Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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Bro
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Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by Bro » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:46 am

Does anyone have any insights on living in Omaha, Nebraska? I will be working near Bellevue.

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plantingourpennies
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by plantingourpennies » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:30 am

I've been there several times for the Berkshire annual meeting-loved it every time. Very walkable, seemed inexpensive, loved the way that they dealt with the river flowing through town, the museums were great, coffee and beer was local, etc. The only issue was the weather...

Recommend that you ask on the MMM forum; there was a local chapter there and they will be able to give you more info.

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Dragline
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by Dragline » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:04 am

Not in particular, but I grew up in the next state over (Iowa). You'll see all four seasons, so be prepared when winter comes. Since land is relatively cheap, there is a tendency to have things sprawled out. Try to live close to your job and don't buy any real estate until you have been there for awhile and understand the lay of the land and where you need to be.

You should be able to live comfortably there on not much money. Take advantage of the low cost of living while you are there.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by Laura Ingalls » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:04 am

Nebraska is pretty retiree unfriendly. I have a member of my social circle that "retired" to South Dakota that spends the bulk of his time in Omaha.

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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by jacob » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:38 am

@Dragline - I'm hijacking this thread. Any comments/opinions on Cedar Rapids? Or equivalent sans flooding. Dubuque? Iowa City? Culture, major industries, trajectory of economy, ...

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Dragline
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by Dragline » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:42 am

How long do you have? I grew up in Cedar Rapids from the 1960s to the 1980s, but that was long before the big floods. I have been back from time-to-time and still know people there, although only have one relative left in the area.

CR followed the trajectory of many midwestern cities, with the loss of manufacturing and a hollowing out of the middle class, albeit on a smaller scale than the larger cities. It is still about the same size as in my youth (100K), although not as vibrant. I would hazard to guess that the level of average educational attainment has also declined. For reference, none of my high school friends who went to college returned there, but spread out to places like Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, Kansas City and Denver. (You will actually find clusters of Iowans born in the 1960s and 1970s all over the US -- it was like leaving Ireland in the 19th Century).

The core has become a bit run-down and the floods did take out some whole neighborhoods. On the positive side, its got a very low COL and the people are generally very nice (true all over Iowa). Buses are even free on Saturdays now (or so I am told). Efforts at revitalization of the downtown area have come and gone with mixed results. Most of the economic activity is centered towards the Northeast side of town, particularly as you get towards Marion, where you will find Rockwell-Collins, the original "hi-tech" industry going back to Collins radio in the 1930s. I would not say CRis devoid of culture, but there are not a lot of cultural attractions. It's really a working town based on the agriculture around it. There are a decent number of pleasant city parks. There is a small college there (Coe), but its not really large enough to create a college atmosphere. Be ready for ag-business related smells -- CR still has the largest cereal factory in the world, a slaughterhouse and ADM corn sweeteners. The motto of CR is the "City of Five Seasons", but we used to jokingly call it the "City of Five Smells".

Iowa City is 30 miles south of CR and they share an airport, which is just south of CR. IC is an archetypical college town of about 25K permanent residents, which doubles in size when UofI is in session. Housing is correspondingly more expensive, at least in the core. You'll find a lot more "happening" in downtown IC than in CR, and a much more educated/worldly populace, which can be both good and bad. Most people who have lived in other places in the world would prefer IC to CR. IC was the original capital of Iowa, so also has some historical places and museums there.

In between IC and CR are Lake McBride and the Coralville Reservoir, where I spent a lot of time fishing with pops in my youth. I don't think there are too many fish left now due to ag-pollution, although I could be wrong.

Dubuque is a river town on the Mississippi. It has high bluffs and is not flat, but very hilly. Note that Northeast Iowa was not glaciated, so has a different physical character than the rest of the state. My father went to college there at Loras, a small Catholic school (imagine showing up there alone at age 16 from Central America). I did not spend a lot of time there, but it did not strike me as a particularly vibrant place. Like most of the river towns, its kind of broken up due to the terrain. We did have a boat at Guttenberg (upriver) and spent time on the Mississippi, which was a lot of fun. Dubuque was one of the first places settled in Iowa (by the French), who mined lead there and across the river in Galena, IL. So its older than most other cities in Iowa. Its also more remote in terms of proximity to a sizable airport.

If you are looking for a pretty little town, you might check out Decorah on the Upper Iowa river, where Luther College is located. This area is known as "Little Norway" due to the hilly terrain, and has a Nordic festival every year. (You might even find some-long lost Danish relatives around there.) Had some great canoe trips on the Upper Iowa north of there, and riding inner tubes there in the summer is also very popular.

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C40
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by C40 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:20 pm

Bro - I know eastern Nebraska quite well. What region/city are you moving there from?

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cmonkey
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by cmonkey » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:21 pm

Dragline wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:42 am
If you are looking for a pretty little town, you might check out Decorah on the Upper Iowa river, where Luther College is located. This area is known as "Little Norway" due to the hilly terrain, and has a Nordic festival every year. (You might even find some-long lost Danish relatives around there.) Had some great canoe trips on the Upper Iowa north of there, and riding inner tubes there in the summer is also very popular.
Also don't forget about Seed Savers Exchange. Having that organization in your neighborhood is not a bad idea.

Bro
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Re: Living in Omaha, Nebraska

Post by Bro » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:35 pm

@C40

I've been living in Madrid, Spain since late 2015. Before this stint, I have lived close to Washington DC, St. Louis, and Venice, CA.

I do not own a vehicle right now, so I will need to figure that out.

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