Why do you guys continue to choose high COL cities for the same comp. $150k in SF <<<< $150k in DFW!

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Same reason anyone chooses to live in a city. Family, friends, opportunities, diversity, network, fun - food, activities etc. Can you get all these in LCOL? Absolutely. Is it as ubiquitous across those areas? No

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I'd love to move to a lcol area in the south but my wife doesn't want to. when we've visited the south in the past we've noticed a clear difference in culture and the way people think (I don't think it's better or worse but we don't fit the mold). also my wife is much more of an intellectual than I am and she just clicks better with super highly educated people, which is why we've stayed in Boston. people just have different preferences

likefunny

UT Dallas is a pretty intellectual school

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to have a life? 🤓

likesmart

This. Dallas is a big boring suburb with no culture, no outdoor activities, and nothing to do. There is a lot more to life than being in a LCOL city to save a couple bucks..

likesmart

Because the big city caters to my lifestyle, and from all indications (went to college in a small town), will treat me (a minority) better.

likesmart

Asian here who grew up in DFW. I had by far the best dating life there compared to all other major cities in the United States. Ironically, I experienced less racism in DFW compared to more "cosmopolitan" cities such as Chicago and Boston.

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All my stuff is here

likefunnyupliftingsmart

You’re also making the assumption that the comp growth is the same.

Both me and my friend started in Big 4 in Minneapolis and I moved to SF while he stayed and our comp trajectories changed dramatically:
- Minneapolis: $75K - $80K - $95K - $110K - $130K - $160K
- San Francisco: $75K - $80K - $160K - $200K - $240K - $300K

This is definitely less applicable in MBB firms where they have super fast comp growth and is location agnostic, but I also recognize it’s nearly impossible for me to get a $250K equivalent job in a cheaper city right now.

likehelpful

Initially I thought the COL comparisons make sense, but in reality, 160K in Mpls does not buy you the same goods and services as 300K in SF.

The fact is, 160K in Mpls and 300K in SF would be equivalent if you are living a fairly low-energy life, but there are activities and products that would be available to you making 300K in SF that you would not otherwise get.

So ultimately the deeper question is, are you satisfied with your lifestyle now, or would you see yourself climbing that ladder further to at least experience the life of the coastal elites? Or perhaps micro breweries is your life then 160k certainly is more than enough to become the beer god of your neighborhood

So we don’t have to live among people from Dallas.

likefunny

As someone who moved to Dallas, this is city is much more cosmo/LA than I would’ve ever expected ha. But, Ft Worth is still there to save the day

likefunny

Let them have their "intellectuals" and "big city life". I love the Dallas area, and have made friends with transplants from all over the US. From the comments here, we don't want some of them to come anyhow.

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I live in a HCOL city (SF) because it has allowed me to build connections with my industry that I otherwise would not have been able to, avoid travel, serve my clients better and get promoted faster.

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Not everyone can just pack up and leave. Some of us were born & raised in HCOL cities and it’s where are friends and family live. We have ties to our communities. Some of us are raising children who already attend school and we don’t want to uproot them unnecessarily. Many of us have spouses whom are in school, working, or even further along in their careers. Also, there may in fact be quality of life differentials between H/LCOL places but our six figure salaries, no matter where we live are still WAAAAY above the median salary of any city in the country—which means we’re still doing fine. Also some cities have other sectors of industry that may interest us more in the long term.
All of these reasons are personal to me. I’m sure others can agree.

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I'm a single Gay and a minority so the dating pools are bigger in higher population, generally HCOL cities.

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Pass

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HCOL cities tend to have more, better paying jobs, a more educated population, and better access to health care and education.

The flip side is commutes and quality of life can suffer if you don’t have a high income.

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I live in those tier 1 cities and often meet people who are mind blowingly smart and successful that it keeps me humble. In the 3.5 years I’ve lived here, I’ve met 20+ Forbes 30 under 30s. And plenty without such accolade but equally brilliant and ambitious. I am a competitive person and it honestly makes me try my best aspiring to catch up to those that are at that level. For someone who comes from a middle class family without significant ties, I think the accumulation of hard work, perseverance, resilience and the network you build can help you achieve your goals, and allow you to dream bigger.

Furthermore, speaking of networks, I believe (subjectively) my network is great - both for my career and personal growth. I was able to break into the hedge fund industry because of the information I had, gained through the people I knew. Personally, I grow because I hear a lot of perspectives from people with diverse backgrounds which helps me realize my own biases and prejudices.

Lastly, I can move to a cheaper cost of living place when I’m in my 40s and still enjoy the comfort. While I’m in my 20s, I’m willing to give it my 150% and shoot my shot and being successful and being around successful people

likesmartfunny

Some things are priceless

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thank you C1. this needs to be repeated daily

120k in DFW is like 220k in SF.

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I just really encourage everyone to make their own budget.

A couple examples that don’t personally apply to my specific situation:
- Healthcare prices - adjusted based on region, but most of us get healthcare from our employers so have fixed Premiums, Deductibles and Max Out of Pockets. My max OOP each year is $1K, which doesn’t change regardless of location. See chart below.
- Transportation - Most of them are based on price of gas. But if you live in a big city like SF or NY, you’re generally relying on public transit, which is $100-150 monthly, rather than $300-500 for car payment, maintenance, insurance, plus $100-200 monthly for gas. My transportation cost would increase going from a HCOL to LCOL city.
- Food - most of us on here are consultants who travel, with food paid for Monday to Thursday, so we’re just paying for food/fun from Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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All I have to say, is if you move from CA to TX, dont vite the same way you did in CA!!! There is a reason TX is affordable, we are fiscally conservative and don't believe in a nannie state. Dallas is a Tier 1 city and is still affordable (maybe not much longer).

likefunny

I agree Dallas folks are average looking, but don’t seem to be particularly intellectual

funny

Big city like SF means opportunity, you might get to work for the next Google or the actual Google (if you move a bit.) That’s not the case in Dallas. It depends if EY is where it’s at for you or a steppingstone.

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Bc our city is ran by incompetent corrupt officials

Most of what people spend money on is conspicuous consumption anyways (whether they realize it or not). In a lower COL city, everyone can afford more nice things so you get less bang for your buck in terms of social status.

I find it highly ironic when people from places like Dallas proclaim loudly about how much more affordable it is and then spend most of their cost savings on a fancy car that they don’t need.

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Ugh SF is awful, idk why anyone would want to live there.

It was hard for me to leave TX but it was hard to find a job that pays $250K in TX except for yet another consulting job.. (w/ my YOE)

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I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised between the Bronx and Brooklyn. My entire support system is split between here and the Caribbean. Moving anywhere would literally mean starting my life over again.

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