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Old 09-28-2016, 04:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
well I left Chicago when State Income tax was still 5% and given the debt there.. not sure 3.75% is going to stay... but it is difficult to judge apples to apples. btw, besides property taxes, the biggest thing you would save moving is cost of college.. Illinois is beyond ridiculous for college costs, so in state tuition elsewhere could easily save you $80K per kid.

Living in Raleigh NC now, all I know is my monthly costs are about $3k less. This obviously includes housing, but I find we found big savings eating out... Hard to find a restaurant where we drop more than $40-60 vs. Chicago, it was easy to drop $100+ and then add in cost of transport (tolls, Chicago parking, plus gas being 30 cents more per gallon for the special mix). Also you start saving a lot in services (so then it depends on if you fix stuff yourself or not). Though there are random things that cost more like Manicures which makes no sense.

Before we moved here we took our budget and looked at what we spend the most on and then shopped and talked to people.. as it only matters what WE spend money on, not what the calculators say. Like we don't have kids so the college savings wouldn't apply but I certainly have plenty of friends sending their kids out of state because in state was so expensive.
I personally feel IL State tax will be going back up from 3.75 pretty soon. It's true that retirement income is not taxed, so that is lessening the hurt a bit.

We are outside Chicago itself, so lots of chain restaurants are easy to find, park and eat for well under $80 for 2 , and only the big freeways are tolled which we hit only occasionally.

Still I look and see many other States with zero income tax (so all SS, interest, IRA, etc) is tax free and they have lower property taxes as well.

However, unless the entire clan moved, we are stuck near family for a while.

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Old 09-28-2016, 04:38 PM   #22
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I have always struggled with this concept (difference in COL, place to place.) The reason is that we all find ways to adapt to changing COL areas. In the midwest, we lived in a 2800sf tri-level which we sold for $150K. Now our 1100sf condo in Hawaii is worth $550K (though we paid $100K less for it a few years back). So, in reality, we probably could not have made the move had we not been willing to "downsize" our housing expectations. We adapted rather than "accepting" the difference in COL.

We have found ways to adapt other costs such as transportation (older cars), food (eating out less and shopping bulk), electricity (no AC), etc. Our RE taxes and income taxes are much lower here - go figure!

So, my point is that simply using one of those comparison web sites isn't very useful unless you already know what the potential adaption mechanisms are. It's true that Hawaii is much more expensive than most of the midwest, but we don't spend nearly the difference due to our adaptations. YMMV

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Old 09-29-2016, 08:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
I have lived in 5 different states because of work. I have lived here for 20 years and would never consider moving somewhere else just because it would be cheaper. My social relationships are very important to me. At one point we lived in Wichita, KS and that was really cheap. We built a new house, etc and had a lot more bang for our buck. You could not pay me to move back.

Although I do live in a LCOL area, moving to save a few $$ is not something that I would ever consider. I have had some of the same friends for over 3 decades that I see on a regular basis...that can't be replicated if I live elsewhere.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:20 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Music Lover View Post

Although I do live in a LCOL area, moving to save a few $$ is not something that I would ever consider. I have had some of the same friends for over 3 decades that I see on a regular basis...that can't be replicated if I live elsewhere.
There is absolutely nothing wrong, and everything right, with living even in a HCOL area because of friends and family there, or for other sound reasons.

That said, I think it's important to know if one is PAYING to live in a location with a higher COL as opposed to another with a lower COL, and what your money is buying you. It's just like any other purchase IMO.

I'd have to have some reasons that were pretty important to me before I'd move to SF or Manhattan, for example.

The other side of that coin, is that I don't live in the lower COL rural South because here in New Orleans we enjoy all the amenities, people/culture/art/music/architecture, and businesses that New Orleans has to offer. That is what I am buying with the differences in COL between here and some tiny rural community in northern Louisiana, which would be less expensive than here but could not offer the same sort of lifestyle.

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