Moving to a Tax-Free State - Worth it?

Moving to a Tax-Free State - Worth it?

podcast secure - tax minimization Jul 08, 2024

Click to watch on YouTube

Today, we dive into the topic of moving to a state without income tax. States like Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington don't have state income tax. It's no surprise that many people consider relocating to these tax-free states to save money. But is it really worth it?

At first glance, the idea of living in a state without income tax seems appealing. You hear about Californians moving to Nevada or Texas, and New Yorkers heading south to Florida, all in search of tax savings. And yes, if you're moving from a state with high business registration costs, there is potential for savings. But here’s the catch: states need to generate revenue somehow. Just because there’s no income tax doesn’t mean other taxes are low. Many of these states have higher property taxes, sales taxes, or other forms of taxation that can offset the income tax savings. For example, in Florida, the cost of insurance, especially near the coastline, is astronomical due to required flood insurance. These costs can make the overall living expenses similar to states with high property tax, like Connecticut.

Beyond taxes, moving to a tax-free state can come with hidden costs that might not be immediately apparent but can add up over time. For instance, moving from California to Nevada might lead to higher gas expenses for your daily commute, or frequent travel back to visit family, incurring airfare and hotel costs. It's crucial to look at the bigger picture. If you’re not truly happy in the new location or if the move disrupts your lifestyle significantly, then the tax savings might not be worth it. You should be drawn to a new place for reasons beyond just tax benefits. Quality of life, convenience, proximity to family and friends, and even the local school system should all factor into your decision.

This is where the concept of "lifestyle arbitrage" comes in. The idea is to live where you can get the most out of life for the least amount of money while maintaining your financial well-being. For example, tax savings in Florida may be offset by high insurance costs. Despite higher taxes, living in California might bring you more joy due to its natural beauty and climate. In my own life, my husband and I often spend time in Costa Rica. However, our business is based in Connecticut, and all our income is earned in the United States. We don’t pay taxes in Costa Rica because we don't earn money there. This wasn’t a tax strategy but rather a "joy strategy." We wanted to enjoy the sounds of monkeys in the morning and the serene environment, irrespective of the tax savings.

Ultimately, when considering a move to a tax-free state, it’s essential to look beyond immediate tax benefits. Think about all aspects of your life—convenience, overall costs, quality of life, and personal happiness. Tax savings should be just one factor in your decision-making process, not the sole reason. Remember, not everything has to be a tax strategy. Sometimes, the more expensive option might bring you the most joy and fulfillment. And that’s perfectly okay. You have my permission—though you never needed it—not to make the cheaper tax move if it doesn’t make sense for you and your family.

Thank you for joining me today. If you found this discussion helpful, please leave a rating and review on your podcast platform. Your feedback helps us reach more business owners like you. Check out the show notes for resources and ways to get in touch. See you on the next episode of "Keep What You Earn."

What you'll hear in this episode:

04:44 Consider costs, lifestyle, and tax implications.
09:48 Guide to start or clean up business.

If you like this episode, check out:

A Shortcut to Business Travel Deductions

What They Never Tell You About Depreciation

How to Deduct Self-Employed Health Insurance Premiums


Want to learn more so you can earn more?

Transform your small business journey – download the Small Business $tarter Kit here.

Visit to dive deeper on our episodes

Visit to work with Shannon and her team

Watch this episode and more here:

Connect with Shannon on IG:


The information contained in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only and is not individual tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional before implementing anything you learn.