We just visited family out on the West Coast. A decent home in the Bay Area now has topped $600,000. A post comparing lifestyles between the average Californian to a St. Louis resident is a possibility, but for now, we'll just focus on comparing the cost of living.
Most people think of housing costs being outrageous on the coasts - which is true - but what they often fail to realize is how high everything else is too. Food costs more; gasoline and utilities are far more expensive; taxes are much higher.
As ex-Californians, you know what our definition of "California Cuisine" is? You pay a lot and get a little. The higher costs out there are never ending.
Meanwhile, St. Louis has one of the lowest costs of living of any major US city and our salaries are competitive with most places.
Move to St. Louis from a place like Chicago, NY, or San Francisco, and, instead of being a slave to your mortgage payment and other living expenses, with the money you're saving by living in St. Louis, you have the option of jetting to visit those places on a monthly basis, and still come out ahead financially.