Relocation to Milwaukee

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:20 pm

I have a potential job offer in Milwaukee area. While researching, I found the state income taxes are high. Housing is pretty expensive too - about $200/sqft for newer construction. Am currently in a no income tax state. I can expect a 10% raise in base pay. Long term opportunities seem better at the new company and Milwaukee area (tech industry). Looking for some words of wisdom from Bogleheads to help make a decision.

tim1999
Posts: 3262
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby tim1999 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:29 pm

I don't know what your hobbies/leisure activities are, or where you are coming from, but keep in mind the winter weather is awful.

User avatar
blueblock
Posts: 772
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:06 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby blueblock » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:32 pm

Looking only at state tax rates can be deceptive when it comes to what you're actually paying. Take a look at your county and city tax rates and compare to Milwaukee's.

an_asker
Posts: 1697
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby an_asker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:37 pm

blueblock wrote:Looking only at state tax rates can be deceptive when it comes to what you're actually paying. Take a look at your county and city tax rates and compare to Milwaukee's.

And property taxes, auto insurance, etc.

But as important, if not more, is the climate. Like someone else asked above, where are you currently? All else being equal, how would Milwaukee compare to your current location (and commute ... don't forget your commute)?

flyingbison
Posts: 1363
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:52 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby flyingbison » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:38 pm

tim1999 wrote:I don't know what your hobbies/leisure activities are, or where you are coming from, but keep in mind the winter weather is awful.


Or wonderful, depending on one's preferences.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 4932
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Jack FFR1846 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:41 pm

flyingbison wrote:
tim1999 wrote:I don't know what your hobbies/leisure activities are, or where you are coming from, but keep in mind the winter weather is awful.


Or wonderful, depending on one's preferences.


Exactly!

When I get home tonight, I plan to fire up the snowmobile and scare the scenery all around my property. Can't do that in Florida.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

bloom2708
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby bloom2708 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:45 pm

flyingbison wrote:
tim1999 wrote:I don't know what your hobbies/leisure activities are, or where you are coming from, but keep in mind the winter weather is awful.


Or wonderful, depending on one's preferences.


But mostly awful. Even if you snowmobile and ski every weekend. :annoyed
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

flyingbison
Posts: 1363
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:52 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby flyingbison » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:54 pm

OP, in addition to taxes and climate, make sure you consider other cost of living factors, as well as quality of life.

an_asker
Posts: 1697
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby an_asker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:58 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
tim1999 wrote:I don't know what your hobbies/leisure activities are, or where you are coming from, but keep in mind the winter weather is awful.


Or wonderful, depending on one's preferences.


Exactly!

When I get home tonight, I plan to fire up the snowmobile and scare the scenery all around my property. Can't do that in Florida.

Go right ahead, but be prepared that you don't get hit by a flying bison ;-)

*not snowmobiling in FL*

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 10474
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Watty » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:03 pm

moneywise3 wrote:I have a potential job offer in Milwaukee area. While researching, I found the state income taxes are high. Housing is pretty expensive too - about $200/sqft for newer construction. Am currently in a no income tax state. I can expect a 10% raise in base pay. Long term opportunities seem better at the new company and Milwaukee area (tech industry). Looking for some words of wisdom from Bogleheads to help make a decision.


I live in a different city and the only houses they are building around me are pretty high end houses which skews the cost per square foot numbers. There are LOTS of other problems with using the cost per square foot for any comparison.

The listing price of homes that are for sale can also be misleading.

Look at what existing homes like the type you might buy recently sold for.

Atilla
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Atilla » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:05 pm

Wisconsin income taxes are a bit on the higher end - 99% of wage earners will be at the 6.27% marginal rate or lower. Sales taxes are on the low end and exempt a lot of necessities like groceries. Car registration is cheap at $75/year. Gas taxes are on the high side at 31 cents a gallon - but this is a fixed amount, not a percentage. Beer is taxed at 6 cents a gallon! There are no county or local income taxes that I'm aware of - just sales taxes added onto the state rate depending on your location.

Good comprehensive insurance on 2 cars, homeowners insurance and an umbrella policy altogether run us $2,000 a year.

What will kill you are the property taxes - our home is assessed at $203,000 and annual property taxes are $4,500. I can't imagine owning an expensive place. Buy a nice $600,000 house and you're looking at a monthly burn of over $1,000 just to pay the effing property taxes. It's like a mortgage payment that never goes away. Property tax rates are uniform within a taxing district per the state constitution. Renters of course get hit with this as well in higher rents.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

User avatar
flossy21
Posts: 347
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 2:04 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby flossy21 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:23 pm

moneywise3 wrote:I have a potential job offer in Milwaukee area. While researching, I found the state income taxes are high. Housing is pretty expensive too - about $200/sqft for newer construction. Am currently in a no income tax state. I can expect a 10% raise in base pay. Long term opportunities seem better at the new company and Milwaukee area (tech industry). Looking for some words of wisdom from Bogleheads to help make a decision.


Check out this tool online. It let's you compare demographics, crime, detailed cost of living metrics, etc. between two locations.

http://www.bestplaces.net/

John Doe 123
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:48 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby John Doe 123 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:58 pm

moneywise3 wrote:I have a potential job offer in Milwaukee area. While researching, I found the state income taxes are high. Housing is pretty expensive too - about $200/sqft for newer construction. Am currently in a no income tax state. I can expect a 10% raise in base pay. Long term opportunities seem better at the new company and Milwaukee area (tech industry). Looking for some words of wisdom from Bogleheads to help make a decision.


I have lived in Milwaukee (and surrounding suburbs) since 2003 and been a homeowner since 2014. You aren't looking hard enough if you can only find $200/sq foot homes. You will pay a premium for newer construction because most of the housing in the area was built in the WW2 era and there quite simply isn't room to build new homes. If you can live with a charming older home you can very easily buy much cheaper.

The suburbs will be much costlier due to the poor MPS school district, but if you have no kids then you can easily find housing in Milwaukee proper for less than $100/sq ft. The property taxes are high in Milwaukee County but the neighboring counties have quite low property tax (which by consequence raises the home prices).

Prior to buying our current home, we had a very nice 2 bedroom apartment in Brookfield for $950 per month with heat, water/sewer, cable tv/internet, off street parking, on-site gym and pool, on-site laundry facilities, and on-site storage unit included in rent. I don't consider that to be anywhere close to expensive housing in a large metro area.

Milwaukee is a great place to live. If you have any questions about the city please feel free to reach out with a private message.
Last edited by John Doe 123 on Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jebmke
Posts: 5963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby jebmke » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Lived in MKE from 1998-2003. Very good memories. Some fabulous older homes up along the lake in MKE proper and immediate northern suburbs. We lived a block off the lake inside the city limits near the university.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:21 pm

Thanks all. Currently in Orlando suburbs. Top school ranking and newer houses are top on our list. We just can't imagine living without these.

Traveler
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Traveler » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:36 pm

I would ask for a higher base salary if COL is a lot higher. Why take what is essentially a pay cut?

Stormbringer
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:07 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Stormbringer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:17 pm

moneywise3 wrote:Thanks all. Currently in Orlando suburbs. Top school ranking and newer houses are top on our list. We just can't imagine living without these.

The equivalent in the Milwaukee metro area would be suburbs such as Brookfield, Mequon, and Delafield.

One thing you will find with homes in Wisconsin that isn't as common in Florida is that most of them have full basements because the footings need to be below the frost line. Frequently (particularly in newer homes) the basements are finished with bars, family rooms, media rooms, and extra bedrooms and bathrooms. It is a great way to add square footage to a home for under $100 per sq ft.

rralex1
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:21 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby rralex1 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:27 pm

moneywise3 wrote:I can expect a 10% raise in base pay. Long term opportunities seem better at the new company and Milwaukee area (tech industry). Looking for some words of wisdom from Bogleheads to help make a decision.


A relocation is a very big deal. There are so many factors to take into consideration that a 10% increase and opportunities "seeming" to be better in the (tech industry) in Milwaukee leave many questions on the table. Speaking from considerable experience, I would not do it if the only reasons are what you have listed. I expect that there is more to the story though of course..

Several friends have relocated to Milwaukee over the years, since my employer is based there. All but one family has assimilated well. People in WI and MN have a way of banding together. The culture there is strong and positive. It may be because in the winters one can freeze to death if one is not prepared and needs friends, (I share that for humor but having been there many many times in the dead of winter make no mistake it is the real deal, particularly for those who have not experienced it.)

So, relocating to Mlwke is to me is like relocating anywhere. It is a serious decision. Hopefully there is a definitive path to Milwke for you that supersedes other options and other locations you have considered in your research relating to relocating. If you have exhausted an extensive search to find career growth opportunities in the tech industry and the result points you to Milwaukee, so be it.

If not I would encourage you to solidify your reason for relocating from Orlando to Milwaukee for a 10% increase and what seems to be better opportunities in the tech industry there. Your relocation costs all in, depending on your income can easily eat up much more cost than a 10% increase in pay...and then some. Austin, Charleston, Denver, Raleigh, and several other burgeoning cities (I exclude the obvious - CA only because of cost of living considerations coming from Orlando), are on fire in terms of tech industry growth.

The Navy Seals have have many sayings. One to consider is "Don't run to your death". Translated, if you have done all due diligence, and you have a defined strategy and have put together a strong plan to be successful, execute your plan. If not, don't.

Wishing you well.

bstevlin
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:05 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby bstevlin » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:05 pm

moneywise3 wrote:Thanks all. Currently in Orlando suburbs. Top school ranking and newer houses are top on our list. We just can't imagine living without these.


The public schools in Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties are as among the best the nation which is reflected by median house hold income which is in the top one percentile or close to it. Property taxes on my Waukesha County condo are are 1.3% of market value. Lots of fun activities in the warmer months, not so much in the winter. I will repeat what other posters have said " the weather in the winter is dreadful." Check out the MLS on First Weber realty.

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 692
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby F150HD » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:38 pm

moneywise3 wrote:I have a potential job offer in Milwaukee area. While researching, I found the state income taxes are high. Housing is pretty expensive too - about $200/sqft for newer construction. Am currently in a no income tax state. I can expect a 10% raise in base pay. Long term opportunities seem better at the new company and Milwaukee area (tech industry). Looking for some words of wisdom from Bogleheads to help make a decision.


Winter there isnt THAT bad. No different then many other places in the mid-west (Iowa, Northern IL)

Have you ever been to Milwaukee? If it isn't somewhere you'd enjoy living (culture etc) not sure what the point of a relocation would be, esp for a 10% increase in pay.

fishboat
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby fishboat » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:41 pm

Lived in the Milwaukee area since 1964.

Every city/region has it's pluses and minuses. Housing here may be more costly than some places and less expensive than others..so it goes.. As for the "weather being awful.."...meh..depends on your point of view. I enjoy the outdoors year around and love the change of seasons. Milwaukee has a great cultural life, lots of parks, bike trails, ethnic foods, festivals, music, friendly people, lakes close by. I passed on a move to Charlotte, NC as it didn't have most of these things..and more...though it's closer to some nice areas to the west. My parents retired to Florida years ago and I've been there many times. Speaking for myself..I wouldn't move to Florida..too hot and flat..but that's me.

You might check out the city-data forums - Milwaukee - there may be some good info there.

Whether the Milwaukee-area the place for you depends on you, your interests, and what you choose to make of it.

moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:47 am

Thank you all. Cheers :sharebeer

LeeMKE
Posts: 1518
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby LeeMKE » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:49 pm

Milwaukee has it's own Bogleheads chapter. What more could you want?

Next meeting is Tuesday May 2 at noon. Join us!
We meet at Bollywood Grille,1038 N Jackson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

timmy
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby timmy » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:13 pm

What part or area of Mil. are you looking?

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 808
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby jabberwockOG » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:25 pm

Don't know how long you have lived in the South. If you haven't lived up in the North snow and rust belt you should think long and hard about relocation. Folks who grow up there and stay are used to the long cold winters. At the very least it might be better to rent for a year or two to see if you really want to deal with the weather on a long term basis. Winter can be very long and harsh and driving/commuting in it can be nerve racking at best and downright dangerous at worst.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 1676
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby whodidntante » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:24 pm

Wisconsin is a high tax state. I doubt it will eat your entire 10% bump in a marginal analysis. I'm familiar with Milwaukee though I have never worked there. It does have significant poverty and run down areas but I enjoy the town especially in the summer.

Old Guy
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:20 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Old Guy » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:51 am

High taxes, increasingly diminishing services, and its cold, very, very cold.

BanditKing
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby BanditKing » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:35 am

I've lived in Wisconsin since 2002, and in my opinion, it is not the state it once was. Income taxes are high with fewer and fewer services, costs of living are high, property taxes are through the roof, and the economy, with the exception maybe of Dane County (Madison) is pretty much tanking or at best stagnant. Economically, Wisconsin is racing to the bottom in terms of growth, employment, etc. Housing costs are getting ridiculous as well, with massive gentrification in the major cities eliminating more and more modestly-priced housing.

Add to that the winters, which become more and more oppressive the older I get, and I'm eager to get out - hopefully as soon as this summer, if not by the end of summer 2018.

Phineas Gage
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:09 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Phineas Gage » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:26 am

The future growth in central Florida might also impact your future job situation/opportunities in addition to climate and no state income tax.

User avatar
WiscoTrout
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby WiscoTrout » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:19 am

Good thoughts above, especially those around taxes. I've lived down the road from MKE for many years. You unfortunately pay a lot in taxes in WI and have very little to show for it. I may be jaded from time spent in Europe where they pay a lot in taxes as well, but then they also receive a lot of tangible benefits (transportation, healthcare, etc.) that are second class in Wisconsin, and are being cut back every budget cycle.

As for weather, yes it can be cold with lots of snow, but if you force yourself to find ways to get out outdoors and enjoy it (x-country skiing, skating, etc.) you tend not to mind it after a while. You even start looking forward to the first snow fall....

Also, can't go wrong with great sports teams: Go Badgers!

moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:13 pm

timmy wrote:What part or area of Mil. are you looking?

Brookfield, Elmbrook area for housing

moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:15 pm

Phineas Gage wrote:The future growth in central Florida might also impact your future job situation/opportunities in addition to climate and no state income tax.
You mean to say the growth prospects in C FL are good?

User avatar
tainted-meat
Posts: 659
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby tainted-meat » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:18 pm

A Milwaukee winter is probably similar to summer in an inland Central Florida location.

One is so cold you don't want to go outside and the other is so hot you don't want to go outside.

Personally, I could never live north of Kentucky as I hate the cold. If the cold doesn't bother you then go with the best job opportunity / family situation.

My vote would be to stay in Florida.

bstevlin
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:05 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby bstevlin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:38 pm

moneywise3 wrote:
timmy wrote:What part or area of Mil. are you looking?

Brookfield, Elmbrook area for housing


There is not a lot land left for building in the Elm Brook school district. Parts of the city of Brookfield are located in the Waukesha school district. My son lives in a southeast school district in Waukesha County. He and his wife are very satisfied with the schools. My oldest GS is a freshman who thrives in a junior math class ( 99 percentile in state tests.) I think most of that achievment is do to daily sessions at the kitchen table after dinner with mom or dad. Elm Brook holds the bragging rights for ACT scores in Waukesha County. I really do not think that's a big deal. The suburbs of Waukesha County are a good place to raise a family. My recommendation is to change jobs if you are gaining job satisfaction and your improving your job skills. BTW, health care is very good in all of SE WI. I need to say it is very expensive.

Good luck!

moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:16 pm

Unfortunately this forum does not have a "like" button for posts, so all of you treat this as my like for your replies!

Bacchus01
Posts: 933
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Bacchus01 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:29 pm

Have lived off and on in WI for 30+ years. Live in MKE suburbs since 2010. I don't have much to add other than reinforcing what others have said. Taxes here are ridiculous, especially property taxes. I lived for a while in the Northeast and had a home valued at 50% more than my current, and paid 1/2 the property tax. We lived in the SE for a while and had a home that was 20% more value and paid less than 25% of taxes.

That said, the Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha school districts are among the best in the country. They are also 3 of the top 100 most affluent counties in the country.

From a cost of living standpoint, I'd strongly suggest looking north versus west. Germantown and Cedarburg in particular have top 5 school districts on the state yet have lower housing and property taxes then you'll typically find in Brookfield or Mequon. If cost of home is no object, I'd suggest Mequon. Great schools and housing choices from $250k to $2.5M. Brookfield is convenient but it's hard to find new construction under $1M and most existing homes were built in the 60s-80s when Brookfield was the booming suburb of MKE.

The north shore area is very solid (shore wood, whitefish bay) with great schools but even higher taxes.

Knowing what price range you have in mind is helpful. Also check commute times. MKE is not a congested city by Atlanta or LA standards, but a 20 minute drive into the city on Sat afternoon can easily take an hour plus on Monday morning. Being along the main corridors of 43, 41/45 or 94 are very important if you are commuting into the city.

PM me for any details. I live in Germantown. Top 5 schools, housing in the $300-$450 range is abundant, and a new $80M school referendum just passed.

moneywise3
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby moneywise3 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:19 am

Housing price range is 275-350k. Will send a PM when I have questions, TIA.

Just saw a video how WI is worst 10 with taxes in every category: sales tax, income and real estate :?
The job offer is still not dead though.

flyingbison
Posts: 1363
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:52 am

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby flyingbison » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:48 am

moneywise3 wrote:Just saw a video how WI is worst 10 with taxes in every category: sales tax, income and real estate :?


Ignore the noise about tax "rankings," IMO. Every state collects revenue to fund the services provided. Some of it is collected through the means above but there are other forms as well. Some states have a personal property tax on the value of your vehicles. Some states collect taxes for schools and municipal services through utility bills. Some have higher fees for car registration, for parks and recreation, tolls on the highways, etc. Of course, some states collect less revenue than others, and then the result is fewer and/or lower quality public services.

Billionaire
Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:05 pm

Re: Relocation to Milwaukee

Postby Billionaire » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:02 am

You should watch this short history lesson courtesy of Alice Cooper.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRCTc6stICc


Return to “Personal Finance (Not Investing)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 3feetpete, ACM4297, bayview, hightower, lowndes, Minot, mortalsonofmortal, Swimmer, Wellfleet, zakath47 and 85 guests