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Advice on moving to California

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Hi all. So, I am currently a PA-S in Pennsylvania and I'm set to finish in May. I would really like to move to Cali when I'm finished and I've been trying to look into areas around SD. I know there was a little discussion in another topic link but I was hoping for some additional thoughts/advice on this move. I'm not necessarily looking for a specific field or specialty at this point. I suppose my concerns, as of now are affordability, availability and how PA's are treated in the state. Thanks in advance for any info!

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California is through the roof expensive. I’m San Diego born and raised and I left for PA school and don’t plan on going back. It’s beautiful, but in my opinion, not worth the cost. If you’re set on moving there though, I’d suggest looking for somewhere to stay that’s not in main San Diego city. Look at the surrounding suburbs, or even cities a little outside of town (Temecula is nice). I’m a student and have not worked there as a PA though, so I can’t be of much help with regards to how PAs are treated in the state.

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I heard the pay in the LA area is really good for PAs, but crazy expensive to live. You can probably find an affordable place in a city about 45 min to 1 hour outside of LA, and then work at a hospital in LA, as long as you're willing to commute.

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I live and practice in SD.  The job market isn't awesome, but there is more demand the the outer limits of SD (Temecula, East County).  Housing is very expensive.  Traffic can be tough depending on what your commute is.  Financially, it does not make sense to live in Southern California.  The slight increase in pay nowhere offsets the very high COL.

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Guest HanSolo

A lot of it depends on what your goals are. If you're trying to save money for a downpayment on a house or quickly pay off student loans, for example, then there are better places to live where you can minimize your day-to-day expenses. If you're just looking for a change of pace, then I would say go for it. However, I will warn you, I have had a few friends move there with some romantic notion of waking up to go surfing, living in a small place near the water, etc. None of them stayed. They were all absolutely sticker shocked. 

I've browsed jobs there, and like cbrsmurf said, there are more options inland than near the water. 

 

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On 7/12/2018 at 6:34 PM, ak004 said:

California is through the roof expensive. I’m San Diego born and raised and I left for PA school and don’t plan on going back. It’s beautiful, but in my opinion, not worth the cost. If you’re set on moving there though, I’d suggest looking for somewhere to stay that’s not in main San Diego city. Look at the surrounding suburbs, or even cities a little outside of town (Temecula is nice). I’m a student and have not worked there as a PA though, so I can’t be of much help with regards to how PAs are treated in the state.

Came here to suggest Temecula as well.  Cost of living there is slightly more reasonable.  If I ever ended up back in SoCal, this is where I would look.  COL along the Coast is an absolute waste of money at this point.

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Beautiful state.  Compared to other states,  the taxes will kill you and housing will bury you.  If you bought a house in the early 1980s, or even better prior to 1978, or inherited property, you should consider it.  Otherwise, 10% taxes and an average suburban house cost of well over $750,000 in any commutable area will drive you over a cliff.  Very regulated environment for PAs.  The “book” of administrative regulations “interpreting” the law is over 200 pages long.   NPs are very favored north of LA.  Also, very high on natural disasters (with corresponding insurance rates), crime, etc.   

Great people though, and the restaurants are beyond the beyond.  

Get a great job in the Midwest or Texas and vacation And do your CME in Cali.  

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On 7/16/2018 at 3:43 PM, rpackelly said:

 

Beautiful state.  Compared to other states,  the taxes will kill you and housing will bury you.  If you bought a house in the early 1980s, or even better prior to 1978, or inherited property, you should consider it.  Otherwise, 10% taxes and an average suburban house cost of well over $750,000 in any commutable area will drive you over a cliff.  Very regulated environment for PAs.  The “book” of administrative regulations “interpreting” the law is over 200 pages long.   NPs are very favored north of LA.  Also, very high on natural disasters (with corresponding insurance rates), crime, etc.   

Great people though, and the restaurants are beyond the beyond.  

Get a great job in the Midwest or Texas and vacation And do your CME in Cali.  

Midwest weather sucks.  Suuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

Just saying.  If you like to go outside...don't move to the midwest.

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I grew up in CA and went to school in CA.  Ended up moving to the midwest.  From looking at jobs the pay does not correspond with the cost of living.  People WANT to live in CA and need jobs.  They can pay less and still get people who want the job.  Places like SD, OC, LA are desirable.  Think about your costs and goals.  If a house is important then you will live some where less desirable most likely.  Also factor in student loan debt (if any), your life style costs, transportation, and pay.  A 100K job is crap in CA in you want to be coastal SoCal.  Even you and a spouse making good money makes it suck.  If you are willing to go to Fresno, Bakersfield, middle desert places you can live a good life..... 

 

If you just want to get the CA experience and live life for a while then I say do it.  Don't get me started on the San Francisco Bay area, that I have no idea how anyone can afford.  

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On 7/20/2018 at 2:45 PM, cc56 said:

Don't get me started on the San Francisco Bay area, that I have no idea how anyone can afford.  

You can afford it if you are old and invested in the early 90’s before things got crazy.

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On 7/21/2018 at 10:05 PM, bike mike said:

You can afford it if you are old and invested in the early 90’s before things got crazy.

And those people are staying put.  House poor millionaires...That and the cash flooding in from China makes buying much of anything out in those areas a non-starter.  Even if you offer full price, you will still be outbid and even if you are the high bidder, if you have a loan good luck.  Most houses sold now are paid for with overseas cold hard cash.

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With Bay Area/Socal prices being sky high, you might consider doing a rent-share while you pay down some debt.

Basically you'll be renting out a single room in a house and share it with others. May be more attractive than apartments or easier to find roommates vs. apartments. I commonly see $1200-1700 range for 1BR apartments in San Diego. Rent shares may save you a couple hundred. Example:

Room For Rent near UCSD

I was recently in Pacific Beach and the beachside condos were about $2500 for 1BR.

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If you can get a job for 300k/yr and don't ever plan on having a family, then you might be able to afford a small house in a descent area of Cali.....one day. Otherwise I dont recommend. Move somewhere cheap like Austin.

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