Author Topic: Reddit Thread on CNN Article: 11M Americans Spend 50% of Income on Rent  (Read 19280 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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The article is here: http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/22/real_estate/rent-affordability-housing-harvard/

The reddit thread is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/4pcjja/11_million_americans_spend_half_their_income_on/

As a 28 year old who finds myself in the same demographic as a lot of the posters in that thread, some of the posts make me cringe

Basically, it's a bunch of clowns living in NYC, SF, Seattle, San Diego, etc. who are wondering why RENT IS SO DAMN HIGH. One commenter posted something along the lines, "Your rent would be a lot lower if you lived in the Midwest," but that got met with "BUT WE COULDN'T GET JOBS THERE." I bet they actually tried (not).

Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.


MgoSam

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One commenter posted something along the lines, "Your rent would be a lot lower if you lived in the Midwest," but that got met with "BUT WE COULDN'T GET JOBS THERE." I bet they actually tried (not).

Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

Yeah, I really don't try to persuade Coasters about the Midwest. Let their ignorance continue unabated!

Chris22

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could. 

charis

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.

What's wrong with Ohio?

Chris22

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.

What's wrong with Ohio?

It's just so...Ohio-y.


In all seriousness, no one needs to live in San Fran/NYC/SoCal, but I do think there's a lot to be said for living somewhere with a reasonable industrial base.  I grew up in an area where there were only 1-2 major employers, and if you lost your job with one of them (they were in different industries and both went through down times) you were effectively screwed.  If I lose my job here in Chicagoland (which I have before, in a RIF), it's relatively easy to find another one because there is so much industry here.  How many rust belt towns (many in Ohio) went tits up because the one plant in town closed up and now no one can find work?

beltim

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.

What's wrong with Ohio?

It's just so...Ohio-y.


In all seriousness, no one needs to live in San Fran/NYC/SoCal, but I do think there's a lot to be said for living somewhere with a reasonable industrial base.  I grew up in an area where there were only 1-2 major employers, and if you lost your job with one of them (they were in different industries and both went through down times) you were effectively screwed.  If I lose my job here in Chicagoland (which I have before, in a RIF), it's relatively easy to find another one because there is so much industry here.  How many rust belt towns (many in Ohio) went tits up because the one plant in town closed up and now no one can find work?

You're just arguing for working and living in a city rather than a small town.  And unless you're using "must live in one of the 3 biggest cities" Columbus probably hits all the criteria you want from a city.  And if not Columbus, probably either Cleveland or Cincinnati do.

randymarsh

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.

What's wrong with Ohio?

It's just so...Ohio-y.


In all seriousness, no one needs to live in San Fran/NYC/SoCal, but I do think there's a lot to be said for living somewhere with a reasonable industrial base.  I grew up in an area where there were only 1-2 major employers, and if you lost your job with one of them (they were in different industries and both went through down times) you were effectively screwed.  If I lose my job here in Chicagoland (which I have before, in a RIF), it's relatively easy to find another one because there is so much industry here.  How many rust belt towns (many in Ohio) went tits up because the one plant in town closed up and now no one can find work?

OH is a big place. The Columbus and Cincy areas are fine places to find work. Other parts are definitely smaller with less opportunity, but plenty of people are making a nice living. Earning 70K as a nurse in a place where you can buy a nice 3BR house for 150K isn't a bad deal.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.

What's wrong with Ohio?

It's just so...Ohio-y.


In all seriousness, no one needs to live in San Fran/NYC/SoCal, but I do think there's a lot to be said for living somewhere with a reasonable industrial base.  I grew up in an area where there were only 1-2 major employers, and if you lost your job with one of them (they were in different industries and both went through down times) you were effectively screwed.  If I lose my job here in Chicagoland (which I have before, in a RIF), it's relatively easy to find another one because there is so much industry here.  How many rust belt towns (many in Ohio) went tits up because the one plant in town closed up and now no one can find work?
Translation: "I've never lived in Ohio, and I've probably never even visited, but I'm going to bash it because of things I've read on the internet."

Please.

Now let's not derail this thread.

onlykelsey

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I live in Manhattan and have a version of this conversation all the time.  You should live here if you have the sort of job that you can't get elsewhere and/or is paying you commensurate with your cost of living.  I turned 30 last week and will make ~310K this year in my fifth year of post-professional school employment.  That is worth the rent and taxes.  If I were working a help desk job, I'd be better off in a lower COL area.

mskyle

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Look, the article didn't break it out but I bet there's a lot of people IN OHIO who are spending half their income on rent! Lots of people spend half their money on rent not because they live in a HCOLA, but because they don't make very much money. 13.2% of Americans live in federally-defined poverty.

Digital Dogma

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Damn. I pay ~20% of my income for rent, and my friends continuously badger me about when I'm going to get a 'nicer place'. It would be extremely easy for me to pay 50% of my income on a luxury apartment within 2 miles of my current place, but I'd never be able to sleep there knowing how much it would cost me per-night.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Look, the article didn't break it out but I bet there's a lot of people IN OHIO who are spending half their income on rent! Lots of people spend half their money on rent not because they live in a HCOLA, but because they don't make very much money. 13.2% of Americans live in federally-defined poverty.

I'm sure this is correct, but the Reddit thread specifically is what I was referring to when discussing people in HCOL areas. Read enough of the comments in that thread and you'll see a lot of people with unskilled labor who are living in Manhattan or Brooklyn. That's insane to me.

MrMoogle

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8% here for my own studio apartment.  I'm always amazed how much people on these forums make as engineers, but maybe their number is higher.

randymarsh

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I try not to be judgmental with these sorts of stories because I know some people really are struggling. But it's really hard to be sympathetic when people complain and don't want to do *anything* to change things.

Sure, it sucks trying to live in certain cities if you don't make a nice salary. But that thread is filled with people saying they "can't" move because there are no jobs anywhere else.  It's amazing how many people think the United States consists solely of NY & CA. There really are places where income to rent ratios are much more favorable. We're not making it up.

Midwest

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.

What's wrong with Ohio?

It's just so...Ohio-y.


In all seriousness, no one needs to live in San Fran/NYC/SoCal, but I do think there's a lot to be said for living somewhere with a reasonable industrial base.  I grew up in an area where there were only 1-2 major employers, and if you lost your job with one of them (they were in different industries and both went through down times) you were effectively screwed.  If I lose my job here in Chicagoland (which I have before, in a RIF), it's relatively easy to find another one because there is so much industry here.  How many rust belt towns (many in Ohio) went tits up because the one plant in town closed up and now no one can find work?

By Ohio-y, do you mean superior in every way to Illinois?  LOL, just kidding.

FYI- Ohio has many major employers and large cities.  Similar to Illinois, some areas have more opportunity than others.

MoneyCat

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I moved from rural upstate NY where I couldn't find any employment (because nobody lived there) to the NYC metro area where finding employment is as easy as pie. The COL is much higher here, but the wages are much higher too. If you live a Mustachian lifestyle, it's easily doable PLUS when you retire you can take all that move you saved and stretch it to infinity by moving to one of those LCOL areas where nobody cares about the quality of their schools, so the property taxes are much lower. It's a win-win situation if you play your cards right.

StarBright

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One commenter posted something along the lines, "Your rent would be a lot lower if you lived in the Midwest," but that got met with "BUT WE COULDN'T GET JOBS THERE." I bet they actually tried (not).

Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

Yeah, I really don't try to persuade Coasters about the Midwest. Let their ignorance continue unabated!

FWIW - I actually moved back to the midwest (central Indiana) after grad school and had a really hard time finding a job. I ended up doing a  month of manual labor through a temp  agency and then finding shift work as a filing clerk. After about 4 months of that I moved back to the Baltimore/DC area and found a 9-5 job within a week. The rent was definitely higher (though I lived in a cheap and sort of unsafe apartment because I was trying to save money) but at least I was in a job that would allow me to move up the ladder and it was 9-5 instead of switching between 1st and 2nd shift.



Miss Piggy

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

rosaz

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I just calculated... I spend 27% of my income on rent. So nowhere near 50%, but high enough that I kinda sorta get it. I don't feel too bad about it - I figure it's worth an extra few hundred a month to have access to a great public school and where I can save $$$ by being car-free. Honestly, if that rent money is paying your way into a place that has access to good jobs on public transportation and decent schools, I'd say that's probably the 50% of your money that is being well spent. The question is more, what are you spending the other 50% on?

ReadySetMillionaire

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

boyerbt

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

Maybe they only drive 5-6 hours per day max?? I've lived in or around the big 3 cities in Ohio and can tell you that the mountains and beaches are all within a one day's drive. Hell, the road trip to the Rockies was a one day's drive (literally) and that was one boring drive....coughKANSAScough...

But to keep the topic on point, I just checked and I pay 20% of my income for my 1,600 sq ft 3 bedroom 2.5 bath.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 12:57:18 PM by boyerbt »

Midwest

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

Maybe they only drive 5-6 hours per day max?? I've lived in or around the big 3 cities in Ohio and can tell you that the mountains and beaches are all within a one day's drive. Hell, the road trip to the Rockies was a one day's drive (literally) and that was one boring drive....coughKANSAScough...

The rockies are only Mountains?  I can be in mountains in 4 hours.  Great lakes are a 2.5 hours and really nice lakes are 3 hours (local lakes are much closer).

charis

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I just calculated that we spend 11% of our take-home monthly income on a monthly mortgage payment for a 3-bedroom house in a LCOL, medium-sized city in the northeast.   You don't have to live in the Midwest to find a decent city to save money in.

boyerbt

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

Maybe they only drive 5-6 hours per day max?? I've lived in or around the big 3 cities in Ohio and can tell you that the mountains and beaches are all within a one day's drive. Hell, the road trip to the Rockies was a one day's drive (literally) and that was one boring drive....coughKANSAScough...

The rockies are only Mountains?  I can be in mountains in 4 hours.  Great lakes are a 2.5 hours and really nice lakes are 3 hours (local lakes are much closer).

No, you misunderstood my comment. I was saying that from pretty much anywhere in Ohio you can get to the Appalachian Mountains and any beach along the eastern seaboard aside from the Key within a day's drive, most of them being much less than that. I then went on to exaggerate my point by stating how driving to the Rocky Mountains is also a one day's drive as I have done this on more than one occasion in less than 24 hours.

Midwest

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

Maybe they only drive 5-6 hours per day max?? I've lived in or around the big 3 cities in Ohio and can tell you that the mountains and beaches are all within a one day's drive. Hell, the road trip to the Rockies was a one day's drive (literally) and that was one boring drive....coughKANSAScough...

The rockies are only Mountains?  I can be in mountains in 4 hours.  Great lakes are a 2.5 hours and really nice lakes are 3 hours (local lakes are much closer).

No, you misunderstood my comment. I was saying that from pretty much anywhere in Ohio you can get to the Appalachian Mountains and any beach along the eastern seaboard aside from the Key within a day's drive, most of them being much less than that. I then went on to exaggerate my point by stating how driving to the Rocky Mountains is also a one day's drive as I have done this on more than one occasion in less than 24 hours.

My bad.  PS - I hate driving through KS on my way out west as well.  We fly now to avoid it.

No Name Guy

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The article is here: http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/22/real_estate/rent-affordability-housing-harvard/

The reddit thread is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/4pcjja/11_million_americans_spend_half_their_income_on/

As a 28 year old who finds myself in the same demographic as a lot of the posters in that thread, some of the posts make me cringe

Basically, it's a bunch of clowns living in NYC, SF, Seattle, San Diego, etc. who are wondering why RENT IS SO DAMN HIGH. One commenter posted something along the lines, "Your rent would be a lot lower if you lived in the Midwest," but that got met with "BUT WE COULDN'T GET JOBS THERE." I bet they actually tried (not).

Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

And getting back on topic.....with respect to Seattle, if people are bitching about rent, it's because they choose to live, literally, IN Seattle.  Hello.....young, not making a lot of money?  WTF are you doing living where its super expensive?

There are plenty of choices for lower cost housing at the periphery of Seattle.  Quick searches indicate that Ballard, to use a hip and trendy 'hood as a proxy for Seattle, is a minimum of 1600 for a studio or 1BR.  Going out to Mountlake Terrace, an easy direct express bus ride into downtown, its mid 900's.  Easy enough to get around MLT on a bike, especially if you choose an Apt near one of the larger grocery stores (multiple apartments within an easy walk of the Albertsons at the border of MLT and Lynnwood).

So, $650 a month difference, minimum, all to live in Ballard vs MLT - one IN Seattle, one a close 'burb.

Getting a roommate in a 2BR in MLT, yeah, that can be done for $650-700 / month / person.  Ballard....looks like about a grand minimum, so 300-350 more, at least.

Ya bitch about rent costs in Seattle, it's likely largely due to where you've chosen to be, period, so STHU and quit bitching about what you choose to do.  You want the hipster 'hood?  Yeah, that's going to cost ya.

Oh, and in regards to fly over country - yeah, they moved my program to Ok City....they expected 25-40% of the people on the program to go....they got 2% to go (probably the NBA types).  I found a new job elsewhere in the company and stayed.  Even if I couldn't find a new job in the company, I would have taken the layoff and schlepped coffee at Starbucks over moving to the Midwest - an advantage of being near FIRE (~1/3 part time, minimum wage would have sufficed at that point).  As charming and LCOL as the Midwest is, I've been there in August....sorry, but 90+ degrees and rain just isn't right to the born and bred Seattle person. 

Gin1984

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We are planning to move to a high COLA once my husband finishes his post-doc because the jobs for me are limited in these areas.  I can find research jobs in abundance in San Francisco, Boston, NYC but not WNY.  Even if I spent 50% on rent, I'd still have more money working in San Francisco than WNY because of the difference in income.

Zikoris

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In Vancouver, at least part of the problem is that many people have expectations of a rental that just are not in line with their salary. Their baseline for a "liveable" apartment includes a dishwasher, in suite laundry, great layout, less than X years old, X floor or higher with a nice view, etc etc. Lower that to "no mold/pests, reasonable transit access, and everything works (fridge, toilet, etc)", and all of a sudden you have tons of very affordable places to choose from.

frugalnacho

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ReadySetMillionaire

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And getting back on topic.....with respect to Seattle, if people are bitching about rent, it's because they choose to live, literally, IN Seattle.  Hello.....young, not making a lot of money?  WTF are you doing living where its super expensive?

There are plenty of choices for lower cost housing at the periphery of Seattle.  Quick searches indicate that Ballard, to use a hip and trendy 'hood as a proxy for Seattle, is a minimum of 1600 for a studio or 1BR.  Going out to Mountlake Terrace, an easy direct express bus ride into downtown, its mid 900's.  Easy enough to get around MLT on a bike, especially if you choose an Apt near one of the larger grocery stores (multiple apartments within an easy walk of the Albertsons at the border of MLT and Lynnwood).

So, $650 a month difference, minimum, all to live in Ballard vs MLT - one IN Seattle, one a close 'burb.

Getting a roommate in a 2BR in MLT, yeah, that can be done for $650-700 / month / person.  Ballard....looks like about a grand minimum, so 300-350 more, at least.

Ya bitch about rent costs in Seattle, it's likely largely due to where you've chosen to be, period, so STHU and quit bitching about what you choose to do.  You want the hipster 'hood?  Yeah, that's going to cost ya.

Oh, and in regards to fly over country - yeah, they moved my program to Ok City....they expected 25-40% of the people on the program to go....they got 2% to go (probably the NBA types).  I found a new job elsewhere in the company and stayed.  Even if I couldn't find a new job in the company, I would have taken the layoff and schlepped coffee at Starbucks over moving to the Midwest - an advantage of being near FIRE (~1/3 part time, minimum wage would have sufficed at that point).  As charming and LCOL as the Midwest is, I've been there in August....sorry, but 90+ degrees and rain just isn't right to the born and bred Seattle person.

This quite eloquently explains the point I was trying to make. Yes, I know people are trying their damndest and really suffering, but there are a ton of young people out there who are clueless.

Midwest

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What's wrong with Ohio?

It's just so...Ohio-y.




Given the ass kicking that Michigan has received from Ohio State recently, I'm surprised a Michigander is criticizing Ohio.

Tyson

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... but there are a ton of young people out there who are clueless.

Said every old fogey, ever :P

ReadySetMillionaire

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... but there are a ton of young people out there who are clueless.

Said every old fogey, ever :P

I'm 28 but my fiancÚ says I'm going on 50.

tiger002

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As someone living in Ohio and starting to shop for a place to live, I'm grateful that no one wants to live here :) I could find buy a place that would work for me for less than a year's salary if I wasn't too picky with where.

frugalnacho

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Given the ass kicking that Michigan has received from Ohio State recently, I'm surprised a Michigander is criticizing Ohio.

I am not pro or anti ohio, I just happened to randomly come across that image on imgur in another tab while I was reading this thread.  It seemed topical to the discussion.  I don't follow what goes on with colleges, least of all their sports programs.  I couldn't even tell you what sport your referring to.  Obviously I am not the number one feetball fan.

Midwest

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Given the ass kicking that Michigan has received from Ohio State recently, I'm surprised a Michigander is criticizing Ohio.

I am not pro or anti ohio, I just happened to randomly come across that image on imgur in another tab while I was reading this thread.  It seemed topical to the discussion.  I don't follow what goes on with colleges, least of all their sports programs.  I couldn't even tell you what sport your referring to.  Obviously I am not the number one feetball fan.

Referencing the Ohio State Michigan rivalry.  If you are not a Michigan fan, please disregard the good natured insult.

Making Cookies

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We're at about 10% of our income for a comfortable 3 br / 2 bath house with a garage in a nice neighborhood here in flyover ocuntry.

We're doing the small town lifestyle in a flyover state and there are pros and cons.

Pros - short commute, good safety, good sense of community, LCOL.

If your career path is specialized then you might be in a situation where there are just a handful of jobs in your town that make use of your skills. People might hang on to those jobs for decades until they retire.

When the recession hit in '08 I watched my DW let her career plans slip by several years b/c the next rungs up the ladder suddenly evaporated or were then occupied by people who suddenly couldn't retire on time b/c their investments sagged so badly. It was three - four year setback for DW.

Another thing to consider how big your potential social circle could be in that small country town. We're fine now but it took a few years of meeting people to build up a social circle of people with similar backgrounds and aspirations as us.

Plenty of outspoken folks who have a totally different outlook on life to choose from though... (We have some in both our extended families). We weren't being too picky I promise. One couple who faded from our lives are a good example - every time we spent time with them it was all about religion and politics. Rigid ideals about both and anyone that didn't agree was fatally flawed. Alot of parroting of the latest 24 hour news topics.

We weren't looking for people with exactly the same ideas - just a bit of flexibility in ideas. A bit of objectivity to build a conversation on. A fair variety of topics to talk about. We do have a few people that we work with who would have been good characters on the Andy Griffith show. ;)

Fortunately there have been plenty of other good people to get to know. DW and her best female friend found each other here and they occasionally can get a few hours of visiting from time to time about kids, marriage and the homefront and whatever else they talk about. ;)

When I travel - driving through small towns I feel much more at home than when I pass through big cities.

gardeningandgreen

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Those of us in Minnesota will tell all of you to leave us with our beautiful lakes and awesome forests alone. We get snow here! No one wants to live here. We also have a terribly low unemployment rate. Looking at our mortgage we spend about 18% of our income with our extra principal payments per month!

Sofa King

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it's really hard to be sympathetic when people complain and don't want to do *anything* to change things.



I concur!

Cassie

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I have lived on both coasts, the Midwest and KS and TX.  BTW: KS and OK are not the Midwest.  There are good and bad with everything. WE have lived in tiny towns and big cities.  The Midwest has lots of great lakes and forests. Different then oceans and mountains but still beauty. Parts of KS by KC area are pretty but much of it is flat, ugly and few lakes. I don't love the humidity of that part of the country.   However, the people are very nice.  The Midwest is not as humid in summer as some of the other states. 

clarkfan1979

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I just moved to a higher cost of living area last year and my housing went up a little. My savings rate might have decreased a little, but my overall savings amount has increased. Even though my housing went up a little, my savings rate went a little, my progress to FIRE increased and will continue to increase at a faster rate because I get more consistent raises at my current job than previous job.

Helvegen

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Oddly enough, I spent pretty close to 50% back when I lived in a LCOLA. It wasn't some podunk rural area either. Huge midwestern MSA of over a million people. But it had low wages, low opportunity, particularly for my husband's field of IT.

We moved to HCOLA where there were much better employment opportunities and wages and the rent has been dropping like a rock in proportion to our income ever since. We now pay 11% of gross/17% of net.

Occasionally, we look at job listings for that area and despite the economy picking up, there just really is not the same opportunity for wage or career growth there as there is here. We are trying to get my brother to see that and move out here (particularly now that he is getting divorced, nothing to lose really...). There are engineering jobs out the ass here and paying a lot more than what he is getting screwed at back east.

Eventually, we'll move back to a LCOLA. Hopefully we will soon be FI and just need to work for fun and pin money. As it is, we still need good, high paying jobs to reach that FI goal, so makes no sense to stop while the gravy is flowing.

golden1

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I think the high rent prices are finally forcing people in high COL areas to move.  I live in suburban Boston area, and a lot of my colleagues and friends in the last few years have moved away to lower COL areas.  They get a much nicer home and lots of breathing room in their budget.  I am stuck here until my kids are out of high school, but I do look forward to a day when I can move, at least out to western MA, where housing is a lot cheaper so I can live in a newer house (not bigger).  I still live in what is considered a "starter home" around here, a 1500 sqft house built in 1950, and never upgraded, so my housing is still only about 25% of my budget, but that is the exception around here.  Most people are paying 40% or more of their incomes in housing - ludicrous. 

golden1

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OK, so I get the whole "you should move if you can't afford it" vibe, but what about the service workers, janitors, municipal workers, teachers etc... needed to run an expensive city?  If they are priced so far out that they can't commute in, and can barely afford to live with roommates, then there might be a bit of a problem. 

Making Cookies

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I can sympathize with the plight of the lower paid worker. I was one at one time, and probably so were most people. That plight of making peanuts was what motivated me to do something different that involved getting an education. Why don't they? I worked my way through college plus used the GI Bill so let's not get too derailed on the idea that college is prohibitively expensive.

Like the rest of us, making peanuts could be a passing phase in their lives.

On the other hand I recognize that not everyone can move beyond the peanuts jobs. I wish I was a mental giant too. ;)

I'd like to see them making $15 per hour but fear that the economy would just readjust over the next decade and then $15 per hour would have the same spending power as ~$7.50 per hour in 2016.

Perhaps better benefits for the lower paid employees? Free insurance, pension, or educational benefits?

Clue me in. I'm genuinely curious what some of the alternatives are.

mm1970

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Oh well. I'll just kick back and enjoy my comically low COL in Northeast Ohio.

In fairness, can you really put a price on not having to live in Ohio?  Not sure if I could.
I know, right? It's awfully close to Western PA.

Magilla

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OK, so I get the whole "you should move if you can't afford it" vibe, but what about the service workers, janitors, municipal workers, teachers etc... needed to run an expensive city?  If they are priced so far out that they can't commute in, and can barely afford to live with roommates, then there might be a bit of a problem.

The problem is because cities try to artificially dictate what housing pricing should be.  If businesses etc couldn't hire service people because they all couldn't afford to live there they would have to raise the salaries.  But since a fraction of the low income people get to stay in the city at lower housing costs and can thus afford to take the low paying jobs it keeps the pay low for all low income jobs.

Frugal_NYC

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These people just suck at hacking big city life...When you are fresh out of college you should be living with others A) because it's so much cheaper B) because it's fun.   Do that until you find a suitable mate, then move in with them and with your combined incomes you'll continue to live comfortably.

Have to laugh at these people complaining about making $10/hr or $30k/year and not be able to afford to live in a big city, wtf are you doing the other 120 hrs a week to get your income up?  That wage would make life suck anywhere

mizzourah2006

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

Maybe they only drive 5-6 hours per day max?? I've lived in or around the big 3 cities in Ohio and can tell you that the mountains and beaches are all within a one day's drive. Hell, the road trip to the Rockies was a one day's drive (literally) and that was one boring drive....coughKANSAScough...

The rockies are only Mountains?  I can be in mountains in 4 hours.  Great lakes are a 2.5 hours and really nice lakes are 3 hours (local lakes are much closer).

Yeah, while the ozarks aren't the rockies they are definitely mountains, especially if you get into southwestern AR. As you said there are also some great bodies of water in the midwest or within a short driving distance. I like the view of an Ocean better than a lake, but I like the practicality of a lake (actually being able to swim in it, ski in it, boat in it, etc.) much more. Trade-offs to each.

MgoSam

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IMO, other than low COL, the midwest has very few redeeming qualities. No mountains. No ocean. Two days drive to get to either one. Highways are LITTERED with billboards that make it impossible to enjoy what little scenery we do have here. To me, it's just a bunch of boring same-ness. I don't find anything wrong with people who choose to pay more to live in an area they find beautiful and adventurous.

Two days drive? Are you using a go-cart? ;)

Maybe they only drive 5-6 hours per day max?? I've lived in or around the big 3 cities in Ohio and can tell you that the mountains and beaches are all within a one day's drive. Hell, the road trip to the Rockies was a one day's drive (literally) and that was one boring drive....coughKANSAScough...

The rockies are only Mountains?  I can be in mountains in 4 hours.  Great lakes are a 2.5 hours and really nice lakes are 3 hours (local lakes are much closer).

Yeah, while the ozarks aren't the rockies they are definitely mountains, especially if you get into southwestern AR. As you said there are also some great bodies of water in the midwest or within a short driving distance. I like the view of an Ocean better than a lake, but I like the practicality of a lake (actually being able to swim in it, ski in it, boat in it, etc.) much more. Trade-offs to each.

Yes, the Midwest flat out sucks. Please don't come!

That's what I tell Coasters that seem to think that Minnesota and other states are just "fly-over states." I don't want their smug attitudes near me, nor do I want a lot of people to come as they can raise local prices. Right now I find Minnesota to be beautiful even though there are no oceans or mountains (highest point is like 3000 feet above sea level), but the cost of living more than makes up for it. Post-FIRE I really want to move to South/Central America or SE Asia due to their lower COL with access to mountains/oceans.