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Old 06-29-2013, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 32,807 times
Reputation: 17

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Hello, all. I'd welcome thoughts from anyone about whether Minneapolis might be a good location to move to with my young son.

I'm in my mid forties, and I'm an attorney. I have a 9-year-old son who I am the sole caretaker of (his mother died recently). I've been living in Boston for more than fifteen years. No offense to Boston itself, but we've had a lot of heartache here and I've recently learned my job will be ending near the end of the year.

So, I'm interested in making a fresh start elsewhere. I should emphasize (because this has been a source of confusion in other forums) that in no way am I looking to find somewhere like Boston, only in a different place. In fact, the less a place is like Boston, the more I will like it.

Important factors to me include friendly people, good schools, a lower cost of living than in Boston (I currently rent a 3 BR apartment here for $2,600 / mo.) a slower pace of life than on the East Coast, family friendly (big yards, plenty of parks and outdoor activity, etc.). A different sort of landscape has great appeal to me. Part of my thinking there is that following my ex-wife's death, we have fixed sums of money from insurance and her SSI that might go substantially farther in other places. Also, now that I am his sole caretaker, I am concerned about finding work here that will keep us afloat and also let me be available to/for him. I plan to let location drive the decision rather than conducting a job search ahead of time, so I'd be interested in people's impressions of the local economy. Also, if you have ideas about nearby communities, where schools are good, etc.

I am open to practicing law in the new destination, but it is not mandatory (firm work and billing hours may be difficult as a single parent). I have lived in Madison, WI in the past, so the cold in MN is not a real issue for me.

I welcome any thoughts and advice. Thanks so much.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
5,147 posts, read 6,962,406 times
Reputation: 1566
I think Minneapolis and several suburbs would be a good move. Most certainly in the cost of living area. But there are many good schools. Choose a better district. Edina has one. Others will name some of the alternatives. Southwest Minneapolis is not only a very nice set of neighborhoods but has some good schools, too.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:19 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 58,059,642 times
Reputation: 10648
I think you could easily find what you are looking for here. What you are paying in rent would buy you a sizable house, 4000 sq ft, in most suburbs so cost of living will be very nice. There are also some wonderful smaller towns around MN that have great employment opportunities and would give you that wonderful community feel. As for working, perhaps a corporate attorney would give you more regular hours but that would depend on what you are comfortable with.

I'm thinking of towns like Marshall where you could find a nice house in a quite neighborhood for $200,000 and less, much less in some cases depending on what you want in a house. It's a place where you will know your neighbors, the families of your son's friends, people car pool to sports practices, the kids can ride their bikes to the pool, park, their friends' houses, etc. There are several major employers in town and your law degree would be attractive to them or just your experience and willingness to live small town life.

Having visited Boston, even the busiest Minneapolis area is still quieter than Boston and drivers here are WAY better .
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:42 PM
 
62,999 posts, read 53,866,040 times
Reputation: 18886
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesCher View Post
Hello, all. I'd welcome thoughts from anyone about whether Minneapolis might be a good location to move to with my young son.

I'm in my mid forties, and I'm an attorney. I have a 9-year-old son who I am the sole caretaker of (his mother died recently). I've been living in Boston for more than fifteen years. No offense to Boston itself, but we've had a lot of heartache here and I've recently learned my job will be ending near the end of the year.

So, I'm interested in making a fresh start elsewhere. I should emphasize (because this has been a source of confusion in other forums) that in no way am I looking to find somewhere like Boston, only in a different place. In fact, the less a place is like Boston, the more I will like it.

Important factors to me include friendly people, good schools, a lower cost of living than in Boston (I currently rent a 3 BR apartment here for $2,600 / mo.) a slower pace of life than on the East Coast, family friendly (big yards, plenty of parks and outdoor activity, etc.). A different sort of landscape has great appeal to me. Part of my thinking there is that following my ex-wife's death, we have fixed sums of money from insurance and her SSI that might go substantially farther in other places. Also, now that I am his sole caretaker, I am concerned about finding work here that will keep us afloat and also let me be available to/for him. I plan to let location drive the decision rather than conducting a job search ahead of time, so I'd be interested in people's impressions of the local economy. Also, if you have ideas about nearby communities, where schools are good, etc.

I am open to practicing law in the new destination, but it is not mandatory (firm work and billing hours may be difficult as a single parent). I have lived in Madison, WI in the past, so the cold in MN is not a real issue for me.

I welcome any thoughts and advice. Thanks so much.
Sounds like you might do fine in the Twin Cities.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:02 PM
 
1,807 posts, read 2,828,064 times
Reputation: 1511
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesCher View Post
Hello, all. I'd welcome thoughts from anyone about whether Minneapolis might be a good location to move to with my young son.

I'm in my mid forties, and I'm an attorney. I have a 9-year-old son who I am the sole caretaker of (his mother died recently). I've been living in Boston for more than fifteen years. No offense to Boston itself, but we've had a lot of heartache here and I've recently learned my job will be ending near the end of the year.

So, I'm interested in making a fresh start elsewhere. I should emphasize (because this has been a source of confusion in other forums) that in no way am I looking to find somewhere like Boston, only in a different place. In fact, the less a place is like Boston, the more I will like it.

Important factors to me include friendly people, good schools, a lower cost of living than in Boston (I currently rent a 3 BR apartment here for $2,600 / mo.) a slower pace of life than on the East Coast, family friendly (big yards, plenty of parks and outdoor activity, etc.). A different sort of landscape has great appeal to me. Part of my thinking there is that following my ex-wife's death, we have fixed sums of money from insurance and her SSI that might go substantially farther in other places. Also, now that I am his sole caretaker, I am concerned about finding work here that will keep us afloat and also let me be available to/for him. I plan to let location drive the decision rather than conducting a job search ahead of time, so I'd be interested in people's impressions of the local economy. Also, if you have ideas about nearby communities, where schools are good, etc.

I am open to practicing law in the new destination, but it is not mandatory (firm work and billing hours may be difficult as a single parent). I have lived in Madison, WI in the past, so the cold in MN is not a real issue for me.

I welcome any thoughts and advice. Thanks so much.
First of all, sorry for your loss.

You should know that the market for attorneys in the Twin Cities is somewhat saturated, and has been for years. This is due to several law programs churning out graduates. I am not an attorney, so somebody on the forums who is could give you better perspective on whether that's accurate or not-- it is just what I've heard (from some attorneys, I might add).

Everything you've prioritized seems in line with a move to the Twin Cities. You will find plenty of parks and outdoor resources here, although big yards is totally subjective. I'd guess that most yards for single family houses are larger than what you'd be used to in Boston. But it's not really sprawling yards anywhere in the city-- pretty close to a Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit or even Chicago in terms of lot sizes. Not too much different from a Pittsburgh, for that matter....

Parks are plentiful, though. Two zoos, plenty of lakes, bike trails, regional parks further out, etc.

It is much cheaper than Boston. $2,600 will go a loooong way in terms of rental property.

The schools are good, overall. My personal opinion is to stick with public, since I don't feel as though enrolling in private schools is really as big of a leg-up in the Twin Cities as it is many places (unless it's Breck or Blake, in which case, the kid has to get in in the first place, and that's no small task). If you want to live in one of the cities itself, you'll probably want to stick towards the southwest side of Minneapolis. SW HS is probably the best public HS in the city, and its feeder elementary and middle schools are consequently some of the best. In St. Paul, the same argument would apply to Highland.

You can also open-enroll into suburban districts with relative ease in Minnesota.

Minnesotans are famously nice, although I've heard many transplants say that it is tough to make friends since Minnesotans also tend to be more reserved, and more respectful of others' privacy, family lives, etc. than folks on the coasts. Some people read this as being cold, but it is really just a cultural difference. Most Minnesotans won't make the first move in initiating a friendship with a newcomer. Sure, they'll be plenty polite and can small-talk with the best of them, but the general feeling is that they won't want to be intrusive, especially when you're settling into your new home. Your best bet would probably be to hold a BBQ or other neighborhood event at your home, and invite the neighbors. They'll most likely take that as a cue that they are welcome in your space, and feel relieved that you're working to build community in the neighborhood.

Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:16 AM
 
1,258 posts, read 2,236,077 times
Reputation: 1319
I don't think the market for lawyer jobs is very good here. Lots of recent law grads having trouble finding work, so keep that in mind.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
5,147 posts, read 6,962,406 times
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Although a lot of those grads probably are futilely looking to practice within the Metro so they can enjoy the entertainment and shopping. Could be like teachers and doctors, the need is some distance from the bright lights of the city.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:47 PM
 
643 posts, read 961,323 times
Reputation: 469
Even living in Minneapolis, you will have your choice of neighborhoods with wide, tree-lined streets...with plenty of street parking. And a garage. It is very different from Boston.

You will really enjoy it, as long as you won't miss easy access to ocean (and are plenty okay with a Great Lake or many, many smaller beautiful lakes) or mountains. Chicago is 45min away if you miss 'the city' life.

I have also heard that the lawyer scene is tough in Minneapolis right now.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
5,147 posts, read 6,962,406 times
Reputation: 1566
Not as walkable a city as Boston, but many people bike rather than walk. And the buses have racks that you load a bike on for longer distances. By the way, my sister was at one time going to transfer to Boston. She and her husband went to check the place out. She said they cancelled the idea when they saw what their house's sale price would buy in Boston.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 32,807 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beenhere4ever View Post
. She said they cancelled the idea when they saw what their house's sale price would buy in Boston.
ha, I'll bet
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