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Old 03-21-2016, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,649 posts, read 17,623,979 times
Reputation: 27733

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
SeriousConvo, don't forget that KNOXVILLE is part of eastern TN (I know, you know that). You make it sound like we don't have Ingle's, Kroger, Publix, Costco, Trader Joe's, Food Lion, EarthFare, Whole Foods, etc. The economy around Knoxville is not lousy (Jan 2016 unemployment of 4.5%, lower than the national 4.9%), and we have several excellent Covenant Health hospitals (ParkWest, Ft Sanders, etc), Blount Memorial, and University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Leave Knoxville and most of those options go away.

The Tri-Cities has two Ingle's, and neither are convenient to get to, whereas Food City has numerous stores everywhere. The Kingsport and Bristol Kroger's are old and dumpy - Johnson City's is slightly better. There aren't any Costcos, Whole Foods, TJ's, or Publix outside of Knoxville - those options simply don't exist elsewhere in east Tennessee. Outside of Walmart/Sam's, I'd say Food City probably has 60%-75% of the remaining grocery business east of Knoxville. Johnson City has a wimpy Earthfare that's at best a cut down Whole Foods.

Smaller towns outside the Tri-Cities aren't likely to have much more than a Food City, and maybe a Walmart or an Ingle's. I worked in Lebanon, VA (35 miles north of Bristol) for two years. All they had was Walmart and Food City. Prices were far higher than in the Tri-Cities, which still has much more expensive food than anywhere else I've ever lived. The grocery prices have been discussed at length on the Tri-Cities forum. Add the sales tax onto that - and food is going to take a greater share of residents' incomes (which are low by any measure) than most folks are used to. For seniors on a limited income, the price of food in the area is harsh. If your grocery bill goes up $100-$150/month due to the high food prices in TN vs. where you were, it's something to consider.

You're in a retiree dominated area (with probably a lot of transplants like yourself who brought in money from elsewhere) in an affluent section of the Knoxville metro. Your situation is not really similar to those outside of Knoxville, or those who simply don't have the money to shop at the higher end places you've listed. What you see on a daily basis is not representative of a vast majority of Tennessee outside of a few, relatively large metropolitan regions.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:55 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 994,079 times
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I live in tn and pay a hair less than 10% sales tax on groceries. Varies by county. Not complaining. Just saying.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcomputer View Post
I live in tn and pay a hair less than 10% sales tax on groceries. Varies by county. Not complaining. Just saying.
I live in high-tax California and pay zero sales tax on groceries. That little detail is just another example of what so many have said - the total tax situation has to be considered, not just one tax or the other, since states have to get their revenue somehow.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,649 posts, read 17,623,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I live in high-tax California and pay zero sales tax on groceries. That little detail is just another example of what so many have said - the total tax situation has to be considered, not just one tax or the other, since states have to get their revenue somehow.
Tennessee (TN) Sales Tax Rates by City

It was at this level, but has been substantially reduced. I think in my home county (Sullivan) the tax is 5.5% on unprepared foods. Meals at restaurants and prepared food at the grocery store (you go to the deli and get a chicken breast and sides) are taxed higher.

People do need to consider their spending habits and structure of their investments. Each circumstance is unique and deserves its own analysis.

With that said, I think people get sticker shock at the sales tax when, for most people, it's nowhere near as severe as an income tax.

Let's just say the average sales tax in TN on non-reduced or exempt items is 9.5%. First, you have to make a purchase to be subject to the tax. If you don't purchase anything, you pay no tax. With an income tax, no action is required on your part, other than simply earning your income - the money is confiscated before you're left with what's yours. With a sales tax, you change your spending behavior to reduce your tax burden, hence the example with the big restaurant bill vs. eating at home. That's not even counting things like me driving to Virginia to "load up" at a cheaper rate. Incomes taxes are harder to avoid.

Second, people see the 9.5%, get shocked, but they aren't usually comparing it against what they already pay. Where I'm at now in Indiana, sales tax is 7%. If I spend $1000 at retail per month, that extra 2.5% in TN over what I'm already paying is a whopping $25/month. TN's sales tax needs to be compared to what people are already paying in their current state of residence.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:03 AM
 
13,978 posts, read 7,446,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
That is correct. taxes from IRA and 401Ks are not taxed in TN.


As for my property taxes yes I am allowed to request an abatement. Here is what happened this year. The taxes went from $6012 annual to $7250 annual. I asked for an abatement and I got it dropped $500. Yay!! They are assessing me on about 85% of the actual value. In TN that same house would cost me 1/3 of that. You can bet I am looking hard at TN. Robyn I am not living in TN but it is on my list of places to visit to see if I can see myself there. I am going to weigh the move against downsizing in MA. I will weigh each location on my list which by the way are not just states but communities (not specifically retirement communities) just locations within the individual states that interest us.
There are towns in Massachusetts with lower tax rates and lower housing costs. My town has a lot of oceanfront property, gated summer communities, and commercial real estate that subsidize the school system. 1% tax rate. It's not commutable to the high paying metro-Boston jobs unless you're suicidal so property prices are low by 495-belt standards. Massachusetts is not a low tax state but it's middle of the pack nationally if you're not getting socked with big property taxes on an expensive metro-Boston-commutable home. If you live in a gold-plated Boston suburb with the $750K+ home, you have a really big tax burden.

If I thought I had more of an income problem in retirement, I'd likely pick a lower tax and lower cost of living place.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:15 PM
 
3,351 posts, read 3,057,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I live in high-tax California and pay zero sales tax on groceries. That little detail is just another example of what so many have said - the total tax situation has to be considered, not just one tax or the other, since states have to get their revenue somehow.
And, you don't pay exorbitant taxes on alcohol. And, you can buy it on Sundays.


My urban Nashville property tax is very high. But yea for me - I'm one of those transplants who kept my San Francisco salary when I had to move here.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,950,422 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
That is correct. taxes from IRA and 401Ks are not taxed in TN.


As for my property taxes yes I am allowed to request an abatement. Here is what happened this year. The taxes went from $6012 annual to $7250 annual. I asked for an abatement and I got it dropped $500. Yay!! They are assessing me on about 85% of the actual value. In TN that same house would cost me 1/3 of that. You can bet I am looking hard at TN. Robyn I am not living in TN but it is on my list of places to visit to see if I can see myself there. I am going to weigh the move against downsizing in MA. I will weigh each location on my list which by the way are not just states but communities (not specifically retirement communities) just locations within the individual states that interest us.
Guess I got a little confused. So you live in Taxachusetts - not Tennessee.

FWIW - like I said - I know zero about living in Tennessee - or the taxes there. Just thought the article I read would make for some lively discussion (and it has ). Robyn
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,950,422 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
...The fact that the Hall Tax merited an article in WSJ is mind-boggling. It's basic information.
It wasn't really an article. It was an op-ed piece that said the tax should be abolished. Not an unusual POV for the WSJ . Robyn
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,482 posts, read 5,944,584 times
Reputation: 16189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger Fan View Post
Yep. Interest on retirement accounts is pretty low. No one in their right mind living entirely off retirement income would have that money in stocks at that point- it would all be lower interest bonds and whatnot.

At 4% interest (and again this is being very generous), that couple would need to have somewhere around 1.5 million in an account to be generating 60K alone in interest.


This is way, WAY above the average.




Most older Americans fall short on retirement savings


This isn't a tax that's hitting "seniors." This is a tax that's pretty much exclusive to the wealthy, and a handful of middle class that were REALLY good at planning for retirement.
The part in bold is such a horrible mistake. Unless you are planning on living only a few years after retirement having all your retirement money in safe, low interest investments is a guarantee to run out of money. You will not get to 4% over any length of time without some exposure to the stock market.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,482 posts, read 5,944,584 times
Reputation: 16189
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
So if I"m not mistaken the $59,000 figure takes into account all income: SS, 401 and IRA non-Roth withdraw, dividends on investments etc. Is that correct?
We got a bit sidetracked with the discussion moving to other taxes. So I guess I'll ask this question again. Does SS count towards the $59,000 limit for couples?
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