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Old 10-02-2019, 05:12 PM
 
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No matter where you decide to go, make sure its affordable if one of you should pass away. You'll likely at the very least lose one of your social security payments.
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Old Yesterday, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Wow, talk about completely different types of areas. Massachusetts is highly educated and strongly liberal while South Carolina is pretty much the opposite. I would personally take Massachusetts over South Carolina any day. In fact SC would likely be at the very bottom of my list.

The Berkshires are beautiful but the weather in the winter can be tough and itís pretty quite. You might want to consider towns in the Pioneer (Connecticut River) Valley where the weather is milder and there is a lot more to do. I also like the suggestion I saw for the Buzzards Bay Area. That way you can have the water you mentioned you would miss. I would even consider Rhode Island or the Connecticut shoreline east of New Haven. New Hampshire is also popular with retirees. Jay
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Old Yesterday, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
SC has had a law since 2007 where your primary residence isn't subject to the local school property tax. It creates big problems in the 'burbs where it's mostly owner-occupied housing with little commercial real estate to prop up the school system. Personally, I wouldn't bet on that law surviving forever.
It shows. South Carolina has some of the worst schools in the country. According to Wallethub they are No. 39. Forbes rates them 40th. I actually think thatís generous. Jay

https://wallethub.com/edu/e/states-w...-schools/5335/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemo...chool-systems/
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Old Yesterday, 07:59 PM
 
998 posts, read 156,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Wow, talk about completely different types of areas. Massachusetts is highly educated and strongly liberal while South Carolina is pretty much the opposite. I would personally take Massachusetts over South Carolina any day. In fact SC would likely be at the very bottom of my list.
I lived for 15 years in Mass. and am currently retired in SC, and you've got plenty of each in both places. It depends on where you go within the state.

Last edited by barb712; Yesterday at 08:10 PM..
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Old Today, 02:38 AM
 
14,649 posts, read 7,909,310 times
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Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Iím originally from MA, spent most of my life in the Midwest and am retired in Savannah, which is just over the SC line.. To me, MA is just NY-lite. It might cost less than NY, but it ainít called Taxachusetts for nothing.

Moving to the south is like moving to Mars, after the pace of the north, although there are so many northerners here, and we seem to gravitate to each other. Some people welcome the slower pace, but others find it a source of irritation. The climate here is wonderful in fall, winter and spring. The summer is very hot and humid. This is also true of NC and SC.

Here, there is always something going on here. Savannah is full of artists, students and wonderful restaurants. It has a symphony and an active music scene. It is becoming a popular place for movie production. We have found the medical care to be very available and good.

If you like to be near the ocean, I suggest Charleston or Hilton Head, SC, Savannah or the sea islands of GA. (Hilton Head is only a half hour from Savannah, so itís like getting two for the price of one.) These places are oppressively hot in the summer. If you want more defined seasons, go for Asheville or the towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You will get some snow there, though.
Youíre painting with a very broad brush stroke. Hereís my Massachusetts tax math:

The state doesnít tax Social Security income. Iím career high income and plan to delay collecting until age 70. My Social Security income will be a COLA-protected $45k. My state income tax bill is never going to be huge.

My town has a $10 per thousand mill rate. The town assesses well below market rate. My property taxes are $2,744. I can walk to the harbor village in 10 minutes. The private beach I grew up with is a mile. The town mooring fee for my boat is about $120. Winters are mild and 90f is unusual in the summer. I donít have high ownership costs and Iíll never get taxed out of my house.

Iím not saying itís for everyone but if you pick the right zip code, the housing costs are reasonable by Northeast Corridor standards and the income tax wonít be a big deal if Social Security is a big fraction of your income stream. Iím an hour from world class things in Boston. Airport. Health care. Museums. Symphony. Pro sports.
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Old Today, 08:45 AM
 
Location: near downtown Greenville, SC (viewing the sunset vicariously at the North Gulf Shore Beach Access)
1,915 posts, read 3,786,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
...Wow, talk about completely different types of areas. Massachusetts is highly educated and strongly liberal while South Carolina is pretty much the opposite. I would personally take Massachusetts over South Carolina any day. In fact SC would likely be at the very bottom of my list...
Jay, I assume you have visited SC recently and did not prefer it. Understand and everyone has opinions. I just dislike broad generalizations. I have never visited Massachusetts so I cannot give an opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
...South Carolina has some of the worst schools in the country. According to Wallethub they are No. 39. Forbes rates them 40th. I actually think that’s generous...
I assume you have friends/family here in public schools and are familiar with our challenges - I will give you my n=1 perspective from a non-native of SC. Some background: I have lived in Upstate SC for more than 10 years and am raising 3 older children - all in public schools locally - I live in the city of Greenville. Public schools are very good/excellent in the 3 major metros (Greenville/Upstate SC, Columbia, Charleston). All public schools in SC are county based - IMO, this is better for residents in undeserved/indigent areas as resources are more evenly divided - but, this may affect overall test scores of individual schools.
Locally, about 15+ years ago, Greenville County spent $1+ billion in capital improvements, renovating/expanding/building new, every public school building. Currently, Greenville County Public Schools is the 44th largest school district in the country and has numerous specialty schools/institutions: Fine Arts Center, Governor's School, multiple Tech High Schools, "Green" Charter Schools, multiple charter schools, etc. Personal examples: my daughter was accepted this summer into the Governor's School for Arts & Humanities (in ballet) and was taught by a renowned faculty. My youngest son is enrolled in a middle charter school (Langston) that is single gender based (remarkable school/faculty).

In traveling this state over the past decade, I've observed stark differences between urban and rural areas. To me, rural parts of SC resemble a 3rd world country - I cannot imagine living in rural SC, esp having children in public schools in a rural area. I suspect the abject poverty in rural areas greatly affects SC's overall school ranking compared to other states.

As for healthcare/access to healthcare/quality - again, fantastic in the 3 major metros as listed above. In rural areas, just the opposite.

As for my local area, Greenville/Upstate SC seems to be a current "hot"/"on the radar" city/area for many, esp retirees. I think this is due to 5 factors: geographic location, climate, cost of living, economy, and Greenville's downtown. Greenville/Upstate SC sit nearly mid-way between Charlotte and Atlanta, with easy access to both metros. Additionally, I am 75 minutes from dowtown Asheville. I can be at > 3,200 feet in elevation in a 45 minute drive (and that is still in SC at Caesar's Head State Park). Also, due to this 2,000 foot elevation change (i.e "Blue Wall") just north of Greenville, the Upstate of SC has access to the largest concentration of waterfalls in the East (more than 50 large waterfalls, with impressive hiking). Also, SC beach access is relatively easy: 3 hrs, 30 min to Folly Beach (near Charleston), longer distances to Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head (4 1/2+ hours). Personally, I greatly prefer FL Gulf beaches over the Atlantic.
Locally, the climate is generally mild, with few extreme events. We have all 4 seasons but, again, nothing extreme. As with all areas of the Southeast, the Upstate experiences hot/humid weather from early June thru early/mid September. Fall is prolonged/pleasant with low humidity, ending as late as Thanksgiving. We do have about 3 winter "events" annually and are prone to ice storms (from CAD/"Wedge" phenomena). Spring begins mid-March. Upstate SC is not susceptible to tornadic weather like the "Dixie Alley" of MS/TN/AL - we are "protected" by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Interesting side note: television/local weather is always divided between "Upstate" and "Mountains" - Asheville, NC is part of our television DMA and I obtain my ABC station out of Asheville.
The cost of living is generally low (we do have a high state tax rate) but property and other taxes are minimal. There is no tax on groceries and some other items. Gas tax is low and it shows. The road/interstate infrastructure is abysmal - the state is playing "catch-up" with several major interstate projects in the Upstate/around SC. The economy appears to be booming with BMW, GE, Fluor, Michelin, etc - mostly focused on manufacturing but with some services (Fluor, etc).
As many are familiar, Greenville's downtown is nationally known. Amazing with a large waterfall/scenic bridge as its highlight at Falls Park. I live about 8 min south of DT and never tire of visiting.

Last edited by drfranklin; Today at 09:20 AM..
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Old Today, 11:42 AM
 
6,907 posts, read 3,252,807 times
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MA and SC are two very different worlds.

You don't say if you have spent much time in the South, but if not, I would start vacationing there to check out places that interest you. As others have said, the things that many people find attractive about the South may just be irritating to someone used to a different pace or lifestyle.

Your husband's idea that you cant get good medical care in SC is just silly. The key to getting good medical care is finding through word of mouth/research the best family practice dr you can.....someone who has been in the area for a long time, but is young enough they wont be retiring soon. They will know who to steer you to and who to stay away from. That really applies anywhere imo.

Coastal living anywhere in GA or the Carolinas will involve evacuations for hurricanes more than likely so you need to decide if that's worth living on the coast to you.

In upstate SC you might also check out the towns of Clemson and Greer. Smaller self contained towns with their own downtowns and services can be nicer places to live. But, both are near Greenville and medical facilities.
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Old Today, 12:36 PM
 
14,649 posts, read 7,909,310 times
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Originally Posted by Blondy View Post
Your husband's idea that you cant get good medical care in SC is just silly. The key to getting good medical care is finding through word of mouth/research the best family practice dr you can.....someone who has been in the area for a long time, but is young enough they wont be retiring soon. They will know who to steer you to and who to stay away from. That really applies anywhere imo.
Not eggsactly.

The guy who has worked on my knees and a shoulder at Mass General is on the Harvard med school faculty, is the team physician for the Patriots, and invented ACL grafts. I have access to world class specialists for anything that goes wrong. There isnít anything like that in South Carolina. South Carolina is the #60 medical school. Itís not the same level of expertise. Duke and UNC are a pretty long drive.
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Old Today, 12:59 PM
 
664 posts, read 569,655 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Not eggsactly.

The guy who has worked on my knees and a shoulder at Mass General is on the Harvard med school faculty, is the team physician for the Patriots, and invented ACL grafts. I have access to world class specialists for anything that goes wrong. There isn’t anything like that in South Carolina. South Carolina is the #60 medical school. It’s not the same level of expertise. Duke and UNC are a pretty long drive.
I live in SC, not a particular fan of it, but I do not understand the need for people from other areas to trash places they don't live. Of course we can't compare to Boston, LA, NYC or some others, but I guarantee we have Harvard trained Doctors in SC, as well as Duke and any other medical school you care to list.

I work in public health and we have multiple Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke and Stanford doctors and nurses in our agency. Rural SC is dirt poor and it shows, but not everyone that lives here is a backwoods, redneck, wife beater wearing hick with no education and even fewer teeth.
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Old Today, 01:31 PM
 
692 posts, read 864,177 times
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I love my S.C. town. We live on the coast. However, I would never compare the schools with the ones my children attended in the northeast. Thereís a reason you pay such high taxes there. Recently experienced a medical emergency. Not life threatening, but emergent. Happened on a Fri night. Saw a specialist who opened his office for me Sat morning. But there wasnít a dr available to perform the surgery until Mon, and time was against me for a full recovery. This would NEVER happen in NY, MA, PA, CT, NJ. Never. So, yes, COL is great. Weather fantastic. I only had to evacuate once for a hurricane that never hit (thankfully). People are nicer, slower paced and I love it here. But, be aware that there are downsides.
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