I Can Never Move

Out of Washington State. Maybe.

Photo credit: Ian D. Keating, CC BY 2.0.

So when I was researching whether Washington State protected IRA assets from garnishment/seizure, Billfolder L.M. Schulte aptly noted that these protections would not apply if I moved to another state.

Believe me, I have been thinking about that for a while.

Between these retirement account protections (a minor factor) and the absence of state income tax (a major factor) am I setting up a situation in which I won’t ever want to move out of Washington State?

I am not in any hurry to move out of my current apartment, and yet I know that at some point there will be another apartment, and given the rising cost of rent it will probably be further from downtown Seattle—and I don’t want to move out of Seattle, I am starting to put down roots and get to know people and get involved in my neighborhood, but like everyone else I am constantly asking myself when I might be priced out of this neighborhood, and whether I should save a little time and money by moving to a less-expensive city right away.

So I go onto Reddit and I read about Tacoma and Bellingham and Spokane and Olympia and Port Townsend, and then I think about whether I should consider Boise or Missoula or Madison or Iowa City, and then I remember all of the advantages of living in Washington State and I think “wow, I can never leave.”

And, when I check Craigslist, it’s not like the rents in Downtown Wherever are that much cheaper than what I’m paying now, and if I elect to move to a Washington town or suburb where rents are significantly less expensive, then I find myself in the situation of probably needing a car—and when I do the math on saving $400 in rent every month while adding in a car loan, insurance, gas, and parking, plus the extra time and stress involved in taking care of a car, I keep thinking I’m best off exactly where I am.

But yeah, I don’t think I want to leave Washington State. In addition to the political and social factors—which I should mention as another major reason to stay—it just wouldn’t be financially prudent.