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12 Best States for Adjusted Advisor Pay

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With the U.S. economy slowly mending itself, ThinkAdvisor thought it would be interesting to look at which states offer the best chance for financial advisors to get the most from their salaries.

To determine the 12 Best States for Adjusted Advisor Pay, we looked at a couple of websites. One, O*Net OnLine, compiles salary data for various occupations. The second, Top 50 States, has data on cost of living by state. The cost of living for the U.S. is rated at 100%, with any state ranking below that percentage mark meaning it’s cheaper to live there than most other states. We cross-referenced the data to figure out the best states as far as salary is concerned. (For the record, the median U.S. salary for financial advisors is $75,300.)

That data was used to figure out how much bang for every compensation buck an advisor received in each state. The pay, adjusted for cost of living, left us with what we call “Bang for the Buck”: the adjusted amount over the national median an advisor earns.

Information from offered a look at the best place to live in each state (except for Indiana and Nebraska, which did not have any entries in Livability’s Top 100. For those states, we looked at’s ratings.)

For a look at which metro areas pay the best check out our June slideshow, which relied on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Boston park. (Photo: AP)

12. Massachusetts

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $2,537

State’s Median Salary: $93,800

Cost of Living: 121.2%

Biggest City: Boston

Cambridge, with Harvard and MIT, hosts a range of health care, biotech and pharmaceutical operations. Residents also can avail themselves of many cultural amenities.

Omaha, Nebraska skyline.

11. Nebraska

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $2,559

State’s Median Salary: $69,500

Cost of Living: 88.9%

Lincoln scored high on in amenities, cost of living and housing, as well as education. The harsh winters were a negative factor.

Bikers in Des Moines. (Photo: AP)

10. Iowa

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $3,852

State’s Median Salary: $72,600

Cost of Living: 91.3%

Biggest City: Des Moines

Cedar Rapids was commended for its nationally recognized art museum and its pair of four-year colleges.

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

9. Georgia

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $4,624

State’s Median Salary: $73,900

Cost of Living: 92%

Biggest City: Atlanta

Columbus boasts Fort Benning and its 41,000 soldiers, the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, as well as top-notch heath care and universities.

Lucas Oil Stadium downtown Indianapolis. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

8. Indiana

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $6,830

State’s Median Salary: $74,600

Cost of Living: 90%

Biggest City: Indianapolis

Fort Wayne scored best in state in rankings, scoring an A+ in amenities and cost of living.

Lynx train travels toward downtown in Charlotte, NC. (Photo: AP)

7. North Carolina

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $8,714

State’s Median Salary: $80,700

Cost of Living: 95.6%

Biggest City: Charlotte

Durham, home to Duke University, was ranked the top place to live in the Tar Heel State. A rich history and its place in the high-tech vanguard, along with being a banking hub, and great restaurants were factors cited.

Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Bike Path.

6. Virginia

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $8,888 

State’s Median Salary:  $81,100

Cost of Living: 95.9%

Biggest City: Virginia Beach

Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, nabbed the top spot in the state to live. A rich history (Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is nearby), cultural attractions and a diverse business community all were cited.

A view of Seattle's Space Needle and skyline. (Photo: AP)

5. Washington

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $9,196

State’s Median Salary: $85,700

Cost of Living: 101.6%

Biggest City: Seattle

Bellevue’s lovely setting at the foot of the Cascade Mountains combines with its cultural diversity and top-ranked school system to make it the top place to live in the state.

Brooklyn Bridge with Manhattan in background.

4. New York

Adjusted Pay Above National Median:

State’s Median Salary: $110,900

Cost of Living: 134.5%

Biggest City: New York

White Plains is a short train ride to the Big Apple, but it has much to offer on its own including above average infrastructure, schools, and social and civic options for residents.

Downtown Birmingham, Alabama.

3. Alabama

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $11,923

State’s Median Salary: $81,500

Cost of Living: 92.4%

Biggest City: Birmingham

Huntsville won kudos for, among other things, its commitment to the arts, evident in its dozen museums and eight art associations.

Market Street Bridge and Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

2. Tennessee

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $14,356

State’s Median Salary: $81,900

Cost of Living: 89.7%

Biggest City: Memphis

Knoxville offers outdoor activities in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains, as well as a diverse population and a healthy economy.

Kansas road sign.

1. Kansas

Adjusted Pay Above National Median: $18,275

State’s Median Salary: $87,400

Cost of Living: 91.8%

Biggest City: Wichita

Overland Park was chosen as the best place to live because of its mix of office, retail and residential areas. Good schools and an abundance of sports facilities add to the allure. 


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