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Old 02-07-2017, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetirementNSight View Post
Great posts all! Financial considerations are just part of an over-all picture, but a necessary evil. I am more familiar with Western and Central Kentucky, but have visited parts of Tennessee over the years. But visiting is a lot different than living there. Of course, it would be unwise to not factor in changes that could take place in future, both personally and in the area to which one is considering moving. Impossible to know how health care and taxes (both federal and state) could change in the future. Some of the areas around Nashville had a small-town feel in the past, but now are almost like being in Nashville. I appreciate everyone's input.

Just as an example of what doesn't usually come up: Library systems. Have lived where the library system was great, and where it was awful. People often mention winters, but when the occasional snow hits, some areas are quick to clear the roads, and some places you have to wait for a thaw!

Any others besides the Kiplinger one mentioned earlier?
If you're looking to replicate a Hamilton County level of government services, you're going to struggle to find that anywhere but Williamson County, a similarly wealthy county south of Nashville. Carmel's library is better than anything I've seen around here.

I had to go the DMV yesterday, as I hadn't changed my license over from Indiana to Tennessee. It took two hours to even get someone to see me at the DMV. I have never spent more than thirty minutes in the Carmel DMV. Most people in there had a suspended license, smelled awful, and were obviously lower class - you aren't finding that in Hamilton County.

Snow removal is much better in Hamilton County than here in northeast Tennessee. Local governments in Hamilton County also operate more significant levels of services and amenities - think the Monon Center park, gym, and water park in Carmel. Likewise, our taxes are much lower.

I wouldn't discourage you from moving to TN, as the weather is better, the outdoor opportunities much better, etc., but you are not going to find a community that is as good of a value for your dollar as you will in Carmel and Fishers - some places around Knoxville, like Farragut, would probably come close. The places you can find this level of lifestyle, mostly in metro Nashville, are going to be much more expensive than Indiana, even with the tax advantages.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,753,854 times
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One thing to keep in mind is that things can change and they do change over time. So what might be attractive today may not even exist in 5 years. I'd also look into the fees for vehicles and what insurance is for vehicles and home. Those can vary dramatically and many people don't take them into consideration. If you can look into water, sewer, electric, and gas rates. groceries are also something to consider. When I moved to SC, I was stunned by the costs of dairy and meats compared to what they were in upstate NY.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:25 AM
 
6,552 posts, read 13,746,127 times
Reputation: 3020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
As someone who actually lived in Hamilton County for three years and now lives in east TN, I don't agree with the above posters at all.

First, yes, the tax situation in TN at least is going to be significantly better than IN. The combined state and local income tax rate in IN is somewhere between 4.3%-4.5%, depending on how much IN has dropped its state income tax, and TN has none. Vehicle registration is far cheaper in TN - in my county, any car is $31.50 to register. In IN, I paid nearly $500 to register my 2013 Elantra, and it was at least $200 the next two years - the registration fees are tied to the value of the car. It goes down over time, but will likely never get as cheap as TN. Property tax rates in TN are generally less than IN - in my county, expect to pay 0.5%-0.7% of the market value of the house annually. In Hamilton County, it ends up being about 1%. City limits and metro Nashville will have property tax rates approaching that of Hamilton County. Sales tax is 9.5% vs. the 7% or so in Hamilton County.

However, my car insurance was roughly $900/six months in TN in 2013, and dropped to roughly $300/six months in Hamilton County, with the same insurer and coverage level. This more than offset the difference in registration costs. Groceries here in east TN are much, much higher than in greater Indianapolis - a basic gallon of milk is $4 at the local Walmart vs. $1.50 in Carmel last August. Some frozen chicken tenders I like were $6.99 at the Fishers Meijer, and they are $9.99 here for the same package. Virtually any food item is 25%-50% higher here in Tennessee. In the summer, IN has great farmers market - around here, not so much. Not only is food much more expensive, but selection is limited.

In Fishers, there is a Meijer (regional big box like a Super Walmart), Walmart, Sam's Club, Aldi, Kroger, Marsh (regional mainline grocer), Super Target, Fresh Thyme (regional organic/natural chain). Within ten minutes there is a Costco, Whole Foods, Earthfare, and Trader Joe's. In my city, there is an Aldi, Walmart, regular Target, one dumpy Kroger, and a couple stores of a regional chain called Food City. Anything organic is difficult to find and expensive - even seemingly common items, like a horseradish root for mashed potatoes and roast, are often unavailable here. I order a lot of condiments and nonperishables from Amazon because they are not available here. The more rural you get, the more expensive food gets and the worse the selection is.

Louisville is an excellent city with a lot of good urban offerings. It is much more urban than Indianapolis, with a better dining and countercultural scene. Lexington is smaller, but picturesque, incredibly clean, and the horse culture is not really found outside KY. Much of east TN and middle TN is picturesque with a lot to offer for a retiree, but aside from affluent communities in Knoxville and Nashville, the quality of life is not going to be as high as it is in Hamilton County.

Keep in mind that outside of the affluent suburbs of Indianapolis, property is often quite a bit cheaper in IN than in TN. If someone is looking for a high end suburban retirement, Fishers and Carmel are far better values than Brentwood and Franklin. People think of the South as "dirt cheap," but the Midwest is often cheaper apples to apples.
Excellent assessment by someone who has spent significant time in all these areas. I have also spent lots of time in all of them, mostly Louisville and Indianapolis, and also Lexington. I agree 100% with your statements
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,768 posts, read 4,822,990 times
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We retired to east TN, about 1/2 hour outside Knoxville, from northern CA. We find that financially we are saving A LOT over the state income and property taxes in CA. In addition we save on housing costs, vehicle registration, electricity, propane, gasoline, and pretty much everything except alcoholic beverages which are much higher here, but fortunately not a large part of our budget. LOL. We find that the availability of doctors and medical facilities here are much BETTER than where we lived in rural CA. The people are much kinder, nicer, and more giving here than any I've ever met anywhere. I researched the area for several years before moving here, along with a couple visits prior to making our decision, and we really haven't been surprised by anything, because it turned out to be "as advertised", and as we experienced on our prior visits.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:56 AM
 
13,872 posts, read 7,381,208 times
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If you care about health care, you probably don't want to be too far from Vanderbilt. That is a world class medical facility. Lexington, Louisville, Knoxville, and Memphis are adequate but a world class specialist in Nashville could very well add 5 to 10 years to your life. It might only be one time in 100 where it matters but I'd hate to be that 1 out of 100. Of course, the problem with Nashville is that housing in the desirable parts of the metro area are expensive by regional standards. That 9.25% sales tax on everything including food and clothing also adds up.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:52 PM
 
341 posts, read 170,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
If you care about health care, you probably don't want to be too far from Vanderbilt. That is a world class medical facility. Lexington, Louisville, Knoxville, and Memphis are adequate but a world class specialist in Nashville could very well add 5 to 10 years to your life. It might only be one time in 100 where it matters but I'd hate to be that 1 out of 100. Of course, the problem with Nashville is that housing in the desirable parts of the metro area are expensive by regional standards. That 9.25% sales tax on everything including food and clothing also adds up.
Vanderbilt is a world class medical facility. However, they are an in network facility anymore under our Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee policy. Currently in Tennessee all health carriers moved out of the state except Blue Cross and some areas the only health carrier is Cigna. This is through the ACA and they no longer underwrite individual policies.

Someone told me Vanderbilt no longer takes Medicare. I don't know if this is correct but that person was on Medicare. It does seem to be a trend where I live that the better hospitals and doctors are dropping out of ACA plans and Medicare.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:32 AM
 
341 posts, read 170,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebebe View Post
Vanderbilt is a world class medical facility. However, they are an in network facility anymore under our Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee policy. Currently in Tennessee all health carriers moved out of the state except Blue Cross and some areas the only health carrier is Cigna. This is through the ACA and they no longer underwrite individual policies.

Someone told me Vanderbilt no longer takes Medicare. I don't know if this is correct but that person was on Medicare. It does seem to be a trend where I live that the better hospitals and doctors are dropping out of ACA plans and Medicare.
Too late to edit. I meant Vanderbilt is NOT an in network facility under Blue Cross of Tennesse.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:54 AM
 
4 posts, read 8,780 times
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I will be keeping a close eye on what transpires with health insurance in the next few years. Medical facilities would be a major factor that would cause me to want to stay close to a large city. I have spent most of my life in smaller towns/rural areas and much prefer that. Unfortunately, I have developed some medical issues which I will need to take into consideration in the future.
Most posters seem to think Tennessee is more favorable to retirees. And I think that is true for higher income retirees. However, Kentucky exempts $41,110 retirement income per person, and does not tax groceries. With the phase-out of the tax on dividends and interest in Tennessee, it seems like the tax burden will be shifted to the lower and middle classes in one form or another. Of course, that is just taking into consideration the state tax situation, not the county or local level.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
Quote:
Originally Posted by RetirementNSight View Post
I will be keeping a close eye on what transpires with health insurance in the next few years. Medical facilities would be a major factor that would cause me to want to stay close to a large city. I have spent most of my life in smaller towns/rural areas and much prefer that. Unfortunately, I have developed some medical issues which I will need to take into consideration in the future.
Most posters seem to think Tennessee is more favorable to retirees. And I think that is true for higher income retirees. However, Kentucky exempts $41,110 retirement income per person, and does not tax groceries. With the phase-out of the tax on dividends and interest in Tennessee, it seems like the tax burden will be shifted to the lower and middle classes in one form or another. Of course, that is just taking into consideration the state tax situation, not the county or local level.
If you need to be close to a major medical center, the only places in TN that will work will be metro Nashville, possibly Knoxville or Chattanooga if they have medical providers which will meet your needs. I know nothing about Memphis, but it's not where most people go to retire in TN. I'm in the Tri-Cities, and while we have sufficient, routine care, complex cancers, burn treatment, etc., are often sent out of the area. You will need to check with the local health system in each area and determine if it's suitable for your conditions or not.

Unfortunately, metro Nashville is more going to be far more expensive than anywhere else in TN, KY, or IN outside of northwest Indiana, even with TN's tax advantages. Metro Nashville property tax rates are more than many rural counties in Indiana, and property is much more expensive, so you will probably end up actually paying more in property taxes. If you are willing to be 60-90 minutes from Nashville, that opens more reasonably priced options.

I don't know as much as about KY, but a lot of routine purchases, especially groceries, are much more expensive where I am in the Tri-Cities than in Indianapolis. Milk is twice as expensive. Most grocery items are at least 25% higher than in Indiana, if not more. My car insurance was cut by 2/3 when I moved from TN to IN. Given my location, I have to drive to Knoxville or Asheville for better cuts of meat, etc, and nonperishables I can't find here come from Amazon.

Taxes in this area are very low, but aside from that, many more things are no cheaper than in IN or are notably more expensive.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,768 posts, read 4,822,990 times
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We use UT physicians network (University of Tennessee Knoxville is a teaching hospital and has a good reputation) and also Covenant hospitals and facilities. Both are in network for United Healthcare and Blue Cross. I have UHC, hubby has Blue Cross. They have an entire network of UT physicians that work in satellite offices in smaller communities. I doubt I will incur any health problems that UT can't solve. We are also close to a proton therapy center in Knoxville and there is a Cancer Treatment Center in Atlanta.

The legislature in TN is discussing lowering the grocery tax if they raise the gasoline tax. I don't really care about the grocery tax because it amounts to about $500/year for the two of us, so not a big deal. We save over $3500 in property tax and several thousand in state income tax every year (all of our current income is federally taxable, and taxable in CA -pensions, rental income, investments). I totaled all our savings (not just taxes) after moving to TN and it amounts to 20% of our annual net income.

We are rural, but near 2 small cities, and we are only a half hour from Knoxville by freeway, so we can find any shopping, cultural activities, outdoor fun, medical care, etc, all within a 30-40 minute drive.
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