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October 22, 2009


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I would look into places with no sales tax such as Oregon or Montana since retirees are mostly consumers. Income tax is not much of an issue because retirees are no longer working. If you are considering buying in a new state vs. renting, definitely look for states with low property tax as well. Since I live in California which has taxes on everything, I would definitely consider moving when retiring.

?? My main goal is to retire somewhere that I will enjoy. Hopefully, I will have enough money saved so I won't have to choose the location based on having no retirement money in the bank. Can't think of anything worse than living in the rural Midwest until I die....

You sure those two states do not consider pension or 401 (and similar) as income?
Illinois does not tax pensions,and I think, from any type. Could be wrong but definitely no tax on Pensions.

My 401k and my husband's state pension as a teacher will be taxable (Texas), but the Roth IRA will be tax free. So hopefully we'll be able to balance it well enough to make withdrawals that keep us in a low tax bracket.

Overall I agree with MC, we'll retire where we want to based on enjoyment. That said, we actually love the little areas around Houston, Texas. We will probably stay here and travel during the hottest part of the summer (that's at least 1/4 of the year, lol).

I'm staring retirement in the face and wouldn't leave New Mexico for any amount of money. In fact, more time to explore and enjoy my beautiful state will be one of the great benefits of retirement. As has been said, enjoyment is the key. (No offense to Floridians, but frankly i wouldn't move there if the cost of living was free.)

Without looking at anything else but the amount of money saved for retirement what is the average $ figure that people shoot for to be enough to retire. I know this is a ballpark figure and it is different for everyone but for everyone that is already retired or looking to retire soon can you tell me what your goal $ figure was while you were investing and saving?

We are looking to retire in 26 years if we have at least $2,000,000 between our 401k, Roth IRA, and general stock investments. We would also be receiving a pension worth about 70% of my husband's salary.

If we retire without the pension, we want at least $3,000,000 in the retirement accounts. We are not calculating in social security since we don't want to depend on it still being around.

Retirement, for me, is 25 years out. I plan to leave the country. My main concerns for retirement are cost of living and stability. There are plenty of cheap countries to live, but your chance of being killed would be high. Taxes are a concern, but I have a Roth option through my work plan, plus an individual Roth, so I think I am fairly well protected from future taxes, but who knows as the government goes broke, they will probably try to find a way to tax those.

My husband's great-uncle retired to Singapore...apparently his monthly payments from the military are more than enough to live really well on over there. He lives in an area heavy with ex-pats so he gets to enjoy his own culture as well as the foreign one.

I have not looked into that. I use a ROTH so I have been taxed already. Any place you live, you will have to pay cap gains tax on your 401/IRA. Whether it is also taxed as income, I have no idea.

Staying put when I retired was a no-brainer for me, even though I live in California which is a high tax state.

The reasons are:--
Proposition 13 keeps my property taxes from going sky high - they are pegged at a maximum year to year increase of 2%. I just checked and my home is appraised over $1M and my latest property taxes are $2,216 for the coming year. The home was purchased in 1977 for $107,000.

Climate - without question the San Francisco South Bay Area has the best climate to be found anywhere.
Hardly any humidity, low rainfall, good air quality, freedom from annoying bugs, cool evenings and nights as the Pacific ocean marine layer creeps into coastal regions and cool breezes stream in from the Bay. Rain only occurs in late Fall to early Spring, no thunder and lightening storms, no hurricanes & tornadoes, no floods, just an occasional earth tremor. The worst I have experienced was the Loma Prieta quake of 1979, 6.9 on the Richter scale, lasting 10-15 sec. In our wood frame ranch style home built on flat, formerly orchard, land the only damage was two bottles of wine falling out of a cupboard.

Recreation - the Santa Clara Valley (Formerly called the Valley of Heart's Delight in the old days when its primary industry was producing apricots, prunes & cherries, but now called Silicon Valley, home to some of the world's most innovative hi-tech and bio-tech companies) is surrounded by scores of state and county parks and nature preserves that afford wonderful hiking 12 months of the year. There is an, almost finished, trail called the Bay Area Rim Trail that circles the whole region. The Santa Cruz mountains and beaches are a half an hour's drive away, Carmel and Monterey about an hour away. Winter sports are available at Lake Tahoe, a 4 hour drive.

The population contains a high percentage of very well educated professionals from all major disciplines which has resulted in a progressive attitude towards change and innovation. We have a lot of racial diversity, the latest immigrants to make a very positive impact were the Vietnamese and highly skilled immigrants from India. In fact one school district that has a very high percentage of Asian students has such high test scores that homes in that district sell for much more than identical homes adjacent to the district.

Healthcare - proximity to universities such as Stanford and UC Berkeley has brought about the availability of state of the art clinics and hospitals. The one we go to provides all services under one roof and the treatment and service we have been provided is unmatched in my opinion.

Transportation - Unlike big cities such as San Francisco (where I would not want to live) there is easy parking everywhere you go. The only time the freeways and expressways are very busy is during the periods of commuter traffic in and out of the valley.

Food - Wonderful fresh vegetables and fruits are available year round at very reasonable prices since they are grown South of us in areas that grow them for shipment all over the USA.

@myself, @ bill

sorry my previous post completely wrong. I meant federal tax not cap gains tax. I am not sure if state income rules apply for your current state or the state you were working in when money was contributed.


Illinois does not tax retirement--income tax that is. Currently 3% but bound to rise for those working.

Ah yes, here cometh another complaint. My state - along with many others - has a "retirement income tax credit" (which in other states is similar in concept but not identical). In my state, this is a tax credit based on pension income other than Social Security. Retiree tax breaks are considerably more generous in a number of states, so one might say that I am on weak ground to complain.

But I gotta ask:

Why should the income of a person who MUST continue working past 65 be taxed at a higher rate than the retirement income of someone who chose to stop working?

This has been a longstanding peeve of mine.

Rex - Oregon has an exorbitant 9 percent top marginal income tax rate. Worse for virtually everybody is the fact that that top rate kicks in VERY EARLY - even a burger flipper working full time at minimum wage is in the top Oregon marginal bracket!

Now there IS an interesting tax arbitrage opportunity here, as Washington is right across the Columbia River and has no income tax.

So one (retiree or otherwise) might opt to live on the Washington side and shop in Oregon - or vice versa if you do a lot of shopping on a low taxable income.

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