#4: Make Your Home in a State with Good Economic Prospects
When I landed my first permanent full-time job in 1975, the national unemployment rate was 8.2% — and I thought the job market was tough. Today, the jobs situation is slowly improving, with 7.4% unemployment rate nationally, though it varies widely depending on where you live. Yuma, Ariz., for example, has a staggering 34.5% unemployment rate.
As a young person, though, you enjoy certain advantages over older workers. Chances are, you’ve got fewer commitments tying you down to a specific location. You can move in search of better opportunities.
Three or four decades ago, California was the mecca for fortune-seeking youth. Today, however, other states offer more jobs, lower taxes and significantly lower housing costs. Take Utah, for example. According to Kiplinger estimates, the Beehive State’s rate of job growth in 2013 will double California’s. Utah’s average income tax take per person stands at only $765 annually, vs. $1,229 for Caliifornia. Property taxes, per capita, are also 40% lower in Utah. Zillow reports that an average home costs about half as much in Salt Lake City as in Los Angeles. Great skiing nearby, too!
Other states with the “triple play” of low taxes, reasonable housing prices and rapid job growth include (in alphabetical order) Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. Like Utah, these states are enjoying a powerful lift from America’s domestic energy boom. Even if you’re not a petroleum engineer, though, the local prosperity will greatly increase your odds of success as you seek to establish yourself in any business.