Why not retire early and move to Las Vegas? (Assuming health care insurance would be available to me, on an individual basis, despite my medical conditions.)
1. Housing. Incredibly cheap in Vegas. I might possibly be able to buy a reasonable house for less than $200K, all cash, to eliminate mortgage payments going forward. With a yard, I could grow vegetables and fruits.
2. Transportation. Could downsize to a Mazda Miata, a car that’s always attracted me, and eliminate car loan payments going forward. (Could do that here in LA too.)
3. Food. Cheaper because I would have time to cook regularly, and grow some of my own food. At the same time, fine eating can be had in Vegas if desired.
4. Taxes. Lower federal income taxes, and maybe no tax at all, simply because income would be low in retirement. No Nevada state income taxes. Lower property taxes.
5. Health. With free time and no stress, I could live a much healthier lifestyle.
6. Travel. Vegas would be a convenient hub city, letting me travel easily to LA, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, etc. This would help me to stay in touch with family and friends.
7. Pets. With free time, I could finally get a dog.
1. Not knowing anybody there. But that’s been true whenever I’ve moved somewhere. You deal with it. By the same token, it’s not as if I have lots of social roots in LA, which makes it easier to consider moving.
2. I would miss the excitement (stress?) of work, and the pleasure of working with my colleagues. This might be offset somewhat by taking up new projects or part-time work.
Setting aside health insurance issues, and depending on how a careful analysis of expenses would pencil out (I need to do this analysis sooner rather than later), I think a move to Vegas may be economically feasible, and even beneficial from a health standpoint.
Ironically — the major reason not to do this is because of work. As stressful and problematic as it is, I do have a craving for the excitement of the work, and I enjoy socializing with my closest colleagues. IS THIS REALLY REASON ENOUGH TO KEEP ME HERE? That’s the question that I need to answer.
Renting in Vegas (or anywhere else) might be a better option, if I’m not sure I want to commit to a particular location, and if I want to maintain cash liquidity.