For those that are at a stage of life where you may be considering to move out of the big city or metro area, here is some simple logic that may help in the decision process while trying to find that ‘right’ location. In this example, I’ve arbitrarily chosen the state of Oregon, and plan to analyze a handful more pretty soon.
Some possible criteria for your rural move.
You want to stay well clear of large metropolitan centers for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you’re just tired of that lifestyle altogether. Maybe you will feel ‘safer’ to a degree – in the event that the SHTF, be it major economic collapse or otherwise.
You want to live in a peaceful rural setting, one that is favorable for keeping a garden and growing some of your own food. One that is in a favorable climate to do so – one with adequate water and rainfall.
Professional Medical Care
A big criteria though, and one that is more important than you may realize, is your medical situation. Those that fantasize about living hundreds of miles out in the middle of nowhere, are losing sight of the fact that if you needed urgent health care (and one day you most certainly will), you will likely be ‘screwed’.
Distance to Civilization
So, in my personal opinion, an ideal location may be one that is within a reasonable radius of a small city or large town, say something with a population of 50 to 75 thousand residents. An area this size will have a decent hospital or two, with better trained professionals at the ready.
In the example illustrated in the graphic above, I’ve drawn 60 mile radius circles around three towns – each of which have around 75,000 people, while they are well away from a major population center. I arbitrarily picked 60 miles knowing that you can relate to about an hour drive (or a bit more depending).
I believe an ideal size town to live near, might be one with a population between 3,000 and 10,000 based on the notion that it will have enough facilities to accommodate essential purchases and basic health care requirements.
So, following that logic, an ideal spot would perhaps be on or near the perimeter of the 60-mile radius zones of a 75K city, where there happens to be a small town between 3K and 10K population.
If you are serious about discovering ideal locations, a great resource is www.city-data.com which shows population breakdown with an interactive map. Between that, Google Earth, and Zillow, you’re on your way to discovering your ideal Retreat 😉
You will definitely want to consider other criteria though, such as taxes (income – property – sales), political and religious blend with your ideals, state laws, etc…
For example, Oregon has the highest income tax in the land, nearly tied with California. Oregon’s property taxes are somewhat in the middle of the pack. Oregon has no sales tax.
With equal weighting applied to each tax category (income -property – sales), Oregon ranks 37th in the country (1 is most favorable).
Oregon coincidentally ranks the same (37th) when applying a weighting factor that may better represent someone’s tax concerns while considering a rural move (4x property tax, 3x income tax, 2x sales tax).
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