Bob Giramma, 63, had enough of San Diego and sought a calmer, less expensive location. After considering many cities, he chose Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which has little more than a tenth of the population of San Diego.
Murfreesboro, a community in the heart of the state an hour’s drive from Nashville, may not have all of San Diego’s skyscrapers and tech headquarters. Giramma, on the other hand, claims that his three-month-old move has exceeded his expectations.
He claims to have discovered a lively business community in Tennessee with a slower pace of life and a cheaper cost of living, allowing him to live comfortably and with less stress.
“We weren’t tied to a particular community, so we looked for an area that was more aligned with what was next for us,” Giramma was quoted as saying by Insider. “California was not in agreement with that.” Tennessee is a state.”
According to US Census migration statistics published in October, more than 22,500 former California residents relocated to Tennessee between 2021 and 2022. Between 2021 and 2022, about 818,000 individuals departed California for other states, compared to 475,800 who migrated in.
Many people, like Giramma, have relocated to avoid crowds and high costs for everything from housing to gas and have found better pastures abroad.
The former 19-year California resident runs multiple retail enterprises and worked as a corporate engineer until he left his job in 2018. With his children growing and moving out, he considered leaving San Diego since he could work from any place with WiFi.
Because the city had not developed much new affordable housing, San Diego, which Giramma termed the “finest urban area of California,” had grown considerably more costly and congested. He also said that the city’s politics prompted him to relocate.
“We began to speculate about moving a half dozen decades ago, reading articles here and there and creating a list of usual suspects,” Giramma told me. “People moving to Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Nevada, for example, North and South Carolina all came up quite a bit.”
After going down their list of places to visit, the couple decided to start with Tennessee. They chose not to stay in any other states after spending a few days in the midst of Tennessee.
Giramma, who claims to be semi-retired, owns a UPS Store in California and a small convenience store in the Boston suburbs. He collaborates with real estate investors on projects, including accessory housing units.
Finally, he stated that the burden of running his company was “hefty” in California due to costs, taxes, and regulations. In contrast, Tennessee is “one of the smoothest places for doing business” because there is no state income tax, and he claims that filing paperwork and other administrative tasks are more straightforward.
“To me, it’s beyond all those cultural, social problems that people like to fight about,” he remarked. “It’s just that the burdens of running a company and living in California became intolerable.” It helps because we have a reduced cost of living, are closer to family, and it’s simply a more excellent location to live.”
Lower pricing and a ‘decent middle-class’ way of life
Giramma and his wife, who had never lived in the Southeast before moving, are renting an apartment in Murfreesboro but looking for a home in Franklin, roughly 30 miles west of Murfreesboro.
Franklin’s average house price is substantially higher than Murfreesboro’s and slightly lower than San Diego’s, at over $856,000. Giramma, on the other hand, said he and his wife had met numerous other former Californians there and that the change in pace and quality-of-life advantages over San Diego remain appealing.
“There’s stuff going on all the time; it’s very family-centered, so people do a lot in the community,” he told me. “It’s a less stressful environment.” At this time in my life, all I need is a comfortable living location where we can conduct business and have fun.”
Nonetheless, he’s discovered that groceries are around the same price in both states. However, other expenditures, such as renewing his vehicle registration, energy, and utilities, are far lower in Tennessee.
He’s also had to give up San Diego’s reliably pleasant weather for Tennessee’s warmer summers and colder winters. Despite the absence of beaches, he claims Tennessee offers plenty of wildlife, activities for all four seasons, and a diverse cuisine.
Overall, he described his Tennessee neighborhood as a “good middle-class place to live” where most people he’s encountered are down-to-earth and quite pleasant compared to California, which he described as being “hollowed out in the middle.”
“You don’t see flashy wealth, and you don’t see abject poverty,” he remarked. “A lot of people fall somewhere in the middle, and in terms of diversity, those around me are of each race, ethnicity, and national origin.”