Trent from The Simple Dollar states why he loves the country life in Iowa. He goes into the detail about the financial advantages of Iowa.
I have always lived near the big city, usually about ten miles away at the most. The two big cities are Boston and San Francisco. Here are some financial advantages I’ve learned about the big city:
- There are a number of places where I can save money by being more frugal. Trent mentions that a 20 oz Coke may be $1.60 in San Francisco. That may be true, but I rarely even buy one on the fly. I usually go to Walmart and stock up on cans and 2-liters. As I drove across the nation, I noticed that the pricing was surprising the same – 58 cents for a 2-liter of Sam’s Choice – $3.98 for a 24 pack of cans.
- Looking at that previous bullet point again, I earn quite a big more in the city than I would elsewhere and I’m able to keep some of my costs the same. This gives me a greater surplus.
- The weather has been so good near San Francisco that most places don’t even have air conditioning. The mild winters (below 32 degrees is considered an emergency) means that I use a minimum of heat. Comparing this to most areas in the country and $70 a month for gas and electricity (including about 6 billion computers and gadgets) add up to big savings.
- The level of education in Boston and San Francisco is tremendous. In Boston, I would find myself in groups where everyone went to MIT or Harvard. In San Francisco, I’d say about 80% of my current company has a degree from Stanford. Smart people are contagious or to put it another way, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.
- Time and time again I hear that San Francisco has a very high “quality of life.” What that really entails differs on your preferences. However, it’s fairly quick and easy for me to watch, not one, but two major league baseball teams. I could even go to a museum in the day and a baseball game at night. The culture and diversity is amazing.
- Competition for software developers in the area has reached the point where salaries and benefits are experiencing a bubble effect. With Google offering a gourmet cafeteria and other great perks, other companies have started to join in to compete. My company offers free lunch and dinner from restaurants around town delivered every day. They are also looking to give a $500/month in housing allowance if you live within a certain distance of the office. These benefits completely flabbergast most of the people I talk to.
- I imagine that it is very hard for someone from Iowa to move to San Francisco to retire. However, the reverse, moving from San Francisco to Iowa to retire strikes me as something entirely possible.
The more I think about it, the more opportunities seem to be in the city. If something were to happen to the company I work for in the country, could I get another equivalent job? I think the odds are much better in city. It makes me think that the odds of me working for the next YouTube is much better. The odds are still small, but their headquarters are within a five mile radius.Â You never know, perhaps I’ll be retiring in less than a year with a stroke of tremendous luck.