real estate

What's It Going to Cost You to Live There?

Home prices are just one factor you should consider when choosing a city.

If you're a retiree looking for a change of scenery, or you've been offered a job in another city, you may want to consider more than just the cost of housing. Prices for groceries, utilities, health care and other necessities can also vary significantly.

For example, the average cost of a doctor's appointment in Rockford, Ill., is $139, compared with $75 in Bloomington, Ind., according to the Council for Community and Economic Research's cost of living index, or COLI. The general rule of thumb is that you should spend no more than 50% of your budget on necessities such as housing, food and transportation. But relocating to a high-cost area may make this guideline unworkable.

The table below shows what you would pay for commonly used products and services in four cities that made the list of 20 finalists for Amazon's second headquarters—which is expected to add 50,000 jobs. We added Orlando because that area is attractive to retirees.

You can find a COLI calculator at www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator.

Photo by Miosotis Jade via Wikimedia Commons

Most Popular

Senate Passes $3,000 Child Tax Credit for 2021
Coronavirus and Your Money

Senate Passes $3,000 Child Tax Credit for 2021

The provision would temporarily increase the child tax credit to $3,000 or $3,600 per child for most families and have 50% of it paid in advance by th…
March 6, 2021
Senate Passes Bill with More "Targeted" Stimulus Payments
Coronavirus and Your Money

Senate Passes Bill with More "Targeted" Stimulus Payments

The Senate finally passes the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill. But fewer people will get a third stimulus check under the Senate version than under th…
March 6, 2021
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021

Recommended

Having the Money Talk with Your Parents, with Cameron Huddleston
Financial Planning for Alzheimer's

Having the Money Talk with Your Parents, with Cameron Huddleston

Managing your parents' finances can be a difficult situation. Doing so if you haven't laid down a plan for how to do it is worse.
March 2, 2021
Switch Accounts for a Better Yield?
Financial Planning

Switch Accounts for a Better Yield?

If your current account has a reliable history of strong yields, it might be worth sticking around.
February 23, 2021
Money Conversations You Should Have Before Marriage
Brandon Copeland

Money Conversations You Should Have Before Marriage

Kiplinger.com contributing editor and NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland has Valentine's Day (and beyond) advice for couples who want to improve their fi…
February 11, 2021
Smart Ways to Save on Child Care Costs
Starting a Family

Smart Ways to Save on Child Care Costs

The expenses and tax complications that come with hiring a nanny were reason enough for me to take my son to day care instead.
February 5, 2021