Author Topic: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI  (Read 5037 times)

Carl500

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Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« on: May 26, 2018, 07:31:35 PM »
Hi Guys,

I've won a green card through the lottery and will be moving over to the USA shortly. I'll be moving over from Australia (28 y/o). Here I'm working as a teacher but I'd like to change my career to something better paid. I don't have any significant ties/family/ or friends there so I will be pretty much starting from scratch. I do have a small amount of FU money saved up though (just over 100k USD roughly).

My question is, if you were going to move/live in the USA and you had no significant ties to any place/family/friends, where would you live? And why? This is considering you would still need to earn your stache.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2018, 08:45:26 AM »
You haven't given us enough information.  There are a lot of good places to go based on where would be a good fit for you.  What do you want to do if not teaching.  If you want to say work in Finance instead of NYC I'd say Charlotte.  How do you want to live, do you want seasons stay north/midwest; want warm Arizona/New Mexico etc.  We need to know more about you. 

nkt0

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2018, 09:11:57 AM »
Agree that we need more info on your likes/dislikes/lifestyle. But I do know that almost every big city on the west coast will eat into your FU stash pretty fast.

Less expensive places abound in the Midwest (Kansas City, Milwaukee, Louisville, Pittsburgh) if you can handle the winters. Southern cities also are less expensive, including big ones like Atlanta and Houston (if you can stand the humidity and long summers).

Tons of smaller places too. College towns are popular among the younger set.

In the end, the US is an incredibly diverse place. Itís 50+ mini-countries rolled into one.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2018, 10:27:57 AM »
The U.S. is huge.  There are vastly different lifestyles depending on where you live. 

Don't assume teachers don't get paid well.  In some parts of the country like Boston-New York City Metro areas, parts of California and many high cost of living areas teachers are paid very well considering they get summers off.

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2018, 11:01:10 AM »
Teachers don't easily switch states here, for a variety of reasons. If you're going to be one, assuming you can become credentialed in a timely manner, choose your area wisely.

For achieving FI, you want the city which will let you save the most. Not necessarily earn the most, but retain the most. You can always move after that. Yes, housing in San Francisco is 40k instead of 10k in Minneapolis, but if you make 150k instead of 50k, you're still ahead. Numbers made up, but you get the idea.

From a practical perspective, I'd stick to the west coast (or Hawaii) if you're going to regularly go back to Australia to visit family or friends.

Carl500

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2018, 06:13:36 PM »
What do you want to do if not teaching. How do you want to live, do you want seasons stay north/midwest; want warm Arizona/New Mexico etc.
I'm thinking I'd like to go into the real estate industry, either in sales or development, I'm open to different industries though. I'm not overly picky about climate, the earning potential of a place is more important at this stage for me.

Don't assume teachers don't get paid well.  In some parts of the country like Boston-New York City Metro areas, parts of California and many high cost of living areas teachers are paid very well considering they get summers off.
That's true, I guess it not about the money, I think I'm burnt out from teaching and I'm looking for something different. I like small business, performance based renumeration and independence so that's what I'm looking for in a new job/career path.

For achieving FI, you want the city which will let you save the most. Not necessarily earn the most, but retain the most. You can always move after that. Yes, housing in San Francisco is 40k instead of 10k in Minneapolis, but if you make 150k instead of 50k, you're still ahead. Numbers made up, but you get the idea.

From a practical perspective, I'd stick to the west coast (or Hawaii) if you're going to regularly go back to Australia to visit family or friends.
I won't be traveling back frequently to Australia, maybe once every two years so proximity doesn't matter too much. Yeah I'd prefer to live in a HCOL location and get a higher salary because my net savings would be higher if possible.

My basic plan at the moment is to move to Astoria, Queens within 20 mins commute of Manhattan and rent a room for approx 1000USD per month in a shared place. Spend $120 on public transport a month (not own a car) and try to take advantage of the high salaries available in NYC to maximise my net savings. But this open to review/critique, I'm not married to this plan.

Thanks for the input thus far everyone.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2018, 11:58:49 PM »
Here is my critique:

Real Estate Agent median salary in NYC is a little under $50,000 (source: google search "salary.com").  What I've heard, second hand, is that you have the top 5% (or maybe 1%) of real estate agents are rock stars bringing in big bucks while the rest eek out a living.  $1000/month rent for a single room while earning only $4000/month pre-tax isn't getting off to the right start for reaching FI...  unless you already know that you are a rock star sales person.

Real Estate development - do you have experience?

OTOH - a brand new teacher with only a Bachelors has a median salary of $56,000/yr in NYC.

Big salaries in NYC are from working in the financial sector (often times either as an MBA doing sales, finance, data scientist, or software engineer), or as a professional (attorney, doctor), and that small percentage of "rock star" performers in a variety of fields.  Being single and young go ahead and shoot for the stars, but I'd have a backup plan and a time limit on how long you are giving yourself to make it big (maybe 2 or 3 years?).

If all you want is to hit FI quickly, research which states have the best statewide pay packages for teachers and go teach in a rural underserved ultra low cost of living town while reaping the benefits of a statewide level pay structure (check out millionaire educator).  It sounds like you may want the "excitement" of NYC, but you'll pay the price for said excitement.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2018, 04:47:57 AM »
Also now Astoria is a hip part of town if you are looking at NYC, look for rooms in Jackson Heights or Flushing instead, still on the subway line but a little father out.

Carl500

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2018, 04:53:14 AM »
Also now Astoria is a hip part of town if you are looking at NYC, look for rooms in Jackson Heights or Flushing instead, still on the subway line but a little father out.
Thanks, I'll look into cheaper options.

Here is my critique:

Real Estate Agent median salary in NYC is a little under $50,000 (source: google search "salary.com").  What I've heard, second hand, is that you have the top 5% (or maybe 1%) of real estate agents are rock stars bringing in big bucks while the rest eek out a living.  $1000/month rent for a single room while earning only $4000/month pre-tax isn't getting off to the right start for reaching FI...  unless you already know that you are a rock star sales person.

Real Estate development - do you have experience?

OTOH - a brand new teacher with only a Bachelors has a median salary of $56,000/yr in NYC.

Big salaries in NYC are from working in the financial sector (often times either as an MBA doing sales, finance, data scientist, or software engineer), or as a professional (attorney, doctor), and that small percentage of "rock star" performers in a variety of fields.  Being single and young go ahead and shoot for the stars, but I'd have a backup plan and a time limit on how long you are giving yourself to make it big (maybe 2 or 3 years?).

If all you want is to hit FI quickly, research which states have the best statewide pay packages for teachers and go teach in a rural underserved ultra low cost of living town while reaping the benefits of a statewide level pay structure (check out millionaire educator).  It sounds like you may want the "excitement" of NYC, but you'll pay the price for said excitement.
Thanks for the reality check, yes those stats aren't particularly impressive. I still think I'd rather earn $6k less as a real estate agent then continue teaching though. I just did the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test and my 5 top traits are Strategic, Achiever, Analytical, Futuristic and Competition. As you can see, I'm not really the nurturing compassionate type that one needs to be to find teaching rewarding.

I don't have any real estate development experience but I was thinking I could potentially work for a developer in an internship, and then hopefully be offered to work for them after to get experience before eventually dipping my toes into projects with my own money (a bit of a dream or maybe delusion?).

Finance is definitely something I would consider. I like giving financial advice to friends (or anyone that will listen) so I could see myself working in a financial advisory role, that could potentially be more lucrative than real estate. Although in real estate you get the benefit of being able to work more/harder/ more efficiently for more money compared to a regular 9-5 with fixed hours, a boss and rigidity. It's not so much the excitement that I'm interested in, it's more that I want to have access to upward mobility and career opportunities as well as dating opportunities (I'll be looking for a girlfriend to settle down with over the next few years).

Hula Hoop

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2018, 05:44:54 AM »
Also now Astoria is a hip part of town if you are looking at NYC, look for rooms in Jackson Heights or Flushing instead, still on the subway line but a little father out.

I agree with this Astoria is $$$$ nowadays. 

I have a lot of friends who have worked in finance in NYC and they all had degrees in finance or finance related fields.  If you have a teaching degree and background it might be difficult to convince them to hire you - unless you have some other skills of course.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2018, 05:50:13 AM »
Get into a research and development field such as Proctor & Gamble, Duracell, Cocoa Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg's, Nestle, Diageo and many others. They have awesome bennies, very deep pockets and pay extremely well. There are good opportunities to go up the corporate ladder. You can start in a lowball position and if you are really good, the promotions will come. A food science background would be more ideal but some positions they will accept just a college degree. Duracell is not a food company.

Carl500

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2018, 06:27:47 AM »
Also now Astoria is a hip part of town if you are looking at NYC, look for rooms in Jackson Heights or Flushing instead, still on the subway line but a little father out.

I agree with this Astoria is $$$$ nowadays. 

I have a lot of friends who have worked in finance in NYC and they all had degrees in finance or finance related fields.  If you have a teaching degree and background it might be difficult to convince them to hire you - unless you have some other skills of course.

Yeah true, it may not be worth the struggle/time trying to get into finance since I don't have a background in it.

Get into a research and development field such as Proctor & Gamble, Duracell, Cocoa Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg's, Nestle, Diageo and many others. They have awesome bennies, very deep pockets and pay extremely well. There are good opportunities to go up the corporate ladder. You can start in a lowball position and if you are really good, the promotions will come. A food science background would be more ideal but some positions they will accept just a college degree. Duracell is not a food company.

Interesting, thanks for the input. Do you work in this field? This seems like an interesting field to get into. Which cities have more of these jobs? NYC? Charlotte? or just any large city?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 07:31:03 AM »
Yes, I worked in R&D for 22 years. I worked in Food Research for 18 years and Medical Device Research for 4 years.

Do your homework. See what R&D jobs are out there and if you have the strengths they are looking for. Go to their websites and see what careers they are hiring for. Go to Glassdoor and see what people are saying about the company and salaries. Pros and cons.

The great thing when I worked in Food R&D was that I travelled a lot to different states to represent the company. They would also send me to seminars anywhere in the USA every year too.

The Food Research job was with a giant corporation and had all the bells and whistles for benefits and 401k matching. The device company was a tiny company that paid well, did not match 401K and I never got one raise in 4 years. I was in my late 50's and just wanted to keep the job for as long as possible so never bitched about it. Then I did get laid off along with 4 others. The company was financially unstable.

A small R&D company should be thought of as a stepping stone to getting into a better, bigger company. Get a year under your belt, suck up all the knowledge, then find a GOOD company to move to! Unfortunately, I went the opposite way. Went to a great company then went to a crappy company.

If you are a team player and hard worker it is a great job. Very interesting work.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 07:50:30 AM »
Yes, I worked in R&D for 22 years. I worked in Food Research for 18 years and Medical Device Research for 4 years.

Do your homework. See what R&D jobs are out there and if you have the strengths they are looking for. Go to their websites and see what careers they are hiring for. Go to Glassdoor and see what people are saying about the company and salaries. Pros and cons.

The great thing when I worked in Food R&D was that I travelled a lot to different states to represent the company. They would also send me to seminars anywhere in the USA every year too.

The Food Research job was with a giant corporation and had all the bells and whistles for benefits and 401k matching. The device company was a tiny company that paid well, did not match 401K and I never got one raise in 4 years. I was in my late 50's and just wanted to keep the job for as long as possible so never bitched about it. Then I did get laid off along with 4 others. The company was financially unstable.

A small R&D company should be thought of as a stepping stone to getting into a better, bigger company. Get a year under your belt, suck up all the knowledge, then find a GOOD company to move to! Unfortunately, I went the opposite way. Went to a great company then went to a crappy company.

If you are a team player and hard worker it is a great job. Very interesting work.

What was your background when you got started in R&D?  This type of job seems like it would suit me well.  I've always been good at compiling and sifting through information and putting it in a neat package.  I've been checking out fiverr.com and it seems there is a lot of demand for online researchers.  I've thought about a little side gig doing this just to get my feet wet.  Would this be a helpful stepping stone for a full time R&D gig? 

(sorry for the hijack OP)

Roadrunner53

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 08:02:46 AM »
I got into R&D as a temp in 1987. I was a grunt technician basically. Eventually they hired me as a REAL technician and was called an Associate Technician. I had no college education for this job. I learned on the job. My boss told me this stuff cannot be learned in college, it is all new to everyone on the job. I eventually got a promotion to Technician and then finally Senior Technician.

I regret not having a degree because I could have really climbed the ladder. I did exceptionally well as a technician. My pay was outstanding and I had 6 weeks vacation. They also had a pension plan which I rolled into an IRA when I left.

Today, I am sure they would not hire anyone for any job without a degree. I was the last dinosaur that crawled thru the door.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 12:12:00 PM by Roadrunner53 »

Bicycle_B

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2018, 11:16:13 AM »
You could look for business jobs, such as the R&D jobs mentioned, but in cheaper cities than NY. 

Recently the US Census Bureau (I think... some govt dept, anyway) did a study comparing various US cities from the viewpoint of 20something job seekers.  They compared salaries and employment % vs real estate costs, looking for the place that provided the best advantage.  They concluded Minneapolis-St Paul was tops.  Good example of Midwest city with cold winters, lots of jobs, and cheap living.

A similar study by the company Bankrate.com put Minneapolis number two for building wealth:

 https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/the-best-cities-for-building-wealth-in-2016-some-of-our-top-picks-may-surprise-you/

Different methodologies for calculating this could give different results.  Your own results will vary depending on the choices you make.  Good luck though!!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2018, 12:32:12 PM »
Adam Zapple, the type of work I did was physically conducting experiments. On food, you make batch after batch, day after day to try to match a gold standard. For instance, if you were trying to make an apple pie like Marie Callender you would always compare your recipe to Marie's. You would have taste panels decide if they were identical. You would have discussions on what it is missing or has too much of. Then sometimes companies send their product with the gold standard to focus groups to have them tell you what is good or bad about the product. They may also ask does it have too much sugar, too much cinnamon, too much crust to apples. The survey could be pages long. Once the feedback comes back then back to the bench to tweak the recipe again. Then more taste testing, more focus groups. Once the match is satisfactory, pies must be made and put into storage. They are stored at various temperatures and held for about 9 months to determine if they hold up and still taste good. Plus, this will determine best use by dates. During the 9 months the pies would be removed and tasted and samples sent to microbiology for testing to make sure it is an edible, safe product and it is checked for nutritional evaluation. So the Technician is in charge of all this once the product is made in the pilot plant. The Technician keeps track of the samples, bakes them, takes photos, measures them, records all of this pertinent information during the course of the 9 months. Then on top of that, that won't be the only storage study going on. You could have 20 storage studies going on. The Technician may be asked to attend the focus groups to prepare the samples. It is very hectic to work in an unfamiliar environment. It isn't a job where you sit at a computer all day long. You are typically on your feet all day long recording your results in a lab book.

Depending on what your type of job is, most technicians are performing testing on machines. If you were working on a rubber product you might have to use a machine that will pierce the rubber or a machine that stretches the rubber. Then there are tests to put pallets of product on a shaker machine to simulate the product being transported by truck. This test will give you an idea how the bottles, cans, or other materials might react in transit. Sometimes there is breakage then the packaging might need optimization. There is so much stuff in R&D it would make your head spin. My point is, that most people in research of products are not at their computers all day long.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 04:14:21 AM by Roadrunner53 »

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2018, 03:22:23 PM »
Carl500 -

What area is your Bachelors and/or what area did you teach?

Another avenue that is open to you, is to be a "technical trainer" or other similar corporate trainer.  This leverages the teaching background without requiring much on the compassion and caring scale with higher pay than most teaching jobs.  You don't need to be in the biggest cities, just need to find a company that sells devices/software that have a complexity component such that their dealers, sales force, customer service reps, etc need to have a high degree of training in order to operate the device or software successfully.

I'm taking the idea that you should leverage what you have into a higher paying situation rather than jumping into a brand new field where you may not be able to have as much success.  Unless of course you have ZERO passion even teaching adults...then in that case - absolutely change fields and leverage your original Bachelors degree to acquire a different career path.

Another suggestion for Real Estate Development:
Go to several of the nationwide builder's websites (Richmond American, KB Homes, Standard Pacific, Pulte, Shea Homes, Toll Brothers, etc) and find out what medium cost of living cities they operate in and try to get hired in those areas.  Ignore the ultra high cost areas they operate (southern california, seattle, Northern Virginia, etc) because you'll go broke trying to find housing when you really want experience and a chance to reach FI.

Steeze

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2018, 06:01:29 PM »
Astoria is a great neighborhood and $1000/room is definitely  still doable in a share. I lived up there last year and paid $1050 with all utilities included. I will probably move back there next spring since DW and I are looking for a 2br for around $2000/mo, and Astoria is one of the better neighborhoods in that range.

I've lived in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, Sunnyside, and Astoria on 30th ave. Astoria was by far the best. And the only place my mom felt safe when visiting me!
-100k at 25, 0 at 30, +50k and counting! FI Target 2030

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2018, 06:19:04 AM »
Carl500 -

What area is your Bachelors and/or what area did you teach?

Another avenue that is open to you, is to be a "technical trainer" or other similar corporate trainer.  This leverages the teaching background without requiring much on the compassion and caring scale with higher pay than most teaching jobs.  You don't need to be in the biggest cities, just need to find a company that sells devices/software that have a complexity component such that their dealers, sales force, customer service reps, etc need to have a high degree of training in order to operate the device or software successfully.

I'm taking the idea that you should leverage what you have into a higher paying situation rather than jumping into a brand new field where you may not be able to have as much success.  Unless of course you have ZERO passion even teaching adults...then in that case - absolutely change fields and leverage your original Bachelors degree to acquire a different career path.


I just went through a computer technical training course, our successful instructor was great because he understood we were there for a goal, to learn a specific set of goals, and was able to read the room well to figure out when he was loosing the bulk of the class.  (Meaning the 95% of us who had very limited technical backgrounds.). We had an "academic instructor" that lasted 2 days, he could not engage with us because he wanted to teach like he did to his college classes which did not meet our needs.

I've also met a "training instructor" who worked for Quicken Loans based in Detroit. 
Talk about being able to get your foot in the door at a large corporation in a LCOL to MCOL area with a ton of upward potential for both the job side and the location side.  (Don't believe the hype about Detroit, the Metro area is a great place to live, just not so great in areas of the actual city).

ETA:  Actually if you can get a job at Quicken in Detroit, it might be perfect.  It's Sister company Blackrock Development bought a the vast majority of the commercial properties in the city after 2008 so lots of potential of getting in on the RE development side.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 06:22:48 AM by Fomerly known as something »

Carl500

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2018, 06:12:05 PM »
You could look for business jobs, such as the R&D jobs mentioned, but in cheaper cities than NY. 

They concluded Minneapolis-St Paul was tops.  Good example of Midwest city with cold winters, lots of jobs, and cheap living.


Thanks for the advice. Yeah I'd like to continue doing something white collar at least. Minneapolis seems like one of the better places in the Midwest for working.

Carl500 -

What area is your Bachelors and/or what area did you teach?

Another avenue that is open to you, is to be a "technical trainer" or other similar corporate trainer.  This leverages the teaching background without requiring much on the compassion and caring scale with higher pay than most teaching jobs.  You don't need to be in the biggest cities, just need to find a company that sells devices/software that have a complexity component such that their dealers, sales force, customer service reps, etc need to have a high degree of training in order to operate the device or software successfully.

I'm taking the idea that you should leverage what you have into a higher paying situation rather than jumping into a brand new field where you may not be able to have as much success.  Unless of course you have ZERO passion even teaching adults...then in that case - absolutely change fields and leverage your original Bachelors degree to acquire a different career path.

Another suggestion for Real Estate Development:
Go to several of the nationwide builder's websites (Richmond American, KB Homes, Standard Pacific, Pulte, Shea Homes, Toll Brothers, etc) and find out what medium cost of living cities they operate in and try to get hired in those areas.  Ignore the ultra high cost areas they operate (southern california, seattle, Northern Virginia, etc) because you'll go broke trying to find housing when you really want experience and a chance to reach FI.

I have a Bachelor in Visuals Arts - major in painting and a Master of Teaching (Secondary{high school level}) - major in teaching Visual Arts.

Technical training is a really good idea, and one I didn't think of. I'll do some more research into that. It's seems like a job you can have in a corporation that would have a degree of independence and it's probably a role where you wouldn't be micromanaged like other roles.

Yes, leveraging what training/experience/skills I have already makes sense for getting to FI quickly. It will be my choice if I want to "detour" to a lower paying but more rewarding albeit slower path to FI.

The advice about working for a big national home builder is great! I have an interest and ambition to try property development as one of my own ventures down the road. But I'd be better off getting experience working for someone else before I do that. I didn't quite know exactly who I would work for, but one of the companies you listed makes a lot of sense. I think the experience I would need the most would be in meeting construction deadlines, organising contractors/tradespeople and sticking to a budget. So would the best role for that be construction manager? I'd want to be getting experience doing the thing that would help me most in doing my own developments. I'm not sure about this one.
Astoria is a great neighborhood and $1000/room is definitely  still doable in a share. I lived up there last year and paid $1050 with all utilities included. I will probably move back there next spring since DW and I are looking for a 2br for around $2000/mo, and Astoria is one of the better neighborhoods in that range.

I've lived in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Bushwick, Sunnyside, and Astoria on 30th ave. Astoria was by far the best. And the only place my mom felt safe when visiting me!

Thanks for the intel, yeah $1000 in a shared places Is doable, I've seem them online and on facebook groups.

Carl500 -

What area is your Bachelors and/or what area did you teach?

Another avenue that is open to you, is to be a "technical trainer" or other similar corporate trainer.  This leverages the teaching background without requiring much on the compassion and caring scale with higher pay than most teaching jobs.  You don't need to be in the biggest cities, just need to find a company that sells devices/software that have a complexity component such that their dealers, sales force, customer service reps, etc need to have a high degree of training in order to operate the device or software successfully.

I'm taking the idea that you should leverage what you have into a higher paying situation rather than jumping into a brand new field where you may not be able to have as much success.  Unless of course you have ZERO passion even teaching adults...then in that case - absolutely change fields and leverage your original Bachelors degree to acquire a different career path.


I've also met a "training instructor" who worked for Quicken Loans based in Detroit. 
Talk about being able to get your foot in the door at a large corporation in a LCOL to MCOL area with a ton of upward potential for both the job side and the location side.  (Don't believe the hype about Detroit, the Metro area is a great place to live, just not so great in areas of the actual city).

ETA:  Actually if you can get a job at Quicken in Detroit, it might be perfect.  It's Sister company Blackrock Development bought a the vast majority of the commercial properties in the city after 2008 so lots of potential of getting in on the RE development side.

Thankyou for this advice! I'll look into/research this Quicken loans company you're referring to. A training instructor job that relates to RE development would be great. The financial analysis of trends and the viability of sites is another area of property development I'd like to learn more about.

My other interest besides real estate development and sales is fashion/textiles design but I don't think anyone on this forum would recommend going into that industry as it appears to have low starting salaries, be endemic to NYC and LA (HCOL) and have a lot of 22 year old fresh grads willing to work like slaves for peanuts to get into it.

Keep the suggestions coming guys, your suggestions have helped me gain more clarity and direction in my incoming life reset.





« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 06:21:10 PM by Carl500 »

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2018, 11:22:33 PM »
I would try to remain flexible depending on where you get a good job offer.  Generally speaking you'll be able to find much better offers if you're able to relocate.  You don't necessarily want to settle on one area.  It's just a matter of weighing the ratio of income:local living cost depending on the job offers you find.  I moved a few times through my career for better opportunities, and I think all of these were a good move.

ltt

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2018, 08:53:34 AM »
Minneapolis does seem like a very nice city to live/work in.  We've only traveled there (a few times).  They have a good bike/park system.  It's easy to walk around downtown either by foot or skywalk/skyway.  Mall of America is there.  If you like any type of fishing, this state is the place to be. Unfortunately, you must love winter to live here, as the winters will be absolutely brutal.  Also, rush hour traffic is a nightmare.

Detroit, I'm not sure about.  Check into their public education system.  Not the best from what I've read.

I would stay away from either coast.  Housing is simply too expensive.  I think most people who've made the move from a HCOL area (urban/coast areas) to a LCOL area (medium-size communities/midwest) have a much more positive experience because they are able to put more money aside for retirement.


Bicycle_B

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2018, 09:09:38 AM »

I have a Bachelor in Visuals Arts - major in painting and a Master of Teaching (Secondary{high school level}) - major in teaching Visual Arts.

Technical training is a really good idea, and one I didn't think of. I'll do some more research into that. It's seems like a job you can have in a corporation that would have a degree of independence and it's probably a role where you wouldn't be micromanaged like other roles.

Yes, leveraging what training/experience/skills I have already makes sense for getting to FI quickly. It will be my choice if I want to "detour" to a lower paying but more rewarding albeit slower path to FI.


Ah, visual arts background...open to technical training... interested in good pay if possible...

I have a friend with an art background who works User Interface design.  She develops and tweaks how websites appear to viewers/readers/users. It's fairly well paid (part of the privileged techie realm, but art is the entry point). 

If that's of interest, consider pursuing related jobs in Austin, Texas.  Someone (sorry, not sure of link) did a study calculating where a typical techie would gain the most wealth, comparing lifestyle cost to local salaries, and concluded Austin had the best ratio.  Part of the equation was taxes; Texas has no state income tax.  Additional benefit - the city is a millenial playground whenever you're off work.

Fishindude

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2018, 12:24:26 PM »
I'd locate someplace in the rural midwest, close enough so that you can commute to and work in mid size city.   Cost of living will be dirt cheap; cheap houses, low taxes, etc.   Yet you can still make the big money 30-60 minute drive from home and that money will go a long way.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2018, 01:44:20 PM »
Minneapolis does seem like a very nice city to live/work in.  We've only traveled there (a few times).  They have a good bike/park system.  It's easy to walk around downtown either by foot or skywalk/skyway.  Mall of America is there.  If you like any type of fishing, this state is the place to be. Unfortunately, you must love winter to live here, as the winters will be absolutely brutal.  Also, rush hour traffic is a nightmare.

Detroit, I'm not sure about.  Check into their public education system.  Not the best from what I've read.

I would stay away from either coast.  Housing is simply too expensive.  I think most people who've made the move from a HCOL area (urban/coast areas) to a LCOL area (medium-size communities/midwest) have a much more positive experience because they are able to put more money aside for retirement.

Detroit Metro area is not just Detroit.  There are excellent schools in the surround inner ring suburbs.  Grosse Point, Birmingham, And Berkley to name a few.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2018, 03:45:12 PM »

...
I would stay away from either coast.  Housing is simply too expensive.  I think most people who've made the move from a HCOL area (urban/coast areas) to a LCOL area (medium-size communities/midwest) have a much more positive experience because they are able to put more money aside for retirement.

Just to add a bit of nuance to your suggestion of avoiding the coasts:

Cost of Living and job opportunities are both great if you are on the East Coast anywhere from Richmond Virginia down to Atlanta Georgia.  While the actual major metros are not "on the beach", these coastal states (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the southern parts of Virginia) have both a medium cost of living and great opportunities.  Taxes are a bit higher in South Carolina and I have a personal preference for Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte.

Carl500

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2018, 01:21:27 AM »
Thank for the suggestions guys.

I'll sum up what people have contributed in terms of location for any future readers;

Minneapolis and Detroit Metro - Good balance between cost of living and median income although both have brutally cold winters.

Rural Midwest close to bigger cities - Dirt cheap with easy commuting access to job opportunities.

Midatlantic region from Virginia to Georgia - Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham and Atlanta all offer a good balance between average cost of living and job opportunities.

Texas - Austin is great for young people and has lots of opportunities without expensive living costs.

Urban West/East Coast - High cost of living, avoid if possible unless you're earning so much to outweigh the cost of living.

Another idea I have about working in the real estate industry would be to work for REIT in property analysis or acquisition. I think that would help me in terms of potentially going into property investing/development myself.




cowpuncher10

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2018, 08:27:28 AM »
Move to Atlanta.

radram

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2018, 08:55:45 AM »
Less expensive places abound in the Midwest (Kansas City, Milwaukee, Louisville, Pittsburgh) .....

In the end, the US is an incredibly diverse place. Itís 50+ mini-countries rolled into one.

Since you have such an open mind, you might want to check out Milwaukee (or their southern counties of Racine and Kenosha). In Kenosha, you are less than 1 hour from Chicago while still being LCOL.

Racine just got the FOXCONN contract, which many say will create a large amount of jobs in the area. The good thing about FOXCONN is that they are hiring many of the positions now. This area will need to recruit from afar to meed demand. If you search for them, you should see what they are looking for and if you meet the requirements.

To be fair, this deal has caused quite a disagreement in the state. People are either for it or against it. If it is coming anyway, you might as well take advantage of it if you can. I hear they have backed out of deals before, but they seem pretty serious this time.

Here are some of the listings:
https://www.google.com/search?q=foxconn+jobs&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS696US696&oq=foxconn+jobs&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.5611j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&ibp=htl;jobs&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYg_OK3LLbAhWB6oMKHSTJD-oQiYsCCF0oAA#fpstate=tldetail&htidocid=ZWj7LZirbXz2Ak4jAAAAAA%3D%3D&htivrt=jobs

Keep us posted.



Peachtea

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2018, 06:41:49 PM »

Since you have such an open mind, you might want to check out Milwaukee (or their southern counties of Racine and Kenosha). In Kenosha, you are less than 1 hour from Chicago while still being LCOL.

Racine just got the FOXCONN contract, which many say will create a large amount of jobs in the area. The good thing about FOXCONN is that they are hiring many of the positions now. This area will need to recruit from afar to meed demand. If you search for them, you should see what they are looking for and if you meet the requirements.

To be fair, this deal has caused quite a disagreement in the state. People are either for it or against it. If it is coming anyway, you might as well take advantage of it if you can. I hear they have backed out of deals before, but they seem pretty serious this time.


Wait...there are jobs in Wisconsin? I donít need to live in Illinois anymore??? All joking aside, and for what itís worth, based on anecdotal evidence from my 20 something friends it seems like there are more jobs in Madison than Milwaukee. Even my friends from rural WI who have no desire to live in a ďcityĒ (Madisonís the capital and a university town, but still pretty small) talk about job offers there. Meaning theyíre not looking for jobs in Madison, the offers are just cropping up.

The Foxconn contract is controversial for many reasons, including environmental and tax policy debates. But as a potential future employee, I would be most concerned about their poor reputation as an employer. Maybe they will be a better employer for more skilled work in the US than they are internationally. If I lived in Racine area and got a good offer, Iíd probably role the dice. I wouldnít move from anywhere to work there though.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/foxconn-life-death-forbidden-city-longhua-suicide-apple-iphone-brian-merchant-one-device-extract

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/11/business/europe-labor-rights.html

http://www.dw.com/en/foxconn-accused-of-exploiting-workers-in-europe/a-17132689


radram

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2018, 09:37:07 AM »

Since you have such an open mind, you might want to check out Milwaukee (or their southern counties of Racine and Kenosha). In Kenosha, you are less than 1 hour from Chicago while still being LCOL.

Racine just got the FOXCONN contract, which many say will create a large amount of jobs in the area. The good thing about FOXCONN is that they are hiring many of the positions now. This area will need to recruit from afar to meed demand. If you search for them, you should see what they are looking for and if you meet the requirements.

To be fair, this deal has caused quite a disagreement in the state. People are either for it or against it. If it is coming anyway, you might as well take advantage of it if you can. I hear they have backed out of deals before, but they seem pretty serious this time.


Wait...there are jobs in Wisconsin? I donít need to live in Illinois anymore??? All joking aside, and for what itís worth, based on anecdotal evidence from my 20 something friends it seems like there are more jobs in Madison than Milwaukee. Even my friends from rural WI who have no desire to live in a ďcityĒ (Madisonís the capital and a university town, but still pretty small) talk about job offers there. Meaning theyíre not looking for jobs in Madison, the offers are just cropping up.

The Foxconn contract is controversial for many reasons, including environmental and tax policy debates. But as a potential future employee, I would be most concerned about their poor reputation as an employer. Maybe they will be a better employer for more skilled work in the US than they are internationally. If I lived in Racine area and got a good offer, Iíd probably role the dice. I wouldnít move from anywhere to work there though.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/foxconn-life-death-forbidden-city-longhua-suicide-apple-iphone-brian-merchant-one-device-extract

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/11/business/europe-labor-rights.html

http://www.dw.com/en/foxconn-accused-of-exploiting-workers-in-europe/a-17132689

Could not agree more about Madison. I absolutely LOVE Madison.

Completely agree with many of your other points, but quite frankly I only ever considered a job as a means to an end. A good offer in a LCOL could be just the ticket for the OP, with nothing holding him/her back, and nothing to give up in order to make the move.

As far as the Foxconn rep, meh. The environmental impact is happening whether you work there or not. The state pretty much assured they can get whatever they want. 7,000,000 gallons(while only about 4,000,000 is returned) of water diverted DAILY from Lake Michigan was just approved like they were asking for an eye droppers worth. On a side note, does anyone here know why 3,000,000 gallons of water is CONSUMED daily in the process of making TV screens?

When the shit hits the fan, very few companies won't think twice about discarding talent to survive. The "work for 1 company for 40 years for the gold watch days" have been gone for.... about forty years.

Oh yeah, people keep forgetting this plant will be automated. In other words, people really won't work there for the most part. If you look at all the talk, Foxconn said it will employ up to 3,000 workers. Wisconsin government then chimed in "up to 13000" could work there in the future. Foxconn just remained quiet so that is the figure everyone keeps using. I claim we are building a fully automated plant, paying for it with tax incentives, and there will never be more than 3,000 workers, a cost of about $1,000,000 per job. All that still means some people will benefit from working there.

ltt

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2018, 07:35:56 PM »
Detroit just made the worst city to live in list in the U.S., followed by Flint, Michigan.  Over 1/3 of Detroit's residents are living in poverty.  Milwaukee is number 11.

radram

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2018, 10:28:42 PM »
Detroit just made the worst city to live in list in the U.S., followed by Flint, Michigan.  Over 1/3 of Detroit's residents are living in poverty.  Milwaukee is number 11.

And yet there are still people living like kings, literally blocks away from those impoverished neighborhoods. Quite a country we live in, ain't it?

Bro-mero

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2018, 10:30:39 PM »
As someone who lives in Minneapolis, I can say that it would be a great place to move to:

-Lots of Fortune 500 companies that pay very well
-Plenty of affordable housing options
-Great smaller urban city, with an awesome public parks system
-Tons of great restaurants, bars, live music venues
-All 4 major sports teams, if you are a sports fan (Skol Vikings)
-Overall very affordable cost of living
-Low crime, low unemployment, fair taxes, great schools, etc.

I grew up in Minnesota, so I have lived through winters my whole life, so I am biased, but I think people make them out to be worse than they actually are. If you work and live downtown, we have skyway system which is a bunch of connected tunnels between the buildings, so you could never step foot outside if you wanted during the winter :)

I look forward to building my stache here in the Twin Cities. It's easy to look over us, but I think it's becoming a bit of a hidden gem buried in flyover country
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 10:35:05 PM by Bro-mero »

nkt0

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2018, 07:43:54 AM »
I grew up in Minnesota, so I have lived through winters my whole life, so I am biased, but I think people make them out to be worse than they actually are. If you work and live downtown, we have skyway system which is a bunch of connected tunnels between the buildings, so you could never step foot outside if you wanted during the winter :)

Don't be fooled. It's dang cold.

Signed,

A Wisconsinite

Bro-mero

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2018, 09:21:03 AM »
I grew up in Minnesota, so I have lived through winters my whole life, so I am biased, but I think people make them out to be worse than they actually are. If you work and live downtown, we have skyway system which is a bunch of connected tunnels between the buildings, so you could never step foot outside if you wanted during the winter :)

Don't be fooled. It's dang cold.

Signed,

A Wisconsinite

Maybe Iím just desensitized :), but I guess you learn to live with it

omachi

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2018, 09:38:54 AM »
Minneapolis is great if you can handle a little cold and snow. The trick is to embrace it and get outside during the winter, or you'll go stir crazy inside.

Do note that housing costs are going up, and it's a seller's market here right now, but isn't nothing like a big CA city, NY, Vancouver, or any of the other insanely priced locations. I know houses that have had bids 10% over listing made within hours of going on the market, and not because they weren't fairly priced, but because bidders are getting sick of being outbid.

If you have skills to work in technology fields it's not hard to find a job here right now. Amazon passed us up for HQ2 primarily because the labor market was too tight for their tastes. And I don't think we were willing to subsidize their profits enough.

YoungGranny

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2018, 09:39:56 AM »
Michigan has been mentioned but we always get overshadowed by Detroits reputation. Lansing and Grand Rapids are both great cities too! I live in the East Lansing area myself; near MSU so all the perks of living in a college town but still cheap! My husband and I make over $200k a year combined to live in a LCOL area; sure we have winters but for the price difference we can travel somewhere warmer a couple weeks a year. I would think any medium sized city in the midwest would have the same story (Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Madison, Milwaukee, etc etc) =D
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Fomerly known as something

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2018, 10:19:33 AM »
Detroit just made the worst city to live in list in the U.S., followed by Flint, Michigan.  Over 1/3 of Detroit's residents are living in poverty.  Milwaukee is number 11.

And yet there are still people living like kings, literally blocks away from those impoverished neighborhoods. Quite a country we live in, ain't it?

Yup I lived 4 miles away like a king. 

ltt

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2018, 06:22:22 AM »
Detroit just made the worst city to live in list in the U.S., followed by Flint, Michigan.  Over 1/3 of Detroit's residents are living in poverty.  Milwaukee is number 11.

And yet there are still people living like kings, literally blocks away from those impoverished neighborhoods. Quite a country we live in, ain't it?

33% is a pretty high poverty rate.

radram

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2018, 07:05:04 AM »
Detroit just made the worst city to live in list in the U.S., followed by Flint, Michigan.  Over 1/3 of Detroit's residents are living in poverty.  Milwaukee is number 11.

And yet there are still people living like kings, literally blocks away from those impoverished neighborhoods. Quite a country we live in, ain't it?

33% is a pretty high poverty rate.

You are proving my point. Kind of like hanging out with ugly people to feel more attractive. This also works very well for me :)

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2018, 07:18:19 AM »
If you don't like the winters in the twin cities or Madison, consider Champaign/Urbana. Its smaller but has been stabilized through the crashes by the university, and the research park has been booming with tons of growth over the last 10 years. Lots of good tech opportunities available in all sorts of fields. We still have seasons, but to get the lighter winters you have to accept the steamy hot summers.

acroy

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2018, 08:06:23 AM »
Congratulations on the green card!

Texas: LCOL, great jobs in many industries, modest taxes, the best food, big everything, mild winters, lots of friendly people with lots of guns. If that doesn't sound great then stay the hell out ;)

If you're handy, get into a trade. If you prefer an office job, then do as previous posters mentioned: start at the bottom of a decent company and work your way up. Peers of mine, mid-30's to early 40's, no degrees, just good work ethics and willingness to apply/learn, are earning 70-100k in various roles.

heck truck drivers start at $50k easily; be safe and do well and earn close to double that. good luck!
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Bateaux

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2018, 08:48:42 AM »
I'm buying our FIRE home in Citrus County Florida.  LCOL, great weather, tons of things to to keep active.
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Carl500

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2018, 04:40:55 AM »
Congratulations on the green card!

Texas: LCOL, great jobs in many industries, modest taxes, the best food, big everything, mild winters, lots of friendly people with lots of guns. If that doesn't sound great then stay the hell out ;)


Thanks brother! Yeah, from my research it seems like the midwest and Texas, Georgia and North Carolina in the south are the best spots right now for achieving FI in the USA.

facepalm

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2018, 09:41:23 AM »
You have a ton of great suggestions here.

FWIW: I'm a teacher, living in a very HCOL area in California. If you are set on doing something else, by all means do it. But if you have to fall back on teaching for a few years, do it in a state with a low cost of living. You will have an easier time setting money aside, and will have 403(b) and 457(b) options that will allow you to sock money away tax free.

Another state to consider: Idaho. Idaho has a very low employment rate, so plenty of jobs. I see new construction all the time when I am there, but my perception of the RE market is that it is flooded with agents that make very little money, since home prices are low. Summers can be warm, but humidity is not a killer. Winters do get cold, and depending on where you are you will have either a dusting of snow, or else get dumped upon. Lots to do outdoors.



Hula Hoop

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2018, 01:36:00 PM »
Congratulations on the green card!

Texas: LCOL, great jobs in many industries, modest taxes, the best food, big everything, mild winters, lots of friendly people with lots of guns. If that doesn't sound great then stay the hell out ;)


Thanks brother! Yeah, from my research it seems like the midwest and Texas, Georgia and North Carolina in the south are the best spots right now for achieving FI in the USA.

Keep in mind, that Texas weather leaves a lot to be desired.  Disgustingly hot all summer long.  People literally don't walk around outside most of the year in cities like Houston as it's so hot and humid.

dustinst22

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2018, 04:42:20 PM »


Keep in mind, that Texas weather leaves a lot to be desired.  Disgustingly hot all summer long.  People literally don't walk around outside most of the year in cities like Houston as it's so hot and humid.

Yep and itís the most hurricane prone state.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Best City/Town in USA for reaching FI
« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2018, 05:27:25 PM »
And Texas is quite conservative.

@Carl500 It's worth taking a bit of time to think of how your personal beliefs line up with those prevailing in the areas you plan on considering for relocating. A very conservative person may have more issues assimilating into the coastal PNW. Likewise a person more on the liberal and/or religiously non-Christian will not mesh as easily in parts of the south or Texas.