Monday, June 30, 2008

California, Too Expensive?

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?

13 comments:

  1. My aunt moved out of California five years because she and her family could not afford it. She and her husband both have full-time jobs. After the eldest son move away for college, they sold their home and moved to Arizona. With that money, they bought another house in Arizona and had a good chunk of money leftover to put into their retirement. This new house is 1.5 times bigger than the one in CA plus it has a pool.

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  2. When my husband's former company packed up to move to Texas, they had offered him a position. Of course, that meant we would have to move. The company had flew me and my husband out to see the new location and paid for us to get tours of the area. The tours covered showing homes, schools, shopping, entertainment, etc. What really shocked me was the housing prices. For $250K, you can get a nice 4 bedroom and 2 bath house with a big yard.

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  3. Yeah, but you have to live in Texas :)

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  4. [...] at midnight, California will hike its tax rate 1%.  I have already written about how California is too expensive for most and this is only going to exacerbate the [...]

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  5. Last night I sent the state of California a 5 figure check for taxes owed in 2009. I finally hit the pain threshold and today began the task of looking for other places to live. I just keep thinking about how my quality of life is no longer enhanced enough to offset the high cost of living in California. I feel ripped-off. Fortunately I work for myself from home and can live anywhere.

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  6. Yeah, I don't blame you. It is becoming harder and harder to justify the high cost of living in California. Given the current budget crisis, it is only getting worse from here.

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  7. [...] California, Too Expensive? :: Double Journey [...]

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  8. I moved from California to Texas and its a great place to live and the houses are very cheap.

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  9. So true i do believe that California is way too expensive to live in. Housing is extremely expensive along with everything else. My biggest concern is driving. That stupid smog check is such a hassle. They are too strict and the cats required for California are too overpriced !!! I hate this state so much now. I'm form Los Angeles, and I love my city, but I really hate the fact that it's in California ! There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a huge migration from California in a very near future. I just saw an article called the top ten reasons why California is better than Texas (http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Top-10-Reasons-California-is-Better-Than-Texas-67681487.html) OMG !!! This is the stupidest article I've ever read !!! Things like "our governor can Kick your governor's ass" and crap like that. But anyhow all those reasons do not out weight the crap that you have to put up with in California anymore. I know a lot of people who have fled California and they all tell me the same thing. "Leave California !!!" And hearing this from people who fled to Oklahoma !!!! Wtf does that tell you?

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  10. Cost of living alone is making me, once again, choose Santa Fe over San Francisco. On a teacher's salary in San Francisco I am "low income" and on Food Stamps and free healthcare courtesy of Healthy San Francisco, but that free healthcare only applies to two places, San Francisco General and St Luke's. In New Mexico, the same lousy teacher's salary is still "low income" but the STATE of New Mexico allows Medicaid for everyone low income regardless of being childless and non-disabled so I can have my increasing healthcare needs taken care of anywhere in the state that will take me including UNM Hospital, Indian Affairs, anywhere I choose. California refuses to do that and Healthy San Francisco doesn't cover anything taking place outside the City limits no matter what. This alone is making me glad to leave California again, teacher job nonwithstanding. I could DIE here due to nothing more than lack of healthcare I can afford. No "pro-con" lists necessary. The same job pays less in New Mexico but the difference Medicaid For All makes will be absolutely PRICELESS.

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  12. Hello Dear you wrote excellent blog Thanks for sharing your blog about smog check i just feel very glad to read your blog and i appreciate thanks great job

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