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Old 05-29-2014, 09:55 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,609 posts, read 3,684,120 times
Reputation: 12418

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I left hot and humid/cold and wet Missouri for New Mexico's high desert north of Albuquerque (5600 ft). Still have four seasons but very little snow and temps rarely go over the mid 90s. I don't have AC and humidity is often single digits. Desert life is different but I like the open spaces. Gardening is a challenge because those flowers and trees you loved won't grow here so you are busy learning new things and that's good...plus there is no grass to mow (!!!) New Mexico is a retiree destination for lots of folks from CA or the northeast but we like to keep it a secret.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:23 AM
 
30,159 posts, read 47,386,444 times
Reputation: 16110
The factor that would concern me to most in moving to an area where you have no friends or family is who do you fall back on if there are problems...
just Tuesday a friend of mine had a water line to her toilet burst--
she was lucky enough to have SIL (married to step-daughter) who is contractor and could come turn off the water from the street because the line broke in such a way there was no turning water off at the wall...

Her other daughter and SIL were at house eating dinner and helped with damage control...the SIL came over to our house (5 min away) to get our wet/dry vac...

We had visited our daughter who moved to FL after her marriage 10 yrs ago at different times A couple of years ago we bought vacation house in FL that is right next door to our daughter and frankly don't know how we will feel if they decide in few years they need larger house and want to move or if SIL gets promotion and has to relocate...we might not want to keep that house even though we are very happy there now when we visit...
Part of the security of owning it is knowing our daughter is so close when we are gone...

There is no safety net when you move to an area where you are starting from scratch--
much less finding new doctors and other medical resources...

Our friends who were living in Houston and decided to move to Spokane area--
she had worked there for several years for a week or two at a time several times a year doing project work for her company and made friends working at that site--plus got to see the area over time--different seasons--was aware of the local attitudes and atmosphere before they started to look for house...
she was in much better shape to make decision about whether or not it was good site for them to move to

To the OP--you may have what you feel are valid reasons for moving but I hope you consider as many possible consequences before actually doing so...
I don't know that I would pay someone I didn't know to recommend where I should retire to--
there is so much info on the Internet about retirement/relocation choices--
and I am with the people who say why move to some place likely to have bad weather in winter--if you are used to living with sun most of the time you are not going to like living with overcast days and gloom in the winter...nor driving in snow --falling on ice can be a dangerous event for older people...
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,088,110 times
Reputation: 2600
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
The OP is from California so pretty much anywhere is going to have a lower tax burden.
Do your homework and be careful with this assumption. Yes, CA has a very high top tax rate (12.3%), but for a couple you need to pull down $1M per year to fall into that bracket. I was surprised to see that our effective tax rate in CA is similar to what we expect to pay when we retire to ID. I know colleagues who have relocated from IA to CA and had a similar experience - their effective tax rates are just about the same between IA and CA.

Sales taxes and property taxes may be a different situation.

And BTW, I am certainly not trying to make the case to retire in CA. One consideration should be whether the current tax burden is supporting the commitments that have been made by the state. In the case of CA I think the answer is clearly NO, so I expect taxes to continue to increase here. After all, somebody is going to have to pay for Jerry's train.

Dave
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
3,007 posts, read 2,176,472 times
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I bought in Weirton WV to retire to, and moving from Cape Cod MA, everyone thinks I am crazy, but cannot afford to live here anymore, I am a Native Cape Codder, come from a long line of Light house keeps.

Anyway Weirton is an old Steel Mill town, most are not closed down, they filmed the movie Super 8 there. I choosed it because it was very cheap, the people are friendly, there is good medical care right there and it is 25 miles from Pittsburgh. Good shopping close by as well. And Weirton has the distinction of being the only city the boarders two states, if you go about 2 miles to the right you are in PA and if you go about 2 miles to the left and over the river you are in Ohio.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,563,848 times
Reputation: 27566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cnynrat View Post
Do your homework and be careful with this assumption. Yes, CA has a very high top tax rate (12.3%), but for a couple you need to pull down $1M per year to fall into that bracket. I was surprised to see that our effective tax rate in CA is similar to what we expect to pay when we retire to ID. I know colleagues who have relocated from IA to CA and had a similar experience - their effective tax rates are just about the same between IA and CA.

Sales taxes and property taxes may be a different situation.

And BTW, I am certainly not trying to make the case to retire in CA. One consideration should be whether the current tax burden is supporting the commitments that have been made by the state. In the case of CA I think the answer is clearly NO, so I expect taxes to continue to increase here. After all, somebody is going to have to pay for Jerry's train.

Dave
I wasn't just referring to tax rate though.
Your tax burden would take in so much more like state income tax, prop tax, annual renewal taxes, etc.

And we all know that taxes never go down. If taxes have to enter the picture in your retirement planning then that comes across to me that one is not wealthy enough to be able to afford to absorb rising taxes in their future, especially if the taxes rise more than your retirement income.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:03 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,088,110 times
Reputation: 2600
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
I wasn't just referring to tax rate though.
Your tax burden would take in so much more like state income tax, prop tax, annual renewal taxes, etc.
I understand, I was merely suggesting people actually do the math, because the conventional wisdom on this subject isn't always correct.

Dave
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,478 posts, read 5,941,871 times
Reputation: 16173
I wish the OP success. I've been doing the same thing for a year and a half and it's fun but also frustrating. I just can't decide and after all this research I should at least have an opinion by now.

The part about who would you count on should a pipe burst is not my concern. I'm sure we will make friends as will the OP. My concern is more who will take care of us as we get really old?
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:26 AM
 
248 posts, read 267,968 times
Reputation: 1043
PA is not the most attractive state in the US, and the weather isn't that great either. In the rural areas it's one big coal mine, dirty and poor, and there's a couple nice cities but the violence rates are not low, and the cost of living isn't either.

Check into the highlands of Mexico, Ajijic, Lake Chapala, etc; tens of thousands of ex-pats have moved there for the weather and low cost of living. If you're willing to avoid the expat towns, cost of living will be even lower; we're talking being able to live nicely on 1K a month. The weather has been described as 'eternal spring' with perfect winters and the rainy season being the summers, but it usually rains in the evenings or overnight and that's what keeps things green and not California brown.

The Mexican govt is planning desalinization plants on the coastline and will be selling the water to California, which can't afford to build their own desalinization plants because the cost of land in CA is too much (!); and they're investing billions in infrastructure because they're rightly expecting a massive influx of US and Canadian retirees, now that everyone's pensions have been decimated by Wall Street.

Really, before you move to PA (ick) consider the options.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,478 posts, read 5,941,871 times
Reputation: 16173
I'm not about to knock PA, it's a neighboring state to mine (Marlyand) and Gettysburg is very nice. It's certainly in play for us but we really want warmer weather.

But I too gotta wonder why someone would move across the country to end up in PA when there seems to be so many better options in the west. NM would be where I would start.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,895 posts, read 25,347,447 times
Reputation: 26404
I hope you plan to visit during the Winter as some of the others have suggested. And do a lot of work figuring out your projected taxes there. And remember they have bugs in the Summer. Something you don't see much of in dry climates. And make sure you are not trading $400 cooling bills for $400 heating bills.

Both my parent's families lived in PA so I have spent a lot of time there over the years. I have seen a lot of very snowy Winters and hot, humid, Summers.

Can you rent there for a year and see if it's really right for you?
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