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Moving for tax considerations
Old 08-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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Moving for tax considerations

We have been out of the workforce for several years (hooray!) and stayed in our home. But we live in NY state and taxes here on property are ridiculous. We have high sales tax, high income tax and are considering moving to a better tax area.
our kids have left the area for greener pastures, but what is holding us back is our social connections. We are near the Canadian border so put up with several hundred inches of snow a year, which is also a consideration.
Anyone have any advice? Pros and cons?
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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Now that you are retired, you can live where you like!

Given the current housing downturn, I think the usual advice of renting for a year or two in the new location before buying is especially relevant. After a year or two I think you will know whether or not you are going to develop enough new friendships in the new location to suit you.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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" We have high sales tax, high income tax and are considering moving to a better tax area. "


If you want to avoid all of these things - do not even consider California. The only thing CA has got going for it is the great weather and gorgeous scenery.

I am hoping to move within the next couple years, CA is no place for a retiree with no earned income, savings and SS cannot keep up with CA tax increases.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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Try looking here.
The Top 10 places to retire - Robert Powell - MarketWatch

And here
The 10 worst states for retirees - Robert Powell - MarketWatch
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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Anyone have any advice? Pros and cons?
Taxes are just one aspect, and sometimes the "Top 10" articles lump all the residents together in one tax category instead of considering retirees separately from workers. In general, retirees have lower taxes, so don't blindly follow the Top 10 recommendations until you've checked into the specific taxes for your situation.

You may need to consider the cost of health insurance as one of the factors of relocating.

You have to rent/vacation in your chosen area for several months before you make the leap. That includes being there during any extremes in weather, visitors, traffic, or other significant events.

Many who relocate here from the Mainland later move back to the Mainland to be near grandkids. Depending on where you and your kids end up, it could be a pretty long trip.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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... but what is holding us back is our social connections. We are near the Canadian border ...
If you want to stay close to your friends but get out of NY, perhaps you could move across the nearby border and accomplish both those things.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:22 AM   #7
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I really don't hear a strong dislike of your present place of residence. High taxes and snow - anywhere you go you will find something that you wish were different. Good friends are important, and IMO most people move early in life to a place where they feel comfortable with the the people and lifestyle. Someplace like Nevada or Arizona can be blazing hot, and the people tend to have a very different outlook on life and style of living than Upstate New York.

People tend to move to get away from their problems - and later realize the problems back home were not as bad as you thought. Unless you have a history of moving from place to place, I think you will find it difficult to move.

I lived and worked in Maine for a while, and half the people moved south for the winter... have you considered that option? You might find people that share your interests in Florida. But Florida is really hot in the summer and expensive too. "Is predicament".
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:31 AM   #8
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thanks for all the things to think about. We have moved many times, as DH had a job that required it and have been here for almost 20 years. And I do know that wherever you go, there you are. There is no magic solution.
On our house which is only valued at slightly above $200,000 our yearly property and school tax is about $7500, so over the years that adds up to a huge part of our budget and that is why we are seriously considering this.
Having two places, summer and winter, would not solve this problem, but it would make the snow much easier to bear. I have read many articles about retirement taxes however you really have to read the fine print, sometimes they are including state pensions in their considerations, and some states tax ss. We have flexibility in our medical (in other words we pay a lot no matter where we live). Most of our friends are still working so we see them on a limited basis. At first I didn't think we would consider moving but after a couple of years in the retirement lifestyle it is becoming an option. we are taking some trips this fall and spring to check places out.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:04 AM   #9
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One webpage that has helped me several times is http://www.zillow.com
It allows you to look at various areas where you are thinking of moving to see the home prices. This way, before you start traveling you have an idea of what to expect to pay for a home.

One thing that I mention because I worked in a tax assessors office in Illinois. That is, to ask the tax assessor come out and do an assessment on your home. I have no idea if that will help in New York, but you may be paying property tax based on the value of you house before the crash. 15% property tax seems unbelievable. You may be able to get that slashed once a true valuation is known..
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Fulton taxes tops in Central New York; Skaneateles taxes are lowest | syracuse.com

this explains a lot about taxes here. Actually our home prices really did not go up much and did not crash much, unlike much of the country.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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Amazing! Well, if you are comfortable moving, keep on truckin'
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:24 PM   #12
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I don't think you should underestimate how important it is to have people in your lives and it sounds as if you are happy with that aspect of your current location.

Would it be possible to downsize in your current location and reduce those pesky taxes?
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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You might want to consider moving to a different town in NY, or a different area. I am in eastern central NY and my taxes are less than yours. The article you linked to is something I have heard a lot about NY: tax burden can vary a lot from one community to another. Also, there is a lot less snow where I am. But that would keep you within visiting distance of your friends.

Also, among all the states in the region, NY treats pensions the best under the tax law, with some of the pension exempt from taxes. I don't know if that matters in your situation.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:34 PM   #14
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Talk to your friends. Perhaps some of them are also considering moving.
You might want to consider moving to a location near them.

Years ago my mother and a brother and sister along with their spouses moved to Florida. They ended up downsizing their homes and were all quite happy living in the same retirement community.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:27 PM   #15
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Thank you for all your excellent advice. We are going to do a combination of the above. Look into the local area as kat has suggested to see how taxes vary, look into downsizing, and visit some places this winter we are thinking about. DH does a lot of woodworking so he needs a nice workshop or basement if we do downsize. We have some acquaintances in Florida in two retirement developments that we are visiting in January, however I am hesitant to live in an over 55 community. I kind of like seeing kids play basketball, ride their bikes around and grow up.
Our whole hesitation is losing our social network. We are so lucky to have some like minded friends who are our age and value experiences and relationships over material things. That is priceless.

It has been interesting that there are a number of related threads on these same topics in the past few days. Some people move, some stay put, some RV it which is not an option for us for medical reasons.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:15 AM   #16
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I have moved to a lot of locations in the US. The style of social interaction is different everywhere. For example, in areas where both parents work and the kids go to pre-school and after school programs, the neighborhoods really do not focus on neighbors. Everybody makes friends at work and that is the group they socialize with too. I felt sorry for the older people who seemed to live (with or without spouse) in a house - and never had visitors.

You can join clubs and get involved with community activities, but it is really hard to get a close group of friends again. My brothers/sisters/kids all moved to different places all over the country. I am kind of a loner, so I was happy working on hobbies and crafts. My DW went back to work again just to have a "life".

But in some towns kids are riding their bikes on the street, and playing baseball in the park... other towns are dead quiet. I don't have a recommendation, only to say it is the first thing too look for when you are looking for a new place to live.
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