Where to Live To Save Money

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode / Listener Questions

  • How small changes in your living situation can add up to massive wealth over time.
  • Is phone insurance worth buying (Matt)
  • Where should I put my yearly bonus (Horatio, Ft. Worth)
  • What amount of money do I need to retire in 20 years (John, St Paul, MN)
  • Fidelity Signature Rewards card to build up your investments (Marty, California)
  • Should I pay off my car or buy a pre fabricated home and rent it (Ryan, Portland OR)
  • Should I go back to school to invest in myself (Brady)
  • Shopping around home closing costs saves one listener $7,500 (Alex)
  • Scott reports back on an online service to backup your old media.


Are you ready to save some money? What are the best and worst places to live to save you money?

Where you live – the street, town, city, suburb, and state – has huge impacts on saving, quality of life, and wealth building, right? My brother in-law is leaving the country to move to Tennessee for a job. He came to the United Cities of Texas for a job. He used to live in Ohio. And now he will be moving, which means we have room for one more applicant to defect to Texas if anyone is interested.

I used to have no clue about how much housing costs, commuting costs and taxes mattered to building wealth and quality of life. I moved to Atlanta because I figured I could find a job there. It wasn’t very well thought out. I eventually bought a house far out in the suburbs because that’s the one the bank said I could afford. Not well thought out, right? I often wonder how I managed to not be dead, and not be more of a financial train wreck. Can you imagine if that happened to you? Let’s avoid that, ok?

For people still working, about half have no pension or retirement savings. You know that already. HOW a person lives and spends their time has a big impact on their long term wealth.

  • How they spend their free time – traveling to experience the finest sushi restaurants vs. spending their weekends at the comic book store playing Dungeons & Dragons for free.
  • How someone dresses – the clothes they buy at Target calling them from the sales rack.
  • How they commute to work – the make and model of car. Or a bicycle. Or walking. Or working from home even.

Does that make sense?

But WHERE a person lives plays a bigger part. ThinkAdvisor released a report on the best and worst places for retirement in 2019. Not to be confused with Money magazines top small towns to live in 2019. Kibble burger’s best places to live near a college. And Cosmopolitan magazine’s ten best country towns to meet a hot guy that looks like Thor.

Number One Worst place to live – Kentucky. You’re thinking the same thing I did when I first heard this study. This is one silly study. How can the home to fried chicken be a terrible place to live or retire, right?

Theses studies come out every year. And every year it’s something different. What doesn’t change is the things you can do to save money from your choice of living.

  • You could stretch retirement dollars another ten years.
  • You could retire ten or twenty years sooner. Pretty cool, right?
  • You could have a $2M nest egg compared to a $1M nest egg. Can you imagine that?

When we moved from Georgia to Texas, the housing costs were 40% less. It was shocking. Once you sit down and do the math. Sometimes that’s a big motivator. Katie was showing some investment properties to some California residents a couple weeks ago. They were looking to buy two or three rental homes. And not even live in the state. That’s the craziness of the price differences, even when it comes to investment properties.

If housing is our biggest expense in life – next to taxes – the housing choices we make over a 50–100 year lifespan is huge, isn’t it? 50–100 years! That’s a long time.

Ok, ok, but what about my family. They won’t move. We want to be close to them. Oh yeah, that’s hard isn’t it? Trying to even get someone in their 80’s that’s lived in the same house for fifty years to up and move into assisted living is like trying to get my five year old to dunk a basketball.

But doesn’t that person really just want to be around family? Maybe that’s most important.

Even something simple like making a cross-town move can have huge savings. I’ll never live in Dallas county. It’s a couple miles down the road. Taxes are higher.

Let’s not call the moving company just yet, ok? But listen, when there is sometimes 50–100 years of living expenses to consider, doesn’t it make sense to have a plan? Or some idea? Or a dream? Or maybe just explore the space?

Not knowing is ok. Can you just be on the lookout? Listeners of The Scott Alan Turner Show know I change my mind after every vacation.

I was ready to move to Napa last week. Still am. And Ireland, Switzerland, Denver. I think I want to be Johhny Depp and have houses every where. But not have to sue my financial planners from not paying attention to my money. I’d love to renovate and live in an old castle in Italy. That would be exciting, right?

How to live saves money, but where to live can save even more. Just ignore all the yearly Top 10 lists of where the best places are. The best place for you is the place that’s going to make you happy and contribute to your long term wealth building.

Pay attention to your money my friends! Nobody cares about it like you will. Except me. And the studio cats. They just want you to send them catnip.

So which state is #1 on the list this year? Florida. I’m anti palm-tree, so I’m not moving to Florida. I like Christmas trees.

Dream about where you would like to live in the next five years, ten years, retire to. A listener of the show yesterday mentioned staying in California 3 months out of the year, and traveling the other 9. Isn’t that cool?

If you setup shop in a state for 6+ months out of the year, that’s your residence. You can legally pay less taxes with that strategy. Also, very cool, right? Something else to think about as you dream a big dream.


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