Why settle for ordinary when you can think outside the box when it comes to your empty nest? Continue reading
Retirement can mean a lot of things to different people. One person’s bliss may be another’s total boredom. Looking at retirement from the point of view as more of a career change instead of a career end can lead to … Continue reading
Chattanooga receives a fair amount of media attention. The Gig City is known as the up and coming hipster town, the place to start a new business and the hiking/biking/paddling/boating answer to Boulder’s high prices. We are also known as … Continue reading
Chattanooga gets a lot of press, and for good reason. Great weather, excellent natural beauty, relatively easy accessibility and innovation made this city one of the best kept secrets in the country until recently. All of the qualities that make … Continue reading
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The Tennessee/North Georgia area is one of the most beautiful areas of the country. The landscape is absolutely gorgeous and the proximity to both Atlanta and Chattanooga give it the best of both worlds when it comes to shopping, health care and culture. Considering retirement to the Tennessee/Georgia area, but not sure which state to buy a home in? Tax information is something to think about. Retirement Tax benefits of Chattanooga/ North Georgia is information you should have.
Retirement Tax benefits of Chattanooga/ North Georgia
One of the top 10 states for tax friendliness, Georgia law creates a great environment for retirees. Social Security income is exempt, and so is up to $35,000 of most types of retirement income (your pension and investments, therefore are safe). When you reach 65 and older, the 2013 exemption is $65,000 per taxpayer. Income tax in the state is relatively, low ranging from 1-6% based on income. The statewide sales tax is 4% which is one of the lowest in the country. Full-time residents qualify for a homestead exemption, and residents 65 and older may qualify for additional deductions from property taxes. Georgia does not have an inheritance tax.
Tennessee is more of a mixed bag when it comes to retirement taxes. The state has no broad-based income tax, though the state does levy a 6% tax on stock dividends and interest income from bonds and other investments, however the first $1,250 ($2,500 joint) is exempt. Sales tax is one of the highest in the country coming in at 9.44% on average statewide. There’s no state income tax, so salaries, wages, Social Security benefits, IRA distributions and pension income are not taxed. Property tax in Tennessee is 25% of appraised value, and while Tennessee does not offer a homestead exemption, there is a tax relief benefit for citizens 65 and older. Legislation was recently passed to phase out inheritance tax by 2016, however, currently it ranges from 5.5% to 9.5% based on the value of the property.
As you can see, both states offer benefits to retiring in the area. Chattanooga Property Shop can help you find the perfect property in either state you decide is right for you.
Relocating to a new town can be very exciting. New is always an adventure with places to explore, culture to learn and people to meet. The act of relocation can also be a little daunting and very stressful. Whether moving for a new job, retirement or just a change of pace, here are some relocation tips to make the transition easier.
BEFORE YOU MOVE
#1 Have a financial plan. Often moving has surprises. The movers under quoted your move, deposits for utilities are required, your mattress fell off the truck, your over wrought dog bit your child and you have to visit the ER (this really happened)…all of these have happened and could happen to you. Budget for emergencies that could pop up.
#2 Purge while packing. Moving is a great time to get rid of things you really never use or really don’t need. Moving to Tennessee from Minnesota? Ditch the snow blower. Are your kids 15 and you still have boxes of baby clothes; donate them to a local charity BEFORE you move. Paring down not only saves you money, but it saves you stress while unpacking in a new home.
#3 Hire good movers. Whether relocating to a new part of town or across the country, you want your things to be well cared for. A little research and a good contract with a moving company can be your saving grace. Cheap does not mean bad, but it does not always mean best. The Better Business Bureau and social media can be very helpful in picking the right moving company for you.
#4 Take a test drive. Arriving in your new town at 10pm and looking for a grocery store or pharmacy can be daunting. If you have the opportunity, take a weekend to test drive your new town. Where are the places to get bagels? Where is the movie theater that has the best movies? Where are the local gyms, hair salons, churches etc? Knowing the lay of the land before you get to your new town can make the transition a little easier.
#5 Make a friend. Transferring for a job? Retiring? Make a friend in your new office that you can ask questions about your new town. Your real estate agent could be your new best friend. Have someone you can call to ask for recommendations. When I moved to Chattanooga, my real estate agent became my new best friend for the time before I moved. This was before cell phones and the internet and it was great to have a real person’s take on what part of town I should look to live in and what was the best pizza to order for moving.
AFTER YOU MOVE
#1 Get a hobby. The sooner you join the community the better. Gyms, service organizations, book clubs, neighborhood bunco groups; whatever you are interested in…joining a social group can make your transition into your new town much easier and faster.
#2 Learn the lay of the land. Living in a town that is prone to traffic jams, learning how to get around on back roads has made all the difference in my life. When my husband and I moved away after college, we pinned a map on the wall in our office and referred to it before we went anywhere. This was before GPS, but it was an invaluable tool. Learning to get around in your new town can make it feel like you have lived there forever instead of feeling like a tourist.
Chattanooga Property Shop has decades of experience living in the Chattanooga area. Let our knowledge and experience make your transition an easy one.
Retirement does not mean the end of the fun. More like the beginning. Chattanooga has been named in the top 10 places to retire in the country and for good reason. Life is fun here.
Outdoor enthusiasts move to the area for hiking, kayaking, climbing and cycling. The Chattanooga Bicycle Club promotes riding by offering weekly lead rides and two major cycling events each year. Chattanooga has some of the best roads to ride on, with hills, flats and mountain climbs available all over town and the outlying areas. Members become like a family and often ride together weekly.
One of the best places to kayak and SUP (stand up paddle board) is the Tennessee River. Every morning, on my way to work, I pass kayakers and paddle boarders loading and unloading their vehicles with their kayaks and SUPs. The access to the water in Coolidge Park and I have noticed that the median age is about 50. What better way to start your day than watching the sunrise on the water with the bridges in the background.
After all the exercise and joy rides, dining in Chattanooga is a huge reward. Over the past few years, connoisseurs of all types of food have found a place to hone their loves in Chattanooga. From Northern Italian to burgers, Chattanooga is home to numerous independently owned restaurants. High end restaurant Alleia, which specializes in Northern Italian cuisine offers a family style five course dinner with wine suggestions once a month that rivals dinner in major cities such as New York and Chicago. Terra Mae and Easy Bistro, both in downtown Chattanooga have offered special dinners featuring bourbon and specialty liquor pairings as well. Learning about wine and food could become your newest hobby.
Music and art are big features in Chattanooga. All summer long, the Chattanooga river front becomes home to music festivals and Saturday night free music performances. The 3 Sisters Music Festival draws families and music lovers for two days of top notch music by nationally and world known performers. The Hunter Museum of American Art is home to not only many beautiful works of art, but also features speakers and community nights for the enrichment of Chattanooga.
City planners had the idea to make the city better for its citizens, feeling that a better place to live would make it a better place to visit. Cleaning the environment, investing in making the city safe and a draw for culture and business were the goals. The payoff has been great, for residents and tourists alike. The accessibility of the city, the variety of things to do outside and the great arts community make it a wonderful place to live and play. Chattanooga Property Shop can help you find you the perfect home to start your fun.