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Old 02-22-2020, 11:04 AM   #41
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I haven't been to Puget Sound, either. But, I can't even begin to imagine wanting to move away from there. It sounds so beautiful. Michigan, on the other hand.... sounds very cold.

Well, good luck to you, no matter what you choose.
I mean yes the Puget Sound is great but it is very expensive. Too many big tech companies have driven up the prices. Also, the water is always cold and there are no connecting waterways to get you to different climates without going out on the Pacific for a rather long trip. Be nice if we had some sort of canal system connecting the coasts lol.

I am kind of torn leaving the Sound but we have lived in this area now 25 years so it could be nice to have a change.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:19 AM   #42
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Lots of great golf courses in michigan.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:27 AM   #43
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Instead of Michigan, consider the short area of PA that borders Lake Erie. PA does not tax SS. IRA or 401k monies, but does have property taxes. There is a casino near Erie, so there would be a property tax rebate. You are close to NY, the Burgh, and Cleveland for cheap air flights, and lots of good medical care. Property is not out of sight either, unless you buy a vineyard.
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:07 PM   #44
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I haven't been to Puget Sound, either. But, I can't even begin to imagine wanting to move away from there. It sounds so beautiful. Michigan, on the other hand.... sounds very cold and best suited to somebody in their 20's.

Well, good luck to you, no matter what you choose. I hope you don't throw your retirement away on a move that doesn't work out and depletes your finances beyond what you could recover from.
Michigan is beautiful. No question about it. I've lived here all my life. I personally do not like winter, but Michigan in the spring through fall can be magnificent. In particular, as is being discussed, the north west part of the lower peninsula is exceptional. The water, the beaches, the boating, the golf, the wineries, the weather . . . Hard to beat. Look up Glen Arbor:

https://www.traverseticker.com/news/...visit-in-2018/

Is winter brutal? Such a personal thing. It's certainly not my favorite time of year, that's for sure. If you like winter, I don't think it's too bad. Temperatures aren't like Fargo North Dakota, unless you are in the northern UP, but it can be long and cold. Also, the land is flat, so winter sports do not include top notch skiing. Sure, there's hills, but nothing close to a mountain.

But, the OP wants to sail and snowmobile. I can see Michigan being a great place for those two activities.

Also, while the north western part of the lower peninsula is where the money is, there are places on the east side (the sunrise side) that may be good for the OP. Many people retire to Tawas. OP would have access to water and a trip up north to snowmobile would be no problem. There are also many square mile of State Parks on the east side that would be good for snowmobiling. Look around, there's a lot to do here.

Also, no guarantee, but the current governor campaigned on reversing the tax on pension income. It didn't use to be taxed and she has recommended repealing the tax. Not exactly tax free, but can reduce tax significantly if that passes. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-22-2020, 04:40 PM   #45
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In particular, as is being discussed, the north west part of the upper peninsula is exceptional.
I am sure you meant "lower" peninsula here. I wouldn't normally nitpick, but the OP might not know that for sure.
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Old 02-22-2020, 04:50 PM   #46
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I am sure you meant "lower" peninsula here. I wouldn't normally nitpick, but the OP might not know that for sure.
Fixed it. Thanks. Yes, thatís what I meant.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:06 PM   #47
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I lived in Michigan for a some of my life (4 years - Detroit area).

Two years ago, a friend and I went to the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, MI (in the U.P.) and built a boat. What a great trip that was for two weeks and in the summer (June). Lovely area and a boaters paradise. Plus, the people are downright friendly and appear to be happy all the time.

Not so nice in the winter, though, as most people that live in the U.P. leave for warmer places. Some pics:

GL Boat Building school.jpg

Glue up.jpg
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:17 PM   #48
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Ironically, I lived most of my life in MI and recently moved to WA. If politics matter to you, know that after the 2010 census MI was heavily gerrymandered, so it is minority ruled. The majority can still elect a governor or federal Senators, but that's it. Also, there is a constitutional provision that any bill with funding attached can't be overturned with a referendum. All bills are passed with a tiny bit of funding to keep the majority from overruling the legislature. There may be some gerrymandering relief in the future, but it is not a sure thing.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:17 PM   #49
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When you guys say brutal, how brutal are we talking? We routinely ride at 5000+ feet with temps in the 0F to 10F range and sometimes negative, along with wind.

I assume there are days in Michigan that are much colder than that but on average are we talking endless days of negative 20 degree weather with high winds?
Holy cow - we're not Siberia!

Winters here are "reasonable", IMHO. Today, for example, it was 45 degrees out. Yesterday was 30'ish. "Bad" days can be 10-20 degrees F. Rarely below 10, although it does happen, time to time, and like everything nowadays, things are never constant one way or the other. And when things get "Game of Thrones, Winter Is Coming" bad, windchill can get "feels like" down to 0 or even less. But that's not common..

It's rare that things are so bad that you wouldn't want to be outside. Just dress appropriately for it - and buy stock in hot cocoa companies ..

All kidding aside, the worst time is mid-late Dec through end of Feb. And even that isn't "that" bad..we've lived here our whole lives, and it's just fine..neither of us would like it much if we moved to a state where we DIDN'T have 4 distinct seasons..
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:21 PM   #50
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One thing to be aware of is that the Northwest lower-UP mentioned by other people is one of the more expensive areas to live..

We've been looking for a place in Glenn Arbor or "TC" (Traverse City) area for over 2 years, and almost every house we've seen is 20-40% higher than other places in the state. Property taxes in some cases are lower in Glenn Arbor, Empire or TC, but not always.

Cost of living (groceries, etc) is WAY higher. We visit TC/Glenn Arbor every couple of years, and costs for groceries is at least 20% and in some cases (meats, etc) MUCH higher than downstate..

Net, we've determined that "up north" is actually more expensive in a lot of different spending categories than living "downstate"..I've probably driven our real-estate agent looking for us up there absolutely bonkers, as we reject pretty much every listing she sends us on cost delta alone..we can't believe how "little" you can buy in TC or Glenn Arbor compared to even the "very, very nice" areas around the Detroit suburbs..

FWIW..
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:27 PM   #51
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We moved to Michigan

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I had another thread about vacationing in the U.P. but now we are considering just moving to Michigan.

We have some mountain land in WA state, about 30 acres with a pole barn on it we built ourselves, total value is probably something around $70,000 to $80,000 for land + barn. We have a 2017 Kubota excavator we could either keep or sell.

We have a 34 foot Pacific Seacraft sailboat moored on the coast. Other than that, we really only have the apartment we are renting month to month now and our two vehicles, two snowmobiles, two motorcycles, another trailer sailboat and a snowmobile trailer. Ok, we have a lot of stuff.

Michigan looks as cheap or cheaper than eastern Washington to buy a house or land or house + land, or more expensive house even on the waterfront. There is obviously the opportunity to sail and to snowmobile. As a bonus, if we had our 34 foot sailboat on the Great Lakes, we could take the canals and rivers on an adventure to the Gulf or the Atlantic in a month or two of water travel. This is very different from trying to get to the Atlantic or the Gulf from Seattle by water.

So we would want to have the 10 foot beam boat trailered to Michigan. I don't think you need escort cars for that beam, so maybe it could get done for $5,000 to $7000?

Everything else we could move ourselves.

Michigan does have an income tax. I need to look into things like ACA there and vehicle registrations.

It would be an adventure, but that makes it fun.

We made the move to MI a year ago from WI. Homesteading Property taxes saves about half. We also are boaters, and were 2 1/2 hours from our marina before. Now we are on Beaver island with our own deep water dock. We power boat but most here are sailors. Its a great spot: laid back, yet close enough to Little Traverse Bay, Mackinac Island, and the UP, not to mention the absolutely beautiful North Channel of Lake Huron. I am not familiar with property values in WA, but we found a great lakefront home with 300 feet of shoreline. We do not spend winters there even tough 350-400 do. It is a 15 minute flight to Charlevoix, MI and the mainland. Auto plates, and registration of boats and cars were about the same as WI. The real shocker was the auto insurance it was double WI rates. Homeowners and umbrella liability insurance was way cheaper, so it was still a win for us as we only have one car there. The State income tax is 0.5% less than WI. ACA insurance rates were comparable to WI.
Petoskey would be where we would look if we wanted to be on the mainland, or in the Manistique region if we wanted to be in the UP proper. Petoskey/Harbor Springs/Charlevoix, and Traverse City an hour South are all great . Some are more touristy than others.
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Thinking of moving to Michigan
Old 02-28-2020, 06:18 PM   #52
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Thinking of moving to Michigan

We have lived in Western Michigan for over 60 years and the winters can be very gloomy due to clouds and snow off Lake Michigan. We owned some property for a few years just a couple miles from Lake Michigan in Mackinac County in the eastern UP. It was beautiful, but it was a 30 mile drive minimum to a town of any substance.

My son did a stint working in the Menominee MI/Marinette WI area a couple summers ago and this might hold some promise. It is in what is known as the banana belt, where they get less snow than many places and because it is on the west side of Lake Michigan, more sun. It has some beautiful harbors and marinas right on the big lake and although two small towns, they have many services and you can take advantage of the tax advantages of both states.

Real estate both in the cities and in the many rural/river areas seemed very reasonable. The area has many waterfalls and nice parks. You can go north and you will run into the "mountains" of the Porcupines and Hurons. There are airports, like in Green Bay and Escanaba, that do provide service.

Supposedly, auto insurance is supposed to drop during the summer of 2020 due to reforms allowing people to choose their level of medical coverage. Here's hoping, because we do pay very high rates.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:47 PM   #53
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We early semi-retired to Traverse City last year. Love it here! Traverse City is expensive, but if you want some property somewhere a little more rural it gets cheap pretty quickly.

Winter: I don’t think we’ve hit single digits yet this winter, but it has been an unusually mild one. The lake does moderate the temperatures here so it tends not to get as cold at the “coast” than if you are further inland like in Gaylord. Plenty of snow though. Little over 100” so far this season, which is great if you like winter sports.

Auto insurance: this is due to get significantly cheaper come July 1 this year when you will be able to opt out of the Michigan Catastophic Claims Fund, which adds something like $330 a year to insurance rates, so that will help.

I like winter here but sunny days are few and far between, which would be a contrast with eastern WA. Summer is glorious. Fall is beautiful. Spring is meh - that’s the time of year to go traveling.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:00 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by 24601NoMore View Post
One thing to be aware of is that the Northwest lower-UP mentioned by other people is one of the more expensive areas to live..

We've been looking for a place in Glenn Arbor or "TC" (Traverse City) area for over 2 years, and almost every house we've seen is 20-40% higher than other places in the state. Property taxes in some cases are lower in Glenn Arbor, Empire or TC, but not always.

Cost of living (groceries, etc) is WAY higher. We visit TC/Glenn Arbor every couple of years, and costs for groceries is at least 20% and in some cases (meats, etc) MUCH higher than downstate..

Net, we've determined that "up north" is actually more expensive in a lot of different spending categories than living "downstate"..I've probably driven our real-estate agent looking for us up there absolutely bonkers, as we reject pretty much every listing she sends us on cost delta alone..we can't believe how "little" you can buy in TC or Glenn Arbor compared to even the "very, very nice" areas around the Detroit suburbs..

FWIW..
I havenít really noticed groceries being any more expensive here in Traverse City vs. where I used to live (Toledo). The biggest grocery stores here are Costco, Walmart and meijer and Iím sure their prices are pretty much the same everywhere.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:01 PM   #55
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Spent years in Marinette. Pretty depressed economy and pretty depressing town IMHO. Menomonie MI is better but there is only one option for a sailboat and that is the one marina there. Nestegg Marina in Marinette is past a bridge that makes it very unhandy for sailboats. Escanaba is another one to check out if the West end is of interest.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:02 PM   #56
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We pay 1.5% for property tax. IDK if that's considered high. Auto insurance is expensive but partly that's due to a generous no fault system which is changing. Apparently there will be cheaper options. Traverse City is nice but it's been discovered and there are no bargains in town.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:36 PM   #57
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If it comes down to auto insurance being important (the cost), I would not discount it for the upcoming change. The change will put people in a situation where they will want to chose the higher liability option which won't be significantly different than it is now. I've been discussing this with my FA and he sent me a write up on this from a seminar he went to. PM me if you want me to send it to you.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:31 PM   #58
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Born and raised in Michigan (Detroit) during the "glory years" of the automobile industry, everyone was flush with dough. I got out when the tide started to change (1979) but all my buddies still live there. I like Michigan, always will, my home state. Going back this fall to visit my buddies and party hearty.

We did a family vacation to Traverse City when I was young in the fall and I got to miss some school. Stayed at the Traverse City Motel, right on the beach. Wonderful. The down side is there are no more smoked chubs from the lake and those were just magic!
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:56 PM   #59
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I'm not in Michigan, but Northern Ohio here, so similar weather. I can deal with cold temperatures, and snow, but what I truly hate is the accompanying wind/windchills that seem to find your face every morning leaving for work, and that dreary, overcast sky every afternoon/evening.

The best weather we have in January, and February is the morning after a big snowstorm when it is calm, and sunny....everything is sparkling (I can hear the neighbor close his car door from 1/4 mile away, and hear the woodpeckers pounding out their breakfast).
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:42 PM   #60
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I married my wife who is from the UP of Michigan almost 50 years ago. She will tell you today that no way ever would she move back there. Winters way too cold.
Her brothers on the other hand have lived there for 60 plus years and no way would they move south.

Its all what you make of it. I loved the UP but only in the summer which don't last long.

I hate cold weather but I also hate the hot summers we have. If I had choose I would take the hot summers . Well about late September ask me again.
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