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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-19-2006, 08:43 PM   #21
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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Originally Posted by Walkinwood
Made me go back and look at annual cost of utilities
Utilities can be rather unpredictable. Your water bill will be likely lower in Potomac, MD, one of the most prosperous areas in the country, than Carbondale, Illinois, one of the poorest area. But a visit to the best restaurant in Carbondale (I know, that's not saying much ) will cost you a fraction of what a vist to a comparable place in Potomac will.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-19-2006, 08:58 PM   #22
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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Originally Posted by Walkinwood
oh, and it seems that a few of you are in high cost of living areas. Are you retired already?
Still working, 3 years to go. But, the house is paid off and we plan to retire on about the same monthly expenses we have now, adjusted for inflation.

Tampa probably is not in the same league as the higher profile "expensive places," though. According to this site, it is a little over half the cost of NYC, 30% less than San Diego, and even a tad less than Charlotte. It's in-town houses that get you here, and that's just where we live.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-19-2006, 09:06 PM   #23
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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Originally Posted by Walkinwood
oh, and it seems that a few of you are in high cost of living areas. Are you retired already?

Brewer? Rich in Tampa? Lazygood4..., 3 yrs to go?* kate?

Not yet. I still have "3 yrs to go"
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 12:33 AM   #24
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

Walkinwood,
....I think folks here have posted some very good info. In your original post you wrote

"By then, we will own our house, so real-estate prices are not an issue"

I look at this very differently. Real estate prices represent how much you could get selling the house (minus commissions and moving expenses) to live somewhere else. It is an important part of the overall financial picture. It does sound like you like NJ so well that you may just stay there after you retire. We are trying to decide where to live after we retire and staying put here in Savannah GA where real estate prices are relatively low is a very real possibility.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 06:52 AM   #25
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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Originally Posted by Walkinwood
oh, and it seems that a few of you are in high cost of living areas. Are you retired already?

Brewer? Rich in Tampa? Lazygood4..., 3 yrs to go?* kate?

If so, any surprise post-retirement expenses related to your location?
Nope, still a working stiff.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 06:57 AM   #26
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

jclarksnakes,
I agree with your post. I meant that if we stayed put int he same house, it isn't an issue.

The information I have received here is invaluable. I always question the motive behind what I read in magazines, but to get information from real people - priceless!

Your posts had me looking at other places in NJ - I could move 45 minutes away and cut my property taxes in half!

So, for now, I think we'll plan to live here - and if it becomes untenable (still have 4-5 years to go), we'll think of first moving to some other NJ town, and then to some of the lovely places mentioned in this post.

Thanks all.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 08:55 AM   #27
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

The equity in our San Francisco condo more than paid for a very nice house in Charleston County, SC near the beach and the city, including realtor fee, moving, storing our stuff for 3 months till the new house was ready, buying a few new things like a TV + sound system, dining room rug, local art. And we saved a lot of money by not going out for dim sum, Mexican takeout, and yuppie restaurants every week : Reduced our property tax from $8000 to $2000 in one swell foop. Not to mention state & local taxes. Financially, this has been a no-brainer.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 11:42 AM   #28
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkinwood
oh, and it seems that a few of you are in high cost of living areas. Are you retired already?

Brewer? Rich in Tampa? Lazygood4..., 3 yrs to go?* kate?

If so, any surprise post-retirement expenses related to your location?
i quit last year at 48. storm insurance costs are becoming annoying but nothing that will alter my lazy lifestyle. i was only planning to hang out another 6 years anyway, having enjoyed paradise for 30 years while it was still relatively cheap.

mom never cooked (you know, that house with the dried flower arrangement in the wall oven--mom thought it was just a niche to decorate) and so my family always ate out. i've long had my fill of good restaurants. but for someone who still enjoys that i would image those costs will be skyrocketing as affordability becomes a problem and labor becomes more expensive to attract. also our beachfront mom & pop motels are being replaced by trump towers and the like so i'm sure restaurants will be catering more to that income group. the last slice of pizza i had on the beach cost just under 3 bucks. not a pocket buster but hardly nostalgic either.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 09:40 PM   #29
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa

Tampa probably is not in the same league as the higher profile "expensive places," though. According to this site, it is a little over half the cost of NYC, 30% less than San Diego, and even a tad less than Charlotte. It's in-town houses that get you here, and that's just where we live.
Living in Tampa is probably financially harder than NYC, NY suburbs, or New Jersey.

Real estate is cheaper in Tampa but not that much (excluding Manhattan). Jersey has the high property taxes. Everything else is about the same.
In NYC you can get by without a car no way in Tampa or most of NJ.

In NY and NJ there is a much greater opportunity to make a good living. I do not see that in Florida.
I think of the 3 areas NY is these easiest place to make ends meet, NJ in second place and Tampa the hardest.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 09:45 PM   #30
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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Originally Posted by Gerald
Living in Tampa is probably financially harder than NYC, NY suburbs, or New Jersey.

Real estate is cheaper in Tampa but not that much (excluding Manhattan). Jersey has the high property taxes. Everything else is about the same.
In NYC you can get by without a car no way in Tampa or most of NJ.
According to CNN's cost of living calculator:

Salary in Tampa FL: $50,000
Comparable salary in New York (Queens) NY: $71,704.28

If you move from Tampa FL to New York (Queens) NY...
*
Groceries will cost: 32.478% more
Housing will cost: 82.062% more
Utilities will cost: 52.229% more
Transportation will cost: 6.374% more
Healthcare will cost: 22.118% more
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 10:09 PM   #31
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge
According to CNN's cost of living calculator:

Salary in Tampa FL: $50,000
Comparable salary in New York (Queens) NY: $71,704.28

If you move from Tampa FL to New York (Queens) NY...
*
Groceries will cost: 32.478% more
Housing will cost: 82.062% more
Utilities will cost: 52.229% more
Transportation will cost: 6.374% more
Healthcare will cost: 22.118% more
Does CNN tell you how?

Costco is everywhere where is the 32%?
Housing maybe 50% but not rents.
Utilities with the Florida heat and NY winters its close.
Transportation use the subway.
Healthcare where is the 22%?

And how many unskilled people can make $50,000 in Tamp?. No unions, I doubt city workers have the benefits NYC workers do. Cab drivers can make money in NY.
If you have a good education or skill compare the classifieds in the NY Times to the local Florida papers and note the difference in opportunities.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 10:38 PM   #32
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald
Does CNN tell you how?
According to the calculator, it comes from:

Quote:
data provided by researchers at ACCRA, Inc.
You can plug in different income levels, different cities and see what happens - it's fun!* 8)
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-20-2006, 10:56 PM   #33
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

Walk-in-woods
I am ER in NY suburbs and my only shocker was the rate of increase in property taxes (this was 5 or 6 years ago -- now its an old story all over the country, I guess). After years of near-zero increases, it has doubled in the past 4 or 5 years.

Other than that, health insurance is still high in NY/NJ but you know all about that, and maybe a national market will open up one of these days and we'll be able to do better.

No other big surprises on the cost upside.

Income taxes were a lot lower than I thought, but that is true for most ERs in the U.S, at least those who live off a safe withdrawal rate and not a pension.

Big advantage to ERing in your home turf is the lifestyle -- friends and family, tha chance to finally enjoy living where you used to just sleep, knowing your way around, less disorienting change to deal with etc etc.

My bottom line: if you can afford it, and you like where you live now, it's a great idea to stay put in ER. If you want to move or have to move later, then fine -- do it later.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-21-2006, 08:27 PM   #34
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

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My bottom line: if you can afford it, and you like where you live now, it's a great idea to stay put in ER. If you want to move or have to move later, then fine -- do it later.
Thanks ESR Bob - our thoughts are along the same lines. We love the area, our friends & family are here so that's what we're planning on. It is reassuring to hear a lot of people say that there are no hidden surprises.

Gerald/Scrooge,
You two make interesting points. I sometimes think that the calculators do some "thoughtless" computing. I haven't lived in any other place for a long time, so I can't compare. Starbucks seem to cost the same pretty much everywhere.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-21-2006, 09:07 PM   #35
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

The reason for the high costs of home and property taxes in NJ are because alot of people want to live there.

Why? some because they are Jersey guys/girls but many because of the opportunity to earn a higher salary than areas with lower home prices. Alot of commuters to Manhattan to work. Philly too, And NJ has a number good work opportunities.

This does not happen in most parts of the country.

As an ER'er work is no longer a factor and the opportunity to cash out of your home are vaild reasons to go.
But if you like it and can afford it stay.

Moving to save a nickel on a Big Mac is not a good reason.

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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-22-2006, 05:50 AM   #36
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

I think the recent budget problems in Jersey are a small taste of what is to come, once their state employees start retiring in a horde and moving out of state. Personally I would be wary putting myself in a position to be taxed by the state when it decides it's not a good idea to go bankrupt.
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas
Old 07-22-2006, 08:39 AM   #37
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Re: ER in NJ and other high cost of living areas

This spring, we traded our crappy condo in Fairfield County, CT for a waterfront one 35 miles east in New Haven County. We worried about not being able to order food to be delivered - not the case!

Worries about real estate "bubble" made us act to try to lock in our profit.

RE'd 3 years.
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