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Old 07-31-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Oregon
53 posts, read 49,561 times
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Hello. I am trying to convince my mom to move to Phoenix, AZ with me and would very much appreciate any helpful tips/suggestions/thoughts/etc. And yes, this post is very long, I’m sorry – I really hope it doesn’t stop you from continuing on, but if it does, thanks for stopping by!

Some background: I’m 32 and I have a 13-year-old son and my 53-year-old mom who can’t work, living with me. My mom takes care of the house, chauffeurs my son around, etc, and I work and pay the bills. It’s an arrangement that has worked, I have no complaints, except I can’t stand my job and can’t stand the city I live in!

I have a boring state government office job and live in Salem, Oregon. The job wouldn’t be so bad if I loved my city, or maybe the city wouldn’t be so bad if I loved my job, but either way, I’ve applied, applied, and applied for other jobs and can’t get anything, and I’m soooo tired of the grey skies, 9 months of raining winters, and Oregon in general. I’ve lived in Oregon almost my whole life, in Burns, Ontario, Klamath Falls, Newport, Bend, and Salem, which, if you know anything about Oregon, you know is pretty much all areas of the state! I came to Salem in 2004 and chose to stay put, even though I didn’t particularly like it anymore than I liked the other towns, because my son was starting school and I wanted him to be able to grow up with all the same friends, a luxury I didn’t have when I was a kid. But now he is 13, about to go into the 8th grade, and I just can’t stand it. I feel like I’m suffocating here. I believe, in trying to do the right thing and tough it out for the sake of my son, I’ve made myself so miserable to the point where I’ve contemplated walking out on my job, which would really screw my family’s living situation!

My family knows how I feel and both my mom and my son have said they would actually be okay with moving to a sunny California city; however, after tons of research I have found that there is no way I could afford for us to live in a So Cal coastal town, and the other cities (Sacramento, S.F., Bakersfield, etc.) have either waaaaay too much crime, super high unemployment rates, or have weather almost as bad as Salem, so it wouldn’t be worth it. After figuring this out, I started to look at Arizona.

I need sunshine, blue skies, and hot weather. I would prefer a beach, but I know that’s not an option, so if I can at least get 3 out of the 4, that sounds good to me! I think the hardest part about convincing my mom that the Phoenix area is the way to go, is the extreme summer heat. She wants warm, sunny weather year-round – however, 100+ degree weather is not something she will be thrilled about. The rest of it, yes. That part, no. If I can sell her on everything else, if the positives drastically outweigh the negatives, then I think I can convince her that spending most of her time inside an air-conditioned home a few months out of the year isn’t a terrible life.

I have compiled a list of “positives” from other threads about Phoenix-area relocation (no, I’m not just posting blindly ). But I was hoping that I could get some more specific-to-my-situation-type responses, if anyone has anything to say.

I will just be renting and I have already researched average rental costs for all the surrounding areas of Phoenix and know that they are within my budget. I have also compared some of the school districts and decided that within Phoenix city limits probably isn’t the way to go, so I am assuming I will choose an outlying area (e.g., Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe…) to live in.

Since I currently live so far away, and since my line of work isn’t the kind that you fly out for interviews for, I will be going without a job already lined up (unless I happen to get super lucky and get hired sight-unseen). I will, of course, have a lot of money saved up to carry us until I find a job. I have researched Phoenix-area employment and I would guess that it shouldn’t be too difficult, even if I do have to accept a lesser position to start with. Do you think I’m right in not being too worried about this? (I do have a cousin in Phoenix that works for the state government, and since I work for Oregon state government currently, I am hoping that might help me land an AZ state government job…)

So, just to summarize, single mother with two other people to support (son and mom); only source of income; can expect to land a job in the $25,000-a-year range, plus child support bumps it up to about $30,000 a year; moving without a house or job already lined up; one cousin in Phoenix who I barely know; one former co-worker in Phoenix who might be able to help me out with connections; never been to Arizona at all but done tons and tons of “research”; do have lots of experience “moving blindly” from tons of moves (city to city, not state to state) between 5-25 years old; will have to convince mom that summers will be bearable and convince son that he will have no problem making new friends; do have two brothers and lots of extended family in Salem, which might make the convincing even harder; DYING to quit my job and move -seriously - this is not just a fleeting feeling - for the last two years I have wanted nothing more than to move out of Salem, so I think that means I really, really do want to move out of Salem .…So….am I crazy? LOL Again, any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:49 PM
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Location: 85379^85268
826 posts, read 369,671 times
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Well it's sunny and hot here all right. It is a big adjustment for some people, Some love some cannot hack it. A lot of people miss the change of seasons ,and rain.


Jobs I don't know what to tell you on that. I would be scared to give up a good job with no job lined up in a new city lined up.

But I wish you luck in what ever you decide.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:44 PM
 
426 posts, read 377,666 times
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Oh Goodness--I'm from Salem, Oregon myself. Haven't been there in 15+ years though... I still have family there. I can see why you can't stand Salem ;-)

I might have missed it as I have a huge headache... did you say what kind of work you are in?
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
1,477 posts, read 1,177,577 times
Reputation: 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefanie99 View Post
My family knows how I feel and both my mom and my son have said they would actually be okay with moving to a sunny California city; however, after tons of research I have found that there is no way I could afford for us to live in a So Cal coastal town, and the other cities (Sacramento, S.F., Bakersfield, etc.) have either waaaaay too much crime, super high unemployment rates, or have weather almost as bad as Salem, so it wouldnít be worth it. After figuring this out, I started to look at Arizona.
i would re-visit sacramento. i kept hearing about high crime too but this forum keeps saying otherwise. i've lived in arizona and that heat was WAY too much for me!
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:35 PM
 
1,198 posts, read 1,350,223 times
Reputation: 1942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefanie99 View Post
Hello. I am trying to convince my mom to move to Phoenix, AZ with me and would very much appreciate any helpful tips/suggestions/thoughts/etc. And yes, this post is very long, Iím sorry Ė I really hope it doesnít stop you from continuing on, but if it does, thanks for stopping by!

You're welcome but I'll read on if that's ok?
BTW, I lived in Oregon since 1988 and I just moved from Florence Oregon a year ago June so I think I might have some good insights for you.


Some background: Iím 32 and I have a 13-year-old son and my 53-year-old mom who canít work, living with me. My mom takes care of the house, chauffeurs my son around, etc, and I work and pay the bills. Itís an arrangement that has worked, I have no complaints, except I canít stand my job and canít stand the city I live in!

[COLOR="rgb(65, 105, 225)"] You and I are in a very similiar situation. I take care of my 84 year old mother.
I hated the wet and cold weather most of the year as well. I didn't realize how much until I moved here. Had I known how miserable I was, I would have just stuck my head in the oven and been don
[/color]e with it but unfortunately after some thought, I realized I had an electric oven so that saved me. lol.


I have a boring state government office job and live in Salem, Oregon. The job wouldnít be so bad if I loved my city, or maybe the city wouldnít be so bad if I loved my job, but either way, Iíve applied, applied, and applied for other jobs and canít get anything, and Iím soooo tired of the grey skies, 9 months of raining winters, and Oregon in general. Iíve lived in Oregon almost my whole life, in Burns, Ontario, Klamath Falls, Newport, Bend, and Salem, which, if you know anything about Oregon, you know is pretty much all areas of the state! I came to Salem in 2004 and chose to stay put, even though I didnít particularly like it anymore than I liked the other towns, because my son was starting school and I wanted him to be able to grow up with all the same friends, a luxury I didnít have when I was a kid. But now he is 13, about to go into the 8th grade, and I just canít stand it. I feel like Iím suffocating here. I believe, in trying to do the right thing and tough it out for the sake of my son, Iíve made myself so miserable to the point where Iíve contemplated walking out on my job, which would really screw my familyís living situation!

I've lived in Eugene, Mapleton and Florence since 1988. THE RAIN SUCKS HUGE. It wasn't that it rained, it's that it rained ALL THE TIME. It never stopped from September until June or July. I worked all over the state of Oregon. I've done many a job in Salem and all those cities you've mentioned so I'm very familiar.
I can understand you wanting to walk out on a job you hate but there is something to be said for having a job at all in these tough economic times but that's a personal decision that only you can make.



My family knows how I feel and both my mom and my son have said they would actually be okay with moving to a sunny California city; however, after tons of research I have found that there is no way I could afford for us to live in a So Cal coastal town, and the other cities (Sacramento, S.F., Bakersfield, etc.) have either waaaaay too much crime, super high unemployment rates, or have weather almost as bad as Salem, so it wouldnít be worth it. After figuring this out, I started to look at Arizona.



Much like you, I needed to get out of the rain and much like you, I first looked in California but I couldn't afford that so I looked all along the sunbelt. Florida, Georgia, Texas, even Louisiana and non of those places seemed a fit for me until I started poking around Arizona and the Phoenix area in particular. The Phoenix metro area had everything I was looking for except a beach.
It took me almost 4 years to get my house sold in Oregon so I had LOTS of time to do research on a new place to live and for some weird reason, I picked the Phoenix area and I'm glad I did.



I need sunshine, blue skies, and hot weather. I would prefer a beach, but I know thatís not an option, so if I can at least get 3 out of the 4, that sounds good to me! I think the hardest part about convincing my mom that the Phoenix area is the way to go, is the extreme summer heat. She wants warm, sunny weather year-round Ė however, 100+ degree weather is not something she will be thrilled about. The rest of it, yes. That part, no. If I can sell her on everything else, if the positives drastically outweigh the negatives, then I think I can convince her that spending most of her time inside an air-conditioned home a few months out of the year isnít a terrible life.

Well, I have good news for you. Here you will experience mostly clear blue skies (300+ days per year), sunny, warm days all year long. The winters here are HEAVENLY.
As far as the beach? I don't miss a beach at all. As a matter of fact, the local lakes and rivers more than make up for the lack of a beach. When I lived in California and the Oregon coast, I rarely took the time to go to the beach anyway. The lakes around here are incredibly awesome. Particularly the east valley lakes.
The summer heat? Yes, it gets hot here but it's not typically the hellhole that some on this forum make it out to be. Yes, it's hot and at times it can get really hot but for the most part, you're in air conditioned comfort and in my case, having a pool is a lifesaver. My first bit of advice would be to listen to the people in this forum with a grain of salt. Look at it like the Olympics. Throw out the folks that hate everything. They don't count. Then throw out the people like me that have nothing but good things to say. Listen to the people in the middle. My 2nd bit of advice is to find a place to live with a pool or close to a pool if at all possible. You're son is going to love it and the time you will spend with your family around the pool, even if you don't swim much, it will be quality time spent without the interuptions of the TV or radio or hopefully without computers or I-pods. Just sitting around with loved ones enjoying the day and maybe even taking a dip. It doesn't get much better than that if you ask me.
In my case, I'm going to tell you that I have found absolutely nothing that I don't like about living here. Specially comparing it to living in Oregon. I'm not only happy to be here, I'm absolutely thrilled. Ask anyone on the forum. lol.


I have compiled a list of ďpositivesĒ from other threads about Phoenix-area relocation (no, Iím not just posting blindly ). But I was hoping that I could get some more specific-to-my-situation-type responses, if anyone has anything to say.

More good news for you. I've already got threads about this area from my perspective. The first link is something I wrote a little over a year ago just a few weeks after moving here.

Stuff I've noticed since I've been here. 10 days so far.

This 2nd link is just an extension of the first based on my observations after living here a year.
Mostly just dumb little things but it is different here. With a little luck, you'll see for yourself.

A few more things I've noticed (after my first year.)


I will just be renting and I have already researched average rental costs for all the surrounding areas of Phoenix and know that they are within my budget. I have also compared some of the school districts and decided that within Phoenix city limits probably isnít the way to go, so I am assuming I will choose an outlying area (e.g., Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, TempeÖ) to live in.

The schools are one of the few problem areas from what I understand. I no longer have school age children so it wasn't a big problem for me but getting a good education should be important to everyone. Look at the schools closely but also be there to help with your kids education. Don't just leave it up to the educators. Be pro-active when it comes to your kids education. It pays off in the long run.

Since I currently live so far away, and since my line of work isnít the kind that you fly out for interviews for, I will be going without a job already lined up (unless I happen to get super lucky and get hired sight-unseen). I will, of course, have a lot of money saved up to carry us until I find a job. I have researched Phoenix-area employment and I would guess that it shouldnít be too difficult, even if I do have to accept a lesser position to start with. Do you think Iím right in not being too worried about this? (I do have a cousin in Phoenix that works for the state government, and since I work for Oregon state government currently, I am hoping that might help me land an AZ state government jobÖ)

Personally, I think you have a good plan. If you have enough to cover you and your family for 3 to 6 months would be perfect.
Have you ever visited here? Perhaps you could come down for a few days and check the place out for yourself. Particularly at this time of year. This time of year, as some people claim on this forum, is supposedly oprressively hot. I disagree but we all have our opinions. This would be a great time for you, your son and your mother to come check it out for yourselves.


So, just to summarize, single mother with two other people to support (son and mom); only source of income; can expect to land a job in the $25,000-a-year range, plus child support bumps it up to about $30,000 a year; moving without a house or job already lined up; one cousin in Phoenix who I barely know; one former co-worker in Phoenix who might be able to help me out with connections; never been to Arizona at all but done tons and tons of ďresearchĒ; do have lots of experience ďmoving blindlyĒ from tons of moves (city to city, not state to state) between 5-25 years old; will have to convince mom that summers will be bearable and convince son that he will have no problem making new friends; do have two brothers and lots of extended family in Salem, which might make the convincing even harder; DYING to quit my job and move -seriously - this is not just a fleeting feeling - for the last two years I have wanted nothing more than to move out of Salem, so I think that means I really, really do want to move out of Salem .ÖSoÖ.am I crazy? LOL Again, any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!
I can't say much about finding work but I hope things work out favorably for you. I certainly understand about not liking your life in Oregon.
I made the move without having work. I moved myself, my mother, a brother and a girlfriend. The girlfriend moved on to greener pastures but my brother and mother love it here as much as I do. One of my biggest concerns was how my mother would acclimate to such a dramatic change in lifestyle. She adapted very well and I'm happy to report, she loves it here as much as I do.
You never know. Your mother might just like it here.
My biggest problem now is that a lot of people I knew in Oregon have visited me in the last year and many of them liked it so much they are moving here as well so don't give up on family just yet. They may just follow you south.
Good luck and if you'd like any other information, don't hesitate to PM me.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
8,626 posts, read 10,896,817 times
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In this economy, which seems to be slowing even more, I would stay put and try and enjoy life for a bit longer. It is hard to be stuck in an environment you are not happy in and we were stuck in northern CA for 15 years in a nepotistic, good ole boy town and despised it. We just made the most of it while we could until we could move and know that work would be found. I would try and get a job first and then move.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:12 PM
 
280 posts, read 270,412 times
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You owe it to yourself to go for it-sooner rather than later. That's it, in a nutshell.

The weather is glorious; someone like you (I recognize this from my own views) will be in heaven, and will be willing to pay the price and initial tumult of a move. Many people don't have the guts to do this, but I did and you will, I suspect. Yes, it is hot here right now, but then again it's hot in most of the continent now and besides, once living here you make lifestyle adjustments and know when to be in AC. Plus, some people actually like the heat.

I suggest that you connect with as many people as possible on here, contact the relative/friend here, and start setting goals and timelines to make the move.

Moderator cut: RUDE if you apply for work beforehand and during your move, and factoring in your savings, it will happen, be more difficult initially then over time, become easier. That initial move and transition will be the hardest part, as with any move. When you first get here, if you really want to be here, you'll find something/ anything, to pay the bills, until something better comes along.

That's what you, I and many here have done-do what it takes.

And there are nice beaches here, plus Cali's 6 hour drive is close enough for weekends.

Last edited by Kimballette; 08-01-2012 at 07:54 PM.. Reason: rude
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
10 posts, read 35,695 times
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My wife is from Eugene and she would never go back. she loves it here. We visit Oregon and it is a great place for a vacation, but life in Arizona is a better standard of living.

We moved here in 1998 from NH with 2 kids because we were tired of snow and gloomy weather. We just quit our jobs, sold house, loaded up the moving van and headed west. when we got here in June, it was soo hot! Our first home was a hotel for a couple days. But within a week, we had a house rented and I had a job. My wife got a job within a month. The key is to have savings that you can live on.

You would be amazed at what lots of sunshine will do to a persons' happiness. There is nothing like living in southwest. We have tried NH again and then VA after that, but we came back to AZ both times and now we will never leave.

I have see that the job market is much better here now, plus you do not have to make as much money to live here compared to Oregon.

If you have the moving bug in you, then go for it. But at least come here during the summer to check it out and look at some rentals so you understand what it is like to live here. The houses are much closer than in Oregon and some people like more space.

Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.Phoenix has maintained a growth streak in recent years, growing by 24.2% before 2007. This made it the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States following only Las Vegas, whose population had grown by 29.2% in that time
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:45 AM
 
Location: The desert southwest
1,381 posts, read 1,236,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefanie99 View Post
Hello. I am trying to convince my mom to move to Phoenix, AZ with me and would very much appreciate any helpful tips/suggestions/thoughts/etc. And yes, this post is very long, I’m sorry – I really hope it doesn’t stop you from continuing on, but if it does, thanks for stopping by!

Some background: I’m 32 and I have a 13-year-old son and my 53-year-old mom who can’t work, living with me. My mom takes care of the house, chauffeurs my son around, etc, and I work and pay the bills. It’s an arrangement that has worked, I have no complaints, except I can’t stand my job and can’t stand the city I live in!


I have a boring state government office job and live in Salem, Oregon. The job wouldn’t be so bad if I loved my city, or maybe the city wouldn’t be so bad if I loved my job, but either way, I’ve applied, applied, and applied for other jobs and can’t get anything, and I’m soooo tired of the grey skies, 9 months of raining winters, and Oregon in general. I’ve lived in Oregon almost my whole life, in Burns, Ontario, Klamath Falls, Newport, Bend, and Salem, which, if you know anything about Oregon, you know is pretty much all areas of the state! I came to Salem in 2004 and chose to stay put, even though I didn’t particularly like it anymore than I liked the other towns, because my son was starting school and I wanted him to be able to grow up with all the same friends, a luxury I didn’t have when I was a kid. But now he is 13, about to go into the 8th grade, and I just can’t stand it. I feel like I’m suffocating here. I believe, in trying to do the right thing and tough it out for the sake of my son, I’ve made myself so miserable to the point where I’ve contemplated walking out on my job, which would really screw my family’s living situation!

I have been where you are in terms of not liking your job or the city you live in. As one who has moved a number of times without work and other times for work, I'd have to say having work sure makes things easier. However, if you have enough savings stored away it also helps. Try not to walk away from your job, if you can. Moving is extremely expensive and every little bit helps.

My family knows how I feel and both my mom and my son have said they would actually be okay with moving to a sunny California city; however, after tons of research I have found that there is no way I could afford for us to live in a So Cal coastal town, and the other cities (Sacramento, S.F., Bakersfield, etc.) have either waaaaay too much crime, super high unemployment rates, or have weather almost as bad as Salem, so it wouldn’t be worth it. After figuring this out, I started to look at Arizona.

I need sunshine, blue skies, and hot weather. I would prefer a beach, but I know that’s not an option, so if I can at least get 3 out of the 4, that sounds good to me! I think the hardest part about convincing my mom that the Phoenix area is the way to go, is the extreme summer heat. She wants warm, sunny weather year-round – however, 100+ degree weather is not something she will be thrilled about. The rest of it, yes. That part, no. If I can sell her on everything else, if the positives drastically outweigh the negatives, then I think I can convince her that spending most of her time inside an air-conditioned home a few months out of the year isn’t a terrible life.

We certainly have blue skies and hot weather, but there is so much more. People forget to mention that in the summer we Arizonans also get to retreat to our mountain cities where temps can sometimes be 15-20 degrees cooler than the valley! Yes, it does get hot and humid like it is now during our monsoon season, however, it has been cooling off rather nicely in the evenings. People freak out over the high temps and believe me, there can be tough stretches that wear on you but that happens three and a half, maybe four, months of the year. The other nine months are just glorious...really! Show your mom the temps in the mountain cities, which are anywhere from 0ne to two and a half hours away. There are also lakes and streams up north if she's into that sort of thing.

I have compiled a list of “positives” from other threads about Phoenix-area relocation (no, I’m not just posting blindly ). But I was hoping that I could get some more specific-to-my-situation-type responses, if anyone has anything to say.

I will just be renting and I have already researched average rental costs for all the surrounding areas of Phoenix and know that they are within my budget. I have also compared some of the school districts and decided that within Phoenix city limits probably isn’t the way to go, so I am assuming I will choose an outlying area (e.g., Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe…) to live in.

I too was worried about the schools when we moved here. I read a lot of negatives, and some of it is true, but no one ever mentioned that there also were some really good public schools as well. My wife and I decided that since Arizona had open enrollment we would commit to driving our kids to the best schools within a reasonable distance. We eventually moved into a neighborhood (Chandler) where the schools are quite good and have been pleased with our daughters' education. So, in short, not all the schools are bad. You just have to do your research to find the good ones because they are here.

Since I currently live so far away, and since my line of work isn’t the kind that you fly out for interviews for, I will be going without a job already lined up (unless I happen to get super lucky and get hired sight-unseen). I will, of course, have a lot of money saved up to carry us until I find a job. I have researched Phoenix-area employment and I would guess that it shouldn’t be too difficult, even if I do have to accept a lesser position to start with. Do you think I’m right in not being too worried about this? (I do have a cousin in Phoenix that works for the state government, and since I work for Oregon state government currently, I am hoping that might help me land an AZ state government job…)

This is the part where I have some slight hesitations. The fact that you have never visited Arizona and don't have a job is a bit of a concern. Not that I don't think you'd like it, but I feel it would be better for your feet to actually walk the ground and for you to get a "feel" for the place before making such a huge move. As one poster said, there have been many who have moved here thinking this was the place for them only to realize that it wasn't what they thought. On another note, my daughter and I were in the DMV a few weeks ago and the woman behind the desk heard my daughter talking about looking for a job and she suggested looking at state jobs, which she said were plentiful. You may want to look there.

So, just to summarize, single mother with two other people to support (son and mom); only source of income; can expect to land a job in the $25,000-a-year range, plus child support bumps it up to about $30,000 a year; moving without a house or job already lined up; one cousin in Phoenix who I barely know; one former co-worker in Phoenix who might be able to help me out with connections; never been to Arizona at all but done tons and tons of “research”; do have lots of experience “moving blindly” from tons of moves (city to city, not state to state) between 5-25 years old; will have to convince mom that summers will be bearable and convince son that he will have no problem making new friends; do have two brothers and lots of extended family in Salem, which might make the convincing even harder; DYING to quit my job and move -seriously - this is not just a fleeting feeling - for the last two years I have wanted nothing more than to move out of Salem, so I think that means I really, really do want to move out of Salem .…So….am I crazy? LOL Again, any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!
No, I don't think you're crazy, just a woman who is seeking change. You can live off those figures here, but depending on how well you manage your money you may or may not be able to do much else. The COL here is cheaper than many other places, but so is the pay! Really talk with your son about the move as that is a tough age to pull him away from his friends and family and bring him to a strange place. The upside about moving here is that people, for the most part, are friendly and helpful so he would probably make friends rather quickly depending on his personality. For your mom we have tons of active seniors here, if she is open to making new friends. As for you, if you could take even a weekend trip here to see and get a feel for the place I think it would be good. Good luck on your decision and please don't hesitate to PM me if you have questions.

Last edited by goolsbyjazz; 08-02-2012 at 12:51 AM.. Reason: correction
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