I think the best place to live is where you can feel comfortable with your family.
My old neighborhood was changing in Denver. it became a gentrified neighborhood with a lot of upper middle class people and the old neighborhood changed completely. The property taxes went up and everything was not what it used to be. Plus, Denver when I moved in the 1980a used to be a medium-sized city and kind of tranquil and Western. Over time it became a young hipster, making a lot of money single person's paradise and the rents and prices on real estate skyrocketed. It was not my sort of town anymore. I never liked the snow and mountains.
I think also one grows older and you need something that is more about what you want out of life.
I like warm tropical weather and a slower pace but not too slow. I love a lot of cultural traditions; like museums, cultural events, theaters, festivals, events and history. I like character and deep roots and color and beauty. This city had that and more.
I also dislike EXPENSIVE places to live. Where you got to get two jobs full time to make the rent. That is stressful as hell.
Yea, that makes sense.
Where I grew up in Miami is becoming a gentrification target. I've never seen a white person live in my old neighborhood. My parent's backyard neighbors are white (I've never seen white people in the neighborhood while growing up). It's becoming clearer that my old neighborhood is the next gentrification target. Pretty sure my parents are going to feel uncomfortable when that happens. Though it will probably take a while. Maybe they won't care.
I guess for me, there isn't ever any one specific set of things that I want/need to be happy in a particular location. One thing my wife and I have noticed, is that we become bored with cities after a few years. Personally, we're pretty bored of Austin, but we stay because we think it's great for our kids and the really good job I have (and there are many good jobs in case I leave this one). Hence one of our retirement ideas is to live in a new city for 1-3 years at a time, and then just move on to the next. In each case, rent a small one bedroom apartment. Enjoy the city, move on to the next.
General things we like:
- Museums of all types. History, Art, Science, etc. Austin doesn't have many museums. Many art galleries though, but those aren't museums.
- Cultural events are great, we enjoy those.
- Near by state/national parks for camping and hiking.
- Good public transport
- I don't care about weather, but my wife likes warmer weather.
- Meeting new people.
The thing is, we get bored with going to the same museum, or the same festivals after a while. I guess what keeps up happy is constant change.