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Old 09-23-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: West Paris
10,263 posts, read 10,008,583 times
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Tennessee wins !! number one : Ok:

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TLC Family "Top 5 U.S. States with the Lowest Cost of Living"
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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Hiknapster will feel quite validated!

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Old 09-23-2012, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Cove, Monterey, TN
1,268 posts, read 3,955,512 times
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Thanks for sharing. This is one of the MANY reasons I plan to retire in Tennessee.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,084,101 times
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How funny, Wmsn4Life!

I will say that I would tell any potential transplants to choose carefully where they intend to reside in the state. Tennessee is very, very large and crosses one time zone and can be very different from one end to the other. Weather can vary. Sometimes a very small town makes sense to some people but for others that need jobs or good schools it may not be the best choice. Unemployment rates across the state run from fairly low - for this economy - to scary high, for example.

I also wrote about this a lot for the first couple of years that I was on CD. Don't just move here because you think it is cheap. Come for the friendliness of the people, the weather, the laid-back lifestyle, something in addition to the low cost. I've found that folks that are just looking for that tend to not do well here, for the most part.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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That's meaningless. What about rating of (Cost of Living)/(Average Income)? Life is not that cheaper in Tennessee, if at all, Personally, I don't see that much difference compared to Ohio. Average incomes outside of a few prosperous counties are very low, abysmally low more exactly. Yet, they sell TN rocky land at prices well above of the prices of the prime agricultural land because of the transplant influx hunting for views.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,084,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
That's meaningless. What about rating of (Cost of Living)/(Average Income)? Life is not that cheaper in Tennessee, if at all, Personally, I don't see that much difference compared to Ohio. Average incomes outside of a few prosperous counties are very low, abysmally low more exactly. Yet, they sell TN rocky land at prices well above of the prices of the prime agricultural land because of the transplant influx hunting for views.
I've really scrutinized this list and its sources. It's one of the rare lists that seems to have substance. I mean Knoxville is at the top of list upon list. And I've seen lists that place some cities at the top that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But this one seems to have a lot of facts behind it.

Cheaper than Ohio? Well, it's Ohio after all. You're not the first Midwesterner to say it is cheaper up there. Well, that is well and good but I wouldn't want to live there, either.

As I said, don't move to the middle-of-nowhere and expect a high-paying job, exceptional healthcare, schools, food, parks, etc.

And if someone is paying for bad land at high prices I don't know how that is a state's fault and not the darn buyer.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Cove, Monterey, TN
1,268 posts, read 3,955,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
That's meaningless. What about rating of (Cost of Living)/(Average Income)? Life is not that cheaper in Tennessee, if at all, Personally, I don't see that much difference compared to Ohio. Average incomes outside of a few prosperous counties are very low, abysmally low more exactly. Yet, they sell TN rocky land at prices well above of the prices of the prime agricultural land because of the transplant influx hunting for views.
I just did an overall cost of living comparison on-line at bestplaces.net. I compared Citrus Heights, CA where I live now to Monterey, TN (Cumberland Cove) which is where I plan to retire. The cost comparison shows that overall, Monterey, TN is 22% less espensive than Citrus Heights, CA. In every category, food, housing, utilities, transportation, and health, Montery, TN was less expensive. Housing was the largest factor in the cost of living difference. Housing is 37% cheaper in Monterey, TN. It is true that incomes are typically lower in Tennessee when compared to many other states, but that is not a factor that I need to consider because I'll be retired when I move to Tennessee.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jguillot View Post
It is true that incomes are typically lower in Tennessee when compared to many other states, but that is not a factor that I need to consider because I'll be retired when I move to Tennessee.
That is a factor you should consider because sooner or later influx of the people who made $ elsewhere would undercut local's (making local lower wages) ability to enjoy lower cost of living in order to make up for their lower wages. Influx of the people who made $ elsewhere doesn't make your average locals more prosperous, it skews local economies and eventually all the benefits of TN you are after will evaporate.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:18 PM
 
4,829 posts, read 4,808,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
I've really scrutinized this list and its sources. It's one of the rare lists that seems to have substance. I mean Knoxville is at the top of list upon list. And I've seen lists that place some cities at the top that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But this one seems to have a lot of facts behind it.

Cheaper than Ohio? Well, it's Ohio after all. You're not the first Midwesterner to say it is cheaper up there. Well, that is well and good but I wouldn't want to live there, either.

As I said, don't move to the middle-of-nowhere and expect a high-paying job, exceptional healthcare, schools, food, parks, etc.

And if someone is paying for bad land at high prices I don't know how that is a state's fault and not the darn buyer.
I lived in Knoxville for quite some time and I wouldn't want to live there, nothing clicks with me there, not a thing. Ohio fits me perfectly. It's good we are different and don't flock to the same areas. As it is, Ohio is densely populated, hopefully more and more Ohio refugees would hit TN shores.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
20,968 posts, read 15,285,903 times
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I always take these lists with a grain of salt. Tennessee is affordable for many people with very little in the way of no state income tax, low housing prices, but wages are also depressed. According to the Census bureau's QuickFacts for TN, median household income in Tennessee was $43,314 for the period of 2006-2010 vs. $51,914 nationally, or 83.4% of the national average. Housing prices are about 71% of the national average. Tennessee also has higher rates of poverty and lower educational attainment than the national average.

Take two people - one making $25,000 and another making $250,000. The guy making $25,000 doesn't come out that much ahead by paying no state income in TN vs. a negligable rate elsewhere - he simply doesn't make enough to pay much net state income tax. The guy making $250,000 will likely pay a higher propotion of his total income in state income tax elsewhere and benefits greatly by being in TN.

In Hawkins County, the combined state and local option sales tax rates come to 9.75%, according to the Tennessee Department of Revenue. The person making $25,000 is likely going to pay a higher proportion of his total income (he has to spend everything he makes to stay afloat) in sales tax than the guy making $250,000 (he can presumably live off less than this and save/invest the remainder).

Also, their spending habits will differ. For the guy making $25,000 a year, food is going to be a sizable portion of his budget, and food is taxed at 5.25% or 7% at the state level before any other county or municipal taxes apply. The guy making $250,000 is going to spend much less proportionally on food and thus the price of food and taxes on food in TN (anecdotally I've found food in TN to be more expensive than I do where I live in Iowa now) does not hurt him as much. Nebraska, which made this list, does not tax food for home preparation at all.

In short, Tennessee relies heavily on regressive sales taxes, while relying less on personal income and property taxes than the national average, according to the Institution of Taxation and Economic Policy. TN is not a good place to be low income.

http://www.itepnet.org/whopays3.pdf

Sadly, most of the people I know where I'm from in the Tri-Cities are making $25,000 a year or less. They get hit hard by TN's regressive tax system. I'm in my mid 20s and a lot of my high school and college classmates are out of work or grossly underemployed, even after completing their degrees. Yes, TN is affordable and the dollar does stretch further than about anywhere else, but when the prevailing wage is just $10-$12 an hour, it's still hard to subsist.

I moved in March and I spent quite a bit of time researching, but it still wasn't enough. A person who is planning a move should evaluate their current salary, salaries of comparable positions in another area (if there are any), how your total tax liability is distributed where you are, how it will be distributed where you are going, the cost of housing, food, electricity, gasoline in both places - I could go on and on. Bottom line - these "reports" serve a general purpose, but stuff like this can often muddy the waters more than it clears them.

Affordability is also partly a function of DESIRABILITY. Many places on this list are likely affordable, at least in part, because they're not desirable places to be. Nebraska has extreme weather, terrible winters, not a lot of natural beauty, and lacks services, especially in the isolated western part of the state. Cheap doesn't mean much if you don't like the area you live in.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 09-23-2012 at 03:44 PM..
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