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We left NYC last year because the quality of life was not there and it was so expensie that we would have been mortgaging our future to buy a modest house. Where we are now (Monmouth County, NJ) is very pleasant and we were able to buy a nice house in exactly the right neighborhood for half what it would have cost in Queens. However, the Monmouth-Ocean County MSA is one of the top 10 fastest growing in the country. Estimates are that 1 million additional people will come to NJ in the next 10 years, and a quarter f them will end up in our MSA. This is great for real estate prices over the long term, but it means that when I start getting closer to FIRE in 15 years, it is probably going to be time to move on.

The trouble with that is by then I will likely have kids in HS and my parents (who are 40 min away in the area) will be in their mid-70s, so I will likely be "trapped" for a few years. If I am wealthy enough to check out, I will probably buy a second home in a rural area that will eventually become a FIRE pad, and spend as much time there as possible. If not, I will take the opportunity to bulk up a bit more. Either way, I will almost certainly be moving when the time comes. A lower cost of living would accelerate my ability to RE considerably.
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