Live/Work in Nevada, visit California?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 2:20pm

I am a consultant currently in California, but have been tossing around the idea of moving to Nevada, becoming resident of, and doing my work from there.

Demographics:
Early 30, single, no children, no properties, IT consultant

Motives:
1. Why live in high state income tax just for a spot to work when Nevada for me is equal in terms of work environment
2. Scavenge in a super flooded market like Vegas
3. The distance would provide me a better platform and buffer to determine what extracurricular activities with friends I participate in(less wasting time)

Why would someone want to work in California if they don't need to? If they don't have to commute, they could trade the time of the typical daily commute and make a drive to and from somewhere like Vegas every weekend if they needed some San Diego fun.

Is this an objectively wise decision since 80% of my time during the week is not enjoying surf and Mexican food? Am I missing something? I feel like I am in the prime of my career in a unpredictable market where I should be maximizing savings/lowering cost - and California state income tax to me seems like a luxury cost that I shouldn't be indulging in until I'm older or more successful.

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 17, 2011 - 2:26pm.

My brother did it for a couple years. He worked 10 hour days and did 8-on in LA, then 6-off in Vegas. Had a little apartment in LA.

Try Tacos El Gordo in Vegas and you should be OK.

Submitted by blahblahblah on October 17, 2011 - 2:43pm.

Incline Village is nicer, fly in/out of Reno. I have considered this as I pay a lot of CA tax. But I like the sunshine too much so here I stay...

Submitted by jstoesz on October 17, 2011 - 2:44pm.

If I were in your shoes, I would forget vegas, and go to Carson city/east shore tahoe.

Cheap, beautiful, and fun. Vegas in my estimation has little going for it, and the traffic to get back to CA is pretty crappy.

Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 2:48pm.

CONCHO wrote:
Incline Village is nicer, fly in/out of Reno. I have considered this as I pay a lot of CA tax. But I like the sunshine too much so here I stay...

Did you mean the ocean breeze? ;) Thank you, checking out Incline Village now. I'm not a big fan of Vegas activities (other than being near Lake Mead I guess).

Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 2:50pm.

jstoesz wrote:
If I were in your shoes, I would forget vegas, and go to Carson city/east shore tahoe.

Cheap, beautiful, and fun. Vegas in my estimation has little going for it, and the traffic to get back to CA is pretty crappy.

These look like better places.. but I'm afraid of flying, so I have to weigh in the stress of that when considering these :)

Submitted by UCGal on October 17, 2011 - 2:50pm.

If you spend your life indoors, it makes sense.
Vegas is nice for periods in the spring/fall/winter. But too hot for my tastes in the summer.

It's not too bad right now (high 80's)... but the over 100's in the summer... nope, wouldn't want to live there.

Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 2:51pm.

UCGal wrote:
If you spend your life indoors, it makes sense.
Vegas is nice for periods in the spring/fall/winter. But too hot for my tastes in the summer.

It's not too bad right now (high 80's)... but the over 100's in the summer... nope, wouldn't want to live there.

Most of my time during the week is indoors. Actually come to think of it most of my life is indoors! : | I think it's going to stay that way for the next 5 years or so. Just need a 24 hour fitness to mitigate.

Submitted by blahblahblah on October 17, 2011 - 2:52pm.

I meant to say I like the sunshine without having to endure 110F heat. I also like the walkable neighborhoods near downtown, little shops, restaurants, all that stuff that we have here but not too many other places do. Certainly Vegas doesn't although I confess I do like the malls there. But at some point you have to start wondering if all of that tax is worth it.

Washington state also has no state income tax. Florida and Texas don't as well but only crazy people would want to live there.

Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 3:12pm.

CONCHO wrote:
I meant to say I like the sunshine without having to endure 110F heat. I also like the walkable neighborhoods near downtown, little shops, restaurants, all that stuff that we have here but not too many other places do. Certainly Vegas doesn't although I confess I do like the malls there. But at some point you have to start wondering if all of that tax is worth it.

Washington state also has no state income tax. Florida and Texas don't as well but only crazy people would want to live there.

The main reason I am in California is to be near friends and family. So when I pull up a map I'm looking for places that <8 hours driving travel.

If I had no issues flying, it would be WA(or WY if I was more enterprising) for sure.

Happy not to hear(yet) that just because I was born in California, or set foot in California that I am in someway forever indebted to the state!

Submitted by davelj on October 17, 2011 - 3:27pm.

I've discussed this issue before. I'm going to try to move to Mexico next year, although it could be 2013 (it's always more complicated in practice than on paper) before I can pull it off. I've got a (consultant) friend who did it years ago. I'm with the original poster, if you're single, no wife, no kids, and have a lot of work flexibility (e.g., consultant, fund manager, etc.) I don't see the point in maintaining CA residency and paying CA taxes.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on October 17, 2011 - 3:41pm.

I'll tell you why not to live there.

Quality of people.

Not that Vegas doesn't have some fine citzens, it does, but per capita... I have never lived anywhere where I was more cynical about befriending someone as that town. If surrounding yourself with people that you love and trust is a big factor in your life then stay out of the town. Easy money, fast lifestyle, and other vices, have created a town of shysters, thiefs, and people of lesser quality. Again there is good to be found everywhere... But in a town like vegas it is far more difficult. The reason I settled in San Diego was because of the people. I have been very fortunate with the ppl I have met here and it is the largest reason why I stay... Despite the expense... And the Tacos El Gordo... And being in close proximity to SDDuuuude...

The short of it is... Vegas Sucks! Go to Phx if you really want Cheap. 1/2 Day drive to SD, 3 hours to the Mountain and Flagstaff... Cheap housing... Nice people... More things to do and good mexican food.

CE Former Vegas Resident.

Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 3:57pm.

davelj wrote:
I've discussed this issue before. I'm going to try to move to Mexico next year, although it could be 2013 (it's always more complicated in practice than on paper) before I can pull it off. I've got a (consultant) friend who did it years ago. I'm with the original poster, if you're single, no wife, no kids, and have a lot of work flexibility (e.g., consultant, fund manager, etc.) I don't see the point in maintaining CA residency and paying CA taxes.

Now that would be somethin'! Not to open a debate, because I can see the irrational fear aspect of it.. but just as a PSA - there was two things in the 'POPULAR POSTS' section Borderland Beat blog post recently that are the most barbarically insane disgusting thing I've ever heard of.. way worse than the standard stuff. Those details have me pretty much certain I will never be able to go to Mexico again.. wish I could :(

Submitted by curiousmind on October 17, 2011 - 4:06pm.

CDMA ENG wrote:
I'll tell you why not to live there.

Quality of people.

<...>

The short of it is... Vegas Sucks! Go to Phx if you really want Cheap. 1/2 Day drive to SD, 3 hours to the Mountain and Flagstaff... Cheap housing... Nice people... More things to do and good mexican food.

CE Former Vegas Resident.

Good information, thank you.

Posting AZ tax brackets for reference:

Tax Bracket (yearly earnings) Tax Rate (%) [1]
$0+ 3%
$10,000+ 3%
$25,000+ 3%
$50,000+ 4%
$150,000+ 5%

CA:
Tax Bracket (yearly earnings) Tax Rate (%) [1]
$0+ 1%
$7,168+ 2%
$16,994+ 4%
$26,821+ 6%
$37,233+ 8%
$47,055+ 10%
$1,000,000+ 11

source:
tax-rates.org

Submitted by scaredyclassic on October 17, 2011 - 4:31pm.

NM?

Submitted by EconProf on October 17, 2011 - 8:16pm.

Lots of Californians have discovered the tax benefits of spending over 50% of the year in NV in order to escape our confiscatory taxes. Just be sure you can document it via receipts, voting in NV, changing all your insurance, car license and driver's license, renting or buying housing in NV, getting all your mail there, etc. CA tax authorities are justifiably worried more wealthy people will flee, and have been known to travel to Las Vegas to dig up evidence that their escapees are not spending over 1/2 of their time out of CA. CA is considering a surtax on our higher income people to cover our deficit, so I imagine that will be the last straw for many high earners who are now considering a move. It is entirely possible that a surtax would result in less tax revenue for the state.
The atmosphere, people and weather of Las Vegas get old pretty fast and are genuine negatives, so perhaps Reno and Incline Village have more of a real world feel to them.

Submitted by barnaby33 on October 17, 2011 - 10:22pm.

Tijuana? Its close and you could claim Texas as your state of residence. I mean if you are considering Vegas or Reno, Tijuana isn't much different. Other than its closer to San Diego.

Submitted by CA renter on October 18, 2011 - 1:09am.

We know someone who moved to Vegas and still works in CA from time to time, and he loves it.

Best of luck to you, whatever you decide to do!

Submitted by curiousmind on October 18, 2011 - 9:32am.

barnaby33 wrote:
Tijuana? Its close and you could claim Texas as your state of residence. I mean if you are considering Vegas or Reno, Tijuana isn't much different. Other than its closer to San Diego.

Hehe.

Submitted by curiousmind on October 18, 2011 - 9:32am.

CA renter wrote:
We know someone who moved to Vegas and still works in CA from time to time, and he loves it.

Best of luck to you, whatever you decide to do!

Thank you!

Submitted by briansd1 on October 18, 2011 - 1:51pm.

Vegas is not that bad if you spend time indoors (I've been there too many times for conventions that I have no interest anymore).

But generally, people like to visit Vegas, so if you have a comfortable, well air-conditioned house with a nice guest room, not far from the strip, you will likely get a parade of friends and relatives visiting you.

They might visit you more frequently than if you lived a couple hours by car from them in California.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on October 18, 2011 - 2:37pm.

If you can do your work from anywhere and don't need to commute, there's few reasons to live in an expensive city like San Diego. I work in biotech, so I have to physically be close to my job and every extra mile of commute costs in both time and dollars.

Vegas does get very hot in the summers and colder than SD in the winter. If you'd be flying out here every other weekend some of your cost savings might get eaten up pretty quickly on plane flights.

Submitted by joec on October 18, 2011 - 10:08pm.

I have family that live in Vegas and after getting used to it, they like it a lot. Tax savings are huge since they are insanely high dual income.

That said, if you are single, no kids/spouse like you say, it isn't a bad idea since you work most of the week anyways and weekdays are shot to begin with. Weekends, it's probably even cheaper to drive/fly/crash at a friend's house or hotel if there is anything going on that weekend/party.

Most of the time, folks are so busy anyways to really see their friends as they get older w/ kids unless they also have kids themselves to do the whole kid party thing.

Depending on your hobbies, you'd probably be just as happy socking money away for a few years and move back later.

Downside maybe harder to keep in touch after you move so your friends won't be as close anymore if you move away.

Submitted by curiousmind on October 22, 2011 - 5:14pm.

joec wrote:
<...>
Depending on your hobbies, you'd probably be just as happy socking money away for a few years and move back later.

Downside maybe harder to keep in touch after you move so your friends won't be as close anymore if you move away.

Thank you, appreciate the information.

Submitted by svelte on October 23, 2011 - 9:00am.

It really depends on what you like. I would hate living in Nevada and just visiting California. Here's why.

Las Vegas: we go there a few times a year, and while the strip is fun I find very little else appealing about that area. Not only is it unbearably hot during the summer, what most people forget is that it is also exceedingly dry. The people we know who live there have huge humidifiers in their homes, and even that is not enough to keep my wife and my noses from drying out to the point of bleeding. Couple that with the bleak landscape, lack of greenery, and the boring sterile dirty look of the buildings (except for the strip, which locals avoid anyway) and I think living there would actually bring me down. Finally, the town attracts a very weird element...it is fun to watch them on a weekend visit, but I doubt I'd like to live amongst them.

Reno/Carson City: Las Vegas on a smaller scale. We go here often too (relatives) and I just can't imagine living there. Since it is smaller than LV, it lacks the only thing LV has going for it: a plethora of fun things to do on the strip. The Reno strip is tiny and pathetic in comparison. But just up the hill is Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas which can take some of the sting out of it. Problem is, during the summer that area is one big traffic jam. A drive that can take 20 min with no traffic will take hours. We're not into skiing, so that really doesn't help us either. There are pockets of nice areas between Reno and CC which would be acceptable for living, but we wouldn't have ready access to the nightlife that we have here in San Diego.

If you think you'll be visiting Calif often, then I would submit to you that you'll spend every penny you saved in Calif income tax on traveling back and forth to Calif. On top of that, unless you buy a second home in Calif, you have hotel expenses also. Then factor in what the travel time is worth.

I also shake my head at all the Californians who load up their trailers/campers with toys (dune buggies, boats, motorcycles)and head out to the desert each weekend. Obviously some ppl don't mind the traveling and like the arid desert landscape. That's not me but if it is you, more power to ya and you might want to consider moving to Nevada. :-)

Submitted by bearishgurl on October 23, 2011 - 10:51am.

svelte wrote:
It really depends on what you like. I would hate living in Nevada and just visiting California. Here's why.

Las Vegas: we go there a few times a year, and while the strip is fun I find very little else appealing about that area. Not only is it unbearably hot during the summer, what most people forget is that it is also exceedingly dry. The people we know who live there have huge humidifiers in their homes, and even that is not enough to keep my wife and my noses from drying out to the point of bleeding. Couple that with the bleak landscape, lack of greenery, and the boring sterile dirty look of the buildings (except for the strip, which locals avoid anyway) and I think living there would actually bring me down. Finally, the town attracts a very weird element...it is fun to watch them on a weekend visit, but I doubt I'd like to live amongst them.

Reno/Carson City: Las Vegas on a smaller scale. We go here often too (relatives) and I just can't imagine living there. Since it is smaller than LV, it lacks the only thing LV has going for it: a plethora of fun things to do on the strip. The Reno strip is tiny and pathetic in comparison. But just up the hill is Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas which can take some of the sting out of it. Problem is, during the summer that area is one big traffic jam. A drive that can take 20 min with no traffic will take hours. We're not into skiing, so that really doesn't help us either. There are pockets of nice areas between Reno and CC which would be acceptable for living, but we wouldn't have ready access to the nightlife that we have here in San Diego.

If you think you'll be visiting Calif often, then I would submit to you that you'll spend every penny you saved in Calif income tax on traveling back and forth to Calif. On top of that, unless you buy a second home in Calif, you have hotel expenses also. Then factor in what the travel time is worth.

I also shake my head at all the Californians who load up their trailers/campers with toys (dune buggies, boats, motorcycles)and head out to the desert each weekend. Obviously some ppl don't mind the traveling and like the arid desert landscape. That's not me but if it is you, more power to ya and you might want to consider moving to Nevada. :-)

svelte, all good points. I hate breathing the dry air in NV as well. You can avoid the traffic jam from Carson City to South Lake Tahoe by living in South Lake Tahoe (CA side). This area is at the top of my retirement list and 1200-1800 sf 40-55 yo ranch homes there situated on about 8-12K lots right in town on the free bus line have current asking prices of about $175-$350K. There are *newer* (10-40 yo) multi-level homes in the >$350K price range available around the fringes of the Heavenly Ski Resort and west/SW of town.

This area has everything one would need . . . even a small hospital. The four seasons are present and its beauty is incomparable.

The OP should take note of this gorgeous area. High-speed internet service is generally reliable there unless you are living in a remote area W/SW of town. However, there may be a way to get reliable service in the more remote areas that I am not aware of.

The (Stateline, NV) casinos only take up a little over 2 blocks. If you aren't into that lifestyle (I'm not), you don't have to hang around there. It's nice to be close to several entertainment venues which regularly book top music talent, however.

One drawback (which doesn't really bother me): Two or more times per winter, for 1-3 days, one or all roads are closed in or out of South Lake Tahoe.

As for the SoCal deserts, believe it or not there is now admission charged to take "toys" out on some of the dunes just north of I-8 just west of Yuma, AZ, lol. Apparently, this "recreational element" was leaving a lot of trash out there after a weekend and the state/county did not have the resources to continually clean it up. So now they have hired a maintenance service, provided dumpsters, etc and are "charging" dune-users for its services :=]

I've driven thru enough desert "mirages" in my lifetime to place them end-to-end all the way to FL and back, lol. No thanks, that life is not for me.

Submitted by ctr70 on October 23, 2011 - 6:04pm.

You couldn't pay me to live in Vegas. That is just such a soulless, artificial feeling, cookie cutter place and terribly hot in the summers. I'm ready to get the hell out of Vegas in about 1.5 days anytime I visit. Only part of Nevada I could tolerate would be the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. I knew a rich guy who lived in Florida in winters and summers in the Nevada side of Tahoe (both places no state tax).

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