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Old 04-01-2010, 08:54 AM   #81
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I worked Downtown Houston for 8 years till 2005. I was never approached by a beggar. San Francisco, however, was another question. Almost every day on the way to work, at lunch, and going home!
In Houston, almost all of the panhandlers are in the median strips of major intersections.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 04-01-2010, 09:16 AM   #82
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That is true, many between the age of 30-50 with a 'Vietnam Vet' sign! An 18 yr old pfc serving in Viet Nam would be 55 this year!
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:50 AM   #83
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One type of tax to try to avoid in Texas is MUD taxes which are usually in regular residential subdivisions. When we lived in a subdivision near houston MUD taxes were very high. We have found it far cheaper to live in an area with septic so there are no MUD taxes. That usually comes with a well so no water. Of course you do have to pay to maintain the septic and well but that has been much less than MUD taxes would be.

We recently bought our downsized retirement home in a neighboring county to Houston. We are within 10 minutes of most amenities we could ever want, no MUD taxes and property taxes are not low but not horrible either...will be about $3500 on a $200k home. Insurance costs vary depending upon deductible and coverage wanted. We elected a coverage that is about $1100 a year. It was interesting to me that the quote went down by $200 once I indicated we did not have a mortgage. To have mortgagee coverage increased the quote by $200.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:55 AM   #84
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It was interesting to me that the quote went down by $200 once I indicated we did not have a mortgage. To have mortgagee coverage increased the quote by $200.
I've never heard of this. I wonder what the actuarial justification is? That with no mortgage, you can't go "underwater" on the property and thus have less incentive to torch it for the insurance money?
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:08 PM   #85
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Official answer. Looks like FL wins but they both are good.

How High Is Your Tax Burden? - Forbes.com
The problem with this site is that it does not show adjusted tax rates for retirees, along with "age benefits" (such as local tax rebates for seniors, and reduced charges for services - such as trash pickup, as we receive).

For instance, I live in a state (neither Florida nor Texas) in which I pay no income tax - state or local, for my retirement income which includes SS, pensions, SPIA, and IRA withdrawls. That alone gives me over a 4% advantage (of income taxes I don't pay).

Using the chart, I'm actually under both FL & TX on total taxes paid; however since neither FL or TX shows retiree actual tax rates, it's difficult to say if I am actually "tax advantaged".

For a pre-retiree, who is still working it is probably a good view. However for those in retirement, it really does not show the entire tax/service charge picture, IMHO...
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:54 PM   #86
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Here is a site worth looking at:

US Home Prices and USA Heat Map - Trulia Real Estate Search - Trulia.com

While Taxes are an on going expense, I would think housing cost would be a consideration. Problem here is it does not give rural prices.

This one breaks it down a little bit:

CNN/Money: The hottest zip codes

and it looks like Killeen Texas is the winner. That price still seems high for rural Texas towns. Killeen is the home of Ft Hood, one of the Army's largest forts.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #87
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and it looks like Killeen Texas is the winner.
Killeen!!??!!

This illustrates the danger of simple minded ratings. Sometimes the market is trying to tell you something when houses are cheap... Nobody wants to live there!

Apologies to Killeen members.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:28 PM   #88
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Familiar with both and currently retired in FL.....with all due respect to Texans on board, I don't think personally that they are in the same ballpark....I have lived all over FL and like it all.....I recommend FL. Quality of life; climate, etc is the key.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:20 PM   #89
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Killeen!!??!!

This illustrates the danger of simple minded ratings. Sometimes the market is trying to tell you something when houses are cheap... Nobody wants to live there!

Apologies to Killeen members.
I guess that would be one difference between cheap and inexpensive.
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