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Old 01-10-2008, 04:33 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,235 posts, read 18,509,075 times
Reputation: 17765

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I realize that ithe PNW is not one of the least expensive areas of the country, but is it relatively affordable in terms of taxes and cost of living? I would be moving all alone, except for my cat Gracie. (just like Harry & Tonto, remember that movie ? ) . Has anyone else made the transformation from the East coast to that area? I would love to hear from you if you have. Any suggestions or povs would be welcome to this future (June of this year ) retiree who is looking to move to Portland, Oregon from LI, New York.
Thanks .
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
255 posts, read 1,101,297 times
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I am not from the east coast originally (obviously) although we did live in North Carolina at one time. I don't think that the Carolinas are a good comparable for the PNW. So I can't answer your question re affordability. Suffice to say that west of the Cascades does have a higher cost of living than the midwest where we came from before landing in Washington. And east of the Cascades has a lower cost of living. I hope that someone from Portland will answer you more specifically.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:09 PM
Status: "0-0-2 start!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,289 posts, read 15,342,559 times
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I think you've seen, in the discussion up on the Oregon forum, the general financial pros-and-cons of Oregon. But, really, the decision of where you want to live needs to be based on more than which locations are the absolute cheapest.

The advantages of Portland are:

-- a relatively mild climate west of the Cascades, meaning your heating and cooling bills are generally low. A high-efficiency heat pump will do for all of your needs. Winter bills (Dec, Jan, Feb, March) will be your high bills. Your spring summer and fall bills will be much lower.

-- the supply of fresh food is very good. Farmer's markets have a very long season and you can get very high-quality food for reasonable prices. There are many good restaurants in the city that specialize in local seasonal food. There are a lot of really good Asian restaurants.

-- in the metro Portland area, if you pick your location carefully, the mass transit is very good. There are many very walkable areas and public parks.

-- variety of scenery within a few hour drive. Mountains, coast, high desert.

-- reasonably good airport with more and more direct flights across the US and Europe, if travel is important. Recently Amtrak has put in a high-speed line between Portland and Seattle, which makes that a nice trip.

-- an excellent public library system in Portland proper. The downtown branch of the Multnomah County Library is a great place.

-- good medical care - there is a highly rated teaching/research hospital, with all the advantages that type of facility has.

The disadvantages:

-- relatively high housing costs (as is true on all of the west coast). Not as bad as anywhere in California, true, but still comparatively high.

-- the winters are cool, wet and dark. People from other areas adjust to this with varying degrees of success. For some people it's nothing at all, for others it's a big deal. The summers are absolutely gorgeous, but "summer" can be June-October or late July-beginning of September. In general, the mild climate makes it a great place to garden, as you can grow house-sized rhododendrons to palm trees.

As for taxes, here is a site that (oooo, very conveniently) lists states from N through O:
Retirement Living - Taxes by State: New York - Wyoming
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:55 PM
 
Location: WA
5,393 posts, read 21,388,001 times
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We retired in SW Washington from Texas... the only downside for us was the 30% higher home cost. Taxes, insurance, and untilities are lower and everything else about the same. We are very pleased with the area and happy we made the move.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:39 PM
 
4 posts, read 16,410 times
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Hi Nancy,
I've been in the Portland area for 47 years,and enjoy it's diversity.As the other person quoted about "what's available". That was just a start. The multiple points of grandure are vast, inspiring, beauty is only shortened by what you don't see.The housing is wonderful, Coast, Willamette valley, the Cascades, Central Oregon and the East side, cattle barons. The Winters are wet, but Hemingway always said to indulge in a good book. FRESH food from the source, to the table in 45 minutes, u name it. You get what you pay for.I have 20 acres for sale about 45 miles S. of Portland. It's in the mountains, if you want to be out a ways. It's a new chalet style, fully treed, can't see your neighbor, taxes of $877.00 for '07. I prefere the mountains over the busy city life.
Like you've been told before, rent before you buy, come and see if this is what you are looking for. June would be an ideal month. BUT...the coast is especially beautiful this time of year. I don't find the cost of living high, at least you won't find your home in your neighbors yard in the morning.
C........
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:01 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,235 posts, read 18,509,075 times
Reputation: 17765
Default a place 4 m4

Thank you all for your wonderful posts. It is so encouraging to read positive things about a place that you have your heart set on relocating to (sometimes on the Portland site there is lots of negativity and carping. )

Only six more months ....
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,819,531 times
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Nancy, if you go to Portland you should check out Powell's Books. It's a fantastic bookstore--if you love to read that could be the best reason of all to move there.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:29 AM
 
492 posts, read 1,946,427 times
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Nancy:

Think carefully about how you will respond to the long, wet, dark winter. Portland is north of the 45th parallel. People who work "normal" hours drive to work in the dark, and drive home in the dark.

I was in Oregon for 12 years and enjoyed it, but after 10 years, I couldn't deal with the winter weather and darkness any more. (The summers are fantastic). Alas, NC where I got a great job offer, doesn't hold a candle to OR (or anywhere in the west) for quality of life. :-(

Think about Medford: near the CA border, it is a much drier climate.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:40 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,049,244 times
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I believe the OP already lives up near those latitudes so she is already used to the dark of the year. I'm further south and still have about 3 months where I never see my home in the daylight except on weekends. The cloudiness in the Pac NW might be an issue for some people (30% of the available sunshine in the winter months). A mitigating factor might be that when retired, you are not spending all the daylight hours inside in an office. It has got to be different when you are retired and your time is your own.
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:36 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,235 posts, read 18,509,075 times
Reputation: 17765
Nancy, if you go to Portland you should check out Powell's Books. It's a fantastic bookstore--if you love to read that could be the best reason of all to move there.[+]

Thanks, Normie. I am even on their e mail list. Just getting ahead of myself.
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