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Old 07-26-2007, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Weirton, West Virginia
19 posts, read 60,735 times
Reputation: 15

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Background: I'm 45-years-old. I have a 41-year-old husband, a 4-year-old son and 1-year-old son. Both my sons were adopted from Guatemala as infants.

Here's the scoop - I am between jobs right now but at a pivitol point in my career where I really need to settle down and start planning for retirement. (Hopefully - someday!) I am lucky enough to have the education and experience to land a decent paralegal/legal assistant position nearly anywhere I want. My husband, however, is a general laborer. He is working for a decent company now, although it's not his dream job.

I really, really leaning toward pulling up roots here in West Virginia (across the border from Pittsburgh, PA) and moving to the Bradenton area where my nephew and his family live. They love it there, but they are 16 years my junior and youth can make you somewhat oblivious to some things.

My issues are 1) employment for my husband - he must find a job making at least 25k per year to make it a reasonable move. 2) safety & education for my two boys. I want to do my absolute best for them and keeping them out of gangs and on the right track educationally is key for me. 3) I have seasonal affective disorder which makes winter here absolutely HELL for me.

So do I take a chance and move everyone down there or do I stay in the Pittsburgh, PA area (cheaper, safer?) and just medicate myself into oblivion in the winter?

Thanks!
Dulcie
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:01 PM
 
15,956 posts, read 33,679,512 times
Reputation: 20314
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcattrell View Post
Background: I'm 45-years-old. I have a 41-year-old husband, a 4-year-old son and 1-year-old son. Both my sons were adopted from Guatemala as infants.

Here's the scoop - I am between jobs right now but at a pivitol point in my career where I really need to settle down and start planning for retirement. (Hopefully - someday!) I am lucky enough to have the education and experience to land a decent paralegal/legal assistant position nearly anywhere I want. My husband, however, is a general laborer. He is working for a decent company now, although it's not his dream job.

I really, really leaning toward pulling up roots here in West Virginia (across the border from Pittsburgh, PA) and moving to the Bradenton area where my nephew and his family live. They love it there, but they are 16 years my junior and youth can make you somewhat oblivious to some things.

My issues are 1) employment for my husband - he must find a job making at least 25k per year to make it a reasonable move. 2) safety & education for my two boys. I want to do my absolute best for them and keeping them out of gangs and on the right track educationally is key for me. 3) I have seasonal affective disorder which makes winter here absolutely HELL for me.

So do I take a chance and move everyone down there or do I stay in the Pittsburgh, PA area (cheaper, safer?) and just medicate myself into oblivion in the winter?

Thanks!
Dulcie
I would NOT come to Bradenton - crime and gangs there are BAD-BAD-BAD, and the job market not good, cost of living high. If you must come to Florida, I would check out other areas. You might be making a huge mistake to move at this time. I would do a LOT of research and long hard thinking before making a drastic move. Maybe you can take vacations during the gloomy weather.

I do wish you luck. Not saying don't move, just do plenty of research on any area you are looking at.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:39 PM
 
44 posts, read 274,175 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
I would NOT come to Bradenton - crime and gangs there are BAD-BAD-BAD, and the job market not good, cost of living high. If you must come to Florida, I would check out other areas. You might be making a huge mistake to move at this time. I would do a LOT of research and long hard thinking before making a drastic move. Maybe you can take vacations during the gloomy weather.

I do wish you luck. Not saying don't move, just do plenty of research on any area you are looking at.
I live on the west side of bradenton. There are no gangs and no crime. It is a beautifull place to live, I would'nt want to live antwhere else!!
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
84 posts, read 334,203 times
Reputation: 50
I tend to agree more with "peaches". While the crime and gang problem in Bradenton has worsened over the years, like most cities, it is mostly concentrated in the rougher parts of town. West Bradenton is still mostly middle class residential areas, and are relatively safe(r) communities.

I will admit, that I do not enjoy visiting Desoto Square Mall, as it appears to be a hangout place for many ghetto youths. Like most any growing city in this country though, crime is mostly on the increase, and I attribute a lot of that to illegal immigration, and fact that todays younger generations just do not have the upbringing and sense of responsibility of our ancestors, when America was a kinder, more gentler place. Those days of America's innocence appear to be gone forever, in many places.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:09 PM
SKB
 
Location: WPB
900 posts, read 3,269,340 times
Reputation: 330
Default Its not a good idea..for a lot of reasons.

"Here's the scoop - I am between jobs right now but at a pivitol point in my career where I really need to settle down and start planning for retirement."

Honey, you are getting to the party late as far as starting to plan for your retirement!!!!
I would say based on that, you need to stay where you are and consult someone at once to start making catch up Roth IRA and 401K contributions.
Forget Florida, they have the lowest paying salaries in the nation.

Roth vs. Traditional IRA - Financial Calculators from Dinkytown.net

See a doctor for some anti depressants that work for you if you find you are suffering from SAD

Sorry I may not be saying what you want to hear but the moment you mentioned "retirement" my spidey senses started tingling.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:58 PM
 
960 posts, read 1,462,740 times
Reputation: 409
Legal assistants/paralegals probably make half-way decent money in your area. However, the Bradenton/Sarasota job market is an entirely different animal. From my impressions, there are tons of applicants for administrative support positions (legal and otherwise) but very few available openings. Competition is high..high..high and salaries are low..low..low.

As for your husbands possibilities, there are lawn care and general maintenance positions. But I wouldn't expect him to make more than $10.00, because there are immigrants (legal/illegal) that are willing to do it for far less money.

Housing is a huge issue here. It is just not affordable for "working class" people right now. If you were to make a move here now, it is unlikely that you would be able to afford an area that would be "safe" enough for your young family. Bradenton has always had its "bad" areas, but the areas have really expanded in size over the past few years and the types of crimes are more violent.

As for your SAD, besides medication, there are sunlight lamps. I think half the population of Alaska has a sun lamp for the winter.

As the old saying goes, "Wherever you go, there you are."

A "geographical" fix is never a cure.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Venice, Fl
1,497 posts, read 3,216,886 times
Reputation: 1424
Default Are you kidding me ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~peaches~ View Post
I live on the west side of bradenton. There are no gangs and no crime. It is a beautifull place to live, I would'nt want to live antwhere else!!
I lived in Bradenton for 14 years. You have to be joking that there are no gangs ???? Maybe in the "west side" upper class neihgborhoods it's not so prevalent, but answer me this, how many evening strolls can you take down manatee ave after dark, or Cortez, or 301 , or 41, I think you get my meaning. Several years ago in Bradenton I was almost carjacked, luckily I carried a fire arm at the time and the situation diffused quickly after pulling it. If raising your kids in a gang free area with minimal drug problems is a priority , Bradenton is not for you. Let's not forget the gang related shooting on Anna Maria Island not long ago that had the whole beach shut down for the season because the police feared a gang war.... yea no gangs in bradenton. Not all of Bradenton is a gang war zone, but a very large chunk of it sure is, north manatee county, Ellenton and Parrish have their problems also , but much nicer than Bradenton
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:14 AM
 
49 posts, read 176,957 times
Reputation: 29
Old Man Winter
Do you still live in Bradenton? I do, 35 years! Your update about the gang’s related shooting is incorrect. If you recall over the years we always have visitors (Hispanics / Mexicans) come to our island over the Easter weekend causing havoc. We always were aware to stay off the beaches during this holiday. Also you might recall we have always had to have extra police enforcement during that particular holiday. Do you also not realize that the most recent gang shooting at the Beach was not from Bradenton? They were from Brandon... I grew up in NW Bradenton, which is still a great place to live and now live in West Bradenton which I love just as much. Bradenton is a great place. Yes, there are locations you should not travel as always 14th has never been a great place nor 301. Desoto not a great place either at night but the area has always had issues?
Dcatrell my suggestion is to come in visit. Take a couple days and tour around and make the decision for yourself. Like I said I enjoy Bradenton and live in a great neighborhood, I wont' lie to you as things are getting worse and I hope we can get a handle on them but as you might be aware many cities are battling the same issues.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:37 AM
 
Location: US
3,090 posts, read 3,636,320 times
Reputation: 1646
Dulcie - I've been in the field of law for 37 years here in Florida, with a few years off here and there, and have been a paralegal since 1986. I don't know how much experience you have, but with education and experience, and at your age, you still have time for a good move work wise. However, the area you're asking about is not a "hot" area for law. You want to make as much as possible and find a firm that offers a 401(k). Your bigger firms offer that. You want to try to find a larger city that provides higher levels of jobs, and Sarasota/Bradenton just does not offer that. As much as I love Florida and our area in Orlando, in my humble opinion, Florida or any smaller venue is not a place for someone in the position in which you have described yourself.

I would start to network paralegal associations in larger cities and/or, at a minimum, look at the jobs in larger cities. Paralegals bend over backwards to help their own. For example, Nashville has advertised corporate and law firm paralegals with experience for $60,000 a year, most are about $45,000 for just a few years experience. Legal assistants are $40,000 to $45,000. Your husband would have more opportunities in larger cities. Atlanta is a good place job wise for you, but I've never visited there nor done a lot of research on the area, and hear/read about bad traffic, etc.

If you look around, you can find housing for your family within your salary range, even if it means living in a smaller place, foreclosure or handyman special type of house, and then you can save whatever your husband makes. With the research skills I know you had to learn with your profession, use that skill to your advantage in finding a home

I don't know what skills your husband has, but specialized subcontractors in the trades make more money if they are quality-minded. For example, a painter we know here in Orlando who is fully equipped moved to Alabama and makes nearly double what he was making here . Another moved to Tennessee and, while the pay is just slightly lower for the area to which he relocated, the cost of living is much less. With the trades, Florida is tending to move toward the Hispanic population--obviously not in all cases though. As the Hispanic population increases, obviously more Hispanic decision makers are filling jobs. They are tending to choose Hispanic trades to perform their services. My hubby too started as a painter and he's been able to build a business on his own. Now, in Florida, I am sorry to say, I'm not sure he could do the same thing. (Before anyone gets on me about my use of the term "Hispanic," this is a fact, not a slam or a flame to or about a race of people.)

We dissolved a nice IRA for medical treatment for our daughter, so we rejoined the party late, too, but we've pulled a pretty nice recovery. I must be candid to tell you that we would not be able to do that and what we've done here if we moved to Florida now.

Good luck. To me, you're not out of the box--you just have to make a very wise decision as to your relocation.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Weirton, West Virginia
19 posts, read 60,735 times
Reputation: 15
Default Thank you all!

Thank you all very much for your input. Yep - I'm joining the chase for retirement dollars late - I had some built up but decided at 40 I needed to be a mother and international adoption ($$$) was the only viable option. I don't regret that at all, except on the occassional day when my body reminds me of my age as I'm trying to keep up with a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old.

I just got a job offer locally that I just can't pass up so I'll be staying put. I'll be making about what I anticipated making in Bradenton but it will go a lot farther here. Honestly in Western PA or even more so - my neck of West Virginia right across the border from PA - $250k will practically buy a mansion. A nice family home in a decent neighborhood can be had for a lot less. I knew the cost of housing in Florida was high and other costs like home owner's insurance, car insurance, etc. make it worse. Still, I was willing to take on those issues if I felt it was a better move for my family, but when all the pros and cons were weighed, a move just didn't make sense. The crime really was a worry for me. Keeping my boys safe and beyond that, raising them someplace where there are fewer negative influences, trumps my SAD.

So I'll squirrell away as much money as I can for things like mid-winter vacations and maybe a retirement in the sunshine. I do love to vacation in Florida so maybe I'll see you on the beach!

Thanks again for your feedback - it's been very helpful in helping me see what I already knew to be.

Dulcie
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