I was chatting with a friend today that I hadn't talked to in a while. We were just discussing how things were with each other and the conversation eventually turned into how she was doing at her job. She has been in the job for a while, and I know she has been thinking about leaving for a long time. But as we talked it came up that she was thinking of looking for a job out of state. I couldn't believe what I was hearing until she explained that California has just gotten to expensive to live in.
And to a large degree she is right. She is, like me, part of Generation Screwed. She does OK by most standards, but she is, like me, a renter. She wants to get married, raise a family, and eventually own a home. Of course those in the generation face the daunting problem of saving a small fortune to buy a house. Coupled with the high taxes and high gas prices in California, no wonder she is thinking of leaving.
It really makes me wonder how bad it is for those in California less fortunate than me. I have started thinking about how I can save money when faced with these economic uncertainties. Now for me, most of this is psychological in nature (more on that later), but for many many people it is a stark reality. California is a very expensive place to live. For many people, all the benefits of living in California don't outweigh the lower standard of living. How does the average person achieve the American Dream in California? How is it possible to start out, pay off loans, stay out of debt, save enough to buy a house, save enough to send your kids to college, and then save enough for retirement? I find it difficult enough as is with a high salary, no kids, and no debt, I just can't imagine how it must be for those faced with multiple challenges.
So what happens when more and more people start feeling this way? Is it possible that we see a migration out of California?