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Old 06-08-2014, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,581,680 times
Reputation: 29034

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There's nothing wrong with how you asked the question, you just specified criteria that may make your perfect place impossible to find. I'm a liberal who has liven in five states, so I'm pretty well-versed in where the liberal and the "live-and-let-live" people, who might still vote Republican (as is often the case in Alaska) are located. Mostly it's not in areas with a lot of inexpensive farm land.

Idaho has been recommended to you for many of the reasons on your list, but it's one of our most conservative states. It is also the home (along with eastern Washington and Southeastern Michigan for some reason) of some of our nation's most most active domestic terrorist organizations. (I don't think you want to be involved in that. They are definitely not live and let live.) If you admire the free-spirited, I'd also suggest that areas with a dominating Mormon presence might also be unsuitable. They may keep to themselves socially more than some other fundamentalist religions do, but they work hard to become involved in the governments of wherever Mormons settle.

Your "states with no sales tax OR no income tax" requirement is another a deterrent to your bliss. As you probably know, there are only four states with no sales tax, and only Montana and Oregon are west of the Mississippi. You already live in a no income tax state, so I assume you're just trying to maintain the status quo on that. Other Western states that have no income tax are Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

But as you know, those two factors aren't the only ones that create a low overall cost of living for retirees. Trouble is, few agree on what constitutes a low cost of living. Many so-called experts try and calculate that for retirees. According to Bankrate, most of them are in conservative Southern states. Those that aren't, according to Bankrate, are Nebraska, both North and South Dakota, West Virginia, and the state you are currently living in.

CNN's Money report votes for North and South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa. They also suggest Colorado and Virginia, saying that the higher COL is balanced by a low tax burden for retirees. But if you're working even a small farm, do you even qualify as "retired"?

The Kiplinger Report says the most tax-friendly states for retirees west of the Mississippi are Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and Alaska.

I have several relatives who live in Montana. They are all very active in the same kinds of extracurricular activities you say you like (plus hockey). Your amenity needs would all be met if you lived near Missoula, thanks to the U of M being there. I would imagine North and South Dakota would also afford some of those same opportunities, and like Montana are not hard-core conservative, but would you be improving your weather or your tax burden in those places? If two of those three reports list Alaska as one of the tax-friendliest states for retirees, would you move if you're also getting similar weather?

So it seems like C-o-L for things other than taxes will have play an important role in giving you a real reason to move. I live in Arizona and the cost of things like food, utilities, and gasoline are cheaper here in Tucson than they were when I lived back East. Living near Flagstaff, Arizona, would keep you out of the heat and certainly give you the opportunity for hunting, fishing, etc., as well as all the other things on your amenities list, as it is the home of Northern Arizona University. I have relatives who live there, too, and they are neither religious nor conservative and do just fine.

Reno is great for many of your needs, but while there is no state income tax, other C-o-Ls are very high there. New Mexico doesn't make the list of a lot of "cheap for retirees" lists, but some places in the state would have most of what you are looking for and it's very beautiful. Same for much of Colorado. Wyoming is very conservative and the areas that would get you your amenities, healthcare, etc., are the most expensive places in the state.

In this old C-D discussion, people compare moving to NV, MN, and CO:
Lowest cost of living- NV, NM, CO, or AZ?

In this one, they are examining C-o-L around Albuquerque and the OP seems to decide yes. One thing gets mentioned here is that in NM and AZ cattle farmers can import feed from Mexico to save a lot of money.
Cost of Living.... ???

Iowa and Nebraska would both get you summer and winter and farmland within a reasonable distance to very nice cities (Iowa City, Des Moines, and Omaha). But forests and foothills, no. And year-around hunting and fishing won't compare to what you have.

If you ever do think of going East, West Virginia would give you a ton of what you want. Good luck with your decision.

Last edited by Jukesgrrl; 06-08-2014 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:58 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,994 times
Reputation: 29
Thank you. I will put Redding/northern CA on the list to research, as well as Sonora/Murphy's CA. Thank you also for the Kentucky suggestion, but my wife will not consider going that far east.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:03 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,994 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
There's nothing wrong with how you asked the question, you just specified criteria that may make your perfect place impossible to find. I'm a liberal who has liven in five states, so I'm pretty well-versed in where the liberal and the "live-and-let-live" people, who might still vote Republican (as is often the case in Alaska) are located. Mostly it's not in areas with a lot of inexpensive farm land.

Idaho has been recommended to you for many of the reasons on your list, but it's one of our most conservative states. It is also the home (along with eastern Washington and Southeastern Michigan for some reason) of some of our nation's most most active domestic terrorist organizations. (I don't think you want to be involved in that. They are definitely not live and let live.) If you admire the free-spirited, I'd also suggest that areas with a dominating Mormon presence might also be unsuitable. They may keep to themselves socially more than some other fundamentalist religions do, but they work hard to become involved in the governments of wherever Mormons settle.

Your "states with no sales tax OR no income tax" requirement is another a deterrent to your bliss. As you probably know, there are only four states with no sales tax, and only Montana and Oregon are west of the Mississippi. You already live in a no income tax state, so I assume you're just trying to maintain the status quo on that. Other Western states that have no income tax are Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

But as you know, those two factors aren't the only ones that create a low overall cost of living for retirees. Trouble is, few agree on what constitutes a low cost of living. Many so-called experts try and calculate that for retirees. According to Bankrate, most of them are in conservative Southern states. Those that aren't, according to Bankrate, are Nebraska, both North and South Dakota, West Virginia, and the state you are currently living in.

CNN's Money report votes for North and South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa. They also suggest Colorado and Virginia, saying that the higher COL is balanced by a low tax burden for retirees. But if you're working even a small farm, do you even qualify as "retired"?

The Kiplinger Report says the most tax-friendly states for retirees west of the Mississippi are Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and Alaska.

I have several relatives who live in Montana. They are all very active in the same kinds of extracurricular activities you say you like (plus hockey). Your amenity needs would all be met if you lived near Missoula, thanks to the U of M being there. I would imagine North and South Dakota would also afford some of those same opportunities, and like Montana are not hard-core conservative, but would you be improving your weather or your tax burden in those places? If two of those three reports list Alaska as one of the tax-friendliest states for retirees, would you move if you're also getting similar weather?

So it seems like C-o-L for things other than taxes will have play an important role in giving you a real reason to move. I live in Arizona and the cost of things like food, utilities, and gasoline are cheaper here in Tucson than they were when I lived back East. Living near Flagstaff, Arizona, would keep you out of the heat and certainly give you the opportunity for hunting, fishing, etc., as well as all the other things on your amenities list, as it is the home of Northern Arizona University. I have relatives who live there, too, and they are neither religious nor conservative and do just fine.

Reno is great for many of your needs, but while there is no state income tax, other C-o-Ls are very high there. New Mexico doesn't make the list of a lot of "cheap for retirees" lists, but some places in the state would have most of what you are looking for and it's very beautiful. Same for much of Colorado. Wyoming is very conservative and the areas that would get you your amenities, healthcare, etc., are the most expensive places in the state.

In this old C-D discussion, people compare moving to NV, MN, and CO:
Lowest cost of living- NV, NM, CO, or AZ?

In this one, they are examining C-o-L around Albuquerque and the OP seems to decide yes. One thing gets mentioned here is that in NM and AZ cattle farmers can import feed from Mexico to save a lot of money.
Cost of Living.... ???

Iowa and Nebraska would both get you summer and winter and farmland within a reasonable distance to very nice cities (Iowa City, Des Moines, and Omaha). But forests and foothills, no. And year-around hunting and fishing won't compare to what you have.

If you ever do think of going East, West Virginia would give you a ton of what you want. Good luck with your decision.
Thank you. That's a lot of really good information to consider.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
4,575 posts, read 9,673,941 times
Reputation: 5037
Quote:
Originally Posted by akfarmer View Post
Thank you. I will put Redding/northern CA on the list to research, as well as Sonora/Murphy's CA. Thank you also for the Kentucky suggestion, but my wife will not consider going that far east.
It was 100 degrees in those places today. We were 50 this morning, and close to 90. California's central valley and up to 2000' is hot. I recommended LaPine, OR. because it was 35 this morning, and may have hit 80. Land is inexpensive there with views of the Cascades, and Sunriver, OR if you need a yuppie fix. Lot's of lake, and an ag industry. It's kind of like here where alpine meets desert similar to Spokane.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:15 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,994 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillys View Post
It was 100 degrees in those places today. We were 50 this morning, and close to 90. California's central valley and up to 2000' is hot. I recommended LaPine, OR. because it was 35 this morning, and may have hit 80. Land is inexpensive there with views of the Cascades, and Sunriver, OR if you need a yuppie fix. Lot's of lake, and an ag industry. It's kind of like here where alpine meets desert similar to Spokane.
Thank you. I'll put LaPine on my research list also.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Northern Wisconsin
8,861 posts, read 7,744,265 times
Reputation: 15252
The closest I know of is rural Arkansas, but it will be hotter in summer. You can adjust.

The other location that is cooler is SW Wisconsin. Close to Miss. R., but on the eastern side. Taxes are higher though.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:04 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,994 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
The closest I know of is rural Arkansas, but it will be hotter in summer. You can adjust.

The other location that is cooler is SW Wisconsin. Close to Miss. R., but on the eastern side. Taxes are higher though.
Thank you. A friend who lives in MN had suggested Eau Claire WI as well. I'll put that on my list to research as well.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:42 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,697 posts, read 40,084,074 times
Reputation: 23860
Alaska would be my first suggestion,
PNW will suit your politics much better than UT, WY.

Columbia / Whitefish, MT
Klickitat, WA, (general area) Prineville, OR (General area)
Dayton, OR (Blue Mtns of SE WA and NE OR).
Kettle Falls, Republic, WA

Ontario, OR (SE) (and places nearby in ID)
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Northern Wisconsin
8,861 posts, read 7,744,265 times
Reputation: 15252
OP: I was recently reresearching Wis. and yes it has a reputation for high taxes. But if you look at their taxes on retiree's, it acually isn't too bad. SS is exempt from taxes, and there are several other provisions in their that make it more tax friendly for seniors. They still get you with the property taxes, but the sales tax is comparatively low. Eau Claire is nice. I went to Steven's Point and its almost perfect IMHO.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:44 AM
 
1,302 posts, read 1,303,106 times
Reputation: 2742
Quote:
Originally Posted by akfarmer View Post
We've lived in interior Alaska for nearly 30 years, but we don't see how we can afford to retire here. I've described the place we want to retire below. Does anyone know where it is?

Economy:
Relatively low cost of living (main reason I'm thinking of retiring anywhere but Alaska)

Government:
Ability to have small farm acreage (10 to 40 acres) with subsistence livestock without being taxed to death
I can live with sales tax OR income tax, but not both.

Weather:
Summer high temps below 80 degrees on average (I'm acclimated to Alaska)
Six to nine snow-free months per year and less than 20" rain per year (translated: I want to ride my motorcycle more than a few weekends per year)

Geography:
- West of the Mississippi River
- Foothills or lowlands OK, but not high mountain areas
- Forested
- Lakes for canoeing/fishing/duck hunting
- Opportunities for successful deer hunting without entering into a $10K/year lease
- Opportunities for upland bird hunting without entering into a $10K/year lease
- Rural enough that you can spend a day photographing in the woods or go skinny dipping and not see anyone else

Socio-political culture:
- Free spirited enough that if you do get seen skinny dipping it won't be a big deal.
- Liberal-leaning libertarian friendly (If live and let live isn't your creedo I don't want you as a neighbor, but if you think free markets and profits trump human rights and the only possible reason anyone could ever need public assistance is because they have an incurable moral defect then I don't either)
- Arts-friendly culture (actual working artists, not just places making money off of artists; and not a prude-dominated art community that loves landscapes, wildlife, and portraits of jesus but considers anything else to be embarrassingly exotic and probably pornographic)
-Agnostic friendly (I don't care how religious anyone else is, but I don't want them harassing me to attend church, telling me they're praying for my soul, leaving scripture under my windshield wipers, or whispering to my wife that I must be a deviant because I don't go to church).
- Low crime rate

Amenities:
Within a half day's drive of a city large enough to have
- decent medical and dental care
- a college with opportunities for non-degree seeking adults to take classes
- some diversity of cuisine
- at least a few real art galleries, and maybe even a meuseum that's more than the county historical society's photo collection


Places that have been recommended and have some appeal, but also seem to have quite a few strikes on my list:
Northern Minnesota (Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Duluth)
Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington (Coeur d'alene, outlying areas around Spokane, Pullman)
Ashland, OR
Santa Fe, NM
Flagstaff, AZ
sure sounds a lot like n/w Arkansas??? minus the temps in the summer....
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