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Old 08-01-2012, 06:57 PM
 
71 posts, read 165,415 times
Reputation: 135

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Need advice here please?

BACKGROUND:
-born in Homestead, FL
-raised in Japan, then Phillippines, then Japan, then Phillippines (over ages 1-16, the last stretch in the P.I., my most formative years, were 5-6 years and I've always felt like that was "my home/where I grew up") however, I know it won't be the same, and I have no illusions about moving back to the Phillippines
-finished high school in Pensacola area (where dad retired to and built a house)
-joined the military myself at 19, first stationed in Norfolk, VA (hated it, although I lived in a Beach, the beaches were ugly, too congested, hated the military-ness of the place for lack of a better word
-over 10 years, stationed again in Norfolk and in Kings Bay, GA near Jacksonville, FL (liked The country-lifestyle, hated the ugly beaches)
-took a job in West Texas 12 yrs ago with a Fed LE Agency in the Big Bend, and was fascinated with the area for a while, but didn't really fit in as I'm certainly no cowboy
-in Central Texas now, living well, like it ok, live well on the economy, good schools for the kids etc....it's just ok though..

The problem is, I long to live in the tropics...I mean, I dwell on it ALL the time!

It doesn't help that I visit my sister in Royal Palm Beach (near WPB)' and just got back after a week..and a, IN HEAVEN on diving trips/vacations in Key West, Looe Key and Key Largo, but there is no work for me, needing to be near a Federal Courthouse.

I absolutely LOVE West/Royal Palm!

I love everything from the fact that it is so fertile that every place there is dirt, something green grows (unlike my crappy cen-tex yard that dies off every year in the drought)' to the boringly predictable roads that are all in a North, South, East, West orientation, to the palm trees and tropical foliage, to the clear, blue water and great diving, the great fishing and great seafood, to the 8-lane roads like Okechobee that are way over-size for the amount of vehicles on them, to the laid back flipflops and shorts attire, to the mid 90 temps with seabreeze (when it's 107 here in Cen Tex)' to the cheap flights to the Bahamas and Caribbean, to the live music outdoors in the courtyard in WPB on the weeknights..etc, etc, etc

And yet, my sister and her husband want to move to Dallas (job reasons) but they live in Paradise now!

True, their money doesn't buy quite as much house in S/ FL but they live well..

So...I can't stop thinking about trying to get a transfer down there...(age 40 now with 17 years to go before mandatory retirement) or at the very least retire down there.. However, in retirement, think Key Largo or another Key is where I'd want to be..

PLEASE TALK ME OUT OF DWELLING ON THIS IF I'M CRAZY OR MISSING SOMETHING ABOUT S/FL?
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Boynton Beach / Great Neck NY
234 posts, read 675,231 times
Reputation: 190
Hard to talk you out of dwelling on this because everything you say in the paragraph below is SO true.

The only thing I would add to your list is that the weather from November - April is incredible. Six months of absolute PARADISE when the majority of the country is freezing their a$$es off. I've been all over the country and this place is truly an amazing place to live.

Isn't there a federal courthouse in Miami?

Perhaps consider buying a place now in anticipation of your retirement. Real estate is SO cheap right now and you could use the place for your vacations.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Switchback View Post
Need advice here please?

I absolutely LOVE West/Royal Palm!

I love everything from the fact that it is so fertile that every place there is dirt, something green grows (unlike my crappy cen-tex yard that dies off every year in the drought)' to the boringly predictable roads that are all in a North, South, East, West orientation, to the palm trees and tropical foliage, to the clear, blue water and great diving, the great fishing and great seafood, to the 8-lane roads like Okechobee that are way over-size for the amount of vehicles on them, to the laid back flipflops and shorts attire, to the mid 90 temps with seabreeze (when it's 107 here in Cen Tex)' to the cheap flights to the Bahamas and Caribbean, to the live music outdoors in the courtyard in WPB on the weeknights..etc, etc, etc

PLEASE TALK ME OUT OF DWELLING ON THIS IF I'M CRAZY OR MISSING SOMETHING ABOUT S/FL?
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:10 PM
 
71 posts, read 165,415 times
Reputation: 135
Thanks or the reply.. Yes there is a courthouse in Miami, as well as one in WPB..
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:10 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 10,574,899 times
Reputation: 12700
I believe there are also US Fed. Courts in FT. Pierce and FT.Lauderdale. This would not be a bad move for you provided that you could get a transfer at the same salary step you're on now and with no loss of seniority.

I wouldn't even consider moving though without that job. What does your family think about the move ? Are schools comparable? Would you be able to sell your home easily in TX - and then buy something comparable in FL?

One thing to consider is that cost of living may be higher simply because of proximity to the coast- home insurance/ hurricane insurance to consider. Even Royal Palm Beach which is a bit inland gets hit when hurricanes come through.

What you have going in your favor is that you would come with a established career in hand. That makes all the difference.


Good luck
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Palm Beach, FL & Napa, CA
2,093 posts, read 5,216,916 times
Reputation: 993
The job market here is often the reason that many have to leave, not because they dislike the weather, hurricane threat or all the other negatives people claim. Jobs are what they are, cannot feed your family, pay the bills or put a roof over your head, then there is little recourse but to go where the jobs are. In a lot of sectors, they surely are not here, often do not pay as well either. South Florida in general changed dramatically over the past 15 years, there has been a big influx of of people that do not work either because they are wealthy retires or just plain wealthy, that are driving up the cost of living and creating over development to cater to them. More retail, low paying service jobs, less of a big influx of world class companies that pay good salaries to afford the housing and etc.

If you can relocate here and have stable work and afford the lifestyle, then I say go for it. I am not a big fan of Texas myself, the weather there is way too hot and humid Dallas, Houston is even worse, Austin and etc., no beach either. I keep hearing how good the job market is in Texas, mainly Austin. I have no idea, I just know I could not move there after living here so long.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:19 PM
 
71 posts, read 165,415 times
Reputation: 135
Wife works from home..all she needs is an internet connection..

I make a little over 100K...and wouldn't lose anything, pay or seniority..
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:54 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 10,574,899 times
Reputation: 12700
In that case I would do some serious thinking. Put aside for the moment, the thoughts of the flip flops, flowered shirts, seas breezes and good food. You can get that anywhere on the the coast.

Talk to a local realtor in TX and look into whether you can sell your home in a reasonable amount of time without taking a loss. Check into such websites as realtor.com, trulia,com, etc. and see what you can get in FL for what funds you'd have available after you sell.

Most important, since you have children, check into the school systems. Print out a map and draw a big circle around what you think might be a decent commuting distance to where you might be working. Make a list of all the towns that fall in that circle. Then check out the GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community website and see what they have to say about district. Most Florida schools underperform. Some are very good, the majority are not. Consider whether private schooling might have to be an option and what that might cost.

For example West Palm schools only a rate a 5 out of 10, Royal Palm a 7 out of 10.

Also look into renting for a year if you do make the move and what that might cost. That would give you time to really drive around on weekends and look into neighborhoods and towns and make the truly right right move when you do buy.

Would I make the move if I were you ? Without a doubt as long as the family was on board with the idea.
You're young yet, retirement is a long way off and lots can happen before then. If I could get a transfer I'd make the move. PS- forget the Keys for the time being. That's a retirement/ vacation option only IMO.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:32 AM
 
17,288 posts, read 27,509,614 times
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If you're making 100k and your wife works from home, then it's really a no brainer. Worth a shot. You WILL get less for the money of course, and certain things cost more money than Texas... but you know that and reduce your Texas honed expectations, and you'll do fine.

(Hint: We all balk at the Texas-sized expectations of people on House Hunters who get 4 bedroom McMansions for 100k! -- not gonna happen here, lol!)


Honestly, I think people overblow the "Florida schools underperform" thing. I did all Florida public schools from 2nd grade through graduate school. Florida SCHOOLS do not underperform. The demographics of certain schools underperform, for a variety of reasons. It's not as if all the crappy teachers get sent to Belle Glade and the heavily "immigrant" areas, and all the good teachers get sent to the A schools in Jupiter and Gardens and Boca (which, by the way, if you do a comparison of school averages in the suburban areas to other suburban areas in Texas, you will see many cities outperform schools elsewhere in the country).
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:57 AM
 
11 posts, read 18,080 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Switchback View Post
Wife works from home..all she needs is an internet connection..

I make a little over 100K...and wouldn't lose anything, pay or seniority..age 40 now with 17 years to go before mandatory retirement
Law enforcement at a federal courthouse making over 100k? Wow
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