• Text Only
Voting History
rated:
Perhaps buy a place in cash and then just live there forever and enjoy?

I have considered this and may pull the trigger someday. Your thoughts?

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
That's fine. I don't have any children.

dollarshort (Dec. 06, 2012 @ 1:44p) |

It depends on your perspective. You may have family ties, jobs, friends, etc. that hold you in a particular location. O... (more)

aleck (Feb. 05, 2013 @ 2:26p) |

I've done the opposite and moved to a higher COL area. I am regretting it. City people always talk about how there is no... (more)

tedteddy (Feb. 05, 2013 @ 6:28p) |

COL = Cost of Living
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

Will you be happy living in that low COL area?
Will your wife be happy there?
If no wife, will you be able to get laid in the low COL area?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this plan and I think about it frequently. If you'll be happy there, that's all that matters. Build up a nest egg of how ever much money you can love off 3%, which might be $150k plus owning a $100k house in full. Or maybe it's $400k plus the small house. Run the numbers, do the math. Enjoy your 80% federally subsidized healthcare if you can keep your annual income below the poverty line of around $13k (perhaps through only withdrawing $13k or less per year from your IRAs through SEPP.

There are numerous areas where you can get a nice house for $50-70k , not even $100k required

I never can understand those who pay 50% + of their income to live in a high cost area. You are sacrificing quality of life .

People do it all the time here in Central Texas. Here is a nice 4-bedroom outside Austin for $95,000: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/107-Wegstrom-St...

ubermichaelthomas said:   Will you be happy living in that low COL area?
Will your wife be happy there?
If no wife, will you be able to get laid in the low COL area?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this plan and I think about it frequently. If you'll be happy there, that's all that matters. Build up a nest egg of how ever much money you can love off 3%, which might be $150k plus owning a $100k house in full. Or maybe it's $400k plus the small house. Run the numbers, do the math. Enjoy your 80% federally subsidized healthcare if you can keep your annual income below the poverty line of around $13k (perhaps through only withdrawing $13k or less per year from your IRAs through SEPP.


The area I personally would be going to is either Northern Delaware, or Albany NY. Jobs in my field are not THAT difficult to get in those locaitons

I am sure I could get laid, but will I be happy? That I don't know. Really depends if I were able to make friends with some good people or not. If I were to make this move I would want to enjoy the extra money and go out a lot

My brother lives in tiny town USA. He bought a 3 bedroom house for $50K cash. It's him, his wife and their kids. They are extremely family oriented and his life is pretty much her and the kids. They love their lives and make it work. He works remotely and I bet makes $50-70K. His biggest bill is the $750/year property tax. If you can make it work I say go for it. They seem to enjoy themselves but have also distanced themselves from the rest of the family sure top their proximity.

tony6730 said:   The area I personally would be going to is either Northern Delaware, or Albany NY. Jobs in my field are not THAT difficult to get in those locaitons I don't think you'll find anything but a dilapidated shack for $100K in Northern Delaware, unless you don't mind living in the 'hood in downtown Wilmington or Newark.

I tend to stay completely out of NJ, NY, Illinois, Massachusetts and California is you're looking for low COL and high quality of life. Then again, I measure quality of life by how deep the local politicians have their hands stuck in your pockets.

Better plan on retiring, as salaries are correspondingly lower in low COL areas.

Depends on what you like to do with your free time I guess.

TravelerMSY said:   Better plan on retiring, as salaries are correspondingly lower in low COL areas.

Depends on what you like to do with your free time I guess.


Indeed. I bought a ~900 sqft fixer (in decent shape really) for $12,500 a few years back. Problem is you're in a little tiny town in the middle of no-where. Freezing winters, mosquito-infested summers. One grocery store. Two and a half hours to a small airport. Wal Mart is coming to the next town over? Break out the champagne! The reason it's so cheap is no one wants to live there.

Dynastar454 said:   TravelerMSY said:   Better plan on retiring, as salaries are correspondingly lower in low COL areas.

Depends on what you like to do with your free time I guess.


Indeed. I bought a ~900 sqft fixer (in decent shape really) for $12,500 a few years back. Problem is you're in a little tiny town in the middle of no-where. Freezing winters, mosquito-infested summers. One grocery store. Two and a half hours to a small airport. Wal Mart is coming to the next town over? Break out the champagne! The reason it's so cheap is no one wants to live there.


Yeah but you could theoretically retire on $200k and live off the interest in perpetuity in that crappy little town.

Do you want to wake up to alarm clock 5 to 6 days a week, drive 1 hour to work each way, spend $20 a week on dry cleaning, feel the need to compete with your neighbors to buy a new BMW every 3 years, etc, in order to live in a "nice" city that you only get to enjoy maybe 10 to 20 hours a week because the rest of your life is dedicated to work, commute, household chores/food shopping/etc.

Or you live in a 900 sq foot fixer upper that's a 20 minute drive to Wal Mart that you go to once every 7 to 10 days for food. Sleep in late. Watch Netflix half the day. surf FWF a couple hours. Read books, etc. Life's about tradeoffs. Pick what suits you.

Some people I went to business school with went to work for DeLoitte in San Francisco as first year MBA-level consultants. They made around $80k/year to live in San Francisco. Essentially, they got to save $0 because rent is $2k to $2500 and state income tax is 10%. They were living hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck, because they wanted to live in San Francisco.

The problem is they traveled 5 to 6 days a week. So they enjoyed SF for 1 to 2 days a week. And since they weren't home all week, at least half of one day off is spent doing laundry, cleaning, etc. And half of one day is spent laying down watching TV because you're exhausted.

Of course, after a few years of working 90 hours a week at DeLoitte they can go work elsewhere for $150k to $200k, but it's just one big treadmill they are chasing. Heck, if you enjoy the work then have at it. If not, there's other paths for you.

Growing up in Idaho, I would see Californians move in and pay for a house with cash. I knew of several transplants, but only one ever grew new roots and had a decent network of friends. People in low COL areas often don't like 'rich' transplants. Not only that, but the culture is so different, Californians stick out like a sore thumb. I would imagine the same would apply for New Yorkers.

ubermichaelthomas said:   Dynastar454 said:   TravelerMSY said:   Better plan on retiring, as salaries are correspondingly lower in low COL areas.

Depends on what you like to do with your free time I guess.


Indeed. I bought a ~900 sqft fixer (in decent shape really) for $12,500 a few years back. Problem is you're in a little tiny town in the middle of no-where. Freezing winters, mosquito-infested summers. One grocery store. Two and a half hours to a small airport. Wal Mart is coming to the next town over? Break out the champagne! The reason it's so cheap is no one wants to live there.


Yeah but you could theoretically retire on $200k and live off the interest in perpetuity in that crappy little town.

Do you want to wake up to alarm clock 5 to 6 days a week, drive 1 hour to work each way, spend $20 a week on dry cleaning, feel the need to compete with your neighbors to buy a new BMW every 3 years, etc, in order to live in a "nice" city that you only get to enjoy maybe 10 to 20 hours a week because the rest of your life is dedicated to work, commute, household chores/food shopping/etc.

Or you live in a 900 sq foot fixer upper that's a 20 minute drive to Wal Mart that you go to once every 7 to 10 days for food. Sleep in late. Watch Netflix half the day. surf FWF a couple hours. Read books, etc. Life's about tradeoffs. Pick what suits you.

Some people I went to business school with went to work for DeLoitte in San Francisco as first year MBA-level consultants. They made around $80k/year to live in San Francisco. Essentially, they got to save $0 because rent is $2k to $2500 and state income tax is 10%. They were living hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck, because they wanted to live in San Francisco.

The problem is they traveled 5 to 6 days a week. So they enjoyed SF for 1 to 2 days a week. And since they weren't home all week, at least half of one day off is spent doing laundry, cleaning, etc. And half of one day is spent laying down watching TV because you're exhausted.

Of course, after a few years of working 90 hours a week at DeLoitte they can go work elsewhere for $150k to $200k, but it's just one big treadmill they are chasing. Heck, if you enjoy the work then have at it. If not, there's other paths for you.



I would be working. I could make at least $50,000 in just about any decent sized city in the USA due to my profession.

It is narrow minded to think that cheap houses only exist in tiny towns in the middle of nowhere.

There are cheap houses prob within 90 miles of any expensive major metro area. You don't need to live in some mosquito infested Backwoods area. There are also numerous major cities with affordable homes. Atlanta , Las Vegas, Orlando , most Midwest major cities , etc. There is nightlife , fine dining , recreational activities , cultural diversity , etc. I am always amazed how narrow minded fwfers are when it comes to this . Perhaps because many of you are young and haven't seen the country .

Once you get your head out of the sand and realize the world doesnt revolve around NYC SF LA Boston etc., you'll find the rest of the country is quite affordable . When I buy rentals , I look to these affordable areas.

Low COL towns are the backup plans for people who don't plan well for retirement.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   It is narrow minded to think that cheap houses only exist in tiny towns in the middle of nowhere.

There are cheap houses prob within 90 miles of any expensive major metro area. You don't need to live in some mosquito infested Backwoods area. There are also numerous major cities with affordable homes. Atlanta , Las Vegas, Orlando , most Midwest major cities , etc. There is nightlife , fine dining , recreational activities , cultural diversity , etc. I am always amazed how narrow minded fwfers are when it comes to this . Perhaps because many of you are young and haven't seen the country .

Once you get your head out of the sand and realize the world doesnt revolve around NYC SF LA Boston etc., you'll find the rest of the country is quite affordable . When I buy rentals , I look to these affordable areas.


You're leaving out COL. It is narrow minded to think that just because houses are cheap, the COL is cheap. Vegas, for example, has gas prices similar to CA. Food here is also more expensive than elsewhere. Electric bills in the summer can easily top $400 if you want to keep your house comfortable. We also have high sales tax. While housing is a big part of COL, it's not everything. For truly low COL areas, the options are much more limited.

In central Iowa you can have the best of both worlds, Small town living with pretty good schools and short drives to larger populations that have most everything you need. The cost of living here is reasonable and housing is about as cheap as it gets right now. Granted it's not going to be for everyone but many first time visitors really appreciate what we have.... I know after traveling the perception people have of Iowa does not match our state.

LLLosingit said:   In central Iowa you can have the best of both worlds, Small town living with pretty good schools and short drives to larger populations that have most everything you need. The cost of living here is reasonable and housing is about as cheap as it gets right now. Granted it's not going to be for everyone but many first time visitors really appreciate what we have.... I know after traveling the perception people have of Iowa does not match our state.

I drove all over Iowa (visited all the covered bridges, love Des Moines, surprisingly good restaurants!), the Midwest & the South by myself on road trips in 2008/2009. Eye-opening. There is cool stuff and great people out there in non-Metropolis America.

Constantly wonder if I'd be happier with a small wooden 1900s $50k house, walking distance of a small downtown vs. an $800k craftsman house walking distance from Old Town Pasadena (CA)... Would I miss sushi, boba, dumplings, Costco, the beach, the mountains? I dream about getting a Gulf Coast house on the beach somewhere between NoLa and Biloxi too.

My job can totally be done remotely but yet to find a company that will let me be 100% remote. Annoying. Haha total 4-hr work week sucker!

I'd love to try living in a low COL place for a few weeks a month and keep renting my current place in CA.

So caught up in rat race right now! Good thread!

kiasuchick said:   


.
Constantly wonder if I'd be happier with a small wooden 1900s $50k house, walking distance of a small downtown vs. an $800k craftsman house walking distance from Old Town Pasadena (CA)... Would I miss sushi, boba, dumplings, Costco, the beach, the mountains? !


You can get the $50k 1900s house in Fresno , Stockton sacramento etc - any major town in the central valley- and still have the sushi , boba, dumplings Costco and a short drive to delta beach and mountains. All of California is not expensive . And there is a large Asian population in all of these cities .

RedCelicaGT said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   It is narrow minded to think that cheap houses only exist in tiny towns in the middle of nowhere.

There are cheap houses prob within 90 miles of any expensive major metro area. You don't need to live in some mosquito infested Backwoods area. There are also numerous major cities with affordable homes. Atlanta , Las Vegas, Orlando , most Midwest major cities , etc. There is nightlife , fine dining , recreational activities , cultural diversity , etc. I am always amazed how narrow minded fwfers are when it comes to this . Perhaps because many of you are young and haven't seen the country .

Once you get your head out of the sand and realize the world doesnt revolve around NYC SF LA Boston etc., you'll find the rest of the country is quite affordable . When I buy rentals , I look to these affordable areas.


You're leaving out COL. It is narrow minded to think that just because houses are cheap, the COL is cheap. Vegas, for example, has gas prices similar to CA. Food here is also more expensive than elsewhere. Electric bills in the summer can easily top $400 if you want to keep your house comfortable. We also have high sales tax. While housing is a big part of COL, it's not everything. For truly low COL areas, the options are much more limited.


vegas is dirt cheap other than the electric bills

I live in a small city in the Midwest - people regularly get laid here, too. This is where I grew up so the LOC is the norm for me. I'm shocked at how much friends in big cities pay to live there. Yes, they have a lot of options available but not always a lot of money to enjoy some of those options. My house is paid off, I've saved well for retirement (depending on health insurance costs), and travel much more than my big city friends. I get to visit them then return to my low COL home. I'm very happy with my quality of life - few money worries, nice house, good schools, lifelong friends. Not a bad option if you know what to expect.

Often. I could have paid cash for a house instead of rent payments in Manhattan.

However, I haven't ever met someone who works from home in my field.

I did that 10+ yrs ago... for various reasons, ranging from home affordability to the #of days of sunshine per year. We moved to a city and state Id never been to, bought a home (Doubled my sq footage for 20% more $), no jobs in hand. A big obstacle to your decision may be family and friends. Often they will be express negative thoughts on the mere thought of it. Just as SIS said, from a perspective of narrow mindedness; and possibly from jealousy. Not everyone truly wants to see you succeed or be happy in life. I think I found more success as a result of move.

I don't think I have any regrets. I do miss some of the regional flavors I grew accustomed to (Depends on how far you move), and having as much time with family, but that is what visits are for (though too few). What Id now like to do is see more of the country and move out west. My ideal is to move somewhere for about 6-12 months, and use that as a base for seeing the region. Then Id move again for 6-12 months. I'm talking Rockies, Northwestern Plains, Northern Cali, ohhh and gotta spend a round in NOLA. If I really wanted to I could conceivably do in a few months time, but don't think I'm ready yet, but close.

I'm glad so many people think this idea is equal to "slumming" it. I'll just keep my 68k, brick 1400, sq ft house sitting on an acre with 407 annual taxes. I must be sooooo miserable not living in the big city.


Best friend closed last week on an 87 acre farm with 1200 sq ft house for 200k. I'll tell him to be miserable too.

TravelerMSY said:   Low COL towns are the backup plans for people who don't plan well for retirement.

On the contrary in my case living in a cheaper mid-sized city is my plan for a great retirement while still having a decent lifestyle now. I work for an NYC employer so I get NYC salary sans the taxes, commute and cost of living. And I can still get my big city fix when I visit during one of my three weeks per year I do up there. It just reminds me how good I got it when I return home.

Its not bad at all living in a non big city.

I live in Akron, Actually a suburb of akron, Ive been to lots of big cities and partied it up. I truly think at this point that NE ohio is where it is for me. The nightlife is just fine, its easy to make 100k here and 100k here gets you a nice car, nice house and 1 or 2 beautiful wives/gfs. I also dont have to work my ass off or drive an hour to work. Quality of Life is Good. Winters... well they are nice because the air is so crisp and its beautiful out but full disclose i am looking for a 2nd house now in florida to live in in the winter. I work a 9-5 now but my investments in low end rental property are beginning to hit critical mass where the 9-5 will eventually have to work around my winter schedule or theyll have to find someone else.

I would never move to a high tax high col place, no thanks. Plenty of sunshine right here in ohio.

Ypu can fund a nice house for $100k in Any of the cities from Palmdale to Sacramento

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Proposed_Route_Planner.aspx

And if this thing is actually built your home value will triple

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Ypu can fund a nice house for $100k in Any of the cities from Palmdale to Sacramento

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Proposed_Route_Planner.aspx

And if this thing is actually built your home value will triple


And in the mean time while you wait for the vaporrail train to be built, you only have to give California 13% of your income to include HSA earnings because California doesn't recognize HSAs as tax shelters.

Yet another fallacy. Owning RE in California gets me a $25000 deduction off earned income

In fact I doubt I've paid more to CA in the form of state income tax over last 20 years than I received in Cal Grants so I'm still ahead

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Yet another fallacy. Owning RE in California gets me a $25000 deduction off earned income

In fact I doubt I've paid more to CA in the form of state income tax over last 20 years than I received in Cal Grants so I'm still ahead


Can you go into detail about what Cal Grants are and how you've received them? A new, separate post might be worthwhile.

If what you're saying is true, then it's just another example of why California is so many BILLIONS of dollars in state debt. The "poor" milk the system by getting significantly more in welfare handouts than they pay in taxes and the "wealthy" milk the system with getting more out of "Cal Grants" than they pay in. No offense, you should definitely do whatever you can to "milk" the system, lest you be a victim of it. I'm just curious what it means and how you're doing it. PM me if it's not suitable for public discourse.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Ypu can fund a nice house for $100k in Any of the cities from Palmdale to Sacramento

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Proposed_Route_Planner.aspx

And if this thing is actually built your home value will triple


If that thing actually gets built(way over budget) I can't imagine the tax bills people are going to be hit with.

Cal grants were a type of college scholarship , about $5k per year back then

Looks like its up to $12k per year now

http://www.calgrants.org/index.cfm?navId=10&

ubermichaelthomas said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Ypu can fund a nice house for $100k in Any of the cities from Palmdale to Sacramento

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Proposed_Route_Planner.aspx

And if this thing is actually built your home value will triple


And in the mean time while you wait for the vaporrail train to be built, you only have to give California 13% of your income to include HSA earnings because California doesn't recognize HSAs as tax shelters.


So live in Texas. You can buy a nice house in an Austin suburb for $100k and a nice one for $150k in Dallas/Fort Worth suburbs (don't know about Houston). Then there are a ton of smaller cities that are close to major cities and have pretty good quality of life - Amarillo, Bryan/College Station, Corpus Christi, maybe Abilene. No state income tax.

I think Austin would be the best bet of all these, though... right in the middle, and it's a great city with a lot of diversity and growing tech sector and a good economy overall, in addition to not being particularly expensive.

bilbo6360 said:   I'm moving to Costa rica in Jan. I'm getting out of this country before it hits rock bottom....see ya and enjoy your once great country...Choi...bought a beautiful 5 be 4 bath on the ocean for 187 k.....would be 700 k in caliporno ...I wish you all good luck, and hope you don't really sick in the coming years...and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Don't forget to continue paying US taxes for the next TWENTY YEARS on any earned and investment income you make while in Costa Rica. It used to be 10 years but the US federal government went just a tad bit overboard on spending during the last 4 years so they recently bumped your tax obligation to 20 years after renouncing US citizenship. And since the US controls the world and all banks of the world fear the US government, they will be happy to garnish your accounts on behalf of the US government if you fail to pay. Enjoy Costa Rica!

You should not move for money or a job because eventually the glamor will fade and you will miss what truly matters. Family, friends, and the culture that really make you happy. Sure, money can manufacture some things to delay, what some would call, boredom, friends can me made, and extended families born, but in the end there is always a sacrifice.

It is an experience and I have done it and I can't find a job in my old hometown and pack up fast enough. It has been 6 yrs. The problem is once some tiny roots are down its hard to pull them up. I am now wondering what it will be like when I move back to my old area.

ubermichaelthomas said:   bilbo6360 said:   I'm moving to Costa rica in Jan. I'm getting out of this country before it hits rock bottom....see ya and enjoy your once great country...Choi...bought a beautiful 5 be 4 bath on the ocean for 187 k.....would be 700 k in caliporno ...I wish you all good luck, and hope you don't really sick in the coming years...and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Don't forget to continue paying US taxes for the next TWENTY YEARS on any earned and investment income you make while in Costa Rica. It used to be 10 years but the US federal government went just a tad bit overboard on spending during the last 4 years so they recently bumped your tax obligation to 20 years after renouncing US citizenship. And since the US controls the world and all banks of the world fear the US government, they will be happy to garnish your accounts on behalf of the US government if you fail to pay. Enjoy Costa Rica!


Foreign tax credit?

JTausTX said:   

I think Austin would be the best bet of all these, though... right in the middle, and it's a great city with a lot of diversity and growing tech sector and a good economy overall, in addition to not being particularly expensive.


Austin's full. Don't move here.

It's possible to live in a higher cost area without having to "join the club" or buy a new BMW to keep up. It's also possible to live with your expenses below what others pay, you just have to have the right approach. We live outside a great college town, and get its great schools, but with taxes much lower than living in the town. We pay the same school tax, but all other components are much lower. Our property taxes are within 5% of the taxes friends pay that live in a major metro area with a house that's 1/2 the size and a lot that's 1/10th the size.

You can lower your monthly expenses by being smart. Get rid of the telephone service and buy an OBi and use free GV. Dump the weekly trash pickup that's $200+ a year for the big roller can and switch to $2 a bag - which takes us 2 - 3 weeks to fill. Mow your own lawn. Do all the home maintenance yourself that you can.

TravelerMSY said:   Better plan on retiring, as salaries are correspondingly lower in low COL areas.

Depends on what you like to do with your free time I guess.


Depends what we're calling low COL areas, but the salaries difference between our Dallas office and Californian/NE offices aren't a huge difference.

Skipping 169 Messages...
I've done the opposite and moved to a higher COL area. I am regretting it. City people always talk about how there is nothing to do in the country, but the city doesn't offer anything that I like. From my point of view, there is "nothing to do" in the city.

My preferred activities are hunting, hiking, fishing, boating, and other outdoorsy things. You can often find these in low COL areas, but not the other way around.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014

It's time for an upgrade!

After a decade on our current platform, we're upgrading our plumbing. The site will be down for a few hours starting at 12:00AM CST (Midnight) tonight.

At FatWallet we strive to bring you the best coupons, deals and Cash Back. So please come back and check us out.