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Since you can do an internet-based t-shirt business anywhere, have any of you considered moving to a state with low cost of living, at least until you've saved enough money to buy a house in a more expensive place? That's what I'm thinking of doing. All I'd need is a post office and an internet connection. I've heard of rent as low as $100/month.
 

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Cheap cost of living and cheap rent may be two different things. Areas where the prices are low often are usually the same places where the wages are low and the job market is poor. I would make sure the online t-shirt thing is paying very well before moving to a "cheap state". Once established, sure you could live almost anywhere as long as you have the basics of online marketing there, like broadband internet access and a good post office. LOL

I'm going to move somewhere cheap only after I get enough money to do it.
 

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It depends on what kind of lifestyle you like to live.

I've lived in enough places that entirely sapped my will to live, that I know where I live is extremely important to me.

If you're the type of person who enjoys solitude, fishing, hiking, etc. there's a very good chance you could find somewhere cheap and wonderful. Personally I need a city and everything that brings. Country living (which is most of what you'll find on the cheap) just doesn't provide me with the infrastructure I enjoy.

So no, I wouldn't move to a cheap state. I'd also advise anyone considering it to think very very carefully about what they're doing, but for the right person it's well worth it.
 

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Admittedly that's also if we're talking "cheap state" in a fairly absolute sense. Depending on where you are living there's also the option of cheaper. If you live in London, New York City, or Tokyo you could easily find somewhere cheaper that still offered most of what was great about living there. Likewise there are a couple of other cities I'm interested in checking out to see if they can offer what I like about Melbourne combined with a lower cost of living. Generally though a good city isn't cheap to live in, and a cheap to live in city isn't good.
 

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Okay, nobody laugh at me. I live just outside of Nashville, TN. I know, not the biggest city in the world, but we do have two professional sports franchises! The county that I live in(Williamson) also happens to be one of the wealthiest per capita in the country. According to the 2000 US census, the national median household income was $42,000, while the median income in Williamson county was $70,000. The cost of living is amazingly cheap, but the salaries are high(most people probably actually work in Nashville). Solmu, what you are looking for is exactly what we have here (too bad it's in the US). The schools are excellent, the scenery is beautiful, and I'm only 30 minutes from downtown Nashville.

I think some people would be surprised to see how great a city Nashville is. Yes we do have country music(not my favorite), but Nashville is much more than that. There are celebrities that live here in Williamson county that don't have anything to do with country music, or are even from Nashville, but live here because of the qualitity of life, the high standard of living, and the affordability. You can see national celebrities on any given day at any time, and people actually leave them alone! As an added bonus, Tennessee is one of only a handful of states that has no state income tax! When you take in the beauty of the state(I love the Great Smoky Mountains), the potential for high income and the low cost of living, Williamson county is very hard to beat.

So, no I wouldn't move to a cheap state. Mainly because I'm already in one! And yes, generally a good city isn't cheap to live in, and a cheap city to live in isn't a good city,but Williamson County in Tennessee just happens to be the exception! (Maybe I should run for mayor!):D
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I live just outside of Nashville, TN. I know, not the biggest city in the world, but we do have two professional sports franchises!
Nashville is a little smaller than I would have assumed actually - although it's always hard to tell when looking at population figures what I should be looking for. Nashville metro is listed as ~600,000 and the wider area as about ~1,300,000. If one were to just say "Nashville" which area would you likely be talking about?

(to give two local examples: The City of Melbourne only has a population of about 70,000. Melbourne has a population of ~3,500,000. The City is just the Central Business District, essentially a suburb in the middle; it's not actually separated from Melbourne as a whole, so it's more of a political or historical distinction than anything else. If you say "Melbourne" you mean the 3,500,000 population city.

The reverse is true of Bendigo. Bendigo is a city with a population of ~84,000. The City of Greater Bendigo is a political electorate - not much larger in population, though much larger in area. If someone says "Bendigo" they mean either Bendigo, or sometimes they mean an even smaller area that covers what Bendigo would have geographically covered twenty or thirty years ago - they don't mean "The City of Greater Bendigo")

I get the impression Nashville itself is considered part of the Davidson county, with the city itself having a median household income of $39,797 and 13% of the population below the poverty line - is Williamson a wealthier neighbouring county?

(unfortunately it's a lot harder to get a grasp on this kind of info without a local context - you can never be 100% sure what you're actually reading)

Comin'OutSwingin said:
Solmu, what you are looking for is exactly what we have here (too bad it's in the US).
Indeed. I think I'd like to spend a few years living abroad, but hopefully would wish to return here if I did.

There's a lot about Australia that I love, but more and more in the last seven years or so there's been a lot that makes me sick to my stomach.

Comin'OutSwingin said:
And yes, generally a good city isn't cheap to live in, and a cheap city to live in isn't a good city,but Williamson County in Tennessee just happens to be the exception!
There are certainly some.

I know of some people who consider Adelaide (in Australia) to be an exception. It does have a much lower cost of living, a reasonable size (~1,200,000), a thriving wine industry, a good arts scene, etc. On the other hand it is widely criticised throughout Australia as being dull, and it does have a much older population than most of Australia. Some people love it and consider it the perfect small size city, others hate it and think it's just a large country town.
 

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Solmu said:
Likewise there are a couple of other cities I'm interested in checking out to see if they can offer what I like about Melbourne combined with a lower cost of living. Generally though a good city isn't cheap to live in, and a cheap to live in city isn't good.

Melbourne *is* cheap! Compared to almost anywhere in Western Europe, it does very well.

On the old trusty BigMac Index, any smallish town in the UK would charge near AUS$12 for the $4 you'd pay here.

My total rent in northern England, smallish 1 million person town, for a 3 bedroomed student house was about AUS$550/week. Here the same would be nearer $400.

You have it good!
 

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monkeylantern said:
Melbourne *is* cheap! Compared to almost anywhere in Western Europe, it does very well.
That's essentially like saying gold is cheap compared to platinum - they can both be expensive you know :D

It is relatively cheap compared to other comparable cities, but the AUD$500,000 that you would need to buy a good house here would buy something amazing in Adelaide (or Mexico...).

More to the point though I'm thinking about the future. Right now Melbourne is still relatively affordable, but I see it becoming as bad as Sydney in future. The property market there seems to have pretty much no basis in reality. Ours is fast becoming that way.

monkeylantern said:
My total rent in northern England, smallish 1 million person town, for a 3 bedroomed student house was about AUS$550/week. Here the same would be nearer $400.
Yeah, even in the realm of $300/week will get you something nice for a young couple. But when you consider that $300/week is $15,600pa it starts representing a significant portion of post-tax income (unless you're fortunate enough to be wealthier than most).

monkeylantern said:
You have it good!
No, thanks to world poverty I have it better than most people in this world - that doesn't mean I have it good. I know that was just meant as a throw away comment, but I really don't have it good at all.
 

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Solmu said:
It is relatively cheap compared to other comparable cities, but the AUD$500,000 that you would need to buy a good house here would buy something amazing in Adelaide (or Mexico...).
I have no issue with Adelaide. But comparing it to Melbourne is like compring New York to Broome. Part of that $500,000 is buying you an amazing city, and everything that entails, and higher average earnings. $500,000 will buy you a 5 bedroomed detatched 500 year old mansion in the Scottish Highlands, but little more than a urine-soaked mattess in an alley in London. I'd still probably go for London.

If you rank wold class cities, Melbourne is probably one of the highest in terms of quality of life/cost of living. Yes, it costs a little more than places like Adelaide, but what you sacrifice in terms of life quality cannot be bought.

Solmu said:
More to the point though I'm thinking about the future. Right now Melbourne is still relatively affordable, but I see it becoming as bad as Sydney in future. The property market there seems to have pretty much no basis in reality. Ours is fast becoming that way.
House prices seem to rise on average by 10%ish a year, scaling down as the initial house price rises. Hell for first time buyers, but great once you're on the ladder. Property in Australian cities is still at bargin levels compared to Europe or the nicer urban US. Property is expensive. That's the way it is. You can still buy a brand new inner city apartment in Melbourne for AUS$250,000 though. The same in a nice 2 million person British city (say Leeds) would set you back about AUS$1,000,000.



Solmu said:
Yeah, even in the realm of $300/week will get you something nice for a young couple. But when you consider that $300/week is $15,600pa it starts representing a significant portion of post-tax income (unless you're fortunate enough to be wealthier than most).
Rent *is* a large chunk, and will always be. $150/week/person is pretty standard, and is a sizable chunk of any low-middle income earner. But then....it's your rent...it's always going to be one of your main expenses.


Solmu said:
No, thanks to world poverty I have it better than most people in this world - that doesn't mean I have it good. I know that was just meant as a throw away comment, but I really don't have it good at all.
Although I have no idea about your personal circumstances, given your intelligence, web skills, and general insight, I'd say you have a better foundation to do almost anything than 90% of the people out there, so if you currently don't have it good, I think your longer term prospects are still excellent.
 

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monkeylantern said:
I have no issue with Adelaide. But comparing it to Melbourne is like compring New York to Broome.
That sounds like an issue with Adelaide ;)

You're right that Adelaide isn't as built up as Melbourne and doesn't have all of its advantages, but it's not that bad either. Perhaps more like comparing New York City to Tennesse, or Sydney to Auckland (i.e. change of pace and style, not to everyone's taste, but not wholly unpleasant).

monkeylantern said:
Part of that $500,000 is buying you an amazing city, and everything that entails, and higher average earnings.
True. The "everything that entails" being particularly to my taste in Melbourne (as opposed to Sydney for example). Adelaide would seem to have some of that to offer, though I don't have enough experience of the place to know for sure. I'd be surprised if it could offer everything Melbourne does, but on the other hand with more time and money to spare perhaps I could enjoy more of what's on offer than I do here anyway.

monkeylantern said:
If you rank wold class cities, Melbourne is probably one of the highest in terms of quality of life/cost of living. Yes, it costs a little more than places like Adelaide, but what you sacrifice in terms of life quality cannot be bought.
Well depending on which year you choose to consult it The Economist would in fact rate Melbourne as number one in the world (Canada and Australia are both heavily represented in the top twenty - and for the year I looked were the only two English speaking countries to make the top twenty at all - most likely due to the poor health care and crime rate of the US and high property values and general cost of living of the UK).

Granted you can't put too much weight in these things, especially when the same survey ranked Perth, Australia as number three (Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney all placed equal 8th).

monkeylantern said:
House prices seem to rise on average by 10%ish a year, scaling down as the initial house price rises. Hell for first time buyers, but great once you're on the ladder.
My (entirely anecdotal, possibly inaccurate) experience with the property market in the last ten years or so suggests it's especially bad for first time buyers as the market seems to grow very disproportionately.

Over the last eight years property in St. Kilda has gone up about $130,000 (or so it seems to me). That means a studio that cost $40,000 now costs $170,000, a flat that cost $100,000 now costs $230,000 and a house that cost $430,000 now costs $560,000. Not such a big deal for those at the top, but it raises that bottom rung considerably.

monkeylantern said:
You can still buy a brand new inner city apartment in Melbourne for AUS$250,000 though.
True. I'd be living in an apartment in the CBD if not for my partner's cats and my books, neither of which are very agreeable to heights or small spaces. If I didn't put these stupid lifestyle impediments in my way things could be a lot easier. That, of course, is my fault and not the market's.

monkeylantern said:
I'd say you have a better foundation to do almost anything than 90% of the people out there, so if you currently don't have it good, I think your longer term prospects are still excellent.
This is true. I come from a middle class background in a (relatively) wealthy country. For that and other reasons my long term prospects are entirely excellent. I am, however, enormously looking forward to ending my current lifestyle.
 

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Solmu, Williamson county borders Nashville(Davidson county) to the south. Davidson
county also has a couple of other smaller "cities" in it, which brings the population total up. But the proximity of Williamson county to Nashville is what is so attractive about it. Except for the small little signs that you pass when you cross the county lines, you really wouldn't know that you were in a different place. Like I said, quite a bit of the population of Williamson county probably works in Nashville. Especially when you are talking about those with the higher incomes. There are many companies that have their national headquarters either in Nashville or are in the general area(Nissan is now moving their American headquarters to Williamson county), and it would be fair to say the most of the executives of these companies live in Williamson county. I believe that's what makes this place so attractive for big companies like Nissan. They can bring the same income level they have in California, and it buys them so much more, but they don't lose much in the way of lifestyle.

Solmu said:
I get the impression Nashville itself is considered part of the Davidson county, with the city itself having a median household income of $39,797 and 13% of the population below the poverty line - is Williamson a wealthier neighbouring county?

(unfortunately it's a lot harder to get a grasp on this kind of info without a local context - you can never be 100% sure what you're actually reading)
You are right. It's hard to get a grasp on just numbers. I would say even in Nashville there are some extremely nice places to live and some not so nice places(I guess the same could be said for just about every city). But I think what happened in Williamson county is interesting. A long time ago, most of the country music stars that lived in Nashville, lived south of downtown. It was and still is a very nice part of town. But as other people moved in from outside, and the local population aquired more wealth, everyone wanted to be in this particular part of town. Soon, they ran out of land in the southern part of town, and the wealth spilled over into Williamson county. Now Williamson county is the place to be. I would say most of the professional athletes that play for Nashville teams(Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators) live in Williamson county. Also, most of the doctors in Nashville along with the executives of companies, like I said before, probably live in Williamson county.

With the close proximity, and the commuting daily between Williamson county and Davidson county, it's almost like their the same place. I live in Williamson county but work in Nashville myself (I'm originally from Nashville). It only takes me about 20 minutes to get to work. It is interesting though, because since Williamson county is growing so fast, now there are "office parks" everywhere and a lot of the smaller companies that are in Nashville are moving to Williamson county for the nicer buildings and shorter commutes for their employees.

Solmu said:
Indeed. I think I'd like to spend a few years living abroad, but hopefully would wish to return here if I did.
If you ever get anywhere close to Tennessee, you have to at least give Williamson county a look. Most people probably think of Tennessee as a place "full of rednecks", but would be very pleasantly surprised if they happened to visit my "little neck of the woods":D
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
the proximity of Williamson county to Nashville is what is so attractive about it. Except for the small little signs that you pass when you cross the county lines, you really wouldn't know that you were in a different place. Like I said, quite a bit of the population of Williamson county probably works in Nashville.
That makes sense.

Comin'OutSwingin said:
They can bring the same income level they have in California, and it buys them so much more, but they don't lose much in the way of lifestyle.
Yeah, I hear Tennessee has great surf beaches... ;)

Comin'OutSwingin said:
I would say even in Nashville there are some extremely nice places to live and some not so nice places(I guess the same could be said for just about every city).
Yeah, it's definitely the case anywhere. Melbourne certainly has its hovels (where I live) and its mansions (where Monkeylantern lives ;)).

Actually even within suburbs it varies a lot here. Melbourne's most and least desirable suburbs are often the same thing - the most bohemian and interesting suburbs have the highest crime rates and drug problems. The safer areas also tend to be dull.

Comin'OutSwingin said:
With the close proximity, and the commuting daily between Williamson county and Davidson county, it's almost like their the same place. I live in Williamson county but work in Nashville myself (I'm originally from Nashville). It only takes me about 20 minutes to get to work.
Yeah, 20 minutes is considered a short commute in Melbourne. Melbourne has a wide urban sprawl, which (in my opinion) is one of its worst features. From that perspective it's not hard to see how the two counties could be considered more or less the same place.

Comin'OutSwingin said:
If you ever get anywhere close to Tennessee, you have to at least give Williamson county a look. Most people probably think of Tennessee as a place "full of rednecks", but would be very pleasantly surprised if they happened to visit my "little neck of the woods":D
I'd definitely check out the area if I do visit the US. I'd like to do the cliched road trip thing one day and visit as many states as possible.

I perceive Tennessee as being similar (but different) to Texas. Most of its flaws, but watered down, and most of its virtues, but amplified. I think of Tennessee as being part of the south (but not the deep south). From an outside perspective the south seems to be a mixed up area; yes I would expect red neck stereotypes to partly hold true but there are also pockets that seem to highly value education. People like Johnny Cash (who I would consider an intelligent and passionate southerner) are an interesting contrast to the image of the KKK.

Your two most recent presidents are both southerners and entirely different to each other, so the south is certainly not any one thing.
 

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Solmu said:
Yeah, 20 minutes is considered a short commute in Melbourne. Melbourne has a wide urban sprawl, which (in my opinion) is one of its worst features. From that perspective it's not hard to see how the two counties could be considered more or less the same place.

Good lord...If if live further than 15 minutes by tram from the city i'd probably wither up and die.

And I don't live in a mansion.




I live in a castle.
 

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monkeylantern said:
Good lord...If if live further than 15 minutes by tram from the city i'd probably wither up and die.
Trust me, this is exactly what happens. It's a slow process though.
 

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You can live in Fitzroy, Brunswick, Carlton (or St kilda if you're lucky) for the same rent as being out in the sticks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I lived in Clarksville, Tennessee for 2 years when I was 6 years old. The school there was really good. The kids were nice. The teachers were nice. They gave free breakfast too. The people in Tennessee were just good, normal people, not rednecks. Then my parents moved to Los Angeles, and I had to go through hell in the inner city schools. The kids were mean and they harrassed me every day. I wish I had stayed in Tennessee.
 

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Ahh, Clarksville. Clarksville has changed much in just the last 10 years. Of course a large part of the population is military with it being just outside of Fort Campbell, KY, but the total landscape is different. It's about 40 miles northwest of Nashville and really stands as its own community. It used to be more of an urban lifestyle but, it has been built up a lot and is really a nice place, especially if you want a slower pace.
I don't know too much about the job market there, though.
 

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I just joined this forum and this thread hits close to home for me. I lived in East Tennessee for about 5 years while I attended college. I don't believe there is anything nicer than the mountains and lakes in East Tennessee. I live in Charleston, SC now which also very nice.............but I really miss the mountains. The printing business is new for my wife and me and as of right now it is still part-time. We have been pretty successful though and if we ever go full-time, than I believe I will move back to the Knoxville area. Right now I am a full-time federal officer but I really want to work for myself from home.
 

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EngBulldog, I agree about the mountains!
I have been all over this great country of ours, but the Smoky Mountains is by far my favorite place. We take trips there 3 or 4 times a year. And since it is only about 3 hours away, it's great for weekend trips. We've even thought about buying a cabin in the Smokies since we go there so much!

I don't know specifically what kind of t-shirts you have, but the shops in Gatlinburg have to be making a fortune on all the heat pressed shirts they sell! I've never seen so many BIG t-shirt shops in one small area. And they all are busy constantly. Just a thought.
 
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