Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

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Sequoia32
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Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#1

Post by Sequoia32 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:47 pm

We are thinking about moving there. We need to go somewhere where we can afford to live on Social Security.

What is it like? We don't need Opera, theater or cultural stuff. Too hard to go places in a wheelchair. Accessible parks would be nice, but mostly I just stay home.

Do not want to deal with hurricanes or tornadoes. I'm thinking blizzards will be OK, we will just hunker down. Looked at some heating/cooling bills and they didn't look much worse than what we have here.

Looks like we could buy a house for $25-35K. We don't need anything fancy. Was thinking of buying it soon and letting someone live rent-free for 6 mos to a year in exchange for fixing it up, although some of the places say they are "rent ready". Some of them are a mess but can be had for 20K...
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#2

Post by MN-Skeptic » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:24 pm

I know nothing about Indianapolis. I just see Indiana and think about the fact that they elected Mike Pence.

There are lots of articles online about the best places in the U.S. to retire. Have you checked those out? What makes Indianapolis a location you're interested in?
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#3

Post by Dan1100 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:40 pm

St. Louis is 4 hours west of Indianapolis. The weather is substantially the same. Horrible heat and humidity for 3 + months in the summer and just cold and snowy enough to be unpleasant in the winter (but snow cover very rarely lasts more than 2 weeks). Occasional spells of below zero weather, but not every year.

Some tornadoes. Nothing like OK or KS as far as sheer number of tornadoes. But our tornadoes are much faster, moving 45 to 60 mph most of the time, so the warnings don't last as long. :think:
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Sequoia32
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#4

Post by Sequoia32 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:51 pm

MN-Skeptic wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:24 pm
I know nothing about Indianapolis. I just see Indiana and think about the fact that they elected Mike Pence.
Yeah, I checked into that. I don't think we could stand to live in a red area. Marion County is blue.

MN-Skeptic wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:24 pm
There are lots of articles online about the best places in the U.S. to retire. Have you checked those out? What makes Indianapolis a location you're interested in?
Have read every one I come across for several years. Even the "retiring abroad" ones. We may end up having to move to Mexico.

The last one I read had Indianapolis on their 16 worst places to retire but it was for reasons like not a lot for retirees to do - theater and such.

I am looking at Indianapolis because I can reduce my housing costs to near zero. If Trump tanks the economy, buying a house there may be even cheaper than it is now.
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Sequoia32
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#5

Post by Sequoia32 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:58 pm

Thanks, Dan1100, I have been having Alexa pull up the week's weather for awhile to try to get an idea. Interesting about the tornadoes.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#6

Post by RoadScholar » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:02 pm

There are lots of small, surprisingly liberal (or at least moderate) communities tucked in among the foothills of the Appalachians. No tornadoes, a bit of elevation to keep cool, mild winters.... We've considered retiring someplace near Asheville ourselves. In the smaller towns (seeing as you don't need much public culture) the property prices are still quite reasonable.

Not sure if this is important to you, but anywhere in the foothills from Maryland to Georgia you're only minutes away from some State or National parkland.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#7

Post by ZekeB » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:04 pm

Check the taxes too. Rural areas tend to have lower taxes, but they tend to be red. Where I live the state does not tax Social Security and I can exclude the first $6,000 of my other retirement income. My state income tax bill is about 20% of what it was in Oregon. My property tax, OTOH, is about 150% of what it was in Oregon. Living near a larger city tends to give you access to better health care, but costs tend to be higher. I've driven through Indianapolis several times and consider it to be too "busy" for my liking. If you're from a large metro area that probably won't bother you.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#8

Post by DejaMoo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:06 pm

Sequoia32 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:47 pm
We are thinking about moving there. We need to go somewhere where we can afford to live on Social Security.

What is it like? We don't need Opera, theater or cultural stuff. Too hard to go places in a wheelchair. Accessible parks would be nice, but mostly I just stay home.

Do not want to deal with hurricanes or tornadoes.
Then Indiana is not for you. According to NOAA data, between 1961 and 2011 there were 522 tornadoes within approximately 50 miles of Indianapolis, causing 97 deaths and 2251 injuries. Last May there were five tornado touchdowns in the metro Indianapolis area on the same day.

Also, research has shown that the demarcation between the dry West and the moister East has been shifting eastward with climate change, causing Tornado Alley itself to gradually shift eastward. Thus, states to the east of the Mississippi are seeing an increase in tornadoes, though the number and severity do vary by state.

Plus, the crime rates in Indiana and Indianapolis itself are much higher than the national average.

You might want to check out Ohio and parts of southwestern Wisconsin. There seem to be a lot of very nice, affordable towns in both regions. I'd formerly suggest Iowa, too, but sheesh, Iowa's weather seems to have taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the past several years, mainly with torrential rains and flooding, but it seems like they're getting more tornadoes, too.

http://www.usa.com/ is a good starting point for researching local areas, and http://www.city-data.com/forum/ has forums by state and city where you can ask the locals about living conditions, recommended neighborhoods, etc.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#9

Post by MN-Skeptic » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:07 pm

A number of retirement articles recommend that you rent for a year in an area before you decide to buy there. Just a thought.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#10

Post by RoadScholar » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:17 pm

That there is excellent advice.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#11

Post by kate520 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:31 pm

I had two co-workers long ago who grew up in Indiana, one from Gary, the other from Indy. Both are racists, as naturally as they breathe.

My friend Judy, a retired ballerina and ballet teacher (with attendant physical issues + endometriosis) just moved to the Kansas City area with her little dog Toto Nick. I can never remember if KS or MO side.

She loves it! She found comparable housing prices to what you found in Indianapolis. The weather is fine. She moved about a year ago and I’ve heard no complaints yet. I don’t know about tornadoes, though. It’s hard to avoid them in the middle.

Second the renting advice, but I know how hard it is for less mobile people to move houses, much less twice in a year. I’m still in the throes of our LAST MOVE EVAR PLEASE. I’m not loving the actual settling in, working 12 hours a day cleaning and opening boxes - nope, what I need is not in this one, either - and I’m in pretty good shape for an old lady. Maybe send the son ahead? Or the cat? If she likes it...👍🏼

I’ll find out from Judy which state she is in.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#12

Post by Sequoia32 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:54 pm

kate520 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:31 pm
I’m not loving the actual settling in, working 12 hours a day cleaning and opening boxes - nope, what I need is not in this one, either ...
Alexa is helping me with this.

Using her "lists" function, I create a list for each box and just tell Alexa as I add each item.

I can copy the list from the App to a master list of all boxes and also print it out to paste onto each box.

Thanks for the other info. Wish I could send son, but he won't even discuss our pending huge drop in income and the need to move somewhere affordable.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#13

Post by PaulG » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:15 pm

Muncie, IN (just outside Indianapolis) supposedly has more chain restaurants (nationals and also locals trying to grow) or any comparable town. They have a University which helps, but more importantly, they are the most statistically average place in America. It's the perfect place to test your restaurant to see if is going to be a hit countrywide.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#14

Post by dunstvangeet » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:41 pm

ZekeB wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:04 pm
My state income tax bill is about 20% of what it was in Oregon. My property tax, OTOH, is about 150% of what it was in Oregon.
What's your sales tax bill?

Oregon has no sales tax, which means that they have a fairly high income tax. Other places have a low income tax, but have sales tax to suppliment it.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#15

Post by dunstvangeet » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:42 pm

PaulG wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:15 pm
Muncie, IN (just outside Indianapolis) supposedly has more chain restaurants (nationals and also locals trying to grow) or any comparable town. They have a University which helps, but more importantly, they are the most statistically average place in America. It's the perfect place to test your restaurant to see if is going to be a hit countrywide.
I have family (2nd Cousins) in Muncie, my grandfather was born in Eaton. Never been there personally, but want to go eventually.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#16

Post by Chilidog » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:57 pm

I live in Illinois. I have only been to Indianapolis a couple times for work.

Meh.

the city itself has some fairly rough neighborhoods. high crime rates, etc.

the suburbs, I don’t know much about.

As Kate pointed out, some of the rural towns in that state are infamous for being racist havens. I have to say that my experience is somewhat the same. While I have met a few nice people from that state, It’s not hard to find others who exemplify the worst.

I don’t know what housing costs are like, but you might try looking at western Kentucky, the land between the lakes area.

If you can handle the cold and snow, there are parts of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota that are nice.

My son goes to school in the Quad Cities, and while they are as a whole, economically depressed, Davenport does seem to be working hard to create a nice downtown cultural area (not what you are looking for, I’m sure, but it’s nice to have around).

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#17

Post by Chilidog » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:02 pm

PaulG wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:15 pm
Muncie, IN (just outside Indianapolis) supposedly has more chain restaurants (nationals and also locals trying to grow) or any comparable town. They have a University which helps, but more importantly, they are the most statistically average place in America. It's the perfect place to test your restaurant to see if is going to be a hit countrywide.
Ball state is a very conservative university.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#18

Post by Shizzle Popped » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:03 pm

We moved to Indianapolis last spring from the Seattle area. We have parents here and outside of St. Louis that are getting older and need some help or we probably would have stayed in Seattle. We live in the far southern suburbs so I don't know specific areas of the city well, but I know something about different areas. I'll just throw out some general information and then let you ask questions.

Housing: MUCH cheaper than Seattle but that's not hard to do. Yeah, you can probably find a house for less than $30K but I wouldn't recommend it. I had family living in one of those on the East side about 5 years ago and it was about 3 code violations away from being condemned. And the East side is not really an area I would suggest moving to. Property taxes on our house are roughly $1 for every $100 of market value. That roughly doubles if you rent your house out though.

Politics: Man, but are these people red. I knew it was a conservative state when we moved here but this is more conservative than heavily rural central Illinois, which is saying something. I have a continuing battle to keep from slapping people with MAGA hats (though I've been seeing fewer of those lately). The people, however, are pretty friendly. Our subdivision has a Facebook page and if you put a message out there asking for help with something somebody will almost always chime in with an offer to come over and assist with whatever issue you're having.

Cost of Living: It is exceptionally cheap to live here. We made enough on our house in Seattle that I could easily semi-retire on a fairly low income. Utilities seem to be roughly in line with what we paid in Seattle and that was one thing that wasn't expensive there. We have a very large house and our gas bill for last month was $110. Most groceries are cheaper here, except for organic foods which seem to be more expensive. I can frequently get a gallon of store-brand milk for $1.50.

Culture: Yeah, there's not much. If you're into the arts and nightlife, look elsewhere. We do have some pretty decent looking little parks around us down here but I don't know what they're like in the city.

Traffic: After Seattle, I just laugh when people talk about traffic jams here. I've been on I-465 at 9am a number of times when there was almost no traffic on the road. This is a pretty easy city to get around in.

Travel: We have what is seriously one of the nicest airports in the country and they keep getting more non-stop flights out of here all the time. Chicago and a handful of medium size cities are an easy 2 to 4 hour drive from here.

Weather: Ugh. I grew up in the St. Louis area so I knew what I was getting into but I seriously miss the extremely mild Seattle weather. It's hot and humid in the summer here and cold in the winter. It's 22 degrees right now and that hasn't been at all uncommon this winter. This isn't exactly tornado alley but they do happen. The test the warning sirens every Friday at 11 am. However, I think the sirens only went off once all summer and it was a false alarm.

Overall: I'm not going kid you and tell you that I don't miss Seattle. There's always something to do there, though you may not want to fight the traffic to go. And cornfields are no substitute for the mountains and Puget Sound. However, just south of us you run into a lot of rolling hills and trees so it's not an ugly state either. The people are nice, even if I don't agree with most of them politically. It's a more relaxed living pace here which has been a good thing lately. Do I like it here? Surprisingly, the answer is "yes", and nobody is more surprised by that answer than me.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#19

Post by stoppingby » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:52 pm

I live in northern Indiana. I'm a born and raised hoosier, so I'm somewhat biased, but I like it here. Indiana is definitely red, but it's definitely a "find your tribe" type of place. I grew up in the red suburban edge of the city, and now live in the blue downtown, and its like two different worlds. I tend to forget the red part even exists, unless I read the comments on the local newspaper's facebook posts. Then, it's like, "oh yeah! We do have nutjobs!"

I have had a fair number of friends in Indy (although in some cases, I haven't stayed in touch). It has a good art museum and low cost of living. Cheap housing, a growing foodie scene, all the major sports teams, etc. I think it depends on where you're coming from. I find if you're coming from major cities like New York, Indy seems provincial in its options. If you aren't, its fine. For example, I had a friend who worked in Chicago and lived on the outskirts and moved to Indy. She loves it because she could afford to live closer in, and didn't have to deal with Chicago traffic. This combo gave her more money and time to actually enjoy the amenities, as opposed to Chicago, where it took her awhile to get home and then didn't want to have to fight her way back into town, and so didn't go to most events. On the other hand, I know someone who moved there from Los Angeles who couldn't stop sneering at it.

I'm used to the weather, so it doesn't bother me. In fact, I had a friend who lived in San Diego who wanted me to move out there, but I absolutely have to have the change of seasons, most notably fall. The thing that does bother me the most is a lack of a national park/or outdoor recreation area. We have smaller ones, but I'd love to be close to a large one.

I also think people's ability to adjust depends a lot on one's attitude. I know two different households who moved here from the Portland area. One got involved in the arts community, their neighborhood, the local political action group, and loves it. The other one sat around drinking wine and sneering at everything as being not good enough, and hated it.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#20

Post by Sequoia32 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:03 pm

Shizzle Popped, thanks for such an informative post. Gives me a lot to think about.

We had to leave my beloved Santa Cruz when I became disabled and now live in a crappy area of Sacramento. We will not be able to be picky about the neighborhood, but will try to improve it and find fellow "good people" as we have done here.

stoppingby, your social insights are invaluable. I am worried about being the newcomers from California. When we moved to Oregon in the 90s there was a lot of anti-Californian sentiment. I was so happy to move back...

I looked and they do sell Priuses there. How do you think driving a Prius will go over?
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#21

Post by AndyinPA » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:58 pm

If possible, it's a good idea to try to live in an area about a year before moving to it permanently. I have friends whose friends went to Tucson every winter to golf, so when they retired, they bought a house there and moved. Turns out they had had never been there in the summer months and hated the summer heat. Now instead of feeling stuck in the house all winter, they feel stuck in the house all summer. I don't breathe well in dry desert heat so I can relate.

We had planned to retire to Costa Rica, which we love. Well, that was before grandkids. :-D

We are not unhappy being retired/semi-retired here. Of course, I grew up in the city. Cost of living isn't that high (gas is, though); all the cultural events we could ever dream of needing or wanting; in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, a hour's drive away; plenty of green space in the city and out. I can't seem to live without hills. I lived in Michigan for four years and looking out the window was always jarring. I'm not recommending you move here instead, although I have met a number of people who have retired here and are very happy they did. People seem to think of Pittsburgh as it was 50 years ago and are quite surprised at their first visit.

As for the weather, that seems to be changing. I like cold weather, or at least very cool weather, much better than hot weather. I love the change of seasons. Even in a winter where we get above-average snow, like last year, it warms up in between so quickly that it melts before the next storm. That's not the way it used to be. Summers can be hot and humid, but usually not all summer long. I saw yesterday, we have had ten inches of snow so far, five inches below normal, but I would never have guessed that because of the melting, although I'm not so sure the inch or so I'm looking at now is going to disappear any time soon.

Is this place perfect? No place is. I wish you all the best of luck in your search for a place that works well for you.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#22

Post by ZekeB » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:21 pm

I moved from a higher cost of living/higher pay with higher retirement pay area to a lower cost of living place. It's serving me well financially. My retirement pay is considerably higher than the depressed wages the average worker earns here. There's little to see and do where I am, but I'm 3 hours away from family to the SW of me and 3.5 hours away from family to the east of me. I grew up in the Midwest so I had no culture shock.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#23

Post by Dan1100 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:31 pm

Sequoia32 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:03 pm
Shizzle Popped, thanks for such an informative post. Gives me a lot to think about.

We had to leave my beloved Santa Cruz when I became disabled and now live in a crappy area of Sacramento. We will not be able to be picky about the neighborhood, but will try to improve it and find fellow "good people" as we have done here.

stoppingby, your social insights are invaluable. I am worried about being the newcomers from California. When we moved to Oregon in the 90s there was a lot of anti-Californian sentiment. I was so happy to move back...

I looked and they do sell Priuses there. How do you think driving a Prius will go over?
Indy homicide map.

https://www.theindychannel.com/news/loc ... -homicides

What you want to avoid is the areas that have a high crime/homicide rates. Assuming it is for the most part a slightly smaller version of St. Louis, there are neighborhoods that are cheap because of the crime and there are other neighborhoods that don't have a crime problem but are cheap because of the obsolete houses that have tiny rooms and window air conditioners. Obviously you are looking more for the later.
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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#24

Post by stoppingby » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:26 pm

Sequoia32 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:03 pm


I looked and they do sell Priuses there. How do you think driving a Prius will go over?
Most of my friends drive Priuses, and I'm in a more conservative city than Indianapolis. I don't think anyone will look twice.

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Re: Anybody live in or around Indianapolis, IN?

#25

Post by Sequoia32 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:19 pm

stoppingby wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:26 pm
Sequoia32 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:03 pm


I looked and they do sell Priuses there. How do you think driving a Prius will go over?
Most of my friends drive Priuses, and I'm in a more conservative city than Indianapolis. I don't think anyone will look twice.
Thanks, that's a relief.

Well, I'm now planning to make the move next spring/early summer leaving me with 6-8 months of my current income before the financial cliff to acclimate and find a place.

Thanks for all of the great info and advice.
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