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Move short term HCOL –> LCOL for student debt?

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  • xraygoggles xraygoggles 
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    So as the title says, I am seriously considering moving from San Diego to Austin TX for 1-2 years to pay off my debt once and for all.

    About me:

    33, single, male, finishing my first year as an attending tele-radiologist, meaning work from home and have the flexibility to live anywhere. I work 7 days on/7 off the whole year.

    Have ~200k student loans (have paid off 90k in 9 months through combination of locums and hard work). My job is RVU but my average salary this first year was ~375-400k total.

    I am currently paying minimum 4.2k/month for loans, but I make a few thousand extra payment every month, depending on how much I have left over.

    In theory, I could move to Austin for two years (or even one year), do my regular tele job, plus locums on my off weeks. I would obviously keep a lot more (~3k) per month due to no state taxes in TX. Plus the LCOL would mean I would have more disposable income to pay down debt. 200k in one year would mean ~16k per month, which is definitely doable in LCOL area. It will take me 2-2.5 years to pay it off if I stay in SD.

    Does this sound crazy?? I really like CA and have my entire family here, but because I’m single and have a job where I could take advantage of “geographic arbitrage”, as WCI likes to say, it seems reasonable in my mind. I figure if I were to do something like this, Austin is as good a city as any to choose (relatively liberal, young, hip, lots of grad/college students if I meet someone etc.)

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be helpful.

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”

    #204757 Reply
    ACN ACN 
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    Is Austin cheap? I thought it was pretty expensive relative to flyover country.

    You should probably go to north Dakota… Now that’s cheap! 😂

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #204759 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    I don’t know if I would necessarily call Austin a LCOL. It’s pretty expensive for Texas but certainly cheaper than San Diego. Do you have a budget to see where your money is going now?

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #204760 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    xraygoggles xraygoggles 
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    Is Austin cheap? I thought it was pretty expensive relative to flyover country.

    You should probably go to north Dakota… Now that’s cheap!

    Click to expand…

    Well, it’s certainly a lot cheaper for rent, food, groceries compared to SD!

    I still want to live in a fun city, so North Dakota is out, lol.

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”

    #204761 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Have you been to Austin? I would suggest you spend at least a week there deciding where you want to live.
    You have the state capital and the related state agencies. UT is huge with a large off campus housing demand. The you have AMD and Dell and some tech outside of Austin. Pick out where you fit in before you move. It’s a lot different than Cali.

    #204762 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    Austin is as good a city as any to choose (relatively liberal, young, hip, lots of grad/college students if I meet someone etc.)

     

    Click to expand…

    Liberal city with a lot of college students…

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #204763 Reply
    Liked by wonka31
    xraygoggles xraygoggles 
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    I don’t know if I would necessarily call Austin a LCOL. It’s pretty expensive for Texas but certainly cheaper than San Diego. Do you have a budget to see where your money is going now?

    Click to expand…

    Yes, of course I have a budget, that’s not the issue.

    The main concern is expediting debt payoff, ideally to one year.

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”

    #204769 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Have you checked out the California multi state tax rules? Establishing earnings being exempt from Cali taxes is critical. Does it take a residence for a calendar year and cutting ownership like DL and car registration etc due to the nature of your employment? One question would be State Licensing.
    Fla and Tex coasts might be lower costs. You might chose 6 months or 18. The “hip factor” is 40k undergraduates. That probably won’t do you a lot of good. Austin has 6th Street and some cool places.
    Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong, Willie Nelson, Michael Dell all live there. Just probably in neighborhoods that make sense for more than a year.
    How can you look at the Texas legislature and still believe in intelligent design? Keep Austin weird is a way of life. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

    Visit for a week, do your tax homework. California is aggressive.

    #204774 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    I don’t know if I would necessarily call Austin a LCOL. It’s pretty expensive for Texas but certainly cheaper than San Diego. Do you have a budget to see where your money is going now?

    Click to expand…

    Yes, of course I have a budget, that’s not the issue.

    The main concern is expediting debt payoff, ideally to one year.

    Click to expand…

    I say that just because your spending may decrease in one area (rent), your spending may increase in other areas. You say you want an area that is young, hip, and with grad students in case you meet someone. You’re not going to be taking advantage of that from the confines of your rental apartment/house. You may find that you love Texas BBQ so you end up eating out 5x/week. It can be pretty easy to eat away or go out enough to negate any rent savings.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #204796 Reply
    Avatar JBME 
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    Is there a particular reason for Austin, of all places? Maybe because you’re in the middle of the country so it’s easier to fly anywhere? How about Dallas? If you’re in San Diego I assume you want to stay in warm weather climates. COL might be lower in other southern no-income tax states like Nevada. Or you could try Tampa or Orlando. Don’t move to North Dakota…lol, but South Dakota is a viable option with LCOL and no state income tax

    #204798 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
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    Well, it’s certainly a lot cheaper for rent, food, groceries compared to SD! I still want to live in a fun city, so North Dakota is out, lol.

    Click to expand…

    Me thinks that you will be doing a lot of work ( moving expenses, changing driving license and medical license, getting used to new city, making new friends etc) for a small amount in savings that might not even materialize.  You will blow through it in other areas of living. And California will come aggressively after you for taxes if you have any income there or they think you might still be a resident there.

    You are better off staying put in San Diego and cutting down on expenses, move for a longer period to Austin if that is where you want to go in TX or go to a much LCOL place if you want to live there for a shorter time.

    Avatar ZZZ 
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    Getting a better radiology job would do far more for your financial well being than moving to Austin, which is decidedly not LCOL. Your pay is pretty low for a radiologist working that much, and I bet your benefits are subpar, and that 400k is probably 1099. Have you looked for a better job?

    #204814 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    a) Have all your credentials and paperwork done, completed and physically move by 12/25. (Cars/ bank accounts/ apt/everything).
    b) You have 12 months now. Have fun! Realize 50,000 students have 4 months, finals, then leave! June-August is dead. December too. The “fun city” is seasonal, just like a resort.
    Your housing options will be limited. Any vacancies will be the bottom of the barrel. Your tax residency requirements don’t align with the education calendar.
    LCOL might not be available and the commute to “Fun City” can be a PITA. Elgin and Manor might be cheaper.
    But since you aren’t commuting, the drive won’t bother you.
    Fun location, cheap, and no tax. Pick 2 out of 3

    #204816 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1307
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    So as the title says, I am seriously considering moving from San Diego to Austin TX for 1-2 years to pay off my debt once and for all.

    About me:

    33, single, male, finishing my first year as an attending tele-radiologist, meaning work from home and have the flexibility to live anywhere. I work 7 days on/7 off the whole year.

    Have ~200k student loans (have paid off 90k in 9 months through combination of locums and hard work). My job is RVU but my average salary this first year was ~375-400k total.

    I am currently paying minimum 4.2k/month for loans, but I make a few thousand extra payment every month, depending on how much I have left over.

    In theory, I could move to Austin for two years (or even one year), do my regular tele job, plus locums on my off weeks. I would obviously keep a lot more (~3k) per month due to no state taxes in TX. Plus the LCOL would mean I would have more disposable income to pay down debt. 200k in one year would mean ~16k per month, which is definitely doable in LCOL area. It will take me 2-2.5 years to pay it off if I stay in SD.

    Does this sound crazy?? I really like CA and have my entire family here, but because I’m single and have a job where I could take advantage of “geographic arbitrage”, as WCI likes to say, it seems reasonable in my mind. I figure if I were to do something like this, Austin is as good a city as any to choose (relatively liberal, young, hip, lots of grad/college students if I meet someone etc.)

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be helpful.

    Click to expand…

    your plan makes no sense. u already make enough to pay off your loans, why would you move to some random place to work more.

    #204819 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
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    Austin might be fun.

     

    However, I have one concern.  Where are your patients having their radiology studies performed?  If you are reading radiology studies performed in CA and you move out of state, the state might claim that you are actually working virtually in CA and try to tax you.  Before taking on a big move, I would research the answer to this question if your patients are in CA.

    #204869 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, Tim

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