I do want to check Springfield. I know a younger woman who grew up in Maplewood, who cannot afford to buy here. She is quite happy in Union. I will start looking around. Unfortunately we have no family nearby. What little is left is down South. I get quite apprehensive about moving there.
I grew up in Burlington County in South Jersey (I didn't think of it as being that south at the time, but it's all relative.) Lots of cute towns down there- Chesterfield, Crosswalks, Bordentown, Mt. Laurel, Roebling- and the real estate prices and taxes are so much less! And it's hard to describe, but just much more low key. The Trenton train station is easily accessible from some of these places by bus or light rail, and it's about an hour into NYC on that line. I wouldn't live there and commute (there are people who do), but very easy to see shows or just come into the city for the day. You are also pretty close to Philly, so it's double the options when it comes to shows, concerts, sporting events, etc. Also close to Princeton, where there is always so much going on.
There are also some great places in Hunterdon County- Flemington and Lambertville. I went to high school with a lot of people from this area, and also the Yardley/New Hope/Newtown area in PA. None of these are as cheap as Burlington County, but I think certainly cheaper than here, especially with regard to taxes. And again, not too difficult to get to NY and Philly.
The best advice I can give anyone is to take the time to explore every option. Look at every possibility, even if on the surface that possibility might not appeal to you. As a realtor I have worked with many people who said "I only will consider this" or I would never ever consider that, but once they were shown the reality of that possibility they embraced it and never regretted it. Go at it with an open mind and try everything.
Just back from Asheville. Seems to be booming. A lot of construction going on downtown. A lot of houses being remodeled or built in surrounding areas. It barely feels southern. I don't think I spoke to a single person who had a southern accent. Lots of northern transplants and many recent. If you didn't know where you were, you could easily think you're in Portland, or Austin or Burlington or any like town that has become a magnet for arts oriented/outdoorsy/counterculture people. Although it has very progressive vibe, I think it was, strangely, the whitest place I've ever visited.
The people were very pleasant and seemingly happy but I sensed some resentment/backlash against the boom and housing cost increase that has come along with it. Probably as a result of housing cost pressure and influx of people, an area called West Asheville, which seems to have been sleepy or even down and out until recently, is a budding Williamsburg (Bklyn) with lots of young people moving in. Houses a lot more affordable there.
Big time foodie city. Lots of good eats and not just downtown. The surrounding mountain setting (in every direction and minutes way) is heavenly. There is nothing in the northeast that compares to the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding mountains.
Final note: We flew into Greenville SC, which I knew nothing about. Apparently, its an up and coming place with a vibrant revitalized downtown and big foodie scene of its own. Worth checking out for retirement or just a visit.
Of course, if you are not cisgendered (you didn't say) you might want to think twice about moving to a state governed by bigots.
I would love to help you out but I know nothing about you. You need to ask yourself what is important to you? We are all different. My wife and I enjoy nature so we went looking in places where we could be a part of it. We also wanted to be near good medical care and not be too isolated. We're not retired but we found the place and we jumped on it. Hiking, kayaking, watching the bald eagles. Great motorcycle riding and a ton of peace and quiet. All that with low taxes and within 2 hours of NYC. I doubt a majority of this community would want to retire there but it is perfect for us.
Figure out what makes you happy and what your needs will be, then do some research and visit a few places. You'll find it.
Klinker said:Of course, if you are not cisgendered (you didn't say) you might want to think twice about moving to a state governed by bigots.
I think we can expect a change in state leadership in a few weeks.
While a fantastic city, is it this simple? First off, how easy is it for an American to buy property there? Second, would you lose your monthly SS benefits? How would participation on healthcare plans work as a non-citizen? Last, maybe most important, how long is a Visa? Can I stay there indefinitely? Glamourous? sure. practical? I don't know.
it is apparently no harder to buy property in Spain than it is in the U.S. You'd do all the same title searches, etc. that you'd do here. Spain is actually somewhat encouraging of foreigners buying property because their economy and housing market are still hurting. It appears you can also get long term residency if you buy property, so if you're retired and don't plan to take a job there, you can stay indefinitely. Health insurance is relatively inexpensive there. And I don't think anyone forfeits SS by living outside the U.S. I'm sure someone knows that for sure. And a couple can apparently live very well there on $2000 a month.
Here is an interesting town/community outside Orlando if you are fitness minded.
Spaniards live much more simply than Americans. Even in a sophisticated city like Barcelona, the standard of living for the average Spaniard may be quite different than what middle class Americans are used to. Barcelona is not a cheap city. I don't know how an American could survive on 2000 a month there. I have spent a fair amount of time in Spain and was in Barcelona last year. I have lived abroad, in Italy and it is wonderful. But I would never consider retiring in a foreign country. You would spend the rest of your life as an outsider, with a foreign language and a foreign culture. A stranger in a strange land. I dream of living overseas again for a year or two but not for the rest of my life.
Barcelona wouldn't be an issue for receiving Social Security benefits, which generally require that the recipient simply have a legitimate mailing address that can accept something initiated by the USPS. Exceptions at the moment are North Korea, Cuba and some places in and near Russia - and perhaps the regulations about Cuba will be lifted.
So those of you thinking of retiring to North Korea or Uzbekistan may want to come up with a new plan.
And if you can prove that your Jewish ancestors were forced to leave Spain 525 years ago because of the Inquisition, then you can get citizenship.
apple44 said:Barcelona wouldn't be an issue for receiving Social Security benefits, which generally require that the recipient simply have a legitimate mailing address that can accept something initiated by the USPS. Exceptions at the moment are North Korea, Cuba and some places in and near Russia - and perhaps the regulations about Cuba will be lifted.So those of you thinking of retiring to North Korea or Uzbekistan may want to come up with a new plan.
Interesting, I didn't realize you could live outside the US and collect SS. Nice!
SS does direct deposit you can be just about anywhere.
I understand that you can do it- sanpme with unemployment but is it legal to be living in another country and collecting? If so, is it indefinite?
apple44 said:So those of you thinking of retiring to North Korea or Uzbekistan may want to come up with a new plan.
They might come back you know. You need to get in early before everyone else does. /Real Estate Agent
conandrob240 said:I understand that you can do it- sanpme with unemployment but is it legal to be living in another country and collecting? If so, is it indefinite?
Why would your place of residence be relevant? The only thing that's relevant is where and how long you worked and paid social security taxes. I don't think the U.S. government cares where you retire. You don't even have to be U.S. citizen to collect SS retirement benefits.
"U.S. Department of the Treasury regulations prohibit making payments if you are in Cuba or North Korea....Generally, we can’t send U.S. Social Security payments to persons in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. However, we can make exceptions for certain eligible persons in countries with Social Security restrictions in place." - SSA.gov
shoshannah said:And if you can prove that your Jewish ancestors were forced to leave Spain 525 years ago because of the Inquisition, then you can get citizenship. http://www.timesofisrael.com/500-years-after-expulsion-jewish-american-claims-spanish-citizenship/
Conceptually, that sounds good, but how could one possibly prove it? Im interested because family geneology is that we were Portugese, kicked out of Portugal and relocated to England in the 1600's. Then, during the early 1700's, were encouraged to move to the colonies, where we have remained ever since. I cant imagine there would be a documentary trail, but at this point its family mythology, I only have one Portugese surname on the family tree, and it was Anglicanized prior to the late 1800's.
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