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Thread: Moving to a low-cost-of-living area to retire?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Moving to a low-cost-of-living area to retire?

    Something I have been wondering about...

    Keep in mind that in many ways I am just a baby when it comes to things like financial literacy and retirement strategies.

    But I was wondering why moving to a very low-cost-of-living locality isn't part of a retirement strategy?

    Like, lets say you live in Boston or LA. When you quit working and retire, why not move to Boise or Omaha? The cost of living is so, so much lower. Wouldn't one's dollar stretch a lot further?

    Thoughts?
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Many people like having a support system around them, particularly as they age, so while moving on paper is a good idea financially, there may be other considerations/ties/complications that make it more feasible to stay put. Personally, I'm an hour from my elderly parents, so can keep an eye on them, but once they pass I'm open to moving as I'm not all that close with my siblings.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    Many people like having a support system around them, particularly as they age, so while moving on paper is a good idea financially, there may be other considerations/ties/complications that make it more feasible to stay put. Personally, I'm an hour from my elderly parents, so can keep an eye on them, but once they pass I'm open to moving as I'm not all that close with my siblings.
    That is a good point. I really don't have a support system, so that did not occur to me.

    But I live in Columbus, OH. It is fairly affordable, I guess. But if I moved to a very small town, something like a 5,000 pop. town, I could get a house for a song -- a fraction of what I pay for rent. And I could move an hour from Columbus and do this. I suspect one could do this in many, many states.

    Or to be specific, I could move from Columbus, OH to Greenville, OH and cut my cost of living massively. And I would still be on Ohio.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    It will be a cold day you-know-where before I pry DW away from family (especially grandkids), friends, and the state in which she's lived her entire life. Even though Minnesota is a higher-cost-of-living state. Speaking personally, I live where I do for a bunch of reasons, including meteorological climate (no frost-free winters for me), political climate, and access to a variety of cultural amenities and opportunities. While these are reproduced elsewhere to some degree or another, the combination of them present here is yet another reason to stay put.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I see that where I live is 67% higher than the national average (https://www.bestplaces.net), but I'm disinclined to move for financial gain--part of my enjoyment of life involves living in a scenic place with services and amenities.

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    We very purposefully moved to a cheaper city in another state. Property taxes were reduced by 90%. The house we bought would have been at least double the cost back home. Rent is cheaper too. However, it becomes apparent after a while that lower taxes mean lower quality of service and it really shows here. Financially, it was the right move but otherwise, the jury is still out. Lots of things to weigh...

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    For us it is friends, family and all the things there are to do. I have lived in 5 states and it can take a long time to find your tribe. Where we live is beautiful with the mountains and Tahoe only 45 minutes away. We could sell our 1400sq ft 1950’s ranch for 400k and move back to my hometown between Chicago and Milwaukee in Wisconsin and buy the same house for 150k. Then you have to travel to the big cities for entertainment. Here we walk the mile downtown. Our city is 17% more expensive than average and that is due to the cost of housing. This summer in Wisconsin I paid 5 for a mixed drink. They are 11 here.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    If I stay in the Northeast (which I will) I will always be living in a relatively high COL area compared to other areas of the country (like Ohio). For me moving to minimize costs means moving out of NJ. I just got my tax bill and it's almost 5 figures and I always said I would never pay more than $10,000 a year for taxes. That tax bill is the nail in the coffin for me. My taxes in Grand Isle are one third of that, and I have the same size property, and "the livin' is easy." And I'm within 30 minutes of 3 of my kids.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I'm currently wrestling with this dilemma as I contemplate retirement, probably in mid 2020. It's one of the thorniest problems I've ever faced. I live in one of the highest cost of living areas of the country in a state that is regularly included in the bottom 10 on best places to retire lists. I also grew up in the area, and like many things about it, but I don't have that many friends or relatives left around here any longer. My sister lives in a much lower cost of living area, and it would be nice to be near a close relative as we both get older, but it's in a part of the country I don't much like, chiefly because of the climate. As you look around, you begin to realize that places that are cheap to live are usually cheap for a reason, and vice versa. I'm glad I've got some time to research this, since decisiveness has never been my strong suit and there are a lot of variables involved.

  10. #10
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    Places are cheap for a reason. For some it is climate and for instance when I lived in Wichita, Kansas it is flat and ugly but very cheap to live there.

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