which state to retire

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rramaswa
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which state to retire

Post by rramaswa »

Hello Bogleheads !

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am single.
I have been in this state since 1990. NJ is expensive state with high property taxes. I do not like the weather conditions given 6 months of cold weather, spring seasons are allergy season for me and summers are hot and humid.

Although Florida is a great state from tax perspective for retirees I find the humid weather not good for me.

I am looking at Colorado as a potential state. I am not sure if this state is retiree friendly for taxes and its cost of living.
From my research online I did see this state appears to have high scores for retirees.
Did I miss any other states that could be a good fit 1) mild weather 2) low crime rate 3) low/moderate cost of living 4) liberal organic living with focus on wellness 5) good health care 6) tax friendly

I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

You only have to cross one very short bridge to get to Delaware.
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Johnny_Excitement
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Johnny_Excitement »

I'm not sure you'd like Colorado winters if you don't like winters in NJ. Based on your preferences, Oregon and Washington state are worth looking into.
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2pedals
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Re: which state to retire

Post by 2pedals »

I don't think you can get all 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 all together. Many places have advantages and disadvantages. Some of the best places with excellent heath care have very high to medium cost of living with high to medium taxes. Low crime in rural areas is without significant health facilities. Low crime urban areas with good health care facilities tend to be pricey. I like the pacific northwest (west of the cascades) for mild, less humid weather, cool summers with some seasonal allergies. On the other hand, the winter days are short, very gray and wet, many people can't take the everyday drab that lasts for many months.
Last edited by 2pedals on Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

I don't know if Colorado has mild weather. You're looking at 6 months of subfreezing temperature.

I look at the states without income tax a lot myself. As far as mild weather, probably some spots of Nevada and Texas are the only places. Weather really depends on where in the state, too - Northern Nevada is pretty cold and Southern Texas is humid.
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

Johnny_Excitement wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:31 pm I'm not sure you'd like Colorado winters if you don't like winters in NJ. Based on your preferences, Oregon and Washington state are worth looking into.
As a resident of PNW, I do not recommend it. Summer is the only season I like; the rest of the year is cold, dark and rainy.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: which state to retire

Post by JDCarpenter »

You need to look at city/metro level, not just state. I suspect that metro areas in the South would meet your criteria. (We live in Tennessee, adjacent to Nashville, which tips the healthcare into your favorable zone.). I don't know what you mean by "liberal organic living with focus on wellness." That sounds like something that you would do personally--but if it requires a village, I'm sure Nashville proper (or Austin Texas) could provide it for a moderate increase in the states' low taxes, along with slight increases in crime rate and cost of living.
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Watty
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Watty »

Tax friendly can be a lot different for a millionaire or for someone who will be living on $30K a year so you really need to dig through the weeds to figure out what your numbers will look like in different areas.

Within a state property taxes can also vary widely from county to county so statewide ranking mean very little. In my area there are also various property tax homestead exemptions and the property tax on a $500K house would be a LOT more than double the property tax on a $250K house.

Some college town might fit most of your criteria and many college towns have good healthcare for a smaller city if there is a hospital affiliated with the college. In an otherwise conservative area they might also be more to your liking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... ted_States
Raspberry-503
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Raspberry-503 »

Agreed PNW is dreary 6-8 months out of the year
Colorado is old in the winter by dry and sunny. It's also spendy for a lot of things including housing.

+1 on college towns
WardnerMan
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Re: which state to retire

Post by WardnerMan »

Sequin, Port Townsend, Coupeville and one other town NW of Seattle are in a rain shadow.
chem6022
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Re: which state to retire

Post by chem6022 »

I'm considering Tennessee, Florida, Nevada, and Washington among the no income tax states for similar purposes in retirement, in rough order. For your specific criteria I might consider Arizona and lower cost areas of California as well. I am very interested in hearing what other propose as well.
vested1
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Re: which state to retire

Post by vested1 »

WardnerMan wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:57 am Sequin, Port Townsend, Coupeville and one other town NW of Seattle are in a rain shadow.
I think you were referring to Sequim.
musicmom
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Re: which state to retire

Post by musicmom »

We looked at Delaware, especially near the beach.
Decided to downsize in NJ to stay near two adult kids and grandchildren.
There are options in pricey NJ for retirees.
Though snow still is snow of course.
Bungo
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Bungo »

Raspberry-503 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:19 pm Colorado is old in the winter by dry and sunny. It's also spendy for a lot of things including housing.
And overrun by Californians. It has very low property tax rates, though. On the order of 0.5% if I recall correctly.

A lot depends on what the OP considers mild weather. Some have listed cities and states in the south, which generally has horrible long hot and humid summers, not at all what I would consider mild.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

You really have a good starting point. It would be really difficult to find anywhere (save NYC) with higher taxes than NJ.
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noco-hawkeye
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Re: which state to retire

Post by noco-hawkeye »

Colorado winters are better than a lot of people expect. At least the sun is out most of the time. We get occasional storms where 2ft of snow shows up, but it usually melts in a week or two with the sunny weather.

If you are willing to put up with a slightly worse winter, Wyoming would be tax friendly and less crowded. Utah and New Mexico might be some options too, but I'm not sure on the taxes there.
Paullmas
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Paullmas »

Watty wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:11 pm Tax friendly can be a lot different for a millionaire or for someone who will be living on $30K a year so you really need to dig through the weeds to figure out what your numbers will look like in different areas.
If you used a tax software this season, maybe purchase for two or three additional states and see for yourself what you really would have saved.
Paullmas
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Paullmas »

Florida is a uuuge state. Hot and humid Orlando is not the same hnh intercoastel Ft Lauderdale or hnh pan handle.
Same as Colorado ... except with the cold. And depending where, cold and rainy vs 2 ft powder may make one sad or happy.
Norwegianwood
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Norwegianwood »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:17 pm You only have to cross one very short bridge to get to Delaware.
+1
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tennisplyr
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Re: which state to retire

Post by tennisplyr »

This consumer forum might be useful:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/
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iamblessed
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Re: which state to retire

Post by iamblessed »

CO, UT, NV all look good. Maybe western KS or NE if you want cheap. All but NV have taxes but not as bad as NJ.
RubyTuesday
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Re: which state to retire

Post by RubyTuesday »

We’re researching same issues, so following for others’ thoughts.

Taxes can be complicated. For example, some states have low property tax and low/no sales tax but higher income tax. For retiree that could work out to significantly lower taxes.

Some states don’t tax retirement plan withdrawals or government pensions.

Takes effort if you really want to let the tax tail wag the dog…
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carolinaman
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Re: which state to retire

Post by carolinaman »

Many states give tax breaks to retires including no tax on SS. Some do not tax pensions. Depending on your situation, you may find a state with an income tax that is still tax friendly to you. I have also read that when considering all taxes (property, sales, income), those that have no income tax are not always less expensive places to live. You need to do your research to determine the tax impact for you.
jebmke
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Re: which state to retire

Post by jebmke »

RubyTuesday wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:35 am Takes effort if you really want to let the tax tail wag the dog…
Hve lived in a dozen states and three countries. If I scored them today (as a retiree) taxes would not make my top five criteria.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: which state to retire

Post by RickBoglehead »

rramaswa wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 pm Hello Bogleheads !

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am single.
I have been in this state since 1990. NJ is expensive state with high property taxes. I do not like the weather conditions given 6 months of cold weather, spring seasons are allergy season for me and summers are hot and humid.

Although Florida is a great state from tax perspective for retirees I find the humid weather not good for me.

I am looking at Colorado as a potential state. I am not sure if this state is retiree friendly for taxes and its cost of living.
From my research online I did see this state appears to have high scores for retirees.
Did I miss any other states that could be a good fit 1) mild weather 2) low crime rate 3) low/moderate cost of living 4) liberal organic living with focus on wellness 5) good health care 6) tax friendly

I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
What you'll find during research is that you'll have to score each criteria across multiple areas, and then see where you're willing to give some. And, as stated, some of your criteria aren't state specific, such as "low crime rate" or "good healthcare".

Some are very subjective, like #4, which to be honest I don't know what it means. I would think that you could live anyway you want, and it's irrelevant what others do.

As to tax friendly, make sure you take as wide a few as possible. There are sales taxes (some which differ within a state), property taxes, income taxes, and taxes on assets like cars, boats, and RVs. It may not matter if an area has a high property tax, if they have no income tax. And like property taxes, some taxes (like sales tax and asset taxes) are very location-based. From one county to another could be a big difference. Also, make sure that when you look at real estate listings, you understand that property taxes are often lower for an owner-occupied home vs. a 2nd home, and sometimes seniors get a break. So when you look at two houses for $500,000, and one has property tax of $5,000 and the other has $8,000, it could be because that state gives residents a lower tax (for example South Carolina).

In my state, I register my vehicles and boat - vehicles annually for under $200 each, boat every 3 years for $42. If I move to a state like South Carolina, every year I have to pay a tax on the valuation of my vehicles. My boat, if it's worth $20,000, may be close to $500 a year. A vehicle valued at $50,000 may be $1,000, a year. Keep in mind, this is NOT registration, this is a tax. However, in that state, I may pay $5,000 in property taxes as compared to our current home where I pay $13,000. If sales taxes are comparable, then all that's left is income tax. In my state, Social Security is not taxed (about 2/3 of states don't tax Social Security income), pension is taxed (for my year of birth), retirement account distributions are taxed. A state like South Carolina also doesn't tax Social Security income, but gives 65+ a $10,000 deduction ($20,000 for couples) for retirement income plus a $15,000 ($30,000 for couples) deduction for other income). That's $50,000 a year that won't be taxed for a couple, as compared to Michigan where all that income will be taxed. Again, it's relative - $50,000 x .0425 = $2,125 per year. If I love living in Michigan, is a savings of $2,125 worth moving for? Perhaps not, but then is a savings of $8,000 more on property taxes, less $2,500 in asset taxes, for a total net of $7,625 in savings worth moving for? South Carolina has a graduated income tax, so the difference is a bit smaller.

A list of Pros and Cons for each location you're considering is worth doing, and remember that taxes can change at any time (ours did in 2012). Make sure when you do your search, the site is legit and not someone's blog. Also remember that some of these criteria, taken by themselves, lead to simply silly recommendations. You want low crime? You may find that a city with a population of 2,312 has low crime. Is it because a) no one lives there or b) they don't report crime into whatever database is being used? Or a city is high crime, but it's the south side and you're living 20 miles north...

You also may want to live in a community in which you're comfortable. To draw an extreme - let's say you're 70 and you find all the things you want, and then move and discover that everyone is in their 20s and there isn't anyone within 40 years of your age.

Also remember that some places vary in population over the years. A resort area booms in high season, but may be a ghost town other times. Or a college town is bustling during the year, but from May - August is great for a retiree. In our college town, we know to avoid restaurants the first few weeks of school, because the staff isn't trained and it's a disaster. And, if you go right after the students leave, there may be no staff.

Sites I use:

https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-taxes#us

https://taxfoundation.org/center/state-tax-policy/

https://www.bestplaces.net/

https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q= ... .PEPANNRES

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/sa ... lator.aspx
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Elsebet
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Elsebet »

Marseille07 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:36 pm
Johnny_Excitement wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:31 pm I'm not sure you'd like Colorado winters if you don't like winters in NJ. Based on your preferences, Oregon and Washington state are worth looking into.
As a resident of PNW, I do not recommend it. Summer is the only season I like; the rest of the year is cold, dark and rainy.
As a former resident of PNW, I also do not recommend it if you are sensitive to weather. :)

Eastern Washington, especially the Spokane area might be an option. They get winters but they are milder in nature.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
RubyTuesday
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Re: which state to retire

Post by RubyTuesday »

RickBoglehead wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:41 am
rramaswa wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 pm Hello Bogleheads !

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am single.
I have been in this state since 1990. NJ is expensive state with high property taxes. I do not like the weather conditions given 6 months of cold weather, spring seasons are allergy season for me and summers are hot and humid.

Although Florida is a great state from tax perspective for retirees I find the humid weather not good for me.

I am looking at Colorado as a potential state. I am not sure if this state is retiree friendly for taxes and its cost of living.
From my research online I did see this state appears to have high scores for retirees.
Did I miss any other states that could be a good fit 1) mild weather 2) low crime rate 3) low/moderate cost of living 4) liberal organic living with focus on wellness 5) good health care 6) tax friendly

I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
What you'll find during research is that you'll have to score each criteria across multiple areas, and then see where you're willing to give some. And, as stated, some of your criteria aren't state specific, such as "low crime rate" or "good healthcare".

Some are very subjective, like #4, which to be honest I don't know what it means. I would think that you could live anyway you want, and it's irrelevant what others do.

As to tax friendly, make sure you take as wide a few as possible. There are sales taxes (some which differ within a state), property taxes, income taxes, and taxes on assets like cars, boats, and RVs. It may not matter if an area has a high property tax, if they have no income tax. And like property taxes, some taxes (like sales tax and asset taxes) are very location-based. From one county to another could be a big difference. Also, make sure that when you look at real estate listings, you understand that property taxes are often lower for an owner-occupied home vs. a 2nd home, and sometimes seniors get a break. So when you look at two houses for $500,000, and one has property tax of $5,000 and the other has $8,000, it could be because that state gives residents a lower tax (for example South Carolina).

In my state, I register my vehicles and boat - vehicles annually for under $200 each, boat every 3 years for $42. If I move to a state like South Carolina, every year I have to pay a tax on the valuation of my vehicles. My boat, if it's worth $20,000, may be close to $500 a year. A vehicle valued at $50,000 may be $1,000, a year. Keep in mind, this is NOT registration, this is a tax. However, in that state, I may pay $5,000 in property taxes as compared to our current home where I pay $13,000. If sales taxes are comparable, then all that's left is income tax. In my state, Social Security is not taxed (about 2/3 of states don't tax Social Security income), pension is taxed (for my year of birth), retirement account distributions are taxed. A state like South Carolina also doesn't tax Social Security income, but gives 65+ a $10,000 deduction ($20,000 for couples) for retirement income plus a $15,000 ($30,000 for couples) deduction for other income). That's $50,000 a year that won't be taxed for a couple, as compared to Michigan where all that income will be taxed. Again, it's relative - $50,000 x .0425 = $2,125 per year. If I love living in Michigan, is a savings of $2,125 worth moving for? Perhaps not, but then is a savings of $8,000 more on property taxes, less $2,500 in asset taxes, for a total net of $7,625 in savings worth moving for? South Carolina has a graduated income tax, so the difference is a bit smaller.

A list of Pros and Cons for each location you're considering is worth doing, and remember that taxes can change at any time (ours did in 2012). Make sure when you do your search, the site is legit and not someone's blog. Also remember that some of these criteria, taken by themselves, lead to simply silly recommendations. You want low crime? You may find that a city with a population of 2,312 has low crime. Is it because a) no one lives there or b) they don't report crime into whatever database is being used? Or a city is high crime, but it's the south side and you're living 20 miles north...

You also may want to live in a community in which you're comfortable. To draw an extreme - let's say you're 70 and you find all the things you want, and then move and discover that everyone is in their 20s and there isn't anyone within 40 years of your age.

Also remember that some places vary in population over the years. A resort area booms in high season, but may be a ghost town other times. Or a college town is bustling during the year, but from May - August is great for a retiree. In our college town, we know to avoid restaurants the first few weeks of school, because the staff isn't trained and it's a disaster. And, if you go right after the students leave, there may be no staff.

Sites I use:

https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-taxes#us

https://taxfoundation.org/center/state-tax-policy/

https://www.bestplaces.net/

https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q= ... .PEPANNRES

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/sa ... lator.aspx
Thanks for this post Rick. This is just the kind of detailed analysis required if you’re really considering tax load.

Also, have to consider services and infrastructure. Low overall tax states tend to have much lower services and worse infrastructure, unless they are funded through tourism or natural resources.

As another poster mentioned, taxes probably should be one of the lower priority considerations.
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” – Lao Tzu
AngelFIRE
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Re: which state to retire

Post by AngelFIRE »

Colorado is a great state to retire to. The winters are not that bad. The weather never stays bad for long. Property prices are rising in part thanks to immigration of folks fleeing HCOL states. Great access to healthcare and the great outdoors.
exoilman
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Re: which state to retire

Post by exoilman »

musicmom wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:58 am We looked at Delaware, especially near the beach.
Decided to downsize in NJ to stay near two adult kids and grandchildren.
There are options in pricey NJ for retirees.
Though snow still is snow of course.
+1
jebmke
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Re: which state to retire

Post by jebmke »

For looking at typical weather, I've found this helpful rather than anecdotes. Assuming this data is correct, I find it is often different than what people perceive about the weather in various places.

https://weatherspark.com/
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alpenglow
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Re: which state to retire

Post by alpenglow »

RickBoglehead wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:41 am
As to tax friendly, make sure you take as wide a few as possible. There are sales taxes (some which differ within a state), property taxes, income taxes, and taxes on assets like cars, boats, and RVs. It may not matter if an area has a high property tax, if they have no income tax. And like property taxes, some taxes (like sales tax and asset taxes) are very location-based. From one county to another could be a big difference. Also, make sure that when you look at real estate listings, you understand that property taxes are often lower for an owner-occupied home vs. a 2nd home, and sometimes seniors get a break. So when you look at two houses for $500,000, and one has property tax of $5,000 and the other has $8,000, it could be because that state gives residents a lower tax (for example South Carolina).
.
.
.
That was an excellent and very detailed post. I have a family member that is obsessed with living in tax free states and thinks I'm a moron for living in a state with income tax. Well, said person wanted to move to the Northeast and of course picked NH. Now he is complaining about high property taxes, high vehicle registration costs, high town sewer bills, etc. You have to look much deeper.
AerialP
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Re: which state to retire

Post by AerialP »

rramaswa wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 pm Hello Bogleheads !

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am single.
I have been in this state since 1990. NJ is expensive state with high property taxes. I do not like the weather conditions given 6 months of cold weather, spring seasons are allergy season for me and summers are hot and humid.

Although Florida is a great state from tax perspective for retirees I find the humid weather not good for me.

I am looking at Colorado as a potential state. I am not sure if this state is retiree friendly for taxes and its cost of living.
From my research online I did see this state appears to have high scores for retirees.
Did I miss any other states that could be a good fit 1) mild weather 2) low crime rate 3) low/moderate cost of living 4) liberal organic living with focus on wellness 5) good health care 6) tax friendly

I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
I'm partial to Kentucky for many reasons. Oddly, when I do a simple search for "kentucky rank for retirees" I see results which show articles published within mere months of each other declaring it both among the worst and among the best with flavors of analysis to support both claims.
I generally boost up Lexington KY. It's not a major metro area but is not small by any means (~500,000 combined in it and the 6 surrounding counties). It is home of the Commonwealth's flagship university with a large medical school so health care is quite high quality. We are lumped in with The South but that's a bit of a stretch in that within a 75 minute drive one reaches downtown Cincinnati which nobody claims to be Southern and has world-class health care and every single amenity one could want. Similarly, in a hour one reaches Louisville which is also a major metro area with every amenity one could want and excellent health care. The farmland around Lexington has been well preserved by urban growth policies and Central Kentucky has some of the world's best soils so there is a very strong small-farm and CSA movement with focus on organics and agricultural resiliency. For your stated political aspect, Lexington is usually described as "an island of blue in a sea of red". We do indeed have a couple of months of humidity, and we do indeed have a couple of months of the cold wet - I've heard it described as being the perfect latitude for tropical and arctic air masses to duel it out year-round. Springtime and Autumn, however, are so vibrant and play out over extended months. Cost of living is quite low, quality of life is quite high. Lexington's airport has more direct connections than one would assume for a city its size, and again just over an hour away is Cincinnati's airport which is a small hub and includes direct flights to Paris.
Come on down and spend a long weekend here.
asap
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Re: which state to retire

Post by asap »

Depends on your income.

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THY4373
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Re: which state to retire

Post by THY4373 »

Paullmas wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:59 am If you used a tax software this season, maybe purchase for two or three additional states and see for yourself what you really would have saved.
Unfortunately it is a lot more complicated than this. States get their pound of flesh, eh taxes, different ways and this is only looking at the income tax component. For example I compared my mid-level tax state of VA with TX (no income tax). Turns out of my retirement assumptions VA property tax + income tax were pretty much the same as Texas property tax alone if I had done what you suggest I would have thought Texas would be a big win. This was because I wanted to live in an urban-ish area (higher property taxes and value). The tax situation is going to be very specific to the individual and their circumstances. Also if you do run the income taxes make sure you also understand how the states handle certain forms of retirement income because they can be treated different. Unfortunately I have found no easy way to do these comparisons without just digging in and doing the math yourself.
Colorado13
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Colorado13 »

What is your definition of low/moderate cost of living? How much do you want to spend on housing after you move?

The cost of metro Denver real estate is well above the national average at nearly $675,000 for a single family home. However you can live outside of the metro. Not knowing your current housing situation, It's possible that CO may be affordable compared to your current location.

Good luck.
basspond
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Re: which state to retire

Post by basspond »

What is your definition of mild? Having to wear a coat in the summer or an extra layer in the winter? Make a list of your top ten reasons to where you want to live, score each with a 1-3 rating, have two columns, multiply one column with a declining factor of 2.0 to 1.0 (top reason would be 2, 2nd reason 1.9, etc...) and the second column 2.0 - 1.5 (2nd reason 1.95; etc...) add the columns then look at the ones with the highest scores.
SchruteB&B
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Re: which state to retire

Post by SchruteB&B »

I find it amusing that some posters are trying to suggest property taxes in a no income state might be higher. This might be true coming from some states, but OP is coming from NJ which is the reigning US champ for property tax rates.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by jebmke »

SchruteB&B wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:40 am I find it amusing that some posters are trying to suggest property taxes in a no income state might be higher. This might be true coming from some states, but OP is coming from NJ which is the reigning US champ for property tax rates.
Yes; and in order to really compare, it can be a very local issue. I have low property tax in my county in MD but if I went to counties near DC it would be a different story.
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anon_investor
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Re: which state to retire

Post by anon_investor »

SchruteB&B wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:40 am I find it amusing that some posters are trying to suggest property taxes in a no income state might be higher. This might be true coming from some states, but OP is coming from NJ which is the reigning US champ for property tax rates.
HAHA. That is like someone moving from California to anywhere else, their state income tax burden is likely going to be lower! :beer
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JPH
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Re: which state to retire

Post by JPH »

Focus on your #1 (mild weather) and #6 (tax friendly) criteria. Those are the only two that are not available in all states if you select the neighborhood wisely.
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exodusNH
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Re: which state to retire

Post by exodusNH »

alpenglow wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:16 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:41 am
As to tax friendly, make sure you take as wide a few as possible. There are sales taxes (some which differ within a state), property taxes, income taxes, and taxes on assets like cars, boats, and RVs. It may not matter if an area has a high property tax, if they have no income tax. And like property taxes, some taxes (like sales tax and asset taxes) are very location-based. From one county to another could be a big difference. Also, make sure that when you look at real estate listings, you understand that property taxes are often lower for an owner-occupied home vs. a 2nd home, and sometimes seniors get a break. So when you look at two houses for $500,000, and one has property tax of $5,000 and the other has $8,000, it could be because that state gives residents a lower tax (for example South Carolina).
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That was an excellent and very detailed post. I have a family member that is obsessed with living in tax free states and thinks I'm a moron for living in a state with income tax. Well, said person wanted to move to the Northeast and of course picked NH. Now he is complaining about high property taxes, high vehicle registration costs, high town sewer bills, etc. You have to look much deeper.
Depending on which town you're in, the property taxes aren't that bad. I have .3 acre. The property taxes are about $5,500 per year. Water and sewer are $5.50/100 cu ft (which is a lot of water). If you like to water outside, you can get a bypass meter so you're only paying the water portion which is $1.50/100 cu ft.

Car registration for new cars is generally $18 per $1000 MSRP. It drops from there. My registration for my 2019 car was $350 this year, down from $750 when I first bought it.

Other towns definitely can have higher property taxes, but those towns are easy to avoid. It's always the schools that cost money -- for me, more than 50% of my tax bill goes to the schools. There are usually abatements available for retired people.

But if you live in a modest house and drive a modest vehicle, you've basically capped your taxes. There is a 9.5% tax on prepared meals, so if you eat out a lot, you will pay that. But that's really designed as a tourist tax.

In the southern and eastern portions of the state, you're less than an hour from Boston. Winters aren't that bad -- definitely more mild than 30 years ago. Where I live, I'm 45 minutes from Boston, 45 minutes from the ocean, and 45 minutes from the mountains.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by THY4373 »

SchruteB&B wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:40 am I find it amusing that some posters are trying to suggest property taxes in a no income state might be higher. This might be true coming from some states, but OP is coming from NJ which is the reigning US champ for property tax rates.
I wasn't suggesting that as I am well aware of what NJ property taxes are like as my organization has a presence there and at one time asked me to move there for a position (yeah no). I was using it as an example and presumably OP would be comparing different states that he is considering moving to. The tax situation is going to be highly dependent on one's circumstances.
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

I'm surprised Colorado is suggested as a place to retire to. While Denver is one of my favorite places to visit during spring / summer, they seem to hit a subfreezing temperature 5~6 months out of a year. Much colder than PNW, and even PNW is cold for me.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by sailaway »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:54 am I'm surprised Colorado is suggested as a place to retire to. While Denver is one of my favorite places to visit during spring / summer, they seem to hit a subfreezing temperature 5~6 months out of a year. Much colder than PNW, and even PNW is cold for me.
Denver is also high altitude. It can make a difference coming down the mountain.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Friends move to Fort Lauderdale FL from CA this week! A place we love. Like others have said Florida is huge.
Tempted to buy an apmt in FL or Clearwater to diversify from CA (taxes etc).

However, thinking it may be best to make a move like this much closer to retirement age. Not sure, but with prices so high, probably do nothing for now...

I think running the numbers would help to see really how much $ are saved in retirement via lower taxes.
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Mr.BB
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Mr.BB »

There are so many components to retiring that you have to consider plus taxes and laws in each state. If you're planning on renting not owning you won't care about property taxes. What is your source of income in retirement? If you're counting on social security maybe a pension and retirement income from your RMDs you may not want to move to a state that taxes those; or It may be worth it to you to pay a few thousand extra in taxes to live in a place where you really like the weather year round.
Last edited by Mr.BB on Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by neverpanic »

Spend some time in CO during a couple of different seasons. They get a lot of snow in winter, but I found it manageable. The spring, summer, and fall are incredible - great temps, tons of sunshine, very few rainy days. The only thing I've disliked about the climate is that it's dryer than one might think, so I found myself moisturizing lips and skin multiple times a day.

Without going too far into politics, I found CO to be a state that's very welcoming to everyone. The relatively low tax burden doesn't hurt.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by JS-Elcano »

rramaswa wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 pm Hello Bogleheads !

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am single.
I have been in this state since 1990. NJ is expensive state with high property taxes. I do not like the weather conditions given 6 months of cold weather, spring seasons are allergy season for me and summers are hot and humid.

Although Florida is a great state from tax perspective for retirees I find the humid weather not good for me.

I am looking at Colorado as a potential state. I am not sure if this state is retiree friendly for taxes and its cost of living.
From my research online I did see this state appears to have high scores for retirees.
Did I miss any other states that could be a good fit 1) mild weather 2) low crime rate 3) low/moderate cost of living 4) liberal organic living with focus on wellness 5) good health care 6) tax friendly

I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
I would not look at this at the state level. States can be quite diverse within. I would find the state that has mild weather and is tax friendly and then within that state find a metro area that is MCOL and has a research university (good healthcare) and has the liberal organic living wellness vibe you desire.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by jebmke »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:54 am I'm surprised Colorado is suggested as a place to retire to. While Denver is one of my favorite places to visit during spring / summer, they seem to hit a subfreezing temperature 5~6 months out of a year. Much colder than PNW, and even PNW is cold for me.
Denver probably drier.

"Colorado" has a lot of variation. My sister lives at ~9,000 feet in the Flat Tops and gets 300+ inches of snow per year on average. High plains east of the Front Range are probably much less.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I retired eight years ago and am still living in my high tax, high cost of living city. I keep telling myself that I will move someday to a place with lower taxes and a lower cost of living, but I can't figure out a place where I would be as happy as I am now, so I remain where I've lived for most of my life.
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