PDA

View Full Version : Duluth, Minnesota



mommadeb
August 21st, 2016, 06:27 PM
My DH and I have now started kicking around the idea of moving back to the US. I am incredibly happy/sad about this. I dearly love Iceland and don't want to leave, but my DD's and DGK's live there in the US. I have made a new life here and love the culture and traditions, the food, just everything. Such a healthy, clean living, laid-back way of life here. I cherish that. On the other hand, I want to be around my kids. It is not easy for them to immigrate here, nor do they really want to as they have jobs and kids in school and such.

I just have no desire to go back to pigs and cornfields when I have lived near mountains and the ocean on an island for nine years. I don't enjoy the high speed of life there and all the political correctness and just the overall downhill slide of the US. My husband is more than willing to move. I know I would adjust just fine to the move and we can always come back here to visit. The other thing though, do I leave a good paying job here to move back and end up working at Walmart? I'm just over 50 with only a medical secretary degree but lots of experience in other areas. Our insurance is paid by the state (for everyone here. I'm not sure what it is called). In the US we have Obamacare and we would have to start paying premiums. We pay about $500/month for our house payment. We would just overall have an increase in what we would have to pay if we moved back. All with a lower paying job. But I would see my kids. Sigh....

So, we have looked at Homer, Alaska as the climate is very similar to what we have here and we would still have the mountains and ocean. But I would still only see the kids about twice a year. My kids could move there if they desired. The other area we really like is in the Duluth, MN area. Could anyone tell me what it's like to live up there? I know the winter's suck. I love Lake Superior. Jobs? Unemployment? Crime? I've also read that Minnesota has very high taxes and one of the lowest minimum wages. I got 13 years experience on a forklift-I could work in the harbor!

I could live in Ames and that would be agreeable for both of us. I'm thinking it would be a good start for us and then when we retire, maybe move to AK. Then the kids might be ready for a move too. Ames would be in the middle of my kids as for driving distance.

I just don't know. I just don't know. I just needed to get this off my chest as I have anxiety attacks about it.

Thanks for listening.:icon_sniff:

Claire Hallman
August 21st, 2016, 07:00 PM
I would surely wait until after the election to see what the country comes to afterwards.:icon_heh:
You won't find that kind of house note anywhere in the US.
Good luck with your decision.

K. McEuen
August 21st, 2016, 07:24 PM
In reading your description of where you are I was thinking "Alaska" which I see that you have considered. All I know about Minnesota is they have a lot of water there and it is really cold in the winter.

SuzyQue
August 21st, 2016, 07:49 PM
And huge mosquitos in the summer......

jjkaiser
August 21st, 2016, 09:29 PM
I don't know first hand but I live in Wisconsin (yes I can definitely vouch for it being cold!). I have a friend whose dd lives in Duluth. If you want I could try to get her email address and you could contact her directly. Unless someone on the Forum lives there, then that would give you quicker response time. My friend's dd works full time and just had her first baby a few months ago. So she is busy but I could try. Just pm me. You also might pull up the Duluth newspaper on the web and start reading it regularly.

bakermom
August 21st, 2016, 09:36 PM
There are places here that are slow-paced and laid back but they may not be close to your kids. Are you close to retirement age? Could you start planning for a second home near your kids? You could still live where you like but have a place to live for extended visits with your kids. Also, what happens if you move to be close to kids and they relocate for work or something? Will you move again to be close? Lots of things to consider, hope you can find a solution that makes you happy.

Hulamoon
August 21st, 2016, 10:07 PM
How about Maine or upstate New York? There are a lot of sites where you can ask best cities that comes out every year. They list all that tax stuff, income etc

JCY
August 21st, 2016, 10:08 PM
I cannot imagine any place in the lower 48 where you'd have a house payment of only $500./mo! The housing mkt. in the Denver area is absolutely ridiculous! Many people have to work 2 jobs in order to make house payments of $1,500. to $2,500./mo. Rentals are just as bad. I think the marijuana industry in CO really affected the real estate mkt. here. I think there also are a lot of high-tech jobs in this area.

I think I would do a lot of surfing the web to find info. about the places in which you're interested. I personally would not want to live in any of those northern states like Minn., Wis., etc. I grew up in Mich. & would never go back. Don't like the winters, the humidity, or the mosquitos. I love the weather in CO the best of any place I've lived. This is the 8th state in which I've lived. The Pacific Northwest was pretty ok, too, but the Pacific coast area was too dreary & rainy. I love all the sunshine here. We get all 4 seasons. The Rocky Mountains are just an hour's drive away; we see them from our house. We rarely get to see our kids. They live in MD, ID, & WA. It's just the way it is in this society. Kids go where the jobs are. It's senseless to follow your kids around; their jobs may change & they'd have to move again.

Obamacare messed with a lot of folks' lives, including ours. Before his retirement, DH worked for a major corp. After Obama, the co. quit providing benefits but farmed out it retirees to an ins. broker. We now have to pay at least 4 times more than what we paid before. Most Rx plans have at least a $320. deductible, which might be fine if you have a lot of prescriptions, which we don't. We end up paying a lot out of pocket. Am I disgruntled about Obamacare? You bet!

It sounds like you're pretty satisfied with your life in Iceland. You might just want to stay put.

Simply Quilting
August 21st, 2016, 10:48 PM
There are lots of places in the lower 48 where the house payments can be $500 or less per month in a nice house. (We have actually lived in several.) If you are talking Ames, Iowa there is lots of growth of jobs and housing going on there and the Des Moines area. In Iowa, there is no tax on food but your property taxes are high to make up for no food tax. The weather can vary greatly from hot and humid in the summer to bitterly cold in the winter. Then there are the odd years that there is hardly any snow and the summers stay fairly mild.

Lots of companies have had to make changes in both insurance and retirement due to changes in government regulations. If there is no huge hurry, I would consider waiting until after the election just to see how things turn out. I know several companies are waiting to see what happens in November before they decide what changes they are going to make for 2017.

snippet
August 21st, 2016, 11:48 PM
Gosh, I wouldn't move. Iceland is a lovely place from all I've heard and from your description too.

Where do your kids and grands live? Since you want to see them, I'd try to live as close to them as possible. Anywhere else, and you are going to have to make a trip.

I've heard good things about the slow life in upper Michigan. I liked Minnesota when I've visited there, but visits are so different from really living there isn't it?

If it were me, I'd stay. You have a good job, good healthcare, nice house payment. Save your money and fly to the kids to see them. Yeah, it's not as easy as living in the same city, but not knowing where they live I can't say if moving there would be worth it.

What about moving to their city for just the summer and going to Iceland the rest of the year? Lots of people do that.

LauraP
August 21st, 2016, 11:54 PM
I wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to save your money and visit the USA a couple times a year or fly the kids/grandkids over to see you. I live in Kansas and my kids and grandkids live in upper NY and AZ. I haven't seen any of them in over a year and probably won't until high school graduation this next summer. That's just something I have to deal with.

Monique
August 22nd, 2016, 08:37 AM
I really have no advice for you, as I have never had to make such a decision.

My thoughts are to stay where you are, take a month's vacation and go stay with your kids and grandchildren for that whole month. It might be cheaper than trying to relocate. That's just my two cents worth.

bttyboopette
August 22nd, 2016, 09:46 AM
stay, stay, stay! don't put yourself in hardship (mental and monetary) if you don't have to.

Snip Snip
August 22nd, 2016, 09:51 AM
Unless your kids and grandkids are begging you to move back to them, you might want to stay where you are. You can visit, write, call, skype, etc, to stay close to them.
And they will have wonderful place to come visit you!

mommadeb
August 22nd, 2016, 04:04 PM
What about moving to their city for just the summer and going to Iceland the rest of the year? Lots of people do that.

I have seriously considered this option. We definitely will do nothing until after the election. That is for sure. My middle DD and her husband and kids just left to go home last week from here. My other DD's and DGS are coming at Christmas for two weeks. I'm not close to retirement yet. I'll be in the salt mines several years yet.

If I weigh the pros and cons of moving, the only pros are seeing my kids and DGK's. The cons pile up. There is a lot of talk about reforming immigration laws here. We have a new president now and maybe I will just be patient. Depending on the president the US chooses, maybe my kids can come here a political asylum seekers! LOL

Thanks for everyone's input. I greatly appreciate it and it really makes me feel better to get it off my chest. Ya'll are the best!!! :icon_hug::icon_hug::icon_hug::icon_hug:

Monique
August 22nd, 2016, 05:31 PM
I know your decision, whatever it is, will not be made hastily. I wish you all the best, regardless.

kimsophia
August 22nd, 2016, 07:56 PM
I was kinda confused when you said you didn't want to be around pigs and cornfields but Ames was okay...the cornfields start near the city limits...I lived there... :) You lived up in CR, didn't you? I'm in Iowa City, now...

rebeccas-sewing
August 23rd, 2016, 02:14 AM
Doesn't sound to me like you should consider moving if you're so happy where you are. Joe and I love our girls but we agree that we do not want our lives to revolve around our children. Visiting them now and then will be good enough for us. If they decide they want their lives to revolve around us they can move nearer to us. That would be wonderful but we certainly don't expect that to happen. What happens if you come back and realize you made a mistake? You need to also think seriously about what the chances are that just visiting Iceland now and then will make you happy. We have friends whose parents left their beautiful home in San Francisco to move closer to their kids. Next thing you know the kids moved due to a job relocation after the parents went through all that upheaval of moving to be near them.

WendyI
August 23rd, 2016, 02:45 PM
Sounds to me like more than anything you are feeling lonely. Do you have people in your life that can help alleviate that? I don't have grandkids but I can imagine if I did, I would definitely want to be near them...but at the same time, you have done your job and sounds to me like your kids are doing great out in the big world, and you are overall happy where you are living. Missing family seems to be a way of life these days. I have been away from mine since 1984 and do try and visit but it always seems to be me that is doing the visiting, which gets expensive. How old are your grand babies? Are they old enough to come and spend the summer with you and would their parents allow it? That to me seems the best option since really, you seem happy where you are.

Moving is such a huge upheaval in life and if you make the wrong choice you can end up even unhappier. The grass is not always greener. I am a huge fan of lists....make a list of pros and cons...which it seems you already have. Now make a list of the ways you can combat missing your family and how to alleviate that issue.

As a Canadian the only other advice I can offer is DEFINITELY wait until the election is over!

mommadeb
August 23rd, 2016, 05:47 PM
Strange huh? No pigs or cornfields but I still like Ames. That would be the exception for sure.
I was kinda confused when you said you didn't want to be around pigs and cornfields but Ames was okay...the cornfields start near the city limits...I lived there... :) You lived up in CR, didn't you? I'm in Iowa City, now...

mommadeb
August 23rd, 2016, 05:50 PM
Very valid points. My oldest DD isn't sure where she wants to be yet. Maybe Colorado or Oregon. Middle DD is happy where they are at and my youngest would like to come over here.


Doesn't sound to me like you should consider moving if you're so happy where you are. Joe and I love our girls but we agree that we do not want our lives to revolve around our children. Visiting them now and then will be good enough for us. If they decide they want their lives to revolve around us they can move nearer to us. That would be wonderful but we certainly don't expect that to happen. What happens if you come back and realize you made a mistake? You need to also think seriously about what the chances are that just visiting Iceland now and then will make you happy. We have friends whose parents left their beautiful home in San Francisco to move closer to their kids. Next thing you know the kids moved due to a job relocation after the parents went through all that upheaval of moving to be near them.

mommadeb
August 23rd, 2016, 05:57 PM
my DGK's are all under 7. My kids are doing great. It is just that I am so incredibly homesick for them. I want to spend time with them more regularly. :icon_sniff::icon_sniff:

We have 6 DGK's here plus two that just moved to Denmark. The ones here, there are 3 that we never see because of family drama a few years ago and one other is with her dad every other weekend. The other two, the parents are so strict about everything that we can never spend more than a couple hours with them.


Sounds to me like more than anything you are feeling lonely. Do you have people in your life that can help alleviate that? I don't have grandkids but I can imagine if I did, I would definitely want to be near them...but at the same time, you have done your job and sounds to me like your kids are doing great out in the big world, and you are overall happy where you are living. Missing family seems to be a way of life these days. I have been away from mine since 1984 and do try and visit but it always seems to be me that is doing the visiting, which gets expensive. How old are your grand babies? Are they old enough to come and spend the summer with you and would their parents allow it? That to me seems the best option since really, you seem happy where you are.

Moving is such a huge upheaval in life and if you make the wrong choice you can end up even unhappier. The grass is not always greener. I am a huge fan of lists....make a list of pros and cons...which it seems you already have. Now make a list of the ways you can combat missing your family and how to alleviate that issue.

As a Canadian the only other advice I can offer is DEFINITELY wait until the election is over!

WendyI
August 24th, 2016, 12:48 PM
my DGK's are all under 7. My kids are doing great. It is just that I am so incredibly homesick for them. I want to spend time with them more regularly. :icon_sniff::icon_sniff:

We have 6 DGK's here plus two that just moved to Denmark. The ones here, there are 3 that we never see because of family drama a few years ago and one other is with her dad every other weekend. The other two, the parents are so strict about everything that we can never spend more than a couple hours with them.

That is so unfortunate...family drama is not fun. I know that feeling of missing loved ones for sure. It is not so easy to "replace" them in your heart for sure. I have had to work so hard to learn how to live without them and was doing great until my husband left. Now I struggle again with being alone and missing family while not being able to move because of my son. It really is a brutal situation to be in. Good luck with making your decision. (((HUGS)))