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Old 02-08-2007, 08:30 PM
 
4 posts, read 23,419 times
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We currently live in Colorado. My Husband, myself and our daughter were born and raised here. My Husband is about to get a job offer we may not be able to turn down ($$$$), we are just waiting to find out how much they are going to pay him. The job will be in Kenai. My Question is everyone talks about the High cost of everything in Alaska, but is it really that much more then we pay here in Colorado (Arvada) which is also expensive. A cost of living Calc I used said Denver Vs Anc showed only about 2,000-3,000 a year difference. Also if anyone has lived in the Denver area and Anc/Kenai area is the weather really that different besides the much colder temps. Mile High vs Sea level. The air here is dry and it sounds that the air is dry there too. If anyone has spent time in both areas, I would be really thankful for any input.

Thanks
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:03 AM
 
2 posts, read 15,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mejustme18 View Post
We currently live in Colorado. My Husband, myself and our daughter were born and raised here. My Husband is about to get a job offer we may not be able to turn down ($$$$), we are just waiting to find out how much they are going to pay him. The job will be in Kenai. My Question is everyone talks about the High cost of everything in Alaska, but is it really that much more then we pay here in Colorado (Arvada) which is also expensive. A cost of living Calc I used said Denver Vs Anc showed only about 2,000-3,000 a year difference. Also if anyone has lived in the Denver area and Anc/Kenai area is the weather really that different besides the much colder temps. Mile High vs Sea level. The air here is dry and it sounds that the air is dry there too. If anyone has spent time in both areas, I would be really thankful for any input.

Thanks
Hi, I might be able to help answer your questions. Currently we live in Alaska, and my husband has the ich to move to CO. I have never lived in Kenai, but we do go there every summer to go fishing. Kenai is very beautiful and has lots of mosquitoes and other wildlife (moose, bears, and lots of salmon!) It is very green, which means lots of rain. The mountains are just gorgeous too. The drive to Anchorage is a pretty scary drive along the inlet-but it is a beautiful drive.
Yes, Alaska has a high cost of living, but like someone else said, you also get paid more here. We do get a dividend, but you should not come here because of that-the politicians will one day get their wish and take it away. It takes two years to qualify for one.
The air is dry, but mostly in the winter. The winter is cold, but not real bad. We had a few weeks of highs -15! I'm not sure about the wind in Kenai, but where I live in Wasilla, we can have wind gusts of 100mph! The worst part is how long the winters last up here. Summer goes by way too fast! You can count on the warmest days to be around the upper 60s, with a few days of 70s, and rarely in the 80's. Interior Alaska gets warmer.
Hope some of this helps, and ask more questions if you think of more.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:22 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,546 times
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Default ak vs co

Hi,

I am here in CO for the winter trying to clear and sell my father's house. Moved out of Valdez for a winter to take this on. I grew up in Co, and have lived in ak for about 5 years year round, and summers for the previous 10 years.

Honestly, I thought I was going to save so much money by living down here, but many things are about the same cost. Walmart has their prices pretty much the same as up there. The PFD, permanent fund dividend, is about 1k per person per year. Add in: no sales tax, no income tax, and higher prevailing wages up there, and down here: 6-8% sales tax, income tax, property taxes, etc and I think it is possibly cheaper up there to live. Housing is cheaper up there. I am looking at buying a 1600 sf, 5 star energy rated home for 210k on one acre. Not really able to find that here. And, there isn't a store on every corner to spend your money.

Now, on the downside. I will not lie to you. AK schools leave something to be desired. It is republican controlled and they continue to cut funding for education. There are huge shortfalls in the budgets, so money is not the answer. It will require you to be engaged in your childs education. There is a higher incidence of alcohol up there. Drugs, I am not so certain. Meth is a huge problem everywhere. Pot is legal up there, so there is that problem to contend with...not that I see it as a problem really. Alcohol is legal and that kills many more people than pot! So, lots of issues to contend with here!

You need to commit yourself and your family to a winter sport and stick with it for entertainment. It is a different lifestyle, but one I think without the trappings of mass media and consumer culture here.

Good luck in your decision making process. Not an easy one to be sure!

It is big change, but if you are ready to live without some of the creature comforts here, you will find it a place of amazing beauty, if you look carefully.
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:08 AM
 
4 posts, read 17,174 times
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Hello, we actually just moved back here from anchorage. before that we lived in Soldotna which is next to Kenai. Alaska definately gets colder, and surprisingly although the summer temps only read in the high 80's, it can feel like the mid 90's here. I never thought that the kenai area was very humid. I think the cost of living is about the same... or very close. We had a great school in Anchorage, and a teacher that moved from the kenai area. High schools are ok. Some teachers have lost their desire to help improve the kids... they may be gone by now. I miss Soldotna... what no one else has said... beware of the dark winters. That was the hardest! and the reason we moved to colorado. you have to force yourself to get out in the sun and play during the daylight hours, or you'll get SAD... very tired, depressed...etc.
My husband didn't recognize that he had it until we spent more time in Colorado. I already miss the fishing.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:54 AM
 
91 posts, read 368,357 times
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Default Question About Taxes In Your Area

Could you tell me what the taxing is like in Colorado?
We have tossed around the idea of moving there as it seems to be much more economical for our family...However if the taxing is high it may be better to look elsewhere. I have read in other postings that it is HIGH...
Could you tell me what you think?
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:09 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,512,833 times
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The overall tax burden here is usually ranked just a little below average. We do have a state income tax at 4.63% on your federal income minus deductions, as well as a statewide component on the sales tax, and a few excise taxes on gasoline, tobacco and alcohol. Property taxes vary according to the county and city of residence as there is no statewide component to property tax.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:41 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,425 times
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Default Moving to CO from AK-from CO

Have lived in AK for last fifteen years. SAD and winters have gotten progressively worse for us. I love winter but you absolutely MUST get out or you set yourself up for a tough time. Have lived in Kenai for last four years. It is a coastal climate, lots of clouds but when it is sunny (which isn't often), its wonderful. We are trying CO mostly for the weather. I remember the 300+ days of sunshine and there really is nothing like it. Real estate from what I have seen is comparable-depends on what you are looking for and how much you have to spend. Average price home here for 3-4 bedrooms recently built is between 200-300,000. Older homes can be found for under 200,000. There are some great charter schools here and several to choose from actually. Our kids go to the Soldotna Montessori Charter School. There are three others in Kenai alone, all of which have excellent reputations. There is an excellent B&G Club program for kids and getting them into sports, soccer, basketball, flag footbal & karate. All fairly cheap and very popular. There are varying levels of involvement for different sports here, football, swimming, volleyball and hockey are big at the middle to high school level.

We are taking the plunge in September and will be putting our beautifully remodeled home up for rent and crossing our fingers that will be the best decision!! BTW, the PDF is steadily increasing by the year here, especially with the skyrocketing oil prices. We are expecting 2500 this year and that will only rise over the next foew. It is a great college savings opportunity that doesn't exist elsewhere for people like us and it takes a year of residence to qualify.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,962 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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Most of the tax calculators I have seen simply figure the sales tax as 3%, the state component. The reality is that every municipality can have a sales tax, and there are also many taxing districts throughout the state. In metro Denver, virtually everyone pays RTD (public transportation) sales tax, baseball stadium sales tax, football stadium sales tax, SCFD (Scientific and Cultural Facilities District) sales tax for the Denver Art Museum, Denver Zoo, suburban arts facilities, etc. Most every city and county has their own sales tax as well. The actual sales tax in most municipalities is around 8%.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,450,212 times
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I have lived in Boulder, and I have lived in Anchorage but many years ago. The biggest difference I recall is having very few hours of daylight during December and January in Anchorage. The frequent Northern Light displays somewhat make up for it. On the flipside, the huge amount of daylight during June and July is a wonderful experience. Anchorage is actually rather mild for its northerly location. Anchorage doesn't ususlly get as much snow as Denver, but it stays on the ground for a longer period of time, so it seems like there is alot of snow. The winter temps are not that much colder than Denver, though you're not likely to get the ocassional warm spells like you get in Denver.

I also remember just about everything being more expensive in Alaska than in Colorado, especially food and specifically fruit and produce. A head of iceberg lettuce was selling for a buck back then ( '72 ) when it cost just 30 cents in Boulder. Gas was 52 cents a gallon in Anchorage when it was 24 cents in Boulder ( can you believe it! ).
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