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Old 01-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #21
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Like Nords, I grew up in Murrysville (small world isn't it). I left in 1981 when I graduated from high school.
Franklin Regional '78. Are you in the yearbook? Or on Classmates.com?

That was one small town where everybody knew your business, but hopefully the statute of limitations has expired. When we drove through there in 2007 I was surprised at the huge number of homes for sale. Seems bigger now-- I got lost between Monroeville & Murrysville.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:58 AM   #22
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Franklin Regional Class of '81

I am in the yearbook. I don't think I want to give my full name here, but I am female and my last name at the time was Sanders. Not sure about Classmates -- I think I may have registered at some point, but I am not a member. I attended FR from 3rd grade through graduation. I did go back for my 20th high school reunion which was held in downtown Pittsburgh. The trip was worth it, although, I haven't been back since other than once for a friend's mother's funeral. Murrysville itself didn't look all that different, but you are right, Monroeville seems to have expanded.

The whole reunion experience was a bit surreal, which I am sure is what many folks on this Forum have said about high school reunions in general. I tend not to wax nostalgic about high school, frankly, college was way better. However, I still listen to the music from that era with great fondness and I remember how cool we thought we were when we named Lynard Skynard's "Freebird" as our class song.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:52 PM   #23
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I am in the yearbook. I don't think I want to give my full name here, but I am female and my last name at the time was Sanders.
Page 179, right? You've probably figured out that I'm on page 142. It's hard to believe that those things have survived over 30 years of moves & storage. (My family moved to Colorado a month after graduation, same time I moved to Annapolis.) My 16-year-old daughter finds them hugely amusing, although she doesn't realize that I'm saving her yearbooks for that special boyfriend she brings home to meet the parents.

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I did go back for my 20th high school reunion which was held in downtown Pittsburgh. The trip was worth it, although, I haven't been back since other than once for a friend's mother's funeral. Murrysville itself didn't look all that different, but you are right, Monroeville seems to have expanded.
The whole reunion experience was a bit surreal, which I am sure is what many folks on this Forum have said about high school reunions in general. I tend not to wax nostalgic about high school, frankly, college was way better. However, I still listen to the music from that era with great fondness and I remember how cool we thought we were when we named Lynard Skynard's "Freebird" as our class song.
Our class has been much less rigorous about reunions-- nothing since the 10th. "We May Never Pass This Way Again" indeed.

I'd like to try another HS reunion while we still have living alumni. The Navy ones aren't nearly as much fun-- everyone seems to arrange themselves by lineal numbers and compare the sizes of their... commands.

Back to the original topic, Amethyst, recent events have reminded me that if you don't care for football then you'll have a tough time living within 100 miles of Pittsburgh between August & February. I believe that you're required to display black & gold prominently on all homes & vehicles or be subject to excommunication.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #24
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I just stumbled on this link that rates Harrisburg PA as one of the worst places in terms of retiree tax burden.
Which states give retirees the best deal? - MSN Money
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:05 PM   #25
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Nords wrote, I believe that you're required to display black & gold prominently on all homes & vehicles or be subject to excommunication.

Well, that does it The Steelers are impressive and I would have no trouble adopting them as "my" team, but nobody can tell me what to wear or display. I would probably get excommunicated right away When they banish you, where do they make you go?

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Old 01-20-2009, 06:10 PM   #26
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One of the other things that is more expensive compared to other places we've lived are water and sewer charges. The water is a small private company and the sewer is charged by the township. We pay way more for water and sewer compared to where we lived in Virginia. Plus we have a 1% payroll tax from the township but I don't think you pay that on retirement income.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:13 PM   #27
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Furball, very interesting article. It mentions Tennessee as having a retiree tax exemption, so I'll look into that. Husband objects to Delaware for being "too flat," but he can't very well have that objection to TN.

Amethyst.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:54 PM   #28
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One other thing to consider is the price of real estate -- I'm from the Harrisburg/York area and real estate there can be significantly less than in a place like DC. So, you have that much more to add to your next egg.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:31 PM   #29
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Nords wrote, I believe that you're required to display black & gold prominently on all homes & vehicles or be subject to excommunication.

Well, that does it The Steelers are impressive and I would have no trouble adopting them as "my" team, but nobody can tell me what to wear or display. I would probably get excommunicated right away When they banish you, where do they make you go?

Amethyst
New Orleans or Detroit - warm in New Orleans but housing may be cheaper in Detroit.

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:12 PM   #30
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Had a j*b interview at PPG 40 years ago this May. (Didn't go with them.) Cab driver warned me to be certain I owned the mineral rights under any purchased property. Don't know if this is still an issue, but thought I'd mention it since I hadn't seen it discussed yet. Remember YMMV
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:26 AM   #31
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Nords wrote, I believe that you're required to display black & gold prominently on all homes & vehicles or be subject to excommunication.
Well, that does it The Steelers are impressive and I would have no trouble adopting them as "my" team, but nobody can tell me what to wear or display. I would probably get excommunicated right away When they banish you, where do they make you go?
Amethyst
If you're excommunicated from Pittsburgh you have to go live in Philadelphia.

But if you're banished then you have to go live in Cleveland...
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:44 AM   #32
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Lived in NW PA all my life. 50+ years. Stay away from this area. Job market is terrible. Winters, all 6 months of it, are terrible. This season alone we have 110" of snow. Looks like the record may fall. I believe it was over 140". As soon as I take the plunge and retire, in little over a year, I plan on moving south. Sorry to give a negative view, just my personal observation.
I have a friend who lives in the York area, and he loves it there. He's retired. The weather is far more mild.
Hope this helps.
Rob
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:13 PM   #33
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When you say PA doesnt tax pension income, you are talking about state tax , correct? I assume you still have to pay federal income tax on it?

Go Steelers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:19 AM   #34
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Lived in NW PA all my life. 50+ years. Stay away from this area. Job market is terrible. Winters, all 6 months of it, are terrible. This season alone we have 110" of snow. Looks like the record may fall. I believe it was over 140". As soon as I take the plunge and retire, in little over a year, I plan on moving south. Sorry to give a negative view, just my personal observation.
I have a friend who lives in the York area, and he loves it there. He's retired. The weather is far more mild.
Hope this helps.
Rob
Rob,

Guess you didn't appreciate the 6 inches of snow last night and the 6 more forecasted. You must be in Erie County PA! We're going for the snow records this year!

Regarding PA, Amethyst, it has a lot of diversity. While I now live along the shores of Lake Erie (Pittsburgh seldom gets snow compared to Erie), and we have serious winters, you may find the south central area of PA to your liking such as around Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Waynesboro. Less than 100 miles to DC area, generally mountainous, not quite as humid as DC. I lived in Waynesboro PA around 1980 and enjoyed the area. Appalachian trail goes through the area, some ski slopes in the area. Pretty laid back but with easy access to Baltimore and DC area.

If your looking toward the South, consider Huntsville Alabama. Strong economy, low property taxes, they don't tax pensions, but they do have a high sales tax on everything it seems. Spent 20+ years there and really enjoyed it's extended spring and fall seasons. Summers were pretty hot but I would rather spend a summer in Huntsville than in DC, humidity is generally not as bad as DC. And their two week winter was OK! For family reasons, I ended up returning to Erie County PA with it's real Fall and Winters, get my exercise shoveling the white stuff. When I start SS, I may treat myself to a snowblower!

Lived in the Poconos for a year (NE PA) and also at State College. Liked them all.

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Old 01-28-2009, 10:32 AM   #35
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Rob,

Guess you didn't appreciate the 6 inches of snow last night and the 6 more forecasted. You must be in Erie County PA! We're going for the snow records this year!
Some areas could have up to foot more. I live west of Erie, and yes I live in Erie County.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:14 PM   #36
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Thanks, all. Any more PAers out there? Please write.

Utrecht, I'm afraid the IRS will tax pension income, no matter what state you live in

So far, the most promising things are being said about central and south central PA.

Incidentally, we visited Lancaster County, where we went around for a day with about the nicest Realtor we have ever met (could not seem to do enough for us--even though we told him, up front and in plain English, that we have no intention of buying for several years).

Saw some nice homes, including one with a river view that was to die for, but found the area, overall, rather flat, and the hilly part just a bit too rural.

(Some of this was more husband's impression - while we don't agree on everything, we respect each other's opinions and intuitions).
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:08 PM   #37
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I have lived in the burbs of Philadelphia. I really don't see the appeal. It's neither here nor there. It's not big city, and it's not big sky country where you can do lots of outdoorsy stuff. The skiing sucks, and the cycling isn't great. If I had access to a NetJet, I'd live in Colorado. I'd ride, ski, and raft, and when I'm tired of living like an outdoor monk, I'd jet to somewhere glitzy. On my current career trajectory, that's highly unlikely.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:29 AM   #38
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Thanks, all. Any more PAers out there? Please write.
I've lived primarily around Philadelphia, and I don't think the bustle is what you're looking for. On the bright side, the tax structure of Philadelphia county is good for a retiree. There are relatively low property taxes (mine are around .5% of property value) and high city wage tax (around 4% I think), so it works out well if you don't have a wage. The highways are a mess, however, if you do much commuting in or out of the city (especially on 76).

Philadelphia is a unique city, in my opinion, because the different areas of the city cannot easily be lumped together. You have general regions like the northeast, art museum area, south philly, north philly, west philly, downtown, etc, having different character. But the pockets of neighborhoods each have their own flavor, and it changes even as walk only a handful of blocks.

If you're looking for a bit of land to spread out on, I wouldn't recommend a direct Philly suburb. You wind up with the traffic, high property taxes of the suburbs, etc, without the positive qualities you're looking for. Personally, I'll probably look to get a house somewhere up in the poconos. There are a number of reasonably priced lake communities that I've visited, but I've yet to take the plunge. If you do consider that route, I would recommend renting first, as you want to make sure you don't unintentionally buy in a ghost-town of vacation homes that are vacant 9 months a year.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:39 PM   #39
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Not sure about the relative merits based on taxation. Our property taxes are maybe around 1.25% of the value of our house.

I'll echo some of the sentiments. One of the appeals of SE PA (Philly burbs) are jobs. One of the least appealing parts is the resulting traffic. The 202 corridor (Wilmington, DE up through King of Prussia) is brutal, especially anywhere near rush hour. We have given up on dining out on Friday or Saturday nights (except for ethnic restaurants) because restaurants tend to require waiting until a table opens up.

But there are lots of convenient places to shop. There are only usually 4-5 bad driving days during the winter. In the summer, there are plenty of 90 degree days, and in the winter, plenty of <20 degree days.

My MIL lives in the Bethlehem area, and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area seems pretty nice without some of the drawbacks of the Philly burbs.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:52 PM   #40
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I also lived in the middle of the state when I went to Penn State. Also, another very nice area.
I noticed State College, PA was listed as one of the "best places to live" by CNN Money: 100 best places to live and launch - 65. State College, Pa. (65) - FORTUNE Small Business

I went there for a training class once and loved the area.
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