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Myths about Retiring in Montana

By    |   Monday, 08 Jun 2015 11:47 PM

The Montana mythos is one of the lone cowboy riding the high country, completely on his own and having no use for "outsiders" on his jealously-guarded land, and that's a picture that can scare away the potential retiree. Here are some myths to dispel when you consider your potential retirement in Montana.

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  1. It's Expensive - Montana's cost of living overall is higher than the national average, and that can be a concern to retirees looking to get mileage out of their money. However, the state average is skewed upwards by high home prices – upward of $400,000, according to MarketWatch – in some resort areas.Head for less touristy places such as Butte or Great Falls, and you can find a median home price of $100,000 or so, with correspondingly lower prices for other needed things, according to Retireinmontana.com.
  2. It's Cold All the Time - It's true that three months out of the year, you're unlikely to see temperatures crack 30 degrees Fahrenheit. But you'll see 70s and even 80s in July and August, according to U.S. Climate Data. It's just that you can see 30-degree swings over the course of a day, so keep a jacket handy.
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  4. It's All Cowboys - It's true that Montana's biggest city, Billings, hangs on to its "Old West" vibe, according to MarketWatch, but there's are museums, galleries and a symphony there too, in a town called great for starting a business. It's accessible by highway and air, as well. Other university towns, such as Missoula and Bozeman, offer lifelong learning classes and cultural opportunities – many of them free.
  5. It's Hip-deep in Survivalists - While it is true that Montana's in the middle of what some have taken to calling the "American Redoubt" – the western high country to which the tough-minded and the right-thinking will retreat behind guns and walls when civilization collapses for whatever reason. They are there, and they talk to papers like the Los Angeles Times to get their message out. However, they blend in well with the streak of cowboy pride a mile wide in a state that prides itself on individualism and self-sufficiency. For example, according to the Great Falls Tribune newspaper, only about 26,500 of Montana's 668,000 resident military veterans used the Veteran's Affairs health care system in 2003. These are folks who prefer to shift for themselves. For what it's worth, some of the areas they favor are side by side with the most expensive resort areas in the state, such as Flathead County and Kalispell, the Los Angeles Times notes.
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The Montana mythos is one of the lone cowboy riding the high country, completely on his own and having no use for outsiders on his jealously-guarded land, and that's a picture that can scare away the potential retiree.
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Monday, 08 Jun 2015 11:47 PM
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