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Moving decisions...
Old 07-20-2014, 10:47 PM   #1
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Moving decisions...

I understand that moving for purely financial reasons is not sound but there is little to keep us where I currently live. Here in Ct between house, car and high fuel tax (.699 a gallon) I calculate it costs us about $12k a year to live here so once the DW is done (one more year) we are moving,

Some areas we are looking at are Blacksburg or Annandale Va, Flagler Beach FL or Holly Hill FL, and have talked about Tn but I know nothing about the area. As you can tell by the list we are currently deciding on lifestyle (though I am leaning towards Fl).

Love to hear peoples thoughts on those or other areas.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:31 PM   #2
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Hello, is this thing on....
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
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Moving is a time honored tradition for people in the Northeast. It used to be just "moving to Florida" but there are now more locations talked about. The key to any move is deciding what you are interested in and where is the best place to do it. It's not unreasonable to move between several locations as the seasons change.

I suggest you research the areas you are interested in. Go over everything with DW and have her involved in the process. When you think you know where you want to be, go on an extended vacation there. Rent a place for a couple of weeks and really look the area over. If you like what you see, do it again at a different time of year. Repeat as necessary. I suggest not rushing to buying in case a couple of weeks were fine but a couple of months aren't. Renting a year isn't going to kill you.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:50 PM   #4
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Blacksburg is a nice area, I think. We have been up in that area quite a few times for the Floydfest music festival. If you like mountains, and mountain folk, there are probably some nice little towns around there.

You probably need to burn up some vacation time on visits there, like 2B suggested. What are you looking for, and how will you know when you find it?
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #5
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Last year I checked a book out of the library on the 200 best places to retire which was excellent. It broke the US into regions, and gave a detailed analysis of the top places by region. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find the book again nor have I been able to remember the title. . However, the biggest takeaway from the book was the tremendous payoff in researching as many areas as possible before taking the leap.

I did find this website and it mentions some of the top places to retire in the US are in Florida:

» Most Popular Places to Retire for 2014 Topretirements

Personally, I'm divided between the Coachella Valley in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest. My plan after FIRE is to rent during the worst time of the year (climate wise) in each place before making a final decision. I intend for this to be my final move so I want to make sure I've researched it well.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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Thanks, seems like so much of the country has most of what I enjoy that without the encumbrance of having to stay here for work opens a country of opportunities. I would love to gear from other folks stories, good and bad.

I enjoy being outdoors but am as comfortable on a beach as on a mountain top. Basically we are laid back but active and city live just isn't for DW and me (especially having been born and raised and having a good part of my career jn the Bronx NY).

Was mentioning certain places in FL because having been there briefly seem to have a more temperate climate than say Miami or Fort Lauderdale but we are open to exploring other places as well.

Our plan was to spend some extended time in each of the areas to get a better feel before committing to anything.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:08 PM   #7
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Sarah - I think the people will tell us when we get there. My Father-in-law lived in the Waynesboro area and the folks were tremendous. His neighbor, a "long haired hippie freak" saw him cleaning his gutters one day and sent his wife go over to yell at him to get off the roof and let her husband do that. Lots of good people.

A strong community that works together as idealistic as that may sound. If NY taxes weren't so high we could be right at home in the Finger Lakes area, good folks who work together and take care of one another.

Options thanks for the link it looks like an interesting review.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:12 PM   #8
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Was mentioning certain places in FL because having been there briefly seem to have a more temperate climate than say Miami or Fort Lauderdale but we are open to exploring other places as well.
Heat, humidity and hurricanes are the easiest way to describe Florida. Add scorpions to the list and you've got Texas.

There are certainly many nice places in Florida. Snow is pretty rare. You pay for that with hotter summers. Everything is air conditioned.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:24 PM   #9
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I always thought Connecticut sounded like a very nice place to live. But then, I have never even been there, much less lived there.

I don't know anything about Blacksburg, Annandale, Flagler Beach, or Holly Hill. I have heard that a lot of northeasterners like Asheville, NC, but i have never been there either.

I agree that hurricanes are always a concern in states like Florida that border the Gulf of Mexico. We are a little bit "once burned twice shy" after Hurricane Katrina, so frankly we would never even consider Florida as a potential retirement location. But many retirees love Florida.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #10
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I'm not super familiar with the east coast. If it were my decision I'd move west. : )

There could be some nice tax advantages to living in Florida. I'm not a fan of humidity and hurricanes, but I hate snow and taxes.

Here's a link you might find interesting.

Find Your Spot | Find Your Spot
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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wr2 - CT is nice but crazy expensive and while folks had Katrina we had Sandy (not the same but weeks without power or usable water) which really highlighted the aging and precarious power infrastructure. Add to that some horrible snow and ice storms and the cost of taxes it just doesn't make sense to stay.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:23 PM   #12
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Flager is close to St. Augustine which is a really pretty area & would be on my top five places to live in Florida .I would suggest an extended visit and then maybe subscribe to the local newspaper . That is what I did when I was thinking of moving to Florida and it really gave me a good view of the area . The one thing you have to take into consideration when moving to Florida is how much the area you are moving into is affected by snowbirds . You do not want to be living in a ghost town in the summer .Pick a town that has a lot of year round residents of all ages. One of my favorite town in Florida is Venice ,fl. It is medium sized but it is getting overbuilt .
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:10 PM   #13
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Moving for purely financial reasons when there is nothing keeping you where you are sounds perfectly logical and reasonable to me. Like others have said, I would vacation in prospective areas as you can during the next year, and then possibly set up serial rentals for a year or more to let you see the seasons. For example, a month in Blacksburg, a month in Flagler, a month in TN (with day trips, newspaper reading, and other research during your month in each place). When you get to Flagler, decide if you want to go back for a different season in Blacksburg or cross it off the list. Rinse and repeat, adding and subtracting destinations until you fall in love. Even when you pick a place, renting for awhile (even a year or so) could make sense.

You could be daring and sell your house, putting what's left into storage, before you start.

Sounds like fun to me - unfortunately we have too many ties to this location and other complications for it to work for us.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #14
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Like others have said, you need to visit & spend some time there. Try sites like VRBO or airbnb to rent apartments/homes so you can experience day to day living. After visiting a few places, you'll find your 'wish' list much improved & focused.

We spent a few years going to different candidate cities for vacations. This helped us refine what we were looking for & when we found it in Denver - it took just a 3 day stay in the city (as part of a 2 week trip to the area) to decide that it was the place. It took us another 6 months to research CoL, housing affordability, healthcare/insurance etc. & make up our minds, but at a gut level, we had already decided.

While moving is stressful & a LOT of work, it is also invigorating. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to create a social network in your new location. We rented for a year so we could check out the various neighborhoods to find one that fit our style.

All the best.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:00 AM   #15
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I understand that moving for purely financial reasons is not sound but there is little to keep us where I currently live.
On the contrary I think this is a great idea. Wherever you decide to live I would rent the first year to experience all four seasons before you buy any real estate. It doesn't really sound like you are trying to snowbird so you really need to experience the worst parts of the year weather wise.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:39 AM   #16
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I understand that moving for purely financial reasons is not sound but there is little to keep us where I currently live. Here in Ct between house, car and high fuel tax (.699 a gallon) I calculate it costs us about $12k a year to live here so once the DW is done (one more year) we are moving,

Some areas we are looking at are Blacksburg or Annandale Va, Flagler Beach FL or Holly Hill FL, and have talked about Tn but I know nothing about the area. As you can tell by the list we are currently deciding on lifestyle (though I am leaning towards Fl).

Love to hear peoples thoughts on those or other areas.
I think you may have meant something more than 12K per year?

We have a few years or more to decide. Next February we're taking a drive through several states - MD, VA, NC, SC. Last year we did the same. The long drove and stopovers gave is opportunity to discuss what we are looking for. For instance, the coast and waterways are a big draw for many people. However, I think we may be happier with mountains. We'll see.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:26 AM   #17
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Target - I just used that number based on a calculation for property taxes, and the the average gas of .499 per gallon as opposed to CT at .677 (or.178 * number of miles driven mostly in state) , so just for those things it's 12k. It is depressing to add in everything else!

Good luck with your search as well!
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:42 AM   #18
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Target - I just used that number based on a calculation for property taxes, and the the average gas of .499 per gallon as opposed to CT at .677 (or.178 * number of miles driven mostly in state) , so just for those things it's 12k. It is depressing to add in everything else!

Good luck with your search as well!
I understand your numbers now.

I live in a high tax state also, and my R.E. taxes are about 1K per month. I know CT is just as evil.

For some retirement destinations I think we could spend more on gas per week, even if the state tax on gasoline is much lower. Where I am, grocery stops and so on are things we do on the way to/from work. If we are more rural, then driving to work or out for necessities could easily double our gasoline useage, which is pretty low at this time. Transportation costs would be a large unknown.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:03 AM   #19
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My parents moved from a "high tax" state to a "low tax" state and discovered that more of their income was taxed at a lower rate and that their auto insurance tripled. They didn't save a penny and the weather was much rougher than they thought. Also, many of the "low tax" states have lower top rates for income tax which may not affect you after retirement, but they often have higher sales taxes which you will be paying. It's actually a pretty complicated calculation. One estimate that I saw is that the lower 85% of income earners would pay less tax in "high tax" California than they would in "low tax" Texas. You have to be in the top 15% to benefit from living in Texas tax-wise which excludes most retirees.

I would second the recommendation to rent for 6-12 months before you move to an unfamiliar location. My parents moved to their favorite vacation spot and it was a disaster. Visiting for short periods is tricky. When I was campaigning for a move to Oregon, the weather would be bright and sunny at every brief winter visit. My parents ill-fated move to New Mexico was similar, but they were a little naive in the assumption that the weather would be consistently fine and failed to consider their day to day needs. We ultimately retired to the city where I have lived most of my adult life, in the neighboring county. It's not the adventure that I craved, but at least I don't need GPS.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #20
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I agree with living in the places for a period first. No way to know until you go!

My Father-in-law passed down in Shenandoah Valley Va. and it was absolute "torture" to pay those bills. He had a larger home and three cars and we paid a grand total of $1500 tax on everything and gas was a full.40 cheaper. Plus the people were great!

That's why when looking at cost to live I don't look at things as percentages but absolute. As far as insurance etc. that too is part of the picture and right now I get clobbered there as well, not auto, but home owners, definitely try to consider everything though.
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