Which city to start early retirement?

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dore
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by dore »

Dansandiego wrote:
That area is going to be the next Austin, TX in 15 years. You are ahead of your time.

Dan San Diego
I'm desperately hoping that this won't happen and that Boise remains largely undiscovered. Whenever cities become "popular", the quality of life tends to erode pretty rapidly. Think of the high cost of living and traffic problems in Seattle and Austin. Portland has become so popular it has drifted into self-parody (with a rapidly rising cost of living).

The references to Meridian and Eagle baffle me. Meridian, while attempting to employ "smart growth", is a generic suburb with considerable traffic if one is trying to reach Boise. Eagle is just too far away from Boise proper. Boise itself has great neighborhoods that are centrally located to the greenbelt and the foothills; I'm thinking of the North End and, with much lower housing prices, the Boise Bench.
snowman
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by snowman »

Of the 3 places on the list, Boise wins hands down. However, as others have said, there are other options. Since you are renters and seem to be very flexible, I don't think it matters that much where you start your ER. Wherever you initially settle, it's going to be your home base for making trips near and far, so you can continue discovering different places around the country (and the world).

I think your biggest issue now is health coverage, and the problem is Obamacare is in the state of flux. In general (not always), insurers stay put in big metro areas; they tend abandon unprofitable, rural areas first. However, even that is not a deal breaker, as you can always pick up and move. But if I were you, I would concentrate on that aspect of your ER first.

Finally, I second the RV suggestion. Travel around the country, and stay in places you like as long as you want. You will notice which places both of you like and dislike. Then you can make a decision and move.

Good luck!
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

wadefish wrote:
I live in now (Seattle)
Just curious, did you consider any spots in western Washington, that you later eliminated for various reasons?

I'm curious, as I'm in a similar boat to you. I'm a renter in the Puget Sound region (southern end), looking to FIRE within a year or two. I'm currently in Tacoma, which is quite a bit cheaper than Seattle. But it's starting to build out, and rents are rising accordingly.

So, i've been considering some of the smaller towns on the peninsula, and SW Washington.
Yes we have. Our preference would be to stay in WA state if we could but we just havent found a way to make it work financially. We've looked from Bellingham to Vancouver and the issue is that a 2x2 in a decent area is still going to run 1500++. NW WA gets you more for the money for sure, but that comes at the expense of healthcare. You'd basically have to drive back to Seattle for a specialist. It's not the end of the world but it is impactful. Vancouver provides the best scenario because most of the healthcare providers are in Portland but the rent there isnt exactly cheap (also because of Portland). I've also looked into Spokane but it didnt work out as well as Boise did for the money. If I'm going to give up PCNW weather, might as well get something extra for it :)
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Erwin007 »

Hayden wrote:I've also been thinking about moving to Idaho. Pretty much the only thing holding me back is the taxes. 7.4% is high to me (compared with 0 in WA). I'm debating between Idaho and eastern WA.
But comparing just individual income taxes gives you an incomplete picture. You're better off looking at total tax burden, which includes lots of other taxes.

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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Erwin007 »

dore wrote:
Dansandiego wrote:
That area is going to be the next Austin, TX in 15 years. You are ahead of your time.

Dan San Diego
I'm desperately hoping that this won't happen and that Boise remains largely undiscovered. Whenever cities become "popular", the quality of life tends to erode pretty rapidly. Think of the high cost of living and traffic problems in Seattle and Austin. Portland has become so popular it has drifted into self-parody (with a rapidly rising cost of living).

The references to Meridian and Eagle baffle me. Meridian, while attempting to employ "smart growth", is a generic suburb with considerable traffic if one is trying to reach Boise. Eagle is just too far away from Boise proper. Boise itself has great neighborhoods that are centrally located to the greenbelt and the foothills; I'm thinking of the North End and, with much lower housing prices, the Boise Bench.
For someone used to living in Seattle and used to that traffic, I think it's funny that you think that Eagle is too far away from Boise proper. It takes me 20-25 minutes to get to downtown Boise from my garage at all but the most congested traffic times of day. People in Seattle would kill for that kind of commute.

And also, I agree with you on not wanting Boise to become the next Austin. Unfortunately, the secret is out for Californians. In my secluded circle of 10 lots, 4 of the houses are people who have moved from California in the last 2 years, and another lot is owned by a family living in California waiting to be transferred to Boise :oops:
CajunDan
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by CajunDan »

jjunk wrote:DW and I are thinking about retiring this year and we've narrowed it down to three cities based on our own internal criteria. The areas are Boise, ID (Meridian, ID specifically), Las Vegas, NV (Henderson, NV specifically) and Columbus, OH (Dublin, OH specifically). The criteria included generally low cost of living (we'll be renters), low ACA premiums with reasonable number of providers, safety and a relatively solid part time job market. We have a preference for the West Coast as we live in the PCNW now but I'm originally from NE Ohio and wouldn't mind returning to the area. We've broken down the areas into positives and negatives and I was wanting input from the group as to anything I might have missed (or other cities I should consider). Here's how we're seeing it:

Boise (positives): cheapest COL, safest based on crime statistics
Boise (negatives): isolated, smallest, least diverse, smallest number of specialists

Las Vegas (positives): lots to do, driving distance to several major cities, diverse, easiest job market
Las Vegas (negatives): weather (HOT!), highest crime among the three choices

Columbus (positives): best healthcare, lots to do, solid job market, close to other major cities
Columbus (negatives): highest ACA premiums, highest COL among the three

Would love to hear opinions as to where you'd pick if you had to start out.
I vote for Vegas. Driving distance to theme parks in SoCal is reasonable at four hours, and the COL is very low when you consider the strong job market to offset living costs, which also gives you great flexibility with respect to budgeting. Vegas hotels are incredibly cheap Sun-Thu for mini vacations, you can stay in a 1200 sq ft suite for less than $100/night. And if ya'll like to ski, that's not far either.

It's only hot from May to Sep, and only from about noon until dark during those months. So better weather than Boise or Columbus from Oct-April, and very nice weather in the mornings from May to Sep.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by angelescrest »

I love the mountains, but I would not choose Boise because of the lack of what you're looking for--diversity. Not there.

Hendersonville I've gone to a number of times, but I'd never move there.

I'd take Dublin by a large margin. It's a great town, and Columbus is one of the more popular growing cities in the Midwest, with low cost of living. Very diverse. Lots to do, and many other cities within driving distance.

Needless to say, it's rather confusing how different the three areas you've chosen are, but having lived all over the country, I can appreciate that! Oh, and since you probably have family out in NE Ohio, I'd choose Dublin for that reason, too, especially as one gets older.
island
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by island »

How "early" is your early retirement?
Haven't read entire thread, but my first thought is if cutting it so close that you must move to low COL area as soon as you retire, have limited choices, and require exact ACA costs before doing so, etc, is it possible to work a little longer?
Maybe I'm reading more your post than is there, but none of the above sounds like true FI. I'd want more of a cushion so I didn't have to worry about the cost of everything in my old age, if possible, but that's just me!
Good luck with your decision.
otinkyad
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by otinkyad »

All three of those places are on my reject list. In fairness, Columbus is there because I grew up there and see no reason to go back. The daily experience is likely not so bad, but the culture in Idaho is in the news too much. The only nice things I've seen in Vegas are the shows. Columbus (esp. Dublin) is boring suburbia with cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers (Autumn is really nice, though).

I would work a little longer and look for someplace nicer.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

island wrote:How "early" is your early retirement?
Haven't read entire thread, but my first thought is if cutting it so close that you must move to low COL area as soon as you retire, have limited choices, and require exact ACA costs before doing so, etc, is it possible to work a little longer?
Maybe I'm reading more your post than is there, but none of the above sounds like true FI. I'd want more of a cushion so I didn't have to worry about the cost of everything in my old age, if possible, but that's just me!
Good luck with your decision.
I'll be 43 this year, so early is fairly early. As for money, it's more a matter of fitting into a system than a function of having enough to live anywhere we'd like. We're looking to live at 150% FPL for the ACA as thats the sweet spot for subsidies and cost sharing. To do so, we need to have a MAGI of less than 23,595 this year, slightly higher next year. While we could look to live in a higher COL area, the higher the rent moves up, the more your month to month increases and thus MAGI.

I could continue to work if I wanted to, I'm in no danger of losing my job and I make a very good salary for my field. It's just not worth the stress/hassle of continuing to do so when all that would really add to my bottom line is a little extra cushion. Right now we'd be living off 3-3.5% of our assets given the budget we have for our three choices. So, longer term depletion shouldnt be a huge concern. If we got low on money, I could always get a job if I wanted to. Our choices are purely limited because of what we're imposing on ourselves.
Mike Scott
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Mike Scott »

I don't care where you retire but I do think that making long term plans tied this closely to the current ACA rules and prices seems extremely short sighted. Future health care costs and possible changes in the ACA are huge unknowns.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Mike Scott wrote:I don't care where you retire but I do think that making long term plans tied this closely to the current ACA rules and prices seems extremely short sighted. Future health care costs and possible changes in the ACA are huge unknowns.
I dont disagree but I can only plan with the information I have on hand today. I'm worried about several things (markets at all time highs, upcoming elections, ACA, etc) but I have to take what's in front of me today and do what I can with it. The plan we've built today is good enough for now. Not sure how I'd plan for the future of the ACA though. Do you have thoughts?
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Mike Scott »

"Not sure how I'd plan for the future of the ACA though. Do you have thoughts?"

Nothing helpful. ACA plans and prices are not settled for next year much less 10 or 20 years out.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by abuss368 »

How about somewhere south...where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and you don't know the names of the players?
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Slacker »

I see that you live in Seattle currently. I lived in King County for about 10 years and I personally loved the weather.

If you love Seattle weather (cool summers, mild winters, drizzle doesn't bother you and cloudy days are just fine) you may not enjoy Las Vegas. I currently live in the Phoenix area and the constantly brutal heat in the summers and unrelenting sun cause me to just want to stay indoors from May to October. In July, it feels like my lungs are on fire when I stand outside during the day.

I can't second the recommendation of Tuscon for a Seattlite who enjoys the weather (of Seattle) either. On the other hand, if you hate the gray skies that persist the entirety of winter and the moderate summer temperatures aren't important to you, you might be just fine in Vegas.


If I were in your shoes, and it were not too much of a burden I'd consider renting in Vegas and Boise (being close to eachother) for a year to "try them out". It might have some costs incurred (moving), but would be the way that you know for sure where you want to live. My family is also in the process of figuring out where we want to live. Our list had already deleted Vegas due to heat, Phoenix area due to heat, ID and OR due to income taxes, CA due to cost of living and WA because my spouse would not survive with so many cloudy days (interesting the flack you get when you say as much about WA, where people will point you to cities that are still cloudy and claim that they are sunny - they just don't understand how a Phoenix native like my spouse needs the sun in the same way that a Phoenix native can't comprehend that I cannot stand the heat and need to get out of the kitchen).

========================
For those discussing income taxes in Idaho: I find the income tax in Idaho to be quite high (but that probably won't matter to someone working part-time and living off LTCG). For an idea: I set some rough numbers using my household income (approx $200K) and came up with the following list of income taxes from best to worst on the West Coast:
1. WA / NV / WY
2. AZ
3. NM
4. CO
5. UT
6. MT
7. CA
8. ID
9. OR

Granted, you would need to look at property taxes and sales taxes as well based on your spending habits and the amount you intend to spend on housing (but as a renter, I suppose you'd just directly compare rents on comparable homes as an impact on your budget rather than trying to figure out the tax portion of your mortgage).
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by radiowave »

OP, have you looked at Bozeman, MT? Not sure if it meets all of your requirements but it's nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and is the home to MT State U and has regional medical center. COL should be on par with Boise.
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killjoy2012
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by killjoy2012 »

Since you're planning to rent, not buy, and have no family or other ties -- why not live in one place for the summer and another for the winter?

As other have alluded to, I understand how you down selected to these three places largely using financial math, but I think my decision would be based on what I plan on doing in retirement.
ReadyOrNot
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by ReadyOrNot »

If you really have no ties to the Seattle area, there is no reason to stay. But if you are just going to rent, you could rent for a while in the area outside King County (where attempts to control growth by zoning resulted instead in high housing costs). When I was looking around, prices outside the desirable King County areas were pretty reasonable.
(I have lower expectations, but wanted to stay in the area for family ties. I got a reasonable cost old small condo in the otherwise expensive Eastside King County because of my low requirements. I seem to be surrounded by senior residents who must have stayed in places they bought when prices were reasonable, and young Microsoft people who are close to work--maybe they rent. Actually there are many senior housing places tucked in around here; but 2 bath places are probably out of your price range, if they have such things.)
Prices were a lot lower in Everett and farther north, and in Renton and farther south, if you thought those areas were acceptable. And prices drop more the farther you get away from Seattle. But if you have no particular ties to the area, by the time you get that far out, the other places you are considering have just as much to offer, except for no income tax in WA.
Last edited by ReadyOrNot on Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

radiowave wrote:OP, have you looked at Bozeman, MT? Not sure if it meets all of your requirements but it's nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and is the home to MT State U and has regional medical center. COL should be on par with Boise.
I havent looked into Bozeman. Thanks for bringing it up, I'll have to run the numbers.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by FireProof »

I don't think renting makes sense in the sun-belt, except for initial scouting, of course the buy-rent ratios are just SO low, especially in overbuilt cities like Las Vegas. When I compare Las Vegas to my current city, it amazes me - rents are 20% higher in Las Vegas, but purchase price per square foot is about ONE THIRD.
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Taz
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Taz »

Have you given any thought to NE FL?
- Jax Zoo is pretty nice.
- Cultural opportunities are growing.
- Five hour drive to Atlanta for the aquarium.
- Good healthcare options.
- No state income tax & if you rent then no direct property taxes.
- Growing craft beer scene :sharebeer
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Random Poster
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Random Poster »

jjunk wrote:
radiowave wrote:OP, have you looked at Bozeman, MT? Not sure if it meets all of your requirements but it's nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and is the home to MT State U and has regional medical center. COL should be on par with Boise.
I havent looked into Bozeman. Thanks for bringing it up, I'll have to run the numbers.
Bozeman does not have a low cost of living.

It offers lovely scenery for sure, and has a charming downtown, but it's housing prices are (for what you get for the money) among the highest of anywhere on I-90 and it is fast becoming a mecca of wealthy part-time residents (largely from California, if you believe the locals).

Bozeman has a population of around 45,000. That it has an Audi dealership even with that population should tell you something.
dore
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by dore »

Random Poster wrote:
jjunk wrote:
radiowave wrote:OP, have you looked at Bozeman, MT? Not sure if it meets all of your requirements but it's nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and is the home to MT State U and has regional medical center. COL should be on par with Boise.
I havent looked into Bozeman. Thanks for bringing it up, I'll have to run the numbers.
Bozeman does not have a low cost of living.

It offers lovely scenery for sure, and has a charming downtown, but it's housing prices are (for what you get for the money) among the highest of anywhere on I-90 and it is fast becoming a mecca of wealthy part-time residents (largely from California, if you believe the locals).

Bozeman has a population of around 45,000. That it has an Audi dealership even with that population should tell you something.
Bozeman also has some seriously snowy winters. Unless you're into winter sports, that would be a big negative.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Taz wrote:Have you given any thought to NE FL?
- Jax Zoo is pretty nice.
- Cultural opportunities are growing.
- Five hour drive to Atlanta for the aquarium.
- Good healthcare options.
- No state income tax & if you rent then no direct property taxes.
- Growing craft beer scene :sharebeer
Jacksonville is an interesting option. I lived there for a year when I was a kid and loved it because of all of the Navy folks in town. When we looked into it, crime was the only real issue. Everything else looked to check off boxes and it doesnt hurt that the theme parks are only a couple hours away. :beer
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

FireProof wrote:I don't think renting makes sense in the sun-belt, except for initial scouting, of course the buy-rent ratios are just SO low, especially in overbuilt cities like Las Vegas. When I compare Las Vegas to my current city, it amazes me - rents are 20% higher in Las Vegas, but purchase price per square foot is about ONE THIRD.
I dont actually disagree with you on renting but part of our mitigation for things like ACA uncertainty is the fact we'd be renters. If our area lost providers or had crazy increases, we would move to an area with better options. Of course if we lost all of our options, we'd need to get jobs but that's our final fallback plan (along with leaving the US an living abroad). If we did find a place we were in love with in Vegas or Boise, we arent opposed to buying though. Thanks for the perspective.
Nova1967
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Nova1967 »

Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by LadyGeek »

I removed an off-topic comment regarding immigration and several replies which were derailing the thread.

Please stay on-topic.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
We did look at Camas and Vancouver but the rents in the area are already higher and still climbing as more folks move into the area. It's unfortunate because it does have a lot of what we're looking for.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Hayden »

jjunk wrote:
Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
We did look at Camas and Vancouver but the rents in the area are already higher and still climbing as more folks move into the area. It's unfortunate because it does have a lot of what we're looking for.
Tri Cities is completely different from Camas and Vancouver. I believe Tri Cities is still inexpensive. I know other people who have retired there for that reason.

The Tri Cities are Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Erwin007 »

Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
No zoo or aquarium. Also less diverse than Boise, which is saying something. The Columbia River is nice. Hopefully you like wind, and dust. Housing costs are also not as low as one might be inclined to think.

Also, according to this:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... ical_Areas
The tri-cities metro area isn't even half as large as the Boise metro area.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Hayden wrote:
jjunk wrote:
Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
We did look at Camas and Vancouver but the rents in the area are already higher and still climbing as more folks move into the area. It's unfortunate because it does have a lot of what we're looking for.
Tri Cities is completely different from Camas and Vancouver. I believe Tri Cities is still inexpensive. I know other people who have retired there for that reason.

The Tri Cities are Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco.
Thanks, I didnt realize I had the wrong area. I dont get out of Seattle much :P
malabargold
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by malabargold »

Give Boone, NC a look.
College town with a lot of activities too
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by CMartel2 »

Dansandiego wrote:Boise, ID. It is not even close. Future job opportunities for your children in Tech, low taxes, great weather, and future growth potential of the area. You are a forward thinker...

That area is going to be the next Austin, TX in 15 years. You are ahead of your time.

Dan San Diego
How do you figure Idaho has low taxes? It has both a high income (7.4%) and sales taxes (6.0%). They get you coming and going. Property taxes are okay, but OP is talking about renting.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by CMartel2 »

Erwin007 wrote:
Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
No zoo or aquarium. Also less diverse than Boise, which is saying something. The Columbia River is nice. Hopefully you like wind, and dust. Housing costs are also not as low as one might be inclined to think.

Also, according to this:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... ical_Areas
The tri-cities metro area isn't even half as large as the Boise metro area.
Not quite right. Tri-Cities are much more diverse than Boise.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Nova1967 »

Erwin007 wrote:
Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
No zoo or aquarium. Also less diverse than Boise, which is saying something. The Columbia River is nice. Hopefully you like wind, and dust. Housing costs are also not as low as one might be inclined to think.

Also, according to this:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... ical_Areas
The tri-cities metro area isn't even half as large as the Boise metro area.
Your right Boise is much larger than last time I checked. I can't see why an Aquarium would be criteria in deciding where to relocate, I guess different strokes for different folks
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by randomguy »

CMartel2 wrote:
Dansandiego wrote:Boise, ID. It is not even close. Future job opportunities for your children in Tech, low taxes, great weather, and future growth potential of the area. You are a forward thinker...

That area is going to be the next Austin, TX in 15 years. You are ahead of your time.

Dan San Diego
How do you figure Idaho has low taxes? It has both a high income (7.4%) and sales taxes (6.0%). They get you coming and going. Property taxes are okay, but OP is talking about renting.
Renters pay property taxes indirectly.

The taxes aren't high. They are medium at best. Obviously it all comes down to what assumptions you make. A quick google

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-st ... ayer/2416/

has Idaho at #7 for a couple making 54k with a bunch of other assumptions. As your situation deviates from theirs things change rapidly. Make 10 million and income tax dominates. Make 20k and sales tax dominates. And as always property tax tends to be as big as the other taxes for most people.

But your numbers in for the various states and see if you are ok with the tax burden. I can't imagine for a couple making say 40k that the income tax burden is going to be over 1k.

Other than living there for a couple of months, it is very hard to get a feel for if a place is for you. And in the end a lot is chance. You can't control who you will meet and what will happen. Your renting. Move to one for 18 months and if you don't like it, move again.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Nova1967 wrote:
Erwin007 wrote:
Nova1967 wrote:Check out the Tri Cities in Washington st, it has the Columbia and snake river, wineries,plenty of recreation opportunities and its 3 hours from Seattle and Portland, The Population is the same size as Boise.
No zoo or aquarium. Also less diverse than Boise, which is saying something. The Columbia River is nice. Hopefully you like wind, and dust. Housing costs are also not as low as one might be inclined to think.

Also, according to this:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... ical_Areas
The tri-cities metro area isn't even half as large as the Boise metro area.
Your right Boise is much larger than last time I checked. I can't see why an Aquarium would be criteria in deciding where to relocate, I guess different strokes for different folks
Zoo or aquarium (preferably both) is a requirement for my wife. She's an avid animal lover and really enjoys working with AZA-accredited organizations. We actually prefer zoos because I like working with the big cats and she likes working with primates. Sometimes there are sanctuary's in the area (like here in WA, we have a chimpanzee sanctuary) but they are hard to find the in the places we're targeting right now.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by WhyNotUs »

Regarding western Colorado, among the highest ACA rates in the country and a 25% increase in rates for 2017, where I live there is only going to one remaining insurer in the pool. A little better in GJ than the mountain resorts but still not good. Fort Collins would be a better comparison but house rentals are pretty high there.

Boise would be my pick from your list. I like the outdoors and there are 4 seasons of activity to be had their as well as the cultural attractions of a college town. Good biking, fishing, camping, rafting, and hiking at day trip distances.

Columbus is a good place if you are looking for work and a great college town but would not jump up my list for early retirement. Maybe if I was in my 20's.

Vegas would not be an option for me- due to environmental, cultural and heat factors. Since you liked Orlando it could very well be for you. There are lots of reasonably priced entertainment options, theme park type activities that you like, travel is cheap to and from LV, housing is still pretty cheap, as you note service jobs are easy to get. Way to over the top for me.


jjunk wrote:
Boise (positives): cheapest COL, safest based on crime statistics
Boise (negatives): isolated, smallest, least diverse, smallest number of specialists

Las Vegas (positives): lots to do, driving distance to several major cities, diverse, easiest job market
Las Vegas (negatives): weather (HOT!), highest crime among the three choices

Columbus (positives): best healthcare, lots to do, solid job market, close to other major cities
Columbus (negatives): highest ACA premiums, highest COL among the three.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by randomguy »

WhyNotUs wrote:Regarding western Colorado, among the highest ACA rates in the country and a 25% increase in rates for 2017, where I live there is only going to one remaining insurer in the pool. A little better in GJ than the mountain resorts but still not good. Fort Collins would be a better comparison but house rentals are pretty high there.
Do ACA rates matter if you keep yourself in the subsidy zone? If you make say 50k, you are paying ~5k no matter if the insurance costs 10k or 20k. Lack of insurers obviously is a different issue. The question there will strictly be is if you can find one that meets your needs. Long term there can be issues if the whole system collapses (i.e. the government can no longer pay those increases) but those are likely to be more of national issue. And for real fun, if you are an insurance company and rate increases are not passed on to say 75% of your customers (passed onto the government not the consumer), how big of rate increases do you ask for? Getting 25% more money while serving 25% less people would be a huge win
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Runner01 »

York County PA

There is no order to this, just typing things as they come to me.

Cheap cost of living for being in the mid Atlantic. No state income tax on tax deferred account disbursements and no income tax on SS or pensions. No sales tax on groceries and clothing. Short drive to Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC and an easy drive to OCMD and Delaware beaches. We have ski slopes and several thousand acres of county and state parks in the county. If you like backpacking, the AT is nearby and the Mason-Dixon Trail runs through the county (M-DTS is part of a 400 mile trail loop through south central PA). There is a big community of runners and cyclists. You can buy a single floor condo for little more than $100k in many communities in York.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

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Runner01 wrote:...Short drive to Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC and an easy drive to OCMD and Delaware beaches.
Local acronym decoder:

OCMD - Ocean City, MD

Ocean City, NJ is just south of Atlantic City, NJ ("AC").
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

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Runner01 wrote:York County PA

There is no order to this, just typing things as they come to me.

Cheap cost of living for being in the mid Atlantic. No state income tax on tax deferred account disbursements and no income tax on SS or pensions. No sales tax on groceries and clothing. Short drive to Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC and an easy drive to OCMD and Delaware beaches. We have ski slopes and several thousand acres of county and state parks in the county. If you like backpacking, the AT is nearby and the Mason-Dixon Trail runs through the county (M-DTS is part of a 400 mile trail loop through south central PA). There is a big community of runners and cyclists. You can buy a single floor condo for little more than $100k in many communities in York.
Had never thought about PA overall but we just did the numbers here and everything looks good except the crime. Areavibes gives it an F overall, it looks like there is a lot of simply random crime. Beautiful old 1800s homes there though, very interesting looking place.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by LadyGeek »

jjunk wrote:Had never thought about PA overall but we just did the numbers here and everything looks good except the crime. Areavibes gives it an F overall, it looks like there is a lot of simply random crime. Beautiful old 1800s homes there though, very interesting looking place.
This is a case where generalization of statistics can be misleading. I see an "F" given for cost of living when I selected "City Center East, Philadelphia" (zip code 19101), but that has absolutely no relevance unless you intend to live in Center City (Philadelphia's heart of the city).

There's quite a bit of history here. The western suburbs do indeed have the older 1800's homes.

We also have the Philadelphia Zoo, the oldest zoo in the country, but it's located in an urban area (auto theft may be a concern). The Franklin Institute, Art Museum (think "Rocky"), and the historical area (Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Mint) are great for visiting.

If you need medical services, Philadelphia has many of the top hospitals which can provide expert care (Temple, Univ. of Penn, Jefferson, etc.) .

I recommend looking at zillow for home pricing. Perhaps scan the surrounding counties (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware). York County is a bit further away, but it may be more amenable to your and your wife's desired lifestyle.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

LadyGeek wrote:
jjunk wrote:Had never thought about PA overall but we just did the numbers here and everything looks good except the crime. Areavibes gives it an F overall, it looks like there is a lot of simply random crime. Beautiful old 1800s homes there though, very interesting looking place.
This is a case where generalization of statistics can be misleading. I see an "F" given for cost of living when I selected "City Center East, Philadelphia" (zip code 19101), but that has absolutely no relevance unless you intend to live in Center City (Philadelphia's heart of the city).

There's quite a bit of history here. The western suburbs do indeed have the older 1800's homes.

We also have the Philadelphia Zoo, the oldest zoo in the country, but it's located in an urban area (auto theft may be a concern). The Franklin Institute, Art Museum (think "Rocky"), and the historical area (Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Mint) are great for visiting.

If you need medical services, Philadelphia has many of the top hospitals which can provide expert care (Temple, Univ. of Penn, Jefferson, etc.) .

I recommend looking at zillow for home pricing. Perhaps scan the surrounding counties (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware). York County is a bit further away, but it may be more amenable to your and your wife's desired lifestyle.
Thanks LadyGeek, I've only been to Philly once when I was younger for a Browns vs. Eagles game. Needless to say that wasnt the best way to experience the city :D
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by CFM300 »

Here's a really interesting NY Times article on Boise that just came out:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016 ... boise.html
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by MichaelRpdx »

jjunk wrote:
jimb_fromATL wrote:As a matter of curiosity, how did those three turn out to be your choices?

jimb
Boise immediately popped up as checking a lot of the boxes we liked, I just worry its too remote (but that might be a good thing). Vegas recently made our list because of LCOL and healthcare premiums.
Remote from what? Where are you wanting to go that's far away?
The mountains are pretty darn close. The airport http://www.iflyboise.com/travel-planner ... stinations has direct flights to all major west coast cities and hubs like Denver, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Minneapolis.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by ThankYouJack »

Out of Boise, Columbus and Vegas, I would pick Boise hands down. But I've never been to Boise, I've been to the others.

If you toss Boone into the mix, I would choose Boone hands down.

But OP, you're only ~42. Instead of settling on a place that will be ok (and being quite concerned about healthcare) could you work part-time and live in one of your top places?
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

MichaelRpdx wrote:
jjunk wrote:
jimb_fromATL wrote:As a matter of curiosity, how did those three turn out to be your choices?

jimb
Boise immediately popped up as checking a lot of the boxes we liked, I just worry its too remote (but that might be a good thing). Vegas recently made our list because of LCOL and healthcare premiums.
Remote from what? Where are you wanting to go that's far away?
The mountains are pretty darn close. The airport http://www.iflyboise.com/travel-planner ... stinations has direct flights to all major west coast cities and hubs like Denver, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Minneapolis.
In this case I meant remote from a driving perspective. It's a fairly solid drive to another major city in Boise vs. Vegas or Columbus. It's just where it's positioned. It's great if you're flying though, you're right.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

ThankYouJack wrote:Out of Boise, Columbus and Vegas, I would pick Boise hands down. But I've never been to Boise, I've been to the others.

If you toss Boone into the mix, I would choose Boone hands down.

But OP, you're only ~42. Instead of settling on a place that will be ok (and being quite concerned about healthcare) could you work part-time and live in one of your top places?
Yes, this is something we've talked about as well. I dont mean to make it sound like any of the city's I've listed arent interesting to me, they all are in their own ways. I do have some preferences that arent on the list for cost (like places in CO) but the way the ACA math works out, if you want to stay under 150% FPL, you have to keep your income pretty low (under 24k for two people) which doesnt leave a lot of room to make money part time. I could work PT like you're suggesting and move up to 200-250% FPL but then I'd work for a week to two just to pay the increased premium. It's something we have considered though.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by island »

jjunk wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:Out of Boise, Columbus and Vegas, I would pick Boise hands down. But I've never been to Boise, I've been to the others.

If you toss Boone into the mix, I would choose Boone hands down.

But OP, you're only ~42. Instead of settling on a place that will be ok (and being quite concerned about healthcare) could you work part-time and live in one of your top places?
Yes, this is something we've talked about as well. I dont mean to make it sound like any of the city's I've listed arent interesting to me, they all are in their own ways. I do have some preferences that arent on the list for cost (like places in CO) but the way the ACA math works out, if you want to stay under 150% FPL, you have to keep your income pretty low (under 24k for two people) which doesnt leave a lot of room to make money part time. I could work PT like you're suggesting and move up to 200-250% FPL but then I'd work for a week to two just to pay the increased premium. It's something we have considered though.
You seem to be basing your decision primarialy on current ACA regs. I think that's a big mistake especially because you're only 42 and a lot of ACA and Medicare changes can occur between now and Medicare age.
I don't know what you do for a living, but assuming you can always go back to work if need to is something many here have posted is not so easy when heading toward 50 and beyond, especially with gaps in the resume.

Personally I find the need to scrimp and pinch pennies much more stressful than working, but to each his/her own.
Good luck with your decision.
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