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The latest news on SmartAsset from Business Insider

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    travelers millennials happy

    • The millennial homeownership rate in 2016 was compared to the change between the millennial homeownership rate from 2007 t0 2016.
    • We discovered that millennials are not moving to big cities, and that homeownership among this generation is dropping.
    • Kansas and Virginia are the major states that millennials are moving to in droves.


    Millennials, for the most part, are a generation of renters. Only 34.7% of Americans under the age of 35 owned their homes as of 2016, according to a Census Bureau survey. But that's not always by choice. According to a Pew survey, 72% of renters hope to become homeowners one day. One big hurdle, especially for millennials, is that they are unable to buy affordable homes.

    This is especially true in cities like New York or San Francisco. There are some cities however where millennials are overcoming mortgage costs and buying homes. Below we look through the data to find the cities where millennials are buying homes.

    For this study, we looked at two factors: the 2016 millennial homeownership rate and the change between the millennial homeownership rate from 2007 to 2016. We defined millennials as those under the age of 35. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our final ranking.

    This is the third annual edition of this study. Read the 2017 version of Where Are Millennials Buying Homes? here.

    Key findings

    • No big cities – No big city cracks our top 10. The biggest city to crack our top 25 was Las Vegas at 22. In fact, seven of the top 10 largest cities are ranked in the bottom half. New York and L.A. in particular score poorly, ranking 148th and 153rd, respectively.
    • Millennial homeownership dropping – Across the largest 200 cities, only 18 saw millennial homeownership rates increase from 2007. This means in many cities homeownership rates have not fully recovered from the recession.

    SEE ALSO: Forget New York — millennials are flocking to these 11 US cities in droves

    1. Olathe, Kansas

    Last year Kansas had two cities ranked in our top 25, neither of which were Olathe. In fact Olathe was not included in the study due to population filters. But this year it comes out on top.

    Our data shows that over 50% of millennial households in Olathe own their homes, the fourth-highest rate in our study. That is an increase of 4.8% from 2007, the second-largest change in our study.



    2. Chesapeake, Virginia

    Chesapeake, Virginia has a high millennial homeownership rate. As of 2016, 54.4% of millennial households own their homes. What kept Chesapeake from taking the no. 1 spot is the fact that the millennial homeownership rate is down from 10 years ago. In 2007, 55% of Millennial households owned their homes.



    3. Bakersfield, California

    For the second year in a row, Bakersfield takes the third spot. Bakersfield scores better than 85% of cities in both of our metrics. Our data shows that in 2016, 36.7% of millennial households are homeowners. That is a decrease of 1.3% from 2007.

    For millennials who can afford it, buying a home in Bakersfield may not be a bad idea, California has below-average property tax rates.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Brooklyn brownstones.

    • New York real estate has seen huge increases in property prices — particularly in the area known as Williamsburg.
    • The median home value in the North Side-South Side of Brooklyn rose 41% between 2012 and 2016.
    • Six of the top ten New York neighborhoods with rising prices are in Brooklyn. 

    New York real estate has an estimated market value around $1.26 trillion as of 2018, according to the New York Department of Finance. Some New York neighborhoods are more popular than others, putting upward pressure on home values and mortgage costs. Below we look into the phenomenon to find the New York City neighborhoods with the fastest-growing home values.

    We looked at 2012 and 2016 data on median home values for New York City neighborhoods. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together.

    Key findings

    • Brooklyn homes are the hottest — According to our data, homes in Brooklyn are appreciating the fastest. In total six of our top 10 neighborhoods with the fastest growing home values are in Brooklyn.
    • Staten Island falls behind — Staten Island's highest scoring neighborhood was Grymes Hill-Clifton-Fox Hills which ranked 70th and had an 5.8% increase in median home value.

    NYC_Home_values_map 2

    1. North Side-South Side, Brooklyn

    North Side-South Side refers to a portion of Brooklyn's famously gentrified neighborhood of Williamsburg. Located just across the East River from Manhattan, this neighborhood has seen the fastest-growing home values in New York.

    According to our data, the median home value shot up over 41% in the five years between 2012 and 2016. In total the median home was worth $688,433 in 2012 and grew to $971,633 by 2016 — an increase of nearly $300,000 in value.

    2. DUMBO-Vinegar Hill-Downtown Brooklyn-Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

    Another Brooklyn neighborhood takes second. Like North Side-South Side this neighborhood is located on the water facing Manhattan. In 2012, the median home was worth just under $594,000. By 2016 that figure had risen to just shy of $809,300. That is equivalent to an increase of over 36%.

    According to our data, this neighborhood went from having the 50th-highest median home value in 2012 to the 13th-highest in 2016.

    3. East Harlem North, Manhattan

    East Harlem covers the northeastern quadrant of Manhattan running north to south from 96th Street to 140th Street and west to east from 5th Ave to the East River. Residents who have lived in northern part of this area recently will have seen a remarkable increase in property values.

    Census Bureau data shows the median value of homes in this neighborhood increased by about $30,000 per year from 2012 — 2016, for a total increase of $150,000 or 30%.

    4. Ocean Parkway South, Brooklyn

    Located in southern Brooklyn, Ocean Parkway South has seen the fourth-highest increase in median home values. Homeowners should be happy to hear the median home has seen its value increase by $180,000 in this neighborhood. That is equivalent to a 26% increase.

    If you are looking to buy a home here to take advantage of rising property values you will need some serious savings. The median home here is now worth $863,000, meaning for a 20% down payment, you'll need $172,500.

    5. Carroll Gardens-Columbia Street-Red Hook, Brooklyn

    South of the DUMBO-Vinegar Hill-Downtown Brooklyn-Boerum Hill neighborhood is fifth-place Carroll Gardens-Columbia Street-Red Hook. Homes here even in 2012 were pricey. According to Census Bureau data, the median home in this neighborhood was worth $781,300 in 2012. By 2016, our data shows that figure moved up to $978,000.

    That's an increase of over 25% — not a bad return for people who bought a home in 2012, but probably bad news for the area's renters.

    6. Gravesend, Brooklyn

    If you are looking for an affordable home with potential to grow, Gravesend may be your best bet. The average home in this south-central Brooklyn neighborhood was worth $632,500 in 2016.

    However if you bought a home here in 2012, you would have gotten a better deal. Census Bureau data shows the median home was worth $515,000 in 2012. That means from 2012 — 2016 the median home's value increased by 23%.

    7. Midtown-Midtown South, Manhattan

    One of the most touristy and commercial parts of New York, Midtown-Midtown South takes the seventh spot. In total the median home saw its value increase by 23% from 2012 to 2016. The most recent data shows the median home here is now worth $813,600, which would make it the 11th-most expensive neighborhood in the data set.

    8. Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

    The median home in Prospect Heights was worth about $7,000 more than the median home in Midtown-Midtown South (the No. 7 neighborhood) in 2012 and by 2016 the median home in Prospect Heights was worth $6,000 more than the median home in Midtown-Midtown South. In total, the median home in Prospect Heights has seen its value increase by 22% from 2012 to 2016.

    9. East Concourse-Concourse Village, Bronx

    The only Bronx neighborhood to occupy this top 10 is East Concourse-Concourse Village. The median home here was worth $70,000 more in 2016 than it was in 2012, for a total increase of 20%. That is roughly an increase in home values of $14,000 per year.

    The most recent Census Bureau shows that the median home in this Bronx neighborhood is worth $433,300.

    10. Kew Gardens, Queens

    Our list ends in Kew Gardens, Queens. The median home here is worth 20% more in 2016 than in 2012. In total the median home in this neighborhood went from being worth $260,000 to being worth $312,000. That is great news for most homeowners. However an increase in property values comes with an increase in property taxes.

    NYC_Home_values_table 1 1

    Data and methodology

    In order to rank the New York City neighborhoods with the fastest-growing home values, we looked at data for 174 neighborhoods. We came up with the list of neighborhoods by mapping Census Tract data from the 2010 New York City Census. We ranked the neighborhoods using the following two data points.

    • 2012 median home value. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2012 5-year American Community Survey.
    • 2016 median home value. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2016 5-Year American Community Survey.

    We found the percent change in median home values for every Census Tract in the city. To ensure the quality of our data, we excluded any Census Tract which had a standard error above 20%. Then we found the change in median home values in each neighborhood by finding the average percent change in home values for all the Census Tracts in that neighborhood. We ranked the neighborhoods from highest to lowest based on median home value change.

    SEE ALSO: 5 things I wish someone had told me before I took out student loans

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I tried the newest BlackBerry phone for a week


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    usa american flag mother baby

    • The American Dream includes homeownership, economic opportunity and diverse communities.
    • To find US cities with these characteristics, SmartAsset used five metrics to rank over 200 cities: homeownership rate, diversity rate, upward mobility rate, median home value and unemployment rate.
    • Key findings include the fact that six of the 10 cities remain the same as the 2017 ranking, and half of the cities in the top 10 are in Texas.

    It is difficult to come up with any one definition for the American Dream that every American will agree on.

    But certainly for many people, it includes homeownership, economic opportunity and diverse communities. For these people, they need to live in a city where homes, and mortgages, are affordable and where it’s possible to climb the economic ladder. Below we look at this special combination of traits to rank the best places for living the American Dream.

    In order to rank the best places for living the American Dream, we looked at data on five metrics. Specifically we looked at the homeownership rate, diversity rate, upward mobility rate, median home value and unemployment rate.

    See the methodology for this ranking.

    Key Findings

    • The dream endures. Six of last year’s top 10 found themselves in the top 10 again this year. Those repeat cities are: West Valley City, Utah; Midland, Texas; Aurora Illinois; Round Rock, Texas; Aurora, Colorado and Rochester, Minnesota.
    • Texas is where the dream lives. Half of the cities in our top 10 are located in Texas. Cities in Texas tend to have affordable homes and plenty of good jobs, driving down the unemployment rate and improving upward economic mobility.

    This is the 2018 edition of this study. Check out our 2017 version here.

    Read on for the 10 cities where the American dream is still alive and well:

    SEE ALSO: 16 signs you've 'made it' in America

    10. Rochester, Minnesota

    Our list ends in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the best cities for working women. Rochester ranks well thanks to high upward mobility and high homeownership rates. In those metrics, Rochester ranks 11th and 22nd, respectively.

    In fact, if it weren’t for the lack of diversity (Rochester ranks 235 out of 256 in diversity), this city would rank higher.



    9. Amarillo, Texas

    Amarillo jumped up nine spots from last year’s study to take ninth this year. Like other Texas cities, Amarillo residents enjoy a plethora of available jobs. The city has an overall unemployment rate of only 3.2%.

    It is also one of the friendliest home-buying markets in the country, judging by the homeownership rate. Over 60% of households in Amarillo own home. For most residents, homeownership should not be an unattainable goal, either. The median home in Amarillo is worth less than $127,000.



    8. San Jose, California

    San Jose scores very well in all metrics bar two — both related to housing. Unfortunately the majority of residents in San Jose are largely unable to afford the median home. According to our data, the median home in San Jose is worth over $800,000 by far the most in our top 10 and one of the highest in the study.

    Balancing out those unaffordable homes however are a low unemployment rate, high amounts of diversity, a lot of economic upward mobility and rising incomes.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    pittsburgh pennsylvania

    • More than 80% of millennials say buying a home is a priority for them.
    • Homeownership is more attainable in some cities than others, especially if you're a first-time buyer.
    • Texas is home to six of the top-20 best cities to buy your first home, while Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took the No. 1 spot.

     

    Home prices are up and supply is down across the US, but buying a house isn't as tough as it may seem. You just have to know where to look.

    More than 80% of millennials say becoming a homeowner is a priority for them, according to NerdWallet's latest homebuyer report. Many are considering it "the next step in my life" and plan to buy within the next five years.

    Affordable real estate is hard to come by in America's coastal cities. Migrating to the Midwest or the South is a smart bet if you're looking to put down roots at an affordable cost.

    That's evidenced by SmartAsset's annual list of the best places for first-time homebuyers. SmartAsset gathered housing data for 64 metros (the US cities with a population over 300,000) related to securing a loan, the value of the average home, stability of the housing market, and affordability.

    Each city was ranked in seven categories, and then given an average score. We narrowed down the list to feature the cities with a total score of 55 or higher, out of a possible 100. 

    Below, check out the top 17 best places for first-time homebuyers.

    SEE ALSO: Forget San Francisco and New York: These are the 19 best places to live where the typical home costs less than $260,000 and monthly rent is under $1,000

    DON'T MISS: Millennials love this new housing community in a forgotten stretch of California thanks to its ultrafast internet and dirt-cheap home prices

    17. Raleigh, North Carolina

    Loan funding rate: 76%

    Value per square foot: $128.67

    Median listing price: $347,248



    16. Corpus Christi, Texas

    Loan funding rate: 67%

    Value per square foot: $90.33

    Median listing price: $209,900



    15. Denver, Colorado

    Loan funding rate: 76%

    Value per square foot: $322.33

    Median listing price: $485,000



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Brown University graduates

    • A recent report from SmartAsset reveals the 25 best American cities for recent college graduates to live.
    • These cities are affordable, have good job opportunities, and are fun for new college grads.
    • Three Ohio cities made the list, including Columbus and Cincinnati in the top two spots.

     

    Graduation is coming up and many college students may find themselves asking, Where do I go from here?

    SmartAsset recently released a list of the best cities for new college grads — places with ample jobs for college-educated people, affordable housing, and a fun atmosphere.

    To determine the ranking, SmartAsset looked at 10 metrics including the number of Indeed job listings, cost of living in the city, and concentration of entertainment and dining establishments.

    Ohio may be the best state for recent college grads; three Ohio cities make the top 25, including the top two spots. The Midwest is responsible for six of the 10 best cities for college grads. Meanwhile, coastal cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami didn't make the top 25.

    Take a look at the 25 best cities for new college graduates, along with each city's unemployment rate for people with bachelor's degrees, median rent, and the percentage of the city's population that is in their 20s.

    SEE ALSO: Many millennials are itching to become homeowners — here are the 17 best cities to put down roots

    DON'T MISS: The 50 best college majors for finding the highest-paying jobs after graduation

    25. Atlanta, Georgia

    Unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders: 2.6%

    Median rent: $904

    Population aged 20-29: 20.1%



    24. Seattle, Washington

    Unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders: 2.8%

    Median rent: $1,360

    Population aged 20-29: 21.3%



    23. Boston, Massachusetts

    Unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders: 3.3%

    Median rent: $1,369

    Population aged 20-29: 24.1%



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    madison wisconsin

    • Renters have more than high rent costs to think about when finding a place to live.
    • SmartAsset recently released a report on the best places to live in the US for renters based on seven metrics, from unemployment rate to average commute time.
    • The Midwest is a great area for renters — four cities made it into the top 10.

    In a time when the cost of rent is so high that a minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US, finding an affordable place to live can seem like an endless game. 

    But renters, who spent a record amount of money on housing in 2017, don't have just costs to worry about — they also need to look at factors like distance to work and safety.

    SmartAsset took all of this into consideration in its recent report on the best cities for renters. They looked at data for 96 cities, comparing them across seven different metrics: rent-to-income ratio, percent of housing stock dedicated to renting, eviction rate, density of entertainment establishments, crime rate, unemployment rate, and average commute time.

    SmartAsset ranked each city in every metric, then weighted all metrics equally to calculate each city's average ranking, which determined the final list.

    Turns out, the Midwest is a great area for renters, with four cities making the top 10.

    Below, see the best 25 places to live for renters, ranked. All rent prices are sourced from Zillow and are the median for all rentals in the metro area.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 best places to live if you want to save a lot of money

    DON'T MISS: How much renters pay to live in the most expensive neighborhoods in 9 major US cities — and in the most affordable

    25. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Median rent: $1,350

    Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 58%

    Unemployment rate: 5.5%



    24. Los Angeles, California

    Median rent: $3,500

    Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 42%

    Unemployment rate: 5%



    23. Irvine, California

    Median rent: $3,350

    Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 46%

    Unemployment rate: 3.8%



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Charleston South Carolina

    • Smart homeowners should take out an affordable mortgage on an undervalued home, according to economists at SmartAsset.
    • SmartAsset recently found the most undervalued cities to buy a home in the US, based on value per square foot.
    • It looks like the eastern side of the US is the most undervalued area to buy a home — more than half of the top 10 cities are located there.

    Becoming a homeowner is often more complicated than one expects. It's also more expensive — millennials buying their first home today will pay 39% more than baby boomers who bought their first home in the 1980s.

    In today's homebuying climate, it's important to take out an affordable mortgage— and even better to do so on an undervalued home. That's according to SmartAsset, which recently released a report on the most underrated cities in the US to live in based on current vs. potential housing values.

    SmartAsset created a statistical model for 200 cities investigating how housing values, represented by price per square foot, were affected by eight quality of life metrics: unemployment rates, high school graduation rates, percent of residents with a college degree, crime rate, entertainment establishment density, average days of rain, average days of bad weather, and walk score.

    The model (formally, a linear regression model) shows the positive or negative impact each of those eight measures had on housing prices. To determine how overvalued or undervalued a particular city was, SmartAsset compared the model's prediction for housing prices in that city based on how the city fared on the eight quality of life measures to the actual price per square foot in the city. SmartAsset ranked undervalued cities based on how much lower their actual housing prices were than the prices projected by the model.

    For example, the average home in Los Angeles, California, is worth nearly $425 per square foot, according to Zillow. But according to SmartAsset's model, it should be worth nearly $525 per square foot — so residents are saving almost $100.

    More than half of top 10 undervalued cities are located on the eastern side of the US.

    Below, see the best places to buy a home where the average property is worth at least $80 less than what it should to worth. 

    SEE ALSO: The salary you need to afford rent in every state, ranked

    DON'T MISS: What a $250,000 home looks like in the biggest city in every state

    31. Columbia, Missouri

    Projected value per square foot: $178.08

    Actual value per square foot: $98

    Savings: $80.08



    30. Santa Ana, California

    Projected value per square foot: $447.13

    Actual value per square foot: $366.75

    Savings: $80.38



    29. Omaha, Nebraska

    Projected value per square foot: $196.89

    Actual value per square foot: $115.17

    Savings: $81.72



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    los angeles homes

    • The cost to buy a home is more expensive than it's ever been.
    • SmartAsset recently released a new report ranking the US cities with the most severely cost-burdened households — households who spend at least half of their income on housing.
    • In 34 cities, at least 13% of households are severely cost-burdened — almost half of the cities are in California.

    The housing market is on the climb.

    The value of homes has increased by 73% since the 1960s, when adjusted for inflation, Business Insider previously reported, citing a Student Loan Hero report.

    It's so expensive that, in some cities, the average home outweighs the average income by so much that it can take nearly a decade to save for a 20% down payment, according to a SmartAsset report released earlier this year.

    Now, SmartAsset is back with new data that highlights the high cost of homeownership: the US cities with the most severely housing cost-burdened households (defined as households who spend more than 50% of their income on housing).

    To determine this list, SmartAsset gathered US Census Bureau data for the percentage of severely housing-cost burdened households among homeowners in 167 cities, ranking each city by the amount of people spending at least half of their income on housing.

    In 34 cities, 13% or more households spend at least half of their income on housing. Of these cities, 15 are in California, making it the state with the most severely housing-cost burdened cities. Florida ranks second, home to four of the most severely housing cost-burdened cities.

    See which other cities made the ranks below.

    SEE ALSO: Millennials are waiting longer than ever to buy homes — here's how many years it takes to save for a down payment in 25 major US cities

    DON'T MISS: The salary you need to afford rent in every state, ranked

    34. Detroit, Michigan

    Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 13.06%



    33. Shreveport, Louisiana

    Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 13.12%



    32. West Covina, California

    Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 13.17%



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    retirement vacation relaxation

    • It is getting harder to retire with only $1 million saved up.
    • SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees to see how many years $1 million would last in over 250 cities.
    • Southern states dominated the list, with Texas claiming the most spots. Major cities in Texas have affordable housing markets and the state is home to many of the best places to live in 2018, according to US News.

    It is getting harder to retire with only $1 million saved up. Ten years ago, $1 million had the same buying power of just under $1.2 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.

    In a new study, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees to see how many years $1 million would last in over 250 big and mid-sized US cities. SmartAsset looked at average annual expenses for seniors throughout the country and applied cost of living data on housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and utilities. 

    To determine how long $1 million would last in each city, SmartAsset assumed $1 million would grow at 2% rate of return (that's interest minus inflation). The sum of each annual number was divided by $1 million to calculate how many years it would last retirees. 

    Southern states dominated the list, with Texas claiming the most spots. Major cities in Texas have affordable housing markets and the state is home to many of the best places to live in 2018, according to US News.

    Below, check out the top 22 cities where $1 million would last retirees 28 years or more, along with the average annual expenses for housing, food, and healthcare.

    SEE ALSO: How much money you need to retire early depends almost entirely on 2 factors

    SEE ALSO: 5 small changes to your retirement savings that get big results

    22. Salina, Kansas — 28.16 years

    Housing expenses: $6,463

    Food expenses: $5,214

    Healthcare expenses: $5,839



    21. Burlington, Iowa — 28.20 years

    Housing expenses: $5,936

    Food expenses: $5,493

    Healthcare expenses: $6,222



    20. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — 28.24 years

    Housing expenses: $6,599

    Food expenses: $5,426

    Healthcare expenses: $5,789



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    madison

    • Retiring early requires planning and preparation, and sometimes even a move across the country. 
    • Retiring somewhere tax-friendly with a low cost of living can stretch your earnings. 
    • SmartAsset compiled a list of the 10 best US cities to retire early, based on a combination of costs of living and quality of living factors.
    • Four of cities are in the South, including Lexington, Kentucky, which won the top spot. 

    Who doesn't want to retire early. Getting to retire in your 50s or early 60s can mean being able to do some of the things you've always dreamed of while you still have some youthful energy. But retiring early requires a ton of planning and preparation. One great strategy for retiring early, that many financial advisors would recommend, is to retire somewhere affordable. Retiring somewhere tax-friendly with a low cost of living can stretch your earnings enough that you can retire a few years early. 

    Below we look at a number of factors to rank the cities where you can retire early. In total, we compare cities across 10 factors looking at a combination of costs of living and quality of living factors. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our final rankings.

    Key findings

    • The South is a good landing spot – Four of the top 10 cities where you can afford to retire early are in the South. In particular Kentucky scores well with two top 10 cities. Texas has the other two Southern cities in the top 10.
    • Retirees are making smart decisions – In past analysis we have seen that retirees are flocking to Arizona and Florida for their retirement. One positive coming out of this analysis is that it would appear retirees are getting good financial advice. Mesa, one of the most popular spots for retirees scores in the top 10, and two Florida cities also take top 15 spots.

    SEE ALSO: I retired early and the freedom is priceless, but there are some downsides to early retirement that nobody likes to talk about

    1. Lexington, Kentucky

    Lexington, Kentucky takes the top spot where it's possible to retire early. This city ranks in the top 10 for cost of living, health care costs and housing costs as a percent of income. This city also has a fairly low rate of violent crime, a sign of how livable the city is. If you find you need to supplement your income in retirement, it should be possible to do so in Lexington. This city scores in the top 20 for unemployment.



    2. Plano, Texas

    Even the best retirement plans can go wrong somewhere down the line. Maybe the stock market didn't go as well as planned or maybe you couldn't save enough to contribute to your long-term investment portfolios. Because of these risks, it is a great idea to retire somewhere with a low cost of living where padding your retirement income is possible. Plano has some of the lowest housing costs relative to local income in the study. Jobs here are also plentiful: Plano ranks fourth in unemployment. Perhaps best of all, Texas is a tax-friendly retirement state and taxes no retirement income.



    3. Boise, Idaho

    If you are moving to a new city, it is important you can feel comfortable there. Boise scores high on livability and affordability to claim the third spot. Specifically Boise boasts some of the lowest crime rates in our study, scoring 11th and seventh in property crime and violent crime, respectively. Housing here is also affordable relative to local income. This city ranks sixth for percent of median income needed to pay for the average home. Boise is not just affordable for locals either, just about everyone should be able to afford Boise. This city has the third-lowest cost of living in our study.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    salt lake city utah

    • The American Dream is more achievable in some states than others.
    • SmartAsset recently released a report on the best states to live for the middle class, defined as households with an income between $35,000 and $100,000.
    • Western and Midwestern states are the best places to live the American Dream, while northeastern states are the toughest.

    With the cost of buying a home higher than it's ever been, it may seem like the American Dream is endangered. But in some states, it's closer within reach than it seems. 

    SmartAsset recently took a look at the best states for the middle class to live by examining seven metrics related to owning a home and retiring — two classic components of the American Dream. Specifically, they looked at SmartAsset and US Census Bureau data connected to income, homeownership, and taxes across all 50 states, plus Washington DC. This included the percentage of middle-class households in each state, which are defined as households with an income between $35,000 and $100,000.

    SmartAsset then ranked each state in each metric and averaged each state's ranking, giving double weight to the percentage of middle-class households.

    Turns out, the best states for Americans to live out the American Dream are located in the west, closely followed by states in the Midwest. The northeast is the toughest area for the American Dream to become a reality.

    "With high tax burdens, low homeownership rates, and unaffordable housing, it is not too surprising that states in the Northeast tumble down the ranks," states the report. Only two states in the northeast — New Hampshire and Maine — made the top 25.

    Below, see the top 25 states for the middle class to live the American Dream.

    SEE ALSO: The 31 most underrated American cities to live in

    DON'T MISS: 34 US cities where people can barely afford homes

    25. Colorado

    Percentage of middle-class households: 44.7%

    Income tax rate: 19.9%

    Median home value: $314,200



    24. South Carolina

    Percentage of middle-class households: 44.7%

    Income tax rate: 18.7%

    Median home value: $153,900



    23. Ohio

    Percentage of middle-class households: 45.2%

    Income tax rate: 18.6%

    Median home value: $140,100



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The median household in America earns $55,000 a year, which can go far depending on where you live.
    • SmartAsset recently released a list of the best places to live on a $55,000 salary.
    • Some of the best places to live on the typical American salary are located in the Midwest or are capital cities.

    How far your paycheck can really go is often dependent on your geography.

    A $55,000 salary — what the median American family earns, according to SmartAsset, citing US Census Bureau data from the 2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates— may not get you very far in a big city with a high cost of living like New York or San Francisco. But it could stretch for miles elsewhere.

    SmartAsset recently released a list of the best places to live on $55,000 a year. To determine this list, it found the cities with a median household income range of $50,000 to $60,000 — 126 cities, to be exact. It then ranked each city based on nine metrics with equal ranking, which it then averaged. This was the foundation for the final score.

    Turns out, some of the best places to live on the typical American salary are located in the Midwest — four of the top 10 cities are located in this region. Capital cities also take up four of the top 10 spots; they have strong economies thanks to state government employment opportunities, according to SmartAsset.

    Below, see the top 25 places to live in the US on the typical American salary.

    SEE ALSO: 20 of the best places in the US to save up and buy your first home

    DON'T MISS: The 25 best places to live if you want to save a lot of money

    25. Springdale, Arkansas

    Median household income: $51,152

    Percent of income spent on housing: 18.2%

    Average commute time: 20.1 minutes



    24. New Braunfels, Texas

    Median household income: $58,814

    Percent of income spent on housing: 24.4%

    Average commute time: 23.6 minutes



    23. St. George, Utah

    Median household income: $54,210

    Percent of income spent on housing: 21.2%

    Average commute time: 16.8 minutes



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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