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Our biggest monthly expense is our personal escrow account. We put in $1500/mo that goes to pay annual expenses, i.e real estate taxes, quarterly tax payments for Fed and State, auto/umbrella/house insurance, winter travel/ Christmas.

Escrowing is a great idea, although I wouldn't put taxes, insurance, vacation, and gifts in the same category.

Don't get me started on having to pay state income tax and a sales tax of 9.5% due to living in Arkansas. This means we should have stayed in Florida.

SC is good for retirees on middle income (I mean REAL middle income, like the middle 3 income quintiles, not the definition of middle income that goes up to $250k or even $400k!). South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security, and starting at age 65, not the first $15k of retirement income per person. Property taxes are low, but hurricane insurance is high, something you would be familiar with from Florida. BTW, NY state is also good for middle-income retirees, at least if they don't drive too much (high gas taxes) or own expensive real estate (high prop taxes). I think 9.5% sales taxes is as high as NY City! At least in AR you don't need to worry about hurricanes, although regular rainstorms have been causing problems like flooding and sinkholes in many states lately.

The medical expenses for DH, aged 69 are taken care of by the VA, but we still carry Medicare and a good supplement for both of us.

I'm glad the taxes we've paid over the years are helping everyone over 65 in general, and a retired serviceman in particular.
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