Author Topic: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?  (Read 3679 times)

1tolivesimply

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Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« on: December 05, 2016, 03:23:27 PM »
I'm always thinking of ways to do it, the last one I've been considering is selling everything in CO and moving to OH or any other state/city with low housing costs. Is it a crazy idea?

Have you been in a similar situation? What did you do? Other ideas? Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 08:00:47 PM by 1tolivesimply »

SwordGuy

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 09:41:15 PM »
We moved from Atlanta to Fayetteville, NC because my wife could get a job there (and I could too).

Then I moved to Ethiopia for a year to pay down my house a whole lot faster.  I was able to make 3 mortgage payments a month while I was out of country.  That really cuts down on the balance fast - particularly on a 15 year loan.


1tolivesimply

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 08:24:49 AM »
Our situation is likely different because we both work from home and can move to any of the 48 contiguous states while keeping the same job and same pay.  Other people typically have to seek new employment when moving.

We don't work from home, but we can also live anywhere. Although that would be irrelevant because the reason why we are even considering the idea is so that we can quit ASAP.

Then I moved to Ethiopia for a year to pay down my house a whole lot faster.  I was able to make 3 mortgage payments a month while I was out of country.  That really cuts down on the balance fast - particularly on a 15 year loan.

Interesting...

Syonyk

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 10:10:50 AM »
Not specifically to accelerate ER, though it's a side effect.

I moved from Seattle suburbs to rural Idaho a year ago, though it was mostly to live closer to family and have somewhere we liked to raise our kid (Seattle suburbs are not a great place to raise a kid when you want the kid to be independent and outdoors a lot).  I then proceeded to drop back to part time work, but our cost of living is radically, radically lower, and we have the property to provide for a lot of our own needs going forward.

I don't really do spreadsheets and such at this point - still just earning a good bit, working on the property, and enjoying life.

SisterX

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 10:34:11 AM »
We moved from Alaska to the Seattle area. Cost of housing is higher, but jobs also pay waaaay more. I'm making almost as much at my new job (starting) as I was after 6 years at my old job, and husband is making about twice as much as what he could make in AK.

It sucks, because Alaska is home. Seattle is a place that I live. So there's that consideration. There are a lot of upsides to living here and overall I'm glad we made the move, but it hasn't been easy (neither of us had jobs before we moved, so finding work was rough). However, as I said, there are lots of benefits. Cheaper food, more stuff to do. Family to help with our little one.

Syonyk - "Seattle suburbs are not a great place to raise a kid when you want the kid to be independent and outdoors a lot." That's funny, I'm finding it pretty easy to get my kiddo outside and fostering independence in her. Then again, my kid is only three and yours may very well be older so it's different types of independence. But outside? All the time. There are a lot of parks in my area, and since we bike almost everywhere I sometimes feel like we're outside more than we're in.
Also, here I don't need to worry about moose and bears. So there's that.

JLee

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2016, 10:35:06 AM »
Yep, but I moved from a LCOL area to a HCOL area because the salaries are obscenely better.

Syonyk

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2016, 10:49:04 AM »
Syonyk - "Seattle suburbs are not a great place to raise a kid when you want the kid to be independent and outdoors a lot." That's funny, I'm finding it pretty easy to get my kiddo outside and fostering independence in her. Then again, my kid is only three and yours may very well be older so it's different types of independence. But outside? All the time. There are a lot of parks in my area, and since we bike almost everywhere I sometimes feel like we're outside more than we're in.

Mine is younger.  The perks right now for her are "grandparents a 3 minute walk away" - which is nice for both my kid and my wife.  And the grandparents. :)

In terms of outdoors, though, there's a big difference between going to parks together and living 20 miles from solid wilderness areas, and having a few dozen acres for her to roam on as she gets older - between our property, the family property grandparents live on, and other mostly unused property near us, she's got a solid 20-30 acres to roam on.

And, more importantly, we don't need to be out there with her.  As she gets older, her range can increase, and we're not going to be worried about neighbors getting upset and calling the cops on us because a child is playing unsupervised outside.  Given that I have a complaint filed with the city about the apples (from the apple tree) on the ground in the back yard of the place we lived in Seattle, neighbors were a big problem.  Rat food, or something.

We were in Seattle for 4 years, and hated it.  The money is nice.  That's about the best thing I can say about the area, but then you're competing with other people to buy a 700k+ house, or 1.5-2M if you want a bit of property.  Or you've got an hour commute.  Not worth it.

I currently have a very nice house on a few acres for a cost that won't even buy a box in Seattle.  A 30 second walk to work, and the best office I've ever had. :)

honeybbq

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2016, 12:46:32 PM »
Yep, but I moved from a LCOL area to a HCOL area because the salaries are obscenely better.

We moved from Alaska to the Seattle area. Cost of housing is higher, but jobs also pay waaaay more. I'm making almost as much at my new job (starting) as I was after 6 years at my old job, and husband is making about twice as much as what he could make in AK.

It sucks, because Alaska is home. Seattle is a place that I live. So there's that consideration. There are a lot of upsides to living here and overall I'm glad we made the move, but it hasn't been easy (neither of us had jobs before we moved, so finding work was rough). However, as I said, there are lots of benefits. Cheaper food, more stuff to do. Family to help with our little one.

Syonyk - "Seattle suburbs are not a great place to raise a kid when you want the kid to be independent and outdoors a lot." That's funny, I'm finding it pretty easy to get my kiddo outside and fostering independence in her. Then again, my kid is only three and yours may very well be older so it's different types of independence. But outside? All the time. There are a lot of parks in my area, and since we bike almost everywhere I sometimes feel like we're outside more than we're in.
Also, here I don't need to worry about moose and bears. So there's that.

Agreed on both points. Two working parents in a well compensated field = live in a city that pays a lot + no state income tax = $$$$ 

We used to live in Missouri. The reduction in City and State taxes (1.2% + 6%) saves us almost 30k a year alone in taxes.

And I think Seattle is a much, MUCH better place to live than the midwest in terms of raising children who love the outdoors. JMO YMMV.

dougules

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2016, 03:38:07 PM »
Is there much difference in COL across the US other than housing (AK and HI excluded of course)?  I don't really notice big differences in food, general consumer goods, or stuff like that when I travel.  I haven't run any actual data/numbers, though. 

cats

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2016, 04:23:01 PM »
Is there much difference in COL across the US other than housing (AK and HI excluded of course)?  I don't really notice big differences in food, general consumer goods, or stuff like that when I travel.  I haven't run any actual data/numbers, though.

Well, apparently there is some variation in the cost of milk, which is often considered a staple food item:
https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx#.U9kC3PldWSo

There is also quite a bit of variability in energy prices: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a

I suspect that for most families, the impact of these variations pales in comparison to the variability in cost of housing, so you are probably right that there is not necessarily much difference in COL aside from housing.  Also, costs of things like relative differences food and energy could either amplify differences in COL (if the geographic distribution of high vs. low cost were aligned with housing costs), or dampen (if the geographic distribution of high vs. low cost were the opposite of housing costs).

We live in an area with very high housing costs but find we are able to offset that somewhat by other qualities of the area, like good public transit (no need to use a car for daily commute), cheap produce, and low energy needs (no heat or AC thanks to mild climate).  Doesn't totally make up for the fact that a house can easily cost a million dollars, but it helps.

JLee

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2016, 04:52:51 PM »
Is there much difference in COL across the US other than housing (AK and HI excluded of course)?  I don't really notice big differences in food, general consumer goods, or stuff like that when I travel.  I haven't run any actual data/numbers, though.

Well, apparently there is some variation in the cost of milk, which is often considered a staple food item:
https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-environment-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx#.U9kC3PldWSo

There is also quite a bit of variability in energy prices: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a

I suspect that for most families, the impact of these variations pales in comparison to the variability in cost of housing, so you are probably right that there is not necessarily much difference in COL aside from housing.  Also, costs of things like relative differences food and energy could either amplify differences in COL (if the geographic distribution of high vs. low cost were aligned with housing costs), or dampen (if the geographic distribution of high vs. low cost were the opposite of housing costs).

We live in an area with very high housing costs but find we are able to offset that somewhat by other qualities of the area, like good public transit (no need to use a car for daily commute), cheap produce, and low energy needs (no heat or AC thanks to mild climate).  Doesn't totally make up for the fact that a house can easily cost a million dollars, but it helps.

Car insurance in NJ is absurd, as is housing.

SisterX

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2016, 05:05:29 PM »
Is there much difference in COL across the US other than housing (AK and HI excluded of course)?  I don't really notice big differences in food, general consumer goods, or stuff like that when I travel.  I haven't run any actual data/numbers, though.

I don't know about the rest of the US, and I know you specifically excluded these, but having moved from AK I can see a big difference in what we pay for food. Not just how much, but how good it is. If I bought a box of berries at the peak of the season in AK, there'd be moldy ones in there before I even brought it home. Or I'd have to carefully poke through the entire thing to weed out the moldy ones, but even so the others would show signs of mold within a day or two. Here I can go to the farmer's market and buy berries for about half as much and they last most of the week. It's crazy!

Also, electricity. Mother of god, the electricity bills in Alaska. Our cheapest bill ever was over twice as expensive as the most expensive bill in the apartment I had with a friend in WA when I was younger.

And heating....

Not to mention how much cheaper clothes are, the fact that there's a bigger used market here, and the fact that I no longer get notices about how companies "don't ship outside the United States". Continental United States, motherfuckers. You don't ship outside the Continental US. (That will always irritate me.) So, a much broader range of goods and people to buy from, and less need for specialized gear.

On the other hand, the taxes on cars are ridiculous here. So glad we only have the one.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 05:05:44 PM »
Is there much difference in COL across the US other than housing (AK and HI excluded of course)?  I don't really notice big differences in food, general consumer goods, or stuff like that when I travel.  I haven't run any actual data/numbers, though.

Seeems like childcare usually follows the cost of living of a particular area pretty well.  I don't have any actual evidence to back that up, other than what I've observed on this and other forums.  HCOL = high cost childcare, LCOL = low cost childcare

1tolivesimply

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 05:21:44 PM »
Is there much difference in COL across the US other than housing (AK and HI excluded of course)?  I don't really notice big differences in food, general consumer goods, or stuff like that when I travel.  I haven't run any actual data/numbers, though.

I agree with you but housing is our (and most people's) biggest expense by far. Our plan would be to sell our house to buy another one in cash. We could do this for less money than we owe on our CO house, and increase our annual cash flow by about $12K, not a LOT of money but that would obviously give us additional peace of mind.

The new state/city/area, type/condition of the new house, etc are a different story, we would have to be willing to compromise in a few areas to make this happen.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2016, 05:45:08 PM »
I moved from the Midwest to Seattle to accelerate ER. I work in software, and the cost-of-living-adjusted salaries here are the highest in the country. I know the amount I was offered for an entry-level job here was about 50% higher than I was offered for an entry-level job in my home state.

Dicey

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2016, 06:12:48 PM »
Yep, but I moved from a LCOL area to a HCOL area because the salaries are obscenely better.
JLee, I love the way you think!

Syonyk

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2016, 10:09:06 PM »
I spent a lot of time out on the mountains off of I-90 with my kids (they are older though).  Mt Si, Rattlesnake ridge, Lake olallie, snoqualmie falls, etc
Cost was outrageous though.

How many people were there when you were at those places?  I hiked Mt. Si, and it was slightly more crowded than my local shopping mall on Black Friday (in theory - I went to the zoo this Black Friday with my kid and some friends).

I think part of the problem is that my wife grew up in Idaho (almost exactly where we live), and we met in New Mexico - where hiking and being outside generally involved not seeing people you didn't invite with you - and, as a result, insane amounts of local wildlife.  I cannot tell you how many lizards, centipedes, roadrunners, and the like we saw while out and about, because we were out places that people weren't.

Hiking around Seattle?  Rare to see much more than a camp robber (rather annoying species of bird).  The animals had long left the trails.

Quote
I really enjoyed the trails that would wind through Bellevue connecting the parks and neighborhoods.  Always was able to find some wild blackberries or go to the little beach near I-90 on the Bellevue side.  Not too bad for outdoors entertainment, but I guess it doesn't even compare to Idaho or even the area near Issaquah and North Bend.

Trails winding through neighborhoods are a far cry from Jeep trails winding through the wilderness, where seeing another person is somewhat surprising, and a cause for conversation.

I can't speak to Issequah or North Bend - it took us forever to get anywhere, and after about 2 years, we honestly just gave up trying to find places outdoors.  If you didn't get there at 6AM you couldn't find a parking spot at the trail head, it was absurdly expensive, and it was like being in a shopping mall, just outside.

I thought it was a miserable hellhole of a place to live, as did my wife.  The money was nice, and the resume entries mean I'm set for life, but... eh.  It was kind of a coin toss to move there in the first place (we were very happy where we were, I interviewed with a company on a whim, and they are a well regarded tech company that is useful on my resume).  The experience up there was miserable, and the end result is that I'm now working for my former employer, remotely, part time, somewhere we love living.

Obviously plenty of people like Seattle.  It's a great place to sit in traffic to stand in line to spend money (or, if you're doing it properly, apparently taking public transit or Uber to stand in line to spend money), but if you don't value those things, and can't get the things you value (stars, open space, silence) - it's just miserable.

SisterX

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2016, 10:11:31 AM »

Obviously plenty of people like Seattle.  It's a great place to sit in traffic to stand in line to spend money (or, if you're doing it properly, apparently taking public transit or Uber to stand in line to spend money), but if you don't value those things, and can't get the things you value (stars, open space, silence) - it's just miserable.

This strikes me as very close-minded. Obviously plenty of Mustachians on these boards live in or around Seattle and we manage not to live that way, nor do we value the things you claim we do. If it's not what you wanted, fine. But don't sit in judgment of everyone who chooses to live here.

For me, having my wonderful social network here > stars, open space, and silence, it turns out. I love Alaska and sometimes think about moving back, but wrenching myself away from friends and family yet again is very unappealing. You moved toward family, but so did I. I didn't move toward "standing in line to spend money".

Re: wildlife, I've seen deer plenty of times in my area and even coyotes on occasion. It's not nearly as rare as you're making it out to seem. Those parks you dismissed are still beacons for wildlife, even if it's not as much as could be found elsewhere.

Syonyk

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2016, 10:36:26 AM »
That's fine.  If you enjoy it, good for you.  We found it to be a circle of Hell.

I fully support people cramming themselves into cities.  It keeps the rest of the country nice.

honeybbq

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Re: Has anyone moved across the country to accelerate their ER?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2016, 12:41:31 PM »



Hiking around Seattle?  Rare to see much more than a camp robber (rather annoying species of bird).  The animals had long left the trails.


My family and I went hiking at a random park on black Friday near the sound. We followed a trail along a creek. Surprise! The salmon were spawning. We spent a lot of time watching them jump and struggle up the creek bends. I thought it was rather cool, and it was totally unplanned.

My daughter who was 2.5 at the time still remembers seeing the mountain goats off of highway 2 several years ago. Yes, it took an hour or two to get there. I guess it's all perspective. Living in the midwest, you'd have to drive for 2 DAYS to see a mountain goat.

I like that you can just walk out your door and be in nature. If you want solitude, it might take 2 hours to drive there, but it's available. There are just a plethora of wonderful places to go for a long weekend (Whitbey, SJ islands, olympics, cascades, etc).

The traffic does suck. But I don't seem to have quite the objection to it that others do - it is manageable. Not a bad as it ever was in Houston. I stay away from the malls and the crowds, and don't worry about what other people are spending their time and money doing.

I also get paid 50-70k more than I did in the midwest so time to FIRE will be wayyyy faster.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 12:47:22 PM by honeybbq »