How far will your money go in different cities

Here’s How Far Your Money Will Go in 7 U.S. Cities Millennials Are Moving To The Most



While relocating for a stellar career opportunity can give you great footingand a sweeter paycheck—there’s much to consider before packing. You’ll want to feel confident that you’re uprooting to not only grow your career, but also to thrive personally.

As you factor in all that could make your nights and weekends more enjoyable, be it the number craft breweries or rock climbing walls in your potential new ‘hood, you’ll also want to look at the life/work metrics and: cost of living; safe, affordable neighborhoods; and job growth rates. After all, you’ll want to live comfortably and continue to save and invest in your future.

To help you size up the possibilities, we’ve uncovered seven U.S. cities that millennials are currently flocking to or keeping their eyes on. A 10-year study conducted by the American Institute of Economic Research shows three major cities that the young and educated have moved to for professional growth: San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Further, according to recent data released by LinkedIn, millennials have shown a spike in interest in the job markets in these mid-sized cities: Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, and Cleveland.

“A lot of ‘18-hour‘ or ‘second-tier cities’ are pushing to create urban downtowns,” explains Patrick Sisson, a senior reporter at Curbed. “And the fact that these cities are a lot more affordable than larger cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, make them pretty attractive.”

Appearing in order of cost of living (lowest to highest), and taking into account SoFi’s 2016 data on the average amount of student loan debt in each city, here’s a look at how you can thrive in these seven cities based on factors such as job growth rates, unemployment rates, earning potential and housing markets:*

How far your money will go in Raleigh

Raleigh, North Carolina

With a strong economy and high-paying jobs in the technology and healthcare sectors, it seems promising that you’ll be able pay off student debt by nesting in one of Raleigh’s popular suburbs, such as Morrisville or Holly Springs.

Cost of Living Index: -6%. The cost of living in Raleigh is 6% lower than the national average, largely because housing is 21% lower than the national average.

Average Student Debt of SoFi Members Living in Raleigh: $62,653

Job Growth Rate

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Top Industries / Top Paying Jobs

  • Technology /Computer and Information Systems Engineers, Software Architects
  • Healthcare / General Pediatricians, Epidemiologists
  • Education / Postsecondary Economics Teachers, Postsecondary Engineering Teachers

 

Professional Salaries: Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in Raleigh compared to the national average:

 

Rent

 

Home Price:

 

Austin cost of living

Austin, Texas

While Austin is known for its music scene, BBQ joints, and breweries, being a leader in tech and healthcare is a big reason why young professionals are heading to the capital city. “Cities such as Austin are making a point to create innovation hubs, which are attracting millennials,” explains Sisson. Plus the relatively low cost of living makes it a popular place in which to live. With Austin’s low unemployment rate and investment in innovation centers, moving may yield lasting benefits for the long term.

Cost of Living Index: -6%. The cost of living in Austin is 6% lower than the national average, mainly because the cost of housing is 13% lower than the national average.

Average Student Debt of SoFi Member Living in Austin: $64,906

Job Growth Rate

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Top industries: / Top Paying Jobs

  • Technology / Data Architect, IT Manager
  • Pharmaceutical / Pharmacists, Medical and Health Service Managers)
  • Biotechnology / Physicists, Nuclear Medicine Technology

 

Professional Salaries: Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in Austin, compared to the national average:

 

Rent

 

Home Price

 

Related: 5 Expert Tips To Landing a Big Promotion in 2017

Detroit cost of living

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit’s recent revitalization efforts may explain the spike in interest in The Motor City. “While Detroit certainly has its problems, which have been well covered, its profile has risen quite a bit,” explains Sisson. “There’s been a lot of great public works projects and entrepreneurial activity happening there, which is attracting startups.” And as the median price of a home is far lower than the national median, putting a sizable down payment on a home could be a goal that’s entirely within reach. Popular Detroit suburbs for millennialsinclude Royal Oak, Ferndale, and Auburn Hills.

Cost of Living Index: 4%. The cost of living in Detroit is 4% lower than the national average due to a 7% lower cost of food and 8% lower cost of housing.

Average Student Debt Load of SoFi Members Living in Detroit: $54,968

Job Growth Rate

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Top industries / Top Paying Jobs

  • Technology /Database Administrators, Computer Network Architects
  • Bioscience / Physicists, Natural Science Managers
  • Auto Manufacturing /Industrial Production Managers, Transportation Inspectors

 

Professional Salaries: Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in Detroit, compared to the national average:

 

Rent

 

Home Price

 

Cleveland cost of living

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland’s downtown population grew 79% in the last 16 years—strong indication that people are driven there for its urban center. “Instead of looking at one area of the country versus another, millennials are really looking at suburban versus urban living,” says Sisson. “There are a lot of cities in the Rust Belt, including Cleveland, that have historically been seen as not doing very well. But they’ve done a solid at reinvesting and rebuilding their downtowns, which really attracts young people.” With the low cost of living in C-Town, your odds of saving for a down payment and buying a house increase.

Cost of Living Index: +1%. The cost of living in Cleveland is only slightly higher than the national average because, while housing costs are 6% lower than the national average, the cost of healthcare is 8% higher.

Average Student Debt of SoFi Members Living in Cleveland: $82,659

Job Growth Rate

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Top industries: / Top Paying Jobs

  • Healthcare / Podiatrists, Psychiatrists
  • Bioscience / Environmental Engineers, Biomedical Engineers
  • Technology / Computer Engineers, Information Security Analysts

 

Professional Salaries: Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in Cleveland, compared to the national average:

 

Rent

 

Home Price

 

Boston cost of living

Boston, Massachusetts

If you work in tech, you’ll earn more than the national average in Boston. However, before making the move, be sure your boost in compensation stacks up against the city’s high cost of living. If you’re moving from a locale where the cost of living is lower, to make for an easier transition, try negotiating for a more generous relocation package or consider taking out a personal loan to help with moving expenses.

Cost of Living Index: +37%. The cost of living in Boston is 37% higher than the national average, largely because the cost of housing is 74% higher and utilities costs are 37% higher.

Average Student Debt of SoFi Members Living in Boston: $77,877

Job Growth Rate

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Top Industries / Top Paying Jobs

  • Education / Postsecondary Law Teachers, Postsecondary Engineering Teachers
  • Biotechnology / Chemical Engineers, Biochemists
  • Financial Services / Financial Services Sales Agents, Financial Managers

 

Professional Salaries: Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in Boston, compared to the national average:

 

Rent

 

Home Price

 

Related: SoFi Two Sides – New Home or Fixer Upper

Washington cost of living

Washington, D.C.

It’s no secret that D.C. is an expensive place to call home. However, recent research by the National Association of Realtors lists the district as one of the best places for millennial homebuyers. However, with the median home price in the nation’s capital far higher than the national median, you’ll have to carefully leverage your professional growth with your quest to build wealth.

Cost of Living Index: +39%. The cost of living in Washington, D.C., is 39% higher than the national average, largely because the cost of housing is 148% higher than the national average.

Average Student Debt of SoFi Members Living in Washington: $48,935

Job Growth Rate

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Top Industries / Top Paying Jobs

  • Federal Government / Judges, Political Scientists
  • Education / Education Administrators
  • Tourism / Flight Engineers

 

Professional Salaries— Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in Washington, D.C., compared to the national average:

 

Rent

 

Home Price

 

San Francisco cost of living

San Francisco, California

With a strong economy and above average salaries in the tech and the financial industries, you can make major professional gains in the City by the Bay. However, it’s no joke that a lot of your hard-earned dollars will go toward housing and the high cost of living. Yet, despite the crazy-high rent, the San Francisco Bay area still has the highest adjusted wages in the U.S.

Cost of Living Index: +63%. The cost of living in San Francisco is 63% higher than the national average, mainly because the cost of housing is a whopping 198% higher than the national average.

Average Student Debt of SoFi Members Living in San Francisco: $67,152

Job Growth Rate

 

Top Industries / Top Paying Jobs

  • Tourism / Airline Pilots, Flight Engineers
  • Technology / Analytics Managers, IT Managers
  • Financial services / Actuaries, Financial Managers

 

Professional Salaries: Based on data collected from Glassdoor, here are the average salaries in San Francisco compared to the national average:

 

Unemployment Rate

 

Rent

 

Home Price

 

Clearly, not all sought-after cities are created equal when it comes to your money and long-term financial goals. Even in these hotspots, your cost of living and salary trajectory can vary just as much as each city’s unique music and food scenes. But no matter where you might relocate to to further your career, a smart first step is a solid debt payoff plan – one that ensures your hard earned dollars can also go the distance.

*All figures current to the time of publication.

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ABOUT Jackie Lam Jackie Lam is a personal finance writer and creator of the blog Cheapsters. When not writing about money she enjoys roller derby, volunteering, and writing fiction.


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