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Old 09-25-2011, 07:15 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,709,266 times
Reputation: 2253

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I wouldn't have thought there were that many - they sure aren't around where I am!

But I checked and they are. If you want to see some hard numbers here is a report.

The numbers start on p. 22.

http://www.vermonttaxreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/WEB-REPORT-2.pdf (broken link)

I agree with the Duchess though, if the state can squeeze a dime out of you they will find a way to do it.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
70 posts, read 241,099 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68vette View Post
I don't mean to sound harsh, but I don't think you have a grasp on cost of living. There are several areas that are evaluated when anylysts calculate cost of living. Grocery Items, Housing, Utilities, Transportation, Health Care, Misc Goods & Services and all of this put together the anylysts come up with a Composite Index. Vermonts (state wide, not Burlington) composite index and New Jerseys composite index are only about five points apart. That is an insignificant number difference. Both states have one of the highest cost of livings in the country. New Jersey gets taxed to death with high costs and in Vermont you are paid poorly with high costs per income.
Another point is with fuel prices. New Jersey is known for having the lowest fuel prices in the North. The reason for this is because of the refineries. We were in NJ about two weeks ago and paid over twenty cents less per gallon.
If having a VA is important to anyone, just keep in mind Bennington only has a VA outpatient clinic. If you need to go to the VA Hospital, that is several hours away in White River (the only VA in the state). I work at the medical center in Burlington. Whenever we have locals who are veterans, the VA makes then transfer to the hospital in White River because of costs.
well the last time i was in vermont, last month, i actually was suprised to see that the gas prices were the same as in NJ. also, rents are dramatically cheaper than in NJ. another thing that differs from NJ is that if you have a niche, you are more likely to be able to make a living using it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:46 AM
 
26 posts, read 50,665 times
Reputation: 37
*sigh* I wasn't going to say anything on this thread, because I've had this exact same discussion so many times that there seems little point. And yet - there's always a little guilt that gnaws away inside when I don't bother to speak a truth that could save someone a lot of misery. So, though I'm repeating myself, I'll say it again: forget about the comparisons of rent or insurance or gasoline. What matters is what your income will be and how that relates to your expenses.

I could write a book about making a living in New England, but the people who would most need to read it would be those least likely to do so. I'm speaking from twenty years of experience, in several locations in rural NE, and I'm aware of the experiences of many friends, few of whom are still here.

In comparing what you might earn in Vermont with what you're earning in New Jersey, you're making a whole boatload of assumptions - most of them unjustified. For instance, you're assuming you won't experience layoffs or, if you do, you'll just get a few other jobs to tide you over. This isn't how it works at all. Getting ANY job here is difficult, particularly when you've left your contacts back home in NJ. Unless you're exceptionally lucky, you should factor in a certain amount of time during which you'll be unemployed - laid off, between jobs, unable to find ANY job, even those you thought you'd never consider. Be aware that you don't have any way of coming up with a figure that takes this likelihood into account, so everything on which you're basing your life and your future is inevitably guesswork.

Eighteen months ago, I made an informal survey of all the transplants to rural New England that I'd gotten to know in the last twenty years, almost all of whom had left New England. Admittedly not a scientific survey, but the subject is of interest to me and I think the results have something to say. I asked 163 people, and 141 agreed to answer; all were transplants to rural New England from other states. Only 7 of them were still here, although 44 still owned property here that they couldn't sell. All had bought property here for much less than they could have bought comparable properties where they came from (and congratulated themselves on their good fortune). All left here substantially poorer than they'd arrived, most with their nest egg gone. Twelve declared bankruptcy and left with nothing; I helped one of these move out of the house she'd paid cash for, an experience I hope never to repeat. I want to emphasize that all of these were talented and capable professional people who had never been out of work and didn't anticipate that they ever would be. Every single one of them was unemployed for a significant portion of their time in NE. Most tried to fill this gap with as many part-time jobs as they could get, and some of them managed to earn as much as $80.00 a week (!) while running themselves ragged and sick with worry. On average, this group of 141 people were unemployed for 18 months out of every five years of time they lived in New England. Consider for a moment how you would be faring in NJ if you had been unemployed for three out of the last ten years, then subtract three years' worth of your earnings from the ten years' total and divide that figure by ten. Now you're getting closer to your likely yearly income in Vermont. Next, consider that you'll be fortunate beyond belief if you can make even half the salary you're making in New Jersey; so, divide that figure in half. I could continue in this vein, but I think there's no need.

This, of course, won't be the experience of everyone. Some people bring fixed incomes with them, so they don't need to consider what would happen if they suddenly had no income at all. Others are in situations that are less affected by the prevailing economy (although even jobs in the healthcare field are paying less than they used to, and people are being let go).

It's a provable and observable fact that almost everyone who moves to rural NE will be gone within five years, replaced with another set of people who have the same dream and will, for the most part, suffer the same fate. Threads like this always begin with a dream-like vacation experience of great beauty, or a book someone read that just wouldn't let go, and proceed to a dream of a life less frenzied, more neighborly, more kind. These things do exist, but they have to be considered in context. We left NJ ourselves twenty years ago in search of a gentler way of life, and gladly gave up a large portion of income in the hope of securing it. What we actually experienced was frenzy of a different kind - that which comes from never knowing if you'll have a job six months from now and, meantime, struggling to live the most modest life possible on ever-dwindling resources of money, energy, time.

And - I have to say a word about health insurance since you have mentioned that you have children who have medical conditions. In NJ, we had excellent coverage, and our relatives who remained there still have very good medical benefits. In Vermont, we have an enormous deductible and almost nothing is covered even after the deductible has been spent. The insurance is very expensive, more every year, although one of us works for a health care agency. Our insurance is, so far as I can tell, typical of what you can expect. Be prepared to spend at least $5,000 out of pocket every year, before any insurance kicks in at all. After that, you'll find that the insurance covers only a portion of your expense (usually less than 40 percent).

I have no doubt that others will chime in and call me a prophet of doom, or something of the kind; there's never a shortage of people who are optimistic just because . . . they feel that way. I'm not a pessimist, but I believe that, when you are contemplating a life-altering change, you should ask yourself what you would do if the worst possible thing happened. I've found that, in rural New England, that worst possible thing is significantly more likely to happen than in other, more prosperous and stable places. Good luck to you.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njsg View Post
well the last time i was in vermont, last month, i actually was suprised to see that the gas prices were the same as in NJ. also, rents are dramatically cheaper than in NJ. another thing that differs from NJ is that if you have a niche, you are more likely to be able to make a living using it.
There are a few things you are not looking at clearly. NJ has one of the lowest fuel prices in the country. I don't have the link, but if you Google the API data, NJ has the third lowest taxes on fuel in the nation. Vermont is just at the national average. Also, the fuel is produced in NJ refineries, the shipping costs are almost nothing compared to shipping fuel to northern New England.
Don't look at rent alone. You need to factor in income. If you paid $1750 for an apartment in NJ and you pay $1200 in Vermont and you made $3500/month in NJ and $2000/month in Vermont. You are financially better off in NJ. Just random numbers, but the point is, incomes are higher in the Mid Atlantic than in Vermont. There is Federal and state data to prove this.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:51 PM
 
459 posts, read 905,657 times
Reputation: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
Actually "quaint" is where the transplants live. "Dump" is where Vermonters live. "Diversified" is in the one large city where the transplants and students live.
Didn't you say you're from Jersey? Doesn't that make you a transplant?
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,709,266 times
Reputation: 2253
Quote:
Originally Posted by BickleTravis View Post
Didn't you say you're from Jersey? Doesn't that make you a transplant?
As clearly stated earlier in the thread, I moved here as a child. And if you want to get really nasty, I was born in NYC.

Must be that the locals stopped shooting incoming flatlanders shortly before my mother and I got here.

If you're one of those Vermonters who go by the "it doesn't matter if you were born here and if your parents were born here, if your grandparents weren't born here, you're not a Vermonter" attitude, then yes I am a "transplant."

I went to elementary school here, junior high school, high school, have a picture of myself with a former governor on the wall of the conference room of my Vermont business, my mother bought a house with the money she earned in one of the shops. I lived in that house and she died in it and left it to me.

Like you, I left and came back. However I also put my money where my mouth is and started a business in the dump I grew up in. As of next year it will be ten years since my business was incorporated. I'm sure you know that most businesses fail within three years of startup. And if you are really a Vermonter, you also know how hard the state makes it for small businesses to survive.

Ain't too many people here in town that think of me as a "transplant," not my friends from school or former teachers, but you can certainly use that term if you think it fits.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:18 AM
 
5 posts, read 6,883 times
Reputation: 10
WOW, i have read this thread all the way thru and now i am not sure moving back to the state i left over 30 years ago is such a good idea.My wife and i are Vermonters we left in the late 70s because of the lack of opportunity. We have wanted to return for years. Now i have retired and my wife will retire next year and we were ready to return.Tell me it's not all gloom and doom.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:07 PM
 
34,242 posts, read 41,261,292 times
Reputation: 29709
Quote:
Originally Posted by motor12 View Post
WOW, i have read this thread all the way thru and now i am not sure moving back to the state i left over 30 years ago is such a good idea.My wife and i are Vermonters we left in the late 70s because of the lack of opportunity. We have wanted to return for years. Now i have retired and my wife will retire next year and we were ready to return.Tell me it's not all gloom and doom.
Depends what you are looking for,Vermont from my perspective is still mostly rural and although i live in an adjoining province Vermont looks positively perfect..
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:33 PM
 
30 posts, read 53,185 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by motor12 View Post
WOW, i have read this thread all the way thru and now i am not sure moving back to the state i left over 30 years ago is such a good idea.My wife and i are Vermonters we left in the late 70s because of the lack of opportunity. We have wanted to return for years. Now i have retired and my wife will retire next year and we were ready to return.Tell me it's not all gloom and doom.
I commend you for having even read through all of this. I am the one who started this thread. My husband has wanted to move to Vermont for years. While I love it as a vacation destination, I was skeptical about relocating. So, I posted this here. I think we have a pretty good idea of the big picture, and I have appreciated the honest feedback. Although yes, some of the very negative posts have made me rethink every now and again.

One thing I have never thought to ask before now of the people who have said that Vermont is basically a "dump" unless you're rich- why do you stay?
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,709,266 times
Reputation: 2253
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellew_ View Post
I commend you for having even read through all of this. I am the one who started this thread. My husband has wanted to move to Vermont for years. While I love it as a vacation destination, I was skeptical about relocating. So, I posted this here. I think we have a pretty good idea of the big picture, and I have appreciated the honest feedback. Although yes, some of the very negative posts have made me rethink every now and again.

One thing I have never thought to ask before now of the people who have said that Vermont is basically a "dump" unless you're rich- why do you stay?
I'm stuck here because of a house I inherited and another that I bought when I had money to invest and rental real estate looked better than the stock market.

As soon as they are sold I'm out.
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