Author Topic: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?  (Read 4205 times)

frugalecon

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Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« on: February 22, 2014, 07:40:45 AM »
I am curious how many people are planning to stay living in an expensive spot during their (somewhat) early retirement. I go back and forth on whether it is worth it to work somewhat longer to be able to stay in the spot I like, which necessarily requires having a fair amount of wealth tied up in residential real estate and fairly high cash flow to pay, e.g., property taxes. I live in DC now, but would like to swap back to a nice spot on the West Coast during my retirement. If I were willing to live in Iowa, I could call it quits now, but I probably have 7 or 8 years to go before I could retire in California, say.

arebelspy

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 08:12:55 AM »
Everything is a tradeoff.

If it's worth working longer to you to live in an expensive place, do it.

Nothing anti-Mustachian about that at all.
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workathomedad

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 08:33:03 AM »
I plan to retire in a *nice* area, and the people around me may have a very high level of consumption. That doesn't mean I will! In fact, more nice used junk they want to get rid of means better deals :-)

Also, I find the Salvation Army in the rich area has nicer stuff than in the bad areas.

MrFancypants

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 08:34:34 AM »
You should retire exactly where you want to, expensive or cheap, and simply ensure that you have amassed the appropriate amount of resources to sustain it.

Remember that this is about YOUR happiness, it's not for the approval of people you don't know on an internet message board.

ch12

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 08:51:26 AM »
You should retire exactly where you want to, expensive or cheap, and simply ensure that you have amassed the appropriate amount of resources to sustain it.

Remember that this is about YOUR happiness, it's not for the approval of people you don't know on an internet message board.

You know what is Mustachian? Having your own plan for your own situation

Go live wherever you desire. You can settle in a college town where the COL is cheap yet you always have stuff to do. (Thanks, Richard Florida, for teaching me just about everything I know about cities and urban planning!) If you REALLY want to be on the West Coast, Eugene, Oregon may not be as cheap as Iowa, but it's a far ways away from Los Angeles in terms of cost. It's also reportedly a pretty fun place to be. http://away.com/features/top-ten-college-towns-eugene-oregon.html

One of my buddies lives there, and I imagine it as a place of bucolic bliss. That's probably a little rosier than it actually is, but it does sound cool.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 10:15:49 AM »
If you REALLY want to be on the West Coast, Eugene, Oregon may not be as cheap as Iowa, but it's a far ways away from Los Angeles in terms of cost.

Also depends a lot on what you mean by "West Coast": Eugene is actually quite a way inland.  As far as general cost of living goes, even within California there are places - hell, there's most of the state! - that are WAY cheaper than LA or the Bay Area.

frugalecon

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 10:39:50 AM »
If you REALLY want to be on the West Coast, Eugene, Oregon may not be as cheap as Iowa, but it's a far ways away from Los Angeles in terms of cost.

Also depends a lot on what you mean by "West Coast": Eugene is actually quite a way inland.  As far as general cost of living goes, even within California there are places - hell, there's most of the state! - that are WAY cheaper than LA or the Bay Area.

For me, I would love to figure out how to do it in the Bay Area, not SF, but East Bay. I have great friends there, family not too far, and really enjoy the mix of urban amenities yet fairly nearby nature. Lived there for 6 great years...would like to have more in retirement...

ch12

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 11:33:37 AM »
For me, I would love to figure out how to do it in the Bay Area, not SF, but East Bay. I have great friends there, family not too far, and really enjoy the mix of urban amenities yet fairly nearby nature. Lived there for 6 great years...would like to have more in retirement...

I looked up the cost of living and compared it to my current city of Madison, WI. http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/madison-wi/oakland-ca/50000 It's pretty comparable, except for housing. Housing is sky high in that area right now. http://priceonomics.com/the-san-francisco-rent-explosion/ http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/15/is-tech-money-good-for-san-franciscos-middle-class-an-economists-perspective/ Those prices are from a half year ago, and they're already under where February rents are in SF.

Figuring out how to conquer the cost of tech salary-fueled rapidly increasing rent is the best thing you can do for planning retirement out there. Jacob over at Early Retirement Extreme did it by living in his RV. You can come up with another solution, but housing is probably the key to sorting out a comfortable retirement in the Bay Area.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 11:39:35 AM by ch12 »

frugalecon

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 11:54:10 AM »
For me, I would love to figure out how to do it in the Bay Area, not SF, but East Bay. I have great friends there, family not too far, and really enjoy the mix of urban amenities yet fairly nearby nature. Lived there for 6 great years...would like to have more in retirement...

I looked up the cost of living and compared it to my current city of Madison, WI. http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/madison-wi/oakland-ca/50000 It's pretty comparable, except for housing. Housing is sky high in that area right now. http://priceonomics.com/the-san-francisco-rent-explosion/ http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/15/is-tech-money-good-for-san-franciscos-middle-class-an-economists-perspective/ Those prices are from a half year ago, and they're already under where February rents are in SF.

Figuring out how to conquer the cost of tech salary-fueled rapidly increasing rent is the best thing you can do for planning retirement out there. Jacob over at Early Retirement Extreme did it by living in his RV. You can come up with another solution, but housing is probably the key to sorting out a comfortable retirement in the Bay Area.

Yes, it is primarily housing. Fortunately, I already live in a ridiculously expensive housing market, comparable to the East Bay, though not to SF. (The weather is better in the East Bay!) If I were willing to cash out equity and convert it into income-producing investments, I could retire earlier. That is what I am weighing...how long to keep plugging away to be able to fund the housing piece.

frugalecon

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2014, 01:26:52 PM »


Figuring out how to conquer the cost of tech salary-fueled rapidly increasing rent is the best thing you can do for planning retirement out there. Jacob over at Early Retirement Extreme did it by living in his RV. You can come up with another solution, but housing is probably the key to sorting out a comfortable retirement in the Bay Area.

By the way, if you have a place to drop it, an alternative to the RV is a Tumbleweed Tiny House:

http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com

soccerluvof4

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 04:05:09 PM »
I love those tiny houses. Seen a few of them on HGTV. Problem is I doubt you would find a place to put one in SF/East Bay Area. But i agree, retire wherever you want if you can figure away to make it work. These are your years!! Enjoy and Good Luck!

pac_NW

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2014, 05:38:17 PM »
I believe it's important to find your home spot on this Earth. It may end up being more expensive (or not). Work hard and save to afford whatever that may be. For my family, that area is Seattle, a more expensive place than many but also a bargain compared to others. Find where you love, where your heart calls it "the place". Then, build a community there. I think that's an equally important part of the FIRE equation.

limeandpepper

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2014, 06:12:45 PM »
You should retire exactly where you want to, expensive or cheap, and simply ensure that you have amassed the appropriate amount of resources to sustain it.

Remember that this is about YOUR happiness, it's not for the approval of people you don't know on an internet message board.

This is how I feel. I know this is the MMM forum but honestly I don't care if some of the things I think and do are against the cult rules. :p

I have two countries I call home. One is cheap to live in, the other expensive. I like them both. So my ideal plan, at the moment, is to be able to spend time in both countries. Of course, things can change, and plans can also be fluid.

Only you can decide what is worth it to you.

arebelspy

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2014, 06:27:57 PM »
You should retire exactly where you want to, expensive or cheap, and simply ensure that you have amassed the appropriate amount of resources to sustain it.

Remember that this is about YOUR happiness, it's not for the approval of people you don't know on an internet message board.

This is how I feel. I know this is the MMM forum but honestly I don't care if some of the things I think and do are against the cult rules. :p

There are no rules.  Those are all in your head.

If there were, this wouldn't be one of them.  Every single person in this thread has supported living where you want.  It's not even slightly controversial.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

limeandpepper

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2014, 06:38:03 PM »
There are no rules.

I personally don't think there are rules (or at least any that I feel I must adhere to), but frequently enough a thread pops up asking things along the lines of, "Is this Mustachian?" which suggests that there are some who still feel there are rules they are interested in following.

frugalecon

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2014, 07:01:27 PM »
There are no rules.

I personally don't think there are rules (or at least any that I feel I must adhere to), but frequently enough a thread pops up asking things along the lines of, "Is this Mustachian?" which suggests that there are some who still feel there are rules they are interested in following.

Since I posed the original question, I will say that I wasn't suggesting that I thought (feared?) there are rigid rules, just that I wondered how people interpreted the philosophy. Is working longer to be able to buy into a particular space worth it? I guess it is person-specific. My understanding is that a lot of research suggests that the place really isn't that important, people tend to get used to where they are at. But some spots do speak to a person.

limeandpepper

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2014, 07:37:24 PM »
My understanding is that a lot of research suggests that the place really isn't that important, people tend to get used to where they are at. But some spots do speak to a person.

I guess you can get used to certain locations, but as you say there are some that speak to you more than others. I know, for example, I much prefer to be in a convenient place that is walkable and with good public transport. Therefore, even though an urban/suburban area is pricier, I'd go for that over a remote, rural area in the middle of nowhere.

I'll elaborate more on my situation, since I see similarities with yours: I am MUCH closer to financial independence in Malaysia than Australia. However, the two countries offer very different pros and cons. So my current idea is to strike a compromise between the two - something like a couple years here, a couple years there. Though this may not necessarily be as feasible for your situation, or perhaps you'd prefer to be more "settled". You don't say whether you've lived in Iowa, but I suppose it certainly helps if you've had a trial run to find out whether you could happily get used to it, with the significant bonus of being able to instantly call it quits. Or maybe you have already done so and found it wasn't really your thing. For me, Australia is expensive, but the benefits of living here are worth it, and while I don't need to be here all the time, I wouldn't want to give it up entirely, either.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2014, 10:51:21 PM »
Since I posed the original question, I will say that I wasn't suggesting that I thought (feared?) there are rigid rules, just that I wondered how people interpreted the philosophy. Is working longer to be able to buy into a particular space worth it?

Is it?  You tell us :-)

Myself, I think that if there is a rule, it's to understand why you choose to do (or not do) something, and the consequences of that action.  So while where I choose to live is not as expensive as some places, there are lots of cheaper ones too.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2014, 06:07:38 AM »
I think at times along the forums there might be a sense of "Rules" but Like arebelspy there are not and everyone would support where you want. The goal is more to get to FI and be able to stay in FI. That number is different for everyone and you make your "Rules" or better yet guidelines in which you want to live by using some of the MM principals in achieving your goals. Its more about thinking about how you spend, whats a need vs a want etc...

Good Luck to you and hope you can accomplish just that!

Gray Matter

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Re: Is retiring in an expensive place contrary to Mustachianism?
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2014, 06:17:01 AM »
Myself, I think that if there is a rule, it's to understand why you choose to do (or not do) something, and the consequences of that action.

This perfectly sums Mustachianism up for me!