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Old 05-22-2008, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
9 posts, read 21,958 times
Reputation: 13

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So, I am looking into a job in Ketchikan, it looks good for that, but..... I am still not sure we can afford to move up. It is just husband and I and, of course, I have a job lead and he does not. Right now, they are offering about $55,000 for the year. We would rent (I hope - any leads in that area would be appreciated, too!) starting in August, probably.

Can I afford to live in SE Alaska on that? Are there jobs my hubby can pick up? He has a Master's degree in Soil Science, and works as a Geoarcheologist now, but could do most anything geology-related (any leads here would be a big help, too!). He, however, would stink at leading tours and such and I don't see that as being much of an option in the fall and winter anyway?

I'd appreciate any advice folks can give. We have not been to Alaska but grew up in MN, so we are familiar with similar weather. The cost of living has us worried, though.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,566 posts, read 28,644,257 times
Reputation: 12319
Be aware that $55K per year-if you have to rent or buy a home-is not really that much in some places up here. Now, lest say that you have a little land and a small home to live in, and not too far from a city, then it should be doable. You can burn wood for heating, which will save you lots of cash. Keep in mind that I don't know much about Ketchikan, so maybe $55K is not bad (?). But, that would make for a sort of "tight" living around Fairbanks, although some folks manage to survive for less than that.

The cost of living up here is high enough, and now that the cost of fuel has gone considerably higher, everything from food to electricity has also gone up. In fact, the price per gallon at the pump goes up steadily from week to week.

There is no weather in the lower-48 that is similar to Alaska's weather. In some areas of the interior of Alaska, the coldest recorded temperature has been around -80 degrees. Then it may go as high as +80 in Fairbanks during the summer. Two nights ago it was around 32 degrees at night, and then around 60 during the day.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 35,208,825 times
Reputation: 14693
Ketchikan will probably be wetter in the summer and milder in the winter than MN. And no humidity? I guess depending on rent prices and groceries...you could probably do it. Your hubby may have to settle for work other than what he's used to tho.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Ketchikan, AK
98 posts, read 283,587 times
Reputation: 17
You could live quite comfortable in Ketchikan on 55k per year.... It's more then I make let me tell you. In the fall it's usally easy to find a place to rent cuz all the traveling merchents are gone, but August might be a little tuff.

Ketchikans weather is so mild that you wont think your in AK. I've never seen it get below 15 and never above 90, and I've lived here my whole life. But be ready for rain. Bear valley gets the most, then down town, but the farther north you get from town the dryer it gets, with Ward cove being the exception to that rule.

With your husbands cridetials he's gonna need to get a gov't job. Something at the forest service maybe.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
7,311 posts, read 12,159,046 times
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55K would be fair in Ketchikan. Good clean apartments can be had for around 750 month. You can find dirty and nasty for cheaper. Very mild weather. Don't come if the rain scares you. I've only seen one newcomer melt so far. I agree your husband should look into the state or fed jobs.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,296,433 times
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I lived in Ketchikan for about 10 months before moving to Juneau. First place I've lived where it rained sideways hard for an entire month. But you can't beat a sunny day there.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 4,300,847 times
Reputation: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinding View Post
Right now, they are offering about $55,000 for the year.
Can I afford to live in SE Alaska on that?
(
I give up, can you?
There are people here getting by just fine on less. I guess it depends on the debt load baggage and luxery demands you drag up here with you.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:29 AM
 
Location: the narrows, ketchikan
16 posts, read 49,517 times
Reputation: 14
We've just moved to Ketchikan from Iowa, and love it! Together we make around $50k, are under 30, and have lovely student loans. We make it just fine on what we earn. (Decent) apartments are nearly impossible to find this time of year (we've been holed up @ a hotel for nearly 3 weeks).

I'd say the worst part of moving up here was GETTING here. It's obviously pretty spendy, considering you probably need a moving truck, a ferry or a flight, and a freight transfer (Northland or AML).

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 4,300,847 times
Reputation: 931
ramona, your first year is the toughest.
getting here is not the worst part, it's the hardest part. it's a good 1000 miles from wa., so do the math from any state.
hang in there, if you don't make it "home", it'll never work.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
7,311 posts, read 12,159,046 times
Reputation: 6126
Sometimes you have to suck up your pride and move into one of those hovels. When we first moved to K-town we lived in some crappy places. Lived in a trailer out at Valenar View that should have been pushed into the ocean. $900 a month for something that had plastic sheeting for windows. Water that was so bad you not only couldn't drink it you also really shouldn't have bathed in it.

The round house up above Lighthouse Grocery out north. They finally tore it down. Then the apartment in town that had SO many roaches.

Hang in there. After the summer people leave nice rentals will open up.
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