If you make $ 50,000 a year, Fayetteville could be your destination town.
This is what the site GOBankingrates.com says, which has just published its list of “The best places to live with a salary of $ 50,000 in every state. “
The site chose a city in each state that is attractive to $ 50,000 earners because cities have “a cost of living that will allow them to save for the future and cover the costs of the present.”
The study looked at cities with at least 5,000 households and drew cost-of-living figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Every state in the United States has options on where you can live on less than $ 50,000,” said GOBankingRates, a personal finance site.
In the Old North State, that town is Fayetteville.
Here is a list I can get. Honestly we could use the right ad right now in the wake of a survey that showed Fayetteville in the top 10 for syphilis infections.
By the way, I see a lot of these surveys, rankings, polls and The best and the worst that you have in my work. Among several lists in 2020, Fayetteville was chosen as the Worst Place for Jobs by WalletHub and one of the Best for Clean Air by the American Lung Association.
WalletHub also found Fayetteville to be the 60th most sinful city in one of your most intriguing rankings. That leaves a lot of work for the 1,000 churches we have in the city and in Cumberland County.
It didn’t take long for me to see what those rankings were all about, and I take them all with a good-sized grain of salt.
On the one hand, they market vehicles for the companies that publish them. That’s good – and a smart move by these companies.
For two, and above all, they illustrate that numbers, good or bad, do not tell the whole story of a city. They can be skewed by factors that are not easily detected by the computer model making the ranking.
That said: Anyone who has lived here for awhile and who isn’t content with rumors knows that Fayetteville holds up quite well in terms of dollar stretching, family rearing, and fun activities. Activities include everything from Fayetteville Woodpeckers ball games to the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Gillis Hill Farm, the Cape Fear River Trail, to downtown art shops and boutiques, the market from farmers with live music, microbrews and food trucks to Dirtbag Ales in Hope Mills.
And we have a good set of ethnic restaurants, including some of my family favorites: House of Thai on Cumberland Road, El Cazador on Skibo Road, El Salvador on Bonanza Drive, and Pharoah’s Legacy (Mediterranean) in Traemoor Village.
So basically I find our inclusion in this latest “Best” list plausible and quite defensible.
“Fayetteville is a city with many unique cultural amenities, fantastic civic opportunities and diverse employment options,” says Bianca Shoneman, the Cool Spring Downtown District President and CEO. “Pair these factors with a competitive cost of living and you will see why so many of us love where we live.
How competitive are you asking yourself?
GOBankingRates lists Fayetteville’s median income at $ 45,024. Total necessities – that is, bills and the like – are $ 21,940, according to the site.
The amount remaining after annual necessities, deducted from a salary of $ 50,000, is $ 28,060, the site says.
I think even a garden variety financial planner can tell you all the reasons why you won’t have $ 28,000 left in real life on a $ 50,000 salary. Do you remember what I said about the numbers? There are always other factors.
However, thanks in large part to Fort Bragg, our market caters to the idea of young families looking for low cost entertainment and affordable housing.
The service industry has a large share of the Fayetteville market, but our city is better for white collar work than is often believed.
Shari Fiveash, who in May became President and CEO of Grand Fayetteville room, puts it this way: “We are the best kept secret, with three higher education institutions and a quality school system; 84 miles from the beach and pretty much the same to several other metropolitan areas.
“This month, Fayetteville was voted Most Patriotic City. We are the largest military installation in the United States, and with it, we bring culture and diversity from around the world. ”
She added that the community includes “unique niche neighborhoods”.
Fiveash said that “women do well here in the workforce,” noting that women serve as county director and head of the Public Works Commission, the local public service.
(And I would add: many of our local judges are women and city council members.)
To underscore Fiveash’s point, a ranking from the National Girls Collaborative Project found that Fayetteville was one of the best cities in the South for women in STEM fields.
“Our average age in the community is just over 30, so we’re a great place for singles,” Fiveash continued. “So adding that our cost of living is good is just another reason we’re a great place to live, work and play.”
Well, there you have it, the story behind the numbers.
Opinion editor Myron B. Pitts can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3559.
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