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Can I survive in Seattle on $2500 pension?
Old 10-19-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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Can I survive in Seattle on $2500 pension?

My wife wants to retire in Seattle but I don't think she appreciates the long wintery season, heating and electric bills. Plus too, she like some places on Gig Harbor and Anderson Island.

Is anyone from or familiar with either these areas? How far can i get on $2500 per month pension there?

The plan is to sell our house in Texas and buy another one in Washington. $240,000

I appreciate your insights and suggestions.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:52 PM   #2
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you may find someplace less expensive on the Olympic peninsula - ever been there?
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:59 PM   #3
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You won't be getting anything "in Seattle" for only $240k now. Maybe 10 to 15 years ago. Property tax on a $240K house in the outskirts like Gig Harbor would probably be around $3500 a year. But property tax in Texas are high right?

No income tax but prepare for 9.8% sales tax. Fairly high gasoline tax. Some foods are exempt from tax.

Very few people have air conditioning so really you only have to think about heat, and it doesn't get *that* cold. If you get a small house, I would imagine even electric heating would have your bill less than $200 a month in the winter and about $80 a month in the summer.

If you don't use more than one car, limit your driving, take advantage of a lot of free activities, then yes I do think you could live on $2500 a month in the outskirts of Seattle. The problem is there are so many temptations (boating, fishing, skiing (water and snow), hiking, camping, climbing, biking...) Lots of opportunity for Cabelas to make you pay that 9.8% sales tax.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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No never benn in fact I've haven't lived west of texas.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:10 PM   #5
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Sequim is quite popular:

Sequim, WA Real Estate & Homes for Sale - realtor.comŽ
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:11 PM   #6
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Until 5 years ago I lived in TX pretty much my entire life. Love it up here in the PNW.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:12 PM   #7
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Port Angles, just W of Sequim, is less expensive and just about as nice, IMO. I have a rental house there.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:14 PM   #8
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Port Angles, just W of Sequim, is less expensive and just about as nice, IMO. I have a rental house there.
Plus..you can grab the Black Ball Ferry from there to Victoria for a day out.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:20 PM   #9
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What is your current spending levels? Take those, then modify them with a factor from cost of living calculator (i.e. if it says the area you're wanting to move to is 30% more expensive, multiply by 1.3) to get "very rough" ballpark of what it would cost to live in the new area.

If outside of housing you spend $500/month currently living in LA, then you'll probably be fine. If outside of housing you spend $5,000/month currently living in BFE North Dakota, then there's practically no chance.

Can you afford it? Sure, homeless people live in Seattle on much less.

Can you afford it "reasonably", way too little information to give you any good idea of that with what's been posted imo.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:23 PM   #10
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For $240k, if you are thinking of the city limits specifically, you may find a small condo. Real Estate in Seattle right now is very hot, with bidding wars on homes and condos. Certainly, if you find a place and it is paid for, you may be able to live on the pension amount. But you know your budget.

It would be worth a trip to visit the area, including spending some time with a realtor, who can help identify neighborhoods and advise regarding home prices.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:43 PM   #11
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No never benn in fact I've haven't lived west of texas.
If that's the case, you might want to think not only about if you can afford Seattle, but also whether you'll enjoy living there. Money might not be the biggest challenge.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:59 PM   #12
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Is that pension COLA'd? If not, a marginal $30,000/year could look like poverty level in 10 or 15 years. Plus the other caveats covered in previous posts.

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Old 10-19-2016, 04:02 PM   #13
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:02 PM   #14
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We live comfortably about 20 miles SE of Seattle on about $3,000/mo. This assumes paid for house, minimal travel, and good health. We do have motorcycles and enjoy the outdoors so our budget does not need money for the "Arts" or any type of fashion stuff.

You can survive in Seattle for free. They let you pitch a tent on the sidewalk and they will give you food vouchers. So I guess it really depends on your definition of surviving.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:39 PM   #15
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We live comfortably about 20 miles SE of Seattle on about $3,000/mo. This assumes paid for house, minimal travel, and good health. We do have motorcycles and enjoy the outdoors so our budget does not need money for the "Arts" or any type of fashion stuff.

You can survive in Seattle for free. They let you pitch a tent on the sidewalk and they will give you food vouchers. So I guess it really depends on your definition of surviving.
Actually it is even better than that. If you poo on the ground around your tent and the city doesn't pick it up, they fine themselves $250 and give it to you. Or something silly like that.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:57 PM   #16
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We were stationed in Bremerton 32 years ago. Things seemed substantially less expensive on that side of Elliott Bay. The young wife found it easy to get to work in Seattle on the ferry. Financially, we were fine. I was an 0-2 with less than 4 years and the young wife made minimum wage at a part time job. But I would definitely defer to anyone who has lived there more recently.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:00 PM   #17
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Stay in Texas. I live in Seattle, and I formerly lived on Whidbey Island and out in Forks where if you go there you will get a whole new definition of rainy. I often visited my brother in Ft. Worth, and my former wife's family around Dallas.

Everything is different here from there, including the people and especially the politics. I like it fine here, even though I don't see the world through Seattle glasses. Old Seattle, sure, new Seattle I admit is weird. When the trash guys do the pickup, they open our bin to be sure that we have sequestered all recyclable or compostable stuff into different containers. If you think this is bizarre, I agree with you. But hey, this is Seattle.

But my children grew up here. One still lives and works here, and the other lives and works in the Bay Area but travels here frequently on Business.

If you like sunshine, barbecue, pretty cheap groceries, and have AC, stay where you are. $2500? I am single. I live in a well located but nothing to write home about condo of~700 sq ft, for which I paid cash. I live very close to downtown, so I can do without a car. Not including income tax and very little travel or classy hobbies, I happen to spend near $2500/mo. Beats the SF bay, but fairly expensive compared to most other places.

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Old 10-19-2016, 06:52 PM   #18
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Everything is different here from there, including the people and especially the politics. I like it fine here, even though I don't see the world through Seattle glasses. Old Seattle, sure, new Seattle I admit is weird. When the trash guys do the pickup, they open our bin to be sure that we have sequestered all recyclable or compostable stuff into different containers. If you think this is bizarre, I agree with you. But hey, this is Seattle.
I think the chart in this article illustrates one of your points:

Most Liberal and Conservative Cities in the U.S.

Spoiler alert: Seattle is the third most liberal city on the chart.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:26 PM   #19
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I strongly advise against moving withou extensive first hand experience. I live an hour south of Seattle and wouldn't want to live closer. One of my coworkers lives on Phinney Ridge (literally no yard, his small houses is perched on rockery walls) and his property taxes are scheduled to go to $10k/yr.

I actually like the weather, except too much sun in the summer.

Pardon me for muddying the waters, but I plan on moving further south and east of Olympia (cheaper county, equidistant to Seattle and Portland) once I FIRE. Oregon doesn't have a sales tax and Portland has a cooler vibe than corporate Seattle.

Imo, the only thing that Seattle has that's really special is the epic scenery.
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Live in suburbs of seattle
Old 10-19-2016, 09:30 PM   #20
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Live in suburbs of seattle

FYI Gig harbor is somewhat affordable compared to the greater seattle area where I live
$240.000 will be a starter home or condo and that might be perfect for you
with property taxes around $1900.00 per year on that amount.

If you have health Care handled
and the house paid for I think you should be ok
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