Author Topic: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area  (Read 2572 times)

jane x

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:18:04 PM »
I'm interested in doing a thread on the challenges of FIREing in a HCOL area but not sure where I should post it.  Any ideas?

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1889
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Pueblo, CO
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 03:22:50 PM »
If you plan on moving to a LCOL area after FIRE, then living in HCOL living while working is the way to go.

jane x

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 03:25:01 PM »
As of now, we're planning to retire in a HCOL because we really like where we live.

trashmanz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 03:55:38 PM »
Numbers and numbers not sure how it matters. You just need more $.

bb11

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 08:07:39 PM »
As of now, we're planning to retire in a HCOL because we really like where we live.

Do you plan on buying or renting when retired? That's what I'm curious about. I also plan to retire in a HCOL, mostly because those are the places (dense, walkable, liberal cities) that I like to live in. There are not too many cheap ones in the US. But I've not yet extensively studied if it would make sense to purchase a home or not, although my preliminary hypothesis is that it would if you plan to stay there long term.

jane x

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 08:30:56 PM »
@bb11 - we also like dense, walkable, liberal cities.  I loved NYC! 

We've already paid off our house so the plan is to keep it as long as possible.  Maybe move into a 55+ community later for reduced housing expenses along with added benefits offered by the community.  We have one nearby which is really nice - still in our area but with a bit more open green space and some fantastic hiking trails.

Since we decided pretty early that we wanted to stay here, most of our cash went into paying off our mortgage and building up our retirement accounts.  Then DH went into non-profit work and I quit my full time job.  That means our disposable income is pretty tight but our net worth is pretty good.  These are the kind of things I was wanting to talk about with others who might find themselves in similar circumstances.  Just not sure which part of the forums is the right place for it.

HawkeyeNFO

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 291
  • Location: Moose Scrotum, Alberta
  • Retired at 44.....back to work at 45
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 09:11:58 AM »
I plan to do something like that, living in Northern Virginia.  Yes, Washington traffic sucks, but only if you have to drive in it, and we picked an area that is somehow minimally affected by it, despite being so close to the District.  So the area is fun to live in, with all the international and free activities always going on.

queensborocorp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: NYC
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 08:25:28 PM »
There was an MMM article about this very topic: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/15/high-cost-of-living-its-a-state-of-mind/

We are planning to early-retire in the ultimate HCOL area (NYC) and won't be spending much more on a monthly basis than if we retired elsewhere. Yes, there's the hurdle of paying off a mortgage on a modest apartment that costs the same as a 7BR mansion/horse farm in other parts of the country. But what we get in return is tremendous. No car ownership costs. Home maintenance costs much lower than if we had a standalone house (the cost of landscaping or roof repairs is divided by the number of apartments in the building). An enormous amount of free and cheap things to do: parks, libraries, annual museum memberships priced at 2-3x the cost of a single visit, hiking, biking, ferry rides, lectures, jazz concerts, tours of recycling plants. All of this makes travel almost extraneous, but when we do travel, we are close to busy international hub airports, and reaching international destinations can be insanely cheap at the right times. Ultra-cheap ethnic food (literally less expensive than cooking the same things ourselves). National distribution center for fresh foods = cheap produce year round.

As MMM says, "consume less of what is expensive, and replace it with what is cheap and plentiful locally". Parking and insurance is expensive, but public transit is cheap and plentiful. High end Michelin-starred restaurants are expensive, but mom-and-pop kebab houses with 3 tiny tables right in the smoky kitchen blasting Bangladeshi music videos are cheap and plentiful. Broadway shows are expensive, but NYU student performances and lesser-known outer-borough cafe jazz on Sunday nights... you get the idea.

jane x

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
Re: The Pursuit of FIRE in a HCOL area
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 10:35:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies and the link HawkeyeNFO and queensborocorp! 

We've also found the same thing as the article.  We live in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley to be exact, and there are so many great things to do around here and within a short drive that travel doesn't feel necessary or even desirable anymore now that we've visited all our favorite places.  Once the housing is taken care of, life here is pretty inexpensive.  Well, okay, labor is very high so getting things done for the house can be quite expensive if you source it out so we try to only source out what we can't do ourselves. 

And this place just feels like home.  We've contemplated a move several times and each time came home feeling like this is where we belong.

I do have to say that NYC came in at a close second.  I LOVED that city!  And I haven't been to DC or the Virginia area but I can imagine that it's a pretty exciting place to be. 

Silicon Valley can be pretty suburban and spendy but we live in a little pocket neighborhood that is affordable (as much as it can be here), dense, diverse and walkable.  Lots of people walking to the little market around the corner, kids playing at the school, older people taking their daily walk around the block, and lots and lots of diversity in terms of ethnicity and economics.  We love it.  Now if we could just get the transportation options that NYC has and the culture that DC offers - well that would be quite something!  :)


ETA - I'm thinking of moving this thread to either Share Your Badassity (where fellow HCOL mustachians can share their accomplishments) or Throw Down the Gauntlet (where fellow HCOL mustachians can help each other out in reaching specific goals or challenges.)  The reason I'd like to do a specific thread on it is that sometimes HCOL has it's own challenges that lots of mustachians in the general population can't relate to.  The high labor cost comes to mind - so when we need to do a project our costs are going to seem astronomical and foolish to those in LCOL.  Things like that. 

Feedback would be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 10:45:48 AM by jane x »