With so many people doing remote work during the pandemic, there’s been a big realization that you can live and work anywhere—in the U.S. and around the world. According to the Neighbor 2020-2021 American Migration Report, there has been a 21% year-over-year increase in the number of people who plan to move in 2021 versus 2020. Surprisingly, this year, Covid isn’t the impetus: The Neighbor report revealed that the main reason people are choosing to move is to find places where they can lower their cost of living.
Here’s something else drawing people to relocate: Many places are offering people money to move there. In fact, in 2020, one deep-pocketed village in Italy was offering people up to $52,500 in grants to move there and work. While that deal expired almost as soon as it started, there are plenty of other locations around the globe that have very tempting relocation packages, ranging from Northern Arkansas to Italy.
Inspired to find a new place to live and want to make some money simply by moving there? Check out these programs, which will pay off, big time.
Calabria—a stunning region in southern Italy—is giving new residents cash totaling €28,000 (about $33,000) over the course of three years to move to one of several charming small towns in the area. The “active residency income” project (as it is called) is underway and is doling out more than €700,000 (about $829,000) in grants. In addition, the region might give one-off grants to help new residents launch hotels, restaurants, bars, stores and more. So far, nine of Calabria’s villages—ranging from seaside to mountain locations—have signed up to participate in the program.
“Almost heaven, West Virginia,” sang John Denver. Now you can get paid big bucks to move to the state, which is known for its country roads and small towns. West Virginia has created a new program, Ascend WV, which offers a package valued up to $20,000. It includes a payment of $12,000 to move there for two years, no strings attached. Besides that, you’ll receive other incentives valued up to $8,000, including a year of free activities like whitewater rafting and downhill skiing, plus free outdoor gear rentals for you, your family and your friends. You’ll also have access to a free coworking space in the heart of a bustling mountain town, as well as fun events, professional development opportunities, entrepreneurial programs and more.
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Set in Shawnee County, Kansas, Topeka is a small town with great food, a rich art scene, gorgeous parks—basically everything you need for a dream life. With the new Choose Topeka Relocation Initiative, you can get up to $15,000 to rent or buy a home there. In addition, Choose Topeka has partnered with Airbnb to provide potential new residents with free opportunities to visit the city and experience Topeka prior to making the big move.
Tulsa, Oklahoma is one of the remote work pioneers—in 2018, the town started offering people $10,000 to move there with the Tulsa Remote program, which saw applications soar by 300% during the pandemic. Now Tulsa is taking it to the next level, unveiling a new incentive to make the American dream of homeownership a reality: $10,000 toward a downpayment on a home. Consider this: With an average home price of just $157,000 in Tulsa, that covers about 30% of your down payment. Additionally, to help people get to know the city and find a neighborhood of their choice, Airbnb is offering $150 credits in partnership with Tulsa Remote toward a Tulsa test-drive.
Northwest Arkansas is known as one of the best places to live in America, thanks to its small towns with a low cost of living, outdoor activities, world-class arts institutions and a per-capita income that’s 14% higher than the national average. Now the area is making it even more attractive with the Life Works Here initiative, which will pay new residents $10,000 to move there and work. Applicants will also get a bike so that they can explore the area’s vast network of trails, as well as the Ozark Mountains. Or you can choose an annual membership to one of the local cultural institutions like the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, started by Walmart heir Alice Walton.
Vermont not only has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation and the lowest rates of Covid, it’s also known for its charming small towns and outdoor culture. Vermont is luring new residents by offering a number of relocation incentives starting in 2022, including a Relocating Worker Grant, with a maximum award of $7,500 to encourage workers to move to Vermont to work for in-state employers. There’s also a New Remote Worker Grant with an award of $7,500, to attract professionals who perform the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or coworking space.
Low cost of living? Check. Welcoming community? Check. Creative culture? Check. With the Remote Shoals program, you can get paid $10,000 to do your job remotely from the the Shoals Alabama area, which includes the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia. The region is known for its culinary scene, outdoor activities (hiking, fishing, golfing), shopping, music, nightlife and more. To be considered for the program, you must make $52,000 or more per year as a full-time remote employee or self-employed as an independent contractor.
New Haven, Connecticut
How about New Haven, Connecticut, a vibrant university town with access to great food and nature? Through the Re:New Haven program, homeowners can get up to $10,000 to use as a down payment or for closing costs. Some professions—teachers, police officers, members of the military and more—can receive an additional $2,500. The city is also giving $30,000 for renovations and $40,000 in tuition to help students attend college. In total, you’re looking at as much as $80,000 in incentives—what’s not to love about New Haven?