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Hi I am BobMax - thinking about moving to Tx
Old 09-03-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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Hi I am BobMax - thinking about moving to Tx

Just found this website and looks very interesting. Wanted to introduce myself.

I retired in 2007 and my wife just retired this year. I am 63 and she turns 65 this year. We are debt free and withdraw $83K/year from our $3.1MM IRA invested in 70/30 split of mutual fund stocks/short term bonds. Retirement calculator I use show a very low probability of running out of money before we die. My wife draws SS but I do not plan to take until I'm 70.

Net, I believe we are doing ok and could have a pot of money to leave to our two daughters some time in the far future even with conservative growth rates. We currently live in Minnesota and Minnesota likes to take a big chunk of the estate through state income taxes (top rate ~10%) AND an Estate tax after the 1st $1MM exempt (up to 16%). We are looking to move to a state that has no death taxes like Texas. My wife's sister lives in The Woodlands just north of Houston. Has anyone made a move like this to benefit their estates?

Looking forward to exploring the rest of the forums.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, BobMax. Sounds like you're all set finance-wise.

I don't have an answer to your question re: relocating to benefit estate, but I'm sure we've got some posters who might know.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #3
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Consider Florida...

Estate, Inheritance and Income Taxes in Florida | Probate Thoughts From The Villages, Florida
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:28 PM   #4
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Welcome Bob. Consider all taxes, and all expenses for that matter. Compare property taxes, for sure. Death taxes are pretty low on my list of concerns, but it's good of you to think of your heirs. Sounds like you are well ahead of the game, so I'd be more concerned with living where I would best enjoy life, rather than squeezing a few nickels. The Woodlands is a pretty nice area, from what I understand, but make sure you can tolerate the summers. Maybe you want to live enough of the year to declare residency there but keep the Minnesota home or a smaller one for summers?
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Bob, agree with the others. There is no state income tax in Texas but there is a sales tax of 8.25% (greater Houston area) and property taxes that typically run $3 to $4 per $100 of your appraised property value. On the plus side, the cost of living is pretty low compared to most states (not sure compared to Minnesota). Summers are really hot but the rest of the year it is actually nice (of course I grew up in Texas).
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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I'd be more concerned with living where I would best enjoy life, rather than squeezing a few nickels. The Woodlands is a pretty nice area, from what I understand, but make sure you can tolerate the summers. Maybe you want to live enough of the year to declare residency there but keep the Minnesota home or a smaller one for summers?
+1

You don't say if you've ever spent time in Texas before (especially during the summer months). If not, I would suggest spending some time there, before commiting to a permanent move. You might find that you are saving $$ on taxes, but at the expense of being pretty miserable during the heat of summer. You might want to keep your Minnesota residence while you visit lower-tax states like Texas (and perhaps others) to see if you and your wife would be happy there, year-round.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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Welcome Bob. Consider all taxes, and all expenses for that matter. Compare property taxes, for sure. Death taxes are pretty low on my list of concerns, but it's good of you to think of your heirs. Sounds like you are well ahead of the game, so I'd be more concerned with living where I would best enjoy life, rather than squeezing a few nickels. The Woodlands is a pretty nice area, from what I understand, but make sure you can tolerate the summers. Maybe you want to live enough of the year to declare residency there but keep the Minnesota home or a smaller one for summers?
+1

I live in Houston, and I'm accustomed to the temperatures, but I make sure I ride my bike or do my gardening and walks early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are better. Mid May into October are always hot. July and August are usually close to 100 degrees every day. It's so hot most people are not outside, unless they are in a swimming pool, or by the Gulf in Galveston, or Lake Conroe up by the Woodlands. Otherwise, you stay inside and do a hobby or read, or go to a movie. On the other hand, our "winter" is quite nice and is more like the summer and spring people in the north are used to. I'm outside in December with a lot of 70 degree weather.

I had a girlfriend move back to her home - upstate New York after enduring "hellish" Houston summers. Her summer lifestyle is being outside all day. Her winter lifestyle is being inside all day.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:32 AM   #8
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Thanks folks for the welcome and comments. I will certainly take these into account as we contemplate a move.

We definitely would have to get out of the Texas summer heat in July & August. However, getting out of the Minnesota cold & snow in December, January, February, March is something we are planning now - just a matter of which way we travel. We do plan several trips to my wife's sister's home before we would make the final decision. I'm a motorcyclist and Minnesota gives me about 4 comfortable months for this hobby - Texas should be much better.

Good points about the "total tax" analysis. My 1st shot at this shows about a wash, but need to sharpen the pencil before leaping. Increased property and sales tax offset by no income tax. Calculators favor Houston area vs. Minneapolis but I find these very dependent on specific neighborhoods.

Once again, thanks for the input
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
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We definitely would have to get out of the Texas summer heat in July & August.
Don't forget about May, June, September and October. It has hit 100 as early as February in some parts of the state...
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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Great state but I don't live there. There was a time we considered it, was informed by a native there are 5 seasons in the state. The 5th was called August.

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Old 09-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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We are also considering Texas and are currently in Dallas now visiting our son which is the prime reason we are considering the Dallas area. Having endured Jersey winters for 60 years I have had enough plus the cost of living in Jersey is ridiculous. We have lived in the suburbs for 30 years and are now actually considering city life. On a aside, I have found the posts on this forum to be genuine, honest, and thoughtful. Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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If you want to get a feel for the heat in the summer.... go to your gym and walk into the sauna.... that is what it feels like walking outside...

If you live in Houston, try the steam room....


Really, you do get used to it... my DW is from a cold climate and she tells me she never wants to go back....

as an example of the benefits, we can take the boat out in Feb if the temp is not too bad...
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:08 AM   #13
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We'll be moving to Texas in a couple of months, about an hour outside of Dallas. (The area was determined by where my family is located.) DH is a bit concerned about the summer heat over the whole summer, but we've been there in August and he admitted it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. He's there this week for home inspections and stated that our new home is comfortable due to all the mature trees around it.

Major benefits for us? We're living in NY now and our property taxes are going to be about 1/4 what we pay on our current home. The sales tax is about .5%-1% more than we currently pay. Gas is about $.50 per gallon less. Groceries and liquor tend to run less. We're getting rid of our snow blower. And the new home is larger than our current one, we'll have a swimming pool, and lots more elbow room.

Like others have said, you'll want to spend some time there before making the big jump. You could find that Texas is a good fit for you, though. Best of luck!
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:01 AM   #14
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I've lived in Texas since 1973 (Dallas, Waco, Houston, Austin), moved here from NJ. I've never been a fan of hot weather, much prefer cold, but I've gotten use to the 105 degree days that we have. So far this year I think we've had 40+ days in Austin that were over 100.

Texas has it's advantages as well as disadvantages, although it seems the more people who move here the less the advantages become. Traffic in Austin is fast approaching the nation's worst. Property taxes are getting ridiculously high and that is something that is very unlikely to come down.

We are actually considering moving to Florida when the time comes for us to RE. I anticipate the RE taxes to be lower but the heat to only be worse (higher humidity) which for me is offset by Gulf and Atlantic waters that are much cleaner and clearer than anything the Texas gulf coast has to offer.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:15 AM   #15
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Great state but I don't live there. There was a time we considered it, was informed by a native there are 5 seasons in the state. The 5th was called August.

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In August you load up the RV and take a trip to Riodoso, New Mexico
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #16
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Don't forget about May, June, September and October. It has hit 100 as early as February in some parts of the state...
We can always count on REW to dispense the out of state mover repellent. That said, aside from the heat in Texas, the humidity in some parts of the state (eg Houston) is something I could not stand.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #17
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Great state but I don't live there. There was a time we considered it, was informed by a native there are 5 seasons in the state. The 5th was called August.

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actually there are only 4: almost summer, summer, still summer and Christmas!
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #18
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We'll be moving to Texas in a couple of months, about an hour outside of Dallas. (The area was determined by where my family is located.) DH is a bit concerned about the summer heat over the whole summer, but we've been there in August and he admitted it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. He's there this week for home inspections and stated that our new home is comfortable due to all the mature trees around it.

Major benefits for us? We're living in NY now and our property taxes are going to be about 1/4 what we pay on our current home. The sales tax is about .5%-1% more than we currently pay. Gas is about $.50 per gallon less. Groceries and liquor tend to run less. We're getting rid of our snow blower. And the new home is larger than our current one, we'll have a swimming pool, and lots more elbow room.

Like others have said, you'll want to spend some time there before making the big jump. You could find that Texas is a good fit for you, though. Best of luck!

If you are moving someplace around Dallas, I would not get rid of the snow blower.... it actually does snow there at times.... heck, 5 years ago it snowed in Houston... and stayed on the ground!! Nothing like NY mind you, but still....
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:14 AM   #19
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Let me introduce myself. DW and I are in our mid-fifties and are looking forward to ER in the next few years. We are long time residents of the greater Houston area and can offer some comments re: your questions.

The Woodlands is a great master planned community and offers all the amenities one would want. My father and his wife have lived there for 20 years and rarely have cause to leave the area. Exxon is building their new campus just south of the Woodlands and property values are skyrocketing. This will make purchasing a home more challenging so do your homework. Yes, real estate taxes are generally higher but there is no income tax and other fees (car registration, inspection, etc.) are minimal compared to other states.

You should also check the surrounding areas to the Woodlands. Lake Conroe, Lake Livingston (where we live) and the rural areas just west of the Woodlands. The property taxes are lower as well as sales taxes.

Houston has a world class medical center that is 30 minutes away in downtown Houston. Additionally, the major hospital systems in the Medical Center have affiliates in the Woodlands so you get the best of both.

If you like baseball the Houston Astros may be moving their AAA team to the Woodlands in the next 2-3 years. (No jokes about my lowly Astros please! yes its been a tough 3 years).

Finally, the weather. Yes it's hot June through September with July and August the worst. But as others have said you get used to it. Golf and other outdoor activities year round makes up for it.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:12 AM   #20
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If you are moving someplace around Dallas, I would not get rid of the snow blower.... it actually does snow there at times.... heck, 5 years ago it snowed in Houston... and stayed on the ground!! Nothing like NY mind you, but still....
Yeah, there was snow on the ground last year for Christmas, which all the nieces and nephews loved!

In the past ten years or so, there hasn't been enough snow in the area to warrant a snow blower from what we've seen. A good shovel should work and take up less space in the shed. If there's more snow than DH or I can shovel, then it's a really good day to stay inside!
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