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Old 01-14-2015, 06:04 PM
 
8 posts, read 12,763 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello everyone.
My wife and I are really considering leaving Chicago for good, main reason being the first of two seasons we have here... winter and construction.

Well, not only that but summers are hot and humid and there's not too much spring or fall. One time I remember we needed heating overnight and the next day we had to turn on the AC. It's true what they say: If you don't like the Chicago weather, wait 5 minutes... it'll change.

We've never been to CA or AZ but did some vacationing in FL and we loved the Jan. temperatures there a few years back.
Our ideal place would be a nice area in southern CA within a few miles from the ocean so there are no 'extreme' temperatures like more inland. AZ, as we all know, has the 3-4 months of HOT (dry) but the rest of the year is decent. FL (Tampa area) may have the hurricanes and definitely has hot and humid summers but the rest of the year is decent, too.

Both FL and AZ beat Chicago weather in our book. CA is a definite winner though.

Also to consider are other factors like: home/rental prices, other prices in general, the fact that the wife will go back to school to get an RN (registered nurse) license, I'm self-employed and will have to start from scratch in that area (advertising, etc)...
(As a side detail, we are around the age of 40, and no kids.)

It is true, CA has the best weather but is the most expensive. AZ may be cheaper (?) or the same as FL and both have 3-4 months of not so great summer. We're debating between either moving straight to CA or going to one of the other two options (AZ or FL) at least until she gets her RN license and then move to CA. This will also involve moving twice and doing the switch to a CA RN license once we are there.

We'd like to hear your opinions on anything that may help us in making the smartest decision.
If you know of any other states/areas that for some reason should be considered, please let us know. Accredited RN colleges, based on lower tuition costs within a decent neighborhood, may be a factor in our decision but #1 is the weather.
We've also had enough of Chicago traffic which many times fights LA for the 'worst traffic in the US' spot. For my line of work we'd still be interested to be about one hour+ or so away from a big(ger) city just to have some big city advantages without its traffic.

So, what is it going to be?
Thank you all for your answers and patience reading the long post.

Mark
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Colorado
108 posts, read 121,210 times
Reputation: 133
I have spent a lot of time in the California and Florida forums. It has helped me see what different areas are like. I thought California would be best, but I think the only thing great, I am finding is the weather. To me the traffic and amount of people would make me insane, plus the col. So right there is a big part of life.
I think the thing that makes me concerned about Florida is the amount of humidity! I'm in Colorado where it isn't humid. When researching Florida, just watch for places that have sink holes and lots of flooding...you can't get your house insured in areas is what I heard.
California is super expensive is all I hear. So I'm not sure about going to school and living there at the same time? I guess you might want to see what weather you are really seeking out and what your willing to sacrifice?
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
4,695 posts, read 3,219,036 times
Reputation: 5120
Are you originally from Chicago?

You may want to take a hard look at Denver. Parts of Denver remind me a lot of Chicago. However, the Winter here is nothing like Chicago. You get lots of snow, but it melts pretty quick and it's not uncommon to be snowing one week and then 60 and Sunny the next. You get a lot of nice sunny, warm Winter days in Denver, unlike Chitown where it gets cold and dark and stays that way until May.

You may find that you end up missing Chicago. Chicago is one of the greatest cities on Earth! The only issue IMO is the weather and taxes. You will miss Chicago, the food, the lake, the awesome architecture, the sports, the camaraderie, etc.

Weather is a big factor in life, but as I like to say, the weather in prison is perfect, but it's not a place I'd want to live!
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:35 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,271 posts, read 10,510,884 times
Reputation: 11848
If you want info on California, I would ask in that forum, and specify budget and desires.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:38 PM
 
1,231 posts, read 1,323,515 times
Reputation: 369
Here are the most and least expensive states to live in the U.S.

Illinois is more expensive overall than AZ and FL but not by too much. CA is one of the most expensive states to live in. Also, Illinois has higher income taxes than AZ and FL, but CA's are the highest in the nation with a 13.2% income tax rate. FL has no income taxes.

Top State Income Tax Rates in 2014 | Tax Foundation
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:51 AM
 
397 posts, read 435,071 times
Reputation: 393
I'd look at the economic climate in the state instead of the weather. States with good weather are either too expensive (CA) or have low wages (FL or AZ). In particular, if your wife wants to go into nursing look at the availability of BSN programs in the state. I've read that there are several year long waiting lists to get into community college BSN programs in AZ and CA. Also the nursing shortage is a myth and there are parts of the country where it is very difficult for a new grad to find a nursing job.

We're moving to AZ because I'm being transferred but if I was picking a state to live in with no job, I'd start by looking for the most well managed states in the country. A state has a good control over its financing, etc. will have more predictable taxes and a more stable employment picture. These states are probably not the ones that are the most glamorous or have the biggest cities. Look at Utah, Nebraska, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, etc. I'd avoid states that look good because they have prospered during the recent oil boom, e.g. North Dakota.

Denver is booming but I'd worry about how the downturn in gas prices will affect Denver.

ETA don't get seduced by Southern CA. The surrounding states are full of CA refugees. Middle class people are being forced out of Southern CA. It's becoming a state of extremes; rich people and poor people.

If it were me starting fresh somewhere else, I'd be looking hard at Utah. It's a beautiful state with lots of things to do. SLC isn't majority Mormon anymore although the surrounding area is still primarily Mormon. COL is relatively low and it's run by sensible people.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,950,554 times
Reputation: 10048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_3377 View Post
Well, not only that but summers are hot and humid and there's not too much spring or fall.
After spending summers in AZ or FL, you will NEVER complain about IL's summers again. Mark my words. Just trust me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_3377 View Post
We've never been to CA or AZ but did some vacationing in FL and we loved the Jan. temperatures there a few years back.
Both FL and AZ beat Chicago weather in our book. CA is a definite winner though.
If you cant handle IL's few days of humidity, how could you possibly expect to handle Florida? Not only is it MORE humid than IL, but its like that for the majority of the year. And you say you want someplace with a Spring and Fall? Then completely take out FL, AZ, and CA. Youre confusing me.

I live in Scottsdale and Ill make this as simple as I can for you. I want you to think of a 60 degree day, ok? Can you picture that? Nice, crisp air, almost chilly, right? OK. Now, picture a 90 degree day. Think of the oppressive heat, the sweat, the need to lurch towards the nearest air conditioned building. Quite a difference between 60 and 90, right? Thats a HUGE difference.

Now, picture a 90 degree day, ok? Feel that nasty heat? Now, add 20-30 degrees ON TOP of that nasty 90, and that might give you an idea of what it feels like here in summer in AZ. Can you comprehend that? Oh, and that "dry heat" only really applies to May, June, and very late September. The core of summer here (June and July), is hot AND humid. I bet they dont tell you that in the tourist brochures, do they? Think of 105 degrees coupled with 50-60% humidity. Its nasty. Then come late September the humidity goes away, but the heat is still there. Same goes for October.

Winters here? Theyre more mild than Chicago, thats for sure. Daytime temps can range from 45-75 degrees, nights are cold. Its common to see frost here several nights in winter. Betcha didnt expect that, did ya? You were thinking of swimming in January, laughing at your friends back in Chicago while they shoveled snow, right? Ive heard that waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many times. Its not like that. Most likely youll be sitting in your car, waiting for your defroster to get the ice off the window, staring at your breath, thinking to yourself "it gets downright cold here in winter!" Days are mild, nights are cold. Much colder than you think. Then after a few years of living here, those 50 degree days start to feel like teens in Chicago. Youll shiver, youll bundle up, youll call the Canadian snowbirds "crazy" for walking around in shorts. IT WILL FEEL COLD.

If you have kids, their summer breaks consist of blistering heat, then heat and humidity, then its back to school. Your yard will most likely consist of spiky plants and rocks, possibly littered with scorpions and various other critters. Some areas are infested, others arent. You REALLY have to do your research before moving here.

You will miss out on food, culture, public transporation, and all the vast amenities that Chicago provides. You will probably even miss be able to buy different style/color homes, too. Its something you probably take for granted right now, but will regret later. Ive talked to thousands of people here that would agree with me.

Now, with all that being said... If you want a milder winter, loaded with sunshine (that also becomes a curse), then I would recommend Phoenix.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:27 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,849,693 times
Reputation: 4547
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTW2013 View Post
... but if I was picking a state to live in with no job, I'd start by looking for the most well managed states in the country. A state has a good control over its financing, etc. will have more predictable taxes and a more stable employment picture.
I know you're burned from living in Illinois, but most people really do not take this in to strong consideration when choosing a place to live. Maybe they should. California is one place that is not really an improvement over Illinois in this regard.

In fact, there are still many states with higher state/local taxes than Illinois, as hard as that is for some to believe. They include (in order with New York being the worst in the nation):

1. New York
2. New Jersey
3. Connecticut
4. California
5. Wisconsin
6. Minnesota
7. Maryland
8. Rhode Island
9. Vermont
10. Pennsylvania
11. Massachusetts
12. Arkansas

And Illinois comes in at lucky 13. I think we will actually move further down the list with our new lower income tax rate that went in to effect for 2015. But yes, I think our debt problem all but guarantees that we will be in the top ten soon. I'd like to see more spending cuts, but it's likely we'll see tax increases as well.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,950,554 times
Reputation: 10048
Quote:
Originally Posted by flamadiddle View Post
You get a lot of nice sunny, warm Winter days in Denver, unlike Chitown where it gets cold and dark and stays that way until May.
From what I see, Denver only averages about 15% more sun than Chicago in winter. Plus Denver gets snow a lot earlier and later than Chicago. Win some, lose some I guess.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:16 AM
 
302 posts, read 179,197 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
After spending summers in AZ or FL, you will NEVER complain about IL's summers again. Mark

Now, picture a 90 degree day, ok? Feel that nasty heat? Now, add 20-30 degrees ON TOP of that nasty 90, and that might give you an idea of what it feels like here in summer in AZ. Can you comprehend that? Oh, and that "dry heat" only really applies to May, June, and very late September. The core of summer here (June and July), is hot AND humid. I bet they dont tell you that in the tourist brochures, do they?

Now, with all that being said... If you want a milder winter, loaded with sunshine (that also becomes a curse), then I would recommend Phoenix.
100% agree. Just relocated from Scottsdale to Chicago, by the way grew up in Bay Area. After 10 years in az could not stand it any longer. OP you commented on az winter yeah its great but my suggestion to you is go visit in the summer for a good month like July- August. And by the way summer there is NOT 3-4 month it hits 90 in may 100 in june -september , and stays above 90 till Halloween thats 6 month of above 90. It is not cheaper to live there, your property tax is lower but add association( as most homes is planed community) pool service year around, and landscaping ( dont see much of it in IL,) and you looking at 2-3k a year and puts you in same amount you pay for property tax in IL. Dont forget you AC bill.
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