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Old 09-02-2007, 10:40 AM   #121
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Maybe Larry Craig would be willing to take a supporting role:

Chupacabra means "goat sucker" in Spanish

Act I, Scene 1

Focus in to the approach to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Zoom to Men's washroom in 3D:

LC: Yep, yep, yep, Howdy. Wanna see the ring on my finger?.............................
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:40 AM   #122
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I will post some serious comments about retiring in Texas --

Housing costs in Texas aren't as good as they appear. The property taxes are oppressive and should not be ignored until it's too late. The overall cost of living isn't high but a $200,000 home can have $7,000 per year in annual property taxes. Because of the natural disasters, home insurance is high and the regulators are "insurance company friendly." Electricity is essential for the AC and has some of the highest rates in the nation. $400 per month is normal for our 4 to 6 months of "summer."

Most of the booming parts of Texas have little scenery. No one has moved to Houston for the climate. I think that probably applies to most of the state. Corpus and Brownsville have a south Florida like climate and the only decent beaches in the state.

Outdoor activities are limited by the heat. Most of the land is privately owned so hunting is an expensive activity that requires a lease. Access to good fishing waters is far less than what I've seen in other states.

My original plan was to retire in the Texas Hill Country but that seems to be the plan for half of the people I know. The more we looked and the more we thought about it the less we liked what we saw. DW and I are exploring the areas where we can still return to the Houston area (2 kids still here) in a reasonable drive. We've been impressed with southern Missouri and NW Arkansas isn't out of consideration.

REWahoo is the "anti chamber of commerce" for the state but most of what he says is true. He obviously doesn't heed his own advice.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:02 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by greg View Post


Maybe Larry Craig would be willing to take a supporting role:

Chupacabra means "goat sucker" in Spanish

Act I, Scene 1

Focus in to the approach to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Zoom to Men's washroom in 3D:

LC: Yep, yep, yep, Howdy. Wanna see the ring on my finger?.............................
Are you talking about that poor devil known as Craig, who was thrown under the bus by the Republican party and forced to RESIGN? Are you talking about Old George W the pride of Texas? Which one is it?

As the song goes "he has known ladies and he has known some men and both of them tried to kill him back in 68." I beleive that's how the song goes. And then again I might be talking about when Old George W served in Vietnam. Since I have been retired my mind and my recollection of dates and events have suffered greatly.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:26 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by 2B View Post
I will post some serious comments about retiring in Texas --

Housing costs in Texas aren't as good as they appear. The property taxes are oppressive and should not be ignored until it's too late. The overall cost of living isn't high but a $200,000 home can have $7,000 per year in annual property taxes. Because of the natural disasters, home insurance is high and the regulators are "insurance company friendly." Electricity is essential for the AC and has some of the highest rates in the nation. $400 per month is normal for our 4 to 6 months of "summer."
Depends on where you move. We moved to a small town which is served by a local electric co-op. We pay far less per kilowatt-hour than we did in Houston.

Plus, in many areas, a $200,000 home in Texas is overkill, especially in more rural areas. We bought a 1150 sf home on a half acre out here last year for $85K and property tax this year will be about $1200.

With the combination of a smaller home, an efficient heat pump added last year and reasonable electric rates, we just received our highest utility bill of the year -- the electric? $92. (When we lived in a 2200sf house in Houston, typical summer electric bills were $200-250, mostly because we had several large shade trees keeping the house cooler.)

It's about choices. If you choose to live in an area with more expensive housing (keeping in mind we're talking about retirement, so job markets aren't as much of an issue), if you choose to live in an area with expensive electricity, if you choose to live in a big house that costs to heat and cool...you're gonna pay the price. There are places in Texas where none of these three things are a big factor.

Point taken about insurance, though. For P&C insurance Texas is a fantastically industry-friendly state. Even where I live, in the Hill Country an hour northwest of Austin which doesn't have extreme natural disaster exposure, insuring this small, older home costs $700 per year.

Quote:
Most of the booming parts of Texas have little scenery.
But again -- we're talking about *retiring* in Texas here. I would guess that more FIREd people would prefer to *avoid* booming areas. There are pockets of great scenery in Texas. The area I live in was absolutely gorgeous this spring with all the wildflowers in bloom everywhere you looked, from mid-March through May the display was just ridiculously beautiful.

Quote:
Outdoor activities are limited by the heat.
True. But in all honestly, I'm surprised at how much my body is acclimating. I'm not going to claim 96 degrees is comfortable, but after a few summers of it, it just doesn't seem so bad. At least it's less humid here (usually) than Houston, but not so much this year.

I'm not sure I'm going to stay here for life, but a small, friendly town with a very low housing costs in a scenic, hilly setting where I can pull in a big city salary by commuting to Austin 1-2 times a week ain't a bad place to be. No state income tax, too. All in all getting to live out here on a big city salary (originally transferred from Silicon Valley!) is a blessing, even with all the bugs we have this year because of all the rain.

It's not a great state to retire "house rich" because of the property taxes, cooling costs and insurance, but if you live in a modest house in the country and make it energy efficient, it's a very low-cost place to live, and at least this part of the state is very pretty. Plus, if half of Houston and DFW do retire up here, it will do wonders for our property values and allow us to to move elsewhere.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:29 PM   #125
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Wags, now that you mention it, I think that thing looks more like Willie than anyone else. Have we seen him lately? Wonder if he stumbled around on the highway and fell into some trouble?
It could be Dick "multiple deferments" Cheney. But then again it might be that poor devil known as Craig who the Republican party threw under the bus. Not only did they run over him once but they ran over him several times to make sure that he did not get up. Then they ran him out on the rail and made the poor devil RESIGN.

Then again, I am pretty sure that it is Old George W, our fearless leader and war time hero.
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