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I currently live in the Washington, DC metro area and I know in order to be FIRE here will cost a lot more than somewhere else. Would anybody or does anybody plan on relocating in order to be FIRE sooner?
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Already did that. I lived in the NE until 1989. I moved to TX in order to afford to buy a house. Preparing to FI/RE just naturally followed that progression.

electrasmom
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DH and I plan to move to Shenandoah County or thereabouts, but not because it costs less to live there. No, we just want out of Fairfax County. It's been good for raising kids, especially now that our last is in a terrific high school. It was relatively affordable when we bought our house in 1987. But we are sick to death of having nasty neighbors and nasty regulations to deal with. I mean, really, who is hurt if your grass is 7" tall rather than 6"? And we want a little bit of land and mountains nearby.

phantomdiver
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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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Keep in mind that you may do better living below your means in a high-salary, high-cost area, with plans to retire in a lower-cost area.

For example, I moved from Seattle to Montana a few years ago. Costs of living are far lower, but I took a major paycut to do it. As a result, I won't accumulate as fast, and so will probably end up having to work longer.

If you can earn $100K with annual expenses of $30K in a big city, you might do better than earning $50K with expenses of $15K in a smaller place.

dan
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If you can earn $100K with annual expenses of $30K in a big city, you might do better than earning $50K with expenses of $15K in a smaller place.

Especially considering that if you buy a place in a high-cost area, chances are good that the place will appreciate more in terms of $ than a low-cost place would.

phantomdiver
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Keep in mind that you may do better living below your means in a high-salary, high-cost area, with plans to retire in a lower-cost area.

I definitely concur with this. I'm in one of the highest cost of living areas (Silicon Valley) but with a very good salary that I would not be able to earn almost anywhere else. Couple that with a pretty reasonable lifestyle and you get large savings. Yes, the cost of some stuff is more expensive here - groceries, restaurants, movies, etc. - but the increase is a lower ratio than the increased salary and since the living expenses are only a fraction of the salary there is a much larger amount left over to save.

The biggest "gotcha" to watch out for is peer pressure. There are plenty of ways to blow that extra money and plenty of people to encourage you to do so. There are lots of people living at or above their means and with the high salaries that means lots of high priced cars on the roads and lots of fancy restaurants and lots of boutiques and on and on.

I'm currently saving somewhere between 1 to 1.25 of one year's planned FIRE income (uncertainty based on variability of bonuses). Once my wife returns to work we will be able to save in the vicinity of 2-2.25x one year's planned FIRE income. When we do retire we will be leaving Silicon Valley for cheaper areas (almost anywhere else).

Hyperborea
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I currently live in the Washington, DC metro area and I know in order to be FIRE here will cost a lot more than somewhere else. Would anybody or does anybody plan on relocating in order to be FIRE sooner?

Yes, I moved to FL. -Fed gov't worker so kept the same grade -pay went down slightly, however housing is cheaper than NOVA (lived in Unincorporated Alexandria). It will probably prove to help my quest for FIRE however the COL is not that different and I would have higher promotion potential in the DC Metro area. Other than housing and taxes, NOVA was not any more expensive than FL. I found, with the exception of my skyrocketing rent, that NOVA was rather cheap to live in, especially if one considers all the cheap/free entertainment there is available. If you can buy or "lock in" your shelter expense through some other means, I do not think being in the DC Metro area will delay FIRE significantly. While you are still in the DC Metro area, take advantage of it, there of good quality stuff available free -everywhere else you have to pay! (Still too crowded and expensive for me but still not a bad place to live!)

Now, for standard of living while working, it may make sense to move. In DC, I'd not have been able to own a SFH on my salary, I bought my house a year ago in FL (for better or worse but at least I could.

A better alternative may be to work in DC, with the inflated salaries, and RE to a cheaper place.

FoolNBlue (Not missing the gridlock)
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DH & I purchased our first house in Brooklyn, NY just days before the birth of our first child. The things that made our home & neighborhood a great place to raise children also make it appealing as a place to retire. We have friendly and involved neighbors. We're close to public transportation, so no need to rely on a car. Museums, libraries, the botanic gardens & Prospect Park are all just steps away. So are the grocery store and major drugstore chains.

Our house is a 2 family. We live in the 2brm apt with everything on the first level. The 3brm upstairs can be rented for 65-90% of our mortgage. If our family expands as we hope (we want 4 children) we'll either convert to a one family or purchase a one family in the same area. The house will more than pays for itself if we rent out both apts. If we rent out the finished walkout 2br basement apt as the previous owner did, then the house becomes a cash cow. This makes the house a large part of our FIRE plans

Great idea for a board, Mazske
Crazyinlovefool
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Our house is a 2 family. We live in the 2brm apt with everything on the first level. The 3brm upstairs can be rented for 65-90% of our mortgage.

I wish I'd been as Foolish as you when I bought my first house. Good going!

SS
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Our house is a 2 family. We live in the 2brm apt with everything on the first level. The 3brm upstairs can be rented for 65-90% of our mortgage.

I wish I'd been as Foolish as you when I bought my first house. Good going!

SS
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Our house is a 2 family. We live in the 2brm apt with everything on the first level. The 3brm upstairs can be rented for 65-90% of our mortgage.

I wish I'd been as Foolish as you when I bought my first house. Good going!

SS



Let's try this again...

We were all set to buy a 3brm/1family until I read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". I know a lot of that book is garbage, but the part where he states "A house is just a liability unless it makes money for you." just really rang true to me. For less than 40% more we got twice as much house, only one block away. We have the flexibility of renting it out for income and/or expanding our living space without having to move. For us the flexibility was key.
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We have the flexibility of renting it out for income and/or expanding our living space without having to move.

This is what the family who owned my double before me did. In the first few years, they rented part of it out. As their family grew, they took over both parts.

It sounds like a good plan to me, especially if/when you decide to move you'll be able to keep this house as an income generator. Since half of it can currently cover 65%-90 of your mortgage, I bet it would cashflow like crazy for you if you rented out the whole thing.

SS
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Buying both units of a duplex sounds like a smart idea. FMO, I'm sure you know some tricks to juice this idea evey further.

nmckay
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