I sort of did the opposite about 25 years ago. I moved from the south end of the bay area(Sunnyvale) to Portland Oregon and one of the big factors was that the cost of living was so much lower there. Both financially and for the quality of life it was a great move for me that I never regretted. When I moved I changed jobs and I was able to make a lateral move salary wise.
The Bay Area was a great place to live for a few years when I was right out of college but for me it didn't make sense to settle down there and to try to raise a family.
Even back then one of the problems with the high cost of living there was that some people I knew had kids that were in their late teens and early 20's and if they didn't have any special job skills then they had a very difficult time affording the bay area. This tended to force the kids to leave the area which some of the people found hard to deal with.
I don't mean to be an alarmist but one of the other factors that helped me decide to move was the earthquake danger. I was in a number of very noticeable earthquakes in the six years I lived there so I tried to objectively research what the real danger is.
I don't have any special skills in it but I was Geology major for a few years before I switched to computers(not that that really means a whole lot) so I am at least familiar with a lot of the terms and information sources that are available. I was mainly looking at buying a house there and as best as I could guess if I had bought a house there I estimated that it could expect to have major damage in an earthquake maybe once in 200 years. This doesn't sound terribly bad but that means if I owned a house there for 20 years, then there would have been a 10% chance if it having major earthquake damage within that 20 years. I suspected that the real numbers might actually be worse. Take some time and research what the current consensus is on the earthquake risk. A quick search found this;https://geohazards.usgs.gov/eqprob/2009/index.php
If you enter Zip code 94109, time span 20 years, and 7.5 magnitude the turquoise area roughly show the probably of up to 10% of that happening. I am actually sort of surprised that my guess back then wasn't that far off from what this shows. Also plug a 6.7 earthquake in that model and other time ranges to see the maps of different probabilities. 6.7 is the magnitude of the northridge earthquake for reference;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Northridge_earthquake