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Old 11-30-2017, 11:28 AM   #81
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I was responding to Alex but I do think Bart taxes are worth it
I do, too. We use BART almost every week. The traffic is getting pretty heavy to drive anymore into SF so without BART we would miss out on many of the events we go into the city for now.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:40 PM   #82
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I'm not sure who will use BART down here. Not that many jobs in the East Bay for the techies and financial types that live here. It's a very long way around to get to SF or the airport. Cal Train is much more popular and does a better job of keeping the alcoholics, druggies and mentally ill away from the paying customers.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:06 PM   #83
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We lived in San Jose for 20+ years (your neighborhood, Alex) but moved to Santa Cruz after retirement. DH and I have no children and both families are dispersed throughout the US, so we could have lived just about anywhere.

Here’s why we chose Santa Cruz:

1) Natural beauty, first and foremost. In any weather, a walk, run or bike ride along the ocean brings me peace - and joy. I get to do it every day.

2) Climate. Though because it is slightly cooler than San Jose, especially in the summer, I prefer the weather in San Jose (or the East or North Bay, for that matter). San Francisco is too cold for me. DH loves the cooler weather here, and says he would never go back to San Jose.

3) Housing. The median price in our zip code is still about 200K less than it is in our old neighborhood. And in Santa Cruz there are very few subdivision-type houses, which dominate the landscape in the South Bay, so IMO only, you get a nicer house in Santa Cruz than you get for the same money over the hill. In addition, it’s a college town so very pedestrian and bike friendly.

4) Recreation. DH and I are both into outdoor activities and Santa Cruz offers great mountain biking and hiking trails that are easy to get to.

Santa Cruz does have real downsides - in the large and very visible homeless population, lack of affordable housing, property crime and inescapable rush hour traffic on the major highways. Thankfully I am retired and rarely venture across town after about 2 PM.

We also did consider other areas. San Francisco was one but by the time DH was ready to seriously consider the move, the properties that interested us were out of our price range.

Colorado also came up, particularly Boulder because of the recreational opportunities there and proximity to Denver, a city we both like a lot. Unfortunately, our employer-subsidized health insurance would have cost 1-2K more per month if we left California.

And finally, we did briefly consider the East Bay, which would have been fine with me but DH was not on board. I would have loved the ability to take BART into SF while enjoying the warmer weather and increased sunshine of the East Bay cities. A friend of ours lives in Clayton and loves it, another friend lives in Danville and can’t wait to move. Personally I always thought Orinda looked beautiful.

Finally, a P.S to OP: you can blame me and DH in part for your property tax increases, as we voted for bond measures and parcel taxes to improve the school district in SJ. But do you know what? It worked, and by the time we sold the SJ house the school district was becoming extremely popular with the tech crowd, which drove property values ever higher - so much so that our home in SJ increased in value by 545% over the time we owned it.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:59 PM   #84
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We lived in San Jose for 20+ years (your neighborhood, Alex) but moved to Santa Cruz after retirement. DH and I have no children and both families are dispersed throughout the US, so we could have lived just about anywhere.
Persn, thanks for sharing your situation. I really like Santa Cruz area, but it is kind of remote from civilization ... I mean, major airports. Do you guys occasionally travel? And if so how do you reach SFO or SJC from Santa Cruz? The Pacific coast is beautiful, there is nothing like that anywhere else. And yes home prices are a bit lower than in South Bay. Also I noticed there is brand new PAMF facility built in your town, which is a good news.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:10 AM   #85
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We usually fly out of San Jose when we travel. It is a bit less than 45 minutes from our home. We don’t do much international travel but go out of SFO when we do. There is a shuttle available to either airport, though we normally drive and park at the airport.

The new PAMF facility is great and that is where my PCP is located. I have been mostly satisfied with PAMF here but I think we may wait longer for appointments. So far it hasn’t been an issue.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:22 PM   #86
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I live in a town of 3100 people in Massachusetts that abuts the state line with New Hampshire. There is no sales tax in New Hampshire. As such, I live in a place that you'd think (and looks like) is in the middle of nowhere, but drive 8mins north across the state line and BAM! Malls, shops, great restaurants and home improvement stores as far as the eye can see. Cheaper gas and groceries and no tax (but you don't even want to know what property taxes are there...). We live in a 3300s.f home and as of last Feb are empty nesters. Way more house than we need, but we love the town, a secluded wooded lot, nature, quiet, my man cave shop, etc. Mortgage is not much, but taxes and utilities here will eventually make it hard to justify staying. Lots of talks with the DW about what we really enjoy, and what we could do without. Been RE since last Jan, so far so good. Will probably stay here 5-10 more years, then who knows where....
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:38 AM   #87
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I live in a town of 3100 people in Massachusetts that abuts the state line with New Hampshire. There is no sales tax in New Hampshire. As such, I live in a place that you'd think (and looks like) is in the middle of nowhere, but drive 8mins north across the state line and BAM! Malls, shops, great restaurants and home improvement stores as far as the eye can see. Cheaper gas and groceries and no tax (but you don't even want to know what property taxes are there...). We live in a 3300s.f home and as of last Feb are empty nesters. Way more house than we need, but we love the town, a secluded wooded lot, nature, quiet, my man cave shop, etc. Mortgage is not much, but taxes and utilities here will eventually make it hard to justify staying. Lots of talks with the DW about what we really enjoy, and what we could do without. Been RE since last Jan, so far so good. Will probably stay here 5-10 more years, then who knows where....
Thanks, your place looks very interesting. But it's so cold down there
Actually, the city of Vancouver, WA is famous for this kind of trick: in WA they don't have income tax, while just across the river in OR there is no sales tax and this is where they do all shopping.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:26 AM   #88
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Another Californian and I'll continue to disagree .... we pass on all costs to renters in my corner of the bay

On the >1.5m home, how much would you pay in taxes in other states (12k now)? My home of only 900k has taxes of 3k annually ..... other states are a lot higher. According to what others are posting I'd get slammed elsewhere although it must have hurt for those who had taxes reduced during Great Recession as property values fell only to see them restored ASAP once property reverted to pre-recession values. IMHO still better than:

hate to think what mine would be in Wisconsin / Dallas / NY / NJ
And yet another Californian disagreeing here. It sounds to me like some significant changes were made to the house ( for instance an added MBR) that caused the house value to be reassessed. I don't remember enough bonds/libraries/etc. being approved to cause such a steep increase in total taxes
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:54 AM   #89
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We've lived in NKy near Cincinnati practically our entire lives. See no reason to move with friends/family here, reasonable/low taxes, lots to do, and having the ability to travel when/wherever we like.

Weather swings don't control my views of life. Summers are hot/humid for two months (90/65), but not like further south, and winters fairly cold (40/20 h/l in Jan.), but not like further north (But there's a 400' elev. ski hill nearby open 3 months that I hit once/week or so.). Starting over, I'd probably choose the mountains - views/skiing/hiking. Beach gets old for me after a few days. You look out & it's the same flat water over & over. Hills/mountains change every direction you look.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:13 AM   #90
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And yet another Californian disagreeing here. It sounds to me like some significant changes were made to the house ( for instance an added MBR) that caused the house value to be reassessed. I don't remember enough bonds/libraries/etc. being approved to cause such a steep increase in total taxes
No improvements has been made for this house.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:17 PM   #91
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New York City here. These “where do we all live?” threads are interesting to me because I am constantly thinking to relocate. In NYC we pay some of the highest state and local income tax rates in the country. And I’d love to afford a bigger, newer apartment.

On the other hand, health insurance rates tend to be a little lower here and there are still lots of options. I also save a lot of money as I don’t have/need a car. NYC is highly walkable, stimulating, and we have 3 major airports close at hand so flights to just about anywhere are reasonable, and that’s important to me since I travel a lot.

For now there is still no glaring reason for me to relo but we’ll see what the future holds.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:33 PM   #92
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New York City here. These “where do we all live?” threads are interesting to me because I am constantly thinking to relocate. In NYC we pay some of the highest state and local income tax rates in the country. And I’d love to afford a bigger, newer apartment.

On the other hand, health insurance rates tend to be a little lower here and there are still lots of options. I also save a lot of money as I don’t have/need a car. NYC is highly walkable, stimulating, and we have 3 major airports close at hand so flights to just about anywhere are reasonable, and that’s important to me since I travel a lot.

For now there is still no glaring reason for me to relo but we’ll see what the future holds.
Your post summarizes the tradeoffs between locations quite well. We live on 25 acres outside of Nashville; one son in SanFran, one in NYC, one in Raleigh. Very different places, each with their own positives and negatives. We wouldn't want either SanFran or NYC; neither of those couples is presently interested in Nashville.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:42 PM   #93
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Your post summarizes the tradeoffs between locations quite well. We live on 25 acres outside of Nashville; one son in SanFran, one in NYC, one in Raleigh. Very different places, each with their own positives and negatives. We wouldn't want either SanFran or NYC; neither of those couples is presently interested in Nashville.


That’s interesting as I have looked into Nashville as a potential relo from NYC. Sure it’s way different, but it’s an up and coming city with a lively, walkable downtown area. I could trade my crappy studio apartment in NYC for a shiny new condo with all the amenities in Nashville. Also, the repeal of the Hall Tax on investment income means Tennessee will finally be a truly no income tax state within a few years.

However, when I compared it with some other cities Nashville’s individual insurance market looks terrible, very expensive, not many choices (unless I am missing something). One surely has to consider all costs not just “headline numbers”.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:57 PM   #94
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...[many reasons nashville is attractive for relocation]...

However, when I compared it with some other cities Nashville’s individual insurance market looks terrible, very expensive, not many choices (unless I am missing something). One surely has to consider all costs not just “headline numbers”.
Yeah, the population base for the individual market is pretty small, leading to the issues you note--which are definitely a factor to analyze in whether to retire early here (or, like you, move here after early retirement).

We have 2018 with relatively inexpensive COBRA coverage at just a hair over $1000 a month, then it will get interesting going forward. Still hoping that a barebones major medical/catastrophic policy option becomes available, but if not, we'll adjust via the fat in the travel budget.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:10 PM   #95
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For those of you who live in the North, and who are dreaming about moving to a warm climate, I thought I'd tell you that right here in New Orleans today it is gray, bleak, dark, and frightfully cold, with cold rain and wind gusts here right now. It's 46F at the moment and it is supposed to get down to 38F tonight.

Most importantly we aren't used to it like you are, so to us it feels colder than it sounds.

BRRRR, this is not warm weather. It is miserable, yucky weather. If you want warm weather and frolicking in the sunshine, move someplace else like Hawaii.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:30 PM   #96
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W2R, that's still better than here!

Besides, I just bought a new snow thrower. I'm hoping it'll work as good as the first one did - we didn't see snowflake one for four years!
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:33 PM   #97
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We are in the Lexington, Ky area. We've been here 22+ years and have no desire to leave. We have 1+ acres so far enough from neighbors to have privacy. Privacy fence around the whole property. In-ground pool with a slide and diving board which was great when the kids were little - now great for the granddaughter. Our daughter/son-in-law and granddaughter are only about 30 minutes away, so that will keep us here. Son has moved to Dayton, OH area for his job, but is only about 2.5 hours away. We are very happy here.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:34 PM   #98
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W2R, that's still better than here!

Besides, I just bought a new snow thrower. I'm hoping it'll work as good as the first one did - we didn't see snowflake one for four years!
Good luck with that. I got a new heater (new HVAC) last year, and hoped that it would do the same for the cold winter weather around here. Didn't work. It does keep my house nice and warm but if I didn't have it, I'd be awfully cold. Right now it's so dark I think I'll turn the lights on.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:26 PM   #99
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Good luck with that. I got a new heater (new HVAC) last year, and hoped that it would do the same for the cold winter weather around here. Didn't work. It does keep my house nice and warm but if I didn't have it, I'd be awfully cold. Right now it's so dark I think I'll turn the lights on.
Wet and rainy here in beautiful Houston, Texas. Low tonight of 32 F. Kind of reminds me of my years in Connecticut, although back there, we used to play golf in this weather as it was certainly going to gt worse, much worse.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:17 PM   #100
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We are in southern NH and are getting close to retirement so, are talking about where to look. We will likely stay in the area since adult kids and family are around.

We will likely move one more time, to a town with lower taxes and/or a condo.

Anyway, we are dumb .... we both work in Mass, so we pay their non-resident income tax of ~5%. Then, we get to live in NH where we get hammered with property tax. Last year we paid $11K in property tax, on a house with 2100 sq-ft. Good thing we downsized last year. Our old house, in another town, was hitting us with ~$13K in property tax!

Luckily our jobs pay well ... golden handcuffs.
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