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It seems like everyone I know that is leaving California is heading for Tennessee. Any insight on this? I keep hearing it over and over and I would love to know the draw.

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We left CA for NC.  So did a few of our friends.  

Weather isn't so bad as many parts of the country

Still close to ocean (for us)

Lower cost of living than almost all of the West Coast

TN and NC have been on the top places to raise a family locations for a while.

 

 

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We are in TX and have an increasing number of former CA residents. Most seemed to come for the better economic conditions because the weather certainly is not better here!

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20 minutes ago, Bambam said:

We are in TX and have an increasing number of former CA residents. Most seemed to come for the better economic conditions because the weather certainly is not better here!

 

But you still have In N Out, so there is that....

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TN and NC and some of the other places drawing transplants are cheap, friendly, lots of jobs, low COL, gorgeous landscapes... I think the draw is pretty obvious. A lot of the places people transplant to... Raleigh, Durham, Asheville, Nashville, Knoxville, etc. are all more liberal than Californians might expect. As someone from the south, I've rarely encountered as many weird attitudes about southern stereotypes as when I've visited California. Which is probably just doing the same in reverse, but my experience has been that Californians - who are themselves a diverse and varied group - are in a bit of a bubble that anywhere else can be at all cosmopolitan or cultured, especially in the south.

There are drawbacks... depending on where you are, education, state benefits, etc. may not be as good as California. But with California real estate prices, then it matters less.

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I drove back and forth from TX to DE, PA and OH on 3 different trips.  Across TN     I remember it was pretty. Especially around Nashville and Knoxville before I turned North on I-81 to go through the Shenandoah Valley in the western part of the state of VA.  

Disclaimers about the weather: I was once in a motel near the Nashville Airport when the actual temperature (not with wind chill) was -3 F. 

Also, in addition to TN and NC you should consider Alabama.  As far as my memory goes, the coldest actual temperature I was ever in, to my astonishment, was in Huntsville AL.   -13 F.   

Those temperatures in the South are extremely rare and a few days later it is very nice again.

Of these states: TX, TN, AL, NC ;   TX does not have a State Income Tax. I believe, but am not at all sure, the State Income Tax in TN may be lower than that of AL or NC.   That's a memory from long ago.   I lived in TX for 28 years.

 

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TN has no state income tax. I have family who is planning to move to TN from NY after retirement as their pension won’t be taxed. 

Low COL, mild weather, and the mountains.   

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TN has been listed in retirement magazines lately because of tax advantage, favorable weather and low COL. 

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7 minutes ago, Lanny said:

I believe, but am not at all sure, the State Income Tax in TN may be lower than that of AL or NC.   That's a memory from long ago. 

NC has a relatively high income tax. We are first or second highest in the South, I believe. 

TN has no income tax, IIRC.

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I dunno, but 60% of all people who moved into Idaho last year were from California.  You wouldn't believe how many bumper stickers I see telling Californians to go back.  

I'm sorry for TN.

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“Total emigration from California to other states between 2006 and 2017 was 1.24 million, according to the Census Bureau, third highest in the nation behind only New York and Illinois.”

Fifty-six percent of new arrivals in Henderson, NV between 2013 and 2017 were from California, according to Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles data.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-california-loses-people-a-las-vegas-suburb-grows-11551197094

It’s a problem. It’s always been a problem. It will always be a problem. Someone recently pointed out to me that if CA weren’t so expensive, everyone would want to live there. I grew up there and the reason I left was cost of living and traffic. 

But yes, I've been hearing TN a lot lately.   

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AL does have a state income tax but low property taxes.  Also, for retirees, they have 1/2 property taxes, and gov pensions are tax free and also Social security is not taxed either.

And no, we wouldn't want to be back in CA.  When we were still in DC area and not knowing exactly where we would be stationed next or if he was going to retire then and there, dh got an offer for work in CA.  We both agreed that if we didn;t want to stay in DC area due to traffic issues, we certainly didn't want to move to the Bay area either.  We are so much happier living in a smaller city.

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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

TN and NC and some of the other places drawing transplants are cheap, friendly, lots of jobs, low COL, gorgeous landscapes... I think the draw is pretty obvious. A lot of the places people transplant to... Raleigh, Durham, Asheville, Nashville, Knoxville, etc. are all more liberal than Californians might expect. As someone from the south, I've rarely encountered as many weird attitudes about southern stereotypes as when I've visited California. Which is probably just doing the same in reverse, but my experience has been that Californians - who are themselves a diverse and varied group - are in a bit of a bubble that anywhere else can be at all cosmopolitan or cultured, especially in the south.

There are drawbacks... depending on where you are, education, state benefits, etc. may not be as good as California. But with California real estate prices, then it matters less.

Goodness. My dd ran into some Californians last year. They were shocked that she was smart and well spoken. Neither was she racist nor did she speak with an extreme drawl. And she hates country music. 

They were amazed that she didn’t care at all about shooting guns (they were all visiting Alaska) because she could do it any time at all at home. 

 

Tennessee has no state income tax.

Moderate weather but 4 distinct seasons.

Wonderful educational opportunities—-hope scholarship and Tennessee promise can give students a wonderful start in college. Additionally, if I recall properly Tennessee has a reciprocal agreement with regard to students who live in border counties (there are many because of the long narrow profile of the state) you can get in state tuition with the neighboring state. So since I live in a county that borders ky, my kids can get in state tuition rates to ky colleges. 

Many more cultural opportunities than many are aware of. Nashville’s not just about country music. There are a lot of other types of music and arts there.

And a low cost of living.

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

It’s a problem. It’s always been a problem. It will always be a problem. Someone recently pointed out to me that if CA weren’t so expensive, everyone would want to live there. I grew up there and the reason I left was cost of living and traffic. 

 

Some of us would rather not live in California and the cost is not the primary reason. But most Californians I meet don’t seem to understand that. 

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5 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Some of us would rather not live in California and the cost is not the primary reason. But most Californians I meet don’t seem to understand that. 

I don't want to live here, either, and yeah, the cost isn't the main reason. It's the plastic straws.😂

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9 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Some of us would rather not live in California and the cost is not the primary reason. But most Californians I meet don’t seem to understand that. 

Yeah it was probably a Californian that said that. Lol.

I’ve played the “If I were to win the lottery game” and my plan would be to have a house there only because I have family there, but it wouldn’t be our primary because cost is not the only factor. 

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4 hours ago, Lanny said:

I drove back and forth from TX to DE, PA and OH on 3 different trips.  Across TN     I remember it was pretty. Especially around Nashville and Knoxville before I turned North on I-81 to go through the Shenandoah Valley in the western part of the state of VA.  

Disclaimers about the weather: I was once in a motel near the Nashville Airport when the actual temperature (not with wind chill) was -3 F. 

Also, in addition to TN and NC you should consider Alabama.  As far as my memory goes, the coldest actual temperature I was ever in, to my astonishment, was in Huntsville AL.   -13 F.   

Those temperatures in the South are extremely rare and a few days later it is very nice again.

Of these states: TX, TN, AL, NC ;   TX does not have a State Income Tax. I believe, but am not at all sure, the State Income Tax in TN may be lower than that of AL or NC.   That's a memory from long ago.   I lived in TX for 28 years.

 

TN doesn't tax income and it is extremely rare for the temp to get that low. We didn't even have a winter this year. It is a great place to raise a family although homeschooling past middle school requires a Bachelor's degree unless you go with an umbrella school.

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34 minutes ago, KidsHappen said:

TN doesn't tax income and it is extremely rare for the temp to get that low. We didn't even have a winter this year. It is a great place to raise a family although homeschooling past middle school requires a Bachelor's degree unless you go with an umbrella school.

And the umbrella school option is actually very easy. 

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9 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

And the umbrella school option is actually very easy. 

Yes, I have a degree but I still went with Homelife Academy.

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4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Goodness. My dd ran into some Californians last year. They were shocked that she was smart and well spoken. Neither was she racist nor did she speak with an extreme drawl. And she hates country music. 

They were amazed that she didn’t care at all about shooting guns (they were all visiting Alaska) because she could do it any time at all at home. 

 

Tennessee has no state income tax.

Moderate weather but 4 distinct seasons.

Wonderful educational opportunities—-hope scholarship and Tennessee promise can give students a wonderful start in college. Additionally, if I recall properly Tennessee has a reciprocal agreement with regard to students who live in border counties (there are many because of the long narrow profile of the state) you can get in state tuition with the neighboring state. So since I live in a county that borders ky, my kids can get in state tuition rates to ky colleges. 

Many more cultural opportunities than many are aware of. Nashville’s not just about country music. There are a lot of other types of music and arts there.

And a low cost of living.

And sometimes you can experience all 4 seasons in the same day LOL

 

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5 hours ago, Baseball mom said:

And sometimes you can experience all 4 seasons in the same day LOL

 

So very very true!

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7 hours ago, KidsHappen said:

TN doesn't tax income and it is extremely rare for the temp to get that low. We didn't even have a winter this year. It is a great place to raise a family although homeschooling past middle school requires a Bachelor's degree unless you go with an umbrella school.

TN does have the Hall Tax, which taxes investment income over a set amount. Having said that, DH realized that we should have been paying it for years and the state department of revenue basically said “oh, just take care of it when you get a chance, no big deal”-no penalties or interest charged.

 

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I lsaw a bumper sticker last week that said, "Welcome to Nashville! Y'all go home now."

The growth in middle TN right now is crazy! State and local gov't are scrambling to have enough infrastructure support: roads, schools etc. Plenty of former CA people, but also lots of immigrants from many countries. Lots of people who come here for college never leave. 

I grew up in the midwest and have lived all over the East, New England, mid Atlantic, NYC, Deep South, and TN is my favorite. 

 

 

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I'm from TN, and it's a great state to live in! I wish I still lived there. 

We live in GA, and our neighbors moved from Washington state. They said they moved to get away from increasingly hostile liberalism and an anti-Christianity atmosphere. I didn't get into a lot of details on things that happened, though.

 

Edited by mom31257

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Parts of the state are economically depressed. Dh's family is from the northeast near the Cumberland Gap, and it's pretty bad there. In recent years they've been trying to capitalize on the mountains and lakes as tourist destinations but coming from a tourist state I know that hospitality jobs are often just minimum wage jobs with limited promotion opportunities. Unless you're looking to retire in TN, spend some time researching job markets in different areas of the state.

That said, Knoxville is beautiful. Since it's a college town there's a lot to do. We loved downtown Knoxville, and you're still close to mountain getaways even in the middle of the city.

 

16 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Goodness. My dd ran into some Californians last year. They were shocked that she was smart and well spoken. Neither was she racist nor did she speak with an extreme drawl. And she hates country music. 

They were amazed that she didn’t care at all about shooting guns (they were all visiting Alaska) because she could do it any time at all at home. 

 

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto aims to correct those misconceptions (it's also aimed at fellow southerners). It's written by Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck) and a couple of his comedian buddies.

edited to fix the name Trae. Autocorrect kept insisting I meant to type Tree. 😄 

5 hours ago, ScoutTN said:

I lsaw a bumper sticker last week that said, "Welcome to Nashville! Y'all go home now."

 

 

On the east coast of Florida there are bumper stickers that say "If everything was so much better up north, just get on I-95 and go home."

Edited by Lady Florida.
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We are hearing TN is attractive for those in construction or who want to be landlords. The education policy, music scene, and parks are also a draw over NC for those with K12 age children, but not as big a draw as Florida...families are continuing to exit NY due to lack of work, high housing and property tax.

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Thanks for all the replies. We can't move any time soon but it's good to know the options. And yeah, I feel sorry for the states with Californian influx even though that will be me someday. 😅

Edited by AbcdeDooDah

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On April 8, 2019 at 7:40 AM, dmmetler said:

TN does have the Hall Tax, which taxes investment income over a set amount. Having said that, DH realized that we should have been paying it for years and the state department of revenue basically said “oh, just take care of it when you get a chance, no big deal”-no penalties or interest charged.

 

And the Hall Tax is currently in a phase-out.

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Hello, I live in Nashville. I would not retire here. The cost of living has risen so much that it is impossible for an average family to afford rent or buy a home. My sister moved here 8 years ago when she retired. She decided to just rent since she no longer wanted to have the responsibility of a house. Her rent for a very nice and newer 3 bedroom/2bath apartment was $575 in 2011. In 2016, when her lease was up for renewal, her landlord raised the rent to $1200! She had lived there five years already and was a good tenant, but the landlord said that he could get the $1200 in rent. We scrambled trying to find her a place to rent, but the landlord was right - rent has tripled here. She was finally able to find a place - a very small 1 bedroom (about 500 sq ft)  for $500 in a 1950s style home that was turned into a duplex. Ironically, she likes it better because of the small size. Another example:  My son in 2013 bought a cute 3-bed 1200 sq ft home for $94,000. That same home appraised for $204,000 a month ago! He got all excited thinking he could sell until he started shopping and realized that he could no longer afford to buy in this area! So, he's stuck where he's at. The traffic in Nashville in horrendous. Avoid the highways at all costs. We are basically turning into Atlanta! 

We would sell in a heartbeat and move when we retire, but I won't leave my grandkids just yet. If/when we do move, we will stay in Tennessee but move to a very rural area around the Crossville, TN area. The cost of living is still reasonable there, but you are close enough to Nashville and Knoxville. No jobs though in these areas. The upside of Tennessee is the no state income tax, but the sales tax is almost 10%. Nashville has great universities and medical hospitals. Homeschooling in Tennessee is easy as long as you are signed up with an umbrella school. I no longer homeschool, but in 2011 ran a local homeschool group. In 2012, this group shut down due to lack of interest. A mom restarted the group in 2017, and now there are 150+ families! Homeschooling has really grown in this area.  

We also really like the Lexington, VA area if we move out of Tennessee when we retire and the grandkids get grown.

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Any homeowner moving to TN from a high COL state like CA would not have any trouble buying here. 

I have extended family in the Bay area, whose home is the same size as mine, about 1400 sq ft on a quarter acre lot in a middle class neighborhood. Their house is valued at over 1.5 million; mine about 250K. 

The traffic here is bad, but nowhere near as bad as Atlanta or Los Angeles!

 

 

 

 

Edited by ScoutTN
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