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Old 05-12-2015, 05:21 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by moneymama View Post
my questions are:
  1. Where are you living? (state)
  2. Is there snow? lol -- hoping never to see snow again when I retire
  3. why do you love your location?
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc.

West Virginia Eastern Panhandle, which is a different world than the rest of the state in that it is far more affluent, (but far from wealthy!) and that is somewhat resented in the state capitol.

Yes, there is snow, but comparable to the DC area. That means generally snowfalls are in the 2" to 6" range but once a decade or so we get a whopper of two feet or a bit more. It can snow as early as late October/November but that is rare, usually we don't see the first snow until late December or early January. By April it is safe to drain the fuel out of the snow thrower and put it away.

In the middle to southern parts of the state the mountains are seriously steep and snowfalls are higher there. Four-wheel drive is a requirement in winter there, not an option, or you're not going anywhere for quite a while. In the panhandle you can get away without it if you're willing to sit out the first day or two after a snowfall.

We like the location, can't say we love it. My "retirement plan" re location was to put the snow thrower in the back of the pickup and drive south until people started asking what that machine was for, but DW didn't want to go that far from family. In hindsight I have to admit that this was one of those rare occasions when she was right. But the traffic is way better than where we were since we don't have to plan our daily lives around it. Housing prices are less than coastal areas of course but higher than the middle of the country. A lot of people in our area have brutal commutes of over an hour to the DC area. The lucky ones can take an Amtrack commuter train to DC's Union Station but that is still an hour and a half or two hour ride with all the stops.

Taxwise, it is I guess middling to low, but far from lowest. One thing I do like is that the state constitution requires a balanced budget, so while they have to do some serious cost-cutting at times like 2009-2010, going deep in debt is not an option.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:41 PM   #42
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  1. Where are you living? (state)
  2. Is there snow? lol -- hoping never to see snow again when I retire
  3. why do you love your location?
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc.
Interesting topic. I am 1.75 yrs away from ER (but who's counting?) and have been giving thought to where I will live after retirement long term. Near term, no plans to move.


1. Northern MA
2. Oh God yes, too much, and this last winter!!!. My DW and I have been getting worn down by winters last few years and want to have a place in the Caribbean for Jan-Mar. We have some undeveloped land that we bought in NH 20 yrs ago (taxes are $17/yr) and it has never been on the retirement asset radar. If it sells, we can probably get a condo down there, of not.... happy to sit on it for $17/yr.


3. Other 9 months out of the year, yes. Summers and fall here lovely. We run our central AC maybe 2 weeks total out of the year. We have a private home, 1/4 mi off the nearest public road on 3.3 acres (almost no grass though, all woods) and love living in the quiet and nature. I have a vintage car hobby, have 3, and a standalone shop building and am very happy here.


4. It is. Our mortgage is very comfortable thanks to big down payment, some over paying, re-fis and low rates, but taxes are high (~$9k/yr) as are utilities. Home is 3700s.f. and bigger than it needs to be for the 2 of us, but we do like the space for entertaining. At some point however I am not going to be able to justify the cost of ownership and we will consider re-locating. Nature, privacy and quiet are a must, but size is not.

The shop and cars.... uh, ask me in 10 years......!
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:43 PM   #43
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1. Central Ohio. I grew up in Ohio, so this is home. Sister and her family lives a mile away. Another sister and her family lives on the other side of town. Old family cottage is up on Lake Erie and all the various siblings bring their families there every summer.

2. Sure. Not enough for me actually. Back in the 70s up by the lake we used to get some real snow! (ah the blizzard of '78!)

And snow is no big deal now that I'm retired. If the roads are bad, I simply stay off them. A snow blower makes quick work of clearing the driveway and walks.

3. I like it a lot. Very family oriented. Decent economy so people are prosperous. It's a good home base for our many travels.

4. Not bad - I lived in Northern California for a while and that was expensive! I sold a house there and with the proceeds bought a nicer, larger house here and had enough left over to pay for DDs college!
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:47 PM   #44
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I live in southwestern PA, about a 40 minute drive from Pittsburgh.

Yes, we get snow and ice from as early as the end of Oct. to as late as early April but typically Christmas-the middle of March are the heaviest snows. I think the most snow we got at one time this last year where I live is about 5 inches but in previous years we have gotten as much as a foot or 18 inches. When I was working I drove a 4-wheel drive Land Cruiser in the winter. Unlike some areas of the country the snows here come and then go and we are not socked in all winter with endless snowfall.

I think the people in western PA are friendly salt-of-the earth types. I was born about 60 miles from where I currently live but I have lived in various places like NYC, Tidewater VA, Monterey CA, and Columbus OH. Of all the places I have lived I would pick Monterey over my present abode. Homes here are very affordable I think. I bought a new tract home in 2004 for $225,000 on which I pay $3600/year in property taxes. We do have a state income tax but SS and pensions are not taxed. There is a sales tax on a very limited number of things like cars, furniture, luxury goods (handbags, long evening gowns, jewelry) but not food or most clothing items. PA is one of the few states with an inheritance tax.

I think utilities are quite low compared to other areas of the country, and we have excellent healthcare/hospitals, schools, universities, cultural activities and sports teams. Lots of recreational things, too, like skiing, bike trails, lakes and rivers, and mountains.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:50 PM   #45
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  1. Where are you living? (state) North Dakota
  2. Is there snow? lol -- Yes a normal winter is maybe 30 inches of snow. It just doesn't melt until April. Now that I'm retired it's not a problem since I don't have to be anywhere and the guy I pay to clean driveway and sidewalk does a great job.
  3. why do you love your location? Very low crime rate; the town I live in has had one murder in 140 years. There is the occasional burglary of a business. In winter it is commonn to see cars running and no owner in sight. I have gone months without locking a door. It's home and I have spent 58 of my 68 years here.
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc. No; State taxes are reasonable and housing is cheap. When I bought my house it was $40,000 and is now only worth $50,000. It's 1700 square feet built in the 50s. Rent for an apartment is generally in the $500 to $600 per month range.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:33 PM   #46
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  1. We live in Vermont.
  2. Snow? Wadda ya think? But we stay away.. spend January and February and will likely become snowbirds in the near future... getting sick of cold and snow. OTOH, we still like to downhill ski and college hockey games which is why we have yet to become snowbirds.
  3. We love the spring, summer and fall here, especially the summers. Summer is our dividend for putting up with winter. We live on a lake. My Mom is just down the road in the summer and DW has some siblings nearby.
  4. Our property taxes are over $7k a year but most other costs are modest. For example, our local movie theater is only $4 if you buy tickets 10 at a time and a local college hockey game is $9.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:42 PM   #47
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^ dig Vermont. Stayed in Newfane one October.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:47 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymama View Post
hi!
I cannot believe the wealth of information I learn from this website. I always thought Florida was the plan for our retirement.....however, you all post amazing things about your location.

my questions are:
  1. Where are you living? (state)
  2. Is there snow? lol -- hoping never to see snow again when I retire
  3. why do you love your location?
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc.
TN, the Carolinas and Georgia are sounding pretty good right now....

thank you all for your input

Where are you living?

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Is there snow?

No. Maybe once every couple of years in the high elevations. Snow is about 5 hrs away in the Sierra's when we are not having a drought. Otherwise we have seasonal rain. It is supposed to rain between Oct - April.

why do you love your location?

It is physically beautiful. You can choose your climate from cool summers to blistering hot summers. Tons of cultural activities. Great restaurants. Wine country, etc. Great universities and all the activities they support. Easy to get to parks near and far.

Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc.

Yes. It is very expensive to move here from somewhere else. One of the highest housing costs in the nation. It only works for me because I've lived here all my adult life and my finances and retirement were built around this cost of living.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:03 PM   #49
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We live in central Florida just outside of Orlando, 20 minutes from Walt Disney World.
I would prefer Georgia or South Carolina, but DH grew up in this area and has family here, so we plan to stay.

No snow...ever. But summers are long and brutal if you need to be outdoors.

What I do like is that there is lots of fun stuff to do very close by, and the ocean and gulf are each about an hour away.

I would say this area is pricey, and housing costs are increasing. Not sure how property taxes compare, but we own a 1800 sf house on a small lot, and taxes are about $2000/yr. Home owners insurance is very high and can be difficult to get if you live close to the coasts.

There is no state income tax. Sales taxes are 7%.

I have lived in 3 other states, and in general, wages are much lower than those other states.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:15 PM   #50
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Where are you living? (state)
Coronado, CA (near San Diego)

Is there snow? lol -- hoping never to see snow again when I retire
Only if you want to get in the car and drive to visit it

why do you love your location?
The small town that's a 10 minute drive from the big city over a beautiful bridge. Great climate year round. Incredible environmental variety -- it takes about 90 minutes to drive from the beach, through the inland valleys, over the mountains and into the desert.

Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc.
So they say. We've had a pretty good life here, and earned enough to retire in our early 50's and keep on living here, so it's worked out for us.

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Old 05-12-2015, 08:27 PM   #51
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my questions are:
  1. Where are you living? (state) Western Canada
  2. Is there snow? Surely you jest, I've seen snow here in every month but July
  3. why do you love your location? My friends and family are here: It's only 6 hours by air from Honolulu, four from PV. There are lots of nice places to escape to in winter. Our summers have 20 hours of daylight, few people and lots of fish.
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc. Compared to what? Taxes are higher than the US but we get FREE medical care, houses are cheap compared to SOCAL
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:36 PM   #52
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  1. Where are you living? North Alabama on the fabulous Tennessee River--waterfront house.
  2. Is there snow? We might get an inch a year.
  3. why do you love your location? Magnificent houses. Incredible fishing and recreation. Great music scene and 2 hrs. from 3 cities of 1 million people.
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc. Housing is the cheapest in the U.S. And property taxes are 1/4th that of surrounding states. Since my wife is on Social Security Disability, we have no property taxes.
TN, the Carolinas and Georgia are sounding pretty good right now.... I too have a RV in the North Georgia Mountains, and we absolutely adore the people of East Tennessee. Western NC and NW SC are also great places to live.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:03 PM   #53
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I live on the border of Sarasota & Bradenton,Fl
No snow & I miss it
Some days I love it when I am at the beach or sitting on my deck overlooking Sarasota Bay .Lots of restaurants , lots of fun things to do . Great medical care and a real push to be active .You will never be bored in Florida . In the winter I dislike the crowding & the roads are bumper to bumper . The summer is about two months too long .
It is not inexpensive . House prices are increasing & insurance is expensive & sometimes difficult to get . Wages are low and sadly they treat employees badly .
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:06 PM   #54
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1) IdaHO
2) Some, but it doesn't usually stay long in the valley
3) I live on a golf course, 4 miles from w*rk, 30 minutes from a ski hill with a killer view of downtown and the valley; very low crime and friendly people; high desert dry climate
4) No

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Old 05-12-2015, 09:29 PM   #55
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Where to live

1) NW corner of SC. Near Clemson. 110 miles from both Atlanta and Charlotte. And best of all - one of the greatest little cities in the US - Greenville.

2) Snows just enough to remind us why we moved away from upstate NY. Besides, wait for two days and the snow is gone.

3)Near a college town. Great little gated community with loads of amenities for $3,300 per year. On a lake with a boat. Extremely active groups for the young at heart. Very good medical facilities in the area.

4) Housing is very reasonable, property taxes are super low, overall cost of living is one of the lowest in the nation.

It just doesn't get any better than our little slice of heaven here in the Golden Corner.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:30 PM   #56
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Another Idahoan. Actually my main reason for loving the location is because of family and friends. I also like the Greenbelt in Boise and the size of the city and the easy access to hiking. I detest the politics.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:50 PM   #57
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1. We live in Connecticut, right on Long Island Sound. Our town is one of the oldest in the country (1639).

2. Yes, there is snow in the winter, sometimes several feet, but the Sound has a moderating effect on our local climate. It usually does not get very cold in the winter or very hot in the summer. If you are a gardener, we are in USDA zone 7a. But go more than about 5 miles inland and it is different - colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.

3. Connecticut is a wonderful place to live. The Sound affords anything you could ever want in terms of boating or other water-related activity. If we want to go to New York City, we just hop on the Metro-North Railroad and we're there in 1.5 hours. It is also an easy drive to Boston. If we want to go mountain climbing, it is not a long trip up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and there are many interesting local hikes as well. The state is dotted with picturesque colonial towns, with the village green and the big white Congregational church in the center of town (just like my own). The people who live here are generally well educated and concerned about the community. We Nutmeggers are politically liberal, but generally conservative in our personal lives (that famous Yankee rectitude at work).

4. The people in Connecticut are collectively very wealthy. Hence, it is very expensive to live here. In fact, I think the cost of living is exceeded only by Hawaii. Cost of Living by State Housing costs are especially high, and real property taxes are correspondingly high (about 2% of market value per year).
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:20 PM   #58
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  1. Where are you living? (state)
  2. Is there snow? lol -- hoping never to see snow again when I retire
  3. why do you love your location?
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc
Dallas, TX burb

Seems like we get an average of five inches of snow each year.

I don't love my location, but it's ok. Megacorp relocated us here 21 years ago and so far we've been too lazy to move. There's lots to do, the economy is booming and the medical facilities are great. We do enjoy the mild winters.

There is no state income tax, but they get you in real estate taxes. Housing (to me) is affordable, but in our area houses are increasing in value at a steady rate.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:12 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymama View Post
hi!
I cannot believe the wealth of information I learn from this website. I always thought Florida was the plan for our retirement.....however, you all post amazing things about your location.

my questions are:
  1. Where are you living? (state)
  2. Is there snow? lol -- hoping never to see snow again when I retire
  3. why do you love your location?
  4. Is it expensive (taxes, etc.) housing costs, etc.
TN, the Carolinas and Georgia are sounding pretty good right now....

thank you all for your input
1. Rural Alaska

2. In a good year several feet... Love it.

3. Alaska is what America was.
Incredible beauty right outside my living room. Wildlife... Bears, Moose, Eagles, salmon, trout fishing, All without leaving my property. Hot tubbin at -10 with the Northern Lights dancing overhead. Neighbors you can count on when needed. A great place to raise kids or spoil grand kids.

4. Some things are definitely more expensive, i.e. food, and fuel. But... No sales tax, no state income tax, no state tax on SS, annual Permanent Fund Dividend for residents, after 65 we'll pay close to zero in property taxes in the borough where we live.

Rack up some Alaska Airline miles and your in Hawaii in no time if you need to escape winter for a while.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:56 AM   #60
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We live in central Florida just outside of Orlando, 20 minutes from Walt Disney World.
I would prefer Georgia or South Carolina, but DH grew up in this area and has family here, so we plan to stay.

No snow...ever. But summers are long and brutal if you need to be outdoors.

What I do like is that there is lots of fun stuff to do very close by, and the ocean and gulf are each about an hour away.

I would say this area is pricey, and housing costs are increasing. Not sure how property taxes compare, but we own a 1800 sf house on a small lot, and taxes are about $2000/yr. Home owners insurance is very high and can be difficult to get if you live close to the coasts.

There is no state income tax. Sales taxes are 7%.

I have lived in 3 other states, and in general, wages are much lower than those other states.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard from people that don't live in Florida that because Florida is such a tourist attraction people working there must be making a VERY good wage. When you think about just Walt Disney World and how much money they make year round, they must pay very well. They actually pay their employees rather poorly.

Mike
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