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

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Larry Nelson

Social climber
Aug 10, 2018 - 10:06am PT
Credit: Larry Nelson
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 11, 2018 - 03:34pm PT
pell sounds like the world our immigrant forbears deliberately left behind.

We are an existentialist nation that can do anything (except make Mexico pay for the wall).
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 11, 2018 - 03:41pm PT
I’m boning up on my Roossian for a trip there. One thing I’m willing to bet on is that the Roosky Border officers will be more welcoming than the Kanadians’ my last three trips there, but knott nearly as welcoming as that HAWT Swedish Immigration officer in June! OMG!
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Aug 11, 2018 - 03:49pm PT


Reilly,
Mountain climber, The Other Monrovia- CA


. . . . . will be more welcoming than the Kanadians’ my last three trips there, but knott nearly as welcoming as that HAWT Swedish Immigration officer in June! OMG!
Reilly-



Right , those Sweet-dishes i'ma-imagining grating on ya'- out of boredom at the border girls, um I mean officers?


. . . . .




I gnow, They sure have that reach around down pat
















? Pat down down pat.











formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2018 - 10:51pm PT
I haven't been reading the replies as I haven't been well.... reading them now, some good humor, and thanks for good wishes.

By the way, I'm not "he" but "she"; this makes the whole relocation to rural Russia more problematic (more dangerous, as crime is very high in rural Russia and the country is not women-friendly in general, but especially in rural areas, where there's lawlessness and the mentality like in the 19th century, at best). I'm still debating it, but it looks like Russia is the way to go.

I have only a modest amount of about 200K saved from past employment, when I had a good patch. Sure, I could buy a house in the US for around 100K, but having asthma and other problems... not sure how I can even support myself here, and here money can run out very fast. Can't breath well unless I'm in a very clean air....good luck finding that in any office now, or any other workplace, for that matter, stores, warehouses: everything is full of chemicals. World had changed. There used to be wood, brick, plaster, simple construction materials, unscented soap and now it's all chemical stuff, plus air fresheners and all the scented personal care products....It's a problem for me to go buy something in a clothing store, because of these fumes, I start choking. Can't use laundromat or walk near one, or wear anything that been there. I'm no good for anything here anymore. Not sure I can bet on finding remote work: heard it's been increasingly difficult in the US, despite expectations that with housing crisis happening companies should hire more to work from home.

People who say to go to places like Bulgaria or Spain (I don't even mention NZ or Australia)... same issue with expenses as in the US. Buying housing will eat up majority of the savings and then be stuck with a house to pay high taxes on and high maintenance expenses, eating into the savings. And this is in a country where you don't speak the language and don't know customs. Getting a residency permit is also expensive/hard in all safe countries now. Times of residency for 50K real estate are long gone... now it's more like 500K investment required. If I had 500K, I could live happily in the US.

In Russia, one can at least buy a house with decent lot for 10K and grow food... Russia, though, is about to enter severe economic crisis, I expect crime rate to jump, it's no picnic there and will be worse. Putin and Co have completely lost it, I believe. Also, people in villages are very hostile to newcomers/outsiders....they can do bad things and they do them all the time. Things like arsons, killing your animals.

But earlier, I've been living out of the vehicle here, done this for a long time.....and homelessness is my big fear, along with being hit by insane medical bills. It's like running on some crazy treadmill. Is it worth it? I worked like a dog at my last job, stress killing what's left of my health and I'm nowhere now... just lucky not sleeping in a car again. It wears you down not having stable housing and I haven't had one in 22 years, own shed or a big tent seems like heaven now, but here it's illegal to live in such.
Having 200K with zero safety net like family, you can't really do much here in term of simple living somewhere rural and growing food, etc. (may be I'm wrong but this is the math I've done)
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2018 - 11:07pm PT
Male life expectancy in Russia is 64 years, according to the Guardian newspaper. A quarter of males die before reaching age 55

Pension age just hiked to 65 for men there, without any buffer period, really, which is de facto economic default and cancellation of pensions/government obligation to provide them to those who had been paying into the system for decades.
John M

climber
Sep 24, 2018 - 11:07pm PT
Have you seen this article? Its from 2005, so I have no idea what is going on there now.

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/realestate/in-one-arizona-community-an-oasis-in-a-toxic-world.html

Found a newer article from 2016. I knew that I had seen something more recent.

https://www.mnn.com/health/allergies/stories/residents-Arizona-community-Snowflake-allergic-modern-life

I hope that you find an answer.


https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Snowflake-AZ/pmf,pf_pt/2098171642_zpid/47736_rid/globalrelevanceex_sort/34.839167,-109.629136,34.296366,-110.576706_rect/9_zm/
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2018 - 11:19pm PT
Thanks. I had heard about Snowflake/that community. The problem with living this way and same with just buying a lot and living in gutted Airstream in it while hiding from the county and keeping taxes low: technically, this is not a legal dwelling. People live without having a mailbox, I think. So, the county can come after you any time they want and chase you out, they had been getting smart about these things lately, using satellite photos and drones. Then, all or most of the invested money will be lost as selling "bare land" is difficult everywhere. I know that in a lot places people live in RVs, yurts, aluminum hangars, but these aren't ever permitted as permanent dwellings. What if the counties get greedy and start enforcing? Also, not sure if they got water sources there, water probably is getting trucked in, this is also a risk.

Alaska got no building codes... but land prices there are crazy high now.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2018 - 11:46pm PT
You need to read Tom Wolfe’s You Can't Go Home Again.

Yes, would like to read it. I had experienced it (high alienation) during earlier visit back to Moscow, and I know I'd feel like a stranger and a foreigner in Russia, and a lot of things there are now shocking and unacceptable for me (but I think some of this can kind of go away in about a year after a break-in period).

Russia seems much more corrupt than the us though. The govt system is ripe for abuse. And it seems the culture is more corrupt. I’ve had Russian friends who say they’d never go back because the police and politicians are corrupt and you can’t do anything about it. And as you mention theft is a problem. 
It's infinitely more corrupt. It goes far beyond simple "corruption". In earlier years, police in my home region had been kidnapping and killing lonely citizens (elderly, drunks, disabled, easy prey for them) to take over their properties (city flats, where real estate went up in price). They'd forge signatures on selling agreements and corrupt notaries would notarize them. Just one of the 100s of examples I could mention. And crime....yes, just heard about yet another mail delivery person being killed (over mail, trying to get hold of pensions being delivered) in the region where I was planning to go to....I got to go to another region.

Gotta disagree on building codes. Yes there’s too much red tape and fees but for the most part it’s about building safe structures and not having a cess pool pollute your neighbors well. 
Protecting environment from runoff is one thing, I can agree with this. Making the building safe....well I guess one could bring some arguments here too. But not allowing people to live in RV, hangar/shed (which would be certified for snow load and proper septic would be put in) or a tent for more than 6 months and requiring to build a huge, from my standpoint, structure (a lot of places have minimum square footage requirements) is just pure unadulterated greed. Regarding safety: modern building materials are not safe, they're quite toxic, so, again, this is really about greed. It's possible to permit a toxic manufactured home without any local building inspections, and not possible to live in a small structure made of natural wood built just like people had successfully done for centuries.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Sep 25, 2018 - 06:16am PT
Zoning and building regs are vastly different from state to state and town to town in the US...

I bet with a little research you could find a rural place in this country to suit your needs.

Build a tiny structure to code with whatever materials you'd like.

Detroit has some really, really cheap "clean" lots... :)

I think you mentioned you were bipolar... if that's true then that's not going to change with your address. Something to think about.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2018 - 10:19pm PT
Zoning and building regs are vastly different from state to state and town to town in the US...

I bet with a little research you could find a rural place in this country to suit your needs.

Build a tiny structure to code with whatever materials you'd like.

Detroit has some really, really cheap "clean" lots... :)

I think you mentioned you were bipolar... if that's true then that's not going to change with your address. Something to think about.

I've been doing such research for a few years already. There're almost no areas left that officially allow anything other than standard house with standard features; tiny houses aren't allowed. The only ones really are Alaska, and a bit of rural Wyoming and Missouri, and some of Montana. Land prices for anything accessible year-round and livable are very high in all: Alaska, WY and Montana. In WY and Montana getting a well alone is a gamble and can run 2000 ft. Missouri has only patches where there're "no codes". In the South, people do live in shacks in a few places, but it's in "bad areas"/ meth, high theft...and these are no legal dwellings, also immigrants not welcome. (I had lived in the Deep South too). County enforcement can be selective .... I'd need wired electricity, for work and to run heater, off the grid won't support it without investing $$$ in solar, so another limiting factor. It's much easier to do this off the grid. I've seen older locals living in things like RVs on their land...but I was told straight, "do you really think they (the county) would allow YOU to do that, if you moved here?".

Not sure what you mean by "not going to change with your address". In the US, it's rampant homelessness right now, for a reason, I've seen towns where camps are all over the place right behind the fences of "nice houses"; in Russia one can at least have a roof over their head and run little agriculture without breaking the bank. There're even abandoned log houses and whole villages of them.... And places like Detroit are not safe. I'm looking for rural ambiance and don't live in cities.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2018 - 11:13pm PT

The view that all of us can go somewhere and live anyway we like no longer applies. There are limited resources, water, land. We need to respect our neighbors as they need to respect us and not just f*#k things up to suit ourselves.

So, love it or change it for the better. For 99% of Americans it's really impossible to leave. I'm fortunate as I have US and NZ passports, as does my daughter. It ain't that easy for most.

That's right, about 99% of Americans wouldn't be able to leave if they wanted to...I only know of Georgia (country) that allows Americans to stay visa-free for 1 year, everywhere else is a shorter stay. The countries with point systems like Canada: good luck getting in after age 40... otherwise it's 500K investor visas, and most Americans don't have anything close to this cash. Getting residence permits is tough these days. I'm pretty lucky to have second citizenship and no debt.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 26, 2018 - 11:23pm PT
Uh, you can stay in most civilized countries if you gots the coin. With most you only have to get yer passport stamped elsewhere every 6 months, or declare yerself as a refugee. NBD
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2018 - 11:24pm PT
Not sure that after 22 years I had missed some aspect....unless some major political changes are going to happen? And I don't plan to invest anything other than what I'm ready to lose/leave behind in Russian real estate, so staying mobile. I even have a plan on how to leave if they shut all borders.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2018 - 11:27pm PT
Uh, you can stay in most civilized countries if you gots the coin. With most you only have to get yer passport stamped elsewhere every 6 months. NBD

Yeah, the coin in the lines of 500K+ USD.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2018 - 11:30pm PT
I'm not going to move any money over 10K at a time into Russia....banking system is very unstable and yes, there's mob, including in the banks themselves. Have to keep very low profile living rurally.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 26, 2018 - 11:33pm PT
former, if you’re willing to share an apartment I bet you can easily live in much of Europe,
even Scandihoovia, on $700 per week. You wouldn’t get much clubbing in but you could
become a better cook.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2018 - 12:37pm PT
No, I'm not willing to "share an apartment"... I'm not 20 and goats and chickens won't fit in, I'm afraid. Clubbing, better cook? :) Srsly?? I'm well over 40 and cook my entire life. Haven't ever driven a new car, eat in a restaurant about once in 10 years, gone 10 years without seeing doctor before (for lack of insurance)...

Without house/land maintenance part (but including home insurance and tax), I need $1300/month to live comfortably (in the US), with a paid-off house. House repairs part depends, really. I think can get away with $200/month, if averaged over years, for a small house.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 27, 2018 - 07:23pm PT
If you can live comfortably in the US on $1,300 a month you have a potentially lucrative career in the making telling people how to do it.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Sep 28, 2018 - 11:36am PT
I think you mentioned you were bipolar... if that's true then that's not going to change with your address. Something to think about.

It's troubling that you can't figure out what the above means.

It means you can move as much as you want, as far as you want; you will still have the same brain with all the same problems, you will still be bipolar, with all the problems that carries. You can't outrun it. It doesn't get filtered out by a visa or a border. A different culture exposure doesn't fix it.
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