Author Topic: should we move to Telluride?  (Read 11018 times)

MichelleD1977

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should we move to Telluride?
« on: February 03, 2016, 06:59:51 PM »
Hi Folks,
My huz and I are debating a life change, and I was hoping to get some perspective from you frugal folks, as I am trying to frame this (amongst other ways) as a financial question. But as we know, our main goal here at MMM is not early retirement for the sake of it, but to live our most fulfilled life.  So, without further ado-

We currently live in Burlington, VT.  I am a PT and Dave is a chemist.  I have a great job opportunity to move to Telluride CO where I would basically be working my dream job, as a PT at the base of the ski resort.  Dave would not be so lucky, and would probably need to do ski resort type jobs unless he got really lucky.  I would estimate our income to be what it is right now, combined 90,000-100,000 pre tax. 

We are working on our frugality, and generally have expenses of $1,000/month + housing costs. We currently own our house with about $60,000 in equity.  We have about $150,000 in a 401 K, and I have about 18,000 left from over $100,000 in student loan debt (killed it in 3.5 years-yeah!) Our current life plan is to boost up our 401 K as we have killed my student loans  (contributing about $3,000/month) until we hit 350,000, at which point we'll let it grow as we start to cut back on work, or my husband can find a more fulfilling job and I can work a bit less. I was hoping this would take us 4-5 years.  We can continue to contribute but at a smaller rate with less work.

So this brings us to Telluride- our dream is to live in a ski resort, have free access to skiing (through part time work at the resort) and play in our free time.  Moving to Telluride NOW could get us part of that lifestyle now, even thought we would not be working part time now, or possibly for a long time. 

Two things I am wondering-

Would it make sense to downsize our stuff to fit in a small space (I've been dreaming about a tiny house anyways) where we can have $1000-$1500/month rent, continue to save at our current rate, but just not own a house? Does not owning a house for 10-15 years make sense if your other option is ridiculously overpriced housing?  This could get us to our financial goals, although without the "paid off house" part of things. We may eventually inherit my In-Laws condo in Steamboat Springs, and that could take care of our need for housing when we retire.

Is it just a horrible idea to move to a crazy expensive ski resort, if you are trying to achieve FI, even though the rest of it is your dream life?  I don't want to get there to be in a financial hole or rat race, but if it could work out it would be GREAT.

I'm just seeking perspective here, so any thoughts would be helpful!


brokescientist

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 09:05:13 PM »
I would do it.   I am a biochemist and have been trying to move to Reno (proximity to Tahoe), but can't find a job.  If your husband is cool with working something different I would be all over it.

Cottonswab

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 10:00:18 PM »
I am an engineer and also plan on moving to the Telluride area.  So feel free to PM me if you want to share research or bounce ideas off someone else who has been there recently and researched moving to Telluride. 

The main difference in my situation is that I am unmarried and should be financially independent, when I make the move.  I am currently employed an engineer and anticipate that I would not be able to continue that career path, after moving to Telluride.

I imagine that you are already aware that most housing in Telluride is stupidly expensive.  So, you will definitely want to downsize if you want to live in Telluride or Mountain Village.  Living space in surrounding towns (Rico, Saw Pit, Ridgeway, etc.) is dramatically cheaper.  You should also research deed restricted housing for people that live and work all year round in Telluride.  There is also an affordable housing program with a long wait list.  However, if you are planning to be there for many years, you should eventually get into the affordable housing program, just do not plan on it initially.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 12:51:29 PM by Cottonswab »

Mtngrl

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 08:56:11 AM »
I'm coming out of deep lurk to comment. We are living our early-retirement dream now in Ridgway -- about 45 minutes from Telluride. Maybe further away than you want to be, but I would say if you go into it with your eyes open about the cost of housing, you should do it. There may be cheaper places to live, but few that are more beautiful, with more opportunities for year-round recreation.

Telluride itself is a study in contrasts. There are plenty of super-rich people living in billion dollar homes -- some long-timers will say they have 'ruined' the feel of the town. But there are also still many Mustachian types who place quality of life over quantity. Driving an old beater is no shame here, wearing thrift-shop clothing and cooking at home are all part of the lifestyle here. When your summers are full of hiking, biking and free camping in the national forest, who has time to spend money going out to eat or to movies? Even working full time, you'll find plenty of time to ski, and your husband may enjoy that resort job more than whatever he's doing now.

The big expense will definitely be housing. Maybe ask your employer for help finding something? Or resign yourself to a commute from a neighboring town (I could recommend Ridgway -- it's a lovely community). I would seriously doubt you would be able to rent even a woodshed in Telluride for $1000 a month. Maybe $2000 would get you an apartment, if there are any to be had. Rents are crazy expensive.

SeanMC

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 09:10:39 AM »
If it's a dream job and a dream location to live, and you can live there while still saving (albeit at a slower rate), I would do it. This is especially true if your husband likes the idea of living there too, with resort or other type work.

In general, I don't see the point in racing to FI if you can achieve it more slowly while significantly improving quality of life. Others may disagree.

Fuzz

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 08:16:28 PM »
Posting to follow. I live in a similar ski town. My solution is to go for a moonshot business and try to make enough money for long term higher fi requirements.

 But Pt is a in demand profession in lots of towns. What about crested butte? Whitefish? Also the canyons in Utah are comparatively inexpensive.

NinetyFour

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 09:11:57 PM »
If I were you, I would certainly live in town and not have to deal with a commute into Telluride, especially in the winter.  Yes, rents are probably high there, but being able to walk or bike to work would be sweet.  Plus, you could walk/bike to all the cool festivals they have there (Bluegrass, Blues and Brews, etc.).  Or, if the local regs permit it, you might be able to rent out your place to people who want to visit for those festivals.  (I live only a couple hours from Telluride.)

spokey doke

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 08:06:49 AM »
I have dreamed of living long term in a resort town like Telluride (I did Park City decades ago), and I certainly love the idea.  As for housing, especially rentals, it is typically an insider's market, as you need to know who has the good places and decent prices before they go on the market, and that takes time and relatinships.  So why not start renting in a cheaper nearby town and get to know people (working PT for you and the resort for DH will plug you in pretty quickly).  Be socially active and get the lay of the land and see what is best.  I think it would be really difficult to make any big decisions prior to being there for a year or so (and even a couple months will make a difference).

I'm jealous, BTW...good luck (and get prepped to HAVE to deal with Rocky Mtn Powder so trade in those ice boards for some fatty's).
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 08:08:27 AM by spokey doke »

StetsTerhune

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 10:14:31 AM »
I have dreamed of living long term in a resort town like Telluride (I did Park City decades ago)......

There are no towns like Telluride. I have been to, if I had to guess, something like 20 "ski resort towns". Telluride is the nicest by a factor of at least 3. I've been lots and lots of places in my life and I think Telluride is the nicest of all of them. By far. I imagine this sounds like hyperbole if you haven't been there. It isn't.

Obviously it's crazy expensive. Obviously it's really isolated. Go with your eyes open about the trade offs you'll have to make, but as life choices go, this is one I could get behind.

bognish

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 03:30:42 PM »
Have you been to Telluride before and spent any time there? It is very isolated for other towns and a long drive to a major airport to go anywhere. I agree with the previous poster that it is a unique spot and not like Park City at all. Similar to Aspen, but without the required showing of wealth. I only lasted 1 hour in town and had to get out. Very different attitude in that town. On the other hand what is the worse case scenario, you don't like it and move to another town or back to VT.

Jack

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 03:45:19 PM »
PT? Personal Trainer? Physical Therapist? Pharmacy Technician? ParaTrooper?

Mtngrl

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2016, 08:16:40 PM »
I was skiing at Telluride today and struck up a conversation with a guy who works at the resort and lives very near me in Ridgway. He takes the resort-provided shuttle back and forth to work. It's one of his work benefits. If you can take advantage of that, then it makes the commute less onerous. The shuttles run to many of the surrounding towns. This would, as one of the other posters suggested, allow you to live farther out for a period of time while you scope out the possibilities for a place to live in Telluride itself.

Two other things I know people have done to find housing in Telluride that might work for you: Employer put person in touch with someone who had a rental at a reasonable rate. The employer purposely kept a list of this kind of thing to use as an inducement when hiring people. So you might ask about that.

Another person I know lined up a long-term house-sitting gig. He ended up spending a year in an incredible multi-million dollar home slopeside. Granted, he really lucked out, but you could sign up at a site like luxuryhousesitting.com and see if you get any takers. You'll need good references, but you might find a dream place.

MichelleD1977

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 12:34:18 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and overwhelming support! I actually am kind of surprised that everyone came out basically in favor of the move.  It's actually helped keep my mind open to it, while the discussions my husband and I have had are overall leaning against it. It's basically because of factors I didn't mention in the post (we just completed a big cross country move, and we have a lot of family out here in Vermont and would be very far from them, even more so because of the remoteness of the city as some of you pointed out.) Luckily, there seems to be direct flights from NYC and Chicago to the nearest airport.  That everyone thinks it would be in general a good move (and not a shot in the foot from a FI perspective) is what I needed to hear.  I really respect everyone on this website and nice to hear we don't seem crazy.

I think I'd want to live in town. I've been commuting for too long in VT. We'd just have to suck up the high rent, and hope we could eventually, through connections, find a good rental or purchase. People in general want to do nice things for their Physical Therapist (although paratrooper would be cool too) and it would be a great way to network for a rental or purchase. One of the stipulations would have to be an increased salary enough to pay for the increase in rent, and I think that would be possible.  If we end up making another 10-15,000/year, we may be in a similar situation financially than out here. BUT living in TELLURIDE!

spokey doke

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2016, 02:11:40 PM »
the additional details make me want to add this:

I moved from a great spot in the N. Rockies to what is considered by many a very prime place to live in the Great Lakes region...but when I got there I felt as though a piece of my soul died...no real wild places, no big outside, no real mountains, crap for skiing (aside from xc), etc...

I kept that attitude for a number of years, and (even though it was justified in many ways), it kept me from appreciating and enjoying what the place actually had to offer (which included some pretty killer mountain-biking, sans mountains).

I've since move back out West and really love it in so many ways...I just wish I spent more time enjoying what the Great Lakes had to offer.

I could do New England...Vermont in particular is a really cool place, but it would be a big adjustment, and I (hope that I) would be much better about embracing the place and enjoying it, rather than thinking about what could have been...good luck on the big decision!!!

norajean

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Re: should we move to Telluride?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2020, 03:52:26 AM »
Did you move?