Author Topic: Move to small-town Texas??  (Read 24449 times)

KLina

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Move to small-town Texas??
« on: October 11, 2013, 11:44:24 AM »
Hello fellow Mustachians!

I’d like to enlist your help deciding whether or not to move to a small, conservative town pretty much just for the $$$.

We are a family of five (newborn, 4, and 7) and my husband is in the last year of his medical residency. It is time for him to get his first job in his field.

We are pretty good money managers, except for one huge, pants-on-fire debt: his medical school loans (along with a few of my grad school loans) total almost $300k. Other than that, we have no credit card debts, car loans, etc. We have managed to live on my salary as a teacher during medical school and his resident salary for most of our needs. He makes enough now that I can stay at home with the kids, and plan to do so when we move as well.

An opportunity has arisen to work in a small (bigger than Longmont), but VERY conservative town in Texas. We would be within driving distance (90 min.) of only one family member. They would pay my husband VERY well. Though the pay varies by quarter, he would likely be able to pay off his loans in 1-2 years while maintaining our current, relatively frugal lifestyle.

Other jobs in his field pay well, just not THIS well. We live in NYC right now, and the cost of living and competitiveness of everything (preschool, a cup of coffee, etc.) has been driving me crazy. I’m not at all interested in staying here (it is also a terrible malpractice environment for doctors) but I’m not sure is a small, conservative town would be a good fit for us. Some things we could keep to ourselves (Obama 2012!) Others, like my tattoos and our “friends with two mommies” would definitely come out.

We would obviously have the option of leaving after a couple of years. My question: Is it worth it to move to small-town Texas? It would probably take 5-10 years to pay off our loans in another part of the country before we could begin saving for retirement.

Other reasons to move to small-town Texas:
+very low cost of living
+low taxes
+excellent malpractice environment
+great hospital
+interesting new environment

Reasons not to move:
+very religious
+very conservative
+far from family



« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 06:55:02 PM by KLina »

Watchmaker

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 11:53:56 AM »
My advice would be to give it a try but treat it like it's just going to be a two year stay (until loans are paid off).  Don't buy a house or do anything else that will tie you to the area.  If you hate it, you'll be gone in a few years debt free.  And who knows, you may end up liking it.

capital

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 12:12:11 PM »
Even a smaller city (it's hard to call a place with a population of 90k+ a small town, except when you're looking at it from NYC) generally has a diversity of people in it. While the distribution of people will probably tilt much more toward the conservative, you'll probably still be able to find kindred spirits-- cities with an 80% Republican vote still have the 20% of Democrats, and places like Abilene and Midland can apparently support Unitarian churches.

And, indeed, if you hate it, you can leave.

epowers

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 12:56:15 PM »
First of all, I find it amusing that you call a town with a population of close to 100,000 a "small-town", but you currently live in NYC, so it probably seems small to you.

Anyway, I don't know anything about this town in Texas, but I have some familiarity with small, conservative towns.  You'll likely be surprised about how open-minded some of the "conservative" people are.  Remember, you are married to a doctor and you will be a stay at home mom to three kids.  You're not breaking any molds, or any rules, and you will likely fit in with your neighbors.  That might be a positive or a negative for you.  In a town that size, there will be other professionals, and there will be other liberals.  And there will be other people with tattoos.  There might even be homosexuals. Gasp!
Unless you are staunchly atheist, vegan, and your tattoos are huge and seriously grotesque, you shouldn't have many problems.  In a town the size you are considering, there probably won't be too much religion.  There won't be just one church where everyone goes, and they notice that you're the only ones in town that aren't there.   There will also likely be some diversity, but if you're white that doesn't really matter.
Do you see family regularly now?  It sounds like this move will allow you to afford a few trips a year to visit family and still pay off your loans before other jobs would allow you to do the same.

I think for you, one of the big reasons not to move is the "small-town" aspect.  Have you visited the town?  If so, did you like it?  If not, you should before you move.  Take a trip there for a long weekend, or a week, just to get the vibe.  Is the town walkable, bikeable, etc?  Have you or your husband lived in a "small town" before?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 12:59:14 PM »
My husband lived for several years in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it small town in central Texas. He hated it, but I think the main reason he did so was because his mother hated it, and went out of her way to make the whole experience miserable for everyone around her.

I think you've got a few things going for you if you do decide to move. With the internet, that connects you to the world at large, and you're thinking about doing this as a positive move for your family's well-being and financial future, so you'd probably be much happier about the adjustment and trying to make it work. That, and the fact that it isn't a really tiny town you're considering - if it's got more than 25K in population, then I don't consider it really small.

Also, if you live anywhere near Austin or even Houston or Dallas, there's a thriving music and arty scene nearby, and there are plenty of liberal folks in Texas, they just get watered down by the more conservative population (if you look at voting clusters, the cities are mostly all Dems, and the outlying counties are Repubs, but it wasn't too long ago that there was a Dem in the Governor's seat). It still will be a culture shock -  - oh, and they put the state flag on EVERYTHING. OMG. I remember pointing that out to my husband when we visited my home state, that you don't see the state flag except MAYBE at the post office. :D There is a whole lot of "state pride" in being in or from Texas...

And there is way more non-natives than natives here. Folks come in from everywhere because of the work, the pay, the no state taxes, the low COL, the relatively cheap housing, etc...

If possible, you should do a mini-vacation/scouting trip to the area you're looking at moving to and just look around and ask questions. At the very least, you'll get a better idea of what type of housing and environment you might be looking at.

The state has got quite a few things going for it, and I'm sure if you're willing to make an effort to stick it out a year or two, you might even end up liking it.

Gin

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 01:21:10 PM »
I live in TX you can pm me the name of the town and I probably can give you a more detail answer.   I would try it for couple of years to get your debt paid off and then reevaluate.  The one thing that would keep me from not going would be if your family is heavily involved in your kids life now.  I think most cities of 100k would have plenty of transplants which makes finding friends easier.  It won't be as clickish as a smaller town.  TX is big and different areas of TX are more conservative or liberal.  Tattoos are common all over TX.  I live in a more liberal area and same sex parents are not unusual even out here in the burbs!  If you haven't been to TX you might have preconceive idea.  We really aren't that different than other parts of the country. 

SnackDog

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 01:24:28 PM »
I would jump on it.  Small Texas towns have their challenges but I think overall they are fabulous. The people in small Texas towns are just about as warm and giving as you can imagine.  I reckon people will give you the shirt off their back if they think you are in need.  And you may not be religious but the church can be the social center of town so it might be a good strategy to attend!

kkbmustang

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 01:30:12 PM »
I live in TX you can pm me the name of the town and I probably can give you a more detail answer.   I would try it for couple of years to get your debt paid off and then reevaluate.  The one thing that would keep me from not going would be if your family is heavily involved in your kids life now.  I think most cities of 100k would have plenty of transplants which makes finding friends easier.  It won't be as clickish as a smaller town.  TX is big and different areas of TX are more conservative or liberal.  Tattoos are common all over TX.  I live in a more liberal area and same sex parents are not unusual even out here in the burbs!  If you haven't been to TX you might have preconceive idea.  We really aren't that different than other parts of the country.

Ditto. Plus, not all Christian conservatives are as ogre-ish as you might fear. I am a Christian conservative in Texas. I also have a tattoo and support marriage equality. So, it's not all so black and white.

dragoncar

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 01:33:12 PM »
Sure try it out.  I'd be more worried about the NYC elitism of calling a 100k city a "small town" than political issues.  Real small towns don't have hospitals let alone "great" hospitals.

Frugal373

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 01:44:45 PM »
Move Move Move!!! This is such a great opportunity money-wise and given your husband's HUGE student loans and the fact that you have 3 childern, absolutely MOVE RIGHT NOW! I have moved so many times in my life, to highly conservative and highly liberal places...and not just in the US...globally! I have never moved to a place that I didn't like and I have never had a problem finding like-minded people, you will do just fine, a place with 100k people??? There will be diversity. And you are not moving by yourself and trying to date or whatever, you are moving with your family, so it's not that important to establish a big social network right away. This is a great opportunity in terms of money plus your living costs will be way less than in NYC, just think of the kind of house (yes, house, not apartment like you probably have in NYC right now) you could rent/buy in Texas! Definitely go for it!

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 01:45:04 PM »
Wanted to pipe in and agree with the previous posters.  90k isn't huge, but it's hardly insular and tiny.  I live in a town that size in Texas, and find that the people here are extremely warm, friendly, and overall very accepting.  There may be a louder sort of conservatism here, but there are plenty of people who are fine with marriage equality, and unless your face is tattooed, I doubt tattoos will even be an issue.

Even my former coworker, who hated the lack of music/culture offerings, and the overall conservative vibe, admitted that it wasn't a bad place to live for 3 years, and is marrying a Texan she met here.  I agree with the suggestion that you visit beforehand so you know what to expect, but for 2 years to get debt free, I doubt you will find anything unbearable about the situation.

Eric

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 01:52:05 PM »
I'd never move anywhere without visiting first.  Take some time off work and get yourself on a plane.

Here's my question -- do you know why this place is offering so much more money than other places?

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 01:54:12 PM »
Here's my question -- do you know why this place is offering so much more money than other places?

That's actually a really good point.  I wouldn't worry about the town so much as the working situation your husband will be in.

ncornilsen

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 02:13:46 PM »
I agree that the job paying so well could be a red flag about a crappy work environment.

I wouldn't worry about the town - I'm from a small, very conservative town. 800 people small. There were openly gay people in town, minorities, all that. Most people didn't care, and those that did seemed to keep it to themselves.

JohnGalt

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 02:34:12 PM »
If you're okay with the idea of moving somewhere else already - what do you have to lose by giving it a shot?  Don't buy a house.  If you hate it 6 months or a year in, he can just start looking for a job elsewhere. 

If, on the other hand, you had a life in NYC that you didn't want to give up or if living near family is important - those are valid things to consider whether or not the extra money (and hence reduced total time spent working for you husband) is worth what you'll be giving up. 

As others have said - a town that size will have more diversity than you're expecting. 

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2013, 03:11:45 PM »
I live in TX you can pm me the name of the town and I probably can give you a more detail answer.   I would try it for couple of years to get your debt paid off and then reevaluate.  The one thing that would keep me from not going would be if your family is heavily involved in your kids life now.  I think most cities of 100k would have plenty of transplants which makes finding friends easier.  It won't be as clickish as a smaller town.  TX is big and different areas of TX are more conservative or liberal.  Tattoos are common all over TX.  I live in a more liberal area and same sex parents are not unusual even out here in the burbs!  If you haven't been to TX you might have preconceive idea.  We really aren't that different than other parts of the country.

Ditto. Plus, not all Christian conservatives are as ogre-ish as you might fear. I am a Christian conservative in Texas. I also have a tattoo and support marriage equality. So, it's not all so black and white.

Ditto a third time.  PM me if you have specific questions.

I recently (okay, it was 2006) moved from a large not-so-religious Texas town (Dallas area) to a small very religious, very conservative Texas town.  I wouldn't call myself liberal... but I wouldn't call myself conservative either.  (Think libertarian.)  And I wouldn't call myself religious (think of that as an understatement).  The religious side can be a culture shock if you're not religious and I suspect the conservative side could be culture shock if you're liberal.

...depending on the small town... I might even have some insight into the medical community.

apennysaved

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2013, 03:13:37 PM »
You can pm me, too. I have lived in Texas my whole life & both my husband and I have family all over.  My husband also had to travel around TX to small towns and many times I would go with him, so I may be able to offer additional insight.  One motto of Austin is "Keep Austin weird," so I think we may be more accepting then you think.

Tyler

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2013, 03:23:35 PM »
I've lived in both California and Texas.  In my experience, you're far more likely to experience negative comments and treatment as a conservative in San Francisco than as a liberal in a small Texas town.  Don't let any silly stereotypes distract you from the more important factors you face in your decision to move.  Also, don't be afraid to open up and experience a different culture -- you just might like it!


Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2013, 03:58:24 PM »
Here's my question -- do you know why this place is offering so much more money than other places?

That's actually a really good point.  I wouldn't worry about the town so much as the working situation your husband will be in.

Depending on the town, it might not be so nefarious.  There are several towns in Texas that can be thought of as huge medical communities... i.e. "medicine" is probably the biggest industry in the town I live in and almost always has been. 

mjb

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2013, 04:15:00 PM »
Agreed that it would help if you named the town in question -- there's a big difference between smaller towns in, say, East Texas vs. West and Central Texas. (East Texas is much more "southern", whereas the things get more and more Libertarian as you move West.)

I'm a native Texan, and atheist/vegan/liberal-as-all-get-out. I grew up in a town of 5,000 (Granbury), and until this year lived in college town of 100,000 (Denton). While our state's electoral politics might be radically conservative, I think you'll find that small-town (NOT suburban/ex-burban) conservatives veer more toward Libertarianism than anything else. The large cities are all very diverse/lean Democratic.

Noodle

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2013, 04:50:37 PM »
Yes, if it's just the cultural concerns holding you back, I say go for it. I am a relatively recent transplant (last 5 years) and one thing I can tell you is that Texas is the place I have lived (and I've lived all over, small towns, big cities, college towns, east coast, west coast) where I found I had made the most wrong assumptions about it. Seattle and Denver, for instance, I found to be pretty much as popular culture describes them. Texas was a lot more diverse (a LOT! large Asian population, for instance, which is never shown in pop culture), in the big cities, more cosmopolitan, and a lot more tolerant in day to day life that you would think based on either popular television or the New York Times.  And I agree with the above poster that found San Francisco (in my case Seattle) far less tolerant of conservative views than Texas of liberals. I went to a lunch on election day, spent an hour talking about the election, and never figured out how anyone else at the table was voting. Granted, I stay off talk radio.

Honestly, I think the thing you are most likely to have a hard time with is the weather. It can get really hot in the summer all over the state, and some areas the winters can be bitter too. I agree with the suggestion to visit for a few days.

I always say...Texas is HUGE. It has a lot of everything, from Tea Partiers to vegans. Although he lost the state, President Obama got more votes here in raw numbers than he did in all but three states where he won, including his own home state of Illinois. So you will have plenty of Democrats to talk to...

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2013, 04:52:14 PM »
Thanks, you are all really helping to put my mind at ease! I definitely believe that there are great people everywhere. I don't shun people for their beliefs, religious or otherwise, and I think we would find some like-minded (or friendly not-so-like-minded) families if we looked around. I'm not in anyone's face about my beliefs. Heck, I'm not even a vegetarian! The town is big enough and diverse enough to support a Unitarian Church, which is where I would probably go. I really like what people are saying about people in Texas being friendly. I would love that.

I didn't mean to come off as an elitist New Yorker, though I can see why I might have! I was actually born and raised in towns of a similar size in Florida that felt quite conservative to me. I was a little shocked when I looked at the Texas voting records: like 75% Republican. That got me a little worried as those are definitely more extreme numbers than FL.

As for the job, it pays so much because it is in a rural part of East Texas and it is a large medical center that needs a large staff of doctors. My husband likes everything he's read and heard about the job and work environment, his main reason (besides the money!) for wanting to work there.

Thanks for the advice about buying a house. I am dying to (you're right, we live in a 750-square-foot apartment now) but I know it is best to wait until we are sure.

I feel like if we decide to do this, our families are going to think we are crazy, so I appreciate all the support!

chasesfish

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 06:51:02 PM »
Do it.

High pay, no income taxes.  Then go hang out with the libertarians there that don't like the religious conservatives either.   Crime is probably lower too.

Freckles

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 08:26:58 PM »
Yeah, it sounds awful.  But probably worth it.  Plan on no more than two years and I'm sure you can make it.

Noodle

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 11:42:52 PM »
The other thing to keep in mind is that if you live in an area with chemical or energy industry, there is an excellent chance that people have lived all over the world even if they look like down-home Texans who have never set foot out of the state. I know some multi-generation families who work in the oil industry and their stories are amazing. I get embarrassed about how little I have traveled sometimes...

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2013, 08:00:56 AM »
Thanks, you are all really helping to put my mind at ease! I definitely believe that there are great people everywhere. I don't shun people for their beliefs, religious or otherwise, and I think we would find some like-minded (or friendly not-so-like-minded) families if we looked around. I'm not in anyone's face about my beliefs. Heck, I'm not even a vegetarian! The town is big enough and diverse enough to support a Unitarian Church, which is where I would probably go. I really like what people are saying about people in Texas being friendly. I would love that.

I moved to a small Texas town (smaller than that 100k city you're talking about :) ), and I would say Texans are some of the most polite people I've ever been around. I don't think they're especially friendly, as compared to people across the Midwest.


Thanks for the advice about buying a house. I am dying to (you're right, we live in a 750-square-foot apartment now) but I know it is best to wait until we are sure.

I feel like if we decide to do this, our families are going to think we are crazy, so I appreciate all the support!
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LeighinCT

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2013, 11:20:10 AM »
Make sure to tackle the due diligence on the hospital/practice. I have friends from LA area who moved to Tyler, TX so hubby could take a lucrative offer in a practice. Left after one year. Hospital and other MDs were unbearable. Plus find out how much volume the hospital/practice will filter your way. It can be hard to break into a smallish town when you are the new, out of town doc that no one has heard of.

I grew up in TX and lived all over. People are very polite and generally helpful. But the weather is absolutely beastly. I live in CT now. I have trouble enduring the summer time visits to family. The heat and sun can be unbearable if you're not accustomed to it! And the lack of seasons can be a shock. Best of luck. Let us know what you decide to do.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 06:48:36 PM by LeighinCT »

Baylor3217

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2013, 11:31:19 AM »
Is very religious or very conservative a bad thing?

Maybe it's the opposite of cities like New York City or San Francisco were blanket categorized as very liberal and very atheistic.

I just don't know what to make of the categorizations as you described them as a negative.

ender

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2013, 12:14:30 PM »
So it sounds like you guys will net $150k a year living there above living expenses (if you can kill $300k debt in <2 years?)

Is this possible elsewhere? It seems like it might be worth living there to blow away the debt ASAP and free you up to have a ton more options only a short few years.

Debbie M

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2013, 01:25:11 PM »
My boyfriend once got a good teaching job offer in the area full of oil refineries.  The pollution was staggering and the kids were all sicker than everywhere else.  He ran away and took a lower-paying job in Houston.

Also, I've heard bad stories about Tyler, which is dry (= it is illegal to sell alcohol within city limits except maybe in restaurants, though you can drink in city limits), but it's not because of the religiousness but because of the amazing corruption (the powers-that-be own liquor stores on the town's borders).  But even that town has many neighborhoods, some of which are quite pleasant, and you can drive into Dallas if you really need a decent restaurant.

The only other scary thing I've heard is a friend who found a Ku Klux Klan hood in the closet of one of his Texas relatives when he was looking for a towel.  Things he did not want to know about his relatives.

Oh, and you will have a much worse selection of plays, museums, restaurants, pretty much anything like that.  The mass transportation will also be quite poor.  Places of business won't be open as many hours as you're used to, and things are more likely to be closed on Sunday.

But mostly I agree with the other posters.  This is not really a small town you're looking at where everyone will know all of your business.  And the internet is your friend!  And at the very least, it's a two-year adventure.

And there are also many advantages - the winters are much more pleasant.  In East Texas, you will never have to shovel the sidewalks (just wait a couple of hours after any snows) and only rarely have to scrape ice off your windshield.  The cars don't rust out.  No acid rain.  It will be hot and humid half the year, but every place is air conditioned.  There are gorgeous wildflowers everywhere in the spring and even in summer and fall (which makes up for the extremely subtle fall colors, almost).  And you get two growing seasons: spring and fall.

If you want to learn Spanish, it will be easy to find people to practice with.  If you like partner dancing, country-and-western bars have nice big dance floors.  (And it's easier to stomach some of that music if you can dance to it.)  And there is space outside.  You can see big open fields.  Maybe with cows or horses in them.  And there are nice feeder roads to the highways and often you can make U-turns over a highway without waiting through a light.  And you are allowed to buy a gigantic cup of soda if you want to.  It might be less scary to ride your bike.  Or maybe not.

It's easy to get spicy food, things with gravy (mmm, chicken-fried steak), and barbecue.  Peaches and pecans are native.  (And beef.)  And I've heard the grocery stores in NYC are kind of laughable, so there's another advantage to moving.  And it's the US, so you'll find plenty of familiar chain stores.  Plus a few new ones.

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2013, 02:19:37 PM »
Enderland -- a similar salary would be possible, but the low taxes and low cost of living would help us to pay off the loans so much faster. We could get a larger place for probably a third less than we pay now ($1500 :)

ETA: My husband loves the malpractice environment in Texas, so that's a big draw for him. It is basically the polar opposite of what he has to deal with here in NYC.

Baylor -- I guess I just don't want people telling my kids homosexuals are going to hell, or refusing to fill my birth control for moral reasons -- that sort of thing. The "dry city" thing seems a little wacky, too. Honestly, though, we live in an Orthodox Jewish area right now, and it probably couldn't get much more conservative than that!

Debbie -- I really like all of those advantages that you named. I think East Texas would be an adventure. My husband and I both speak some Spanish and enjoy practicing it. And you're right, the grocery stores here are the worst! Trader Joe's is ok, but I find shopping for a large family there to be pretty difficult. We recently discovered how low the prices are at Aldi and have been going back and forth between Aldi and Costco. It took us a while, but we finally found a good routine.



« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 02:27:38 PM by KLina »

amyable

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2013, 03:17:56 PM »
As for the job, it pays so much because it is in a rural part of East Texas and it is a large medical center that needs a large staff of doctors. My husband likes everything he's read and heard about the job and work environment, his main reason (besides the money!) for wanting to work there.

I live in rural East Texas, and I think I mayknow the town your speaking of:  maybe Tyler or Longview?  I'm pretty familiar with both, and I'm a liberal atheist.  I'm from (and live) in a much smaller Texas town--pm me if you have any questions.

Zamboni

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2013, 03:43:07 PM »
Quote
There might even be homosexuals.

Probably about 10% of the population ;-)  No one is going to tell your little ones gays are going to hell for quite a few years; when they do you can just have a conversation with the children about it and point out celebrities they like or family members or friends who also happen to be gay.  The same thing is true for battling any environment of open racism.  They will fall on your side of the humanitarian fence on this, trust me.  If something nasty gets said within your earshot, reply with "we are all God's children."  It's my favorite comeback and I'm not religious. 

Go there and see.  I think you can probably even safely buy a house as long as you think small, inexpensive but well maintained, and mainstream.  That way it should be fairly easy to sell if you decide to leave.  Whether you rent of buy, get something with a small yard with a fence for the little ones :-)  Not TOO big though since you'll be doing your own yard work a la MMM.

Debbie M

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2013, 03:55:59 PM »
So far as I know, Aldi has not made it to Texas.   Trader Joe's has just arrived (maybe a year or two ago)--after opening weekend, they aren't even that crowded.  There are Costcos (and Sam's) in Texas, but they might be quite a drive.  Mostly you'll try out new grocery stores.  There's usually one chain that's extra clean, has short lines, and is pricy and one that's more crowded, not quite so clean, and more affordable.  You may have additional chains and options available as well.

I don't think it will be any problem to get birth control pills, but as you may have heard in the news, if those ever fail you, it's not at all easy to get an abortion.  At least you'll have money and will be able to afford to travel to a city where they are available.

There was an election a few years ago where every single county except one (that's 253/254) voted that a marriage is between a man and a woman.   It's incomprehensible to me.  But I've heard that opinions have eased since then.  Also I've learned that people are often reasonable about homosexuals in all other ways _except_ allowing them to call their unions marriages, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2013, 04:30:34 PM »
There are Aldis in Texas.

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2013, 04:35:52 PM »

Baylor -- I guess I just don't want people telling my kids homosexuals are going to hell, or refusing to fill my birth control for moral reasons -- that sort of thing. The "dry city" thing seems a little wacky, too. Honestly, though, we live in an Orthodox Jewish area right now, and it probably couldn't get much more conservative than that!


newsflash!  As of the first of the year, it isn't a dry city any longer!  Beer!  Wine!  Woohoo!  (Still none of the devil's hard likker... but beer/wine is a huge start.)

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2013, 04:44:24 PM »
Make sure to tackle the due diligence on the hospital/practice. I have friends from LA area who moved to Tyler, TX so hubby could take a lucrative offer in a GI practice. Left after one year. Hospital and other MDs were unbearable. Plus find out how much volume the hospital/practice will filter your way. It can be hard to break into a smallish town when you are the new, out of town doc that no one has heard of.

The trick here is that you sort of need to find an older/established doc to partner up with.  The buddy system gets you in.  This, of course, depends on the specialty.... There is a bit of a trend of hospital-hired docs now.  For specialties that are "working for the man"... it isn't quite as important.

amyable

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2013, 05:31:05 PM »
We recently discovered how low the prices are at Aldi and have been going back and forth between Aldi and Costco. It took us a while, but we finally found a good routine.

There are some Aldi's in East Texas, but you will mainly run into H-E-B, Wal-Mart, and Brookshire Brothers.  I find H-E-B has the best prices.  Also, La Michoacana is great for meat and produce if your town has one.

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2013, 07:30:26 AM »
"we are all God's children." 

That is THE best comeback, thanks!!

chardog

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2013, 01:27:43 PM »
Ditto. Plus, not all Christian conservatives are as ogre-ish as you might fear. I am a Christian conservative in Texas. I also have a tattoo and support marriage equality. So, it's not all so black and white.

I met a lady in San Antonio who grew up a Jewish anti-gun Conscientious Objector in NYC and is now a Christian, Concealed Carry Gun owner and expert marksman.

She was kind of surprised my her evolution in life, but seemed pretty happy.  She did miss the change of seasons.

Abe

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2013, 01:36:49 PM »
I'd recommend taking the opportunity to pay down the massive loans.  My wife and I are both residents, and she is looking for a job right now.  Even though she is in primary care, there is somewhat stiff competition for positions in large cities and the pay is lower than in rural areas a result. Think of the extra few years as a self-guided fellowship in rural care for your husband! If you don't like the town, move on and the extra experience will be useful further along his career.

ch12

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2013, 02:00:51 PM »
I would go for it. I've been in Dallas and really enjoyed my time there. If you are going to Tyler, then you'll still have a big city relatively nearby. It would only be for 2 years and you'd be able to move somewhere else if you wanted to at the end. It'd be worth it to conquer your debt.

chardog

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2013, 05:29:44 PM »
This clip from the movie Bernie humorously explains the different regions of Texas including the region behind the "Pine Curtain" :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JREkqCvLzSo

Southern Dude

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2013, 08:04:25 PM »
I was born and raised in Texas. I've lived in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Austin. I've also lived in Boston, DC, LA, and the Bay Area and I currently live in a megalopolis overseas. I would choose Corpus over a big east/west coast city any day of the week. I think you'll find that the pace of life is more bearable in a smaller town. Big cities are stressful places to live, no matter what you do for a living - traffic, crime, expensive housing, expensive everything. I'm a bit biased, but I would say move to small-town Texas, buy a spacious house that would cost you a gazillion dollars in Manhattan and work on your backyard barbecue skills. Throw in a bit of camping, fishing and hiking on the weekends, and you'll have a pretty chill life.

dragoncar

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2013, 08:50:56 PM »
I was born and raised in Texas. I've lived in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Austin. I've also lived in Boston, DC, LA, and the Bay Area and I currently live in a megalopolis overseas. I would choose Corpus over a big east/west coast city any day of the week. I think you'll find that the pace of life is more bearable in a smaller town. Big cities are stressful places to live, no matter what you do for a living - traffic, crime, expensive housing, expensive everything. I'm a bit biased, but I would say move to small-town Texas, buy a spacious house that would cost you a gazillion dollars in Manhattan and work on your backyard barbecue skills. Throw in a bit of camping, fishing and hiking on the weekends, and you'll have a pretty chill life.

I think with any testimonial of this sort, we real need to know how well you fit in with the local culture. 

Southern Dude

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2013, 01:55:00 AM »
I haven't had any trouble fitting in, adapting to local culture, and building a good circle of friends. That goes for everywhere that I've lived. I'm sure if this Texas boy can make it work in San Francisco, then the NYC doctor and his family will have no problems in TX. Before you know it they'll be wearing cowboy hats and rooting for the longhorns every weekend.

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2013, 06:15:19 AM »
Chardog --  LOVE that clip. Pretty much everything I (think I) know about East Texas comes from that movie.

Southern Dude -- Less stress, a big house, and weekends camping and hiking would be heavenly. We have lived in other moderately large cities (like Miami) but I don't think anything compares to the stresses and hassles of NYC, especially with kids. Uh oh, I'm starting to sound like a complainypants, so I'd better stop there!

Deano

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2013, 08:49:18 AM »
Is very religious or very conservative a bad thing?

Maybe it's the opposite of cities like New York City or San Francisco were blanket categorized as very liberal and very atheistic.

I just don't know what to make of the categorizations as you described them as a negative.

She probably finds large groups of people with those types of values tough to deal with on a personal level. There are, without a doubt, large groups of conservative/evangelicals in southern states, Texas being one of them. This is easy to understand I think, to her, they are a negative. This is the same reason I would hesitate to move to Alberta in my own country, loads of people who's views I find quite odious. It's difficult to be around people who fall way outside what you're comfortable with. I lived in Australia once and I found it difficult to hear the comments about "Abo's" and "Lebos" all the time (disparaging ones of course). This caused me to have less enjoyment of an otherwise wonderful place. Were all Australians racist? Nope, but enough were (in my area at least) that it was pretty stinky.

Rest assured, this goes both ways. My left-of-Lenin views would likely have me branded as the anti-Christ in Alberta...or Texas for that matter.

dragoncar

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2013, 06:27:23 PM »
I haven't had any trouble fitting in, adapting to local culture, and building a good circle of friends. That goes for everywhere that I've lived. I'm sure if this Texas boy can make it work in San Francisco, then the NYC doctor and his family will have no problems in TX. Before you know it they'll be wearing cowboy hats and rooting for the longhorns every weekend.

Well that's kinda my point.  I don't like cowboy hats or sports.  I have experiences racism in Texas that I have not experienced in SF.  So while you think Texas is a grand old time because you got in well, consider that those who do not fit in might not like it much.


(I'm not saying everyone in Texas is racist, just pointing out one experience)

chardog

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2013, 08:00:41 PM »
I haven't had any trouble fitting in, adapting to local culture, and building a good circle of friends. That goes for everywhere that I've lived. I'm sure if this Texas boy can make it work in San Francisco, then the NYC doctor and his family will have no problems in TX. Before you know it they'll be wearing cowboy hats and rooting for the longhorns every weekend.

Well that's kinda my point.  I don't like cowboy hats or sports.  I have experiences racism in Texas that I have not experienced in SF.  So while you think Texas is a grand old time because you got in well, consider that those who do not fit in might not like it much.


(I'm not saying everyone in Texas is racist, just pointing out one experience)

But everyone in Texas does wear a cowboy hat:

Pee Wees Big Adventure Deep In The Heart of Texas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJEwrw4VEls