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Old 09-21-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,234,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txfriend View Post
I just returned home to north Texas from visiting my father in northern California. I was surprised after comparing both our cost. We are both retired and over 65, both our homes are valued approximately the same $350K. I purchased mine in 1983 and he in 1992, but this is where the similarity ends.

In California, he only pays $2050 for property tax I pay $5600 reduced from almost $7000 because I’m now over 65. My homeowners insurance has a 1% deductible for an insured value of $450K; he has a $500 deductible for on a $430K value and I pay more with zero claims.
His electric cost in the summer is $75 to $135 per month, mine is $175 to $400. My natural gas is $40 minimum, just because I pay for the line to the house, he pays $15 every two months. My water/sewer bill was $105 last month and I conserve.

He pays an average of $3.53 for a gallon of gasoline, I pay $3.19, and however, I could not fined one toll road in his area. I pay tolls going north or south, east and west average $6.00 per 2 gallons of fuel for 50 mile round trip. My cost $6.15 per gallon.

Could not find any difference in food or restaurant cost. He pays only a small amount of state and federal adjusted income tax, I pay 12% federal.
I also pay 8.25% sales tax in Texas; he pays the same.

For a retiree California seems to be better than Texas.
A couple of points to your last line - it all depends on where in CA you live..
That $2050 he pays in property tax? When he sells, the new owners tax will be much higher. I live in a different county, my tax is lower for a house appraised at more than 350K.

Insurance - the owner chooses deductibles. His is 500 - mine is $5K.

My electric, gas, and gasoline is more than your father's. My water bill is atrocious, and I conserve.

It all depends on where you live in the state.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:40 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
Reputation: 20076
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
So the message is be careful not to view local taxes, such as property taxes, as statewide. The property tax in Nashville is still cheaper than it was back in my home in rural northern CA. When researching retirement locales, it helps to drill all the way down to the local level before deciding EXACTLY where to retire. Being on one side or the other of a county line or urban services boundary could be an important factor if property taxes are a major factor in your decision.

The property taxes around Nashville were NOT substantially higher than what I was paying in Chicagoans.

The point of my post was that you DO have to drill down a lot, and in a lot of cases, TN is not as low cost as people would like to believe tax wise.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:54 PM
 
10,817 posts, read 8,065,019 times
Reputation: 17029
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
The point of my post was that you DO have to drill down a lot, and in a lot of cases, TN is not as low cost as people would like to believe tax wise.
Exactly.
By the same token, TX is not always as high cost tax wise as many people believe.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by txfriend View Post
I just returned home to north Texas from visiting my father in northern California. I was surprised after comparing both our cost. We are both retired and over 65, both our homes are valued approximately the same $350K. I purchased mine in 1983 and he in 1992, but this is where the similarity ends.

In California, he only pays $2050 for property tax I pay $5600 reduced from almost $7000 because Iím now over 65. My homeowners insurance has a 1% deductible for an insured value of $450K; he has a $500 deductible for on a $430K value and I pay more with zero claims.
His electric cost in the summer is $75 to $135 per month, mine is $175 to $400. My natural gas is $40 minimum, just because I pay for the line to the house, he pays $15 every two months. My water/sewer bill was $105 last month and I conserve.

He pays an average of $3.53 for a gallon of gasoline, I pay $3.19, and however, I could not fined one toll road in his area. I pay tolls going north or south, east and west average $6.00 per 2 gallons of fuel for 50 mile round trip. My cost $6.15 per gallon.

Could not find any difference in food or restaurant cost. He pays only a small amount of state and federal adjusted income tax, I pay 12% federal.
I also pay 8.25% sales tax in Texas; he pays the same.

For a retiree California seems to be better than Texas.
I like your post because you plugged in specific numbers instead of using generalities about states being high or low in the tax arena. Your conclusion supports what I have long believed and what I have posted many times, namely that although California is a high-tax state, it is not nearly as bad as many people would have us believe.

As a further example, let me cite state income taxes, which you did not address (and which you do not have in Texas, if I recall correctly). California has the highest marginal rate in the nation on state income taxes, but what many fail to realize is that the (admittedly horrendous) maximum rate applies only to that portion of a person's income which exceeds ONE MILLION DOLLARS. The rate structure is very progressive, which means that people with modest incomes of, say, $50,000 per year or less are paying no more in state income taxes than people in many other states. In other words, California has very high income taxes ONLY for people who are rich, or at least quite well-to-do (as "rich" is vague enough to provoke debate as to its meaning).
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:28 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Exactly.
By the same token, TX is not always as high cost tax wise as many people believe.

The EASY way around high taxes in TX is to buy a small home in an affordable area.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,379 posts, read 7,764,578 times
Reputation: 3576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
As a further example, let me cite state income taxes, which you did not address (and which you do not have in Texas, if I recall correctly). California has the highest marginal rate in the nation on state income taxes, but what many fail to realize is that the (admittedly horrendous) maximum rate applies only to that portion of a person's income which exceeds ONE MILLION DOLLARS. The rate structure is very progressive, which means that people with modest incomes of, say, $50,000 per year or less are paying no more in state income taxes than people in many other states. In other words, California has very high income taxes ONLY for people who are rich, or at least quite well-to-do (as "rich" is vague enough to provoke debate as to its meaning).
I agree. I looked at my CA state income taxes paid in 2013 and it was about 6.5% on a taxable income of just over $100K. In 25+ other states in the US I would pay about the same or more state income tax on the same amount of taxable income. I live in a (high rent) apartment about 45 miles south of downtown LA and pay some of the lowest monthly utility bills in the developed world (average $20 / month electric + $10 / month natural gas.) Almost everything I need is within walking or bike riding distance.

If a person lives in an apartment or small, modest dwelling, it is possible to live comfortably in many (not all) parts of California at a total overall cost (including all types of taxes, insurance, utilities, groceries and other basic living costs) that is not much different from over half of all the other states in the US.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I agree. I looked at my CA state income taxes paid in 2013 and it was about 6.5% on a taxable income of just over $100K. In 25+ other states in the US I would pay about the same or more state income tax on the same amount of taxable income. I live in a (high rent) apartment about 45 miles south of downtown LA and pay some of the lowest monthly utility bills in the developed world (average $20 / month electric + $10 / month natural gas.) Almost everything I need is within walking or bike riding distance.

If a person lives in an apartment or small, modest dwelling, it is possible to live comfortably in many (not all) parts of California at a total overall cost (including all types of taxes, insurance, utilities, groceries and other basic living costs) that is not much different from over half of all the other states in the US.
I was glad to read your post. My utility bills are about the same as yours, and frequently people just don't believe me. I am divorced and live alone, so that makes them lower. Also I don't keep the place like an icebox during the summer, so that makes them lower too. But still, it goes to show that not EVERYTHING is absurdly expensive in California.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,848,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I was glad to read your post. My utility bills are about the same as yours, and frequently people just don't believe me. I am divorced and live alone, so that makes them lower. Also I don't keep the place like an icebox during the summer, so that makes them lower too. But still, it goes to show that not EVERYTHING is absurdly expensive in California.

I agree with you. I live in MA here and everyone calls this an expensive place to live. It isn't cheap by no means but many people do make a living here. FInding a place to live isnt only about cost of living. Anyone considering where to live when they cross to that part of life's threshold where you are no longer working for a living need to consider a number of factors.

1. Desireability of location
2. Family, friends and associates
3. Doctors and hospitals
4. Services like a trusted mechanic or plumber
5. The things you want and need in your second half

It is something I am considering. I am certainly looking to move but until I buy in and move it is all speculation.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:38 AM
 
Location: P.C.F
1,973 posts, read 1,643,627 times
Reputation: 1607
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Our perfect place is right where we are - the beautiful Gulf coast of Florida. It's my home state, hubby has been here most of his life. I love the warm weather, beaches, humidity, tropical foliage and the year round gardening and outdoor activities. We have everything we want right here. So glad we don't have to move - moving is a beeyotch!
I Love it here too and I had to move EVERYTHING 1200 Miles to get here.. But what do I know? Where have I LIVED .. traveling through for say less than 6 months doesnt count as even begining to know someplace.. Well I started in Du Page County Il. ( Wheaton) Then... Eugene OR. Tri-cities WA . LA CA. Dover NH, Wells Maine, White Plains New York , Cozumel MX ( broke my heart to sell that home but too many issues living there as a Gringo and your always a Gringo!! ) 3 Rivers Texas and I retired in Port Charlotte FL. On a Sailboat Canal only 15 minutes by boat to some of Americas best Sailing and fishing..
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
5,322 posts, read 8,364,963 times
Reputation: 8665
We're also on the Gulf Coast in Florida. I think we'll stay here - low taxes, warm climate, decent medical care, but little cultural appeal. If we can afford it, we may get a small place in New Hampshire and spend summer and fall there, having lived in New England previously and loved it. It's also close enough to cultural resources in Massachusetts. What little family we have is in New England, but that's not enough incentive to spend winters there!

We like the beach, but we prefer the mountains.
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