From the Editor

If not Maine, where would you live?

Posted:  Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 9:00am
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A friend of mine who owns a home in Maine and a place in Massachusetts told me this week that he has had enough — he is seriously considering moving to another state south of New England. He cited the two aforementioned states' high cost of living, including taxes, health and car insurance, the cost of housing and more. He does have roots in the state he is considering moving to, but who can blame him for seeking a more affordable and comfortable life.

After "suffering" through the past eight or so winters, and hearing from relatives and friends how their state is having great weather or the cost of living is so much better than Maine's, I have thought about packing it in and moving. I haven't discussed this with my wife — it has just been a thought and not a serious consideration since it would mean moving away from our granddaughters. However, it might take a few more winters and the rising costs of living here to make us both want to move. And talk the daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters into coming with us.

On Monday, I did a bit of research and came across a U.S. News and World Report article, Best States Rankings, for 2018. The states were ranked in various categories, including Health Care, Education, Economy, Opportunities, Infrastructure, Crime & Corrections, Fiscal Stability and Quality of Life.

Maine was ranked 22nd overall, with its poor infrastructure ranked 43rd out of the 50 states and its lagging economy ranked 37th. We are the top-ranked state in the nation in regards to the amount of crime and handling the crime through our corrections system, and our quality of life was ranked high at number 12.

In the overall rankings of all the states, Iowa was the top-ranked state, followed by the other top 10 states, in order from 2 to 10, Minnesota, Utah, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Washington, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Vermont and Colorado.

I also went to another website, Thrillist.com, which provided, albiet light-hearted, ranking of states with the worst winters and worst summers. Maine, not surprisingly, was ranked to have the fifth worst winters, while North Dakota, Alaska, Michigan and Minnesota (#1) ranked worse than Maine. So, if you noticed, Minnesota and North Dakota were in the top 10 of U.S. News' Best States Ranking, but you might not want to live there because of the winters. In the worst summer rankings, Maine did very well, having only the 36th worst summers.

Now, before I did my research, I have thought about moving to three states — Delaware, Nebraska and Kentucky — which have the inside track, with Georgia and North Carolina being lower on my list.

My sisters live in Delaware — one since the 1970s and the other since last year — and our son has lived in Nebraska going on five years. And a friend of mine has bragged about the weather and low cost of living in Kentucky since he moved there two-plus years ago.

The three states, Delaware, Nebraska and Kentucky, all have moderate winters and “not too hot” summers. I couldn’t live in a state that had many summer days with temperatures in the 9os.

I’ve been to Delaware several times (not enough, however) and I like its location to the ocean and its “smallness.” I’ve never been to Kentucky, but being a basketball fan, it’s a hotbed for the sport. And I have never been to Nebraska. My wife has been there a couple of times. Her brother has lived there for over two decades; he and his wife (a Nebraskan) raised a family there and, being a native Mainer, he learned to love it, despite being away from the ocean.

If everything works out right, I will soon be taking my first trip to Nebraska this spring. Perhaps I will take some notes about possibly moving there. Just a thought.

Where would you live if you moved away from Maine?