Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

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Seppia
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by Seppia »

Data from 5 years ago so this may have changed quite a bit:
Moab is very walkable and has a strange but cool vibe.
Salt Lake City is beautiful, probably the #1 city I’d pick in the USA.
Green, quiet but still a big town (2nd best pizza I had in the USA was there), you have everything within two hours drive (desert, mountains, lakes, forests etc).
Housing was stupid cheap
If you love nature I can’t think of a better place.

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unemployable
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by unemployable »

Seppia wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:52 am
Every single time I was in Utah I asked myself why it’s not a more popular destination.
Mormons

chenda
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by chenda »

unemployable wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:21 am
Mormons
But they are nice people.

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unemployable
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by unemployable »

Frita wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:00 pm
Not much will be on the market in BozeAngeles this time of year. Look around April (+/-) as late spring and summer are the selling window. Another option would be to contact builders of condos/townhouses (newer area, close to Big Box shopping, further from the mountain and old downtown) to determine what’s available pre-sale. Compared to Whitefish, MT, and Jackson Hole; it’s still accessible though not as desirable IMO as 20 years ago. (I personally wouldn’t want to live in Livingston, Belgrade, etc. and drive. Many do.)

Missoula is a lower cost option. Bigger small city, not as dominated by the uni, more river culture in the summer, no major downhill skiing venues, more of a hippie vibe. The downside is winter inversions with grayer skies.
Whitefish in my experience is cheaper than Bozeman, and Kalispell cheaper still. Jackson is just stupid, second most expensive ski town in the country after Aspen.

Ski towns, not just in Montana, generally have two windows when the most housing is on offer: October-November and then April-May. Finding a place outside these windows can be tough, but OTOH sometimes a landlord is desperate to find a body. November move-ins have a lot of demand but a lot of supply. The spring, when all the ski workers and bums (but I repeat myself) have moved out, is easier, and was when I moved into my current place in the shadow of the last recession when stuff was going begging.

bliss88
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by bliss88 »

Thanks everyone!

bliss88
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by bliss88 »

PS
I'm very much looking to learn from others who've left temperate/Mediterranean climates to live where COL is lower!

Perhaps since I've lived in CA most of my life since 6th grade, I have become a weather wimp and, when faced with cold/dark/rainy weather, I default to staying indoors and moping.

However, if I could become more weather-hardy, my current $910K of net worth would stretch much further.

Eg my friend (whom I met through SF Bay MMM meetup so a fellow Mustachian) just bought a 1.6 acre home in Malone NY for $280K (he wanted to be in driving distance to Toronto/Montreal where his wife's family lives).

Hope to hear from others who've left the SF Bay/SoCal for greener pastures!

And happy new year everyone!

slsdly
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by slsdly »

@bliss88

I've never lived anywhere but Ontario and Atlantic Canada, so I've only known winter my whole life :). I will say however the winter in Ontario is much colder. The snow/ice stays around. Brrr!

You mentioned cardio. I would suggest getting into *nordic* skiing. The equipment is cheaper than alpine, the trail fees are cheaper, the chalets are usually quite modest (you can tell it is a sport done for the love), and most importantly, it can be done pretty much anywhere with snow, trees and very modest hills.

In any event, I got into it, and I think winter is way too short now. I am rarely cold on the trails -- only because I stopped to chat or something for too long.

Married2aSwabian
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Re: Where to FIRE/Semi-FIRE? 43-yo Bay Area biotech hippie

Post by Married2aSwabian »

I’m new here as well and getting ready to post intro, but wanted to reply to your post first!

I’ve moved around a lot in my lifetime, including Chicago area, Michigan, Connecticut, Portland, ME, Germany (Stuttgart area 4 years) and Marin when I was a kid from ‘74 - ‘77.

Now, I’ve not been back to Marin since ‘81, but from my experience there’s no place like it anywhere else. Amazing place - lots of good memories! I’m sure it’s changed a lot since then with the billions in big tech $$. I’ve been to Seattle twice on business - that seems close as far as setting, culture, etc.

Why not RV it and follow the sun? We plan to get one in the near future as retirement gets closer. I tried talking my better half into dumping the house and living in one full time for a couple years like Jacob and others have done, but she wants a home base. That’s understandable. ;)

The Ann Arbor, MI area where we live now checks many of the boxes you mention: urban center / university town, lots of green space, including great state parks to north and west for hiking and mountain biking, some tech jobs due to U of M (but not like Bay Area!), DTW airport is great and only 30 min away, and for woodworkers like myself, we have a phenomenal space to make stuff - Maker Works. This a dream come true for frugal woodworkers: huge space with the best equipment to make anything, including woodworking for $110 / mo! No need to go out and spend thousands of $ on all the equipment, plus you get to collaborate with others!

Of all the places I’ve lived, one big advantage of Michigan is the relatively low cost of living combined with good jobs in automotive industry and green space / state parks and Great Lakes. You can buy a nice house around here for under $400k. Ours cost $212k (half hour outside Ann Arbor) and we’re investing a bunch of sweat equity in it. Nothing like not having a mortgage to get you closer to FI and bring peace of mind. Makes putting up with the winters easier.

Good luck with your search - remote work should become a more permanent thing and help you!

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