Author Topic: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?  (Read 6678 times)

GreenEggs

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2019, 09:00:51 AM »
I think a medium sized city is probably the best balance between the rat-race, high prices, and traffic jams of the large booming economy cities and the picturesque, charming, laid back small towns that offer very limited employment opportunities.


I spend a good bit of time living between Charlotte & Boone, NC.  I also have family in Atlanta, which dwarfs Charlotte.  From what I can see the people in the medium sized cities usually have most of the benefits of the larger cities without the costs & the stress.  They usually have an adequate job base, convenient shopping, and affordable real estate. 


I think the main drawback of many medium sized cities is that they aren't usually as politically progressive as larger cities and small college towns usually are.  That can be difficult for many people that are used to living in a more culturally divers and open-minded city.  Personally, I don't mind voicing my opinion about things, but I don't live and work in a medium size conservative city, so I can't "really" say how I'd fit in. 


Something I've noticed from living in Boone is there are the "locals" and everybody else.  The locals have been there for generations, they all know each other, their families all live nearby, and they are all Baptist.  If you move there from somewhere else you'll "never" be a local, and your children that are born there won't really be locals either until they actually get married, have kids, attend church, and the kids are in school. 
I'm not saying the locals aren't friendly to outsiders, because they are, but there's just a cultural identity that takes generations & years to join.  I've found it very entertaining to try to learn some of the local gossip.  Many of them love to chat and fill you in on the local history, which is endless.  A writer could fill volumes living up here. 




Watchmaker

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2019, 04:21:28 PM »
I think a medium sized city is probably the best balance between the rat-race, high prices, and traffic jams of the large booming economy cities and the picturesque, charming, laid back small towns that offer very limited employment opportunities.

While this can certainly be true for some people, depending on what you value in city or rural life, medium cities can also be the worst of both worlds.

Medium sized cities often still have traffic problems, and also usually have poor public transport.

dougules

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2019, 10:57:46 AM »
I think a medium sized city is probably the best balance between the rat-race, high prices, and traffic jams of the large booming economy cities and the picturesque, charming, laid back small towns that offer very limited employment opportunities.

While this can certainly be true for some people, depending on what you value in city or rural life, medium cities can also be the worst of both worlds.

Medium sized cities often still have traffic problems, and also usually have poor public transport.

This is me right now.  The traffic here is not as bad a big city, but we don't have the density or the mass transit to be able to skip driving altogether like in a big city. 

In a truly dense city a FIREd person could live a lot of their lives in within a neighborhood, and that would mean most of your transportation could just be walking.  That sounds ideal to me.  I'm curious if anybody living in a dense neighborhood has a different take. 

pdxbator

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2019, 05:46:31 PM »
I think a medium sized city is probably the best balance between the rat-race, high prices, and traffic jams of the large booming economy cities and the picturesque, charming, laid back small towns that offer very limited employment opportunities.

While this can certainly be true for some people, depending on what you value in city or rural life, medium cities can also be the worst of both worlds.

Medium sized cities often still have traffic problems, and also usually have poor public transport.

This is me right now.  The traffic here is not as bad a big city, but we don't have the density or the mass transit to be able to skip driving altogether like in a big city. 

In a truly dense city a FIREd person could live a lot of their lives in within a neighborhood, and that would mean most of your transportation could just be walking.  That sounds ideal to me.  I'm curious if anybody living in a dense neighborhood has a different take.

Absolutely. Here in Portland I can walk to a grocery store (though overpriced) 10 restaurants (or more), multiple coffee shops etc. The issue though is I'm just not a huge people person. I don't go out bar hopping, I cook most of my dinners at home, and don't take advantage of the cultural events that are happening here. It certainly is convenient when I need to go pick up some eggs to hop on my bike and jet to the store.

It definitely has its pluses and minuses. I stay in shape though because I do walk or ride my bike nearly everywhere. I look at my parents who live in a medium sized city in a suburban layout and they don't walk anywhere. There is no where to walk to, and I think it has made their health decline early. They don't walk, drive everywhere, and are overweight.

CarolinaGirl

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2019, 06:46:26 AM »
I lived in Boone over 20 years ago and have missed it every day!  My city-boy husband has finally been convinced that Boone is Ďwhere itís atí and we hope to be living there in the next couple of years.  Itís quite a bit more crowded these days but still feels like a little piece of heaven! 

Glad to know there are other Mustachians there!

dougules

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2019, 10:26:12 AM »
I think a medium sized city is probably the best balance between the rat-race, high prices, and traffic jams of the large booming economy cities and the picturesque, charming, laid back small towns that offer very limited employment opportunities.

While this can certainly be true for some people, depending on what you value in city or rural life, medium cities can also be the worst of both worlds.

Medium sized cities often still have traffic problems, and also usually have poor public transport.

This is me right now.  The traffic here is not as bad a big city, but we don't have the density or the mass transit to be able to skip driving altogether like in a big city. 

In a truly dense city a FIREd person could live a lot of their lives in within a neighborhood, and that would mean most of your transportation could just be walking.  That sounds ideal to me.  I'm curious if anybody living in a dense neighborhood has a different take.

Absolutely. Here in Portland I can walk to a grocery store (though overpriced) 10 restaurants (or more), multiple coffee shops etc. The issue though is I'm just not a huge people person. I don't go out bar hopping, I cook most of my dinners at home, and don't take advantage of the cultural events that are happening here. It certainly is convenient when I need to go pick up some eggs to hop on my bike and jet to the store.

It definitely has its pluses and minuses. I stay in shape though because I do walk or ride my bike nearly everywhere. I look at my parents who live in a medium sized city in a suburban layout and they don't walk anywhere. There is no where to walk to, and I think it has made their health decline early. They don't walk, drive everywhere, and are overweight.

I lived in Portland for a year and a half and absolutely loved it.  It's gotten so expensive, but I'm still considering possibly working a couple years longer to FIRE there. 

Portland's not super dense really.  It's mostly streetcar suburbs and walking doesn't work as well as it would in Chicago or New York.  The layout is ideal for biking, though. 

Lanthiriel

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2019, 08:58:47 AM »
Thanks again to everyone who has left their comments on this thread. The husband and I have talked a lot about this lately, and we've agreed to table any potential of moves or job changes until he get the results of his final attempt at his licensing exam. If he passes, it'll take another several months to get licensed. We're planning trips to Montana and the more rural parts of New England in the next year or so to better firm up ideas for where to move. (We're thinking of adding maybe Manchester, NH to our list of potential locations). We agree that the longer we can hold off, the better financial position we'll be in.

But also it snowed yesterday and I took our young dog on an off-leash adventure through the winter wonderland and felt super refreshed. The snow is all gone today, but it was a good reminder of just how much happier that climate and lonely wanders in the wilderness make me. I could escape as far as Coeur d'Alene, ID and probably be able to keep the job I have now that I like very much, so that's also an option simmering on the back burner, especially since they've had about three feet of snow in the last few weeks :)

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Moving from HCOL to LCOL - was it worth it?
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2019, 09:15:51 AM »
We moved from a HCOL area (Florida coast) to a LCOL area (rural Georgia) and we love it. We live 15 minutes from Athens, GA, which is an awesome college town of about 100,000. My pay went up because I have a better job, but so did my commute. We were able to buy a house, which we could never afford (at least in a decent location) when we were in Florida. We searched hard within a 30-minute radius of my employer to find schools and community that we like, and it's been wonderful. I'm not biking to work any longer, but we plan for this move to be permanent, so finding the right location was more important than being 10 miles closer to work (go ahead and facepunch me if you wish). Traffic is light, I'm not much of a "cultural event" type person, but there's plenty of that, and there's a ton of outdoor recreation available nearby. Pace of life is slow, and we have a lovely group of friends who share our values and interests.