Author Topic: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired  (Read 1980 times)

Roadrunner53

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Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« on: April 12, 2018, 05:27:33 AM »
I live in CT and cost of living is high. I want to move to a place where I can stretch my stache and take advantage of senior discounts on home tax. Can some of you discuss your experience with moving from a high tax state to a low cost state? How does a person even figure if it is more economical to move or to stay in place?

What items have you saved money on by moving? I am thinking home tax could go down, personal tax on cars will go down, house insurance may go down, some states have emission testing of cars (CT does) some states don't. I have checked on Medicare Part F and it can be up to $50-$100 per month less in another state. Not sure about utilities. We have to use heating oil for about 7 months or more but other states require ac the same amount of months. Sales tax depends on what state you are in. I do know that nursing homes are around $6,000 a month down south compared to $12,000 a month and up in CT.

Any of you done studies on the economics of moving to a low cost state?

We have no children or real ties to our town. The only thing that holds us here is that we have lived here since we were children. We know what we have but don't know what we will get ourselves into! However, I would rather put the money in our pockets than the State or Town we live in.

rolliefingers

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 06:37:03 AM »
Indianapolis is low cost and has a world class airport.  I encourage you to check it out.  Property taxes are capped at 1% of your home's assessed value.  Real estate is cheap by comparison to the coasts, but this is beginning to bump upward.

I live in CT and cost of living is high. I want to move to a place where I can stretch my stache and take advantage of senior discounts on home tax. Can some of you discuss your experience with moving from a high tax state to a low cost state? How does a person even figure if it is more economical to move or to stay in place?

What items have you saved money on by moving? I am thinking home tax could go down, personal tax on cars will go down, house insurance may go down, some states have emission testing of cars (CT does) some states don't. I have checked on Medicare Part F and it can be up to $50-$100 per month less in another state. Not sure about utilities. We have to use heating oil for about 7 months or more but other states require ac the same amount of months. Sales tax depends on what state you are in. I do know that nursing homes are around $6,000 a month down south compared to $12,000 a month and up in CT.

Any of you done studies on the economics of moving to a low cost state?

We have no children or real ties to our town. The only thing that holds us here is that we have lived here since we were children. We know what we have but don't know what we will get ourselves into! However, I would rather put the money in our pockets than the State or Town we live in.

sb_NoVA

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 09:47:41 PM »
Gets awfully cold in Indianapolis!   Consider Charlotte or Raleigh?

libertarian4321

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 04:11:39 AM »
We were thinking Tennessee. 

No income tax except on dividends.  Low property taxes and low home costs.  Below average cost of living.  Good weather generally (no extremes like you get in the north or the deep south).

Roadrunner53

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 04:31:48 AM »
What part of Tennessee? I have friends that live in Kingsport. I have been to TN once to Dollywood. Very pretty views. I have also heard there is a lot of crime in TN.

Georgia is tax friendly to seniors but I think the humidity would do me in. I have never been a fan of high temperatures and humidity.

Airports are important too. Right now I live 1 hour and 10 minutes from Bradley International going the back roads. I would like to live closer, maybe no more than a half an hour. I also would like to live closer to Costco. I like shopping there and where there is a Costco, there are other big box stores like Bed Bath and Beyond and others.


Letj

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 07:09:43 AM »
Posting to follow.

Pigeon

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 07:28:22 AM »
I don't know what we'll do in retirement, but I think about it.

I'd make a list of what you see as required and desirable features in a  place to live, and then narrow it down.  Climate, cost of living, proximity to cultural attractions, urban/rural, political environment, healthcare, whatever is important to you.  When you've found a few likely candidates, start researching them.

Rubic

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 02:25:08 PM »
We were thinking Tennessee. 

No income tax except on dividends.  Low property taxes and low home costs.  Below average cost of living.  Good weather generally (no extremes like you get in the north or the deep south).

The income tax on dividends ("Hall Tax") is being fazed out:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_income_tax

I live in Nashville, but if you're looking for LCOL, I'd recommend either
Chattanooga or Knoxville.

NathanP

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 07:26:33 AM »
As a resident of a populous Raleigh suburb, my plan is to downsizing into a condo or townhouse with a reasonable monthly association fee. Property taxes here are roughly 1% of value (not bad), but being able to save a thousand or two per year is a nice perk. I would rather divert that tax money into the fee to pay for exterior maintenance and lawn care..freeing me to travel.

Another low cost alternative is to look at smaller towns that are within a reasonable drive of the airport and city center, just outside of commuter distance. There, you still get an array of retail options and some sense of community.

Although I am partial to Raleigh, there are many other medium/low cost & tax locations in the Carolinas and Tennessee. Find one that meets your requirements for beach or mountain access and weather. Note: I would include Atlanta (where I grew up and have family), but the traffic there is a disaster.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 09:06:00 AM »
Like many americans, I will likely have no other choice, than to relocate to a less expensive city/state when I retire due to a combination of the HCOL where I am now (socal) and inadequate retirement savings. As such, like many others, I continuously scour the web in search of statistics that allow me to make comparisons between locations; such information is easily retrievable.

When possible, I try to visit the locations in order to get a boots on the ground view for quality of life issues that are impossible to extract from descriptive statistics that tell me about tax rates, property values, etc. All too often we focus on the math/numbers, and quality of life is much harder to evaluate. Like for example, finding out all too late, that the town has deeply embedded racist attitudes not readily uncovered earlier, or X, or Y, or Z. I guess what I am saying is that for such a major life decision, we should focus equal intensity on understanding quality issues with particular retirement relocation choices.

e.g. In very low tax areas, public services can be weak to nil, which for a middle aged working person might not be so relevant. But in retirement, such services may be critical.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2018, 07:59:12 PM »
I like the simplicity of https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator/ and the fact that you enter your current expenses and it poops out how much you'd need in the new location. Multiply by 25 and you have your FIRE number for that place.

RE: quality of life... Yes, you'll find that many places where the living is cheap have minimal services, subpar infrastructure, impoverished conditions, or behaviors/attitudes/cultures that repel anyone with the self reliance and dignity to FIRE. In general, they voted for policies that caused the underfunded schools, lack of meaningful zoning, minimal law enforcement, local pollution, and sprawl / car dependency. You'll find yourself in the minority for disagreeing with these norms. So if your personality is the "get along" type this might be stressful. Or if you think you'll personally change Mississippi into Connecticut you'll be frustrated. Majorities in entire regions of the US don't care about the basic things that make somewhere a nice place to live.

RE: renting first... This is a great idea, spartana. It also adds an adventure to retirement. Live in 5 very different states with 5 different cultures in 5 years if you want to! If you've lived in one place all your life, a retirement locale may seem great statistics-wise, but not be a fit for you. Maybe use the expense calculator to narrow down your top 5 places. Then visit them for a week each over the course of a year (visit hot places in the summer and cold places in the winter). Get an AirBnB that you could afford to purchase to simulate having a home there. Then pick your #1 and go to rent a place there for a year.

jpdx

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 09:31:42 PM »
I think this is really two questions in one:

Sure, you have to figure out the cost of living of any prospective location. Housing, health care, taxes, etc.

You also have to find a place that you WANT to live in. As LaserJet mentioned, quality of life is important, and in some cases, a place may be less expensive simply because it is less desirable.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 08:20:45 PM by jpdx »

jaybird45

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2018, 10:02:04 AM »
What part of Tennessee? I have friends that live in Kingsport. I have been to TN once to Dollywood. Very pretty views. I have also heard there is a lot of crime in TN.

Georgia is tax friendly to seniors but I think the humidity would do me in. I have never been a fan of high temperatures and humidity.

Airports are important too. Right now I live 1 hour and 10 minutes from Bradley International going the back roads. I would like to live closer, maybe no more than a half an hour. I also would like to live closer to Costco. I like shopping there and where there is a Costco, there are other big box stores like Bed Bath and Beyond and others.

I don't think you get a significant difference in humidity between TN and GA (unless you are talking South GA).  You might consider the Chattanooga area.  Close to the mountains, great but small downtown and friendly people.  Has airport but you can get to Atlanta or Nashville's in a little over 2 hours.  Plenty of shopping in TN.  One downside is that you are far from the ocean/beaches.

Rubic

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2018, 12:23:47 PM »
I don't think you get a significant difference in humidity between TN and GA

Correct.  I live in Tennessee, but have spent a lot of time in Georgia
and Alabama.  There isn't much difference in the humidity levels.

libertarian4321

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2018, 03:39:24 PM »
What part of Tennessee? I have friends that live in Kingsport. I have been to TN once to Dollywood.

My preliminary research picks CLARKSVILLE, TN as the ideal place.  Big enough (over 100k population) to have all the necessities (health care, universities, Walmart, whatever).  Close enough to Nashville to have all the "big city stuff" close by.  Close enough to the KY border to avoid the confiscatory TN sales tax as needed.  Reasonable cost of living.  Low taxes.

Caveat:  I've never been to Clarksville.  Well, maybe I've driven through it, but this was mostly Google Research.  And I don't need the "really big city" stuff (symphony, high level professional sports, orchestra, opera, massive museums, city-funded African American lesbian Muslim differently-abled dwarf sculpture, etc).  If you need all that "stuff," this probably wouldn't be a great choice.


Roadrunner53

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2018, 04:24:53 PM »
Thanks libertarian4321! I will check out Clarksville, TN

It isn't just taxes I am concerned about but other cost of living. I am going onto Medicare and plan on taking plan F as a supplement plan to Medicare. The Hub is already on it and we saved more than $100,000 on his treatments in 2017 by him being on Plan F. In CT where I live it is $241.50 per month for each person on Plan F. Now I will go onto it in the next few months. So that is 2 people times $241.50. But in GA, in one city I priced out it is $194.50.  So if we moved, the Plan F savings for two people would be $1128 per year on top of house and car taxes being less. Not sure what car insurance and house insurance would cost but I am assuming if my house tax was less the insurance would be less.

We are not looking for NY city entertainment. Just normal services like hospitals, shopping, an airport close by in reasonable distance.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Rubic

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2018, 03:53:12 AM »
What part of Tennessee? I have friends that live in Kingsport. I have been to TN once to Dollywood.

My preliminary research picks CLARKSVILLE, TN as the ideal place.  Big enough (over 100k population) to have all the necessities (health care, universities, Walmart, whatever).  Close enough to Nashville to have all the "big city stuff" close by.  Close enough to the KY border to avoid the confiscatory TN sales tax as needed.  Reasonable cost of living.  Low taxes.

Caveat:  I've never been to Clarksville.  Well, maybe I've driven through it, but this was mostly Google Research.  And I don't need the "really big city" stuff (symphony, high level professional sports, orchestra, opera, massive museums, city-funded African American lesbian Muslim differently-abled dwarf sculpture, etc).  If you need all that "stuff," this probably wouldn't be a great choice.

Clarksville is not a bad place.  Fort Campbell (101st Airborne) is there, so
heavy presence of military.  The area also has a strong presence of Amish
and Mennonite communities which may appeal to your Libertarianism.

You are correct that it's within reasonable driving distance of Nashville.
I have a colleague who used to commute back and forth to work from
Clarksville, though I wouldn't recommend it.

I like the area but:  1) the terrain is too flat for me (prefer hills); and 2)
prefer to have my activities within walking/biking distance of where I live.

 

living small

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2018, 04:37:03 AM »
My folks are in CT going through the same mental gymnastics post-retirement.

They really like coastal living, and are contemplating the areas around Charleston, SC. Don't know the financials, but the taxes will be way better than CT.

Since we have the only grandchild, I am making my vote for Indiana. Indianapolis is pretty great. housing is still affordable for sure. The weather really isn't that bad. They get some snow in the winter, but the summers are pretty nice, not too crazy hot, slight humidity. Lots of mid-sized city festivals, museums, walking trails, interesting food and shopping. If you want a big city, chicago really isn't all that far for a weekend getaway.

Grande

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2018, 08:38:51 PM »
Gets awfully cold in Indianapolis!   Consider Charlotte or Raleigh?

Worse than their football team?

chops

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2018, 09:33:16 PM »
We moved family of 4 from CT to IA about 3 years ago.  Cost of living is substantially reduced, overall ~50% of CT for a similar quality of living.  Housing is roughly 50% of CT prices.  Housing taxes are similarly reduced.  Car insurance (a lot less drivers per capita) is ~65% reduced.  Gas/car maintenance is similarly reduced due to concentrated cities, instead of the CT suburbs that go on forever.  There are no car emissions bills here and car taxes are only $50/year. Income taxes are similar to CT surprisingly but quality of life here reflects that as well. 

Energy savings is also significant, CT has #3 highest electric rate in the country after Hawaii and Alaska.  Iowa is 10th cheapest for electricity rates.  Our average electric bill is around $65/month for a family of 4.  Natural gas heat also seems to be saving us about 50% on heat bills compared to our similarly sized house in CT (that was on oil heat).

Best part is that frugality is not looked down upon here as I found it is in CT.  Most people seem to have grown up on a farm and respect thriftyness and DIY is very big here.  I have never seen so many Goodwill/Salvation Army/"Stuff, etc"/name another used clothing store/ within a 3 mile radius of our house in my life.

Overall it's been a great move financially and has definitely helped us significantly speed up FIRE.  There are obviously minuses as well (no White mountains within 2 hours drive, no shore within 1 hour, etc)   Hope you find someplace similar.

Best of luck!

- Chops

Roadrunner53

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2018, 05:46:34 AM »
Chops, I see you 'get it' about living in expensive CT! It isn't just taxes, it is the little things that add up. For instance, My Hub is on Medicare and chose Medicare supplement Plan F. Here in CT it is $241.50 per month. I checked Iowa and it is $100 less a month. For two of us it would save us $2,400 a year in just that expense.
https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/health-plans.html#/plan-summary

https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/health-plans.html#/plan-summary

Yes, LCOL means less services sometimes or culture shock. It is something to investigate and not just move to move. But CT is very, very expensive and taxes keep going up. Our roads are in very bad shape and they say the bridges are too. CT doesn't have the money to fix the infrastructure. They proposed Tolls and seems they can't get enough votes to get that approved.

Here is another intersting link: https://www.mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings




Villanelle

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2018, 06:29:53 AM »
We are a ways out from a final retirement location.  However, in our shortlist is Las Vegas.  It's a LCOL area compared to "home", which is SoCal.  It does get extremely hot in summer and coldish in winter.  Not extreme cold, but not quite mild, either. 

There is no state income tax, but unlike many non-tax areas, there is plenty of money due to gambling revenues.  International airport, incredible entertainment opportunities, roads always seem to be in good shape. 

Hargrove

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Re: Move to a lower cost of living state and town once retired
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2018, 05:50:22 PM »
Let's not oversell the abundant services for your money, either - money is managed for better and worse at all levels; you have to look more closely at particular areas and cultures.

If you're in Stratford, yes, there's an awful lot of city services compared to many places. Proximity to Yale's hospital system can sure be a perk. I don't know how satisfied people are with services in, say, Warren or Plainville, and you still have to pay hundreds of dollars to own a car every year.

You may also drive it... a lot. Compare CT public transit to, well, anywhere that takes public transit seriously. It's hard to compare places to retire because you often don't know what will be missing. There's an awful lot to any individual town/city's character.