No matter why you're moving, be it for a new job, getting closer to relatives, or just because you want a change, you will need to know how living expenses compare to where you are right now. How can you get a bead on these costs and make a decision about moving? There are several excellent sites available to check out.
www.bestplaces.net/col An easy-to use comparison between your town and the new town, differences in cost of living in several areas (housing, health care, groceries, etc.), plus how far your salary will stretch in the new place.
www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx This is far more detailed in terms of what you can compare (everything from soup to nuts, literally, in the food department, plus many other living costs), but somewhat limited in terms of the areas you can compare. There is a list of maybe 200 towns/cities/metro areas; the Best Places site has more.
www.cityrating.com This site not only is comprehensive (including education, crime stats, etc.), but also attempts to quanitfy the "best" cities or towns to live in. While that is a pretty subjective appraisal, it's also based on criteria that most of us would agree are important, such as crime, weather, cost of living, cultural events, etc. You can also get information on the best retirement areas here.
www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator This site is simpler, using graphs and mathematical comparisons for a pretty accurate analysis. Again, cities are somewhat limited, but still very useful for a quick look.
http://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingWizard/layoutscripts/coll_start.asp This site doesn't cover actual cost of living comparisons in terms of items like food, health care, rent or mortgage, etc. Rather, it does an in-depth analysis of differences in overall cost of living between two cities. It also shows how your current salary "spends" im the new town, and whether you could earn that much (or more) doing the same job in the new location. (Warning: The type here is TINY.)
A visit to several of these sites should be very informative . . . perhaps even eye-opening.