Which State Better for Retirement- NH or ME?

Mountain

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Doing a little mid-term planning and although I have a few years to go, I thought I'd start exploring retirement locations in New England. Despite being from the South and having a favorable opinion of retiring there, I'm considering New England due to proximity to a family member with long term health concerns. I'd like to be no more than 2 - 2.5 hours from either the Worcester area, Metro West, or Boston. So that means escaping MA for either NH or ME.

Any thoughts on which state is better? What are some nice locations? I'd pay cash for a 3 bedroom 2+ bath house on at least a 1/2 acre and could afford something on a river, pond, lake, or with a coastal view. I'm a skier and of course like the mountains too. No 'blue' towns like Peterborough, NH that are anti 2A. Extra land to have space to shoot on my own property a plus as well. Tax burden on retirement income (401K, other investments, pension, etc.) is a decision factor. Small towns and/or rural areas OK, though I'd like to be within ~30 minutes of a decent sizes city with the usual conveniences and healthcare options. I don't like HOA's and no way in hell would I live in a 55+ community.

Thoughts?
 

Uzi2

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I got out of the northeast to Kentucky.
Warmer climate, super cheap property taxes especially with a homestead exemption and farm designation, cheap land, gun friendly for everything including NFA, mild winters, less heating bills, cheap utilities, constitutional carry, excellent roads, no traffic, in my county there's no building codes to hassle you on building a place or a barn or shed, overall a very affordable place to live......pretty much unrestricted.

I understand ( somewhat ) about staying in the northeast but it just wasn't for me anymore. I had to get away from it and unwind.
 

Mountain

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I got out of the northeast to Kentucky.
Warmer climate, super cheap property taxes especially with a homestead exemption and farm designation, cheap land, gun friendly for everything including NFA, mild winters, less heating bills, cheap utilities, constitutional carry, excellent roads, no traffic, in my county there's no building codes to hassle you on building a place or a barn or shed, overall a very affordable place to live......pretty much unrestricted.

I understand ( somewhat ) about staying in the northeast but it just wasn't for me anymore. I had to get away from it and unwind.
Kentucky is great, though I'd end up back in Tennessee or perhaps the Redneck Riviera (Gulf Coast). Family first for us, so finding something in New England is likely. I'm one of the nuts who loves winter, so NE weather is not a problem.
 

Uzi2

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Kentucky is great, though I'd end up back in Tennessee or perhaps the Redneck Riviera (Gulf Coast). Family first for us, so finding something in New England is likely. I'm one of the nuts who loves winter, so NE weather is not a problem.
I understand. I never minded the cold weather much either, spent many years out in it.....just have to dress right. I just wanted to get somewhere more affordable and more suited to my lifestyle. I found it here.
 
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New Hampshire vs Maine : Tastes great! Less filling! Tastes great! Less filling! Tastes great! Less filling!

points of you're under 50 and know the reference. [laugh]

You wont feel full with Fields. You'll just feel fine.

Extra points if you know that reference (without using google).


+1 on NH. You can easily find a nice town with low taxes. Just dont expect a lot of services, too.
 
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Maine has arguably better military retirement perks and benefits so it was between the two states for me.

I chose NH as I have a bunch invested and the Feds rape my capital gains enough so I don’t need a state doing it too.

I’m renting until I can find a place in a lower tax rate town to buy. Really good map here: New Hampshire Property Tax Rates | NH Town Property Taxes

if you’re already in Mass, you can skip the renting and just buy.
 
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No income tax in NH, but there is the interest and dividend tax (think investments). Maine taxes pensions.
I‘be done the math on NH’s I&D tax and even with my wildly inefficient taxable portfolio, the tax is pretty much a non issue.

OP, you can grab the form Here and see how it affects you.
 
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kurtb

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I would say ME as its too far for ma**h***s to commute from . plus in nh all of those ma**h***s work hard to change nh to the state they just escaped from.. but what do i know. I am thinking the same questions tbh. The wife and I like ME but we are still a few years off to flee the MA taxation hell-hole and liberal craziness. Might just move to the Bahamas (have a place on Eleuthera) where we can just slow down .. but they have their own issues too. Plus, I assume we will have grandkids someday .. which makes things difficult.
 

caboose84

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I‘be done the math on NH’s I&D tax and even with my wildly inefficient taxable portfolio, the tax is pretty much a non issue.

OP, you can grab the form Here and see how it effects you.
Yeah it's a variable item that depending on your income breakdown need's to be looked at for retirement planning.

If the OP's retirement income plan leans heavily on a conventional pension he needs to look into Maine's tax rate on pensions as compared to someone who has substantial investment income that may get hit by the NH I&D tax. Then factor in property taxes as well to get an overall picture.

Additional things to look into are overall cost of living items, for Northern NE factor in heating cost, folks retiring down south need to consider cooling costs. Food costs, utilities, vehicle expenses, insurance all need to be part of the calculation.

When we sell our campground here in Colorado we are most likely going to SW Florida. The no income tax advantage factors in, as well as the lower overall cost of living. Loved living in NH for 20 years after escaping RI, but really don't want to shovel snow anymore.
 
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I would say ME as its too far for ma**h***s to commute from . plus in nh all of those ma**h***s work hard to change nh to the state they just escaped from.. but what do i know. I am thinking the same questions tbh. The wife and I like ME but we are still a few years off to flee the MA taxation hell-hole and liberal craziness. Might just move to the Bahamas (have a place on Eleuthera) where we can just slow down .. but they have their own issues too. Plus, I assume we will have grandkids someday .. which makes things difficult.
Maine is as bad as mass for the ma*h***s had/are turning into mass#2. Anywhere from Kittery up thru Portland Same deal, they leave mass because of...but bring the politics that caused .... Stupid. Theyre starting to move into western Maine now.
 

timbo

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Be careful about picking a town in NH due to low property taxes. When I bought my house in 1986, my taxes were some of the lowest in the state, $600 annually which is the main reason I bought where I did. Within 6 years they were one of the highest in the state. Being involved in the town politics did little good because you were almost always steamrolled by the liberal crowd. 30 plus years later, my property taxes are approaching $6K per year and I literally have no more services than I did when I first moved to my town, perhaps even less. This is the main reason why I'm moving out of state. I was born and raised here but I can't afford to live here any longer unless I work until the day I drop dead.

YMMV...
 
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jdgill

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Doing a little mid-term planning and although I have a few years to go, I thought I'd start exploring retirement locations in New England. ..........................

Thoughts?
Lemme see, ME: Sales tax, income tax, high RE tax, bottle bill.
NH: Gotta pay attention to the town as tax rates vary wildly, but, no sales tax, income tax, or bottle bill. Plus a bunch of other nice stuff. Just not much coastline :(
 

timbo

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Sounds like our town. :(
Sad, isn't it? Policies foisted upon us by the likes of Volinski re: the "Claremont decision" plus other libs have caused much of this. That and unfunded mandates by the State and Feds have caused this. The school districts are sucking NH dry and there's seemingly no end in sight.
 

Cowgirlup

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Sad, isn't it? Policies foisted upon us by the likes of Volinski re: the "Claremont decision" plus other libs have caused much of this. That and unfunded mandates by the State and Feds have caused this. The school districts are sucking NH dry and there's seemingly no end in sight.

Our town has some sneaky ways of presenting things to raise taxes. Most recently was a full time fire chief for $50k a year as presented in the budget which turned out to be only a partial year, It's really $100k oh and a new pick up truck with all the accessories.

The town taxes are voted in at a meeting where about 200 people show up. It's in the evening on a school night and runs late Some ballot votes and some yay or nay so it depends on who is louder. Those 200 decide the budget for he whole town.
 

Mountain

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Thanks all, a lot of good advice. ME, as much as we like some areas, is looking more and more like a 'no'. Regarding NH property tax and I&D tax, here's what I'm used to:

For tax year 2019, Massachusetts had a 5.05% tax on both earned (salaries, wages, tips, commissions) and unearned (interest, dividends, and capital gains) income. The tax rate was lowered to 5% for tax years beginning January 1, 2020, and after. Certain capital gains are taxed at 12%.

I'm paying nearly $12K in property tax and don't even have town water or sewer. I do have more cops than I know what to do with, LOL. Plowing is excellent and schools are decent enough to boost real estate prices, FWIW.

I have a decent pension but I'm leaning to take a lump sum and invest. I've done the math as has my broker and lump sum and invest looks better as long as I'm willing to assume the usual levels of risk. I don't think NH taxes dividends, so those would be liquidated not reinvested.
 

KBCraig

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This is a horrible time to buy in either state. Corona Karens are fleeing NYC and Boston, and bringing their trust funds with them. Houses listed 20% above appraised value are being snapped up for cash, immediately.

For overall tax burden, NH will be better, but it does depend on your source of income (NH taxes interest and dividends), and of course the town you select will make the biggest difference of all.

The further north in NH, the better the life (and the cheaper cost of housing). A half million dollar house in Salem might be 100k up here. Hint: be the cheapest house in the neighborhood. Tax rates are the budget divided by the total property valuation, so cheap houses in expensive towns will have the lowest tax rates. Berlin NH has low property values, but an extremely high tax rate as a result. A $130k house in Berlin will pay the same in taxes as a $273k house in Bedford.

Edit to add:

 

Racenet

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This is a horrible time to buy in either state. Corona Karens are fleeing NYC and Boston, and bringing their trust funds with them. Houses listed 20% above appraised value are being snapped up for cash, immediately.

For overall tax burden, NH will be better, but it does depend on your source of income (NH taxes interest and dividends), and of course the town you select will make the biggest difference of all.

The further north in NH, the better the life (and the cheaper cost of housing). A half million dollar house in Salem might be 100k up here. Hint: be the cheapest house in the neighborhood. Tax rates are the budget divided by the total property valuation, so cheap houses in expensive towns will have the lowest tax rates. Berlin NH has low property values, but an extremely high tax rate as a result. A $130k house in Berlin will pay the same in taxes as a $273k house in Bedford.

Edit to add:

True.

A friend had his house on the market last year and couldn't get a single bite, even after lowering the price twice. He put it back on the market two weeks ago and had 2 full price, cash offers within hours. He got well over asking in the sale, after the two had a bidding war over it. Both were from MA, looking to get away from the rona.
 

Parker Duofold

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We recently escaped Massachusetts (retired) after living there all of our lives. We have a "camp" on a lake here in Maine about 25 miles north of Portland. We also have a home in South Carolina and are residents there. Taxes are much lower in SC on almost everything. Taxes on our $500K home are $1600 per year. In Maine I think it's about $5000 per year. Like most have said, Maine taxes everything or at least it feels like that. We don't have vehicles registered here in Maine but that stuff is less expensive than Mass. I think. SC cheaper than either and no vehicle inspections or excise tax.

Buy a camp in Kentucky and become a resident there. Sell the Massachusetts home and buy a 2nd residence there. Live in Maine 5.9 months of the year.
 
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