline mergers are my thinking that they can make more money on these Caribbean island flights.

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55087
05/17/2015 03:30 PM
05/17/2015 03:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,851
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Murphy,

Back in our youth, in what seems like light years ago now......., we used to think about SXM as a potential retirement location. But then LIFE has a way of happening and things change.

Personally speaking, the older I get the more of a hassle I find traveling to be, so that many times a year would be my personal nightmare unless you're planning on purchasing a home that would be for your own personal use and without considering it as a potential rental home in your absence. That way you could at least fly baggage free knowing that everything is right there where you left it the last time.

There are other considerations, too, that crossed our mind and helped us to realize that there's just no place like home. The two biggest reasons for us were family and health. Kids and Grandkids have so much going on in their lives you want to be a part of, that anywhere we might think of retiring to would absolutely need to be reasonable close to a good airport, preferably international as opposed to regional.

And again, if considering a retirement move, it would absolutely be a prerequisite that anywhere we might consider would have to have good access to excellent healthcare facilities.

So for us, in the end, we ultimately decided the best place for us in our retirement is really right here where we're currently located. If it's cold enough and snowy enough, we barricade ourselves into our home until it all melts; we can see our family as often as we/they want/need to. And we can still get relatively decent airfares to wherever we choose to go.

It also has helped us knowing that so many friends and acquaintances have relocated and wanted to kick themselves squarely in the backside after the fact. Only you know yourself well enough to know what will ultimately work for you and I'm pretty certain, if you're wise enough to be thinking along those lines already with ten or so years to go before the time comes, in the end you will make the right choice and the one that works best for you with all things of real importance taken into consideration. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55088
05/17/2015 03:40 PM
05/17/2015 03:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Connecticut
Florida and the South may be hotter in the summer than Ohio. It may be wise to take some trips to several other places to see how you like the weather, before moving for cheaper airfare. I know here in Connecticut, we have hot summers and cold winters, but we have been lucky as far as any major weather problems

You also have to move close enough to an airport that has better options.

As many have stated, medical is also a concern for extended visits. I now take evacuation insurance (another expense).

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: The_Lurker] #55089
05/17/2015 04:39 PM
05/17/2015 04:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,321
a little right of center
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2fingers Offline
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2fingers  Offline
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a little right of center
Live in Florida, have to agree with Carol, from April-Mayish thru sometimes thanksgiving the Air is on, really hot and muggy. Sun not down til 8:45-9 does not help. Real Estate is cheap. Just sold my dads little 2 bedroom condo under 600sq ft for 30000$ in Tarpon Springs. We once thought of retiring to SXM, we love it been going since 95, but as anything else it has changed so much. Great place to go for a couple of months for sure. Good luck and enjoy


"It's 5 o'clock somewhere!"

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Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: The_Lurker] #55090
05/17/2015 08:44 PM
05/17/2015 08:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 778
Naples, FL & West Haven, CT
JeanneJOE Offline
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Naples, FL & West Haven, CT
Now we live in Connecticut and have a place in Florida. We love to travel to SXM and go as often as we can. Come January we will become snowbirds but we also travel to Florida in the summer months as well. You use the air in the home in the car and shopping so one can do the exact in Florida during the summer months. During the winter months when we have been in Florida, we have the doors and windows open but in CT just the heat is on. We love SXM and at one time had thought about going there to retire but found Florida is much better for us. We are near airports-Fort Myers and can travel to Lauderdale and Miami airport as well. It is just what works in your life that makes it work.

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: pat] #55091
05/18/2015 09:33 AM
05/18/2015 09:33 AM
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Posts: 165
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murphycpcu Offline OP
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murphycpcu  Offline OP
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Lots of good info in replies. Thanks.

We gave up on owning anything in SXM as it comes with too much hassle for too little return. It also takes away variety.

As goes the air fares I only mention the low fares as a bonus, not as a reason to move. One thing not mentioned is the approaching grandchild thing and Florida now has a few advantages that it did not as little as two years ago.

We are cursed in Cincinnati with having Delta. They used Cincinnati as a major hub years ago and exerted some serious muscle on the airport managers who liked having the airline for jobs and local growth. The airport used by the Cincinnati area is in Northern Kentucky so different interest come into play. They then cut flights from 600 a day to about 100 after merging with Northwest Air and are only now relinquishing gate licenses to new carriers setting up in our area. We were constantly the most expensive airport for 10 years or so. We just moved from worst to 3rd worst.

That situation is changing with Allegiant Air and Frontier. Round trip to Orlando as an example has gone from $350 to $178 or less. Bear in mind the $350 was the rock bottom price, not a last minute fare. Anyway it is like a newfound freedom to have competitive fares and there is speculation Jet Blue is next to set up in town. Perhaps this is why the $307 round trip to SXM is so enticing but when coupled with the mentioned fares "home" the area looks even better.

Also, that cold weather mentioned is bothersome but even worse is the July and August weather when it is 92 degrees with unbearable humidity. The Midwest is tough in the Summer and we are terribly short on lakes in our immediate area.

Thanks again for the shared knowledge.

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55092
05/18/2015 09:43 AM
05/18/2015 09:43 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,582
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Gee, if you don't like summer in the Midwest, don't think you should even consider Florida! I love Florida in general, but summers here s*ck...


Carol Hill
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: murphycpcu] #55093
05/18/2015 09:44 AM
05/18/2015 09:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 290
Sugar Land, Tx
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IslandBoi Offline
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Quote
murphycpcu said:
I am planning about 4-6 10 to 20 day visits...


you may be able to keep that kind of schedule for a couple of years, but i'd think all that back and forth would get old, especially when you're older...for the long term, 2-3 trips/year seems more tolerable...less frequent but longer duration visits make more sense...regardless, 10 years is a looong time from now <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/snore.gif" alt="" />


[Linked Image]
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: JeanneJOE] #55094
05/18/2015 09:54 AM
05/18/2015 09:54 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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Connecticut
Quote
JeanneJOE said:
Now we live in Connecticut and have a place in Florida. We love to travel to SXM and go as often as we can. Come January we will become snowbirds but we also travel to Florida in the summer months as well. You use the air in the home in the car and shopping so one can do the exact in Florida during the summer months. During the winter months when we have been in Florida, we have the doors and windows open but in CT just the heat is on. We love SXM and at one time had thought about going there to retire but found Florida is much better for us. We are near airports-Fort Myers and can travel to Lauderdale and Miami airport as well. It is just what works in your life that makes it work.


I was just replying to the original poster, since he said it is too hot in Ohio, that he should check out other places before making a permanent change. I have siblings living in Florida for the whole year and some six months.

I too would like to get away from the cold, but SXM is no longer a retirement destination for us. I may be like Pat, staying in Connecticut (maybe throw in a month in Florida if needed <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" /> ) and taking our trips to SXM and other destinations.
Whatever works...

Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: The_Lurker] #55095
05/18/2015 10:21 AM
05/18/2015 10:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,582
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
It depends on if you're on the coast or inland like we are, but as far as heat and humidity here in Central Florida in summer, wow... Cincinnati is the minor leagues for heat and humidity! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Air fares and retirement planning with SXM in mind [Re: Carol_Hill] #55096
05/18/2015 01:08 PM
05/18/2015 01:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,467
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irina Offline
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irina  Offline
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Yes Carol, it depends. But here we are on the Bay and get great breezes. Our patio faces south so the sun is to the north of us so we have shade.
Publix parking lot 5 blocks away feels like a brazilian jungle, it's so hot! LOL


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