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Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:45 am
by JJHACK
I retire in 5 years, full comfortable pension and savings by eastern Wa. Standards not in southern Ca. King Pierce or similiar counties. Nor is it enough to settle in the florida keys, although that would be in reach for driving with the Camp trailer?

It would seem to me that the gulf coast is the likely area for cost of living and access to warm water. Where would you go? Am I missing another location that would also be good?

Right now I'm looking at the south west side of the Florida coast. Still not that cost effective for a pensioneer, but the balance of cost and quality seems pretty good. Have any of you folks ever considered this in your lives?

Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:23 am
by GearHead
Here. My plan is to own my home by the time I fully retire. And I can't think of a place in this country where I would rather live. Been on the East Coast, California and mid west. Seattle beats them all.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:55 am
by JJHACK
Having the house paid is not an issue in king county, its the property tax that will exceed the mortgage by the time you retire. Its not a city with the design intent to retire in. It appears more modeled around social welfare programs and working class or better people.

I lived there for 25 years, although a great place for many reasons, the cost of living on a fixed retirement income is not one of them! Property tax drives many people out of the area when they retire.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:27 pm
by dlh
You can always move to another State and trade property taxes for income taxes. Washington is one of the few states to not have income taxes, which is exactly why property tax has to be somewhat higher. I think WA is about #12 out of 50.

Comparing per County property taxes rates in the state vs diving potential, I'd say Port Townsend looks like a good balance.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:31 pm
by mz53480
Wont matter. Skynet goes online in October....
IMG_4016.PNG
1

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:12 pm
by JJHACK
income tax is irrelevant to me if I'm retired which was the point of the question. I won't have income tax because I won't be working.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:28 pm
by dlh
Ok, but I also gave a suggestion on the where part.

As for Income Tax, you know your situation best. However, many pension, 401k, and other retirement funds may indeed be subject to Federal and State income taxes as they are paid out.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:43 pm
by Gdog
mz53480 wrote:Wont matter. Skynet goes online in October....IMG_4016.PNG

Great point, Mike!

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:11 pm
by Tangfish
Would you consider moving outside of the 50 states? Guam is a US territory, has pretty good diving and is a lot less expensive than Hawaii.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:22 pm
by JJHACK
Good point, it's far less than Hawaii or just about anyplace in the SE USA too.

Although family visits become complicated.

Hhhmmmm that might be okay too! Ha ha

Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:31 pm
by GearHead
JJHACK wrote:income tax is irrelevant to me if I'm retired which was the point of the question. I won't have income tax because I won't be working.

This may depend on your source of income, but withdrawing from a standard IRA or 401k is, in fact, taxable income. The idea is that your tax bracket in retirement is somewhat lower than when you were working full time. Sale of equities is taxed as capital gains. Pension payments are taxable, and even social security payments may be taxable.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:16 pm
by Jeff Pack
I would move into the great lakes area, and dive all the wrecks.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:20 am
by Grateful Diver
Depends on what kind of diving you want to do. Northern Florida is pretty cheap if you're into cave diving. Or along the panhandle for diving out of Panama City or elsewhere along the Gulf Coast. The Carolinas for coastal wrecks. All of those places have reasonably easy access to Central American or Caribbean destinations ... or at least more so than the Northwest.

If cold water diving's your thing then why even leave Washington? Once you leave the greater Pugetropolis area the cost of living goes down dramatically. Head out to Port Angeles or points west of there ... there's a thriving retirement community out that way exactly because it's a good place to live on a fixed income, and taxes are a fraction of what they are in King County. You don't even have to go that far, actualy ... there's still some affordable living to be found on the Kitsap Peninsula. But most retirees are more interested in getting into the type of diving that's a bit easier on the body.

Me ... I'm still thinking about eventually leaving the USA and heading elsewhere. Bali's my preference, but there are other great options. Central America's a lot closer and more convenient, and while Costa Rica is the current "favorite" among American expats it's getting more expensive as a result. Nearby Nicaragua has come up as an alternative, as has Panama and some parts of Mexico ... my girlfriend wants to go check out Sayulita, along Mexico's west coast. But if your interest is in a foreign country just remember that there's a big difference between going someplace on vacation and living there ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:14 am
by CaptnJack
Jeff Pack wrote:I would move into the great lakes area, and dive all the wrecks.

except the dive season is about 4 or 5 months long, most require a boat to access, and the other 7 months out of the year you need a snowblower....

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:04 am
by JJHACK
The midwest is out, I'll simply not live and survive in those winters any longer. Went to college in Chicago, now live in Eastern Wa. both have brutal winters at times and just cold and miserable on a good year. At least Eastern Wa where I am near walla walla the winter is only 2.5 months, not the 5 months in the midwest!

Looked into Guam, not that cheap to live actually. Cheaper than Hawaii but not like the gulf coast! I suppose I could open this up to the carribean seems like a lot of folks in my age group have retired there. I still prefer the idea of being able to get in the truck and pull my camp trailer base camp to where ever I want to go in the continental USA.

I'm not overly concerned with the hurricanes, with the camp trailer, I can move inland and live just as if I'm at the home base. Fortunately the gulf storms come with days of advanced notice. I have to see what the diving is like on the texas coast south of Houston. That might be a reasonable location because I'm just two easy days drive from Florida too.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:11 am
by CaptnJack
JJHACK wrote: I have to see what the diving is like on the texas coast south of Houston.


Its all boat diving, and you have to go a long ways out to get to anything. So its heavily weather dependent. And chartering a boat is both seasonal and expensive.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:42 pm
by Jeff Pack
CaptnJack wrote:
Jeff Pack wrote:I would move into the great lakes area, and dive all the wrecks.

except the dive season is about 4 or 5 months long, most require a boat to access, and the other 7 months out of the year you need a snowblower....


buzzkill :)

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:11 am
by McGlencoe
dlh wrote:Comparing per County property taxes rates in the state vs diving potential, I'd say Port Townsend looks like a good balance.


Stay out of the city of Port Townsend, it is a Seattle-esq socialistic nightmare on a smaller scale and will get worse as Seattle does. However, the surrounding communities are pretty good and the further you go out on the peninsula, the cheaper property values get.

If I was to retire in warmer water locales, I'd like to go to cave county in Florida. Fairly cheap and those caves are incredible (well at least the caverns and sinks that I've been in) and the fresh water is so much nicer on gear, but the heat is another thing..... LOL!

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:15 am
by ScubaJess
I think it would be great to live on Whidbey Island or Anacortes, near so many epic dive spots and Pickles Deli!!

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:34 am
by CaptnJack
McGlencoe wrote:If I was to retire in warmer water locales, I'd like to go to cave county in Florida. Fairly cheap and those caves are incredible (well at least the caverns and sinks that I've been in) and the fresh water is so much nicer on gear, but the heat is another thing..... LOL!


Heat, mosquitoes, and idiots. Not to mention north florida is a serious cultural wasteland. I think anyone wanting to retire someplace should spent a solid 6 months there (at the very least winter and summer) to decide if its for them.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:03 am
by ArcticDiver
Don't know your age and physical condition so can only say those are Really important. Health care availability is a critical factor. Transportation when you can't drive is important unless you are ready, willing, and able to move again when you can't drive. Lots of claims about public transportation. But, in fact, in most places it just isn't available for the average person.

Another factor is culture. Can't dive 24/7. Want to make sure you fit and are comfortable with the people in that area. In that vein, your profile says you have links to South Africa. Why not settle there?

Guess, what I'm saying is that unless you are willing to plan for multiple moves look beyond just diving to your whole life. Even then, from experience, you need to be prepared for unexpected radical change.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:49 pm
by Grateful Diver
McGlencoe wrote:
dlh wrote:Comparing per County property taxes rates in the state vs diving potential, I'd say Port Townsend looks like a good balance.


Stay out of the city of Port Townsend, it is a Seattle-esq socialistic nightmare on a smaller scale and will get worse as Seattle does. However, the surrounding communities are pretty good and the further you go out on the peninsula, the cheaper property values get.

If I was to retire in warmer water locales, I'd like to go to cave county in Florida. Fairly cheap and those caves are incredible (well at least the caverns and sinks that I've been in) and the fresh water is so much nicer on gear, but the heat is another thing..... LOL!


I think Pt Townsend's a pretty laid-back community ... but Chimacum is probably more your taste. To each their own.

As for cave country, it's an interesting mix of high-tech and low-life ... and the dive shop politics sucks the fun out of diving ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:52 pm
by Gdog
I used to want to retire to Costa Maya, the Mexican Riviera, but then they started putting in cruise ship terminals, and the area kinda blew up. Now, not sure where if anywhere. Probably just stay in the PNW, as it is way better than some areas.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:09 pm
by BillZ
Puerto Rico is a US territory, relatively inexpensive and is a couple of hour plane flight to the mainland if the need arises. I've heard mixed reviews on the diving but at least the water is warm ;-)

The Big Island of Hawaii is more reasonable than you'd expect. Once you get outside of Kona a house can be had for under $350k. Most everything is shipped in from the mainland so things are more expensive but you can offset some of the costs by growing your own food, etc. The diving on the Big Island is really good and most everything can be done from shore.

Re: Where would you retire in the USA to live and Dive?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:01 pm
by Steiger
I'm too young to worry about this sort of stuff. Sounds fun. :)