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Old 02-23-2018, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Inland FL
1,246 posts, read 716,998 times
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I am seriously considering moving out of FL to one of the states I listed in the title. One of my main priorities is to move to a place that is cheaper for living, especially housing, insurance, utilities, taxes, etc. Florida is overgrown, too many transplants and constant hot weather I'm sick of it. Small towns aren't so bad, cost of living is low in the but there are no "real jobs", it's all retail or medical. Only good jobs are in the coastal cities but the cost of living is very high. Rent is a minimum of 1000 a month., housing up to 300,000 now, insurance costs are high and landscape is so barren. One good thing about FL is the lack of state income taxes which is partly why I'm attracted to TN but TN has high sales taxes, even on groceries.

Cost of living in the other southern states appears to be a lot lower but other reports say it's actually higher in some large cities but people on here say that's cheaper there so I'm confused about that. Anyway, GA, NC, and SC all have state income taxes which is kind of a turn off but NC appears to be the lowest compared to SC and GA at 5.75%. Within these states, NC has higher gas taxes resulting in high gas prices and is cheaper in SC. I also seen that GA has relatively high utility costs along with SC. TN and NC are in comparison with FL apparently.

Some things I like about SC and NC are that are they're coastal states so you can go to the beach but on the other side, there's mountains which is pretty cool. TN and NC seem to have the kind of weather climate I am looking for. However any place in TN is going to be far from the coast than NC.

It's also important the area has good jobs as I am searching for another job but it's difficult when you don't know which place to move to.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
229 posts, read 122,535 times
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When we were making the decision to move, I created a spreadsheet. I logged unemployment numbers to cost of gas, taxes, car insurance, income tax, sales tax, cost to register cars, utilities, etc etc I probably had upwards of 30 or 40 different categories including weather, access to water, golf courses ....

I searched as many websites I could to gather information.

I searched Indeed for jobs in our fields to make sure they actually existed in the areas we were interested.

After that was done we started applying to jobs, but you want to know what finally made our decision? A job interview/job offer... because although you really need to compile the info to make sure it makes sense, at the end of the day you probably need a job.

We ended up near Nashville.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:09 AM
 
21,180 posts, read 30,336,326 times
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Income taxes are kind of a backward way to look at what's most affordable given the salary variations from place to place, along with day to day living costs. I would seriously consider where you're going to be most happy and go from there versus nickel and diming via a spreadsheet.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:35 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,790,027 times
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Overall costs of living are going to be very dependent on where exactly you live in these states because a big ticket cost is housing. Each state will have a wide variance in terms of housing costs with the more desirable places having much, much higher housing costs than other places. Of course, this is true for your state too. Resort areas along the coast in the Carolinas are going to have high prices. Trendy areas in cities such as Nashville, Raleigh, and Charlotte are going to be expensive. Asheville in particular is going to be quite pricey as well when compared to the smaller towns and cities across these states.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,136,536 times
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States usually have a lot of variety in costs between the cities and areas within. You might average those four states and somehow come to the "cheapest state", but there will likely be cities and areas in the other states that would have lower costs.

Probably better to find the cheapest cities than cheapest state.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, California
459 posts, read 340,329 times
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Tennessee is not cheap for a Southern state. South Carolina is probably your best bet. Personally, I'd prefer North Carolina.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:54 PM
 
21,180 posts, read 30,336,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Scott View Post
Tennessee is not cheap for a Southern state. South Carolina is probably your best bet. Personally, I'd prefer North Carolina.
I think this is probably the closest to accurate and would prefer NC as well. I think the scope of the Nashville metro and it's much higher cost of living probably skews TN more expensive and while Charleston (SC) can be pricey it trails off cost-wise pretty quickly once past the city limits, and the remainder of the state is at or below the national average. NC is probably most expensive especially when considering the Triangle, Charlotte and Asheville. The Atlanta metro like Nashville in TN skews GA higher as well in my opinion.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:02 PM
 
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,878,001 times
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Can't generalize the states. The expense varies metro to metro, city to city. All the booming places have rising COL's: Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, Greenville, Savannah, etc, etc, but are all still relatively affordable imo. All the rural areas probably don't vary too much.

If I were you, I'd look at what metros really interest you first, then take it from there. You can't say "SC is less/more expensive than TN." Charleston is more expensive than Knoxville, but then Nashville is more expensive than Columbia.

If you want good jobs, the bigger and busier the better. Don't break your back bending over comparing taxes either. That's another thing that works looking at metros, cities, and counties. For instance Fulton County, GA has a MARTA tax that Gwinnett County, GA doesnt. Sales tax varies county to county, etc. Look at the cities you like, then take it from there: rent, taxes, gas prices, all of it.

Seriously don't overthinking this looking at finances...you're gonna have to pay either way. Even if you're not paying income taxes, you're gonna have to pay up elsewhere. Rent is not going to get drastically cheaper...if it gets cheaper at all. Gas is gas. Just find where you could be happy, not where you save all your paycheck.
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Old 02-25-2018, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
2,860 posts, read 1,252,670 times
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As others have said, it's going to depend on where you live in each state. Typically cities are going to be more expensive than are rural areas.

There are some expensive areas in the Carolinas, TN, and GA but none of those states are particularly expensive overall in comparison to Florida IMO and in my experience.

I lived in TN and yeah there were no income taxes but with the 9% sales tax, that's even higher than my home state of NY, lol. You know that your tax rate is high when you have NY beat As you also mentioned, even groceries are taxed there. TN is the only state that I lived in where I paid tax on groceries. Now if you live in a place in TN close to the KY border...then you can run there on the weekends as KY doesn't tax groceries. When I was staying in Nashville, running up to Bowling Green KY for groceries became a weekend run It's only a 45 minute drive.

The larger cities in the Carolinas are more expensive but they are not NYC or LA expensive. My brother lived in Charleston for a brief time and was paying $1250 a month rent for a 3 bedroom place down there; rents 25-30 miles away were around $750-$800 a month for the same thing.

North Carolina is probably the nicest of the lot since they have the mountains, tolerable weather if you live near the coast/higher elevations, a more diversified economy, and a lot of options in terms of places to live.

Definitely do your research on the areas you are interested in before hand and if finances permit, try to take a couple of long weekends to do some visits to the places. No place is "perfect" to live, but if you can find somewhere that you will be happier and can have more money to spend on what's important to you then I say go for it
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Inland FL
1,246 posts, read 716,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Scott View Post
Tennessee is not cheap for a Southern state. South Carolina is probably your best bet. Personally, I'd prefer North Carolina.
Do you mean in comparison with the average income? Most online reports show that cost of living is lower on average in TN vs GA and the Carolinas. But I'm not sure how accurate this data is.
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