Are New York, Chicago, and Toronto still worth it?

I am currently working in a Canadian city in a small investment management firm and am constantly told moving to New York or Toronto (possibly Chicago) would increase my earnings and allow for some vertical progression. But considering those cities have high costs of living is the move actually economically beneficial IF it means living on my own (currently living with family). Considering the high rent, commute in and out of the office, and other factors - are these cities still worth it or are there better options.
P.S. I’m considering North America but if any Europeans would like to chime in Im all ears.
Q: Are major finance cities still the goal or are they relics of the past?


Based on the most helpful WSO content, moving to major finance cities like New York, Chicago, or Toronto can indeed offer significant career benefits in terms of salary increases and opportunities for vertical progression. However, these advantages must be weighed against the high cost of living in these cities, which includes expenses like rent, commuting, and general lifestyle costs.

  1. Earnings vs. Cost of Living: While salaries in cities like New York and Chicago are typically higher than in smaller markets, the cost of living can proportionally offset these gains. For instance, rent in central areas close to financial districts can be particularly high.

  2. Career Opportunities: These cities are hubs for finance and thus provide extensive networking opportunities, a higher concentration of industry events, and greater visibility to top firms. This can be crucial for career advancement.

  3. Quality of Life: Living away from family and managing higher living costs can impact your quality of life and overall job satisfaction. It's important to consider personal well-being and work-life balance.

  4. Alternative Cities: Considering other growing financial hubs with a lower cost of living might be beneficial. Cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas are becoming increasingly significant in the finance sector and offer a more balanced cost of living.

  5. European Perspective: In Europe, cities like Frankfurt and Paris are prominent in finance. However, they also come with high living costs. It might be worth considering smaller but rapidly growing financial centers like Dublin or Amsterdam.

In conclusion, while traditional finance cities offer undeniable career benefits, it's essential to consider all factors, including personal preferences and lifestyle needs, before making a move. Exploring emerging finance hubs with lower living costs could also be a strategic alternative.

Sources: Advice/Tips on trying to relocate to a Tier 1 city, What cities will be the top places to live in the next 5-10 years?, What cities will be the top places to live in the next 5-10 years?, Why would anyone willingly choose to live in NYC / SF / CHI?, Question for Those Who Moved Cities

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

Currently working in Toronto, you can definitely make good money here but it doesn’t compare to the states long term


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