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Old 01-14-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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My husband and I are 28 and 25, respectively. He's got a computer science degree, and a job he could keep for a few years, if he's willing and able to travel (which means we need to be kind of close to a not-tiny airport). His field is computers/IT/software. Eventually, he wants to teach.

I've given up on school; we discussed this in great detail, and it was not a snap decision. Since we want 5-9 kids (hopefully!), it's in the cards that at some point, I'll have to be a SAHM, and that's fine. Since I adore working in customer service (There aren't many strangers in the world!), the rough plan is for me to do something in that field, somehow, be it as a bank teller, in the medical field, whathaveyou.

We visited montana on our honeymoon this past year, and we both fell quite in love. When I'm trying to explain why we want to move, the simple answer I give is that I want my kids to grow up thinking it's not weird to bake one's own bread, dry laundry on the line, and for strip mall hell to be a rarity, instead of a given.

We'd like to live in a less populous area than we do now (it's a huge, poorly-planned mess of the capital and a cadre of suburbs - there's not a meaningful population I can give), but we'd like to not have to drive 45 minutes to the grocery store, you know?

At this point, I don't even know which region to be looking at; never mind cities.

I'm not afraid to admit that we both may have built Montana up to mythical levels in our mind, but even so, I don't feel like this is a misguided decision.

Now that we're looking at relocation without any meaningful advice, I have so much more awe for immigrants! I don't even know where to start...
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:50 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,876,324 times
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All I can advise is to visit in the winter before moving. Our area had thirty one degrees F. below zero (not with the wind chill) weeks before winter even started, jobs are scarce and pay is low.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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You know, my mom said the same thing (she and dad lived in CO, where I was born). It's like she thinks that I, someone akin to a Southerner* , will find deep cold to be something of a shock.

No idea where she gets that notion from

I am half tempted to head out that way sometime in the next month or two.




*= (I've lived in the South since I was 8)
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:15 PM
 
120 posts, read 328,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPxine View Post
You know, my mom said the same thing (she and dad lived in CO, where I was born). It's like she thinks that I, someone akin to a Southerner* , will find deep cold to be something of a shock.
Well, it can be a shock. I grew up in the desert. I went hunting with my brother once where it was, ahem, 22 degrees outside. Holy &#$! that was cold!!!! We later moved to where it would often get down to around 20 degrees in the winter. And, still later, moved to Montana where it will often (in these parts) get down to 20 below in the winter. Personally, I've acclimated well and prefer the cold. 22 degrees above zero is now a balmy summer day to me. But if I had come directly from the desert to Montana in the middle of a cold snap, I probably wouldn't be here right now.

If you search similar threads on this subject, you'll notice repeating advice. One big piece of advice is the weather. Another is the low pay, lack of jobs to go around, and in a lot of places in Montana, the high cost of owning a house relative to the low pay.

The scenery, nice people, slow lifestyle can't be beat. But you also have to consider the day-to-day problems of making a living and putting a roof over your head. Although with 9 kids, maybe you could start your own little sweat shop!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,293 posts, read 3,329,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPxine View Post
My husband and I are 28 and 25, respectively. He's got a computer science degree, and a job he could keep for a few years, if he's willing and able to travel (which means we need to be kind of close to a not-tiny airport).Right there you have limited your self to 3 areas: Billings; Bozeman and Missoula) His field is computers/IT/software. Eventually, he wants to teach.

I've given up on school; we discussed this in great detail, and it was not a snap decision. Since we want 5-9 kids (hopefully!), it's in the cards that at some point, I'll have to be a SAHM, and that's fine. Since I adore working in customer service (There aren't many strangers in the world!), the rough plan is for me to do something in that field, somehow, be it as a bank teller, in the medical field, whathaveyou.

We visited montana on our honeymoon this past year, and we both fell quite in love. When I'm trying to explain why we want to move, the simple answer I give is that I want my kids to grow up thinking it's not weird to bake one's own bread, dry laundry on the line, and for strip mall hell to be a rarity, instead of a given.

We'd like to live in a less populous area than we do now (it's a huge, poorly-planned mess of the capital and a cadre of suburbs - there's not a meaningful population I can give), but we'd like to not have to drive 45 minutes to the grocery store, you know?

At this point, I don't even know which region to be looking at; never mind cities.

I'm not afraid to admit that we both may have built Montana up to mythical levels in our mind, but even so, I don't feel like this is a misguided decision.
It will be a poor decision unless you do an extensive amount of "homework" and research on what living in Montana is REALLY like. Get on the internet and do various comparisons between Raleigh and the 3 cities I mentioned. (check out: average wage; various taxes; jobs available for women without a college degree; weather averages; etc, etc.
Now that we're looking at relocation without any meaningful advice, I have so much more awe for immigrants! I don't even know where to start...
//Please, do your homework.......and by all means visit some of these areas in "mid-winter". On the average, Colorado winters are less severe that those of Montana. I have lived in both states (almost 20 in CO & almost 30 in MT.) Good luck to you.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,524 posts, read 7,791,172 times
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"We'd like to live in a less populous area than we do now,... but we'd like to not have to drive 45 minutes to the grocery store, you know?"

I think you need to actually come to Montana and look around. The Montana that you think you are in love with may not actually exist!
I live only about 7 miles from the edge of Billings, yet a trip to the Heights Walmart can be a 15 minute drive, one way. 45 minutes to the grocery store is not at all uncommon. In fact, depending on the weather, a "trip to town" can take all day, or may not even be advisable.
Come for an extended visit, look us over, and make an informed decision. Keep in mind that the weather can vary from 30 below (or colder) to well over 100 above, and from sloppy muddy wet to dry and dusty.
Tellers in banks, and grocery checkers often qualify for food stamps and WIC. Computer/IT specialists are occasionally in demand, expecially at the colleges, but the pay isn't enough to attract the top people from the big cities. They are accustomed to making 80 to 100K per year, and that kind of money just isn't available here.
But, come visit, look us over (without the honeymoon rose colored glasses), and if you think you can make it, welcome!
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,377,070 times
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Something you might look into is a Government position with IT. The VA (Veterans Administration) is a good start. The pay isn't what you would get in Raliegh, but it's plenty for Montana and most importantly, it's steady and offers benefits.

One thing you have to realize about the country up here, Montana, Wyoming, are sparsly populated. We're used to the cold, ice, snow and to make a run to the grocery store is no big deal. I live only 20 miles from town. Simple 15 minute comute right? Not hardly. It's 15-20 minutes on a nice day. But from October til April it can be a little more then that. Back in November I had to run in for a doctors appointment. Took me 45 minutes to get to town because of blowing snow. Got done with my appointment and the Interstate was closed because of blowing snow. I took county roads all the way home. Didn't have a problem but do to miles it took me the better part of 2 hours to get home. In some areas farm houses were 2 miles away. But I couldn't tell because you couldn't see them and unless you are real familiar with the road and the area, you wouldn't even know they were there. So drop a tire over the edge and end up in the ditch and you have no idea what to do.

You can google GOV positions with the VA. They have clinics in Several towns and the main VA. Worth looking into for IT jobs.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:53 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,838,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPxine View Post
We visited montana on our honeymoon this past year, and we both fell quite in love. ............I'm not afraid to admit that we both may have built Montana up to mythical levels in our mind..............
Perceptions during any enhanced state of euphoria may not be indicative of reality. If we would have honeymooned on Mars, we probably would have moved there. You need to visit several times and balance out Montana's natural beauty, peacefulness, and serenity of the soul vs winter, unemployment and poor wages, and inaccessibility of services.

After more research you may find Montana to be your Paradise. However, if you are planning on raising 9 children, you might want to apply a more pragmatic approach to financial opportunity than a "honeymoon experience".
I'm not trying to discourage you, just give you pause to reflect upon.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,815 times
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What part of Montana are you considering?
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:25 AM
 
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Hi I am a sahm who moved up here a few years ago. Even though I am an Alaskan native, and lived through many years of midwest winters, the winter in Montana can be a bit daunting. For me it's not so much the cold or snow, it's the shift from living in a heavily populated area into a different geographical area. You are dealing with cold, snow, ice...but at the same time you are dealing with the wildlife. You really have to get used to keeping eyes wide open. It's something you'll get used to with time. My husband is a native Californian, and although he has acclimated he still comes across things. After living a few short years in Ca. and living in the nightmare of congested traffic, I still maintain that the roads here are more dangerous for many reasons. I'm not tellin you all this to get you scared ..... just being upfront with you
If you want to avoid the strip mall life, then don't go to Missoula. To me, it looks like mini Berkeley. It has changed alot since I was up here a decade ago. It has alot of the things you are looking to get away from.
I really enjoy my life here. I'm in the Bitterroot valley. My daughter loves it here too. I'm very happy she is growing up here... I want her to be raised with some old fashioned values.
It is beautiful here, but the jobs are really and truly scarce. When we first got up here, my husband had to pick up a job at the town pump, just to get money on the table. It wasn't his dream job. he's in school as well... and has found another job that pays better and has been a little more secure. It takes time to get settled. Our first year was really a huge adjustment, and the second, bumpy, but it's smoothing out a little now.
Good luck to you.... others here who know Mt more than I do could help you with locations that may suit you.
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