18 Places That Pay You To Live There

Want to move somewhere new? Here are 18 places that pay you to live there – in the U.S. and in other countries! Yes, you can actually get paid to move somewhere new and make some extra income. Some cities, states, and countries want more people to live there, so they’re paying rewards. These rewards…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: April 9, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Want to move somewhere new? Here are 18 places that pay you to live there – in the U.S. and in other countries!

Yes, you can actually get paid to move somewhere new and make some extra income.

Some cities, states, and countries want more people to live there, so they’re paying rewards. These rewards can be cash, lower taxes, and extra perks like free places to work or bicycles.

The aim is simple: they want to bring in remote workers, professionals, and sometimes families to make their communities bigger.

I personally know people (close friends and even family – my husband’s parents even) who live in many of the places listed below. They are truly great places to live!

Key Takeaways

  • Certain places pay financial incentives to attract new residents.
  • Incentive programs are created to boost local economies and populations.
  • Make sure to think about lifestyle, job opportunities, and community fit before moving.

U.S. Places That Pay You To Live There

If you’re thinking about a move and want to make money doing so, several places in the U.S. pay incentives to get new residents.

Ketchikan Alaska, creek street
From our visit to Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan is one of my favorite places in Alaska, so I have to start with this one! I spent 10 days there last year and I looked at homes online nearly every day – that’s how much we loved it.

I also know a few families who live in Ketchikan, and they all really seem to enjoy living there.

Ketchikan is known as “Alaska’s first city,” a charming gateway to the state of Alaska. If you move here, look forward to yearly cash from the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend after your first year. The payout varies. The 2023 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) amount was $1,312 and the amount of the 2022 Permanent Fund Dividend was $3,284.

Here’s an idea of what you gain by making Ketchikan your home:

  • No income tax – Get your earnings without state income tax.
  • Free high-speed internet – Sign up for fiber optic internet and potentially get up to three months of free internet.
  • Nature – You can easily explore the forest and ocean from Ketchikan.
  • Education – Take advantage of education designed to cater to different learning preferences.
  • Quick commutes – The average drive across town is only 7.5 minutes, giving you more time to enjoy life.
  • Stay connected – Despite the natural surroundings, Ketchikan has an excellent connection to the outside world with its fiber network.

In terms of amenities and lifestyle, Ketchikan offers:

  • Health – A state-of-the-art regional hospital is available alongside local healthcare facilities.
  • Culture – Regular art events, music, and historical sites provide a rich cultural experience.
  • Fitness – Access to indoor recreational facilities and outdoor trails means staying active is easy.
  • Dining – Enjoy the freshest seafood and many different dining options, with the chance to even catch your own meal (lots of great fishing in this area!).

Also, the housing market in Ketchikan is good for new residents and has affordable choices like downtown apartments or homes in the forest.

You can learn more about the Choose Ketchikan program here.

Kenai Fjords National Park
From our visit to Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend

Okay, so I touched on Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend a little above, and this can apply to the state of Alaska – not only Ketchikan. I want to talk about this a little more because this is one of the popular places that pay you to live there.

Alaska pays money to its residents called the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). You get paid from this fund every year, and it comes from the money the state earns by selling oil. It’s a way to invest in Alaska’s future and share the wealth of the state.

You get the PFD if you live in Alaska for a full year and plan to stay for the long haul. You can show that you’re sticking around by things like having a house, a job, or going to school in Alaska. But if you leave for more than 180 days without a good reason, like for health or military service, you might not get it.

The amount changes every year. For instance, in 2023, residents received $1,312. This was a big drop from 2022’s total of $3,284, which also included an extra energy rebate. The PFD can vary widely – some years it grows and others it shrinks.

To apply, you’ll use myAlaska – an online system where you can handle lots of different state services. Just set up an account, prove you’re sticking around in Alaska, and you’re good to go.

Alaska started this program so that when the state’s oil isn’t as plentiful, there’s still money to help the state and its people. Plus, it encourages people to move and stay in Alaska, which helps the local economy and businesses.

Remember, this isn’t a full salary. It’s meant to supplement your income and can be a nice bonus each year. Costs in Alaska, like gas and food, are usually much higher than the rest of the U.S., so the PFD isn’t meant to cover all your expenses.

You can learn more about Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend program here.

Noblesville, Indiana

I personally know two families who live in Noblesville, Indiana, and work remotely, and they have a lot of great things to say about the area, the schools, and more.

Noblesville, Indiana (near Indianapolis), has rewards for new residents, especially if you work from home. They had 15 families take them up on their offer the first year and around 30 the second year. They are offering a $5,000 relocation grant to move to this city in Indiana, along with many other incentives.

Another perk is a free membership to COhatch Noblesville, worth $3,000. COhatch is a modern shared workspace with comfy desks, private offices, and meeting rooms, all in Hamilton Town Center. It’s a perfect spot to meet other remote workers.

Other perks you receive include:

  • 1-year membership to the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce
  • Ruoff Music Center VIP Concert Experience
  • Coffee with the Mayor
  • 1 Season Pass for Unlimited Play at 2 Golf Courses
  • Noblesville Parks Pass
  • $500 Health & Wellness Stipend

And more.

The total incentive is $15,000 for this program.

These incentives are part of a program run by MakeMyMove, a service that connects people such as yourself with communities looking for new talent.

You can learn more about the Noblesville, Indiana program here.

Tulsa Remote program

The Tulsa Remote program was launched to attract work from home workers and give them a chance to relocate to the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a financial incentive of $10,000.

To apply, you need to tick off a few boxes such as:

  • You’re at least 18 years old.
  • You hold the authorization to work in the U.S.
  • You’re employed full-time in a remote position.
  • You can move to Tulsa within 12 months after your application is approved.
  • You’ve not lived in Oklahoma for at least one year before applying.

If you fulfill the criteria listed above, your first step is to fill out an application. Get through that, and a 30-minute virtual chat awaits with the Tulsa Remote team, where you can both learn about each other. Pass that interview, and after some checks on your background and income, you’ll be on your way to joining the Tulsa community.

Upon arrival in Tulsa, you can choose how you want your $10,000 grant money. Either go for monthly payments while you rent a place, or, if you buy a home, get it all at once as a lump sum. When purchasing a house, make sure it’s your main home, in the City of Tulsa, and stays off the rental market for a year.

Once you’re a Tulsa Remote member, you get other benefits such as:

  • Access a local coworking space free for three years.
  • Enjoy a busy event schedule for making friends and professional connections.
  • Benefit from wellness resources, fitness, and mental health services.
  • Enjoy healthcare services including primary care and same-day care options.

If you’re excited about the prospect of a low cost of living, plentiful housing options, and a supportive community, Tulsa Remote might just be the ticket to your new life in Tulsa.

You can learn more about the Tulsa Remote program here.

New River Gorge
New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia

Ascend West Virginia

With the Ascend West Virginia program, you can get $12,000 and enjoy free outdoor recreation activities (free gear rentals and a complimentary outdoor-focused welcome trip worth over $2,500).

The areas they are looking for new residents in include:

  • New River Gorge
  • Morgantown Area
  • Greenbrier Valley
  • Eastern Panhandle
  • Greater Elkins

These are all really beautiful areas with a ton of outdoor activities. One of the areas (New River Gorge) is even where the newest National Park is!

During your first year with Ascend WV, you’ll receive $10,000, paid monthly. If you continue to stay in West Virginia for a second year, they’ll add an extra $2,000 as a bonus.

This looks like an amazing program to me, especially if you love the outdoors.

You can learn more about the Ascend West Virginia program here.

Newton, Iowa

Interested in moving to a growing and welcoming community? Newton, Iowa may just be the place for you if you are looking for places that pay you to move there.

With the Newton Housing Initiative, you could be eligible to receive:

  • $10,000 cash: If you’re buying a new home valued at $240,000 or more, without including the land value, you can get $10,000 cash.
  • Additional welcome package: Not only do you get cash but there’s also a “Get to Know Newton” Welcome Package filled with discounts and offers to help you settle in.

To qualify, make sure that:

  • Your new home is a single-family property and you plan on living there as your main residence.
  • The value of your home, not counting the land, is clear through an assessment or appraisal.
  • Your home construction is complete, proven by a Certificate of Occupancy from the city.
  • You install a radon remediation system in your new home to ensure safety from radon gas.
  • Note that this offer is not applicable for rental properties.
  • For homes under $240,000, you won’t get the cash incentive, but tax abatement is available as per Newton’s Urban Revitalization Plan.

This initiative wants more people to come live in Newton by making it financially attractive to choose it as their home. The goal is to make sure there are good homes available, which will help the local population grow and stay steady.

You can learn more about the Newton, Iowa program here.

Remote Shoals, Alabama

In the Remote Shoals program, you can get $10,000 for being a remote worker and moving there.

They will give you 25% of the money up front to help with the relocation expenses, another 25% after your first 6 months in the Shoals, and the remaining 50% once you’ve completed your first year there.

Located within the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area of Alabama (the Shoals region includes the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia), it’s only a 2-hour drive to Birmingham, Nashville, and Memphis. Plus, you can visit Gulf beaches, New Orleans, the Great Smoky Mountains, Atlanta, and more within a 6-hour drive.

To be eligible, you need to meet these requirements:

  1. Make $52,000 or more per year.
  2. Move to the Shoals area within 6 months if selected.
  3. Work as a full-time remote employee or be self-employed as an independent contractor outside Colbert and Lauderdale counties.
  4. Be 18 or older and eligible to work in the United States.

You can learn more about the Remote Shoals, Alabama program here.

Topeka Kansas
Topeka, Kansas

Choose Topeka program

If you’re considering a move to Topeka, the Choose Topeka program might be the opportunity you’re looking for. Partnered with Shawnee County employers, this initiative pays financial incentives for professionals who decide to make Topeka their new home.

Relocation incentives include:

  • Renting: Receive up to $10,000 for your first year.
  • Home buying: Get up to $15,000 when you buy a home.

How it works: Your employer contributes between $2,500 and $15,000 when you transfer to Topeka, and after your first year, the program will reimburse your employer for half of the total incentive, if you stay employed.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Verify that your employer participates in the Choose Topeka program.
  • Move to Topeka for a full-time role.
  • Rent or buy a primary residence in Shawnee County within a year of your start date.
  • Prove eligibility to work in the U.S.
  • Complete a survey after your first year.
  • Take part in a Choose Topeka Immersion program.
  • Submit your application through your employer before moving.

It’s one incentive per household.

You can learn more about the Choose Topeka program here.

Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas is a beautiful place to live, and my husband’s parents actually moved there for work a few years ago. It is a really nice area, with a thriving outdoor recreation scene (tons of mountain biking, hiking, and more!) and even lots of museums and cultural things to do.

The first Life Works Here incentive started in November 2020. It gave remote tech talent the chance to move to the region and receive $10,000 along with a mountain or road bike.

This was super popular and over 66,000 people applied. Now, the official application is closed, but the region still wants talented folks to come and help the area grow.

If you’re curious about making the move, you can check out the Northwest Arkansas Council’s resources online. They’ve got lots of info on jobs, houses, and what life is like in the area.

You can learn more about the Northwest Arkansas program here.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore has a program called Live Near Your Work that helps new residents. If your job is in the city, you might get a home-buying incentive. This program combines money from employers and the city, and it makes it easier for you to buy a home in Baltimore.

If your employer is on the list (there are over 100 companies that participate!), you can receive up to $19,500! This money can help with your down payment or closing costs.

Here’s an example of what you might get:

  • Johns Hopkins Institutions gives up to $17,000.
  • Cross Street Partners, LLC may give you $10,000 if you’re a first-time homebuyer.
  • Thinking about joining LifeBridge Health? They offer between $2,000 and $19,500, and that’s quite a range!

Creative companies, large institutions, and local businesses have joined forces to provide these benefits, as well as many others.

Check out your human resources department or talk with Live Baltimore for the full details. Also, remember that some details, like how long you’ve been working or where you buy, can affect how much you can get.

You can learn more about the Baltimore, Maryland program here.

International Places That Will Pay You To Live There

Some places around the world will actually pay you to move there. This strategy helps to boost local economies and repopulate areas that have seen a decline in residency.

Saskatchewan, Canada

In Saskatchewan, Canada, you get paid to live there for 10 years if you maintain residency and file taxes. The caveat is your post-secondary school must be on an approved list.

Start-Up Chile program

Chile invites entrepreneurs through Start-Up Chile. This program gives equity-free funding up to $14,000 to help startups grow.

Albinen, Switzerland

Albinen, nestled in the Swiss Alps, will pay families over €20,000. In exchange, you commit to living in this picturesque village and contributing to the local community.


Several towns in Italy are inviting new residents with offers. Some proposals include giving up to €8,000 each year for a three-year period to encourage people to move to rural villages.


Moving to Greece might come with financial incentives, depending on the island or rural area that wants to boost its population and economic activity. The Greek island of Antikythera is one place that will pay you to move there.


If you choose to settle in Portugal, you may benefit from rural relocation incentives. These incentives are created to rejuvenate specific regions and promote a balanced distribution of the population.


If you are looking for islands that pay you to live there, then Mauritius is one to look into.

Mauritius is inviting professionals with the Premium Visa. This allows you to live on the island, work remotely, and enjoy its natural beauty. You can also get $440 for moving there as well.

Why do places pay you to live there?

When figuring out why some places give you money to move there, it’s important to know the main reasons, what kind of perks they provide, and the eligibility requirements you need to meet.

When you hear that a place offers to pay you to live there, it might seem too good to be true. But remote work has changed this. Communities, especially those with declining populations, use cash incentives to attract new residents. Doing things this way helps make local economies stronger and stops the decline in population.

The rewards can be very different. Alaska might give you a share of the money they make from selling oil each year. On the other hand, some towns in West Virginia design their offers to attract remote workers to settle in their beautiful areas. Some may specifically be looking to reward college graduates and young couples who want a change of scenery.

To receive these rewards, you usually need to meet certain qualifications. Common conditions include living in the area for a specific time, showing proof of employment (such as remote work), or committing to buying property (such as a single-family home that you will live in full-time). So, you’ll want to make sure you meet these criteria to make the most of the opportunities to get paid for moving.

What To Think About Before Moving to a New Place

When you move to a place that pays you to live there, it’s important to think about how the change affects your lifestyle and future plans. This section helps you understand the key aspects of adjustment and decision-making involved.

Adjusting to new regions

Your new home may be more affordable, but adjusting to a new community comes with challenges. Even though your money may stretch further, things like high-speed internet or good schools can differ. It’s important to look into the region’s infrastructure to make sure it suits your needs for work, education, and overall quality of life.

Weighing economic versus personal factors

While economic perks, such as cash incentives or free co-working spaces, are attractive, they should be balanced with personal considerations.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Will the new city support your career in the long term? Opportunity for growth matters.
  • Is there high-speed internet to keep you connected? This is important for remote work.
  • What’s the quality of local schools like? This is important if you have or plan to have children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions about places that pay you to live there.

What states will pay you to move there?

Several states in the U.S., including Alaska and Kansas, have programs designed to attract new residents. These incentives often come with specific criteria, such as job requirements or commitment to residency duration.

Other states not included in the list above that may have a relocation or talent attraction program include Ohio, New York (Rochester specifically), and Michigan.

What state is offering $20,000 to move there?

Currently, there isn’t a state that offers a flat $20,000 to move there. However, some places offer incentives that, when combined with other benefits, may be worth that amount or more over time.

What cities pay financial incentives to new residents?

Cities like Topeka in Kansas are known to pay financial incentives to attract new residents. They may offer cash, tax breaks, student loan assistance, or other benefits to make moving there more appealing.

What countries will pay you to move there?

Some international locations pay financial incentives to attract new residents. These can vary by country and may include tax breaks, grants, or direct payments. Some countries that will pay you to move there include Saskatchewan, Canada; Albinen, Switzerland; Italy; and Greece.

Do you get paid $1,000 a month to live in Alaska?

Alaska provides the Permanent Fund Dividend, which is a payment to residents from the state’s oil revenue. The amount changes yearly and isn’t $1,000 per month. It’s more around $1,000 to $2,000 per year.

Does everyone in Alaska get a check?

All legal residents of Alaska who meet certain residency requirements are eligible for the Permanent Fund Dividend, which is usually an annual payment.

Are there any states that give you free land?

Some areas in Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa may give free land.

Will Florida pay me to move there?

Florida does not have a statewide program that pays individuals to move there, but certain cities or employers in Florida might give relocation incentives.

Can you get paid to move to California?

I do not currently know of any places in California that pay you to move there.

Can you get paid to live in Vermont?

Vermont used to run the Remote Worker Grant Program to pay you to live there, but it has ended.

Is it worth it to move to a new place if you’re getting paid?

Deciding to move for a financial incentive depends on your personal and professional situation. Think about the living costs in the new place, job possibilities, and the overall quality of life.

Places That Pay You To Move There – Summary

I hope you enjoyed this interesting article on places that pay you to live there.

As you can see, there are many cities, states, and even countries that will give you free money to relocate.

I have actually thought about moving to many places on this list, as they are beautiful places with lots to do.

This might seem like a wonderful opportunity for people who love to explore new places, and it’s important to know why these offers exist. Cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ketchikan, Alaska, want more people to live there to help their economies and communities grow.

Whether it’s the Tulsa Remote program offering money or Topeka with its perks, these places aim to bring in new talents and diverse perspectives. However, it’s important to think beyond just the money, so I recommend thinking about how your lifestyle might change, job opportunities, and the community you’ll be a part of.

What other places pay you to live there? What is your favorite from the list above?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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