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Old 08-03-2016, 09:46 AM
 
169 posts, read 138,368 times
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My family currently lives in the NYC metro area and my significant other and I have fairly well-paying jobs for the area— far from wealthy, but very comfortable and able to sock away a decent savings. In fact, the past year has allowed us to really get ahead in terms of paying off student loans and increasing our savings.

Currently, we rent and hope to make a decision in the next year as to where to put down roots permanently. The dilemma is do you stay in a high-cost of living area, buy a house, and take on the high taxes that come with it or do you take your savings that you made from an area like NYC and move to a lower cost of living area where you get more house and lower taxes? The downside is we would, of course, be making significantly less, but at that point, our savings would get us much further than staying in a high-cost of living area. But there's always that fear that you're giving up something by leaving a well-paying job, even if the cost of living is really high.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:53 AM
 
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It depends on what is more important to you. If you can't imagine living in a place without nice amenities and access to big city activities, you may want to stay in a place with a higher cost of living. If saving money is more important, and you can live without the city lifestyle, you may want to move to a cheaper location.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,238 posts, read 11,879,583 times
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Where does your more extended family live? How long have you been in the NYC area - do you have a deep network of friends and family and business connections? What lifestyle do you prefer?

You are lucky enough to be able to afford to live where you are currently living, if that's the lifestyle you prefer. If yes, then stay where you are. If not, then start looking into relocation and see whether there are jobs available in the areas you would consider. And do your research to see if they are as affordable as you think. I know where I currently live in Denver, many people are shocked to find out how expensive it actually is to live here. Not NYC or SF expensive, but it's high. Don't move someplace with unrealistic expectations of what living there would be.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Madison, WI
74 posts, read 103,392 times
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My family is wrestling with this very challenge right now.

Currently in Chicago (which I acknowledge is not nearly as expensive as NYC and surrounding areas). Chicago, at least in the areas we'd be interested in buying a home, is becoming increasingly difficult for the middle class.

So, we are considering options in other areas, particularly Madison, WI, which offers the quality of life (house, schools, commute, safety, walkability) we believe we want for our family.

The equation for us looks like this: The family life we want is in Madison, but the careers we want are in Chicago. We are struggling frankly to sort out what is most important. We could compromise in Chicago to get quality of life - i.e., suburbs, but that comes with sacrificing the things we love about living in the city.

I think really at the end of the day it comes down to what's most important to you as a family. For me, I'm leaning toward finding a more affordable life outside Chicago, because as our family grows I'm placing more emphasis on raising my kids, being able to spend time w/ them, etc...and caring less about career trajectory or trendy restaurants.

Good luck in your decision. May be helpful for this discussion to know a little more about what areas you would consider relocating to under the low cost/low pay scenario?
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:17 AM
 
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What are the areas that you are considering, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:22 AM
 
169 posts, read 138,368 times
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All good points. We used to live in the city for years but have since moved out to the suburbs. Honestly, I find the suburbs to be more exhausting than the city. Going anywhere involves running the gauntlet of traffic and congestion. I think, at this point in life, a less congested, slower area would suit us better. And, to answer one of the questions above, we're not very close to family where we are now and would certainly like to be a bit closer. It's just always a bit nerve-racking to think we might be giving up a really good thing job-wise to make a move to a less frantic life. We've been on the other side of it where it took us awhile to find jobs and had to worry over every penny.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,100 posts, read 2,144,456 times
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DSMHawk has some good points. If its a simply money percentage, then it may be a wash. However, there are often many other items to consider on the periphery of those places that may not be immediately apparent. Higher COL places often come with a broader range of activities and employment options while lower COL places may lack those same opportunities.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:29 AM
 
169 posts, read 138,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
What are the areas that you are considering, if you don't mind me asking?
It's all so preliminary at this point that we don't have a list yet. I always use the example of a place like Charlottesville, VA. I don't know enough about this area to know if we would really want to live there. It just seemed like a nice, middle-of-the-road (not too hectic, not too slow) kind of place when we visited.

The other problem is that most of our family is in the mid-Atlantic region, which isn't exactly slow-paced, but certainly better than the NYC area.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:34 AM
 
169 posts, read 138,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSMHawk View Post
I think really at the end of the day it comes down to what's most important to you as a family. For me, I'm leaning toward finding a more affordable life outside Chicago, because as our family grows I'm placing more emphasis on raising my kids, being able to spend time w/ them, etc...and caring less about career trajectory or trendy restaurants.
That's exactly how we have been feeling. We really want to put more of an emphasis on family at this point and really don't care as much about trendy restaurants. We're also willing to slow down the careers a bit, or at least one of us if that makes more sense.

By the way, I've heard nothing but good things about Madison.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:35 AM
 
56,913 posts, read 81,260,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT356 View Post
It's all so preliminary at this point that we don't have a list yet. I always use the example of a place like Charlottesville, VA. I don't know enough about this area to know if we would really want to live there. It just seemed like a nice, middle-of-the-road (not too hectic, not too slow) kind of place when we visited.

The other problem is that most of our family is in the mid-Atlantic region, which isn't exactly slow-paced, but certainly better than the NYC area.
Charlottesville may be a good fit then. Perhaps the I-81/Shenandoah Valley corridor of western VA may also be worth a look(i.e.- Harrisonburg, Staunton, Blacksburg/Christiansburg, Radford, etc.). What about places further inland in the mid Atlantic, as they are likely to be more affordable?
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