Life after bankruptcy is beautiful thing. Your stress levels go down and you become more confident with money. Now that things are back on track, maybe it is time to take a whole-life approach to changing the way you live. For some, it's a new, but smaller, home; a more economical car; or a strict monthly budget. For others, re-starting your life may include relocating. Boy, that sounds like a big decision, huh?
So if you have a new financial outlook on life and think it's time to move, where would you go? Thankfully, our friends at Forbes.com have researched a list of the best cities in America for "getting ahead." Their research was based primarily on areas that have good job growth and income growth and a relatively affordable cost of living. Call U-Haul, because here are some of your options, in no particular order:
Like Winter? Well, if so, point the GPS toward Delaware County, Ohio. The home county of Columbus has a three-year income growth of 11 percent and is the fastest growing county of the state. Forbes tells us it has a wide variety of jobs and a number of grounded, family-oriented neighborhoods that help prop-up a stable workforce.
If you don't mind the rooting for the Texans over the Cowboys, Fort Bend County, Texas, outside of Houston, realized 10 percent job growth between 2007 and 2008 and added just under 6,000 jobs since the middle of 2007. A large portion of employees can be found working in energy companies but it's diverse enough for people to find opportunity in education and hospitality. Many members of Forbes' 400 Best Big Companies reside in Fort Bend County.
Another relocation is near Frank Sinatra's kind of town. No, not Vegas. Chicago. Outside of where the wind blows is Kendall County, an area that experienced a 90 percent population increase from 2000 to 2008 and as a result, a seven percent jump in income. You can find another attractive option near Chicago in Will County, Ill., which in 2007 and 2008 saw its residents' income climb by seven percent.
A bit north, you can settle in balmy Carver County, Minnesota where income jumped by five percent for the same two years. Carver is close to Minneapolis, one of the Twin Cities along with St. Paul which are consistently present in many "Best Places to Live" lists.
If the Midwest or Lone Star State do not appeal to you, head just north of the Triangle to Hanover County in Virginia, an area which saw its per capita income also grow by five percent.
Drive by an ever-expanding government, other regions in Virginia that made the list include Loudon and Alexandria Counties. However, even with the income growth, these areas are very expensive in which to live. Thus, their presence on the list is somewhat questionable because for the most part, to get ahead in Alexandria County, you need to already be ahead.
Relocating can be an expensive endeavor. If you are lucky enough to have a new employer cover some costs, then terrific, you are already on your way. The key is to start planning early and do not rush. After all, it's not like the real estate deals are going anywhere.