This morning on my journey work with blowing snow, crap roads, and -31 wind chill, I asked myself this question.
The place I live is not the most economical or FI-friendly. There are plenty of cheaper AND warmer places to live on the planet. Why do I live here? A popular meme comes to mind:
Alas, alligators, snakes, nor stupidly large spiders are the reason. I mean, it doesn’t hurt that there are none of these attempting to enter my home.
But when I REALLY think about it, here are the reasons.
- Family. My parents are here. My husband’s family is here. This is really #1. If I could up and move our families to another, better locale, it would happen in a heatbeat! Of course the dads would complain, but like, small price to pay while mom, Hubs and I drink Mai Tais on the beach. Yeah, I know this is a romanticized view of what would likely happen. Well I don’t care and this is my blog. Harumph.
- I really like Canada. I like the attitude of the country for the most part. I like the freedom**. I like the great standard of living**. I’m willing to pay more in taxes and cost of living for these things. The weather is not the greatest, I fully admit. Now I have thought of moving to a place in Canada with better weather (BC, I’m lookin’ at you). **I realize these things may not apply to everyone in Canada. We still have work to do to ensure all Canadians have equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities.
- Hubs actually likes winter, and well defined seasons. He isn’t into summer-esque weather all year round. That said, could I maybe talk him into a more relaxed winter as we might experience somewhere slightly closer to the equator. Also I should note that the air only hurts my face about 3 months out of 12.
- Healthcare? This would be something to consider if we move to another country. To be honest I’ve never explored healthcare options outside of Canada. I know for sure in some places we would be worse off, but perhaps there are pockets of world where we could be equally-good off, or better off. We’ll likely have to pay more than we would if we stayed in Canada, so that will affect our expenses during FI.
- Side note: I enjoy living (relatively) coastal. I love the beach. There is something appealing about the fact that I can be ON THE OCEAN, possibly eating cake, within an hour. I grew up in a port city, both of my parents grew up in a port city, their parents grew up in a port city, etc. etc. I think it’s just in my blood now. This is something that could easily be achieved in a warmer climate. Sorry, landlocked places, you have lots to offer. REALLY YOU DO! Plenty of people don’t care about coasts. Or, they are just happy enough with lakes. *shrug emoji*
What are the post-FI options?
- Stay here forever. I don’t think I wanna do this.
- Move to a warmer climate and stay there forever. Again, Hubs isn’t too keen on this, but we might be able to find a slightly more temperate and agreeable location.
- Become a “Snowbird”, either before (if I can find a work-from-anywhere gig) or after we reach financial independence. Or even when I reach “barista-FIRE”, or what I like to call “semi-retirement”. For a definition of barista-FIRE, and other types of FIRE, please visit this excellent article on How to Create a FI Plan. While you’re at it, maybe create a FI plan if you haven’t already. Snowbirds are what we call Canadians who summer in Canada, and winter somewhere warm. Often these individuals own property in attractively cheap southern locales so they can just zip to and fro at the beginning and end of winter. I’m sure you are wondering: are Snowbirds judged by those in Canada to be “softies”, and those in their winter homes to be “annoying temporary immigrants”? Yes. Do I care that much? No. Am I convinced that this is the way? No. Although being a Snowbird has it’s appeal to be sure.
- Travel around nomad-style without any particular home per se. I like the idea, but I imagine at some point we would tire of this and want to settle somewhere for most of the year.
What I need to know is, what are YOUR plans? Do you already live in the *perfect* place for you? Are you all set up fine and good a la Mr Money Moustache? What will you change post-FI regarding your locale? What ideas am I missing that I should consider? Please let me know all your smarts in the comments below!!