Anchorage is a city in Alaska, a state on the northwestern tip of the West Coast.
People may assume that living in Anchorage may feel like living in isolation. The city is one of those in the northernmost areas of the country. The weather is always cold. However, there are more reasons why people love it here.
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. It also serves as the leading regional center for the state.
Most of the happenings related to the commercial and industrial sectors of the state happen here.
There was an earthquake in 1964. After the earthquake, there was an influx of oil money. The city also underwent some modernization.
Anchorage has a strong economy.
The downtown area is clean, with an attractive and modern feel.
The city is also home to some of the best residential neighborhoods in the country.
Is Anchorage, AK, a good place to live in? A Cold City with Massive Opportunities
The cold weather in Anchorage can be the biggest challenge if you move here. Unless, of course, you are already used to such weather.
But the weather can be challenging if you move to Anchorage from a sunny city.
Anchorage, however, does not have income or state taxes. There are also several employment opportunities here.
If there is something about Anchorage, it is the diverse population. You have to get used to the weather.
If you pass the challenge, you will realize that the city has breathtaking beauty. Such beauty will convince you to stay and live here.
You will appreciate the wilderness. You will also love such open spaces.
The city has many opportunities for fishing and other activities.
The cost of living, however, is higher than the national average.
In general, the city is a great place to live.
The Good Side
You have many opportunities to take advantage of when living in Anchorage. Here are the best of them that should convince you.
Long Summer Days
One of the many wonders of living in this city is the force of nature.
Did you know that June 21 is the most extended daylight of the year in this city? It is because Anchorage has 22 hours of sunlight on this date.
And the remaining two hours are not dark at all.
The city will have at least 18 hours of sunlight for many months. Sometimes, it can even be more, especially as you move north.
The temperatures here can reach the 70s most of the time.
If you are new to the city, you will have to get used to the idea of longer days. However, in the long run, you may get to love them.
The Great Outdoors
Anchorage has lots of mountains and open spaces. And here, while there are vast open spaces, there are hardly any people in it.
In Anchorage, it is customary to find miles of trails and not encounter anyone. If you do not like crowded places, Anchorage is one of the perfect places for you to explore.
Anchorage has several outdoor activities for you to enjoy.
During winter, you can ski or snowshoe. You can also do some dog sledding.
The city also has a few parts exposed to the coast. Here, you can take a peek and immerse yourself in the coastal lifestyle.
And because the summer days here are longer, you have plenty of opportunities to experience the great outdoors.
Anchorage and the Wild
Aside from the great outdoors, there is also a lot to discover in Anchorage.
Here, you will get to see more wildlife than in any other city in the country.
It is common to find yourself face to face with a moose here. You can find these animals wandering some of the open spaces once in a while.
Sometimes, you will also encounter bears. There are times when some trails get closed because of these bear encounters.
In the coastal areas, you can meet some sea creatures. There are also a whole array of eateries where you can savor the freshest salmon.
Whether on land or at sea, hunting can be a pleasure here.
Get Paid and Move Here
Are you familiar with the PFD Payment?
The PFD Payment is what the government pays every resident who moves here. PFD is short for Permanent Fund Dividend.
In 2021, the government will pay US$1,114 to everyone that applies to move here. A couple with two children can get as much as US$4,400 by moving to Anchorage.
For a resident to qualify, you must live in the city for at least one calendar year.
The fund is from the government’s permanent stash from the oil and gas industries.
Small Town Feel
Anchorage has a population of about 300,000 people. The other two large cities in the state have about 30,000 each.
Towns in the state have around 10,000 people or even less.
The residents are generally heartwarming and friendly, despite the cold weather. Soon enough, you will get to know everyone in the city.
Moving to Anchorage will never be complicated. It only takes a few days to a few weeks to immerse yourself into the community. After a few weeks, it would feel like you have been living in Anchorage forever!
The Bad Side
Of course, there are a few things that you have to know before moving to Anchorage. Here is something you need to know before you finalize your decision:
Traveling From Anchorage Can Be Costly
If you have families from outside the state, visiting them may be expensive.
You are lucky if your family lives in the lower 48. However, if your family and friends live beyond the lower 48, visiting them can cost you a lot.
Plane tickets, hotels, and rental cars can be costly. Anything related to traveling in these areas can be more expensive.
You have to plan your budget when you have plans to visit. The costs can quickly add up.
Also, you have to consider your schedule.
Of course, you can always invite them to come over and visit you in Anchorage. However, it would be expensive for them when your family and friends depart from Anchorage. And that is a major turn-off.
What is the cost of living in Anchorage, AK? An Expensive City in Alaska
Anchorage is more expensive than the national average. Compared to the national average, the cost of living is 23.5% higher here.
The Good Side
The cheapest commodity in Anchorage is transportation.
However, do not celebrate just yet. The transportation price in Anchorage is 4.6% higher than the national average.
Yes, it is more expensive than the national average. It only means that transportation costs in Anchorage are more costly than in most major cities.
However, the good thing about this is that transportation can also depend on your utilization.
You can find a place near your workplace to save up on costs. Or you can also use public transportation when going to sites.
Even if it is more expensive, this is at least something that is within your control.
The same is true with the cost of utilities which is about 8.1% higher than the national average.
The cost is still within your control.
If you use less of your electrical appliances and turn off your lights when not in use, you can save on your utility costs.
The Bad Side
Of course, there will always be downfalls when living in Anchorage.
Overall, the cost of living here is higher than the national average. I believe we established that earlier today.
The culprit is the cost of housing.
Housing costs in Anchorage are more expensive than the national average by 44.6%. Compared to the rest of Alaska, the city is the most costly in this regard.
The median home cost in Anchorage amounts to about US$341,100. The amount is more expensive than the national average of about US$291,700.
When it comes to food and groceries, Anchorage is still expensive. Compared to the national average, it is more expensive by 22.3%.
The cost of healthcare is also more expensive here.
Healthcare costs in Anchorage are higher than the national average by 11.8%.
And when people put more emphasis and priority on health, this could be a disadvantage.
Why work in Anchorage, AK? Strong Oil and Gas Industry
Anchorage has a strong economy with a strong GDP. It is also one of the largest economies in the country.
Alaska is home to the oil and gas industry. Anchorage benefits from these two major industries.
The Good Side
Working in Anchorage has several benefits. One of these benefits is the strong job market. Together with that are a stable economy and a business-friendly city.
A Strong Job Market
Because of the strong economy, Anchorage enjoys a stable and growing job market.
The fishing, tourism, agriculture, and mining sectors provide most of the jobs in the city.
Anchorage is also famous for being a prominent location for wild sea fishing. It has an extensive forest that spans miles. Such forests are also sources for the city in timber exports.
Because the city is in Alaska, it also sees a growing list of jobs related to coal, silver, zinc, and coal exports.
The city is home to many large employers like Alaska Airlines, Energy Services, and Providence Health & Services.
A Business-Friendly City
The city wants people from all corners of the country to come here and put up their businesses. Because of this goal, the city makes it easier for business owners to put up their organizations in the city.
Getting a state license and processing incorporation papers is accessible here. You can complete them online even before you visit the city.
Individual towns nearby also have additional rules when processing business licenses. However, these processes are always simple.
If you want to put up a business in Anchorage, you can decide to do it now. You can have it up and running in a couple of weeks.
A Benefit in Taxes
Alaska does not collect state income tax. It also does not collect sales tax.
The only taxes you pay in Anchorage are property and excise taxes. However, these are still affordable.
Alaska has some of the lowest tax burdens in the country. And that includes the city of Anchorage.
The residents of Anchorage pay about 5% of their income in taxes. And that is very low compared to the neighboring state.
The Bad Side
There are also downfalls when working in Anchorage.
Here is a couple of them.
The Cost of Living
As you already know, the cost of living in Anchorage is more expensive than in other major cities.
The city imports almost everything. And that makes it more expensive for them.
The city is less populated compared to other major cities. Because of this, the prices go up. However, it is still hard to secure necessities.
Alaska has a massive amount of oil reserves. However, there are no refineries in the state. They have to process the oil elsewhere, which makes fuel expensive.
The wages in Anchorage are higher. However, your cost of living will also be increased.
You Are Your Boss
This disadvantage applies to business owners.
If you are self-employed, for now, you may have already registered your company.
Businesses in Anchorage shoulder more taxes than their workers and families. Even freelance writers fall under the same group as that businesses.
As long as you are your boss, your taxes will differ slightly.
Because of this setup, you should expect your tax burden to be higher than in other cities. Your tax burden will also be higher compared to when you are working in Anchorage.
Anchorage is a beautiful city.
Sure, the cost of living here is higher than the national average. The weather can also get too cold at times. And the taxes for business owners may not be an advantage.
However, it is a beautiful city with a wide array of activities to offer.
The city is home to some of the most beautiful spots in the country. Also, the people here are friendly and deserve all the friendship you can ever give.
Anchorage is perfect if you get past the hurdles of the weather and the cost of living.
Would you dare move to Anchorage?
Let me know your decision.