Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
supersharpie
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by supersharpie »

I originally posted this under the "financial achievements" thread. However, I am starting a new thread because the main purpose of sharing our situation is to seek advice related to our plans to move across the country at age 44. We also would appreciate any of you willing to share your experiences, both positive and negative, with making major changes in your life around the same age.

Here goes:

We hit 700k in retirement savings yesterday. Our net worth is approximately 1M.

We talked last night about what this all means. At this point, if we keep on adding 100k+/year to our balance we are planning on making some fairly significant changes in about 7 years, when we will both be turning 44 (quite literally mid-life).

We have been wanting to move to the West Coast ever since 2014. We never feel more at home than when we vacation in California. We are risk averse, which is why we have not moved to this point, but we don't wish to defer this dream longer than necessary.

Assuming we continue to max out our retirement contributions and achieve 5% real annual returns over the next seven years, we will have approximately 1.5M (in 2020 dollars) saved for retirement. We don't have children and absent an "accident" that isn't changing between now and 2027. We will likely have another 250k-400k in cash thanks to the sale of our house plus additional savings.

Therefore, we anticipate a move west in late 2027/early 2028. My wife will retain her work from home job, in small part to keep us covered by employment-based group health insurance and in large part to pay the bills without having to touch our nest egg.

I will probably just "wing it" for the first 6 to 12 months, maybe do something "fun" like sling brews at a microbrewery's taproom and/or volunteer at an animal shelter.

Based on my work experience (gov't sector), I should be able to find consulting work and/or paid speaking gigs fairly easily.

We don't plan on touching our nest egg until 59.5, at which point, again assuming 5% annual real returns, it should be in the ballpark of 3 to 4M (in 2020 dollars). I will have a ~20k/year pension kicking in at 60, she will have one around 25k/year kicking in at 62 so we should have 170k-200k in annual income from that point forward without Social Security, which is roughly our income bracket now. We also anticipate collecting an additional 50k/year or so from Social Security when we file at 70.

All in all, I think this is a fairly well thought out, fairly risk averse plan. Obviously there is plenty of uncertainty in the years ahead, and we will certainly adjust our plans accordingly, but it feels pretty darned good to realize this is no longer a mere pipe dream.

Thoughts? Don't be afraid to burst our balloon if you think we are in need of a reality check!
Last edited by supersharpie on Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hbdad
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:29 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by hbdad »

I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
Topic Author
supersharpie
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by supersharpie »

hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
Seems like living in CA is a love it or hate it proposition for most folks. We will have the flexibility to move elsewhere whenever we want thanks to my wife being able to work anywhere and me not needing to earn additional cash to make ends meet. We have toyed with going full "digital nomad" but I think we innately want a bit more stability than what that lifestyle offers.

I will say, we were thinking of settling in or around LA but the recent wildfires have given us pause. Now we are thinking of giving San Diego a try instead. We have collectively spent a over a month in each city over the past couple of years, so we are starting to get the lay of the land. We prefer LA due to the culinary and entertainment scene, as well as the fact we have a good friend living there. However, we have been quite impressed by San Diego as well, although it is far sleepier than its neighbor to the north.
rgs92
Posts: 2842
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by rgs92 »

The house prices there are the big problem. A million-dollar house would be a minimum now, and quite possibly much more down the road.
If that is really your destination, I would consider buying a house there now and renting it out to lock in current prices.
Last edited by rgs92 on Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
supersharpie
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by supersharpie »

rgs92 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:49 pm The house prices there are the big problem. A million-dollar house would be a minimum.
Probably just going to rent, unless we decide we are going to live in CA for the rest of our lives. We may go the unconventional long-term Airbnb route for at least the first year or two, perhaps spending a year in LA and a year in SD before potentially settling on something more permanent. Housing is clearly the biggest question mark for us.
rgs92
Posts: 2842
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by rgs92 »

That would subject you house-price surges. Best to get a retirement property now to lock things down. You could easily be priced out down the road. And you would also lock in your property taxes in CA due to Prop 13. That's a big advantage in CA.
mrsbetsy
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:16 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by mrsbetsy »

I moved from the south to California (Bay Area) in 1988. I love it here and will never leave. My southern family were floored when I moved away and I heard all kinds of dire warnings about what would happen. We've recently explored other states for retirement, but none compare and we will stay put. No need to change a great life to save a few bucks.

Congratulations for being in a position in your life where you have choices.

You will find a plethora of volunteer opportunities to enjoy. California is, of course, a loooong state and the areas diverse and some vastly different from one another. The Bay Area is going to feel different than the Central Valley. Northern and Southern California are also quite different.

If you aren't looking for the perfect school district, etc. you can find affordable housing the further away from the Bay Area (or LA) you get. Sacramento is also a great location - absolutely beautiful in some places. If we weren't so tied to our community, we'd be looking there.

Move so you can enjoy the things you like to do. We love attending sports events, concerts, and being outside and before Covid, there was always something we could find to do. Hopefully, we will again very soon!
hbdad
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:29 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by hbdad »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:41 pm
hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
Seems like living in CA is a love it or hate it proposition for most folks. We will have the flexibility to move elsewhere whenever we want thanks to my wife being able to work anywhere and me not needing to earn additional cash to make ends meet. We have toyed with going full "digital nomad" but I think we innately want a bit more stability than what that lifestyle offers.

I will say, we were thinking of settling in or around LA but the recent wildfires have given us pause. Now we are thinking of giving San Diego a try instead. We have collectively spent a over a month in each city over the past couple of years, so we are starting to get the lay of the land. We prefer LA due to the culinary and entertainment scene, as well as the fact we have a good friend living there. However, we have been quite impressed by San Diego as well, although it is far sleepier than its neighbor to the north.
I've lived in both and currently live in Orange County. San Diego county gets fires too. So does Orange County. Just make sure you don't live in a fire area, which means hills, undeveloped areas. If you lived in downtown LA, you're house isn't going to burn in a wildfire. The fires will only continue to be bad as the state does not manage it's land, the power companies are allowed to continue to have old, faulty, above ground power lines, and homeless are allowed to camp wherever they want.
MarkerFM
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by MarkerFM »

Two things jump out at me in your description of your plans. One is your lack of well-defined employment after the move. I'm assuming that since you are planning the move when you are 44 and retiring when you are 60 you will still be in the accumulation stage. If you need a certain income to meet your goals, you need to have a better plan than you described to reach or exceed that income.

The second thing (you might have already accounted for in your projections) is the cost of living difference including taxes between where you are now and where you plan to move.
User avatar
eye.surgeon
Posts: 817
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:19 pm
Location: California

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by eye.surgeon »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:33 pm

Thoughts? Don't be afraid to burst our balloon if you think we are in need of a reality check!
My thoughts as a 20+ year California resident. It's a horrible place to live. It's gotten so much worse. The politics are crazy. Taxes are crazy high. The regulatory environment for small business is beyond terrible. There are homeless people everywhere you go. Think twice, then think again. The day I retire I will be out of here so fast.
Last edited by eye.surgeon on Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett
Topic Author
supersharpie
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by supersharpie »

MarkerFM wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:14 pm Two things jump out at me in your description of your plans. One is your lack of well-defined employment after the move. I'm assuming that since you are planning the move when you are 44 and retiring when you are 60 you will still be in the accumulation stage. If you need a certain income to meet your goals, you need to have a better plan than you described to reach or exceed that income.

The second thing (you might have already accounted for in your projections) is the cost of living difference including taxes between where you are now and where you plan to move.
To your first point, we should hit that 3M to 4M mark without further contributions, on returns alone. I realize a 5% annualized rate of return may be overly optismistic. Ideally, we will continue to at least max out our Roth IRAs and contribute up to the employer match in our 401k(s).
sailaway
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by sailaway »

As a San Diego resident, I have to ask: why aren't you job hunting to make your move during your earning years, rather than waiting?
Topic Author
supersharpie
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by supersharpie »

sailaway wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:26 pm As a San Diego resident, I have to ask: why aren't you job hunting to make your move during your earning years, rather than waiting?
The reason is twofold: I really enjoy my job and there are only a handful of these positions available nationwide. Also, I need 20 years of service to lock in my unreduced pension.
Outer Marker
Posts: 1563
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:01 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Outer Marker »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:38 pm
sailaway wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:26 pm As a San Diego resident, I have to ask: why aren't you job hunting to make your move during your earning years, rather than waiting?
The reason is twofold: I really enjoy my job and there are only a handful of these positions available nationwide. Also, I need 20 years of service to lock in my unreduced pension.
I agree with sailaway. If your dream is to live and work in CA, start looking now. A fed job and a fed pension is nice, but it is hardly golden handcuffs. You may be able to find a better, higher paying job in CA and your odds of doing so are better earlier in your career than later. Don't even think about it until you have something lined up, but no harm in looking. I know plenty of people who work for the feds and they've migrated around to various regions with EPA and Justice. Not sure what your field of expertise is, but, if you're confident you can get consulting work and speaking gigs, you obviously have marketable skills. If that was my dream, I would not be content watching the clock for seven years of my prime.
J295
Posts: 2855
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by J295 »

I didn’t read the details of the post, but I understand from the title what’s going on generally. A couple of things that cross my mind when I have a big decision…

You can’t follow your own path if you’re on the road to another person’s city.

This isn’t a dress rehearsal

You’ll never know if the parachute works if you don’t jump.

Good luck.
Isabelle77
Posts: 661
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Isabelle77 »

I'm nearly 44 :) Last year we decided to leave the west coast and move to New England. My husband had a crazy job opportunity with a big payday and we thought why not? Life is short and all that. We lived all over the country in our 20s and early 30s and we figured we'd be fine.

So, that was in June 2019. The job was terrible, New England has a lot going for it but it was full-on culture shock coming from the west coast, and by June 2020 we were safely back in the PNW :)

Moving for us was harder than it used to be. We had deeper ties. It's harder to make friends in your 40s. I don't regret doing it, we learned so much about what is important to us.

I think you should definitely go. Just be prepared that it may be more difficult than you anticipate. You can always move again! I would make sure you're being realistic and not just having vacation fever. But life is short.

ETA: Just a comment on living in California in general. Be sure you really understand the cost of living there. 80-90% of my friends here in Washington are California transplants, people are leaving for a reason.
illumination
Posts: 1268
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:13 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by illumination »

I wouldn't move until you have accepted a job offer in CA. Also know the "vacation"-type spots you enjoy in CA likely have a really high cost of living and you need to adjust accordingly. I think you're over estimating how easy it is to get a "fun job" like being a bartender and also what sort of careers you can transfer into from working for the federal government (like being a paid professional speaker).
Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 1933
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

It's good to have goals but I would remain flexible. In 7 years, the size of your portfolio will come into better focus as will housing costs in the region you're planning to move to and the job opportunities to be found there. Unless you plan to basically semi-retire at that time, I agree with the advice to try to line up a job before making such a big move.

I can understand why you would want to live in California. I'm from another state but have lived in the Bay Area for a long while. My wife is a local. We love the climate and culture out here. California isn't for everyone as some get trapped in a rat race where they work long hours at a job they don't really enjoy and have to deal with lengthy commutes and high taxes on top. If you can figure out a way to avoid that type of life, it can be a great place.
theorist
Posts: 810
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:39 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by theorist »

Another transplanted Californian here. I grew up and schooled in distant states (midwest and east coast), and chose to move here to work. I am happy here, and have never thought about moving anywhere else — main debate in our family has been NorCal vs SoCal, we’ve tried both.

All that said the two recommendations above that resonant strongly with me are a) think about buying a condo or house now, b) why not explore the job market a bit? Even if you’re very happy w/current employment, it sounds like your spouse’s job is portable and you never know what you might find if you don’t even toss the resume out there.

Good luck!
Topic Author
supersharpie
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by supersharpie »

Thanks all, you have definitely given us food for thought!
flaccidsteele
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:42 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by flaccidsteele »

I stopped trading my Life for money at a job in my 40s

NW will hit $6m soon

I started using social media in my 40s last year. That was a big change for me. I was never on FB, IG, Snap, Twitter, etc

Contributed to improving the financial literacy of younger generations

Currently have 60k followers watching my videos

Wrote a best-selling book on money (requested and pre-ordered by followers)

Organizing an Online Financial Literacy Mastermind (requested and pre-ordered by followers)

Social media has been an interesting experience. I just provide the content that my audience tells me they want to watch
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
Stick5vw
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:46 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Stick5vw »

If you are sure CA is where you want to be, I’d go sooner rather than later especially if you are entering into the prime of your career.

It’s great to have some goals to work toward, but 7 years is a long time and a lot can change between now and then. Life is full of curve balls. I personally have given up on planning too much beyond 3-5 years.

And how one feels about a place they like taking vacations in can shift dramatically if you are living and working there.

Do you have kids? Uprooting them is not always a great idea if they are settled into school with all of their friends etc.
User avatar
Cyclesafe
Posts: 1303
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:03 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Cyclesafe »

So Cal native here.

Cali's idyllic weather is a two mile strip of coastline. Go much farther inland and you might as well be in the desert. Summers unbearable, but winters fully OK. This two mile strip is crazy expensive. A mill buys a dump - if you can find one. And building is discouraged by parsimonious permitting; with renovations much more doable than tear downs. IOW's a budget of $2M is probably inadequate. And you'll still see your neighbor making breakfast.

Relatively low property taxes are offset by high income taxes (no favor to qualified dividends or long term capital gains) and high sales taxes. But in the two mile strip, schools are generally good and the police regularly roust the homeless to congregate them elsewhere where they can get the services they need. Car break ins are common, but home burglaries less so - if my Ring feed is any judge. The police usually arrive too late, so the homeowner is left to considering fending for herself.

We came back to So Cal after living abroad in the '90's. We had missed a large part of our extended families' growing up so when the family kids married and started families of their own, we were deemed peripheral and thus ignorable. Our neighbors turn over about every five years and because we all live so close together, tempers often fray. Another issue is that some new neighbors have stretched too much to buy their homes and they have no money budgeted for maintenance. The neighborhood is deteriorating rapidly because the quality of the original construction was so poor. Despite this, housing is still appreciating at >5% per annum. IMHO, moving somewhere with a homeowner's association is a must. But that also drives up the cost.

Despite all this, renting while you search for a steal that you can renovate while ensconced in a month-to-month would be the only way I'd move here. The only other alternative is to really shell out the dough.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” (Dwight Eisenhower) | "Man plans, God laughs" (Yiddish proverb)
sailaway
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by sailaway »

Did the OP say they required a single family home in the best school district? In my neighborhood, SFH average about $1M, for $2M, you have to go to the 10/10, mostly white school district on the other side of the canyon. And yes, we get the ocean breezes, although those on the eastern end of the neighborhood don't. The central area, where the shopping, SFHs and schools are is closer to coastal forecasts than inland forecasts.

Renting and condos/townhomes are good options in Southern California. New homes are being built with ADUs, so those rentals will become more common moving forward.
User avatar
Ramjet
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:45 am
Location: Cleveland

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Ramjet »

A lot of people are moving from California to Texas, Austin comes to mind. Might not be as different as you think. It is the blueberry in the sea of red evidently.
sailaway
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by sailaway »

Ramjet wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:35 am A lot of people are moving from California to Texas, Austin comes to mind. Might not be as different as you think. It is the blueberry in the sea of red evidently.
The difference is, in Austin you are stuck in the heat wave. In CA, even if you live inland, you can spend the day at the beach (and it generally does cool off at night). Austin is great, but we do not regret going from Austin to CA.

What am I saying, no, CA sucks, don't come here. Most Austinites will tell you the same thing. Go away. We bite.
User avatar
Ramjet
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:45 am
Location: Cleveland

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Ramjet »

sailaway wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:44 am
Ramjet wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:35 am A lot of people are moving from California to Texas, Austin comes to mind. Might not be as different as you think. It is the blueberry in the sea of red evidently.
The difference is, in Austin you are stuck in the heat wave. In CA, even if you live inland, you can spend the day at the beach (and it generally does cool off at night). Austin is great, but we do not regret going from Austin to CA.

What am I saying, no, CA sucks, don't come here. Most Austinites will tell you the same thing. Go away. We bite.
To each their own I guess
Last edited by Ramjet on Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dennisl
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:46 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Dennisl »

Financially California is tough in some respects. Higher taxes, no breaks for 529/HSA, hcol, Traffic, etc. Other challenges include the risks of earthquakes, now huge annual fires and the move will be very tricky while the covid thing settles. All that being said, I love California. While I could definitely retire earlier with a nice house in the Midwest, hard to beat the weather, access to the beach, mountains, etc year Round within a short drive. Food is amazing in LA and SD, assuming the restaurants survive any further lockdowns and there are great pockets to live with great neighbors as long as you’re willing to be a great neighbor yourself. There are awesome public schools and universities. I would ignore the naysayers if you like cali. If you don’t like it, you can always move back. :sharebeer
finite_difference
Posts: 2347
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by finite_difference »

hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:10 pm
supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:41 pm
hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
Seems like living in CA is a love it or hate it proposition for most folks. We will have the flexibility to move elsewhere whenever we want thanks to my wife being able to work anywhere and me not needing to earn additional cash to make ends meet. We have toyed with going full "digital nomad" but I think we innately want a bit more stability than what that lifestyle offers.

I will say, we were thinking of settling in or around LA but the recent wildfires have given us pause. Now we are thinking of giving San Diego a try instead. We have collectively spent a over a month in each city over the past couple of years, so we are starting to get the lay of the land. We prefer LA due to the culinary and entertainment scene, as well as the fact we have a good friend living there. However, we have been quite impressed by San Diego as well, although it is far sleepier than its neighbor to the north.
I've lived in both and currently live in Orange County. San Diego county gets fires too. So does Orange County. Just make sure you don't live in a fire area, which means hills, undeveloped areas. If you lived in downtown LA, you're house isn't going to burn in a wildfire. The fires will only continue to be bad as the state does not manage it's land, the power companies are allowed to continue to have old, faulty, above ground power lines, and homeless are allowed to camp wherever they want.
You forgot climate change, which is changing rainfall patterns and storm intensities, and making certain areas drier and other areas wetter.

If you’re buying RE, it’s worth thinking about the long term.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
User avatar
Quirkz
Posts: 486
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:32 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Quirkz »

In general, I say go for it. If you like a place and find yourself yearning for it, and you already spent a fair bit of time there and want more, why not go for it? The worst that happens is you don't like it and relocate again, which goes particularly well with your specifics: no kids, going to rent anyway, pension giving you a lot of flexibility around the future job, etc.

I say that as someone who has just picked up and gone somewhere else twice already. In my late 20's I was miserable in the midwest and decided to go to Colorado. Loved it and stayed there for 18 years, but in the meantime my wife and I had some really great vacations in Oregon and started thinking we might retire there. Three months ago I found a promising job opportunity, and I've been in Oregon for about a month now. (Of course it's too early to say whether it was a great move or a terrible mistake, but we're happy so far.)
supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:38 pm
sailaway wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:26 pm As a San Diego resident, I have to ask: why aren't you job hunting to make your move during your earning years, rather than waiting?
The reason is twofold: I really enjoy my job and there are only a handful of these positions available nationwide. Also, I need 20 years of service to lock in my unreduced pension.
I was going to suggest keeping an eye out for job opportunities and maybe moving sooner, but given your apparently rare career and the pension, your plan to stay through full term and then move out makes a lot of sense.

The largest obstacle is probably the California cost of living. Sounds like you're doing well for being outside a super HCOL, but housing may come with some sticker shock and/or put a strain on the budget. I don't know what you can do about that other than continue to save aggressively to prepare.
phxjcc
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by phxjcc »

SOCAL native.
Left in 1994, returned 2009.

OP,
You are looking for what everybody wants--weather, culture, entertainment, natural beauty, safety.

There IS a reason housing costs $1000/sq ft++ in prime areas.

Nobody here can make the subjective judgement of "is it worth it to you?".
We are not YOU!

if it is worth it to you, move.

Now, as to logistics--just be aware that AIRBNB property owners may not exactly be thrilled about getting a 1 year tenant.
A monthly rental gets me $2995, but 4 weekend rentals gets me $5600.

..and STVR business is booming as city dwellers are ZOOMING for work in rentals.
User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 1633
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by LilyFleur »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:41 pm
hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
Seems like living in CA is a love it or hate it proposition for most folks. We will have the flexibility to move elsewhere whenever we want thanks to my wife being able to work anywhere and me not needing to earn additional cash to make ends meet. We have toyed with going full "digital nomad" but I think we innately want a bit more stability than what that lifestyle offers.

I will say, we were thinking of settling in or around LA but the recent wildfires have given us pause. Now we are thinking of giving San Diego a try instead. We have collectively spent a over a month in each city over the past couple of years, so we are starting to get the lay of the land. We prefer LA due to the culinary and entertainment scene, as well as the fact we have a good friend living there. However, we have been quite impressed by San Diego as well, although it is far sleepier than its neighbor to the north.
You might want to take a look at Long Beach--easy access to Los Angeles but more reasonable housing prices.
Most folks either accept the price tag for California and enjoy it, or leave. I do enjoy California much more now that I am retired. It's affordable for retirees with paid-for homes and low taxes due to Prop 13. It's wonderful being able to meet a friend for a walk by the ocean mid-day during the week when it's not crowded.

If you're planning on renting, anticipate doing a lot of homework to find a nice place for reasonable rent. Condos similar to mine (a mile and a half from the ocean with bicycle path access, tennis courts, pool/jacuzzi, 1000 square feet, 2 bed/2 bath, one garage and one parking space, and gated access), run around $2200 to $2400/month. We are having bigger problems these days with the homeless, and I appreciate the gate, as the garages are a short walk from the condos. I'm in Orange County, which is nice, but definitely not the cool vibe of LA.
beachairs
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:43 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by beachairs »

Housing doesn't have to cost >$1M in San Diego. You can reasonably spend $600-800k and still be 10-15 min to the beach. Weather is great so perfect if you seek an outdoor lifestyle.

We moved here in our early 30s and it was a bit of a culture shock at first (coming from Northeast) for reasons both good and bad. Understanding the traffic patterns, like in any larger city, will help make life less annoying. COL is more expensive than many other parts of the US so make sure to account for that in your calculations.

And as others have pointed out, CA is huge and has many different types of areas. We love SD but you couldn't pay me enough to live in the LA area.
Paul78
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:17 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Paul78 »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:41 pm
hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
Seems like living in CA is a love it or hate it proposition for most folks. We will have the flexibility to move elsewhere whenever we want thanks to my wife being able to work anywhere and me not needing to earn additional cash to make ends meet. We have toyed with going full "digital nomad" but I think we innately want a bit more stability than what that lifestyle offers.
I live in California. I would say for single/married w/o children/retired people it is a ok/good/great (really depends on what you want out of life) place to live. I just won't wanna raise a family here (I mean unless you can afford 2 mil+ for a decent house in an ok- in terms of crime/school- area). So for a middle age couple w/o children it could work out just fine. But be prepared to not be able to afford to buy a house/condo if you want to live in a nice area. I mean by that time it will probably be at least 1.5 mil for a start home/condo in a nice area. So technically you might be able to afford it but won't be the easiest thing to do.
Paul78
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:17 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Paul78 »

beachairs wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:59 pm Housing doesn't have to cost >$1M in San Diego. You can reasonably spend $600-800k and still be 10-15 min to the beach. Weather is great so perfect if you seek an outdoor lifestyle.
Today maybe, but in 7 years I doubt it.
Paul78
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:17 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by Paul78 »

LilyFleur wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:05 pm
supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:41 pm
hbdad wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:36 pm I live in CA. I want to move out. The grass is not greener.
You might want to take a look at Long Beach--easy access to Los Angeles but more reasonable housing prices.
Most folks either accept the price tag for California and enjoy it, or leave. I do enjoy California much more now that I am retired. It's affordable for retirees with paid-for homes and low taxes due to Prop 13. It's wonderful being able to meet a friend for a walk by the ocean mid-day during the week when it's not crowded.

If you're planning on renting, anticipate doing a lot of homework to find a nice place for reasonable rent. Condos similar to mine (a mile and a half from the ocean with bicycle path access, tennis courts, pool/jacuzzi, 1000 square feet, 2 bed/2 bath, one garage and one parking space, and gated access), run around $2200 to $2400/month. We are having bigger problems these days with the homeless, and I appreciate the gate, as the garages are a short walk from the condos. I'm in Orange County, which is nice, but definitely not the cool vibe of LA.
Depends on what you mean by reasonable. For a nice area a 3 bd/2bath house will set you back at min 700k (and depending on how nice the area a lot more) in Long Beach.
User avatar
FelixTheCat
Posts: 1999
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:39 am

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by FelixTheCat »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:33 pm I will probably just "wing it" for the first 6 to 12 months, maybe do something "fun" like sling brews at a microbrewery's taproom and/or volunteer at an animal shelter.
One of the local universities in San Diego has a lot of retirees brewing beer. https://extension.ucsd.edu/courses-and-programs/brewing You can become the next Celebrity Brewmaster.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.
User avatar
AerialWombat
Posts: 2023
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 1:07 pm
Location: Cash Canyon / Cashville

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by AerialWombat »

beachairs wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:59 pm Housing doesn't have to cost >$1M in San Diego. You can reasonably spend $600-800k and still be 10-15 min to the beach. Weather is great so perfect if you seek an outdoor lifestyle.
There is nowhere on planet Earth where $600k for housing and the word “reasonably” belong in the same sentence, from my world view.
For entertainment purposes only.
User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 3043
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

Post by GerryL »

Making major changes in mid-life?
I spent the years up to mid-life bouncing around, from one part of the country to another and to different countries, often without a job in place before the move. Didn't really think of settling down until I was in my mid-30s. Of course, with no kids and no spouse, I could call my own shots.

I was a few months shy of 42 when I picked up and drove cross-country to Oregon, after two visits to check it out in the preceding 6 months. I did a lot of research and on the second visit I did several informational interviews and rented an apartment (for a few weeks before arrival). But I arrived here without a job lined up. Lots of ups and downs, including some scary unemployment, but I eventually did get a stable job and have now been here 30 years and retired 6 years.

It's a lot easier to do this kind of move when you are unencumbered -- and young and daring -- but you do have solid savings and work history. One thing you should not underestimate is the challenge of finding a job as you move into your 40s and beyond. It is hard to imagine age discrimination hitting you personally. But it is real.

My best advice to you is to do lots of research about the area you want to move to, including the changing job market. And work to build a local network. So many opportunities are found by word-of-mouth.
Post Reply