Well, folks, after over 35 years of working in the field of fish, wildlife, and other natural resource management throughout the 7-State Tennessee Valley region, I am retiring from TVA on January 11, 2013. The wife and I are beginning the process of narrowing down our choices of specific regions in the West to move to for our golden years. The candidate regions we are comparing include the west-central Idaho area (Lewiston/Orofino region), southeastern Washington (Spokane/Clarkston area), south-central Oregon (Klamath Falls to La Pine region), and west-central Nevada (Reno/Minden area). How about that for a variety to choose from?!?

It is amazing the complexity of the tax structures of the various States, which makes direct comparison of individual types of taxes very difficult. Therefore, I'm trying to gather information for estimated total tax burdens and relative costs-of-living for each of these regions to help narrow down our choices. All the while, I am attempting to ensure the region we eventually select has such features as good health care, decent shopping opportunities, low crime rate, and other such amenities, as well as multiple outdoor recreational opportunities, including decent trout fishing nearby. I have at least briefly visited all of these regions in the past, so I have some idea of how the country lies in each region. However, I am still trying to learn more about each region to further fine tune our eventual decision.

I would appreciate input from some of you folks who may live in the afore-mentioned regions that may help enlighten me about specifics of these respective regions as related to the features I mentioned in the above paragraph. I am planning a trip West sometime in early to mid spring to gather even more information, including visiting with some real estate folks to start the house-hunting process. In the meanwhile, if anyone out there wishes to move to a nice home in West Tennessee, I'll have one up for sale soon!