Teepeerock

NEw Hampshire VS Maine (retirement)

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I am asking about retiring to either Me. or NH. Did anyone ever make the leap? Looking back what are the good and bad of such a decision? 

A little about me and why I am asking. I was a die hard fisherman before children lol. But responsibilities caught up to me, and I took a hiatus from serious fishing. I grew up fishing eastern LI NY. Fly fishing for stripers, Albies, blues. Togging off rock piles from my kayak. Clamming crabbing, sea duck hunting. The good things in life. My wife and I almost moved to Maine 20 years ago, but my NY salary and benefits were too good to give up.(ok so I sold out) Now we are entering the search phase for semi retiring. (I'm 49 but planning to hang  this chapter up in a few years). Long Island is simply too crowded and way overpriced. We have been looking at Virginia/NC. The thing is, I realize I truly enjoy 4 real seasons.  

While I am wowed by affordable homes in places like Ellsworth, blue hill, Machias. I realize stripers rarely occur that far up the coast. It seems there really isn't much salt water game fishing that far north.(though I could be entirely wrong)Freshwater, it seems to be a Smallmouth dream. 

In NH, no taxes but real estate. Maine- I hear they tax you on every item.

With all the chaos happening lately I just want out sooner than later. Wow this was a long message so forgive me. Would love to hear all the good and all the bad about both states. Thanks in advance!

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Here's my $.02.   Yes, Maine supposedly taxes heavily (pensions, for one) but think abut this.   Every state has to function, whether it be for administration, education, road maintenance, etc.   I am unconvinced either Maine or NH can do it that much better than the other to the point one is that much cheaper than the other.   I equate it to buying a car.   One dealer may be less expensive than the other but then charges more for doc fees, plates, etc.   Can one dealer really be that much more efficient than another to be able to offer a significantly lower price?   Doubt it.   

 

Figure out which state is better personally for you and go there.  For what could be a relatively small amount of money in the long run, don't compromise lifestyle.   

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Thank Marty for your .02 . Besides Stripers, do Albacore and blues show up? How about Tautog/blackfish? I've been reading that they don't occur much further north than Gloucester Ma.

Do many of you fish down on Cape Cod, or Buzzards Bay?

Are there any Salt Water Fly fishing clubs?

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Ah @Teepeerock, a fellow Lawnguylander!!  I grew up on the North Shore in the Sound Beach area, but fished & hunted the North Fork extensively, especially out at Orient.  Life intervened and I found myself land locked in Northern Illinois for 27 years, but was able to retire to Maine 10 years ago.

 

LI WAS on the list, but the "Dead End" nature of the Island, not to mention the congestion and costs drove us to Maine.  The Admiral, from CT, summered on Sebago Lake and introduced me to Maine.  She wanted to have a place on a lake, but after 27 years without stripers, my arch nemesis and obsession, that was NOT an option and I'm sitting here typing this while gazing over my 1200 of frontage along one of Maine's many tidal rivers wondering if the bass will start their evening feeding soon...

 

NH was never an option for us.  The 17 or so miles of coast means very high people concentration, albeit not close to LI, but way too much congestion for us.  Yes the no income and sales tax seem nice, but I have a friend who lives there and he pays way too much in property taxes, almost as bad as LI.  He gets a double whammy in that he works at the Portsmouth Shipyard, which by a twist of geographic fate is actually in Maine so he gets whacked by ME non-resident income tax.

 

OK, so once you get past Brunswick along Maine's Midcoast, waterfront property & housing costs drop significantly, and you can still be in striper heaven.  HOWEVER, stripers were in very short supply past Portland in the first 3 summers I was here, 2010-2012, didn't catch a one.  Now I catch 'em from late May through the first week of October, averaging well over 500 a year.  It's a blessing and a curse.  Consistent striper fishing doesn't get much past the Rockland/Camden area.  That being said, folks along the Penobscot have reporting catching the past few years.  However, I've never heard any good reports from Ellsworth, Machias nor Blue Hill.  You're pretty much locked and loaded on mackerel, harbor pollock and cunners inshore, and groundfish, tuna and sharks off shore.

 

Why a curse? Well honestly Stripers are about the only inshore game in town around here.  You get nowhere near the variety that we saw on LI, no blackfish, no weaks, no kingfish, no sea bass (there are some, but they're a rarity), no fluke, winter flounder are around, but you can't depend on them it's more an accident, no albies nor bonito (some people have caught small ones when mackerel fishing, but no reports of real ones).  What you do catch within Maine state waters are cod, but we only have a Federally Mandated two week season, Sept 1 - 14, small pollock, bigger ones are offshore, niced size bergals, cunners here, which taste just like blackfish, mackerel up the wazoo and even their bigger brother, bluefin tuna.  If you have a decent sized boat you can add sharks (Porbeagles & Threshers, YUM, and Blues) to the list, along with halibut, cusk and monkfish.

 

As for crabbing, we got green crabs!!!  Too bad we don't have the tog to use them on.  But I have made spaghetti sauce with the larger ones and Grandma would be impressed, although there's nothing to munch on after you eat the pasta.

 

Clams?  Well steamers are the biggie up here, BUT after hauling up my anchor with a hard shell lodged in the flukes this past September, I found a great clam flat, along with a razor clam flat too.  And oysters!!  Since the water temps rarely get into the 70s in the estuaries, no need to worry about "R" months, all the bivalves are amazingly tasty, best I've ever eaten, and I've eaten them all over the world, even cutting through ice in Setauket to have oysters for New Years Eve...

 

Love all the seasons too.  Actually because of the crush of tourists in the summer, that may be my least favorite season.  Winter along the coast isn't bad, we don't get that much snow, which sucks because I love to snowshoe.  Like to ski?  Well we have real mountains with > 2000 ft vertical drops, no "Bald Hill" pimples.  Heck there's the Camden Snow Bowl with views of Penobscot Bay right along the coast which dwarfs Bald Hill.

 

Sea Ducks??  We got 'em, scoters, old squaws (I refuse to PC this one) & common eiders.  We also have just about every waterfowl we have on LI, tons of black ducks and buffies, teal, woodies, golden eyes, and all sorts of mergansers.  Canada geese are a pest.  Have not seen any cans, redheads or pintails.  Upland we've got woodcock, grouse, and turkeys.  Too far north for quail and pheasants.  Big game, besides deer you can add bear and moose to the list.  Used to hunt on LI, especially ducks, but have limited myself to varmint control now, taking care of any porcupines that may look at my trees as a snack...

 

What so I miss about LI?  Parsley & Cheese sausage, decent bagels and a proper Kaiser Roll, but I couldn't get them in IL either.  Since I live near the end of a long peninsula, it's a 20 miles round trip to the nearest town, and an 80 mile round trip to bigger stores like Walmart, Lowes, Staples, etc.  However this was a cognizant decision because I wanted to get away from crowds.  No regrets whatsoever...

 

Taxes, well coming from NY, they'll drop just about anywhere you live.  Maine taxes, yes they're high, but compared to the Empire State, they'll seem reasonable.  My property taxes here, after 10 years are now equal to my IL ones 10 years ago.

 

OK, I've rambled on enough.  Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions.  I don't think you can make a bad decision here between NH and ME.  Just make your Must Have and Nice To Have lists and do your homework.

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I have lived in both states and can tell you NH is cheaper to live in. My wife and I are nearing retirement age. We will be selling our home in Maine when the comes and relocating next door.

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11 hours ago, Roccus7 said:

Ah @Teepeerock, a fellow Lawnguylander!!  I grew up on the North Shore in the Sound Beach area, but fished & hunted the North Fork extensively, especially out at Orient.  Life intervened and I found myself land locked in Northern Illinois for 27 years, but was able to retire to Maine 10 years ago.

 

LI WAS on the list, but the "Dead End" nature of the Island, not to mention the congestion and costs drove us to Maine.  The Admiral, from CT, summered on Sebago Lake and introduced me to Maine.  She wanted to have a place on a lake, but after 27 years without stripers, my arch nemesis and obsession, that was NOT an option and I'm sitting here typing this while gazing over my 1200 of frontage along one of Maine's many tidal rivers wondering if the bass will start their evening feeding soon...

 

NH was never an option for us.  The 17 or so miles of coast means very high people concentration, albeit not close to LI, but way too much congestion for us.  Yes the no income and sales tax seem nice, but I have a friend who lives there and he pays way too much in property taxes, almost as bad as LI.  He gets a double whammy in that he works at the Portsmouth Shipyard, which by a twist of geographic fate is actually in Maine so he gets whacked by ME non-resident income tax.

 

OK, so once you get past Brunswick along Maine's Midcoast, waterfront property & housing costs drop significantly, and you can still be in striper heaven.  HOWEVER, stripers were in very short supply past Portland in the first 3 summers I was here, 2010-2012, didn't catch a one.  Now I catch 'em from late May through the first week of October, averaging well over 500 a year.  It's a blessing and a curse.  Consistent striper fishing doesn't get much past the Rockland/Camden area.  That being said, folks along the Penobscot have reporting catching the past few years.  However, I've never heard any good reports from Ellsworth, Machias nor Blue Hill.  You're pretty much locked and loaded on mackerel, harbor pollock and cunners inshore, and groundfish, tuna and sharks off shore.

 

Why a curse? Well honestly Stripers are about the only inshore game in town around here.  You get nowhere near the variety that we saw on LI, no blackfish, no weaks, no kingfish, no sea bass (there are some, but they're a rarity), no fluke, winter flounder are around, but you can't depend on them it's more an accident, no albies nor bonito (some people have caught small ones when mackerel fishing, but no reports of real ones).  What you do catch within Maine state waters are cod, but we only have a Federally Mandated two week season, Sept 1 - 14, small pollock, bigger ones are offshore, niced size bergals, cunners here, which taste just like blackfish, mackerel up the wazoo and even their bigger brother, bluefin tuna.  If you have a decent sized boat you can add sharks (Porbeagles & Threshers, YUM, and Blues) to the list, along with halibut, cusk and monkfish.

 

As for crabbing, we got green crabs!!!  Too bad we don't have the tog to use them on.  But I have made spaghetti sauce with the larger ones and Grandma would be impressed, although there's nothing to munch on after you eat the pasta.

 

Clams?  Well steamers are the biggie up here, BUT after hauling up my anchor with a hard shell lodged in the flukes this past September, I found a great clam flat, along with a razor clam flat too.  And oysters!!  Since the water temps rarely get into the 70s in the estuaries, no need to worry about "R" months, all the bivalves are amazingly tasty, best I've ever eaten, and I've eaten them all over the world, even cutting through ice in Setauket to have oysters for New Years Eve...

 

Love all the seasons too.  Actually because of the crush of tourists in the summer, that may be my least favorite season.  Winter along the coast isn't bad, we don't get that much snow, which sucks because I love to snowshoe.  Like to ski?  Well we have real mountains with > 2000 ft vertical drops, no "Bald Hill" pimples.  Heck there's the Camden Snow Bowl with views of Penobscot Bay right along the coast which dwarfs Bald Hill.

 

Sea Ducks??  We got 'em, scoters, old squaws (I refuse to PC this one) & common eiders.  We also have just about every waterfowl we have on LI, tons of black ducks and buffies, teal, woodies, golden eyes, and all sorts of mergansers.  Canada geese are a pest.  Have not seen any cans, redheads or pintails.  Upland we've got woodcock, grouse, and turkeys.  Too far north for quail and pheasants.  Big game, besides deer you can add bear and moose to the list.  Used to hunt on LI, especially ducks, but have limited myself to varmint control now, taking care of any porcupines that may look at my trees as a snack...

 

What so I miss about LI?  Parsley & Cheese sausage, decent bagels and a proper Kaiser Roll, but I couldn't get them in IL either.  Since I live near the end of a long peninsula, it's a 20 miles round trip to the nearest town, and an 80 mile round trip to bigger stores like Walmart, Lowes, Staples, etc.  However this was a cognizant decision because I wanted to get away from crowds.  No regrets whatsoever...

 

Taxes, well coming from NY, they'll drop just about anywhere you live.  Maine taxes, yes they're high, but compared to the Empire State, they'll seem reasonable.  My property taxes here, after 10 years are now equal to my IL ones 10 years ago.

 

OK, I've rambled on enough.  Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions.  I don't think you can make a bad decision here between NH and ME.  Just make your Must Have and Nice To Have lists and do your homework.

Nicely said. Makes me want to move there. 

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12 hours ago, Roccus7 said:

Ah @Teepeerock, a fellow Lawnguylander!!  I grew up on the North Shore in the Sound Beach area, but fished & hunted the North Fork extensively, especially out at Orient.  Life intervened and I found myself land locked in Northern Illinois for 27 years, but was able to retire to Maine 10 years ago.

...

 

OK, I've rambled on enough.  Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions.  I don't think you can make a bad decision here between NH and ME.  Just make your Must Have and Nice To Have lists and do your homework.

@Teepeerock, forgot to mention car insurance.  When we dropped from NY to IL, it went down by 1/2.  When we moved from IL to ME, dropped by another 1/2...

 

Also property taxes, we didn't own in LI, but my parents did and OY!!

 

Moving from IL to ME was a big drop.  My house here, after 10 years finally reached my IL tax number, which was on a lot 1/20 the size of what I live on now.  That being said, my Township's Mil Rate is the 2nd lowest in Maine.  The further south you live and if you live in a city, you can expect Mil Rates to sky rocket.  The closest town to me has a 2.5X Mil Rate...

Edited by Roccus7

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Maine for quality of life, must be mid coast region. NH if you’re trying to get the most for you hard earned/saved buck. NH gives you access to Maine south to RI, mid coast leaves you really with Maine to Northern MA for fishing. We have a cottage in midcoast and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Plenty of fish around to keep me and the kids busy. 

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3 hours ago, TGIF Harpswell said:

Maine for quality of life, must be mid coast region. NH if you’re trying to get the most for you hard earned/saved buck. NH gives you access to Maine south to RI, mid coast leaves you really with Maine to Northern MA for fishing. We have a cottage in midcoast and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Plenty of fish around to keep me and the kids busy. 

But in NH won’t you be paying sky high property taxes vs. lower property taxes and probably no income tax in ME? Seems to me it would make sense to retire in southern Maine, do all your shopping in NH (no sales tax), no/low income tax due to being retired, lower property tax. But I’m sure there are other factors. 

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Maybe, depends on everyone’s unique situation of course, but I found NH to be super affordable, but mid coast Maine is a slice of heaven. I lived in NH and paid significantly less tax on property than in Maine or MA, but lots of variables in that eauAthin,  much more significant was the income tax which was the big deal.  

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I moved from Maine to NH for work reasons. My income tax in Maine was high, property tax not too bad. We don't buy much. In NH my property tax is over $1,000 per month for which I get squat. My house in Maine on a waterfront acre is $4,000 per year. My electric bill in NH has been $300 per month more or less, in Maine about $40. Maine has income tax. Income tax goes down if your income goes down, property tax does not. Will be moving back when I retire in May and can't wait. We moved here of necessity but never really liked it.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So for our unique situation taxes would be paid in Maine vs NH. Oddly enough I wouldn't pay taxes on pension in MA. I don't necessarily have to live on the coast. 30-40 minutes away would be fine. Somewhere maybe between Farmington NH and Sanford Me. I understand the beauty of the mid coast region and beyond. My wife worked in Blue Hill at the "Oakland House" during college. Before kids we toured the coast right up to Lubec. Such amazing views mile after mile. 

We are also kicking around the cottage idea. In that case we ( ha ha -- "I" ) would like to be near some good smallmouth fishing. 5 or 6 wt, some bugs and streamers and I'm set. This brings me to another question. Consuming fresh water fish. Not smallies, but white perch, yellow perch, lake trout.  Are there consumption warnings on those species? Do any of you eat them?  Thanks guys, hoping to make it up there sometime this summer.

 

 

PS just saw that about $1000/month!!! that's about what we pay down here!  ouch!

Edited by Teepeerock
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