Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Where can we retire to?
Old 05-06-2015, 10:21 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: New York City
Posts: 3
Where can we retire to?

Typical story - long time lurker, dreaming of exiting the rat race with some life left in me.

Some background:

* Family of 4 living in Manhattan (almost 40yr old couple + toddler + baby)
* Expenses about 150k/year (60k rent for small 2 bedroom, 20k childcare, 10k car, 5k utilities/cleaning, 10k various insurance, 10k groceries, 35k shopping/discretionary/vacation)
* Our income is very high by U.S. standards, but average in Manhattan, about 500k
* We don't 'budget' much but we also don't live extravagantly. I'm aware the rent is ridiculous to most, but its actually reasonable for a 1000 sq. ft. 2 bed that affords me a short walking commute so I can spend time with family instead of commuting.

If we moved away from NYC, our income would likely be 0, excluding investment income from our portfolio (mostly stocks and bonds in post-tax accounts).

We'd like to move somewhere with good climate (warm with no harsh winters), outdoor activities and access to nature (ocean, lakes, parks, mountains, trees), good public schools, diverse demographics (we are Asian), good food, low crime, good healthcare facilities, good universities in the area and an urban feel. We don't need more than 2000 sq. ft of space and would not spend more than 1mm on a house, the lower the better. Low income and RE taxes would be nice but not necessary.

Some obvious choices are Florida, Texas, and parts of CA. Maybe Washington, Oregon, Colorado. Most ideal for us personally would be Coastal California, but the Bay Area is notorious for high COL, as are many areas in LA. Central CA is beautiful but has very little going on. San Diego is probably near perfect. In Florida, I'm not sure what parts work for us. Texas, I can only imagine living in Austin, although its too far from the coasts. Oregon might be an interesting choice, but I've never even been there!

I'm trying to get an idea of (a) an area in the U.S. to 'retire' to (b) how much it will cost per year for our comfortable but not luxurios lifestyle (c) how much will I need (=cost to buy house outright with cash + cost per year X 40 to target 2.5% SWR).

Any takers?
__________________

__________________
yakitori is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-07-2015, 04:14 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
racy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 481
Hi yak,
Here's something to play around with: Find Your Spot | Find Your Spot
__________________

__________________
The Big Lebowski: Are you employed, sir?
The Dude: Employed?
racy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 06:42 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
An often asked question at ER.org. Along with Find Your Spot above, here are two other resources you might find useful to narrow your alternatives.

Best Places to Live | Compare cost of living, crime, cities, schools and more. Sperling's BestPlaces

City-Data.com - Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more

Recommendations from other individuals may be hit or miss (depending on their own desires and biases).
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 48
Warning about that find your spot site. It'll make you go through pages and pages of questions before forcing you to create an account to see the "answers." So if you don't intend to create an account on that site, don't waste your time answering the questions.

Learned that the hard way
__________________
AnonEMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:58 AM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 728
It's time for you to go and travel. A lot depends on your assets, schooling for your kids, your ability to find an acceptable job, how you would spend your time if you don't work, how much you want to travel, health care, etc, etc, etc. If you like Southern California you can find a town where you could buy a 2,000 sq ft home for $400,000 or $900,000. That's because of age, condition and neighborhood schools. You pay more closer to the ocean and the weather, to me, isn't as nice. A town I'd travel to is Fullerton California. It's near an airport, good schools, nice neighborhoods a couple of colleges.....could you teach part time? If you like a spot, spend a couple of weeks....find neighborhood restaurants and have conversations with the locals....avoid RE agents until you decide you like the town. You're looking at 40 years or so if you really want to settle down. Don't forget California State taxes are high.....natives don't care....they love the State....AARP magazine latest issue focuses on metro areas that are livable for various reasons.....and, there are a lot of neat towns near Fullerton.....Brea.....Yorba Linda....lot's of places to look.......GOOD LUCK
__________________
jerome len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 08:50 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonEMouse View Post
Warning about that find your spot site. It'll make you go through pages and pages of questions before forcing you to create an account to see the "answers." So if you don't intend to create an account on that site, don't waste your time answering the questions.

Learned that the hard way
True enough. But the only info you must provide is an email address. Everything else is optional or can be fictitious (e.g. Jane Doe, 123 Main St, Whoville KS, etc.). The info was worth it to me YMMV.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 09:17 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,417
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonEMouse View Post
Warning about that find your spot site. It'll make you go through pages and pages of questions before forcing you to create an account to see the "answers." So if you don't intend to create an account on that site, don't waste your time answering the questions.

Learned that the hard way

Yes a heads up would be nice. A good time waster though... Not! And an e-mail is still an e-mail linked to you - even if it is a 'throw away' account.
__________________
6miths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Hi, welcome. People's "minimum" expenses vary so much, I don't think it's realistic for anyone else to say what you'd need. Some people here have minimums that others think are extravagant and vice versa. For example, for college, are your kids going to the in state school or do you want them to have a choice of private schools too. How much are you willing to spend? When you travel, are you ok camping or do you want to stay in moderate chain hotels, or a nice spa for a treat? You get the idea.

I'd suggest tracking and categorizing all your expenses for some time. You'll see some categories that will obviously change or be eliminated if you retire (work clothes, commuting, childcare, extra heat in winters, rent, city taxes etc.) and some that aren't likely to change too much. Then think of expenses you'll have in retirement that you may not have now - full health care costs, extra travel, or costs related to hobbies that you want to explore. Do you like to eat organic? Food isn't likely to change much, neither will charitable contributions/gifts etc. unless you determine you want a change. If you've got a million for housing, you should be able to find something in almost any location, and in most locations, you won't need to spend close to that for a nice, "moderate" house.

Then go travel to a lot of your potential destinations. It's not the same as living there, but I suspect there will be some areas that you realize right away you don't like, and some that will absolutely grab your heart. You should look into Portland and the areas around there. It's more temperate than some of your options, but it's not extreme in winter. You're close to a range of outdoor activities and still have an urban environment with a diverse inclusive atmosphere.

I look forward to hearing more about your future choices.
__________________
Katiek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 03:36 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lisa99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
True enough. But the only info you must provide is an email address. Everything else is optional or can be fictitious (e.g. Jane Doe, 123 Main St, Whoville KS, etc.). The info was worth it to me YMMV.
Absolutely worth it to me as well. And I've never received anything from them via email.
__________________
Lisa99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 03:54 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 2,093
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakitori View Post
We'd like to move somewhere with good climate (warm with no harsh winters), outdoor activities and access to nature (ocean, lakes, parks, mountains, trees), good public schools, diverse demographics (we are Asian), good food, low crime, good healthcare facilities, good universities in the area and an urban feel. We don't need more than 2000 sq. ft of space and would not spend more than 1mm on a house, the lower the better. Low income and RE taxes would be nice but not necessary.
Living in NYC and then coming down to earth is rather difficult. It sounds as if your lifestyle in the hustle and bustle has sucked the live out of you guys. And to have made the money you have would make me think you have specialized skills/education.

Your desire to have warm weather limits you to living in the southern half of the U.S. or from San Francisco south in California. Let me rule out California as a very expensive place to retire on a budget and not the healthiest place to raise a family.

Your desire for good food, universities, healthcare and culture would lead me to suggest the Atlanta area, Houston or Austin, Texas. They would give you most of your hit list with an urban flare.

You say you'd like to have a 2,000 square foot house for $1MM? In Atlanta or Houston, you could have twice that for $350K--or less.

I think you'll find the lifestyle of these cities to be much higher than in NYC--for a normal family. And the communities are often very strong and great places to raise youngsters.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 04:07 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6miths View Post
Yes a heads up would be nice. A good time waster though... Not! And an e-mail is still an e-mail linked to you - even if it is a 'throw away' account.
Yeah, imagine a business expecting something as simple as a throw away email address in return for a product and/or service. Everything ought to be free all the time...and get off my lawn.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:35 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 257
Why would your income be 0?

There must be some job one of you can do unless you don't want to w*rk at all any more.

We lived in a small (900 sq ft) Upper East Side condo and raised DS now 27 there, made more in the $300K+ range, and he went to private school. I grew up in NYC and thought I could never leave. But I did at age 58 for Austin where DH had lived twice before.

There are pros and cons. It's not NY and it's not nearly as ethnically diverse as cities in the NE or the West Coast. Lots to do especially for families with kids, but you really can't be outside for long for much of the day at least 4 months a year because of the heat. Many young families live in developments that to me look pretty much the same but there are smaller funkier houses more centrally located but quite pricy for the square footage. The people who live in those neighborhoods (like me) love it. And many neighborhoods have friendly neighbors. High property taxes because of no state income tax. If you're working - no state income tax is a plus especially after NY. Not a walking city so you need a car or two. Big sky which is beautiful. Parks are nice. But land-locked if you need an ocean!

I'm heading for full retirement and we are seriously considering moving once again.

Because...Life's an adventure and taking chances isn't bad.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
iac1003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 07:49 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 63
Agree on the Atlanta recommendation. Perhaps not as interesting as NYC, but it's getting better. Your housing costs would be low here. ATL is also getting more diverse and we have a large Asian population here. Decatur is a very nice city. It has both an urban and small town feel.

Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk 2
__________________
Marketwatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 10:07 PM   #14
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: New York City
Posts: 3
Thanks for all the replies. Find your spot did not work so great for me. The more I think about it, I feel like the ocean is calling me. I don't have to live on the ocean, but near a coast is important to me. Also racial diversity is important for us. So I think it would have to be Florida or CA or perhaps somewhere like Portland, Oregon. My life here in NYC is actually pretty good, I barely work over 40 hours and I'm not stressed personally despite being in a supposedly pressure cooker job. But it's in a specialized field of finance (not a bank) so my skills are not really transferable. I'm not burnt out at work, but definitely fed up of NYC. I love city life, but NYC has morphed into the playground for the ultra rich or those on the receiving end of handouts. Anyone middle class or upper middle class working for a living is getting run over and the value of how far your money goes is atrocious. Upon moving out, I would ideally not want to work for money anymore. Specially if its going to require retraining or retooling to work harder and make 20% or less of what I make now. I think, from my estimates that including healthcare, housing, traveling, our costs would be around 125k-200k to be comfortable and living well in FL/CA/OR. I know thats a large range. It means if I need the portfolio to last 40 years, I would need between $5M-8M + perhaps 500k-1M for downpayment of a house. That seems like a lot of money to me right now, but I hope to chip away until I get there or close by 45 or maybe 50. At that point, I'll probably just take my chips off the table and do with what I have.
__________________
yakitori is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 11:10 PM   #15
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Just Inside the Perimeter
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakitori View Post
... Also racial diversity is important for us. So I think it would have to be Florida or CA or perhaps somewhere like Portland, Oregon. ...
Portland certainly has a lot going for it, but not racial diversity. It's one of the least diverse large cities in America.

From your first post I thought, why not Honolulu? Sure, $1 million doesn't exactly buy you what $500k gets in Atlanta--but if you're used to a small NYC apartment it might seem spacious. Otherwise, it ticks a lot of your boxes. Well, maybe not the great public schools. But the weather is perfect, access to the ocean/mountains/nature is great, and Honolulu itself has its own urban feel. But from your followup message I wonder if you wouldn't find the COL too high. Welcome, and good luck making your decision.
__________________
Cricky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 11:19 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakitori View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Find your spot did not work so great for me. The more I think about it, I feel like the ocean is calling me. I don't have to live on the ocean, but near a coast is important to me. Also racial diversity is important for us. So I think it would have to be Florida or CA or perhaps somewhere like Portland, Oregon. My life here in NYC is actually pretty good, I barely work over 40 hours and I'm not stressed personally despite being in a supposedly pressure cooker job. But it's in a specialized field of finance (not a bank) so my skills are not really transferable. I'm not burnt out at work, but definitely fed up of NYC. I love city life, but NYC has morphed into the playground for the ultra rich or those on the receiving end of handouts. Anyone middle class or upper middle class working for a living is getting run over and the value of how far your money goes is atrocious. Upon moving out, I would ideally not want to work for money anymore. Specially if its going to require retraining or retooling to work harder and make 20% or less of what I make now. I think, from my estimates that including healthcare, housing, traveling, our costs would be around 125k-200k to be comfortable and living well in FL/CA/OR. I know thats a large range. It means if I need the portfolio to last 40 years, I would need between $5M-8M + perhaps 500k-1M for downpayment of a house. That seems like a lot of money to me right now, but I hope to chip away until I get there or close by 45 or maybe 50. At that point, I'll probably just take my chips off the table and do with what I have.
Why don't you just move to the suburbs and keep what is very likely the best job you will ever have?? It sounds like you are trying to fix a hangnail with a chainsaw.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2015, 11:52 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Yeah, imagine a business expecting something as simple as a throw away email address in return for a product and/or service. Everything ought to be free all the time...and get off my lawn.
I didn't say that it should be free. I suggested that if someone posts a link to something that has eight pages of questions and then asks for contact info that a heads up would be nice. I will add now that you have mentioned it that a company that has one fill out eight pages of questions and then asks for my contact information is not going to get my business. If they had asked for it up front, I probably would have provided it. And I'm not on your lawn... this part is city property!
__________________
6miths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2015, 09:08 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 61
This might be an unexpected suggestion, since your first comment was no harsh winters....but I'd suggest visiting Minneapolis/St Paul. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised that it meets all of your other criteria quite well. Lots of culture, diversity and great work opportunity. World class medical facilities, universities and airport. No oceans, but dozens of beautiful lakes and the Mississippi river. Buy a house on lake Minnetonka & some warm clothes and enjoy yourself.
__________________
Del Q is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2015, 09:39 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,337
Arkansas. Check it out.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2015, 10:02 AM   #20
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
Whatever location you pick, I'd suggest renting there for at least a year. Then if you don't like it, you can pick up and move to another place without having to sell.

Your checklist,
  • good climate (warm with no harsh winters)
  • outdoor activities and access to nature (ocean, lakes, parks, mountains, trees),
  • good public schools
  • diverse demographics (we are Asian)
  • good food
  • low crime
  • good healthcare facilities
  • good universities in the area
  • an urban feel
  • Low income and RE taxes would be nice but not necessary.
sounds idyllic but I am not sure of any place that is a perfect match. Maybe California? New Orleans would match all but "low crime" and "good public schools". For us, crime is the biggest problem with living here. Although I do know a few parents that send their kids to (public) magnet schools, most prefer to send their kids to Catholic school here, whether they are Catholic or not, themselves. I don't know anybody who would send their kids to a non-magnet, ordinary public school here because they are generally regarded as awful.

My ex and I raised our daughter in College Station, Texas, and I felt she got an excellent public school education there. Mostly that was because the other kids in her honors classes had parents on the faculty at Texas A&M, so overall they seemed pretty bright.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can I retire NOW? I can't sleep! What do YOU think? Charlie Delta Hi, I am... 32 08-16-2013 11:54 AM
Can Any Small Biz Owners Explain Why I Should Retire if I Can Write Off So Much? Cheesehead FIRE and Money 52 10-23-2012 12:24 PM
55 and anxious to retire, I think I can, I think I can 56mga Hi, I am... 6 10-09-2007 05:12 PM
I can retire---and my doctor can't?!? tangomonster Hi, I am... 53 07-27-2006 11:07 AM
If the Custodians Can Live on $2600 - Why Can't I?? Mountain_Mike Other topics 13 05-16-2005 12:19 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:38 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.