Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Should You Relocate?

I got an email today from a reader who was just checking in to see where we were these days and as I emailed a response back to him, it got me to thinking about our relocation plan.
Actually, when we sold the house a little over a year ago, there wasn't so much a 'relocation' plan but a 'let's try a different lifestyle' plan.  I was done with the 40+ hour work weeks, the big house and yard that needed maintaining, the lousy winter weather in Seattle, and the everyday bills that came along with just living.  We hit the road and there were a lot of benefits (like free room and board from friends and relatives for nearly a year, reducing our income by about 75%, reducing our monthly bills by nearly 90%, getting the opportunity to live for a little while in places we could have considered relocating to, a massive reduction in stress both work and people related, the opportunity to travel, and the opportunity to have loads of free time). 
There were also some draw-backs (like living out of a suitcase, not being able to "connect" to the community because we were in each location for very short periods of time, and not having a "home" to come home to).
Fast forward to today where we have pretty much determined that our home base will be Las Vegas.  There are definitely some drawback to living here (it's mostly just city with a lot of city problems, the summer weather is, well, HOT, there are very few natural resources, I like greenery and mountains and rivers and fishing and hunting and things like that, and in a major disaster you have a city that can barely support itself with things such as water and electricity, not to mention the hordes of tourists that tend to descend on the city year-round).
But there are many positive things about living here too: buying a house here is CHEAP (about 1/4 the cost of a similar house in Seattle), there is close proximity to an international airport as we tend to travel a lot, I will definitely be looking into using solar energy in my house (not possible in Seattle), since most of the people we visit live in northern climes, that will give us a good excuse to head north in the summer, the cost of living is cheaper here (everything from gas prices to food prices to entertainment, etc), I will get the opportunity to explore the desert--a very different environment than I am used to, we don't need to work here as we have sufficient retirement and investment income (Las Vegas is a lousy place to move to if you need a good paying job), the state has very liberal gun laws which is a good thing (and Front Sight is just down the road!), and I will get to "start over" so to speak with my community involvement (which was fairly overwhelming in Seattle as I belonged to more than a dozen organizations).
So the bottom line in regards to "should you relocate" is, it depends.  Relocating can be a boon to some people (better weather, possibly better jobs, and either further or nearer to family...depending on which you prefer) but it can also be challenging (pulling up stakes can be difficult and complicated, resettling can be the same, getting your bearings in a new place takes time...).  It pays to take ALL factors into consideration too; I wouldn't pick a place solely on the basis of planning for TEOTWAWKI (or solely on the basis of any other single factor for that matter).   Obviously I have some concerns about living in a place such as Las Vegas should TSHTF, but of course there are always ways to mitigate this problem which I shall explore as we go along.

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