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Old 04-14-2019, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
17,470 posts, read 31,191,171 times
Reputation: 13600

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolejohn View Post
I know out insurance can fly my wife and I and pay for our expenses out of state for a surgery and cover 100% cheaper than an instate 80/20 split.
Agree. My insurance allows me to do that. One of my coworkers did that at a great saving to the insurance company. He and wife had to live in a hotel for over a week in Seattle. In reality the AK healthcare, for a better word, "sucks." And yes, there are a few excellent doctors and specialists, but it is extremely expensive. My wife and I are insured by two different companies. Both are provided by the places we work at, so we don't have to pay too much.

We have a well known optometrist in Fairbanks, Dr. Johnson (across Spenards Builder Supplies). Then two very good urologists, one of them Dr. Huffer.

A good thing to have when one lives in AK is medical evacuation insurance. We don't have it so far, but as we get older it sounds like a good idea.

Last edited by RayinAK; 04-14-2019 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:04 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,203 times
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I really appreciate all the info. It would be a job with Federal benefits so I believe the insurance is not quite as big of an issue. We currently have the same plan I would have there. Luckily, we are healthy. My son does see an orthodontist however. I think there is a cost of living allowance that would assist with the housing costs. We also don’t have any respiratory problems, but am not excited about poor air quality. But this would be a temporary move, two years maximum I believe.

Lots of research to still be done. Suggestions of course are still welcome! Thank you!
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:44 PM
 
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I’m a little different thinking. I get the pay increase covers the cost of living increases as long as you are smart with your money. Biggest cost is housing IMO
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
17,470 posts, read 31,191,171 times
Reputation: 13600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolejohn View Post
I’m a little different thinking. I get the pay increase covers the cost of living increases as long as you are smart with your money. Biggest cost is housing IMO
Housing, medical/dental, and utilities are the big ones. Believe it or not, food cost is a little lower in Fairbanks than in Anchorage. But out in remote areas of Alaska, the cost of living is extremely high as you can see in the Quarterly Report I posted somewhere above.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:26 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
5,760 posts, read 4,078,154 times
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Obviously this is going to vary by profession and person, but one thing I've saved a ton of money on since moving up here is clothing/styling. Back in the lower 48 in my job professional dress meant you were expected to show up at work looking like a camera crew might arrive at any moment. Here it's a ponytail and wearing jeans and a sweater that don't have any holes or stains.

Oh, one thing to bear in mind when looking for housing: you're gonna see some great deals on big places with lots of extra space and nice high ceilings. IT'S A TRAP. The reason the original owner isn't living there anymore is that they can't afford the utilities. You really want a place that has the minimum amount of space you can live with.

Look for somewhere up in the hills, and that'll do a lot to alleviate your air quality issues. The hills are usually warmer in the winter, too, which is a plus.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:32 AM
 
Location: on the wind
12,934 posts, read 6,451,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBM82GRGMKG View Post
I really appreciate all the info. It would be a job with Federal benefits so I believe the insurance is not quite as big of an issue. We currently have the same plan I would have there. Luckily, we are healthy. My son does see an orthodontist however. I think there is a cost of living allowance that would assist with the housing costs. We also don’t have any respiratory problems, but am not excited about poor air quality. But this would be a temporary move, two years maximum I believe.

Lots of research to still be done. Suggestions of course are still welcome! Thank you!
As for federally-available health insurance, CHECK whether they'll pay travel costs. I was a civilian federal employee up here living in a bush town with a very basic clinic. I had to fly out for anything other than PCP preventive care/office visits. My policy only paid travel costs for specific pre-determined conditions, not across the board. It is easy enough to ask about.

Yes, there is what used to be referred to as COLA for AK but now it is more closely tied to locality pay nationally, not just being in the state. The hiring info and vacancy announcement usually states what it will be. If you live in larger metro areas such as Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau it can be a lot lower than for "bush" locales.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:00 PM
 
1,929 posts, read 1,592,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
Housing, medical/dental, and utilities are the big ones. Believe it or not, food cost is a little lower in Fairbanks than in Anchorage. But out in remote areas of Alaska, the cost of living is extremely high as you can see in the Quarterly Report I posted somewhere above.
Living in the bush out money went a lot further than it does on the road. Amazing what town ammitities can do to a budget.

Health gets expensive if you aren’t healthy.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
2,207 posts, read 2,195,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
Obviously this is going to vary by profession and person, but one thing I've saved a ton of money on since moving up here is clothing/styling. Back in the lower 48 in my job professional dress meant you were expected to show up at work looking like a camera crew might arrive at any moment. Here it's a ponytail and wearing jeans and a sweater that don't have any holes or stains.

Oh, one thing to bear in mind when looking for housing: you're gonna see some great deals on big places with lots of extra space and nice high ceilings. IT'S A TRAP. The reason the original owner isn't living there anymore is that they can't afford the utilities. You really want a place that has the minimum amount of space you can live with.

Look for somewhere up in the hills, and that'll do a lot to alleviate your air quality issues. The hills are usually warmer in the winter, too, which is a plus.
I confirm! In -48 for "business casual," I was expected to wear a skirt, heels, hair done, the whole nine yards. In Fairbanks, dress Carhartts and a top with no stains or holes is perfectly acceptable business casual. Shower optional, lol (hey not everyone has water). It's dreamy. Roll out of bed, shower, dress, drive away. 20 minutes, boom, done.

Several years ago I had an interview for an office sort of a job and it was pouring rain. I mean it was like a monsoon. So, so muddy. I wore a pair of new Levis, steel toed boots, a button down top, a Woolrich jacket with a rain jacket over it. Got the job. The HR guy joked that if I would have been wearing ridiculous "interview clothes" in that rain they wouldn't have hired me. Probably not really joking, and I really wouldn't blame them.

For whatever it's worth I could not agree more about housing. Smaller = better in nearly every way. You can usually store your off-season gear in totes under your cabin or something to free-up space. And the hills are noticeably warmer in the winter.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:22 PM
 
1,929 posts, read 1,592,846 times
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I always got a chuckle out of new teachers to the bush. When they got off the plane wearing heels and a skirt, you just knew they wouldn’t last.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
2,207 posts, read 2,195,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolejohn View Post
I always got a chuckle out of new teachers to the bush. When they got off the plane wearing heels and a skirt, you just knew they wouldn’t last.
Where I now work we sometimes have new folks show up on their first day in much the same fashion. We had one gal that showed up for a couple weeks when she first got here in the summer wearing all white. lol She doesn't do that anymore.

Mike Stackhouse (a local musician) wrote a funny song called "She Ain't from Around Here" about a gal that came to Fairbanks wearing white jeans. Good stuff.
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