Which city to start early retirement?

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by MichaelRpdx »

Erwin007 wrote: 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:
The secret was out in the 1970s. A popular t-shirt when I lived there from 1975-1980 was "Don't Californicate Idaho".
Californians have been moving to Idaho for decades.

The OP's comments about Boise's relative isolation identifies what is keeping it from being an Austin.
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EnjoyIt
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Young an FIRE, congrats.

My thinking is little different here than most people. I vote Vegas for the following reasons.
1) The most important reason why is it's airport. You can fly direct to many cities in the US as well as a few direct international flights. That is extremely important in my opinion to a young retiree. Plus many different airlines fly out of Vegas giving you credit card churning capabilities. Although may of those flights may require connections since Delta, United, American don't have too many direct options out of Vegas. Southwest has tons of choices.
2) Lots of opportunities for work if you get bored or need extra cash that year. The place is so busy you can be an Uber driver part time and make decent cash.
3) Great food and entertainment I mean outside of the strip.
4) An excuse for friends to visit. No one will visit you in Ohio.
5) Legalized entertainment outside of Vegas borders. Not that you would want that.

I love your idea of not purchasing a house giving you the option and freedom to move whenever you want. As for the 3-3.5% withdrawal rate dictates that more than likely you will be fine and will have extra cash as you get older.
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randomguy
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by randomguy »

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.
And what is wrong with working a week to pay the increased premium? Making 10k, paying 1k in subsidy support, 1.3k in income tax, and say 700 in payroll taxes still leaves you with 7k more to spend. Now crossing the cliff causes problems (i.e. you can end up losing money) but it sounds like you are a long way from that. And if you could say shove the money in a 401(k), it wouldn't even count as income. Obvoiusly the benefit of that will depend on your exact situation. To me letting a couple k tax bill run my life seems very limiting. YMMV.
Gronnie
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Gronnie »

I think he was saying a week or two every month, but maybe I am wrong.
randomguy
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by randomguy »

Gronnie wrote:I think he was saying a week or two every month, but maybe I am wrong.

ACA subsidies max out at 9.69% of income so it shouldn't be 2 weeks/month. You can get slightly higher with some of the copay support but I would be shocked to see it work out to a 25-50%+ tax. Now cross over the point where you lose the subsidy (400%), then yeah you can pay some crazy marginal rates on that next dollar.

I totally get the impulse to minimize taxes/maximize government support. But you shouldn't lose sight that the goal is to maximize spendable money not minimize taxes. Now if you decide working the hours to make 7k after tax aren't worth that is one thing. But how much you pay in taxes shouldn't really matter to you.
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Marmot
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Marmot »

Bend, Oregon. 86K people, has a Costco and Trader Joes and about 20 microbreweries. Cascades are 20 miles west, it is high desert. Getting expensive though...not much by Seattle standards I assume. We live here 5 months a year, the other 7 in Phoenix.
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Nestegg_User
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Nestegg_User »

Sorry Marmot
Bend HAS NO Rentals-- 1 % or less availability with 20-30 people looking for anything reasonable from Lapine / Prineville/ Redmond. So it wouldn't meet OP's rental requirement. (Workers putting in the new Facebook and Google data center projects resorting to using state parks and any motel they can find-- some cases multiple to a room). Recent Bend Bulletin showed council member candidates discussing housing problem, especially for lower income service workers ).
Purchase costs have skyrocketed for buyers in last two years-- over 30% /40% in areas.

That's why I didn't suggest it before
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Nearing_Destination wrote:Sorry Marmot
Bend HAS NO Rentals-- 1 % or less availability with 20-30 people looking for anything reasonable from Lapine / Prineville/ Redmond. So it wouldn't meet OP's rental requirement. (Workers putting in the new Facebook and Google data center projects resorting to using state parks and any motel they can find-- some cases multiple to a room). Recent Bend Bulletin showed council member candidates discussing housing problem, especially for lower income service workers ).
Purchase costs have skyrocketed for buyers in last two years-- over 30% /40% in areas.

That's why I didn't suggest it before
Sadly this is also why we didnt look at Bend harder. It was on our list and is a beautiful city but there really arent many rentals unfortunately.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

randomguy wrote:
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.
And what is wrong with working a week to pay the increased premium? Making 10k, paying 1k in subsidy support, 1.3k in income tax, and say 700 in payroll taxes still leaves you with 7k more to spend. Now crossing the cliff causes problems (i.e. you can end up losing money) but it sounds like you are a long way from that. And if you could say shove the money in a 401(k), it wouldn't even count as income. Obvoiusly the benefit of that will depend on your exact situation. To me letting a couple k tax bill run my life seems very limiting. YMMV.
Oh I'm not saying it's not worth it, that may very well be what we do, especially if we get bored (or have poor market conditions). I just meant to say it's not in our current plan. What I was referring to by working a week to pay for the additional premiums was on a per month basis. Likely I would work somewhere low paying/low stress (like a movie theater or Best Buy, etc) so if I'm making 10/hr and my premiums jump 100-200/mo, then I'd be losing a weeks pay for the new premium. But you're correct, I'd also have an extra 500-1k of spending money if I wanted it.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

OP here;

One thing I wanted to point out is that many comments point to me "scrimping" or "penny pinching" as part of my plan. Thats actually not the case even though I realize the numbers are all very low, especially to the BH crowd. The fact is that I spend a relatively low amount today (~1200/mo after rent) for all of my other "things" used in life. That includes entertainment, internet, etc. My DW and I simply dont need much and we're both pretty boring people. We dont travel, we dont eat out a lot and when we do actually do those things we're hitting up Pizza Hut and not some 5-star place. And finally, when it comes to the ACA, yes I put a lot of emphasis on it because we obviously need healthcare but the best I can do is work within the system we have today. I cant spend my time worrying about what might happen 20yrs from now. It doesnt mean I cant plan for it, and part of planning for that is to keep my spending lower now in case I need more later. Otherwise, it happens that the low FPL numbers match nicely with what we currently spend and also give us good subsidies/sharing. If and when it goes away, I'll deal with it.

The reason you're seeing me trying to fit things into a particular area has a few factors. First, I dont like paying what I pay to live in Seattle. I love the city but the rents are ridiculous these days and it's simply not worth it. Second, I have a very high stress job that is no longer worth the toll it's taking, even for the high pay. Third, and probably most important, my wife and I are alone. We dont have kids and have very little living family remaining, only two of which we're even close enough to spend time with.

So, for those reasons, I'd rather stop working and spend my time with the only person that matters, my wife. Since we dont need much to make us happy, sitting on a rocking chair and BS'ing with her while watching the sunset for the remainder of my days is just fine by me. I do truly appreciate all of the perspectives, it's given us a lot of stuff to talk about.
ThankYouJack
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by ThankYouJack »

Ok, I have the best idea yet :)

Why don't you live as a nomad for a year and experience what it's like to live in all of the areas first hand. You could stay with friends, use couchsurfing, camp, sleep in Walmart parking lots, or use AirBnB if the budget allows. You could even work an extra few weeks and put that money towards for the exploration if needed.

I think it's cool that you're living the minimalist lifestyle. One thing to consider is that sitting in a rocking chair with your wife may sound especially great now since you're stressed at work and don't have a lot of free time. But it may start to feel boring after a while. For me, that would be about 1 hour :)
Dulocracy
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Dulocracy »

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

jimb
Good question. My DW and I have pretty different requirements (as I think others have noticed with the choices of cities). She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium. Boise and Columbus meet her requirements. For me, if I could pick, I'd love to have mountains in my backyard but anywhere that I can get outside will do. Boise fits that well. Vegas has proximity to other great options.

The way we ended up on this list is we started with where we thought we wanted to live. Orlando topped that list because we both love the theme parks and they have lots of zoos in the area. But, the best places to live in the area (like Celebration) were higher than our budget is going to allow so it was scrapped. Atlanta was also high on our list but crime is a bit of an issue there. Afterwards was Cleveland (my hometown) and again, crime is the issue. We then cast a wider net and used sites like citydata and areavibes to look over other areas of the country. 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. And Columbus is on our list because it's safer than Cleveland but still allows me to go home from time to time.

Few other small points that seem to have come up above. First, we dont have any living family, so being close isnt a concern. We're used to being alone at this point. Second, it's unlikely we would buy in any area. Renting gives us flexibility to move if we want to/have to. If we did buy, Ohio would be off the list because property taxes there are crazy. Lastly, yes our budget includes taxes but they "should" be minimal. We're likely going to be living on 30-40k/yr, mostly from LTCG and we've planned for state taxes in the areas which charge them.

We'd considered Boone (having lived in Charlotte for a bit of time) and I may need to reconsider it. We've also looked at Spokane, as suggested earlier, we just couldnt find anything there which fit what we were looking for.

Would love to hear more thoughts.
OP, first, if left to those three, I would choose Boise. However, have you considered the metro Atlanta area? Newnan, Georgia is a small town with nice 3 bedroom 2 baths around $150,000, and the COL is very low. It is a 45 minute drive to Atlanta for the Zoo (a decent zoo) and the Aquarium (a FANTASTIC aquarium). As far as things to do, Atlanta has a ballet, orchestra, opera, huge night club scene, plays, several unique venues (like the Shakespeare Tavern), and fantastic restaurants. Also, close to Newnan, in the much more expensive to live Peachtree City, there is wonderful dining. The best Japanese restaurant in Georgia (in my opinion) Sushi Tomi is run by a lady from Nagano, there is a Vietnamese restaurant in nearby Fayetteville that is great, an italian restaurant with a world class chef, all 15 minutes from Newnan.. and much more. Crime is very low in Newnan, despite being close to Atlanta. (Most crime in Atlanta is located in particular areas, and many of the 'burbs are very safe. It is cheaper to buy than to rent here. Of course, if you would rather rent, there are plenty of places to do so.

Check out Newnan. You may also want to look into Douglasville (also cheap, not sure about crime), McDonough (growing in price), Kennesaw, and Canton. Of those, Newnan is best with traffic into Atlanta, but if you are not working, that really does not apply to you as much.

Edited to add: I know OP considered Atlanta; my point was to consider the Atlanta area, and not just the city itself. Most people who work and live in the area do not actually live in the city (which is one of many in Fulton County alone), but in the metropolitan area made up of many, many cities.)
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

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

jimb
Good question. My DW and I have pretty different requirements (as I think others have noticed with the choices of cities). She is mostly looking for a cheap, safe place to live that has a zoo/aquarium. Boise and Columbus meet her requirements. For me, if I could pick, I'd love to have mountains in my backyard but anywhere that I can get outside will do. Boise fits that well. Vegas has proximity to other great options.

The way we ended up on this list is we started with where we thought we wanted to live. Orlando topped that list because we both love the theme parks and they have lots of zoos in the area. But, the best places to live in the area (like Celebration) were higher than our budget is going to allow so it was scrapped. Atlanta was also high on our list but crime is a bit of an issue there. Afterwards was Cleveland (my hometown) and again, crime is the issue. We then cast a wider net and used sites like citydata and areavibes to look over other areas of the country. 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. And Columbus is on our list because it's safer than Cleveland but still allows me to go home from time to time.

Few other small points that seem to have come up above. First, we dont have any living family, so being close isnt a concern. We're used to being alone at this point. Second, it's unlikely we would buy in any area. Renting gives us flexibility to move if we want to/have to. If we did buy, Ohio would be off the list because property taxes there are crazy. Lastly, yes our budget includes taxes but they "should" be minimal. We're likely going to be living on 30-40k/yr, mostly from LTCG and we've planned for state taxes in the areas which charge them.

We'd considered Boone (having lived in Charlotte for a bit of time) and I may need to reconsider it. We've also looked at Spokane, as suggested earlier, we just couldnt find anything there which fit what we were looking for.

Would love to hear more thoughts.
OP, first, if left to those three, I would choose Boise. However, have you considered the metro Atlanta area? Newnan, Georgia is a small town with nice 3 bedroom 2 baths around $150,000, and the COL is very low. It is a 45 minute drive to Atlanta for the Zoo (a decent zoo) and the Aquarium (a FANTASTIC aquarium). As far as things to do, Atlanta has a ballet, orchestra, opera, huge night club scene, plays, several unique venues (like the Shakespeare Tavern), and fantastic restaurants. Also, close to Newnan, in the much more expensive to live Peachtree City, there is wonderful dining. The best Japanese restaurant in Georgia (in my opinion) Sushi Tomi is run by a lady from Nagano, there is a Vietnamese restaurant in nearby Fayetteville that is great, an italian restaurant with a world class chef, all 15 minutes from Newnan.. and much more. Crime is very low in Newnan, despite being close to Atlanta. (Most crime in Atlanta is located in particular areas, and many of the 'burbs are very safe. It is cheaper to buy than to rent here. Of course, if you would rather rent, there are plenty of places to do so.

Check out Newnan. You may also want to look into Douglasville (also cheap, not sure about crime), McDonough (growing in price), Kennesaw, and Canton. Of those, Newnan is best with traffic into Atlanta, but if you are not working, that really does not apply to you as much.

Edited to add: I know OP considered Atlanta; my point was to consider the Atlanta area, and not just the city itself. Most people who work and live in the area do not actually live in the city (which is one of many in Fulton County alone), but in the metropolitan area made up of many, many cities.)
Thank you for the recommendation, I hadn't heard of Newnan before today. In looking at one of the sites we use for our "formula" Newnan gets an F in crime (http://www.areavibes.com/newnan-ga/crime/) but it's starting to make me wonder if there's an inaccuracy in their data or if it's something else. We've used the site to review other areas we're considering as other's we've lived in and found it to be mostly accurate. For example, where I currently live in Seattle, it's rated a 'B'. Where I grew up in Ohio both get F's (and deservedly so) and where we lived in the Carolina's got an A+ (also well deserved). I'll have to review our other sites and see where the remaining crime maps come up. Thank you for the recommendation!
Dulocracy
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Dulocracy »

jjunk wrote: Thank you for the recommendation, I hadn't heard of Newnan before today. In looking at one of the sites we use for our "formula" Newnan gets an F in crime (http://www.areavibes.com/newnan-ga/crime/) but it's starting to make me wonder if there's an inaccuracy in their data or if it's something else.
The data may not be inaccurate. Newnan is one of the few cities in the area that takes up most of the county in which it is located (at least for postal codes). There are definitely good sides of the track and bad in the town. The two do not mingle that much. The point is not necessarily that Newnan is your pick, but that outlying areas of Atlanta are something to look into, as the city of Atlanta is actually very small. A list of cities in the same county as Atlanta is long (Roswell, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Union City, East Point, College Park, Atlanta, Chattahoochee Hills, Fairburn, Hapeville, Milton, Mountain Park, and Palmetto). Many of the counties around it have a lot of cities, as well.

Kennesaw (in neighboring Cobb County) is a college town with lots to do. It meets your crime criteria, but is a little higher on the price scale. (It will be difficult to find low, low price and low crime).

If you wanted to peruse the Atlanta area, you can use Wikipedia to find the cities in each county. Atlanta is in Fulton. You can click on adjacent counties to go through the neighboring counties. You may want to also consider Paulding County, as well as the cities of Covington and Conyers in your search. (I have not looked them up, but they are considered metro-Atlanta).

Many people do not realize how many cities there are in the area, and that moving to Atlanta usually means moving to a city in the metro area. (There are also sought out sections of Atlanta such as cabbage town, little five, and the east Atlanta village, but many of these sought out areas in Atlanta proper are undergoing revitalization/gentrification, and still have crime issues.)

Some of the cities that are further out (Newnan, Carrollton, Douglasville, Dallas in Paulding County) are going to cover large parts of the county, as much of the county is unincorporated and will therefore be under the umbrella of the county seat. This will mean that statistics are skewed for things like crime. As an example, if you can find a site that shows the crime in the SummerGrove area (a massive development of newer homes) of Newnan, I think you will find it to be much, much lower. I do not know where to find such data, however.

I hope that helps!
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

Dulocracy wrote:
I hope that helps!
Yes, this helps quite a bit, thank you. I've been to Atlanta many times and my brother in law lived in Kennesaw and a few other places so we've been to the 'burbs and surrounding areas a little bit. It's definitely something I'll need to spend more time on because it really does tick a lot of boxes with good location, culture, lots to do and places to work. Plus, as you already mentioned, the amazing aquarium and a zoo with pandas (which ticks my wife's personal animal box :happy). Appreciate the advice!
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by deanbrew »

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.
"F overall" for crime in York County, PA? I seriously doubt it. I couldn't get the areavibes website to work for me, but I find it unfathomable that York can be that crime-ridden. In that same general area, check out Hershey, PA. Crime and traffic are horrible in Philly, and real estate is expensive, but not so much in York or Hershey. Lots of people from DC and Baltimore retire to the York and Harrisburg area due to lower COL and taxes.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jimb_fromATL »

jjunk wrote:
Dulocracy wrote:
I hope that helps!
Yes, this helps quite a bit, thank you. I've been to Atlanta many times and my brother in law lived in Kennesaw and a few other places so we've been to the 'burbs and surrounding areas a little bit. It's definitely something I'll need to spend more time on because it really does tick a lot of boxes with good location, culture, lots to do and places to work. Plus, as you already mentioned, the amazing aquarium and a zoo with pandas (which ticks my wife's personal animal box :happy). Appreciate the advice!
Georgia is a relatively good place to retire for taxes -- and has been rated about 5th from the top best states by Kiplinger's Magazine survey. They don't tax social security income and older folks get to exclude up to $65,000 each (thus up to $130K for a married couple) of retirement income such as pensions, retirement account withdrawals, etc ... including up to $4K of earned income from working.

Some counties, including Cobb in the Metro Atlanta area where I live (and where Kennesaw is) exclude school tax from property tax after you reach age 62. That's a significant reduction. We pay abut $1500 - $1600 less per year than our younger neighbors in comparable value homes -- in the low to mid $200's.

jimb
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

deanbrew 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.
"F overall" for crime in York County, PA? I seriously doubt it. I couldn't get the areavibes website to work for me, but I find it unfathomable that York can be that crime-ridden. In that same general area, check out Hershey, PA. Crime and traffic are horrible in Philly, and real estate is expensive, but not so much in York or Hershey. Lots of people from DC and Baltimore retire to the York and Harrisburg area due to lower COL and taxes.
Dont shoot the messenger :happy

Here are the respective links: http://www.areavibes.com/york-pa/livabi ... +-76.73184 (York)
http://www.areavibes.com/hershey-pa/liv ... +-76.64373 (Hershey, gets an A+)

For what its worth, the houses in York look amazing.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jimb_fromATL »

One minor thing about Georgia is that it does get kind of hot and humid in the summer. I found this weather channel website's report of what it feels like with the humidity to be perhaps more descriptive in a censored kind of way than they intended after we've had near record number of days this summer with temperatures in the 90's.

Image

And the once every two or three years when there's ice or snow -- especially black ice-- in the Atlanata Metro area, traffic comes to a standstill ... leaving tens of thousands of people stranded on the highways in massive fender-bending crunched-together traffic jams for anything from a few hours to literally a day. That's because it's very hilly -- almost mountainous terrain in some parts of the metro area -- and the state and counties are not equipped to melt the ice or clear the snow. Plus virtually nobody who has lived here most of their life has a clue how to drive on ice or snow, and have no idea how to steer or stop if they ever do get moving. You can't even find snow tires or chains for sale most places, even if anybody wanted them.
SwampDonkey
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by SwampDonkey »

Considered east Tennessee? Specifically the Knoxville area?

I've only vacationed to the area once but my family really enjoyed it.

Home to the University of Tennessee so there's always going to be activities to enjoy. Great medical center. City zoo. An hour from the Pigeon Forge area which is a lot of fun and has an amusement park. Great weather. Low COL. Driving distance to lots of bigger cities. Moderate climate and you get to enjoy all four seasons. And you're right in the Smoky Mountains which are absolutely gorgeous.

Not sure what box it doesn't check on your list.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by deanbrew »

jjunk wrote:
deanbrew 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.
"F overall" for crime in York County, PA? I seriously doubt it. I couldn't get the areavibes website to work for me, but I find it unfathomable that York can be that crime-ridden. In that same general area, check out Hershey, PA. Crime and traffic are horrible in Philly, and real estate is expensive, but not so much in York or Hershey. Lots of people from DC and Baltimore retire to the York and Harrisburg area due to lower COL and taxes.
Dont shoot the messenger :happy

Here are the respective links: http://www.areavibes.com/york-pa/livabi ... +-76.73184 (York)
http://www.areavibes.com/hershey-pa/liv ... +-76.64373 (Hershey, gets an A+)

For what its worth, the houses in York look amazing.
The city of York is kind of run down, and also fairly small, so I suspect that the crime rate is skewed very high within the city limits. I've been in and around York, and certainly never felt unsafe. I'd likely prefer to live in or near Hershey (Hershey Park is a nice amusement park, BTW), though. Hershey is also home to the Hershey Medical Center, a teaching hospital for Penn State medical students.

It's actually hard to find county data, but I did find one website that you might look at. It shows that the crime rate in York County is pretty low. You can surf through and look at other nearby counties. Hershey is in Dauphin County, which shows a higher crime rate than York County, which is almost certainly due to the city of Harrisburg being in Dauphin County. Harrisburg is not unsafe, either, I don't believe.

http://recordspedia.com/Pennsylvania/Yo ... Statistics

I'm not necessarily promoting York County or even PA for you, but crime statistics can be misleading when you filter down to a low-population area. The website I linked to has this exact disclaimer: "Individuals are dissuaded against drawing conclusions from ranking data to determine 'how dangerous' a particular location is, as many factors, including episodic events, or discrepencies in crime reporting and methodology can skew rankings."
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson
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jjunk
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

SwampDonkey wrote:Considered east Tennessee? Specifically the Knoxville area?

I've only vacationed to the area once but my family really enjoyed it.

Home to the University of Tennessee so there's always going to be activities to enjoy. Great medical center. City zoo. An hour from the Pigeon Forge area which is a lot of fun and has an amusement park. Great weather. Low COL. Driving distance to lots of bigger cities. Moderate climate and you get to enjoy all four seasons. And you're right in the Smoky Mountains which are absolutely gorgeous.

Not sure what box it doesn't check on your list.
Actually, no I hadn't considered TN. I'll add it to the list and see if anything there pops up, appreciate the idea
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

deanbrew wrote:
jjunk wrote: The city of York is kind of run down, and also fairly small, so I suspect that the crime rate is skewed very high within the city limits. I've been in and around York, and certainly never felt unsafe. I'd likely prefer to live in or near Hershey (Hershey Park is a nice amusement park, BTW), though. Hershey is also home to the Hershey Medical Center, a teaching hospital for Penn State medical students.

It's actually hard to find county data, but I did find one website that you might look at. It shows that the crime rate in York County is pretty low. You can surf through and look at other nearby counties. Hershey is in Dauphin County, which shows a higher crime rate than York County, which is almost certainly due to the city of Harrisburg being in Dauphin County. Harrisburg is not unsafe, either, I don't believe.

http://recordspedia.com/Pennsylvania/Yo ... Statistics

I'm not necessarily promoting York County or even PA for you, but crime statistics can be misleading when you filter down to a low-population area. The website I linked to has this exact disclaimer: "Individuals are dissuaded against drawing conclusions from ranking data to determine 'how dangerous' a particular location is, as many factors, including episodic events, or discrepencies in crime reporting and methodology can skew rankings."
Thanks for the link, its very useful. You are correct in that statistics are misleading but it's about all we have to go on except word of mouth for a lot of these areas. A lot of people we've talked to in our current targets all "love" their areas and I guess that's to be expected. No one really wants to say they live in an undesirable area.

We've decided to delay our retirement until the end of next year to give us a little more time to sort out locations (and hopefully scout them out) and do a little more research. It also gives time for the election cycle to play out and for me to do even more number crunching, which I'm sure my wife cant wait to hear about. :twisted:
Dulocracy
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

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jjunk wrote:It also gives time for the election cycle to play out and for me to do even more number crunching, which I'm sure my wife cant wait to hear about. :twisted:
Of course wives want to hear our opinions and our numbers on everything. Why else would they marry us? I talk to my wife about investing several hours a week. She likes to play coy and pretend she is not interested at all, but I know she really loves it.

(She also snuck a video of me explaining low cost index mutual funds to our then 4 month old daughter. Of course, my daughter is completely on board and also likes to hear me talk about investing.)
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

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Dulocracy wrote:
jjunk wrote:It also gives time for the election cycle to play out and for me to do even more number crunching, which I'm sure my wife cant wait to hear about. :twisted:
Of course wives want to hear our opinions and our numbers on everything. Why else would they marry us? I talk to my wife about investing several hours a week. She likes to play coy and pretend she is not interested at all, but I know she really loves it.

(She also snuck a video of me explaining low cost index mutual funds to our then 4 month old daughter. Of course, my daughter is completely on board and also likes to hear me talk about investing.)
ROFL, you should get that video on YouTube...instant classic :)
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by Shackleton »

Have you tried findyourspot.com?

ETA: never mind. It is down. Used to be a good site to input a lot of variables and get recommendations of places to live.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by ThankYouJack »

Dulocracy wrote:
jjunk wrote:It also gives time for the election cycle to play out and for me to do even more number crunching, which I'm sure my wife cant wait to hear about. :twisted:
Of course wives want to hear our opinions and our numbers on everything. Why else would they marry us? I talk to my wife about investing several hours a week. She likes to play coy and pretend she is not interested at all, but I know she really loves it.

(She also snuck a video of me explaining low cost index mutual funds to our then 4 month old daughter. Of course, my daughter is completely on board and also likes to hear me talk about investing.)
Ha, if my wife has trouble sleeping she'll sometimes have me to talk about investing stuff. 5 minutes later she's sound asleep :wink:
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by jjunk »

LOL, that sounds exactly like my wifes response.
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Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Post by island »

jjunk wrote:LOL, that sounds exactly like my wifes response.
Much more fun to talk about aquariums; I'm with her on that! :D
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