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Old 04-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #41
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I have zoned in the following cities (1) Columbia, SC and (2) Charleston, (3) Savannah, (4) Augusta. I was hoping some of you might share any recent experiences and opinions with these cities? You can PM me if you prefer.
Thanks
All 4 of these cities are very hot and muggy in the Summer. Also, South Carolina is one of the most politically conservative states in the nation. I am too liberal to live in South Carolina.

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Old 04-14-2014, 06:40 PM   #42
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Cities With Highest Satisfaction - Business Insider

Above is a Gallup poll of 189 Metro areas in US.

I spent my working life in Billings, MT., ranked #4. Very livable, about 100,000 people.

I grew up in Flint, ranked #4 from the bottom. Not very livable anymore, but very inexpensive right now for housing.

Maybe you'll get some ideas from the list.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:48 AM   #43
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Columbia is a pretty big city, and does not seem to be a good fit. Charleston is great, better than Savannah in our opinion. No input on Augusta. You should give Greeneville, SC a look. Close to mountains. Mid-size, but nice downtown.
I was just wondering why you think Columbia is not a a good fit. Its population is under 150K similar to Charleston.
What makes Charleston better than Savannah?
Thanks in advance
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:33 PM   #44
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I live in Knoxville. You would be a good fit if you want to live downtown near the University. It has come a long way and is turning into a very nice area. While the area is pretty red, downtown area is blue. I come from New York. You would be accepted in the suburbs but you would probably find that people are too conservative for you there. Close to good hiking, and while bike friendliness is improving it is not near to some of the better cities in this respect. Cost of living is pretty low, you can ride a bike all winter. We had our biggest snow since 1993 this past winter: 6 inches. However, it was gone within a day. If you like mountain biking there are a lot of great trails, but people usually drive to the trailhead.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #45
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I was just wondering why you think Columbia is not a a good fit. Its population is under 150K similar to Charleston.
What makes Charleston better than Savannah?
Thanks in advance
Columbia has a population of 790,000. It is difficult for South Carolina cities to annex additional land, so a large percentage of the population is just outside the city limits. You need to use the MSA population when making comparisons. Charleston is similar (712,000) but Augusta (580,000) and Savannah (366,000) are noticeably smaller.

Source: List of Metropolitan Statistical Areas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:06 PM   #46
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It is by belief that when it comes to taxes you should also consider what you get for what you pay for. Nothing comes from nothing. Many states, such as Oregon, have extra tax deductions for seniors in their income tax returns. Heck, purchase TurboTax then plug in the #s from a downloaded state (any state) tax return. Keep in mind the fact that states with low or no income tax nip you in other ways.

In Oregon Eugene is the town I nominate for cyclist's heaven. Home of the University of Oregon it attracts cultural events. They have two very good hospitals. It is only about a 2 hour drive to Portland for complex issues such as heart and cancer surgery. The climate is moderate, they don't have a snow plow - for example.

The towns mentioned in California are worth a look but I would add Davis to the list.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:45 PM   #47
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NC income taxes have been reduced beginning in 2014.
Most of the Yankees here come from Florida.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:45 PM   #48
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NC income taxes have been reduced beginning in 2014.
Most of the Yankees here come from Florida.
Although the NC income tax was reduced to 5.8% in 2014 (5.75% in 2015), it sounds like it is somewhat offset by increases in other areas.

"Eliminates $4,000 deduction on government retirement income and $2,000 on private retirement income. Social Security and some government income remain exempt from taxes."
"Replaces 3 percent gross receipts tax for live sporting and entertainment events with the combined state and local sales tax rate."
"Replaces 1 percent gross receipts tax on movie tickets with the combined state and local sales tax rate."
"Changes the tax on electricity come July 1, which could result in higher bills for consumers."

How NC tax system changes will impact you in 2014 - Local - The Shelby Star
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:54 PM   #49
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For good or bad, I do not have any government or private pension income.
Mostly dividends and capital gains; no SS income yet.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:58 PM   #50
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I was just wondering why you think Columbia is not a a good fit. Its population is under 150K similar to Charleston.
What makes Charleston better than Savannah?
Thanks in advance
SCGamecock beat me to the population answer. In my limited experiences in Columbia, it just seems like a big city without a lot of culture or other significant attractions

As far as Charleston and Savannah comparison, we like them both, and I am sure you can find as many or more people who will vote for Savannah over Charleston. In our view, the restaurants are better in Charleston, and I like the historical perspective as well from Civil War days. The only way to decide is to visit both, but both would be a good choice for us.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:30 AM   #51
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Cities With Highest Satisfaction - Business Insider


I spent my working life in Billings, MT., ranked #4. Very livable, about 100,000 people.
How did you go from the wide open space of Montana to crowded island living?
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:38 AM   #52
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What will the place you are considering be like in ten years? I think I might choose a "nice" place with a declining population rather than a "discovered" place with an increasing population, since that often brings the 24/7 congestion one finds in many "nice" places, that were nice until they got discovered.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:37 AM   #53
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Take a look at Boise Idaho. Idaho is a red state but Boise is quite progressive.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #54
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Boise: Talk about a change in climate!!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:20 PM   #55
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Boise weather not that bad. Better than much of the east and south last year. Typically no snow and only a few weeks of really cold weather. Boise State University, great mountains all around, lots of bike riders, low crime and big enough to have everything you need but small enough to be very nice place to live.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:49 AM   #56
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MJ, have you thought about Chiang Rai, Thailand? Much smaller town, less discovered, less polluted (I think?). It meets all your criteria (I think) except that you mentioned your wife can't start a business.

However, I have friends in Thailand who have started businesses. In Chiang Rai I knew a guy who started a Thai corporation (on paper) and runs several businesses. It is all legitimate and he has been doing it for over a decade now. He can do everything a Thai person can do except vote. I think he is still the exclusive supplier for a particular food ingredient to a restaurant chain in Thailand, among other businesses.

This would certainly be a less radical change.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:16 AM   #57
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It's a bit larger than you specified, but Portland, OR would get my vote, too. Absolutely gorgeous, albeit rainy in the winter, but incredibly bicycle, walking, and public transportation friendly. Housing is cheaper than California. Taxes in both places are quite progressive, so if you aren't rich, you are probably better off (no sales tax in OR). Universities, medical school, indie music, awesome restaurant scene, hiking and mountains nearby. The only flaw is the distance to the ocean, but fresh water abounds. My husband feels it would be depressing in the winter, but I love the silvery, overcast winter light. Also, it is the only city in the US with a volcano (extinct) in the center.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:19 AM   #58
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:58 AM   #59
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Boise weather not that bad. Better than much of the east and south last year. Typically no snow and only a few weeks of really cold weather. Boise State University, great mountains all around, lots of bike riders, low crime and big enough to have everything you need but small enough to be very nice place to live.

I would like to visit Boise one of these days. I watch the towns temperature ranges and they appear to be quite wide over a years time. I live in St. Louis and was surprised to notice their temperatures at the peak of summer and winter are both higher and lower than here.


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Old 04-22-2014, 11:23 AM   #60
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I've thoroughly enjoyed several visits to Boise, but always in the summer.
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