Don't believe the low cost of living lies
I've lived in Iowa my whole life. Opportunities are okay, but you won't get ahead here if you aren't in a union or employed in a white collar job. Although if you know somebody with money or status you will be fine, but that's true pretty much anywhere. Iowa is conservative, very vanilla. Things are really spread out here. If you make enough money to own a home in Iowa City, it's a great place to live. Otherwise, Iowa sucks. It has the highest amount of elderly people per capita in the country, I believe it has the lowest population of non whites (big deal for non whites), and generally I believe it is turning into South Dakota. In case you didn't know, South Dakota has very few opportunities, low wages, hard right politics, big meth problems, shrinking young population. If you are looking to retire, Iowa isn't so great either. Really high taxes, surprisingly. It's a major problem. Top 10 in highest property taxes, very high income tax for top bracket (almost 9%), prohibitive to business despite Gov Reynolds being a republican trying to get business to come here. You're way better off going to Minnesota. Iowa is surrounded by mostly bad states with high taxes, high crime (looking at you IL and MO) or just little culture and high poor/elderly population. It's not as bad as the South (yet) but it's slowly getting there... I am trying to get out and go somewhere cheaper. Iowa is touted as having a low cost of living, but as I said, it has high taxes all around. Cost of a 2000 sq ft house in Des Moines is over 300k which isn't cheap or low at all. That's Chicago suburbs prices without the Chicago wages. To give you some perspective an electrician in Chicago makes on average about 10 bucks more an hour than Des Moines. Yet the homes cost the same. Do the math. Iowa is not so great, don't believe anything that says it has lower crime and lower cost of living. It doesn't. I live in Eastern Iowa and there are more murders and shootings every year. It wasn't like this even 10 years ago. Oh, and by the way, the fuel costs here aren't low either. They're all over 3 bucks a gallon. I go up to Minnesota and they are 30 cents a gallon cheaper. Minnesota pays more too. Same taxes. You might as well move to Minnesota, at least there you will get paid better.
S | Dubuque, IA