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Old 03-27-2016, 04:38 PM
Location: Shelton, CT
5 posts, read 2,207 times
Reputation: 10


Hello, I hope that nobody minds a couple of cross-posts. I would like to try to find information about a few states that I had in mind. Washington is high on the list.

I have been out of work for many years due to some mild partial disabilities. I would like to remedy that this year by starting up self-employment in the new state that I choose. In the meantime, though, I have no income and very little savings.

I would like to settle in a rural location, or, as rural as possible. I have enough saved to get through a month or two on the very-cheap, until I can secure some kind of income. If possible, I would like to avoid seeking public assistance.

I can no longer wait to move, due to my relatives, neighborhood and home state all getting absolutely unlivable, to the point where I must get out of here ASAP. To be honest, I'd prefer not to get into any debates about the reasons. I am at the final-straw point where I can't sit around trying in vain to save away, to find a bad and unstable underpaid temp job here, or to try to cope with Connecticut or my living situation in this house for any longer. It's been year after year of this, and I'm done. I must get out, and Western states are looking like the best for me.

I have basic bushcraft skills, and would be okay with a small rural town at most. Cities and suburbs are not for me. I don't have much money; but I'm willing to do what I can do for work, and am not very dependent on store-bought new stuff. I'm old-fashioned and can make do with a very bare-bones set-up.

Can anybody point me to some places where someone like me can get set up and get onto my feet? Low crime and low population are must-haves; everything else is flexible.

Thank you for your replies.

Last edited by GoodbyeCT; 03-27-2016 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:20 PM
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,631 posts, read 5,053,047 times
Reputation: 4280
Don't jump from the frying pan into the fire. Where there are jobs here, the cost of living is high. Because the rental market in the Seattle area is so tight, nobody is likely to rent to you, without income, savings, or recent work history. Where the rents are cheap, jobs are few.
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:58 PM
Location: Bit north of Seattle
50 posts, read 40,329 times
Reputation: 47
I don't think Washington's a good choice. The cost of living relatively high and housing is tight so rents are quite high. Minimum wage is higher here than most states, but when taken with the cost of living your dollar brings less than most other places.

I think you might do better one state south from here, in Oregon. It's starting to get inundated from people leaving the Midwest too, but it's not so bad yet. I would recommend looking at places south of Salem, especially the Eugene, Cottage Grove area. The agricultural season is starting up there, and there will be lots of farm jobs available for the next few months, though I don't know how that will work for you with your disabilities.

Oregon much more friendly to folks trying to find alternative/inexpensive ways of living. It's that old hippy ethos. Laws in Washington can make it hard to do. You can get hold of like-minded folks by checking on the Craigslist rooms section. Every now and then folks will advertise communal, off grid living, or some other such thing.

If this sounds at all helpful I can go hunt up my other sources for this sort of thing. If not, good luck in your search.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:42 PM
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
18,219 posts, read 8,216,730 times
Reputation: 10637
OP, what kind of self-employment?

Washington is pretty high COL in all but the most isolated places. I agree with the previous poster that Oregon is still a bit more affordable, and a bit more accepting of non-standard lifestyles.

Another factor to keep in mind is that the west side of the Cascades will generally be more expensive than the east side.

Sounds like you might need to live in your car or something for a while. If that's the case, you don't want to come here much earlier than May. Any sooner, and the wet weather would make you miserable.

Do you have disability income? Would you be comfortable in a semi-communal situation?
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:11 PM
Location: Shelton, CT
5 posts, read 2,207 times
Reputation: 10
Okay, I will keep it in mind about Oregon being a better bet in general. I was looking into Utah also, but am seeing a lot of people in that forum being advised to beware the Mormon thing. Colorado still looks like a possibility, too, although Oregon seems like way better weather.

I have skills in gardening and light landscaping, and am outdoorsy in the extreme. I was just about to set up this year's garden (big, nearly small commercial-sized) before the events that left me firmly resolved to get out of here ASAP. I would absolutely love to do anything related to farming or landscaping work, in small side-business for myself.

Primarily, I was working as a semi-pro musician before a couple of big injuries set me back for all these years. I rehabbed the injuries, for the most part; but the work is absolutely dead in that field over here. I taught lessons for 4 years, and would be willing to put up with doing so again for a while.

A bad back from an old car accident rules out construction, factory work, restaurants or retail.

I am also thinking of picking up another side-skill like leatherwork, shoe-making or stone-work. College or trade-school for these things is out of the question- I am looking into these skills as a self-taught side thing. Also wouldn't have too much trouble dealing with blowing out gutters, or leaf removal, and enjoy those kinds of tasks as well.

No, I don't use the Social Security system, and would prefer not to end up having to go through that, if I can possibly avoid it.

Would prefer to be alone and fairly remote, but could deal with a commune for a temporary thing.

Last edited by GoodbyeCT; 03-27-2016 at 09:21 PM.. Reason: forgot to add one more thing
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:58 PM
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,723 posts, read 1,139,210 times
Reputation: 1294
"Out west" is a big place.
Any natural environment that you are drawn to?
Do you care about the social scene? Conservative, liberal, arts, music, things to do, etc.?
And how much money will you have for rent?
Answers to those questions will make it a bit easier for people to give you advice.

These are photos of the the Rogue Valley in Oregon. Consider it.

Re; Utah and Mormons. Well, i don't have a problem with Mormons but if you are liberal and anything less than fairly conventional, most of Utah probably won't suit you. Salt Lake City would not be a problem but you don't want to live in a city.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:25 PM
Location: Bit north of Seattle
50 posts, read 40,329 times
Reputation: 47
I'm cutting my reply into three pieces because it's so large. Hope the City-data allows me to post it all in one day instead of flagging it as spam.

There’s rural, and there’s rural. Sounds like you’re looking for something more like the first, given that you want to make any kind of living doing things like yard work or giving music lessons, etc.

To give you a better picture;

Connecticut, which has an area of 5,543 square miles, has a population of 3,590,886, so I would imagine that out that way rural means only a few neighbors per square mile.

Okanogan County in Washington State (which at an area of 5,315 square miles is almost the same size as Connecticut) has a population of 41,290. There are many other counties out west with an even smaller population per capita.

Then there’s Wyoming, with an area of 97,000+ square miles but a population of only 586107, is the least populous state in the US.

Maybe this is more information than you need, but it’s to give you an idea that rural as possible can mean that the only way to you home is by foot or horseback and medical assistance is a day or two away, depending on weather. I have a feeling that what you think of as rural would be classified as suburbs by many westerners.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:27 PM
Location: Bit north of Seattle
50 posts, read 40,329 times
Reputation: 47
Are any of these deal breakers for you?

Heat and humidity? A problem in parts of Texas?

Short winter days - because of trees and continual cloud cover, really only 7-1/2 - 8 hours per day of mostly filtered sunlight for weeks on end while the rain drips endlessly? Many days the sun doesn’t come out at all. Some love this, some go crazy.

Slick, icy, hilly roads? If you move to a mountainous area (lots of those around here) you may see this a lot. Of course, coming from CT, you are used to winter driving conditions, but many areas here don’t have the snow/ice removal that places back east tend to.

Hot and dry? Not as bad as hot and humid, but week after week of 110 - 118 can get to some. Also, water can taste pretty alkaline, if you even have any, lol!

If you live in the outskirts of a smaller city or big town, you can generally find relative privacy while having amenities and income sources nearby. A small town out in the middle of nowhere usually means a lack of all the above.

A couple of things to watch for: Many places don’t have cell phone coverage and internet pretty costly in some places.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:28 PM
Location: Bit north of Seattle
50 posts, read 40,329 times
Reputation: 47
If you’re interested, there are places in the Midwest where the cost of living is lower and real estate is much cheaper, with as much opportunity for those with the self-employment mind set. These places have the lower population you’re looking for too. They also have much less stringent rules about what a person can do with their own land.

There are places where a person can get a small piece of land, sometimes with a small house on owner financing, some of which don’t require a credit check. There are ways to end up with your own small (in some cases, really small) house on your own lot with only 2-3K up front and payments of $300-$700/month, at a final total cost of 10-20K.

I also know of a few low-cost housing options out west too.

If you want to know more, lets take this to direct messaging. I don’t want to post the results of my research to the general forum.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:13 PM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 1 day ago)
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,297 posts, read 15,350,510 times
Reputation: 9468
Why is anyone suggesting Oregon from a cost standpoint? Western Oregon costs and Western Washington costs are about the same. Eastern Oregon can be cheaper than Eastern Washington, in places.

Once you get out of the big city corridors, job opportunities are about the same, which is to say: not great.

Unlike the east coast, there are big stretches of relatively sparsely populated land out here. Outside of the cities, making a living as a musicians is not likely (and it isn't all that likely IN the cities, either).

Oregon has very strong land use planning requirements and things like septic and water require serious permits - you can't just build a tiny shack and use the great outdoors as your bathroom.
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