This article was posted on May 1, 1999.
A frequent concern of retirees (early and otherwise) is living expenses and taxes. Many folks even move to escape one or both. Provided below are links and resources on taxes and living expenses in the 50 states.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine has published several articles over the past few years on state and local taxes. The tables comparing the situation in each of the 50 states are particularly useful.
Taxing Geography, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, October 1998, pp 99-102
Taxes: There's no Place Like Home, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, July 1997, pp 55-60
The Taxes of Madison County, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, August 1995, pp 57-60
You can read these articles on Kiplinger's web site. To do a search, click here. Then type in the title of the article.
The commonly cited advice to use 70% to 80% of your pre-retirement income is a rough estimate at best. The best way to get a handle on retirement living expenses is to calculate your own. Keep track of your expenses for a few years, then estimate what will change once you're retired. For instance, commuting and clothing expenses typically fall while vacation travel might increase.
Comprehensive budget. California-based financial planner, Errold Moody, has a excellent budget form on his web site. It's well worth looking at.
How about a Motorhome? Visit Movin-On Ron and Barb Hofmeister's home page on RV living. They include a monthly budget for this type of lifestyle. It's not for everybody, but advantages are you don't pay real estate taxes and you can declare residency in a state without an income tax.
Coldwell Banker Home Price Calculator - find out what a home like yours would cost in another part of the country. (Note: Go to the "Information Booth" at the middle of the page to find the Home Price Comparison Index.)
Here's a list of the best resources I've seen on retirement locations.
50 Fabulous Places to Retire in America, Kenneth A. Stern
America's Best Places to Retire, Richard L. Fox
Where to Retire: America's Best and Most Affordable Places, John Howells
Retirement Places Rated, David Savageau
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Copyright © 1999 John P. Greaney, All rights reserved.