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Old 05-25-2015, 03:04 PM   #41
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This thread reminds me of a location I was assigned to for a few mo. On a task force of 10. Far end of the city, 41 miles one way for me, 59 miles for one of the supervisors.

One guy lived 5 minutes from this office.

We all had Nextel push to talk phones, with group contact feature.

4 pm on a Friday , most of us were just starting the commute from hell on the way home." Mr. 5 minutes from the office " hits us all , wants us to listen to" 2 strange noises at his house". First noise sounded like a garage door opener , second noise , beer can opening
Wow!! Did they ever find his body?
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:25 PM   #42
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I don't understand why anyone would live so far away from work for an extended amount of time. I lived less than 10 miles from work for all but a few months. 4 years I lived 9 miles from work and that seemed like it was pushing it in the winter. 10 miles would definitely be my limit. After that I would have to quickly find a new home or a new job. Now i'm self employed and drive less than 50 days a year for work.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:31 PM   #43
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My commute times/distances varied greatly, my thoughts on each.

1) New Orleans (4 years) - 45 minutes on the bus - acceptable, but not great. Occasionally ran the 7 miles home just as fast as the bus would get me there - that was more acceptable.
2) Houston (1 year) - 30 minute bicycle ride to office - I was young and stupid, but it was worth it to be the only bicycle rider at an oil company office.
3) Grad school (4 years) - 1.5 mile walk - heavenly, even in the Iowa winter.
4) 1st teaching job (5 years) - For 3 years of this I walked a mile - fantastic, even though I had to turn down offers of rides, day after day. For 2 years I also taught one period each day at another school district 10 miles away. Aggravating because I had to drive the 1 mile to my school and then dash out and back to the other during the middle of the day. The worst part was always feeling rushed.
5) 2nd teaching job (1 year) - 57 mile commute that took 57 minutes, all rural secondary roads. I found this marginally acceptable in the morning because I could do my day's planning in my head. The ride home felt interminable, however. I could not imagine doing this for more than a couple of years, tops.
6) 3rd teaching job (8 years) - 2 mile bicycle ride to work, then 2 miles from work to the golf course after school. A commute can't get better than that.
6) DC job - 4-7 mile bicycle ride or 30-45 minutes on the bus/metro. Biking was great and metro/bus time could be put to good use.

As everyone says - it depends on how YOU feel about the time you spend in the car. However, it seems to me that an overwhelming number of people have responded with how much they hated their commutes. I would also be in that camp.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:28 PM   #44
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Commute = unpaid overtime.

I live 1.5 miles from the office.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:54 PM   #45
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Wow!! Did they ever find his body?
Na , Killin is too good for him. He has got it worse, has to keep working at least 10 more years.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:05 PM   #46
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Na , Killin is too good for him. He has got it worse, has to keep working at least 10 more years.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:53 AM   #47
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I did a long commute of the miles = minutes variety for a year or two and hated it. It's the antithesis of what FIRE is about for many of us -- control and flexibility of one's own time. It's also like taking a pay rate cut of 20%. Plus roughly $250/week of car-related expenses (using $.50/mile). And if you're going to spend that much time in the car, you may want a nicer and more comfortable car which just adds to the expense and hassle.

Never again.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:01 AM   #48
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What do you guys think? Did anyway else commute almost an hour by choice? I'm a little worried it may get old after a while. Just looking for other opinions to help us decide on what to do here.
when I had an hour commute (Houston, late 80s) I wanted to slit my wrists so I moved close in

to each his own I guess
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:48 AM   #49
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In my 32 years of w*rking, I had a 30 minute or less commute for all but 5 years. For 5 years in my mid 50's, I had a hour, 15 minute commute that was 30 minutes of walking and the rest on the train. This was about as low stress as a long commute could be (always had a seat, could read or talk to a co-worker on the train). I still was very glad to be done with it. I was away from the house for 12 hours a day (long hours at work + 2 1/2 hours commuting) and had no energy to do anything except eat and then collapse in front of the TV when I got home. I did this for 5 years with a known end date. I would not have done it when the kids were young or if I didn't think it was temporary.

I strongly recommend that you rent for 6 months before locking yourself into a long commute. Its been my experience that jobs always suck more time than you think they will when you start and commutes also take longer. You may find that you never see your children during the week or that you're too tired to interact with them when you do.

In my experience, shaving 20 minutes off an hour commute makes a huge difference. Are there any acceptable places to live that are 20 minutes towards work from your relatives and the town you grew up in? Having grandma drive 20 minutes 2-3 times a week on off hours to see the kids is much less of a sacrifice than locking yourself into an hour commute 5 times a day during rush hour.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:03 AM   #50
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Ah memories! I used to hate my 1 hour commute each way whenever the job was tough sledding, but I didn't mind it when I was looking forward to being there. And I remember some days on the way home I'd be soooo tired I'd have to pull over and have a nap. Never could find a good job closer than one hour from home.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #51
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Here's the side of a short commute that I didn't like: to live near a place where I could earn a big-city salary, I'd have had to put up with lack of privacy, crappy neighbors, noise, high real estate values, high taxes to pay for city services, crime. Fifty minutes from my workplace (where homeless people were camped out in the parking garage) I was way outside the tension zone. Worth the travel time, IMO.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:48 PM   #52
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I live 35 miles from work. This equates to ~1 hr drive (45 min on weekend) in normal traffic and 1.5 hr+ in rain/bad traffic. So I chose to do the 1 hr 40 min (each way) commute. This involves 6.5 mile drive (give myself 15 min for lights and walking across parking lot); 1 hr on commuter rail (nap most mornings; pod casts/tv shows in afternoons); and 1.25 mile walking (~25 min). Occassionally I do drive, but just as far as metro, but 17 miles can take 1 hr on bad day.

My rationale is that I cannot abide more than 30 min driving. Too many tail gators and even then we all get distracted. I make great use of time (listen to some pod casts at up to 3x speed (Pocket Cast app), very little stress, but it is a long day. Plus I get 2.5 miles walking every day, which if I don't get a gym workout in, is better than nothing. Weather can complicate the walk, but there are ways to minimize this hassle (metro).

Plus, this has been only 1 year so far, and since we're renting, I'm hoping to move closer to work (and even closer to potential post-military-retirement jobs) in the next year.

Previous commutes were 30 mins/16 miles driving; 10 min/3 miles driving (walkable in summer, -40F in winter); 35 min / 22 mile drive (car pooled); 15 min/4 mile (drove/road bike).

As someone else said, if you're not making good use of your commute time, then it's unpaid overtime. Try public transport or car/van pool if that is an option. If it's NOT stop/go traffic, then it can be palatable, but if there is traffic, I'd consider getting closer, or looking at telework/alternate schedule to cut down on days or avoiding traffic.

That, or I'm buying a Tesla with their radar and their supposed 90% self-driving capabilities.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:03 PM   #53
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My rationale is that I cannot abide more than 30 min driving.
Agreed 100%.

Houston has essentially zero mass transit so we moved close in.

One of the last places you ever want to be is stuck on I-10, 45 or 59 for over an hour in the Houston summer.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #54
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I've almost always had a long commute. From 45 minutes to an hour each way. We choose to live in a rural area and that's just the price I paid. As I got older those one hour commutes each way with a 12 hour shift sandwiched in between got getting harder to do. Glad I don't have to do that anymore!
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:14 PM   #55
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I am 1:15 on the way to work and 1:20 on the way home.

Books on tape get me through until I retire.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:40 PM   #56
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So my one hour commute turned into 2 hours 20 minutes today, thanks to a fuel spill late this morning on one of the two bridges that cross the Cooper River. Still closed this afternoon, so the entirety of Charleston was trying to take the other bridge. Coastal living has its downsides.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:31 PM   #57
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So my one hour commute turned into 2 hours 20 minutes today, thanks to a fuel spill late this morning on one of the two bridges that cross the Cooper River. Still closed this afternoon, so the entirety of Charleston was trying to take the other bridge. Coastal living has its downsides.
That is rough Sarah. How close to retiring are you?

Ha
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:02 PM   #58
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Not close enough, dang it! Traded a few more years for me of work so that DH could quit at 50.
Such a good wife!
But probably 6 more years until I pull the plug.
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:56 PM   #59
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Not close enough, dang it! Traded a few more years for me of work so that DH could quit at 50.
Such a good wife!
But probably 6 more years until I pull the plug.
Ouch!

I noticed it when you said something like-"This commute is killing me". That is hard.

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Old 05-26-2015, 10:04 PM   #60
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My commute is 1 hour and 20 minutes each way. About an hour of that is a train ride. I use the train time to read the news, catch up on email, stare out the window. It goes by very quickly and is relaxing. Driving the same distance (about 35 miles) takes an hour at best, and there is no way I could do it daily if I had to drive. The stop and go traffic is brutal.

I would love to have a shorter commute to allow for more time with my family during the week. But where we are now has us on track for FIRE and it provides for a better quality of life. Our house is 1/3 what we would pay to live close in (along with lower taxes). Our lot is large with massive pecan trees. We are also within walking distance of a lake, historical downtown area, and a short ride to mountain biking trails. And we have the best schools in our metro area.

I never would have chosen to live so far in the burbs. I actually lived on Main Street in the dead center of my city before getting married and moving to my wife's house in the burbs. But after being here and seeing the quality of life it allows us to have and the financial security (house is paid for!), I wouldn't trade it.


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