HCOL vs LCOL: The Financial Impact Pros & Cons

HCOL is an acronym for “High Cost Of Living,” and LCOL stands for “Low Cost Of Living.” Each place has its right to be a place you may want to choose to live in.

The Price Differences of HCOL vs LCOL

As we take a look at differences in price the HCOL areas have much higher prices than the LCOL. One common argument is that the income is much higher in these places.


Housing in HCOL vs LCOL For 2019, the median income of California was $80,440. The median income in the state of Florida was $59,227.

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The median house price in California is $579,332, while the median house price in Florida is around $254,607. People in California make around 26% more than people in Florida, but their house price is about 56% more. It is no wonder why people would rather live in a different state than California.

Rental Rates for HCOL vs LCOL. The average rent for a place in San Francisco is around $3,111. That is still a ton of money, but it allows people to save if they would like to buy a place to live.


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Food prices in HCOL vs LCOL As we look at the prices of food, you have to wonder where you can save money. I spent a month living in Chicago. Living in Chicago, food was quite expensive to go out to eat. You are talking about $10-20 per meal, and maybe a tip as well. If you do that for lunch and dinner, that amount of money can really add up fast.

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The Transportation benefits of Living in HCOL area

Living in an HCOL gives the benefit of not needing a vehicle for your main transportation. Living in Chicago, you did not need a car. You could take the L train to where you needed to go.

Education as a factor in HCOL vs LCOL It shows that the places with the HCOL areas in the U.S. tend to have better education and resources for their students and children.

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