12 Best States for Financial Advisor Pay: 2015

With some seeing increased opportunity for financial advisors, we look at the states with the highest salaries when accounting for cost of living

The stock market has been bouncing around this year, but according to at least one website the prospects for financial advisors are quite rosy.

O*Net OnLine, which compiles salary data for various occupations, projects that there will be 96,400 job openings when looking at the 10-year period from 2012 to 2022. That’s a growth rate 22% higher than for the average occupation.

So which states offer the best salaries for advisors? And by "best salaries" we mean most bang for the buck. Using a formula devised last year, we adjusted data to account for purchasing power differences in each of the 50 states.

O*Net allowed us to find the mean salary for financial advisors in each state. We then turned to Top 50 States, which lists cost of living data for each state. That allowed us to see just where financial advisors’ salaries stretch the farthest.

For the record, the mean U.S. salary for financial advisors in 2014 was $81,060, up nearly $6,000 over the previous year.

For each of our top 12 states, we used areavibes.com’s ratings to find the best place to live.

Horse show in Devon, PA. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

12. Pennsylvania

Adjusted Mean Salary: $82,732

Above National Mean: $1,672

Dollar Factor: 102.1%

Best City: Devon

Devon is one of Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs, allowing residents easy access to all the amenities of a big city, while enjoying a quieter atmosphere.

The World of Coke in Atlanta. (Photo: AP)

11. Georgia

Adjusted Mean Salary: $83,495

Above National Mean: $2,435

Dollar Factor: 94.4%

Best City: Johns Creek

This suburb of Atlanta has been ranked the 13th highest earning city by Money magazine and is home to more than 75,000 people.

Tipi in a Montana Lake.

10. Montana

Adjusted Mean Salary: $83,930

Above National Mean: $2,870

Dollar Factor: 102.1%

Best City: Frenchtown

Frenchtown, part of the Missoula area, boasts lovely mountain views, low crime and a good high school graduation rate. The average commute time is 24 minutes, which might seem short for big city dwellers, but is long for the state.

CIA Headquarters in McClean, VA.

9. Virginia

Adjusted Mean Salary: $85,553

Above National Mean: $4,493

Dollar Factor: 95.8%

Best City: McClean

McClean offers access to the seat of national power and counts politicians and diplomats among its population of just under 50,000. It’s also close to the Potomac River and is an hour and 15 minute drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Downtown Bronxville.  (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

8. New York

Adjusted Mean Salary: $86,352

Above National Mean: $5,292

Dollar Factor: 95.8%

Best City: Bronxville

One of those “leafy suburbs” of New York City that The New York Times likes to gush about, Bronxville in Westchester County is a quick train ride to Grand Central.

Lobster boats in Portland.

7. Maine

Adjusted Mean Salary: $87,204

Above National Mean: $6,144

Dollar Factor: 111.6%

Best City: Yarmouth

Yarmouth is part of the Portland area and an easy 85-minute drive to Boston if you need a city fix.

Bean Blossom Covered Bridge in Brown County Indiana.

6. Indiana

Adjusted Mean Salary: $89,489

Above National Mean: $8,429

Dollar Factor: 89.9%

Best City: Meridian Hills

Less than 7 miles from downtown Indianapolis, Meridian Hills has a median income much higher than the state average.

A Golf course in Woodland Hills, NE.

5. Nebraska

Adjusted Mean Salary: $90,627

Above National Mean: $9,567

Dollar Factor: 92.4%

Best City: Woodland Hills

Home to a championship golf course, the town is a half hour from Lincoln where Saturdays mean football in the fall.

Marina Park in Kirkland, Washington. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

4. Washington

Adjusted Mean Salary: $90,666

Above National Mean: $9,606

Dollar Factor: 103.6%

Best City: Clyde Hill

Near Bellevue and Kirkland, Clyde Hill is a suburb with a population of about 3,000.

Downtown Birmingham.

3. Alabama

Adjusted Mean Salary: $92,902

Above National Mean: $11,842

Dollar Factor: 92.0%

Best City: Mountain Brook

The suburb of Birmingham was developed in 1929 and is reportedly home to Courteney Cox of “Friends” fame and Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr.

Davidson College Wildcat Mascot. (Photo: AP)

2. North Carolina

Mean Salary: $93,450

Above National Mean: $12,390

Dollar Factor: 96.5%

Best City: Davidson

Outside of Charlotte, Davidson is home to a namesake college.

Kansas road sign.

1. Kansas

Adjusted Mean Salary: $99,169

Above National Mean: $18,109

Dollar Factor: 92.7%

Best City: Mission Woods

If you can’t find a home in Mission Woods (there are only 175 residents), there are other fine places to live in the Kansas City area.

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