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Old 06-02-2015, 06:26 PM
 
764 posts, read 500,785 times
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If you're moving to Cedar Rapids or Des Moines from Florida, how hard will it be to find work as an accountant or internal auditor. This is for a CPA with a master's in business and 3 years of government internal audit experience. Will having degrees from a little-known out of state college (University of South Florida) be a problem? Florida is a tough job market notorious for low pay and I'm wondering if Iowa is a better place.
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:07 AM
 
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Job market is pretty good in Iowa so I would think you would be able to find a job in either area.

Corridor Careers - Job listings in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City from Corridor Careers

That is one source for the Cedar Rapids area. I would also check Linked In and Indeed. There are a couple accounting jobs on there but not sure if they are exactly what you are looking for. You could also contact some places like Robert Half Accounting division and see what they might have.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,196 posts, read 1,577,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concert D Major View Post
If you're moving to Cedar Rapids or Des Moines from Florida, how hard will it be to find work as an accountant or internal auditor. This is for a CPA with a master's in business and 3 years of government internal audit experience. Will having degrees from a little-known out of state college (University of South Florida) be a problem? Florida is a tough job market notorious for low pay and I'm wondering if Iowa is a better place.
I'm not sure if USF is "little known". It's a HUGE state school (nearly 50K students, but I believe that UCF is even larger) and while it doesn't have the prestige of UF or even FSU, it's still well above diploma-mill status. It's at least on the same academic level as say, Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Wisconsin-Green Bay. You should be fine.

As far as job market, Iowa does have a much lower unemployment rate (it's among the lowest in the country) but don't expect a huge bump in pay, if any. In fact, Iowa is the only state in its immediate region that has decided *against* raising its minimum wage (even Nebraska and South Dakota voted to increase theirs, and neither state has Iowa's money -not that it's saying a lot -, but both are also far less progressive).

That said, your dollar will stretch farther in Iowa (and most Midwestern states in general, save for a select few areas such as Chicagoland) than anywhere else in the country. I now live in Alabama and I can say that it's hands-down the more expensive state to live, due to more money spent on utilities (you run the AC for far longer, and while the winters are milder you still need heating) and sales tax (most jurisdictions are 9 or 10 percent... ridiculous). Iowa does have higher-than-average property taxes, but they're not the highest in the country like some may say (I believe that distinction belongs to Texas now).
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:26 PM
 
3,613 posts, read 3,272,862 times
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Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
I'm not sure if USF is "little known". It's a HUGE state school (nearly 50K students, but I believe that UCF is even larger) and while it doesn't have the prestige of UF or even FSU, it's still well above diploma-mill status. It's at least on the same academic level as say, Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Wisconsin-Green Bay. You should be fine.

As far as job market, Iowa does have a much lower unemployment rate (it's among the lowest in the country) but don't expect a huge bump in pay, if any. In fact, Iowa is the only state in its immediate region that has decided *against* raising its minimum wage (even Nebraska and South Dakota voted to increase theirs, and neither state has Iowa's money -not that it's saying a lot -, but both are also far less progressive).

That said, your dollar will stretch farther in Iowa (and most Midwestern states in general, save for a select few areas such as Chicagoland) than anywhere else in the country. I now live in Alabama and I can say that it's hands-down the more expensive state to live, due to more money spent on utilities (you run the AC for far longer, and while the winters are milder you still need heating) and sales tax (most jurisdictions are 9 or 10 percent... ridiculous). Iowa does have higher-than-average property taxes, but they're not the highest in the country like some may say (I believe that distinction belongs to Texas now).
I think you are just making assumptions here. I did a cost of living comparison between Birmingham and Cedar Rapids and according to that, it's more expensive in CR vs Birmingham, and utilities here are 8% more overall. Really, it's about the same between the two states give or take $1000 though. Minneapolis/St. Paul is MUCH more expensive, mainly because housing is about 45% more there vs AL. Sioux Falls, SD is also more expensive, Omaha, however is less expensive. Madison, WI is also more expensive....

Now, comparing Miami to Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids is about $9000/year less on a 50K salary.


Cost of Living Calculator: Compare the Cost of Living in Two Cities - CNNMoney

Texas doesn't even make the top 5 for highest property taxes but Alabama has the lowest....are you sure AL is the most expensive place to live???

Where the highest and lowest property taxes are
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:30 AM
 
9,400 posts, read 10,235,579 times
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For fun we recently went to an open house here in Scottsdale, AZ that was listed at $1.2 million. It had a nice pool, a full sized guest house out back, 2 garages, huge lot. The property taxes were less than $3000! I can't remember the exact number, but they were almost the same as what the taxes were on a townhome (no yard at all) I owned in West Des Moines! It made me realize that Iowa's taxes really ARE high. (and AZ are LOW!)
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Last edited by ElleTea; 06-04-2015 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,196 posts, read 1,577,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwerty View Post
I think you are just making assumptions here. I did a cost of living comparison between Birmingham and Cedar Rapids and according to that, it's more expensive in CR vs Birmingham, and utilities here are 8% more overall. Really, it's about the same between the two states give or take $1000 though. Minneapolis/St. Paul is MUCH more expensive, mainly because housing is about 45% more there vs AL. Sioux Falls, SD is also more expensive, Omaha, however is less expensive. Madison, WI is also more expensive....

Now, comparing Miami to Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids is about $9000/year less on a 50K salary.


Cost of Living Calculator: Compare the Cost of Living in Two Cities - CNNMoney

Texas doesn't even make the top 5 for highest property taxes but Alabama has the lowest....are you sure AL is the most expensive place to live???

Where the highest and lowest property taxes are
I was looking at rates, not an actual dollar amount. If you go by rates then yes, Texas has the highest. Iowa is certainly well-above average but it's closer to 10th than it is to 1st.

Property Tax Rates By State 2015 - Tax-Rates.org

I never claimed that AL is the most expensive place to live, but it's not the cheapest either. Yes, housing, fuel, and (occasionally) food is usually cheaper than average, but people also generally aren't as well off down here so the dollar doesn't stretch quite as much as you might think. As of 2014, the per-capita income for Iowa is about $27K, while the per-capita income for Alabama is about $23.5K. Alabama is a fine state to retire in, but not so much to work in.

As far as utilities, Alabama on average charges 9.3 cents per KW-hour
, while Iowa on average charges 8.24 cents per KW-hour. It doesn't seem like much, but it's over 10% difference. Also, Iowans, on average, also pay over $400 less per year (~$850) on their car insurance premiums than Alabamians ($1300). In-state tuition for the University of Alabama is $9800/year, and in-state tuition for the University of Iowa is $8000/year. Pretty sizable difference IMHO.

Obviously Iowa makes up for it in housing and property taxes, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that Alabama is a significantly cheaper place to live because it's not, and in many cases, it's more expensive - sometimes significantly so.

Last edited by fezzador; 06-04-2015 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:38 AM
 
1,649 posts, read 2,359,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
For fun we recently went to an open house here in Scottsdale, AZ that was listed at $1.2 million. It had a nice pool, a full sized guest house out back, 2 garages, huge lot. The property taxes were less than $3000! I can't remember the exact number, but they were almost the same as what the taxes were on a townhome (no yard at all) I owned in West Des Moines! It made me realize that Iowa's taxes really ARE high. (and AZ are LOW!)
Yep, my ex has a more expensive, newer, and larger home in the Phoenix area than what I have here in Iowa yet his property taxes are about $700/year less than mine
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,815,162 times
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FWIW, here are some job related recognition received in 2015 for Des Moines:

source: Des Moines Rankings | 2014 Rankings


Quote:
2015 Rankings

Des Moines Ranked #4 on 30 Best Tech Cities to Start a Career (June 8, ComputerTrainingSchools.com)
Des Moines Ranks #4 for America's most Business-Friendly cities. #1 for Business Climate (May 18, Market Watch)
Buzzfeed Ranks Des Moines #11 of the 34 Underrated U.S. Cities You'll Actually Want To Move To (May 16, Buzzfeed)
Des Moines Ranked #6 Mid-sized Metro Area for College Graduates to move to for Employment (May 15, AIER)
Des Moines/ West Des Moines Ranked 11th Best Place to Start a Business in U.S. (May 1, Nerdwallet.com)
Des Moines Among Top 10 U.S. Cities for New College Grads (April 10, SmartAsset.com)
Des Moines Named in Top 5 Emerging Start Up Cities of 2015 (March 25, Investopedia.com)
Greater Des Moines Ranked #4 for 2015 Economic Strength in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (March 23, POLICOM)
Des Moines listed in the 50 Best Places to Live in America (March 18, Men's Journal)
Des Moines is the #2 Best City for Jobs (January 6, Forbes)
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:38 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,577,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
It made me realize that Iowa's taxes really ARE high. (and AZ are LOW!)
Some would say you get what you pay for, in that comparison especially.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,641,554 times
Reputation: 9679
I've decided that states will get you one way or another. Those that have low property taxes make up for it in sales taxes or in other ways. Yes, to some extent, you might get what you pay for. I'm not sure that it's worth paying high prices to live in NYC, but that's just me.

I wouldn't make a retirement decision based solely on cost of living, although that is an important factor.
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