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Old 08-06-2019, 02:33 PM
 
72,488 posts, read 72,387,065 times
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It is silly talking in terms of straw people .... the only meaningful comparison is the one those who have done it can make to where they wanted to live doing what they do being who they are and living the lifestyles they wanted .

All these textbook comparisons with straw people in straw places with lifestyles that aren’t ours are silly
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:54 PM
 
15,766 posts, read 13,671,282 times
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Generally the private sector, and definitely the government, have set COLA rates. My experience is that the COLA does not make up for the higher COL, housing is by far the biggest factor.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:02 PM
 
3,647 posts, read 926,672 times
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Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Generally the private sector, and definitely the government, have set COLA rates. My experience is that the COLA does not make up for the higher COL, housing is by far the biggest factor.
There's
- Housing (no matter who you are)

Then there's:
- Dependent care
- Maybe public schools are terrible and you have your kids in private school
- Cost of FOOD (grocery stores, not just dining)

And then there's:
- Stupid high power company rates (it is only $0.10/kWh by me)
- Stupid high water restrictions, rates (always under $100)
- Stupid high gas prices
- Stupid high property taxes

All to PARTAKE in WHAT, exactly?

The sunshine? What does it shine on? Grime? Construction? People you don't know? LOL!
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:50 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,362 posts, read 548,308 times
Reputation: 1242
Quote:
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 wasn’t significant enough to justify working in the HCOL area. In other words, you made out better somewhere in between or in a LCOL.
Not in HR - but the purpose of COL adjustments in salary structure is not to ‘make out better’; it’s simply an attempt to ‘break even’ so it stands to reason a COL raise, in and of itself, is probably not worth it. That said, it’s rarely the only factor to weigh in a move/job relocation/career advancement/desire to live somewhere else. It depends on individual circumstances and what you’ve been offered rather than attempting to weigh apples to apples premised on (base) salary alone.
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Old Yesterday, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,433 posts, read 7,799,279 times
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I worked as a telecom engineer for nearly 40 years, mostly in HCOL SF Bay Area & Orange County, CA. My salary was 20 percent or more for the same job as it would have been in many LCOL places like Dallas or Atlanta. The difference was enough to pay my entire apartment rent for the year, so my HCOL place was not so high cost after all.

One thing that nobody above mentioned, and which I kept in mind during my career, is that the higher your salary is, the more you are able to put into a 401K. I always maxed out my 401K contributions, and there was more to put away at the higher salary than if my salary had been lower.

I worked for a company that had a defined pension plan, based on number of years worked, and your salary in the last 60 months of work. It was in my interest to get the highest possible salary in the last 5 years of work, so my pension calculation would be at a higher amount than somebody earning a lower salary in a LCOL place.

Social Security is calculated off of what your earnings are, not what you end up actually saving. In my case, I was able to max out my SS amount, so this means that when its time to start taking my SS, it will be calculated at higher earnings than if I was getting a lower salary in a LCOL place. This can make a big difference in what you eventually receive at full retirement age from social security.

So my point is, try to work for the highest salary during your working years, because pension calculations are based off salary, not what you might save in a LCOL place. If that means if you are in a HCOL place during working years, fine, but don't take a significantly lower salary to move to a LCOL place. Wait until after retirement, then find a LCOL place you like and enjoy your higher pension, 401K and social security.
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Old Yesterday, 12:13 PM
 
3,647 posts, read 926,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I worked as a telecom engineer for nearly 40 years, mostly in HCOL SF Bay Area & Orange County, CA. My salary was 20 percent or more for the same job as it would have been in many LCOL places like Dallas or Atlanta. The difference was enough to pay my entire apartment rent for the year, so my HCOL place was not so high cost after all.

One thing that nobody above mentioned, and which I kept in mind during my career, is that the higher your salary is, the more you are able to put into a 401K. I always maxed out my 401K contributions, and there was more to put away at the higher salary than if my salary had been lower.

I worked for a company that had a defined pension plan, based on number of years worked, and your salary in the last 60 months of work. It was in my interest to get the highest possible salary in the last 5 years of work, so my pension calculation would be at a higher amount than somebody earning a lower salary in a LCOL place.

Social Security is calculated off of what your earnings are, not what you end up actually saving. In my case, I was able to max out my SS amount, so this means that when its time to start taking my SS, it will be calculated at higher earnings than if I was getting a lower salary in a LCOL place. This can make a big difference in what you eventually receive at full retirement age from social security.

So my point is, try to work for the highest salary during your working years, because pension calculations are based off salary, not what you might save in a LCOL place. If that means if you are in a HCOL place during working years, fine, but don't take a significantly lower salary to move to a LCOL place. Wait until after retirement, then find a LCOL place you like and enjoy your higher pension, 401K and social security.
Legacy Pac Bell is now AT&T... not sure if that was you in SoCal, too.

AT&T now offers very little CoL difference for hourly employees, at least. A data center technician, or IDC Technical Specialst, would make $41/hour in Atlanta, and $44/hour in SF. Even "killing it" in overtime, is not enough to offset the difference in my $640/month mortgage (PITI - everything) and similar homes in the bay that cost $1.5M for comparable size, safety, and commute time.

Now, you may be able to earn much more as a software engineer, but that's not what I want to do. I am also a telecom guy, and "enjoy" a much better life in NC (or Greenville, or ATL) than I would in the Bay.
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Old Yesterday, 03:06 PM
 
4,601 posts, read 4,766,214 times
Reputation: 3659
Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I worked as a telecom engineer for nearly 40 years, mostly in HCOL SF Bay Area & Orange County, CA. My salary was 20 percent or more for the same job as it would have been in many LCOL places like Dallas or Atlanta. The difference was enough to pay my entire apartment rent for the year, so my HCOL place was not so high cost after all.

One thing that nobody above mentioned, and which I kept in mind during my career, is that the higher your salary is, the more you are able to put into a 401K. I always maxed out my 401K contributions, and there was more to put away at the higher salary than if my salary had been lower.

I worked for a company that had a defined pension plan, based on number of years worked, and your salary in the last 60 months of work. It was in my interest to get the highest possible salary in the last 5 years of work, so my pension calculation would be at a higher amount than somebody earning a lower salary in a LCOL place.

Social Security is calculated off of what your earnings are, not what you end up actually saving. In my case, I was able to max out my SS amount, so this means that when its time to start taking my SS, it will be calculated at higher earnings than if I was getting a lower salary in a LCOL place. This can make a big difference in what you eventually receive at full retirement age from social security.

So my point is, try to work for the highest salary during your working years, because pension calculations are based off salary, not what you might save in a LCOL place. If that means if you are in a HCOL place during working years, fine, but don't take a significantly lower salary to move to a LCOL place. Wait until after retirement, then find a LCOL place you like and enjoy your higher pension, 401K and social security.
When was this? The cost differences between High vs. Low cost of living have gotten drastic over the past 10-15 years. Most estimates of the cost of living difference between San Fran and Dallas are about 85-95%, with housing leading the way at approximately 65-80% more. I agree on social security, but in many cases it's still possible to max out social security in low cost of living areas as well and once you hit that threshold there's no difference. As for 401k if your housing is eating up all your additional income the additional money you make can't go into your 401k.
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Old Yesterday, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Washington State
18,986 posts, read 9,770,117 times
Reputation: 16165
Quote:
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 wasn’t significant enough to justify working in the HCOL area. In other words, you made out better somewhere in between or in a LCOL.
Some yes and some no. There are plenty of good data sources to help you out such as BLS.com. My son makes over $200K in Seattle and that's not enough to buy a nice family home.
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Old Yesterday, 03:20 PM
 
3,647 posts, read 926,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
When was this? The cost differences between High vs. Low cost of living have gotten drastic over the past 10-15 years. Most estimates of the cost of living difference between San Fran and Dallas are about 85-95%, with housing leading the way at approximately 65-80% more. I agree on social security, but in many cases it's still possible to max out social security in low cost of living areas as well and once you hit that threshold there's no difference. As for 401k if your housing is eating up all your additional income the additional money you make can't go into your 401k.
Must be easy with a paid off home and Prop 13 on your side.
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM
 
4,601 posts, read 4,766,214 times
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Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Must be easy with a paid off home and Prop 13 on your side.
Oh yeah for sure, the people that have been in the Bay or NYC for years that have been able to ride out a mortgage on a piece of property that has tripled in value or take advantage of rent-stabilized units are for sure going to say it's not as bad as you think. Meanwhile the people fielding calls from recruiters looking at the potential move and the salary range are thinking WTF, no way can I swing that.
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