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How much is it worth sacrificing to live in 'ideal' location

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  • smartmoneymd smartmoneymd 
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    Living 4 minutes from work? I’d stay put with that much income and great job. You are still driving distance from the skiing/mountains in VT. I think that planned trips out west to do outdoorsy things would be more than adequate for most people. I’m guessing that you could easily fly out of Westchester if need be.

    #171184 Reply
    Liked by Hank
     childay 
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    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Early in my career, I made a move from a similar situation (by description) to suburban Seattle, one of the most outdoorsy, coolest places in the U.S. The job was consuming and not a great fit, and I quickly that realized that having mountains, lakes, and a vibrant downtown was not enough good stuff to counterbalance being dissatisfied with my daily routine, and 6+ day per week job. (The mountains, lakes, and vibrant city were more of a tease

    Now that I am later in my career, I am starting to look again at opportunities to work part time in such an outdoorsy environment, where the majority of my time will be free to be spent in lakes, mountains, and a vibrant mountain town.

    Click to expand…

    Vagabond dropping the wisdom

    #171219 Reply
    Liked by ENT Doc, hatton1
     trebizond 
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    Just travel more. A lot more. Take sabbaticals. Request 1-2 months of vacay if need be with a pay cut and get your “mountains” needs out of your system with rampant hiking.

    I’m sorry, this is just so not a problem and why break something that works? Most psychiatrists make in the ~200-250K range, no need to dump a 400K salary so you can see mountains on the horizon when driving home from your Saturday shift.

    #171269 Reply
     SLC OB 
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    I have what appears to be a different perspective… I live in a small mountain community, HCOLA, and when I first started I was making under the typical. That has changed and I am very well compensated for my work.

    I don’t have a huge urge to travel (except international), as I LOVE where I live. I bet you could make as much money as you want, where you want.

    However, it may not be as ideal of a work situation (meaning private practice, locum’s, SNF, etc.)

    I was able to make it work BUT I also had to knew what I wanted, ask for what I wanted, in order to get it.

    I often trail run, swim in lake (often for an hour before heading into round in the morning), ski (12 minutes from nearest ski hill, door to door), etc. I love raising my kids in a place like this and we have amazing public schools, which helps financially.

    Today I woke up to the best sunrise with about 6 inches of fresh powder outside, went for a run at 8:30 am when it was 20 degrees out but had to take off one sweatshirt as the sun was shining so bright I was HOT!

    #lifeisgood

    #feelingblessed

     

     

    #171276 Reply
     SPlum 
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    I am going to completely echo SLC OB. We live in Colorado. We had to really work to get the job situation and the side gigs where we want them, but now we are well compensated… working hard in primary care but working out well and thankful.

    We love where we live. It is so refreshing to leave work and just see the mountains, and enjoy the views we have. I live 3 minutes from the office, a 6 minute walk away from our elementary school, 5 minutes from trailheads. 300 days+ of sun means you can be outside hiking, running, walking year round. DH spent the weekend catching up on charting, and as a break we took our 2children on a 3 mile walk out our front door and up a mountain- completely physically and psychologically refreshing and honestly, much needed to resume the EMR work awaiting at home.  Every time we head back east we say how we could never live there again. Where we live gives us the nature, lifestyle and the physical balance/refreshment we need to do the medical jobs we do. But we are not city mice, and we feel most alive outside, so this works for us.

    SLCOB Nailed it in saying you can make as much money as you want where you want.

    Denver is  growing by leaps and bounds and is very much a big city. The traffic is bad and the marijuana influence is honestly, unfortunate. But Colorado really is glorious.

    We are blessed with our work life balance here, And I do not think I could do my job without living where I live.

    It sounds like a question for you is if you are happy and love the job you do, you may be in the just the right place for you and just travel to those places you love more. Being happy in your job is huge. But could you make your job work somewhere else where the rest of your life is lived in a vacation destination?

     

     

    #171291 Reply
     Antares 
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    Sorry for the length. This is a tough one for me to respond to. I’m torn because I haven’t been able to solve this for myself, I’ve just found an acceptable compromise. I don’t like cities, and have toyed with the possibility of Colorado. I love mountains and the outdoors, and I have many interests outside medicine.

    We have similarities: I’m a psychiatrist, as is my wife, but we’re both in private practice in the NYC area. After business expenses, we average 600K per year. The good: that’s a great income for psychiatrists, and I work 32 hours a week and my wife maybe 27 hours. Around five weeks a year of vacation. So I’m not “hustling” to make the money. I have time for other things. The bad: it’s a very HCOLA, so the money doesn’t go nearly as far as you’d hope. And it’s in NY.

    In a way it’s easier, because we are 60, it’s unrealistic that we’d start elsewhere now when retirement is single digits away, and we have a good income and free time. And we live 40 miles north of the city where it’s quite pretty and private, and only commute in 2 days a week, working closer to home the other 2 days. It’s working for us, even though I’d love to live in an area of more majestic beauty and less dense population.

    In the past, my wife was attached enough to family and friends, that leaving wouldn’t have been easy for her.

    But if she’d have been willing to relocate, the calculus was like this: we could move where we would be happier, but we’d have to work a lot harder and still probably make less money. We were only interested in private practice situations. No inpatient, etc. So less money, less free time, away from friends and family, more suitable environment. It’s not clear whether that trade-off would have been worth it. I still don’t know, and I’m glad I don’t have to know.

    For the OP, it’s different (and admittedly my entire approach to this is to see it in relation to my situation, given the similarities of the considerations). You are making less money, and working significantly harder, if I’ve gleaned the situation accurately. Your cost of living is probably roughly in the same ballpark as mine, or maybe slightly less. You are less entrenched, younger, and your spouse may be willing to move. You’d have to hustle to make your same income, but you are hustling now, and don’t seem to mind it terribly.

    There is the real question of making new friends, and how simpatico you’d find folks in a new area. I don’t know what you should do, but when I put all that together, I think I’d move. The downside isn’t that significantly different from your current situation, and it appeals to you much more strongly. I think this falls into the “life’s too short” category. I’ll envy you the mountains, and drop by frequently in retirement!

    #171307 Reply
     Crockett’sRiver 
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    Fundrise eREIT

    I’m right there with Antares, SPlum and SLC OB.  I live in a small city in the Northeast that consistently gets written up as one of the best small cities in the US, on all kinds of top ten lists etc.  My husband and I both have well-paid jobs in our fields, kids can walk to school etc…..and I would trade it all to be in the mountains in a heartbeat.  So I won’t join in saying that you are crazy to think about giving up all the objective measures of success.  It makes perfect sense.   🙂

    Career and finance for PCPs at ADoctorsWorth.com

    #171451 Reply
    Liked by gvs.psych, Antares
    Hank Hank 
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    I think the original poster has a pretty good situation.  Well above average pay, good working conditions, and a four minute commute (the roads can’t be that terrible, right?).  Easy drive to skiing in Vermont, or fly out to Colorado for a three day weekend.

    Based on the coastal locations cited, it sounds like somewhat lower cost of living than NYC or Boston.  Given sufficient income and time off, I’d fly to Europe when it’s warm and down to Florida or the eastern Caribbean when it’s cold.  Based on proximity to the coast, you could get a sailboat or better still make friends with someone who already owns one!

    #171523 Reply
    Liked by gvs.psych, Tim
     gvs.psych 
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    This thread has been super helpful! Wow, really some things to consider.

    There seems to be a split between folks who argue that the ‘missing’ qualities of our current environment can be addressed by taking more frequent vacation, and others who seem to be able to enjoy there environments on a daily basis and would argue in favor of a move.

    What I take away from this, and having thought and explored this more offline as well, is that for the next few years we can ‘lean in’ to our current environment (we are 27 and 30), find a boat owner, get up to New Hampshire more, and increase the travel budget. And then, if in a few more years, closer to FI, we still want to move, we could realistically do it in a way that would allow the kind of access to a beautiful environment that some posters enjoy – right now, a move to Denver would probably be a move to a apartment downtown, or a house somewhere nearer the med school.

    To all the posters calling me out on not having a real problem – I get it, I am lucky, I never forget that. But I think this forum is a good place for conversations like this!

    #171567 Reply
    q-school q-school 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 05/07/2017

    This thread has been super helpful! Wow, really some things to consider.

    There seems to be a split between folks who argue that the ‘missing’ qualities of our current environment can be addressed by taking more frequent vacation, and others who seem to be able to enjoy there environments on a daily basis and would argue in favor of a move.

    What I take away from this, and having thought and explored this more offline as well, is that for the next few years we can ‘lean in’ to our current environment (we are 27 and 30), find a boat owner, get up to New Hampshire more, and increase the travel budget. And then, if in a few more years, closer to FI, we still want to move, we could realistically do it in a way that would allow the kind of access to a beautiful environment that some posters enjoy – right now, a move to Denver would probably be a move to a apartment downtown, or a house somewhere nearer the med school.

    To all the posters calling me out on not having a real problem – I get it, I am lucky, I never forget that. But I think this forum is a good place for conversations like this!

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    yes most of us are living lives beyond the definition of good fortune.  you should not take the comments as a personal criticism.   Just a reminder that the grass is pretty green where you are, and moving somewhere may result in some difficult to foresee loss in quality of life.   it may not be exactly what you hope for.

    best of luck.

     

    #171577 Reply
     Kamban 
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    Joined: 08/01/2016
    To all the posters calling me out on not having a real problem – I get it, I am lucky, I never forget that. But I think this forum is a good place for conversations like this!

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    We give frank opinions and sometimes that may not jive with some OP want to hear. But sometimes it is better to hear all opinions to get a true picture.

    I think you are making the right decision. Live where you are, save and travel. Later you might want a change and move or find that where you live is better than all those places that appear great in travel magazines but not condusive for day to day work and living.

    It happened to me when after after 2 interviews in what were supposedly ideal places to live, I realized that the town I currently lived in was better. Twenty years later it has become a foodie town and one of the 50 places to see in NYT and Travel and Leisure magazine annual recommendations. 😎

     

    #171609 Reply
     artemis 
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    What I take away from this, and having thought and explored this more offline as well, is that for the next few years we can ‘lean in’ to our current environment (we are 27 and 30), find a boat owner, get up to New Hampshire more, and increase the travel budget. And then, if in a few more years, closer to FI, we still want to move, we could realistically do it in a way that would allow the kind of access to a beautiful environment that some posters enjoy – right now, a move to Denver would probably be a move to a apartment downtown, or a house somewhere nearer the med school.

    Click to expand…

    Be sure to travel widely through the US on your vacations.  While there are drop-dead gorgeous places to live through the entire nation, the overall “feel” of the Pacific Northwest, California, the Southwest, the Mountain West, the Southeast, and the Northeast are very different.  The mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont are nothing like the mountains of the Rockies and the Sierras, and if you’ve grown up in the green, fertile East, the more arid West might be a tough adjustment.

    #171618 Reply
     hightower 
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    Earnest refinancing bonus

    I get it. I think its FOMO (fear of missing out). I get it every time I visit an awesome city or country. I drive my wife nuts with talk of moving somewhere cooler or more fun with more outdoor stuff. Ultimately home is near family for us. And it’s cheap here so we can afford to travel pretty easily. We go on several nice trips each year which keeps us satisfied. Going back to Hawaii in January for the 4th consecutive year. And we just soent 2 weeks in Europe this past June. I don’t really think I’d be able to afford that living somewhere pricey. I’m also pretty sure we’d be spending our travel budget going home for the holidays and various family stuff.

    #171627 Reply
     slo 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 10/23/2016

    You should live somewhere you love, it’s probably the most important thing you can do for your hapiness. Live where you can do the things you love every day. Live where you don’t have a commute. Live where others vacation. You may not make as much, but who cares. Money isn’t everything. If you save 20-25% you’ll be fine. I’m in a fantastic HCOL area, but I absolutely love it. Sure, my truck is 18 years old, my house would t be considered a “doctors’ house” in many areas, and sometimes we feel poor. But man, this is s great place to live. I walked to work yesterday, it takes me 6-8 minutes to get to the hospital. After work I went on a mountain bike ride from my front door. Amazing. My point is, live where you’ll love living every day. If you live somewhere just to make more money so you can spend it getting out of town every chance you get, you’ll regret it. We only get one life, make it the best you can!! I think a lot of people on this site need to remember that they’re only earth dollars, you can’t take them with you when you go. Focus on happiness, not money!

    #171638 Reply
    Liked by SPlum, Antares, Lithium
     Kamban 
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    One thing no one has mentioned is that your ideal location might not be your spouse’s ideal location. The ideal location for quality of life may not be the ideal location work wise ( leaving aside money for a moment). So in the end it is all a compromise / balance between you, your spouse, your family and the working conditions. So don’t get too carried away with regret that you might have missed your ideal life situation.

    I felt the Southwest was stunning in beauty but upon to return to the Southeast I realized that I missed the greenery and loved that even more.

    #171662 Reply
    Liked by Antares

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