The best way to build wealth is to prioritize assets over income. But ensuring that your assets outweigh your liabilities can be impacted greatly by the city you call home.
This week, online personal finance consultant Bankrate.com released a report ranking America's best and worst metro areas for building wealth.
To create the list, Bankrate.com ranked the 21 largest metro areas in five categories that contribute directly to an individual's ability to build their wealth:
Savable income: average income after taxes and expenditures
- Human capital: unemployment rate, educational opportunities, and productivity
- Debt burden: non-mortgage debt per capita and average credit score
- Homeownership: average annual change in home prices, foreclosure actions, and homeownership rate
- Access to financial services: Percentage of workers with access to retirement plans
San Francisco came out on top as the best place to build wealth, followed by Minneapolis and Washington, DC.
“In some metro areas, like San Francisco, homeownership can be prohibitively expensive, but higher-than-average salaries can help residents stash more money away in tax-advantaged retirement accounts," wrote Claes Bell, a Bankrate.com analyst and the author of the study. "On the other hand, Minneapolis-area residents don't earn as much, but the area's affordable housing and recovering real estate market provide opportunities to build wealth over the long term through home equity."
Read on to see how the 21 largest US cities stack up for building wealth, as well as the average savable income, homeownership rate, and non-mortgage debt per capita for each city.
21. Riverside-San Bernardino, California
Savable income: $9,790
Homeownership rate: 62.6%
Debt burden: $27,682
Savable income: -$3,613*
Homeownership rate: 58%
Debt burden: $25,645
*Analysis showed a negative average savable income for the Miami metro area. This may be attributable to the high population of retirees in the area who are spending more of their savings than they're earning.
19. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
Savable income: $3,437
Homeownership rate: 62.7%
Debt burden: $27,015
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