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Old 03-30-2021, 09:08 AM
 
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Hello folks,

We are soon to be retired couple looking for inexpensive towns to live in once we retire. Is there any such thing as an inexpensive little town in MA? Surrounding states perhaps? We do not have much knowledge about MA small towns. We know the larger metro areas are very expensive.
Moving to MA will keep us closer to family but we definitely need an affordable little town that is also safe.
Any advise or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:13 AM
 
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Places like Athol, Winchendon, Orange, etc. are "inexpensive" relative to the rest of Mass.. They are safe, but not a lot there. If you are just set on being in Mass. and don't mind the down and out vibe (think mini Appalachia), they might work. Parts of NH will be cheaper, but watch out for the property taxes.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:21 AM
 
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Three hours from Boston is quite a big circle. Are you factoring in normal traffic? With no traffic you could come all the way from Albany or Brattleboro or even Bridgeport.

In terms of retirement Mass doesn't tax pensions and there is prop 2 1/2 which can help with property taxes. It might also depend in terms of what you want for retirement.

It also depends as to your price range. Maybe Greenfield might work or Easthampton or Southampton. here's an interesting one although I don't like the colors myself

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8...56264960_zpid/
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:24 AM
 
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3 hrs from Boston means all of MA, 3/4 of NH, southern VT and southern ME even some of upstate NY.
I am sure you can find a relatively inexpensive little town in this area if this is really all you care about.
In MA all the tiny towns between I-91 and US7 are not that expensive.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Western MA
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Can you share more details of your budget? "Inexpensive" will mean different things to different people.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
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I'd suggest Concord, NH as one good prospect.

Last edited by OutdoorLover; 03-30-2021 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:56 AM
 
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MA is full of little towns and small cities. Outside the I-495 outer ring around metro Boston they're relatively inexpensive. By the way, just about every inch of land in Mass, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire lies in one town or another, most of them qualifying population-wise as little towns. There's no territory that has not been incorporated into some town or city. Greenfield MA is nice-- in Connecticut Valley. County seat, walkable downtown area, food coop, lots of farms around, close to Northampton, Amherst (which are full of amenities but more expensive.) Many good smaller towns around Greenfield too. The Leominster-Fitchburg area is inexpensive with two small cities and various smaller towns and woodlands around and close to Worcester, a larger city with dining/entertainment and medical resources. A property in Fitchburg. Everything between Worcester and Springfield is inexpensive-- places like Spencer, Rutland, Brookfield and E and W Brookfield, Hardwick, Barre, Palmer... I'm guessing Westfield is inexpensive--a small city west of Springfield at edge of the scenic Berkshire region. Here's one. Also near Springfield are South Hadley, Granby, Ludlow, Monson, Agawam, Southwick-- all of them safe and inexpensive in relation to Boston area towns like Needham, Reading, Swampscott, etc. Here's one in South Hadley. These are all two hours drive or less to Boston in non-rush hour conditions. Three hours out puts you in into far corners of Mass or into other states.

Last edited by missionhill; 03-30-2021 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Central Mass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lampert View Post
3 hrs from Boston means all of MA, 3/4 of NH, southern VT and southern ME even some of upstate NY.
I am sure you can find a relatively inexpensive little town in this area if this is really all you care about.
In MA all the tiny towns between I-91 and US7 are not that expensive.
And all the way to NYC. Not that SW CT is anything resembling inexpensive but 3 hours will get you close to NYC - I made it to the Wegmans in Bridgewater, NJ last month in 3:30 from Worcester.

OP:
Everything south of Waterville, ME, which is about 98% of Maine's population. All of it outside Portland and maybe Wells are inexpensive small towns. Augusta isn't very big.
All of NH except the very, very north, the part further north than the VT-QC line is within 3 hours. Everything except Concord, Manchester, Nashua, Keene, and the sea coast are inexpensive small towns. Some of the towns around Laconia and the lakes aren't that cheap. And condos RIGHT at a ski mountain aren't inexpensive, but the towns are.
3 hours gets you to Burlington, VT. There aren't big towns in Vermont. Taxes can be killer though.

Depending on your needs and your definition of inexpensive, just about everything west of Worcester is inexpensive. The immediate Worcester suburbs (Holden, Rutland, Princeton) not as much, but the Brookfields, Charlton, Sturbridge, etc get very reasonable.

Just about every town in New England is safe. We had a thread a week or two ago favorably comparing New England to Europe. Old mill towns have a little more property crime. And Springfield is the exception, but it's not a little town.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:29 AM
 
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Eh. My take on crime is this. If you don't use/sell drugs, aren't in a gang and aren't in any illegal activity (loansharking, prostitution, smuggling etc.) the chances are pretty low. The recent crime in springfield is gang related.

This isn't to say that the police log will be blank but it isn't as big of a deal. Noise complaints, occasional speeding, maybe a DUI etc. Do you still lock your doors and car? Yeah but I think that's most of the country. Theft I think has dropped considerably. Who honestly steals car stereos these days let alone the whole car. There's so much tracking in devices now that it just doesn't make it worth it. I have an old friend that lost an iphone and they tracked it to some mbta station. Police showed up and some homeless person gave it up without incident.

Of course the other part I see is why would anyone want to drive three hours to boston? Are you thinking you'd go there on a regular basis? 128 traffic is no walk in the park. Generally there are other hospitals and of course if it's more specialized you would be transported to boston. For airports it's the largest area but if you are in southwest ct you might as well go to NYC.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:25 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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Where are you coming from? 3 hours from Boston is a pretty wide net, and there are plenty of less expensive towns in that radius -- something like Northampton might fit. You could also go to the Portland, ME area, or, one place I had looked at, but in full disclosure have never actually visited is Guilford, CT, which is near New Haven, on the water. You can take trains to NYC or Boston, and you'd have Yale for medical care and other resources, like taking classes, seeing shows, hearing speakers, etc. There are also towns on both the NH and VT sides of the border around Dartmouth.
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