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Old 09-13-2018, 02:55 PM   #41
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This chart can be very misleading for retirees. While PA is ranked #15 highest and has moderately high property taxes, PA doesn't tax SS or normal distributions from pensions or IRAs. My taxable income, for PA purposes, is a fraction of my federal taxable income....basically the state only taxes my interest, dividends, and cap gain income.....at a flat 3.07%
My state is #20 and I'd have to agree given sales (~7%) & income (flat 5.5%) taxes even though property taxes here are only ~2% (combined city/county)

East TN appeals to me...
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:13 PM   #42
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They get their money one way or another.
I see this posted whenever/where ever there is a discussion on state taxes. But it is not true. Different states have differing amounts of social programs, state employees per capital, and so on. As someone who lives in NY we are bad in most of the categories, e.g. high income taxes, high sales taxes, high property taxes, lots of fees/taxes on things like gasoline, bridges, toll roads.

For example, my same house that I pay close to $10K in property taxes on here in NY would cost under $2K in Tennessee. That 10K/year doesn't get me water (I have a well), sewage (I have septic) or even garbage pickup (I have to pay for that separately). In terms of taxes, I would have no state income taxes as compared to a 6.65% marginal rate here. Yes, the sales tax rate would be slightly higher (around 9 or 9.5% vs 8% here), but all in all I would take it in a second.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:28 PM   #43
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If we talk state taxes on retirees, I like this site. https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retir...rees/index.php
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:38 PM   #44
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I see this posted whenever/where ever there is a discussion on state taxes. But it is not true. Different states have differing amounts of social programs, state employees per capital, and so on. As someone who lives in NY we are bad in most of the categories, e.g. high income taxes, high sales taxes, high property taxes, lots of fees/taxes on things like gasoline, bridges, toll roads.

For example, my same house that I pay close to $10K in property taxes on here in NY would cost under $2K in Tennessee. That 10K/year doesn't get me water (I have a well), sewage (I have septic) or even garbage pickup (I have to pay for that separately). In terms of taxes, I would have no state income taxes as compared to a 6.65% marginal rate here. Yes, the sales tax rate would be slightly higher (around 9 or 9.5% vs 8% here), but all in all I would take it in a second.
My point is there are different revenue streams for states. Some charge property tax on vehicles, some don't. Some charge for a library card, some don't. How they mix and match those streams is different, but they still end up getting the money they need and not all of it comes from property or sales tax.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:43 PM   #45
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Sweet Spot, Living Where Low Taxes

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Originally Posted by RE2Boys View Post
This chart can be very misleading for retirees. While PA is ranked #15 highest and has moderately high property taxes, PA doesn't tax SS or normal distributions from pensions or IRAs. My taxable income, for PA purposes, is a fraction of my federal taxable income....basically the state only taxes my interest, dividends, and cap gain income.....at a flat 3.07%

We do have a very low threshold Inheritance Tax in PA though.
From the montcopa.org website:
ďThe tax rate for Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax is 4.5% for transfers to direct descendants (lineal heirs), 12% for transfers to siblings, and 15% for transfers to other heirs (except charitable organizations, exempt institutions, and government entities that are exempt from tax).Ē

Of course, the only people who care are the heirs.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:52 PM   #46
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My point is there are different revenue streams for states. Some charge property tax on vehicles, some don't. Some charge for a library card, some don't. How they mix and match those streams is different, but they still end up getting the money they need and not all of it comes from property or sales tax.


Yes but not all have states need the same revenue. Many northern states tax so heavily because of unionized state government that drives crazy high state worker wages and pensions.
Illinois, NJ, NY, just a few that max out all possible revenue streams but still canít balance a budget or adequately fund pensions.
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:32 PM   #47
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He doesn’t have a large home, definitely not McMansion. Maybe less than 2000 sqft. But I take your words for it. His house was in Houston, if I recall correctly.


Oh wow .... I would definitely do a home audit energy and / or shop around energy rates. Houston is 6-10 cents per kilowatt hour.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:10 PM   #48
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Need I add that electricity rates are low in the PNW thanks to power generating dams.

That said if you live in a large poorly insulated home with electric strip heaters there is no free lunch.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:16 PM   #49
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Oh wow .... I would definitely do a home audit energy and / or shop around energy rates. Houston is 6-10 cents per kilowatt hour.
Truth. I just signed up for five cents a KW today. 12 month contract for over 1000KW per month. I like being able to shop around for electric here in Houston.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:23 PM   #50
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Truth. I just signed up for five cents a KW today. 12 month contract for over 1000KW per month. I like being able to shop around for electric here in Houston.
Wow thatís interesting. Rates seem to be a bit higher at our end of the coast.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:26 PM   #51
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Truth. I just signed up for five cents a KW today. 12 month contract for over 1000KW per month. I like being able to shop around for electric here in Houston.
Our largest monthly electric bill this year, in our 2,000 square foot home in Houston, has been about $160. That's with A/C on 24/7, two large refrigerators, two desktop computers on continuously, and DW's large oxygen concentrator running 24/7.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:50 PM   #52
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Our experience with ENRON made me wary of 'free market' utilities, particularly those out of Texas. Give me a public utility, or a franchised utility, buying from Bonneville Power any day. Can't beat Griffithee's rate, however.

Portland General: For residential customers, electricity rates are 5.9 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 500 kWh, 7.6 cents per kWh between 501-1000 kWh and 8.4 cents over 1000 kWh. A residential customer using 900 kWh would have a monthly bill of just over $101.

Clark County, WA has a PUD, I thought that their rates would be lower: The residential electricity rate in Vancouver is 9.16Ę/kWh plus a 'cost of service fee' of $12/mo.

In a normal year we don't use a lot of A/C.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:51 PM   #53
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I have a 5 ton 10 seer unit and live in TX. AC is literally on 18-20 hours in summer. Bill is under $300.
We're in California, near San Jose, see highs averaging in the 81-85 range June through September (some days in the 90s, some in the 70s), and we usually have at least two months where we top $300 electrical. 2,400 sq ft home. And a 10 SEER unit? Pretty inefficient.

Definitely curious because we're about to sell our house and move near Austin. Our only child moved there two years ago and loves it. Been with the company for three years, now an operations manager. Has been begging us to move there since Day 1. Probably going to hate the heat, despite having been born and raised in California's Central Valley.

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Yeah, Texas is not the place to be. We have fire ants, snakes, cowboys and a few rednecks (not too many though). Please move to California where real estate ownership is a dream job and the weather is great. Every one is getting rich there!! And retirees are treated respectfully.
Where we're at in California is not as you described. Oh sure, my wife and I fared well in our careers and the weather is good. But the air quality is not, and the water quality leaves something to be desired (unless you live in southern California, in which case I stand corrected). Nothing worse than having a stretch of high 70 to high 80 days, and then see a lot of haze hiding the foothills. Lots of congestion. Surprisingly, a lot of unfriendly people here.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:13 PM   #54
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Oh wow .... I would definitely do a home audit energy and / or shop around energy rates. Houston is 6-10 cents per kilowatt hour.
I believe he has a pool. Another coworker went to his house for a party and IiRC told me something about a pool.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:19 PM   #55
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We're in California, near San Jose, see highs averaging in the 81-85 range June through September (some days in the 90s, some in the 70s), and we usually have at least two months where we top $300 electrical. 2,400 sq ft home. And a 10 SEER unit? Pretty inefficient.

Definitely curious because we're about to sell our house and move near Austin. Our only child moved there two years ago and loves it. Been with the company for three years, now an operations manager. Has been begging us to move there since Day 1. Probably going to hate the heat, despite having been born and raised in California's Central Valley.


Where we're at in California is not as you described. Oh sure, my wife and I fared well in our careers and the weather is good. But the air quality is not, and the water quality leaves something to be desired (unless you live in southern California, in which case I stand corrected). Nothing worse than having a stretch of high 70 to high 80 days, and then see a lot of haze hiding the foothills. Lots of congestion. Surprisingly, a lot of unfriendly people here.
I havenít lived in Austin but doing a cursory property search while visiting, itís one of the more expensive cities in Texas. Moving to the suburbs can cut down housing costs Iím sure. Be sure to check property tax rates as it will vary by county/school district/city (suburb). When I do FIRE, we will be looking to move out of TX. I find that the summer heat keeps me indoors more than I like to be. Tired of paying $7500 on property tax... I like the idea of WA except the idea of earthquake insurance with a 15-25% deductible scares me. High on our list is cooler and wetter (green) and not too rural (20 min drive to a decent sized city) ... oh and affordable. (Paradise on a budget )
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:09 PM   #56
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I haven’t lived in Austin but doing a cursory property search while visiting, it’s one of the more expensive cities in Texas. Moving to the suburbs can cut down housing costs I’m sure. Be sure to check property tax rates as it will vary by county/school district/city (suburb). When I do FIRE, we will be looking to move out of TX. I find that the summer heat keeps me indoors more than I like to be. Tired of paying $7500 on property tax... I like the idea of WA except the idea of earthquake insurance with a 15-25% deductible scares me. High on our list is cooler and wetter (green) and not too rural (20 min drive to a decent sized city) ... oh and affordable. (Paradise on a budget )
Wife has been looking at Cedar Park and Leander, at least from a distance, although she did get to see parts of Cedar Park last October (when it was in the low 70s there, while near 90 a few days before Halloween here! LOL). It appears the properties taxes in some parts of Cedar Park are at a lower rate than in Austin.

The plan is to rent while looking for a place to purchase. Of course, if the weather gets to us, I am not sure what we would do. The main reason to move is because our only child wants us there. Having three indoor-only house cats just adds to the pain of moving long distance. Outside of weather, we have little desire to remain in California.

I guess everything is perspective. We're paying $10,500 for property tax right now, and it's only that low because of Prop 13 in California. I figure it is just a matter of time before Sacramento neuters Prop 13 and long-time homeowners start seeing accelerated property tax bills. I'm surprised they haven't gotten around to taxing Social Security like some states do.

We paid $300+ in our electric/natural gas bill on average three months per year during the last 6 years. Sometimes in the summer. Sometimes in the winter. Usually at least one month in each season with this cost. For a 2,400 sq ft home near San Jose. The weather is not that extreme here.

There is always the earthquake threat, poor air quality, massive congestion and getting worse. While the idea of hot Texas weather seems daunting from a distance, there is the relief of being able to cash out on our house while the real estate market here is still desirable (absolutely wonderful public schools in this area - definite plus).

While he have other assets to pull from, we're looking at netting $1.4M+ after capital gains taxes are paid on the sale of our house. Financially, I don't think Texas will be a big challenge.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:46 AM   #57
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And snakes and fireants...

Anyone on here from Wyoming?
I like the Tetons and Medicine Bow areas. How does Wyoming 'get ya'?
I believe annual auto registration fees are 1% of the original MSRP of the vehicle, but I felt it was well worth it, compared to everybody else.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:29 AM   #58
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I believe annual auto registration fees are 1% of the original MSRP of the vehicle, but I felt it was well worth it, compared to everybody else.
FLA has it backwards in this area. First time registration and license fees are ~$500. However, there is no car inspection going forward and thus many uninsured motorists.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:11 AM   #59
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We're in California, near San Jose, see highs averaging in the 81-85 range June through September (some days in the 90s, some in the 70s), and we usually have at least two months where we top $300 electrical. 2,400 sq ft home. And a 10 SEER unit? Pretty inefficient.

Definitely curious because we're about to sell our house and move near Austin. Our only child moved there two years ago and loves it. Been with the company for three years, now an operations manager. Has been begging us to move there since Day 1. Probably going to hate the heat, despite having been born and raised in California's Central Valley.


Where we're at in California is not as you described. Oh sure, my wife and I fared well in our careers and the weather is good. But the air quality is not, and the water quality leaves something to be desired (unless you live in southern California, in which case I stand corrected). Nothing worse than having a stretch of high 70 to high 80 days, and then see a lot of haze hiding the foothills. Lots of congestion. Surprisingly, a lot of unfriendly people here.
Hi, neighbor!

PG&E rates top out at $0.37 per kwh last time I checked. I had one bill that topped $400 for a similar size one story house. Groundwater is what you get in the Bay Area unless you live in an area where your water comes from the Hetch Hetchy dam system. Lots of not nice chemicals in that water. Air quality is bad, not Inland Empire bad but getting there. I was happy to get out of the area for a week when the smoke from the fires was really bad. Still trying to recover from breathing the smoke for over a week.

Taxes are only part of the C and QOL equation.The Bay Area was a nice place to live up until the 80's. Not now.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:59 AM   #60
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One of my favourite web sites.
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
Gives you cost of living all over the world and lets you compare cities.
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