“‘You can’t always let cost drive your decision making,’ said Judson Meinhart, manager of financial planning at Parsec Financial in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. ‘Make sure you’re going to be happy.’
Start with the biggest-ticket items first, said Meinhart, a certified financial planner. ‘For most people, this is housing, vehicles and taxes,’ he said.
You can save considerably on rent, mortgage or even property taxes if you’re moving from cities such as San Francisco or New York to a suburban area according to Meinhart. Cost of living calculators such as NerdWallet’s can help break down some of your potential savings.
Moving from a high-tax state to a low-tax one could also be a big benefit, Meinhart said. If you have lower pay, you may be in a lower marginal tax bracket. And, states including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming have no income taxes.
‘If you’re earning over $150,000, moving from a high-tax state like New York, New Jersey or California to one of these tax havens could result in a savings of more than $10,000 per year,’ said Meinhart. One caveat: if the company you’re working for is based in a high-tax state, you may still be dinged for taxes there.
‘Really it’s ultimately about making yourself happy and putting yourself in the best situation,’ said Meinhart from Parsec Financial. ‘Sometimes you do have to take a short-term hit financially.’”