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Old 05-13-2008, 08:11 PM   #21
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i received a private message from one of our posters who noted that the price of milk (no, this is not the milk thread) in two areas reflected well the results of a cost of living (col) calculator. specifically 1/2 gal of 1% milk in sacramento ca is $2.90 while in dallas tx it can be had for just $2.30.

your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to report to this col thread from your location the price of 1/2 gallon of 1% milk (i'm assuming of the generic, not the organic variety). don't cry, but this message will spill all over you in five seconds. (sorry about that, i'm low on sleep.)

meanwhile, i received a call this afternoon from my insurance company and i am pleased to report here their findings for potential moves away from fort lauderdale where i pay $350/month premiums:

gainesville $325.71
tampa $284.69
daytona beach $262.81

daytona being a 25% reduction in cost, very close to the col calculator's prediction. i get to remain the same person. i won't be using the system any more or less, still, 25%. just amazing.

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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
When I visit my Mother in Wilkes Barre ,Pa . or my daughter in upstate New York both lower cost of living areas but surprisingly the restaurant costs are a lot higher .
when i go to ny/nj i always notice the prices are higher, but also the portions are bigger and the quality is way better. i've yet to find a chinese restaurant in florida where every dish doesn't taste the same.

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Originally Posted by BunsGettingFirm View Post
Google street view shows the place looks like Anyville, USA, but you never know until your feet are on the ground.
i'm loving google street. found some really cool areas in tampa i never knew existed, east of ybor city, north of downtown, known as the heights, including tampa heights, the first suburb settled outside of downtown. was very cool finding these wonderful old houses on realtor sites and then locating the very house on google street and cybr-checking out the neighborhood. guess it appeals to the voyeur in me.

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Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
This may be not true in Orlando. It was moderately high last summer.
probably big difference if you eat in orlando as a native or in the tourist parts of town. i spent some time there waiting for electric to be restored from hurricane wilma, lived like a native and didn't notice any increase in expenses.

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Originally Posted by mexmeme View Post
The town has a problem with their waste water facility and the town smells of ,shall we say, Pampers. ...There is usually a very good reason for their rating.
tampa is a little dirtier than here (i'm a clean car freak and i wash it like every other day up there) but otherwise i think in florida most of our price difference isn't so much quality of life as quantity of life. i would think density should reduce costs, but it seems to increase them.

ok now, everyone remember to bring your milk money to school tomorrow.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
i
i'm loving google street. found some really cool areas in tampa i never knew existed, east of ybor city, north of downtown, known as the heights, including tampa heights, the first suburb settled outside of downtown. was very cool finding these wonderful old houses on realtor sites and then locating the very house on google street and cybr-checking out the neighborhood. guess it appeals to the voyeur in me.
Those are very interesting areas. If I were younger DW and I would consider moving and rehabbing one of those great old homes. Also, check out Seminole Heights, same general idea but NW of the river. Some of them are waterfront or nearly so, larger yards, and some very interesting cottage and arts-and-crafts stuff. Recent history: great neighborhood on the outside of the city, deteriorated with increasing crime; new wave of young artists, gay community and committed young couples and families, and now the mainstream just starting to put a toe in the water. Not sure about crime, etc. but seems fine to me when we are in the neighborhood.

The thing about Tampa: it's a real city. Not real pretty, not real rich, not real resorty,not real trendy in most areas -- just real. Folks get up, go to work, struggle with traffic, and basically just live a normal life. Seems obvious, but compared to many Fla resort destinations (not just Fla, come to think of it) it's a refreshing slice of real life, if a bit raw once in a while.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:44 PM   #23
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your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to report to this col thread from your location the price of 1/2 gallon of 1% milk (i'm assuming of the generic, not the organic variety). don't cry, but this message will spill all over you in five seconds. (sorry about that, i'm low on sleep.)
1 gal. of milk (4%, 2%, or skim) at Aldi's in Chicago area: $1.99. That's a gallon, not a half-gallon, only size available.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:28 AM   #24
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Here is a link to the AACRA Cost of Living Report for 2007 for over 300 cities.
http://www.stgeorgechamber.com/pdf/Q...vingReport.pdf

We are moving in early June and our cost of living will be about the same city to city but lower due to downsizing and lower property taxes.

We are moving to get out of winter more than anything and to downsize.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Those are very interesting areas. If I were younger DW and I would consider moving and rehabbing one of those great old homes. Also, check out Seminole Heights, same general idea but NW of the river. Some of them are waterfront or nearly so, larger yards, and some very interesting cottage and arts-and-crafts stuff. Recent history: great neighborhood on the outside of the city, deteriorated with increasing crime; new wave of young artists, gay community and committed young couples and families, and now the mainstream just starting to put a toe in the water. Not sure about crime, etc. but seems fine to me when we are in the neighborhood.

The thing about Tampa: it's a real city. Not real pretty, not real rich, not real resorty,not real trendy in most areas -- just real. Folks get up, go to work, struggle with traffic, and basically just live a normal life. Seems obvious, but compared to many Fla resort destinations (not just Fla, come to think of it) it's a refreshing slice of real life, if a bit raw once in a while.
I'm taking the day off, so why not enjoy a taste of the ER lifestyle?

What I like about Tampa real estate is that there are real choices. For the same amount of money, you can buy a condo with floor-to-ceiling water view of either the Bay or the Gulf or buy a little bungalow with a pool, two porches, and hardwood floors. In the former, you can pretend you're in Miami Vice by holding a Mojito and standing in front of your floor-to-ceiling ocean view. In the latter, you can pretend you're in some small mid-west town by curling up with nice book on your front porch. In reality, the two different lifestyles are separated by 10 miles. You can't get either for 2x that amount in Boston.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:11 AM   #26
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In retirement as in real estate the rule is "Location, Location, Location." We live in Indiana and our town is the lowest I can find, but cheap is not pleasant. The town has a problem with their waste water facility and the town smells of ,shall we say, Pampers. Also the cost of Misc. is one of the higher catagories. It is also the lowest in housing costs, but that's because there isn't much wealth in this city. Mostly lower incomes. We are stuck here, so you had better look very closely at those lower rated living areas. There is usually a very good reason for their rating.
Sounds a lot like my old hometown...

Per Wikipedia:

Quote:
The median income for a household in the town was $28,495, and the median income for a family was $33,267. Males had a median income of $28,468 versus $21,580 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,431. About 16.6% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.
As for milk, it's been running $3.00-3.50/gal at Wallyworld in Plano, TX.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:35 AM   #27
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Milk is $2.32 at Publix in Sarasota ,Fl.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:47 PM   #28
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$2.29 for 1/2 gal of 1% this morning at a Fulmer.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:57 PM   #29
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i i've yet to find a chinese restaurant in florida where every dish doesn't taste the same.



Or a good pizza place ! They all say they are from New Jersey but they must have thrown the recipes out the windows on the drive down to Florida .
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:45 AM   #30
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What's hard about cost of living calculations is that what you spend your money on is different in different locations. When I moved to the city from the suburbs I found I spent much less on gas, but more on parking. I was expecting to spend much more on eating out, but I ended up finding that the larger kitchen in my new residence combined with super-convenient supermarkets has led me to eat in often. Switching from homeowner to renter I find myself spending less on home furnishings than expected. Moving from gas furnace to electric baseboard heat, and to a colder location, meant my energy bill skyrocketed, but soon I got in the habit of wearing heavy clothes rather than turning the heat on, and now I'm paying less for energy than before. Moving from a place with no radio reception to a few miles from the main broadcast tower meant I could ditch cable/satellite TV for broadcast HDTV, and ditch my landline for cell only. I spend less on recreation because there are so many free or low cost opportunities in the city and surrounds.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:21 PM   #31
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Come on up to Jax. We have at least one authentic Chinese restaurant (frog congee, etc.) and tons of the regular Americanized ones. This is a very nice place to live.
Where is this? Do they serve dim sum too?
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #32
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Thanks for the milk prices everyone.

Ive been comparing the various cost of living calculators online. They are fairly accurate in regards to grocery prices. It is very eye opening to me.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:51 PM   #33
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What's hard about cost of living calculations is that what you spend your money on is different in different locations. When I moved to the city from the suburbs I found I spent much less on gas, but more on parking. I was expecting to spend much more on eating out, but I ended up finding that the larger kitchen in my new residence combined with super-convenient supermarkets has led me to eat in often. Switching from homeowner to renter I find myself spending less on home furnishings than expected. Moving from gas furnace to electric baseboard heat, and to a colder location, meant my energy bill skyrocketed, but soon I got in the habit of wearing heavy clothes rather than turning the heat on, and now I'm paying less for energy than before. Moving from a place with no radio reception to a few miles from the main broadcast tower meant I could ditch cable/satellite TV for broadcast HDTV, and ditch my landline for cell only. I spend less on recreation because there are so many free or low cost opportunities in the city and surrounds.
I think that is a very insightful post. So often we keep expenses within a "comfort zone", but spend more or less on various categories as we adjust to a new location and slightly altered lifestyle. Getting used to dressing for the weather helps - - dressing lightly in the heat and keeping the thermostat up helps lower A/C bills here in Louisiana, just like wearing heavy clothes helped your energy consumption in a colder location. If I start driving less after ER, I will save on gas but I may end up spending that money on such things as a bicycle, not to mention boots and warm outerwear for walking outside a lot more.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:27 PM   #34
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Safeway.com is offering their generic brand 1/2 gallon 1% at $2.79, a savings of .20, not counting delivery fees to my San Francisco address, that price is good through August 8, 2008. Their in-store price would be the same without delivery fees. Does anyone know if in-store prices now include a fuel surcharge as the delivery prices do?

BTY, their lactose free 1% generic is going for $3.50 per 1/2 gallon, regularly $3.99.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:00 PM   #35
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One thing I haven't seen anybody mention is the slight increase in utility bills when you are home all day . We run our dishwasher more . Also if you are home you want your house comfortable so in warm climates you use the air more and in cold the heat . We also use more water & electric . This hasn't made a major difference but a small noticeable one .
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:48 PM   #36
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One thing I haven't seen anybody mention is the slight increase in utility bills when you are home all day . We run our dishwasher more . Also if you are home you want your house comfortable so in warm climates you use the air more and in cold the heat . We also use more water & electric . This hasn't made a major difference but a small noticeable one .
Absolutely

Didn't have A/C at home until retirement
Have heat at day setting ~16 hours/day instead of ~6
(minimal cost difference except for heat and A/C)
More time for lights on
More stove/microwave use
More hours for summer fans
PC on more hours
More water
More toilet paper
More money for bird and squirrel food

Less laundry (no more work clothes and home clothes)
Don't have to shower and shampoo every day
Don't commute 5 days/week and run errands on Saturday
Fewer dentist visits

Buying less food, but higher quality
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:27 PM   #37
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Those are very interesting areas. If I were younger DW and I would consider moving and rehabbing one of those great old homes..... Not sure about crime, etc. but seems fine to me when we are in the neighborhood...The thing about Tampa: it's a real city. Not real pretty, not real rich, not real resorty,not real trendy in most areas -- just real.
my bad on location of heights. not east of but rather bound on east by ybor city. i've done a lot of touring around tampa every so often over the years so i'm surprised i only recently found this area, and that i only found it online. looking foward to checking out in person.

as to crime, i recall when first rehabbing ybor city, which has really only somewhat succeeded in a few blocks so far, there was a big deal made of police presence and even camera surveillance. my last time there we counted about three to four cop cars per block. but still very fun.

agree with your sense of tampa as real city. i've always enjoyed it there.

and totally with you on rehabbing. i love old houses and could easily give up my dream of sailing around the world, or vagabonding developing countries to just get a lazy hound dog & fix up an old house. most of living takes place in the mind anyway.


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Here is a link to the AACRA Cost of Living Report for 2007 for over 300 cities.
http://www.stgeorgechamber.com/pdf/Q...vingReport.pdf
thanx for another source. checked it out. next to others it seems to run conservative by about 5% (or at least when i compared ft laud to jax). still, good to get the possible range.

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Or a good pizza place ! They all say they are from New Jersey but they must have thrown the recipes out the windows on the drive down to Florida .
this is so my pet pizza peeve. i found an edible slice just west of the elbo room but with those beachside rents a slice & tip is like 3 or 4 bucks and still not great.

i had great pizza about 25 miles away but they closed. supposedly they used to import water from brooklyn to make their dough. the only other decent pizza is about a 35 mile ride (one way).

but one of the big problems with finding a great slice of pizza is that the best slice is the one you grew up with. so the rest of my life amounts to not much more than searching for a slice of guido's.

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What's hard about cost of living calculations is that what you spend your money on is different in different locations.
spot on. one of the reasons i try to consider what turn my life might take after downsizing. for instance, i might just get a small place to close up and go vagabonding. so then car insurance savings might not be so important, because i might not own one for five or 10 years.

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Thanks for the milk prices everyone.
sorry forgot to get 1/2 gal but my last price on gal of skim was $4.09.

apparently i'm screwed even when it comes to milk...

Ouch! South Florida's inflation rate outpacing nation -- -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

"The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area topped all other cities, with a 4.9 percent annual inflation rate through April. The national rate was 3.9 percent."

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One thing I haven't seen anybody mention is the slight increase in utility bills when you are home all day.
n/a. worked out of my house before quitting. plus i have such a small, well built house that it makes little difference. a/c'd all day long including set at hybernation 68 at night averages just about $100/month.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:24 PM   #38
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Just got back from shopping. Milk is $2.77 per 1/2 gallon, or $4.38/gallon.

(This is at a medium priced "average" grocery chain.)
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:31 PM   #39
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Just got back from shopping. Milk is $2.77 per 1/2 gallon, or $4.38/gallon.

(This is at a medium priced "average" grocery chain.)
Just a little bit more than unleaded regular gasoline, which is about $3.76 / gallon.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:49 PM   #40
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I haven't bought milk in the last few weeks but a few weeks ago it was $2.78/gal at a Walmart in Boise, Idaho. Regular unleaded gas is $3.63 9/10 per gallon at Fred Meyer.

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