Now that you've reflected on who you are and what's important to you, the next thing to do is explore all the possibilities out there where you could relocate. The goal is to find locations that are consistent with your needs and narrow down the list to places where you can find your own utopia. There are a few good websites where you input your criteria/preferences and are then provided with a list of places based upon your specifications. The various preferences that are tabulated are things like:
- Cost of Living
Find Your Spot - Has an extensive quiz where you indicate whether you agree or disagree with various lifestyle preferences. It then takes your responses and gives you a list of the 24 cities (big and/or small) that best match your ideal place. It also provides local information on each location. The quiz results you get are places that have known high quality-of-life reputations.
Sperlings Best Places - This company created the "Best Places To Live" study for Money magazine. They also publish the "Cities Ranked and Rated" book with information on over 400 US and 30 Canadian cities. The questionnaire on the site is similar to Find Your Spot and asks you to rank the importance of certain location criteria.
Neighborhood Scout - Has several short lifestyle search engines that select locations based upon your needs. The searches are tailored for specific neighborhood demographics like urban sophisticates, college students, Spanish speaking, young singles, retirement areas, urban cool, first time buyers, etc. It also has a tool that allows you to enter the description of your favorite neighborhood and find other ones with similar characteristics.
NOTE - It is best to use more than one of these search tools since each one can give you some different results. You can then decide which website has the most relevant recommendations based upon your own intuition.
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