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Average Cost of Living by US States
Old 09-12-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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Average Cost of Living by US States

Where is there a website or other resource that provides the average cost of living by US states. I do not want a site that only contains "index" information, where 1 is deemed to be the average cost across all states and then different co-efficients are assigned to states that are above, or below, the average. Rather, I want the average costs for typical expenses for each state- ie.- rent/mortgage payement, property tax, food, utilities, gas, propery insurance, car insurance, health insurance, etc.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:51 AM   #2
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This Cost of Living Variation - Kaiser State Health Facts might be useful. It concentrates on health costs.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
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I realize a person has to start somewhere in the search for a place to live, yet I'm a little wary of "averages" by state. Even smaller states are actually quite big and various.

Taking the "average" of a state such as MD, which has very wealthy/prosperous and very poor/depressed areas, would be like putting one buttock on a red-hot stove and the other one on an ice cube, and declaring, "On average, I am sitting comfortably."

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Old 09-12-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
 
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I live on Long Island NY. The other day my partner and her friend had lunch at their favorite Asian restaurant. When they commented to the owner on how few customers there were he told her that a lot of his lost customers were retirees that could no long afford to live in the area and moved to other states.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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I realize a person has to start somewhere in the search for a place to live, yet I'm a little wary of "averages" by state. Even smaller states are actually quite big and various.
Early retirement types seem to be drawn to lists and decision trees and all that kind of thing. If it only distracts from the pain of work all this stuff will have served a good purpose.

Ha
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:19 AM   #6
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I suspect most of the COLA differences among states relates to housing. You'll probably do as well looking at local housing listings for the areas you're interested in as you will using any calculator.

For what it's worth, we've "lived" in 25 different states in the past 18 months and haven't noticed much of a difference in prices for the things we normally buy.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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like putting one buttock on a red-hot stove and the other one on an ice cube, and declaring, "On average, I am sitting comfortably."

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PLEASE don't try this at home.

However, if you do, please post a video...
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
I realize a person has to start somewhere in the search for a place to live, yet I'm a little wary of "averages" by state. Even smaller states are actually quite big and various.

Taking the "average" of a state such as MD, which has very wealthy/prosperous and very poor/depressed areas, would be like putting one buttock on a red-hot stove and the other one on an ice cube, and declaring, "On average, I am sitting comfortably."

Amethyst
Point well taken on average costs and nice that Greg's link lists average AS WELL AS lowest and highest cost urban area costs. Doesn't list out in the sticks costs though...
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:00 PM   #9
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try city-data. The cost breakdown is not as detailed as what you are looking for but it does have overall cost of living and housing cost for both large and small towns within each state. If you have a specific location in mind you can ask questions on the forum for that state or region.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #10
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I have utilized the Places Rated Almanac for comparisons in the past. They rate (fairly detailed) 379 U.S. cities. There is a 2011 version out now. I used my local library's copy (usually in the reference section), but did a quick search and found their online site.

David Savageau's Places Rated Home Page | Places Rated
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:09 AM   #11
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I have utilized the Places Rated Almanac for comparisons in the past. They rate (fairly detailed) 379 U.S. cities. There is a 2011 version out now. I used my local library's copy (usually in the reference section), but did a quick search and found their online site.

David Savageau's Places Rated Home Page | Places Rated
That was really interesting, thanks! 3 of the 10 places I just visited (my short list) were on the top 10 this tool recommended, maybe I'm on the right track...
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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did you try here?

Best Places to Live | Compare cost of living, crime, cities, schools and more. Sperling's BestPlaces
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #13
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This is the smartest place-comparison tool I've seen yet.

The "comparisons" are not totally relevant for us (we care a lot about property crime, and the tool only cares about violent crime; we care a lot about surroundings, but don't want to live anywhere near water) and some of the choices were a little bizaare (Long Island? Really?) so I may have to go back and think about my choices more carefully. Still, one of the things they taught me in SE school is not to force a tool's conclusions to match my preconceived notions

As I was clicking through the choices, I thought, "Hm, this is just like using Expert Choice." Then I saw it is powered by EC - duh!

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I have utilized the Places Rated Almanac for comparisons in the past. They rate (fairly detailed) 379 U.S. cities. There is a 2011 version out now. I used my local library's copy (usually in the reference section), but did a quick search and found their online site.

David Savageau's Places Rated Home Page | Places Rated
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #14
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Definitely, I've spent days on Sperling & City Data among others. Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:21 AM   #15
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and some of the choices were a little bizaare (Long Island? Really?)
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