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Boomer Hits The Road

10 States With The Lowest Overhead According To


Baby Boomers love a good deal. We’ve perfected phrases like, “What do you need to get for that?”

It’s embarrassing to others when we go into bargain mode at the Safeway check-out, not so much at a flea market.

If everything has a price, then so do states and their cost of living.

Scott Cohn of CNBC broke it down.

Money explored ten states. NW Boomer explores Money’s exploration to make it clear for our side.

But first a warning: Picking up and moving for a better deal has a few hazards.

The great Townes Van Zandt wrote a song about moving on that started with this:

“Livin’ on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear skin like iron
And your breath’s as hard as kerosene
You weren’t your mama’s only boy
But her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams.”

Let the dreaming begin, Boomer.

#10: Mississippi

The South is an acquired taste. You either get it, or not, but it probably won’t grow on you the longer you live there.

People from Alabama make fun of Mississippi. What happens when they learn you moved there voluntarily? If you can take the hazing, go ahead.

On the upside, both state schools belong to the SEC so you’ll always have that.

#9: Texas

Warning: Expect to find lots of Texans.

The cost of living might be attractive, but unless you know Texas, don’t mess with it.

The image used in the Money article looks like something from an oil rich Middle Eastern nation. That’s no mistake.

It also includes a river, so you’ll know where to park your van when you move.

#7 (tie): Kansas

From the image used, you’ll be living in a mansion on a green prairie.

Who doesn’t like a white picket fence and no neighbors, but is that really living?

After the Wizard of Oz, Kansas seems a little too windy. Could be wrong, but why risk it on seventh place?

#7 (tie): Arkansas

Another beautiful city by a river picture like Texas. And greenery.

One of the categories deciding cost of living is the price of a steak.

Arkansas is Razorback country. They say things like “shoat” and “soueee.” Hog calling is a second language.

You’ll find confusion with the AR-Kansas river pronunciation.

Keep looking, Boomer.

#6: Indiana

I love Larry Bird and the movie Hoosiers, but move to Indiana?

The idea of the place is one thing, the reality another. But don’t be afraid.

Purdue University is home of the Boilermakers. That doesn’t mean you’ll get boils.

It’ll just feel that way each summer.

#5: Nebraska

Big Red Nation welcomes you with open arms? You can hope.

The picture in Money shows a barn in a cornfield. That’s your new home?

If the Cornhusker State is good enough for Warren Buffet, it’s probably a good investment.

Oscar winning director Alexander Payne is a Nebraskan, so it’s not like you’re going there to rot.

#3 (tie): Kentucky

In spite of what you might think, the movie Deliverance was not shot in Kentucky.

It wasn’t shot in Arkansas either, no matter the pig references.

That college basketball was once dominated by Kentucky and a man named Adolph shouldn’t worry. That’s long past.

On the upside, George Clooney comes from Kentucky and you hear lots about Ashlee Judd, so it can’t be all bad.

#3 (tie): Idaho

It’s no secret that Mormons and White Power groups love Idaho. It was a secret? Be a good neighbor and you won’t have problems.

Idaho is one state over from the Pacific Ocean so you have a beach within striking distance. Sort of.

Boise resembles Portland, Oregon in some regards and has the mighty Boise State Bronco, college football’s answer to the Denver Broncos. It’s not SEC, but it’s good.

Your new favorite color will be smurf-turf blue.

#2: Tennessee

Why is Tennessee called the Volunteer State? During the Civil War they had more people volunteering for both sides.

You won’t have that problem. You know where you stand. Deliverance wasn’t filmed here either.

Make your new home in the home of country music.

If it was good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for you, just stay away from the fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

No. 1: Oklahoma

It’s got a pan handle, frightening weather, and was once known as the Indian Territory.

It had a land rush and a musical named after it. No one is singing the praise of the other states on stage, though Jim Nabors cuts into Back Home Again In Indiana for every Indy 500.

Wiki says Oklahoma is a leader in economic growth, but it’s the low cost of living leader in Money? Use caution in your moving plans.

With this Top Ten interpretation, do you feel better about where you are? A Baby Boomer blogger weighs in with this idea: If you move, move closer to your loved ones, not further away.

If you are a rootless wanderer, pack up and hit the road. Each of these states has something for you. That’s the beauty of America.

Notice how none of the Rust Belt states got a mention? While you decide where to land, consider another verse of Pancho and Lefty:

“Lefty, he can’t sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south
Ended up in Lefty’s mouth
The day they laid poor Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
There ain’t nobody knows

Well, the poets tell how Pancho fell
And Lefty’s livin’ in a cheap hotel
The dessert’s quiet and Cleveland’s cold
So the story end’s, we’re told
Pancho needs your prayer’s it’s true
But save a few for Lefty too
He just did what he had to do
And now he’s growin’ old.”

So are we, Boomer, so are we.




























About David Gillaspie
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