Ben Franklin not reaching as far as he used to?


One thing to keep in mind as you look for a secure relocation is how far your dollars will reach.

Granted, in a total grid-down scenario, or a hyper-inflation scenario, you wouldn’t be using dollars. But until then, while you are making yourself more self-sufficient before disaster strikes, you’ll be earning dollars and spending dollars.

Fortunately, there is a resource to see how far your dollars will reach. Tax Foundation has published maps based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, first in 2014 and again in 2016. Even better, the 2016 version gives you an interactive county breakdown with metropolitan/non-metropolitan distinctions in the data.

The good news is that for states in the American Redoubt, $100 consistently goes further due to lower cost of living, even in metropolitan areas, and the trend is just getting better.

Put it like this: According to the Census Bureau, the median US Household Income for 2015 (newest reported year) was $55,775. If you were spending that in Idaho in 2016, it would be as if you’d earned $59,718 of purchasing power. On the county breakdown, rural Idaho would equal $60,906. On the other hand, spending that cash in California would only buy $49,623 of stuff, relatively speaking.

So where would you rather be spending your hard earned dollars?

Here’s a quick look at the maps. Go to the source for more info.


2016 Version

2014 Version