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post #2 of Old 01-13-2004
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Taxes - Residence - Registration

Goner, a couple of thoughts for you:

Re: location, many folks in your circumstances now look to the eastern Gulf Coast for the best blend of low or no income tax, low(er) sales tax, and low cost of living. So that would suggest MS, AL and FL. "LA" (Lower Alabama) is one popular area that some feel has not yet been discovered, and SW FL is another popular destination. Don''t overlook related taxes as e.g. if you have savings outside 401K or IRA accounts, you may be eligible for an annual ''investment'' tax above certain investment amounts. Your own preferences, annual income and your planned expenditures will determine what the best balance of taxes will be for you...but I think the reality of your choice will be dependent in large measure by quality of life issues, as well. After all, you''re now at a point in your life where ''the point'' is to enjoy yourself. Being somewhere that''s unappealing but cheap doesn''t seem to fit that notion well.

Re: residence, don''t lose sight of the fact that it''s very easy to become residents in a new state; you''ll always be welcomed in because you represent a new tax base. The key is to be fully unplugged from residence in the old state, who will be reluctant to lose you. Were I you, I''d call your local WA county tax authority and describe your plans to them in order to confirm that you are changing all the things you need to. The basics will be where you are registered to vote, where your property is licensed, registered and/or taxed, and the new state''s law will inevitably require you to have a new driver''s license.

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