Author Topic: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE  (Read 9678 times)

MonkeyJenga

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Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« on: October 19, 2016, 06:30:10 PM »
I recently had a change in relationship status that resulted in a much accelerated FIRE date. I am looking at end of 2017 or start of 2018 to quit my boring office job and visit all the states and countries I've never been before. Help me figure out a plan!

I'm going to stay within the US for the first year or so before venturing out into other countries like Spain and Australia. Any places I should check out? Is your city awesome and needs to be considered? Anything I'm overlooking?

I'm 30, healthy, no pets, and I don't plan on ever owning a house, car, or kids. Don't drink, smoke, eat out, or go shopping. I also don't plan to take weekend vacations or anything like that once I move. Wherever I go, that will be my vacation for X months until I move again. The travel expenses mentioned below will be getting from place to place, and since I am going to downsize to a couple duffels, won't be expensive.



(ETA: forgot about my 401k match, so that will go up by another 6k. Extra $20 a month, here I come!)

It's pretty barebones, but it's close to my spending now, aside from currently higher rent and lower health insurance. I hate driving, so I will stay in locations where I can walk/bike/bus everywhere.

Without knowing which state I will have primary residence in, I can't have firm numbers on taxes, health insurance costs, Medicaid vs ACA, and rent. Even food is a bit unknown since I have been buying groceries for 1.5 people but also getting free food from work. I've budgeted on the high end for healthcare, since I may be on Medicaid or get ACA subsidies.

Rent includes utilities/internet/etc. Preliminary Craigslist research in a few target cities indicates this is possible, on average, for renting a room in a shared house/apartment.

Numbers assume no market movement and no real change in my expenses over the next year.

Ok, ask me questions! Tell me things! Where should I GOOOO?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 08:20:17 PM by MonkeyJenga »

flan

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 06:32:49 PM »
Definitely not Houston.

**Edited to be more helpful**
I am no way committed, but I was considering the greater Portland area! Not only is it 1) liberal 2) green 3) crawling with Mustachians, there is very low property tax due to the fact there's a state tax (which shouldn't bother FIREd folks) and a great public transit system!

**ETA again***
sorry monstermonster
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 06:36:42 PM by flan »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 07:20:44 PM »
Portland is on my short list!

I suppose I should list out my list:

  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • North Carolina - Triangle
  • SoCal (although SB would be great, way too expensive)
  • Madison, WA
  • Savannah, GA
  • Colorado

I don't think that was very helpful, spartana! My preferences are all over the map. I love the beach but also enjoy the mountains. I have never lived in a desert, and I don't know how I would like it. I would want to avoid extremely cold winters, but could do Madison in the summer, for example.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 09:24:36 PM »
  • SoCal (although SB would be great, way too expensive)
...
I love the beach but also enjoy the mountains

Ya.. Santa Barbara again, beach on one side, mountains on the other. Incredible weather and gorgeous as hell. Also a bit expensive, and the water is cold as fuck. Let's brain storm, there must be a way to take Santa Barbara by storm and live cheaply

Being more helpful (maybe)
Santa Cruz, beaches, surfing, close to mountains. Cheaper than Santa Barbara, water feels a bit warmer, but could be my imagination. Lots of open minded minded people and hippies, to help you get over that change in relationship status :)

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 09:34:10 PM »
I also don't plan to take weekend vacations or anything like that once I move. Wherever I go, that will be my vacation for X months until I move again. The travel expenses mentioned below will be getting from place to place, and since I am going to downsize to a couple duffels, won't be expensive.

Well this basically clears up/answers my question from your journal :)

Whole thing sounds exciting!!

Without going through your host of analytics you mentioned on your Journal my off the cuff guess is that NC or CO would be cheaper than the out west spots. But given your low overall spending and flexibility I don't know if your really trying to do the spend less at first to let stash grow method or just assuming a more consistent spend year to year.

Other than that I would say Portland would be my own personal first choice just because I love Biking, beer, coffee and just the general eclectic vibe they are known for (Full disclosure, never actually been to Portland :P )


hoping2retire35

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 06:25:24 AM »
Sorry for your breakup. Hopefully better things will come.

I'll throw Charleston SC in there too.

If you are there in the summer make sure you are on the beach or in the shade. Otherwise pretty awesome. It can be expensive to rent but you have to look 'up' the peninsula to find the cheaper places. Lots of little old ladies living in 10,000 sq ft mansions on the Battery and other non sensical reasons seems to explain the high costs. Mt Pleasant can be cheaper and of course something near the beach, Isle of Palms, during winter, spring, and fall is pretty cheap but still close the downtown. Downtown (Peninsula) Mt. Pleasant, and IOP are all pretty bikable from what I have experienced. Never lived there but if I were to move Charleston would be very high on my list.

I guess the difference I noticed was Savannah seems more like a planned city while Charleston was more like an older European organically grown city, idk, maybe that will give some perception.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2016, 06:33:06 AM »
check out jordanread's [http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mustachian-relocation-guide/]relocation guide[/http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mustachian-relocation-guide/]

we should really expand this.

EDIT: can someone tell me how to hyperlink maybe with an *asterik to break the link so I can read it.

flan

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 11:08:49 AM »
New thought. Since you're doing serial living/vacationing a few months-year at a time, maybe start at a lower COL city first (e.g. NC - triangle)? That way, you can hang out there and adjust to the post-FIRE life while you figure out which higher COL area you'd like to live/vacation in next without feeling as stressed about the $$ being tight.

ohsnap

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 01:13:12 PM »
I live in SoCal and can't imagine trying to live here on your budget.  You might be able to find a shared house where your total cost for the room & utilities is $600, but it will be probably be a poorly maintained property, and not in a good location as far as walkable, bus lines, etc.  (someone I'm close to just moved into such a situation; total cost about $550 a month but not a great house or location.  And they felt lucky to get it).  Moving out to the desert and mountain areas is cheaper than LA & Orange County, but then you'd need a car.

Good luck on your endeavor!

ohmylookatthat

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 01:57:04 PM »
northern nevada. no taxes and close to tahoe and casinos

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 02:04:42 PM »
Really depends on your hobbies/interests.

As a big outdoors person I have been looking at Mountains of NC, Central Oregon, Colorado, Montana (late spring - early fall), Smokey Mountains in GA, Tennessee, and Arizona.

Kind of smuckered that you are able to get out this soon! Happy for you though MJ :)

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 03:14:59 PM »
Minneapolis/St. Paul (the Twin Cities) are really great for arts (often cheap or free), parks, cycling, and with serious coffee and beer chops.  They are pretty affordable compared to most places of similar size.  The winters can be terrible, but just come one of the other 7 months when it's really beautiful!

Or, even less expensive, and with better access to great outdoorsy fun stuff is Duluth, MN.

marty998

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 02:35:40 AM »
I'm going to stay within the US for the first year or so before venturing out into other countries like Spain and Australia.

Hello... this is Australia responding.

We are not cheap. Bring lots of $$$.

That is all for now :D

Enigma

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 05:36:46 AM »
It sounds like you want to do a lot of traveling when you retire.  I have two suggestions.  First being Tennessee and the second being FL.

Both states have 0 income taxes

Tennessee has nice weather all 4 seasons of the year.  Winters not to cold and summers not to hot. Property taxes are low (less than 1.5k/yr), property prices are low (house for 100k), easy access to an international airport (BNA - Nashville International), food prices are low, and ACA prices tend to be low as well....

Florida has hot summers and still hot winters....  you may never see snow again like you did in NYC.  This is an area where I would rent especially if some predictions of the state being underwater due to global warming come true.

Anyway I am pulled to both of these locations when I go to retire. 

kayvent

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2016, 05:41:30 AM »
Canada occasionally perhaps? The Prairies, Quebec, and the rolling hills of Nova Scotia (especially the Annapolis Valley) are stunning.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2016, 06:13:59 AM »
I live in SoCal and can't imagine trying to live here on your budget.  You might be able to find a shared house where your total cost for the room & utilities is $600, but it will be probably be a poorly maintained property, and not in a good location as far as walkable, bus lines, etc.  (someone I'm close to just moved into such a situation; total cost about $550 a month but not a great house or location.  And they felt lucky to get it).  Moving out to the desert and mountain areas is cheaper than LA & Orange County, but then you'd need a car.

Good luck on your endeavor!
Yeah I think MJ wiil have problems finding an affordable shared rental in LA/OC or anywhere coastal for $600/month all inclusive. Most shared places are closer to $800 or more a month and that is considered very cheap. $1000/month is the going rate here in OC unless you share with many people.  But they can be found occasionally but rare.

MJ how will you do your health insurance? Is your $1500/month the taxable (MAGI) amount? If not and your MAGI will be less you'll fall of the ACA cliff as too low income for subsidies and either have to pay the full premium amount yourself or go on Medicaid if in a Medicaid expanded state. Not sure if a person has to establish residency to get on Medicaid but if so you should check the residency requirements before moving.

I was curious and looked this up, for one person its about ~$11,000. which is under her SWR 4%. Just don't do a ROTH ladder! So no worries in non expanded state.

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2016, 06:43:34 AM »
I second establishing a residency in a no state income tax state. Texas is a bit car obsessed though I do know people who can make it work without. It'll make your money go further when you do start to travel.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2016, 09:17:57 AM »
At the "income" levels MJ will be drawing does it really matter that much whether the state has zero income taxes or not? If the state taxation is relatively progressive, she should be paying close to zero either way. I agree it's worth looking at, but you shouldn't only consider zero tax states, especially if the others are closer to where you want to live, or have other services.

Hell, if she's "low income", moves to state that has taxes but also a version of an earned income tax credit, she could end up making money if does the occasional consulting gig or something else to accidentally make money?
Haven't researched that, just thinking out loud.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2016, 10:04:47 AM »
So your international lite option: Canada

Things could change by the time you retire, but right now, the US dollar goes pretty far in Canada, especially if you are mainly paying rent, buying things second hand, and consuming services.

As an American citizen (I'm assuming), you may not have to worry about visa stuff if you keep your stays at six months or less. You won't be able to work in Canada, but that's not a problem for you. Of course, do your due diligence about visa stuff, I'm kind of extrapolating from what I know about Canadians visiting the US, and making assumptions that things are bilateral. In practice it's slightly more complicated, but Canada-US travel is relatively stress free compared to other international stuff. 

If you are healthy, you might get away with not paying for health insurance in the US or Canada while you are abroad. Get catastrophic coverage for an emergency, and pay out of pocket in Canada if anything comes up. You might be able to get yourself eligible for Canadian health care if you stay long enough, but don't know what that entails for a visitor. Do your research.

There are fewer LCOL cities in Canada. Rents and real estate tend to be high compared to equivalent US cities, but if you can manage in NYC, you will figure out a way.

Montreal would be a tempting choice for a few months. Really cheap rent. Big city, cool architecture. Kind of foreign compared to most of North America. Good smoked meat, good strip clubs so they say (I'm pro sex work, but cheap, so my experience is limited). Horrible winters, good summers, and the city is the best in the summer.

Vancouver is a gorgeous city, I love it. Really nice, and fun. Mountains on one side, Ocean on the other. Tons of greenery right in the city. Great sushi and seafood, though if you eat out at restaurants like I do when visiting, you blow through your budget fast. Rents in Vancouver are super high right now. Forum user Zikoris makes Vancouver work on a low budget, has a blog about it. Summer in Vancouver is gorgous. As far as winters go, Vancouver is considered moderate for Canada. Minimal snow, not that cold. But it's the PNW, so you know, shitty, rainy, and grey for long periods of time.

Toronto, as big a city as you are going to get in Canada, will seem small to you coming from NYC. Clean though for a big city by American standards (the level of litter and stuff in American cities annoys me to no end). It's home for me, so I probably don't have much to say, fun enough, just stay out of the suburbs. Stupid liquor laws, but guess that doesn't apply to you. Rent will be your big concern, but I think you can still find cheapish housing. My spreadsheets tell me when I lived there last in 2008, I was spending about $1200 a month, with about $700 of that rent (grad student budget). You can try inflating approximately, I don't know if that's still reasonable or not.

I'm from Toronto, and I'm tired of writing, so I'm going to pretend none of the smaller cities exist. That's part of the reason people from the rest of Canada hate Toronto. See all the international culture you can pick up while travelling to Canada, I bet you didn't know that :)

hoping2retire35

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2016, 10:38:31 AM »
hmmm... When I looked it up (and actually plugged the numbers into my states exchange (Cali)) it showed the cut off as approx. $15,500 taxable income for a single person. Below that number you don't qualify for subsidies. Maybe its differs from state to state.

yes it does and even by zip code. most of the country will be $11-12k, where you are and other HCOL is probably in that 15k range.

Edit; it is based on the poverty line which is adjusted by COL

My family of 5 is 28k where we live but there it is probably $35k+
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 10:40:16 AM by hoping2retire35 »

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2016, 11:23:55 AM »
At the "income" levels MJ will be drawing does it really matter that much whether the state has zero income taxes or not? If the state taxation is relatively progressive, she should be paying close to zero either way. I agree it's worth looking at, but you shouldn't only consider zero tax states, especially if the others are closer to where you want to live, or have other services.

Hell, if she's "low income", moves to state that has taxes but also a version of an earned income tax credit, she could end up making money if does the occasional consulting gig or something else to accidentally make money?
Haven't researched that, just thinking out loud.

I have a feeling that at some point (likely after taking time off), MJ will start a sideline business and do well in it.

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2016, 12:20:10 PM »
San Francisco. ;)

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2016, 01:31:43 PM »
Not sure what your interests or climatic requirements are so I'm mainly keying in on the budget and thinking about towns with stuff that I would enjoy that are also bikeable:

My list for your consideration:

Fort Collins, CO
Blacksburg, VA
Chattanooga, TN
Portland, ME
Portsmith, NH
Burlington, VT
Laramie, WY
Boise, ID
Ogden, UT
Spokane, WA

Cities that are cool but probably too expensive now:
Boulder, CO
Golden, CO
Durango, CO
<INSERT SKI TOWN HERE>, Colorado
Bend, OR
Santa Cruz, CA
Park City, UT
Hanover, NH


Malaysia41

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2016, 11:37:06 PM »
When you expand your list to include Italy, I'll have a monkey-ready chair ready. I'm considering this. Will it do?


arebelspy

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2016, 01:05:34 AM »
IMO, one of the best parts of being a nomad is going where the wind takes you.

Make a list of "would like to see/spend time in someday" places, and gradually check places off.  Not even deliberately, but as you happen to visit.

That's what we do, anyways, and we enjoy it quite a bit.

Slow travel, and just enjoy checking out new places.  No need to plan way in advance (and I say this as a person who used to be a HUGE planner, and still somewhat is--just not about where we'll be, typically more than a few months out, at most--we'll have rough plans for 6-8 months, sometimes, maybe, but they tend to change often).  :)
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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2016, 07:48:26 AM »
Should your list swing you through Dallas, Squishy does have a guest bedroom... just saying.

Trudie

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2016, 06:46:07 PM »
Not sure what your interests or climatic requirements are so I'm mainly keying in on the budget and thinking about towns with stuff that I would enjoy that are also bikeable:

My list for your consideration:

Fort Collins, CO
Blacksburg, VA
Chattanooga, TN
Portland, ME
Portsmith, NH
Burlington, VT
Laramie, WY
Boise, ID
Ogden, UT
Spokane, WA

Cities that are cool but probably too expensive now:
Boulder, CO
Golden, CO
Durango, CO
<INSERT SKI TOWN HERE>, Colorado
Bend, OR
Santa Cruz, CA
Park City, UT
Hanover, NH

I'm beginning to feel like deciding where to live is a bit like getting a hot stock market tip -- if you're hearing about it from someone else, it's already too late.  I've lived in the greater Madison area.  It has lots to offer, but it is not LCOL.  It would be hard to find housing for $600/month.  Fort Collins is fantastic.  I just visited last week as we are considering it, but was surprised at how congested it is.  And it's getting sprawled.  But it is nifty.

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2016, 10:42:00 AM »
Since Portland and Bend might be too spendy right now (although I don't think Bend is, depending on lifestyle), may I present alternate Oregon cities/towns to consider:
Ashland
Eugene
Corvallis
Hood River (it's the next hipster mecca since Portland is mainstream now, sooooo many breweries and quite the little art scene coming up)
...I guess Salem could technically be on this list but ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You can easily get by doing bike only in Eugene, Ashland, and Corvallis.

dougules

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2016, 11:22:27 AM »
Any more on what you like?  city vs. small town vs. rural? climate? "liberal" vs. "conservative"? 

Chattanooga is pretty nice, although it's got the same "hot stock market tip" problem where housing costs are starting to rise.  At least there's no state income tax.  It's reasonably walkable/bikable in the center of town.

Portland and Santa Cruz are fantastic, but even worse on the housing costs problem.  I haven't been to Eugene in a long time, but it was pretty nice.  Hood River was really cool too if you want to live in a tiny little town. 

Asheville NC is nice, but probably also getting a bit pricey. 

I think a second problem with rising COL is that it pushes out the people you'd want to be around.  A place just starts filling up with worker drones and their money-burning lifestyle. 

It seems like as more people realize they don't want to live in a maze of strip malls and traffic sewers, the more the handful of places that aren't like that get expensive. 

You could also do what we're doing for the moment, and make walking and biking work in an area built in the 50's or 60's.  We walk to strip malls down 7 lane roads, and have our bike routes that don't feel like you're completely going to get run over.  It's actually not bad at all.  The real hard part to me is being completely surrounded by people who can't wrap their heads around not driving, and being alone on the sidewalk.  I'm intent on leaving post-FIRE.  Maybe we'll just work longer to pay for somewhere nice, or maybe we'll escape to Latin America. 

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2016, 11:26:37 AM »
Cincinnatti, OH (Northside, Over-The-Rhine)
Pittsburgh, PA (Sewickley, Mexican War Streets, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield, East Liberty)
Buffalo, NY (Elmwood Village, Downtown, Park Meadow)

I think these would all work with your constraints.

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2016, 04:18:00 PM »
Thanks for all the advice! I posted this right before I went on vacation so didn't have time to respond and expand what I'm looking for. I was in Chicago for the first time, and in terms of cities, these were some aspects I liked: accessible to nature/the water, less crowded than NYC, cool old architecture, good public transit.

Someone there also invited me to the Twin Cities, which sounds like a great option (although maybe not in winter).

I have seen The Earth Awaits website! I like it. It's not totally comprehensive, though.

I am not going to have a home base anywhere. Move somewhere for 3-6 months, and after a year or two, evaluate whether I'm ready to go international or want to stay domestic for longer. The US makes logistics easier, but international is sexier.

Any more on what you like?  city vs. small town vs. rural? climate? "liberal" vs. "conservative"? 

Size: Cities smaller than NY and big towns. I am ready for something smaller/less crowded/more nature-y than NYC. I wouldn't want very rural, though, partly because of the limited number of people and partly because of the long distances between places.

Climate: Open to a lot here, except don't want desert and don't want very cold in winter. Unless I go ski town and get into snowboarding again. I could do cold places in spring/summer. I love beaches and warm oceans, so places like Florida are on the table, but not in the worst of summer.

Politics: Preference is more socially liberal. This is another point in favor of cities over rural.

Demographics: I like variety. Ex: Portland OR may not be the best long-term option, since I hear it's white and getting whiter all the time?

Housing: I am not planning on ever buying a house. I like the freedom of renting. What I will look for is a room in a shared apartment/house. I am used to small spaces, which opens up lower-cost options. (I know this could change. If I ever need to spend more money on housing, I can get a job.)

Money: I am ok with spending more than $600 in rent to live in certain places like SoCal. There is still wiggle room in the budget, and other places can compensate with lower rent. I will leave those places for later, though, once I have a better idea of my costs.

Interests: Meeting new people, comedy shows, art, music, walks/hikes, nature, potluck dinners.

To clarify the taxes part: $1,500/mo is my budget, but that won't all be taxable income. Like spartana, I have a lot of already-taxed money, and long-term cap gains will be essentially zero. There will be no taxes on the IRA/401k unless I do a rollover.

Thanks again everyone!

kei te pai

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2016, 01:14:10 AM »
Anywhere in NZ, except maybe Auckland and Queenstown (expensive housing).

NinetyFour

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2016, 08:03:03 AM »
Glad to see that Colorado is on your list of possibilities.

I think you would love southwest Colorado (who wouldn't??).  The town is small but big enough to have a cool culturally progressive vibe.  Nature?  Yep--lots of it--oodles of trails right in town.  River going right through town.  Surrounded by mountains.  Close to NM and southeastern UT.

As you know, I have a rental house and a smaller cottage.  I would absolutely love to have you in one place or the other, if the timing works out.  And I would have no problem adjusting the rent to fit your budget!

Our town is extremely walkable--and as I live right downtown, I can walk to grocery stores (although they do not have bars or pianos), coffee shops, river path, etc. etc.

And I'm only 3.5 hours from Meadowlark!

dougules

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2016, 10:47:03 AM »
Two more ideas, New Orleans or Savannah.  Those definitely fit the "warm oceans" category.  Also fairly liberal and not white-only. 

NinetyFour

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2016, 10:57:11 AM »
As you know, I have a rental house and a smaller cottage.  I would absolutely love to have you in one place or the other, if the timing works out.  And I would have no problem adjusting the rent to fit your budget!

Or you could simply pay me with weekly batches of chili.

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2016, 12:39:23 PM »
I'm beginning to feel like deciding where to live is a bit like getting a hot stock market tip -- if you're hearing about it from someone else, it's already too late.  I've lived in the greater Madison area.  It has lots to offer, but it is not LCOL.  It would be hard to find housing for $600/month.  Fort Collins is fantastic.  I just visited last week as we are considering it, but was surprised at how congested it is.  And it's getting sprawled.  But it is nifty.

Yeah, I don't think there's too many truly "undiscovered" places left in the U.S. it's pretty hard to keep a great place a secret with the internet etc. All things equal, nice/desirable locations with amenities will always command a premium but what has surprised me is how decoupled property values have become from the local median household income.  Seems like non-mustacian retirees and independently wealthy folks have really driven up home prices in places with limited opportunity to earn a decent living. 

Seems like on the East Coast, property values are highest near the big cities i.e. Boston, New York and Washington DC.  But in the west, properties are more expensive in small non ski destination towns i.e. Durango is more expensive vs Denver/Lakewood and Sedona is more expensive than Phoenix etc.

Cassie

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2016, 01:33:09 PM »
As someone else mentioned Northern Nevada is great for people that are active. Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, etc. A mild 4 seasons.  Lake Tahoe is very close too.  As long as you are willing to share for housing 600 would be doable.

waltworks

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2016, 02:34:12 PM »
How about this: travel the heck around and see what you like.

Asking random people on the internet where to live is IMO not going to work very well. Most of them haven't been that many places, and are just going to tell you some random stuff about how great it is where they live. Most of them have different life situations and interests, etc.

-W

arebelspy

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2016, 09:32:50 PM »
How about this: travel the heck around and see what you like.

Asking random people on the internet where to live is IMO not going to work very well. Most of them haven't been that many places, and are just going to tell you some random stuff about how great it is where they live. Most of them have different life situations and interests, etc.

I agree with the first paragraph, but not the second.  I think asking is what gives you the places to check out in the first place, and then you can see what you like.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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aoptic

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2016, 12:59:50 AM »
Vancouver, WA ... Why?
          WA - No state income tax only property tax
          Why Vancouver? Because it boarders Portland,OR who has no Sales Tax.
             OK mass transit 1h-1:30h away from downtown Portland if mass transit or drive 20mins or bike over 1-1:30hr

Standard of living is one of the cheapest in the West Coast and the weather in my opinion is great :-) if your active you can be active all year unlike Chicago (extreme heat  / extreme cold)

MgoSam

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Re: Tell Me Where to Live in FIRE
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2016, 07:56:52 AM »
Anywhere in NZ, except maybe Auckland and Queenstown (expensive housing).

I'm curious, how does the cost of living compare to the US? I don't know much about NZ, but it would be a place I would be interested in visiting post-FIRE (about a decade away).