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Best Place for an Old Car Guy to Retire?


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In the next six months to three years I plan on retiring...  I'll be in my mid-50's and currently live in the Washington DC area.  I'll be looking for a state that doesn't tax federal retirement.  I'm thinking either Pennsylvania (think Hershey/Carlisle) or North Carolina.  Any suggestions? 

 

Since I will have worked in a office environment for 30+ years I would like to finally work with my hands and turn wrenches, especially on old vehicles!  Any suggestions?  Anyone have a shop where they would need eager help?  Willing to relocate.  Thanks!  Greg 

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A number of years ago there was a report compiled on " Where is the best place to retire in the USA". The authors looked at a couple of dozen areas (or more) and compiled a rating looking at many factors retirees look for, cost of living, crime rates, purchase price for housing, climate, air quality, availability of services etc. If I recall correctly, the #1 recommended place was Tuscon, Arizona. One factor that put it at the top of the list was climate. It was considered tops for having a climate that minimized senior's health issues like asthma, issues with large temperature fluctuations, and the dry air was considered a big plus. Now I have no dog in this fight, don't live in USA, although I had cousins in Phoenix area.  So you might want to look for such a report, I'm sure there is one out there. 

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3 hours ago, 63RedBrier said:

I'll be looking for a state that doesn't tax federal retirement. 

 

Economics lesson:

 

It takes X dollars to run the state. The more services residents want, the greater X becomes. X has to come from residents, that's the people who pay most of the taxes. Sure, business collects taxes from their customers and gives it to the state ( and I mean all the taxes, real estate, property [non real estate], merchant's capital, etc) and the state and residents say great, that is a business tax I do not pay. Wrong! . If the business did not collect these taxes and make a profit, the business will go under quick. 

 

So now we have established X dollars needed to run state, and residents pay these taxes. Move to a non-income tax state, and X does not change, just the way the state gets the tax changes. 

 

TINFL,  The is no free lunch!

 

What's the sales tax in Tennessee?

 

What is vehicle license in Florida?

 

What is the estate tax situation in North Carolina. Please look at this as it was surprising how much was taxed there and Maryland also.

 

Or pick a state that has few services, and then DO NOT ask for them to start supplying a service you liked in your old state, as taxes have to go up to provide that service.

 

Do not obsess with one form of tax, look at them all if you are planning on moving. You are already living in a less taxing state than Maryland. 😁

 

You can find counties in VA that have very low real estate tax rates and low cost of land.

 

Oh, and don't overlook closeness of hospitals, I'm still alive because I was 15 minutes away!😉

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The map is highly flawed.  Just taking Utah as an example,  the average price for the entire state is heavily skewed by Summit county which includes Park City.   There are many counties where the prices are very reasonable.

 

Also,  the idea that you can't escape taxes by moving states is also not right.   Different states have different levels of bureaucracy, welfare,  boondoggles as well as the actual services they provide to the residents.  

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30 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Phoenix, Oregon is a good place to retire. Come on over and we can work on cars together. Mild weather and loads of nature.

How is the cloudiness/rain situation?  My son lives in Seattle and we're probably moving near there in a year or two.  The gloominess is getting me worried.

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South Dakota is the most tax free state in my part of the world. (I don't live there, but would like to.) Based on my limited experience, western S.D. also provides some of the most picturesque driveable scenery you can get in the US...which is part of the reason why the Sturgis motorcycle rally is there. By "driveable" I mean - in part - that there isn't much traffic there. You can't believe how much a lack of traffic and crowds enhances your driving experience (a lot) but I've heard that it gets crowded during Sturgis, so there's that. The worst thing is the winter, but the western part of the state is relatively arid, so if you're looking for old relatively rust free projects, that might help. (Don't know if the state salts roads in the winter, though.) The MAIN thing is the low taxes. Just had some friends move there from Maryland (where they'd lived all of their adult life), and some other friends - and their parents - move there from surrounding states because of the low taxes. Crime rates low because the largest city is well under 200,000 people, and that's in the east.

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Am biased: family moved to Florida in 1957 and  after a number of hiccups moved north to Orlando in 1984. Housing is skewed by the super-rich south of Jupiter on the east coast. Am enjoying a few days on the beach at Sarasota.

 

To avoid traffic, avoid the cities (and I-4). If you prefer hils, find something on the Central Florida ridge (essentially the center from Zephyrhills north. To be out yet close try from Clermont north).

 

BTW Florida avoids a state income tax by soaking the tourists. X comes from out of state (also see super-rich above).

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5 hours ago, 63RedBrier said:

I'm thinking either Pennsylvania (think Hershey/Carlisle) or North Carolina.  Any suggestions? 

 

The area around Carlisle or Hershey--south-central Pennsylvania--

is excellent for an active antique-car fan.  Old-car activities abound,

and the AACA's Gettysburg Region and Hershey Region each have

hundreds of members and are very active.  There are plenty of

resources near-by (vintage tires, old-car mechanics and restoration

shops, etc.) to support your hobby.  There are plenty of back roads

where you can drive an antique at 35 m.p.h. and not bother anyone.

 

Those areas have some of the best of both worlds:  plenty of

jobs (i. e. prosperity), but housing is affordable.  Just a few miles

outside of town you can be in the country on 5 or more acres

and have plenty of room for a car-storage building or shop.

Perhaps from the Amish and Mennonite roots, there is a good

work ethic, and the cost of living is much more affordable than

in the District of Columbia vicinity.

 

Best of all, you can visit the AACA headquarters and library

on a whim, and attend the Carlisle and Hershey events as

easily as local events.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

The map is highly flawed.

 

It sure is. 40k salary to buy a house in Michigan and it's 44k in Kentucky? I've looked at real estate in both states, real estate prices in Kentucky are half of what they are here in Michigan. Around Detroit here, a 100 thousand dollar house is a tiny 2 bedroom and no garage in a shaky neighborhood and the taxes are through the roof, average annual taxes here are about 3k per year. Kentucky is much cheaper, 100k house there would be 250k here. And it's that way for the whole lower part of the state. The upper portions of the state has cheap home prices, but there is no work up there, the joke is, to live up there, whatever you need, bring it with you.

 

-Ron

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5 hours ago, 63RedBrier said:

I'm thinking either Pennsylvania (think Hershey/Carlisle) or North Carolina.  Any suggestions? 

 

I don't have especial knowledge of North Carolina,

but I know that the area around Charlotte is served

by the Hornets' Nest Region, and they are very active.

They would certainly be a support to your old-car hobby.

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I have never seen any study that comes close to being accurate - all things considered. New York should be split upstate and downstate. Also the difference in taxing retirees with government pensions and 401K's (TSP for example) is totally different than taxes on working people. Social Security income  is not taxed.

 

I live in a suburb of Rochester NY. I live in an established tract of custom built houses on acre lots built by a custom builder in 1964. Sale prices range from $150 to $225 or so. My 1750 sf saltbox would fetch around $175. Total taxes would be figured at $5500. Because I am over 65 there is a pretty much automatic $1500 reduction (unless you make a lot of money). That brings taxes down to $4000. Because our town keeps tax increases under 2% we get a rebate check from the state - this year mine was around $500. Total taxes of $3500 in a snow state is not high - snow removal is about half of most towns taxes...

 

Any type of government pension is not taxable in New York. Social Security is not taxed. FERS or Civil Service is not taxed. The first $20000 you withdraw from your TSP (401K) is not taxed. My total NYS income is  -0-.

 

So take studies with a grain of salt - do your own research rather than depending on some statistician compiling raw data with no clue as to how to interpret it..

 

 

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I lived in Florida for 8 years after I retired.  Loved the state except for evacuating 5 times.  After I left, Panama City didn't have a Hurricane for 10 years until 2018 when it was wiped out.  In my opinion if you live in Florida it is just a matter of time.  Consider Texas although I do wish I was closer to Hershey.

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i would advise not even thinking about Illinois. Although(so far) retirement pensions and Social Sec are not taxed, everything else is. We are sadly I believe the third highest taxed state in the country.   My little shack worth according to our friends at Zillow about $101,000 has a property tax of about $4500 per year.  Add to that 7-10.5% sales tax(and they want to start taxing services) and a push for a progressive income tax.  Fees have doubled and tripled over the last several years as well. The result of decades of state and local mismanagement.  Illinois is losing population so fast the last one to leave is going to take the sign.  i am sure that there are some nice places to live in Illinois just don't forget your wallet if  you decide to move here.

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I am not even close to retirement, but we recently relocated from the Detroit Michigan suburbs to west Michigan and it has been excellent!  Lower cost, nice open roads with not many people on them (as long as you are not living directly in Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids) and lots of car people as well.  I now live about 15 miles from the Gilmore Car museum and then if you extend that range, I am within 1 - 3 hours of other auto museums such as the ACD, the Studebaker museum, the REO museum in Lansing, and of course the car museums in Detroit. Also Hagerty insurance headquarters are in Traverse city and they have their own events as well as are very active in a lot of Michigan events.   There is some local car cruise in somewhere within in a drive basically every day of the week during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  The Gilmore has a Wednesday night cruise in from April to the end of September and it is not unusual to get 400 - 600 cars in attendance. Also, major car shows and events across the state all season long as well.   Yes you have to contend with the Winter in Michigan, however if you heat your garage or storage building then that is a great time to work on the cars and get them ready for the next season.  

 

It was getting very hard to drive my pre 32 cars around in the Detroit suburbs due to traffic and the roads and now that I am in West Michigan it is so nice to be able to just take the car out any day and go for a nice drive without worry.  I would say it might be a place to look into for you.

 

Also, when you are asking about shops to work on cars, are you looking to make an income helping out working on cars or are you looking for a place to hang out and wrench on some old cars to have some fun and learn more?

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
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There is more than just taxes to look at .Do you want drought, hurricanes , floods, hot and humid  or waist deep snow .Utilities can bite you as well as sales and property taxes .Real estate cost is another one . then there is entertainment as well as shopping convenience. Do you like fishing or Hunting .Last what are zoning restrictions for car collectors and home mechanics .I don't remember were it is they are trying to pass a ordinance that you can not work on your own car even in your garage.

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I’ve spent a lot of time in TN and have many friends there that will never leave. Depending where, they have all 4 seasons with winter being fairly light. Property costs are reasonable just outside the big cities, it’s pretty central in the US, and I think it’s a state income tax free state. It has some great scenery and really great roads for driving on. I live in MA and own a house in FL now. Not planning on selling my MA home and living here in the summer when I retire but I will not be wintering in FL when my in laws pass. Don’t like FL much asthe traffic is now very heavy and all the idiots from up north, including my state (no offense to you Ed) have moved there or the Carolinas. I-75 is often a three lane parking lot for miles and miles. Never used to be like that. My son lives and works there now for 8 years and he wants out. He’s been looking at TN himself. He tells me there’s a lot of drugs and crime and his house was broken into twice.

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5 hours ago, Harold said:

How is the cloudiness/rain situation?  My son lives in Seattle and we're probably moving near there in a year or two.  The gloominess is getting me worried.

Not even close to the Seattle weather. MUCH milder and a lot less rain. Less crowded, too. If you ever want to come and check it out, you are welcome to drop by.

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Which state has the most Superfund sites?
New Jersey
 
The states with the most Superfund sites were New Jersey (113 sites), California (97 sites) and Pennsylvania (95 sites). The states with the fewest Superfund sites were North Dakota (no sites), Nevada (one site) and South Dakota (two sites)

 

Make sure you look into  this.. 

 

https://www.epa.gov/superfund/search-superfund-sites-where-you-live

 

If you sell your cars... This place is nice also..

https://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/cym

 

 

 

 

 

 

clean up.jpg

Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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9 hours ago, kfle said:

we recently relocated from the Detroit Michigan suburbs to west Michigan and it has been excellent!

 

It is really nice over there in that part of the state, but I personally have had it with the winters, the older ya get the tougher they get. The last five er so winters have been pretty bad. Winter of 2014-15 we had 84" of snow. Yes lots of shows, but many in the spring and fall are subject to bad weather. I've seen it snow here in September. Last year Dearborn OCF we all had to leave Sunday Sep 9th because it was so cold windy and rainy. Summer here in reality is about 2-1/2 months long. I'm headed south. I have to trailer my car to the shows, so I'll just trailer it back up here for the shows I want to attend, weather permitting.

 

Driving around Detroit? Yeah it's really bad, all of these suburbs are hurting for money and getting rid of police units, they don't patrol anymore, they only respond when called (eventually). People drive right through red lights, pull dangerous U-turns right in heavy traffic, tailgate, cut ya off in traffic. They drive terribly.

 

Other than my friends here, I'm not going to miss it.

 

-Ron

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Florida is fantastic........and terrible. I'll probably downsize when I get a bit older..........keep a small condo in South Florida for the winters, and I have been thinking about western Michigan near the Gilmore Museum for 2/3 of the year. Time will tell. I wanted to retire young, now as I approach my time I think I will never stop working.....would like to put my skills to use at a museum somewhere.

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I have lived in New York all my life and surviving just fine. And I heat my garage during winter. January, February, and half of March is not hard to take.

 

My wife won't leave, but my ideal is a main house on Grand Cayman and a small house and big garage close to Savannah, Georgia to keep the cars for play.

 

I hear Bend, Or. is a nice place except for the smoke due to federal land management regulations.

 

One thing is for sure, if there was a place I wanted to live I wouldn't let taxes cause me to live in the second choice or less.

 

Bernie

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When my wife and I were young recent College graduates we strongly considered applying for green cards. She is a Registered Nurse and there were few local job openings at the time     { 1980's}. Lots of vacancies in the U.S. at the time, Green Card approval was nearly automatic according to the hiring rep's at a few job fairs she attended. 

We really liked the Portland Ore. region ; the Swap Meet was a clincher for me,  and very nearly made the jump. But at the last minute a rare full time position appeared at Vancouver General and we stayed put. 

 I sometimes ponder how our lives would have been changed by the move. I still go to the Swap Meet most years and I just bought a car in Portland so not that far removed.

 

Greg in Canada

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