Episode-1606- David Haight on Strategic Relocation — 21 Comments

  1. Strategic relocation:
    I have been doing that since 2002.
    How’s that working out for me?
    Looking for love in all the wrong places.
    Moved from Los Angeles to Ohio 2008 and spent the last year barking up the wrong trees (romance wise) so got my feelings hurt, 3 times in the last 5 years.
    I intend to move back where I belong, West of The Rockies, maybe Arizona.
    East of Cincinnati is the rust belt and the continuing economic depression is spreading. Maybe you should do an episode about how Greece economic crisis is the canary in the mine. Italy, Portugal et all are next in line.

    But you know how it is in Injun territory, saving the last bullet for myself, right? Still have about half a roll of TSP copper coins I bought years ago as teaching aids but nobody seems to understand. I do, to spread the word, but nobody else gets it. Living in the bible belt sucks.

    Still looking for a job but when a person gets to be 59 no employer wants you.
    Bummer Man… still attempting to maintain a positive mental attitude. Thanks for 40 of duck chronicles. Living in an apartment now so no ducks are possible. No home workshop. Today I will walk the treeline to see if any of my guerrilla gardening seeds sprouted, germinated.

    Maybe I’ll phone the VA crisis line but that’s not your problem. Glad you are doing well. Thanks for all you do.

    Depression R us. Maybe I’ll get over it.
    Suggestions welcome, thanks.

    • @Crypto – Sounds like you’re in a rough spot. I am also in the rust belt (relocated here a few years ago), but I love it. Moved from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, Pa. Not sure exactly where exactly in the East you’re located but if you want to meet up for coffee, I’m game.

  2. Really really interesting interview. Thanks for it.

    Also, was it just me, or did it seem like Jack was maybe eating a sandwich or something during the interview? Maybe my speakers are dying…

  3. This podcast certainly struck a note with me. When my husband and I drove to freedom, we discovered that it was only $200 more to BUY a used 25 foot 3 axle trailer than to rent a comparable Uhaul one way. We now use it as a storage unit; however, one could sell it once you got to your destination and probably sell it for the same price or close to the same price. We’re not sure of our priorities – we didn’t bring any furniture, but we hired a car-hauler to bring 5 of our 8 vehicles (mama don’t let your daughters grow up to marry dirt track racers…) We managed our move like a business project (cost and schedule performance indexes, indeed), and came in on schedule and under budget. It was scary and nerve wracking, but we are now in a place we truly feel at home. We didn’t go negative on the cash flow, but we came dang close during some cycles of the move. We had to rent for a few years to build up cash reserves to put enough money down so we could pay off the mortgage in 10 years. 4 BR on the edge of the suburbs on almost 4 acres of unincorporated land. Room for grandkids to spend the summer. One side of us has 1/2 to 1 acre track homes, the other side 12 acres of undeveloped land that is a flood plane and “difficult to develop” from an engineering standpoint. Part of our land is a flood plane, too – which is why it is so much bigger than the other parcels… but we have a tractor and understand about earthworks. To us, the problem presented not just a solution, but an opportunity. My only recommendations for those thinking about making the big break – do this before you are 50. Well worth it to do it after 50 like us, but just think of how many more “better years” you will have if you get a jump start on this. Good luck everyone! And thanks for another great show, Jack!

    PS We now own a bed, but still using the folding chairs and tables that we bought when we first got here. But I replaced my seed starting set up and all my garden tools are brand new. Couch and recliners can wait…

    • In everything you said, the statement that resonated with me the most was: “just think of how many more “better years” you will have if you get a jump start on this” … I certainly did not need 40 acres now, but I am glad to be paying down the last mortgage I plan to ever have… and so I have that many more years for the land to appreciate and for me to appreciate it!

  4. I am currently considering relocation. My husband of 32 years walked out a few months ago (tough transition) leaving me with a great opportunity. I could liquidate and move; I am thinking southeastern Minnesota. I have 2 years to do this, wouldn’t move until after my son graduates. Maybe rent out the current house to my son and his buddies making him the landlord?

    • Labella:
      I am glad to hear you are seeing at least the freedom and opportunity resulting from the divorce. I would recommend taking the 2 years to travel to different kinds of places, or travel often to SE MN if you are rather sure about that region. Look at different towns in the area, talk to the people, and most especially make sure that you like the climate in all 4 seasons (no allergens, etc.)
      You also have an opportunity to shop around and interview different real estate agents, if you choose to use one. I personally used the rubric of “if they start showing you listings within the first 15 minutes, they are out”. They should talk to you about the area, about your wants, etc, not be trying to push on you what they have available, especially if they heard you being on a 2 year timeline. Try the “lands of” websites if you want to look for more raw / open land…

      Good luck to you and hopefully your strategic relocation is a good one!

    • Finster

      Which part of NZ did you move to? I absolutely loved Auckland when I was there years ago, but I know there are many other great towns and microclimates between the two islands…

  5. DH
    I currently live in Auckland but Planning to relocate to smaller city but will buy a property in the countryside

  6. David,

    You touched briefly on plastic/toxic mitigation in the interview. Could you elaborate a little on that? This is an interest of mine and am curious to learn more. Like you, I also need to find a balance between the mitigation and reality.

    • First off let me say that I am not an expert on this subject, but I will share the conclusions I have come to after some research.

      It is my firm belief that all plastics, even the very stable ones like HDPE, will release some chemicals in low levels throughout their lifetime. For example, the “platicizer” chemicals like phalates can come out into warm water for many years. So, if I have irrigation piping or hoses baking in the hot Colorado sun, I would expect some of those chemicals to come out in the water. Further, I do not think that our bodies have any kind of “genetic intelligence” about storing, excreting, or using synthetic chemicals like this. Some of these should be broken down by UV and locked up by healthy soil. But I do not think enough proper science has been done to say we know what chemicals come out in what quantities into water or soil, let alone what these chemicals do in long term doses to the human body. What science I have seen correlating atrizine levels to male sterility, PBDE’s in the breastmilk of today’s mothers, etc. is all very disturbing to me. I think the related increase in the use of these chemicals with the increased amounts of cancers and autoimmune disorders in young people cannot be ignored.

      So, I focus on reducing toxins in my food and water supplies as I can. This means stainless steel, glass, or rarely silicone drinking vessels only for me (except when traveling when I have no choice).

      I looked for quite some time for affordable stainless steel or silicone lined irrigation piping, but was never able to find the right supplier. For now I am settling for buried spiral-wound galvanized aluminum electrical conduit as a “poor man’s capillary irrigated tubing” system in my zone 1 garden beds. I know there are zincs and other metals in the galvanized coating, but with our soil and water being ~7.5 pH here, I doubt it will come out in significant concentrations.

      Long term, I would love to be a supplier for non-toxic roofing, gutter, rain harvest, and subsurface irrigation materials, but that is not the highest priority project on my list… If anyone knows where I could get something like this, please pass it along!

      • I agree with your assessment. I cringe at the thought of running irrigation line made out of PVC. I am definitely interested in finding a viable alternative.

  7. DH and Finster,

    Could either of y’all elaborate a bit on New Zealand, specifically what it’s like from an entrepreneurial/homesteading standpoint? I spent close to nine months there with a ‘working holiday’ visa, and when I finish grad school this winter my wife and I will both meet the requirements for long-term skill shortages (librarian, of all things, and GIS/environmental scientist). I’ve even considered getting a doctorate at either University of Otago or Victoria University, since it’s so much more affordable than the US, and focus my research on utilizing GIS to improve broad acre management and site design. This would also make it easier to find long-term employment, since most employers seem to prefer candidates that are already in New Zealand, and while I’m enrolled in university my wife would automatically qualify for a work visa. I’d only pursue that path if it would benefit my long-term goals regardless of staying in NZ though.

    My major concerns are the costs of land, which seem astronomical, and the feasibility of creating and running a business. I know New Zealand scores high in terms of economic freedom ratings, but have either of y’all explored starting a business there? It seems like it’s doable if you manage to get a permanent residency visa, but I could be way off base, and I’d ultimately like to start a GIS consulting company that focuses on land management and my wife is interested in eventually starting a home business of her own. I also got the impression that since so many kiwis garden and generally live closer to the land (and gmo crops/cafo meats are less common) that it might actually be more difficult to run a homestead type business than in the US, where the demand still seems well ahead of supply. I never made it to the North Island though, so that could be more unique to the South Island.

    Finster if you have any experience with either starting a business or are already in the land acquisition process I’d love to hear what it’s been like, and DH if anything put you off NZ besides the difficulty of getting a work visa I’d be just as interested in hearing about that. Thanks y’all.

    • The two major factors that pulled me back from looking at NZ were distance to my family and especially the ex wife’s family, and not wanting to be bogged down in residency and citizenship processes.

      I have not tried to start a business there and will decline to comment on that. If you do decide to, though, please come back and tell us what you find out!

      I will agree with you that the center of mass of NZ lifestyle is far healthier than most of the world. Thirty something hour work week as standard, anti pollution and polluted food ethics, etc. all adds up to being naturally physically and mentally healthier for sure.

      Good luck either way…

    • Rutherford
      So Many questions
      Have you considered Lincon Uni they are a specialized Landbased university Not sure if they have a GIS program but I am sure they would have something for you. NZ is an early adopter of technology, especially for agriculture as this sector is high value earner for the country, and considering the size NZ punches well above its weight. For instance they have been trialing using Plantain for raising ewes and spring lambs to give higher yields and faster weight gain. I have listened to Jacks episodes on the medicinal value of this plant but they are finding more uses for it here, in Animal Husbandry (this was a result of Lincon Research project. ( my son started Lincon this year)

      Otago is too cold for me and I am originally from The north of England Victoria is too cold and Windy. YMMV

      Homesteading is alive and well, small startups companys supplying quality products and Farmers Markets have Quality artisan produced food
      Food is a high priority for many Kiwis, many would not understand why you would want to eat beef from a feed lot and not naturally Grass fed. The best meat I have ever eaten (I lived in So Cal for 5 years and a brief spell in Europe )

      Starting businesses is very easy (One of thetop 5 easiest places in the world from a worldwide survey)
      If English is your first Language and you have the Qualifications on the skill shortage list ( or your partner does ) then its doable

      If you are worried about distance from family its highly likely that they will want to visit for extended periods ( can stay upto 6 months for UK residents) The scenes from the Lord of the Rings have not been edited with CGI it is really that beautiful. I have been here 9 years and still have to pinch my self to see if its for real.
      The culture has a better work life balance I have friends who work for large corporates here and they take time off during work hours to watch school cross-country competitions ect. In the UK you would not ask, as it would be deemed too unprofessional.

      if you are on the forums and want more info PM me

  8. DH
    I have lived in Colorado since 1990, and am married into a family of CO natives. However our family household (me, wife, daughter) have been making rough plans for a migration to Texas by 2017 (at the latest. Earlier if possible).
    We all really love CO for it’s climate, beauty, and landscape, as well as the overall good-nature of the people but living in Denver has become extremely cumbersome over the last 25 years. Expecially the last 10. For one, I can no longer stomach the traffic – the entire city has become nearly 24/7 “rush hour”. And the population has just exploded. Too many people packed into too small a space, for my liking. MUST LEAVE CITY!

    After looking around at various places in the state, we became dissatisfied with the prospects of staying here vs. the potential of Texas. Hearing your story and reasoning for going from Texas to Colorado, caused us to pause and possibly reconsider. It would be very valuable to be able to correspond and pick your brain on a few issues, as someone who has already lived in both locations. Not that Denver is much like Telluride, or the hill country of Texas is necessarily the same as where you were, I think a general exchange of thoughts could answer some questions/concerns we have.

    Do you have a website or other way of being contacted (possibly email)?

  9. Marcus –

    Feel free to email me at Dave at higher form dot com with no spaces …

    Where in Texas were you looking? Where in Colorado have you looked at ?