Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

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gypsyman
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Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by gypsyman » Mon May 15, 2017 10:06 pm

Looking to retire in one year. Been in California for 40 years. Have history and relatives in New England. Winters will not bother me. Tax situation in New Hampshire looks excellent. Slightly elevated property taxes, but not too bad. No sales tax and no income tax but 5 percent on interest and dividends. Cheshire County in the south west corner of the state looks very attractive to me. Can anyone offer advise on which town or area of Cheshire county might be most attractive to retirees?

Radjob4me
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by Radjob4me » Tue May 16, 2017 2:25 pm

I can only provide some cursory info. Keene, NH is the epicenter of the county, a small college town, so a bit more active than the remaining towns, most of which are fairly rural. Hard to give more recommendations without additional info, depending on whether you want to be in a town, semi-rural or really rural/off-the-grid. There are some nice lakes and mountains in the area, although the lakes are on the smaller side and no real good skiing close by. If I was retiring to NH, I'd look in Central NH/Laconia and surround areas are lively and fun, especially in the summer; slightly easier access to Concord, NH and Boston. More housing options - condos, single family, etc... and although might be a bit more expensive.

Valuethinker
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue May 16, 2017 2:29 pm

gypsyman wrote:Looking to retire in one year. Been in California for 40 years. Have history and relatives in New England. Winters will not bother me. Tax situation in New Hampshire looks excellent. Slightly elevated property taxes, but not too bad. No sales tax and no income tax but 5 percent on interest and dividends. Cheshire County in the south west corner of the state looks very attractive to me. Can anyone offer advise on which town or area of Cheshire county might be most attractive to retirees?


I would suggest renting for a year or two before buying (maybe you were going to do that anyways?).

What didn't bother you 40 years ago, might do so now.

I grew up in a similar northern climate (eastern Canada) and now live in a very mild one (London, England). I would struggle to go back.

fishmonger
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by fishmonger » Tue May 16, 2017 3:03 pm

I live in Keene, NH, born and raised. Definitely the cultural center of the area as mentioned previously. If you've been living in California, you'll probably be blown away by how much housing costs here (in the best way).

However, due to NH's tax structure and Keene being the county seat, as well as the only thing approaching an urban area, property taxes are among the highest in NH. My house is assessed at $312k and my annual property taxes are $11k (not a misprint). However, a similar house right over the border in Surry or Chesterfield, the annual taxes will be $4-5k.

Feel free to PM me with any questions, happy to help! I was born in Keene, moved away for a while and came back to raise a family. It's a great spot

gypsyman
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by gypsyman » Tue May 16, 2017 8:09 pm

Hi fishmonger,
Thanks for the info. Been looking at Zillow and you are certainly correct. Keene is the property tax King. Surry and Chesterfield do look nice. Swanzy seems to be priced nicely and property taxes are moderate. I will be retiring in April of 2018. If I find the right property when I am about six months out, I would purchase it and start furnishing it. I will take you up on that pm as questions arise. Maybe evan a phone call if that's alright.

tj218
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by tj218 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:32 pm

Why are you choosing Cheshire County? What interests you there? Keene is a nice college town and fairly walkable. It's a nice part of the state, but I'd look a bit more north into Sullivan County where your access to amenities will be better. Sullivan County gets you right around or on I-89 (easier to get to Burlington, Boston, or Concord), better skiing and lakes not to mention hospitals and doctors (Dartmouth).

Also if you have any breathing/asthma issues it does seem that Cheshire gets red flag days quite a bit more than the rest of the state.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue May 16, 2017 9:09 pm

My parents.moved to Gilsum in the early 70s. It is a tiny town just north of Keene of only several hundred people (then and now 40 years later). I only lived their for a year before joining the Navy, but here is my impression.

Keene is the only area with any substantial population. if you can call it that. However, I really liked the small towns near Keene. My favorites would be Chesterfield, Surry, Nelson, Harrisville, and Marlborough. I'm not a fan of Swanzey and the rest of the towns south of Keene or the towns on the VT border with the exception of eastern Chesterfield.

Just be aware that these are very small New Hampshire towns. We moved from an upscale suburb of Boston and I and my father loved it. On the other hand my sister never forgave him for moving her there in her sophomore year of high school, to go to monadnock regional high school in Swanzey.

gypsyman
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by gypsyman » Tue May 16, 2017 10:31 pm

Great information . Thank you everyone. I am glad to be starting my research 8 to 12 months out. I did not realize that there were just as many or more services in Sullivan county versus Keene county. So so much to learn. Bogleheads are a great asset.

fishmonger
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by fishmonger » Wed May 17, 2017 8:00 am

tj218 wrote:Why are you choosing Cheshire County? What interests you there? Keene is a nice college town and fairly walkable. It's a nice part of the state, but I'd look a bit more north into Sullivan County where your access to amenities will be better. Sullivan County gets you right around or on I-89 (easier to get to Burlington, Boston, or Concord), better skiing and lakes not to mention hospitals and doctors (Dartmouth).

Also if you have any breathing/asthma issues it does seem that Cheshire gets red flag days quite a bit more than the rest of the state.


It really depends on what you like to do. These areas are not that different, but if you're into skiing, boating, hiking, cultural activities, dining out, etc some will be better than others.

On the air quality front, Keene is in a valley so the air quality is poor, but it's all relative. If you've been living in coastal California dealing with smog it's night and day

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alpenglow
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by alpenglow » Wed May 17, 2017 12:19 pm

While there are some nice towns in Cheshire County and I enjoy going across the river to Brattleboro, VT, I like the Upper Valley area better. I feel like there is more going on, especially with Dartmouth College in Hanover - sports, arts, etc. Taxes and home prices vary considerably, but there are some areas that are reasonable. There are lots of good dining options, which might appeal to retirees. In addition, the drive to Burlington VT and Boston MA is quite reasonable for day trips. Just a thought.

The Wizard
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by The Wizard » Wed May 17, 2017 2:10 pm

I'll be up in that county tomorrow hiking Mount Monadnock for the first time this year. :)
It looks like a nice area to buy a rural property with several acres so you can cut your own firewood for the winters.
I have no particular recommendations aside from renting for the first few months or more while you sort out your options in person...
Attempted new signature...

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magellan
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by magellan » Thu May 18, 2017 6:35 am

When considering property taxes in NH, research the tax base in each town, historical tax rates, and recent major expenditures.

In many cases you'll see a step function in tax rates from town to town. One town will build a new school and their rates will be considerably higher than nearby towns for a couple of years until those towns also do upgrades that drive their rates up.

Sometimes tax rate differences are from structural factors (eg Seabrook has nuke plant and large commercial sector), but sometimes the differences are just temporary and there's a reversion to the mean.

gypsyman
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by gypsyman » Thu May 18, 2017 9:18 pm

Thanks for the tax lesson. I am wondering about high speed internet in such rural areas. Satellite is slow and expensive. Does anyone use unlimited data plans on cell phones and tether if broad band is not available ?

fishmonger
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by fishmonger » Tue May 23, 2017 8:29 am

gypsyman wrote:Thanks for the tax lesson. I am wondering about high speed internet in such rural areas. Satellite is slow and expensive. Does anyone use unlimited data plans on cell phones and tether if broad band is not available ?


I have no issues with cell service generally. If you're up in the mountains or really out there you might, but it's very infrequent.

High speed internet is readily available, only thing is you might only have 1 carrier (or 2 if you're lucky). Keene has Spectrum and Fairpoint, and maybe another one that I'm missing. There's also satellite options

gypsyman
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Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

Post by gypsyman » Wed May 24, 2017 12:01 am

HI,
This is Gypsyman's wife. I am the one who would prefer living in southern NH as my relatives are in Bernardston,MA. My husbands are in Connecticut. (City boy.) I'ld prefer to be able to zip down and visit without taking a couple of days.(CT that is.). I am also a country girl, so I have no desire living in a large town. My husband isn't into water, or the sun, but I would take any of it with hiking. The medical situation is a big consideration. Allergies, I hadn't thought of. Unfortunately, we don't live in the coastal or desirable areas of California. (Otherwise, I would stay here!).
Thanks, for all your comments.

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