Friday, March 11, 2016

Places We Are Considering Retiring To-The Financials

Here are some places we are mulling over moving to eventually in retirement.
Along with the state are the various financial implications which led us to include these 11 states on our "short list".

I thought this might be of interest to some of my readers out there who are starting to look at retirement and whether to relocate or not.  This is just what we consider the major financial repercussions for each state that will affect us and our situation.
Sometimes it can be enlightening to see "what is what" if you lay it all down together.

While we didn't include Estate Taxes(since we don't plan on leaving anything when we die), Cigarette taxes(since we don't smoke), etc., we did include 4 types of taxes that would affect our day to day existence while living in that particular place.

Sales Tax--Because you have to buy stuff in retirement.
Gasoline Tax--Because you have to go places in your car in retirement.
State Income Tax--Because you have to pay this if you live in certain states.
Property Tax--Because we will own a home in retirement.
Federal Income Tax isn't talked about in this post since it affects you the same no matter what part of the country you live in.  We are just talking about the tax variables from state to state here.

First though, here is the financial scorecard if we were to stay in PA(in this location)for comparison purposes---


PENNSYLVANIA

*State Sales Taxes-6%(food, clothing, heating fuels, drugs both prescription and OTC are exempt)

*Gasoline Taxes-68.9¢ per gallon(very high)

*Personal State Income Taxes-flat rate of 3.07%
No exemptions, no deductions, no federal deductions on state taxes
Retirement Income Taxes-Retirement income not taxed for state tax purposes.
Social Security benefits are not taxed.

*Property Taxes
Property taxes are levied by local governments (counties, municipalities and school districts).  The tax cannot exceed 30 mills on the assessed valuation of the property without special permission from the courts.
County taxes here are currently 5.7456% of assessed value of the property.
The municipality taxes are .2600 of assessed value of the property.
The school taxes are 9.637 mills and I suspect they will go up in 2017 as the school budget is operating in a deficit currently.
We currently pay under $4,000 a yr. in a semi-rural location(read No services)for a home valued at approx. $230,000.
Effective property tax rate is 1.51%($2,484), thirty ninth lowest of all states.**

**I have included this property tax rate ranking from highest to lowest of 51 places(50 states and Washington D.C.) as a snapshot of each places property tax.  However, this ranking can't be relied on solely since it ranks the states using the median home/property value of each state, and each state has a different median cost for homes.  This means that while the property tax rate may be low and the rate may rank lower, if the median home price/value is a lot higher, it skews the actual property tax amount.


Now here are our potential new states to move to in retirement.
They are listed in no particular order and ONLY take into considerations the financial aspect of retirement for us.
There also may be other factors(non-financial)why some of these states made the cut too and why other financially less expensive locations did not.


TENNESSEE

*State Sales Taxes-7%(prescription drugs exempt)and 6% on food and food ingredients.  Counties and cities are allowed to add another 1.5% to 2.75% to these rates.

*Gasoline taxes are 39.8¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Taxes-not levied on salaries, wages, Social Security benefits, IRAs and pension income.  A 6% tax is levied on stock dividends and interst from bonds.  The first $2,500 of these incomes are exempt for joint filers.
Retirement Income Taxes-After age 65 the first $37K of this class of income is exempt for joint filers.
Social Security income is not taxed.

*Property Taxes
Property taxes are assessed and collected by the local governments.  County assessors of property appraise real estate for assessment purposes.  In addition, they assess tangible personal property used or held for use in a business.  The county commission and city governing bodies determine local property tax rates.  The property taxes are collected by county trustees and city collecting officials.
Tennessee does not have a homestead exemption.  However, there is a property tax relief program for the elderly, disabled and veterans.
The assessed valuation of a property is based on 25% of its fair market value.  Depending on the location of the residence, homeowners will be assessed property taxes from the city only, the city and county, or the city, county, and a special school/fire district rate. A local government may authorize (at their option) a person who is 65 years of age or older to defer payment of tax up to $60,000 of the appraised fair market value of the homeowner’s residence if the combined income is not more than $12,000.  Local option could increase it to $25,000.
Effective property tax rate is .75%($1,046), thirteenth lowest of all states.



NEW HAMPSHIRE

*State Sales Tax-No sales taxes. There are however specific sales taxes on certain goods: 9% on restaurants, prepared foods, hotel rooms and car rentals; .55¢ per megawatt hour on electricity, 7% on telecommunication services, plus additional taxes on real estate transfers and alcohol(liquor stores are state run in NH--uh oh!)

*Gasoline Taxes are 42.23¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Taxes-None per se though NH does tax dividend and interest income of more than $4,800 per couple at a rate of 5%.  At age 65 there is a $1,200 exemption above and beyond the $4,800 amount.
Social Security income is not taxed.

*Property Taxes
Property Taxes are assessed/levied/collected by each municipality and vary widely.  Total taxes vary from under 9% to over 32%.  We don't have a locality picked out yet so can't evaluate accurately until we decide on the area/town.
These tax rates includes a statewide education rate of $2.350 per $1K of valuation.
Effective property tax rate is 2.10%($4,996), forty ninth lowest of all states.




LOUISIANA

*State Sales Tax-4%  Food for home consumption and home utilities are Not taxed. Prescription drugs are taxed.

*Gasoline Taxes are 38.41¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Tax-Depending on your income bracket, we would be in the highest bracket of 6%.
Personal Exemptions on State Income Tax would offset income to the tune of  $10,000 a year and Federal Taxes are fully deductible at the state level, which won't in all probablity lower our tax bracket.
Retirement income is taxable, though after age 65 we will get a $6,000 exemption on it.
Social Security income is not taxed.

*Property Taxes
These are assessed and collected and the parish level(like a county).  Homeowners receive a homestead exemption of $7,500.  This is applied against the assessed value of the home(which is equal to 10% of the FMV), therefore you only pay property taxes if your home's FMV is over $75,000.  This exemption does not generally apply to municipal taxes so those are still due.
Effective property tax rate is .48%($672), third lowest of all states.



ARKANSAS

*State Sales Tax-6.5% though prescription drugs are exempt.  Food taxed at 2% and city/county sales taxes could add another 5.5% depending on where you live/shop.

*Gasoline Taxes are 40.20¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Tax-Brackets for our income level would be 7% tax.
Tax Credits and Deductions would offset income to the tune of $4,046 a year plus another whole $26 when we hit 65 years of age. lolz  Large Medical and Dental costs per year can be deducted the same as on Federal taxes.
Social Security income is exempt from state taxes as is the first $6,000 of private pension/retirement plan income.

*Property Taxes
Property taxes are levied by counties, municipalities and school districts.  All households are eligible for a homestead tax credit of up to $350 regardless of income/age.  Taxes collected on real estae and personal property(cars/boats/rvs/etc.)and are assessed at 20% of true market value.
The tax assessment value of residents 65 or older are capped at the previous year's value(unless improvements are made or the property is sold.
Effective property tax rate is .62%($673), tied for eighth lowest of all states.



DELAWARE

*State Sales Tax-none.

*Gasoline Taxes are 41.4¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Taxes-Depending on your income bracket, we would be in the highest bracket of 6.6%.
Tax Credits and Standard Deductions on State Income Tax would offset income to the tune of  $6830 a year which "might" lower our tax bracket.  We can also exempt $12,500 of pension/qualified investment income which would definitely lower our tax bracket 1% or so, so effective state income tax rate would be in the 5% range.
Social Security income is not taxed.

*Property Taxes
All real property is subject to county, school district, vocational school district and municipal property taxes. Tax relief programs for residents 65 or older up to $500.  Delaware boosts it has the fourth lowest property tax rates in the nation and will depend on which area of the state you are in.
We are looking at a more rural area where it is currently .66% of appraised value.
Effective property tax rate is .53%($1,231), fourth lowest of all states.



VIRGINIA

*State Sales Tax-4.30%  An additional 0.7% imposed in Northern VA and Hampton Roads localities making the rate in these areas 6%.  Eligible food items are subject to a reduced tax rate of 2.5%.

*Gasoline Taxes are 40.78¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Tax-Brackets which place us at the 5.75% level.
Personal exemptions and deductions lower our taxable income by $7,860.
Long-term care premiums are deductible from income as long as they have not been deducted for federal income tax purposes.  The year before you turn 65 you can claim a $6,000 deduction and when you reach 65 a $12,000 deduction.
Social Security is exempt from state taxation.

*Property Taxes
Real Estate is taxed at 100% of FMV and rates vary from town to town. Tangible personal property(cars, boats, RVs, etc.)is also taxed at the local level and based on the percentage of the original cost so your rates can vary from town to town.

   RE Tax rate in the town I am from(Va BCH) is $1.1494 per each $100 of FMV.
   Personal Property rate in the town I am from is $4 per each $100(cars only, other are $1.50 per            $100)of assessed value.
   RE Tax rate in the town my mother is from(Brookneal) is $.52 per each $100 of FMV.
   Personal Property rate in the town my mother is from is $4.45 per each $100 of assessed value.

There are exemptions at age 65 but we may have too much retirement income to qualify for those.
Effective property tax rate is .80%($1,941), sixteenth lowest of all states.



TEXAS

*State Sales Tax-6.25% Exemptions are food(not prepared), prescription and OTC drugs.  Localities can tack on another up to 2% to this rate.

*Gasoline Taxes are 38.4¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Tax-None.
Retirement Income is not taxed.

*Property Taxes
No State instituted property taxes but the local municipality/county sets and levies property taxes.
Texas on average has some of the highest property taxes in the country.  They range from under $400 yr. in Terrell County to over $5,000 yr. in King County.
There are also School Taxes levied in Texas.  All homeowners get a $15,000 exemption on your property value and after age 65 you can apply for another $10,000 in exemptions and your school taxes get "frozen" at that level and can't be increased as long as you own that home.
Effective property tax rate is 1.93%($2,537), forty seventh lowest of all states.




WEST VIRGINIA

*State Sales Taxes-6% though prescription drugs are exempt.  Food is taxed at 1%.  Seniors 60 and over are eligibile for a discount card for pharmaceutical, retail and professional discounts.
Municipalities can add a local sales tax up to 1%.

*Gasoline Taxes are .53¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Taxes-Brackets put us at the 6.5% rate.
Personal exemptions would reduce our liability by $4,000 of income and medical deductions would allow 33.4% of whatever we paid for medical care insurance(supposedly until we were Medicare eligible at 65).
Social Security income is taxable only to the extent that the income is includable in your FAGI.
At age 65 you can exclude the first $16,000 of retirement income for calculating state income purposes.  (This is the only state on the short list that does tax Social Security on the state level.)

*Property Taxes
Property taxes are levied at the county level and each county and municipality can impose its own rate within limits set by the WV constitution. Property is assessed at 60% of FMV.  Due to excess levies the rates can vary from county to county. Rates vary from a high average in Jeffeson Co. of $1,379 to $235 in Webster Co.
WV has homestead and other exemptions for those 65 and older which we will probably not qualify for because of our income.
Effective property tax rate is .59%($590), seventh lowest of all states.



MISSISSIPPI

*State Sales Taxes-7% though prescription drugs, residential utilities and healthcare are exempt.

*Gasoline Taxes are 37.18¢ per gallon

*Personal State Income Taxes-Bracket depending on income and we would be in the 5% one. 
Personal exemptions and deductions would offset income to the tune of $16,600 and once we  hit age 65 that would increase another $1,500 each.  Qualified retirement income is not taxed at the state level.

*Property Taxes
Both cars and real estate are taxed. Residential single family property taxed at 10% of assessed value, cars at 30% of assessed value. All other personal property is assessed at 15% of its value(not sure what they include in personal property).
Homestead exemption has to be applied for and up to age 65 is $300 per year. At age 65 there is an exemption of the first $75,000 of true value which will lower your property taxes some.
Effective property tax rate is .78%($790), fifteenth lowest of all states.



WYOMING

*State Sales Tax-4% though prescription drugs and food for home consumption are exempt.  Counties can add up to 4% in additional tax.

*Gasoline Taxes are 42.4¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Taxes-None.
Retirement Income is not taxed.

*Property Taxes
Property taxes are set by various legal entities.
Property tax applies to only a fraction of FMV, most places that is 9.5% of FMV.  Counties are limited to assessing property to 8 mills(.8%)of value for their taxation purposes.
There are various tax relief/credit/deferral programs that are income based as well as a Tax Relief program for those age 65 and up.  We would most probably not qualify for any of those perks.
Effective property tax rate is .62%($1,179), tied for eighth lowest of all states.



NORTH CAROLINA

*State Sales Tax-4.750% Prescription drugs, medical equipment are exempt, while food is subject to an additional 2% county tax.  Counties may add an additional 2-3% of tax depending on locality.

*Gasoline taxes are 56.5¢ per gallon.

*Personal State Income Taxes-Brackets which would place us in the 7.75% rate.
Personal exemptions and deductions would lower our taxable income by $8,500 and once reaching age 65 we would see another small deduction in taxable income.
Medical/Dental deductions of the federal amount claimed as well.  Up to $350 credit for premiums paid on long-term care insurance too.
Social Security is exempt from state taxes.  In retirement savings up to $2,000 of qualified private pensions and IRAs are also exempt from state taxes.

*Property Taxes
All real and personal property is taxed at 100% of appraised value and collected by cities and counties.  Combined effective rates range from .3144% to 1.6491% which is quite a range.
There is an elderly exclusion at age 65 but we will have too much income to be eligible for that.
Effective property tax rate is .85%($1,313), twentieth lowest of all states.



More next time a bit on our retirement location picking process.

Did you move in retirement?
What were the criteria that led you to move to the location you did?
Did the financial aspects of your life have a hand in where you relocated to?
Where you satisfied with the move and why?


Sluggy






21 comments:

  1. We really plan to spend our years in a full on travel mode-having multiple places, but needing a home base. Keeping the maximum amount of retirement funds is going to be crucial, but I know there are minimum number of months that you have to live somewhere to reap the benefits if they are a low tax/no tax state, so not sure how our vagabond life in retirement will impact that. We want to spread out time roughly 3-4 months warm weather stateside or international, 3-4 months international travel/long term stay short of immigrating (so time needs to be factored to meet laws) and then a minimum of 4 months Midwest-Minnesota/West Wisconsin as we have the family lake place in Wisconsin. We have at least 7-9 years to plan, so will be doing research on all things.

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    1. I am assuming that the 4 mos. in MN/WI are going to be the Summer one? lolz
      We are contemplating traveling after retiring but before putting down new roots. Sort of RV across the country and then maybe some international travel/cruising. Perhaps we can live out of the RV on one of our kids' property between adventures, at least for awhile. That way we don't have a house somewhere to worry about/pay to maintain while in traveling phase.
      We could use the kid's address for legal purposes(send bills/mail/taxes)until we settle somewhere I suppose.
      Just so many options at this point.

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  2. I like the way you are thinking about retirement moves. We will move once TheHub retires and my mom is no longer living in her home. We have kids on both coasts and are seriously thinking of buying a condo in Oregon,keeping our lake place here, and dumping our current house. We thought about a small house in Portland but if we are there part time we don't want the yard upkeep.
    The jury is still out about where Son3 will land after school and I don't see us doing anything but visiting him occasionally because I think he will have more of a gypsy lifestyle never staying in one place very long. Who knows though, I could be wrong.
    It is a lot to think about and not as easy as I had thought it would be when I was younger and doing the thinking.

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    1. I'm with you, our #3 being a musician too will be a wandering one most of his life I am assuming and none are really settled for good so we really can't bank on moving to X or Y state yet to be near them.

      I have told my kids that once Hubs passes they are stuck with me....each one of them gets my company for 4 months out of the year and every year we repeat that. lolz

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  3. As you know, we moved to Hawai'i just about two years ago. Some things are more expensive here (housing, food, gasoline) but not as high as you are often led to believe. Most of the statistics you read are based on Honolulu prices which ARE very expensive. We're on Kaua'i, and while some things are a bit more here, overall the cost of living is lower. Hawaii'i charges a 4% GET tax versus a sales tax. Even with the tax though, if you shop carefully, prices are not all that much higher than what we were paying back in Oregon. For example, the Suave shampoo I bought in Oregon (where there is no sales tax) was $2.79/bottle. At Walmart here, with the tax, the same shampoo is $2.83. Prices in Costco are the same or maybe just one or two dollars more than they were back in Portland. Gas here is currently $2.49/gallon, but we don't drive as much or as far as we did in the past (Oahu/Honolulu is another story - long commutes there due to traffic). Although utilities are higher, we don't have to pay for heating or air conditioning, and don't use as much energy as we did back on the mainland.

    The big difference here compared to other locations we looked at is taxes. Property taxes are very low if you're going to buy, and seniors get a big discount based on their age. For example, when we were looking at buying last year, our ANNUAL property tax would have been $150!!! Social Security, and all federal and state pensions (no matter where they're from), are not taxed by the state of Hawai'i. Non-contributory pensions are not taxed either, and only a portion of contributory pensions are taxed (not sure of the percentage). People scoffed at us because neither my husband nor I rolled our company-funded retirement accounts into Roth IRAs, but we would have paid tax at the time of the rollovers (both Federal and to Oregon). But, we don't pay any state income tax now on withdrawals from our traditional IRAs, and so far withdrawals haven't affected our Federal tax either. That situation will of course be dependent on your income and sources, but it's similar for some other retirees I know here. Basically, the low tax situation here for retirees ameliorates some of the other cost of living issues.

    After drawing up a list of nine criteria for a retirement location, we added Hawai'i to our list of possible locations as a joke. We're in a somewhat unique situation in that we still have children in high school and/or going to college, so that had to be accounted for, but mainly we were looking at things like weather, location, recreation, military services nearby, and so forth. Out of our nine criteria, Hawai'i met eight - the only thing it missed on was cost of living, but we knew we could figure that out and we have. I can't imagine living anywhere else now.

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    1. I am aware the Hawaii has one of the cheapest property tax games in the country but the inventory and prices of houses sort of counteract that, don't they unless you get the old age perks? lol
      Thanks for your thoughts and I guess if you want something enough you find ways to make it work. 8-)

      I am glad you are enjoying the island life but this isn't for us.

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    2. Oh, I agree Hawai'i is not for everyone, but it's not as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. I guess my point is that like you have done, it's important to drill down and look at ALL the numbers before either deciding to relocate or writing somewhere off as a retirement location. Know what you want and why you might want to live there and then see if it will work for you. Do your research, and be honest with yourself about what you're looking for, what you might be willing to give up and what you're not will to give up. As I said, we added Hawai'i to our list initially as a joke, but it's turned out to be exactly what WE wanted in a retirement location, and cost- and otherwise it works for us.

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  4. Thanks so much for posting all of this great information! The "where to retire" conundrum is on my mind a fair amount these days. I am 60 and working full tilt (probably harder than ever before). DH is 67 and newly retired. We both love to travel, so when the time comes we hope to be doing a fair amount of that while still having a home base.
    We are in NJ-very high property taxes, no tax at all on food (grocery) or clothing, and a low gas tax. Both kids live here (although 2 hours apart). My mom is still alive and about 3 hours away. My sister lives near Mom, and although she is further away from retirement, I suspect that she will head south eventually (probably NC). We are blessed with great friends within our immediate area and also some within an hour or so-but a number of them are in the process of downsizing and have either left or will leave NJ. My big issues with moving are:
    (1) the kids, who will probably stay in NJ-although you never know; (2) our home, which I have been hopelessly in love with since I first saw it 20 years ago; (3) our proximity to NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, and the beach, which has been great for weekend trips; (4) being able to get to my Mom by car;
    (5) our wonderful friends, although I started out here not knowing a soul and feel comfortable I/we could make new ones; (6) great health care and (7) proximity to several major airports.
    We went to one of those "Live South" shows but have not explored much. We know that we don't want Florida (unless our accountant convinces us)-we own 2 timeshare weeks there and love visiting, but we both love the change of seasons. North Carolina appeals to me because of its beauty, a slightly more moderate climate; its many colleges and universities; proximity to the beach and mountains; great health care in the Raleigh/Durham area; a couple of decent sized airports; and a culture that may be a bit more tolerant of newcomers from outside the area.
    I have visited 3 over 55 communities in NC-one in the Wilmington area and two in the Raleigh-Durham area. I liked Wilmington (funky little city not far from the beach, very friendly people at the over 55 community, very pretty, less expensive over 55 homes and an Osher Living Learning program at UNC-Wilmington). I also liked the Durham/Chapel Hill area (great restaurants, better shopping, better health care, 2-3 Osher Living Learning locations plus other learning and volunteer opps for retirees, great health care). I will say that of all the states I have visited, the ones where I have felt most at home are California and North Carolina. California is too far and too costly, so North Carolina could be a good fit But I am so torn! Not sure if there are any websites where you can ask those who relocated about how it has gone. DH wants to head further south. He also reminds me that when we married (a remarriage for both of us), I had to move an hour south of where I had lived previously, worried about it incessantly, and ended up being incredibly happy about the move.
    Since we do love to travel, I have also thought about being nomadic like SAM (at least initially). I would consider renting out our home and traveling for a year or two, although I worry about the potential landlord headaches.
    I guess that is enough of an epistle!

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    1. I am sure there are community forums on relocating to most any place you could search out.
      We lived in Metro NY/NJ for 3 years(and Hubs is from that area). Couldn't wait to get out of there....I am not a big city person(tho I grew up in one). I grew up by the ocean too so if given my druthers I'd be near the water.
      We don't have any desire to be in a 55 community either.
      We do want to travel as well and are considering after we sell to see the world before putting down new roots, or putting down small/inexpensive roots so we are free to travel.
      Thanks for your comments.

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  5. As a medium time retiree I can safely say that expenses and taxes are important BUT they are not the end all of the cure all. You have not even touched on medical care. From the many lists I browse, I know that LA has horrible medical care.
    You will find out as you age, that unless you are near family and extremely good friends, as you get sick, your friends leave you one by one. No one wants to be near an ill person. Trust me, they run like the plague. I have seen my girlfriends fall ill, need oxygen etc and the social girlfriends refuse to pick her up, help her into her car, drive her to the doctors and on and on. Eventually, you get dropped from almost every social circle which can depress you to no end.
    You also don't mention closeness to amenities such as entertainment, restaurants, music, social events, exercise, hiking, swimming, biking, dancing....again, trust me. As you age, even a game of bingo can be a life saver. These social events though can not be too far away. For you drive less and less as you age. You have to have fitness amenities in retirement otherwise you just fade away. Quickly. And you must have a social network AND family members close by. That's why I think people move twice in retirement. Once to have fun. And then for the last time before you die.
    All your financial calculations are important but again, after you make a move, what's to stop the state from changing the financial situations? Taxes are always changing AND you can guarantee they will be going up, up up.
    My advice is to select a location first: close to relatives. 2nd think of costs. Make sure you have access to a large social network and amenities. Make sure a medical outlet is nearby that is experienced in Medicare, so look for an area that caters to a lot of elderly people. Keep yourself active and exercised because you will be sadly surprised how quickly your health can deteriorate. As I turned 65 I lost 20 pounds and got my heath together. I am also moving closer to my brother and sister and made sure my kids have easy access to get to me and stay with me when tragedy finally comes. The less I own, the easier it is to manage.
    I live in the #1 worst state to retire: New York. And I am moving to the #1 best place to retire: Florida. Affordable living, fantastic medical care, millions and millions of retirees who band together and make sure laws, taxes and other events that matter to seniors stay intact or get better, plenty of activities and easy access for family to visit and reside.
    Good luck.

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    1. I'm filing Sluggy's post and your reply in my planning folder. You've added a lot to what Sluggy already has researched for me to think on. I guess I feel like I'll retire like my parents and inlaws did-lot's of travel, but when illness comes, closer to family.

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    2. Cindi,
      This post was just about teh financial aspects. Of course we are considering much more than that as well.
      Our kids are still not settled so we really can't take their locations yet into consideration. The only other family I have is a brother in Southern VA(not going to move closer to Hubs siblings-they are disasters waiting to bloom lol).
      Access to medical care is critical for me....restaurants, movies, not so much. We are thinking a college town(if not too big)too.
      Lots to mull over that's why I am doing it now, years before we pull the trigger.
      Thanks for your imput.

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  6. That's a lot of data. Wow. I didn't realize you were considering so many other places.

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    1. Lots of aspects of retirement to consider.

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  7. We did move when my DH retired, but not out of Pa. We moved to a different township, to a smaller house and property and MUCH lower real estate taxes. We wanted to stay close to family. We are very happy that we did move…..

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    1. We are not born and raised PA people so have no compunction to stay here. It's not bad where we are but very provincial. I think I'd like Western PA better(Erie or Pittsburgh)if I had to stay in PA. There are good things about the state(govt. corruption not being one)but it's just not where I want to be(though it does beat NJ where we came here from).
      Staying close to family is important in life so I am glad you are happy with how you handled your retirement. Thanks for your comment.

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  8. Wow! You have really done your homework. I noticed California isn't on your list. Har!

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    1. Yah, CA was NEVER going to be on my list! lolz

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  9. I have no idea about retirement, let alone where. I hadn't thought to realize the cost of living to do so. I guess this is all based on the intuition I will not live long enough to retire.

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  10. Gee you left out IL. Why would you do that? ;p

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