Slowly Sipping Coffee

A new FI plan emerges…

We are going to try to not make this a long post – please forgive us if it is. But, we are just so excited with our new Fully Funded Lifestyle Change (FFLC) plan, we can’t keep it from the world anymore!

You may have noticed we’ve been somewhat silent the last month or so… just a budget update and what not. Well, we’ve been busy doing some thinking about some circumstances in our lives and gotten a little distracted:

  • As you all know the markets aren’t great… no biggie, it happens and we don’t need that money for a while, but that does change our hope from hitting our FI number from mid 2017 to likely sometime in 2018 or later.
  • With the declining price of oil, it is likely one or both of us may get laid off this year.  If it’s Mrs. SSC that is actually a good thing, since she would love to spend more time with the kids.  If it is me – well, I like my job, and I am not 100% sure I can do the stay-at-home thing.
  • When we tallied our 2015 totals we realized that we spend a lot of money maintaining our house – and we began to question the rent vs. buy. This was mainly due to realizing we spent the equivalent of ~$1.3k per month on top of our mortgage for maintenance, and this house is only ~10 years old. That’s a lot of coin and it got us thinking. A lot. And this, is where it gets interesting…


#1 and #2 made us realize that we may have to wait to FI longer than we want, or that we may be forced into a move and a job hunt at any time.  We don’t necessarily want to wait possibly years for a market rebound and personally, we need a finish line that isn’t floating.  So, we have decided to pick a new date.  July 31, 2018, it’s a Friday.  There it is, our new FFLC date.  Well, unless we get laid off.  But, we think that date will get us close enough to our FI number even if one of us gets laid off this year.  So, July 31, 2018.  We will both still be 40 – just barely for me.  We will have spent all of our 30’s working big corporate jobs and the beginning of a new decade for us seems like a great time to make a huge change.

Because of #2 we are also changing our investing strategy for the near term.  We have 75% of our FI goal invested, which is awesome.  But, with the possibility of impending layoffs, and having two children we need to support, we are going to spend this year being more conservative and increasing our cash reserves in case our income is cut off, we will at least have some easier money to access without having to sell investments at a loss. This could lead to our backup plan referred to as our MFLC (Mostly Funded Lifestyle Change). The main goal being a Lifestyle Change, come hell or high water.

OK, because of #3 now let’s address “rent vs. buy”, because this is where our big “A-ha!” moment came.  I’ll try to explain it briefly, but to get a better understanding, feel free to click through to these links.  Go Curry Cracker and MMM have written good posts about this choice, and they’ve made great cases for renting and not buying. However, the ones that really resonated with me are these posts by Can I Retire Yet, along with a post about house maintenance by Money Smarts.

The numbers seem to work out...

The numbers seem to work out…

Using some of Money Smart’s numbers, along with some of our own, Mrs. SSC made a spreadsheet – which is essentially how we make every decision.  What we realized is that owning a house isn’t that financially awesome, no matter if it is “the American Dream”.  You can see from our chart that we estimate that the cost of maintaining a house is close to $6000 a year- probably more when you include the yard and random stuff like re-staining a deck or fixing a shower door or replacing a ceiling fan.  Looking at a quick estimate of the difference of the cumulative cost of buying a house vs. renting is almost $200,000 for our time frame!!! Whoa! That is nothing to sneeze at, that’s a lot of dough!

Lot of upkeep here...

Lot of upkeep here…

Maybe someday when we want to settle somewhere it would be nice to own a house for the stability, and it wouldn’t be in limbo that we may want to move in ~5 -10 years and take a big loss. We also dream of a non-traditional rental house with acreage that Mr. SSC could build a woodshop on, or build a tiny house for guests/renters.  Realizing that we don’t have to immediately buy a house when we FI kind of opened our eyes to the possibility that we can go live in a “dream location” for a few years while the kids are still in elementary school, before moving somewhere that’s maybe more practical (for us Virginia or North Carolina) to settle while the kids are in middle and high school.

Mrs. SSC has always wanted to live out West in the mountains with big snows and big sky, surrounded by pine trees without a Walmart in sight. I got to live in Denver for 9 years before the Gulf Coast move, and while it isn’t “in the mountains” I did work for a company that allowed me to spend most workdays in the mountains. It was awesome, because I caught myself a lot of times, looking around thinking, “Ah, this is one hell of an office view.” On weekends I would take advantage of hiking (I climbed 23 – 14’ers), snowboarding, fly-fishing, snowshoeing, backpacking, it goes on and on. However, Mrs. SSC hasn’t had that experience or lived in a place close to the Rockies to get those same types of experiences. Recently she has been even getting kind of down on the NC/VA idea just because she felt like she would be settling and tampering her mountain dreams.

Mrs. SSC wants to do this more often!

Mrs. SSC wants to do this more often!

With the realization of the relative lower cost of renting and with the kids still being young’ish, we decided – why not go live in a mountain town? Maybe near the base of some ski slopes where we can drop the kids off at school and do a few runs before lunch. Teach the kids to ski or snowboard all winter long, and camp and hike all summer long!  By the time we get to our FFLC or even MFLC we will have put in 10 years on the Gulf Coast and we feel we deserve to be ski bums (and snowboard) for a few years!

Mr. SSC never learned to ski... :(

Mr. SSC never learned to ski… :(

Thinking that our new date is only 30 months away – we realized we need to start traveling ASAP so that we can find our dream town!  Right now we have 3 contenders on our list – Couer d’Alene, ID; Whitefish, MT; and Durango, CO. I’ve gotten to spend some time in Durango, so it’s on my “Oh yeah, that’s a good front runner” list, but I’m intrigued with trying somewhere new too. We have more on our list, but these are the top ones we want to try to get to this year.


Do you all have any suggestions?  Our fairly short wish list is – good elementary schools, close to skiing, hiking and fishing, and house rentals (3 bed w/garage) for around/under $2000/month.  Give us your ideas so we can start to book some plane tickets!!!

45 thoughts on “A new FI plan emerges…

  1. Steve @ Think Save Retire

    Congrats on the new and improved retirement plans, and a huge, huge congratulations for deciding to move out west! I’ve been to all three cities that you’ve mentioned and, honestly, love them all. Last summer, we spent some time in Whitefish at the local breweries – it was truly awesome. So was Couer d’Alene, and I actually have an article about Couer d’Alene scheduled for February. I can’t speak to the school systems of these cities, of course.

    I would think that Durango would be one of the more expensive cities to find property in, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t options in your price range. And I definitely agree with your assessment on owning real estate, and I’ve come to the very same conclusion. People CAN make money on real estate, but home ownership just for the sake of home ownership isn’t nearly what it’s cracked up to be.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever own a traditional house again, but we’ll see.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks for the congrats! Really, coming to the decision to rent vs buy opened up a lot of new real estate and options for us. Mrs. SSC found a couple of houses that would be perfect for rent in Whitefish, and we’re doing our usual real estate perusing in all the different towns to get a feel for what we can get at what price. This year we’re planning to hit Couer D’Alene and Whitefish, since CDA has been on and off our list for over a year now.
      After seeing what we spent on just maintenance, not including stuff like mulch and other things it was eye opening how much leeway that got us with a rental.

  2. Our Next Life

    You already know how I feel about you guys moving out west, so I won’t push that point. :-) If you wanted to explore some bigger towns that are much closer to mountain things than Denver is, you could also look at places like Bozeman, MT, and Reno, NV. Reno especially is very affordable, I believe. But I think you guys have a great starting list, and I fully support actually being *in* the mountains, not just near them.

    I’m excited to hear about your revised plan, especially knowing how tenuous your jobs must feel as we all keep hearing about oil prices continuing to drop. I hope that stress isn’t weighing on you guys too much day to day — I’m sure having a super solid back-up plan must help a lot with that! (Your colleagues who don’t have backup plans must be losing a lot of sleep!)

    Those rent vs buy charts are so compelling. They make me wish that we lived in a “normal” place where housing prices don’t skyrocket every chance they get. Our value is already up almost 50% over the 2011 low point, and rents in our town have gone up a ton, too. On the plus side, we bought at the bottom and will be paid off soon, so buying still feels like the right choice in our case. But yeah, those upkeep costs — especially in the mountains, with the harsh winters and effects of altitude — are no joke! I would definitely not mind unloading those onto a landlord. :-) I think you guys are super smart to consider renting long-term, *especially* while you decide where you ultimately want to settle. I think it’s great for the kids to get a chance to experience different places. And all the most resilient adults I know moved around a lot as kids (including me).

    Love the new plan, you guys! Super excited for you. :-)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We think “in” the mountains would be better than near them as well. If you think that chart is compelling, wait until net week when we dig a little deeper into what was driving rent vs buy. Unless you get in somewhere when the housing is low, like your situation, and it experiences a housing and property boom, it is amazing how renting can be financially “a better deal”. However, we will still probably buy a house when we get to a settle down mode, but since that isn’t looking like it will be anytime soon, now we have many more options! I think the kids will like it too. Our oldest keeps asking, “When we move, can we move somewhere with snow?” lol
      Yesterday he was asking about moving near a beach, and we almost simultaneously said, “Mommy doesn’t like beaches long-term, so we’ll just visit the beach….” :)

    2. Hannah

      Bozeman is a great little area and the skiing is quite inexpensive (and awesome) for both beginners and advanced (who are willing to do a bit of hiking).

      It’s pretty far removed from anywhere, so you couldn’t do much traveling easily, but it does have some reasonable cultural amenities and I think it’s beautiful year round.

      I think that if Rob and I ever took a sabbatical with kids in tow, Bozeman might be a second choice for us (after Rifle, CO so we could live near family).

  3. amber tree

    The new plan you have sounds really great. Achieving a dream, putting a date on it and taking action is a great feeling.

    On the but vs. rent, I am a classical Belgium guy, so I am not commenting here (we are all born with the dream of having a house), neither can I give hints on where to look for great mountains…

    I am curious though on what Mr. SSC. is going to do in 30 months from here, considering this small remark:well, I like my job, and I am not 100% sure I can do the stay-at-home thing. This fascinates me as I am in the same boat: I like the job, it gives satisfaction. I will follow your story going forward.

    Enjoy the journey

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I’m curious about the stay at home thing too! I like my job, get satisfaction from it and think I will miss it when I leave it. I have plenty of other things to do to keep my as engaged, but I really do like what I do. Being stay at home will be a bit different even in the fall, as our oldest will start kindergarten, and all kinds of schedules will shift. I could do the stay at home dad option, if need be, but I don’t think I would choose stay at home over work, if it came down to one of us doing that. I love the kids, but I think I would have to learn a lot more patience if I was a traditional stay at home dad with them. It would be great, but man, I know after a long 5-6 days in a row with all of us at the house together, I find the quiet stillness of my office a bit refreshing and recharging, so i would have to find that equivalent “emotional” recharge to make that situation work for me.

      I’ll keep you posted when the time comes though, you can count on that. :)

      1. Amber Tree

        I am happy to read that there are other people out there that after a period of being-at-home-dad look forward to the office space. Me too, I like the tension between staying at home with the kids and going out to work.
        The thing is, I need to be challenged, it gives satisfaction. for now, I only find that in my work. I know there are other challenges out there, but I have not yet found them.

        1. Mr SSC Post author

          I bet there are a lot more people out there that enjoy the quiet of the office, even if they miss their kids at the same time. I don’t mind admitting that. :)

          I think it may be a bit rough at first, just adjusting and all, but like you and Mrs. SSC, I’ll probably have to find something in a “work” type realm to keep me challenged. I’m sure building a canoe is tough, but it’s a different type of challenge. I’m leaning towards finding a way I can help kids and young adults better deal with money so they don’t end up in my situation when I graduated and had almost $20k of credit card debt, $64k of school loans, and almost no savings/emergency fund.
          To me that would be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

  4. Stockbeard

    Congrats on the new plan.
    Our family plans to move to Japan in 2017, and the rent vs buy situation is slightly different there*, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we found similar results. I should run the numbers

    For example:
    – rentals don’t include any appliance such as dishwasher, fridge, etc… in Japan
    – prices of houses go down, not up in Japan. Buying a house is like buying a car. Except nobody buys an old house. They buy the land, pay to destroy the former house, then pay again to build a new house on the land. Completely insane. Not sure if I could challenge that kind of stuff and try to buy an older house there…

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Japan sounds exciting! That buy-tear down-rebuild is a model that I saw in Denver when I was working as a geotechnical/soils engineer, where people would buy smaller houses, and rip them down, but replace them with McMansions. Even in Houston, that is a common trend in the “older” parts of town. I am like you and think that’s just ridiculous, unless it’s a run down little shack, but it just seems so wasteful in SO many ways.

      That sounds like a totally different paradigm for real estate though, so good luck navigating those waters!

  5. Tawcan

    Congrats on the new plan, exciting times ahead. Moving West will be great, especially with skiing. Intriguing to see the rent vs. buy numbers. With moving to West in mind, I think rent makes more sense,that’ll give you more flexibility as well. Can’t say I know that much about the 3 cities you listed but Colorado seems like a good state to be in. :)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah, I mean, I’ve read all of those articles on rent vs buy and the ones I’ve commented on, I still lean toward buy. Having tracked our spending so closely for a year now and seeing the shockingly large number we put towards just repairs, and compare that with renting, it really changed my stance on it. Even though, there is this whole ” ‘Murican Dream” of owning your house, and the mantra of “your throwing your money away on rent,” or “you’re building equity in your house” it just doesn’t seem to play out right when you crunch ALL the numbers. Plus, we get to now explore places we “couldn’t afford to buy” because they ahve some slim pickings with rentals we can afford. :) woohoo!!

  6. Elephant Eater

    Like your ideas. Actually pretty similar to what we are considering.

    One place that we have looked at is Ogden, UT. Amazing skiing (Snowbasin and Powder Mountain) that are both a bit off the beaten path, no resorts so mostly local skiing. Also, very affordable. Not sure about school quality there.

    You also may also find this interesting if you haven’t already read it.

    It has us very interested in Driggs, ID. We love the Tetons but would never consider Jackson Hole as it is one of the most expensive places in the country. Driggs is on the back side of the Tetons, so could access that way and it is town closest to Grand Targhee which is supposed to be pretty amazing. Haven’t been there yet. Actually planning that as a potential vacation to check out though.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We’ll have to check out Driggs, that sounds pretty perfect! I think we have some other ID towns on there as well, and maybe 1 in UT as well. That article is nice with some good ideas to add to the list to check out. Jackson came up on Mrs. SSC’s initial search of “affordable ski towns” or something along those lines. Of course, so did Steamboat and a couple of other “spendy” spots. My first reaction to it was “Ka-ching, Ka-ching, Ka-ching!!” lol

      If you get to Driggs first to check it out, I’d love to hear about it! We’ll report out after our trips to Whitefish and CDA hopefully, later this year.

  7. Mr. PTM

    Happy to see that Denver wasn’t on your list! Don’t get me wrong, I love this city, but rent has exploded in recent years with demand blowing out supply. I like the Durango idea, but I’m biased. I spent my undergrad there and I still long to go back. You’re within an hour of almost any outdoor activity but surfing and it’s far enough away from big cities (ABQ ~ 3hrs) to still feel remote but easy airport access to major hubs. Congrats on making moves!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I loved Denver when I lived there, but for this go around we are wanting something that has a more community feel, and we felt like it would be easy to get lost in the ‘burbs again in Denver and miss that community feel. We also looked into some more front range towns, but then decided if we’re going West, we want to be “in” the mountains. I’ve been to Durango and loved it. We’re intrigued with something totally new, so we’ll keep it in the mix, but want to check out other states and ideas as well.

  8. Fervent Finance

    Congrats on the new plan! I’m constantly debating about the possibility of moving out west eventually, so maybe I can live vicariously through you guys. What about Utah? Heard those mountains are amazing!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We have a UT spot or 2 on our longer list. They have some pretty mountains. Alta, and Snowbird are beautiful, and are right up the canyon from Salt Lake City. We’ll try to keep the posts coming when we go visit and get closer to making a choice, and I’m even more excited about what things will be like going from the Gulf South to Mountains again. Yeah!

  9. Emma | Money Can Buy Me Happiness

    I recommend heading even further West, way out over the Pacific and then veer south all the way down to New Zealand! It sounds like you’d love it here :-) In Christchurch we can be on a ski field in under an hour, or at the beach in 5 minutes. There is great hiking nearby (we call it tramping here – like being a tramp, walking from place to place with everything you own on your back). Our schools are mostly excellent. Today (in the heat of summer) it was 89 Fahrenheit which is very hot for us – usually it’d be around 75.

    But seriously, I’m so glad to have found your blog – via the our next lfe blogroll – I’m stoked to find couples with little kids trying to achieve FI. We are going through the same thing at the moment and have decided to give up on ER for now and just work contracts interspersed with long bouts of travel. Part of our plan is to house swap – so if you ever do want to try out NZ, let me know :-)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I’m glad you found our blog too, and that you’re enjoying it! Christchurch sounds awesome, and I definitely will keep you in mind for a house swap. Currently, if we were to that, there’s not a lot to offer to do outside here, beyond the Gulf, boating, tramping in some swampy marshland, fishing, and bird watching. :) But, there is NASA nearby which has lots of cool space stuff, and New Orleans is only 5 hrs away, and there is a LOT to do around there, if you’ve never been to swamps or that sort of thing. There are some awesome tours around. Currently, this house would make a good home base to go check out stuff around the area. :) In “Hill-Country” just west of here, there is a growing winery movement that has finally gotten beyond sweet wines and now are making some good dry and even crisp wines if you’re into that sort of thing. Plus, the atmosphere in those wineries is still laid back and affordable.

      I’ll keep you in mind in the future for a house swap, that sounds awesome! I keep forgetting about places like New Zealand for a more permanent move. We won’t really consider going expat until Mrs. SSC’s parents have left the picture so to speak, but she is up for it once it is just us. I’ll keep that on the radar of our list of expat places when we get to that point. :)

  10. Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    I love this new plan! Our plan is to eventually have a mountain retreat that we can put on AirBNB when we’re not there. Have you considered Flagstaff, AZ? I visited there a few years ago and was in love. It’s a gorgeous, ski town with plenty to offer. And it’s a short 3 hour drive to Phoenix if you’re feeling like some desert. And it’s not far from Sedona. Another very cool town. I’m excited to read about your adventures!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah, that’s a good idea and we were thinking about doing something like that before we decided to do the ol’ “hmmm, maybe we can just “retire” instead” option. Even if we ended up buying a place eventually, we are thinking of building a “tiny house” or smallish guest house we could host company in or rent as AirBnB or on VRBO. It would be a bonus if we could set up our house some way to use as VRBO sort of property when we want to do an extended stay somewhere as well.

      We have considered Flagstaff, for all the reasons you mention. It’s on our longer list, for sure!

  11. Matt @ The Resume Gap

    Wow, awesome update! I’m completely biased, but I think you’d be making a great decision to move west. Renting de-risks the move enormously. If you decide you’re burnt out on Durango or Couer d’Alene or wherever, you’re not tied down by the need to recoup your investment. Alternatively, if you want to buy a big property to start a ski-in/ski-out FIRE commune, count me in!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks! You said it best in that renting definitely de-risks the whole adventure. Before when we’d consider mountain towns we had been a bit more conservative, due to the thought that if the weather is too extreme after 9-10 years on the Gulf Coast, or the town is too small,or whatever the reason we’d be “stuck” trying to offload a house and recoup that $$. Renting, heck, we could do it for a few years and if we like it, awesome, we can look for a place to maybe buy. If we don’t the only cost is a moving truck and some hard work packing. :) Plus, we could even try another town, another state, and not have the pressure of trying to sell our house.

      I like the idea of a Ski in/Ski out FIRE commune though. If we end up staying out West, then we’ll have to work on some version of that. :)

  12. Jason

    Congrats on the new plan. I have been to Durango and it is quite expensive compared to the other two. I would encourage you to also look at Bozeman and/or Missoula, MT. Both are college towns and I think you might like them. In fact, I might recommend you look into a college/ski town (not Boulder…too expensive). You get a ton of extracurricular and cultural ideas that are dirt cheap.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks for the suggestions. We had both of those on our lists from way back, for the reasons you mentioned, college town and surrounding activities. I agree Boulder is pretty spendy, and doesn’t quite line up with what we’re looking for. We’ll see what comes of the new plan and keep you guys informed.

  13. Ditching The Grind

    Your new plan sounds great. We liked Flagstaff when we passed through this summer.

    I’ve actually been rethinking our living situation, too. We don’t have much flexibility right now being military and all, but we were talking earlier today about switching it up and not living in the suburbs next time we move. We’ve always bought a house and I’m starting to think renting may be a good option to strongly consider.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks, Flagstaff seems like it could be fun, especially with the diversity in climates.
      We definitely want to try and not end up in the suburbs again, but I guess now with renting, we may not have as much of a choice. Hmmm, something I hadn’t considered too much until just now. I guess if we’re moving to an overall smaller town, then there probably aren’t suburbs to begin with.

  14. TheMoneyMine

    This is really cool that you could have this reflexion and come up with a plan. It must feel like you’re a lot more in control of the future, whatever actually happens.
    Living in Texas, snowboarding is an adventure by itself and like you, I would definitely enjoy being closer to the mountains (and the colder weather).
    I also wish you the best in your jobs for 2016. Our company just finished another round of lay-offs and almost 30% of the company is now gone since Nov 2014.
    Maybe I should start thinking about a plan too, we’re never too prudent.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks, and same to you with your job in 2016. Cuts are still happening all around, and until oil can climb up another $10-$15/bbl I’ll still be really nervous about coming in one day and finding out I’m out of work.
      My last team is down from 60 people when I started to 7 people now, although all but 4 of them were relocated to other teams within the company.
      I miss some colder weather, and enjoyed the little bit of coolness that came through this weekend.
      Beyond this overall plan, our shorter term plan is to beef up cash reserves in case of layoffs. We just aren’t too keen on selling assets for a loss if we need it, so we’re trying to stock up on $$ more than usual. With the markets still low, or losing it’s nice knowing $5k is still $5k if we need it and not $4.5k, lol.

  15. Prudence Debtfree

    This is all very exciting! The rent vs. own question requires such a paradigm shift. It’s so drilled into us that home-ownership is financially wise – not to mention a symbol of success. It’s cool that you’re willing to step into a different paradigm as you pursue your dream. All the best!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      It definitely seems like a paradigm shift, with all the social trappings that are attached to home ownership and renting. I have to say though if that’s what it takes for us to get to experience some mountain life for a little while, then i’m fine with that, and excited to see where the journey takes us.

  16. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Interesting!!!! I’ve been thinking about you guys with these oil prices crashing like they are. Love the new plan! We drove through Couer de Alene this summer – absolutely beautiful place! Lots of great places in MT. Bozeman is really nice, as Hannah mentioned. The lack of rainfall/water freaks us out a bit, being the preppers that we are, but we do talk on occasion about moving to MT.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s one of our criteria for a place to live is no drought issues. We have a map I’m sure we’ll share at some point but several states and areas are marked “too dry” because we don’t want to worry about water or lack of it, ever.
      So far most of the places get decent precip numbers and by renting if things get really bad, we can cut bait and leave with no real worries.
      We’re planning to get to Coeur D’Alene this fall and check out Whitefish then too since they’re so close. I’ll report back after that trip when it happens. 😄

  17. May

    This is great! I need to show it to my husband. I suggested we unload the mcmansion and he looked at me like I had two heads. We spend $1000 a month on the house before we have even made the mortgage payment, plus we have had a $1000 emergency every single year we have lived here. Plus all the beautiful equity – tied up in limbo land. Good luck with the new plan, looking forward to seeing how it goes.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeeowch, $1k/month before the mortgage sounds rough! Those home repairs and things like yard, mulch, paint, etc… can add up quickly. We didn’t realize how much they added up until we’d been tracking our spending so tightly and it blew our minds. Definitely doable for a rental instead. Plus, I like being able to try somewhere for a few years and if we get burnt out on the cold or whatever it is, we can move and not stress about getting our $$ back out of the house.

      Good luck on your situation, maybe running some numbers could be more beneficial than just suggesting to sell. I know I would probably give Mrs. SSC the same look if she’d done that a year ago even.

  18. jl

    Have you considered Salt Lake City? Right next to the mountains, but all the amenities of a large metro area, including a fantastic airport. Booming economy, 7 ski areas within an hour drive. Low crime, lots of culture. Way, way cheaper than Bozeman.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We have mentioned it, because I’ve been to Snowbird and thought it was nice. It initially got off the list because Alta made it, but then only has ~86 year round residents. I’d mentioned Salt lake City, but it hadn’t gotten much further than that. On the list it goes, thanks for the suggestion!

  19. Steven

    That’s amazing moving the date to July 31, 2018…..A Friday on top of it seems like it was meant to be! I’m not that familiar with the West Coast but I do have a good friend that lives out in Kalispel, MT and absolutely loves it, we have tentative plans to visit in September, I can report back by then;)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I thought the same and then was reminded by the Mrs. that in order to get Aug. health care covered, it will have to be in August at some point. Gah!!! Oh well, that’s assuming we are still working then anyway.

      I’d appreciate a report back, we’re hoping to get to Coeur D’Alene and whitefish this fall, but who knows. We’ll report out when we get back from there though..

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks for the suggestions! We have looked at Pocatello before, so it’s hanging out there, but the new ones we’ll have to check out. I’ll also have to revisit some WY destinations, because I had mostly dismissed it, due to all the constant wind on my times spent out there. Granted it was mostly around Red River Gorge area during my grad school work, but all the wind would drive me batty.

      I’ll add these new ones on the list of places to check out though, thanks again!

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