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Why wouldn't this cost of living hack work for California?

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myoglobin is a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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myoglobin is a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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No the move would probably be solo. However, we keep our finances completely separate and while she is not okay with moving she is also not okay with my debt. Then again we’ve been together for 25 years and have had pretty much the same challenges. Basically, I’ve always been poor With finances and my primary motivation for becoming an RN was to move to Hawaii.

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If you are considering SF/Vacaville/Sac area, I highly suggest coming out here for a couple weeks and look at traffic and housing.  Commuting over the Sierra Nevadas from Nevada to CA wouldn't work for several reasons (time, distance, weather, chain requirements, impassible conditions due to snow, crazy traffic).

People definitely live in Vacaville or Fairfield area and commute to SF.  Cost of living - housing/taxes/gas - is still very high (you'll be paying daily tolls to go into SF + parking probably).  That said, I love all of the areas you're talking about and salaries are good.

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Why go to all this trouble?  Pay is higher in California because the cost of living is higher - high taxes, high gas prices, expensive housing.  The better analysis is pay relative to cost of living.  Making $200K a year in the San Francisco Bay Area is not a great deal if you have to pay $3000 to $4000 a month in rent or have to pay $1 million or more for even a crappy house.

Commuting is not free.  California has very high gas prices.  Spending 2 or more hours a day in traffic is not fun, either.

If you work in California, then you have to pay California state income tax, among the highest in the nation.

 

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myoglobin is a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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If I worked in California I would live as cheap as possible and my family would continue to rent our 6 bedroom house in Florida with a pool and gated community for $1600.00 per month. I would probably either work as a travel nurse, rent a cheap room, or rent/buy a small camper with A/c and fly home twice per month. Since I practice IF and only eat once per day food costs wouldn’t be too much of an issue. My expected income in Florida this s about 80k as new grad PMHNP. Thus, even as bedside RN in San Fran. I might get closer to 140k even with extra taxes and expenses I might be able to pay my debt significantly faster.

Edited by myoglobin
Mistake

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Would it not make more sense to pick up some extra shifts in Florida?  It takes a full day to fly from Sacramento to Florida.  I know an engineer that is living in a trailer near Sacramento and pays $500/month just to rent the space.  I'm sure rental space is more closer to SF.  Just a thought...

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You admit you've been bad with money for quite a long time to get to this point.

I know pay is low in Florida, but I am not sure about the geographical cure, or any alleged lifestyle hacks.

The old fashioned method might work better.

BTW, if you are married, your finances are not separate in any state I am aware of.

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1 hour ago, myoglobin said:

"If I worked in California I would live as cheap as possible and my family would continue to rent our 6 bedroom house in Florida with a pool and gated community for $1600.00 per month. .."

Is this $1600 going to be put toward rent in the Bay Area?  You do realize apartments around here run an average of $2000+ for a 1 BD/1BA and that's in the suburbs (East Bay) across the bay  from SF.  I'd say most apartments outside SF (East Bay) run around $2500/mo for a 1 BD/1BA.  In San Fran, you're easily looking at $3000+ and I'm being generous with these averages.  And these are the cheaper places in just okay areas.

It is expensive out here!  Sure you might be able to find a cheaper deal for housing here and there, but they are rare finds nowadays.

Edited by Mergirlc
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This also seems like it would put a lot of stress on your marriage.  Most people don't like long distance relationships.

There are many states which pay well and are also affordable:  Nevada, Washington state (outside of Seattle), Oregon (outside of Portland), New Mexico, Idaho.  There are also parts of California that are quite affordable where the pay is reasonable.  

It would make more sense for you and your wife to pick a place where both of you want to live and that is also affordable.  You can use the link below to compare how far your pay will go in different places:

https://smartasset.com/mortgage/cost-of-living-calculator#euz4AzOJEC

You might also want to look into loan repayment programs.  There are programs for RNs and NPs at the federal, state, and even some local levels (county).  Typically, these involve working in an underserved area and often these areas will pay more because they have a hard time getting people.  Such areas are also usually quite affordable.  Some employers, such as the VA and some big hospital systems, also offer loan repayment.

I live in California and am seriously considering moving to another state because of the high cost of living here and high taxes, which will only get higher.  However, there are some beautiful parts of California that are affordable, like the entire Central Valley.  Personally, I like the Redding/Chico area.  Nevada also has a lot of beautiful areas that are not desert, like Reno/Carson City/Lake Tahoe.  Washington state is beautiful, no income tax, good pay, and a very high need for healthcare professionals outside of Seattle.

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58 minutes ago, Oldmahubbard said:

BTW, if you are married, your finances are not separate in any state I am aware of.

I think the OP meant more in the operational sense (separate bank accounts, etc) rather than the legal sense of their finances.

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by 2Ask

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3 hours ago, myoglobin said:

No the move would probably be solo. However, we keep our finances completely separate and while she is not okay with moving she is also not okay with my debt. Then again we’ve been together for 25 years and have had pretty much the same challenges. Basically, I’ve always been poor With finances and my primary motivation for becoming an RN was to move to Hawaii.

Maybe your wife would have some advice about money management? 

Are there any nursing jobs you could take with your advanced degree where they would make debt payments for you? Underserved area perhaps?

myo, your wife does not want to move but you want her in a different state where she can practice independently and near Cali because you see it as a way out of debt.

Lots of ideas but is your wife and your marriage a priority? Marital and financial counseling might be worthwhile to help you two get on the same page,

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5 minutes ago, vanilla bean said:

I think the OP meant more in the operational sense (separate bank accounts, etc) rather than the legal sense of their finances.

This man does not have the foggiest notion of money, haha. Many people don't. 

I wish him well, but he is asking the wrong questions.

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by 2Ask

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4 hours ago, myoglobin said:

Basically, I’ve always been poor With finances and my primary motivation for becoming an RN was to move to Hawaii.

LOL- Hawaii is off the radar now... Hopefully there is some joy in the career for other reasons.

6 bedroom home in FL? Big place! How many children do you have and what do you envision for them while you are in the travel trailer across the country?

My oldest daughter is a doctor. She married an engineer. When she was in residency where MD's only make $58K, they lived ENTIRELY on her husband's salary and she put every nickel of her salary toward her med school debt. (which was in the ballpark of your debt) She paid off the entire debt before finishing residency (which is 4 years long). Next they paid off their house- no more mortgage! ($300K range). She's 35. She listens to Dave Ramsey on the radio. You might want to look into Financial Peace University.

If your wife makes 180K then her salary can cover ALL your living expenses in FL and put every nickel of your 80K toward your debt.  You'll have it paid off within three years.

 

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