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Old 12-05-2011, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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I live in a rural area, and I try to avoid the cities as much as possible.

I can not offer any kind of comparison impressions between the urban areas of Maine.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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forest beekeeper,

I appreciate the good info. What are the main jobs in rural Maine? I ask because I live in the south and I imagine they are much different. I'm always interested in other people and places. What is it you do if I can ask? I'm always trying to learn as much as I can from other people and their experiences. Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co95 View Post
forest beekeeper,

Thanks for the info. Which of the Maine cities are doing better in terms of economy? This kind of info is hard to pin down since one has to actually be in the state to really understand the areas concerned. I really don't want to move someplace is is overly economically depressed. Everyplace is hurting a little, but some places are almost dead economically.
Portland would be your best bet for a job if you want to move to Maine. The bulk of any job ad is in Portland or surrounding area. It's the largest city here, but still small. Bangor, Augusta, Lewiston-Auburn -- those are going to be your next biggest areas, but for anyone who's lived in states with large metropolitan areas, these cities are going to seem very small.

New Hampshire is more populated than Maine, but still offers an opportunity to live or get away from it all. That said, the rural areas tend to be north and west of the Nashua-Manchester-Salem block of the state, as southern NH is sort the northern extension of Boston's commuting community. From southern NH, you can easily reach jobs in MA, yet you can drive north for skiing, hunting, visiting Maine or whatever else floats your outdoor boat. It is true the coastline is very small, but there's still opportunity to go to the beach if that moves you. The water up here is cold though, be warned!

Maine is less populated and much larger, so pockets of "civilization" are scattered. I absolutely love where I am (near Belfast, a very small city), but where I am also does not afford for a lot of jobs, though a nurse would likely find something. For IT, you're gonna want to stay near Portland or be sure you have a good lead on something else before committing elsewhere, if that's the field you want to stay in. As mentioned before, Maine was struggling even before the great recession, and things are still rough. It's not particularly cheaper to live here than NH, though were you move is obviously a factor, and you do have taxes. Farming, something to do with lumber, tourism or holding down a lot of seasonal jobs are probably what many people "do" for a living if they are in a rural area. I must emphasize that the job situation is a bit rough here and the pay scales tend to be on the rather low side of things. It's not a booming area and things reflect that.

Maine probably has an older population overall than NH. A lot of people come here to retire and some don't leave in the winter. Cities will have more of an age mix, naturally.

Maine strikes me as more conservative than NH, but that said, there's a lot of younger "granola" types who come here to stay too. Farming, especially organic/local food/sustainable practices, are important in this area. Farmer's markets abound.

It is easier and quicker to be in the "country" in Maine than in say, southern NH, and lordly, does Maine have coastline, but the relief from being constantly surrounded by city does come with the price of good paying work being harder to find (sometimes REALLY hard) and a longer ride to get to.

If you don't need ocean but really want a better chance of finding a good paying job within reasonable commuting distance, NH is probably your better bet, especially for someone coming from a metropolitan area with the hopes of buying a house and diving back into the job market. If you have a stash of cash you can live off of for a long bit while you find or make work, and want to get away from it all and be surrounded by easy access to natural beauty and feel NH is too crowded for you -- try rural Maine. If you want a balance between southern NH and the openness (read: less people) of southern NH with all the amenities of a short drive to mountains or the ocean or woods in the middle of nowhere, try Portland.

But do try to line up a job first, regardless, it'll make your move so much less stressful. Anywhere in Northern New England that isn't connected to a major metropolitan area (like Boston/Nashua/Manchester) may not be dead, but most are in hibernation until the economy swings in the other direction.

Good luck. No matter where you go in New England, it's pretty damn nifty up here.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
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From what I have seen over the past year or so Bangor is not economaclly depressed. They recently voted in a $65 million commitment to build a new Arena. Well known acts are performed on the Waterfront each summer with more added each year. I guess someone has the money to pay for all of this. Now if they would just fix our roads.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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50% of Maine's population lives within 50 miles of Portland. Half of that area is ocean!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Maine at last
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I think Maine is in the distinct process of reinventing itself and it seems to be working in certain areas. The spirit and determination is certainly there in abundance. And there is an enormous amount of skilled workers in the state. New Hampshire is nice but getting pretty crowded. Maine is wide open and very inviting-a great way of life. As Forest stated there are plenty of hospitals for possible employment. The coast is more expensive than inland where you can find very good deals on housing. You won't regret it I don't think. The people are nice, prices manageable, and the weather is great most of the time. The winter months get a little desolate for several weeks with the cold but if you like outdoor activities you won't be too bored. Good Luck!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co95 View Post
forest beekeeper,

I appreciate the good info. What are the main jobs in rural Maine?
Maine has over 3,000 miles of coast line. Tourism is big in Maine [though mostly along the coast].

The population of Maine is older, so we have more folks on pension. I moved here on pension.

I see a number of people who are doing the organic veggie production thing, but there is no real 'money' in it. They do it because they drank the koolaid and think they should be doing it to lessen carbon footprints, help the gay whales and whatnot.

A lot of people have two or more p/t jobs.



Quote:
... I ask because I live in the south and I imagine they are much different. I'm always interested in other people and places. What is it you do if I can ask?
I have a pension income, and I sell organic produce.

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:06 PM
 
131 posts, read 358,571 times
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We moved up from South Carolina and have been extremely happy. Maine is a wonderful state! We love the people, climate, and landscape. We have managed to both find jobs that we enjoy and that support us and have even found our dream home. Now if we could just get our family to move here from Ohio and Colorado, life would be PERFECT!!!
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:07 PM
 
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Wow! Everyone has really given some awesome info here, and I truly appreciate your time and effort.

I'm not old yet but I'm getting there. I'm in my mid-forties, and IT is beginning to maybe not work for me. I had to abandon a really good career to help family, but family always comes first, so no regrets there, but by doing so, I became stagnant and I lost my IT mojo from being out of a real IT job for so long (five years).

Someone mentioned Bar Harbor. Is that area a possibility or is it purely tourism up there? Portland does seem to be a nice smaller city. I live in a 90,000 population city now, so moving to Portland wouldn't be a downgrade for me. Moving to a 1000 population city would be culture shock.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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Jackson Labs is in and around Bar Harbor. They are a large employer and often have job openings. They do genetic research and find the causes of diseases. You don't need a doctorate in molecular biology to work there. There are many other good jobs.
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