It’s 2016 and there are more remote employees and freelancers than ever. Are you one of them? Even if you’re not, would you consider relocating?
We all want to be rich. Even someone like myself. I have few material wants but having the power to control a good portion of money is enticing.
In order to get rich, we must optimize pretty much every area of our lives. Being rich is a lifestyle. That’s probably why people don’t get rich working a 9-5.
It only makes sense we look at where we live. Let’s discover the optimal place to live in order to get rich. It takes some effort to move at first. But pretty soon, the extra money will stack up without you really even realizing it’s because of where you live. Let’s get started.
Is Your Financial Oasis Abroad?
When I first asked myself this question, I thought the answer was obviously to move abroad. The US has pretty high taxes. Federal taxes. And state taxes where I live. Sending off 30% of my income and not seeing the effects in a direct way doesn’t feel the best all the time.
So I considered going abroad. Why? Some countries don’t even have income tax! Good countries too! But there’s a problem.
You cannot escape US taxes even if you move abroad and take up residency. The only way you can stop paying the US tax is if you renounce your citizenship. I spoke with a tax planner for expatriates and he strongly discouraged anyone choosing that option.
Finding a Low Cost of Living State
This is a more practical option. Consider going to a state with a low cost of living. Housing, groceries, things like that are cheap there. This will help keep your expenses low and your benjamin’s stacking.
A State with No Income Tax
There are currently 7 states with no income tax: Alaska, Washington, Texas, Florida, Nevada, North Dakota and Wyoming. This is helpful but make sure you won’t want to be flying to your home state too often. That may eat your savings. Check to see how much you’ll save by not paying state income tax. Then see how much it’ll cost to fly/drive home. Consider how often you’d want to go back each year. See if it pencils out.
The Exact Location
It’s nice to find a location where you can use a bicycle or public transportation the majority of the time. This will bring your transportation costs to near zero. Just make sure you’re not spending a ton to live downtown just to save $15 on transportation.
Keep in Mind Opportunity
There’s one thing you mustn’t forget and it’s opportunity. Because on the face of this piece, you may think you should move to somewhere like Wyoming since it’s dirt cheap living. But would you be happy living there? Would you be able to meet like-minded people? Would you be surrounded by other people who can inspire and motivate you to work hard and make more money? Would you be willing to make it a long-term situation? Whenever thinking about money, you must look at income as well as expenses. You want to live in a place with a thriving economy. And yes, it is hard to find low cost of living and a thriving economy. But there are some areas much better than others. The point of this post is to help you identify those areas.
Having family close is handy. Don’t undervalue this. If you have children, your family may be able to help you watch the children. If you need help painting a bedroom, bingo. I’m not saying they are free labor. Far from it. But if your parents want to watch your kids, it’ll really help slash the daycare costs.
Where will you move?
After reading this post, what areas would you consider? Where can you find the balance between opportunity and savings? Texas if perhaps the greatest state for finding this balance. But ultimately, the best place to live is up to you.
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com