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Old 01-03-2016, 08:42 AM   #41
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So- thinking of New Hampshire where we vacation frequently as well and where our only child lives.
Don't forget to look at the total picture. New Hampshire has one of the highest property tax rates.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:20 AM   #42
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I, believe it or not, always wanted to move to Alaska until I took a trip there and realized how primitive it was.

Then when I visited Hawaii I wanted to move there, until later realized it was too impractical being so far from the mainland.

But steadily as we kept going back to our timeshare in Vermont, I fell in love with the state and I would love to move there- I really think my place is by the lake- but learned of the taxes on Social Security income. What a downer!

My heart is there, but my head says it would be crazy. Even my home state of NY doesn't tax SS benefits.

So- thinking of New Hampshire where we vacation frequently as well and where our only child lives.

Most people I know retire to Florida. Most already have second homes there/ We can;t afford a second home. Also, been to Florida a number of times and not sure we would be happy there.

I know of people who have retired and moved l;l over the place several times in retirement looking for their Utopia only to move back to where they started.

From what I understand most retirees actually stay put, no matter what you read about.

Our issue is our home is off a steep 700 foot driveway in the woods- isolated- no family or real friends in the area. Our friends live in NYC and Long Island where we absolutely hate the idea of living.

Another issue we have is that, due to economic conditions and local issues, our home is barely worth what we paid for it after living in it for 28 years. We are in year 5 of a 5 year remodeling project, since we are unsure if it would even sell when the time comes and it needed it desperately. Might as well enjoy it while we are living in it.

Then there is the problem of since we can't get more money than we paid for it- despite the huge amount of money we have put into it all these years (and it is on 10.5 acres of land) - what will we be able to afford to buy when we do move? No way am I going to move into something that needs work or is not comparable as far as being updated.

These are very real and unsettling things we have to deal with. No easy answers, but I do think traveling to other areas and researching is the only way you can make a rational decision, as well as renting first when you finally do make the move just in case...For us we will have to sell our home before we even rent, because the cost of keeping a house plus renting elsewhere would be too much of a burden.
Meleana, welcome to the Early Retirement Forum! What a nice initial post. Feel free to post an introduction in the "Hi, I Am..." section of the forum too, so we can get to know you.

I think that a lot of us struggle with trying to figure out where to live once we retire, just as you are doing right now. My beloved (Frank), and I had planned to move to another state as soon as we could retire. We really wanted to get away from here! We spend a lot of time researching possible relocation spots, especially those with low cost of living and low housing prices but not too cold. We visited our favorites several times during our vacations, and selected a town in Missouri that we really liked a lot.

But then, after retiring, we waited for a year to "decompress" before moving, and during that year we found that work was apparently the main reason we wanted to get away. After retirement, getting away from the workplace and leaving that all behind us was no longer a valid reason for us to want to move. Work is no longer a part of our lives, and we never run into people from work around town; they are still at work.

New Orleans has started to recover at least a partially from its Hurricane Katrina devastation, or else we are so used to it that we don't notice it as much any more. So, we changed our minds and decided to stay put. I'm glad we did. New Orleans has a lot of qualities that we like, although crime and hurricanes are still problems here.

I hope you find a good retirement location!
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:29 AM   #43
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Problem with this thread is the definition of cold. Seems to be anything with high below 70 & low below 40. Me, I think high of 50 low of 30 is nice jacket/sweatshirt weather & 40/20 ain't bad if sunny & not too breezy.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:40 AM   #44
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Problem with this thread is the definition of cold. Seems to be anything with high below 70 & low below 40. Me, I think high of 50 low of 30 is nice jacket/sweatshirt weather & 40/20 ain't bad if sunny & not too breezy.
+1.

I love to take walks on a calm sunny day with temps in the mid 30'. Very refreshing. Unfortunately DW does not share the same sentiment. When we go to outdoor malls here she's inside the stores while I'm walking around the mall.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:42 AM   #45
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Problem with this thread is the definition of cold. Seems to be anything with high below 70 & low below 40. Me, I think high of 50 low of 30 is nice jacket/sweatshirt weather & 40/20 ain't bad if sunny & not too breezy.

Exactly. We like it between 50 and 70, but certainly can tolerate 75-80 with low humidity preferable.

We also don't mind 32-45 if the sun is out and no wind. You can't have everything perfect. No such thing.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:44 AM   #46
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Don't forget to look at the total picture. New Hampshire has one of the highest property tax rates.
Yes, we do know that, but better than New York from what we have seen so far.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:03 AM   #47
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Unfortunately, the economic recovery and the growth of the tech companies has made traffic much worse throughout the Bay Area. In the last three or four years, it has become like Los Angeles. Anything that I need to do that involves going across town or north has to be done between 9:30 AM and lunchtime. The grocery store parking lot is packed by noon on weekdays. It can take up to three signals to make a left turn at one of the major intersections off 101 at any other time. I only make doctor and car service appointments between 10 AM and noon. I feel like a prisoner in my own house.

The cities are only allowing high density housing to be built. The San Jose City Council touts each new record in units per acre achieved. One member stated they approved a complex with 165 units per acre. Yet there is no public transit.

If I did not live here, I would not move to the Bay Area. If you are willing to move someplace that's overcrowded with decaying infrastructure for a high paying job, it might make sense. Otherwise, it may not.

There are different parts of the Bay Area of course. I live in S Marin and we don't have those issues at all. But traveling to the S Bay is a tough slog.


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Old 01-03-2016, 10:03 AM   #48
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Meleana, welcome to the Early Retirement Forum! What a nice initial post. Feel free to post an introduction in the "Hi, I Am..." section of the forum too, so we can get to know you.

I think that a lot of us struggle with trying to figure out where to live once we retire, just as you are doing right now. My beloved (Frank), and I had planned to move to another state as soon as we could retire. We really wanted to get away from here! We spend a lot of time researching possible relocation spots, especially those with low cost of living and low housing prices but not too cold. We visited our favorites several times during our vacations, and selected a town in Missouri that we really liked a lot.

But then, after retiring, we waited for a year to "decompress" before moving, and during that year we found that work was apparently the main reason we wanted to get away. After retirement, getting away from the workplace and leaving that all behind us was no longer a valid reason for us to want to move. Work is no longer a part of our lives, and we never run into people from work around town; they are still at work.

New Orleans has started to recover at least a partially from its Hurricane Katrina devastation, or else we are so used to it that we don't notice it as much any more. So, we changed our minds and decided to stay put. I'm glad we did. New Orleans has a lot of qualities that we like, although crime and hurricanes are still problems here.

I hope you find a good retirement location!
Yes, thanks. I will definitely do that.

I get that about the workplace thing. We love escaping to other areas because we work. But something else I noticed is when we are at our home timeshare resorts in VT and New Hampshire, I like the idea that there is a community of sorts the week we are there. We see people going about,some familiar faces, there is someone to call if there is an issue, etc. They take care of maintenance. All important for a permanent residence as well as as we age. Here where we live there is no one- just trees and wildlife. Love it- don't get me wrong. But would like a combination.

Then again, while we are able to do things, without a home, I wonder what the heck we would do. We actually like doing things around the house and outside.We enjoy that to an extent. That, and with belonging to a few organizations and some hobbies would keep us busy, as they do now.

We have said the same thing- when we finally retire we need to not jump into anything. We need to decompress and think and reflect.

Big issue we have is any friends or acquaintances we have met at work live far away from us, as we commute and they do as well. So, we never really met anyone in our own town. Just a few through organizations we belong to. But really couldn't break through the clicks and long time residents of the area who know each other since childhood. We grew up in other areas. Even when our son was young, we just didn't have enough time to establish very close relationships with other people. Everyone including us, was so busy working and surviving. I tried to maintain friendships with people from past jobs long distance but it eventually became too hard - again- lack of time- only weekends to try to fit in everything we have to do in life and everyone's lives changed- they moved, whatever. Then. many people have grandchildren now and are busy with their families. We are not in that situation.

On a plane going back home from Arizona once I sat next to a woman and we began chatting about how much we enjoyed Sedona and Scottsdale. I asked her if she would consider living there, since her hometown was Detroit. She responded that she definitely would not want to live there. Surprised, I asked why and she said, "Because then it would no longer be special". She said she would rather visit each year and have something to look forward to rather than living there full-time and everything becoming routine like it is at her current home.

I never forgot those words and I keep them in mind when I think about retirement.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:08 AM   #49
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+1.

I love to take walks on a calm sunny day with temps in the mid 30'. Very refreshing. Unfortunately DW does not share the same sentiment. When we go to outdoor malls here she's inside the stores while I'm walking around the mall.

I am with you, but going to squeeze out a few more degrees... Anything in 40s with bright sunshine and no wind is fine for me to do or play outside....Bring out the wind and clouds...not so much then...


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Old 01-03-2016, 10:09 AM   #50
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This is the whole story, succinctly told. And what people, especially singles, are thinking about when they think of California is usually not some small town in the San Joaquin Valley. In the, US warm in winter and not blistering hot in summer is coastal California between the Mexican border and maybe through Mendocino County. Also part of the Sierra foothills. None of this is cheap.



You don't say where you live in Mass. but if you live in Boston or other attractive city, consider staying put but vacationing in the Caribbean during some part of January to mid March. Boston is hot in summer compared to the West Coast, but it is a long way from Florida temperatures.



Ha

I have thought of doing something like this, I.e., taking off for the winter to Mexico, Hawaii or somewhere else that's warm. But at some stage I assume or I'm afraid that I won't be willing or able to make that trek every year. Thus I feel the need to solve the "winter problem" sooner rather than later. I keep being told that the older I get the more difficult it is to move or change environment so I feel like I have to make my move in my 60s (coming up)


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Old 01-03-2016, 12:05 PM   #51
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One caution about moving to a place as a single is that some communities are more open to newcomers and others are more closed and it's harder to get close to people if you're new. That's one advantage to renting or living in a place for some time before planning a full move. This can be an issue for a couple as well, but at least you have some built in support when you move.
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:20 PM   #52
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I'm born and raised in the San Diego area and I'm still here. My only request for the DW was anywhere but Southern California.

We did a multistate trip through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and then flew to North Carolina to try to figure out where we wanted to live. We kind of decided on Orcas island about 10 years ago, then got priced out, then found it affordable in 2012 and bought there with the intention of retiring there in a few years. Don't know for sure whether Orcas Island is our final choice, but the house has significantly increased in value since 2012 and so if we decide to liquidate it, should be no problem.
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:54 PM   #53
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-One thing is clear. Everyone has their favorite spot in the world. I truly enjoy reading every post and perspective.

-That's the beauty of this country. I'm free to be what I want to be and go where I want to go. It's a testament to the writer/signers of a marvelous DoI giving us the freedom to pursue our own individual reality of "happiness" without the hindrance of another entity. Not perfect, but if you consider the regimes and economic distress that other people in the world have to live under, I marvel and am grateful as an immigrant who once lived in a hut.

-My happiness at the moment is here in Kaneohe @ 73*F visiting with the grandkids and having a ball under a slightly overcast sky.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:00 PM   #54
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On a plane going back home from Arizona once I sat next to a woman and we began chatting about how much we enjoyed Sedona and Scottsdale. I asked her if she would consider living there, since her hometown was Detroit. She responded that she definitely would not want to live there. Surprised, I asked why and she said, "Because then it would no longer be special". She said she would rather visit each year and have something to look forward to rather than living there full-time and everything becoming routine like it is at her current home.

I never forgot those words and I keep them in mind when I think about retirement.
After a stint in Western N. Dakota in the early 80's, I was done with cold weather. The next 30 years were living and working in Phoenix, San Diego, Orange County and South Florida. Now retired to the "sugar sand" beaches of the FL Panhandle.

Life in those areas did become routine, as it must when making your way, but I never forgot I was living every day in places that other people spent money to visit a week or two a year.

I enjoy walking on the beach at 10 a.m. and being surrounded by tourists

Yes, I agree you should keep that in mind when you think about retirement
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:46 PM   #55
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.....But steadily as we kept going back to our timeshare in Vermont, I fell in love with the state and I would love to move there- I really think my place is by the lake- but learned of the taxes on Social Security income. What a downer!....
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Don't forget to look at the total picture. New Hampshire has one of the highest property tax rates.
It is true that SS is not exempted so there is a cost of 3.55% for most people (it could be more in higher income brackets but I assume that if you are in one of those higher income brackets presumably taxes on SS would not be a stumbling block).

So for example, if your SS is $24k a year then the tax cost is $852. However, I would suggest that other things are much cheaper than elsewhere (house and car insurance, health insurance, housing in some cases) so the $852 of additional tax cost is not a big deal and is offset by other lower costs.

We'll be staying there until we are 65 because health insurance costs are reasonable... we pay $230/month each for a catastrophic plan and a bronze plan would be about $400/month each... which is a good deal compared to many areas of the US. As another example, I pay $4 for a movie at my local rural movie theater.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:20 AM   #56
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I, believe it or not, always wanted to move to Alaska until I took a trip there and realized how primitive it was.
Hi Meleana,

I'm curious... what did you find primitive about AK?

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Old 01-05-2016, 03:37 AM   #57
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Hi Meleana,

I'm curious... what did you find primitive about AK?

Well- ummm...it's Alaska! It was the "feel" of the place- the vastness, the wildness, the cool dampness- I could feel those glaciers in my bones even when we were somewhat far away from them.

I loved it- don't get me wrong- such an incredible place. But, I just got the feeling it was more "wild" than I would want to live in as I age.

I would have liked the opportunity to visit more small towns, but it is not easy to get around the state- another drawback.

I wasn't crazy about Anchorage, but then I don't care for cities anyway
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:46 AM   #58
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It is true that SS is not exempted so there is a cost of 3.55% for most people (it could be more in higher income brackets but I assume that if you are in one of those higher income brackets presumably taxes on SS would not be a stumbling block).

So for example, if your SS is $24k a year then the tax cost is $852. However, I would suggest that other things are much cheaper than elsewhere (house and car insurance, health insurance, housing in some cases) so the $852 of additional tax cost is not a big deal and is offset by other lower costs.

We'll be staying there until we are 65 because health insurance costs are reasonable... we pay $230/month each for a catastrophic plan and a bronze plan would be about $400/month each... which is a good deal compared to many areas of the US. As another example, I pay $4 for a movie at my local rural movie theater.
So, you live in Vermont but are going to leave when you retire? Why?

I don't know- $852 seems like a lot of money to give the state every year when you are retired. Housing is not that cheap in VT from what I have seen. The health insurance you quote doesn't seem cheap to me either. Kind of on par with my husband's employer plan. But- would be on Medicare anyway by the time we move.

One thing- the property taxes are less in VT than in NY overall which is a good thing. I like the idea of living by the lake, but I can't seem to get information regarding homeowners insurance when you live near the water, which I assume could be an issue.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:53 AM   #59
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This posting is meandering, but there's been some interesting reading.

She's wanting a warm place with a reasonable cost of living which excludes the west coast across the board.

Warm means going to the southern half of the country, as does a low cost of living.

Let us know what areas/states of the U.S. you're interested in, and more specific relocation information is forthcoming.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:35 AM   #60
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It gets pretty cold in Central Texas in the winter and brutally hot in the summer. We are headed for a warmer climate year-round now.
I can't imagine anything warmer than central Texas in the summer.

Brownsville maybe?
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