greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Like everyone else, I am having a very difficult time deciding whether to cash in my retirment and move to a smaller town, or even a rural town. I live in a suburb of New Orleans - but it is too close to the city for comfort. Too many people. Retirement is an option, and selling my home is an option. Have to make a decision NOW. May I ask how many people reading this forum have actually left their jobs and moved?

-- Scarlett (creolady@aol.com), April 14, 1999


I hope you don't think I am out of line here but.....don't become a "sheeple" about this. Make your decision based on your own feelings not other's. Good luck! Kristi

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), April 14, 1999.

Didn't have to bug out, already in the middle of nowhere --- only a off target missle will directly get me.

Seriously, for you, I wouldn't move unless you are VERY sure and determined about it. A new location where you're unfamiliar with surroundings and people isn't much better than the suburbs (probably).

Its so late that unless you can AGRESSIVELY pursue this option, your chances of regretting it are large. Also I assume Kristi meant ",,, based on your own careful analysis...", not "feelings".

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), April 14, 1999.

Another way to look at it.

If I stay put, what are the possible costs to my family if things go bad? If I move, what are the possible costs to my family if things stay good? Then, based on your research, consulting with family, pray and think about it. When a decision is made, go with it. Don't be a deer caught in the headlights on a busy highway.

I live in the cold north central. On a acreage in the country. We wanted to move to TX for business reasons, but have decided to wait until after y2k. We know that if things get bad, we have all the resources we need to survive several years. We also know that alot of sheeple will not be gathering up their belongings and moving north. So we are trading better financial benefits for safety.

Everything is a trade-off. We are fortunate to live during a time when there may important decisions to make and possible great challenges ahead. This brings out the best in most people. The character of our nation may greatly improve (or may sink into the sewer) Happy New Year!

-- daryl (rushmore@dailypost.com), April 14, 1999.

Move but don't move. Have you considered renting a small property or apartment in a small town far enough to give you some comfort. Also if things go well you might find renting different places will give you an opportunity to find what you what. Just remember the colder the higher the location the less people want to be there.

-- louie (louie.miotti@sait.ab.ca), April 14, 1999.

New Orleans is a dangerous place even in the best of times. The last remaining of my relatives that lived there moved out 10 yrs. to across the lake for this reason alone.

Also, they couldn't sell their property for 1/3 the appraised value, a home they had professionally renovated in the French Quarter.

-- Charles R. (chuck_roast@trans.net), April 14, 1999.

What I'd like to see is a listing of corporate (government, whatever) executives who've bugged out, retired, bought rural retreats ("compounds") or stocked up the ones they already have, withdrawn their liquid assets and cashed out most of their stocks, bought 10,000 ounces of gold, etc. etc. But we'll never see that will we? Because what good is money if it can't buy privacy?

Any of you rural dwellers notice activity in your neighborhoods? I'm thinking we might hear from home remodeling, security system installers, etc. types. (But then, be careful, those workers didn't do too well in ancient Egypt when they were done with their job on the pyramids.)

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.com), April 14, 1999.

Bugged-out last Fall from the ever-increasingly populated dangerous 'burbs of ChiTown.

Am in the middle of nowhere, and I LIKE IT!

But time is required to establish yourself in environs like this. Don't believe you can bug-out this Summer and be ready to be self- sufficient WHEREVER you go.

For example, we're setting up a chicken-coop and found out our chicks that we ordered won't lay eggs until late this Fall, and that the Reds we ordered won't be large enough for butcher until next year.

Time. You need as much as possible to get set in a new environment requiring self-sufficiency.

You also need time to get to know neighbors and townsfolk.

If you think you may need to get out...don't wait much longer.

-- INVAR (gundark@sw.net), April 14, 1999.


I can assure you I completely empathize with your dilemma. Only two months ago or less I was facing the same decision and wondering how my husband would react considering he's the one supporting the family.

After doing many hours of research I came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family would be to move out of the suburb. I reached that decision for several reasons. First, I could not conceive how I could possibly store enough water for the six in our family besides my parents, mother-in-law and assorted relatives who might see the light too late.

Next, the waste problem concerned me very much. Only two years ago we connected to sewers after living with a septic tank for almost 25 years. I know there are good methods for disposing of waste, but I wanted to get back on a septic tank mainly because no one knows how long the disruptions might last.

Third, I was worried about the very likely possibility of rioting after a short time when there is no electricity and people start running out of food.

After a few weeks, my husband came to the same conclusions, and decided moving was what we would do. Although he is not old enough to retire and needs to continue working in order to pay for our preps, he was willing to drive farther to work for the time being,realizing it may only be for a few months as no one may be working after 1/1/2000.

If you're wondering why I'm not working, I have in the past but now I take care of my mother during the day because she has Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's.

We started looking through the real estate ads in our Sunday paper and soon found property about 50 miles from our present home. It will take my husband 1 hour to drive to work, but he is resigned to that.

We will be building a new house there as soon as we sell ours and will have a well and septic system along with much wood for heating. Interestingly, we've both decided that even if Y2K is "a bump in the road" we would be content living in the country.

Our situation is different from others because we were blessed to have paid off our mortgage this month after almost 25 years, so we are not losing anything. My biggest worry is the time between selling the old house and the completion of the new house with our money having to be in the bank. We have a very reputable builder who has assured us the house can be finished in two months or three at the most.

In my opinion, I think you are right to ask for advice on this forum as many wonderful people have given me terrific insight and suggestions which have helped my husband and me make, what I consider, intelligent decisions. Nobody forced us to do anything, but we valued all the opinions we received.

I think my main comment would be, could you live comfortably with your decision if Y2K turns out not to be a problem?

God bless you as you make your decision. Mary

-- Mary (SWEEP6@prodigy.net), April 14, 1999.

We live in a small Iowa town - 10,000. There are many very Y2k aware people here, probably more per capita than anywhere although I am just guessing. We are thinking of moving out in the country, close to here, with some friends for a number of reasons including y2k. I know it is very late to be considering this but we are considering it anyway. We still have to sell our home and build another home but I have some faith about it all. If it doesn't work, we are getting this house prepared anyway. So if anyone is interested in living in a smaller community and you would like a very nice, 4 bedroom house (large, beautiful yard) in a wonderful neighborhood, let me know.

-- a mom (maybe@house.com), April 14, 1999.

Thank you all for your excellent input. You have definitely given me much food for thought and reflection. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

-- Scarlett (creolady@aol.com), April 14, 1999.

I "bugged out" of the suburban rat race back in the 80s with my dog eared "Whole Earth Catalogue" from the 60s. After moving, situations changed. Learned, at least here, that it was very difficult to transfer urban corporate saleable skills to a rural area. Be sure you have a skill that is needed. Rural areas are full of nepotism when it comes to filling jobs. Most people in rural areas are related. You may not be recognized or accepted by many until you have lived there for 15-20 years. (The exception might be through joining a church group.)

You have to ask for help, if you need it. It won't be volunteered. Everyone assumes you are of independent mind and don't want help from them.

Don't bring any liberal urban attitudes with you unless you plan on working for a federal government agency and living in their isolated circle. People who are descendants of those who first settled their land and make their living off the land resent some idiot newcomer or academician telling them how it should be done. Remember that many have been had their jobs deep sixed and their way of life (hunting, trapping, logging, ranching, farming, mining, etc.) regulated out of existence. (The urban/rural disconnect has been acute.) Be prepared for what may appear to you as real poverty and disdain for your affluence and consumptive lifestyles.

It is useful to see the rural culture as a whole - arising from the organic need to survive as a minority among an urban-suburban majority that hasn't a clue where their food, lumber or metals comes from. Don't come in and try to "enlighten" the poor ignorants. Remember that change in social systems comes through established social structures through imitation of established leaders.

If you have medical conditions, don't move to an isolated rural area. The technology and supports won't be there for you. Be prepared for a much slower way of life. You are expected to chat for long periods of time with store clerks and neighbors.

In fact, many newcomers are automaticallOne Independent ruralites spend a lot o

-- hermit (hermit@onthemountain.com), April 14, 1999.

Leaving Atlanta Metro Area at the end of this month. Headed for camp in south Louisiana rural area. I am fortunate... I am already retired, just don't know if I will still have access to my retirement income next year. Sold my house, buying supplies... keeping a chunk of change handy.

-- Blanche Fleur (teefleur@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.

Hermit! I liked your essay on rurality. But it is garbled in the last sentence makes me think you had more to say but posted inadvertantly ? Can you post the remainder please ?

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), April 14, 1999.

Here is what helped me make my decision to move. After spending a lot of time on the internet I found I was getting more, not less, confused. Then I realized that I had all the data and facts I needed and that I needed to evaluate what I was willing to tolerate.

I examined my personal tolerance level. I found that I did not want to live a life of wondering whether or not I was properly prepared.

Y2k, whether a 2 or and 8, has shown me that I have been dismally prepared for many types of social or financial breakdowns. Thus, I decided to move and teach myself the basics that I should have learned 30 years ago.

Deciding to move was easy. Moving and uprooting our family has been tough and very expensive. Learning basics has been hard but rewarding. If you have been on the internet for more than a few months you have more than enough data and more than enough opinions.

Noone can understand your life. Bite the bullet and decide and act on what you already know is the right path for you and your family. Then stick with your decision.

And remember, it is not a right or wrong thing to stay or to move. Action is the answer. Staying put with a well executed preparedness plan is fine. Moving with a well executed plan is fine. Not deciding and not thoroughly executing a good plan is a disaster.

-- Movingman (Movingman@bugout.com), April 14, 1999.

I grew up in New Orleans, and I think I can understand what you're thinking about.

I suggest that your concerns will come to fruition one day. If Y2K isn't the problem that bursts the dam, it will be something else.

No place is perfect. List those aspects of your current status you wish to change. If the nature of the locale is one, then go ahead and move to a locale whose nature is what you want. You will have new problems there, but you will find comfort in knowing that your old concerns are no more, thanks to your proactive mindset.

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), April 14, 1999.

Scarlett- Moved twenty plus years ago to Western North Carolina, outside of Asheville. After nearly twenty years as a middle manager in the regional medical center, took "re-engineering" package ("PLEASE don't throw me in that briar patch!") to work full-time on making my own Y2K preparations and to help families and small businesses in the area who are interested in contingency plans of whatever degree. I concur fully with Hermit's observations- one of the reasons I did not move farther out into the country in WNC. Even though I've lived in the region for over twenty years, I'd still be a new-comer in any community even thirty miles further out. I learned back in 1976 that even "good" folks may not get too upset about anti-social behaviors towards newcomers (the Amateur Mafia burned out my house- after I'd gone back to graduate school- due to my destruction of their pot fields planted on my family's property). While encouraged at the time by neighbors to "get yourself a good thirty-thirty rifle," the best rule of self defense is not to walk knowingly into a setting where you'll need to shoot someone if you don't have to. We didn't, fortunately. All this suggests is, if you're going to move, make it soon, join a local church (nearest to your property may be best) and become enthusiastically supportive, helpful and visible. Best of luck!

-- Paul Urquhart (paulUrquhart@worldnet.att.net), April 14, 1999.

Hi Scarlett,

I and my fiancee' will be moving following our marriage this summer...since we both live in different suburbs of Washington DC we also both see moving as the only sane thing to do. We'll be going to a rural area west of the Mississippi...small town with utilities that are so old that they are y2k compliant (the only computer is the PC that they use to run the bills on at the end of the month, and the valves in the water and sewer systems are all closed and opened by hand). Already have family members in place in the area, and I'll be going back at the end of this month to work toward finalizing purchase of a house for us...and I can make a house payment there on *half* of what it costs to rent a not-so-nice apartment here in the metro area.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 15, 1999.

Hi Scarlett,

I agree, you have to make your decision NOW!!

We moved from the city (not a terribly big nor bad city -- actually, about the best city from a viewpoint of survivability) last fall, after looking for quite some time. Part was due to Y2K, but a bigger part was due to an increasing unease at the direction society was turning.

For jor-el, who asked:

"Any of you rural dwellers notice activity in your neighborhoods? I'm thinking we might hear from home remodeling, security system installers, etc. types." There seem to be many people along the nearby roads (all roads are on a 1 mile grid in these parts) who have recently moved or are remodeling -- both farm families and people who work in the towns around here.

Some of the houses seem to have been unused for some time and need extensive remodeling or fixing up, others are adding insulation, fixing up long unused greenhouses, etc. (I live in the middle of farms, and most farmers now take care of thousands of acres instead of the 400 or so acres of 2-3 decades ago. So there are many former farmhouses that are either falling apart or are homes to non-farmers.)

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (dtmiller@nevia.net), April 15, 1999.

A few hints for people moving to a rural area. The key word is VOLUNTEER !

Join the local vol fire dept .

Volunteer as a teachers aide ,little league coach , get involved in the local community offer to HELP . DO NOt try to change the community. Become a part of it , a useful part .

It is not true here in the west that all in a small community are related or interbred . That is a big city ,eastern attitude its not true we are all americans let us all act as such !

Thank you & good luck in your relocation . :o)

-- Mike (mickle2@aol.com), April 16, 1999.

Blue - thanks for the kind words. I just neglected to delete the edited flotsam and jestsam of organizing my thoughts before posting.

I could say that one should be prepared for a much slower lifestyle. (We actually jaw with local clerks in the store during a transaction. It is not uncommon to stand on the sidewalk for a half hour exchanging commisurations on the current "ain't it awfulls" with folk you haven't seen for awhile.) It is also common to have a party-line telephone and with kids and elders, that can be a real conflict among neighbors. Kids can really get isolated when transplants choose remote locations away from the little towns.

Our biggest social events are kid's sports. Football, baseball - you can always tell the transplants cause they start a soccer team populated by other offspring of transplants. My kids went to a two room school house K-8, so I made sure they did town sports with the locals to integrate before high school.

I would say that one of the biggest sources of "failure at country living" seems to occur with the ladies. "Cabin fever" or "mall withdrawl." I do make the trip to the nearest real mall (3 1/2 hours away) at least once a year. Try and do the Christmas shopping before the snows can close the pass while I'm on the other side. In the first year I didn't work and could justify going to the nearest town only about once a month. The world can get pretty small, but that's ok with me.

We are getting a few newcomers who buy local ranches. The average age of a cattlemen in the US is about 60 and many are retiring. There are not a lot of new generation stock staying in the business. If you go that route, under current conditions, don't expect to make a profit for a very long time. Also, lenders are really scarce for ag enterprise right now. The only reason the locals made a living off the place was probably because they inherited the property.

There is more to farming and ranching than people understand. You gotta know practical chemistry, engineering, agronomy, mechanics, husbandry, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, genetics, hydrology, math, bookeeping, marketing and a bunch of other skills. We had one professor of range ecology who retired and started a ranch. Hadn't a clue how to actually irrigate pasture. There are lots of cases of newcomers cutting a ditch into a stream to water their new land and causing a neighborhood war because the water use rights to the stream were already fully appropriated in law by oldtime families. Water is a biggy in the West.

Expect some kind of cyclical disaster where you will be on your own to deal with it. In our area, it is snowstorms, flooding and forest fires. Find out about the history of the area, because some of these cycles have a phase of several decades.

Unlike the last poster, our area is largely settled by descendants of the trappers of the 1820-30s and gold miners who came here in the late 1840s-50s. You can recognize the historical family names repeated in various professions. Perhaps we are different that way.

The debil in me says to tell you to read the "Santaroga Barrier" - a science fiction novel - forget the author. Maybe it is a subconscious case of I got mine and I don't want to deal with what comes along with yours. Maybe I have seen too many clashes between the practical experience of those who have lived here for generations and the newcomers with their theoretical paradigms for utopia and a "sustainable world."

If, as Tom said on another post, we have to build this world up again from the bottom, we will have to overcome the lines of battle that have evolved between rural and suburban/urban. Should make for some interesting town meetings, though.

-- hermit (hermit@onthemountain.com), April 16, 1999.

Thanks again for all of your input. We are leaning toward buying property about an hour outside of the city. Would prefer to go to Montana, but don't know if we can afford that - and I don't know if my two sons - ages 23 and 15 - could adapt well to the change. I DEFINITELY COULD. I'm ready for a LOT LESS PEOPLE - New Orleans is like an ant hill at 100 degrees. Anyway, y'all have been great. Thanks! If you think of anything else, feel free to e-mail me.

-- Scarlett (creolady@aol.com), April 16, 1999.

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