I'm retiring in a few short years myself. My wife grew up in Phoenix and despite being a ski mountaineer years ago, warm is good. Most of the family is in Tucson now, so we'd probably go north . We've thought a lot about Prescott, but you're right about the lack of fishing. When her parents lived in Payson I thought it was beautiful and has decent medical facilities. I scrambled down into a deep sandstone canyon to fish some crystal clear Brookie heaven skinny water near Pine. Bank fished a nice drive-to put & take high lake near their cabin at Heber. Her family used to like to camp and bank fish Reservation Lake south of Show Low and Pinetop but yes that's up and out there. Camp Verde looks interesting with the confluence of Beaver Creek and the Verde River. I really liked visiting at their place in Cottonwood with both the Verde River and Oak Creek nearby.