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Old 11-21-2016, 08:20 AM
 
6,616 posts, read 3,746,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N.Cal View Post
The city where I would be happiest. That trumps anything.
My heart is not with either. I am a divorced retiree who is starting over somewhere with a lower COL, to stretch my retirement savings and for better soil & weather for fruit trees & gardening.

City #2 is where I have some family...great gardening and fruit tree area, lush green year round, but humid and hot. I'm not close with my family much, since I've lived away most of my adult life. I know a couple of people from years ago, but not much in common w/them any more. Still, nice to be near. Close enough to go to nearby Houston for major health care. In-town health care merely adequate. No cancer treatment there or anything major. HO insurance $1k more than city #1, BUT it is likely that any new roof would be damaged in a hurricane and paid for by insurance, altho not necessarily. I would probably have to get a house with a septic tank. Houses in the city proper are $300k and up, for anything near what I want/need, which I can't afford.

City #1 is pretty, somewhat larger, more going on, more retired women my own age to make friends with, good for gardening (not as good as #2, but good), more attractive housing that is near amenities. Close enough to big city I used to live in to travel there and back in a day, to meet old friends occasionally (although we'll gradually lose touch, I expect). Great health care in town. But I know no one, and property taxes and home value don't freeze at 65 (but savings of $1k a yr on HO insurance). I can get a house that suits my needs in various good areas.

Yeah...property taxes are a big deal. That's the big draw for City #2. Freezing home value at 65, esp when the tax rate is already really low, is a big deal.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts! It helps to hear a first impression opinion that is objective. My family isn't objective, and I just don't know. I've sort of taken the position that the first time I run across a dream home, that's where I'll live. But I DID find a dream home at the top of my price range, and I haven't made an offer on it. It's kind of far out, semi-rural burb, and it has a septic tank (although public water).
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,697 posts, read 8,483,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
My heart is not with either. I am a divorced retiree who is starting over somewhere with a lower COL, to stretch my retirement savings and for better soil & weather for fruit trees & gardening.

City #2 is where I have some family...great gardening and fruit tree area, lush green year round, but humid and hot. I'm not close with my family much, since I've lived away most of my adult life. I know a couple of people from years ago, but not much in common w/them any more. Still, nice to be near. Close enough to go to nearby Houston for major health care. In-town health care merely adequate. No cancer treatment there or anything major. HO insurance $1k more than city #1, BUT it is likely that any new roof would be damaged in a hurricane and paid for by insurance, altho not necessarily. I would probably have to get a house with a septic tank. Houses in the city proper are $300k and up, for anything near what I want/need, which I can't afford.

City #1 is pretty, somewhat larger, more going on, more retired women my own age to make friends with, good for gardening (not as good as #2, but good), more attractive housing that is near amenities. Close enough to big city I used to live in to travel there and back in a day, to meet old friends occasionally (although we'll gradually lose touch, I expect). Great health care in town. But I know no one, and property taxes and home value don't freeze at 65 (but savings of $1k a yr on HO insurance). I can get a house that suits my needs in various good areas.

Yeah...property taxes are a big deal. That's the big draw for City #2. Freezing home value at 65, esp when the tax rate is already really low, is a big deal.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts! It helps to hear a first impression opinion that is objective. My family isn't objective, and I just don't know. I've sort of taken the position that the first time I run across a dream home, that's where I'll live. But I DID find a dream home at the top of my price range, and I haven't made an offer on it. It's kind of far out, semi-rural burb, and it has a septic tank (although public water).
As a person who lives in Magnolia, 1 hour outside of Houston, I would suggest you go with city #1. I'm no math whiz, but I'll tell you that even on our inexpensive home valued at $150K, the property taxes are killing us. They are around $4K/year. Granted, we aren't retired yet, but we do have the homestead exemption which supposedly gives us a big price break And traffic is a witch, so be sure and factor in those costs (especially tolls) when considering a move here.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:43 AM
 
13,894 posts, read 7,400,560 times
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If you can afford to live in either place, why would you base your decision based on a few thousand bucks? Your example isn't showing numbers where one location is affordable while the other is unaffordable.

When I was running through this math, my two main choices had option A with double the real estate costs and triple the property tax costs. I pulled the option B lever because A was going to be unaffordable when I retired.

I think the best way to look at the problem is to first pick where you want to live that will give you the highest quality of life. Then figure out what you have to do to afford the housing there. You don't "need" 2,500 square feet on a few acres. You need an affordable roof over your head in the place where you want to be.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:47 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,653 posts, read 8,573,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
My choice (I'll make up amounts, to give a sense of it all)::

Retirement city #1 (city of 125,000): House $240,000; Property taxes $2,000 more a year; No freezing of value or taxes at age 65, but an extra $10k exemption; Cost of living about 0.87% of national avg.

Retirement city #2 (city of 100,000): House $275,000 (for a somewhat comparable house); property taxes $2,000 LESS a year than city #1; Value of house frozen at age 65; Cost of living also about 0.90% of national avg. Also has $1,000 higher cost homeowner's insurance, and a small ($500 or less) state income tax.

Health care is less expensive in city #1. This is figured into the COL, but I wanted to single that out, since it's important to seniors. There is also more health care locally w/o going to a nearby big city. So their COL is about the same, but they are pricier or less pricey on different things.

Your choice would be......?????
If the nickels saved or spent in this made up problem make a lot of difference to you then you should keep working.
But as you said, you just made up figures. So it's not really a choice at all.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:09 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
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Wow, high homeowner rates. I like my $600/ month next door to volcano. My Tx props are as high as $1200, but we are not in a 'risk' area, just that TX, like FL is a high claim state.

I don't do traffic lights, so 100,000 people would make me go postal.
Ymmv
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,730 posts, read 26,766,913 times
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That is why I am never leaving where I am if I can pull that off.

We will have our home paid off by the time we retire or before that point. California Property taxes are based on the value of the home at the time you bought it and can only increase based on a 2% increase in that value, which does not happen every year and can decrease if the value declines.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:49 AM
 
Location: SW US
2,218 posts, read 2,035,221 times
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Medical services become more and more important as you get older.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:53 AM
 
Location: NY
325 posts, read 249,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
That is why I am never leaving where I am if I can pull that off.

We will have our home paid off by the time we retire or before that point. California Property taxes are based on the value of the home at the time you bought it and can only increase based on a 2% increase in that value, which does not happen every year and can decrease if the value declines.
The 2% increase limit is good, it helps you plan somewhat for your retirement living expenses. Am I correct though, that if the valuation decreases it really won't lower your taxes since most all surrounding properties will also see decreases whilst the municipal budgets remain the same?
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:52 PM
 
6,616 posts, read 3,746,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
Are you getting more and better services in City #1 for the extra taxes or is it just a matter of compensating for no state tax and maybe better schools (which can be a plus for all ages assuming these are not too high)? My city has higher property taxes than most other towns in my state primarily to pay for services for the less fortunate but at least we have a decent animal control department and some regulations on neutering and treatment of pets. Also the police department is responsive and when I had to call the city to turn off my water due to a leak, they were there in an hour. And good senior centers. Not so in most towns where there are few city ordinances and it is sort of a free for all.

In City #2, are the increased home insurance costs due to high crime or to natural disasters (e.g., flooding)? Will you have to travel to the larger city to see a dermatologist or cardiologist or pulmonary specialist or to get a mammogram and how far is it? Or are you referring to cancer treatment or a neurologist? If I had to drive an hour or more to go see a dermatologist, I would not be pleased (unless I wanted to go shop there anyway). Now it takes me 30 minutes to travel to see a doctor in my city so I don't consider a 45 minute or less drive to be that much of an inconvenience.

If medical is important or if you think you might have major problems driving as you age, I would go with City #1. If money is more of a factor and if any extra services in City #1 are not that important to you, I would go with City #2. But I agree that it is largely a matter of which city and state you prefer. (I can't stand the state for City #1 so would never live there).
You make a good point about the taxes. Yes, the higher property taxes are to make up for the no state income tax, but also, I think, for better services. City #2 has poor city services. And no senior centers, except a couple of nursing homes. Is that what you mean by sr center?

City #2's increase homeowner's insurance is for natural disasters. It's hurricane territory. Flood ins. is also required, which is separate (another $500). This city has regular drs like dermatologist and one cardiologist, but they wouldn't treat anything significant. They'll send you to Houson...2 1/2 hours away, or Lafayette, 1 hr away (I would choose Houston...the best health care).

Since I'm planning ahead, it will become a problem driving as I age...if I'm lucky enough to last that long. It happens to all of us.

The state for City #1 is Texas. You don't like Texas? I lived in Dallas for decades and came to love it, but I hated it at first. I had to go where the jobs were.

But the state of City #2 is Louisiana. I was born and raised there; family is there. Not a great state. A depressed economy, industrial businesses, most people uneducated. But the natural landscape is pretty...lush and green almost year round, huge trees in places, can grow just about anything without much trouble.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:00 PM
 
6,616 posts, read 3,746,469 times
Reputation: 13682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
As a person who lives in Magnolia, 1 hour outside of Houston, I would suggest you go with city #1. I'm no math whiz, but I'll tell you that even on our inexpensive home valued at $150K, the property taxes are killing us. They are around $4K/year. Granted, we aren't retired yet, but we do have the homestead exemption which supposedly gives us a big price break And traffic is a witch, so be sure and factor in those costs (especially tolls) when considering a move here.
City #1...the one with the higher property taxes? Is that what you mean? Or did you mean the city with the low property taxes? (City #2...it's in Louisiana, 2 1/2 hrs from Houston)

City #1 is Tyler TX. The property taxes run about 2.6% of value after exemption. I figure I'll be paying about $4,500, maybe $5k on a house valued at $250k (but the city's appraisal values are less,and then you take the 20% exemption off of that).

City #2 property taxes would run maybe $2k. They don't increase a lot each year, either. The state gets you through the state income tax and slightly higher sales tax. And the higher homeowner's insurance. Add $1,000 for increase HO ins., and $400 for state inc. tax, and $100 for add'l sales tax, and you're paying $3,500 a year for City #2 vs $4,500 for the high property tax in Tyler TX. BUT...the home value in Louisiana freezes at 65, while the Tyler house's value would keep increasing.
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