Tampa Here We Come! Again…

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I know I’ve been quiet for a while but several things have been going on over the last few months which has kept me pretty busy and unable to devote as much time to this blog as I would have liked.  One big change is that we’ve decided to move and become Florida residents once again.  We love Chicago and although most people gravitate immediately to the weather as the primary driver to move back to Florida, in our case it was really the economics.  As much as we will miss the coolness and conveniences of being in a big city, we will not miss the confined spaces and hefty housing costs required to support our sizable family in the city (my wife and I, 4 kids, 2 large dogs and a live in nanny)…not to mention the 5% Illinois income tax compared to Florida’s 0%.

Even with the obvious economic evidence, we struggled with the decision to leave Chicago because we really do love it. We love the culture, the vibe, the people, the entertainment & dining options as well as the relative proximity to our family in Wisconsin.  So…even with all of that, we decided that the cost of living in Chicago compared to Tampa was significant enough that it made sense for us to make Tampa our primary residence city and Chicago our summer residence city.  We are blessed and fortunate enough that both my wife and I have jobs that allow for this flexibility. 

So I’ll share some numbers with you all to put things into perspective.  We were paying 30% MORE for housing in Chicago than in Tampa and our home in Tampa is roughly 50% larger.  That does not include the outdoor living space that we’ve gained (which is not insignificant) as well as the 1 acre of land that the kids and the dogs now have to run around on.

So there it is.  We are Florida residents once again and in the end, we’re happy to be back.  Chicago, we will see you in the summer.