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OK guys. Can I move somewhere crazy cold for a lot more money?


MeaganS
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...... There's a job that pays really, really well, but it is rural. Like, 3 hours from a city larger than 20k people rural.....

 

I think this is a much, much bigger deal than the cold and snow.

 

The closest friends I ever had were in the midwest and one of the reasons was that people actually needed human companionship during winter months, hence they were willing to interact and get together in a variety of formats. I live in WA State now and everybody is so into doing their own thing outside all the time that individualism rules and companionship is hard to come by. 

 

But if you're rural....a lot will depend on what that community is like, how open/welcoming they are, and what activities everyone participates in during cold winter months. It could be fabulous - lots of people interacting and helping each other, community snow days, whatever. Or it could be closed, insular, etc and a real hell hole. I personally would want to talk to other homeschool moms who lived there. What are the expectations / background / experiences? Will you fit in with those? 

 

Cold and snow can be mitigated relatively easily. And winters aren't what they used to be. Isolation and loneliness is much, much harder. 

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Do NOT move where you'll be miserable half your life. SAD is real. You'll pay more for heat, vehicles, clothes, shoes, and gain weight because "comfort food" season is longer. I HATE winter and ours has been mild this year. (I'm in the mid-atlantic.) shoveling snow just sucks. Being stuck snide with a bunch of kids who are upset that their activity was cancelled for snow sucks. Wearing an entire basket full of clothes at once just to leave the house sucks.

 

Better to have a smaller house in a place where you can do some of your living outside. A week of sunny vacation does not negate SIX MONTHS of winter. You won't just leave in a few years. What if nobody else WANTS a big house in a crappy climate and it takes you ages to sell. People have a way of getting stuck for all sorts of reasons. Live somewhere you love.thers never really more money in these situations. You'll get there and find that something you didn't anticipate is more expensive than you imagined. Or they ar offering more because turnover is high because everyone is miserable and leaves. Don't do it.

 

Tell us how you really feel. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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I have lived in MN and currently live in WI. No one I know has an engine block heater. Is that even a thing? At least one of our vehicles has been parked oustide in both states year round and starting the car has never been an issue.

 

I own a front wheel drive minivan and have never had a four wheel drive vehicle or a SUV. Ever. In fact, we like to joke about how those people are the ones who end up in the ditch. We usually point and laugh like Nelson in the Simpsons. Gee, guess Mr. fancy pants SUV with his four wheel drive should have slowed down like the rest of us.

 

Cold? Wear better clothes - different fabrics, more layers, etc.

 

I like running outside in the winter (once I remember how to dress). It's so darn humid in the summer that it can be hard to wear few enough clothes to stay comfortable while also not being naked. Winter makes for a nice change.

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No one I know has an engine block heater. Is that even a thing? 

 

It used to be in the old days (aka my youth).  If cars weren't plugged in then, good luck starting them on the really cold days.  Since then cars have improved dramatically so I don't know of anyone who has them now (where I grew up) and most folks keep their cars outside year round.

 

I'm not quite sure when the switch happened.  Maybe in the 70's?

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It used to be in the old days (aka my youth).  If cars weren't plugged in then, good luck starting them on the really cold days.  Since then cars have improved dramatically so I don't know of anyone who has them now (where I grew up) and most folks keep their cars outside year round.

 

I'm not quite sure when the switch happened.  Maybe in the 70's?

 

I grew up in International Falls on the northern MN border in the nineties, and some people had them then, but it gets really, REALLY cold there and a lot of people drove older vehicles.

 

OP, if any of your offers are for I Falls, do not, under any circumstances, live there. Seriously. I love MN but that place is the butthole of the state.

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I hate the cold. Like really, really hate it.  I'd move to Minnesota for a few years if it meant paying off debt.  The benefits, long term, far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.  Also bad weather is an excellent excuse for staying in the house in front of the fireplace.  I'd look for a house that has a bit of land because the kids will still get tons of outside play time, just in shorter intervals.

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I think it is a matter of perspective.  I do not like the cold. I do not like snow that lasts for more than two days (once per winter only). I do not like wearing my coat.  I had a friend that lives in Wisconsin wearing shorts about a week ago because it was so warm - high 40s.  Meanwhile I am sitting in AL freezing in the 48-50 degree weather with my wool socks, sweats, and down comforter.  I would not survive the north in the winter.  I would live in a smaller house and cut back on things to pay off the debt, and I hate debt with a passion.  I hate being cold more though.

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Tell us how you really feel. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It's February! I'm cranky! We've had a beautiful gift of a week. I've been outside every chance I get setting up a fresh tower of compost and cleaning up the garden because I KNOW it's trying to lull me into a false sense of security. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop and get snowed in. Really there are 5 or 6 weeks before I can relax and believe that longer, warmer, sunnier days are here to stay.

 

I grew up in a colder, snowier climate, but I'm really bad at it and refuse to suck it up. Even when it doesn't snow, the dark kills me. I hate everything about the cold. My sister in Florida has her garden in. I'm bitter.

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I have lived in MN and currently live in WI. No one I know has an engine block heater. Is that even a thing? At least one of our vehicles has been parked oustide in both states year round and starting the car has never been an issue.

My parents live in South Dakota and I grew up there. We never had block heaters. The campus apartments do still have a place where you can plug in your car though.

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It's February! I'm cranky! We've had a beautiful gift of a week. I've been outside every chance I get setting up a fresh tower of compost and cleaning up the garden because I KNOW it's trying to lull me into a false sense of security. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop and get snowed in. Really there are 5 or 6 weeks before I can relax and believe that longer, warmer, sunnier days are here to stay.

 

I grew up in a colder, snowier climate, but I'm really bad at it and refuse to suck it up. Even when it doesn't snow, the dark kills me. I hate everything about the cold. My sister in Florida has her garden in. I'm bitter.

 

Hey, I'm not judging. I may or may not have gotten mad one year when it snowed in April after a horrid winter and screamed profanities at the sky in my driveway.

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Hey, I'm not judging. I may or may not have gotten mad one year when it snowed in April after a horrid winter and screamed profanities at the sky in my driveway.

  

 

I feel your reaction was reasonable.

 

Just wanted to say that I don't know anyone who doesn't have a block heater. Carry on!

That's just wrong. I'm sad for you. I wish for a world where nobody has to even know what a roof rake is.

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Consider also that salaries go a lot further in places like North Dakota and Minnesota than they do in many more temperate places.  There's a lot of great places for medical professionals to work in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  My husband and I looked very carefully at moving to WI or MN because even a good salary doesn't go far here in the parts of the PNW with major medical related employers.  I am not a person who does well with either very cold or very hot weather.  I spoke with friends who have moved for economic reasons from the PNW or California to places like WI, ND, MN and MI and who share my distaste for cold or hot.  They all said the right coat and shoes made all the difference.  For reasons unrelated to the weather, we kiboshed this idea (we have strong roots here, our sons are on the spectrum and switching ASD related HCPs or even FINDING new ones in new places can be difficult and lastly, our son was accepted to a unique school which was his first, second and third choice for high school) but if we still had young kids, we would definitely revisit the idea of moving.  

 

Consider though that 3-5 years has a way of becoming 10-20+ once kids get rooted to a place and figure out how you feel about that.  

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I feel your reaction was reasonable.

 

 

That's just wrong. I'm sad for you. I wish for a world where nobody has to even know what a roof rake is.

Lol, I'm okay with it; I'd rather have a block heater than my car not start :) I am, however, very much looking forward to our next move. Our first garage - ever! And it has a radiant heater. It will be blissful!!!
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It not atypical for people to plug in their cars here in anchorage. It's even more common the further you get. Our truck has a block heater and we tend to use it if it's dipping below 25/20s and is parked outside. It keeps the battery working better and it doesn't take as long for the heater to work.

 

OP, living in a cold climate isn't as hard as it seems. And Alaska has amazing summers! Consider the heat of your summers now. Is that something you love? I am not a cold person. At all. I miss outdoor pools and non-freezing sprinklers. But it doesn't seem to bother my kids one bit. And with good snow gear, my kids are outside everyday.

 

I'd be very tempted.

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If it were me, I'd rent the cheapest rental I could live in wherever the best paying offer is and set a tight "beans and rice" budget. Then, tear through debt. After that I'd save for the house down payment and move to where I really want to settle.

 

If you get too comfortable at first it'll be hard to pull up stakes.

Edited by FriedClams
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I live in rural MN, and I'm not recognizing my climate from some of these descriptions. We don't have plug ins for our vehicles, and they sit out all winter. I've never seen a vehicle get plugged in.

 

Winter is very sunny here.

 

We have a Ford Focus and Dodge Grand Caravan. No big SUV. When we lived in the country, we did have a four wheel truck and snow Mobile. We don't now that we live in town (pop 1400 so no metropolis).

 

Sioux Falls, our nearest large city) is two hours away, but we can get most things we need locally. Amazon prime works out here too :)

 

I love small, rural towns. I love raising my kids in Mayberry.

 

The one thing I despise with our location is the wind. It's just terrible. I wish we lived in the eastern part of the state.

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I should add that winter isn't 6 months. I would think 3-4 and only Jan and feb are the months I dislike. The rest of the year is pretty wonderful.

 

I compare the MN winter to the TX summer. In both climates we stayed indoors for a couple months. Both climates had high heat/ac for those months. Both states were difficult to live in for a couple months out of the year.

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I have family working in the health care system in Steinbach, Manitoba (Canada). She has said that they often have young South African doctors who rotate through for a few years and then move on to greener pastures. I assume they're coming for the work experience and money...

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I wouldn't move somewhere I hated just for the money.

 

That being said, research what they are telling you about the pay.  They can promise a lot, but often it's smoke and mirrors.  Be careful.  

 

You are better off being somewhere you want and taking the time to establish your practice.  I get the debt thing, really.  My dh worked it an underserved area to get debt relief (which is also an option), but it was already what he wanted to do so it worked out well.  But we've known people who have moved for those promised pay differential and it end up being not quite the truth.  

 

Good luck.

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I have family working in the health care system in Steinbach, Manitoba (Canada). She has said that they often have young South African doctors who rotate through for a few years and then move on to greener pastures. I assume they're coming for the work experience and money...

And the permanent residency....
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That being said, research what they are telling you about the pay. They can promise a lot, but often it's smoke and mirrors. Be careful.

 

THIS. Get it all in writing before you sign. A friend just signed on a job that she was told had 6 weeks paid vacation....Which turned out to be 2. The hours and shifts vary quite a bit from what she was told as well.

 

I agree with Alice above who said to live frugally no matter where you are and pay down debt asap.

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Why not just live where you want to live and choose to buy/rent a much cheaper house than you can afford and don't take the vacations?  For example, instead of buying the big house with everything you dreamed you could have on a doctor's salary, buy the house that a person making half your salary could purchase.  That way, you can live where you want and still pay off debt faster.  Forget the vacations.  Lots of us probably don't go on regular vacations.  I can count about 4 "real" vacations since my oldest son who's 17 was born.  Live as cheap as you can and pay off debt as fast as you can.  Don't live like people who have a doctor's salary.  Pay off the debt and be at peace.

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Do not move to a place you don't want to be. I did (for what were very good reasons at the time) and now I am here and will be for the rest of my life, at least I got him to move to a different town. My dh likes roots and I like new. Roots won, especially with kids who also had their own roots. Debt, well, it is a line item on my budget. I no longer even really think about it. It will get paid off eventually. 

 

My mom is from ND, that place has wonderful things, but the winter.... It is like being on the moon.

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Disregarding the weather, you need to compare Apples to Apples. Silicon Valley isn't "crazy cold", but someone making USD$160K a year there can't make it there.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/03/01/tech-workers-complain-about-cost-living-increases-in-san-francisco.html

 

Compare everything, the cost of living and the quality of life.  Life is a very short and fatal experience (if your DH is an M.D. he understand that) and it is better if you can live in a place you like. 

 

GL

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We did this 2.5 years ago, except that for us it's more like 10 years, not 3 - 4. 

 

I have lived in some gray places before and never experienced SAD until we moved here. We live in a horrific climate. The weather physically assaults you. We don't get extreme cold, but hover around the freezing point for most of the winter. There is a lot of wind - which flings things like ice pellets into your face and snatches the car door from your hands. When it rains, my knees get wet because they are the only thing exposed between the end of my rain coat and the start of my boots. They make funny jokes about how we don't have spring here and how we only get 3 weeks of summer. Ha ha.

 

Having said all that, I'm still glad we made this move. It has been worth it. Plus, I do like moving and learning the ropes in a new place. The culture and music here are amazing so there are a lot of fun experiences to be had. And I do actually like the winter. I love snow - especially when we get a ton of it. This may be weird, but my favourite outdoor chore is shovelling snow. Where we live, we have to use a snowblower for most of it because the snow gets so heavy.

 

I think you're being smart in looking for a reasonable sized city and taking vacation into account. If SAD is going to be an issue where you move, then vacations really are a priority. We've had a few sunny days this week and I've been able to run outdoors a couple of times and soak up some sun and that has made a huge difference. I feel about 100 times better than I did a couple of weeks ago. 

 

If you can find somewhere cold and sunny you won't have any issues with SAD.

 

Anyway - I say go for it! It's an adventure. And it sounds like it will be well worth it.

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When I think North, I think North. 

 

I use to live in Winnipeg (otherwise known as Winterpeg), and I don't consider that North. I was a kid, not an adult at the time, but I thought it was great. You got to enjoy the 4 seasons: Winter, Flood, BlackFly, and Summer. 

 

The snow would get so deep you could sled off the roof. one year my Dad built a tunnel from the house to the garage. (Because the snow was over feet deep. In Flood season you could go canoeing down the street, or motor boating in your backyard - even if you lived in the middle of the suburbs far from any water. 

 

Seriously I have very fond memories of it. :) 

 

And -10 isn't cold. Till this winter my boys considered -10 the dividing line between needing pants instead of shorts. 

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For me, more money in a cold climate would be a win-win. You could not pay me enough to live in a hot climate. But I get that I am in the minority on this.

 

Sadly, climate change is making its impact, and the northern winters are not quite as harsh anymore.

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I am one of those famous last word people who was only suppose to be in this cold place for a few years and then move on. I am so over the really long winters. I do not mind a short winter or some snow like in a four season climate but when months with winter weather outnumber months with nice weather it gets old to me. I just want warm sun not cold sun. I tried to do lots of outdoor stuff in the winter and get all the nice gear with layers making judicious use of thrift stores but it honestly was a little annoying to pack everything get dressed when we got there because of the car seat thing wear a million layers (not really but it feels like it) only to have it last a short time with whining kids who either somehow got cold or just did not like the layers. Now they can go outside themselves and sled in the yard or play in the snow but it is not the same as really playing outside all the time like in the warm months. We barely see neighbors in the winter but they see them a lot in the summer. We can't afford tropical vacations but short vacations are not the same as living some where. I been done with this place a while but it is not easy to leave once you get established. A bigger house is not as nice as going outside more and feeling warm sun and riding bikes. Although I admit I could not do the heat of the south either and it is funny to hear my kids tell people that is is sooooo hot in central east coast states since they visited in the summer.

Edited by MistyMountain
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There are medically underserved areas in the lower peninsula of Michigan that do not get nearly as cold as Minnesota, North Dakota, etc. We do not need block warmers for the cars, and plowing/shoveling is not particularly expensive in many of these areas.

 

Due to the more moderate summer, we pay very little for air conditioning which helps offset winter heating.

 

Just so you know, homeschooling is easy in MIchigan, and this state is an educational pit unless one is in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, or a few of the wealthier burbs north of Detroit (which is not underserved, and tend to be High COL compared to the rest of the state).

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Move up here! It's crazy cold, but we have SUN! Today is one of those bluebird days--the sky almost hurts your eyes it's so blue. You get used to snow on the ground for 6 months out of the year.  :laugh:

 

You are south in my books. Really far south, actually. ;)  Though you are up in altitude. I'd love to visit!  The mountains in my avatar are only in my dreams, not in my locale.

Edited by wintermom
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Move up here! It's crazy cold, but we have SUN! Today is one of those bluebird days--the sky almost hurts your eyes it's so blue. You get used to snow on the ground for 6 months out of the year.  :laugh:

 

So, we're no Colorado, but being from NE Iowa, I can tell you I MUCH prefer this to the PNW. (Sorry.) They may be more temperate, but I don't think I could survive their cloudy season for one more year without having the urge to take a long drive off a short pier, kwim?  I cannot handle the clouds sitting right on my head.  We have ice.  We have snow.  Sometimes, on rare fun occasions, we have -40 windchill.  However, they are really just excuses for real fires, hot cocoa, and wool socks.  

 

The sun is amazing.  Truly.  And most days, although cold, aren't so cold that the kids can't go out and play.  Love four distinct seasons. :)

 

I wouldn't trade this climate for anything and you couldn't pay me to go somewhere so hot that the kids couldn't enjoy the summer months.  Yikes.

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I wouldn't trade this climate for anything and you couldn't pay me to go somewhere so hot that the kids couldn't enjoy the summer months.  Yikes.

 

Ah, but the miserable August is traded for my kids thinking that sweatshirt=winter coat.  I have had a child this winter argue with me that he *does* in fact, own a winter coat.  It just looks like his sweatshirt.  

 

Hahaha.

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Ah, but the miserable August is traded for my kids thinking that sweatshirt=winter coat. I have had a child this winter argue with me that he *does* in fact, own a winter coat. It just looks like his sweatshirt.

 

Hahaha.

Yes! My kids think their hoodies are their winter coats!

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I'm in Minnesota, and I'm surprised that the salary would be so much higher here!  So though I'm not saying you're wrong -- it sounds like you've done the research -- it's not something I've ever heard of before, and I have several family members and friends who are doctors.  (Though maybe they're just not telling me.  ;))

 

As far as cost of living, it is definitely less in the small towns, but can be quite a bit higher in the Twin Cities.  For example, we live in a rural area now and our plan is to move to the Twin Cities eventually.  It will not be an easy move because of the extreme difference in housing costs.  In our current town, our house would probably sell for $85,000.  In the Twin Cities, it would probably sell for $250,000.  So it will be impossible for us to get the same type of home in the TC.

 

What I'm saying is that if it's economic reasons that are causing you to think of moving here, make sure you'll be getting what you hope to get out of it.

 

Other than that, I love Minnesota!  I grew up in California and have lived in other places too, and I love the seasons here.  Our kids have such fond memories of snow days, cross country skiing, hockey, building snow tunnels, ice forming on your nostrils and from your tears, blizzards where we have to the walk through high winds and swirling snow to the corner convenient store to get milk and other necessities because there is no way we can get our car out of the garage or drive it anywhere safely.

 

That being said, it seems like our winters are changing.  We did have some -30 degree weather in December/January, but in February we had record-breaking warm weather with all our snow gone.  Very unusual, except that it has happened two years in a row now.  Not too long ago we had snow all the way into May, and our children's spring musical in mid-April was cancelled two years in a row due to a blizzard.

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Get a car with heated seats -- this is the one and only option I *must* have on my personal car. And, if you're really cold averse, why not go ahead and get the remote start option as well. 

 

4WD/AWD really depends on the snow removal and road conditions in your area. Here in WV, it is critical, as our roads are terrible and snow removal is very spotty. We now *only* buy AWD or 4WD vehicles -- we have 4 drivers and 4 AWD vehicles, and we'll never go back. And we put on snow tires in the winter (unless the car is brand new and has less than 10k miles on the all season tires, in which case, all season tires seem fine along with AWD). We lived in northern UT for 3 years with small sedans (no AWD) and regular all season tires . . . and never had a problem or got stuck in the snow. We had chains for accessing the ski areas, as some of those roads require chains or snow tires . . . but that's it. So, really, it does depend on how good your area is about snow removal. 

 

Plan for a winter sun-shine vacation to minimize SAD. Buy some fancy "sun" light(s), too.

 

Get a house with a good sized dedicated play-rumpus-balls-and-bouncy play room. Not a combo play/school room. A PLAY room where the kids can run and jump and make a mess. This is **critical** if you have more than one child under 10, IMHO. Put a bouncy thing in there, room to roll and play and jump, nerf balls and nerf bats, soft couch, and nothing very breakable. This makes living in a cold climate much more bearable when you have young kids, IME.

 

But plenty of warm clothes/layers/etc for winter. Don't skimp!!  

 

Oh, and . . . an aside. RESEARCH and UNDERSTAND the entire student loan picture. DO NOT put your head in the sand. Research, understand, know all the income-based-repayment options backwards and forwards. I can't tell you how many vet students simply ignore their loans, make their payments, and years later realize how much money they set on fire by not thinking intelligently through the options. 

 

Oh, and also, don't forget to have a life. Student debt sucks. Debt sucks. Make a plan, make a budget, but don't forget to live a little. 

 

 

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I could do it if it's sunny. Dh and I grew up in the cold, we've lived in SoCal for 13 years now and I've gotten used to the sun shining nearly every day, I would have a problem moving somewhere cloudy.

 

As for being a Dr. and moving. My BIL is a radiation oncologist, he has moved 7 times since finishing residency 13 years ago (always his choice, he doesn't have any trouble finding a new job).

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As for being a Dr. and moving. My BIL is a radiation oncologist, he has moved 7 times since finishing residency 13 years ago (always his choice, he doesn't have any trouble finding a new job).

This really depends on specialty. But the OP did clarify and say her dh was in a specialty that can move easily.

 

I think it's important to keep in mind that climate needs are different for each individual. And plans to move in the future can sometimes be thwarted. So, you could end up not moving because circumstances in a few years prevent that. Then you may be stuck in a place you aren't comfortable.

 

So in the OP situation I'd aim to move where I thought I'd be comfortable and choose to cut other expenses while loans are paid. Planning on a significant vacation budget just sounds like a way to eat up any benefit of living in a place you aren't comfortable.

 

ETA I'd feel the same evaluation in rural v. Urban. If you are going to be unhappy in a very rural setting, you probably don't want to consider it. If you think you would like being 5 hours from Walmart, go for it. Consider what distances you would find difficult to handle.

Edited by Diana P.
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Research the community and visit if you can. Do they have a church you would attend if that's a concern? What grocery stores are available? What are schools like? Even if you homeschool the area schools influence a community. As far as the cold...as long as you have a house with a garage and you don't have a steep driveway you'll be fine. Get snow pants for everyone. I wear mine almost every time I go out and am always warm. Same goes for Bogs or Muck boots-- we like the short kind that are easy to slip on and off. Before I discovered snow pants and muck boots I hated the cold. Now it's fine!

 

You will probably be more concerned with being "rural" than the weather. Subscribe electronically to the newspaper if you can and read up on local news.

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OK, so dh has an interview with the one in MN!  I nixed the idea of one in rural MN. I just don't think I could do it. I'm an introvert but even that seemed too isolating to me. From what I can see online on cost of living calculators and houses on zillow, we will be able to meet all our financial goals great there. By vacationing, I guess that is misleading. I "vacation" a lot now, but I am notoriously good at doing it on the cheap. We camp, I drive, we bring our own food. I like adventures and on a resident/med student budget, I've had to get creative. I find cabins last minute in the off season for under $50/night. My magnum opus was a 2 and a half week car trip from NC to Utah, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore last year in which we spent $1200 total. So by vacation, I mean basically a promise from dh that I can leave whenever I'm feeling weird, drive 2 days south to west Texas, and see my parents where it is warm. Or something like that. And by "big" house, I mean 2600 sqft-ish, which is big for what we have now, but not like, "doctor house" big. Things like lots of light and good kitchen mean more to me than space, though. I do think I would need a decent basement where the kids could run around.

 

We are huge on budgeting. Our current plan is to be out of debt in 3 years after residency. We use YNAB religiously (and have for a few years) and have read tons and have money-savvy parents who've helped guide us. We've actually managed to keep our total debt below the national medical student average, despite me staying home with our kids throughout undergrad, med school, and residency.  Heck, dh's undergrad degree was in personal finance. So assume we're being careful. And that the pay really is that much better.

And we honestly don't have strong preferences towards anywhere in the country. Between dh and my families, we have siblings and parents in over 11 different states. And cousins and grandparents in even more. I've lived in 9 different states so far. So I can be happy in many places. I consider myself "close" to family if we are within 10 hours of someone.

 

I'm actually feeling excited about the idea! I hadn't thought about the fact that SAD would be effected by sunny days and not just cold. I should have, but it didn't occur to me. Looking at averages for the area, it appears that it is plenty sunny there. So hopefully that won't be as much of a problem as I feared. I'm traveling with DH to the interview, so I can hopefully get a better idea of what it is like. Thanks guys!

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OK, so dh has an interview with the one in MN!  I nixed the idea of one in rural MN. I just don't think I could do it.

 

That sounds like a great plan. The rural job seemed like a bad fit for reasons I'll outline below...

 

In DWs experience doctor salaries vary based on 1) region, 2) urban/rural, and 3) work load

 

1) Region. There is a huge variation in salaries regionally and not the way you expect. Places doctors want to live pay less. So the west coast and New England can end up paying less despite high COL. The south and sunbelt have average pay and moderate COL and the midwest has higher pay and moderate COL. If you look at AAMC salary surveys for academic jobs or Mercer/Medscape surveys for private practice these trends are clear. None of these surveys are free online but someone in your DHs residency program probably has access to them. DW did med school in NC and residency/fellowship in the PNW. We are in Minneapolis because she makes ~50% more than she would have in Seattle and the COL, especially housing, is way less.

 

2) Within any region rural jobs will often pay ~25-30% better. Because once again docs generally don't want to live in the sticks. This wasn't a possibility for us since the only rural-ish tertiary care hospital with DWs specialty would be Hershey, PA or Hanover, NH. But we know numerous folks in more rural areas who love the life style and higher pay.

 

3) Case load can directly  translate to more money. Sometimes the senior partners or the employing hospital take all this as profit and those are jobs to avoid. But in a good practice longer hours should mean higher pay.

 

So in your case, for the rural job to pay that well you would need a regional bonus plus rural bonus plus high workload. Thats too many things to change at once. However, you can change one or two of those factors and make better money without too many trade offs.

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Sounds like a good plan for you!  One thing though...  I don't think living in a rural area has anything to do with being an introvert or an extrovert.  Well, maybe if you lived all alone like a pioneer, but most rural areas aren't like that.   :)

 

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Sounds like a good plan for you! One thing though... I don't think living in a rural area has anything to do with being an introvert or an extrovert. Well, maybe if you lived all alone like a pioneer, but most rural areas aren't like that. :)

I don't know. For me there is. I enjoy being at home, keeping my own company most of the time. But sometimes I want to get out and go somewhere and do something and be around people without necessarily talking to them. In a city that might be the children's museum, shopping, or the ymca (I always have the kids in tow). I don't often want to go to someone's house. And I would feel very isolated if I didn't have an option of anywhere to go "introvert friendly" because it was too cold. So for me, it is a bit of that.

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