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Monday, November 19, 2012

Location and lifestyle



For years expatriates from the United States have searched out places where a tiny US income goes a long ways. For some people it’s a simple as going next door to Mexico. Others seek out remote corners of the globe. Often it’s retirees stretching a buck and having an adventure. Younger people may be living on small investment returns or rental income.

Living expenses vary dramatically within the US. My in-laws retired early and sold their home in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. They then built a nicer place in rural Texas, and another one on Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Had they stayed in NY, their income would not have even payed the taxes on the old place. As it is, they live very comfortably on a surprisingly modest income.

My income provides a comfortable life out here in the woods, but city life would be a struggle. Here I’ve access to resources that don’t show up on a tax form. There’s clean water, firewood, wild foods, and some garden space. I can store materials and build things that improve my life. None of that would be possible in city or even a suburban development with rules and agreements.

I’ve family and friends here that make my life better. Favors are traded back and forth. There are people who’ll help you out in pinch. It makes life easier all around without having to spend a lot of money. A High School friend of mine moved back to his hometown when his daughter was born. He and his wife figured it was worth it just for the free babysitting. Quality childcare is not cheap.

It never hurts to occasionally examine one’s living arrangements to see if things could be better somewhere else. Sometimes it’s a matter of moving down the street to a more affordable house, or maybe it’s moving to the other side of the world. Family obligations make keep you in a region. Then again, maybe some distance would be just the thing to improve family relations.

Sometimes you don’t change, but the place you live changes around you, and not for the better. You can buy a place out in the country, only to have the city grow up around you. My father-in-law grew up working on farms. He fished and hunted. As the years went by, farms turned to housing developments. There were fewer and fewer places he could do anything he enjoyed. After his early retirement, he set himself up where he could live like he did as a kid.

You want to make sure you live in a place you love. Saving money in a place you hate is a false economy. It’s all about living well, not how much actual money you have.

-Sixbears

10 comments:

  1. Success said Thoreau is not what you have but what you can love living without...

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    1. I read "Walden" in my grammar school days and he inspired me.

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    2. I met Thoreau in 1970 and have been reading Walden and trying and mostly succeeding to live his philosophy ever since.
      He is one of the world's most widely quoted men but if more folk would walk his talk instead of just talking his talk, their lives could be greatly enhanced...

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    3. If more of us walked the walk, it would be a better world.

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  2. Most folks could also live far cheaper where they are if they'd just do it.

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    Replies
    1. True, but they usually don't until they have to. Then it's much harder.

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  3. We are pondering the same as your comment, it is dark and dank most of the year here, crime has come to this place and a police office right up the street. We live near a high school oh, my God the kids are criminals and they don't even go to school at all!???!Our daughter our only child will never live in this town to see her we have to travel over 4,000 miles if at all to see her in NYC...We want to live where we will see some sunshine we adored colorful colorado but now it is only full of unemployed people thinking there were jobs there and criminals headed to their many federal prisons! Washington state is gorgeous but the inclement weather is hard on our arthritis, fuel costs the highest in the nation and electric and gas for homes soaring, we want to move but no homes are selling and they built our home with ceiling cable heat oh, my living God in 1978..we are trying to move to some place warmer and kinder..I don't mind the people here but they are to me ignorant of a lot of laws and truths..one can only change oneself and not others! Colorado has make my day laws which to me is just great if someone comes on your property and your home wanting to do lethal harm to a person you have the right to shoot to kill...due to domestic violence law after a woman and her boyfriend were killed in the parking lot of a restaurant in broad daylight, if the fellow had a gun he could have killed the perpetrator and lived to save his girlfriend..Her family petitioned the state of colorado and there is a law for such shenanigans, I thought it because Colorful Colorado is a rural place and people in the olden times stole cattle and the owners of the cattle had the right to defend their cattle by shooting them on the spot, no it is a domestic violence law to save human beings misery from an ex- gone wild..one has to make sure the perp is on the outside of the house with the gun and ready to try to do bodily harm (kill) then one can shoot to save one's life..sounds like a good law to me!!!!!!!!

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  4. Changing location can be hard, but staying in a place that no longer works for you isn't fun either. Good luck with whatever path you take.

    As for gun laws, when push comes to shove -better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

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  5. Good post. I plan to move out of Houston just as soon as things straighten out with my Mother!

    Gotta do it soon, as I'm not getting any younger!

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  6. As long as you are still breathing, it's not too late.

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