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Old 05-16-2014, 08:50 AM
 
8,192 posts, read 11,908,623 times
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Here's a list of the most expensive and least expensive metro areas to live in, ranked from 1 to 381.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...s/download.pdf

For those not interested in looking at all 381, here's a brief MarketWatch article that also includes a chart delineating the 20 most expensive and 20 least expensive areas.

Here are the most and least expensive cities to live in - Capitol Report - MarketWatch
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
282 posts, read 357,849 times
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Thanks. That's very helpful. My relo plan would move me from near the top of the list to around the middle.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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The ranking of 381 metro areas by cost of living is very interesting and useful, especially as compared to most best/worst for retirement lists posted in this Retirement Forum because:

1. Only one factor is involved - cost of living. No attempt is made to mix in other factors for some sort of overall ranking, which in my opinion results in strange and problematic results. No claim is made as to whether cost of living does, or does not, equate to desirability as a retirement location.

2. The ranking is by metro areas, not states. Trying to assign any kind of ranking to states is problematic, as has been discussed in this forum quite often.

Some random observations on my part:

Boston is 16th - I had expected it to be higher. Los Angeles is tied for 10th - consistent with previous cost of living lists I have seen. California has 9 of the highest 20 metro areas - no surprise there. Two California Bay Area locations are more expensive than San Francisco itself - I had not expected that. The 20 lowest cost metro areas are clustered mostly but not entirely in the southeast (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky) - no surprise there.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 226,730 times
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These list always make me chuckle. I think there should be some range of sizes metro areas they compare (within some kind of range). To compare Danville Il and NYC is ridiculous IMHO. Why not Metamora IL or even smaller towns. Of course the cost is going to be less in a tiny town.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack_pine View Post
These list always make me chuckle. I think there should be some range of sizes metro areas they compare (within some kind of range). To compare Danville Il and NYC is ridiculous IMHO. Why not Metamora IL or even smaller towns. Of course the cost is going to be less in a tiny town.
Aren't you missing the point of the list? Tiny towns are not "metro areas". The comparison is among metro areas, not among all conceivable places a person could live in the U.S., which would probably be an impossibly large task. I do agree with you to this extent: An additional column in the list with the approximate population of each metro area would add some interest. I would predict that there would be a positive, but weak, correlation between population size of a metro area and cost of living.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,852 posts, read 7,799,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trying harder View Post
Thanks. That's very helpful. My relo plan would move me from near the top of the list to around the middle.
We took the opposite approach by re-locating from Houston (52) to Philadelphia (20). Building careers in a less expensive Houston allowed us to sock away cash so we could pick where we wanted to live when the time came. While more expensive, our quality of living took a giant step by re-locating.

I've generally found you get what you pay for. Our move to Philly is no exception.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,535,843 times
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Well, we have lived for many years in the area ranked 7th most expensive, and since we have no interest in moving to any of the areas ranked 1 through 6, chances are good that wherever we move to will be less expensive than here.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Asheville NC
1,602 posts, read 1,313,067 times
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We moved from a single digit rank to 228, housing prices have risen here but everything else is quite cheap.

Real Estate Rebound in Asheville, N.C. - WSJ.com
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 226,730 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Aren't you missing the point of the list? Tiny towns are not "metro areas". The comparison is among metro areas, not among all conceivable places a person could live in the U.S., which would probably be an impossibly large task. I do agree with you to this extent: An additional column in the list with the approximate population of each metro area would add some interest. I would predict that there would be a positive, but weak, correlation between population size of a metro area and cost of living.
Get your points and are valid.

Just saying the calling Danville IL a "metro area" and comparing it to SF or NYC is kind of a stretch IMHO.

Is is fun to compare, none the less.................
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:04 AM
 
29,775 posts, read 34,860,277 times
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Went from the top 20 to 140. Bada Bing and life is good
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