How much does it cost to live?


Image Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The first year after I got my Ph.D. in linguistics, I taught as a lecturer at Rice University. I was paid four thousand dollars a semester. It barely covered my living expenses. Houston is a big city. I had to rent an apartment there, because it was not my home base. The following year, my contract was not renewed. When my neighbor asked me what I was going to do, I answered: "Well, I can't keep living in Houston. I can't afford to live here without an income."

He gave me a funny look and asked: "Can you afford to live anywhere without an income?"

"Well, of course, I can," I replied. It seemed like such a silly question. Nobody actually needs a specific income in order to live. You need a set income to stay in a particular spot and maintain a specific lifestyle. But nobody has to earn a specific amount of money in order to live. If we did, we'd be slaves.

I stayed for a while with family, and eventually I found a job in Taiwan as an assistant professor of linguistics in a university in Tamsui. In Taiwan, the government is very involved in certification of educators and also in determining the pay scales of professors in all the universities, both public and private. The lowliest assistant professor in the lowest ranked university makes the same salary as one who is employed by the finest university on the island. Cost of living does not even come under consideration when offering a salary.

After my first year in Taiwan, I interviewed at a number of other universities, hoping to land a job at a more prestigious and higher level institution. I was offered a position in two places: Taiwan Normal University, which is in downtown Taipei, and Providence University, out in the boondocks, in ShaLu, Taichung county. Needless to say, Taiwan Normal had higher prestige and would have looked better on my CV. But the cost of living in Taipei is very high, and I was expecting a child. I would have to hire a nanny and support her, and all on the same salary that I would get no matter where I  lived. Living in Taichung, in an area that was considered "out in the country", on the very same salary, I could afford all my expenses, and even put away savings against my return to the U.S.

Mind you, a place that is considered "out in the country" in Taiwan, looks like the middle of a big city to someone from the U.S. I chose the more frugal living arrangement and the less prestigious employer, and I rented an apartment on the ninth floor of a very urban looking housing development.

It's not the salary you make that determines how well off you are. It is the comparison between your income and your outlay that counts.

Where I live Now: The Cost of Living and Other Interesting Facts

I don't work anymore. I am retired, and except for the pittance that I am making on Hubpages this year, I have no earned income. All my income is passive. And it's very small. And I have no debt. On top of which, I live where the cost of living is low.

As of 2009, the population in the town I live near is 1,371 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of -1.48 percent. The median home cost is $71,730. Home appreciation the last year has been -2.20 percent. (But property taxes have gone up).

Compared to the rest of the country, the cost of living where I live now is 24.77% lower than the U.S. average.

The public schools where I live spend $3,917 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 11 students per teacher where I live.

The unemployment rate where I live is 9.50 percent (U.S. avg. is 8.50%). Recent job growth is Negative. Jobs have decreased by 3.90 percent since the year 2000. I moved here in 2001.

Want to see how this compares to where you live? Check it out here

Economically Depressed or Just Out in the Country

How did I choose to live here? Well, the state of Missouri was chosen because of the favorable laws toward chimpanzees. But the exact location was determined by the price. I started out in the vicinity of St. Louis, MO, and kept going south and west until I found a nice house with a good bit of land for the amount of money I could afford to pay for it in cash.

Have you considered that just maybe you would have to work less for the same things if only you lived where there are fewer people? The more urban the location, the higher the cost of living. It's like paying extra to live where it is crowded. Why would anyone want to do that?

An Israeli woman visited me here when I had been living here for only a couple of years. "This area is economically depressed," she commented. "I couldn't even try to open a falafel restaurant here."

"It's not economically depressed!" I said. "It's just out in the country."

Later, after she left, I thought some more about this exchange. What if we were both right? What if it is economically depressed, because the definition of economically depressed is the same as the definition of "out in the country"? What if it's normal not to have a growth economy and a lot of commerce?

Before you decide that your income isn't high enough, ask yourself: "Are my expenses too high? Am I paying too much for food and housing?" The answer just might be that you don't need an economic boom. What you need is to find an area that is economically depressed. Another name for that is: a place way out in the country!

It's not how much money you have that's important. It's how much you have to spend.

(c) 2010 Aya Katz

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Comments 54 comments

ngureco profile image

ngureco 6 years ago

Hello, Ayah.

This is interesting. But what is ‘life’?

Yes, it’s all about how much you have to spend. But sometimes it can be determined by one’s state of mind.

Ef El Light profile image

Ef El Light 6 years ago from New York State

You might find the above link apropos of getting on with difficulty.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ngureco, thanks for your comment. Life is just maintaining one's function as a biological being. How much we feel we must spend is in part a question of what we feel we must have -- but it also depends on where it is (geographically) that we have to have it.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

F.L. Light, thanks for the link. It'll take me a while to read it.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

This is very sensible and enlightening advice for anyone who doesn't need to earn an income but wants to spend less on the necessities. Of course, much of rural America is not a terribly long drive to a more populated area with jobs. I loved living in a small Vermont town, and found there was plenty to keep me busy. Most people don't realize how full life is in the country.

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

Aya you lead such an interesting life, each time I read one of your hubs I learn something new about you and your accomplishments you seem to have so many strings to your bow (including Bow).

While I was growing up in a poor working class area in the UK I was totally unaware of being ‘poor’ or being considered poor. Virtually everyone I knew lived the same way we did and so we considered ourselves and our way of life as just being normal.

It came as quite a shock to me when watching a documentary on the TV when I was a teenager about the area in which I lived when the area was referred to as a slum. The demolition of the area in the early 1970’s was referred to as a slum clearance so I guess the term was accurate. My point is this though from the outside we would all have been considered slum dwellers and poor, yet hardly anyone except perhaps the very poorest considered themselves to be such.

Even within an area generally considered a slum there were layers some streets had very poor housing conditions and seemed to house mainly large families (families with eight to ten children in were not uncommon on some streets). Other streets (like the one I lived on) had houses in better condition and the norm was families with two or three children. So within our own little pond we tended to think of ourselves not to be poor just normal.

So I think of poverty except in the case of really extreme poverty where people are dying because they don’t have enough to live on is often a comparative thing where you judge how well off you are by how you stack up relative to those around you.

I remember watching one of these reality TV programs that dealt with real crimes it was about a young man who had killed his father. He had killed his father because he would not buy him a new car and instead had bought him a second hand car. The car his father bought was not by any stretch of the imagination an old clunker. It was a very nice car but it fell short of the sporty high priced car that he wanted. Having a second hand car seemed to make him feel hard done by and at a disadvantage in front of his friends. Compared to his friends he saw himself as not as well off or even relatively poor. From where most people stand having a father who would buy you a car especially one that cost thousands of dollars would make most of us feel very well off.

Another excellent hub I hope that your HubPage income grows to reflect the quality of your hubs.

pisean282311 profile image

pisean282311 6 years ago

interesting hub..

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Sheila B., thanks! It sounds like you had a lovely time living in that small Vermont town. In New England, the distances between rural and urban are small, because everything is on a smaller scale, so it's true it's not very hard to get to a big city any time you like, and people even commute. In the Midwest, distances tend to be bigger, and it is not always easy to work in the city and live way out in the country. But if you are on a fixed income, it's definitely the way to go!

Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Excellent Hub, Aya, and I think that we are of the same mind (we do agree about most things, believe it or not!). That is one of the reasons that we moved to this rural part of Greece - low cost of living and no debt, as well as sun, Ouzo and great food. :D

I could not survive as a freelance writer back in the UK, that's for sure!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Maggs224, thanks! I love reading your comments! You're right, the whole concept of poverty is completely comparative. What you're used to and what everyone else in your own neck of the woods is doing always seems normal. We seem poor to someone who has more than we do and rich to someone who has less. But we never think of ourselves as being either rich or poor!

When a particular neighborhood in which people live ordinary lives is labeled a slum by the government, that is an insult to the people and their way of life. It seems to me that the "war on poverty" is really a war on the poor -- or on people who just don't happen to be rich.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Sufi, thanks! I don't know why, but I'm always surprised when you agree with me.;-> Maybe we can convert you to libertarianism yet. Seriously, it's a shame that people have to leave the UK in order to lead a simple, happy life. Although I'm sure Greece has its special enticements besides a lower cost of living.;->

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is not only interesting but a befitting idealistic life. Such a life is praise worthy where emotion outbursts.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Pisean, thanks for your comment.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

H P Roychoudhury, thanks! I strive to lead a praise worthy life, although some days are definitely better than others. ;->

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

wow very interesting...I got a chuckle about the Chimpanzee quip...I have been enjoying your hubs...This one really drew me in.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Tammy, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. But actually the part about chimpanzee laws was no quip! It was a serious consideration.

wandererh profile image

wandererh 6 years ago from Singapore

I can't imagine living in a town of just 1,371 people. The apartment block in which I live probably houses more people than that!

But it is true that expenses play a part in how much you have to spend. I really should cut down on some of my expenses, but it's hard. :(

Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Tis true, Aya, although it is much more fun to argue about the 20% we don't agree about ;)_

We actually live a very libertarian lifestyle here, despite what the media reports - I long ago ceased caring about -isms and now treat them all with the same level of aloof disdain.

The advantages of Greece are many - food, Ouzo, sun and sea. I would mention the pretty Greek girls, but my partner might read this and hit me over the head with a frying pan :D

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Wandererh, it is hard to imagine so many people living in such close proximity, such as you describe about your apartment block. But really, people are infinitely adaptable, and there are as many different lifestyles as population densities. The more dense the population, the more money and hence more work it requires to keep them all fed and housed.

I wrote something about the different lifestyles and moralities required to survive under different spacing in my blog today, which you might find of interest:

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Sufi, well I don't know about that frying pan, but your idyllic description of the good life in Greece reminds of these lines from Byron:

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece,

Where burning Sappho loved and sung,

Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!

Eternal summer gilds them yet,

But all, except their sun, is set...

EmpressFelicity profile image

EmpressFelicity 6 years ago from Kent, England, UK

Fantastic hub, which very much echoes my own thinking. I used to rail against the (relative) poverty that prevails in my part of the UK (the Isle of Thanet), but this poverty does go hand in hand with a lower cost of living. Plus Thanet has a fantastic climate for growing fruit & veg, which is something I think will assume greater and greater importance in the coming years. The only point I would disagree with you is when you asked the question "why would anyone want to live where it is crowded?" Some people like to live in crowded cities such as London, Paris or New York because of the easy access to culture/night life/specific types of job. But if these priorities are low on your personal list, then yes - living "out in the boondocks" is preferable to living in the city any day.

One last thing that does need to be factored into the cost of living is transport costs. In the UK, owning and driving a car is very, very expensive due to the cost of petrol, the compulsory tax and insurance, and the fact that it's easy to incur a fine due to the massive number of speed cameras dotted about the place. So long ago, I chose not to be a driver (I also have lousy hand-eye coordination, which was another deciding factor LOL.) This in turn has influenced my choice of place to live. It's much easier and cheaper for me to live in a medium-sized town with adequate public transport, than right out in the country where I would have to rely on taxis to get anywhere.

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

Hi Aya, this hub all makes perfect sense to me. Here in the UK you often hear of a North-South divide with the implication being that the South is rich, and the North is poor. The truth is that there tends to be a higher concentration of high-paying jobs in the South, particularly in the City of London, but the net effect of this is that the price of housing, and the overall cost of living is generally much higher than elsewhere in the UK.

Because jobs in the civil service, in healthcare and in education are mostly government controlled, they are subject to a nationwide pay structure with a limited amount of local discretion. This means that a teacher living in Brighton on the South coast will earn a similar amount to a teacher living in a typical Northern town, but the Brighton teacher will be lucky to afford a flat, whereas the Northerner will do much better for his or her money. This obviously echoes your own experience when working as a lecturer.

It is possible to live frugally in most locations, but at the same time it does make much more sense to live in a cheaper area to begin with!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Empress Felicity, thanks. The Isle of Thanet sounds like a lovely place to live.

I know that access to culture is supposed to be easier in a big city, and that's why some people choose to live there. It's not exactly that I'm not interested in culture. I'm a writer, a playwright and a lyricist, and at the moment, in addition to my work in ape language studies, I am trying to push a play I wrote closer to getting produced.

One of my regrets for my daughter is that she's never attended the performance of a musical on Broadway. I told a friend of mine who lives in New York City that as soon as my daughter is old enough to travel alone, I might send her out there to go see a Broadway play with her. My friend replied that she never goes to see Broadway plays, because the tickets are too expensive.

Recently, my daughter and I attended a local production of "Beauty and the Beast." It was very good! Some of the musicians in the orchestra had been trained at Juilliard. I guess they couldn't afford life in the big city, either!

BTW, not everybody who lives out here drives a car. There is a group of Amish who use horse and buggy as their preferred and only mode of transport!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Amanda, thanks for your input. It seems that no matter how well meant government intervention in pay scales is, the results are bound to be skewed in some way, because they don't take into account natural market forces.

When things become too congested, only those who are very well off can afford the urban lifestyle. But the rest of us can have a good life, as long as we don't need to live where it is crowded.

profile image

michah59nichols 6 years ago

Excellent Hub. I think that people should think how they work for there selves instead of a boss that can fire you anytime.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Micah59Nichols, thanks. Being independently employed certainly does have its advantages.

blue parrot profile image

blue parrot 6 years ago from Madrid, Spain

I have been thinking the same as you for years.

We are 3 "blue parrots" here, and one of us, myself, came to Spain for reasons similar to yours. I had compared the prices of housing in terms of work hours and also in terms of whatever money I had saved working in Switzerland.

I have been trying to figure out the implications ever since, for instance:

To repair a small stretch of road with big machines can be done in less than a week and costs about a million Swiss francs. A man all alone could do it in less than a year and he would get maybe 30 000 Swiss Francs; that's a saving of 97%, isn't it?

However, that patch can't wait that long! So doesn't the Government have to decide to spend that million to avoid upsetting the electorate?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Blue Parrot, I'm glad you've found a place to live that lets you enjoy what you've earned more.

As for the question about a stretch of road, we all have to understand that roads need only be as good as the amount of money available to pay for them. I live off a dirt road. Some people who were new to the area wanted it paved. But the majority voted against that, because we realize that it would come from our pockets. We would rather spend our money each in his own way.

myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk

Unfortunately, the practical realities of life get in the way of so many dreams. Yet, it's all about finding the right balance in life. I admire your courage and strength Aya....It's not easy supporting a child (and a Chimp!) all by one self, but you have managed to, and it's admirable. Hope you're able to live all your dreams, take care x

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Myownworld, thanks. Too many people are too ready to give up on their dreams because of "practical reality." But it's really a question of our outlook creating the reality. It is possible to realize your dream if you are willing to put it first on your list of priorities.

nick247 profile image

nick247 6 years ago from United Kingdom

This is a really interesting hub, after I graduated from university, I often thought of moving town to somewhere with more jobs/less graduates/lower rent. The only thing is: what about people? I wasn't willing to move because I wanted to stay where my friends were. I have the same issue with the concept of 'voting with your feet' - if I don't like the new tax regime I can just skip the country? What about my family?

Certainly, moving to somewhere 'out in the country' could mean that you have to work less (or not at all!) than living in an urban area, but it depends how much you're willing to give up surely?

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Nick247, you do have a very valid point. If you are part of a community where you feel loved and appreciated and you admire and enjoy the company of your peers, then that is a consideration. Money certainly isn't everything, and neither is free time.

However, many people live in big cities and still feel all alone. They don't know anybody, and nobody knows them. Or they have some friends, but their relationships are shallow and based on the fact that they live and work in the same place. If it weren't for work or church or some organized activity, many people's lives would be devoid of meaning.

There are definitely times that I ask myself whether if I lived in a big city I might not have more friends and more social activities. But then I remind myself that I have lived in big cities in the past, and I was very lonely there.

My real friends are in touch with me by phone and Skype. The people who would only see me if I lived in the same place as they do and went to work at the same job are not now, nor were they ever, real friends.

nick247 profile image

nick247 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Fair points all Aya! I am genuinely glad for you that you've managed to find such a great way of life, I personally don't think that I could do it. I grew up in a small town and feel very isolated every time I go back.

Cliched perhaps, but I guess it all comes down to 'different strokes for different folks'.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Nick247, thanks. Definitely agree: different strokes for different folks. This is not for everybody, but it's good to know that it's one of many possible ways to live from which people can choose.

Kind Regards profile image

Kind Regards 6 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

Aya Katz, Lovely hub. I enjoyed it very much, so much so that I just had to share it on Facebook. I'm a huge fan of the Ozarks. I had land in Douglas County and I still go down there to live for the four months of winter (milder winters than KC). I'll be getting another place down there soon and I will stay full-time. It solved my retirement plans perfectly, so I feel comfortable knowing everything will be OK. I love how you found it. I think it's the most beautiful place in the world, so the lower cost of living just makes it all the better. When you get a spare moment, check out my profile. I have some things written there about the Ozarks. I am curious what town you live in, if you don't mind sharing. My personal favorites are Mountain Grove, Ava, Willow Springs, Cabool and Gainesville, then West Plains for something a bit bigger. Take care, Kind Regards

P.S. I'd love to be Friends on Facebook, if you'd like, stop on by:

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Kind Regards, thanks! Nice to hear from another present and future resident of the Ozarks. Yes, it is a beautiful region, and the fact that it is so inexpensive to live here is surprising at first glance. However, I think that the beauty is partly because of the low cost of living. All the most beautiful spots on earth are the ones with a low human population and an underdeveloped economy. I will check out your profile.

Kind Regards profile image

Kind Regards 6 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

Aya Katz, You are right about the beauty and the low cost of living going together. I remember noticing that when I first got there. You haven't told me where you're at. If you don't want to be super-specific, are you in southeastern MO below St. Louis, south-central MO like the places I listed or southwestern MO near where I'm at right now in Kansas? I'm just curious to get a mental picture. How cool is it that MO will allow chimpanzees. I love that. Kind Regards

I've bookmarked this page under a new category: All-time Favorites, and I'm going to go share it on Facebook right now. I think that's been twice now that I've shared it! Goofy me :)

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Kind Regards, my mailing address is a PO box in Licking, but that's not where I live. It is close enough, however, for me to pick up my mail once a week, so that should give you a clue about the general vicinity. ;->

Thanks so much for sharing this hub with others!

ratelines profile image

ratelines 6 years ago

Interesting indeed! Countries with different classes rate "living" differently. GOod points.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ratelines, thanks for your comment. However, this hub is not about different classes. In a way, it shows that the idea of determining what "class" people belong to by the income that they make or the money that they spend is completely inaccurate. A person could be a "country gentleman" living on a much lower income than a blue collar worker in an urban area.

Kind Regards profile image

Kind Regards 6 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

Well, if you pick up your mail in Licking, then you must've noticed that the blog post right after my most recent one shows a mobile on one acre near Houston/Licking for only $19,500. It has the most beautiful setting I've seen in a long time. It would be impossible to design beauty that idyllic. Amazing what you can get for an amount of money most people wouldn't find believable!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Kind Regards, yes! But you have to be able to appreciate the beauty to understand the true bargain that it is! I will keep reading your blog, as I love the pictures and the insights.

Peppergum01 profile image

Peppergum01 6 years ago from UNITED STATES

Nice hub!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Peppergum01, thanks for your comment.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

Emerson would be proud of you. I'd be proud of you too except I am caught in the trap that you and Emerson both get at, so I'm not going to hoist my beer at you because that would make me look stupid. So I'm going to drink it and just sort of mutter, "Yeah," and muffle my envious sigh and assume I'll "get to a place to fix it" soon.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Shadesbreath, I hope you get to a place where you can fix it soon!

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

We loved living in the country and I agree it is a good economy. Country schools in the U.S. often get subsidies that students in the cities don't get, so people don't have to spend as much to get a higher quality education. I think I have mixed emotions about this, because not everyone can live in the country. Most people don't want to, but not everyone in country schools are disadvantaged either. But I'm way off topic for your hub.

Excellent thoughts on cost of living. We have always taken this information into consideration with us existing on one income for the last 10 years. My husband works in the arts so it is sometimes a challenge to find work that allows us affordable living outside of urban areas. Regards!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Wannabewestern, thanks. I understand your point about the subsidies to the schools. Personally, I would be much happier if there were no such subsidies. They do not improve the education the children get, and they tend to corrupt the system. It is better for the local schools to be funded locally.

It is hard to work in the arts these days without government grants, too, though I wish these also did not exist. I have a play that I am trying to get produced locally, but all the people who put plays out are dependent on government money and the strings that come attached to it. Surely, there must have been community theatre long before there was the NEA, and it must have been easier under those circumstances to put on a play that supported a limited form of government.

ericsomething profile image

ericsomething 6 years ago from Charleston, SC and Riverside, CA

Aya, interesting Hub. I've always noticed the link between wage rates in an area and the cost of living. California has historically been on the high end in both departments, while someplace like east Tennessee on the low end in both. But the spread between wage rates and cost of living seemed wider than any other place I've lived, and was able to live pretty well out there. There's also quite a disparity between Charleston, South Carolina and the rural areas just 20 or 30 miles away.

If a person does online freelance work for a living or lives on passive income, this increases the choices. The wage rate is not affected by the region. H'mm ... this means I can move out to the country and, as long as I have a reliable Internet connection, I can get more bang for my buck. Or something.

Food for thought. Thanks!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ericsomething, that's right! As long as you do not depend on an employer in a particular geographic location for your wages, the option of spending much less by living in the country becomes available. What happens to some people, though, is that even though they moved to an urban area when lured there by a high paying job, they don't realize that they don't have to stay there anymore once the job is over.

SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

All so true, sometimes found close to affluent areas!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

SteveoMc, that's a good point. Sometimes less expensive real estate can be found right next to high prestige and high priced neighborhoods in an urban setting. However, to find a really low cost of living, nothing beats the countryside.

the girls profile image

the girls 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Very nice article Aya. Well said!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, the girls!

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