Author Topic: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci  (Read 4665 times)

Everything in Moderation

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:31:12 AM »
Has anyone ever used those online cost of living calculators?  Are they accurate? 

I just did and am pretty amazed.  I can work from pretty much anywhere and currently live in an expensive city.  If I moved to this other mid-sized city, 4-5 hours away, I would be giving myself a $28,837 raise

I brought up the subject to my husband and he is thinking about it.  It would require him to find a new job, and he currently loves his job more than anyone I know.  Moving and job changes really stress him out.   I on the other hand, like change.   

We are in our early 30s and still getting settled.  Although the big city is great, we are realizing it is just not worth it.  Especially since we are just starting our family and fancy date nights in the city will be replaced by suburban kid friendly activities. 

What do you all think?  To me it seems like a no-brainer.  To my husband on the other hand...
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:06:41 PM by Everything in Moderation »

LibrarIan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 501
Re: Cost of Living Calculator
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 08:49:33 AM »
I can't speak to the accuracy of the calculators, having never used one, but I can say that it may not be as good of an idea as it seems. If your husband can find an equivalent or better job in this new place, I say go for it. But it sounds like he loves his job. It would be difficult for me to convince my spouse to leave her job and move that far away. You also state in your calculator that you'd be giving *you* a 28K raise. Does this calculation include any of his finances? It could be that you'd be lucking out but he wouldn't be. I'm making a lot of assumptions here, please correct me if I'm wrong.

stash4cash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Cost of Living Calculator
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 10:55:32 AM »
The calculators aren't terribly accurate in my experience. In particular, you want to look at how the cost of living compares on individual categories and not just the "net" difference.
My suggestion would be to post on here somewhere with where you are thinking about moving too and solicit input about the cost of living from those folks that live there now (so you can compare it to where you are at).


Everything in Moderation

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Cost of Living Calculator
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 10:58:28 AM »
His salary would be the same, and we would never move unless he had a job in place.  It is a hard to risk to take: finding a new job that you love as much as your old one. 

Interesting that you are from Cinci.  That is where we are considering moving to.  We are currently living in Chicago. 

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28496
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Cost of Living Calculator
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 11:13:44 AM »
Has anyone ever used those online cost of living calculators?  Are they accurate? 

I just did and am pretty amazed.  I can work from pretty much anywhere and currently live in an expensive city.  If I moved to this other mid-sized city, 4-5 hours away, I would be giving myself a $28,837 raise

I brought up the subject to my husband and he is thinking about it.  It would require him to find a new job, and he currently loves his job more than anyone I know.  Moving and job changes really stress him out.   I on the other hand, like change.   

We are in our early 30s and still getting settled.  Although the big city is great, we are realizing it is just not worth it.  Especially since we are just starting our family and fancy date nights in the city will be replaced by suburban kid friendly activities. 

What do you all think?  To me it seems like a no-brainer.  To my husband on the other hand...

(Emphasis added.)

Agreed on the no brainer - it's clear to me you shouldn't move.  Work you love > money.   You can always earn more money.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4772
Re: Cost of Living Calculator
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 11:41:31 AM »
We certainly considered COL when we moved, but it was far from the only consideration.  And not shockingly! we seriously miss living in a bigger more expensive city (although ours was a drastic change from large city to small town in a rural county).  I would move back to the more expensive city in a heartbeat and would happily live in a much tinier house to do so!

I agree with the PP's who said to consider what is causing the price difference.  If it is just housing, it's easy to buy a cheap/more expensive house or a smaller/bigger house.  We now have a local income tax that is a straight percentage of salary- before we had higher property taxes but you can mitigate that by living in a smaller house. 

That said, being fairly familiar with Chicago and now living near a medium sized OH city that is not Cinci, I would probably make the move if your H can find a new job that he likes.  I am not a fan of Chicago largely due to traffic and housing prices, and medium sized cities can be pretty nice to live in for various reasons.

 Think seriously about schools and where exactly you would want to live though.  The city we moved from had good city schools and it was desirable to live in the city.  The new OH city (we are actually about 45 minutes outside the city, as I said, we are in a rural area, but I have to go in to the city a lot) has terrible schools.  So the col calculators say housing is an average of 100k, but in reality you are looking at either forking over for private school or living in a suburb where the average house cost now jumps to 200k.  Then when you live in a suburb you have awful public transport, very non bike friendly, and vast unending sprawl and strip malls.  So pay attention to what exact neighborhoods and school districts might be a fit for you, and then look at those particular taxes and housing prices (did I mention our town has a straight 2% income tax! no deductions?  Holy crap that is painful!). 

Everything in Moderation

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Cost of Living Calculator
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 11:48:53 AM »
arebelspy, yes you are correct.  Love of work is more important than money. 

I left out the lifestyle benefits. 

1.  My husband would not have to commute 2-3 hours per day anymore, which is a soul sucking activity.  I live right by my office, but he does not.  We are two weeks away from having our first child and the long days away will be hard. 

2.  His new job as a teacher in a school would give him summers off, nice perk, especially with kids around.  He currently teaches, but not in a traditional school. 

3.  Traditional teaching jobs generally increase pay with each added year of experience.  He currently gets no increase each year and will cause him to change jobs in Chicago to move up, an activity he does not care for.  He likes stability. 

4.  If he stays in his current career path in Chicago, he will need to get an MBA to move up.  He already has a masters in education, and we are still paying loans from undergrad.  More education would not be needed if he return to traditional education. 

5.  The winters in Chicago are never ending and we hate them.  Cinci is tropical compared to Chicago, easier to live an active, healthy lifestyle.   

6.  Our rental home is in Cinci and it would be easier to manage. 

He really likes the perks of the move to Cincinnati, however, understandably he has concerns over the job change.  He loves his non-traditional teaching job.  The unknown factor is if he will love or hate his traditional teaching job in a school. 

We are just starting to think about this, so thanks for the additional perspectives. 

LibrarIan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 501
Re: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 01:11:25 PM »
As someone who lives in Cincinnati, I say if you can convince him and he can find a good job, move. Cost of living is pretty low here. For example, watching shows like House Hunters or whatever, people will be like, "Oh, I'm looking for a home in [expensive city] and have 700K to plunk down on this little apartment..." But in Cincy they're like, "Oh, I'm looking for a home in Cincinnati and have 700K to plunk down on a mansion with a huge yard, a super sweet car and a bunch of other shit." I don't know why more people don't move here.

Regarding the weather, I'd wager it's better than Chicago, but it's random as all get out. Winter doesn't care when spring is supposed to happen, and you may experience 40 degree temperature swings in a matter of hours. It could literally be a balmy morning ride to work, then snow while you're there and then it warms up again two hours later.

Everything in Moderation

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 09:14:34 AM »
Does anyone else know if those calculators work?  I am trying to do a financial analysis.  Thanks. 

Housing seems to be the biggest difference.  1/2 million in Chicago in a good school district does not get you much.  I could buy an amazing house in Cincinnati for $250.   

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28496
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2014, 09:22:02 AM »
Does anyone else know if those calculators work?  I am trying to do a financial analysis.  Thanks. 

"Those" calculators?  There are so many out there that no, we can't give a blanket endorsement for all f them and say "yes they work" or "no they don't".

There are some out there that are decent though. Which are you trying?  If you give more detail we may be able to offer feedback.  :)

In general (theory) I think they're less applicable to Mustachians, since you'll already be living at the lower end of your city, you won't be able to drop down as much.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Everything in Moderation

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2014, 09:54:06 AM »
"In general (theory) I think they're less applicable to Mustachians, since you'll already be living at the lower end of your city, you won't be able to drop down as much."

I am a moderate mustachian, hence my name, Everything In Moderation.  I believe in spending money on things that matter to my family (great school district, nice house, healthy food, backpacking vacations) and not spending on things that don't matter (cable, eating out, expensive vacations, expensive clothes). 

I would not be surprised if there are more moderates out there than perceived. 

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28496
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2014, 10:55:44 AM »
I believe in spending money on things that matter to my family ...and not spending on things that don't matter

I think you just described every Mustachian.

;)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Simple Abundant Living

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
    • Simple Abundant Living
Re: Cost of Living Calculator: Move Chicago to Cinci
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 01:15:39 PM »
We lived in Northern KY for seven years and loved it!  My DH worked from home/traveled, so access to the NKY/Cinci airport was great.  We had fantastic neighbors and lived in a family friendly area I loved.  We loved Cincinnati's zoo, children's museum, and (wish we hadn't needed it!) the children's hospital too.  And we could get there in 20-25 mins.   Cost of living was (to me) pretty low.  I feel like we had a great standard of living for the money. 

I thought the winters were very bearable.  Some icy roads, but not too much snow accumulates.  Summers are hot and humid, but not too much worse than Chicago I would imagine.

Good luck with the decision.  My kids love where they live, but if we told them we were going back to NKY, they would cheer!  ;)