Where Americans Pay The Most To Live And Why

high costs of living and sunshine - Where Americans Pay The Most To Live And Why
Samurai On Waialae Beach At Sunset

As one can guess, higher paying jobs leads to higher costs of living. In fact, more than half of the 20 cities surveyed by the US Census Bureau are based in California. Let's look at where Americans pay the most to live and why.

How is it that California is so dominant in the expensive costs of living category? The mass of settlers first arrived on Plymouth Rock 300 years ago. And 3,300 miles is a long way to travel, especially on horse and foot! 

Besides the gold rush, the main reason for the unfettered move out west is warmth and sunshine!

There is a reason why the 2nd most number of billionaires live in San Francisco (48). California and Hawaii are two of the best states for retirement.

High Costs Of Living And More Sun

Every time I vacation in Hawaii, I always ask myself, why the heck ain't I here for good. Let's face it, more sunshine equals happier people. Sunshine is the classic zeitgeber to help us wake up and get us motoring in the morning. No sunshine leads to no photosynthesis, which means no plant life, and therefore no ecosystem.

After 10 years of living on the east coast, I can still feel the grey skies weigh down my soul every winter. Don't get me wrong. I love the winter snow during the holidays. But I just love being in a cheerful mood more. Here are America's most expensive places to live based off median monthly housing costs.

Top Cities Where Americans Pay The Most To Live

1. San Jose, Calif. Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,828

2. Bridgeport, Conn. Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,793

3. Oxnard, Calif. Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,780

4. Washington, D.C. Area Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,706

5. San Francisco, Calif. Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,660 (Here!)

8. Honolulu, Hawaii. Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,532 (There!)

15. Trenton, New Jersey.  Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,401 (So not there!)

19. Seattle, Washington. Median Monthly Housing Costs: $1,368 (On the West Coast, but not as expensive likely due to rain)

Source: Forbes

Related: The Top 20 Cities To Buy Real Estate Today

Go To Paradise And Make More

So there you have it. Did the cities with the highest costs of living surprise you? Would you be willing to pay $131/month more to live in Honolulu, Hawaii than Trenton, New Jersey? You bet your buns of steel I would! 

The next time you are feeling a little glum, look outside and see if the weather has anything to do with it. And if so, come back to this post and plan your move out west.

If you're paying high costs of living might as well be in the sunshine.

300 years ago, it would have taken you months to come out west. Now, all it takes is a two week bus ride at most. Don't be afraid to pack up your bags and move, even with a family. 

Leo from Zenhabits, with his 6 children are moving to San Francisco from Gaum, and Ryan from Planting Dollars left Wisconsin for Hawaii, why can't you? After experiencing 10 years on each coast, there is no doubt in my mind that living in a warmer, sunnier place is the way to go.  See you on the beach this winter!

Related: West Coast Living – It Really Is that Much Better!

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71 thoughts on “Where Americans Pay The Most To Live And Why”

  1. Can I get some tips for relocating to California or Hawaii? Which is better for schools? How much should I earn to make a living there? It would be me, my husband, and 2 kids moving there.

    1. Depends where you are relocating from Kelly. California is more expensive than anywhere on average except for Manhattan, and perhaps Honolulu, HI.

      What level schools are you talking about?

  2. @The Financial blogger
    I really loved this article. It describes my viewpoint completely. I currently live on the east coast in Northern Ohio. Now, let me tell you that winters here in Ohio take up 3 quarters of the year. Yes, it really puts a damper on my spirit. Not only are the winters long, but even the summers are cloudy and dreary. I’d say it’s cloudy 85% of the time, the skies here are cloudy, overcast skies. When I go to the store, you can see it in the people’s faces that they are affected by it. I live for sunshine. Who doesn’t love sunshine!? I plan on moving to either Hawaii or California whenever I can. The only problem is money. I am a stay at home/work from home mom and my husband works all the time. I’m all for taking a risk and making a new life somewhere warm, but I can’t convince my husband to give up his job. I’ll still be able to keep my job as a medical transcriptionist since I’m employed nationwide, but my husband will have to start all over somewhere else. He works for an excavating company, and I don’t think there are many excavating jobs in Hawaii, maybe california. Anyway, point is I hate the cold, cloudy weather here and I refuse to live my whole life in Ohio.

    1. Life is too short to live in Northern Ohio Kelly. Trust me when I tell you , you will be SO MUCH happier not living there! Whatever job you have in Ohio, you can DEFINITELY find it in C or HI!

  3. @NorCal_lost
    Hmmm.. an hour South of Atlanta doesn’t sound that great. 200K houses though, what a steal! :) I hear ya. Today was 70 degrees with no humidity. Went for a hike and played tennis.

    Taxes here are killer though… but it’s worth it being happy. Although, chilling at the Wal Mart parking lot sounds fun!

  4. Born in SF, raised in Sacramento, 2 years in Anchorage, now an hour south of ATL….and really, really, really miss California. The weather here sucks and the food is gross!!!! 3 P.M. thunderstrorms everyday in the summer get old, as does the hellish humidity. Too cold to go out in the winter. Outdoor activities are either hunting or Wal Mart parking lot. Moutains here are speed bumps west of the Rockies.
    Work wise my wife makes $110 dollars less a day here then in California as a Dental Hygienist. I work DOD so pay is pretty uniform thru-out U.S. Besides housing, everything else here is the same. 200k house…$1700 taxes a year. The past 7.5 years in central Georgia have been very long and boring. Florida weather sucks too in comparison to San Diego and So Cal. To those who are thinking of leaving Cali, make sure you do your homework! The houses may be less expensive and bigger, but you will be in them ALOT!! The idea of a good time where you move may be called a, ” Pig Jig!” No joke do a search…. Oh yea… Southerners may have discovered NASCAR, but driving for most is not a gift, most think it is still 1953 and 45MPH is fast. I miss 75 MPH traffic on the 5.

  5. youngandthrifty

    Wow, San Jose is pric-yyy! I’m a west coast lover as well. Everything seems a bit “dark” when you go to the east coast. Maybe it’s because of the lack of ocean in the major cities on the east.

    It is true about the less motivated part. People who come over here from Toronto are are more “go go go” and have a much deeper work ethic. (Whereas people here in Vancouver somehow find a way to make money without have a 8-6 job *COUGH* *Drug money* *cough*).
    .-= youngandthrifty´s last blog ..Wondering if Pet Insurance Claim will be Approved =-.

    1. Youngandthrifty – And San Jose can’t hold a candle to San Francisco! Actually, since the figures are an average, the real price is probably 25% higher for most people, if that makes any sense.

      East coast grey skies, I can’t take. It weighs my soul too heavily. I’d rather be warmer and happier. Life is too short.

  6. Mr. Finance

    This one hits home, especially since I used to live in Honolulu. Yes it is worth every penny. Most people ask why would you come back to Texas. In the end, its not where you live, but the friends and family you have around you.

    If you do plan on moving to Hawaii though, plan on being cramped if you decide to get an apartment.

    1. Mr. Finance – Thanks for stopping by and good to hear you are enjoying life in my dream state! The good thing about being in SF is that so long as I don’t retire in Manhattan, pretty much everywhere is cheaper.

      Look forward to more of your Hawaii insights! You and Ryan from Planting Dollars should meet.

  7. I live in Bangkok. Are any of the other commenters / readers from here or is it just me?

    -Mike

  8. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

    It’s hard to say; there are so many places that look good on paper (so to speak), but that I can’t say for certain I’d want to live until I visited. My fiancee and I have talked about Japan quite a bit, so that’s probably at the top of the list.

    Why do people on the East Coast choose to submit themselves to harsh climates?

    As mentioned, there are lots of reasons; my family (on my mom’s side, at least) all live close by, I was born and raised here, and I like to have seasons like fall and winter. Besides, I think we can make a good case for the weather around here (Pennsylvania) not being that harsh; we get a really bad winter about as often as you get an earthquake, so I think we’re still doing alright.

    Plus, given the choice between driving on ice covered, snowy roads and driving on California highways, I’ll take the icy roads hands down. Driving in California was one of the least fun experiences I’ve ever had, and if it weren’t for my fiancee’s family and their insistence on living there, I would never, ever do it again.

    Do you think people fear that living in a more pleasant environment might make people friendlier and less motivated?

    Maybe; it makes an interesting psychological question.
    .-= Roger´s last blog ..Net Worth Update: Going Back to School =-.

  9. Credit Card Chaser

    @admin

    I absolutely love Tampa but I am also very fond of San Diego too. I have only been there once for a few days to visit family but except for the high cost of living and the state income tax it’s hard to beat the weather and the views in San Diego.
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Are Credit Card Companies Evil if They Don’t Waive Fees on Haiti Donations? =-.

  10. The Financial blogger

    @ Financial Samurai:
    Montreal is pretty cold in winter but you should see it during summer time… there is not only the city that is hot if you know what I mean ;-)

    Kelowna is amazing and it snows only twice a year during winter time so it’s not California, but it’s not that bad either ;-)

  11. @Mike Hunt
    Mike, you live in Bangkok now, or are you saying go to Bangkok and live? Seems like a lot of the community is in Bangkok. I may have to join.

    The cost of living in SF is high, but it is accompanied by high wages, otherwise, it’s unsustainable.

    @Ryan @ Planting Dollars
    I really think there is a truth to lazying out if one lives in too beautiful and comfortable a place. I’ve found myself unmotivated to do anything when I’m in Hawaii, although, I am there on vacation!

  12. Live in Bangkok, Thailand. Chiang Mai is pretty nice too and the weather is a bit cooler.

    It is very hot here year round but it’s a great value for money living here.

    Ideal place for me is Southern California or perhaps San Francisco. It costs a lot to live there but I really like the year round outdoor friendly weather!

    -Mike

  13. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

    In the short term, anywhere with good diving. In the long term – back in Wisconsin because I’ve learned to love it by being raised there and enjoy having close knit friends and family in one place. It’s the only place that feels like home.

    Why do people on the East Coast choose to submit themselves to harsh climates?

    Family, friends, and familiarity. I think it’s why most people stay wherever they’re at… there’s not enough upside to motivate them to take a risk. I think most people are motivated by things more important to them than climate. Climate actually wasn’t my reason for moving, but having the ability to scuba was. Just happens that they go hand in hand.

    Do you think people fear that living in a more pleasant environment might make people friendlier and less motivated?

    Yes!! Just met a guy yesterday who said everyday feels like groundhogs day out here and he never knows what he does with his days. I think it’s harder to “get ahead” career wise when there’s a beach a block away and gorgeous distractions everywhere. However, I’m trying very hard to have both ;)
    .-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Home Mortgage Calculators, 5 Ways to Workout Your Abode’ =-.

  14. FS – Atlanta has it’s advantages–low cost, mild winters, breathtaking springs, wide open spaces, well conceived public parks and an outstanding physical structure. But close knit community isn’t part of the package–probably for all the same reasons.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..The High Cost of Convenience =-.

  15. @Kevin@OutOfYourRut
    Yikes Kevin, I’m depressed now just reading your comment about Atlanta!

    @Marc
    DC, been there done that. Georgetown area and such is/was fun, but the weather was just too much during the winters and summers. I think I sneezed my head off every spring!

    @David
    Hmmm… Minn. would be one of the last places I would figure someone to mention as the place they could live anywhere. More power to you!

    @LeanLifeCoach
    Lean-san, we need more people to go to Souther California, since I’m in Northern California and pay more taxes since we got a budget problem! Come one, come all and pay our 10% state tax!

    @David @ MBA briefs
    David, I’m impressed nobody has called me out about my somewhat biased and silly question of “fearing to be more friendly being in a more agreeable climate” :)

  16. I’m working hard to move back to northern Cali. I used to live in Santa Cruz and it was perfect. I’d like to end up anywhere south of San Francisco and north of Monterey.

    I’m in Washington, D.C. now and I like it well enough, but nothing beats the weather and the people in NorCal. The wife’s family is out in southern California too, so it’d be nice to be closer to them.

    Can’t believe Trenton came in at #15 – that’s on my list of places I don’t ever want to live (along with the rest of New Jersey).

  17. My whole life is in Minnesota. I’ve lived here my entire life and I love the Twin Cities. With that being said, I would like to at least live here part of the year. The winters are pretty harsh, but I have to say I am used to them. Summers are awesome here and there’s nothing like going up north to the Brainerd/Nisswa area. I hope to have a cabin there in the future.

    So I guess I would have to say Minnesota, though climate has little to do with that decision.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Sleeping At Last Sing-A-Long =-.

  18. @RainyDaySaver
    Rainy Day Saver – Your comments about your ties to family and friends has reminded me about something else I prefer about the Northeast.

    Here in Atlanta, as I’m sure it is in most Sunbelt locations, there’s a noticeable absence of community. Not as in physical community (though it is partially this as well) but in terms of a people based community.

    With a relatively static populations, communities in the NE tend to be close knit; everybody knows everybody, as well as their families and family histories. Extended families tend to live in close circles, maybe not in the same town, but in a nearby one. It’s almost a European construct. Families live in the same community for generations.

    The transient nature of the Sunbelt population replaces true community with a faux version. Life here revolves around the malls, where you’re mostly alone in a crowd; there are very few downtown areas. Subdivisions are the center of physical community, but people seldom know most of their neighbors, and there’s good reason: people move every 4-5 years. Look up and down your street, and nearly all of your current neighbors will be gone within five years. People are more like ships passing in the night.

    I think that alone is a compelling reason why someone might stay in an area with lousy weather and even a high cost of living.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..The High Cost of Convenience =-.

  19. Samurai-san, you’re breaking your oath to make Cali sound crummy. The way you’re talking everyone will want to move there and then it won’t be nearly as nice!

    Honestly, I miss Cali but moving to Atlanta gave us twice as much R.E. for half the money! Income actually went up so financially it was a no-brainer. The other big piece of it is family; with young kids being close to the grandparents is always a nice thing.

    @Evan – Don’t listen to him, Za’s Pizza is great but the right slice of NY pizza can’t be beat!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Sometimes More Is Less =-.

  20. I’m born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and relocated to Austin, TX summer 2008. I will never move back. Great weather, 20k raise, no state taxes, low cost of living. I feel like I have been on a 2 year vacation and love it. Hopefully my family and friends smarten up.

  21. @RainyDaySaver
    This list isn’t the normal one you see on most expensive cities. This is a list that attempts to rank cities based solely on average monthly home costs.

    I don’t know, I’ve been to NJ many times in the past, and I’m not a fan. I would move away, and go back and visii my family on occasion. Or they can just come visit me in Hawaii!

    @Kevin@OutOfYourRut
    Like the diversity of the cities! Never been to Atlanta. Don’t think I ever well. I remember long ago applying to Emory University, but didn’t end up going.

    @Bucksome
    SD weather is amazing, I’ll have to agree. Probably the best in the entire US! I could live there for 3 months a year, but I think I’d get bored.

  22. David @ MBA briefs

    If you could live anywhere, where would you live? That’s a tough one. I’d love to live on Vieques, a little island off Puerto Rico full of ex-pats, but I’m afraid I’d get tired of all the problems of living on an island. Or maybe the Black Forest area of Germany which is beautiful and where my ancestors hale from. But every place has good points and bad points.

    Why do people on the East Coast choose to submit themselves to harsh climates? I grew up on the East Coast and spent most of my life there and the answer it’s good to live somewhere where you have family and a history and roots. The hardest part of relocating around the country is having to start over from scratch and being completely alone.

    Do you think people fear that living in a more pleasant environment might make people friendlier and less motivated? I don’t know about the fearing part, but it seems to me people in warmer climes are more laid back than people from areas where life is harder. But seeing as how I’m months away from spring that’s not sounding like such a bad thing:-)
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..How to analyze stocks like a pro – part 4 =-.

  23. Interesting conversation. It’s been fascinatnig to to read some of the East Coaster’s thoughts on the West. I do live in America’s Finest City (that’s the tagline for San Diego) and must admit the weather is great.

    The only place we love more in the U.S. is Hawaii. But we will never live there because it’s just too far from our families. As you get older this becomes a more important factor on where to live.
    .-= Bucksome´s last blog ..Smaller Isn’t Always Cheaper =-.

  24. Curious if there was a newer Forbes list? The last one I found from October doesn’t have Trenton, N.J. on there. I”m sure it depends on the agency collecting the data and the criteria used. And it sure as hell isn’t talking about Trenton city, proper — it more likely means the surrounding affluent areas of Ewing, Princeton and West Windsor.

    I know why I’m in New Jersey — ancestors came over from Europe through Ellis Island, and just stayed here. My ties to family and friends are strong enough to keep me here, too. I enjoy the seasons, most hurricanes just graze us here in North Jersey, and we have a shoreline to enjoy in the summer.
    .-= RainyDaySaver´s last blog ..Insulation is Up! =-.

  25. I know plenty of people who love the weather on the east coast and getting to experience all the 4 seasons every year, but I’d rather go hide under a rock than go through that amount of humidity and freezing weather…to each his own, right?

    There are so many neat places in the world with or without perfect weather though. Paris would be a dream as would the Florida Keys, San Diego, Rome, Barcelona, Hawaii, etc etc.

    If I was rich enough and didn’t have to work, I’d rotate and live in all of them!

  26. We live in the South where it’s warm most of the time. I generally like if for the warmth and abundant sunshine, however the high summer months here are oppressive. You get cabin fever just like up north, but because of the heat, not the cold. I still miss the fall in the Northeast, and love snow, but not the attendant cold, so here we are.

    Now as to where I’d like to live…FL in the winter, Atlanta in the spring (spring is spectacular here), So Calif in summer, and Vermont in the fall.

    My needs are simple.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..The High Cost of Convenience =-.

  27. @The Genius

    Sorry if I offended as it wasn’t meant to be as such. I obviously don’t wish anyone harm. Just stating how much of a risk I think living in the SF bay area.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates =-.

  28. Investor Junkie :@admin
    My thought about earthquakes in SF area. I’ll wait to buy real estate *after* the next big one which is way overdue. I assume RE will be much cheaper then. Unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say it will happen in my lifetime. I think that area will be a mess, nothing as bad as Haiti of course.
    Damn I wish we lived next to low/no tax states. Nothing is even a 5 hour drive from here. I’ve thought about the idea of RE in other states that I can get to by air. Just not sure if I’m ready to take the dive yet because of the distance from the property.Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates

    Pretty insensitive there IJ, esp since many live in SF, and the Haiti tragedy.

    @Craig
    Sounds like like someone who lives in the Northeast and has never been out west.

    @ Admin – I would live in multiple places a year: residence in Florida, but live in Hawaii, Rome, and Bali!
    .-= The Genius´s last blog ..Office of Creative Services established at William & Mary =-.

  29. Northeast is the best place to live in the country….hands down.
    .-= Craig´s last blog ..Weekly Personal Finance Roundup =-.

  30. @Evan
    Haha, yes, the conversations are addicting, hence one of my resolutions not to get addicted and obsessed! Also why my Twitter is shut off all day.

    Greece, never been! Which cities to go, if you had 10 days?? Greece, Cambodia, and Turkey are on our short list to go for 2 weeks this summer!

    @Joel
    Yes, nudists in the back yard all the time at Point Reyes! Totally understand.

    @Little House
    Ah yes, the 49ers, of course! However, settlers came here even before that to escape the harsh climate of the North East!

    I like Santa Monica and Westwood. I’d get bored living in one place, if I grew up there all my life.

    @Credit Card Chaser
    Florida is definitely good, given no state income tax! Just scared of the sweltering humidity, and yearly hurricanes. I really enjoy the diversity of bigger cities too… although I love the Cubano culture!

  31. Credit Card Chaser

    Why not live in Florida where the weather is just as nice as California (except for the last couple weeks :) ), the cost of living is much lower, and there is no personal income tax? I used to live in Pennsylvania but then I went to school in Florida where I could see the beach out of my dorm window and never left :)
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..What You Need to Know About Business Credit Cards =-.

  32. I live in LA and let me just say that there are days when I can’t stand it here, and days when I love it. I’ve grown up here, so it’s my home. However, there are many days I dream of a quaint, small, homey town with four seasons. Not that I’ve ever shoveled snow, I don’t know if I could actually do that since my arms are like toothpicks. And I don’t know if that town I picture in my head even exists.

    It’s uber expensive here, but I’ve always seemed to figure out how to afford it. The weather is great, but yes depending on location, it can get really hot in the summer. The fires make our already smoggy air more dirty. If I actually sat down with a pros and cons list, I’m sure I could talk myself into moving somewhere else. My husband, however, would never leave.

    Oh, you forgot the California gold! That’s what really sparked the movement from east to west in 1849-1852. Not that any of the gold miners actually struck it rich, they just hopped to! Sorry for the long-winded comment.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..The Text Book Racket =-.

  33. You know, Point Reyes is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But the vibe there is still a little… off. There’s a strange, off-kilter, moldy-yet-wealthy hippie feeling there that never quite worked for me. Does that make sense? Probably a lot of nudists.
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..Holiday Retail Sales Numbers Are in… And They’re Not Good =-.

  34. @Joel
    Ah, yeah, I kept it opened ended for interpretation. Never been to NZ. Might be the destination for next 2-weeker! I’m sure Hawaii stands up quite well to Auckland.

    The nostalgia of going back to Point Reyes must have been something. I love going “home” to the places I use to grow up, and see if anything changed.

  35. Actually, I lived in Point Reyes for two years in the mid-’90s. (I worked at the local paper The Point Reyes Light, which won a Pulitzer in 1979.) I loved it, but I wasn’t make jack for money, so I headed back to my hometown of Chicago. I miss it, though, and I took my family there two years ago to celebrate getting a new job.

    But wait… I thought the question was “Where would you live IN THE U.S. if you could live anywhere?” If it’s anywhere, I might go with Barcelona or Auckland, New Zealand. If you want beautiful, NZ is where you want to be. It makes California look like Gary, Indiana. (Well, not really, but it is pretty spectacular.)
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..Holiday Retail Sales Numbers Are in… And They’re Not Good =-.

  36. @Bytta @151 Days Off
    LOVE Barcelona! The tapas, the weather, the people, the culture. Fantastic! I could definitely live there for a looong while. Australia can’t be that bad no? Heard Sydney is like San Francisco, but doesn’t sound like you are in Sydney.

    @Aaron @ Clarifinancial
    True, I should have wrote “Why freeze your bum off living in the NorthEast”, but then I’d exclude everybody else :)

    @Money Funk
    The only thing about San Diego is that it is SO SLEEPY. Don’t think I could live there for longer than 1 month a year.

    @Joel

    Welcome to San Fran Joel! Will take you out for a good old fashion crab feast! Yeah, Central Wisconsin ain’t Point Reyes, or Pebble Peach… but then again, I’ve never been! Hilarious comment!

    @thriftygal
    The funny thing though, is that if you get off the frozen tundra, there actually are a lot of other places to live other than Boston that pay very very well!

    @Evan
    Evan, don’t you know pizza is bad for you, with all the fat and dairy? :) Actually, the best pizza on earth is here in SF… Za’s Pizza, Little Star deep dish. I’ve had plenty of NYC while living in Manhattan, there’s more variety here!

  37. Aaron @ Clarifinancial

    That’s weird, I’m right near Elle. And it’s supposed to get near 60 degrees today!

    But the East Coast stretches all the way down too – Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Miami. Just a thought.

  38. I would have to say San Francisco. There are many issues there — it seems really crowded, parking is brutal, housing is crazy-expensive… that said, it just has such a cool feeling to it. Very European (and I’m not one of those people who think something is better just because it’s from Europe — it just has a different, intangible feeling to it).

    Also, they really know how to do food in California — their cuisine is awesome. And lastly, it’s a pretty reasonable drive to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country: West Marin, Sonoma, etc.

    I live in Chicago, and with a three-hour drive you can get to…. central Wisconsin. Which is fine, but it’s hardly Point Reyes.
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..Holiday Retail Sales Numbers Are in… And They’re Not Good =-.

  39. @Evan

    That is very true! My wife says it’s in the water. California pizza can’t hold a candle to it :-) Don’t forget the bagels.

    When I lived in South Carolina what people thought about pizza and bagels was funny. They thought Domino’s was good and Lenders were “real” bagels. Ha!
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates =-.

  40. @admin Haha maybe just a little…But I’ll never give up my Yankees. The rest I could manage.
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..FSA to the Rescue! =-.

  41. If I could live anywhere I’d split my time between one home somewhere in California, Forida or NC and the rest of the time exploring all the different places in my travel wish list like the Amalfi coast, spain, NZ, etc… I gal could always dream right? :P

    Then why are we living in this frozen tundra you ask? Well because that’s where we can save the most money. When hubby was looking for jobs a couple of years ago, he got several offers, with one originating from texas and another from cali – but none could beat the offer from Boston, so that’s where we’re stuck… at least for the moment. But we’re nomads of sorts, so we have no problem picking up and leaving for the right salary and climate when the time comes.
    .-= thriftygal´s last blog ..Resolutions: Good For My Wallet; Bad For The Economy =-.

  42. Readers, if you could live anywhere, where would you live?
    I live in a suburb of St. Louis and like it just fine. We have all 4 seasons of weather which I like and are close to family. I’m not sure I’d like to live somewhere else, but would try it if the right opportunity came along. I liked Boston a lot when we visited last summer and Seattle when I went years ago, I guess those would be my top choices.

    Why do people on the East Coast choose to submit themselves to harsh climates?
    There’s other things to where you live besides weather – employment, family, schools, etc. Most people are inside all day anyway.

    Do you think people fear that living in a more pleasant environment might make people friendlier and less motivated?
    Friendlier – no people will always find something to complain about.
    Less motivated – maybe, but those that want to be usually find some way to motivate themselves.

  43. I’m in florida so im pretty content where I live, especially when it comes to the weather. Still doesn’t beat Hawaii though! :)
    .-= 20smoney´s last blog ..Deflation Is Real, Inflation Is Also Real… Huh? =-.

  44. Moneyreasons

    if you could live anywhere, where would you live?
    For the last 5 years it would be San Francisco, when I was younger I wanted to move to Seattle… There are many things big and small to like about San Fran…

    Why do people on the East Coast choose to submit themselves to harsh climates? I’m in the NorthEast region of the country, but I would guess the following: Family, Friends, Traditions, “Kids in School” and Work. We stay mainly to be close to family. My wife want our kids to experience their Grandparents and all…

    Do you think people fear that living in a more pleasant environment might make people friendlier and less motivated? Hmmm, I never thought about this, it makes sense though. The friendlier you are the more you talk and the less productive you are (in certain jobs). I think it’s mostly a matter of people not realizing how good it is at other locations, and maybe the lack of a support system.
    .-= Moneyreasons´s last blog ..Creating Alternative Income Milestones =-.

  45. @admin

    My thought about earthquakes in SF area. I’ll wait to buy real estate *after* the next big one which is way overdue. I assume RE will be much cheaper then. Unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say it will happen in my lifetime. I think that area will be a mess, nothing as bad as Haiti of course.

    Damn I wish we lived next to low/no tax states. Nothing is even a 5 hour drive from here. I’ve thought about the idea of RE in other states that I can get to by air. Just not sure if I’m ready to take the dive yet because of the distance from the property.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates =-.

  46. do you have a url from your source? I’ve lived in CT for 25 years, and I cannot believe Bridgeport is that high on the list… I’m curious to know the definition of ‘top cities.’
    .-= canz´s last blog ..Firefox Add-Ons Every Web Developer Must Have =-.

  47. Bytta @151 Days Off

    I wish I lived in Madrid or Barcelona. Don’t know why, maybe it’s the climate, culture, passion, you name it. Maybe next year I will.

    I currently live in the East Coast… of Australia and the weather is relatively harsher compared to the rest of the country. About question number 3, I think there’s a stigma that sees the serious face and frown expressed by people living in colder climate as a sign of higher intelligence; but I think they’re just a bunch of grumpy people. I choose sun over howling winter wind anytime.
    .-= Bytta @151 Days Off´s last blog ..Day 7: Eight Random Things About Me (And Some Homework) =-.

  48. @Investor Junkie
    Media sensationalism has caught hold of you. Yes, earthquakes are dangerous as anybody who is reading the news can tell, but they happen every 25-50 years (knock on wood all survive when the big ones hit), not like the 5 hurricanes every single year, snow storms, forest fires, droughts etc on the east coast as well. Every year, I had to endure sweltering summers and blizzardy winters, it got old.

    Yep, all about setting up your retirement in one of the 7 NO income tax states. I’m hunting for rental property in the Nevada side of Tahoe now.

  49. Eh.. we have crappy weather, you have earthquakes, droughts, mud slides and forest fires. I’ll take the crappy weather over the other four any day.

    Seriously though, I *love* the San Fransisco bay area. Since my goal is to eventually move out (when we retire?) of a high taxed area to a low/no taxed area, somehow moving to the SF area doesn’t fit that bill. Obviously a great area for tech area, which I’m currently in.

    But with all of this talk of globalism, does it really matter where you live? Meaning would it be best to setup residence in low tax state and city (ie Houston) and visit areas like SF for extended periods?
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Expect Even Lower Bank Rates =-.

    1. Sonja L. Marshall

      If I could live anywhere, I would choose several places and have homes (thinking mostly of my parents, sisters, other family and friends): Monaco, New York City, Half Moon Bay California, and maybe an estate outside of London. My parents and other family members and friends would have somewhere to vacation and stay for free whenever they wanted to. Though New York and London can get chilly, Manhattan has so much to offer – especially in the spring, summer and fall, it would be worth having a large condo there and in London. The other places listed, I chose because of the sunshine, climate for health reasons and extraordinary beauty.

      Sonja L. Marshall

      1. Hi Sonja – Manhattan is amazing! Too bad it’s so expensive, and the winters are ridiculously cold. Half Moon Bay is nice, but gosh does it get foggy a lot! I’ll have to check out Monaco some day. Never been! Thanks for stopping by. Cheers, Sam

  50. @The Financial blogger
    Been to Montreal once, but so cold! brrr. Will do some digging on Kelwona!

    @Gordie
    Tianjin compared to NZ must be night and day. Well done for living such a drastic lifestyle! You’ll appreciate your home country that much more this summer!

    @Elle
    Heard Raleigh is nice, and very affordable. I donno though, I guess it could be worth for us to relocate to the eastern seaboard if we could save a ton, but make the same amount of money. However, that’s the problem… I’m not sure if the same income would be available, since the cost of living is much cheaper.

    @Daniel
    Hmmm, is the West always 3 hours behind? That’s quite East Coast centric thinking no? You’ll learn to like the West Coast powerhouse sports teams if you live out here, and enjoy life to your own tune. In the West, the East bend to us!

  51. My girlfriend is from LA, where it’s always warm and beautiful. Over New Years, it was well into the 70s. I brought a very light jacket that I never used. But when I got back to D.C. it was around 30 and I had no coat…

    One of the main reasons I wouldn’t want to move out West is that I’d always be 3 hours behind. Sure, waking up at 10 and watching football on Sundays sounds amazing, but what about baseball season?? Games starting at 4pm? I may not be home until the 6th inning! I’m torn. If I could find a job that lets me out before 4, I’d be much more willing to consider it.
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..My Bank Experiences =-.

  52. We live in Raleigh, NC and the weather is usually pretty good. The cost of living overall is cheaper than what we had to pay on Virginia. We close to family (2-3 hours away) and in a spot that fits for us (husband is a programmer- Triangle has jobs).

  53. I currently live in a polluted shit hole in China, so I’m really looking forward to moving back New Zealand in July. Just to be able to see crisp clear blue skies and exercise outside year round with out worrying about pollution will be great!

    P.S. Samurai, I left you a bit of homework on my latest post on my blog.

    Cheers. :)
    .-= Gordie´s last blog ..Why Haven’t You Achieved Your Biggest Goal Yet? =-.

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