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  1. Shiny! According to the calculator if we relocated back to SF with no cost of living adjustment then we have a gap of…17? That’s not good is it? Haha. Plus those Cali taxes. Oh dear, it’s straight to the poor house for us.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! San Fran has a way of humbling many a gap. Definitely too rich for my blood. Stay in Seattle. You and Jared are kicking butt. Or come to North Carolina. We need all the FIRE enthusiasts we can get here.

  2. Love the calculator! Excellent work, Mr. G. This great tool may be just what someone needs to take the geoarbitrage leap!

    In the parallel universe where we kept our current jobs and moved to Boise 5 or 6 years ago, we would already be retired and out on our bike tour.

    Now, as we pedal around the country trying to figure out where to live next, we’ll keep that cost of living index bookmarked as we create the short list.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love the way your mind works, Mrs. G. The cosmopolitan cities in America are awesome. But not everyone can afford to live in New York, Boston, LA, San Fran, Chicago, and DC. The good news is that a lot of non-cosmopolitan cities in America are pretty awesome as well–Austin, Atlanta, Boise, Charlotte, Denver, Louisville, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh are just some of the cities that immediately come to mind. I learned long ago that there is indeed life outside of New York City. Hail America’s low-cost awesome cities! And hail anyone who is bold enough to take advantage of them.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I’m not sure what I like more either–the fact that you praised my calculator or referred to me as a Warrior? Made my day, my friend.

  3. Great post Groovy and I’m certainly going to bookmark this for the future when I’m ready to move. Right now my girlfriend has a great job that she loves in our state(HCOL) so we’ll be sticking around for a while. My job here is pretty good too so I’m not in a hurry to move but once I’m ready to call it quits, I’d rather move somewhere cheaper and warmer.
    timeinthemarket recently posted…Investing in cryptocurrency seems too easy – the risks and allure of bitcoin and altcoinsMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, TITM. For a lot of people (such as you and your girlfriend), a HCOL state or city works. But when such people have made all the money they need to and are no longer taking advantage of amenities peculiar to their HCOL state or city, geoarbitrage is a great option. Nothing wrong with cheaper and warmer. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And I love your moniker. Time-in-the-market is a great name.

  4. Great article on Geo-Arbitrage, this is THE KEY for people with “options” or ready/ eager to change who want to reach their goals faster. Your “years to FI” are a great way to show the tremendous difference of choosing where to live. We live in the city of Basel, Switzerland (bordering Germany and France) and we can do Mini-triple-geo-arbitrage by shopping in three different countries. Optimization is key and can save many years of your precious life-time!

    • Mr. Groovy

      “We live in the city of Basel, Switzerland (bordering Germany and France) and we can do Mini-triple-geo-arbitrage by shopping in three different countries.”

      Oh, man, I got a tremendous Chris Matthews Leg Tingle reading that. Thank you, sir. And I’m jealous, by the way. Europe is a pretty freakin’ cool corner of the world.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, crap, Mr. WoW. Now you got me really thinking. What about a feature that suggests 10 good candidates for geoarbitrage after you put in your current city, income, and spending? Now that would be pretty freakin’ cool.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed, Gary. You would think geo calculators would be fairly plentiful on the web. Oh, well, now I have a little side project to keep my creative juices flowing.

  5. Last year I geoarbitraged within my own city, moving 16kms away to a bigger house on a smaller block by the beach. Sometimes making a profit of 700K that you can sock away into investments means that even if things like commuting costs rise, (though I’ve found a way to reduce that to only a minuscule increase), and other basic expenses stay the same, it’s still worth moving to a different suburb within the same city. I’ve even kept the same job.
    Isn’t it interesting how knowing about these things means that we can look at our own situations and tweak things to our advantage?
    Frogdancer recently posted…Frugal Friday: garlic and gingerMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      “Isn’t it interesting how knowing about these things means that we can look at our own situations and tweak things to our advantage?”

      That is sublimely brilliant, my friend. It’s amazing what one can do when one engages one’s functioning brain!

    • Mr. Groovy

      I’m a fraud, Olivia. A fraud, I tell you. I actually started coding a my own geo calculator plugin with PHP and javascript. But there was no way I was going to get a functional mock-up in time for the post. So I cut some corners and just used a WordPress plugin called Calculated Fields Form. Not exactly my finest moment. If it’s any consolation, I feel a lot of shame. Do you forgive me?

    • Mr. Groovy

      That’s really the way to do it, Jason. If you can use your accumulated savings from New York and buy a house or condo outright, you’ll be in a great position to turbo-charge your advance toward FIRE. You’ll also have a heck of lot less stress. Life is good when you don’t have a mortgage payment.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Whymances. I’m working on a geo calculator plugin that uses PHP and javascript. That should be ready in a month or two. To do my test-of-concept mock-up, I used a WordPress plugin called Calculated Fields Form. As Mrs. Groovy loves to point out, I cheated!

  6. CRAZY – I don’t know how I didn’t pick up earlier that you moved from NYC to Charlotte to aid in achieving FI faster!

    Mrs. Frugal Money Man and I are actually planning to do the exact same thing! We aren’t making the trip from NYC, but our plan is to relocate from DC to Charlotte in about 3 years!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, perhaps in the future we can do a little collaboration on this. Those html, css, and javascript skills you’re building would be a big help.

  7. Nice calculator! Our COL is 85.1 in Houston, and 84.9 in San Antonio, the closest city with numbers, so we don’t gain too much with relocating. BUT, when we were looking at Bend, OR, omg, it was going the wrong way with expenses.

    Similarly, I turned down a job in Camarillo, CA because the COL was too high for moving to just one, very reduced income. Since Mrs. SSC didn’t have a job lined up, we used COL calculators and home rental sites to estimate our new costs. It was disappointing because that job would’ve been nice and in a beautiful area to boot. Oh well…
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Our 2017 Spending: What a Dumpster Fire!My Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Think for my geo calculator to work for you, I have to add an international component. The cost-of-living in the Houston area is too affordable. Would you and Mrs. SSC consider Chiang Mai?

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re too kind, Mrs. AR. You’re making me blush. But I do agree that this calculator could be useful. And what makes me really excited is that with a little dedication, I can make it a lot more robust. Holy purple cats, Batman! I may have found my calling.

  8. Nicely built…I may have to use this in the near future…or far future. We did a similar calculation time move out to Cali and it worked pretty well for us. Though the fire really boosted our networth.

    • Mr. Groovy

      There are all sorts of calculators out there on the internet–retirement, mortgage, leasing, weight-loss, etc., etc. But not one geoarbitrage calculator? Outrageous! On a brighter note, though, I now have something to occupy my creative energies. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • Do not move too far from family if you have (or are planning to have) kids and if your family seems to have one ounce of willingness to babysit EVER, ha ha. Or else add a field to your geoarbitrage calculator for babysitting costs. They’re a killer🙃

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Ms 99to1. I am a coder. I have a lot of experience with C#, PHP, and javascript. But, sadly, I didn’t code the above geo calculator. I’m working on my own right now. But that’s going to take a while, and I just wanted to put out a crude mock-up just to promote my idea. The above geo calculator was created with a WordPress plugin called Calculated Fields Form. So as Mrs. G so delightfully proclaims, I’m a fraud. Haha! I hope you don’t think too badly of me. And, no, we don’t have family in Charlotte. When our family decided to leave New York, they all decided to relocate to the Raleigh area of North Carolina. And that’s the main reason why we’re building Groovy Ranch up there. To get closer to family. Thanks for stopping by, Ms 99to1. Always a pleasure.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha!I love dorking out. But in all honesty, I’m a fraud. The crude geo calculator you see above was crafted with a WordPress plugin called Calculated Fields Form. I am working on a more robust geo calculator using PHP and javascript but that won’t be ready for a while. I’m just excited about the concept and wanted to get it out there. And I would love to turn this into a mobile app. I know Chris over at Keep Thrifty has some experience in this. Maybe it’s time for a joint venture? Thanks for stopping by, AF. Always a pleasure.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Brian. California’s tough. But if you own your house or condo outright, it may work. I think you’ll have to consult Tanja from Our Next Life on this matter. Best of luck, my friend.

      • Oh if you wanted to spend a lot of time on this you could automate some of the fields that look up data on the other sites. Screen scraping ftw!

        I can’t believe the index site doesn’t let you sort! It is pretty hard to find a place that makes the cost/benefit ratio work out when we live in a 111 index.

        • Mr. Groovy

          Thanks, BOAS. That is definitely on my list. I want to make data input as painless as possible. I just put together a very crude calculator to prove the concept. Now comes the hard part–making it user friendly.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Tom. I agree with you that the geo calculator is innovative, but I have to push back a little bit on the tech savvy front. I started working on a geo calculator plugin using PHP and javascript. But that plugin won’t be ready for a while, and I wanted to get my geo calculator out there. So to show proof of concept, I used a WordPress plugin called Calculated Fields Form. This plugin is fairly intuitive and I got the above geo calculator ready in a couple of hours. Bottom line: when it comes to the tech savvy part of the geo calculator, I’m a fraud. At least that’s what Mrs. G says. Man, it’s tough having a spouse for a blogging partner. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.