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Old 09-14-2020, 01:11 PM
 
24 posts, read 14,264 times
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My daughter recently moved to NE from Washington and she loves it. My husband and I will visit soon but have been thinking about getting out of WA State for quite some time so we may relocate to NE. I've been looking at different areas and real estate sites for NE but also seeing some quite nice small towns in KS and IA as well. Other than some slight differences in taxes, all three seem quite livable. I don't really trust the sites that promise to tell me "10 best small towns in Iowa" bc when I do independent research here on this site I learn that some of those towns have very high poverty rates and/or high crime rates. I'd rather hear from people who actually live there, hence my post on this site.

We are a couple in our early 60s looking for an affordable small town (no more than 40K residents) with a low poverty rate and low crime. We may try to find jobs when we get there or we may just retire after moving, that depends on what's around the town I suppose.

We'd like to be within driving distance (less than 5 hours or so) to our daughter and granddaughter, who live near Kearney NE.

Small towns in IA or KS but near the NE border are going to be something we'll look at too.

I welcome any feedback on this topic, or any other words of wisdom/warning about living in NE just generally. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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I can't help you all that much regarding Kansas, and western Iowa's a bit of a drive if your daughter is close to Kearney. I'd suggest starting out investigating the obvious: Kearney. It's a nice smaller city, and a has a branch of the University of Nebraska located there. It's not a high poverty or high crime city, and it's close to where your daughter lives. Why not start your search there?
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:09 PM
 
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Thanks for your response! We will definitely be visiting Kearney while we're there but have found the real estate to be more expensive than in many other areas and so that's a negative.

As it is, NE seems to have a lot higher property tax than we have here (we pay $1,000/yr) so our goal was to buy as inexpensive a home as we could. Some of the Kearney neighborhoods in our price range don't seem very safe to me.

There's also some confusion on my end when you look at the City Data stats for poverty and crime in general, and in particular for Kearney. They are showing a poverty rate of 17.7. I would consider that substantial but maybe some won't. Same for crime, for the last year they have recorded (2018) the crime rate was only slightly less than the national average. Here again, I keep seeing smaller communities that have a fraction of that. It's all very confusing! Thanks again for your feedback. I appreciate it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE
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You likely won't seem much differences (only slight) in property tax rates in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, although Nebraska is likely the highest. The areas around Kearney (including Lexington) have had an influx of workers to meat packing plants in the area, and that might be one explanation of the increase in poverty rates. Crime isn't rampant in Kearney. I'd suggest if you really want to lower your property tax bill, look west to Colorado (much lower rates). However, depending on where you are at, you might pay more for housing in Colorado than Kearney. You might have better luck heading a bit south to Minden, Holdrege, or Hastings, if you want to stay in Nebraska (or off I-80 - Gibbon, Wood River, etc.). However, other than Hastings, there's not much in these small towns, so you'll likely be driving to Lexington, Kearney, or Grand Island. Areas are very conservative if that is a concern to you.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:40 PM
 
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We were thinking we'd check out SD so maybe Colorado makes sense too. I've looked at the communities you mentioned south of Kearney and they are definitely on our radar.

One of the things we appreciate about where we are now is the ability to walk to the grocery, the library and the post office. I have seen some pretty rural properties in NE and surrounding states but don't want to have to get in the car every day just to run into town.

We are quite happy with conservative values so that is not a concern.

Thanks on the tip on Colorado - I'll check it out. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,880 posts, read 5,267,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lzack View Post
We were thinking we'd check out SD so maybe Colorado makes sense too. I've looked at the communities you mentioned south of Kearney and they are definitely on our radar.

One of the things we appreciate about where we are now is the ability to walk to the grocery, the library and the post office. I have seen some pretty rural properties in NE and surrounding states but don't want to have to get in the car every day just to run into town.

We are quite happy with conservative values so that is not a concern.

Thanks on the tip on Colorado - I'll check it out. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Apparently you're not too concerned about a few hours drive to visit the kids. I'm in SD and I can tell you it's a less expensive place to retire than Nebraska.

Property taxes in SD are not real low, BUT you'll make up for that on all the other taxes. There isn't a state income tax so it you choose to work, big savings already. If you choose not to work and retire, South Dakota does NOT tax your Social Security. Nebraska has a state income tax AND they have a state tax on Social Security. The cost of licensing vehicles are much lower than Nebraska as well.

Two towns I would look into are Yankton and Vermillion. Both cities sit on the Missouri River and have bridges that cross the river into Nebraska. Yankton is about a 3 1/2 hour drive to Kearney and Vermillion maybe a little shy of 4 hours. Easy access to Kearney for both cities. House prices in both towns will be reasonable with Vermillion probably being a little higher than Yankton

At Yankton you have the Gavins Point Dam creating the Lewis and Clark Lake. It's VERY picturesque and popular for fishing and any water sports. Plenty of recreation opportunities as well has decent shopping for a town of approx. 15,000 people. It sports the best buffet restaurant any where in JoDean's.

At Vermillion you have the University of South Dakota and all the activities that come with the 2nd largest university in the state. You're also only about 35 miles from Sioux City, Iowa (metro area over 100,000) via 4 lane the whole way. Vermillion's population is approx. 10,000.

If you are on the conservative side, so is South Dakota. I would guess that the most liberal town in our conservative state is possibly Vermillion though because of the university and it isn't the agricultural college which is in Brookings, SD.

Neither Yankton or Vermillion have any major crime issues.
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:05 PM
 
2,271 posts, read 1,060,133 times
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Originally Posted by jmgg View Post
Apparently you're not too concerned about a few hours drive to visit the kids.* I'm in SD and I can tell you it's a less expensive place to retire than Nebraska.
Property taxes in SD are not real low, BUT you'll make up for that on all the other taxes.* There isn't a state income tax so it you choose to work, big savings already.* If you choose not to work and retire, South Dakota does NOT tax your Social Security.* Nebraska has a state income tax AND they have a state tax on Social Security.* The cost of licensing vehicles are much lower than Nebraska as well.**
Two towns I would look into are Yankton and Vermillion.* Both cities sit on the Missouri River and have bridges that cross the river into Nebraska.* Yankton is about a 3 1/2 hour drive to Kearney and Vermillion maybe a little shy of 4 hours.* Easy access to Kearney for both cities.* House prices in both towns will be reasonable with Vermillion probably being a little higher than Yankton
At Yankton you have the Gavins Point Dam creating the Lewis and Clark Lake.* It's VERY picturesque and popular for fishing and any water sports.* Plenty of recreation opportunities as well has decent shopping for a town of approx. 15,000 people.* It sports the best buffet restaurant any where in JoDean's.
At Vermillion you have the University of South Dakota and all the activities that come with the 2nd largest university in the state.* You're also only about 35 miles from Sioux City, Iowa (metro area over 100,000) via 4 lane the whole way.* Vermillion's population is approx. 10,000.
If you are on the conservative side, so is South Dakota.* I would guess that the most liberal town in our conservative state is possibly Vermillion though because of the university and it isn't the agricultural college which is in Brookings, SD.
Neither Yankton or Vermillion have any major crime issues.
I am glad I found this forum, I do notice the middle america city data forum is much much quieter than forums of other states particularly closer to the coast.*
I am glad to see such a comparison. I myself always think of which one is the best.*
I always like to ask people who live there what are your pet peeves*of living in a particular*place. Legislation systems not limited to taxation vary state to state and local to local within a state. And there is also a lobby trend to push for "Karenism" nanny state legislation around the country as well as other radical legislation. It also depends on whether a legislative body.
Which one is the best for someone escaping the political correctness of the coastline states or the busier inland states such as Minnosota and Illinois. Which state is better for free range kids and homeschooling?
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Just west of the Missouri River
782 posts, read 1,445,517 times
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You might want to check out Gering, NE. It's quite small, (8K population), but right next to Scottsbluff which is about twice as big. Gering has a low cost of living, low crime rate and a relatively low poverty level. It's a pretty area--if you like that windswept prairie with the occasional bluff landscape. It's close to Wyoming and Colorado for the occasional road trip. Closely and within Nebraska, there are fossil beds, a number of historic sites and opportunities to see wildlife.

Although the town is small, I found it rather charming when I visited a couple of years ago.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:01 PM
 
24 posts, read 14,264 times
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Thanks for the information. I will add it to our list of places to see on our roadtrip out that way. The town we're moving from is only 1200 people so 8000 will be the "big city" for us! I think I do like the prairie landscape pretty well and love historical sites too. Thanks again.
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Old 09-18-2020, 02:18 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
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We've lived in Nebraska all our life but we have done extensive traveling inside the US. My choice would be South Dakota for a retirement location.
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