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Old 05-11-2013, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
Reputation: 15649

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
My retirement income has been slashed in half this month, with absolutely no warning or notification. I won't bore everyone with details, as I have already posted about this on the retirement forum. So with that said

I have to make some huge decisions now on my future and what to do and where to go. I realize this forum speaks of woman retiring somewhere alone. I don't think anyone will mind if I also post.

I have been trying Arizona out this year for retirement, and I could afford it just fine until this problem suddenly surfaced. Now I have to realize I can't handle the cost of living here, or where I'm from Massachusetts. Just what do people do when Pensions and Social Security suddenly become so reduced. That life has to immediately change. Reduced because of Federal laws, regulations and penalities involving having both incomes. I have to retire where its going to be the cheapest for me, without having to live someplace completely wrong for me. If that makes sense at all. I have been so out of sorts since May 1st when this happened. I don't know where to turn.

I need to be renting which I am now doing I can no longer afford this high a rent payment ever again in life. I am not living a lavish lifestyle by no means, and though this rent is very reasonable. It is now out of my range.


I think Arizona is going to be just to far away financially to make trips back to New England. So I guess I will need to be closer but not there because of its high COL. Even half way closer in a cheaper location would be a big help.

I found Arizona to have a very large retiree population, but not necessarily a retiree friendly location. My rationale on that is. The state seems to cater to a higher income retiree that is purchasing a home. Not the lower income retiree that will need to live in 55+ apts. Although there are some 55+ apts here. They are not in the large numbers, one would think in a retirement state such as Arizona.

So I could use some help and advice, and most of all some information on what people do at this point in life.

Thanks.
There has been lots of discussion about subsidized apartments for age 55+ in which you pay something like 33% of your income for rent including utilities. These are probably found in just about every state, including Mass. (in Mass., one poster mentioned a program called Section 8). I suggest you decide which state you want to live in based on income tax and then immediately apply for one of the subsidized apartments. The ones in Mass. are small with few amenities, but other states including CA seem to have rather nice ones.

 
Old 05-11-2013, 08:30 PM
 
4,575 posts, read 7,068,792 times
Reputation: 4228
I'm confused..I know retirees thqt collect SS and pensions without any problem. Most people that retire collect both.
I would suggest states that have no income tax, i.e. Texas, Florida, NH. You might want to look into Jacksonville, or other northern FL cities. I think FL is still just about the cheapest place to live and so many retirees live there...whether married, widowed, divorced, etc. All kinds of retired people. I agree that a lot of states seem to cater only to married retirees who are going to be buying homes.

Last edited by loveautumn; 05-11-2013 at 08:48 PM..
 
Old 05-11-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,401,444 times
Reputation: 16299
Jimrob - Decide where you're going and get on the section 8 (or whatever they call it) list - I hear it's long so the sooner the better. I've also heard you only pay 1/3 of your income on rent this way. I just helped an old roommate do this.
 
Old 05-11-2013, 08:55 PM
 
1,579 posts, read 2,206,301 times
Reputation: 2762
Jimrob: I agree that Florida might be a good possibility. A lot of retirees from Iowa move to Florida (Tampa/Fort Meyers area) because it is affordable for them (Iowa has lower COL, but very cold winters). Good luck to you.
 
Old 05-12-2013, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,502,390 times
Reputation: 8740
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I'm confused..I know retirees thqt collect SS and pensions without any problem. Most people that retire collect both.
I would suggest states that have no income tax, i.e. Texas, Florida, NH. You might want to look into Jacksonville, or other northern FL cities. I think FL is still just about the cheapest place to live and so many retirees live there...whether married, widowed, divorced, etc. All kinds of retired people. I agree that a lot of states seem to cater only to married retirees who are going to be buying homes.

Thanks for the info. The pension, SS problem I don't blame you for being confused. I also find it very confusing. People that have retired from the Federal Gov't, but have also worked in the Private Sector. Well we get penalities imposed on us. Our pensions and our Social Security are either eliminated or reduced when we hit age 62. Reason being we are eligible for Social Security. It is very confusing and I am still awaiting an explanation as to what actually has happened to my pension. In my case after the reduction in my Social Security, it seems the Gov't is eliminating the majority of my pension. I am turning it all over to the congressman office for him to investigate.
 
Old 05-12-2013, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,502,390 times
Reputation: 8740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
Jimrob - Decide where you're going and get on the section 8 (or whatever they call it) list - I hear it's long so the sooner the better. I've also heard you only pay 1/3 of your income on rent this way. I just helped an old roommate do this.

Thanks. I hope it won't come to that, but it may.
 
Old 05-12-2013, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,502,390 times
Reputation: 8740
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
There has been lots of discussion about subsidized apartments for age 55+ in which you pay something like 33% of your income for rent including utilities. These are probably found in just about every state, including Mass. (in Mass., one poster mentioned a program called Section 8). I suggest you decide which state you want to live in based on income tax and then immediately apply for one of the subsidized apartments. The ones in Mass. are small with few amenities, but other states including CA seem to have rather nice ones.

Yes I've driven by them in Attleboro. I remember someone that lives in them told me how small they were. Thanks for the info.
 
Old 05-12-2013, 02:44 PM
 
1,953 posts, read 4,623,750 times
Reputation: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I'm confused..I know retirees thqt collect SS and pensions without any problem. Most people that retire collect both.
I would suggest states that have no income tax, i.e. Texas, Florida, NH. You might want to look into Jacksonville, or other northern FL cities. I think FL is still just about the cheapest place to live and so many retirees live there...whether married, widowed, divorced, etc. All kinds of retired people. I agree that a lot of states seem to cater only to married retirees who are going to be buying homes.
Sorry for the duplicate post. I posted this on another thread that was hijacked by a troll looking for love.... Maybe the info I put together is helpful to some posters here in discussions of costs in different states, especially those without income taxes.

The issue of income taxes vs sales taxes is very interesting. Florida's sales tax rates vary from 6% - 7.5%. Florida collects state sales tax on most material purchases as well as on the rental of houses/apartments, rental of material goods, admissions fees, and services such as pest control and cleaning.

States in several parts of the country are considering changes to their tax structures by lowering the income tax rates and raising sales taxes (NC and ME are considering this) while KS already did it in the last year. Missouri is also looking at possibly changing their tax structure to match KS. Some states are also looking at expanding the services that are currently taxed as well. I don't see this getting better in the future, personally.

You have to look at where your income comes from in retirement. Many (not all) people have lower incomes in retirement, a portion of which is from SS. Lower income taxes might not make that much difference to a retiree, while higher sales taxes do. Some states tax groceries, such as KS (at a whopping 8-9% depending on the county). Taxing food is very regressive, but states are looking at all options for revenue these days. The worst part is that these changes are taking place as we speak, so it's hard to plan. No income tax states are not necessarily good deals for retirees, since revenue for the state will come from somewhere.

NH doesn't have any income or sales taxes, but it does tax dividends, has high property taxes and it taxes interest (and their definition of "interest" in NH includes taxing the growth on annuity payments......a different definition than the IRS at the federal level. I researched this with the state of NH. Very interesting. The fed IRS will tax annuities based on the growth, but it's not considered interest, it's taxed as income.) Anyway, it all gets very complicated.

One website I found helpful for getting a rough idea about how a given state's taxes would impact income in retirement is:

Income Tax Calculator - Tax-Rates.org

It's not a perfect website for super accurate calculations, and may not fit all situations, but if you put in round numbers and are looking for an estimate, you might find it useful. (Sorry for all the caveats, but some posters here like to take shots at suggestions as if they are the perfect solution for everyone, rather than seeing them as one resource among many.) This website is a resource that I found useful. If you have lots of retirement income from different types of investments, for example, it probably won't work; it's not that detailed or sophisticated.

What I did was take one number for a theoretical IRA income (taxed as regular income) and used it in several states pages on the site. This gave me a comparison for one number across several states. The site also has info on sales taxes, but with all the very recent changes, it may not be up to date. Not to mention that there is legislation in "process" in some cases in some states, with possible changes to come very soon. Tax structures are changing fast in many states these days.

My advice is to (1) do an estimate for a few states you are interested in regarding income and sales taxes, (2) take into account property taxes (reflected in housing costs both buying and renting), and (3) also look at the availability of doctors taking new Medicare patients. Another cost factor is utility costs. If you find cheap housing in a given location, you might end up having to run the AC 9 months a year, for example, so the housing costs are higher than first appear.

I have even called medical clinics in various cities that I'm researching, and I talked to receptionists to find out who, if anyone, is taking new Medicare patients, for example. It's a lot of work, but worth it in the long run. Then look at the qualitative side, the "nice to haves" you were mentioning. You'll have to decide what is most important to you and there are always trade-offs. No place will be perfect and meet all your criteria. After you build some lists, you'll need to decide what you can trade-off and live with. It's an evolving process that I actually enjoy. Others may not find this kind of research enjoyable, but it's one way to approach the search for a suitable retirement location.
 
Old 05-12-2013, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,401,444 times
Reputation: 16299
Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Sorry for the duplicate post. I posted this on another thread that was hijacked by a troll looking for love....
.

Still laughing after reading this line Are you & the troll now an "item"?
 
Old 05-15-2013, 03:15 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
Reputation: 22375
Just a quick heads up -- and probably unnecessary . . . but in case any of you are doing research on physicians in an area you are considering . . . surveys are showing that about 1/2 the docs now employed in this country either will be closing or have already closed their practice to accepting new Medicare patients (and often, Medicaid patients, as well).

This is not conjecture. This is occurring now. Docs who are employed by hospitals will, overall, still be accepting Medicare patients, assuming that the hospital has to do so in order to keep their Medicare licensure. So while you are inquiring, find out if the practice is owned by the hospital. If it isn't, be aware that at some point in 2014, most likely 1 Jan 2014, many private practices will no longer be taking new Medicare patients -- and some will not be accepting Medicare patients at all.

Several of the physician practices I have had reason to work with professionally have already done this.
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