If you’re struggling to find employment; unhappy in your current job; or disappointed with your paycheck — relocation might be the best solution.
Factors like workplace conditions, cost of living, income, taxes, and unemployment rates can differ vastly from state to state.
MoneyRates.com, a source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing, just released its third annual ranking of the best and worst places to make a living.
It ranks all 50 states based on income, taxes, cost of living, unemployment, and workplace environment data. The information is gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, C2ER, Tax-Rates.org, and Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
“These criteria were chosen because they represent all aspects of making a living,” says Richard Barrington, CFA, senior financial analyst with MoneyRates.com. “What chance you have of finding a job, how much you are likely to make, how much you get to keep, how much you can buy for your money, and what it’s like to work in your state.”
At the top of the heap this year is Washington.
“Washington is one of only eight states where the average wage is in excess of $50,000 a year,” Barrington says. “However, Washington is the only one of those eight states where high wages are not offset somewhat by a high cost of living. Each of those other states has a cost of living at least 20% higher than the national average; in Washington, the cost of living is only 2.5% higher than the national average, so the state’s residents get the benefit of high incomes without an unusually high cost of living.”
In addition, Washington has no state income tax, so its residents get to keep more of those high salaries, he says. “Finally, Washington also got an above-average ranking in a Gallup-Healthways poll about workplace environment.”...