which state to retire

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JDCarpenter
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Re: which state to retire

Post by JDCarpenter »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:59 am 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.
Wisdom. :beer

Quality of life is the goal. Taxes/Cost of living are among the factors that contribute to that goal, but not the only ones or even the most important ones. (And I'm speaking as a now-retired, resident of Tennessee in a low-tax county.)
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rich126
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Re: which state to retire

Post by rich126 »

I think a number of people have come to realized there is no perfect place. Great weather, although that varies by person, is limited to a few states if you prefer a warmer climate. Throw in humidity concerns (I personally hate humidity) and that eliminates a large portion of the country. Factor in taxes or stuff like medical facilities, airports, proximity to family, etc. and I usually end up with a big nothing.

Unless money is a critical thing, taxes might be the least important item on a list of preferences in many cases. Not to mention taxes and COL can change in areas.
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anon_investor
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Re: which state to retire

Post by anon_investor »

If taxes are a big concern, there are some high income tax states like New York that exempt a portion of retirement income (e.g. pension, tIRA distributions, etc.). So that is something that the OP should look into.
MishkaWorries
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Re: which state to retire

Post by MishkaWorries »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:59 am 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.
Exactly. Stay where you're happy. People move from California because of high taxes and housing but then complain about their new home: the weather is no good, no amenities, no culture, disagreeable politics and disagreeable neighbors.

Speaking of California, except for the cost of housing, California has everything OP wants. Taxes may be an issue but for people who can control their income, California is a surprisingly affordable place.
Last edited by MishkaWorries on Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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chazas
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Re: which state to retire

Post by chazas »

AerialP wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:26 am 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.
Just goes to show, to each their own. I got transferred to Lexington for an ill-conceived job move for a couple of years. Part of the motivation was a planning for retirement type move for all the reasons you state. I met some good friends but overall couldn't wait to get out. Medical care was good, and the horse farms are beautiful. Upper end housing was very expensive - I should have made do with something more modest. What I thought was a bargain (a super well built newer house with at least at $1.5M replacement cost) turned into a nightmare when the job went bust because it took two years to sell - it was in the "wrong" zip code. Have to drive to Louisville or Cincinnati for a lot of goods and services. The tax burden is worse than here in Virginia. I thought home repair/renovation costs were actually very expensive. Not to mention the neighbors that would turn their back rather than talk to us.

If for some reason I had to I could move back, it's familiar, I have friends who live there and love it there - but not my thing.
chazas
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Re: which state to retire

Post by chazas »

rich126 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:19 pm Not to mention taxes and COL can change in areas.
You can also look for the more LCOL parts of an otherwise HCOL area. Worked out well for me so far.
Engaging in sloth
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Engaging in sloth »

Sometimes high taxes can be very useful: provides services to residents and has a way of enabling a town to keep its character and sameness to their way of life. Some folks don't want change, they want the town to remain the same generation after generation...nothing wrong with that
hudson
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Re: which state to retire

Post by hudson »

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 like NJ; I think it's a neat place....at least around the Fort Dix area.
Colorado is also very attractive to me because of the mountains and higher elevations.
It sounds like you need an allergy free place with low humidity.
Low allergy areas: https://ent-specialist.org/2019/05/14/b ... es-ranked/
Low humidity: https://www.55places.com/blog/the-best- ... retirement

If I was in your situation, I would do a little more research and go for it.

For me, I'll stick it out in the moderate tax, high humidity, high pollen, and high heat between the mountains and the sea.
I live cheap; family's nearby; good neighbors.
egrets
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Re: which state to retire

Post by egrets »

Not RI high taxes, snow, hurricanes, rising sea level.
egrets
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Re: which state to retire

Post by egrets »

MishkaWorries wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:30 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:59 am 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.
Exactly. Stay where you're happy. People move from California because of high taxes and housing but then complain about their new home: the weather is no good, no amenities, no culture, disagreeable politics and disagreeable neighbors.

Speaking of California, except for the cost of housing, California has everything OP wants. Taxes may be an issue but for people who can control their income, California is a surprisingly affordable place.
Areas of California which used to be very appealing have been overrun by techies with very high incomes and no regard for other people. Pretty much ruined San Francisco and the Peninsula.

Bungalow neighborly towns have become wall to wall McMansions.
signewton
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Re: which state to retire

Post by signewton »

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

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
Hoping you have a nice long healthy retirement!! :beer :beer :beer
Engaging in sloth
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Engaging in sloth »

There are many very nice areas of NJ with woods, brooks, wonderful small towns with mom & pop stores and restaurants. Places where one can leave their garage door open all day without any negative issues
musicmom
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Re: which state to retire

Post by musicmom »

+1

We retired to a small home in a beautiful safe NJ lake community. Great mix of retirees and young families. Walkable mom and pop downtown, near to major highways with access to NYC.
RE taxes $6000ish, about half of previous home.
NJ does not tax SS, although does tax pension and IRA withdrawals.
Its the big picture that works for us.

Two years of very happy retirement; hoping for many more.
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rramaswa
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Re: which state to retire

Post by rramaswa »

:sharebeer
signewton wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:42 pm
rramaswa wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:48 pm Hello Bogleheads !

I retired this year! I live in NJ. I am hoping this forum can provide some guidance
Thank you
Hoping you have a nice long healthy retirement!! :beer :beer :beer
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BolderBoy
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Re: which state to retire

Post by BolderBoy »

Bungo wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:31 am
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.
Property taxes are going up a fair amount I suspect. Recent court case allows school districts to bump up property taxes starting July 1. No limits were cited so it will be a simple mill levy application.

The COL in Colorado is set to rise in many ways. A one cent/gal gas tax increase will happen each year for the next 8 years, for example. A new commission is in place to look at a 'public option' for Colorado and it needs to be funded.
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BolderBoy
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Re: which state to retire

Post by BolderBoy »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:42 am 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.
Winter here can be unpredictable. Last mid-September we got our first snow (10" where I live) but it melted quickly. I had to turn my furnace back ON the last week of May when the temp dipped into the 30s for a couple of days.
If you are willing to put up with a slightly worse winter, Wyoming would be tax friendly and less crowded.
I love Wyoming. But I know the winters can be MUCH more harsh than here along the Front Range. I-80 is commonly closed multiple times during the winter. Wyoming is primarily nice because there is no one there. It is possible to drive for hours across the plains on a Sunday morning and never see another human or automobile.
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Johnny_Excitement
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Johnny_Excitement »

MishkaWorries wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:30 pm
Speaking of California, except for the cost of housing, California has everything OP wants. Taxes may be an issue but for people who can control their income, California is a surprisingly affordable place.
I live in California and it's not just housing that's expensive. Vehicle registration fees, gasoline/diesel fuel, food, etc. are all very high, relative to the rest of the country. There's no way in heck that I will retire here in California.
APX32
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Re: which state to retire

Post by APX32 »

At the moment, I would not recommend WA as a place to retire and I’ve lived here most of my life. Highly disagreeable politics and the resulting lower quality of life are at the top of the list. I’ve seen it happen first hand, slowly, for the past 20 years.

The natural beauty here is unmatched. Once you get away from the power centers, there are some great places to live in retirement. I’m thinking the San Juan Islands, the Olympic Peninsula, some places up north near the Canadian border, etc. If the political climate around here were to moderate a little in 10-15 years (my own retirement timeline), I would easily reconsider. Otherwise, looking to stay in the West and considering Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah as potential destinations.

OP, based on your requirements, some of these states might work out for you as well.
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Bridgebumbob
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Bridgebumbob »

I live in Colorado- moved here 10 years ago from NYC area after retirement. I love living here but we are not supposed to say that because too many folks are moving here. :)
It can be cold in the winter especially overnight but the abundant sunshine and lack of humidity makes for winter days that are usually in the low 50s quite tolerable for outdoor walking or sports.
Friends from NY used to call in the beginning when they heard about big snowstorms but high snowfalls are almost always in the higher Rockies elevations.
In the past 10 years we only had one storm with 1.5 feet of snow and, unlike NY, it melts quickly in our abundant sunshine.
gator15
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Re: which state to retire

Post by gator15 »

I’m a few years from retirement but my plan is to keep my current home and rent other places across the country for months at a time to determine where I might want to live next. There are a few places where I’ve vacationed in the past and I want to see if I would enjoy living there. First stop will be San Diego.
FandangoDave5010
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Re: which state to retire

Post by FandangoDave5010 »

After 25 years in Northern NJ, my wife and I retired to Reno-Tahoe in Nevada in 2001. I would highly recommend this area except that we are already being overrun by thousands fleeing the San Francisco Bay Area just over the "hill."
dboeger1
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Re: which state to retire

Post by dboeger1 »

Johnny_Excitement wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:48 pm
MishkaWorries wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:30 pm
Speaking of California, except for the cost of housing, California has everything OP wants. Taxes may be an issue but for people who can control their income, California is a surprisingly affordable place.
I live in California and it's not just housing that's expensive. Vehicle registration fees, gasoline/diesel fuel, food, etc. are all very high, relative to the rest of the country. There's no way in heck that I will retire here in California.
Depending on one's retirement lifestyle, some of those may be non-issues. Someone who doesn't drive much and just wants to sit in the backyard and enjoy the nice weather most of the time could live fairly cheaply and ignore many of the problems that plague CA for working-class folks. Also, food is a bit nuanced. Going out to restaurants is more expensive, but groceries can be surprisingly cheap, especially considering the wide variety and seasonal availability. This is especially true if you buy groceries in poorer sections of urban areas. We live in San Jose near incredibly cheap ethnic markets, but we also like to make the drive to more upscale supermarkets for certain items like premium meats or organic produce. My wife is always shocked at groceries when we visit family in the Kansas City, MO area. Not only are they significantly more expensive, but the variety tends to be way less as it almost exclusively caters to pretty standard Midwestern diets. There's like one major Asian market in the urban core which is not even particularly close to where my family lives, but we stopped by while visiting some museums in the city, and a small bottle of soju was like $9. Soju is basically just Korean vodka, often flavored. We can buy it in the Bay Area for like $2 per bottle, and I already consider that a premium price for an imported product, as regular vodka can be had much cheaper (but the non-Korean flavored vodkas are nasty in my opinion, so we pay up for that juicy flavor, haha). It's not just imported products, but regular fruits and vegetables can cost double what we pay, and it can be really difficult to find certain herbs, spices, vegetables, etc... and that's in the urban center at the heart of America's bread basket. It's way worse in more rural "food deserts" where people get their "groceries" at dollar and convenience stores.

I'm not saying CA isn't expensive, but retirement expenses are very nuanced and will depend on one's habits. I think if one's idea of retirement is grilling fresh produce in the back yard year round and the occasional trip to the beach or a national park, CA could easily be the best option. If someone plans to drive into the city and have fancy dinners at premium restaurants, CA could easily be the most expensive option with the most time spent in traffic and looking for parking. My wife is from China, and I think the thing that shocks a lot of Chinese people when they explore the US is just how rural much of it is by comparison to other countries. I think there's this pervasive myth in many foreign countries that the US is super highly developed, and obviously in some ways and places it is, but it's also not particularly densely populated for a developed nation. Compare that to China where there's a massive population clustered in urban centers to the point that even "small" cities have all the food options and stores you could ask for. It kind of hit my wife hard when she realized on our road trips that there are huge swaths of the country where frozen burgers is often the freshest, most affordable option available, and there are many Americans who live on processed foods and McDonald's and don't live anywhere near a high-end shopping mall. Even if you find a suburb with a good grocery store, it may only have 1 or 2 with very limited selection based on local customs. That's not to say such places would be unlivable, but depending on one's culture and expectations for food, this can essentially rule out the vast majority of options for people from foreign countries.

OP, I saw some other comments mention Spokane, WA, and I agree that's an option worth considering. You can get some of that Pacific NW feel and be not too far from Seattle and Vancouver, but you're also insulated a bit from the extreme rain, traffic, gentrification, etc. It's close to some nice natural destinations, and there are entertainment options in nearby Coeur d'Alene, ID as well. I've only visited once and am not super familiar with the area, but I think it checks a lot of boxes. It might feel really small and a bit run down for some people, but I don't think it's necessarily a dump either. It's probably less liberal leaning than you were hoping for, but I really can't think of too many liberal leaning places that are cheap, and the few that are tend to be surrounded by ultra-conservative areas (think Austin, which isn't even that cheap anymore). Spokane folks seemed a little more middle of the road to me, although that was just the vibe I got.

Obviously, I'm a bit biased when it comes to KC, but I think it's also worth a look as well. The weather is comparable to NJ in that it has 4 distinct seasons with pretty extreme hots and colds, but it's also not too humid and the cost of living is quite low for the class of city it is. Keep in mind, when I say KC, I'm really talking about the suburbs around KC. KC is unfortunately the poster child for white flight and urban disinvestment, so much of the urban core is poorer communities of color. That shows up as high crime stats and poor education scores, which are the things that tend to scare people away. However, many of the surrounding suburbs are easily some of the best places to live in the country, and there are also some really nice urban places for shopping and dining in some of the fancier areas. The local economy is surprisingly well diversified, so it tends to withstand economic shocks quite well and continues growing steadily over time. While the overall region of the country is conservative, there is a lot of political and cultural diversity around KC due to the universes and companies with lots of younger people, not to mention the substantial African American population in particular. You can very easily find the kinds of communities you'd align with, even if you don't identify with Midwestern politics as a whole. I think KC is the hidden gem of the Midwest. It's not without its faults, but I think it gets unfairly overlooked by a lot of outsiders based on certain unfavorable stats and being in the Great Plains away from any appealing natural destinations. There's a great selection of museums, amazing BBQ and other restaurants, great live music, sports, and just overall some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet.
Tib
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Tib »

The OP might compare a selected city in Colorado with Reno, Sparks, or Carson City, using this site (where I've selected Denver and Reno for comparison):

https://www.bestplaces.net/compare-citi ... v/overview

Compared to Denver, Reno has a milder climate, a lower cost of living, and (for most people) a lower overall tax burden. (Also, it's nice not having the bother of a state income-tax return.) On the other hand, the OP may find Reno less congenial culturally, although It does have a university.
manatee2005
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Re: which state to retire

Post by manatee2005 »

Engaging in sloth wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:11 pm There are many very nice areas of NJ with woods, brooks, wonderful small towns with mom & pop stores and restaurants. Places where one can leave their garage door open all day without any negative issues
NJ blew my mind. Being on the west coast I always heard people complaining about it, but I was there once and couldn't believe how nice it is. No wonder it's the garden state.
I could never live there cos of the cold, but those who aren't cold whimps like me should look into it.
Northern Flicker
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Northern Flicker »

There seems to be a perception that a high state income tax means high state taxes. This is not the case:

https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/total_taxes/

Based on that data:

Hawai has the highest income tax and 4th highest overall taxes.

Maryland has the second highest income tax, and 20th highest overall taxes.

Oregon has the third highest income tax, and the 46th highest overall taxes.

Wyoming has no income tax, and the third highest overall taxes.
Last edited by Northern Flicker on Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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VanGar+Goyle
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Re: which state to retire

Post by VanGar+Goyle »

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
The requires overlaying a political map with a climate map. Other maps including the tax map are more complex.

If you have to pick a state, then you may want to winter in Florida, and summer in Alaska, and
keep residency in the middle, perhaps your Colorado. This is not the classic snow-birding travel, but can get you what you want.

If you go by county, then you may go even more extreme: to winter in South Florida, and summer in West Baked Alaska,
falling and springing in small parts of lower Rockies: Colorado, Wyoming.
Most states have at least small blue enclaves, typically to oceanside or South.
Colorado is particularly picky, see Fort Collins and Pueblo, but you would want to avoid Colorado Springs.

To get this perfect, travel across the country several times, over several seasons, which can broaden your mind and expectations.
Also check the local news, either broadcast or paper, to get a feeling for the communities.
novillero
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Re: which state to retire

Post by novillero »

Norwegianwood wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:04 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:17 pm You only have to cross one very short bridge to get to Delaware.
+1
There is a big sign when you drive over the Delaware Bridge while leaving NJ that says “Retire in Delaware!”

The Savannah airport has brochures that say, “retire in Savannah” and although i though that was strange, after visiting Savannah I discovered why they have the brochure. It’s beautiful.

I think you should travel to discover what is most important to you and what you really like. It’s be a fun journey
ScubaHogg
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Re: which state to retire

Post by ScubaHogg »

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 lived in this so called “rain shadow” for the better part of a decade. To the extent it’s even a real thing it helps not at all with the constant cloudiness. Anecdotally I’d say you get almost as as many days of rain (which is what bothers people) even if the total inches of rain is somewhat less.

It’s actually even worse than that as I would say those places in the “rain shadow” tend to have much gloomier and foggy summers (the one nice season) than places not in the shadow.
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ScubaHogg
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Re: which state to retire

Post by ScubaHogg »

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
Mild weather is pretty vague, especially if you are listing Colorado (which I love). What’s most important weather wise? Do you want zero humidity? Or very cool summers?

Lots of hilly country areas in the upper south are going to have nicer winters than NJ while still being quite a bit cooler than Florida. Boise? Eastern Washington state? Reno (hot but dry summers)? Flagstaff?
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TheDogFather
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Re: which state to retire

Post by TheDogFather »

I'm thinking of the Shenandoah Valley in northwest Virginia. Four seasons and easy to beat the summer heat either on the river/lakes or going up a mountain in Shenandoah National Park for hiking. Good local markets and towns. Good medical center close by. Plenty of history. Not too far from Dulles for international travel.

And regarding taxes ... SS not taxed. Other favorable treatment of retirement withdrawals. Property taxes are relatively low. Sales tax OK.
lakpr
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Re: which state to retire

Post by lakpr »

manatee2005 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:08 am
Engaging in sloth wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:11 pm There are many very nice areas of NJ with woods, brooks, wonderful small towns with mom & pop stores and restaurants. Places where one can leave their garage door open all day without any negative issues
NJ blew my mind. Being on the west coast I always heard people complaining about it, but I was there once and couldn't believe how nice it is. No wonder it's the garden state.
I could never live there cos of the cold, but those who aren't cold whimps like me should look into it.
As a NJ resident, I second this. Areas in Southern part of NJ -- and I specifically call out the townships of Maple Shade and Moorestown -- as having wonderful facilities both healthcare-wise and low(er) cost of living compared to the northern half close to New York city.

Recently passed law exempts the first $100k of retirement income to be free from state income taxes -- but watch out though, if you exceed that limit by even $1 the exemption goes away. Retirement income is defined as SS, withdrawals from 401k/403b, pensions. Unlike most states, there are no local taxes in NJ, only state taxes (handful of cities like Hoboken excepted). I would urge the OP @rramaswa to consider staying within NJ (but may be my bias towards my home state is showing).
calwatch
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Re: which state to retire

Post by calwatch »

Northern Flicker wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:40 am There seems to be a perception that a high state income tax means high state taxes. This is not the case:

https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/total_taxes/

Based on that data:

Hawaii has the highest income tax and 4th highest overall taxes.

Maryland has the second highest income tax, and 20th highest overall taxes.

Oregon has the third highest income taxes, and the 46th highest overall taxes.

Wyoming has no income tax, and the third highest overall taxes.
And Hawaii has a very generous defined benefit pension exemption, including the employer share of 401k (457, 403b) matching contributions if said share is separated out as an employer contribution (which it often is, for purposes of calculating whether the employer share has vested). So if most of your income came from a defined benefit pension (including plans where there is a nonelective employee contribution, like a 401(a)), you would pay very low income tax in Hawaii. https://files.hawaii.gov/tax/legal/tir/ ... ir96-5.pdf
Leonidas243
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Leonidas243 »

Highly recommend Tennessee—no state income tax + smoky mountains!
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LilyFleur
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Re: which state to retire

Post by LilyFleur »

I think Tennessee sounds lovely. And the "admission ticket" is significantly lower with the lower price of housing and no income tax.

However, my children live here in Southern California and adamantly do NOT want to live in Tennessee. So I will continue to pay the higher "admission ticket" prices to live here, with the beautiful weather and a beach close by. And I thank my lucky stars for Prop 13 property taxes that enable many retirees to live here quite reasonably.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by sycamore »

Leonidas243 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:46 pm Highly recommend Tennessee—no state income tax + smoky mountains!
And welcome to the Bogleheads forum, Leonidas243.
Leonidas243
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Leonidas243 »

sycamore wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:08 pm
Leonidas243 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:46 pm Highly recommend Tennessee—no state income tax + smoky mountains!
And welcome to the Bogleheads forum, Leonidas243.
Thanks! I'm delighted to be here! Long-time Jack Bogle fan just getting plugged into the community!
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

Leonidas243 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:46 pm Highly recommend Tennessee—no state income tax + smoky mountains!
I think Tennessee is a great choice. One thing to keep in mind is they tax you on interest and dividends.
Mr.BB
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Mr.BB »

calwatch wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:56 pm
Northern Flicker wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:40 am There seems to be a perception that a high state income tax means high state taxes. This is not the case:

https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/total_taxes/

Based on that data:

Hawaii has the highest income tax and 4th highest overall taxes.

Maryland has the second highest income tax, and 20th highest overall taxes.

Oregon has the third highest income taxes, and the 46th highest overall taxes.

Wyoming has no income tax, and the third highest overall taxes.
And Hawaii has a very generous defined benefit pension exemption, including the employer share of 401k (457, 403b) matching contributions if said share is separated out as an employer contribution (which it often is, for purposes of calculating whether the employer share has vested). So if most of your income came from a defined benefit pension (including plans where there is a nonelective employee contribution, like a 401(a)), you would pay very low income tax in Hawaii. https://files.hawaii.gov/tax/legal/tir/ ... ir96-5.pdf
Looks like that data is almost 20 yrs. old. Would like to see something more updated.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
Mr.BB
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Mr.BB »

VanGar+Goyle wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:47 am
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
The requires overlaying a political map with a climate map. Other maps including the tax map are more complex.

If you have to pick a state, then you may want to winter in Florida, and summer in Alaska, and
keep residency in the middle, perhaps your Colorado. This is not the classic snow-birding travel, but can get you what you want.

If you go by county, then you may go even more extreme: to winter in South Florida, and summer in West Baked Alaska,
falling and springing in small parts of lower Rockies: Colorado, Wyoming.
Most states have at least small blue enclaves, typically to oceanside or South.
Colorado is particularly picky, see Fort Collins and Pueblo, but you would want to avoid Colorado Springs.

To get this perfect, travel across the country several times, over several seasons, which can broaden your mind and expectations.
Also check the local news, either broadcast or paper, to get a feeling for the communities.
Wouldn't that be a great piece of software. Have a U.S digital map that will do overlays of states and regions where you can compare weather, taxes and the political settings for any area of the U.S you wanted to view!
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
quantAndHold
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Re: which state to retire

Post by quantAndHold »

When you’re talking about weather, nearly every state, especially the large states in the west, have a wide variety of weather conditions, depending on what part of the state you’re in. Even within a state, someplace like what everyone thinks of when they say “Denver,” the weather varies a lot depending on whether you’re talking about the suburban towns in the foothills, or Denver proper. Denver has much better weather than its western suburbs. Denver gets very hot in the summer, and has some very cold weather in the winter, but isn’t as unrelentingly hot or cold as some other places I’ve been. The chatter amongst people I know wanting to retire to Colorado for the past few years has been Fort Collins, which is a college town on the front range north of Denver. Not really my cup of tea (I would prefer Denver, high cost of living notwithstanding), but the cost is lower, weather is not too bad, and being a college town, has a lot going for it.

The only place I can think of that might meet all of your criteria at once would be some places on the central and Northern California coast, outside of the expensive urban areas. It partly depends on your income situation. California is tax friendly to people with moderate and low incomes, not so friendly to higher incomes.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by jebmke »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:24 pm Even within a state, someplace like what everyone thinks of when they say “Denver,” the weather varies a lot depending on whether you’re talking about the suburban towns in the foothills, or Denver proper. Denver has much better weather than its western suburbs.
Lived in Boston and Milwaukee at various times. In Milwaukee we lived a block from the lake. Summer time, often 65 degrees at home and low 90s in the suburbs. In Boston, same phenomenon along the coast vs. out a couple of towns.

Also lived in Cleveland (twice). East side vs. west side for snow are completely different.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by SchruteB&B »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:31 pm
Leonidas243 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:46 pm Highly recommend Tennessee—no state income tax + smoky mountains!
I think Tennessee is a great choice. One thing to keep in mind is they tax you on interest and dividends.
I think that tax was repealed Jan 2021
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

SchruteB&B wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:44 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:31 pm
Leonidas243 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:46 pm Highly recommend Tennessee—no state income tax + smoky mountains!
I think Tennessee is a great choice. One thing to keep in mind is they tax you on interest and dividends.
I think that tax was repealed Jan 2021
Thank you. Now I need to consider Tennessee!
mnnice
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Re: which state to retire

Post by mnnice »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:45 am
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
At the expense of being argumentative. California’s income tax is more progressive than a lot of places. My state tax would go down if I kept my same income. A van by the river might be the only affordable housing though.
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anon_investor
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Re: which state to retire

Post by anon_investor »

mnnice wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:41 pm
anon_investor wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:45 am
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
At the expense of being argumentative. California’s income tax is more progressive than a lot of places. My state tax would go down if I kept my same income. A van by the river might be the only affordable housing though.
A nice RV down by the river? :beer

On a relevant note, I have a friend that early retired this year, and he is looking at NH for tax reasons, for personal reasons it works too since he has a lot of family in the Northeast. Since NH doesn't retirement income, his pre-401k withdrawals are not subject to any NH income tax.
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

I think the name of the game is to look at the states without income tax and pick the best weather. My list only contains Washington, Texas and Tennessee; but PNW I'm not liking so much, that's why I'm looking at the Dallas area.
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anon_investor
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Re: which state to retire

Post by anon_investor »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:12 pm I think the name of the game is to look at the states without income tax and pick the best weather. My list only contains Washington, Texas and Tennessee; but PNW I'm not liking so much, that's why I'm looking at the Dallas area.
I know WA, TX, TN have no income tax, but how are the home prices and property and sales taxes in those areas?
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

anon_investor wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:16 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:12 pm I think the name of the game is to look at the states without income tax and pick the best weather. My list only contains Washington, Texas and Tennessee; but PNW I'm not liking so much, that's why I'm looking at the Dallas area.
I know WA, TX, TN have no income tax, but how are the home prices and property and sales taxes in those areas?
Personally I don't worry about property tax because everyone pays one way or the other. It's hard to dodge unlike the state income tax.
Sales tax might be worth a look, but it changes frequently and also difficult to target.
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anon_investor
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Re: which state to retire

Post by anon_investor »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:21 pm
anon_investor wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:16 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:12 pm I think the name of the game is to look at the states without income tax and pick the best weather. My list only contains Washington, Texas and Tennessee; but PNW I'm not liking so much, that's why I'm looking at the Dallas area.
I know WA, TX, TN have no income tax, but how are the home prices and property and sales taxes in those areas?
Personally I don't worry about property tax because everyone pays one way or the other. It's hard to dodge unlike the state income tax.
Sales tax might be worth a look, but it changes frequently and also difficult to target.
I don't know WA all that well, but I almost relocated to the Seattle area for a job a few years ago and looked into taxes/housing costs a bit, which were surprisingly high (assuming the tech bloat has made the place expensive). I think the sales tax was around 10%, higher than any place I have lived, and the home prices were kind of nuts.

I don't know TN at all. The only place I have been to in Texas is Houston, and that weather was terrible (wedding in the summer...). Is the Dallas area affordable at all?
Marseille07
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Re: which state to retire

Post by Marseille07 »

anon_investor wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:28 pm I don't know WA all that well, but I almost relocated to the Seattle area for a job a few years ago and looked into taxes/housing costs a bit, which were surprisingly high (assuming the tech bloat has made the place expensive). I think the sales tax was around 10%, higher than any place I have lived, and the home prices were kind of nuts.

I don't know TN at all. The only place I have been to in Texas is Houston, and that weather was terrible (wedding in the summer...). Is the Dallas area affordable at all?
Washington State's property tax doesn't seem high at 0.93%. RE prices are high, but that's the thing about the property tax; low rate, high price and vice versa. It's not the only factor but it's a factor.

Dallas area seems affordable, at least if you go up north a bit to the Frisco / McKinney area. I see properties running around 300~400K.

I have been to neither Dallas nor Houston but I hear Houston is very humid. Dallas little less so I believe.
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