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Old 09-02-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
144 posts, read 493,616 times
Reputation: 73

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I posed this question on the Raleigh area forums and I thought I would do the same here for some feedback.


I can retire from my position as a firefighter in San Diego, CA at the end of next year.
My gross income will be $60k/yr without working.

Just looking at online rentals housing looks very affordable. We would be renting for a few years just to get the feel of a new life.

And, we do love the ocean.

The quality of life for us compared to living in SoCal with the difference in Cost of Living on paper seems quite do-able.

My wife's cousin, a SoCal transplant, lives somewhere outside Raleigh and loves it.

We also have some old neighbors that moved to the Wilmington area that are originally from that region and they seem to have built a good life for themselves. Of course, they moved when the economy wasn't in full flush mode.

Since I would not, initially, have to find work I am wondering if the Wilmington area is a realistic prospect.

I do want to work at some point and I am quite interested in solar and renewable energy. I would, of course, need re-training.
I know in the Raleigh area there are community colleges that teach those courses.

For what it's worth I wouldn't mind working anywhere part time if it helped my family transition. The key for me would be being at home every night vs. being a firefighter working 80-100 hour weeks like I do now.
Again, with the economy in the toilet I know jobs are low paying and hard to come by.

We are so ready to get off the SoCal treadmill. My oldest daughter is going to University in Charleston, SC and she loves not being in SoCal any longer.

My twins will be 8 at the end of next year so this would be a good time for us to move.

Also, my wife has her CA teaching credential for Spanish and she would not mind picking up tutoring or part time work as a teacher, although in this economy we would not want to depend on any other income other than my retirement.

Does this sound reasonable?

Last edited by soulpatch; 09-02-2011 at 12:27 PM.. Reason: Re-title
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,364 posts, read 26,967,834 times
Reputation: 6979
It seems feasible, without knowing your spending habits. We are retired with about the same amount of income, but no kids. But, a couple of points: 1. Raleigh is a 3 hour drive from the Wilmington area, so it's a long commute to a community college. 2. If you consider buying, check the property tax rates as well as housing prices. Wilmington has higher house prices than any other urban area of North Carolina. 3. Summer are very humid, and the mosquitoes are abundant.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,364 posts, read 26,967,834 times
Reputation: 6979
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulpatch View Post
I am quite interested in solar and renewable energy. I would, of course, need re-training.
I haven't seen a huge demand for solar energy in housing. However, the state has required power companies to use a certain abount of renewable energy sources.

I'm not sure if there are jobs in these areas. If you have the capital to start your own business, you might do OK.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:06 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
144 posts, read 493,616 times
Reputation: 73
Just talked to a friend that lives there and he says the jobs market is low paying and not doing well.

However, the bottom line is could we live modestly in a nice rental for that kind of money?

I would like to work but I don't want it to be absolutely necessary since my income is guaranteed.

It appears that Brunswick Community College has courses in renewable energy.

The bottom line: Affordability on my initial retirement income and a good community to raise my children in....

We try to eat as organic as possible and we try to limit our impact on our surroundings. We are very outdoor oriented and like to be active daily.

Heck, I wouldn't mind making sandwiches at a deli part time if it means I can spend every night at home with my family!
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,364 posts, read 26,967,834 times
Reputation: 6979
Smile Affordablility of Brunswick County

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulpatch View Post
It appears that Brunswick Community College has courses in renewable energy.

The bottom line: Affordability on my initial retirement income and a good community to raise my children in....
I estimated a budget of $900-950 per month for rent, which would allow for about $300 utilities, and stay within 25% of your gross monthly income. Then using realtor dot com I turned up 5 pages of 3 bedroom rentals within 20 miles of Leland, NC (Brunswick County).

So I think it is very do-able if you don't insist on a deluxe house. The rentals are mostly 3Br ranches, a few townhouses or duplexes. Leland and Southport are nice, growing areas. I would not mind raising kids there. You might not get the top-rated schools: Leland schools get 5-7 ratings from Greatschools. However Southport schools get 7, 8, and 9 out of 10 from Greatschools, which is very good.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,364 posts, read 26,967,834 times
Reputation: 6979
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulpatch View Post
We try to eat as organic as possible and we try to limit our impact on our surroundings. We are very outdoor oriented and like to be active daily.
A few more ideas. The local Food Lion grocery stores have organic sections, and there are probably local farmers who sell produce and eggs.

I checked the local newspaper want ads at Wilmington NC news, sports, weather, Wilmington film news, homes | StarNewsOnline.com | Wilmington Star News
General Electric Energy says it is into renewable energy, but its jobs probably require 4-year degrees.

Fall, winter and spring are great for outdoor activities. However, summer can be overwhelmingly humid and there are lots of bugs. It isn't San Diego!

On the whole, I think your move can work as long as you don't expect too much.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:50 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
144 posts, read 493,616 times
Reputation: 73
Boy, that is a pretty sparse help wanted section.... I feel for people needing employment right now.
At least I know my retirement is secure and will have, minimum, annual 2% COLA's for the rest of my life.
Wow. Some of those outlying beach communities look very nice.

It will be interesting to see where we decide to land. Triangle area or coastal..... we will be visiting both in spring time as well as Charleston, SC to watch my oldest daughter graduate.
She is a big fan of NC compared to SC, though, and recommends we concentrate in NC.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
144 posts, read 493,616 times
Reputation: 73
Thanks for the hook-up on Realtor-dot-com..... excellent. Although I did see some listings that had been on there for a LOOOONG time.
Must be desperate RE times everywhere.
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