Despite the high cost of living, San Francisco is an amazing place to spend your life.
I came to San Francisco in 2001 from NYC due to a job opportunity in investment bnking. I decided to stay forever because:
1) Being able to go snowboarding in two feet of powder at Sugar Bowl on a Saturday, and play tennis in a t-shirt and shorts on a Sunday in 68 degree sunny weather was incredible. Funny to say, but this was my #1 reason for planting roots and never considering anywhere else. Life is not work. Activities make life.
2) The air is fresh. I’ve lived in Beijing, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, and Kobe for 13 years and traveled all throughout Asia, and fresh air is at a premium in much of the world. You’re smoking two packs of cigarettes a day living in Beijing!
3) Endless job and entrepreneurial opportunities. After I left banking in 2012, it was incredibly simple to finding six figure part-time consulting jobs. At one point, I had three part-time consulting jobs paying over $30,000 a month. Hard to find this opportunity anywhere else.
4) Easy to build entrepreneurial relationships. I run this personal finance site that started in 2009. After making a livable income stream after 2.5 years, I decided to negotiate a severance and focus on Financial Samurai full-time starting in 2012. Living in San Francisco makes it is so easy to meet all these fintech companies that are relevant to my writing for lunch, dinner, or drinks. Because I’m here, I’ve been able to develop deep relationships with my partners and get the best rates and the most access.
I was even able to consult part-time with Personal Capital, one of the leading digital wealth advisors in America for two years, learning about digital marketing and the fintech business between 2013-2015. It was a blast!
5) Real estate was a way to build wealth. Coming from Manhattan in 2001, I found SF real estate to be at least 20% cheaper for the same space and quality. Because the lifestyle was better than NYC, SF real estate felt like a goldmine. So I bought in 2003, 2005, and 2014 toso I wouldn’t have to work forever.
6) Maximum use of the year. I used to live on the East Coast for 10 years. It sucked for two months during the winter because it was too cold and one month during the summer because it was too hot and humid. Granted, playing tackle football in the snow was fun, but in San Francisco, you can spend 12 months a year doing something fun outside without freezing or experiencing a heat stroke. It’s Jan 1, 2018 and I’ll be playing softball in 61 degree weather for example. You’re getting your money’s worth living out here. And besides, being able to see the ocean and watch the sunset everyday can’t be beat.
7) An opportunity to make big money. There is currently a tech IPO bonanza going on with Uber, Lyft, Palantir, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack and more all going public. People want to come to San Francisco to strike it rich as an IPO millionaire. There will be over 10,000 new millionaires between 2019-2020 alone, with many more to come in the future.
Enjoy San Francisco Once, And Leave Before It Makes You Hard
San Francisco is great, but it’s not easy to raise a family as an early retiree like my wife and I. As a result,I bought in 2005 for $1.52M in 2017 for $2.74M. It was the easiest $1.22M I’ve ever made.
I reinvested $500,000 of the proceeds in real estate crowdfunding to take advantage of cheaper properties with higher valuations in the heartland of America.
Fundrise is by far my favorite real estate crowdfunding platform. It’s free to sign up and explore.
Now I’m planning to move within the next five years to Hawaii before my son goes to kindergarten.
Enjoy life and leverage technology to work more free.
About the Author: Sam began investing his own money ever since he opened an online brokerage account in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college working at two of the leading financial service firms in the world. During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate.
FinancialSamurai.com was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites today with over 1.5 million organic pageviews a month. Financial Samurai has been featured in top publications such as the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.