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Old 07-01-2013, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 979,746 times
Reputation: 421

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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmebacktothemountains View Post
.... Better standard of living however is all in perspective.
True enough. I was chatting with one of my neighbors and we were talking about how we ended up in the high country. She was living in a city and miserable. They couldn't save any money, crime, pollution, crappy schools. Her rationale was that "if I'm going to struggle, I'm going to struggle in a beautiful place with decent schools." I couldn't argue with her reasoning. Made sense. So maybe this comes down to opportunity cost. I gave up an awful lot of money to live here so my cost is high. I know, I know, money isn't everything but what Colorado taught me is that poverty isn't anything.

And yet, I went up Cottonwood pass today. The snow had mostly all melted away and the landscape was greening up nicely. Before the last switchback I jammed on the brakes for a group of young bucks. This time of year, they have shed their scruffy winter coats and are very sleek looking and beautifully groomed. All of them sported a beautiful new set of velveted antlers. In the background of Cottonwood Pass, the scene looked like something you'd see on a calendar. Stunning. So I'm sitting there drinking in the moment and I couldn't help but feel a bit bittersweet because I couldn't remember the last time I was up the Pass. Was it '98 or '99? Fourteen years? This is my fault of course. I mean, it's not like someone was holding a gun to my head, keeping me from going up. It's just that you have to work so hard to have any free time to take advantage of what the state has to offer. It's tough. I suppose todays experience is sort of a metaphor of what life up here is like. So I will remain conflicted.

My parents were Greatest Generation. They lived through the depression. The first one I mean, not this one. So maybe this has been a more valuable experience than I give it credit for and perhaps I should quit my whining. Living in tough circumstances gives you a valuable set of skills that I suspect will come in handy in the future, given what's happening in the country and the world right now. In any case, it's not my place to bully you into not moving here. Just be aware of what you're getting your family into and choose wisely.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,111 posts, read 4,887,657 times
Reputation: 5429
Quote:
Originally Posted by getmebacktothemountains View Post
I figured there is got to be jobs in a tourist town, I just didn't know how competitive it is. I keep going back to the idea of Salida because of the attractions and the opportunity that my kids could have by living there. I am fully aware how seasonal jobs go, but I am also aware that good, dependable, trustworthy and hard working people are also hard to come by. Home ownership is not necessary if the ability to pay rent is. There seems to be many properties for sale in that area. It looks like they get put on and taken off the market often. Does that mean those houses sit vacant or they get rented out? When we lived in Telluride a majority of the properties sat vacant for most of the year except for the holidays and festivals. Is Salida like that? I got the impression Salida is a little more grounded than Telluride. Thanks for the info!
I USED to have a lot of family in Salida, but my grandparents and my aunts and uncles who lived there have all died. My cousins have all (but one) moved away because of the lack of jobs and the hardship of trying to make ends meet in Salida. Meanwhile, all the retirees and other people of money have made the cost of living skyrocket. It is a much different place than the town I frequented in my youth.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Corona
10,066 posts, read 13,966,901 times
Reputation: 8902
The only small town job advice I can give you is based on Pagosa Springs. People we knew that grew up there worked 2-3 jobs all the time and those 2-3 went to locals first unless you had connections. And the pay relative to cost of living wasn't there.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,881 posts, read 9,630,006 times
Reputation: 4957
I keep hearing over and over about how retired people have so much money and drive prices up. I have to wonder where that idea came from?

My husband and I are retired because I'm 66 and he's 70. We quit working because we were tired, not because we had so much money. We are not rich; we have less income than when we were working. We bought our houses when we were working. Now we live on pensions and are about to start receiving Social Security. I guess we have more money than some because we both had professional jobs and were able to build up retirement income.

We know lots of people in Buena Vista who are our ages and still working. Some full time and some just pick up odd jobs here and there to supplement their income. Everyone we know lives in modest houses. Maybe all the rich ones are in Salida?????
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:10 PM
 
20,853 posts, read 39,085,412 times
Reputation: 19115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post
I keep hearing over and over about how retired people have so much money and drive prices up. I have to wonder where that idea came from?

My husband and I are retired because I'm 66 and he's 70. We quit working because we were tired, not because we had so much money. We are not rich; we have less income than when we were working. We bought our houses when we were working. Now we live on pensions and are about to start receiving Social Security. I guess we have more money than some because we both had professional jobs and were able to build up retirement income.

We know lots of people in Buena Vista who are our ages and still working. Some full time and some just pick up odd jobs here and there to supplement their income. Everyone we know lives in modest houses. Maybe all the rich ones are in Salida?????
No, most retirees aren't driving anything up, save the blood pressure for a handful of bitter old cranks who resent that ANYONE else has something nice. Ignore the hateful voices of a few bitter malcontents and trolls. As the Traveling Gnome says on his TV ads..... go and smell the roses, of which life has plenty for us all.

GO AND SMELL THE ROSES FOLKS
Travelocity Go and Smell the Roses: New TV Commercials - Travelocity Travel Blog
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:04 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,539,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugnuts View Post
This is my fault of course. I mean, it's not like someone was holding a gun to my head, keeping me from going up. It's just that you have to work so hard to have any free time to take advantage of what the state has to offer. It's tough. I suppose todays experience is sort of a metaphor of what life up here is like. So I will remain conflicted.
Yes that is the Catch 22 of living in mountain towns, you might end up working so much you never really experience what you are living in. The first year or two I did quite a lot of exploring but then caught up in trying and succeeding in making a decent living and i'd get so burnt out on the grind of the busy seasons I would leave in the off season anyways. Can't complain. Got a lot of valuable life and work experience I use to this day and was able to do some world traveling and I did experience a lot of Colorado, but I think I could have done more locally and taken a few more days off.

I realized that if I stayed, I'd never own a real home and if I did, I'd be so financially strapped it would not be worth it. I look at my relatives in Vail, buying the house they recently did and having to work 5 jobs to just make ends meet, just so they can live there. Not worth it to me. I can always visit. You can't eat the scenery.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 979,746 times
Reputation: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
.... You can't eat the scenery.
Funny. The last thing my mom said to me when I left for Colorado was: "You can't eat the view son"

Turns out she was right.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:40 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,797,284 times
Reputation: 9132
Well, affluent retirees often DO drive real estate prices up in many areas of Colorado--that is a statistically provable reality. This is not a "bash" against some of those folks. Many of them worked hard, invested wisely, lived below their means for years (decades), and, because of that, they have the financial resources to outbid most other folks for real estate. That part is a fading reality because each succeeding generation since the "Greatest Generation" is collectively going to have less net worth in real dollars, so the long-term prognosis for the another "boom" in Colorado real estate prices is going to be pretty low. We're in the middle of a "dead-cat-bounce" right now because of the sea of funny money the Fed is pouring into the economy, but that is not sustainable. I'm hoping to liquidate the last of my Colorado real estate holdings during this last little drunken binge in the Colorado real estate market before the big and long hangover sets in. One reason that I think that I will be able to do this, quite bluntly, is because of the "stupid factor" that a lot of uninformed out-of-state buyers bring to the Colorado real estate economy. Those out-of-staters are quite often gullible enough to believe that, because real estate values in place "X" that they came from are ridiculously high, Colorado's "only" half-ridiculous prices are a bargain. They fail to take into account that, very likely, the place that they moved from has an economy healthy enough to support those high prices and they ignore the fact that much of the Colorado economy usually does not.

As to the "Colorado or bust" mentality, it usually exacts a harsh toll on people who can't (or won't) try to understand Colorado's economic realities, especially those pining for those "idyllic" resort or mountain rural areas that out-of-staters continually have their little wet dreams about. Like the old saying goes, "Best way to have small fortune in Colorado--start with a big one."
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,881 posts, read 9,630,006 times
Reputation: 4957
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Well, affluent retirees often DO drive real estate prices up in many areas of Colorado--that is a statistically provable reality.
Affluent people of ANY age have enough money to buy at a higher price than people with less money.
It used to be people from California who made a killing in real estate would come to Colorado and be able to afford to pay more, so we had bumper stickers that said "Don't Californicate Colorado".

Who are you going to start blaming in another ten years???
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:29 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,797,284 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post

Who are you going to start blaming in another ten years???
Unfortunately, a lot of the blame rests (and will continue to rest) with Colorado's legislative hostility toward Colorado's long-time residents and a way-too-easy-to-amend State Constitution that has aggravated the problem.

Consider what has happened in the last 30 years:

Colorado's property tax system is severely biased against industry and commercial property owners, while residential effective property tax rates are so low that residential property owners often pay less in property taxes than they consume in government services. This "benefit" is even conferred on out-of-state second-residence property owners who contribute relatively little in other taxes to government-supported services. Not surprisingly, Colorado is viewed as a "tax haven" state by non-productive retirees and trust-funders, but one increasingly unfriendly to productive industry--especially capital/equipment-intensive industries.

Colorado penalizes its residents with high vehicle registration fees--those fees having to pay for highway expansion that, in many cases, is necessary to accommodate tourist traffic that pays no Colorado motor vehicle fees other than fuel taxes. Those registration fees were significantly raised in the last few years, with no corresponding increase in fuel taxes, the latter which actually WOULD place some burden on non-residents using Colorado roads.

Since Colorado's Legislature is dominated by the metropolitan counties (those increasingly populated by relatively recent transplants from other states), there has been a continual stream of legislation enacted that is wholly or partly hostile to rural Colorado residents and industries. Not surprisingly, rural Coloradans who actually have to make a living in local economies (unlike the retired/recreational transplants who don't have to rely on local employment) find their own home towns to be increasingly economically hostile places in which to live.

Like many other Western states, Colorado has a serious problem with illegal immigrants flooding into the state--many of them who have figured out how to "game" the system to receive all nature of government services and benefits while evading many of the taxes that would help to pay for them. The possible forthcoming federal "amnesty" for those illegals will only "legitimize" that burden on the legal resident taxpayers of Colorado and make it permanent.

Colorado's continuing bias toward the land developer interests is totally reprehensible. The "system" effectively privatizes the profits of land development to the developers, while the costs are socialized upon the existing taxpayers--many of them people who never asked for, supported, or could profit from the land development. Small wonder that many long-time Coloradans are hostile toward growth and land development that mostly benefits transplants from out of state.

The list could go on, but that is a pretty good sampling of what's gone wrong in Colorado. Sadly, since there is little evidence that anything will be done to change it, a lot of long-time Coloradans (like me) are increasingly choosing to leave--leaving the state increasingly to be dominated by the people/interests who are doing the most to wreck the place.
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