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Old 08-06-2019, 09:45 AM
 
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Internally our salaries have a slight adjustment but it’s no where near col differences
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
Internally our salaries have a slight adjustment but itís no where near col differences
It was same for us. I worked in the tech arm of our home office and we had the other half out in the bay area (go figure). Slight adjustment, but nowhere near COL difference.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
Well I don't think the Poconos is really a fair comparison. It's largely a resort town. It would be like saying Breckenridge doesn't pay what Denver does, but especially given that doesn't cost that much less.

There are tons of other lower cost of living cities. Sure in your specific locations of choice (being 2 options) that was likely the case, but my guess is the Poconos doesn't have a booming water and sewage treatment market.

There are other lower cost of living cities that likely would have paid more in real rates.

For example, if you live in Queens (which I think you said you did) and earned $150k (just a guess):

This is what you would need in other cities to maintain your purchasing power:

Atlanta: $100k
Pittsburgh: $101k
Cleveland: $103k
Cincinatti: $94k
Nashville: $98k
Memphis: $85k
Saint Louis: $95k
Kansas City: $95k
Dallas: $104k
Houston: $100k
Tulsa: $94k
OKC: $86k

So yes, if you have only two options to choose from it might not pay more, but if you open up your options it typically will. In my experience, the reason to live in those cities (many of my friends do) is because they couldn't imagine living someplace as boring as the midwest (which they've only visited 3-4x in their lives). Most of my east coast friends think I'm a hillbilly, but hey that's cool with me. I'm the one making an east coast income and saving 50-60% of it that lives 20 minutes form a gorgeous lake and 20 minutes from some of the best mountain biking in the US


And yes, there are certain fields where you just make more in those cities (but those types of roles come with their own issues). My friend who's a lawyer in NYC commutes 1.5 hours each way and works 60-70 hour weeks on top of that. Yeah, he cleared almost $400k last year, but that's also up and out unless you make partner, which very few do. So that'll likely be the most he ever makes in his career and when you adjust it for cost of living it's really only about 40% more than I make and I commute from my bed to my home office, work 40-45 hours per week and didn't have to go $200k in debt for a law degree

You also hear all those stories of parents working high finance in NYC (that make bank), but see their kids basically on the weekends. See I just don't care about money that much.
it is the only comparison that I can speak of from experience and fact . so yeah it is my comparison . we thought life would be cheaper for us there but most big ticket things were not and the salary if we relocated did not jive with expenses .

the other factors are that it may be hard to compare housing as you may have a lot more options in high cost areas to make the comparison really not apples to apples .

high cost areas tend to have apartment houses you can rent , co-ops you can buy which can be cheaper to own then comparable single family homes in cheaper areas so it is not always comparing buying a home or renting a single family home .

heck a single family home in our area starts at 1 million , and it certainly is not practical renting one . but you can live in a high rise for a fraction of those costs to the point our housing costs in pa were more than our apartment .
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
Is anyone in Human Resources that may be able to shed some light on this? I use to know someone in a large company that had locations through the U.S., including HCOL areas and LCOL areas and the pay difference wasnít significant enough to justify working in the HCOL area. In other words, you made out better somewhere in between or in a LCOL.
Generally, income in higher in HCOL areas. But that's an average.

I've always wondered about those big chains, and whether they make up the COL differences in different areas.

What I know of law firms is that the firms in NY, a HCOL area, paid significantly higher than LCOL areas.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
it is the only comparison that I can speak of from experience and fact . so yeah it is my comparison . we thought life would be cheaper for us there but most big ticket things were not and the salary if we relocated did not jive with expenses .

the other factors are that it may be hard to compare housing as you may have a lot more options in high cost areas to make the comparison really not apples to apples .

high cost areas tend to have apartment houses you can rent , co-ops you can buy which can be cheaper to own then comparable single family homes in cheaper areas so it is not always comparing buying a home or renting a single family home .

heck a single family home in our area starts at 1 million , and it certainly is not practical renting one . but you can live in a high rise for a fraction of those costs to the point our housing costs in pa were more than our apartment .
Yeah, I donít know much about the Poconos, but I know when I tell my NYC friends what the cost of our 4 bedroom home is per month, itís half of their 1 bedrooms. Weíd need at least a 3 bedroom with 2 kids, so my guess is housing alone would be 3-4x as much in the NYC area.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
Yeah, I don’t know much about the Poconos, but I know when I tell my NYC friends what the cost of our 4 bedroom home is per month, it’s half of their 1 bedrooms. We’d need at least a 3 bedroom with 2 kids, so my guess is housing alone would be 3-4x as much in the NYC area.
We have lots of options here .. it is like there was no way my daughter could afford a single family home here ..but for the cost of renting in our area they were able to buy a co-op in Howard beach which is off the beaten path for 180k in an 8 story building.. their maintenance fee includes taxes ,heat ,water, sewer, electricity .
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:46 PM
 
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Through my experience and communication with others, it's a two part answer:

1. To an extent. There's a point which a city's CoL exceeds the additional opportunities and income it brings in your particular field. Diminishing returns, in a way.

2. For a single person, usually there's something to be gained, and a pretty visible linear taper of where the (above) opportunity becomes less and less worth it. For someone who will need schooling and childcare for dependents, the line is less clear and stops much sooner. Maintaining the same care and quality of education in bigger cities will eat up that extra income more quickly than you can leverage that opportunity.

At this very moment, I'd say that while single people may see an enormous career boost moving either temporarily or semi-permanently to, say, the Bay Area, or NYC, you'd be better suited using that bullet point on your resume to get above-market in a city like Atlanta.

Don't really care what the salary is, if it can't qualify me for 80% of a 4/3 SFH within 30 mins of work, including traffic. Unless there's some really unique, Hail Mary that comes through for a job that would result in a six-figure pension (in today's dollars) and full healthcare in retirement, I would not consider such an area if I didn't feel like I was truly "living". And that doesn't come living in an apartment and renting for all your working life.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
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"GlassDoor" is your friend as is "City-data"
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
You also hear all those stories of parents working high finance in NYC (that make bank), but see their kids basically on the weekends. See I just don't care about money that much.
I managed to avoid that the 25 years I lived in NNJ. Bergen County was considered commutable to NYC but all the insurance companies were in lower Manhattan- so take the train to Hoboken (and the towns with working train stations cost even more), the ferry to lower Manhattan, walk 10-15 minutes... it ended up being close to 2 hours door to door no matter what you did. Buses went into midtown so then you had to make your way to lower Manhattan from there, via another bus or the subway. If you wanted cheaper housing, you had an even longer commute.

And yet- people did it for decades. My town was mostly families where Dad worked in NYC and made enough for Mom to stay home. (I was the rare single mother there after I divorced- mosty couples moved out after a divorce because it was unaffordable for either spouse to stay there, but I joked that I bought a house in the poor section.) On the weekends there'd be tons of Dads with their kids in line at the bagel shop- probably the only time they got to see their kids awake. If I'd had to do it to put bread on the table I would have, but I'm glad I didn't.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:30 PM
 
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Yes, salaries are definitely higher, at least based on what I know from observing and hearing people talk. Nurses and CPAs make $100K here (I live in HCOL), while $60K-$70K in other areas.

Elementary school teachers make $65K - $100K, according to the local school's website. And they still complain of low pay. There are a hell of a lot of jobs below their "low" teacher's salary.

I have seen customer service jobs $50K to even as high ash $75K here.

If you're older like 40+ and you bought your house decades ago when houses were much cheaper, then that means your high salary can give you lots of savings each month after all bills are paid!
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