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Old 09-01-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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Default Commuting to Concord from NH or southern-ME coastal towns?

I am considering applying for a job in Concord, NH. One big plus of relocating to NH for me (or anywhere, for that matter) would be the possibility of living near the ocean. I'm therefore looking for guidance re: the wisdom/affordability of renting a studio or 1BR apartment in a NH or southern-ME coastal town and driving or taking public transportation to and from work. How long would the commute from Concord to the coast be? What is the drive like, particularly in winter? Is there bus or train service between Concord and the coast? Would one or more coastal towns be wiser choices for a Concord commuter than others? If so, why? Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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lived in Candia and commuted to Concord - 1/2 hour

Concord to the coast is 1 hour in good weather - route 4

not recommended

no bus, no train - you need a car.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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I agree--Route 4 from the coast to Concord would be best, but it would be at least an hour long commute, in good weather and no traffic issues. Do keep in mind that if you live in Maine (by southern Maine, I assume you're thinking the York, the Berwicks, etc) keep in mind that you will be paying State of Maine tax: 5.5% for general sales tax and 8% for prepared food, lodging, and liquor. Oh, plus income tax, ranging from 2%-8.5% (graduated tax rate, dependant on income and marital status.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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It's a long commute. I used to commute from Exeter to an area a little northeast of Concord, and in the absolute best of times it as about 50-55 minutes. I remember a few times when it took 2.5 hours (seriously) coming home during a snowstorm. You can go from Exeter to Concord via 101 and 93 (major divided highways) in a little under an hour if you speed, there are no delays on the road, and there is no snow and ice. There's no direct public transportation (and if there were, it probably wouldn't be worth it... been there, done that, with another long commute, and the wait times only added to the commute time and inconvenience.) Route 4 is a better (more direct) route if you're coming from Portsmouth, but speed limits vary, between 35 mph and 55 mph. It is a "major route," bigger than a country road, but still just two lanes (one in each direction) at certain points.

It would say a car commute from, say, Portsmouth to Concord is certainly doable, though far from convenient. Southern Maine to Concord becomes somewhat more unmanageable. (Besides, if you're living in Maine you pay income tax to Maine, losing one of the benefits of living in NH.) If you're considering this, I would say to practice it on a bad day in the winter... don't try it now and then say, "that's not so bad, I think I can do this."

We have considered just this thing because I would rather live at the coast than in the Concord area, but given the lack of direct, regular, frequent public transportation, I would say it is far more trouble than it is worth.

The only good thing about the commute you propose - east to west, rather than west to east - is that the morning commute will be more pleasant. There are very few options for passing on Route 4 between Epsom and, oh, Durham, headed west to east. It can be absolutely enraging being stuck behind some slow person in the morning and unable to pass. My true commute time varied dramatically because of this issue. In the other direction, there are more passing zones and two lanes more often.

Also, do not underestimate the cost for gas. For such a commute it would be safest to have something OTHER than a smart car, Prius, Toyota Corolla, etc... something which is going to get below (maybe much below) 30 mph. You could be looking at around $500 or more per month in gas.

In the end... if you want to live at the coast, you should apply for jobs closer to the coast. Most people I know who have somewhat crazy commutes have them because they were already living one place, weren't really able to move, and found a new job in another farther-flung location. Most people (including myself) have not intentionally planned their lives with a long and dangerous commute.

Last edited by cowbell76; 09-02-2013 at 02:02 PM..
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:47 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
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I'd recommend living closer to Concord, and then spending your days off on the coast. On work days, you'd really not be having a chance to enjoy the coastline anyway.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill FL
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Wait a second...If you live in NH and work in Mass you have to pay Mass income tax, but if you work in NH and live in Maine you have to pay Maine income tax?
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHborn View Post
Wait a second...If you live in NH and work in Mass you have to pay Mass income tax, but if you work in NH and live in Maine you have to pay Maine income tax?

sort of - you only pay for the days actually worked in MA - so don't count the weekends (104 days), holidays (10), vacations (14) and sick days

365 days minus 124 +- = 66% total income is taxed by MA
spousal income will also enter the picture as MA uses the numbers on your federal return

ME taxes all income.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck naked View Post
sort of - you only pay for the days actually worked in MA - so don't count the weekends (104 days), holidays (10), vacations (14) and sick days

365 days minus 124 +- = 66% total income is taxed by MA
spousal income will also enter the picture as MA uses the numbers on your federal return

ME taxes all income.
I'm confused (I think.)

So you are saying this is a Mass-specific computation for anyone who works in Mass., but lives in another state (regardless of whether that state has an income tax?) Or is this just how they deal with NH residents? And you are saying that if, instead, one works in Maine, but lives in NH, (or works in NH, but lives in Maine) Maine will tax 100% of the total income (in contrast to the 66% Mass. would tax?)

I do not have experience working in Mass. while living in NH, but I do have experience working in Mass. (full-time job employed by someone else) while living in Maine. Mass. withheld income tax for me at the rate they would for any Mass. resident. When I filed my Maine state income tax return, I got a credit for taxes paid to Mass.. Or maybe it was the other way around... Mass. gave me a credit for the taxes I was paying to Maine. In any case, I did not "pay twice" but I did pay someone taxes for 100% of my earnings. In that scenario, I didn't have to do any calculations of the time I actually spent in Mass.. That would only have been done to determine whether I was really a non-resident or instead part-time resident of Mass., or it might also be done if I were self-employed and worked part of the time in Maine. Would you say this was because I was living in Maine (a state with its own income tax), versus NH? Hope that all makes sense. This was 10+ years ago so the details are fuzzy, but I know I did no such calculation of how much of my time I spent in Mass..

Last edited by cowbell76; 09-06-2013 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:00 PM
 
440 posts, read 457,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbell76 View Post
In that scenario, I didn't have to do any calculations of the time I actually spent in Mass.. That would only have been done to determine whether I was really a non-resident or instead part-time resident of Mass., or it might also be done if I were self-employed and worked part of the time in Maine. Would you say this was because I was living in Maine, versus NH?
This is still the case for people living in NH and working in MA. I pay 5-point something % to MA on money I earned in MA.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avlis13013 View Post
This is still the case for people living in NH and working in MA. I pay 5-point something % to MA on money I earned in MA.
Okay, I'm either really confused or conflicting info. is being posted... are you saying (in contrast to buck naked's info.) that you live in NH, work in MA, and pay taxes on 100% of your MA income (which, if you have a typical job means all of your income?) That's what I thought, because if you're not filing as a part-time resident, but you're earning all your money in Mass., why would you be taxed according to how much time you're physically there? Wouldn't you just be taxed on all your income earned there? (...with some agreement worked out with the state of residence, if said state also has an income tax, since the employee would not pay twice?)

Last edited by cowbell76; 09-06-2013 at 12:22 PM..
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