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The Black Death
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Looking at retirement and I am thinking of these and other states. I'd like to live in a smaller town, within 50 miles of a larger city so that once a month I could venture out to get food and supplies. I've never had to have a septic tank, but don't think it is a problem. Not really looking for an off-grid setting. I'd even like nat gas and electric utilities.


What are the good and bad things that immediately come to mind when thinking about living in these states?

What are the excellent small towns, and what are the abhorrent towns to stay out of...not settle in. Of course, I'd rather hear about the great small towns.
 

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I would include western Nebraska in your search. Lots of little towns in the sandhills full of great people, low cost of living, that aren't being overrun because of the "mountain mystique". Better gardening, and easy to access ground water. The population density is very low,
 

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Tested in the Wilderness
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If anyone doesn't know I was born and raised in northern CO. CO was great to grow up in especially from 1960 to 1995 or so when it began to get invaded from about every state and many countries. Mainly invaded for the past 20 or so years. CO used to be similar to Wyoming such as conservative, good fishing, hunting and outdoor living and playing.

I can never call it Colorado but for a few years now it is Calirado to me and some others. Nuff said about CO.

Three years ago I finally moved to Wyoming although I have spent at least 25 summers usually from mid June to Nov. up there on my remote mountain retreat, building, camping, doing all kinds of survival and Living like few get to almost anywhere anymore.

Many have and still are moving to the Redoubt states which are mainly ID, MT and WY. Here is a link about the redoubt states which many may or may not like but it is still happening more and more no matter what any think about it > American Redoubt ideology

I prefer Wyoming over any other state mainly since the population is the lowest and the freedoms are the highest it seems in WY. Also there is abundant wildlife, open space, fresh clean air, water and other things that people just have to experience for themselves. Wyoming can get cold and snowy but mainly in the high mountains. And I don't think Wyoming is nearly as cold as many other northern states or countries. This past winter was a mild one and even the snow depth has not been as much as usual which may not be good for those depending on the snow melt to fill reservoirs etc.

I could go on but here is a great link that tells about the good times valley. Saratoga, WY is the main best "city" although hardly 2,000 people but still all of the stores one needs, even a Family Dollar store that came in about ten years ago. This link also tells with many photos about the main small towns in this "good times valley" and I doubt it will ever get over crowded but will likely be one of the best areas for outdoors living and even survival for decades to come >>> https://www.saratogachamber.info/

If any like to fish then Wyoming is one of the very best states for trout fishing, I would say the best area on this planet. A couple pics for proof of that and the second pic shows the alpine glow usually seen late in the day and that 2nd photo is of one of the lakes in the Snowy Range which is not too far from my mountain place >

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Looking at retirement and I am thinking of these and other states. I'd like to live in a smaller town, within 50 miles of a larger city so that once a month I could venture out to get food and supplies. I've never had to have a septic tank, but don't think it is a problem. Not really looking for an off-grid setting. I'd even like nat gas and electric utilities.


What are the good and bad things that immediately come to mind when thinking about living in these states?

What are the excellent small towns, and what are the abhorrent towns to stay out of...not settle in. Of course, I'd rather hear about the great small towns.
Don’t pick Kolorado. Lots of beautiful country, lots of lunatic politicians and crazed citizens. The good people in Kolorado are being steamrollered by lunatics. Taxes are ridiculous.

Around Evanston, southwest Wyoming. Really close to 3 big national forests. Reasonably close to Salt Lake City (for big city stuff, hospitals, etc).

Laramie, southeast Wyoming. Really close to 2 big national forests. Reasonably close to Denver.

Northeast Wyoming, up around Gillette or Newcastle. Reasonably close to Rapid City SD. Black Hills area.

Northwest Wyoming is pretty spectacular, but somebody from up there told me regular folks can’t afford the property values anymore.

Lots of small/medium towns in Wyoming. No income tax, not too bad sales and property tax. Tough winters.

You should add Utah to your list. Bilmac is right, west Nebraska ain’t too bad.
 

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Taxes suck in Nebraska. That's because it's a low population state and they can't spread them out like in other states with bigger cities. Property taxes are double what I paid in Kansas. Wyoming has lower taxes. So if you live out there, you may as well cross the state line.

Nobody with money retires here. They move to Texas, Wyoming, Montana, or Arizona. Places that don't tax SS or retirement incomes directly. I'll probably end up down in Missouri. I like the area in the middle south part of the state, and property taxes are 1/3 what I pay here.

Wyoming escaped high property taxes because of the Powder River Basin coal mines. They tax the coal leaving the state. With Biden’s new policies, their tax cash cow could die. Alaska too with their oil.
 

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Taxes suck in Nebraska. That's because it's a low population state and they can't spread them out like in other states with bigger cities. Property taxes are double what I paid in Kansas. Wyoming has lower taxes. So if you live out there, you may as well cross the state line.

Nobody with money retires here. They move to Texas, Wyoming, Montana, or Arizona. Places that don't tax SS or retirement incomes directly. I'll probably end up down in Missouri. I like the area in the middle south part of the state, and property taxes are 1/3 what I pay here.

Wyoming escaped high property taxes because of the Powder River Basin coal mines. They tax the coal leaving the state. With Biden’s new policies, their tax cash cow could die. Alaska too with their oil.
Yeah, you’re right about Wyoming and coal. Obama did that, most coal mines are already folded. Put a big hurt on Union Pacific and BNSF.

Crippling the oil industry is happening right now. They’re putting up those ** wind turbines everywhere. I hate those things, big ugly, noisy krap.

Gas and diesel are expensive here, too, a state tax, and everything in Wyoming is a long way from everything else in Wyoming. Fuel cost not as bad as some other places, though, I guess. Their new thing is making I-80 a toll road. 3 in 5 vehicles on 80 is a tractor- trailer. It’s a matter of time, I think, before they try to effect an income tax here. But there will be howls of protest.

On the other hand, there’s still more cows than people, so I’m sticking it out here.
 

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I like some of eastern Wyoming, like Sundance. I spent some time there and liked it. Or across the border into western South Dakota. The area around Laramie is nice too and I have relatives there. Too late to move to northwest Wyoming unless you are rich.
Obviously I picked eastern Arizona to live for many reasons. In the winter, I sometimes regret that decision:). But overall its great.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I started looking for remote land to retire 20 yrs ago. While I started out looking at entire states, I ended up looking at three geographic regions.
1) The Snake, Flathead, and Columbia River drainage, (Or, Wa, Id, Mt)
2) The Colorado Plateau, (Ut, Az, Co, NM)
3) The Ozark and Ouachita Region, (Ok, Ks, Mo, Ar).

Stay away from the front range (Denver) and stay away from Salt Lake City.
I do not prefer Eastern Montana due to the winter weather, but west of the continental divide Idaho and W. Montana is real nice.

I now live in Eastern Oklahoma (Ozarks).
 

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Bear Fighter
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Don't go to Idaho. It sucks here.

In all seriousness, I am weary of how many people are moving here to get away from their problem areas, but advocating the same policies that created the problems they are trying to get away from. It's a real pain in the patoot.
 

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I have a small homestead in NW Wyoming. Wyoming really has two different climates. East of the Rockies the winters are milder but the wind can be brutal, esp on the plains. West of the Rockies where it's more mountainous the wind isn't so bad but the winters can be brutal. So far this year I've had 11 feet of snow and it's still snowing. Still have a couple feet of base on the ground. Temps of 20 below are normal. I'm in a valley at 6,250 feet, sandwiched between two mountain ranges. I have three rivers and three national forests right here. It's God's country, but it's not an easy place to live. Watching sunrise on the mountains when I have to go outside to clear snow makes it all worthwhile.

When I needed an electrician because we lost power in the laundry room & couldn't figure out the problem it was three months before he could get over the mountains to me. I made do with an extension cord run to the living room. And forget about making that monthly trip into town during the winter. I do have a grocery store 10 miles away but the nearest big box stores - WM, Target, HD, anything like that, is 70 miles away over the mountains. Prepping is a way of life out here. We spent most of hard winter doing little but clearing snow and hauling wood to keep the woodstove going.

The growing season is short here. My last frost date is June 23 and it will start snowing by September. I have a small greenhouse but we're going to put in a geothermal high tunnel to extend the growing season. It takes a lot of hard work to live in this part of the state.
 

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I live in NW Montana. Parts of the states mentioned are a lot different from other parts, and in general driving an hour isn't something you do once a month unless you really want to just stay home. Lots of people out here drive that far on a weekly or even daily basis. I live in a small town with bigger small cities an hour to the north and an hour to south and I visit one of them at least every other week.

The problem right now is that there is already a big population shift happening in western Montana and the northern Rockies region in general. The real numbers aren't clear, but for a lot of places there has probably been at least a 5% increase in year round population since Covid began and that doesn't include all the seasonal people who have second homes in the area now. The major national retailer I work for in my small town of 5k has seen a sales increase of at least 10% over the year before Covid that has lasted month after month. So there are more people here. That is driving up home prices. My house, which was probably worth $150-200k pre Covid, is likely worth close to $250k in the current market. I'm thinking about getting out, but all the towns I've looked at show similar price increases. That pushes you into tiny towns but there you sacrifice services, like having good internet, etc. So its all about what you really want.
 

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The Black Death
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Discussion Starter #19
Excellent reading so far! Thank you everyone!

Not that it matters but I'm a conservative Republican that thinks most Republicans are RINOs, Caucasian(Irish and Austrian), and believe in the Bill Of Rights as they were initially written. I believe that if they even had the votes to amend the Bill Of Rights and take away the 2nd Amendment, it in no way would affect me, because God gives me the right to self preservation and I will keep all of my weapons, both firearms and edged.

Wyoming sure is beautiful. But I often wonder if I could hack it at 70+. Something to think about.
 

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I have a small homestead in NW Wyoming. Wyoming really has two different climates. East of the Rockies the winters are milder but the wind can be brutal, esp on the plains. West of the Rockies where it's more mountainous the wind isn't so bad but the winters can be brutal. So far this year I've had 11 feet of snow and it's still snowing. Still have a couple feet of base on the ground. Temps of 20 below are normal. I'm in a valley at 6,250 feet, sandwiched between two mountain ranges. I have three rivers and three national forests right here. It's God's country, but it's not an easy place to live. Watching sunrise on the mountains when I have to go outside to clear snow makes it all worthwhile.

When I needed an electrician because we lost power in the laundry room & couldn't figure out the problem it was three months before he could get over the mountains to me. I made do with an extension cord run to the living room. And forget about making that monthly trip into town during the winter. I do have a grocery store 10 miles away but the nearest big box stores - WM, Target, HD, anything like that, is 70 miles away over the mountains. Prepping is a way of life out here. We spent most of hard winter doing little but clearing snow and hauling wood to keep the woodstove going.

The growing season is short here. My last frost date is June 23 and it will start snowing by September. I have a small greenhouse but we're going to put in a geothermal high tunnel to extend the growing season. It takes a lot of hard work to live in this part of the state.
You’re right about the wind. 40, 50 miles an hour, nine or ten days straight. Wears on you, about the fifth day. Wind chill is the real deal around here.
 
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