U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-03-2019, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
419 posts, read 134,698 times
Reputation: 333

Advertisements

When it comes to the topic of rural and small town living, I often hear complaints about economic stagnation, low wages, and poverty.

I understand in many cases life style preference is a big reason why people stay in rural areas and small towns. But from wealth accumulation perspective, it is a known fact that rural and urban areas have vastly different potential, that rural and small towns are not as vibrant economically. I wonder whether rural/small town folks give that perspective much thought at all in choosing to stay in rural areas and small towns, and if so, what is the calculation.

I myself have wanted to live a rural life style my whole life. But then I saw there were not too many job opportunities in rural/small town areas, and the available job opportunities the pay was pretty low. I did not think I could just dive into that lifestyle.

So 20+ years ago I picked an alternative route to achieve this lifestyle. I stayed and worked in urban areas, and tried to amass as much wealth as possible. With the higher pay in the cities (I'm in SF myself; I think even plumbers around here routinely make 100K+ a year), and the much faster home value appreciation rate, now after 20+ years what I have accumulated is enough to buy a very nice place in rural area, and still maintain a home in the urban area. I am quite happy with this outcome, even though I have had to delay enjoying that lifestyle all these years.

Had I decided to move to the countryside or small town when I started my career, I probably would still be able to buy a home and pay off the loan, but the value and net asset probably cannot compare to a home in high growth cities like SF.

As I go visit my rural property on weekends, and seeing many people around there working odd jobs, intermittent jobs, ad hoc jobs, seasonal jobs, or just whatever job they can find, and recall all the complaints about the challenges of rural areas and small towns, I just wonder why people don't move to the cities to work?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-03-2019, 08:12 PM
Status: "it's Christmas time...." (set 17 days ago)
 
793 posts, read 202,476 times
Reputation: 1595
I have lived both and more or less continue to live in both. I have business interests that are driven by high density urban living and agriculture interests "out yonder a piece".

Since you are interested in discussing wealth accumulation and not quality of life (which is always a debate) the key is understanding the unique potential of each venue. For example, last recession I purchased heavy equipment at auction and stored them in a giant pole building I erected on the cheap "way out yonder". All were sold at a significant profit and the pole barn served as my showroom. The economics nor logistics would not work in urban areas.

I know a number of people who run beef on leased land, that is a very rural enterprise and all of them are multi-millionaires who essentially own the beef and not much else.

I have an orchard that ships boxed fruits "out yonder" and essentially yields 100% on the invested dollars each year I have operated it. I bury the profit into land purchases. I do the same with my micro greens that go to my own restaurant concepts and high end indy grocery stores.

So here it the thing you may be missing. You are valuing things by income, rural people tend to value things by increases in value. The difference comes in the form of taxes. If you live in the country and are in ag, you generally try not generate a profit, you bury the profit by leasing or buying more land, making capital improvements, or paying more on your harvestor, filling your fueling tanks, paying forward drying time for your corn, etc. There is an old saying: you'll never be rich, you pay too much in taxes. This is well known in the country. The heavy equipment I mentioned, if you think about it, it was all long term capital gains, no SS or payroll taxes, no ordinary income tax rates.

What rural people tend to do (sweeping generalization) is realize or work for wages enough to meet living expenses and then focus on increasing their asset based in an unrealized fashion. The barter system is very active, all in all it is a shift in mindset.

The income statistics are very deceiving because they are based on taxable income which any country boy knows how to bury six ways to Sunday. Ever notice how expensive some of those trucks country boys drive around in are?

By the way, those that repair farm equipment earn an excellent living.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2019, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Sale Creek, TN
4,081 posts, read 3,761,004 times
Reputation: 4399
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
When it comes to the topic of rural and small town living, I often hear complaints about economic stagnation, low wages, and poverty.

I understand in many cases life style preference is a big reason why people stay in rural areas and small towns. But from wealth accumulation perspective, it is a known fact that rural and urban areas have vastly different potential, that rural and small towns are not as vibrant economically. I wonder whether rural/small town folks give that perspective much thought at all in choosing to stay in rural areas and small towns, and if so, what is the calculation.

I myself have wanted to live a rural life style my whole life. But then I saw there were not too many job opportunities in rural/small town areas, and the available job opportunities the pay was pretty low. I did not think I could just dive into that lifestyle.

So 20+ years ago I picked an alternative route to achieve this lifestyle. I stayed and worked in urban areas, and tried to amass as much wealth as possible. With the higher pay in the cities (I'm in SF myself; I think even plumbers around here routinely make 100K+ a year), and the much faster home value appreciation rate, now after 20+ years what I have accumulated is enough to buy a very nice place in rural area, and still maintain a home in the urban area. I am quite happy with this outcome, even though I have had to delay enjoying that lifestyle all these years.

Had I decided to move to the countryside or small town when I started my career, I probably would still be able to buy a home and pay off the loan, but the value and net asset probably cannot compare to a home in high growth cities like SF.

As I go visit my rural property on weekends, and seeing many people around there working odd jobs, intermittent jobs, ad hoc jobs, seasonal jobs, or just whatever job they can find, and recall all the complaints about the challenges of rural areas and small towns, I just wonder why people don't move to the cities to work?
You "visit" your rural property, that speaks volumes. You will probably never be happy living there, even retired, that's ok, it's not everyone's cup of tea.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2019, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,222 posts, read 43,424,828 times
Reputation: 51910
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
When it comes to the topic of rural and small town living, I often hear complaints about economic stagnation, low wages, and poverty.

I understand in many cases life style preference is a big reason why people stay in rural areas and small towns. But from wealth accumulation perspective, it is a known fact that rural and urban areas have vastly different potential, that rural and small towns are not as vibrant economically. I wonder whether rural/small town folks give that perspective much thought at all in choosing to stay in rural areas and small towns, and if so, what is the calculation.
Um, of course?

That's a major reason why rural and rural small town areas suffer from brain drain.

I was one of the few in my high school graduating class to go on to a 4-year degree straight out of high school. Of those of us who did, very few of us came back to work. I did, for about a half - dozen years... was editor of the community newspaper. Eventually, couldn't go any further there without leaving.

Quote:
So 20+ years ago I picked an alternative route to achieve this lifestyle. I stayed and worked in urban areas, and tried to amass as much wealth as possible. With the higher pay in the cities (I'm in SF myself; I think even plumbers around here routinely make 100K+ a year), and the much faster home value appreciation rate, now after 20+ years what I have accumulated is enough to buy a very nice place in rural area, and still maintain a home in the urban area. I am quite happy with this outcome, even though I have had to delay enjoying that lifestyle all these years.

Had I decided to move to the countryside or small town when I started my career, I probably would still be able to buy a home and pay off the loan, but the value and net asset probably cannot compare to a home in high growth cities like SF.
Our solution has been to live in a midsize city in an affordable region of the country, where there is easy access to rural landscapes and atmospheres without dealing with layers of suburbia in between. We get the amenities of urban life, with quick and easy access to a rural atmosphere.


Quote:
I just wonder why people don't move to the cities to work?
Many do...those with qualifications to obtain more than menial employment, anyway. The ones who don't are generally those who are established with families they don't wish to move, near family they need to be near (caregiving, etc.), those who don't desire urban or suburban lifestyles or surroundings, and those who don't possess the requisite education, training, credentialing, or skills to earn the income necessary to live in higher COL areas comfortably.

Wealth accumulation is simply not everyone's highest priority.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2019, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,222 posts, read 43,424,828 times
Reputation: 51910
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostOfAndrewJackson View Post
By the way, those that repair farm equipment earn an excellent living.
As well as those who manufacture it... which is still going on. I did it summers during college, and it's virtually the only manufacturing that hasn't left the community, at this point.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2019, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
419 posts, read 134,698 times
Reputation: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekcat View Post
You "visit" your rural property, that speaks volumes. You will probably never be happy living there, even retired, that's ok, it's not everyone's cup of tea.
It's still "visits" for now because I can't fully afford to give up on my urban job yet -- need that to finance the country lifestyle. But I have a plan to convert into rural lifestyle and it has been steadily progressing according to plan.

Right now I only have the land; I don't do anything with it except clearing vegetation overgrowth, and have planted a bunch of fruit trees since they take time to produce. Next step for me is to completely remodel the inside of the house. Then when I retire in maybe 10 years' time, I will build a sheep pen and a chicken coop to keep a few sheep and some chicken for meat and eggs, plus a bunch of vegetable beds to grow vegetable, which I do now on a very small scale in my backyard. The place is close to shore so I have plenty of fish (I already get them recreationally now). I think I am on track to be self-sufficient in those categories when I retire.

So, yeah, I think I will eventually be a real country folk if not a farmer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2019, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
419 posts, read 134,698 times
Reputation: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostOfAndrewJackson View Post
I have lived both and more or less continue to live in both. I have business interests that are driven by high density urban living and agriculture interests "out yonder a piece".

Since you are interested in discussing wealth accumulation and not quality of life (which is always a debate) the key is understanding the unique potential of each venue. For example, last recession I purchased heavy equipment at auction and stored them in a giant pole building I erected on the cheap "way out yonder". All were sold at a significant profit and the pole barn served as my showroom. The economics nor logistics would not work in urban areas.

I know a number of people who run beef on leased land, that is a very rural enterprise and all of them are multi-millionaires who essentially own the beef and not much else.

I have an orchard that ships boxed fruits "out yonder" and essentially yields 100% on the invested dollars each year I have operated it. I bury the profit into land purchases. I do the same with my micro greens that go to my own restaurant concepts and high end indy grocery stores.

So here it the thing you may be missing. You are valuing things by income, rural people tend to value things by increases in value. The difference comes in the form of taxes. If you live in the country and are in ag, you generally try not generate a profit, you bury the profit by leasing or buying more land, making capital improvements, or paying more on your harvestor, filling your fueling tanks, paying forward drying time for your corn, etc. There is an old saying: you'll never be rich, you pay too much in taxes. This is well known in the country. The heavy equipment I mentioned, if you think about it, it was all long term capital gains, no SS or payroll taxes, no ordinary income tax rates.

What rural people tend to do (sweeping generalization) is realize or work for wages enough to meet living expenses and then focus on increasing their asset based in an unrealized fashion. The barter system is very active, all in all it is a shift in mindset.

The income statistics are very deceiving because they are based on taxable income which any country boy knows how to bury six ways to Sunday. Ever notice how expensive some of those trucks country boys drive around in are?

By the way, those that repair farm equipment earn an excellent living.
Thanks for your insight. Very interesting information worth mulling over.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2019, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
25,656 posts, read 19,077,442 times
Reputation: 30530
If you're thinking in terms of the average 8-5 worker, I think the OP is right. That's not even counting that the urban person will have far higher SS down the line due to the much higher wages.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2019, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,292 posts, read 50,590,528 times
Reputation: 20149
During my Active Duty Naval career, while other sailors were leasing homes for their families to live in, or buying houses for a 3-year tour. We decided to buy apartment complexes. They sheltered my income from taxes and they built up equity.

After I retired from the US Navy, we used the equity that we had built-up to buy some rural forestland and to build a farmhouse.

After 10 years of retirement we had enough capital saved up that we were able to afford to buy a downtown mixed-use commercial building. Now we are landlords again.

I do not see us ever changing, we will always be wealth accumulators.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2019, 10:55 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,169 posts, read 56,785,610 times
Reputation: 33410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
If you're thinking in terms of the average 8-5 worker, I think the OP is right. That's not even counting that the urban person will have far higher SS down the line due to the much higher wages.
When the urban jobs pay more, one does not have to live there to make that pay. In fact there are suburban areas where the family incomes are higher, and home values may appreciate faster than in the city. The suburbs with the best schools, low crime, and reasonable distance to the high pay jobs are the best opportunity for wealth accumulation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top