Author Topic: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US  (Read 39514 times)

dragoncar

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #100 on: September 03, 2013, 12:39:26 AM »
Has anyone spent time in U.P. Michigan?  I just spent a week in a beautiful house overlooking Lake Superior (near L'anse) with plenty of access to hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything you want nature related.  I did a real estate tour, and 200k will get you a great house with 20 acres of woods.  Obviously, not the greatest place for a year long residence, (unless you're an avid snowmobiler) but for a summer residence, it's on top of my list.

I was looking at some property like this, and then I thought... what will I do with all this land?  I mean, what does it cost (in money, personal time, equipment, all three) to maintain a property with 10 acres, 50 acres, 100 acres, etc.?  With a pond?  I assume you have to clear dry grass/brush at the very least.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #101 on: September 03, 2013, 01:18:36 PM »
Has anyone spent time in U.P. Michigan?  I just spent a week in a beautiful house overlooking Lake Superior (near L'anse) with plenty of access to hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything you want nature related.  I did a real estate tour, and 200k will get you a great house with 20 acres of woods.  Obviously, not the greatest place for a year long residence, (unless you're an avid snowmobiler) but for a summer residence, it's on top of my list.

I was looking at some property like this, and then I thought... what will I do with all this land?  I mean, what does it cost (in money, personal time, equipment, all three) to maintain a property with 10 acres, 50 acres, 100 acres, etc.?  With a pond?  I assume you have to clear dry grass/brush at the very least.

Most large tracts of land are undeveloped. You don't have to do anything unless you choose to have a huge yard.

footenote

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2013, 03:09:29 PM »
Has anyone spent time in U.P. Michigan?  I just spent a week in a beautiful house overlooking Lake Superior (near L'anse) with plenty of access to hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything you want nature related.  I did a real estate tour, and 200k will get you a great house with 20 acres of woods.  Obviously, not the greatest place for a year long residence, (unless you're an avid snowmobiler) but for a summer residence, it's on top of my list.

I was looking at some property like this, and then I thought... what will I do with all this land?  I mean, what does it cost (in money, personal time, equipment, all three) to maintain a property with 10 acres, 50 acres, 100 acres, etc.?  With a pond?  I assume you have to clear dry grass/brush at the very least.

Most large tracts of land are undeveloped. You don't have to do anything unless you choose to have a huge yard.
I'm less concerned about maintenance than property taxes.  : /

Spork

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2013, 03:44:46 PM »
Has anyone spent time in U.P. Michigan?  I just spent a week in a beautiful house overlooking Lake Superior (near L'anse) with plenty of access to hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything you want nature related.  I did a real estate tour, and 200k will get you a great house with 20 acres of woods.  Obviously, not the greatest place for a year long residence, (unless you're an avid snowmobiler) but for a summer residence, it's on top of my list.

I was looking at some property like this, and then I thought... what will I do with all this land?  I mean, what does it cost (in money, personal time, equipment, all three) to maintain a property with 10 acres, 50 acres, 100 acres, etc.?  With a pond?  I assume you have to clear dry grass/brush at the very least.

Most large tracts of land are undeveloped. You don't have to do anything unless you choose to have a huge yard.
I'm less concerned about maintenance than property taxes.  : /

That is what Ag exemptions are for.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #104 on: September 03, 2013, 03:59:03 PM »
Has anyone spent time in U.P. Michigan?  I just spent a week in a beautiful house overlooking Lake Superior (near L'anse) with plenty of access to hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything you want nature related.  I did a real estate tour, and 200k will get you a great house with 20 acres of woods.  Obviously, not the greatest place for a year long residence, (unless you're an avid snowmobiler) but for a summer residence, it's on top of my list.

I was looking at some property like this, and then I thought... what will I do with all this land?  I mean, what does it cost (in money, personal time, equipment, all three) to maintain a property with 10 acres, 50 acres, 100 acres, etc.?  With a pond?  I assume you have to clear dry grass/brush at the very least.

Most large tracts of land are undeveloped. You don't have to do anything unless you choose to have a huge yard.
I'm less concerned about maintenance than property taxes.  : /

That is what Ag exemptions are for.

If the land is cheap property taxes won't amount to much. I have a friend who picked up 10 acres of land north of Anchorage. He's not doing anything with it right now and said he wasn't worried about it since he was paying a whopping $80/yr in property tax.

little stache

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2013, 08:10:27 PM »
I hear North Carolina is nice and inexpensive.

You can try findyourspot.com as well.

Thanks for sending us to this website. Each family member took the quiz to see how we all matched up. It was allot of fun and got everyone talking about the possibilities....plus dad got to pitch the power of frugal to the kids without it seeming preachy! ha.

grantmeaname

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #106 on: September 05, 2013, 02:32:48 PM »
For the preppers among you:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01safe.html?_r=0
I live somewhere with a tornado a decade, no earthquakes, a serious flood once a century, and an enormous orange danger circle. Weird.

dragoncar

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #107 on: September 05, 2013, 05:43:07 PM »
For the preppers among you:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01safe.html?_r=0
I live somewhere with a tornado a decade, no earthquakes, a serious flood once a century, and an enormous orange danger circle. Weird.

Well the enormous part means high population

NinetyFour

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #108 on: September 05, 2013, 05:51:04 PM »
This article might give you some ideas:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/09/03/travel/tips-for-the-next-heartland-road-trip.html?ref=travel

I would imagine that most of the towns mentioned have relatively low costs of living.

Mark B

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #109 on: September 06, 2013, 02:33:17 PM »
I've been looking into this for a couple of years.  I factored in COL, overall tax situation, climate (high humidity is out), culture, beauty of the natural surroundings, distance to major metropolitan area(s) and distance to my closest family.  Your criteria will be different, of course. Here's my short list:

1.  Carson City, NV:  Not all that far from where I live in southern Cal.  Very close to beautiful Lake Tahoe and the eastern Sierras, but on the Nevada side, so a much better COL and tax situation.  Decent climate, some snow in winter but not bad at all.  Even in the Summer when it's hot during the day it cools off at night, and it's a dry climate.  No big cities nearby, though.  The closest decent size city is Reno.

2. Flagstaff, AZ:  Relatively low cost of living, especially compared to California.  Tax situation is decent.  Lots of great natural beauty nearby (Sedona, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, the southern Utah national parks).  Small town feel, might be culturally lacking but Phoenix is about two hours away.  Weather is pretty decent.  Again, hot in Summer but it cools off nicely in the evening, and it's dry.  A day's drive from soCal.

3.  Longmont/Loveland/Ft. Collins CO:  COL is pretty decent, as is the tax situation.  Off the hook beauty all around.  Close to Boulder, and not too far from Denver.  Snow in winter but again, not arctic-like conditions.  Lots of parks, biking, outdoorsy stuff to do.  A great choice, but it's far from family. 

4.  Cheyenne, WY:  The economy is doing great, great tax situation, it's listed as one of the "best run" states in the US.  Lots of natural beauty around.  Fort Collins, CO is less than 50 miles away.  Edging further north now, the average low in December is 17.3 degress F.  I don't know much else about it, but looking at it on the map it seems pretty isolated.  Not a lot going on to the east, west or north. 

5.  Austin TX:  As others have stated, an awesome, happening, city.  Texas is the big deal right now on all of these top 10 cities lists.  The economy is booming, the tax situation is very favorable.  Great music scene.  I prefer access to alpine-like forest areas, and none of those are close, although Austin is in Texas' "hill country".  The deal breaker is the heat.  I just couldn't live in a hot, humid place, I would be miserable.


One thing about these Best Cities lists that come out every year is that they tend to be very trendy.  You look at one from three years ago and it's amazing how far a city can drop, but I'm sure the living conditions have remained roughly the same.  Texas, Wyoming, Utah, the Dakotas are making top 10 lists right now, but will they even make these lists in five years?   Plus, the people making these lists have no investment in them, no skin in the game, so to speak, so what do they care if their criteria are dumb or irrelevant?  My point is, they might be ok to look at to get ideas, but you can't take their data seriously.

Here are some actual numbers based lists--the 50 states rated by tax burden and by how well the state is run (GDP growth, budget shortfalls, unemployment rate):

http://best-state-taxes.247wallst.com/

http://best-run-states.247wallst.com/

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #110 on: September 06, 2013, 02:38:17 PM »
That's a good list Mark, except for Austin I have looked at all of them. The mountain states (MO, NV, UT, CO, NM) just look really cool in general. I was just in Taos, New Mexico and it was stunning.

Mark B

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #111 on: September 07, 2013, 08:51:02 PM »
That's a good list Mark, except for Austin I have looked at all of them. The mountain states (MO, NV, UT, CO, NM) just look really cool in general. I was just in Taos, New Mexico and it was stunning.

Thanks Kriegsspiel, and thanks for mentioning Taos.  I've heard a lot of good things about it, not sure why I haven't looked into it more.

...just did a search in realtor.com.  A lot of really unusual home designs!

chasesfish

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #112 on: September 08, 2013, 04:41:39 AM »
I, too, am a fan of NC.  Particularly the foothills.  It's pretty, there are things to do & its cheap.  While they do tend to have somewhat crazy political ideas, you generally can't beat the people for niceness.

If you don't care about having much to do or living near many people, southwest VA is an extra cheap place to live.  Places like Martinsville have a very low cost of living & cheap housing, but there is absolutely nothing to do there.  They have never really recovered from the loss of the furniture industry.

Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Roanoke are very nice with lots to do.  I'm a Hokie, so I'm a little biased.

That's my retirement place of choice, from April through November.  I don't know what your memories are, but winters were just miserable.  The temperature and wind speed were always equal.  November is only tolerable because of football.

davisgang90

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #113 on: September 08, 2013, 05:32:27 AM »
I, too, am a fan of NC.  Particularly the foothills.  It's pretty, there are things to do & its cheap.  While they do tend to have somewhat crazy political ideas, you generally can't beat the people for niceness.

If you don't care about having much to do or living near many people, southwest VA is an extra cheap place to live.  Places like Martinsville have a very low cost of living & cheap housing, but there is absolutely nothing to do there.  They have never really recovered from the loss of the furniture industry.

Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Roanoke are very nice with lots to do.  I'm a Hokie, so I'm a little biased.

That's my retirement place of choice, from April through November.  I don't know what your memories are, but winters were just miserable.  The temperature and wind speed were always equal.  November is only tolerable because of football.
You don't have to tell me about wind/cold in Blacksburg.  The drillfield in the center of campus feels like the coldest place on earth with the wind blowing across it, matched only by the wind blowing between two aircraft carriers sitting at pier 12 in Norfolk, that funnel effect will cool you off quick!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #114 on: September 08, 2013, 11:07:57 AM »
That's a good list Mark, except for Austin I have looked at all of them. The mountain states (MO, NV, UT, CO, NM) just look really cool in general. I was just in Taos, New Mexico and it was stunning.

Thanks Kriegsspiel, and thanks for mentioning Taos.  I've heard a lot of good things about it, not sure why I haven't looked into it more.

...just did a search in realtor.com.  A lot of really unusual home designs!

Actually, that area (the drive north from Santa Fe) reminded me of Afghanistan. (Except for the small trees that dot the landscape nearer to Santa Fe) the barren, rocky hills and mountains, wide valleys between mountains, and even the building styles and town layouts by Taos are a lot like what you'd see in Afghanistan.

iris lily

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #115 on: September 09, 2013, 09:02:27 AM »
I know that I DON'T want:

Desert (hate dry, sandy, dirty desert country)
Very very cold
 long humid summers

I like:
Good gardening climate with seasons
historic architecture

I love St. Louis but am beginning to hate the long hot summers. I am exhausted by mid-August, and they last through first week in October. ugh.

I am very drawn to New Hampshire, I love the scenery. The historic houses are off the charts fabulous, but it's pretty cold there. And to drill down to micro-level gardening issues, the soil is bad and there is a particular pest that wipes out lilies, currently only on the east coast and in Canada. That would be a challenge.

While I've always assumed that, should I move across country I would move to Oregon, I am less drawn to that place. Do they even HAVE any houses built before 1920? They are hard to find. The gardening climate is the best in the country for my stuff, however--iris and lilies. Most of the big growers are in the PNW.

Undecided

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #116 on: September 09, 2013, 10:23:43 AM »
The gardening climate is the best in the country for my stuff, however--iris and lilies. Most of the big growers are in the PNW.

While a lot of the Oregon population lives in hardiness zones in the 8 range, a lot of land is in the 5 and 6 ranges, and a lot of the latter might have a frost in almost any month.

mgreczyn

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #117 on: September 13, 2013, 09:52:59 AM »
That's a good list Mark, except for Austin I have looked at all of them. The mountain states (MO, NV, UT, CO, NM) just look really cool in general. I was just in Taos, New Mexico and it was stunning.

Thanks Kriegsspiel, and thanks for mentioning Taos.  I've heard a lot of good things about it, not sure why I haven't looked into it more.

...just did a search in realtor.com.  A lot of really unusual home designs!
I've actually lived in Austin and the Boulder front range area.  You're right on the money calling out the heat in Austin, though to flog an old cliche it isn't the heat, it's the humidity.  In fact, we're actually passing on an opportunity to move back to Austin from the front range and that's a major factor.  The other major factor is the (relative to CO) lack of outdoor recreation opportunities. I mean, floating the Guad and hiking around the greenbelt are both awesome, but they just can't compete with the rockies and zero humidity.  Austin's an incredible place, there's a unique "vibe" or feel to the place that's a good mix of laid back and energetic, great economy, events, festivals, people, etc.  It's an outstanding place for both the young / single and family types. Our main beef with it is the crushing humidity, and the fact that we've come to love Colorado so much I doubt we'll ever leave unless we have no choice.

Edit - another great place we passed on is Portland, OR.  EXTREMELY liveable city, so bike friendly it's almost ridiculous.  Even the fabled rain isn't so bad.  Again, when it came down to it, just couldn't compare to Colorado.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 10:26:33 AM by mgreczyn »

oldtoyota

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2013, 10:14:54 AM »
I had been thinking Boulder...

MKinVA

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #119 on: September 18, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »
[quote author=oldtoyota link=topic=7471.msg118647#msg118647 date=

I have done some research on the following to narrow down the choices:

--Which states have NO income tax (Florida and NV are two);
--What are the tax rates for each state?
--What areas have weather than would not require large electricity bills?
--What areas are not too close to the coast? (I think damaging storms will increase
[/quote]

Old Toyota, make sure you look at those states that don't tax retirement income. Some states tax salary income, but not 401k, Ira, social security, investment income, etc. I'm still looking at Florida even with the weather risk. I live far inland from the sea now (2 plus hours inland), and we have been devastated by several hurricanes because of river flooding and falling trees. Not just my home, but our whole town. It's not unusual to be without power for nearly two weeks following a hurricane in Richmond, Va.
The best place to retire is what's best for you...what is your income, will you still work, what kind of weather, amenities do you want, etc.  like I say, I'm still looking at florida. Venice on the west coast to be exact.

2lazy2retire

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #120 on: December 08, 2014, 02:45:14 PM »
Another vote for the Pittsburgh area.  I have no idea why people on the coasts overlook such a nice city so often, but they do.  I've lived here all my life, and a lot of the mustachian ideals are commonplace around here.  Cheap, but nice, houses - check.  Bike trails - check.  A strong second-hand economy - check.  People who don't look down on you for being frugal - check.  What's not to love!?

*Other than the previously mentioned 4-5 months straight of grey.  Take vitamin D in the winter!

Good fish & chip shop in Southside

ch12

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Re: Cheap but nice places to retire to in US
« Reply #121 on: December 08, 2014, 06:41:58 PM »

I live far inland from the sea now (2 plus hours inland), and we have been devastated by several hurricanes because of river flooding and falling trees. Not just my home, but our whole town. It's not unusual to be without power for nearly two weeks following a hurricane in Richmond, Va.

The best place to retire is what's best for you...what is your income, will you still work, what kind of weather, amenities do you want, etc.  like I say, I'm still looking at florida. Venice on the west coast to be exact.

+1 for that area. My parents live near there, and Venice is very close to my favorite beach. A very quick and succinct summary of where they live. http://www.quora.com/How-would-you-introduce-your-country-region-state-to-Chinese-high-school-students-using-only-3-pictures/answer/John-Burgess-1

While hurricanes are definitely moderately frightening, I've grown up with tornados and severe thunderstorms accompanied by flooding my whole life. There's going to be extreme weather in the majority of the US. The exception is the PNW.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01safe.html?_r=0