"Kentucky is the worst state in the nation to retire in."

That's what I recently heard on WKCT radio early one morning, according to a new WalletHub report.

 Kentucky was rated 50th out of all the 50 states – the very worst.

"That's rubbish," I said to myself. I'd just arrived in Bowling Green two months before, after extensive research into where I wanted to relocate when I fled Massachusetts. I phoned in to the radio station and disputed that report's ridiculous conclusion.

I didn't move here to retire, though I'm not far from it. I moved to escape the extremely high-cost and politically oppressive commonwealth I've long battled against. As executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation – the largest, longest-established taxpayers' rights group in Massachusetts – after two-plus decades I couldn't tolerate it much longer.

A bolt of inspiration struck out of nowhere late one evening last March: "I don't need to put up with this, there are options."

My research was launched at that moment.

 My criteria were simple. I wanted to find a lower cost-of-living state, with a more temperate climate, with less government control and demands over my life. After weeks of deep research – what I've done best for Bay State taxpayers for decades – the result surprised me. The place I wanted to be was Kentucky, specifically Bowling Green. 

My decision surprised friends, colleagues and family even more so. No, I didn't know anyone there; no, I'd never been there, had never given Kentucky a passing thought. Though I had a good idea, still I had to pull out a map to find where Kentucky is specifically located among the states. When a colleague saw my reams of research, he commented, "I'll bet you know more about Kentucky now than most of its residents."

I made three trips to Bowling Green last summer before I found my new home, closed on the sale in August. Back home in Marblehead, I plunged into clearing out and packing up, sold my house and abandoned Massachusetts in mid-November, arrived at my new home 1,100 miles and a few days later.

Eight inches of average winter snowfall here sure beats the annual four feet (a record 10 feet in 2015) back there. Before moving, I sold my Chevy Blazer with its snowplow and my snow blower – brought along a shovel for emergencies and still haven't unpacked it.

I've never met so many warm, gracious, friendly and helpful people as every single soul I've met here so far. Even public employees are friendly and helpful, unlike the typical arrogance and disinterest doled out back there. Instead of standing in long lines for literally hours to register a car or renew a driver's license at a distant state Registry of Motor Vehicles office, it took 20 minutes here to change over my vehicle registration, another 20 for my driver’s license. And it cost less.

The profit from the sale of my house (mostly market appreciation) more than paid for my similar home in Kentucky. The $6,000 I paid in annual property taxes up there was reduced by 80 percent here. Nobody here wants to ban firearms or demands permission to own them. Plastic bags and straws are not outlawed. The state legislature doesn’t spend 12 months a year grinding out crazy new laws and raising taxes to pay for them to justify over-paid, alleged full-time legislators, as it does in Massachusetts.

When radio host Chad Young seemed incredulous of my comment about “less government” in Kentucky, I replied: “Everything is relative, and if you were familiar with Massachusetts you’d surely appreciate my perspective. All my friends up there do, and are envious.”

Every morning upon awakening, I get a thrill when I realize I’m here in Kentucky – that I actually pulled it off, escaped the generally endured but needless hardships. I call it “Lucky in Kentucky.”

– Chip Ford lives in Bowling Green.


(6) comments


Glad to have a new neighbor. A shame that the converse isn't true. Most people in Kentucky would never be able to afford to Massachusettes. Leaving a place where the mere profit on the sale of a home to a place where that profit buys an entire home is quite the jump in deed. I would gladly take 8,000 a year in more property taxes for over 1.5 million more dollars in life time earnings just because of the zip code. Merely changing zip codes to one of those bright glistening yankee states nets the non-college graduate over a million dollars more in life. The cars don't cost anymore. So great that a rich person from Taxachusettes who benefited from all those tax programs has come down to Kentucky declare how bad they are.


Thanks for the welcome Econobot but no, I don't think you would actually make that trade-off. To learn why not, go to http://cltg.org and see what it's really like existing in Massachusetts -- unaffordable and overbearing for it residents and always becoming more so. Many in Massachusetts can't afford to live there, which is why there is such an exodus.

Enough Already

Welcome to BG Mr. Ford. I hope those that come after you are like yourself.

It seems after most liberals have destroyed a state they cash out and move somewhere with low taxes and minimum government interference but keep voting for the same stupid things (and politicians) that destroyed their last state. California seems to have reached critical mass so they are currently moving to Texas to screw that state up.
I have been encouraging Econobot to move to one of the insanely liberal states so he could experience the "good life" he longs for but he just won't take a hint. I fear you may have undone all my efforts and he will just stay here and continue to preach Marx and Lenin to us.
In any case, I hope you enjoy your new home. Just be advised that we also have more than our share of insane liberals and they are working hard to destroy Kentucky as well.


Thanks for the welcome, Enough Already, and yes, that's the ongoing situation in "Live Free or Die" New Hampshire just over the border from Massachusetts, where Bay State liberals emigrated to escape what they wrought then began imposing the very same things they fled. Once rock-ribbed conservative red, the Granite State has gradually been turned purple trending blue. Lifelong New Hampshire citizens long ago termed those border-crossing immigrants "Massholes." No need to worry about me; see where I come from at . I'm keeping Kentucky our secret!

Enough Already

Don't forget to check in on "letters to the editor" on other topics. We need all the help we can get repelling the KYholes... [beam]


Welcome to your new home, Mr. Ford!

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