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Old 04-13-2011, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,309 posts, read 3,736,525 times
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...................Well my friends, this 'little-bit-of-info' may provide some answer(s) to those folks that are thinking about "moving-to-Montana".

Go to: Highest rates on bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Money Markets, Checking Accounts, and Savings Account rates | MoneyRates.com and follow the links to the appropriate information.

You will find that in the Ranking of THE 10 WORST States for: MAKINF-A-LIVING".....Montana ranks 3rd from the bottom!!!!... In other words......only Maine and Hawaii are ranked LOWER than Montana.

The Wall Street Journel, Barron's, U.S. News and World Report etc etc use "MoneyRates.com" as a reliable and accurate source for information of this type. Thus it appears it is not a "fly-by-night" organization.

Having lived in Ravalli County for almost 32 years, I have observed what has appeared to be an extremely high percentage of "new-commers" that end up leaving (to move on to another state) after a years or so. Thus Bearing out the phrase: "You can't eat the scenery, slow-pace-of-life, great winter sports and fantistic hunting & fishing". Sad but true.......I guess the "Grass always looks Greener....."
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,925 posts, read 13,822,925 times
Reputation: 3446
I see Calif is ranked just above MT, due specifically to ever-growing high cost of living -- so net income keeps shrinking. Price of everything jumped 10% or more last week, and that's not including gas (which has almost doubled since early March).

Gonna keep getting worse til we get some real industry back, that produces real salable products that are in general and continous demand. Agriculture does that, but can't keep everyone employed. We need our heavy industry back.

But you not only can't eat scenery, you can't eat on a service-economy when no one can afford to show up and hire your services. Better to put that Dept. of Tourism money into a Dept. of New Industry. And as to the NIMBYs... well, maybe if they had to hire all the folks they actively prevent from finding work.... at real wages, not service wages.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:36 PM
 
9,864 posts, read 10,038,665 times
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Lets do some comparisons between two places. San Jose California
Average Household Income San Jose California $76,495

and Montana's Biggest City Billings Montana
Average Household Income $45,957

I raised my family in San Jose, and have many family members there, I choose these two areas as I now live just outside of Billings.

Now lets run it through a Comparison Calculator to find after adjusting wages for cost of living, to live on the same standard of living between the two places.

Their Readout---The cost of living in Billings is lower than the cost of living in San Jose. If you make $76,495.00 in San Jose and move to Billings, you will only need to make $45,089.84 ($31,405.16 less) to maintain the same buying power.

The average salary is actually a few hundred dollars buying power ahead in Billings at the lower income level.

Other facts:

San Jose unemployment rate---11.5%
Billings unemployment rate----- 5.3%

Homeownership rates: People in Montana more able to buy a home on an average salary.

California 56.5%
Montana 69.9

San Jose 1 in every 479 homes in foreclosure and prices declining.
Billings 1 in every 1,250 homes in foreclosure and prices rising.

Example home we live in is nicest home in town. A 3,700 sq. ft. 4 level (no basement), 3 bedroom 3 bath contemporary. Stucco and Rock exterior. 2 car garage. Custom Rock fireplace wall. Rock stove surround in family room. Huge kitchen, with large 15x18 ft informal dining area. Formal dining room. 15x30 custom concrete and stone deck. Sits on 5 acres with rail fencing, and large barn with 2 stalls. We sit in the county, but our 600 ft private drive is across the road from the cities nicest housing area. Cost $300,000 5 years ago, but would bring $350,000 on today's market. Located 50 miles out of Billings.

As a 20 year commercial real estate broker and developer, I estimate the property worth about $1,500,000 in Silicon Valley, if you can find size and quality of home on this type of acreage with horse rights for this price.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,309 posts, read 3,736,525 times
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..................I have a long-time friend who lives in Columbus, MT (zip 59019)...actually a native to Columbus..., population approx 2000, and a 50 mile drive into Billings.....and has made a-decent-wage over the years, thus has been able to provide the essentials for an enjoyable life......and doesn't worry about "home value" going down (or up) or anything of that nature.

In contrast:........... He and his wife have a modest 2000 sq ft ranch style home; 3 BR/2bath; cedar exterior, attached garage, F.P. in Liv Rm, adequate kitchen with dining area; nice rear patio. Just a nice home on 3 fenced acres with a short 100 foot driveway!
.........................Nothing to brag about................. but very comfortable and they truly enjoy living in the town where they grew up. In recent times there have been some out-of-state folks who have moved into the area and appear to be some what prone to "blow-their-horn".............my friends tell me they just "consider-the-source" and are content with their "down-to-earth" circle of friends who need not (try to) impress anyone.

He has quite a few contacts in the area and he's kind enough to steer me to some very good upland bird hunting areas in that part of the state. In turn, I have him come over here to the Bitterroot to get his deer, turkey and some of those 'lunker Browns' in the fall.

Yes, Life-is-Good........Montanans are good........and so is the weather today!!..............CARPE DIEM.........
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:05 AM
 
9,864 posts, read 10,038,665 times
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I just checked Columbus, and typed in $250,000 to $350,000 and this will show people what homes sell for there, far below what they would sell for back in Silicon Valley.

3 Bedroom Columbus Homes for Sale - Real Estate with 3 bedrooms in Columbus, MT - Realtor.com® (http://tinyurl.com/44d2lx6 - broken link)

There are some decent ones a hundred thousand dollars less.

Columbus has Platinum Miners, and the recycling plants where they recycle catalytic converters. Miners with bonus, can take home over $100,000 per year.

People there can afford to buy homes, as they can in most of that South Western Region of Montana.

Go to Billings and type in $150,000 to $350,000 and you get a good choice, and you will find they are not in slum areas.

3 Bedroom Billings Homes for Sale - Real Estate with 3 bedrooms in Billings, MT - Realtor.com® (http://tinyurl.com/3ngsvmn - broken link)

This is why you get city people like in the starting link, and the look at some figures such as the wages, etc., in states like Montana. They fail to look at the adjusted figures taking into cost of living, etc.

I have a daughter that is a business analyst for a major employer, specializing in the program they drive their numerous operations with. She will draw $100,000 plus this year. That is the top for her field even in the cities. She prefers it here, as that is equal to $176,000 per year buying power back in San Jose where she was offered the same salary for the same type job with a major company. She does not want to take the cut. Her medical insurance is 100% with no deductible. Stock options, 401K, 3 weeks vacation, and other benefits. Telecommutes a lot of days. When she goes into the office, 7 minutes or less. Job security, she is nationally known through user groups, and in contact with other firms around the nation in her work, so she is sought out several times per month by HR departments and head hunters to make sure she is happy. Standing offers form several that she can have as good or as better job with comparable salary all over the country. She knows if she pushed, she could get another $30K or so to go to the the San Francisco Bay area where they keep wanting her, but she would still be taking a big cut.

Some like my daughter earn as much here as the cities, while others make less than in the big city areas. But the bottom line is, they actually usually are ahead here do to the difference in costs of living.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Harrison, OH
910 posts, read 1,545,404 times
Reputation: 376
What is the job market in Montana like for a grad student? I'm considering moving out west to either Idaho, Montana, or Eastern Washington, as I have wanted to live out there for a long time now and would rather make less in a smaller market (with lower CoL) than be a big market with a high CoL.

Would I be better off going out there for school, or networking my way in while at a more prestigious school?
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:41 PM
 
9,864 posts, read 10,038,665 times
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Job Market depends on what type work you want to do, just as it does in other places.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Harrison, OH
910 posts, read 1,545,404 times
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Finance related is what I'm looking into, I'm an economics major looking at finance masters programs
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:51 AM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 5,103,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
You will find that in the Ranking of THE 10 WORST States for: MAKINF-A-LIVING".....Montana ranks 3rd from the bottom!!!!... In other words......only Maine and Hawaii are ranked LOWER than Montana......"
Oh great! Now everybody from Maine and Hawaii is going to be moving here to lower their cost of living!
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:57 AM
 
31 posts, read 119,579 times
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3rd worst? Wow, you'd never think it looking at the real estate prices.
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