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Old 08-29-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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I am not sure about rural Texas...but in rural Mississippi, I think it is equal to urban costs. I moved from Minneapolis to rural Mississippi about 4 years ago.

Things that are just as or more expensive in my rural life are: Electricity, gas (house), water, auto insurance, rental insurance, car tags, groceries (forsure), restaurants, and life in gerneral. Average income is half of what I was use to.

Things that are less expensive: rent and haircuts.

That being said...I don't miss my city life at all (just my income).
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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If you are talking about the Lubbock area, I would say that rural living is slightly more expensive, if all things are equal. The problem is that all things are not equal unless you make them so by trying to maintain the same lifestyle as you have in the city, i.e., often use of fast food places, lots of trips to the theater and for shopping.

Texas property taxes are not that much reduced from that you have in the city unless you have an agricultural exemption. Of course, as in the city, if the home is your primary home you will have a homestead exemption of $15,000 and at age 65, you get another $10,000 exemption. If you're not so concerned about increasing property values (many retirees aren't), rural property values increase at a much slower rate than urban values so so do your tax appraisals.

Based on my experience by having a small house in Muleshoe, your coop electricity rates out in the county will be higher than the normal city rates. I also have to pay a $12.00/month charge for an outdoor security light here at the farm which in the city would be provided by street lamps.

Rural home insurance is obviously higher since there are no close emergency services or fire hydrants.

You will have no monthly charges for water and sewer since you will likely have a well and a septic system. In Texas, you own your groundwater as well as any storm water, drainage water or surface runoff on your land (until it runs into a natural watercourse). However it should be remembered that, should anything on your well or septic system break down, the repair costs are yours.

Depending on how you handle your garbage, this could be less or more. Rural dumpster costs can be much more expensive than in the city (about $50/month here). You may have the option of not using a dumpster and instead burning your garbage if you have sufficient land space and few neighbors to complain but you will still need a way to dispose of "non-burnables", e.g., cans, bottles and other metal items. The cans and metals can be recycled by taking them to one of the area's scrap metal yards. This can actually return some income to you. Unfortunately glass is not yet a recyclable item around Lubbock. I simply try not to buy any groceries in glass containers.

Insect and pest control (ants, mosquitoes, coyotes, etc.) can also add to your rural cost of living if you wish to have the same control you enjoy in the city.

In all this however, living rural normally allows you to have a few more options and ways to save money on your living costs than does city living. If retired, you can simply decide to drive less and schedule any trips you do have to make. You may also have the time and the space to do your own repairs on your own home, auto and other things. My truck stays in the barn except for perhaps twice a month when I go into Plainview or Lubbock for groceries or some other item I desperately need. Since I drive so few miles, and I have a good enclosed barn with concrete floors, I am able do most of my own auto repairs. Additionally, my small High Plains acreage would have paid for itself this past year had I had a hay baler. Or I could lease it for livestock grazing with a bit of advertising if I wanted to.

In short, any comparison of costs between urban and rural living has a lot to do with who you are, what you expect and your capabilities.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 17,976,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Rural can be far cheaper, but as was pointed out, it is a lifestyle change. Pay close attention to that post about health issues. If you can find a place within 15 or 20 min of a hospital, you won't regret it.

My style of shopping fits the rural lifestyle. We keep a stocked pantry, and I shop only when items are on sale if possible. We have no water or sewer bill, taxes are MUCH lower, car insurance is less, and so on. However, each trip to town costs about $12 to $15 once you start figuring out gas, oil, depreciation, maintenance -but... because the van is going for long enough to fully warm up and at speeds around 55mph, the wear on it is probably LESS than multiple small trips in a city. Unless you live in a cheap apartment and walk to stores, city life will get you with all sorts of little added costs.
Harry makes good points. That said, before you move to a rural place know very clearly YOU will have to be dependant on yourself for everything since all must either ship to you, you grow it , you raise and butcher it, you build/fix it, you make it and you have to stay heathy !

Both urban and rural homes have good and bad points but living in a town or city will always outweigh a rural home by a good measure simply due to the fact other people are close when you need help.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
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It all has to do with lifestyle.

In the city, you aren't paying for feed or hay for your farm animals, everything is further away, you aren't paying to gas up your tractor - or even to own a tractor or plow or any other machinery.

However, in the country, you aren't popping into the car and going to Starbucks or Olive Garden just because you 'get in a mood' for them. You're paying less for food (if you're smart) because you either raise it yourself (even with plowing and tractor costs figured in!) or you buy in bulk and on sale, once a month or so. You'll order a gallon of unscented lotion for $13 and pay UPS to deliver it instead of driving to the mall and paying $16 for 8 oz. of lotion at Bath and Body Works. You'll raise bees for a pittance instead of buying that 16-oz. jar of Sioux Bee for $8. You'll chop wood all summer and have a nice roaring fire in the woodstove when everyone else's power is out or they're cranking on that thermostat to raise the heat (and their electric or gas bill). Health care, vehicle maintenance, and most other services are usually cheaper - if you live in the right place and know where to go - there's no Jiffy Lube but the guy down the road has been doing it for decades and knows how for less.

Living rurally takes more planning and more forethought, but it can be ever so much cheaper in the long run.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Northern Wisconsin
9,325 posts, read 8,058,022 times
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All this is very helpful, Thanks. We're actually thinking Oklahoma right now. More rain, trees etc. Also, we'd like to have some land and get something out of it, Maybe firewood, a garden, or a few critters.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:01 AM
 
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Espeacilly in the past urban or subburban areas had the most necessary services for older people. Nowdays much of the growth in taxbase is actually moving to former more rural areas. At same time service in general including healthcare is often over burden in mnay declinig urban areas espeailly inner cities.With Bomers now retirig at gretaer rates I expect that trend to continue to change.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:35 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
All this is very helpful, Thanks. We're actually thinking Oklahoma right now. More rain, trees etc. Also, we'd like to have some land and get something out of it, Maybe firewood, a garden, or a few critters.
Speaking of firewood.... I just came up from my forest with my tractor and trailer with my first load for winter. (I downed the trees last yr, and cut and split in the spring... let if lay to the sun all summer (our 85 days of no rain...). I gave wood to several friends this yr (and they of course fed me well. My Firewood is not great (too soft), but I have LOTS of it. ~ 20 cords / yr perpetual supply.


I did some machinist and welding work for another neighbor who brought me a whole bunch of smoked Salmon, enough for a season's worth of Salmon Chowder. I traded some 'new' work boots to his grandson for some help with cars / fencing and firewood, and a load of gravel.

Land... since we get ~ 100" of drizzle (and no sign of letting up / drought... in fact it is increasing with warming seas / LaNina.) Grazing summer calves makes sense in out 10' annual growth of grasses. Goats, sheep, and hogs too. Fortunately I'm done with horses. (sold my last one about 40 yrs ago)

Those neighbors with adequate fences share grazing in the yrs some of us don't want calves. It is not cost effective (profitable) to graze only for summers, but we can butcher / sell or trade / with neighboring ranches.


As long as you have rights to PLENTY of water (be sure to validate that...) you can do amazing things with pretty crummy land. I moved friends to AZ on absolute rotten soil, but.... they have a 16" well casing / w 70' static head from previous pivot sprinklers (i.e. hundred+ Gal . minute) and they have hauled in LOTS of compost / sand / soil and have an Oasis of a garden.

Country life is not so bad... but I also enjoyed living in Singapore (w/ 6 million people). NOT mowing / fixing / building / planning had some advantages. I'm glad I can choose either or both several x/yr.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Northern Wisconsin
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Sounds like you manage to keep yourself busy, and that's part of the reason I want some land. I have two neighbors that just retired this year. They're already bored, and can't figure out what to do with themselves. I might run into the same problem once I retire. I really don't like the idea of working for someone anymore. You might find someone good to work for but then again maybe not. So I'd prefer to work for myself.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:04 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,801,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
I'm a very thrifty type, and I am in the midst of retirement planning. I would really like to live in a more rural area, but I'm not sure of the cost difference. I'm assuming that housing might be less, but even if its more, I don't care. I'd rather have some land between me and my neighbors. (Barking dogs in neighbors back yard make one long for open spaces.) But I always assume that living in rural area will be more expensive. You use more gas to get where you're going, and this also adds wear and tear on the car. You often have to travel to the big city to buy things you can't buy in the small town.

Tell me I'm wrong or right. Any aspects of living cheaper in a rural area?
Location has less to do with it than your lifestyle.

A person can live economically anywhere. I suppose that property taxes are lower in a rural setting (mine are actually $15) but it cost me almost $10,000 to put in a well (over 400 feet deep). We put in a garden which saves us money of groceries, but we live 17 miles from the grocery store which means we have to plan our trips into town to do our shopping on a weekly or semi-monthly basis.

The biggest concern for retired folks seems to be the proximity to medical facilities. Apparently, everyone has the expectation that they are going to get old and sick and feeble and need a doctor to help them along. LOL Not me. I have no use for them so the farther away I am, the better I like it. Being able to sit on my back deck naked is far more important to my lifestyle. YMMV

20yrsinBranson
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,485 posts, read 41,085,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
...I have two neighbors that just retired this year. They're already bored, and can't figure out what to do with themselves. ....I'd prefer to work for myself.
Your neighbors are not typical of the retirees I encounter, even the OLD retirees I assist. THEY keep ME running to keep up. Especially tinkering around acreage. BUT THAT can be too much for some to keep up with. ONe of my best friends is 95, and lives in town (ex-farm kid). He drives a Mustang Cobra and just switched all his photography / AV gear from PC to MAC. He has ALWAYS been very engergetic and active. (Climbed ALL Colorado 14,000 ft mtns AFTER he retired, did Alaska float trips SOLO. HUGE camera / tinkering habit. Helped a few guys build their own airplanes...

It has all to do with your aptitude (and attitude) to stay engaged with life. I have found a few Ex-Gov workers to be a bit bored for a spell. (They're used to having someone TELL them what to do), but for the most part, retired folks have WAY too many ideas; and time / energy is short.

What type of work / skills do you want to utilize? Being in Business for Yourself in retirement CAN be a burden (Taxes, licensing, insurance, reporting, liability ...) Even the chronically self employed often choose to become 'rented slaves' (employees) in retirement. It is nice to WALK OUT the DOOR at the end of the day.
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