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I can't afford living on the east coast

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Vincent, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Vincent

    Vincent Senior Member

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    Baltimore, Maryland USA
    Thats the realization I have come to over the last 6 years. I've moved 11 times in 8 years and have lived in different parts of MD,PA, and 2 months outside of Richmond VA. My ssdi is 1600 after medicare. My rent, gas electric, and internet takes half. Power rates here in MD are at least double what they were in Pa with Met-Ed. Car insurance is double what it was in PA but my insurance still thinks I live in PA.

    Add in rx's, vitamins, gas, food delivery, car insurance, I'm already maxed out. I'm getting by absorbing the excess of my expenses using my credit card(s). This doesn't include therapy, and eating out, which I do alot because I do not have the energy. I know that if I cook and then I'm unable to clean up, then it just snowballs day after day. I think people reading this site can understand where I'm coming from so I wont get into too much.

    Anyway from using this cost of living site from the state of Missouri
    http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm

    MD is a red state, which indicates very high COL. I thought about moving to OH, since it's the shortest drive from me and is a cheap state. I actually drove there 2 years ago out of anger and found a place, but a friend talked me out of it saying I'd be all alone. Come to find out several months after that I moved away from said friend anyway. I was renting a basement with no kitchen and I couldn't go on like that anymore.

    My friend just bought a house outside of Cleveland in broadview heights OH. Someone in chat recommend Bloomington IN, and come to find out I was there for a temp IT job years ago. It was a really nice place. The people were really friendly and they call coke, 'pop'. I thought that was neat.

    Only issue I have with my friend is he wants 500 to rent a room plus half of utilities and half of the internet bill. It's a 2500sq foot house and I know that during the winter the gas bill is going to be 200; I just get that feeling and from reading online. I could stay there temporarily and find something else in the area, or I could just up and go somewhere else. I had even thought about San Antonio at one point, because of the low cost of living and the fact that I consistently see it listed as one of the best cities to live in.

    My lease runs out end of Dec this year. My car inspection from PA runs out at the same time. I do not want to go through the hassle and expense of changing my car over to MD, and potentially having to pay sales tax on the vehicle as well. I want to move before the end of the year, and I'll ask my landlord for some leniency with the rent if he might let me slide for a month or two since I wont be here. Seeing as how this is move number 12 and the farthest yet, I'm selling everything other than what will fit in my car.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I feel for you, Vincent. I've just been through the only-what-fits-in-the-car interstate move in June, and I'm still recovering. It's a huge endeavour.

    On a practical level: if you go to a place where you know someone, you could send some stuff UPS. This makes the last-minute Oh-Crap factor less. Alternatively, UPS will hold stuff at their distribution center for some small period of time (I forget exactly.)

    Also, a cargo pod for the roof is useful. I got one that has 18 cf of space. Very helpful.

    It's so hard moving all the time. I moved I think 9 times in 6 years. This is challenging when one is well--a whole other ball game for PWMEs.

    Best of luck to you--wish I had more to offer.
     
  3. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    I like the idea of moving to Ohio out of anger. Thanks for the laugh, Vincent.

    My son moved from Columbus, Ohio (where I live), to Cleveland a year ago. Although he lives on the east side near suburban Shaker Heights, now that he's had time to explore, he says he really likes the suburb of Lakewood (neighborly, inexpensive housing) and would live there if it were closer to his workplace. One thing he doesn't like about Cleveland is the out-of-date road (traffic-signalling, etc.) system, but if you wouldn't need to drive much beyond your own neighborhood (grocery, restaurants), perhaps that wouldn't matter to you.

    If I can be of further help, start a conversation(private message) with me.

    Good luck.
     
  4. penny

    penny Senior Member

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    Bloomington IN is a lovely town but it is a college town, so some of the housing close to campus and 'downtown' will be more expensive. It's been years since I lived there, and I was a student and wanted to be close to campus, but it was a pretty competitive rental market at the time. It still might/probably will be cheaper than MD, especially depending on what part of town you want to be in, but I'd do some research (i.e. look on craigslist ;) before counting your savings. I did love it though...lots of stuff to do and lots of amenities with a small town feel. Ah, reminiscing for the days when "lots of stuff to do" actually had any relation to what I was able to do!

    I haven't been to Cleavland myself but have liked parts of Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo (though like any towns there are pros and cons). Seems like it could be good to have someone to move in with, especially when first transitioning to a new place - let them take care of all the major logistics. Maybe you could negotiate a slightly higher flat monthly rate, and not split the utilities, that might be easier to budget for at least.

    Good luck with the decision and with the move (if you decide to make it)!
     
    Merry and ggingues like this.
  5. Vincent

    Vincent Senior Member

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    Thank you Merry and penny and leela for the information and the offer of help. I am thinking of moving in with my friend temporarily because all he keeps saying is 'all i can do is', or 'i have to charge this because we are sharing the house'. I tried to explain to him I don't build equity I don't get to decide the color of the walls or the drapes, etc. I'm not sharing the house, and I don't want to pay to heat and cool a giant house. Right now I can only afford to heat and cool one room because of the astronomical gas and electric rates.

    I will try and negotiate with him but I have a feeling he wont budge. So I'll live there for a month or so until I can find something else nearby.

    Leela I have looked into those pods but my car doesn't have a rack. Now they do sell bags you can put on your roof and you can run the straps inside the window sill. When I get to wherever I'm going to be I plan on buying a station wagon, probably a subaru. This way I can fit more stuff in whenever I have to move again, also I can buy furniture off cragislist and actually haul it. A wagon I can also lay down in, a huge advantage if I need to rest. I can also camp out of a wagon and in an emergency live out of it.

    Personally I don't want to move at all but the numbers don't lie and I just reviewed them. The only expense I can cut is my car and it's not worth the huge maneuverability I get with a car. Without a car I'm seriously dependent on other services to get me wherever I need or want to go.

    The reason I went to OH out of anger was because I told my dad, who is a millionaire, that I can't function and need help and I'm on a one way road to financial ruin. His response was 'what are you going to do about it?', so I realized I had to do something, no matter how hard it will be. My father just repeats like a parrot that he needs to 'save for his retirement' and I'm 'on my own'.

    I drove 8hrs with my car stuck in 2nd gear and with 3 bent rims. Once I arrived in akron I was disappointed that the images on craigslist didn't quite match what the places were like. One place for example had cheap rent but during the winter the oil bill was 200-300dollars/month. I found one place at the last minute and gave a verbal offer. Once I got home a friend talked me out of it. I'm not getting talked out of it again.
     
  6. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Vincent, I'm sorry to hear that your father refuses to help you and that his refusal was the reason you fled to Ohio "out of anger." That is no laughing matter.

    The plan to live with a friend in Bedford Heights while you look for a less expensive place sounds like a reasonable one.

    Moving is so difficult. I feel for you. Best of luck.
     
  7. MEG

    MEG Senior Member

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    Vincent,
    Your current dilemma is my worst nightmare. I have only moved four times in my 60 years!

    My latest and I hope to God last, was from VT to NC. I have been in NC for 10 years now. The cost of living here is so low compared to the Northeast. I am in Western NC in the Smokey Mountains and absolutely love it. The problem in moving when we are ill is making new friends, or at least for me as I am essentially home-bound. People here are amazingly friendly...like OHIO (heehee I was born in Lakewood!) but I absolutely hate asking for help...ever.

    My hope is that you are able to find a place where you can truly settle in. I would think that the stress of moving too much could wreak havoc on your health.

    BTW...I found/find people and relatives in Ohio to be exceptionally friendly and 'real'...same goes for NC.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sth Australia
    Best luck to you on whatever you do. Sorry to hear about how bad your father is treating you.

    I need to move too and currently trying to work out where to move too, to stay in the current town Im in or move to the city where I may be able to get more medical support (none of my family members plan to stay where they currently are, so I cant rely on any of them to move closer to them).

    Sounds like your situation thou is much harder then mine. Its stressing me out so much knowing I need to move but not sure where to move.

    Getting a van is a very good idea. When I was still driving I got one so I could stop and rest and sleep whenever I needed to do so. I permanently had it decked out with a mattress, pillows and blankets. I wish I'd done that a couple of years earlier.
     
  9. MEG

    MEG Senior Member

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    Asheville, NC
    I love the idea of having your van all ready for "naps"... I wish I had done something like that when I was still driving.

    I feel so badly for both of you...Vincent and taniaaust. I cannot begin to imagine the stress you are both enduring. All I can do is pray that everything just falls into place for both of you.

    Best of luck...
     
  10. Vincent

    Vincent Senior Member

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    Baltimore, Maryland USA
    Thanks everyone. The hardest part is figuring out 'where' to move to. Like I mentioned early I have the friend in Ohio but when I think about it more, I'm not sure how much I like the frequent snow(s). Unlike most people I'm willing to live pretty much anywhere, minus extreme weather. I thought about Texas for a bit, because it has low cost of living. I've also searched for best places to live on a fixed income of 19.5k. Oklahoma City was on my list, since it ranks low in pretty much everything expense-wise. My problem would be tornadoes. I've thought about greensboro NC as well. The cold weather sort of worries me. I know that alot of rentals come with covered parking or garages. That tells me that it snows often and snow is an issue. No one wants to have to dig out their car for months on end.
     
  11. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    East Coast, USA
    I'm endlessly looking for the right place to move to when all the kids are completely moved out. I realize I want a small city, and I want to live right in a neighborhood, so I walk out and find a corner grocer, a coffee shop, restaurants, etc. Because I'll be living alone, and I don't want to get isolated.

    Asheville NC keeps coming up as a good fit for me (although I have yet to visit). It's in the mountains, cost of living is much lower than Annapolis, it's liberal, and it's got a fabulous music and art scene.
     
    Moxie and penny like this.
  12. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    A sick friend of mine tried Asheville. She really liked some aspects but snow and other weather issues got to her. It was also (she said) a very difficult place to drive. Sigh!

    Sushi
     
  13. MEG

    MEG Senior Member

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    Asheville, NC
    Asheville? Amazing music and art scene! That of a big city in little ole Asheville. Gee, Obama keeps coming back...three times now! Sushi, you know I love Albuquerque, and Santa Fe where I was lucky enough to live for 8 months.

    Driving in Asheville? heehee I wonder what type of a problem your friend had other than the horrible turn to get into EarthFare or Greenlife?

    Snow is an issue up here at 5000ft, where I am. (Wolf Laurel) But in town it only snows a couple of times a year and maybe 2 inches...I have heard of some big spring snowstorms back in the 70's and 80's. As you can see, I LOVE Asheville and the more of us that come here the better!

    Greensboro? My daughter lived there while she was in college at Elon. She loves Greensboro, but they did have some pretty bad ice storms. You could be grounded for a couple of days for sure. She is now in Park City, UT...our family loves the southwest. I just cannot move again...my health will not allow. I do not know how you guys do it. It sounds like Lela had a difficult move this summer.

    I do have to say that the cost of living in NC is very reasonable, and we have super health food stores and farmers markets and community gardens. There are something like 300 CSA farms. We are a very 'green' small city. A city of art, music and did you know we are "Micro-brewery Capital" of the USA! (grrr I cannot drink)

    Anyone wanting to visit Asheville? My door is always open.

    All that said, my husband loves Annapolis and Ohio. I love the southwest. I need another life to be able to live all the places I love! For this lifetime, it's gonna be Asheville for me.
     
  14. health_seeker

    health_seeker

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    Hi Vincent:

    Would somewhere like the Portland Oregon metro area be a possibility for you? There's very little snow in winter although there is plenty of rain of course. The cost of living is average to just below average compared with the rest of the country. It's a small city and quiet compared with places like New York, Chicago etc, and there are neighbourhoods where the amenities you need are in close walking distance. I like the laid back pace of life here compared with places I've lived on the East coast and it's certainly a lot more affordable.

    Moving is so hard, especially with this illness.


    Sending lots of good thoughts your way ...
     
    MEG likes this.
  15. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Tornados are only a big worry if one lives in a trailer park - those storms have 'trailer park radar'! Seriously, I lived in Northwest Arkansas for a few years, and they weren't something I ever lost sleep over. I did drive the interstate through Tulsa a few days after a tornado went through. It was startling to see the billboards knocked down like someone attacked them with a chainsaw. It's reaallly hot in OK City, but since you live in Maryland now, you're probably used to it.

    But even Oklahoma and parts of Texas gets snow and ice - especially ice. Uggh! I'll take two feet of snow over a half inch of ice any day. My area gets something like 8 feet of snow a year. Clearing the car isn't a big deal, but the driveway is. Many rentals here include plowing the driveway. In Arkansas mostly we just waited for it to melt: God put it there, God can take it away.

    Seems like rent is outrageous everywhere, no matter where you go. Good luck finding someplace cheap and safe.
     
  16. Aileen

    Aileen Senior Member

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  17. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Hi Vincent, you've taken me back in time a bit. I also came to realize the East Coast was too expensive, and I was in Virginia, just north of Richmond... I worked through several sort criteria: move near relatives for support?move for economic low cost of living? move to a healthier and easier climate? In the end I decided health was the first priority. Since my number one health problem to address was mold avoidance, we went to the desert west (ended up in Utah also, like Meg's sister). And that really helped, about a 10% improvement that has generally persisted now for over 5 years. The best low-humidity states are probably Arizona, Nevada, Utah, parts of Idaho and Colorado, and New Mexico. Some areas of New Mexico have very mild climate, I've lived there before and really liked it.

    Since you mention Texas, San Antonio is a great place, but too hot for me in the summer (weeks over 100). That's where I contracted CFS and I have wondered if the heat stress was a contributing factor. I loved Texas though, especially the mild winters and the low humidity much of the year kept mold levels down. If I had the ability, I would be migratory, summer in Canada, winter in Florida (on the coast) or Texas, something like that.
     
  18. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    As jimells said, tornadoes going through trailer parks in high population areas get a lot of press. I don’t know that Oklahoma has any more tornadows than a lot of the Midwest. You could probably find tornado frequency data somewhere. That would give an idea of the long term risk of living there. www.weather.com/ might be a good place to start. The ‘green country’ of eastern Oklahoma is beautiful.
     
  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    For myself I need to move due to mold issues of the house.. apparently the whole roof needs replacing due to water damage.

    I dont know how I will do it either but Im fortunate to have a gov paid support worker and some of my support hours havent been used as the agency took ages to find me a support worker in the first place, so Im going to ask if I can use all the spare hours in getting support worker to do the packing for the move...otherwise there is no way I'd be capable of moving.. (when I finally work out where to move..that is the very hard thing.. soo many factors need to come under consideration when one has this illness.. Im almost terrified I will make a bad decision.. if I move and its a bad move.. I will then be stuck at that location for years).

    Hoping that Vincient and I choose the right place for our moves.
     
    MEG likes this.
  20. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    planet earth
    Hi all.

    I'm very lucky at the moment, but thinking of where I would move if needed.

    I think it is helpful to have access to good food. Kind of a bummer if one can not get fresh veggies, or has to pay extra for food. Living near a Trader Joes and a fruit stand is a requirement for me. I probably can save a $50-100 bucks a month by shopping at Trader Joes instead of Safeway.

    I know in NW arkansas (which is very beautiful, inexpensive, humid, unique culture) has not much access to fresh food. Just a first impression after going through a market.

    Also nice to have friends or family in the area to get plugged in right away.

    The weather. Freezing weather can be rough for me.

    I would also think about gas. How far does one have to commute.
     

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