If you want to buy a home in the beautiful state of Washington, you will find that it is one of the highest residential home markets in the country. Purchasing a home can be a lengthy and complex process. Besides the down payment, which is usually 15-20% of the selling price, there will be closing costs. If you own a home in your former location the sale of that home needs to be completed as well. Once you have purchased and moved into your new home, there will be utility and maintenance costs as well as property taxes and home insurance that will contribute to your cost of living. The advantages of living in Washington are many, but the high cost of buying a home is not one of them. (2022-09-26salary.com)
Washington is a tax-friendly state with a low cost of living for some.
Washington has no state income tax! This means that if you work in Washington, your paycheck will be free of taxes other than the federal income taxes. The absence of state income tax will make your take-home pay higher and provide more income for the basic cost of living purchases.
Washington does, however, have a statewide 6.5% sales tax. There may be additional local sales or use taxes up to 3% depending on where you live. Those living near the border with Oregon, can take a short trip and take advantage of Oregon’s tax-free shopping.
Healthcare access and affordability and your cost of living
Washington is ranked number 20 out of all states in overall healthcare access and affordability.
Healthcare costs make up a significant part of the cost of living. The ability to afford healthcare as well as the ability to access care are key indicators of how much you will be paying for this important resource if you move to another state. Affordability is generally measured by the rates set for insurance coverage in a state, as well as the out-of-pocket expenses that need to be paid by you when receiving the care. If rates or out-of-pocket expenses are high, your cost of living will increase. Access to healthcare is how easy or difficult it may be to receive the care. Access is measured by identifying barriers that might prevent the delivery of care such as the inability to obtain insurance coverage, having to travel long distances to health care centers and lack of sufficient facilities and/or healthcare professionals. The timeliness of care, how fast you can get to see a healthcare provider, is another important measure.
Cost of Living Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Cost of Living index and how is it used?
In the simplest terms, a Cost of Living index is the estimated amount that represents the cost of the basic necessities required for an individual to live. A cost of living or COL estimate may typically include estimates for housing, food, energy, medical care, transportation, taxes, and other necessities. A COL index may be used to measure what the cost difference would be for a person living in a certain location compared to another location. This cost of living comparison helps individuals make decisions about where they would like to live and what they can afford based on the costs in that location. A cost of living comparison can provide guidance about how an increase or decrease in these basic living expenses impacts necessary spending for an individual or a family.
What factors are included in estimating your cost of living?
The Salary.com cost of living calculator estimate is based on data related to five general categories: housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and energy. These are the universally recognized core components of any cost of living estimate and represent those expenses that apply to everyone. Obviously, there may be other factors that could contribute to your particular cost of living situation and not everyone has the same spending habits. For example, education and/or childcare costs might not apply to everyone, but for those who have those expenses, they could be significant and should be considered when you evaluate your cost of living comparison.
The Salary.com cost of living calculator is unique in that it also incorporates current salary data for thousands of jobs specific to a chosen home or work location to provide a more refined estimate of the cost of living variations. You can see how your job and your salary will be impacted by a change of location. If you live in one location but work in another, the cost of living calculator will make those adjustments to provide an accurate estimate of the change in COL. The Salary.com cost of living calculator helps you to make cost of living comparisons cost comparisons easily and quickly.