Where Would You Live?
The question of where to move to is fraught with so many variables that decisions are punted down the road. Inconclusiveness leads one to stay in place, though not necessarily happily. I recall the famous quote, ‘Someday is a not a day of the week.’
How many of you have discussed with your spouses, your partners, your families, where should we live? Many people are feeling the same way and tired of the high cost of living and now potentially higher cost of taxes. I live in a state with high income taxes, high sales taxes and high property taxes. Like millions of others in so called blue states, we will find out soon enough how the new laws will impact our 2018 income tax returns.
Everyone should periodically assess their wealth to determine if they can afford to continue to live their current lifestyle. You should both protect your wealth as well as grow your assets to keep up with the cost of living over a long period time. Besides achieving higher investment returns, to maintain your lifestyle as you age into retirement years, is to lower your cost of living by proactively relocating. For example, according to bestplaces.net, the cost to live in Scarsdale, NY, is 141% higher than Charlotte, NC, 136% higher than Tampa, FL, and 98% higher than Austin, TX. During your working career, local jobs in cheaper locales will certainly come with lower wages, though if you are thinking of relocating to these areas in retirement, you will certainly pick up savings and protection of your wealth by lowering your cost of living.
There is a legitimate concern in the blue states about a migration of its population to lower cost states. There is a definite pick-up in relocations and real estate development in the areas that I mentioned above. Not a surprise. Of course, each individual and family needs to weigh those factors that are most important to them. This runs the gamut from amenities, climate, cost of living, crime, demographics, diversity, education, family life, family locations, health & fitness, housing, nightlife, social views, and work.
With the multitude of variables, it is certainly overwhelming. Countless magazines publish articles reporting the best places to live. Though they are basing this on general attributes that may not be suitable to you and your situation. There are many sites to help with your processing, such as areavibes.com, datausa.io, niche.com, teleport.org. Internet searches will always lead to numerous informational sites to help as well as twist your mind into knots.
Keep in mind that no location is perfect. Do not search for nirvana. What are the top 3 most important variables for you and your family? Use this to come up with a list of potential places. Seeing it on paper may lead you to preliminary conclusions that will not accurately portray a first-hand experience. It is important to go on vacations and visit these places to get an in-person feel for the place and whether it feels right to you. When you check them out, then the secondary variables besides the top 3 can be assessed.
And of course, choose a location that your family would want to consider themselves. Older children may move first and the parents follow or vis-a-versa.