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Old 02-13-2015, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
1,007 posts, read 1,853,077 times
Reputation: 1061

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Hi, all. I am a native New Yorker who lived in central Florida (Ocala for 3 months, then Lake county for over 2 years) back in the late 90s. I've decided that I want to move out of New York again as the cost of living here in much higher than my wages will support and I'm really tired of the long, cold winters here too.

I want to go someplace warmer with a lower cost of living, and my top choices are the Tampa Bay area and Las Vegas. There are good and bad points about both, of course. Since I've already lived in Florida before, I know all about the hot, humid summers there (basically May thru September). I remember the "love bugs" all over the front of my car at certain times of the year, the fire ants on the grass, and the warnings about gators in the lakes. But, snow really has no appeal to me as I'm not a skier or snowboarder, and I've never been a fan of NYC. I enjoy getting outdoors when I can, especially spending time on my bicycle. Enjoy the beaches too, though I haven't had as much time for that in recent years as in the past. And I love watching a good sunset!

As far as work is concerned, Tampa seems to have a lower unemployment rate than Las Vegas (5.5% for Tampa vs 6.9% for Vegas) according to the December, 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But the majority of my work experience has been driving for limo companies (I do have experience in office jobs, but that was a long time ago), so I'm not sure if I'd be able to get a decent paying job around Tampa given my work experience. I do have a college degree in business, but haven't really had jobs related to my degree in many years. I was thinking about possibly trying to get into apartment leasing or property management, or maybe even real estate sales (though not crazy about the idea of working on commission). Have also thought about auto sales, but again that's on commission and I have no sales experience.

Tampa Bay has appeal to me as its closer to beaches than Orlando (which I'm somewhat familiar with from my previous time in FL), and I'm already familiar with Tarpon Springs and Clearwater, so there's sort of a comfort factor there. But I never did get to explore downtown Tampa or St. Pete when I lived in FL before, so that would be new to me.

Las Vegas I am less familiar with, having only made one brief visit there many years ago. I have never spent time there in the summer, but I am aware of the 100+ degree temps there for 3-4 months. Hard to say if that would be better or worse than the heat & humidity that FL gets in the summer. I'm not a gambler myself, so the whole casino aspect doesn't really matter to me, except that they could potentially be a source of employment to me given my experience as a limo driver (though ideally I would not want to continue doing that type of work). Vegas is also within driving distance of other areas out West that I could explore, such as Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque, national parks in UT, and California.

I am single, with no kids, in my early 50s. I have enough money saved to last me for a year or more if necessary.

I'm having a hard time choosing between the two and could really use some help/advice making up my mind. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:39 PM
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11,386 posts, read 10,464,395 times
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Tampa sounds like the clear cut answer based off what you said. It sounds like the only thing that you like about Las Vegas is that you're on the West coast and within easy of rich of great outdoor activities. Tampa has that too...you're close to beaches, Orlando, and a 4 hour drive to the Miami area. I' honestly prefer Orlando to Tampa and don't care about the lack of beaches, but that's just me.

Just keep in mind that cost of living is lower here, and thus so are wages. If you feel confident you can land a good paying job in Nevada, then go there. But Tampa sounds like a much better fit for you overall.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,141 posts, read 2,953,575 times
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I have been to Vegas a number of times and never considered it as a place to live. Flagstaff at 7,000' elevation gets a serious winter. We lived in the Phoenix area for some years. It gets very hot and is very dusty because it is desert. We just returned to Florida and plan to stay permanently. We left the NY area in 1972, have been back for only a few visits.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Tampa, Fl
4,091 posts, read 4,672,426 times
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You're from New York? I heard Vegas is a lovely place to live.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:35 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 2,138,197 times
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I would take a visit to both places as I don't think you could go wrong either as both places are pretty desirable in every aspect you said.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 3,779,000 times
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Go where you can make a living. Having enough savings to live for a year puts you in a pretty good position wherever you decide to move. I will say Vegas might be a better place if you have to fall back on limo driving.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,107,165 times
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Seems to me that with your experience as a Limo driver, LV would be perfect.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
1,007 posts, read 1,853,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAniacTHW View Post
You're from New York? I heard Vegas is a lovely place to live.
Great, another person who hates New Yorkers. I do expect that kind of thing in some southern cities (say Knoxville, for example) but I'd think that Floridians would be used to us by now, since there's so many of us down there. BTW, I am not the stereotypical loud, pushy, New Yorker. I have no discernible accent, and have had people tell me that they thought I was from the Midwest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_liking_FL View Post
Go where you can make a living. Having enough savings to live for a year puts you in a pretty good position wherever you decide to move. I will say Vegas might be a better place if you have to fall back on limo driving.
I really had hoped to let the job determine where I would move, hoping to find a job before moving, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I've spent a good deal of my free time last year looking for and applying to jobs in other cities, only to either get rejected or ignored. Some companies tell you flat out in their job postings that they will only consider LOCAL applicants. It makes sense, actually: unless you've got a really stellar and unique background to offer an employer, why should they bother taking the time and being inconvenienced considering someone from out of state when they have so many local applicants to choose from? For a job in Florida (Cape Coral), I did get a phone interview with Geico insurance for a position as an auto claims rep, but I didn't get past that phone interview.
The unemployment rate in Tampa (5.5%) was just over the national average (5.4%) last December. Vegas on the other hand, was at 6.9%. There are some cities lower than the national average: Raleigh at 4.2%, Orlando at 5.0%, Denver at 3.9% and Salt Lake City at 3.0%, but most of these places I could not see myself living due to the weather there or for other reasons. I've visited Raleigh and know that they do not have nearly as active use of limos and car services as here near NYC. Orlando is nice, but inland. What's the point of living in FL if you're not within a short drive from the beach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
Seems to me that with your experience as a Limo driver, LV would be perfect.
That would *seem* to be a logical assumption, but there's no guarantee of me being able to get that type of work in Vegas (or Tampa or anywhere other than NY) right away. I was just looking at the website for one of the casinos in Vegas yesterday, and they happened to have a job opening for a limo driver. When I read the requirements, though, they said they wanted someone with experience driving for a high-volume resort (I do not have that) AND that the applicant MUST be familiar with the Las Vegas Valley (I am not). Even in this age of GPS, limo services will still discriminate against applicants who are not from/not familiar with the area where they are hiring.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,952 posts, read 12,436,090 times
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I've visited all over the place and thankful I have been able to do it.

Here is my review as I tried out places to retire to. I realize your not looking for retirement locations but this is will give you some focus on areas.

Las Vegas is a difficult place at best for someone that needs to be working. It is I'm sorry to say can be a very limited job market. Just way to many people competing for the little work that is there. The area never seemed to invest in much on this subject, besides casino and service industry type work. It is also a very windy dusty area. I don't know what is with the wind, but it has long periods of high winds. It gets a lot muggier during part of the summer than one would think. It isn't completely that dry desert heat one hears about. Combine that with the intense sun and really lack of shade in the desert, and its brutal. Mobs and mobs of people/tourists pouring in all day every day into Las Vegas. Weekends get ready for the thousands that pour in from LA and SD to lose their money. That in itself makes it feel like a very transient not very homey feeling type of place to live. Casino's and slot machines everywhere, even in grocery stores, gas stations. I think I have even them in a library. I don't know to each their own, I just would not recommend Vegas as a place to live.


I think the Tampa Bay area is a better fit, but its up to you to really decide. You would probably find better job opportunities in the Bay area. Your also closer to other areas in the state to visit In Vegas yes you can drive to the locations you mentioned. However they are hundreds of miles away. Las Vegas can feel rather isolated really fast.

If I were you I would take a visit out to Las Vegas. Rent a car because you will have to have one. Look at the area from the viewpoint of living there, not on a gambling holiday. See what you think. Get a feel for the sprawl and how abruptly Las Vegas turns from urban area, to complete desert for hundreds of miles. See if that appeals to you. Then you will know. Do I really want to live here or just visit.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,107,165 times
Reputation: 14611
at least being in Tampa, you can alway shift elsewhere within the state to find something (work) - ie down to Sarasota, Miami, Naples, Ft Myers, Jax, Orlando......in LV, you pretty much have LV, Tahoe - then Reno is quite a distance.....LV is sort of isolated, isn't it? Guess you could shift over to Tucson, LA, Phoenix, or other Cali cities.....maybe the TB/STP area would be a decent starting point then move around as needed.
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