Should I return to Russia/is America gone bad beyond hope?

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formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 3, 2018 - 09:44am PT
I stopped climbing (after a bad fall) a few years ago, but still look at climber forums sometimes. There seem to be a fair share of both liberals and conservatives on this forum, so I'm interested in opinions that would support a decision to move back to Russia versus staying in the US (I'm a dual citizen).

I'm a very low key lifestyle person, little belongings, don't need much space to live in, don't care for areas around me looking "fake nice", don't care of and oppose any "competition with the Johnses" and strongly support building whatever I want on MY OWN land, without ridiculous building codes, be it a yurt, teepee or whatever, this is a big deal for me.

Lately, I seem to have lost all illusions about America (where I had lived for over 2 decades)
My problems with the US:
 the country appears to be a forced labor camp run by the rich and heading into some mad direction of world aggression, destruction of own land, spiraling state debt and division between rich and poor, at this point.
I say "forced labor camp", because healthcare issue is the hook used to install the forced element here (below). I absolutely don't enjoy corporate rat race, which already made me physically ill, from stress and dissatisfaction from meaningless work (software engineer), and unable to work, basically, driven to a total breakdown and diagnosis of biploar disorder, along with some other issues resulting from prior accident.

 health insurance and medical care and cost situation is horrendous. It's worse than in most undeveloped countries. Obamacare medicaid expansion is being dismantled now, and low income people are back to being uninsured. Any health-related incident can lead to enormous charges due to incredibly overpriced, rip-off cost of medical services here (at least I'm looking at California, where I'm). And even with good health insurance like BS/BC: they fight tooth and nail not to pay for anything, and after they (insurance) pays, after disputes, appeals, you're still left with large bills to pay. Even a minor illness can bankrupt a person and major one can make them lose all their life savings, or put them into horrible debt burden, because of overinflated, sky-high cost of healthcare. Not to even mention accessibility of care in rural areas: care by specialists is very, very inaccessible (I have some experiences). Insurance rate are f insane now: yes, they're damn f*** batsh*t crazy and unreasonable and I refuse to pay them. Idea of always being a slave of some corporation, eating their crap, doing work I hate, killing my self daily over it slowly, just to have healthcare, does not fly with me.

 simple life is not allowed here unless you have big $$$. Housing is insanely overpriced. Incomes do not support existing housing prices, and more and more this ia a nation of renters with, again, skyrocketing rents. At the same time, draconian building codes and various local regulations prevent building a small, simple home and living in int. Same regulations prevent one from having basic agricultural animals to help with the groceries unless on a lot of significant size and agricultural zoning, which is expensive in current housing bubble. Not to even mention unnecessary property taxes. I'm childless and not interested in over-supporting schools by paying crazy taxes on my home (which they forced to be build big, whoever built it) From my standpoint anything over 1,200sq ft is a MacMansion. I grew up in a tiny space in Soviet Union, I lived in tents and tiny guesthouses and all is fine with me.

 I'm a remote worker (contracts, freelancing type). Because of ridiculous tax situation where telecommuters are forced to have double-taxation from 2 states and issues with "legal nexus" (for corporate taxes), in almost any work situation, I'd have to work being independent contractor on 1099, which means not having company health insurance benefit, even if I work for them.

In Russia:

There's still some remains of socialism present (though wrecked more and more by current wild capitalism).
 there's still free healthcare. Free one is low quality, because is severely underfunded, but its better than nothing or full bankruptcy. Also, for very reasonable rates (from standpoint of savings earned in the US) one can get higher quality paid services.

 there're plenty of cheap houses, even free to take houses, in rural areas. A lot of land one can lease for dimes, for doing agriculture. These houses are log houses, with beautiful look and energy inside them. No chemical crap in them (I'm allergic to almost all chemicals), all stuff is natural. Little to none building regulations. I can live in a shed, or yurt, and I can have a house without any plumbing inside, and it's perfectly legal and fine (most villagers use outhouses, and use saunas where they bring water by buckets, to wash). Or, I can install plumbing and septic, without some fascist regulations forcing installation of well or septic being incredibly expensive.
I don't have to compete with the Johnses, in fact every yard around will be pretty beat-up looking, rather I'd be concerned not to cause envy, if my home looks better than others.

 agriculture is welcome everywhere in villages, no matter how small lot is, there're cows running through villages and around the fields outside, all free pasturing, same with geese, pigs, chickens, horses. One can still ride a horse or horse carriage to town.

 the big problem, however, is property theft in most places. One has to be really creative here to save property, as they can lift a roof off a shed to get inside and can just haul entire shed away. There're some alternatives, though. Also, incidents of setting homes on fire resulting from neighbor conflicts or just local drunks being made at something (and been cases where residents were trapped inside, arsonists trap them preventing escape from the house). A lot of other crime and safety concerns, basically a 3rd world country situation.

 wild tall growing grasses, no manicured lawns, wildflowers growing tall everywhere, beautiful nature mess, like it should be rather than sterile, fake-looking, mowed, over-landscaped typical situation in the US towns and even most rural areas. I never could get used to the latter. Lack of tall/opaque fences in the US also, I'm subconsciously looking for them, for over 20 years, and it unpleasant not to be seeing them.

 being able to speak my native language and not feeling put down or just misunderstood/not understood, because of my accent anymore. And wonderfully cold climate, cold summers while very small number of ticks in many areas.

I'd like to live simple life, do small farming, few goats and birds, big vegetable gardens, things to make me food-independent. Work online when I can, other times just handing in, enjoying my gardening and animals. Not worried about bankruptcy or being sued for something. May be, if US establishes universal health care for all, either free or truly affordable, and housing prices come down to more reasonable levels,
I'd reconsider and move back to the US (after allI, previously I was hoping to live here until I die....until it finally settled int what's happening and the feeling of hopelessness had set in) Seem like s move to Russia is the winning move.
John M

climber
Aug 3, 2018 - 09:53am PT
if you are bi polar, then likely neither pole is good for you. If you have a modest income then there are second world countries with decent health care programs and rural living that one can find. Panama is one example. Super powers, even ex super powers, seem to have lots of big problems. Though smaller countries can too.

Edit:

(I'm allergic to almost all chemicals)

have you tried acupuncture? Its not a magic pill, but if it reduces the reaction by 30, 40 or 50 percent, which I have seen it happen, then wouldn't that be great?
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:00am PT
Both Russia and the US are huge landmasses with very diverse experiences from region to region. To try and make generalizations is a popular sport but falls short of reality on the ground. You make many sweeping generalizations above based on limited regional experience.

Every empire is on a trajectory that ends in collapse, every one of them. The top .01% of sociopaths will attempt to milk or murder you where ever you go on the globe. The key is to not play and live as debt-free and under your means as possible.

So move where ever you like best and try it out. If you're not tied down to family/kids then you'd be foolish not to.

If you do move, report back from time to time.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2018 - 10:07am PT
John M
if you are bi polar, then likely neither pole is good for you. If you have a modest income then there are second world countries with decent health care programs and rural living that one can find. Panama is one example. Super powers, even ex super powers, seem to have lots of big problems. Though smaller countries can too.

I considered alternative countries, such as Finland, for example, which has good universal healthcare, some affordably priced rural homes, perfect nature and climate, and may be, on a long term, this can become a possibility, as they do offer immigration path for self-employed freelancers and remote-workers. But I don't know their language. And at my age over 45 just don't see that I have any capacity to start from scratch again, like I did in the US, not knowing language, laws, customs and ways of life of yet a new country. I intimately know only 2: US and Russia.
(southern countries don't work for me because I can't tolerate heat: my idea of super-warm is 70F, and comfortable indoor temp is 52F...)
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:08am PT
Agree on regional choices within US. So many options.

I doubt one can say the US is gone bad beyond hope.

Grass is always greener. Vacationing is different than living day to day when assessing a choice about where to live.

If you want the cool climate and socialized medical. Why not move to Canada?
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2018 - 10:12am PT
fear

Both Russia and the US are huge landmasses with very diverse experiences from region to region. To try and make generalizations is a popular sport but falls short of reality on the ground. You make many sweeping generalizations above based on limited regional experience.

Every empire is on a trajectory that ends in collapse, every one of them. The top .01% of sociopaths will attempt to milk or murder you where ever you go on the globe. The key is to not play and live as debt-free and under your means as possible.

So move where ever you like best and try it out. If you're not tied down to family/kids then you'd be foolish not to.

If you do move, report back from time to time.

My regional experience is not limited! Not to even mention I lived nomadic lifestyle for years, having lived in all kinds of states and cities, and rural locations, getting on the ground experiences (which cut off 1/3 of the US from the list of placed I ever'd like to live in again).
I also know, I had spend years researching this: tax situation in every state, income taxss, property taxes, tax situation for telecommuters for out of state employers, building codes and other related regulations, property prices, climate, soils, natural hazards, local culture.

My conclusions are drown upon all the above, detailed research and on the ground experience. Should I add corporate culture experience, which I found to be intolerabe in the US>
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:12am PT
(southern countries don't work for me because I can't tolerate heat: my idea of super-warm is 70F, and comfortable indoor temp is 52F...)

I can relate to that! When renting, I used to leave my windows open in winter prior to having a family and find ice crystals in the sink in AM.

Try exploring Northern WY/Maine/MT... there are still 'wilder' regions with less local regulation out in the sticks.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:13am PT
Life is an adventure. When deliberating choice A vs B?

Choose C!

Go somewhere new! Mexican Riviera! Costa Rica! Argentina? Chile!

DMT
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2018 - 10:15am PT
fear
I can relate to that! When renting, I used to leave my windows open in winter prior to having a family and find ice crystals in the sink in AM.

Try exploring Northern WY/Maine/MT... there are still 'wilder' regions with less local regulation out in the sticks.

You haven't read my next reply: I explored all aspects of life in these states, and these are not suitable for me and do not solve the issues that are making me leave to begin with. States are affected by global country-wide situation, and at the same time have their own unique aspects. My conclusion is nowhere in the US I can escape these issues. And right now I'm unable to and don't want to get back into corporate path for a required big paycheck to live normal life here, probably permanently.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2018 - 10:18am PT
fear
Every empire is on a trajectory that ends in collapse, every one of them. The top .01% of sociopaths will attempt to milk or murder you where ever you go on the globe. The key is to not play and live as debt-free and under your means as possible.

So move where ever you like best and try it out. If you're not tied down to family/kids then you'd be foolish not to.

Yes, 0.01% of sociopaths will try to take all that is left, this is my strong feeling.
I'm debt free. I had seen total collapse during USSR crash, and the ones who lived simple life in villages still could make do back then, because their needs were extremely low and they could produce own food. All could surivive off the grid.
There were shared sandpoint wells to get water, though a kilometer away but people used sleds to carry water. Wood burning stoves for heat, etc.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:22am PT
You should let us vote where to send you.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:23am PT
It sounds like you want to move back to a rural area in Russia then... Why not try it out?

Sometimes learning a completely new trade can offer some perspectives and opportunities too. I come from an IT background as well which can be soul-killing although profitable. In my own case learning new skills constantly keeps me sane.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2018 - 10:25am PT
DMT
Life is an adventure. When deliberating choice A vs B?
Choose C!
Go somewhere new! Mexican Riviera! Costa Rica! Argentina? Chile!
The thing is that, not having a huge money buffer, I'm not in a position to just travel the world right now. Got to preserve my savings as mush as possible, as I'm not working and probably won't be able to for a while. (and as I mentioned I have trouble dealing with hot weather). So, I'd need to settle somewhere, at least for several years, start developing my little farm.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2018 - 10:32am PT
fear
It sounds like you want to move back to a rural area in Russia then... Why not try it out?

Sometimes learning a completely new trade can offer some perspectives and opportunities too. I come from an IT background as well which can be soul-killing although profitable. In my own case learning new skills constantly keeps me sane.

I guess half of my heart wants to move to rural Russia...and half to stay in the US.
You're right: try it out.
I can buy a rural house with 2 acres of land for 10K USD in Russia, easliy.
Can try and see what happens. Not a big loss if I can't sell the house, I'd spend a lot more in the US on insurances, realtor fees, rents, taxes, etc.

May be US situation changes and healthcare becomes available for all, or cheap.
May be housing will be brought to more reasonable levels. (I'm seeing fixer shacks on 2,500 sq ft LOT (no joke) in town notorious for asbestos cancer epidemic, asbestos infestation everywehre sell for 100K now!)

And then I can decide.
May be I'll find it to be so horrible in Russia now, because of crime and rudeness of people, and lack of human rights, that I'll be forced to go to some plan C (Belarus!) or back to plan A return to the US and try to find some niche I can survive in, at least having a couple of goats and sheep without county red-tagging my dwelling.

Even from rural location, I expect to still work contracts in my field IT/programming, it's soul sucking, but no alternative to be starting at my age. Learning house building, repair and agricultural skills are priceless for long-term survival and saving money...
John M

climber
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:34am PT
I never thought that I would live in the desert, but I do. I also used to sleep with my windows open in the winter. I slept 10 months out of the year on my porch. But this was Yosemite where winters are not that harsh. Once I left Yosemite, my choices that I could afford in the US were places with 10 months of summer, with 4 months being pretty harsh, or 10 months of winter. I chose summer. I still love the United States, but there are days when I wish that I would afford to move to someplace like Panama.

Canada seems like a possibility for you, but I do understand that choosing a new country requires a certain level of energy. When ones health is difficult, that can make new choices tough. I also deal with health issues. America is not friendly towards people with health issues and insufficient funds.

I hope that things work out for you. Perhaps look for a Russian community within Canada.

Edit: Belarus sounds good too.

Did you see my above edit about acupuncture? just curious about your experience.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:38am PT
When in doubt... keep moving.

Keep the tee-vee's turned off wherever you go. It's all Pravda.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:39am PT
I slept 10 months out of the year on my porch.


Damn dude you should limit it to just a few hours per night.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:39am PT
My conclusion is nowhere in the US I can escape these issues.


Ok, I'm out of this thread. You've decided already, you just lack the commitment. Otherwise, you would have already put money down on property in Russia. I predict you'll use the cover of your rejection of corporate culture to override the practicalities of moving elsewhere, since you seem focused on that, and that will get you the commitment you need.

Best of luck,
M
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:42am PT
Sounds like you need to go on a vacation to Russia and take a hard look before deciding...


John M

climber
Aug 3, 2018 - 10:42am PT
Damn dude you should limit it to just a few hours per night.

hahahaha.. that totally cracked me up. hahaha.. thanks for the laugh!
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