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Question of the day

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019


Have you ever considered leaving Illinois? If you have, a new study says you are not alone. A survey out of the University of Illinois Springfield found while more people feel the state is moving in the right direction this year compared to years past, most still feel Illinois is going down the wrong road.

The UIS Research Center study found that 61 percent of people surveyed have considered moving out Illinois in the past year but researchers said it’s just a thought for many.

“When we look at the data, we actually ask folks about action related to the leaving the state and when you actually look at those actions,
Like applying for jobs out of state, applying for housing, it’s actually really low like in the single digits,” said Alan Simmons, Director of Survey Research at UIS.

* Bernie

On the topic of out-migration, 61 percent of respondents said they have considered moving out of Illinois in the past year. But of those 61 percent, only 16 percent looked for jobs in a new state and just 5 percent applied for such jobs; and 26 percent looked at out-of state housing but just 2 percent applied for such housing.

Reasons of those considering out-of-state moves included lower state taxes, 27 percent; state government and policies, 17 percent; better weather, 15 percent; lower crime, 13 percent; job opportunities, 12 percent; better schools, 6 percent; and family or personal reasons, 8 percent.

In 2018, 53 percent of respondents to a survey that year said they considered moving out of state in the previous 12 months. Simmons said that while the 61 percent in this year’s survey is higher, actions leading to actual moves out of state are “pretty low.′

“I think a wider study would need to be done to talk to folks that have left and maybe even folks that have moved into the state as well to … really unpack the kind of migration that has been going on,” Simmons said.

* The Question: Have you ever seriously discussed leaving Illinois? Explain either way. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - doofusguy - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Wife and I have discussed moving but haven’t followed up on looking for a new job or selling our home. Was wondering what the survey results would be for other states and/or the national picture - maybe a majority of everyone feels the grass would be greener in another state

  2. - Mason born - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    I was planning on moving west when I graduated SIUE, better hunting, fewer neighbors, & Mountains. My wife however thought our future kids should grow up around their grandparents. Now as our folks have gotten older and need more help, she was probably right.

  3. - Benjamin - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    The missus and I have toyed with the idea of moving, but mainly for career reasons or to be closer to our aging parents. Cost of living is an issue, but since we live in Chicago, lower housing costs elsewhere would be largely offset by higher transportation costs, which means the difference is small. Tax rates don’t factor into it at all.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Not discussed as much as thought. Those brutally cold days get lots of people thinking about leaving Illinois. Taxes? Nope—at least with respect to the state/federal income taxes. Never looked at a paycheck and thought I’m going to uproot my life and leave. Did look at a paycheck and think I need a higher-paying job.

    There are professional tax whiners and Illinois Exodus people who just look weak pushing their anti-tax talking points but still staying here. Go or get off the pot.

  5. - Fixer - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    My wife and I have discussed it a couple times over the last few years, but we like it here minus the winters. She has fibro and the cold is rough on her. We both grew up here and lived in other states during our twenties and came back. For our jobs, we’re paid well here and the benefits are solid.

  6. - Duke of Normandy - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    When I was in my early-mid 20’s after college (10 years ago amidst the economic crisis). But that was only if a decent job opportunity came up. A good one in the state became available and I’ve since lived in 4 cities in Illinois that were all 50-60 miles apart.

  7. - Todd - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    Yup looking at land in Tennessee and Indiana lower taxes better state government more solvent

    TN a s 1% more in sales taxes but $7500 less in property taxes for a house on 100 acres

    Better for 2A issues no Foid card bs what’s not to like

  8. - thunderspirit - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    I did leave for awhile twice, once right out of HS and once more in my mid 20s for work.

    As an “adult” (yes, that belongs in bunny quotes), I’ve seriously entertained it once, to the point of applying for (and being offered) a job. My now-former spouse got cold feet at the last minute and it all fell apart.

  9. - Driving a car - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    No not really. I wasn’t born and raised here so I suppose it’s a little different from most, but I’ve been here since I was 18 and I have no serious plans of leaving.

  10. - Keyholder - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    Definitely thought about moving to the pacific northwest. Better legislation, more like-minded people (i.e. less conservative, less hating of government, more environmentally conscious), more natural areas and state/national parks.

    Family/friends in the state, the costs of moving, and improvements in the political scene here have all helped keep us in place.

  11. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    Already gone - grandchildren are located in another state and we wanted to be closer to them as they grew.

  12. - Moby - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    No, not for tax reasons. Good wages and low cost of living here far outweigh any perceived high tax costs.

  13. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Yes. My career had a major setback in 2011 that took me years to get over, and I even interviewed in other states. It was the recession and nobody was hiring in Illinois for anything. The only thing that kept me here was my family, and my ability to get some money to keep me afloat working for Uber while I rode out the storm. Sometimes I wonder if I had just given up and left if maybe I could now be able to return stronger and more financially secure.

    When I see people like the CTU complain about their raises not being high enough it makes me want to scream.

  14. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Like others, we have thought about it, but not because we are trying to escape Illinois, but rather to be closer to family/pursue job opportunities. We have never come close to leaving.

  15. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Nope. Love Lake Michigan too much.

  16. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    I did move out for a while… Grass is not greener… Everywhere has pluses and minuses. Saying you are going to “move out of Illinois” is a political statement. I say go. The rest of us will continue to work to make Illinois a better place.

  17. - Perrid - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    This is my home. I have a good job with coworkers I consider my friends. My family is in the area(ish). I have no reason to leave.

  18. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    I was gone for college/grad school but that was about scholarships more than anything else. I don’t want to live anywhere I’d have to own a car or couldn’t get decent food delivered.

  19. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    “Everywhere has pluses and minuses.”

    Lower tax states like Indiana may have far lower incomes, so pay less taxes but make less money.

  20. - Glengarry - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    The idea has been toyed with, but with family and friends here. I’m not going to star over anywhere else when I’m pushing forty. I’d rather stay and be a proud Illinoisan, rather than be a whiner and move out.

  21. - downstateR - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    Not really. There’s complaining and trying to make it better and there’s complaining and threatening to move out. I love Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, but Illinois is home.

  22. - Scott - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    Haven’t seriously considered it. If I was going to move, it’d probably be somewhere a bit larger population-wise so there’d be more stuff and more to do (I’m currently in a town under 20k)…maybe still in IL…or maybe near the mountains. As long as I still have (or can find) a job here, I don’t plan on even considering it until both my parents and my wife’s parents are gone. Both sets are within 1 mile of our house, which works out great with our two kids.

  23. - Driving a car - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    ==Nope. Love Lake Michigan too much.==

    I second this. I can’t fathom living in a place that’s not near a beautiful body of water.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===Have you ever seriously discussed leaving Illinois?===

    Yes. About once a month. Yep.

    California, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Texas, they all get a serious look.

    In 7 years, yeah, I’ll probably be at a different address. In 5 years, maybe too soon, will be out in 10, yep.

    It will be the hardest thing I’ll do. I love Illinois. In reality, unlike the angry that move, or the dispaired that move, or the gleeful, I’ll be full of sadness.

    For me, it’ll be about weather, or other outside circumstances that will lead to my eventual move, but discussing it, yep, all the time. At the “this town and subdivision/housing/neighborhood is pretty sweet” level.

    As for now, I’m glad I’m here. I love it here, love it fir all the right reasons too.

  25. - Ebenezer - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    The idea that someone would see a 3% increase in the state income tax rate and call up the moving truck never made much sense.

    Perrid’s list of home, job and family are the factors that really matter.

    The better question is where have your kids settled? Are we attracting more kids from other states than we are losing?

  26. - Flapdoodle - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    Wife and I moved here *for* jobs in early 2000s. Jobs would be the only reason to consider leaving, but as I retired some time ago that decision is now definitely the wife’s call (as so many things are). But I don’t sense any great rush.

  27. - DGDGDG - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    All the time, but I was born and raised near Springfield and most of my family is here. I can deal with almost anything, but draconian gun laws will force me to leave.

  28. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    I considered moving out of Illinois, and then I did it. This was years ago.

    I moved back to Illinois about 3 years later.= and have been here since.

    The folly of my youth was thinking anyplace has to be better than here. It turns out when you go out into the world and actually live in those other places, Illinois is a lot better than almost any other place.

    “Here’s your lower tax bill. And here’s your gigantically higher water and electricity bill to cancel it out.”

    Taxes aren’t the only expense, or benefit, in life. Seems most people harping on leaving haven’t learned that lesson yet.

  29. - Ron - In Texas - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    I responded, but it must of have wound up in the filter…

  30. - Friend of the Program - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    I’m pretty young, just shy of 30, been here my whole life and just started a really good job that I’m very happy at. I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

    That said, I have a few family and friends in southern California and I’ve thought about making a move out there at some point. Certainly not because of taxes, more due to weather, food, agreeable politics, and year long golf.

  31. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Love to be in CA for winter golf. Most of the lower tax states have lower median incomes too. Unlikely
    to go anywhere

  32. - Shepherdgirl - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    We have discussed it- someplace with less income taxes and lower property taxes, more temperate my property here tho.. its my dream house.

  33. - Anon - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    Yes, but we decided for now to stay rather than try to convince elderly parent and in laws to move with us.

  34. - Bourbon Street - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    My spouse and I had good paying jobs in our working years. Thanks to those jobs, we can afford to escape south during the brutal part of winter, but we always come home to Illinois. Our family and friends are here. We have access to great medical care. There is nothing like Midwestern friendliness (including Chicago). Chicago is a world-class city. Many parts of Illinois are beautiful and have lots to offer. Great golf courses, hiking, fishing, shopping, etc.

    In short, there’s a lot in life to consider when deciding where to live.

  35. - Froganon - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    Moved here in our 30’s and fell in love with the Lake, Chicago and the prairie landscape. Taxes are not a factor. We like government services and are happy to pay for them. We’d Consider moving if our kids moved away and we needed their care. We’re committed to staying here and making it better.

  36. - Flyer - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    I could leave Illinois but never leave Chicago

  37. - 4 eyes - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:31 pm:


    When I was looking at colleges not too long ago the financial aid packages and general state of college campuses in neighboring states was very attractive.

    If you want to know why the state can’t seem to get out of this rut and grow, just look at the sheer amount of college kids from Illinois enrolling at Iowa State, Mizzou, Indiana and others.

  38. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    The wife and I are definitely moving in a couple of years once we retire but only for climate reasons. We plan on selling everything and buying 2 condos, one on Lake Mead and another wherever our daughter decides to settle so if she stays local we may still have a home here.

  39. - Ned Nederlander - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    When I was just out of college I thought about looking for jobs outside of Illinois, it didn’t happen. Since I established myself professionally in Illinois I have never seriously considered it. When I visit another city I always measure it against Chicago as a place to live. Very few cities in the world meet my personal standard. No place yet has convinced me that I could have a better life than my current situation.

  40. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    Yes, at some point in the not too distant future I may have the option of working just about anyplace. So we have talked about moving someplace with more trees and elevation. Someplace we could transition into retirement at some point, also to be blunt, the expected costs of my property taxes are part of the consideration. Would save several thousand a year in property tax in TN vs here.
    Likely not going to happen until the kids are out of school but don’t expect either of them to return to IL

  41. - Typical - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    Give me another decade and I am out of here. Kids will likely find an out of state college and we will be heading to Tennessee, Alabama, or Florida. Weather and taxes.

  42. - JDuc - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    Yep. Will leave when kids are off to college. Brutal weather, high real estate taxes, crime, and traffic and congestion.

  43. - Stones - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    We left Illinois for Florida upon retiring in 2016. Previously, we lived in Illinois for our entire lives. Our property taxes are 1/3 of what they were in IL for comparably valued properties. The roads are smooth with very few potholes. The weather is usually great. We really enjoy it and I would have to say it’s one of the best things we have ever done.

  44. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    I work remotely. I could easily “move” to a nearby state where I also have a home and also spend a lot of time visiting extended family. Why don’t I? Taxes. Retirement income is not taxed in Illinois, as we have often noted on this blog. Even with outrageous property taxes, Illinois is still cheaper for me. If and when that changes, I’ll “move.”

  45. - logic not emotion - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    Yes. Illinois could be a great state; but for a few things. Main things that have kept me here are family and friends.

  46. - The thought of it - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==In 7 years, yeah, I’ll probably be at a different address==


    Orlando Willy

  47. - Breyer85 - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    Yes this year I have considered it, waiting to see how much higher property taxes are going to be come December, if they approach 10 grand on a home worth 250 grand i’ll have to seriously consider moving out of state, I already work 2 jobs so not much more I can do to continue paying these ridiculous property taxes.

  48. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    - The thought of it -


    Ojai Willy
    Odessa Willy

    There is an Oswego, South Carolina…

  49. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    Yeah, I think about it often, especially since I work in government. So many political leaders prioritize loyalty and obedience over skill, so it is impossible not to think that it might be more fulfilling for my career to be someplace else.

  50. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    It is a definite consideration after my youngest graduates high school. Other states do so much more for disabled adults like my son. Illinois is ranked #49 for services for disabled adults even after the Rauner dry faucet got turned back on again.

  51. - JuMP - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    Discussed moving out of the country with the present administration. Won’t leave Illinois, I know the grass isn’t always greener. If you want to complain about the current State of affairs you best be part of the solution…

  52. - Proud Sucker - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    Never have considered it. Born, bred and raised on the northwest side, though I’m in the far western burbs now. As noted above, I make more money here than I would in most other places. As long as my wife’s arthur can handle the cold, we will stay. And, if that day comes, we will be snowbirds.

  53. - MSIX - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    We haven’t considered moving before retirement, but we did discuss post-retirement options. We sort of went all around the country (hypothetically speaking) looking for pros and cons (weather, population, cost of living, etc) and decided we’re pretty much satisfied with our current arrangement. Of course there are things we don’t like about Illinois, but the same goes for any other place. There is no Garden of Eden.

    The path Illinois is on does not keep me awake at night. The path this country is on as a whole is a different story.

  54. - Former State Worker - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    I have looked and was surprised to see how much more expensive it would be if I lived elsewhere, at least in places I would actually want to be. Housing prices have exploded elsewhere in the country and unless they come down then I’m not going anywhere.

    I’m single, have no kids and I telecommute so I could live anywhere in the country without changing jobs but my COL would go up almost anywhere else. Maybe that wouldn’t be the case if I lived in the Chicago MSA but downstate is still pretty affordable even with high taxes. The lower taxes elsewhere would be more than offset by a higher mortgage payment or rent.

  55. - Illinoised - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    Wife and I were ready to move to Texas two years ago but at last minute she didn’t want to be that far from her best friend who lives in Chicago. Our sole reason for moving was the weather, specifically the Illinois winters.

  56. - SpfdNewb - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    I moved here within the last couple of years, but leaving has crossed my mind a couple of times. I would either go back to the east coast to be closer to family or go further west, have not made up my mind yet. But if and when I leave, it won’t be because of taxes, that is for sure.

  57. - Earnest - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    No. Spent the 80s away–east coast for college, pacific northwest for the rest. Came back because of family and haven’t wanted to leave. I’ve moved between central and northeast IL a few times for jobs.

  58. - SpfdNewb - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    I forgot a couple of words in my 3:58pm post. First sentence should read “I moved here within the last couple of years *for a job*, but leaving has crossed my mind a couple of times.”

  59. - Been There - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    I won’t ever leave. My wife thinks she could possibly move because of the weather but that won’t happen. Grandkids are here. Too many friends also. We will take longer vacations though. Also we spend a lot of time at our out of state vacation home. But we won’t be moving there.
    Tempting though. But not to reduce our Illinois taxes but because the property taxes at the vacation home would be half if you are a resident. They gouge us out of staters.

  60. - horseplayer - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    yes. less than a year, and we’re gone. multiple reasons, but combined tax burden is #1.

  61. - Colin O'Scopy - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    I need to downsize and let another family enjoy the house and get the benefits of the great school district in which we live.

    But the only reason I would leave Illinois is because of the winters. I grew up here and never thought I would want to leave for any reason, but winter has broken my proverbial back and spirit. No other reason than the weather.

    In fact, I chuckle a little bit every time I read those “woe is me” posts about people who want to leave for “fill in the blank reasons” (except weather, for that I understand). For those, I say good riddance.

  62. - SOIL M - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:08 pm:

    Yes. On a regular basis. If not for an elderly parent right down the road, and Grand kids that are here often we probably would have by now. It will hurt leaving what is “Home”, but will happen. And yes, property taxes along with other high taxes will be one of, but not the only reason. Florida has no income tax and lower property taxes. Mississippi does not tax retirement income, and has one of the lowest overall tax burdens and cost of living in the country. They both also have the Gulf Coast, and are within driving distance to make it back to Illinois in a days drive if need be.
    So taxes will be part of the reason, living on a beach will be the other part of why we leave.

  63. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    I moved to Illinois for a job many years ago. I didn’t love it but I adjusted. I thought about moving when I retired last year but decided staying here for now is best for me. Weather, friends, and total cost of living are considerations for me. Also politics - too many states with warmer weather have too many right wingers - which will squeeze the joy out of any place.

  64. - Heading north - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    I’m originally from California but have spent a big chunk of my adult life and career in IL. I’m close to retirement from UI, and am actively planning a move out of state once I retire. This is going to sound incomprehensible to most people, but I’m looking for a place with a colder climate (I loathe spring and summer in IL, and I expect the entire country to get significantly hotter during what remains of my life). I’ve visited two retirement communities in Maine and Vermont so far, and will be heading to upstate NY to visit two more in a couple of weeks; then I’ll decide which of the three states it’ll be. Taxes aren’t a factor for me, and I have no close family left so that isn’t a factor either.

  65. - Teddy Salad - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    Midwest weather is an acquired taste and in all the time I have spent in Illinois, I have never acquired the taste. 1-2 years , out of here for dry climate.

  66. - Rudiforte - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    Grandson of Man,did you even read the poll results? The number one reason that people consider leaving Illinois is lower taxes. We are considering a move once the kids are out of the house. Why? The taxes here are simply too high and JB and the Democrats intend to increase taxes.

  67. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    ===JB and the Democrats intend to increase taxes.===

    On 3%. The highest 3%

    The progressive income tax fails, then probably everyone.

  68. - New Illinois - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    I’m counting on the Eastern Block being able to really get a new state formed, so then I don’t actually have to move to be in a different state. It will really happen won’t it :). Assuming the state capitol will move to Shelbyville…

  69. - Ano - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    We considered moving when our kids went out of state to college and thought we’d benefit greatly by in state tuition and lower housing costs in that state. When we factored in higher state taxes, increased transportation and loss of access to conveniences and other family members (airport access, libraries, park districts,etc.) we decided that we’d have to adjust alot and lose many nice things that we enjoy. Money isn’t everything unless it would be a very substantial savings. So we’re here and so is the rest of our family. Conviences start to matter with age.

    If you save on housing costs, you’ll pay somewhere else. Few states have the low(er) state tax that IL has. I mean, does anyone believe that other states function on mere pennies compared to us? Really?

    Our costs in Illinois may be high but so are our incomes, by comparison.

  70. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:32 pm:

    Yes, and am actively doing it.

    Best case I’ll be in NH within the next few months, and worst case by the end of summer next year. It will depend on what I end up doing to my house to prepare it for sale.

    I can work anywhere that I can get internet connectivity. I am in active discussions with real estate agents here and there, and am making regular trips to find just the right area.

    A plus is that I will be nearer my girlfriend, but I was planning a move even before that relationship heated up.

    I love Illinois, but politically and economically I see it as a lost cause for at least a generation. I’m middle of the road, but this just doesn’t feel like home any more. So, I’m taking my high value job elsewhere.

  71. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    We love Chicago for all the reasons mentioned above, and I’ve already lived on both coasts and the south. Taxes would never impact the why, but we hate the winters and we’re both outdoorsy types, so yeah, we’ve considered moving to Colorado or the Pacific Northwest. The complicating factor is that my professional life is pretty Illinois-specific and I probably couldn’t earn elsewhere what I earn here. That may change in a year or two though, so we’ll see what happens then. Even if we did relocate, we’d probably keep a condo here. Love it too much not to.

  72. - Merica - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    Yes. i have to leave illinois. i am young and i have three young kids. My parents, now retired and living in Florida, are trying to pass half a trillion in debt to my generation. it’s not going to turn out well. Continued reduction in services, higher taxes, continual reduction in property values, then default. my house has lost value since i bought it 5 years ago despite me spending countless hours and $20k improving it.

    1. State employee pension liability $250 Billion (rate of return is still unrealistic)
    2. State employee healthcare benefits about $100 Billion
    3. Downstate police and fire pension liability $180 Billion (rate of return is grossly unrealistic).
    4. Downstate healthcare benefits $50 Billion
    5. City of Chicago unfunded pension liability $90 Billion (rate of return is unrealistic).

  73. - Proud Papa Bear - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    At 19 I couldn’t wait to get out. I transferred to a college in Tennessee for better weather and topography.
    2 1/2 years there was enough.
    I love my state.

  74. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    TN - 3rd lowest overall tax burden - pension income not taxed

  75. - Rudiforte - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:04 pm:

    ^Booming economy too in Nashville. Memphis is awful though. Actually most of Tennessee is terrible.

  76. - Bemused - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:08 pm:

    Over time the wife and I have lived in several different States. In five years or so when she can retire we may return to the Texas gulf coast. We enjoyed the Corpus Christi area. We have no real anchors in IL.

  77. - twowaystreet - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:14 pm:

    I moved to Illinois almost eight years ago and the only time I’ve given meaningful thought to moving out of state is when I talk to my partner about having kids and the only reason we do suggest other states is because of proximity to family. No other reason has ever made us want to leave.

  78. - ChicagoBars - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:23 pm:

    The most patient soulmate in tbe whole world travels 100 days a year for work. So Dallas or ORD & Dallas or Denver would be much, much more time driving & less time living.

    But working with people from all over West Coast has led me to believe people can abide higher taxes if it means stability.

    But based on all the replies about staying near elderly family pretty curious if a grand migration will occur all over as baby boomers pass away.

  79. - ChicagoBars - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:24 pm:

    * So Dallas or Denver or ORD are the only realistic options with that kind of travel.

  80. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:43 pm:

    The fact that we are primarily responsible for 2 moms is why we’re not snowbirds. A week in Arizona each year is what we do for now. The weather and the politics are the reasons.

  81. - Pelonski - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:55 pm:

    I plan to move to a more arid climate when I retire, but I don’t plan to leave while I’m still working. The income to cost of living ratio in Illinois is one of the best in the country.

  82. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 5:57 pm:

    My family, friends, love of Chicago and most of the state, and feeling that this is my home keep me here, but you’re basically a fool if you think the City and State and political system are well-managed and not dysfunctional.

  83. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 6:05 pm:

    Have lived and worked elsewhere. Next move will be next to grand kids.

  84. - RIJ - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 6:19 pm:

    Yes, first when my pension was threatened as I neared retirement. I felt extremely betrayed and could not have remained, even for the retirement income tax break. Thankfully the ILSC upheld the constitution, because I do love this Illinois. (We also have a plan to relocate internationally in case the US outlaws our marriage.)

  85. - Return to Sender - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 6:20 pm:

    Yes, have moved multiple times for years at a time. Grew more professionally and experienced more than I ever would’ve had I only ever lived in Illinois. The professional competition in my field was more intense and stretched me for the better outside of Illinois. But I keep coming back. There’s something to be said for roots, family and friends, and I’m happy mine are in Illinois.

  86. - Jibba - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 6:45 pm:

    My spouse and I regularly tease each other with ideas of moving to Pac NW or Hawaii. But I know the grass is not greener elsewhere because these places have problems of their own that may not affect your vacation but would affect daily life. Taxes play no part whatsoever, but moving somewhere blue would be essential if leaving here.

  87. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 7:04 pm:

    Never gave it much thought, there’s money to be made in Illinois (especially Chicago) if you have skills and relationships, and all kids and grandkids are still here. My wife would move in a heartbeat but I’d bet she’d miss the kids.

  88. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 8:00 pm:

    Not a matter of if, but when. Not long till blessed retirement. Aging parent and my job only tethers remaining. Child, grandchild, lower income, sales, gas, and property taxes in nearby state. No reason to stay in a state so out of sync with my values that costs a ridiculous amount more for no good reason. It’s like paying for a beating. Yes, for me sky high taxes are a huge part of my reason for leaving. Very hard to ignore the thousands of dollars in tax savings to be gained by moving.

  89. - SSL - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 8:21 pm:

    We are well past the discussion point. The climate here is just too extreme. We don’t even get one month of spring and one month of fall anymore. The fact that Illinois is a fiscal disaster just makes it easier. Lots of nice places to land.

  90. - Seats - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 9:09 pm:

    No interest in moving. If our children all move out of Illinois in their 20s, I suppose there would be a decent chance we relocate. I’ve never met a place good enough to increase my distance from family though.

  91. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 10:32 pm:


  92. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Oct 9, 19 @ 10:52 pm:

    Depends if/when the house sells, probably next summer. Have some ideas on where to land but no firm plans. Central Illinois has not been completely ruled out, but my time in Cook County is (almost) over. Retired last year, so total tax burden went down significantly, but real estate taxes prevent me from upgrading to a nicer home (no way I’m signing up for ten grand a year for house taxes). I’d like to move my “stuff” into somebody’s basement and knock around the country for a year to decide where to put down roots, we’ll see. I’m SO done with snow. Too bad everybody older than I am discovered Vegas twenty years ago.

  93. - Quizzical - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 12:58 am:

    I like Chicago and have roots here but sometimes think of moving elsewhere. I see that my famlily’s housing dollars could go far in a medium sized city or town outside of Chicago. Chicago is a great place to livein, but sometimes think that house a block from the water in Manitowoc would be OK too. For me, it’s not the taxes, but the local monopoly cost of real estate that makes me wonder.

  94. - JoanP - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 6:57 am:

    Not seriously.

    During various polar vortices, I’ve wondered why I stay in Chicago, at least in the winter. But then I go to the opera or the symphony or the Art Institute, and I know I’d be crazy to leave.

    Also, I can’t afford to live in Venice.

  95. - Tim - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 7:30 am:

    Yes. Waiting until the last child finishes high school and then we will see. There us no way Illinois will ever be able to climb out of its financial hole without taking a much bigger chunk out of my pocket and you’ll have ti excuse me if I prefer to fund my own retirement rather than everyone else’s. Add the winter weather and the fact that this state continues to expect those that have worked hard their entire life to pay for everyone else and there are few reasons to stay.

  96. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 7:48 am:

    If the progressive income tax fails to pass, I’ll have to consider it simply because if that tax fails, it will result in massive property and sales tax increases that will consign the state to austerity economics for the next generation. Watching the Tribune already pouring gasoline on this particular fire is really alarming….hopefully people see through their destructive bluster. I am renting, as I have been throughout the time I have lived here, but I would be in the market for property if the progressive tax passes.

  97. - Pacman - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 8:02 am:

    My wife and I thought about it and we did move, moved to South Carolina. We moved for better weather, but have been dodging hurricanes since we got here. Taxes are lower, but I discovered you get what you pay for. Infrastructure here is crumbling due to a lot of people moving here from the northeast, mostly New York and New Jersey. not enough roads to handle the population explosion. The first time I drove at night here I thought I was in a third world country, hardly any street lights. good thing my high beams still worked. On a positive note people here are very friendly and the fall and winters are beautiful.

  98. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 8:13 am:

    Bye Tim. Don’t let the door hit you.

  99. - Martin Harvey - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 8:48 am:

    Born in Illinois; lived my entire 57 years within this state. My children went to state universities. During their childhoods, my family visited almost all other states, and some consideration to moving was given, but realities of career, extended family and friends caused us to stay. Next year, we are leaving. It has nothing to do with economics or taxes; it is entirely due to being tired, very tired, of winter. I am not entirely certain where my kids will end up, but they will probably not be in the same city. Thus. we are moving to Florida because we live by the philosophy “if you can’t live where your kids live, live where they want to go on vacation.”

  100. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 8:51 am:


    States can’t declare bankruptcy.

    ===out of sync with my values===

    What values are those?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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