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affortable, military friendly towns for relocation

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May 5th, 2013, 07:20 PM
  #1
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affortable, military friendly towns for relocation

Hello!
My husband and I are looking to move to California when I EAS from the Marine Corps in a year. We are looking for some place by the water, small city or town, affortable living, safe for kids, and offers jobs in Finance and Law Enforcement. We have always lived on the east coast, and I'm not familiar with the west coast at all. We love to be in the outdoors; hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. Any advice we can get, would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Mrs. Pekel
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May 5th, 2013, 07:30 PM
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I am investigating places to retire as well. My criteria are different than yours, but please check out coastal South Carolina, not too far from Beaufort. There is a large Marine base there, Parris Island, and a lot of former military folk live in the area. Not sure about education, but lots of little towns and the cost of living is low. I would assume there is VA facilities in the area as well, due to large number of Marines.
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May 6th, 2013, 05:02 AM
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San Diego has several marine and naval bases. If not the most military bases we're at least up there. San Diego is large, but it has a number of small communities like Coronado and many other bedroom communities were retired military have settled. San Diego being on the ocean certainly has snorkeling, scuba diving. And there a numerous hiking trails all over. The cost of homes is high, but right now properties are affordable in many communities. You can probably get a nice home for around $600,000 a little bit inland.
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May 6th, 2013, 12:04 PM
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San Diego is definitely military friendly. The finance capital of the west coast is San Francisco, which is not military friendly. But "jobs in Finance" can mean anything - if someone is a local agent at a Fidelity or Schwab storefront, that's different than working for a mercantile or stock exchange (which would be SF-centered).
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May 6th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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In San Diego, you can get a nice home for less than $600,000 in Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo or Poway. Good schools, neighborhood feel, not too far from the beach!
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May 6th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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I'm crazy for the state of California. But I'm not sure it and "affordable living" go in the same sentence. California is expensive in most locations, especially near the water, because it's so fabulous so lots of people want to live there.
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May 6th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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I, too, love California. I was born on Camp Pendleton (Dad was a career Marine). I have lived in many places in California. I am an avid snorkeler, however, I do not snorkel in California (water is too cold).

Have you thought about living near a lake rather than ocean? I live near Lake Folsom in Northern Calif. Lots of boating, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, canoeing, rafting in the rivers in area. It is two hours to Lake Tahoe and 2.5 hours to San Francisco. Housing is affordable. If you are eligible for retirement benefits, there is a large VA clinic at Mather and commissary/BX at McClellan.

I am sure there are other locations in CA that would fit your requirements if you compromise a bit. Remember that housing in a coast community will be quite expensive.

Good luck. Welcome to California!
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May 6th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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Very good advice BarbAnn. I didn't think about an alternative to the ocean but living in No Cal near a lake would be something to check out. Your description sounds great. The housing requirements for a family (a larger house with land) would be much cheaper as well.
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May 6th, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Yes, nanabee, inland is far cheaper. I grew up in Orange County near the beach (still have family down in San Diego County). We moved north because of traffic and housing costs. We now love the area we live in...up in the foothills of the gold country near lots of wineries. Friends have a boat and we go to Lake Folsom to swim, fish or just for a picnic on the boat. When I need my beach fix we go to Hawaii or the Caribbean for two weeks!

I'm sure there are other lakes and areas that would fit mrspekel4life's requirements.
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May 7th, 2013, 04:12 AM
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If you are going to get really useful advice you might include information about whether or not you want to rent or own a house/apartment/condo, etc.

Some of the recommendations above, cost-of-living-wise may be a bit unrealistic.
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May 7th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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A virtue of SC is that military pensions are not subject to state income tax.

My mother was not in the army long enough to qualify for a military pension, but when she retired from state government, her WWII service counted toward her state retirement, a happy surprise.
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May 7th, 2013, 03:33 PM
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A nonvirtue of California is that it taxes ALL income: Military; VA disability. Property taxes are high and you pay State and Federal tax.
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May 7th, 2013, 06:00 PM
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True, unless you are classified as disabled by the VA then no Fed taxes. Everywhere has pros and cons. You have to weigh what you are willing to accept.

I have lived at Quantico, my parents have lived all over the east coast while in the Marines. They retired in California and would never leave. Weather is too good. Cost is relative. Yes, we could live in a nice place somewhere else, but we LOVE California. My husband is 4th generation CA. We talk about retiring in another state, but the weather keeps us in CA. Doesn't matter the taxes.
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May 7th, 2013, 11:47 PM
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BarbAnn, true ONLY to the small amount of VA disability payment.

All the other military income active duty or retired is subject to federal income tax and if one is retiring in California (or anywhere else) that may be a HUGE consideration.

The law actually states that there is to be no State tax either for VA disabled but California does not abide by that law.
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May 8th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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1JAR, I know your point. I guess my point is that each state has their own pros and cons. Lots of people moving to California. They must like/accept the living conditions here.

As for VA disability payment, I can only speak from my dad's experience. He was part of the Chosen Reservoir Campaign (frostbite) and lost hearing form small artillery fire thus is classified as totally disabled.
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May 8th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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There's also Fort Lewis up in Washington State. It's called something else now, but it's near Seattle (I'm guessing that Seattle is still better living than Tacoma). There's plenty of water up there and housing should be more affordable, especially if you find a small town.

Lots of salmon. Plenty of fishing. Plenty of water sports. Getting up there in the good wine considerations.

If you're Scandanavian in any way, lots of your long-lost relatives may possibly be found there.
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May 8th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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Living by the water (which normally means Ocean) in Cal - with jobs in Finance (also hard to find now) means paying quite a bit for your lodging. Supply and demand.

My sister is in residential real estate here in San Diego - and figure something decent (not palatial by any means) - closer to the Ocean - $600K and up for a single family home. As noted - less if you go inland - or less if you choose a condo.

You might look up by say San Luis Obisbo - but not sure about their financial job market.

And getting something in law enforcement is no slam dunk. Again - plenty of people want to live in Cal. I grew up in Oregon - thinking nothing of shoveling snow in the winter - but am total warm weather wuss now.

And Ft. Lewis is in Tacoma, well south of Seattle.
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May 8th, 2013, 06:09 PM
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Actually - my home town of Klamath Falls, Ore (south-central Oregon) - has an air base (downsized to a Reserve unit) and plenty of water (big lake and streams/rivers, etc) - outdoor sports, and is a good place for kids. But - it can get chilly in the winter, yet it does get a lot of sun.

Summers are perfect: Warm during the day and cooling off at night - being at 4,000 feet.
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May 8th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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Uno Mas: No real humidity in/on the West Coast - Western US.
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