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Old 01-12-2020, 01:06 PM
8 posts, read 3,199 times
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Husband and I have spent last 15 years in Iowa due what was to be a short term job transfer/U.S.economy issues. Have inherited parent's house in St. Clair Shores, about a mile from Lake St. Clair. We are both native Detroit suburb people in our late 50's and will need to keep working a few more years. Have to make decision soon regarding house in Michigan. Is the job market as tight as it was 15 years ago? Husband works in finance/banking. Is St. Clair Shores coming back at all? We noticed younger couples moving in when we were last home this past summer. Is the area still reasonably safe or have Roseville/Detroit kept encroaching on the area? (we lived in Roseville for about 5 years before we moved in 2005 - it was getting sketchy then) We miss home and the house there suits our needs, but Iowa is said to have a much better unemployment rate. (That's about the only plus for us here currently !)
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:11 PM
1,071 posts, read 1,211,919 times
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There are a few things to unpack there:

1) St. Clair Shores is one of the more desirable inner-ring communities in Macomb County. It's held its own, has its own identify with the association and proximity to Lake St. Clair, has a decent commerical district, and close proximity to many major employment centers around Metro Detroit due to its location at I-94 & I-696. Easy to get to Warren & downtown Detroit, even Southfield too. Property values in St. Clair Shores are higher than many other inner ring suburbs in Macomb - better than Roseville, parts of Warren, etc. Crime is really a non-issue, no worse that most of the rest of suburban Metro Detroit.

2) The job market in general is better than what it was 15 years ago, however macro-level numbers and metrics don't mean much as everyones' specific situation will vary. There are certain fields that are super-hot right now and that is going to very a lot by industry. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to say it you will be fighting agism/age discrimination attempting to find a new job in your late-50s either out of pure age, out of "over-experience", or employers shying away from somewhat they perceive to be retiring in the next 7-10 years. Its not right but its real. Thus, I would really hesistate to give up whatever you having going without having something lined-up in Metro Detroit. It may not be any easy go without any good leads or networking.

3) Are you at a point in your life when you want to start over? Not just jobs, but also making new friends, figuring out a ne community, and overall re-establishing yourself. Think about what you may miss from Iowa.

It very well could be a good idea if you really want to get back to Metro Detroit. It could work really well. It could also be very challenging. That could be said for just about any move though.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:23 PM
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I wouldn't up and change my whole life because you inherited a house

I'm sorry for whatever personal losses you have incurred that brought about the inheritance, but that in itself is not a sufficient reason to move -- IMO.

Moving is a major stress, as well as a major expense. A general rule-of-thumb to estimate moving expenses is 10% of the selling price of your home. Don't ask me where that came from, but its seems to be true for all the moves I've made over the years. Say you sell your current dwelling for $300,000, you would incur $30,000 in moving costs

I guess it just depends on how much you want to move into the inherited house. Is it a Lake Shore Drive mansion? Or just a standard dwelling?

Just my opinions---I would consider selling the home and taking the profits as a retirement savings.


Rent the Michigan home for a positive cash flow, and decide later, in retirement, if you would like to move back.

Good Luck with your decision!
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:28 PM
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Thank you for the well thought out responses.
Husband and I have no family and no connections here in Iowa. Truth be known, we have been trying to move back to Michigan (or at least away from Iowa!) for about 13 of the last 15 years. Iowa, particularly Des Moines and the West Des Moines area, trends very, very young, so ageism has been a reality ever since my husband lost his transfer job (federal reserve position) after less than 2 years. The deal was 3 years and then back to Detroit branch or another fed. Instead he was severanced before he was even 45. In the past 12 years, I have had one job, he has had 6. Three were temp jobs that choose to go with younger people when the contracts termed and the other 3 places closed due to changes in the economy (A dept for foreclosures for Wells Fargo during the housing/mortgage crisis, a student loan collection agency, and a credit company that moved out of state. Let's just say, maybe there is a photo circulating out there somewhere that tells people if you hire this man, you will likely close!).

Anyhow, the housing market here is very hot, the economy is great (if you are under 35), the area is growing, and the weather is considerably milder than Michigan, but on the other hand, we have really made no serious friendships here, the quality of produce is awful, the politics leans WAAAAY too liberal for us, the water quality could give Flint a run for their money in the "lousy" dept., restaurants are either chain or super expensive, and the Mississippi and Missouri are no replacement for the Great Lakes.

Lots to consider at such a late point in our work life. But, we figure we have one more move left in us and we desperately want out of Iowa..
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:04 AM
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The thing is that Detroit is much larger than Des Moines and the population is older as well. A lot of young people moved out during the 00's and never moved back when the economy got better. It sounds like there's a different dynamic in play where you are at.

I went college here in Michigan and graduated in the late 1990's. I'm the only one of my college friend group that's still in Michigan. Everyone else either moved out of state because out of state was "home" or they moved out of state for better job opportunities. Now that everyone has jobs and families, they aren't interested in uprooting their lives to move back.

Being older isn't a problem because most of the population is older.

The area is a lot different than when you left. Detroit is a boom town in many respects. It's a place where people want to move to, not move out of. SCS is still safe. When I lived in SCS in 2005-2007ish, it was the south side of the city that had a few issues with crime and encroachment. However, it was still a safe place to live.

And it was before the 2008 recession/the bailouts hit the area and Detroit's bankruptcy. The job market isn't as tight as it was in the past. There are a lot more opportunities than there were back in the 2000's.

SCS wouldn't be a bad place to land, considering that this area is much larger than Des Moines.

(I have a friend who works remotely for Wells Fargo and he's been very blunt about his opinion of Des Moines. He says it's a nice city, but really small and not much there and has the same complaints about the lack of restaurants....he's okay with visiting, but would never live there. He likes the Detroit area much better.....for what it's worth).
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:35 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,408 posts, read 67,509,679 times
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Your husband might look at Quicken loans. They always seem to be hiring and they are huge. They seem to need anyoen with experience in the mortgage/financing industry. I have a friend who works there and loves it. As long as you are not in sales, it appears they treat people decently.

St. Clair Shore can be a really nice place to live, especially if you do not have to worry about schools. Name partner in a law-firm I was with for a while lived in St. Clair shores for 20 or more years even though he could afford to live pretty much anywhere. He eventually bought a giant house in Grosse Pointe, but it was because he wanted a giant house, not because he did not like St. Clair shores.

Only real downside I see with St. Clair shores is it is in Macomb county and all the corruption in county and local government would tick me off. It does seem to be getting better slowly though. Being on the lake is nice, maybe you can find a boat club or somewhere you can keep a boat on the water.

Yes, ageism is a reality here as well. It is just a fact, companies do not want to hire someone into a high level position where it takes years to get fully up to speed, just to have them retire a few years later. They are also aware older people are more likely to have health issues and require time off or drive up medical costs. I recently changed jobs (5 years ago) at age 52. It was difficult to find a position and after coming here, I have heard some people wondering why they hired someone so old (and expensive) rather than hiring a younger/cheaper person. You will have to deal with that. Fortunately the job market here is quite good (except for some service industries like lawyers where there are just too many). Also fortunately if your husbands experience is in mortgages which is appears, we ahve the biggest mortgage company int he world right downtown and the seem to be always hiring at many levels.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:00 AM
Location: Central Mass
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I've got a friend who lives just across the border in Harrison Twp. She's been there for years and commutes downtown.

I don't know anyone in finance though.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:53 PM
Location: Southeast Michigan
1,428 posts, read 1,160,636 times
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I'm sorry to hear that you are both so very unhappy in Des Moines, and for such a long time. Has your husband put out any feelers for employment in SE Michigan? I hope that ageism won't be a problem for him, in terms of job opportunities. It might depend on the type of job/earnings you need.

Life is too short to stay in a place where you are miserable.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:39 PM
212 posts, read 188,752 times
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I left the Detroit area when I remarried, and was gone for 15 years. We returned in 2017 to be closer to kids (only one of whom lives in Michigan, but the others are within a day trip).

I too missed the Great Lakes. I missed the texture of Detroit. I missed the close proximity of fine arts, big concert venues, and major league sports (such as they are, right?) I missed going to games at the Big House. I missed Lebanese food. I missed Lipuma's Coney in Rochester. I missed being home.

And there is a LOT to say - intangible of course - about the value of being back home. I learned, in those years away, that there are many great places to live, but only one home town. (And technically I don't live in my home town, but close enough!)
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:24 PM
8 posts, read 3,199 times
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Wonderful food for thought!
See? Only Michiganders "get" what being from Michigan is about. Iowans keep saying to me now that my mother has died and I no longer have an elder to care for in Michigan, "So, when are you selling the Michigan house? At least you won't have to go back THERE again." If I said something like that about Iowa, they would lose their minds!
Corn, hogs, corn, small town mentality in a medium size major city, corn, John Deere, corn, lack luster restaurants, corn, Wells Fargo, corn, insurance companies, corn, ponds that are called "lakes", corn, farm team sports, and more corn. What's not to love?!?
The funny thing about Quicken Loans is that it is in the same building the Fed was in where my husband worked for over 20 years. (He knows where all the bodies are buried! shhhh!)

Much thanks for taking time to put your 2 cents in! Your opinions are invaluable.
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