Leaving California!

User Forum Topic
Submitted by jstoesz on October 7, 2012 - 11:25pm

Well the time has come, we are moving to Minnesota. We loved being east of Sacramento, far more than any thing San Diego had to offer, And perhaps we will move back after February. But for now I have an amazing job in Minnesota, That I could not pass up. It will teach me what it takes to run my own consulting business, and then hopefully I can live unmoored from the 9-5 cube existence. To be more precise I got three offers in Minnesota, and my wife, who has been looking for a job for two weeks, has a verbal offer. We have already booked three trips back to California, And any additional savings will probably be spent on future plane tickets. But the draw of family and good community was much too strong, not to mention cheap housing.

We are more than sad to be leaving our weekly adventures to the mountains, but as raising kids in a benificial environment becomes more important, the mountains lose their allure.

So wish us luck San Diego crew for we are moving to greener pastures. We still have a small family sailboat (the one i used to live on) in point Loma which should blunt the pain of the cold winters. I am sure I will weep for the California recreation as I drive on Thursday back to Minnesota into the heart of winter.

Submitted by jstoesz on October 7, 2012 - 11:38pm.

Addendum: I can assure you all, if not for the home prices, financially irresponsible culture, and peacock mentality, we would be happy living out our days in N. co SD. Can you all do something about that?

But if you have ever surfed at Pipes you know, that the people who are supposed to be laid back are really just angry wishers (like everyone else, is that too harsh?).

We are headed to St. Anthony Main. Anyone know that neighborhood?



Submitted by barnaby33 on October 7, 2012 - 11:52pm.

In other words if you weren't a boy, you'd be a girl. Good luck where you are headed. Sounds like it was a well considered move. SoCal will await your return, or replacement.

Submitted by flyer on October 8, 2012 - 5:36am.

As natives who've also lived in many different places in the world, we've always come back to our home in San Diego--mainly because it does offer everything we want--and maybe you will
too--if it seems right for you and your family.

You're very wise to make a critical decision like this now with the great opportunities you have, as I can't tell you how many people we've known over the years who have tried to survive in CA, and specifically in San Diego, who were living paycheck to paycheck (some on a very grand scale, some not), just hoping things would get better--offering very strong evidence of the financial irresponsibility and peacock mentality you mentioned.

They suddenly found themselves at 50+ with little to show for their life efforts, and that is definitely not a scenario to which any of us would aspire.

Sounds like you made your decision for all of the right reasons, and I wish you the best.

Submitted by spdrun on October 8, 2012 - 6:57am.

Yet despite the "peacock mentality", I've met a bunch of super down-to-earth people in SD County. Mostly ex-East Coasters or foreigners, but who in SoCal is actually a native?

If anything, if you're financially responsible, you can live much cheaper out here than in the desirable areas of the East Coast.

Good luck on your move to MN.

Submitted by jstoesz on October 8, 2012 - 8:25am.

I have met many many amazing people...heck I married one! We have many amazing friends, and it is tragic to be a plane ticket away.

It is not the individuals that get me down, it is the aggregate. But perhaps I am a grass is greener type, even when that grass is brown and covered with snow.

Submitted by doublewide on October 8, 2012 - 8:59am.

It's like deja vu all over again...We just did the same move last December...Encinitas to Edina (a bit west of where you're settling, in the 'burbs).

We're coming up on our 1-yr anniversary here....It's a love/hate thing.

55 mph on most freeways is killing me, but the roads are waaaaay less congested and there are a million ways to get to anyone place, but watch the on/off ramp exchanges - they must have been built when cars were small and only 10% of the population drove.

No hands-free law here so everyone yaps on their cell phone up to their ear, at first it was bizarre to see and now it's just annoying b/c no one uses a damn blinker as they are all driving one-handed!

There is no El Pollo Loco, Rubio's or Champagne Bakery...Very sad. ;( But there are Big Bowl restaurants - custom stir-fry...So good!

We went through a tough adjustment b/c we arrived in December and promptly got our first snow and had to find our way around in "weather" and had to break it to our California dogs this was how we roll now...Oh, and we had to take a fricken test to get our MN driver's licenses! 24 years driving in Cali and I had to re-take my written test AND study for it! Note: Get your new DL before you change to MN auto insurance - it'll save you a headache as the ins company will want it to underwrite you. Oh, and they outsource their DMV stuff, but it's still the same take a number game...only much shorter lines.

Since you'll be joining us in winter - keep quarters and gloves in your car! First below zero day you'll get a warning to fill your tires w/air. Your local dealership will gladly help you out, but trust me, you won't be near one when the air in your tires compresses and your TMS light goes off... :)

We have one more year here till our kid has her degree and at first we thought we wanted to go back to SD - the major draw being my husbands family and having a support system, but we've made friends here, found a great doctor and and excellent vet...I think we may actually head further east rather than go back west when we're done here...

But, in full disclosure, the kid and the hubby are heading back to SD in a week for their first visit since we moved - one fish taco and the kid may decide to apply to UCSD. ;~)

Let me know if you ever need the lowdown on life here...It was tough going it alone, just the three of us, but 10 months in I feel like I've climbed Everest.

Oh, and Byerly's is your friend...You won't find a Vons, Albertson's, Ralph's after you leave CA. Cub and Rainbow are ok, but Byerly's and Whole Foods make life good.

Welcome to MN...It's an adventure...Bring patience and warm clothes.

Oh, and wiki "Minnesota Nice"...

Submitted by sdseeker on October 8, 2012 - 9:50am.

I am curious about the taxes (both property and income) compare to California. Could you share the approx. % for each?

Submitted by desmond on October 8, 2012 - 10:01am.

Good luck js, California ia a great place but imo it is not worth trying to struggle through any longer. Life is short and should be an adventure, moving to another state certainly is. From what I hear Minnesota is for outdoorsman/women so don't worry about missing those tiny little foothills "east of Sac town"

Submitted by EconProf on October 8, 2012 - 10:37am.

sdseeker wrote:
I am curious about the taxes (both property and income) compare to California. Could you share the approx. % for each?

MN is a high property tax state compared to the national average. But by that I mean the property tax as a percentage of the property value--around 2 - 3%.
But since property prices are about half what a similar house would cost in a major CA city, you will end up paying about the same dollar amount.
Our Prop 13 keeps our total property taxes at about 1.2% (with bonded debt) of the property value.
MN income taxes are a bit above the national average, but not as steeply progressive as California's. Our $48,000 per year earner pays a marginal rate of over 9% on any additional income. This is higher than millionaires pay in most states.

Submitted by EconProf on October 8, 2012 - 10:54am.

While you may miss taking the kids to the mountains, you can take them to their lake or river cabin in the summers, which many Twin City residents do every weekend. 2 - 4 hours north are literally thousands of lakes for swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, etc. Beware Friday afternoons and Sunday nights on the highways.
I spent my first 25 years in MN, and you will find the culture very different. Much more civic involvement, a strong middle class, good public education, and a lively two-party competition. Unemployment rate in the twin cities is 5 - 6%, so it is not surprising you both have good prospects there. While you will miss our weather, it is overall a better place to raise your children. Good luck.

Submitted by jstoesz on October 8, 2012 - 11:06am.

Double, thanks for you kind words and reply. I grew up in MN and moved out for college over a decade ago, so I know a bit about what I am getting into. I am sure over the years I have grown soft though. My wife on the other hand was born and raised in Orange Co, so it could be interesting to see how she adapts. Jumper cables, hats, gloves, and a sleeping bag have always been standard issue in MN. I think Mdot checks you at the border :)

We have a family cabin I grew up in just across the St. Croix in wisconsin, and that is a big reason why I am giving up the mountains. I can not picture kids growing up without water skiing, snow forts and sledding.

I really hate the 55mph thing I must say. It is crazy, but at least the town isn't so hard to drive from one end to the other. Its not compressed laterally like SD, so it is more compact. It is the same size in terms of population, but a lot easier to get around.

We didn't for taxes, although I would love to get a small government shot in here, but it is not the case. We did partially move because of a much more vibrant business community in things other than Defense and Tech. I have worked in defense and a bit of tech and I do not like them. I looked for better jobs in CA for years, and kept coming up blank. In Minnesota where my network was much weaker, it was easier to find good engineering work at comparable pay. The getting paid more on the coasts idea is largely a myth from my perspective.

edit: Thanks Econ, I didn't realize you were from MN! Not the only pig to make the move it seems.

Submitted by jstoesz on October 8, 2012 - 11:08am.

I think alpine skiing will be off the menu...


Can you believe a few Olympians have come from that bunny hill?

Submitted by The-Shoveler on October 8, 2012 - 11:20am.

MN ?

One word


Just kidding, good luck.

Submitted by doublewide on October 8, 2012 - 3:08pm.


So I should have been picking *your* brain before moving out here! ;)

As to taxes - just one thing to add, no sales tax on CLOTHES! OMG, almost did a happy dance when I found that out; actually I may have done one!

Well, welcome home...I gotta say I'm loving the lack of wild fires and earthquakes after a lifetime in San Diego. Granted there are springtime tornado warnings, but at least we know when to duck and cover. :>) Will say the first time I heard a test siren go off on the first Wednesday of the month I was looking for mushroom clouds.

Tell your wife if she needs a fellow So Cal girl to commiserate with after a month here I can tell her how to find the few Starbucks hidden around town and gently introduce her to Caribou Coffee. ;~)

Safe journey!

Submitted by spdrun on October 8, 2012 - 8:03pm.

Why would you want to find the few Charbucks hidden around town? Crap coffee, annoying servers, not to mention being a characterless chain that drives real coffeehouses out of business.

Submitted by no_such_reality on October 8, 2012 - 9:49pm.

Minnesota, home of Caribou Coffee.

Minnesota Nice, California prick, to-ma-to, to-mah-to...

Did you already buy/rent in Nicollet Isle area?

Much like CA, where your job is at will really affect where you want to live.

Submitted by paramount on October 8, 2012 - 9:42pm.

doublewide wrote:

Oh, and wiki "Minnesota Nice"...

I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of:

I'm looking California and feeling Minnesota

Submitted by jstoesz on October 8, 2012 - 11:03pm.

Starbucks and caribou, it's all the same.

We are sadly moving into the first floor of may parents house. It is a nice 800 sq foot flat, but very demeaning to live with my parents. Once my wife knows where she is going to work we will probably buy unless she needs an escape route, then we will rent.

I love st anthony, and I dream of living on Nicollet island (it has an interesting history and it feels like walking back in time, but the schools kind of stink. For you Minneapolis knowledgeable, we are probably shooting for southwest or excelsior and deephaven depending on how the job for my wife works out. If we are making bocu bucks I would love to live in kenwood.

I love the urban lakes and south minneapolis ( its where i gre up), but I will be joining the Minnetonka yatch club to race ynglings in the summer so western suburbs are okay too.

If it weren't for the sierras, I would be so happy, man I love the " mountains of light."

Submitted by paramount on October 8, 2012 - 11:20pm.

jstoesz wrote:

If it weren't for the sierras, I would be so happy, man I love the " mountains of light."

I'm with you on that, I try to visit the Sierra's every year (usually Bass Lake). I usually take a peak at the Mineral King Web cam at least a few times/week:


Submitted by jstoesz on October 8, 2012 - 11:46pm.

It is random that you mentioned Bass Lake. I feel like that area is not well known. Have you headed up to shuteye ridge or minaret road? If you drive up minaret road an hour or so, you will see you one of the most spectacular canyons in the Sierra. The kayakers call it the crucible where the south and the North fork of the San Joaquin meet. The run is known as devils post pile because it begins in Mammoth at Devils post national Monument. it is one of the best runs in the world. They also call it the crucible because it is walled in with thousand foot walls of perfect granite. Balloon dome is right there and it is famous among climbers for being one of the biggest walls in the Sierra, but the approach is miserable, 3k ft. The Southern Yosemite area is one of the best places in the Sierra just above Bass Lake, Because it is so untouched by most people.

I will miss it, but I have a ticket booked for the end of November! I think we will do a climbing trip to Yosemite!!!!

Submitted by jstoesz on October 8, 2012 - 11:51pm.

Mineral king is amazing, despite the awful road, worst in the Sierra; my friend once puked while driving it. It is insane, and death defying given the drivers.

But the mountains there are amazing especially from the west side. The only better west side trail head is kaiser pass rd.

Submitted by CA renter on October 9, 2012 - 1:15am.


You've been debating this for quite awhile. Your wife might have more difficulty adjusting since she's a native Californian, but MN sounds like a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Your post about missing the Sierras makes me sad, but hopefully you will be able to visit often enough to get your fill of those beautiful mountains.

It might be fun living with your parents...you probably won't regret spending more time with them when all is said and done. Just be patient with each other. :)

Hope you'll keep in touch with us and let us know how everything works out.

Best wishes to you and your family as you embark on this new adventure!

Submitted by spdrun on October 9, 2012 - 8:46am.

Mountains, good schools, cold climate, and decent economy/lower prices than CA. Have you all considered New England?

Submitted by doublewide on October 9, 2012 - 12:16pm.

spdrun wrote:
Why would you want to find the few Charbucks hidden around town? Crap coffee, annoying servers, not to mention being a characterless chain that drives real coffeehouses out of business.

@spdrun Only reason to visit the Starbucks is to catch a whiff of home...I brew my own tea at home, but when we were jonesing for a bit of SD, the kid and I went into the SBUX took a few deep breaths and felt better... ;~)

Submitted by doublewide on October 9, 2012 - 12:28pm.

paramount wrote:
doublewide wrote:

Oh, and wiki "Minnesota Nice"...

I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of:

I'm looking California and feeling Minnesota

Haven't heard that one, but I'd heard of Minnesota Nice and thought it was just that - nice - until I got here and was dealing with some really passive aggressive neighbors and drivers...One neighbor was really nice until I turned down her invite to join her Christian book club by politely telling her I'm just really too busy (Guess in her mind you're never too busy for God?) and now she won't even wave back to us, and the drivers are just plain obnoxious with the honking...They have these bizarre right turns here and stupid me actually yields to oncoming traffic. Once I got blasted out of my seat for NOT hitting the pedestrian in the crosswalk. These folks will talk sweet as sugar to you right up until they get behind the wheel of their car or you pass on their offer of God time...In SD I always knew where I stood with folks - here I feel a little Sybil.

Submitted by spdrun on October 9, 2012 - 12:32pm.

You should go to the book club, dress in black from head to toe, and bring some Anton LaVey to read :) Intolerance is oh so Christian -- shouldn't she be trying to convert you rather than shunning you?

Submitted by poorgradstudent on October 10, 2012 - 4:16pm.

I love Minnesota. If I could have San Diego's weather in Minnesota I would move back there in a heartbeat. For me, the cold winters are just too oppressive to deal with, but in terms of education and cost of living, Minnesota is very hard to beat.

Submitted by Veritas on October 10, 2012 - 7:22pm.

"If all of California's 2006 global warming law were implemented, the study estimates the cost of gas would increase by up to $2.70 per gallon. By the way, Californians are already paying up to 50% more for their electricity than the rest of the country thanks to their renewable-energy portfolio standard."


Submitted by spdrun on October 10, 2012 - 8:09pm.

Doing the right thing isn't always cheapest. Deal with it.

Submitted by jstoesz on October 11, 2012 - 8:31am.

I just did :)

There goes my families ample tax revenue.

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