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Despite $100,000 Income, Nurse Relocates to Parents' Home In California

Migration trends reveal an exodus from blue states to tax-friendly red ones.
Cover Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels

If you were making $100,000 a year, you might typically consider yourself financially secure, right? However, the situation can look starkly different in California. In a widely circulated TikTok video, Winter, a registered nurse, shared her financial struggles. Despite her annual income exceeding $100,000, she faces significant challenges in covering her expenses. In fact, her circumstances have forced her to move back in with her father, highlighting the harsh reality of financial strain even with a seemingly substantial salary.

Image Source: Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy | Pexels

Winter's case is not an isolated one, with broader trends indicating a widespread struggle among American parents supporting their adult children. According to Pew Research Center data, a staggering 59% of parents with adult children aged 18 to 34 provided financial assistance to them in 2023.

Winter's frustration echoes this sentiment, succinctly stating, "A decent job doesn't get you anywhere." Like herself, many individuals are disillusioned with the Golden State's exorbitant expenses, leading to a discernible migration pattern away from blue states like California and New York toward red ones like Texas and Florida.

The Census Bureau findings underscore this shift, revealing a net internal migration of approximately 706,000 individuals to Southern states, with Texas and Florida leading the charge. Notably, California experienced a significant population decline of around 75,000 residents in 2023.

Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Taxation policies play a crucial role in this migration phenomenon, as highlighted by renowned financial expert Grant Cardone. "This is because blue states’ tax rates are too high — particularly for those making good money," he explained.

Furthermore, California's progressive income tax rates, which levy up to 9.3% on incomes exceeding $100,000 annually and a staggering 12.3% on millionaires, serve as a significant deterrent for higher earners. In contrast, states like Texas and Florida, devoid of state income taxes, offer an appealing alternative for those seeking relief from hefty tax burdens.

Cover Image Source: Pexels | Nataliya Vaitkevich
Image Source: Pexels | Nataliya Vaitkevich

In the TikTok video, Winter highlights the challenges of affordability, resonating with a significant portion of users seeking more affordable housing options beyond California, often looking to the Midwest and South. Numerous TikTokers have shared their struggles since, including a Gen X mother who expressed empathy towards her children, who are in their mid-to-late twenties and have yet to leave the nest.

A recent Point2 survey corroborates the nurse's observations, identifying seven of the top 10 most challenging places for Generation Z to purchase a home in California, including Fremont, San Diego, and Los Angeles. However, cities like Detroit, Corpus Christi, and Fort Wayne offer significantly more affordable housing alternatives for young adults.

Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels

This stark contrast is primarily attributed to the substantially lower housing costs in these cities compared to California. For instance, while the average Gen Z worker's salary may still be three times higher in Detroit, the cost of homeownership in Fremont or Los Angeles is approximately 23 times greater.

With the rising cost of living exacerbating financial pressures, many individuals are contemplating relocation as a means to alleviate tax burdens and secure financial stability.