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  • searching for the "GIST" of life

    Dear all

    I am a little confused or maybe scared... need advice


    I came as an immigrant to this country 10 years ago. did my medical training and became a permanent resident. I stayed in the northeast after my training and got a high-paying job for me and my spouse. Never felt like I belong to the northeast (due to the weather mainly and also I live in a more rural area), always wanted to go down south. Lived in the northeast as it was easy or convenient to deal with immigration paperwork etc. (that is the reason I think at least). The job I do now has great colleagues and pay is something I cant complain about now.
    I have saved frugally for the last 3-4 years as an attending. I wanted to go to a warmer climate, but again that means a pay cut and maybe more shifts and work. Not sure when to decide when I am financially independent and ok with a pay cut while moving to a new place.
    How do you guys out there decide when is it ok to take a pay cut when moving to a new job and also how do I find out if I am financially independent?
    Is there a formula or some articles that I can read that can help me decide?
    With no distant family except for spouse kids in US- moving to any state will not be an issue but again don't want to uproot the whole family and kids just to move again.... not sure if my questions make any sense but that's where I am confused...
    any guidance will be helpful...
    Thanks

  • #2
    Deciding when to move is a bit different than deciding if financially independent. The most common definition of the latter is to hold 25X your current spending in relatively accessible investments. With that much various historical studies suggest you can sustain your lifestyle on a 4% withdrawal rate for 30 years. That should get you settled in the new place! Seriously though, you don’t need that much. Docs all over the country manage to save and invest.

    When to move? Very personal decision, but I’d say: 1) when spouse agrees; 2) between major school milestones for kids (I.e., between middle and high school, etc.); 3)after you visit the area at least twice and really like it; 4) you find a job that you can commit yourself to doing…

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    • #3
      As a physician, you have the luxury of being able to move to sunnier, warmer climes if desired and still make a good salary. You didn't mention how much lower the pay would be, but sometimes happiness/comfort has no price. It may mean a little longer to reach FIRE, but that's a personal decision whether the trade-off is worth it or not.

      You only live once - YOLO - might as well live where you want.

      Comment


      • #4
        Someone fearing a move to the South because they will be worse off financially is unusual.

        The South is famous for having high salaries relative to the cost of living. Obviously there are areas where this doesn't hold. Nevertheless, even if you would make a little less initially, in all likelihood after a few years you would come out ahead financially.

        Not wanting to move because you have laid down some roots is a real issue. Only you can determine the right answer to that one.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sandy View Post
          Dear all

          I am a little confused or maybe scared... need advice


          I came as an immigrant to this country 10 years ago. did my medical training and became a permanent resident. I stayed in the northeast after my training and got a high-paying job for me and my spouse. Never felt like I belong to the northeast (due to the weather mainly and also I live in a more rural area), always wanted to go down south. Lived in the northeast as it was easy or convenient to deal with immigration paperwork etc. (that is the reason I think at least). The job I do now has great colleagues and pay is something I cant complain about now.
          I have saved frugally for the last 3-4 years as an attending. I wanted to go to a warmer climate, but again that means a pay cut and maybe more shifts and work. Not sure when to decide when I am financially independent and ok with a pay cut while moving to a new place.
          How do you guys out there decide when is it ok to take a pay cut when moving to a new job and also how do I find out if I am financially independent?
          Is there a formula or some articles that I can read that can help me decide?
          With no distant family except for spouse kids in US- moving to any state will not be an issue but again don't want to uproot the whole family and kids just to move again.... not sure if my questions make any sense but that's where I am confused...
          any guidance will be helpful...
          Thanks
          If you're not going to live where you want to in this life, when are you planning to do it?

          Comment


          • #6
            You don’t have to be financially independent to take a pay cut, or to move.

            Comment


            • #7
              Never felt like I belong to the northeast (due to the weather mainly and also I live in a more rural area), always wanted to go down south.

              You will never have a warm climate most of the year in the North East. Before you decide to move, make sure the issue is not just living in a rural area vs suburban area. Substituting a rural area in the south instead of the north may not make you happy either. You may be looking for something that small town life can not offer. Then , there is more likely going to be an issue an escalation in the cost of living.

              Comment


              • #8
                In general the South is cheaper than the Northeast. I live in Alabama. Property taxes are very low here. You will find that smaller towns in the South (except the coastline or Austin or Nashville) are affordable. Usually MD salaries are higher in the South as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  First, “I came as an immigrant to this country 10 years ago. did my medical training and became a permanent resident. ”
                  Congratulations! You can live and work anywhere.

                  1. You have an itch. Scratch it multiple ways. A sense of belonging comes from wherever you put down roots.
                  2. Explore. Visit some places. Serious drawbacks with visits. Does not give you a full picture of living there. Weather and keep in mind February and August or a sunny or rainy week will be incomplete. What you do get is a flavor and whether you find the place (rural or urban) appealing. South is a huge target area, you won’t get a complete picture until you move (if you decide).
                  3. Costs: Use the internet, it’s a lot cheaper than travel. Everything from houses to weather to amenities and commute times are available.
                  https://datausa.io/profile/geo/washi...pare=dallas-tx
                  4. Employment opportunities: I’ll leave that to you.
                  My impression is NE has lower comp and higher costs. You would need to pick a couple locations and actually pursue getting offers.

                  From your perspective, if you don’t like the weather, you choose the NE because that’s where you found a 4. above. That will determine if you move. Rinse and repeat. You have done this before.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Somewhat OT, but when I saw "GIST" in the title, I immediately thought that the thread was going to be about a doc recently diagnosed with a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor. I am glad to see that this is not the case.

                    But it is a good opportunity to remember that two of my good friends from training died from cancer (one GBM, the other renal cell CA) before the age of 50. Life is short, and tomorrow is not promised. One has to have a healthy balance of living in the moment and preparing for the future, which is easier said than done.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's not that unusual for people to move over weather. I lived in Wisconsin for 3 years as a kid and I don't like that much snow.

                      Take your time to find a job and locale that is worth disrupting your current situation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post
                        Somewhat OT, but when I saw "GIST" in the title, I immediately thought that the thread was going to be about a doc recently diagnosed with a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor. I am glad to see that this is not the case.

                        But it is a good opportunity to remember that two of my good friends from training died from cancer (one GBM, the other renal cell CA) before the age of 50. Life is short, and tomorrow is not promised. One has to have a healthy balance of living in the moment and preparing for the future, which is easier said than done.
                        What VagabondMD , one more time both of us having similar thoughts! I too thought of gastrointestinal tumor and was about to suggest taking Gleevec ( I have a patient who developed metastatic GIST to the liver whom I put on Gleevec in 2007 and he is still in remission as of last week. Does not want to come off it). Other TKI also work well.

                        To come to what the OP asked for, I was in NJ/NYC for 5 years and hated the cold weather. Luckily my visa situation necessitated a move to the South and once I moved here, there was no going back to the North, ever again. It was snowing in Pittsburgh last night and here it was 70F.

                        Move to the South, you won't regret it. If weather is the primary reason to move.
                        Last edited by Kamban; 04-20-2022, 07:58 PM.

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