Relocation paralysis by analysis

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lmcdel's picture
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Relocation paralysis by analysis

hi all -

This is my first post, though I have been a subscriber and lurker for some time. I'm not shy in the real world, but for some reason am shy online. I would appreciate any thoughts y'all have on my situation, because I am in an agony of indecision right now.

My  husband and I, and our 2 kids (8 and 10) live in one of the most affluent coastal communities of southern california. We are here by luck and  happenstance - I grew up here, and have benefited from my family's long-ago real estate purchases which keep property taxes down, etc.  We have spent the past four years educating ourselves on the many threads of the 3 E's - both coming to it from our own professional interests. Our current family income will not allow us to stay here, and we don't see how we can move forward with our plans for creating more resilience in our lives. If we stay, I need to abandon my stay-at-home-mom gig and find full-time work, which moves us further away from how we want to live, and where we want to put our time/energy. We strongly desire to get out of so cal and to a place with more like-minded people... like many of you, we feel completely alone in what we see and anticipate among our community and peers.

To that end, we have put time into finding a place to relocate to - a small town in another western state with a lot of small farming going on, with a growing organic interest as well as likeminded people who see what is going on in the world.  We were able to purchase a small home there last year, which we have rented out (and is almost covering the mortgagte etc.)  We are teetering on the edge of putting our house on the market (the local market just increased about 20%, and we see that as a gift that likely won't last long.) 

There are two things holding us back from committing to a move. I spin both through my head over and over, and am stuck in paralysis and emotion. First, there are no jobs where we want to go. It is a magical place,  kept small and slow by this fact. Those who are there either have created their own gig, or have slowly lost their wealth, some now living "hand to mouth". A new friend there called me yesterday - to emphasize that we need to have a backup plan, after watching many there fail at finding jobs or establishing a livelihood that sustains them. On the other hand, we are tired of living around wealthy people, and people so close to the wealth (like us) that it's hard  not to focus on what we don't have, instead of what we do.

Second, as Chris and others have emphasized, our relationships are an important part of our wealth. My entire family lives here. My parents are in their late seventies, and will only need more help as time goes by. My sons' cousins are the same age, and live 5 minutes away. My husband's entire family lives about an hour away. I have a very connected community here, comprised of people I have known since childhood, since college, a great network of other parents, my parents' friends, etc. Very nice, down to earth people, in reality. It's just that, none of them seem to look behind the very compelling matrix in which we live... professional success, over-committed kids, lovely homes like something out of a magazine, perfect weather, etc.

Our parents are heartbroken that we plan to leave. Begging us to reconsider, in part because we don't yet know how we can make $.  Selling our house will ease the transition greatly, but is capital that should be protected rather than slowly spent down. We bring a side job with us, but not sure it can develop into anythin more. If we rent our house here, preserving a way to come back to So cal, we will not have the cash flow to make the necessary upgrades to the home in the  new place - energy efficiency, garden, elk fence, etc.

How does one reconcile leaving their network of loved ones (who have a different worldview), for a new place with people who seem to hold similar values, but the relationships are untested? How does one justify taking their kids out of a stellar school system for a place with weaker schools, but also not the materialism and uber-success-driven competition in our current environment? If anyone has been through anything similar, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

I recognize we are so fortunate to have choices that so many others don't. However, the hour is growing late, and this indecision is wearing me down. 

lmcdel's picture
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for being so long-winded! 

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Jim H
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Don't apologize lmc...

I can relate to many of the points you make.. just have no answers myself.  I live in a very analogous East Coast wealthy suburb.  It brings my mother to tears whenever I talk about my desire to relocate myself and my family (in my case outside the US).  My brother lives nearby and has never taken the red pill.  As an MBA, my Dad kind of understands my points, but he remains vaguely hopeful (how about that Tea Party!).   My daughter will be going to college in the US soon.  It's complicated.  

My best hope at present is to work two pathways in parallel... developing a bolt hole somewhere in South America without actually moving there unless/until things become intolerable here in the US.         

lmcdel's picture
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sounds like a good plan

Jim H, to develop two pathways. That is what we have been doing this past year, but I find that I don't exist in dual realities that well. Or perhaps the daily existence in the red pill/blue pill reality is what is wearing me down.

I have an MBA too. I actually attended my b-school reunion recently. Made our plans seem even more surreal, as my classmates are mostly on that big city/corporate path where you dream of what you will some day do in retirement, but make so many sacrifices (family time etc) in the meantime to chase your dreams of affluence.

Poet's picture
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You've Expressed Emotions, What Is Your Game Plan?


I, too, live in Southern California. So I know what you are talking about.

I think the first thing to remember is: get a game plan.

"Begin with the end in mind," as the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey would say. Then start figuring out what steps will get you there. What are the requirements to get to where I want to be? What do I need to do, and what will it take, to meet those requirements? This likely is going to be a plan of at least a few years' undertaking. Luckily, it's not likely that an economic collapse could happen anytime in the next few years.

(Yes, there is a chance that an economic collapse could happen anytime soon - there is always a chance for that. But I am in the Long Descent camp. I believe things will get tighter, harder, and progressively more difficult. There will be financial crises and economic slumps, etc. But it's also possible to see not just problems with the economy, but a "retreat to the core", where rural areas like the place you descrbe become even worse in terms of jobs, where they turn into places like Hale County, Alabama where 1 in 4 adults of working age is on government disability. - or even the situation in the Inland Empire, where people might downsize into condos and apartments in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in order to be closer to the better job market after being foreclosed on. So we just don't know for sure. But we still have to plan.)

So, back to the idea about getting a game plan. Figure out where you want to be, then plan for it.

I believe global warming and population growth and depletion of aquifers and over-use of reservoirs and decreased flow for the Colorado River will make large parts of the Southwest hotter and drier. I want to be where there is good soil, plenty of rain, a large distance from nuclear power plants (unlike the eastern United States), lots of forested land, hydro-electricity. I want a sturdy, well-insulated home, at least a few acres, fresh water, and both a semi-rural existence and proximity to hospitals and educational institutions. I want escape routes, the ability to live near and trade with neighboring farmers, etc.

So this is my game plan: We spend a few more years in Southern California. My wife gets her RN license in a couple of years. She'll work for a hospital, get at least a couple of years of good job experience. Then we look into relocating so our kids will be able to grow up closer to nature rather than in the cookie-cutter suburbs of Southern California, where rivers are lined with concrete, beaches are groomed with trucks, and there's no way to build resiliency in an area where over 20 million people live in a radius covered by a 2 hour drive.

She can get a job with a local hospital in the Pacific Northwest (or in a lot of places, depending on state requirements to meet) and earn decent income, have health insurance and benefits. I can follow her anywhere, since I can work remotely in IT for a wide variety of companies - maybe even for the same company I work for, since about 1 in 5 of our companies' employees already work remotely. So we'll have at least one gig to start and very likely two, already waiting wherever we go.

I hope this helps.


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Lmcdel -- I wish I had good suggestions for you.  Your critical problem is income in the new location.  A small city outside California might be a good compromise, but you already have a second house as a complication.  As Poet said, water is critical and western Oregon and Washington have plenty.  Your current thinking puts you way ahead of most.

Poet -- That is an excellent relocation plan.  Coming from you, I'm not surprised.


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California Location

After living in my new location for over a year and a half, I would like to recommend my community as a possible relocation spot.  Yes - it is in California and you will still have to deal with the problems of California.  But as an overall spot (and we researched and investigated the whole country), we are very pleased and continually surprised by how well this place fits into our long term goals of resilient living and community engagement. 

Our location is situated in the Sierra Foothills and the main towns are Grass Valley and Nevada City. 

The Quick Summary:  Moderate Climate (can grow just about anything), plentiful rainfall (ave 45-53"/yr, large amount of agricultural heritage and every expanding sustainable farms and young people taking up farming.  It has a great school system (both public and support for homeschooling) and a huge variety of arts and community activities throughout the year.  There is a vibrant and growing community of folks concerned about the 3Es and meeting people who are concerned about what the future has in store for us is easy.  Population is not too huge and properties don't seem to be out of reach for building a nice homestead (we are renting a home with a shared 10 acre piece of land where we are building our temporary homestead).  Another plus is that we are just over an hour away from the Sacramento Airport - which is a Southwest airlines hub.  Easy for all our family to catch a flight from San Diego to visit.  And only a 8.5 hour drive by car.  There have been many more visits from family to this new location than when we lived in Colorado.  So staying connected is very much possible to family in southern California. 

That is the quick and dirty description of our community.  So far it is living up to expectations but as with anything - things can change and morph and one needs to be adaptable.  In selecting the Grass Valley area we tried to analyze and include variations and morphing (climate change (water is key), reduction of goods and services, quality of life issues) and still found that if things move in a negative direction, we would still be OK.  It would still be a livable location. 

Hope this long message is helpful to everyone reading and I welcome you to come visit the area if you get a chance.  I am open to answer any questions folks might have. 

Poet's picture
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Consolidate And Seek Additional Income


Another thought is consolidation.

If you can't stand to leave for another state because you are so close to family, and between you and your parents, there are two homes, of which one has at least 3 bedrooms... Then spend a trial six months living into the larger home as a family. You only need 2 bedrooms (maybe 3 if the kids are of opposite gender) - and your parents can have a 3rd bedroom. Then, rent the other home for income.

You are a stay-at-home mother but your kids go to school, right? By all being in one household, maybe the kids can come home after school to spend time with your parents, so you can got out to earn income outside the home or work from home doing a home business or as a remote worker. That's also income potential.


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location choices


Hi Imcdel,


I’ve read and re-read your post to better absorb all the factors that are pulling at you and your family.  I must say that I really admire your ability to express yourself so well.  Your thoughtfulness and maturity shine through all that you write.


First of all, I have experienced some of the elements of what you’re going through or thinking about...tearing up roots, going off into unknown communities, being responsible for children and parents, having an education that equipped me to earn good money but wanting to have a traditional anchoring role as homemaker, having concerns about being prepared for unknowns and wanting my family to be resilient and able to cope.


Now I’m at an age that’s past all that.  I’ve seen life unfold for myself and for family and friends over the decades.  Choices that end well and some that do not.  I've lived in various areas of the country.  My current community is one that I didn’t even know about 20 years ago and yet I’m now deeply and happily connected with it.  I interact with good friends who live standard middle class lives (nicely furnished houses, manicured lawns, vacations) and with good friends who live in a culture of self-sufficiency (1800s lifestyles with food in the garden & on the hoof, DIY skills, wide support group).  I feel affection for them all but I do feel that the more self-sufficient friends, as a group, will be far more resilient if/when things take a extraordinary turn on the larger stage.  Yet they too are vulnerable.


While Chris’s forum is about concerns related to an dramatic economic shift, I also follow a forum more concerned with medical epidemics that could be close to the horizon.  I consider both scenarios to be distinct possibilities.  I also would put cyber warfare on the list of things that might upset the applecart.  All are more likely today than they were 30 years ago.  So where does security lie?  It’s a question you’re thinking about and more and more people are thinking about it too.  Where should one live?  How can we make the best choices for the future?


With that as background, my thoughts for you would be something like this.  Can you find a middle ground for a while, perhaps by selling your current home and moving into something you can rent for a year or two in order to keep your options open?  In the meantime, is there a place you can use to do gardening and hone your gardening skills?  Groups you can join to learn more about farming/canning/machine repairs/DIY skills?  Is it possible that you feel unsure about having already purchased a property that, it turns out, doesn’t measure up to all that you need from it?  Is there a community within a day’s drive of your family that might offer more chances for both employment and a resilient lifestyle?  Can you give yourself more choices?


Trust your instincts.  There may be a reason that you feel indecision and tension.  You have a good head on your shoulders and you and your husband will figure this all out.  


You have my sincere, heartfelt wishes for all to go well for you! 

David Allan's picture
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Hi Imcdel

I would suggest that the most important thing is for you to get really clear about what YOU think could be coming down the line. Everyone has a somewhat different take on this, Poet (writing above) is in the long descent camp, I'm in the camp that sees a fair chance of a financial systems collapse tipping into a civilizational one. What we think doesn't really matter; it's your own viewpoint that should drive your decision making. You've obviously done a lot of homework on this topic and will have formed some conclusions.

In our case we did move, just over 2 years ago. We moved from the city to a rural area and I have set up large vege gardens, an orchard and instead of going to work in the morning I milk the cow. I can tell you this has not been a small change in lifestyle. We had to balance loosing 1 income against developing the property. We do still have one income however. 

As Chris says time is our greatest asset. It's a huge amount of work building up a property - and a steep learning curve too. And it's so much more easily accomplished within a smoothly functioning society. 

One last thought to finish - if you do relocate you'll be creating a base that might help support family further down the track.

Good luck



treemagnet's picture
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Only one?

Imcdel, I think you should reconsider destinations.  There's just no way that location can be the only place that you would work for you and that you like.  It's a big country.  But, IMHO, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the metros.  MORE, than just a tank of fuel away is what I say.  Whatever works for you and yours - and personally, I would disregard advice from anyone who has a seemingly great "gig", but relies on (in a big way) a big metro, including info I read from time to time from millionaires and up, who've (conveniently) opted for the "simpler way of life.  Their resources allow them liberties most don't enjoy, but the often long to be accepted as just another humble man, sitting in congested traffic, driving a $60,000 diesel pickup that will never be driven in dirt.......

good luck.

TechGuy's picture
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Yup, Moving can be hard to

Yup, Moving can be hard to do, especially if you have become very comfortable in where you currently like. Your decisions to relocate make perfect sense,and the problems in CA are only going to get worse. It appears that companies are leaving CA for other states because of the over-extensive regulation and high taxes. CA is facing a bleak future as more business leave and gov't pension outlays continue to soar. With the exception of the Northeast, any place is better than CA for the long term.

If you can't find employment in a rural region another option is to relocate to another state to a region where there is good job opportunities and the state policy is less on socialism and more on self reliance. If you you can find a town or city where the people are less about "what can you give me, to how can I help make this a better community" you will likely mitigate some of the risks associated with economic crisises.

I would not recommend that you move to a rural region until you have figured out how to maintain sufficient income to support your needs. This might mean a career change or some significant changes to make it happen. One option is to have either you or your husband take a job in a urban region, where you or he rents or shares an apartment close to work and travel home for the weekends. Depending on the job it may be possible to work four days (10 to 12 shifts) and take three day weekends. This is not for everyone and can take it toll, but there are families that do this. Mostly because they want there kids away from the bad influences from urban regions, or just enjoy living rural. 

If you do decide to relocate, be prepared to commit additional time to becoming self-reliance. Moving to a rural region does not make you prepared. To become prepared, you will need to develop resources so you are not dependant on others to put food on the table and fulfil your energy needs (heating, cooking, powering water pump, etc). This will require you to devote significant amounts of time to develop those resources, whether its planting crops, fruit and nut trees\bushes, canning, building a root cellar, chickens, goats and other livestock, alternative energy systems, stockpiling strategic items, building Agraculture systtems tools, adding storage buildings, etc. 

Ideally it would be wise to increase your income and savings while you still live in your urban/suburban region so you have extra cash to pay for the tools and items you need to become self-reliant, perhaps a second part time job or taking on additional task at your current employeer for incresed pay. You can also use any spare time to learn how to be self-reliant before you relocate, such as planting a garden and experimenting growing different crops so you have some basic knowledge. This will give you some insight on how far to place plants apart. How to prune/support plants, how to deal with different pests, etc. Use your vacation time to travel to find nice spots you would like to relocate too.

When choosing for a place to live, avoid dry\arrid regions. When you grow your own food you want a region that gets more than ample rain. Most of the Western US is rapidily depleting its Aquiferes and the costs to pump ground water are increaing because the wells need to pump from ever increasing depths because of depletion.Because of gov't regulation, the cost of electricity and fuel is rising. In the event of a grid down, or electricity shortages its going to be difficult if not impossible to pump sufficient water for your crops. This makes much of the Western US less than ideal. Also consider regions that are temperate. Choosing northern region (near Canda) is going to make it difficult growing crops, as the risks for crop failures increase (ie early or late frosts). 

Besure to purchase sufficient land to meet your family needs. You will need about 8 acres of tilable land per person, while its possible to free a person on less than 2 acres of land, you will need extra land so you can grow twice as much food as you need per year. In the event of a major crop lost you need stored food that you can count on. You will also need to plant extra crops for seed replacement. You also probably want to plant a diversity of crops so you don't end up eating the same foods over and over. Ideally you probably want to plant a variety of fruit trees (apples, peaches, pears, nut trees, etc), bushes (strawberries, blueberries, rasberries, Grapes (vines), etc) You will also need to perform crop rotation so you don't deplete your soil. if you include livestock you need land to grow grass or other crops to feed them. In addition you will need land with a sufficient wood lot to meet your needs, for heating/cooking and perhaps as a construction material (fence repair, home repair, pens or chicken coop, etc). Choose your land wisely!



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Interesting discussion here!  Lmcdel, I hope you can find a path that you feel comfortable with.  All paths are going to have pluses and minuses, but if you can find a way that feels "right" for you, that core feeling helps you get over the rough spots (like the "what have I done??" reaction after committing to a choice). Some people suggest you vividly picture yourself in each potential location (say 5 or 10 years from now) then mentally check your body, your gut feel - do you feel tense about this choice, or excited?   Note that the excitement may be mixed with a scary feeling just because of the unknowns, but that's not as much of a dealbreaker as a feeling of tension/anxiety about this choice.  Does that make sense?

For me, the right path is often one where I feel I don't have too much of a choice; like I "can't NOT" do it.  So we built a house on some rural acreage, but near a thriving small town surrounded by farmland and not too far from a big city.

Other food for thought from permaculture teacher Toby Hemenway, who moved to a rural site but then moved back into a city:

homestead's picture
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thought provoking link

psebby, that's a very thought provoking link you provided:   I hadn't seen it before and it brought out a couple of points that I've heard from friends who are in the rural lifestyle.  One friend took his wife and middle school aged children from the city and made a life for themselves in a very rural area so that they could be more prepared for living close to the land when the world falls apart.  They made a success of farming for self-feeding but it was done on the side because they also had to have regular jobs to support the whole effort, and it has taken a huge amount of time and energy.  In the meantime, they discovered that their idyllic rolling hills location had a significant problem with drugs in the schools.  A problem so big that it made it to the front pages of state newspapers after they had been living there a few years.  Plus, their kids didn't feel they fit in with most of the kids at school due to having had different backgrounds and different family values.  The cost of commuting to jobs and to town was a budget drainer too.  They're still there but it hasn't been easy and there were a lot of unexpected jolts, especially medical conditions that came up and required frequent trips to a bigger city.  They've talked from time to time about leaving.    

Their experience with medical problems brings me to another point that I'll mention because I'm involved with a large group of people who have their own community that practices an 1800s type of lifestyle.  Theirs is a longstanding community and well knit, so the knowledge base is broad and their ability to farm and sustain themselves runs deep.  However, as I alluded to in my earlier post above, they have vulnerabilites.  

I see that accidents are frequent and a price they pay for working closely with animals and farm machinery.   Hands  sliced by metal, burns from unexpected fires, children kicked by cows, and buggy accidents from horses that spook.  There are also  dental problems due to lack of frequent dental care -- lots of missing teeth from cavities, some from accidents.  Much of their dental care is done the old fashioned way; they have among their group someone who knows how to pull teeth, and they're known sometimes to use pain killers that they use on their animals, on themselves when it's too painful otherwise to endure.  

They are a people who don't participate in insurance programs, and the price they pay when they need emergency treatment is high.  A friend who had a buggy accident and broke his neck and shoulder stayed in the hospital only 4 days but his bill was $75,000 and he wasn't able to do anything for weeks and weeks while he recuperated.  Treatment by community hospitals is often needed because these people suffer from the same frequency of severe conditions that the rest of us do -- appendicitis, broken bones, heart attacks, children with urgent medical problems.  In our area, there are medium sized towns nearby where you can access medical care in our current, modern world.  But if you live far out in the boonies, or if there's a huge failure of modern systems, what skills do you have to take care of moderate medical conditions in your own family or within your group, let alone severe ones?  Have you acquired skills for administering first aid?  How about even more advanced medical skills?  

In our search for security in an insecure world, just being able to provide heat, food, water and guns is only part of the pie.  A bout of severe flu & pneumonia going through the community, a house fire and burns, a major accident -- these are old fashioned but ever present threats that have to be dealt with too and they need to be factored in when considering how you're going to maximize resiliency.   

I don't have the answers.  I just see how vulnerable even the well prepared can be.



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Wendy S. Delmater
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Great discussion

There is a Relocation USA group you might want to look at, over on the Resilient Life part of the site.

And there is a general relo forum toipic, here:

I empathize with your wanting to be near famly. For me, my 2009 move from the NY Metro Area (Long Island) to semi-rural South Carolina put me closer to family that had already moved, or they came to me. Little by little those who lived up north had either moved to either Richmond, VA, or Florida until only I and one of my sons (and his famliy) still lives in NY. He cried when I left. 

But you may get new family in yor new location, or your old family might follow you there. When I moved to semi-rural SC to marry another abandoned divorcee, I sort of inherited his huge local famlity. Also, one of my Florida sons came to live nearby and has since married, and I have his family by marriage.

Maybe family will come to visit on vacations and fall in love with where you've moved to, and follow you to freedom.

Cherihuka's picture
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Wow really great answers so

Wow really great answers so far! I'll tell you our experience and hope it offers a little insight.

We moved from Riverside nearly 8 years ago to a place like you speak of (but is now suffering drought)... We moved twins right before their senior year of H.S... that was scary, but you know in Riverside they were used to other kids walking the halls with sharpened pencils pointed outward as they walked the crowded halls, and here, if YOU bumped into someone accidentally, they would turn and say "excuse me". Here, people wave to you as you're passing each other at 35 mph (dirt roads). Not only did we get a kick out of that, we got a kick out of doing it to newcomers, lol. When people flashed their headlights we thought that we'd moved to gang territory - it actually means there are deer crossing the road ahead so watch out (or a cop).

There is a lot of community in a smaller town where you not only may actually run into the same person twice, but word of mouth is the best advertisement there is... or not (if you run a business and screw people over). BECAUSE there were no livable wages here, we used up our entire (Calpers) retirement savings to live on while we established a mobile PC repair biz...from home (no overhead). After 8  years, we're now #1 in a town w/ unincorporated area of 60K people, where we once had not only 14 competitors (including 3 different techs we hired who quit when they thought the time was ripe and tried to compete), but this year we don't even need the phone book ad -and it's the last year we'll pay for it (warning: it's not chump change). I think there are some new articles this week here, that talk about this very kind of enterprise- not relying on a job to source your income as a future trend - but relying on yourself more. 

ALL of my family was in S. and N. Cali...hubbies are in the midwest. I left knowing I would never go back to Cali... and this place is so nice we don't need vacations from it. The scenery is healing to your soul, though many here say "you cannot eat the scenery", because as they also say around here, if you want to be a millionaire, bring 2 million. 

We're raising chickens, worms, and bees, and hopefully goats later. What I consider REAL 'security'.

Being part of the SW drought area now, we are planning to build an earthship in the future- something built offgrid that could sustain a household with only 7" of rain/snow annually. It may not pan out, but that's the current plan. There are always options for plan 'b' and 'c'. For these reasons I advise you to do what's in your heart to do- go where you WANT to go, not where you think you NEED to go- where you think you will feel inspired to create a happy life, not into another trap based on a percieved need. 

One last thought on the NW... it may get rain, but hasn't the weather there has been changing/unstable the past year and 1/2 too- colder I believe?! That's certainly something you could mitigate with a green house or hoop houses, or earthship design (built-on greenhouse).

But, being from So. Cal, you know the 'big one' is still coming... and the worst of the big ones they are predicting is along a fault line that starts in Alaska, going down to San Fran area. They expect a 10 point on the richter scale event. Tsunami and all... And that's just across the ocean from Japan (and Fukushima among others). Something to consider. 

I can't advocate renting, since I've seen damage done by renters that would break your heart- and since we know this housing boom is another bubble it could really come back to sting later if you missed the last chance opportunity to sell  were you to get stuck with an empty house or non-paying renter by keeping it.

Well, those are my thoughts - I wish you the good fortune of feeling good about the decision you make, not cornered by fear into a quick decision. Time is of the essence, but work with what you know and what you believe.

Oh, my parents are now in their 80's and just moved in with us last month...a brother coming as soon as he can extricate himself (he's hoping to retire @ the County, as if Calpers won't go under... but that's another story). By moving, like others said before me, you have the opportunity to prepare a place for your family members to escape to should they need to. In Cali, what can you do/offer if you find yourself in the same boat?  They may miss you and complain, but will have their eyes opened if they visit, and be grateful & helpful, if they have to come to live there. 


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I hope I can be of help to

I hope I can be of help to you.  

I love California, but it was time to go.  Taxes, school systems, kids values, etc., were not in line with my goals for my family.  I wanted more conservative, a strong and tuff way of life to teach my son.  I knew Texas was it for us after my research, it took us to Austin.  I kept my home in California as the rent there is a great source of income.  The pressure there to drive fancy cars, to be and have material things was not what I wanted for my son.  My father lived there with his wife very close by.  Like you, I read your story and know that you have other plans for simplicity, for a true feeling of what life should be like.  A time to prepare for the coming disaster that is upon us.  To join a community that supports each other, to get back to the land, to neighbors, to what is real in nature.  You are making the right decision.  I did it.  I left it all behind, gorgeous home, wealth, my BMW650, my Mercedes.  I was torn just like you.  Then, after living in Austin (all Calfornians now), I decided to also buy more property and have a place to go that is "off the grid".  I bought property in the mountains of Colorado.  Talk about a rude awakening.  A well, a generator, an outdoor toilet, chopping wood, in a small town.  OMG it is the best thing that has ever happened.  You should do it.  It makes you realize how empty our lives are.  As for jobs, yes it is hard.  But there are jobs on the internet, jobs at little shops, restaurants, etc.  Small towns are wonderful.  People care about each other.  They watch out for each other.  It is something that I will cherish forever.  You need to leave, if you don't like it, you can always go back.  Remember, life is a journey, and sometimes a short one.  You only live it once.  Do yourself and your family a favor, introduce them to all different ways of life.  You will be very glad you did....I would not change it for the world.    

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