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View Poll Results: Most Retiremner Friendly City
Birmingham, AL 3 13.04%
Little Rock, AR 3 13.04%
Tucson, AZ 6 26.09%
Bakersfield, CA 1 4.35%
Jacksonville, FL 6 26.09%
Rockford, IL 0 0%
Indianapolis, IN 2 8.70%
Wichita, KS 2 8.70%
Shreveport, LA 2 8.70%
Grand Rapids, MI 1 4.35%
Kansas City, MO 1 4.35%
Jackson, MS 2 8.70%
Lincoln, NE 1 4.35%
Cincinnati, OH 1 4.35%
Tulsa, OK 1 4.35%
Sioux Falls, SD 2 8.70%
Nashville-Davidson, TN 7 30.43%
San Antonio, TX 3 13.04%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2019, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
26,712 posts, read 42,648,559 times
Reputation: 7968

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Many other states have sales taxes in the 9%+ range. Groceries are taxed in TN at 5.5% on unprepared foods. For our $500 month grocery bill, that amounts to $330 per year in sales tax on groceries. That is far outweighed by our savings in property tax. Jacksonville's property taxes are much higher than Nashville. The proper way to look at taxes is to look at the overall tax burden, rather than any one tax alone. The Hall tax on dividends is being phased out and will be zero by Jan 2021, and only applies to interest and dividends. Other than the Hall tax, there are no state income taxes for individuals in TN.

Here's a chart ranking the states from highest to lowest overall tax burden:

Moderator cut: link removed, competitor site
Sorry but the grocery tax is a big turn off to me. People need food to live. You can’t get around that. It should not be taxed IMHO, no matter how low the tax burden is. To you $330 may not be a lot but to someone living on a limited income, it can be a lot. Rather than giving someone with money a tax break on the money they earn from interest and dividends, people would be better served by eliminating or reducing the grocery tax. That would help everyone, not just people with a lot of money.

Also note that while property taxes may be lower in Nashville, your sales tax is a lot higher than Florida (7% on all purchases rather than 9% and 12%) so the difference could easily be eaten up by purchases on everyday items and services. Jay

Last edited by Yac; Today at 01:53 AM..
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,946 posts, read 4,940,845 times
Reputation: 20123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Sorry but the grocery tax is a big turn off to me. People need food to live. You can’t get around that. It should not be taxed IMHO, no matter how low the tax burden is. To you $330 may not be a lot but to someone living on a limited income, it can be a lot. Rather than giving someone with money a tax break on the money they earn from interest and dividends, people would be better served by eliminating or reducing the grocery tax. That would help everyone, not just people with a lot of money.

Also note that while property taxes may be lower in Nashville, your sales tax is a lot higher than Florida (7% on all purchases rather than 9% and 12%) so the difference could easily be eaten up by purchases on everyday items and services. Jay
But I wouldn't be looking for a retirement locale for someone, I would be looking for a retirement locale for ME. I would look at a state's taxes, climate, recreational opportunities, home costs, etc as they apply to ME, not a strawman. Focusing in on one little thing like tax on groceries versus the big picture of home prices, income taxes, property taxes, utility costs, homeowners/flood/fire insurance, even car registration costs, HOA dues, gasoline, etc, these are all costs that have to be weighed against one another in selecting a retirement locale. Many, many states (including TN) have property tax exemption amounts, or reimbursements, for low income seniors so that's not something that applies only to FL. Those wouldn't apply to me anyway, so they don't factor into my equation, but they bear researching for those who qualify.

As an example...I received my auto registration renewal yesterday for my one year old car. It was $29, just like every other car in my county. In CA, where I used to live, just that one registration would have been over $300. Right there I saved the amount equal to what I pay in a year in grocery sales tax, and I don't have to pay for SMOG inspections every couple years. And we have multiple vehicles that have to be registered (3 cars, 4 motorcycles), so it adds up, especially since it has to be paid annually. Here, several of our vehicles qualify as vintage show vehicles under state laws, and as such we no longer have to pay annual registration fees on those. In property taxes on our home (est value $400k), we pay $1500 per year. In CA we paid over $4500 a year in property taxes for a similar home/similar value. This is super easy to research by using Zillow to check on homes in your price range in each potential locale. Zillow shows the estimated taxes on each property based on the local rates (just look in the "price history, tax history" section of each listing). I don't know how all of these costs are in FL, or other states, but I know I pay less here for almost everything than I did before moving, with a few notable exceptions which cost the same across the US (internet/phone service, retail products).

Even knowing all this, I wouldn't move somewhere JUST because of the savings. The place has to suit us based on all our needs, not just financial. It needs to have our chosen climate (more or less, nowhere is perfect), our choice of location (city, rural, suburban), recreational opportunities, type of neighborhoods, location relative to shopping, healthcare, cultural activities, etc. and everyone is very different in their desires or requirements on these issues. I'm not saying that people should move to where I moved, I'm saying that focusing in on one single factor, and making that a deal breaker without looking at the big picture is truly myopic.

Last edited by TheShadow; 08-17-2019 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:39 AM
 
14,266 posts, read 7,630,536 times
Reputation: 26082
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Sorry but the grocery tax is a big turn off to me. People need food to live. You canít get around that. It should not be taxed IMHO, no matter how low the tax burden is. To you $330 may not be a lot but to someone living on a limited income, it can be a lot. Rather than giving someone with money a tax break on the money they earn from interest and dividends, people would be better served by eliminating or reducing the grocery tax. That would help everyone, not just people with a lot of money.

Also note that while property taxes may be lower in Nashville, your sales tax is a lot higher than Florida (7% on all purchases rather than 9% and 12%) so the difference could easily be eaten up by purchases on everyday items and services. Jay

[mod cut - rude]



What matters is your total cost of living and whether you can afford to live there. You'd pay far more taxes in Connecticut than Tennessee. No state income tax. Low gasoline tax. No property tax on automobiles. Far lower residential property taxes. Natural gas and electricity are half the price. Labor costs are far lower.

Last edited by VTsnowbird; Yesterday at 11:36 AM..
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:19 AM
 
1,458 posts, read 289,505 times
Reputation: 1761
You can't just look at one tax though. You have to look at all the taxes put together to see your actual burden.
Usually if one tax is low or non existent they get that money from a different tax.
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Old Yesterday, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
239 posts, read 129,075 times
Reputation: 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
But I wouldn't be looking for a retirement locale for someone, I would be looking for a retirement locale for ME. I would look at a state's taxes, climate, recreational opportunities, home costs, etc as they apply to ME, not a strawman. Focusing in on one little thing like tax on groceries versus the big picture of home prices, income taxes, property taxes, utility costs, homeowners/flood/fire insurance, even car registration costs, HOA dues, gasoline, etc, these are all costs that have to be weighed against one another in selecting a retirement locale. Many, many states (including TN) have property tax exemption amounts, or reimbursements, for low income seniors so that's not something that applies only to FL. Those wouldn't apply to me anyway, so they don't factor into my equation, but they bear researching for those who qualify.

As an example...I received my auto registration renewal yesterday for my one year old car. It was $29, just like every other car in my county. In CA, where I used to live, just that one registration would have been over $300. Right there I saved the amount equal to what I pay in a year in grocery sales tax, and I don't have to pay for SMOG inspections every couple years. And we have multiple vehicles that have to be registered (3 cars, 4 motorcycles), so it adds up, especially since it has to be paid annually. Here, several of our vehicles qualify as vintage show vehicles under state laws, and as such we no longer have to pay annual registration fees on those. In property taxes on our home (est value $400k), we pay $1500 per year. In CA we paid over $4500 a year in property taxes for a similar home/similar value. This is super easy to research by using Zillow to check on homes in your price range in each potential locale. Zillow shows the estimated taxes on each property based on the local rates (just look in the "price history, tax history" section of each listing). I don't know how all of these costs are in FL, or other states, but I know I pay less here for almost everything than I did before moving, with a few notable exceptions which cost the same across the US (internet/phone service, retail products).

Even knowing all this, I wouldn't move somewhere JUST because of the savings. The place has to suit us based on all our needs, not just financial. It needs to have our chosen climate (more or less, nowhere is perfect), our choice of location (city, rural, suburban), recreational opportunities, type of neighborhoods, location relative to shopping, healthcare, cultural activities, etc. and everyone is very different in their desires or requirements on these issues. I'm not saying that people should move to where I moved, I'm saying that focusing in on one single factor, and making that a deal breaker without looking at the big picture is truly myopic.
EXACTLY! Well stated One should research every expense after they have decided on an area they think may suit their needs. If I spent $100 a week on groceries, that equates to under $500 a year in sales tax. I previously lived in CT and paid that annually on car taxes.

I'll say it again to anyone thinking of moving, list out every type of consideration from weather to proximity to airport and everything in between and do your research.

What is important to someone on this board may not matter to you. For example, my husband wants to be able to golf close to year round. I'm sure that is not on everyone's list
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
26,712 posts, read 42,648,559 times
Reputation: 7968
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
But I wouldn't be looking for a retirement locale for someone, I would be looking for a retirement locale for ME. I would look at a state's taxes, climate, recreational opportunities, home costs, etc as they apply to ME, not a strawman. Focusing in on one little thing like tax on groceries versus the big picture of home prices, income taxes, property taxes, utility costs, homeowners/flood/fire insurance, even car registration costs, HOA dues, gasoline, etc, these are all costs that have to be weighed against one another in selecting a retirement locale. Many, many states (including TN) have property tax exemption amounts, or reimbursements, for low income seniors so that's not something that applies only to FL. Those wouldn't apply to me anyway, so they don't factor into my equation, but they bear researching for those who qualify.

As an example...I received my auto registration renewal yesterday for my one year old car. It was $29, just like every other car in my county. In CA, where I used to live, just that one registration would have been over $300. Right there I saved the amount equal to what I pay in a year in grocery sales tax, and I don't have to pay for SMOG inspections every couple years. And we have multiple vehicles that have to be registered (3 cars, 4 motorcycles), so it adds up, especially since it has to be paid annually. Here, several of our vehicles qualify as vintage show vehicles under state laws, and as such we no longer have to pay annual registration fees on those. In property taxes on our home (est value $400k), we pay $1500 per year. In CA we paid over $4500 a year in property taxes for a similar home/similar value. This is super easy to research by using Zillow to check on homes in your price range in each potential locale. Zillow shows the estimated taxes on each property based on the local rates (just look in the "price history, tax history" section of each listing). I don't know how all of these costs are in FL, or other states, but I know I pay less here for almost everything than I did before moving, with a few notable exceptions which cost the same across the US (internet/phone service, retail products).

Even knowing all this, I wouldn't move somewhere JUST because of the savings. The place has to suit us based on all our needs, not just financial. It needs to have our chosen climate (more or less, nowhere is perfect), our choice of location (city, rural, suburban), recreational opportunities, type of neighborhoods, location relative to shopping, healthcare, cultural activities, etc. and everyone is very different in their desires or requirements on these issues. I'm not saying that people should move to where I moved, I'm saying that focusing in on one single factor, and making that a deal breaker without looking at the big picture is truly myopic.
I agree that people do need to do their due diligence when looking into places to move to in retirement particularly when you are on a budget. That is why I brought up the taxes in Tennessee. People see that there is no income tax and assume it is a low tax state for everyone. They will not necessarily realize that there are taxes on groceries in some states. They may not realize there is a high sales tax that gets even higher when buying pricey items like cars and appliances. Again it is what people need to know.

I would also question things like medical care which is so important as we age. As is access to social services, entertainment and financial security. Below is a link to a study on places to age successfully. Itís interesting to see how few low cost cities are found on this list. That is likely because there is more to retirement than saving a few pennies. Jay

https://www.milkeninstitute.org/site...Aging-2017.pdf
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Old Yesterday, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
26,712 posts, read 42,648,559 times
Reputation: 7968
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
[mod cut- rude]


What matters is your total cost of living and whether you can afford to live there. You'd pay far more taxes in Connecticut than Tennessee. No state income tax. Low gasoline tax. No property tax on automobiles. Far lower residential property taxes. Natural gas and electricity are half the price. Labor costs are far lower.
Who brought up Connecticut? It’s not even on this list.

The point is there is more to evaluating low cost areas than just not having an income tax. People need to realize that. Jay

Last edited by VTsnowbird; Yesterday at 11:38 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 11:37 AM
 
Location: northern New England
2,557 posts, read 1,124,616 times
Reputation: 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Who brought up Connecticut? Itís not even on this list.

The point is there is more to evaluating low cost areas than just not having an income tax. People need to realize that. Jay
I think he may have been reacting to your user name and location in your profile.
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