When it comes to establishing wealth, not all cities are created equally and according to Bankrate, the size of a city doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the area most conducive to stacking those coins.
In a newly published survey, the financial services institution ranked the 18 largest metro areas in the United States by their wealth-building qualities according to the following standards:
After-tax, savable income: This is what’s left over after taxes and necessary expenses. It’s what you could sock away in an interest-bearing account.
The job market: Can workers find jobs at competitive wages?
Human capital: Can residents find educational opportunities to help advance their careers and earn more money later?
Access to financial services: Do people have access to financial products that allow them to invest, save and borrow efficiently?
The local housing market: For better or for worse, homeownership is a key way Americans build wealth. If your local housing market is struggling, it can be harder for prospective homebuyers to get a mortgage and for homeowners to accumulate equity.
Each city received a rating for the five benchmarks mentioned above, which helped analysts make their picks.
“Many of the cities that ranked high in the study may not be synonymous with wealth in the public mind, but they do a better overall job of creating an environment for typical households to get ahead financially,” said Bankrate.com banking analyst, Claes Bell, CFA. “For instance, living in a killer job market is great, but if you’re spending half your income on rent, it’s going to be hard to save and invest. You have to look at the whole picture.”
“Just because a city ranks at the bottom doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to live, or that you can’t make a good living there,” Bell continued. “The best city for a particular person to build wealth is going to depend a lot on their walk of life, occupation, education and a whole host of other factors.”
To find out if your city made the list, continue reading.