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Cost of living: Compare here with there

Thurston Regional Planning Council has a cost-of-living calculator that allows you to compare local living expenses with a multitude of other places in the United States.

Let’s go here and pick an example. If you were moving from Orange County, California to Olympia you would save only a wee bit on groceries (3.1 percent) and utilities (1.4 percent). However, you’d save 7 percent on transportation, 10.5 percent on healthcare and a whopping 60.2 percent on housing.

The big picture: If you were earning $70,000 in Orange County, the comparable after-tax income for Olympia would be $47,373.

Or, if you were earning $70,000 in Seattle, the comparable after-tax income for Olympia would be $49,593.

In contrast, if you moved from Tacoma you would still need to earn $69,325.¬†Interestingly, you’d save more if you moved from Bellingham, where housing is 16.6 percent more expensive than in Olympia.

–S. Salmi


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