A boomer who moved from California to Tennessee said the slower pace of life and lower cost of living are big pluses – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

A boomer who moved from California to Tennessee said the slower pace of life and lower cost of living are big pluses

Bob Giramma and his wife Sue recently moved from San Diego to Murfreesboro, TN.

Bob Giramma

A boomer recently moved from San Diego to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for a lower cost of living.The semi-retired business owner said he’s house hunting for homes that cost half as much as in San Diego.He said his area is ethnically and politically diverse, and the pace of living is much slower.

Bob Giramma, 63, was over San Diego and was looking for a quieter, cheaper place to live. After contemplating a few locations, he settled on a city with just over a tenth of San Diego’s population: Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Murfreesboro, a city in the center of the state a one-hour drive from Nashville, may not have all the skyscrapers and tech headquarters of San Diego. However, Giramma said his move, which occurred three months ago, has surpassed his expectations.

He said he’s found a vibrant business community in Tennessee with a slower pace of life and a lower cost of living. It’s allowed him to live easier with less stress.

“We weren’t tied to any community, so we looked for a place that was more aligned with the forward path for us,” Giramma told Insider. “California was not aligned with that. Tennessee is.”

Over 22,500 former Californians moved to Tennessee between 2021 and 2022, according to US Census migration data released in October. Nearly 818,000 people left California for other states between 2021 and 2022, compared to just 475,800 moving in.

Many like Giramma moved away to escape the crowds and high prices for everything from housing to gas — and have found greener pastures elsewhere.

Deciding on Tennessee

The California resident of 19 years owns several retail businesses and worked as a corporate engineer until leaving his job in 2018. With his kids grown up and moved out, he began planning to move away from San Diego as his work can be done from anywhere with Wi-Fi.

San Diego, which he called the “finest urban area of California,” had become much more expensive and crowded, Giramma said, as he said there has been little new affordable housing built. The city’s politics also pushed him toward moving.

“We started thinking about moving a half dozen years ago, reading articles here and there and making a list of usual suspects,” Giramma said. “People moving to Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Nevada, North and South Carolina all came up quite a bit.”

After going down their list of states to check out, the couple first decided to check out Tennessee. After spending a few days there, they decided not to visit any other states and settled on the middle of Tennessee.

Giramma, who is semi-retired, said he currently operates a UPS Store in California as well as an independent convenience store in the suburbs of Boston. He also does projects with real estate investors in the accessory dwelling unit space.

Ultimately, he said, the burden of running his business was “really heavy” in California due to high prices and taxes, as well as regulations, while Tennessee is “one of the smoothest places to do business” because it has zero state income tax, and he said filing paperwork and doing other administrative tasks is easier.

“To me, it’s not even all those cultural, social issues that people like to fight about,” Giramma said. “It’s just the burdens of running a business and living became intolerable in California. It is helping that we’re getting a lower cost of living, closer to family, and it’s just a more pleasant place.”

Lower prices and ‘good middle-class’ living

Giramma and his wife, neither of whom lived in the Southeast prior to the move, are renting an apartment in Murfreesboro but are house hunting in Franklin about 30 miles to the west.

Average home prices in Franklin are much more expensive than in Murfreesboro and just slightly under those in San Diego at around $856,000, according to Zillow estimates. But Giramma says they’ve met several other former Californians who live there and the change of pace and quality of life improvements over San Diego remain attractive.

The change of pace and quality of life improvements have been big pluses to Giramma.

“There’s stuff going on all the time, it’s very family-oriented so people do a lot in the community,” he said. “It’s a lower-stress place. At this point in life, I just need a pleasant place to live where we can do business stuff and enjoy ourselves.”

Still, he’s found groceries have been about the same price in both states. However, other payments like renewing his automobile registration, electricity costs, and other utilities are much cheaper in Tennessee.

He’s also had to sacrifice the consistently warm weather in San Diego for the warmer summers and colder winters of Tennessee. Despite the lack of beaches, he said Tennessee still has lots of nature and activities for all four seasons, as well as a wide variety of cuisines.

All in all, he says his area of Tennessee is a “good middle-class place to live” where most people he’s met are down to earth and very friendly, as opposed to California which he said is being “hollowed out in the middle.”

“You don’t see ostentatious wealth and you don’t see abject poverty,” Giramma said. “A lot of people are in the middle, and in terms of diversity, my neighbors are of every race, ethnicity, and national origin.”

Have you recently moved to a new state? How does it compare? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider
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