10 best U.S. cities for Canadian millennials to live and work
In California, the Silicon Valley draws in top tech execs. Los Angeles is where budding directors come to play and Washington, D.C. is home if you’re a political junkie.
Millions of people live in these U.S. cities, but can millions of people be wrong? Possibly.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the best place to live in the U.S. is Austin, TX. The publication analyzed 125 metro areas and considered each city’s job market, housing costs, jobs and quality of life.
They came up with the following rankings:
- Austin, Texas
- Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Denver, Colo.
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Fayetteville, Ark.
- Portland, Ore.
- Huntsville, Ala.
- Washington, D.C.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
- Seattle, Wash.
Canadians in the U.S.
Approximately 783,000 Canadians live in the United States, according to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data. In that year, 48 per cent of immigrants had at least a bachelor’s degree.
Many Canadians enter the U.S. as international college students and highly skilled temporary workers.
In the 2016-2017 school year, more than 27,000 Canadians were enrolled in American universities. The most popular states for expats were California (16 per cent), Florida (14 per cent) and New York (7 per cent).
For Canadians looking at job prospects south of the border, here are some tips for making your time as meaningful (and lucrative) as possible.
Do your research
Alain Forget, head of business development at RBC Bank (U.S.), says when it comes to choosing a state, it’s important to recognize that the cost of living can vary considerably across the country.
“Fifty states, 50 different structures of tax,” he says. Some states only have federal income tax while others like North Carolina have both state and federal.
Along with income tax, your home ownership costs will vary depending on your location.
Forget, who lives in Florida, says he pays much higher property taxes and insurance than a friend in Arizona because he faces the risk of hurricanes.
He recommends getting advice from immigration, tax and legal professionals before planning your entry to the U.S. because mistakes can be costly.
“There are so many planning options from an immigration standpoint…It can make a big difference and save you money.”
Mortgages for expats
Canadians might have trouble purchasing a home in the U.S. without American credit history. However, RBC Bank offers cross-border mortgage services to Canadians by using their Canadian credit history to help them qualify for one.
Forget says that most buyers can use online tools to get pre-qualified for a mortgage in about a day, and then complete the full application process once they have an accepted offer on a home.
He cautions that real estate works differently in the U.S., and that it usually takes 35 to 45 days to close on a property.
“The rules, regulations and laws are different and buyers need to be educated about the differences.”
Most importantly, whatever city you choose, seek legal and tax advice before you decide to move, says Forget.
Are you a Canadian moving to or living in the U.S.? Simplify your financial life and save money with cross-border banking advice and solutions from RBC Bank. Learn more here.