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Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Fri May 21, 2021 12:05 am
by bliss88
Hi all,
Would love input on where would be good places to work /live during my last 5 Yrs of wealth accumulation phase?

I live in SF Bay, work in sales for biotech, and just got a new job that covers all of North America, with most clients coming from SF Bay + SoCal + Boston.

Not sure if I'll really need to visit clients in-person that frequently in SF Bay, and I'm looking for where to live that is
1) within 20-30' access to nature (mountains, trails, cycling)
2) some community of 40-yr and young 50-yr olds to socialize with (I'm still single and hope I find my mate at some point in next 10 yr!)
3) decent weather for outdoors 9-10 mo of year (ie sunny and dry)
4) low income tax
5) low property tax
6) can buy a house or condo of >/= 900 sq ft for <$350K with HOA < $300/mo
7) 1hr drive from airport
8) learning centers (community college, hacker space?) to learn woodworking

Much appreciate your input!

Income is $180K/yr so I've realized it would be better to get out of CA as well to reduce income tax.

My net worth is $950K (if the market doesn't tank; I'm 88% invested in total stock market ETFs like QQQ, VTI, with maybe 2% in single stocks or tech ETFs (amazon, google, NET, ARKK). My goal is semi-FI eg when I hit $1.2-$1.5M, I'd like to move into part-time work (seasonal? Work at Denali National Park for the summers?).

Some areas that seem to tick off the boxes...
-Reno, NV
-Spokane, WA

Thank you!
Blisseth
PS
If I continue to pay the extra 10% state income taxes, I guess parts of Sacramento outskirts could work?

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Fri May 21, 2021 8:28 am
by basuragomi
Living up in the old California gold rush towns always seemed like a nice way to spend the days. Not sure about the learning centres but there'll be certainly cheap wood most years, if you can handle it being a bit charred.

If your intent is to live centrally to fly all over for work before changing your lifestyle, why commit to buying a place? Conversely, if your intent is to acquire a place for always-outdoors living, why does it need to be so close to an airport?

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Fri May 21, 2021 9:56 am
by Andy Dufresne
Don't think Spokane qualifies for "sunny and dry" TBH.

AZ, CO, and UT all have 5% income tax max (afaik), and TX has none. On the East Coast NC would be my choice in terms of livability, but its not that dry ... since I assume work will pay for most of your flights, you def have some options I guess, just need to be more concrete and likely go on a 3 week road trip to figure things out "on the ground". GL!

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun May 23, 2021 12:06 pm
by Lemur
Tennessee ?

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun May 23, 2021 1:06 pm
by Jean
Tucson,AZ is a place that fits your criterion and that i enjoyed.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun May 23, 2021 1:18 pm
by Ego
An alternative approach is to figure out the absolute perfect place regardless of cost then use ERE skills to figure out how to make it work. Have you always dreamed about living somewhere?

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun May 23, 2021 6:20 pm
by bliss88
Thanks all. I would love to live in / near Santa Cruz, CA or nearby. I guess the way to do that would be live in a trailer / mobile home/trailer park in Santa Cruz/Aptos/Watsonville?

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun May 23, 2021 7:18 pm
by Alphaville
bliss88 wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 6:20 pm
Thanks all. I would love to live in / near Santa Cruz, CA or nearby. I guess the way to do that would be live in a trailer / mobile home/trailer park in Santa Cruz/Aptos/Watsonville?
idk where this is precisely but the price looks right...

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/0-Mc ... 4740_zpid/

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:43 pm
by Jin+Guice
It meets none of the OP criteria, but I gotta plug New Orleans as a great semi-early retirement city. Low cost of living and everyone here hates working. You won't have to worry about a bunch of sports dads asking you "what do you do" or a bunch of moms side-eyeing you for meandering the streets at 11a on a sunny Wednesday. Not for everyone, but it has to be for more than just me. Or maybe I just want one of you fine people to come keep me company.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:47 pm
by Alphaville
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:43 pm
It meets none of the OP criteria, but I gotta plug New Orleans as a great semi-early retirement city. Low cost of living and everyone here hates working. You won't have to worry about a bunch of sports dads asking you "what do you do" or a bunch of moms side-eyeing you for meandering the streets at 11a on a sunny Wednesday. Not for everyone, but it has to be for more than just me. Or maybe I just want one of you fine people to come keep me company.
wife and i used to dream of moving there, i swear; but the way red states have been going lately has made me afeared. a bit like how austin is still in texas.

how insulated are you from the rest of lousiana? and how do you get health insurance when you don't work? what's the status of of medicaid expansion? i know bobby jindal used to oppose it... how are the state politics? how are the cops?

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:47 pm
by Jin+Guice
@Alphaville: Louisiana has a lot of super cool cultural aspects. New Orleans has all of them, but is super liberal (most Obama voters in the 2012 election). So very insulated in the way you are worried about, but not insulated in the ways that are fun. You'll still have to deal with the occasional redneck from LaPlace or some hick on vacation from fucking Florida, but, I dunno, there is a massive LGBTQ festival every year called "Southern Decadence" where a leatherclad man literally ejaculated at me on the street?

I have Obamacare. I'm super healthy though and thankfully don't really use my healthcare, which I assume is terrible.

We have a dem governor right now who accepted the medicaid expansion.

The state politics are terrible. I swear to you that Louisiana culture is super cool, but it is perpetuated by a bunch of small pink potato men who hold truly awful opinions. They don't even run Republicans in New Orleans city politics though.

The cops are like comically corrupt. The poverty is crushing and racially divided, but I don't think the cops really fuck with black people, like more than the normal cop levels? Not like some small town Texas bullshit or something. BLM protests here were among the least violent in the country, a large majority of the cops (and the city) are black and BLM protests had a police escort, which amazingly went fine.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:59 am
by Alphaville
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:47 pm
@Alphaville: Louisiana has a lot of super cool cultural aspects. New Orleans has all of them, but is super liberal (most Obama voters in the 2012 election). So very insulated in the way you are worried about, but not insulated in the ways that are fun. You'll still have to deal with the occasional redneck from LaPlace or some hick on vacation from fucking Florida, but, I dunno, there is a massive LGBTQ festival every year called "Southern Decadence" where a leatherclad man literally ejaculated at me on the street?

I have Obamacare. I'm super healthy though and thankfully don't really use my healthcare, which I assume is terrible.

We have a dem governor right now who accepted the medicaid expansion.

The state politics are terrible. I swear to you that Louisiana culture is super cool, but it is perpetuated by a bunch of small pink potato men who hold truly awful opinions. They don't even run Republicans in New Orleans city politics though.

The cops are like comically corrupt. The poverty is crushing and racially divided, but I don't think the cops really fuck with black people, like more than the normal cop levels? Not like some small town Texas bullshit or something. BLM protests here were among the least violent in the country, a large majority of the cops (and the city) are black and BLM protests had a police escort, which amazingly went fine.
ah, i meant to reply to this yesterday but i got sidetracked. first of all, thanks a lot for the reply. new orleans seems even more glorious than i imagined! :D

im used to latin american comically corrupted cops, the prompt for small bribes, that sort of thing. what im fearful of is trigger-happy murderers hiding behind badges. in latin america those types cluster more in the military, staging coups and massacres :roll:

my experience with police in north american cities has been mostly ok though. nothing spooky. some of it annoying, some also stellar. but yeah, new orleans has a reputation, thanks for helping me understand better. also im aware of their great skill at escorting all sorts of parades hahaha.

but seriously, as great as new orleans sounds, i personally know other louisianans, and for this reason the city seems to me (from afar anyway) like a place under siege, a paradise ready to be lost, like a caribbean island about to be submerged by rising sea levels--except this disaster is more political than natural, like the disappearance of creole culture and society under anglo pressures in the last century. will new orleans last? will it be converted into a disney version of herself? what does your crystal ball say?

but anyway, if the whole world is going to end, we might as well end up there for one last party :D

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:22 pm
by Jin+Guice
@Alphaville: The "place under siege" is a common misconception. For a confluence of cultural and historical reasons, even the most conservative Louisianians want New Orleans to stick around.

There is a delicate balance between local and national power. The rest of the world and the U.S fucking loves New Orleans. It is a huge tourist destination, nationally and internationally relevant, and a giant money maker. Even if you are conservative af and don't like its politics, it's still an asset for your state to have this, especially when you don't have to live there or really deal with it. As a trade off for being left alone by the rest of the state, New Orleans doesn't really try to fuck with the local power (which is in the state capital of Baton Rouge). This dynamic has existed for well over a century and is baked into the state's history.

New Orleans is also a cultural epicenter and world liaison for both the culture of the Gulf Coast (Western Florida to Eastern Texas) and for cajun culture (which is actually centered in Southwestern Louisiana and Eastern Texas, primarily near Lafayette). Again it's useful to have the cultural epicenter in your state and Lousianians do take pride in their culture and like to see the rest of the world experience and enjoy it.

New Orleans also provides a place to send your weird gay kids while keeping them close enough for 3-5 uncomfortable visits per decade and the hope of contact with the grandkids. It also hosts large sporting events and a night of sanctioned freedom yelling "woooooo" on Bourbon Street and vomiting on some guy playing the violin dressed as a wolf that even the goodest of old bois value from time to time.

As far as Disnification, also a fear that is over a century old. Walt Disney originally wanted to put Disneyland here, but the local politicians demanded too many kickbacks. The crime, corruption and hurricanes keep a lot of the riff raff out. New Orleans is also a Disnified version of its former (like 1910s) self. Its glories are that: The thing that got Disnified is still pretty cool, it's really cheap, it has a staggering number of live music venues and excellent restaraunts for a city of its size and relative provinciality. So basically you can both get mad at all the signs that say "N'awlins" and "Gumbo," and still be a barista who does circus bullshit four nights a week and eats pretty well.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:04 pm
by Alphaville
Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:22 pm
@Alphaville: The "place under siege" is a common misconception. For a confluence of cultural and historical reasons, even the most conservative Louisianians want New Orleans to stick around.[…]So basically you can both get mad at all the signs that say "N'awlins" and "Gumbo," and still be a barista who does circus bullshit four nights a week and eats pretty well.
hahaha! that sounds great.

ok, thanks for the explanation. yeah i have family friends who used to live in baton rouge.

anyway, so, i get the interest in keeping the place around, but still, afro-creoles got jim crowed, and creole society eventually... vanished? so, things change under pressure. the issue of course is how far will change go. already they changed a lot post-katrina, no?

but... mmmm-mmmmm-mmmm! i really need to visit and see if i get a welcome or a beatdown :lol:

i should fly not drive yes? ive heard that too lololol-- louisiana cops searching every out of state plate and what not.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:42 pm
by EdithKeeler
Tennessee would fit the bill nicely, even if you moved to more expensive Nashville.

DBF just bought a studio condo in downtown Memphis with a kick-ass view of the river for $120K. I was comparing what a bargain it was to Nashville, where I found a similar one--a little bigger--for about $380K.

Tennessee has a lot to recommend it. No state income tax, no tax on investment income (used to be--I think last year was the last year), and we have great mountains, great rivers, and decent cities, though I think Nashville and Memphis beat Chattanooga and Knoxville by a lot. We do have a really high sales tax, but hey, if you're an LBYM kind of person, that won't affect you much.

It's definitely a Red state, but I live in Blue Memphis, so we have to put up with what the other idiots do. Memphis gets a bad rap due to crime, and yes, there's a good bit of crime here, but if you're smart you can avoid most of it. International airport with a few international flights here, but it's a quick jog up to Nashville to fly out of or to Little Rock. Weather's great except for summer which is usually a sweaty sauna, but nothing's perfect. Awesome bike trail through the city and across the Mississippi River. All the cultural stuff, plus a great restaurant scene. Excellent health care here, and believe it or not, a great library system. We just won some award and were the first city to win it twice. Tons of history here. Our downtown is undergoing quite a renaissance and it's pretty hopping these days. (I love my house in the 'burbs, but I confess I'm a little jealous of DBF's elegant 1920's deco condo building with a coffee shop on the first floor and a trolley stop right outside the door). Traffic is nothing compared to Dallas and Atlanta, both of which I'm familiar with. Especially Atlanta--blecch!!

FYI: here's what $350K will buy you in Memphis (I love showing my friends in DC stuff like this... they hate it.):

downtown condo:
https://www.realtor.com/realestateandho ... 3766-57819
https://www.realtor.com/realestateandho ... 3683-55551

mid-town condo near the University: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandho ... 3981-31039

suburban townhouse:
https://www.realtor.com/realestateandho ... 8452-10737

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:15 pm
by C40
You can get a real bargain in those cities around the, IDK what to call it, the northern south, or the southern mid-west. Like St Louis, Memphis, Kansas City. IT comes with a trade-off. There are long-term risks related to what will happen with the city over time. and it is more important than other places that you really know the city well (including down to really small portions of neighborhoods, borders of neighborhoods, etc.). It's doable though. I did a lot of research on the city before I bought a house in one of these. None of them are good if you have kids though

Looking at your list, these cities can check a lot of your boxes.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:49 pm
by Alphaville
i'Ve been to memphis--chill vibe, great music, great bbq. for my taste, way superior to nashville (though people in nashville were nice and friendly.)

also i'd recommend this film, plus the commentary track:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097940/

an indie classic

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:30 am
by IlliniDave
Low property taxes (and low interest rates) unfortunately correlates to higher housing prices. I'm looking at selling a place in N. Alabama and buying a place in N. Illinois over the next 6 months. I can buy a better house in Illinois for 40%-50% under what my current home projects to sell for. But if I look at property tax differences the difference washes out in a little over 20 years then goes negative. Short-term win, long-term loss.

Any number of smaller/relatively rural areas in Flyoverland would fit the financial criteria (except maybe the availability of condos). Access to 'nature' is highly dependent on what your criteria are. Most places have some undeveloped terrain you can traverse or visit.

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:14 am
by chenda
How about Mexico ? Cheaper than the US I assume and see you saving rate soar. Baja California maybe...and not far away :)

Re: Semi-retirement locations?

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:15 am
by Seppia
If I could, I would live in Salt Lake City or Moab or some place in Utah/Colorado.
Utah is the most beautiful state in my opinion.
People who have an American passport have no idea how lucky they are :)

Now that I think of it, I should investigate ways of moving to Utah, I’m sure it’s doable