Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

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ProsperGoalzz
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Location: California

Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by ProsperGoalzz »

I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
Marseille07
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Marseille07 »

CA -> PNW here, and I kind of regret it because of the weather. There days it's not so bad, but the winter was just brutal: dark, cold and rainy. I might look at somewhere Texas next.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Wherever I go, I'm happy to be back in NorCal.
Weather here really spoils you.
Perhaps So cal or central coast. Outside of the state, I really don't so well with hot weather for months on end. Perhaps Oregon/Portland/Eugene? I've never been..
This time next year, we'll be millionaires!
Good4Us
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Good4Us »

CA —> Tucson. The summers are brutal but I’m not a retiree. If I had to leave Cali I would go to Prescott or Sedona if I can afford it there. Much cooler weather.
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Watty
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Watty »

I left the south Bay Area in the 1980's so that was a long time ago.

I really hated the south Bay Area with all the crowding, traffic congestion and urban sprawl, but maybe you live in a nicer part of California.

While the weather may be nicer many of the urban and suburban areas of California are not all that much different than similar parts of most other cities.

Being within driving distance of the mountains and beach was nice but even back then driving over to the beach on a Saturday morning or up to the mountains on Friday evening was a challenge. Realistically though when I was living there I probably only went over to mountains or beaches maybe two dozen times a year if that. It may have been closer to a dozen times a year.

Try to figure out how many times a year you actually went to the mountains or beach before the pandemic. It might not have been all that often.

I have been back a number of times after I left and each time I was there I was still glad that I left. It was not like I was living in a funky San Francisco neighborhood or within walking distance of the beach.

Leaving the Bay Area to move to a less expensive area was one of the best decisions that I ever made.

I have moved around a couple of times but one huge advantage of living in a less expensive area is that my son was able to easily afford to buy a house that is about ten minutes from us so we frequently get to see our grandkids. Virtually all of my son's high school and college classmates were able to afford to buy nice homes when they were in their 20s.
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon.
One way to look at the tradeoff is in the terms of the opportunity cost and not the dollar amount. For example if you moved someplace where you can buy a nice house for $300K then think about how would the freed up home equity change your life. For example with an extra $700k in the bank and a paid off house you might be able to retire ten years earlier. Maybe you would do something else with the extra $700K but try to figure out just just what the tradeoff is instead of thinking about it in dollar terms.
Last edited by Watty on Tue May 04, 2021 12:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by HomerJ »

Buy two houses, one for winter (AZ?), one for summer (on northern lake?)

Probably still would be cheaper than the one CA house, and both houses would be nicer too.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
BogleFan510
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by BogleFan510 »

ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.

PS Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range. To each their own value proposition, but I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
marcopolo
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by marcopolo »

BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.

PS Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range. To each their own value proposition, but I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
There seems to forever be pronouncements about the demise of CA.
"No one lives there, because it is too crowded, and the high demand drives up housing costs"....
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
toast0
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by toast0 »

I grew up in southern california, lived in the bay area for 14 years, and have been in the PNW for three years now (with several visits before we moved). Winter can be a bit much, but we were planning to visit parents in socal every december; didn't work out in 2020. Not a whole lot of days with full rain, but if 30 minutes of rain is going to ruin your whole day, not the place to be; although I've heard the rain shadow of Mt Rainer is very consistent. Lots of the people I've met here who have been here for a long time love the rain, and so do I. The sunny days are beautiful too, and I like sunny days a lot more than I used to when it's not every day. We've gotten about a week of snow each year so far, but expect to have some years with no snow.
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Cyclesafe
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Cyclesafe »

I was raised in West LA in a series of cracker-box apartments. I was happy at age 30 to transfer to my company's HQ in the Midwest where I could buy a house and where people, although more conservative, were also more welcoming than I was accustomed to. I actually found the occasional severe weather exciting and even found the summer humidity not too oppressive.

When I retired in 2001, I moved back to Southern California, partly to be closer to my wife's aging parents. Housing at the time cost probably a bit more than double what we faced in the Midwest - albeit on a postage stamp lot - but we were grateful that we could buy into the market.

Since then, the value of our home has tripled and property taxes, restrained by Prop 13, only go up a maximum of 1.2% a year. We now pay only half of what new buyers must pay.

Sales tax is 7.75% and a taxable income between $117k and $599k (MFJ) pays 9.3%. But also LTCG is charged full income tax rates, non-qualified annuities are charged a "premium tax" of 2.35% off the top, and HSA earnings must be included in California taxable income. But SS is not taxed; nor are estates / inheritances.

Although I threaten to move to a LCOL area, our unique easy access to the beach and mild winters / cool summers make up for the umbrage of living too close to our frequently inconsiderate and generally unfriendly neighbors. We run on the beach virtually every day.

So in summary, I'd say that living outside Cali can be nice depending on the specific situation you can carve out for yourself. And if one can't integrate one's lifestyle into what for the luckier ones is on offer here, moving would be an intriguing option. If I was stuck in LA I'd be outa here.
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Slacker
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Slacker »

Definitely come visit NC.

We live in the Triangle (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh) and it is about 2.25 to 2.75hrs drive to the beach depending on which beach you are going. About the same drive to get to the nearest mountains, however our mountains are more like big hills compared to the Rockies, but the trees, waterfalls, and trails are still fantastic.

Summers are hot, Spring has lots of pollen but the most amazing flowers everywhere, Fall has gorgeous autumn colors and the winters are very mild if not a little wet.

Each of the cities in the Triangle have pretty amazing neighborhood trails and city or state parks that have so much foliage, you can quickly feel like you are in the middle of a forest far from civilization. Many lakes around the area too.

If you are high income the taxes aren't bad (5% flat), but they do tax your retirement income as well. Property taxes are about 0.9% for us in an older neighborhood where the houses are still in the $300k to $400k range.
boglegirl
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by boglegirl »

BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm ...
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.
...
CA property taxes are totally dependent on when you purchased your home because of Prop 13's limits on annual increases.

We recently sold our CA home for about a million. Our property taxes were $8500. The new owner will pay >$10000. Neighbors who bought decades ago pay less than $4k.
stoptothink
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by stoptothink »

I lived in the LA area until I was 23, have since lived in Salt Lake City, Mesa, Houston, Austin, and currently Utah County (Utah). I've loved all my new homes, preferring all 5 areas to where I grew up (by a huge margin) but my feelings about that probably have little to do with the factors likely to be discussed (ie. weather and taxes). My wife is from the Bay Area, she's much less fond of California than I am. My parents and 5 of my 6 siblings, along with my in-laws and my wife's 3 siblings would agree with us. California is very polarizing, you either love it or hate it.
tj
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by tj »

I just moved back to SoCal, and I'm definitely feeling some regret..I can't help but feel I've been priced out of the real estate. 10% higher income, double to triple expenses...how can it be worth it?

That being said, in retirement, I think CA would be a good place to be. The ability to switch Medigap carriers every year seems huge. Retirees pay much less in taxes than workers do, because spending isn't as tied to taxable income. Leisure World Seal Beach has some pretty dirt cheap units, even after considering the recent run-up.

I enjoyed Arizona - but come summer, I think I'll appreciate not having 115-120 degree days this year. I'm considering moving back to AZ and suffering through the AZ summers, because it just makes so much more financial sense, but who knows.
investingfan
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by investingfan »

Watty wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:53 pm I left the south Bay Area in the 1980's so that was a long time ago.

I really hated the south Bay Area with all the crowding, traffic congestion and urban sprawl, but maybe you live in a nicer part of California.

While the weather may be nicer many of the urban and suburban areas of California are not all that much different than similar parts of most other cities.

Being within driving distance of the mountains and beach was nice but even back then driving over to the beach on a Saturday morning or up to the mountains on Friday evening was a challenge. Realistically though when I was living there I probably only went over to mountains or beaches maybe two dozen times a year if that. It may have been closer to a dozen times a year.

Try to figure out how many times a year you actually went to the mountains or beach before the pandemic. It might not have been all that often.

I have been back a number of times after I left and each time I was there I was still glad that I left. It was not like I was living in a funky San Francisco neighborhood or within walking distance of the beach.

Leaving the Bay Area to move to a less expensive area was one of the best decisions that I ever made.

I have moved around a couple of times but one huge advantage of living in a less expensive area is that my son was able to easily afford to buy a house that is about ten minutes from us so we frequently get to see our grandkids. Virtually all of my son's high school and college classmates were able to afford to buy nice homes when they were in their 20s.
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon.
One way to look at the tradeoff is in the terms of the opportunity cost and not the dollar amount. For example if you moved someplace where you can buy a nice house for $300K then think about how would the freed up home equity change your life. For example with an extra $700k in the bank and a paid off house you might be able to retire ten years earlier. Maybe you would do something else with the extra $700K but try to figure out just just what the tradeoff is instead of thinking about it in dollar terms.

Opposite. Moved to California was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
fortunefavored
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by fortunefavored »

I've known dozens of people who left & were happy staying where they went, and left & were unhappy and came back.

Every one of them came down to 1) family roots and 2) sensitivity to weather & bugs.

If you have no connections to CA, and you can tolerate 3 months of bad weather and/or bugs.. you will be happy other places.

People often mention beach/mountains, but generally there are natural wonders across most of the country - I never heard anyone call them out as major factors going back and forth. Same for taxes or the other oft-mentioned CA boogeymen.
bloom2708
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by bloom2708 »

If weather is #1 on your list, figure out how to stay where you are.
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TwoBitsCA
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by TwoBitsCA »

After 50+ years in SoCal, I moved to the DC area last summer. I appreciate the greenery and just the overall change in surroundings here. So far, I'd say the weather is tolerable but I did get tired of 3 months of sub-50 degree temps in the winter and I did rely on AC more than I had at any time prior to last summer. I could do without the bugs (anxiously awaiting the arrival of Brood X Cicadas any day now). I miss the diversity of beaches, mountains, and deserts. But to me, the thing I miss most are the friends and family I had in CA...so much so that I don't understand those who seem to be able to move to wherever is affordable and live happily ever after. Sure, I can make new friends but are they ever going to be as close as those I went through my formative years with? I know COVID hasn't helped but I still don't think so.
carolinaman
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by carolinaman »

Slacker wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 7:03 am Definitely come visit NC.

We live in the Triangle (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh) and it is about 2.25 to 2.75hrs drive to the beach depending on which beach you are going. About the same drive to get to the nearest mountains, however our mountains are more like big hills compared to the Rockies, but the trees, waterfalls, and trails are still fantastic.

Summers are hot, Spring has lots of pollen but the most amazing flowers everywhere, Fall has gorgeous autumn colors and the winters are very mild if not a little wet.

Each of the cities in the Triangle have pretty amazing neighborhood trails and city or state parks that have so much foliage, you can quickly feel like you are in the middle of a forest far from civilization. Many lakes around the area too.

If you are high income the taxes aren't bad (5% flat), but they do tax your retirement income as well. Property taxes are about 0.9% for us in an older neighborhood where the houses are still in the $300k to $400k range.
I agree with your comments about NC. I live in Charlotte area which is known as the "City of Trees". Beaches and mountains are close by and we have pro sports teams (NFL and NBA). Just one clarification: NC does not tax SS but does tax other retirement income. We are MCOL area but still a great area to live in.
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Watty
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Watty »

investingfan wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 8:57 am Opposite. Moved to California was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
I am glad it worked out well for you.

I am curious, what part of California did you move to?

One of the big problems with questions like this is that California is a huge state and living in places like the Bay Area, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, Barstow, or rural Northern California have little to in common with each other.
CFM300
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by CFM300 »

BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range.
Sounds fantastic. Would you mind sharing where that is?
lucky_tech_guy
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by lucky_tech_guy »

I'm not the poster but you can do it at Briones Regional Park in the East Bay. Lots and lots of trail entrances and miles to hike. And off-leash with your dog!
investingfan
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by investingfan »

Watty wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 11:03 am
investingfan wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 8:57 am Opposite. Moved to California was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
I am glad it worked out well for you.

I am curious, what part of California did you move to?

One of the big problems with questions like this is that California is a huge state and living in places like the Bay Area, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, Barstow, or rural Northern California have little to in common with each other.

Sierra Forest. Perfect weather year round. Real estate was cheap before Covid.

“Of all the mountain ranges I have climbed, I like the Sierra Nevada the best." Jonh Muir.
Gus Chiggins
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Gus Chiggins »

investingfan wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 8:57 am
Watty wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:53 pm I left the south Bay Area in the 1980's so that was a long time ago.

I really hated the south Bay Area with all the crowding, traffic congestion and urban sprawl, but maybe you live in a nicer part of California.

While the weather may be nicer many of the urban and suburban areas of California are not all that much different than similar parts of most other cities.

Being within driving distance of the mountains and beach was nice but even back then driving over to the beach on a Saturday morning or up to the mountains on Friday evening was a challenge. Realistically though when I was living there I probably only went over to mountains or beaches maybe two dozen times a year if that. It may have been closer to a dozen times a year.

Try to figure out how many times a year you actually went to the mountains or beach before the pandemic. It might not have been all that often.

I have been back a number of times after I left and each time I was there I was still glad that I left. It was not like I was living in a funky San Francisco neighborhood or within walking distance of the beach.

Leaving the Bay Area to move to a less expensive area was one of the best decisions that I ever made.

I have moved around a couple of times but one huge advantage of living in a less expensive area is that my son was able to easily afford to buy a house that is about ten minutes from us so we frequently get to see our grandkids. Virtually all of my son's high school and college classmates were able to afford to buy nice homes when they were in their 20s.
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon.
One way to look at the tradeoff is in the terms of the opportunity cost and not the dollar amount. For example if you moved someplace where you can buy a nice house for $300K then think about how would the freed up home equity change your life. For example with an extra $700k in the bank and a paid off house you might be able to retire ten years earlier. Maybe you would do something else with the extra $700K but try to figure out just just what the tradeoff is instead of thinking about it in dollar terms.

Opposite. Moved to California was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
Same. Relocated to west side of LA from the upper Midwest. Hard to imagine ever permanently leaving (outside a job opportunity that we couldn’t turn down). We highly value running on the beach everyday, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains on weekends and having sunny temperate weather year round. This is in addition to local access to world class sporting events, cultural events and dining. Plus you’re two hours or less from Santa Barbara, San Diego, Ojai, Palm Springs and Orange County for day trips or long weekends. And we have easy access to direct flights to many major international cities when we travel abroad.

There just isn’t another place where we could get all these things (outside SoCal), so, for us, it’s an ideal location. We’re also very fortunate to be able to afford it, which is admittedly quite expensive.
Dave55
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Dave55 »

Moved from CA about 12 years ago. No regrets. Now living in Denver metro and love it here.

Dave
"Reality always wins, your only job is to get in touch with it." Wilford Bion
pasadena
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by pasadena »

I lived in LA for 7 years. The weather and proximity to the ocean were the only thing I loved. I moved to Seattle 2 years ago, and guess what? The weather is the only thing I miss.

I don't mind the rain. I don't even mind the darkness in winter. I grew up with 4 seasons and a dark and reasonably cold winter is normal for me. But I miss warmth because the only real warmth is in summer, and it's way too short. We're in May and I'm still wearing long sleeves. I miss blue skies when it can be weeks or months between them in fall/winter.

Everything else blows LA out of the water.

I do love it here. It's so beautiful (guess you really do have to choose between super hot/dry/burnt out and temperate/wet/green :)) - I realized how much I missed grass, trees and flowers when I was in SoCal. I suppose Northern California would suit me a lot better than Southern California. Nothing beats NorCal's weather.

The people are also orders of magnitude nicer and genuine here than in LA.

I have zero regret. None.
formerlybroke
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by formerlybroke »

BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.

PS Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range. To each their own value proposition, but I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
+1
scottgekko
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by scottgekko »

All the CA bashing threads remind me of the Yogi Berra quote "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded". To each their own.
surfstar
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by surfstar »

formerlybroke wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:01 pm
BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.

PS Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range. To each their own value proposition, but I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
+1
No! I want more people to leave CA! Too crowded still :)
badger42
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by badger42 »

Did a 10 year tour of duty in Silicon Valley, moved to a really nice location (mountains, mild weather, enough actual winter the kids can go sledding) near family. Glad career / $$$ wise that I spend the time in SV, glad to be living somewhere else now.
austin757
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by austin757 »

The media are making it worse with the constant stores of "droves" of people fleeing CA for cheaper locations. I see articles like this constantly that make it seem the world is ending and people are escaping a volcanic eruption in CA.

What these articles seem to forget is that there is, what, 330 million people living in the US? There will be people shuffling around.
formerlybroke
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by formerlybroke »

surfstar wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:11 pm
formerlybroke wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:01 pm
BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.

PS Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range. To each their own value proposition, but I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
+1
No! I want more people to leave CA! Too crowded still :)
:D
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ProsperGoalzz
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by ProsperGoalzz »

Cyclesafe wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:26 am I was raised in West LA in a series of cracker-box apartments. I was happy at age 30 to transfer to my company's HQ in the Midwest where I could buy a house and where people, although more conservative, were also more welcoming than I was accustomed to. I actually found the occasional severe weather exciting and even found the summer humidity not too oppressive.

When I retired in 2001, I moved back to Southern California, partly to be closer to my wife's aging parents. Housing at the time cost probably a bit more than double what we faced in the Midwest - albeit on a postage stamp lot - but we were grateful that we could buy into the market.

Since then, the value of our home has tripled and property taxes, restrained by Prop 13, only go up a maximum of 1.2% a year. We now pay only half of what new buyers must pay.

Sales tax is 7.75% and a taxable income between $117k and $599k (MFJ) pays 9.3%. But also LTCG is charged full income tax rates, non-qualified annuities are charged a "premium tax" of 2.35% off the top, and HSA earnings must be included in California taxable income. But SS is not taxed; nor are estates / inheritances.

Although I threaten to move to a LCOL area, our unique easy access to the beach and mild winters / cool summers make up for the umbrage of living too close to our frequently inconsiderate and generally unfriendly neighbors. We run on the beach virtually every day.

So in summary, I'd say that living outside Cali can be nice depending on the specific situation you can carve out for yourself. And if one can't integrate one's lifestyle into what for the luckier ones is on offer here, moving would be an intriguing option. If I was stuck in LA I'd be outa here.
Very helpful. It's so hard to qualify some of the things we love about CA. I did not grow up here but have lived here for @25 years. I think a lot will be based on finding a nice home in a nice area we can pay cash for, along with the detailed tax review- I locked in my property tax in 2011 but it's still high comparatively.
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ProsperGoalzz
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by ProsperGoalzz »

badger42 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:14 pm Did a 10 year tour of duty in Silicon Valley, moved to a really nice location (mountains, mild weather, enough actual winter the kids can go sledding) near family. Glad career / $$$ wise that I spend the time in SV, glad to be living somewhere else now.
Do you mind my asking where you landed?
bogledogle
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by bogledogle »

surfstar wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:11 pm
formerlybroke wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:01 pm
BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I just did my retired MIL's taxes. Her property tax on a million dollar home was under 2500 and her state taxes zero, with a $1M plus portfolio. Be sure you are accurate when you claim California is tax unfriendly. It depends on your circumstances.

PS Today I hiked 8 miles in perfect weather on miles of trailes 5 min from home, with no development within visual range. To each their own value proposition, but I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
+1
No! I want more people to leave CA! Too crowded still :)
+1

Yes, traffic sucks here! Please move to Texas!
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ProsperGoalzz
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by ProsperGoalzz »

BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm
ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
Not bashing! I love it here and have been paying taxes for about a quarter century 😊. I'd love to stay and am looking for folks' experiences. Maybe the consensus is there's no place like California and we will stay, with less $$ to allocate elsewhere, but recouping it in other, non-monetary ways.

Or

Maybe there are other paradises out there and we can have it all!
a_rotator
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by a_rotator »

Moved from SoCal to Oregon earlier this year. Don't regret a thing and we are way happier. For the first few months I would have the idea every other weekend that this was the best weekend I'd had in years. Hard to tell how much of that is the novelty of a new place, but we love it here and always intended to return if given the opportunity (I got my MA in Vancouver, BC).

Weekends are spent getting outside, hiking, and enjoying nature or exploring our new city. I should mention that we are outdoorsy people so this place fits us well--SoCal, not so much. I will always look fondly at our 8 years there but we were happy to get out and never really wanted to be there in the first place. I will miss the weather, food, our bike path near the beach, opening our french doors nearly every evening, and friends most of all. I will not miss driving 4+ hours in too much traffic to get to things we enjoy most (nature, esp. the Eastern Sierras, friends in the Bay Area).

Spent many years in the Midwest as well and I can confidently say that is not a move I'd make easily. Almost as many tradeoffs there in terms of culture, recreation opportunities, and city design to offset the perks of a much lower cost of living. So I hope it's apparent that I'm not categorically against CA. It has a lot more going for it--despite its drawbacks--than those living elsewhere, esp. my family and friends in the Midwest, give it credit for.
quantAndHold
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by quantAndHold »

austin757 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:17 pm The media are making it worse with the constant stores of "droves" of people fleeing CA for cheaper locations. I see articles like this constantly that make it seem the world is ending and people are escaping a volcanic eruption in CA.

What these articles seem to forget is that there is, what, 330 million people living in the US? There will be people shuffling around.
If people really were leaving in droves, housing prices would be going down. That isn’t exactly happening.

Anyway, my story. We left for greener pastures. Literally greener, since we went to Seattle for a job. We loved it for the first few months. It’s lovely there in the summer. So much outdoor stuff to do, and so green! And I was making more money and paying less tax than in CA.

We retreated back to Southern California four years later. We never adjusted to being cold, damp, and in the dark all winter. It was like being a mushroom. And after four years there, we were still having trouble developing the kinds of relationships with people there that we already had in California. I am so glad we didn’t sell our California house. We moved back into our old house and picked our lives back up as though we had never left.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Cwise
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Cwise »

BogleFan510 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:57 pm I wish these California bashing threads would die. Many post in them with wild statements and no experience filing taxes or paying property taxes in the state.
I actually want the bashing to continue. Southern California is expensive, overcrowded, terrible outdoor activities, close to Vegas. Just avoid...

Now I'll be able to enjoy myself here!!!
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ProsperGoalzz
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by ProsperGoalzz »

Watty wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:53 pm One way to look at the tradeoff is in the terms of the opportunity cost and not the dollar amount. For example if you moved someplace where you can buy a nice house for $300K then think about how would the freed up home equity change your life. For example with an extra $700k in the bank and a paid off house you might be able to retire ten years earlier. Maybe you would do something else with the extra $700K but try to figure out just just what the tradeoff is instead of thinking about it in dollar terms.
This is exactly what we're working through. We hate to leave and money isn't everything, but want to maximize comfort in retirement. Thanks for your response!
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by BogleFan510 »

lucky_tech_guy wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:33 pm I'm not the poster but you can do it at Briones Regional Park in the East Bay. Lots and lots of trail entrances and miles to hike. And off-leash with your dog!
Bingo. Was at Motts Peak last Wednesday, with not a single person in sight. A few crows, horses and cows though along the way. Occasionally a coyotee. The open space along Alhambra Valley Road is a particular gem and few people know the East Bay Parks system has over 60 large parks, all free to hike, not counting state parks like Mount Diablo, which is huge. Redwoods is great too and I recommend any of the French Trail to Stream Trail loops...wait, no stay away. JK.

That said, California is so huge and contains so many different ecosystems and cities, it seems silly to combine them all as one place, except for the state tax situation, which is clearly somethung one can research. The net impact after pay rates, etc. is that the total costs are not super out of line with other countries and places, all things considered. Sure, want to live specifically in Palo Alto or Malibu, gotta pay. But Highland Park in Dallas isnt cheap either.
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celia
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by celia »

fortunefavored wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:12 am I've known dozens of people who left & were happy staying where they went, and left & were unhappy and came back.

Every one of them came down to 1) family roots and 2) sensitivity to weather & bugs.

If you have no connections to CA, and you can tolerate 3 months of bad weather and/or bugs.. you will be happy other places.

People often mention beach/mountains, but generally there are natural wonders across most of the country - I never heard anyone call them out as major factors going back and forth. Same for taxes or the other oft-mentioned CA boogeymen.
+1
As a native Californian who has traveled around the US and internationally many times, this post resonates a lot with me. Luckily, we have the freedom to move where we want to be. But every time we travel, during the last 10% of the trip, we can't wait to get back home.

So, yes, our closest relatives also live in California and the weather is great. Although we rarely take advantage of the ocean or mountains, there's nature everywhere, if you look for it. Larger cities have large parks within their city limits. There are lots of bike lanes. And about half of the plant species in the world can be found somewhere in California. I'm into the environment and native plants right now, and trying to build my own slice of "paradise" using native plants around our house. Drought-tolerant plantings have taken off in the last 10 years and many cities give you financial incentives to replace your lawn. So unless you live in a condo/neighborhood association, the odds are that you and your neighbors will eventually be more earth-friendly.

There were also comments above about buying a less expensive house elsewhere and investing the savings from owning less-expensive housing. But I see it as since we have "enough" income in retirement and already have "liquid" investments, why not let the house equity remain in the house, where it tends to grow faster than stocks. We've been in the same house since before prop 13 and remodeled/ upgraded several times. After customizing the house and property to how you like it, why would you want to move and start all over?
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

celia wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:46 pm
fortunefavored wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:12 am I've known dozens of people who left & were happy staying where they went, and left & were unhappy and came back.

Every one of them came down to 1) family roots and 2) sensitivity to weather & bugs.

If you have no connections to CA, and you can tolerate 3 months of bad weather and/or bugs.. you will be happy other places.

People often mention beach/mountains, but generally there are natural wonders across most of the country - I never heard anyone call them out as major factors going back and forth. Same for taxes or the other oft-mentioned CA boogeymen.
+1
As a native Californian who has traveled around the US and internationally many times, this post resonates a lot with me. Luckily, we have the freedom to move where we want to be. But every time we travel, during the last 10% of the trip, we can't wait to get back home.

So, yes, our closest relatives also live in California and the weather is great. Although we rarely take advantage of the ocean or mountains, there's nature everywhere, if you look for it. Larger cities have large parks within their city limits. There are lots of bike lanes. And about half of the plant species in the world can be found somewhere in California. I'm into the environment and native plants right now, and trying to build my own slice of "paradise" using native plants around our house. Drought-tolerant plantings have taken off in the last 10 years and many cities give you financial incentives to replace your lawn. So unless you live in a condo/neighborhood association, the odds are that you and your neighbors will eventually be more earth-friendly.

There were also comments above about buying a less expensive house elsewhere and investing the savings from owning less-expensive housing. But I see it as since we have "enough" income in retirement and already have "liquid" investments, why not let the house equity remain in the house, where it tends to grow faster than stocks. We've been in the same house since before prop 13 and remodeled/ upgraded several times. After customizing the house and property to how you like it, why would you want to move and start all over?
+ 1. Especially the last question!
This time next year, we'll be millionaires!
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by barnaclebob »

toast0 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:51 am I grew up in southern california, lived in the bay area for 14 years, and have been in the PNW for three years now (with several visits before we moved). Winter can be a bit much, but we were planning to visit parents in socal every december; didn't work out in 2020. Not a whole lot of days with full rain, but if 30 minutes of rain is going to ruin your whole day, not the place to be; although I've heard the rain shadow of Mt Rainer is very consistent. Lots of the people I've met here who have been here for a long time love the rain, and so do I. The sunny days are beautiful too, and I like sunny days a lot more than I used to when it's not every day. We've gotten about a week of snow each year so far, but expect to have some years with no snow.

Another PNW trick is to live near the water in the rain shadow of Olympics. The weather within a quarter mile of the sound is much better than further inland where the air has been pushed upwards a few hundred feet. Also its cooler in the summer being close to the water.
stan1
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by stan1 »

BogleFan510 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:25 pm But Highland Park in Dallas isnt cheap either.
Nor is Scottsdale, AZ these days for a comparable home, downsizing is a separate decision. Less than coastal CA, yes, but not going to let you harvest your real estate home equity gains from CA and live the rest of your life off them in AZ.

There are cheaper places in Phoenix metro, but one could move from Santa Monica to Temecula and save plenty of money. I expect that move is rare. Moving from Temecula to Goodyear might get you a few hundred K. Moving from Midwest to Sun City (old or new) or one of the newer Del Webbs is probably a wash?
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I would love to live in Southern California. I spent a lot of time there on business trips from the 1970s through the 2000s. The only two things that stop me are the high cost of living and the distance from my east coast family.
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by Shackleton »

Hubby is a CA native and lived there his entire life except for military service. My family moved to CA when I was 5 years old. We both grew up in NorCal, although I went to college in SoCal and hubby and I lived in SoCal for 2 years when first married. We moved to CO 24 years ago and are so happy we did. We love everything about it. We now live in a mountain ski resort area and are both retired and living the dream. It helps that we didn’t have strong family ties holding us to CA.
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anoop
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by anoop »

My biggest concern with CA is the drought and wildfires (and consequent air quality issues). Last year was bad and this year isn't looking good given the lack of rain. The lack of rain also seems to cause bad air quality where I live (Sacramento area). The tax issues and cost of living are secondary and really not the motivation.

I have friends that moved from the Bay Area to the RTP area (NC) and they have been enjoying it and have been trying to encourage me to make the move too.

In my observation, people that prefer a slower pace of life won't miss CA. Type A's will miss it because CA is where all the action is.
DoubleComma
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by DoubleComma »

anoop wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:00 pm My biggest concern with CA is the drought and wildfires (and consequent air quality issues). Last year was bad and this year isn't looking good given the lack of rain. The lack of rain also seems to cause bad air quality where I live (Sacramento area).
This concern is much bigger than CA. The entire West has drought and fire issues. Sacramento air quality is exacerbated because of the valley, but the same challenge exists in Boise which seems to be a direct path for lots of Californians these days.

DW and I frequently talk about leaving CA as the kids launch. We have traveled quite a bit and really have enjoyed many places we’ve visited, but living there isn’t visiting. Every time we think we found a place to go to; we start comparing to the weather, amenities and life we built here on the Central Coast and the escape we have to the Sierras.
BernardShakey
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Re: Ca Expats- do you love your new home?

Post by BernardShakey »

ProsperGoalzz wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:04 pm I love California! The weather is fantastic and we live near both mountains and ocean. But alas, I'm not sure that we will stay in retirement due to tax un-friendliness and HCOL. Our $1m 1500 sq. ft. home could buy us a nicer home with plenty leftover, I reckon. We want to live somewhere without harsh winters and that is also beautiful- trees, water, maybe even mountains, etc.

If you moved from here, do you love where you ended up? Would you move again? I seem to hear only about people who regretted leaving but the sample size is small! Also anyone who moved to an entirely new place- never looked back or regrets?

Once we feel safe traveling again, we will begin visiting other states, starting with North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. Who knows when that will be though, and I'd like to start daydreaming, researching or thinking otherwise between now and then. Thank you in advance!
I know four families that have left California in the last six years (two to Texas, one up to northern New Hampshire, and one moved to Colorado. Since then, three of the four have returned. Only the one in Colorado stayed. One of the ones to Texas came back for business reasons, another for the weather / politics, and the one from New Hampshire returned due to the harsh weather.
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