What is Cost of Living?
Cost of living is the amount of money one needs to be able to afford basic expenses, such as housing, groceries, and transportation, and sustain a certain standard of living in a particular location over a period of time. The cost of living index can be very useful if you are planning to move to a new city, state, or country. With this measurement, you are provided a reliable source of comparison between your current location and the one that you are considering for your relocation.
There is no official cost of living index provided by the United States government; instead, unofficial indexes are reported by several different organizations. These agencies compute for the costs of living in various locations by choosing a representative sample of goods and services, checking their prices, and taking into account how each of these affect a person’s budget within the span of one year. The cost of living index of the primary location is set at 100, whereas the indexes for the other location/s would be higher or lower than 100, depending on whether the cost of the basic expenses here are more expensive or cheaper.
2019 Cost of Living Index in Rochester, MI
If you are interested in moving to Rochester, Michigan, it would benefit you to research on the cost of living index for this city and compare this with that of your current place of residence, so you can assess the affordability of this location and how your potential move would affect your budget. This table shows the most recent cost of living indexes for Rochester and the state of Michigan, with United States as the primary location. As the United States is the main location to which the city and state are being compared, the values under it are all set at 100, while the values under Rochester and Michigan are higher or lower than 100, as these are based on the actual values of the basic expenses in these areas.
From the table above, you can see that the overall cost of living in Rochester, MI is 133.8. This means that its residents are generally spending 33.8% more on basic expenses compared to the rest of the nation. You can also infer from this table that the most expensive expenses in this city are housing, at 186.6 and transportation, at 142.1; while groceries, healthcare, and utilities are more affordable relative to the rest of the states.
Cost of Basic Services in Rochester, MI
While the average monthly fee for a gym membership in Rochester is about $5 more than the national average, at $40 compared to $35.87, the weekend hourly rate for a tennis court is just $5, almost $10 less than the national average of $14.99. Cinema tickets are relatively cheaper here, too, at $11 per ticket, while the national average price is $12.
Rochester, MI Housing Costs
As mentioned earlier, housing is one of the highest expenses in Rochester. If you are looking to buy a home here, the median home cost is $350,100 – 59% higher than the median sale price on the national level which is $219,700. If you prefer to rent instead, the average monthly apartment rent for a one-bedroom unit in the city center is $1,050, while a three-bedroom apartment would cost $1,533.33. Outside the city center, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $800 and $1,633.33 for three bedrooms.
Utility Costs in Rochester, MI
The cost of basic utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, for a typical one-bedroom apartment in Rochester is $173.53. A minute of prepaid mobile call costs $0.10. Monthly internet charge rate averages $60.
Cost of Food and Groceries in Rochester, MI
Rochester can dine out for less. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs a dollar less than the national average, at $13; while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is $5 less than the national average, at $45. A combo meal at a fast food joint is also cheaper here, at $6.75 (national average is $7). Even grocery items cost less in Rochester, compared to the national average. A liter of milk costs $0.64 (national average is $0.82); a 500-gram loaf of white bread, $2.27 (national average is 2.59); a kilo of white rice, $3.86 (national average is $3.89); a tray of a dozen regular eggs, $1.75 (national average is $2.27); a kilo of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, $6.61 (national average is $8.46); and a kilo of beef round, $11.01 (national average is $11.40).
Transportation Costs in Rochester, MI
A one-way local transport ticket costs $1.75. A cab ride starts at $3, adding $1.21 for every kilometer. For drivers, a liter of gas costs around $0.68.
Michigan has a flat income tax system, imposing the same rate for income earners of all levels – 4.25% of taxable income. This is the second-lowest rate for states with a flat tax. In Michigan, adjusted gross income (gross income less deductions) is based on federal adjusted gross income. However, taxpayers may claim Michigan’s personal exemption, which is $4,050 for the 2018 tax year.
Some cities in Michigan impose their own income taxes and, fortunately, Rochester is not one of them. These income taxes range from 1% up to 2.4% for residents and half the resident rate for non-residents who work in those cities.
Sales tax in Michigan is relatively low and, unlike most states, there are no additional city or county sales taxes. This means that, throughout the entire state, you pay the same 6% sales tax. And, while food served in restaurants is taxed at the normal tax rate, most food (including groceries) are not taxed. Prescription medications and newspapers are also exempt from sales tax. Electricity, natural gas, and home heating fuels are taxed at a 4% rate.
Moving to Rochester, MI
If you are keen on moving to Rochester, Michigan, we hope that the information we shared about the cost of living in this city has helped you in evaluating how the potential relocation might affect your budget. And, if you are considering buying a home here, we can help. Please feel free to contact us at (248) 336-2086 or send us an email at [email protected], and we will be more than happy to show you all your best home options in Rochester.