"I'm thinking about relocating to Mexico." That's what my rooted (her two daughter are in New Haven, Connecticut) neighbor told me today. Both of us were walking our dogs amidst the Polar Vortex. We frequently grocery shop together so we knew each other's high food bills. Creative types who have lived here and there on planet earth, we knew we could make a life and a living elsewhere.
I had researched the two and found that, from what I know of her income, she couldn't afford Mexico. For foreigners it requires about $2,500 in sources of income monthly. The last time I checked, we could live okay in Ecuador for $700 a month and healthcare would run us less than about $100 monthly. In addition, I tutored her about what I was learning about the cost of living in Tuscon, Arizona. Yes, the afternoons were hot but the mornings and evenings were fine.
Of course, we are not alone in questioning if being in the Northeast is worth the whatevers. Connecticut, for example, is losing population. Today a woman whose family is helping her move into this complex from North Carolina said to me, "I am wondering if I made a mistake. I didn't expect this kind of bone-chilling cold weather."
With telecommuting, so many of the growing number of contract workers like myself never see prospects or clients. I haven't been in Manhattan on business in two years. Although the business did well in terms of revenues in 2013, there were only two face-to-face meetings with prospects and clients. One was in Massachusetts and the other in New Hampshire.
Thanks to smartphones and email addresses, the relocation of the business would be seamless. Most clients use Paypal so there wouldn't even be a slow-down in the arrival of checks.
Those in or heading into the upper reaches of the economy have a reason to be on the East Coast. Daily they hop Metro-North from Connecticut for the long day in Manhattan. That's them. For more and more of us in the middle class there is simply not enough actual payoff or potential.