Deciding between Cities - Need Help

Hey All, I have two offers after 2-3 YE in IB but having a hard time deciding between the two. I'm 25 years old and single for reference.

VC Associate (software) - $120k - all-in in Chicago

PE Associate (business services): $300k all-in in Los Angeles

I am thinking I will make more money in Chicago because of Low Taxes / Low COL. Plus, I hear Chicago has the best weather during the summer, whereas LA has really terrible dry air year round. Plus LA is just too expensive, home prices are crazy there (home prices are super important to me as a single 25 year old), and taxes are 4% higher there which will really eat into the additional $180k I will make in the LA job.

Anyways, leaning towards Chicago, but just wanted to check in with WSO to confirm. Happy thanksgiving

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Comments (28)

Most Helpful
Nov 25, 2021 - 9:55pm

Bro PE for $300K in LA hands down easiest decision of your life. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 6
Nov 25, 2021 - 10:01pm

Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎

Bro $300 in LA hands down easiest decision of your life. 

Seconded. Between the two that's definitely the better choice.

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Nov 25, 2021 - 11:36pm

Here's the thing, COL in Chicago is literally so low that it makes up for $180k of income differential between the opportunities. You can get an 8000 SF house in Chicago for like $500k whereas in LA, a 2k SF apartment is $2mil. Since I'm 25 and will be buying a house in about 10 years, this is a huge concern for me.

I really think the $120k job in Chi-town is the only way to go and the other commenters are dead wrong. I'm not hearing any explanation for why I'm wrong. Plus all my bros from Cincinatti, Ohio State, Michigan State, etc will be there.

Nov 26, 2021 - 9:38am

Are you this dense? 10 years is a long, long time. There's nothing stopping you from lateraling back to CHI or for that matter even lower cost of living cities in the MIdwest like CLE. As of right now LA is the way better pick. 


  • 2
Nov 26, 2021 - 2:31pm

UCSD, Strider my dawg, is that you?

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Nov 26, 2021 - 2:32pm

why are you asking us if you already know the answer

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Nov 26, 2021 - 8:53pm

Don't feed the troll, this is idiotic. Barring other factors (i.e. family / friends), LA is clearly the better offer here

Guy is just trying to crap on Chicago as it's well recognized that living there gets you very high value for money. That said, it's clearly not going to be enough for a 180k gap. I would take making 200k in Chicago vs 300k in NYC / SF any day of the week but Chicago vs. LA is going to be a lower COL differential 

Nov 28, 2021 - 4:18am

LA bro are you for real? With that big of a comp difference I'd go to Syria over Chi

Dec 2, 2021 - 3:26pm

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