DRASTIC MEASURE TO LOWER YOUR COST OF LIVING
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My family made a huge move this summer from a moderate cost of living area to one of the higher cost of living areas. The advantages of this move are enormous; we live a short distance from one of the most exciting cities in the country. The nature, culture, arts, shopping, and access to just about anything is fantastic. Our weather is outstanding. The job opportunities are good. The public trasportation is better than in our old locale. And, finally the scenery is breathtaking.
All is Not Perfect-The Pros and Cons
According to Salary.com cost of living wizard the cost of living in our new home town is a whopping 40% higher than in our old borough. Wow, I knew it was more expensive here, but I didn’t realize it was this much higher! I’ve personally noticed that groceries, gas, restaurants, and housing are significantly more costly in this dream city.
We made the move with our eyes open. El Carino’s new salary is higher than his prior pay. Our daughter is grown, so we didn’t need to worry about the school district when buying our home. The housing crisis made buying our condo about $150,000.00 cheaper than if we had relocated three years ago! We made the move well aware of the costs and have amassed enough net worth to relocate without jepardizing our financial present or future. And, for us the lifestyle changes warranted the move to this premium locale.
Compare this move with an antonymous decision when our daughter was a toddler. At that time we lived in beautiful and costly San Diego California. We decided that El Carino would look for work in an area where I could afford to take some time off from the rat race to be a full time mom. In a cheaper location we could maintain a nice lifestyle in an area with good schools. Thus, we gave up the paradise of ideal weather, beach, and excitement to move to the midwest. During those years, we saved and invested a lot, lived in good neighborhoods with well regarded school districts, and grew our net worth.
That decision to leave San Diego for the midwest many years ago enabled us to afford our current move without sacrificing our retirement.
Is Moving to a Lower Cost of Living Area Right for You?
Life is all about compromises. You cannot be successful in life, marriage, or just about anything without compromise.
We decided at the outset that we were willing to settle in a moderate midwestern city in order to facilitate the family lifestyle we wanted. After leaving San Diego in the early 1990’s we bought a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home for well under $175,000.00 in an extremely desirable midwestern neighborhood surrounded by much more luxurious homes. I stayed at home and enjoyed being a mom and head household manager for a few years. We put the maximum into both a workplace 401(K) and Roth IRA’s. And during those years, in the middle parts of the country, our family-focused life set a solid foundation for our future.
For those living on the coasts and in the high cost areas of the country I recommend living in a more affordable locale. The financial savings are enormous and the lifestyle, while not as glamorous has it’s advantages. We didn’t get stuck in a traffic jam for many years. Of course, like all decisions, money is not the only decision making factor. There is family proximity, job outlook, and personal preferences. But, don’t rule out a move, there are some beautiful places off the beaten path. Even Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live article recommends some unique locations.
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Have you considered relocating to save money?
image credit; James Hetherington