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Subject:  Re: What is the best state to retire in? Date:  5/11/2004  8:25 PM
Author:  KenAtPcs Number:  71781 of 127545

What Phil said is so very true.

We lived in the WA area that fleg referred to for about 13 years PRIOR to retirement. But our property taxes really started to get expensive, as did our heating costs. (The latter perhaps could have been remedied by a smaller, more energy-efficient home.) Most importantly, though, was that we were just fed up with the lack of sun. It doesn't bother many people, but my DW and I just couldn't take the endless clouds for another year. (Often times you can go 4 weeks without seeing the sun once.) The summers are wonderful, though -- usually.

So, it really does amount to what you want to do, what climate you like, what amenities -- as well as where you can best afford to live. We researched the entire US when deciding where to retire. We finally decided on CA, because it met most of our requirements. FL's intangibles tax is low, but at 0.1% it's $1000 / million. We haven't paid that much annually in CA income tax since we moved here in '01 (last year it was $300 or $400). Our property taxes are prevented from rising more than 2% / year. Our gas & electric bills are usually very small, due to the mostly temperate climate. (Well, we do suffer a bit in the summertime, making conservative use of the A/C.) And we enjoy having about 2x as many sunny days as we had in WA.

Another factor was health insurance. At the time we left WA, the only individual health insurance policy we could find was more than 3x as much as what was available in CA. At the time, there were very, very few choices (one or maybe two) in SW WA, but 5-6 in No CA. Unfortunately, health insurance costs are not capped (of course), and they are a few years away from becoming outrageous. Certainly state income tax pales by comparison.

So follow Phil's, and the other's, advice. Pick out several places that you think you'd like, regardless of cost, and then compare costs. But take into account as many factors as you can, because state income tax certainly may not be that significant at all.

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