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Old Yesterday, 08:10 PM
 
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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.
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Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM
 
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Depends on the industry and individual position/type of work. It also depends on how one chooses to live in the HCOL area. YMMV
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Old Yesterday, 08:47 PM
 
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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.
That thesis is generally correct and has been for a couple of decades.
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Old Yesterday, 09:29 PM
 
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I'm not sure about professional positions since I don't have a degree but I have worked for some very large companies and I've made decent income in these companies. Pay difference from Northern CA where I live to New Mexico is negligible. $1-3 per hour. Where I live a starter home is 350-400k. Every one of my family members in New Mexico that works some basic entry level job can own a house since houses can be bought for 120-180k for lower end entry level homes. Property and state taxes are ridiculously lower.

I've searched my current salaries position all over the states and the difference is at the most 20%. However we're talking about the absolutely cheapest states on that side of the spectrum.


However all the tech and IT guys are moving to Vegas, SLC, Iowa, and Texas so even in the Bay Area it doesn't seem worth it to most.
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Old Yesterday, 10:44 PM
Status: "Proud American, Always and Forever" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: DMV Area
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I'm military.

A huge portion of our pay is basic allowance for housing (BAH), which is tax free and dependent on the cost of living in the place of duty where you are stationed.

An O-2 (officer pay grade) without dependents in Honolulu gets about $2,975 a month in BAH and another $436 a month in COLA. All tax free; you'll also get tax free basic allowance for sustenance, but this is standard (only varies by rank) no matter where you live. Note, this is just an example rank. You can pull and plug any rank into the BAH/COLA calculators available online.

An O-2 without dependents stationed in DC gets $2,478 in BAH, but no COLA. So ultimately an O-2 stationed in DC is getting paid more than $11,000 (all tax free) less than an O-2 stationed in Hawaii.

Having been stationed in both areas in that pay grade, I can tell you that I felt better off in Honolulu, largely because you can still find relatively inexpensive places to live in Honolulu (or on the island of Oahu), so your BAH and COLA can stretch very far. Overall cost of living may be higher in Honolulu (for housing, its honestly a wash as you can find places in both areas for well under BAH) in terms of groceries, gas, etc., but if you shop on base (commissary for food and base gas), you can still make out pretty well in Honolulu.
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Old Today, 03:31 AM
 
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we found when we had a 2nd home in PA . we could make do with about 1/3 less income .. pay was half ...

we had it better in nyc .

you also tend to have wealthier transplants from hcola areas .

even at 3% appreciation someone with lots of equity in a 700k home who relocates to a cheaper area has a lot more money then a local in cheapsville with a 200k home seeing 3% ..

plus higher wages lead to higher social security checks .

i am retired , if i wanted to work a little in PA . there was only low paying jobs .. i work one day a week here in long island and make more then 3 days in pa
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Old Today, 04:16 AM
 
Location: On the road
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I can speak from experience as software dev, the really high COL cities like CA Bay Area and Boston were not worth the trade off just due to high real estate costs. I would have made maybe 20% more, but that wouldn't come close to net take home needed to cover the difference.
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Old Today, 04:25 AM
 
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what we found is here in nyc , no one lives with us . we have a nice 2 bedroom apartment in a high rise .all the kids live within an hour .

on the other hand we had to buy a house big enough to house all of us in pa since all the kids stay over .

so we saw an increase in housing by relocating to pa. the economy of scale for renting an apartment in a building is very different then owning a single family home with all the expenses .
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Old Today, 05:03 AM
 
12,743 posts, read 10,048,639 times
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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.
It depends on the career field and on your qualifications. Any general rule is going to have so many exceptions that the rule becomes useless in my opinion.

A better question might be how much higher of a salary to ask for when applying for jobs in HCOL cities vs. LCOL cities. Or, if you have actual job offers in hand right now, we can try to do the math.

Don't ask Human Resources for advice on about whether you should take a job, that is an obvious conflict of interest!!!

A lot also depends on your household size, since in "HCOL" areas, a single with no kids who does not mind roommates is not going to be nearly as impacted by the cost of housing as a family that needs a multi-bedroom house in a good school district. YMMV.
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Old Today, 05:26 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,379 posts, read 8,032,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
It depends on the career field and on your qualifications. Any general rule is going to have so many exceptions that the rule becomes useless in my opinion.

A better question might be how much higher of a salary to ask for when applying for jobs in HCOL cities vs. LCOL cities. Or, if you have actual job offers in hand right now, we can try to do the math.

Don't ask Human Resources for advice on about whether you should take a job, that is an obvious conflict of interest!!!

A lot also depends on your household size, since in "HCOL" areas, a single with no kids who does not mind roommates is not going to be nearly as impacted by the cost of housing as a family that needs a multi-bedroom house in a good school district. YMMV.
^^ Pretty much this.
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