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« Five Signs You Retired Too Early | Main | Five Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month »

January 22, 2018

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Low costs are all well and fine, but don't forget the income side of the ledger. If you want to maximize your savings in dollars per year, you might find that working in a high-cost city can get you to your number faster, especially if you work in a lucrative niche and don't mind living small.

I grew up in a depressed area where 50K per year would support a plush standard of living, but the jobs there pay poorly and even those are hard to get. Even after taxes and living expenses, I save more in dollars per year where I am than I would gross in my old hometown.

One nice thing about depressed regions is that house prices and living costs don't move much, so they could be great places to land for early-retirement. That was my original plan but thanks to the tailwind from the stock market over these past decades, I've got enough to stay in coastal California.

I like the concept and definitely agree for single-earner families but several high-income jobs are specialties that are focused in certain areas. Another consideration is dual-career families that benefit from being in larger cities so that both individuals can grow their careers and incomes without stifling the other - that can be a lot harder to do in smaller markets. It can be done but will depend on both individuals professions.

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