Author Topic: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?  (Read 3308 times)


  • Stubble
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Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« on: April 28, 2016, 05:14:08 PM »
How do you pick where to move to/what path to take next in your life?

Yes, I know I should be discussing this with my husband; we already have. I already know his opinion (basically move somewhere more liberal and cosmopolitan and it's on me for the job situation because I'm the one with an actual career). Here are the choices I'm looking at:

The Good: Could stay with the same company. Greater job opportunities for my husband, or for me to work with another company, as I'm in the tech industry. 90% of my professional contacts are based out of Seattle. Culturally it's a good fit (liberal, artsy, progressive). Within reasonable driving distance of both sets of parents. DH could continue with his same company (although I'd lobby for him not to since there are more job opportunities in Seattle and his job is pretty financially terrible). DH loves the weather (I'm neutral - we've both lived in the Seattle/Tacoma area before). Very dog-friendly city and I may be able to take my dog to work with me (although he has mild separation anxiety so I'm worried he'd cry and wouldn't be good at just hanging out at my desk when I'm in meetings).
The Bad: No friends who currently live there. Drive to parents terrible six months out of the year. I might need to pay for dog daycare/a dog walker.
The Ugly: Cost of living. Oh God, the cost of living. We would never own a house, and possibly never a condo with a 15 year mortgage and less than 30 minute commute. Oh God, the commutes unless you hemorrhage $$$ each month on housing costs. We're thinking about having a baby in the next two years, which means daycare (which costs more $$$ than anywhere else we'd consider moving to). I just keep thinking $2000/mo. rent and $2000/mo. daycare for one kid and holy crap there goes almost all of my current base salary (which for various reasons is the only salary that can be relied upon). Having a SAHP isn't an option because of security (me) and ego (him) issues.

Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Good: The majority of my extended family lives there. Generally a solid unemployment rate. Reasonable housing costs for big cities. Culturally it seems to be a good fit (fairly liberal, progressive, values education and the arts). I love the lake culture.
The Bad: High summer weather aka the humidity.
The Ugly: Winter weather - I keep telling myself it isn't as bad I think it is (heck, I grew up there and survived), but I'm afraid my time in the west has made me soft.

Stay Where I'm At (aka, keep riding the gravy train)
The Good: Getting paid a HCOL salary in a LCOL area if I keep the same job. Paid off house. The weather except for two months out of the year. Live within a 30 minute drive from both parents. All of our friends are here. In my current job I can go home on lunch to let my dog out. 15 minute or less commute.
The Bad: The weather two months out of the year (hot hot hot). Culturally out-of-sync (very conservative area, although there are pockets of like-minded people). I am ready to move on from my current job.
The Ugly: Limited job opportunities (no career progression for me or husband here). Husband hates it.

I know we aren't locked into one pathway forever. For example, we could move to Seattle for just a couple of years and then move somewhere else. We could buy a house in the Seattle area in a lower-cost place (Tacoma?) and have a bad commute for me for a few years to downtown Seattle until I take a lower-paying but higher-level job closer to home. I'm the type of person who gets overwhelmed by options and needs to problem solve all the things before making a decision. Anyone have experience with being this type of person and being able to tone it down so you can actually make a decision?


  • Stubble
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 05:51:35 PM »
Finding a sense of place is so personal/ emotional/ psychological that I'm not sure replies would be that helpful.  But when I'm struggling with something like this, I temporarily choose an option (IE, Seattle) then live with that choice fictitiously for a day or two and pay attention to my inner script. Am I feeling remorse? Excitement? Anxiety? Rinse and repeat with the other options. Usually, your gut tells you what you really want.

A third option - Austin? :) I'm impartial, since I live here, but it is the "Minneapolis/Portland of the South" and is booming with tech companies. Probably less expensive than Seattle, but can be pricey, depending on the area.  Of course, you mentioned not like the "hot hot hot", which is definitely part of life here.

Any other potential options D, E, or F?  While considering such a big decision, it might be fun to toss some other what-ifs in the mix to open up creative lifestyle design ideas.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 05:53:32 PM by NonprofitER »

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 07:39:41 PM »
So much of your description is similar to ours, except that we left Seattle for the conservative (and rural) location (just today I had to chant "didn't move here for the politics" repeatedly). Sure, we might be faster to FIRE in Seattle (the house we sold in '14 has gone up 35k in value), but I wouldn't trade it for what we have now: flexible work, paid off house, the joy of not seeing any humans from my house, and seeing maybe 3 cars the whole way down to town on my stoplight-free commute.

I loved living in Seattle for 18 years, but now? Based on the frustration I hear from friends who are still there, I can't recommend it. I love not having that low-grade, day to day stress of sooooo many people trying to drive around a city that still wants to think it is small. Thank goodness light rail is slowly but surely arriving.

I also analyze the heck out of stuff, but at some point I tend to just trust my gut and make the leap. I like what NonprofitER said about visualizing for several days and see what you think.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 08:16:59 PM »
I'd go for Seattle--you stay close to family and friends, keep the weather, advance in career, feel more in sync with the area. I love Mpls / St Paul but have never braved living there.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 08:25:04 PM »
Just a) change your politics and b) get a manpack personal body cooler and everything falls into place right where you are.

Even the dog will be happy.


  • Stubble
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2016, 08:55:10 PM »
Totally feeling your pain with this question. I hate where we currently live because of the politics and culture, which have been grating on me since childhood. I left the area and didn't ever intend on coming back, but reluctantly returned when my husband landed a high paying job here. He's since been laid off, and I'd love to leave. The problem is I've become accustomed to a LCOL and paid-off house. I'm not sure a magical place with a LCOL, decent job market, livable climate and reasonably liberal population exists.

The Twin Cities seems like a workable compromise for your situation. Your husband is never going to be happy living somewhere he hates. I'd also be reluctant to stay in a place when your current job is the only decent paying option available. On the other hand, the HCOL in Seattle would be tough to stomach. It's possible that the higher salaries could compensate for the sky high rent, but the lost home equity definitely adds up over time.


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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2016, 08:36:09 PM »
I would never ever ever suggest you live in Tacoma and commute to Seattle. Good days the commute might be 1 hour 15 minutes. Bad days it is easy 2+ hours. Each way. The sounder train is over an hour from Tacoma to downtown Seattle, and only runs a few times a day, so you have almost no flexibility if you use that.

My DH tried to work in Seattle (we live in the Tacoma area). He quit after his first Friday evening commute that took him 2.5 hours to get home.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Analysis Paralysis - What to Do Next?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2016, 09:33:16 PM »
I live in South Minneapolis and LOVE my neighborhood (you mentioned the great!).  I also HATE winter.  But so far it's worth it because the rest of the year is great and most of our family/friends live nearby.

Have you looked into housing options in each of the areas that fit in your budget?  Public transit?  A commute from some of the outer suburbs here can be an hour (even if it is by bus/train).  I would never do it, but a lot of people do!  How about things you like to do outside of work?  There are so many free things to do around Mps/St Paul in the summer (and winter if you look hard enough) that the cost of living can be offset some.

Sounds like you know quite a few people here but if you have any questions, send me a note.  Good luck!