Lower Cost of Living Comparison - Cities in the Southeast

It's a toss up as to the number one reason why Baby Boomers are relocating to the Southeast at retirement. Is it the lower cost of living, better weather, quality of life, or moving closer to family? Whatever the reason, we anticipate you want to know where you can get the biggest bang for your buck in the Southeast.

For our comparison to be useful, we needed to 'pick on' a city to use as our benchmark. We felt there is no better place to escape in the Northeast, than the toxic city of Newark New Jersey. New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes, car insurance and tolls. Below is a list of how much money you will save purchasing every day necessities, if you moved from Newark New Jersey to one of these cities listed below in the Southeast.

Clearly, you can save at least 30-35% by moving to Eastern Tennessee or Florida. South Carolina is the most expensive state to live in the Southeast and Tennessee is the least expensive state to live with no state income tax. Add to this annual savings from lower real estate taxes, sales tax and personal income tax and your savings moving from toxic New Jersey could be as high as 50% per year.

Here is the summary and how we arrived at the numbers. We assumed a $200,000 home, $40,000 in annual income and spending $24,000 on daily necessities per year. Fortunately, we have found and scored quality master planned communities in the Southeast, where your dollar goes much further purchasing a home.

Let us know when you are ready to take a look at master planned communities in the Southeast.

Frugally yours, Margie Casey Founder

LOWEST COST OF LIVING STATE IN THE SOUTHEAST - RANKED

#1 Lowest Cost of Living State - Tennessee - $ 3,720 total real estate taxes, sales tax, personal income tax

#2 Lowest Cost of Living State - Florida $ 5,115 total real estate taxes, sales tax, personal income tax

#3 Lowest Cost of Living State - Georgia - $ 6,080 total real estate taxes, sales tax, personal income tax

#4 Lowest Cost of Living State - North Carolina - $6,460 total real estate taxes, sales tax, personal income tax

#5 Lowest Cost of Living State - South Carolina - $ 6,480 total real estate taxes, sales tax, personal income tax

 

REAL ESTATE TAX COMPARISON:

To calculate real estate taxes, we assumed a $200,000 assessed value home.

  • Florida $ 3,675 property tax
  • Georgia $ 2,000 property tax
  • North Carolina $ 1,800 property tax
  • South Carolina $ 2,000 property tax
  • Tennessee $ 1,500 property tax

 

SALES TAX COMPARISON:

Assuming the average couple spends $ 24,000 per year on taxable goods, let's estimate what they spend on sales tax:

  • Florida $ 1,440 sales tax
  • Georgia $ 1,680 sales tax
  • North Carolina $ 1,860 sales tax 
  • South Carolina $ 1,680 sales tax
  • Tennessee $ 2,220 sales tax

 

PERSONAL INCOME TAX COMPARISON:

For this comparison, we will assume we our annual income is $40,000 per year:

  • Florida - zero personal income tax
  • Georgia - $ 2,400 personal income tax
  • North Carolina - $ 2,800 personal income tax
  • South Carolina - $ 2,800 personal income tax
  • Tennessee - zero personal income tax

 

LOWER COST OF LIVING COMPARISON BY CITY

Florida

Sales Tax 6%, Real Estate Tax Average .021 Mills ( 21 Mills ) x assessed value less exemptions, No Personal State Income Tax

Naples - 27% less expensive

Orlando - 26% less expensive

Palm Coast 33% less expensive

Sarasota - 23% less expensive

Vero Beach 24% less expensive

Georgia

Sales Tax 7%, Real Estate Tax Average .025 Mills ( 25 Mills ) x 40% of fair market value less exemptions, Personal State Income Tax 6% over $7,000 Annual Income

Atlanta - 28% less expensive

Augusta - 29% less expensive

Savannah - 29% less expensive

North Carolina

Sales Tax 7.75%, Real Estate Tax Average .009 Mills ( 9 Mills ) x assessed value less exemptions, Personal State Income Tax 6% over $12,750 Annual Income

Asheville - 23% less expensive

Charlotte - 29% less expensive

Wilmington - 25% less expensive

South Carolina

Sales Tax 7%, Real Estate Tax Average .25 Mills ( 250 Mills ) x 4% of assessed value less exemptions, Personal State Income Tax 7% over $13,700 Annual Income

Beaufort - 20% less expensive

Charleston - 25% less expensive

Greenville - 31% less expensive

Eastern Tennessee

Sales Tax 9.25%, Real Estate Tax Average .03 Mills ( 3 Mills ) x 25% of assessed value, No Personal State Income Tax Chattanooga - 31% less expensive

Cookeville - 35% less expensive

Knoxville - 32% less expensive

Nashville - 32% less expensive

** The figures above are based on year end 2011 data.

A sample of what property owners are saying
East Coast Florida
It is so difficult to work with the ARB. I thought about moving somewhere else after the 4th denial.
Coastal South Carolina
We thank our lucky stars that we ended up here.
Northern Georgia
At the present time, management is lacking performance in all areas. We are not getting what we pay for.
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