Ranking Places Baltimore Among the Best Cities For Building Wealth

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Baltimore is among the most favorable places for you to build up your savings, according to a list compiled by financial services firm Bankrate.

Baltimore fits the number 10 spot on the company’s diverse list, and owes its ranking in part to having high access to retirement plans for workers. The city stands in stark contrast to some of the higher-ranked cities where residents save more of their income (San Francisco, D.C., Denver) or made the list despite being less likely to own their homes (San Francisco – again, Seattle, Boston).

Notably, Charm City’s average household savable income of about $9,300 is lower than in economically similar cities where at least two-thirds of houses are owned, like St. Louis ($10,451) and Detroit ($12,513). Detroit is rising in the wealth-building rankings as its homes gain in value, while St. Louis has risen because of growing access to financial services and banks, the company says.

One may find it shocking that somebody could build more wealth in San Francisco, where almost half of homes are rented and are largely unaffordable for the average American to purchase. However, incomes there are much higher, leaving households with nearly twice as much money to pocket compared to Baltimore.

And yet it is a number of factors, not just income, that influence wealth-building potential, the firm says. New York, another city with high wages, fell out favor from last year due to low availability of homes for sale and reduced offerings of financial services like retirement plans for workers.

To calculate its list, the company factored in average savable income, human capital, access to financial services for residents, homeownership benefits and debt burden.

The list obviously lacks some granularity. It’s much harder for residents in underserved parts of the city to acquire the training for jobs that provide them with money to save, or to even access the right financial tools to build wealth. But broadly speaking, it offers a comparison of Baltimore’s viability for individuals and families seeking to own a home, get a job and save some money.

We’re not here to tell you where to move to pad your savings, but according to Bankrate, Baltimore isn’t a bad choice at all. Browse the full list here.

Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
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