It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Looking for a Way Out” who had recently retired and wanted to move out of California while his wife was adamant about staying in state and close to family. He wrote: “I have offered for us to periodically fly back to see family or take 700-mile drives (one way) from neighboring states. I said that if we moved, she could take an easier job, retire sooner, and have more of what she wants, all while not compromising our standard of living and perhaps even improving it (with lower cost of living). She said ‘no’. She suggested we sell our house and buy two places, one for her near family and one where I want to be (not in CA). This is tantamount to ending the marriage since each of us would very likely spend 98% of our time where we live.”
Below, find out whether he and his wife are still in California and still married.
My wife has said that quitting work is more important than being near our daughter (surprise to me), but quitting work means 24/7 access to daughter, despite longer travel times to get there. Big downside to this is having to pay healthcare insurance out of pocket (I am not eligible yet for Medicare). Staying near the Bay area means wife must work for a few more years (cost of living very high). I can work too, but the Bay area is biased against those at my age and I am more than a few years older than my wife. I have worked on improving our relationship with some success.
There seemed to be great interest (and unfortunate speculation) on why I wanted out of CA. I still do not see the relevance, but at the risk of people judging me or telling me I am wrong, etc., here are the reasons: Cost of living is very high, and even though housing costs for us are modest (thankfully), everything else is not. Gas is $3.80+/gallon for regular, an avocado is $2.50 (medium), bridge tolls are $5 on average (going to $8 in a few years), taxes are insanely high, etc. A few, including Wendy, speculated politics was the reason. That is ONE thing as I do very much dislike the ultra-liberal Bay area. Traffic is horrendous and ever-present. I often schedule what I do and when around murderous traffic. Infrastructure is crumbling, as in roads, cleanliness, maintenance, graffiti, etc. One hobby of mine is all but impossible to engage in due to lack of facilities in the Bay area. That is not all I dislike about the Bay area… thee are a multitude of things.
If there are questions or comments, I will try to answer.
If SF is too liberal for you, you’re gonna love Oregon. But it’ll be cheaper, at least! Good luck.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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