US towns offer to pay digital nomads up to US$20,000 to relocate
As the world returns to post-COVID normalcy, some charges are sticking. When networking over coffee and face-to-face office interactions were replaced by scheduled Zoom meetings, some employees realised that working remotely was something they preferred. Those assuming remote jobs are often referred to as digital nomads.
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, in addition to reporting remarkably high rates of job and income satisfaction, digital nomads also possess more advanced technical skills and are more dedicated to ongoing training.
That said, an increasing number of individuals are embracing the digital nomad lifestyle with remote jobs. By escaping the confines of an office, they gain the freedom to live and work from wherever they want.
For most, this means leaving the hustle and bustle of big cities and their high costs of living. In smaller communities, they purchase or lease more affordable homes, putting their hard-earned paychecks to better use – in various other ways.
Thankfully for them, plenty of towns and communities across the US are offering attractive incentives to digital nomads in return for relocating. In the process, these communities will be able to revitalise and stimulate their economies.
MakeMyMove.com, an online directory launched during the pandemic in late 2020, was designed to connect digital nomads to US locations that will best suit their needs, desires, and preferences.
It now features 46 communities that are offering incentives such as home buying allowance, tax credits, gift cards, discounts on local goods and services, and even just clean cash. If you’re looking for the ones with the most perks, here are five top picks to consider:
Morgantown, West Virginia
There are many reasons why Morgantown, West Virginia is a great destination for remote workers.
For starters, it has racked up many accolades. Over the years, it has been dubbed Top STEM City, Tastiest Town, Tree City, and Most Educated City. In this college town – home to great schools and even better mountain views – anyone can enjoy a high quality of life for a cost of living well below the national average.
It’s total incentive value? A total of US$20,000 – US$12,000 of which is awarded to relocators in cash. The rest is covered in various gifts and incentives.
The suburban town of Southwest, Michigan is a coastal community just 90 miles from Chicago. When remote workers here aren’t taking conference calls from the comfort of their new homes, they enjoy swimming, mountain biking, world-class museum visits, and big-city attractions in one eclectic region.
By moving here, digital nomads receive a US$15,000 forgivable grant with the purchase of a new home; an annual pass to local beaches; a one-year co-working space membership; car service to and from regional airports for a year; and two VIP passes to the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Augusta – the capital of Maine – is known for being steeped in history and the perfect destination for summer vacations. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a small city. Today, it is a major source of art and economic inspiration.
Remote workers will be pleased to know they qualify for a tax rebate totalling the entirety of their State of Maine taxes – after living in the capital for a full tax year. The total incentive is valued at US$15,660. There are also additional benefits for those with STEM or graduate degrees.
Montpellier, Vermont might be the smallest state capital in the US, with a population of just under 8,000. However, it packs a mean punch with its big city amenities of arts and music offerings, delectable restaurants, excellent schools, and tight-knit, active community life.
Remote workers who choose to come here will receive up to US$5,000 annually for up to two years. Those who are full-time employees of a Vermont business will be eligible for up to US$7,500.
Newton, Iowa is a central getaway located just 30 miles from Des Moines, on the historic US Route 6. It exudes small-town hospitality while offering a high-quality of life with safe surroundings, countless events, sporting activities, a strong business environment, and most importantly – welcoming residents.
Digital nomads looking to build a life here will receive up to US$10,000 toward a new home. They will also be awarded a “Get to Know Newton” welcome package that includes discounts to local restaurants and shops, collectively valued at over US$2,500.