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Old 07-23-2016, 08:46 AM   #81
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I'd shoot myself if I had to live close to my siblings and I'm doubtful DH would remain married to me if I suggested it.
in Houston (77018) we lived within a half mile of my sister and my parents (all separate places)

you think dw was ready to gtfo?
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:55 AM   #82
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in Houston (77018) we lived within a half mile of my sister and my parents (all separate places)

you think dw was ready to gtfo?


Not to mention I'm sure my siblings (not that they live near each other now) would have taken up a collection to get me out of their area! "I'd make you most unhappy, most. That is, I'd do my best to."
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:34 AM   #83
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We live in The Woodlands, probably the fastest growing community in the greater Houston area. We pay about 1.75% of assessed value for our personal property tax. We are not taxed on vehicle registrations, and we have no state or city income tax.

One of our homes in Thousand Oaks, Ca was the same size (~2,000 sq ft) as the one we are in now. In TO we paid about $3,000 per year in property tax and about $800/year for the vehicle tax (here in TX the vehicle registration is $60 for a Ferrari). In CA I paid 11% in state tax and ~4% in City of LA tax.

Having lived in both locations for many years in both, I'll go with Texas. But please don't move here as we have enough new residents from CA already. Hey, we even have some Canadians too.

And please do tell me how many Texans you know that have recently moved to California?
I'm originally a "Canadian"...well, originally from Canadian, Texas.

And, DW & I just moved to California last year when we retired. So, I know at least one Texan who recently moved to California.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:41 AM   #84
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how are those canadians liking the summer?
Our close friends are from Calgary area. There have been here 9 years and are not going back. Actually, they love this weather (I guess they are a bit off, so to say).
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:42 AM   #85
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Our close friends are from Calgary area. There have been here 9 years and are not going back. Actually, they love this weather (I guess they are a bit off, so to say).
my golf buddy who lives in houston is also from calgasry (idaho originally) and prefers houston too
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:58 AM   #86
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My exact location is not called out but the "Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim" at #54 is pretty close. If state taxes were not so high, and housing not so expensive, I'd expect this area to rank a lot higher. Great weather, lots to do, easy access to high quality hospitals, and great dining options.

Not retired yet, but even with all the pluses to our location, a state with a far lower tax burden would be very tempting.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:55 AM   #87
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Having lived in both locations for many years in both, I'll go with Texas. But please don't move here as we have enough new residents from CA already. Hey, we even have some Canadians too.

And please do tell me how many Texans you know that have recently moved to California?
Lower and middle class families are leaving because of the cost of living, while higher-income migrants from other states to California has been on the upswing since the recession, according to Census data:

California's high housing costs drive out poor, middle-income workers - LA Times
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:41 AM   #88
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in Houston (77018) we lived within a half mile of my sister and my parents (all separate places)

you think dw was ready to gtfo?
Some families enjoy living close to each other.......

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Old 07-23-2016, 04:37 PM   #89
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Our retirement home is in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, about 15 miles from Destin. Ranked #1 overall. Of course I already knew that.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:06 PM   #90
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Best Cities to Retire

anyone in the top 10?

(I am)
Yes, just moved to number 7 from number 40. Pretty nice place
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:33 PM   #91
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Lower and middle class families are leaving because of the cost of living, while higher-income migrants from other states to California has been on the upswing since the recession, according to Census data:

California's high housing costs drive out poor, middle-income workers - LA Times
Good article and it looks like Texas is getting the brunt of the people leaving California. We left 20 years ago because of the increases in crime in Ventura County and the poor quality of education below college level where our children were at the time. Also, the drug problems in Southern California were becoming a huge problem at the time.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:42 AM   #92
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Just retired and moved back to #8 (Santa Rosa, CA) from overseas. We've had our house since 1985 and so our property taxes are about half of what they would be if we bought now. We don't expect to have much current income (until RMD's kick in) so state income tax isn't too big a deal.

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Old 08-01-2016, 11:04 AM   #93
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Just retired and moved back to #8 (Santa Rosa, CA) from overseas. We've had our house since 1985 and so our property taxes are about half of what they would be if we bought now. We don't expect to have much current income (until RMD's kick in) so state income tax isn't too big a deal.

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Old 08-01-2016, 11:06 AM   #94
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I'm always interested in these articles on "best places." But the only way they work for individuals is if they make the raw data available in a way that can be easily manipulated by the user. Ideally, each person would rank their categories in order of importance and then calculate the best place. Some folks put good weather at the top of the list while others might put affordable retirement housing or low crime rate at the top. Without the ability to manipulate the data, these articles don't offer too much IMO.

Since we moved to Paradise, we have discovered how to amelierate many of the minuses you associate with Island living (high costs - especially housing, rock fever, traffic, distance from friends/family etc.) Once you do that, you are much more free to enjoy the "good stuff" you moved there to enjoy. I suspect that is true for many/most of the places we find ourselves as retirees. YMMV
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:56 PM   #95
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Since we moved to Paradise, we have discovered how to amelierate many of the minuses you associate with Island living (high costs - especially housing, rock fever, traffic, distance from friends/family etc.) Once you do that, you are much more free to enjoy the "good stuff" you moved there to enjoy. I suspect that is true for many/most of the places we find ourselves as retirees. YMMV
Well, I for one would love to hear about your discoveries...

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Old 08-17-2016, 10:22 PM   #96
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Well, I for one would love to hear about your discoveries...

Okay, first for the items I brought up in my post -

Housing - We never considered purchasing a house since single family dwellings are typically 30 to 50% higher in cost than condos of similar size. It makes sense because (while building costs are higher) the main cost of Paradise is land (except on the Big Island, they aren't making any more of it.)

Rock Fever - It's a real phenomenon that folks from the mainland can't get used to just how small the Islands are. If Oahu were square, it would be less than 25 X 25 miles. To avoid Rock Fever, simply leave the Islands once a year or so. Once you know you can get off the "rock", Rock Fever usually goes away.

Food and other consumables - We use Costco or Sams for most food items and other consumables. While the costs are higher in HI than on the mainland, they are much lower than at regular stores in HI. Stuff like CDs, books, clothes, furniture, etc. we purchase at 2nd hand stores. We furnished a 3 br condo with amazing Island style furniture for less than $2K. The stuff came from hotels which were updating and we had our choice between dozens of the same table and hundreds of the same lamp. We got to pick out a near perfect "whatever" and bought it for a song.

Traffic is a real pain on Oahu - much more so than any of the other Islands. But, like most cities, Honolulu has rush hours and we simply avoid them. We make Dr. apps. for 11:00AM instead of 9:00AM. We eat dinner out in our neighborhood or else eat lunch in the "city." Prices are lower that way as well. We now know a lot of hole-in-the wall eateries that are not that much more expensive than mainland restaurants. Eating "local" is relatively inexpensive and delicious.

Travel distance to family/friends - We tell folks the planes go both ways. Ya'll come! So we do have visitors AND we travel around the mainland when we are back. As long as the planes fly and we don't run out of money, it's not that big a deal to be 5000 miles from where we once lived. We ARE getting to the point of considering traveling 1st class, but so far, we have not.

Movies - Actually, movies are not that much more expensive in Paradise than on the mainland, but we have found a 20 seat theater (leather recliners) that charges seniors $4 for movies - often just off-first run and sometimes 2 or 3 feature retrospectives - bring your own popcorn and drinks OR your lunch!

Cars - Because the Islands are small, there is generally less driving required. Most folks in HI are much less concerned about what you drive than on they are on the mainland. There is much less "keeping up with the Joneses" on almost every front. Our cars are 16 years old and no one cares. If we couldn't afford to drive, there is an excellent bus service that has fantastic senior rates (IIRC, maybe $60 for a 2 year pass??)

My original point, of course, was that cost-of-living comparisons that you see in all the "books" and magazines and on the Web do not address how folks actually live. With some sacrifices, one can adapt and thrive. I'm sure it's that way whether you live in HI or SoCal or PNW or Boulder Co. There are always a few bargains and usually adequate "substitutes" for what you have become used to in rural Ohio or Mississippi or Nebraska. As always, YMMV.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:30 PM   #97
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I forgot to mention that Hawaiians love the Kupuna (elders). For that reason, there are lots of breaks for us "old" people (generous discounts on property taxes, no state tax on SS or pensions, discounted Bus passes, etc.) That all makes a big difference for those living in the Islands.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:43 PM   #98
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I agree with a previous poster that these "Best" lists are kind of useless, they don't allow for the "intangible" things that people value. There was a "calculator" on I saw a year or so ago, that allowed you to pick the things you valued/prioritized etc. But still, unless you spend time someplace....

We live in New England, my DW her whole life (to this point) and me since '88. We love New England. The mountains, lakes, coastline, even the cities (but we live in a town of 3100). Summers are fantastic. And as a cancer survivor I was so grateful to have national healthcare centers of excellence close by.

But the winters suck. Didn't bother me that much until the last few years or so. Really starting to wear me down.

Still keeping in consideration of finding a small home in central VT... and place in the Caribbean for Jan-Mar. We are SCUBA divers and Grand Cayman is our happy place. But #1 lots would have to fall into place for that to happen and #2, my "visible horizon" is to stay put where were are now for probably 5-10 years.... and find ways to escape the majority of winters after I FIRE at years end.

That being said, I am starting to take mental notes about the "things I enjoy" and ultimately will prioritize them. Everything from attributes of where you live (size, land, outdoor spaces, local community, etc.) hobbies (vintage cars in my case, hiking, diving, etc) and what is nearby and why it is important (nature, family, etc.). It is a healthy exercise and I have surprised myself sometimes when I think I am latched on to something and then question myself WHY is it important.

Retirement isn't a place, it is a state of mind IMO.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:28 PM   #99
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Retirement isn't a place, it is a state of mind.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:21 PM   #100
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Just retired and moved back to #8 (Santa Rosa, CA) from overseas. We've had our house since 1985 and so our property taxes are about half of what they would be if we bought now. We don't expect to have much current income (until RMD's kick in) so state income tax isn't too big a deal.

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I grew up in Santa Rosa and have lived in Virginia for the last 11 years. When we are empty nesters in 2 years, I'd love to move back to Sonoma Co. I'm hoping real estate takes a breather between now and then so that I could buy a small forever home for a price that makes more financial sense than it does today!


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