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Old 08-09-2013, 05:57 AM
 
Location: South Florida
83 posts, read 178,169 times
Reputation: 38

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Hi guys
I wanted to get some opinions on cost of living comparison between CO and FL for those who have done the move. We currently live in South Florida but have been considering relocating elsewhere since we are tired of the year-round hot weather here. We have been to Colorado a few times (Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder) and I absolutely love it, great weather, mountains, friendly people, people don't drive like maniacs, whats there not to like....
I know you can go to a 'cost of living calculator' site, and I have, but that doesn't always tell the whole story. For example there is no state tax in Fl, there is one in CO. Sales tax where I live is 6.5, I understand in Colorado it varies greatly depending where you live (I heard Denver is around 8.2).
Taking that into effect, are other things cheaper in Colorado (say rent, groceries etc..) that would offset having a state tax and a higher sales tax?
I currently work in IT/Purchasing and in my job search I have found salaries are a bit lower than what I am making, so realistically lower salary, plus a state tax and higher sales tax makes it seem a bit rough to envision a smart move.
I would obviously like to have a job before moving anywhere, but an inportant piece of info would be to hear from people who've done this move before how did it affect their cost of living/lifestyle going from FL to CO (or vice versa).
Thanks!!
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,190,335 times
Reputation: 22564
Default No

Colorado is more expensive.

Groceries are not cheaper as there is lot less competition.
Rent is higher than most places in the USA.
You will faint at the cost of registering a new (or nearly new) car.

Your utility bills will be lower. Less for electricity (not much A/C). Gas for heating is cheap.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:51 AM
 
254 posts, read 428,350 times
Reputation: 189
Where in south Florida are you? It's difficult to make comparisons without adequate information. Comparing Denver's cost of living to the entire state of FL could be misleading.

According to Average Rent In Denver, Denver Rent Trends and Rental Comps:

As of July, 2013, average apartment rent within 10 miles of Denver, CO is $1167.
One bedroom apartments in Denver rent for $994 a month on average and two bedroom apartment rents average $1268.

Check out padmapper to get a realistic picture of rental costs. Rental shortages and increasing rents are well documented on CDF. Food is not necessarily cheap here - much of it must be transported over many miles to arrive in our grocery stores. State income tax is 4.63%. Salaries are notoriously low in some fields because employers generally have no trouble filling positions (because a lot of people want to live here for the reasons you listed.) There is a lot of competition for IT jobs in particular. It's a great place to live for many of us, but is not a low COL place relative to many areas in the south or midwest.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Western, Colorado
1,598 posts, read 2,749,322 times
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I moved from Hallandale Beach to CO. COL is slightly higher in CO.

Salaries are substantially lower. My wife as an attorney makes less than half of what she did in Miami.

Like mentioned, car registrations are ridiculous. I just paid $600 for my truck, and almost $300 for my motorcycle.

Don't forget that the legislature is going to begin discussing increasing the state income tax here. Something you don't have to pay in FL.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: right here
4,127 posts, read 4,761,053 times
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Living in Florida (Tampa) and being from Denver-

Here is what I've noticed-
Gas: More expensive in Colorado by 10-15 cents
Food: More expensive in Florida (you only really have one grocery store in Tampa-Publix) & not much seletion
Registration: Colorado rapes people-
Housing: Colorado
Property Taxes: Florida
Wages: Colorado hands down for the exception of a few industries-Nursing and Law-(A lot of great Universities and U of Denver is one of the top law Universities).
Utilities: Florida is way higher-
Colorado is a little higher yes but the quality of life is MUCH better-
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,394 posts, read 4,299,877 times
Reputation: 7531
I moved from Daytona Beach, FL a few years ago, things that I've noticed here are much cheaper:

Property Taxes, Gas (most of the year), Car Insurance (mine went down 40%), Utilities, Home Insurance (no expensive hurricane insurance either)



Things much higher in CO:

Car registration is INSANE, Housing
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:09 AM
 
Location: South Florida
83 posts, read 178,169 times
Reputation: 38
Thanks for the info, lots to consider! Seems it may be a bit more expensive in Denver then, as far as where I live, I am in Ft. Lauderdale.

When I have done the cost of living comparisons on websites it does seem Denver totals a bit more expensive (I guess like you mentioned some things are more expensive, others cheaper so it tends so balance out a bit but still Denver coming up a bit more expensive). However as dnvrsoul mentioned quality of life strikes me as much better in Denver which I know its a big thing...guess its a mater of whether the extra expense is worth it.

I am wondering did you feel the extra weight of the income tax and higher sales tax on your daily life or was what most impacted you other things like some mentioned car registration, housing etc..


Would you say that living in the outskirts say Colorado Springs or even some of the Denver 'Suburbs' changes anything (eg. Englewood, etc..) or pretty much the same thing? I understand sales tax is a tricky one because each city sets their own over the state base so changes a lot.
I wont even mention Boulder, it is beautiful but crazy expensive to live there..

I guess our Main reason to move form FL would be quality of life in general (extremely hot weather 11 1/2 months out of the year, crazy drivers, rude people.) We're not into the beach, or water sports so not like we take advantage of the main Florida attractions. As far as cost of living here we're doing good so that's not an reason to move (far from being rich but also not starving either).
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,190,335 times
Reputation: 22564
Default Not important

Quote:
Originally Posted by typ8lbb View Post
I understand sales tax is a tricky one because each city sets their own over the state base so changes a lot.
Think 7-8% everywhere.
In reality, the sales tax can vary every few feet. It is crazy here.
But, in the long run, just think 7-8% and you will be fine.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: right here
4,127 posts, read 4,761,053 times
Reputation: 4862
Sales Taxes Colorado

State Sales Tax: 2.9% (food and prescription drugs exempt); many cities and counties have their own rates which are added to the state rate. Total could be as high as 9.9%.
Gasoline Tax: 40.4 cents/gallon (Includes all taxes)
Diesel Fuel Tax: 44.9 cents/gallon (Includes all taxes)
Cigarette Tax: 84 cents/pack of 20


Sales Taxes-Florida

State Sales Tax: 6% (food, prescription and non-prescription drugs exempt). There are additional county sales taxes which could make the combined rate as high as 9.5%.
Gasoline Tax: 53.4 cents/gallon (Includes all taxes)
Diesel Fuel Tax: 54.9 cents/gallon (Includes all taxes)
Cigarette Tax: $1.34/pack of 20

Honestly, I think I pay a little more...even though there is no state income tax-Yes I believe I pay about 7-9% consistently -not sure about Ft. Laud. but being closer to Miami I'm sure you do as well.

Since I've lived in both Florida and Denver, honestly the crime and lack of good paying jobs are what is driving me to seriously consider moving back to Denver. However, I'm also from Denver so yes I'm biased. To me being able to go out and not worry about being mugged or robbed is huge. Yes, Denver has crime but nothing compared to Florida.

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:10 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
Reputation: 19073
Property taxes and homeowners insurance in FL are enough to eat one alive, depending on the county and the age of the home relative to hurricane insurance rates.

The OP should see the first several posts in this old thread; that poster (ShopSafe) saved over $1k per MONTH given the lower taxes and insurance rates here in COLO.

Our state income tax here in COLO is 4.63%
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