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Old 03-24-2016, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Missouri
2 posts, read 1,187 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello all. Iíve spent some time reading the forum, looking for information. I also picked up on the type of questions everyone asks, so I hope this is detailed enough. Short version, my doctor has suggested I move to San Francisco. I have allergies and asthma that land me in the hospital, and they canít treat because of medication ingredients I am allergic to. She says SF has the best climate for my health. This is no surprise to me. The last 6 years all my vacations have been to the central and northern coast of CA. Thereís no doubt I feel better there.

However, I am realistic about the cost of living. At 38 I have no desire for roommates. I donít care how small a space is (really) but I am paying off student loans and saving for retirement. I currently make $50,000 as a social worker in Missouri, with no benefits. Looking at other cities, my salary will go up some, or for some like Portland, it looks like it might go down. Financially it makes more sense to stay here, but Iím tired of not being well.

I know no place has climate just like the CA coast. Iím looking (hopefully) for something similar. I do not do well in the heat; over 80 and Iím staying inside here. The humidity here also gets me bad, even when itís not as hot. I visited family in Nevada growing up, and it wasnít as bad there, but I need to be indoors or in the shade in the summer afternoons. So Iím thinking of someplace out West. Iíve never been out East, but Iím open to ideas. I do great in the cold. No allergies when it's all frozen!

Other things I care about. Iím into a lot of holistic, natural healing, and living a healthy lifestyle. Simple, relaxed lifestyle. Iím a liberal Christian. Iím also a lesbian, and it would be nice to live someplace with other middle age single lesbians so I can date. Even better if I can date in a place where there are no worries about being fired or kicked out of my apartment for being gay.

I donít care about shopping, clothes, entertainment, bars, etc. I prefer to spend most of my time outside. Itís really hard here that Iím trapped indoors so much. Plus people here (in general) arenít interested in an outdoor, healthy lifestyle. I love to be near the water. On my vacations out West I love how you can visit different landscapes and climates within a few hours. Here in MO itís all the same in every direction for at least a dayís drive. I prefer the suburbs here, because at least here thereís little nature in the city. I know, though, that there will be advantages to living in a city for at least a few years after moving, so Iím looking for one with a great parks system (lots of trails) and easy access to nature outside it.

Iím looking to move in the next 2 years, and plan to use vacations to scope places out. If anyone has suggestions for me, I would really appreciate it.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,827,316 times
Reputation: 2858
Check out Portland, ME.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:19 PM
 
3,597 posts, read 1,527,009 times
Reputation: 3028
Asheville, NC
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:48 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 3,230,503 times
Reputation: 7265
Portland OR and Portland ME always seem to rank the best places to live for people with allergies. Both much cheaper then Bay Area and I think you'd be comfortable living in both. ME does get a lot of snow though. Colorado is also supposed to be good for allergies (basically any dry mountain region). I live in Los Angeles and my wife also has debilitating allergies that result in her being bed ridden for a few days at least every 2 months so we have done a lot of research about that.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:15 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,437,888 times
Reputation: 12307
What about Ventura? It's on the coast. Sample jobs:

https://www.governmentjobs.com/caree...=social+worker
http://www.cmhshealth.org/careers/job_search.shtm
lhttp://www.clinicas.org/content/job-openings/licensed-clinical-social-worker
Career & Job Listings for Vista Del Mar in Ventura
Dignity Health Careers | Job Search
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:29 PM
 
613 posts, read 977,964 times
Reputation: 704
Look further north into WA. Preferably areas along the Puget Sound. From Olympia to the south and Bellingham to the north. Good luck, wherever you decide.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,723 posts, read 1,138,882 times
Reputation: 1294
With a 50K salary there are options for you along the central coast. Either Monterey county or Santa Cruz county will be do-able.
I don't know what your rental budget is and i know that the Monterey bay area is expensive (not as bad as S.F. though!) but it's a great place to live. In Monterey county consider Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. In Santa Cruz county, do consider the entire county and don't limit yourself to S.C. proper.
Santa Cruz county is very liberal, tolerant, open and very health conscious. It's very bike friendly and there are endless miles of hiking / mountain biking trails that are very accessible.
And i can get to the Truckee / Tahoe area for cold and snow in less than 41/2 hours.
And re; your sexual orientation ..... no problem in either counties particularly S.C. county which, at one time, had one of the largest percentage of lesbians in the country ... i think second only to Northhampton, MA.
Not only is the county very lgbt friendly, it's a place where many women of all ages begin again. There are many single women in the county both gay and straight, young and old.
I'm not sure what you're allergic to however re; the natural environment.
And re; S.F., if you have a sensitive system, living in a city with all of the air pollution isn't the best option imo. I understand why your doctor would recommend the climate of S.F. but i don't understand why he/she would recommend city living for someone with asthma.
There is also the option of coastal communities in Sonoma county (north of S.F.) but it may be difficult to find work.
Whatever you do and no matter who suggests it, avoid Sacramento and all areas of the central valley in CA. Very bad air quality and horribly hot in the summer. But again, the air is not good!
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Missouri
2 posts, read 1,187 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you all for the replies! I tried to post one last night, but it wouldn't save. Weird.

Blueskywalker, it's good to hear that my salary would get me by in Monterey or Santa Cruz County. When I pushed my doctor (since I'm not a big city person) she said that anywhere along the central or northern coast of CA would be great. She liked SF because I would have access to more doctors. I care more about holistic practitioners. I've always felt at home when I travel in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties; the lifestyle seems a good fit. I've been worried about saving for retirement on my salary, although it would probably go up some if I moved (but so would taxes...). I currently pay $900 for rent and utilities. I'm guessing it would double if I moved to CA. Without a raise that would prohibit me from saving for retirement, at least until my student loans are paid off, or I had a job with cheap health insurance.

I've also considered the PNW. All that rain seems like it would help keep the pollen out of the air. I went to Seattle years ago and really liked it. I've been considering a trip in the winter so I can get a feel for how "dark and gloomy" it really gets. I actually like partially cloudy, rainy weather. Liking it for months on end might be different, but I figure it I got tired of it I could just cross over the mountains to the drier side of the state for the weekend. Portland, OR sounds great, but it looks like my salary would go down, despite the COL going up, so I have some reservations. I'm going to look into it more.

I'm also going to check out the other places mentioned. I see my doctor in a few months for a check up, and will run some of these places by her. The weather here has been great for a week, but the pollen counts are so high I'm locked inside. I feel like I'm wilting and putting on weight. I look forward to a healthier climate!
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,664,674 times
Reputation: 35449
This is going to be a negative post regarding Portland but as someone who has recently relocate to another city for many of the reasons I think you should consider not moving there, I just felt I should share. Just keep this in mind while you are making your relocation decisions.

I am including a link for information regarding seasonal allergies in Portland. The rest of the year is not so great either. there is constant mold from the ever present rain as well as the pollution from the ever increasing traffic that could effect your asthma. My allergies and asthma grew steadily worse while I lived there. One thing I would advise is to take an allergy test panel before thinking of moving there to see if you would react to the many pollutants that exist which include the types of grass, trees, mold, pollen etc.

If you do decide to move there, there are many allergy clinics that will be able to treat you for your problems. You will need them if allergies, especially asthma, is a big problem for you. I went to an excellent pulmonologist for asthma. She told me over the years, her patient load continued to increase because of the air pollution both man made and those increased by climate changes. I suffered for years and it only got worse.

This and the ever increasing COL with which I could not keep up, is why after 40 years of living in Portland I am now in Cleveland where not only are my expenses much lower but oddly enough my allergies and asthma have improved probably because the cold winter months kills the pollen.

Ore. worst state in US for allergy sufferers right now
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,723 posts, read 1,138,882 times
Reputation: 1294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleQ View Post
Thank you all for the replies! I tried to post one last night, but it wouldn't save. Weird.

Blueskywalker, it's good to hear that my salary would get me by in Monterey or Santa Cruz County. When I pushed my doctor (since I'm not a big city person) she said that anywhere along the central or northern coast of CA would be great. She liked SF because I would have access to more doctors. I care more about holistic practitioners. I've always felt at home when I travel in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties; the lifestyle seems a good fit. I've been worried about saving for retirement on my salary, although it would probably go up some if I moved (but so would taxes...). I currently pay $900 for rent and utilities. I'm guessing it would double if I moved to CA. Without a raise that would prohibit me from saving for retirement, at least until my student loans are paid off, or I had a job with cheap health insurance.
Yes, it's expensive on most of the California coast.
San Luis Obispo county is on the central coast (to the south) but it's just a bit less expensive.
And the coastal communities that are farther to the north that will be somewhat less expensive (like in Sonoma and Mendocino counties - although still not cheap) are more remote and less populated and it will be difficult to find work for you i would imagine.

This is just my opinion but if you feel "at home" around the Monterey bay area (or anywhere for that matter) i wouldn't take that lightly. Feeling at home in a place is a special thing. A place that you resonate with can bring connections and opportunities that you wouldn't find in a place where you don't feel that way. I understand your need to be practical and grounded. But sometimes (always for me) moving from within and following your own internal guidance system and/or Heart is a very good thing even when it seems to be at odds with the practical side of your nature. Just food for thought.
I just quickly (i'm real good and fast at this 'cause i've done it so many times) pulled these listings off of craigslist to give you a sense of what you can find in the Monterey bay area. It will certainly be more expensive than Missouri but it is doable especially if you're willing to lower your expectations / standards about the kind of housing you will be able to afford and be very frugal in other aspects of your life. It may be worth it. I'm assuming that you don't have a dog. If so, finding a place will be all the more difficult.

In Monterey county:

PG furnished guesthouse--short/long term available

MONTEREY GREAT BAY and Ocean VIEW apartments

Private luxurious Carmel Valley Partially Furnished Large Studio /1 Bath

One Bedroom, One Bath in Pacific Grove!

In Santa Cruz county:

Studio in Victorian Home Downtown SC

Seabright studio 1150

1 bdrm apt. by the beach & yacht harbor

AVAILABLE NOW- 1 Bd 1 Ba - QUIET-OCEAN PEEKS
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