Why Live in Wyoming
Why live in Wyoming? That’s a good question. One that is perhaps not so easy to answer. Look at my story. I was living in Oklahoma, working in a job I did not like. The J-O-B (that stands for “just over broke”) sent me to some management training at the Holiday Inn in Tulsa. I was standing in front of the hotel between meetings trying to get some fresh air when I noticed a truck with a Wyoming license plate attached to it. There was a man unloading some boxes. We got to talking.
He was an artist from Dubois, Wyoming, setting up for an art show being held there. We got to chatting a little about our lives, and about Wyoming. Having grown up in Idaho and visiting Wyoming as a child, I could relate to a lot of what he said. He was happy to be out of the snow for a week and I was yearning to be in it for a change. We did not talk for long, but the seed was planted.
Now let me tell you about living in Oklahoma. For six months of the year it is extremely hot and humid. And I mean really hot, and really humid. I am not suited for that kind of climate. It also seems that the older I get, the harder it is to deal with heat. A person can be sitting in the house watching TV with the air conditioning on, getting totally comfortable, then step outside to check the mail box which is only thirty feet away, and by the time you walk back inside, you are soaking wet in sweat. That just ain’t right. To stay comfortable, you have to leave the air on twenty-four hours a day and do not go outside. I just could not get used to that climate.
Six months later we moved.
I can still remember the day that we turned off the freeway at Rawlins and began our journey into the heart of Wyoming. It was early morning and the sun was just barely beginning to come up. We were almost the only ones on the road. The early morning vistas were unbelievable. We could see for miles in any direction. The mountains stood stark against the sky, and the sky itself was vast and blue, the air was clear and crisp. We had come into a different world. For the first time in many years, we saw antelope in the wild. They were everywhere. It was awesome. There were butterflies in my stomach, but deep inside, I knew that we had made the right decision.
Why live in Wyoming? I would have to say, that for me, it was personal. It was something residing deep within my soul that I can’t quite put my finger on. After twelve years, I’m still not sure I know the answer, but I know that it is a good fit. I do know this, after talking to many people over the years, those people who are here for personal reasons, are the ones who love it and hope to never have to leave. Living in Wyoming is an adventure to be experienced.
I’ve lived Wyoming for over 12 years now. My wife has been here over 18 years now. We have been here long enough to have a few opinions about living here. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences. We both had different circumstances that brought us here, but we both had some reasons that were the same. The biggest reason is that this is a great place to raise kids. We hope that you enjoy what we have to bring to the table.
Why live here?
- Population is less than 600,000 people. That’s about the same as Seattle. In Wyoming that works out to about six people per square mile.
- Here’s a biggie, no state income tax. Woo Hoo!
- The average home price is $189,000; eat your heart out California.
- State sales tax is only 4%.
- Retirement Income is not taxed, including that received from other states.
- No inheritance tax.
- No state gift tax.
- Low property taxes.
- No excise tax.
- No tax on mineral ownership.
- No intangible taxes.
- No tax on the sale of real estate.
- Schools are awesome.
- Great sense of community spirit.
- Cost of living is below the national average.
These are some very good reasons for living here. It is by all means not the whole story. Having spent twenty-five years in California, I can honestly say it is affordable to live here. Unless you go to Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole is not representative of the rest of the state. Jackson Hole is not what I would call affordable. Prices are very much like California. Teton County, where Jackson Hole is, has the highest personal per capita income in the U.S. at $132,728, surpassing even Manhattan with $120,790.
Food prices are right in line with the rest of the country, if not cheaper. In the summer time there is an abundance of locally grown food available at the local farmer’s markets. There are many small stores featuring organic food, and other healthy choices. I have even seen community gardens here and there. Grass fed beef is readily available from many of the local ranchers and at a good price compared to other parts of the country. Things we grow. Wyoming farmer’s market.
The weather is actually better here than what most people would expect. The sun shines most days of the year. There are a couple of weeks in winter where it gets really cold, and a few weeks in summer when it gets really hot. Since it is such a dry climate it is all pretty easy to deal with. For most of the rest of the year it is quite comfortable. A light or medium jacket will suffice for most of winter. Note: My wife did take offense at me calling the winters here not so bad. She says it’s damn cold and you should wear a medium to heavy jacket all the time. I will admit, she does bundle up pretty good when going out. The air quality here is some of the best you will find. It is clear and it seems you can see forever. The stars here do shine brightly at night. Wyoming Climate.
Shopping can be a bit of a challenge. There are only three malls in the entire state. Most of your needs can be met locally, and with the internet, getting what you need is generally not a problem. However, there are times when something more is needed. You could easily find yourself traveling a few hours to get to where there are stores featuring the kind of services you may be looking for. Casper Mall, Cheyenne Mall, and Rock Springs mall.
There are a lot of things to do in this state. There is no reason to be bored. There is snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, dog sledding, snow skiing, and boating. There are many organizations and activities to be involved in. There are many educational opportunities. Here are some fun factor links. Top ten Wyoming attractions and 50 things to do in Wyoming.