Commentary

Quality of Life Tops In Chicago And Philadelphia

Varo (Varo Money, Inc) is building a mobile banking experience that helps customers cover their expenses, pay their bills and build their wealth over time. Unlike traditional banks or other fintech apps, says the report, all that customers need is an iPhone to bank seamlessly.

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To facilitate their strategic planning, Varo released a study, #SwitchYourBank survey, a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults age 18+, conducted by Propeller Insights, examining what Americans most love about San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, where quality of life is highest for the cost, and how locals are banking.

New data reveals that, even though Americans feel New York is “the best” at a lot of things—cultural activities, restaurants, bars, hetero dating—quality of life for the cost isn’t one of them, says the report. Instead, Chicago and Philadelphia top the list in that category.

The survey also found that: 

  • 35% of Americans rent
  • San Franciscans and Angelenos have the most roommates
  • Chicagoans and New Yorkers have the fewest roommates
  • Angelenos, Philadelphians, and San Franciscans are about twice as likely to live at home with their parents (7%) as Chicagoans and New Yorkers (4%)

Taken as a whole, says the report, Americans feel that New York is “the best” at a lot of things—cultural activities, public transportation, live music, restaurants, bars, hetero dating, public parks, and outdoor activities. Taken separately, however, residents of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia generally disagreed, feeling that their own city was best in most categories.

There were a few exceptions. Americans generally prefer:

  • Los Angeles for its weather, avocado toast, and acai bowls
  • San Francisco for its LGTBQ dating scene, farmers markets, and dog parks
  • Chicago for its microbrews
  • Philadelphia was voted best quality of life for the cost, even though it didn’t come out on top in any of the other categories included in the survey

What don’t we love? 

  • Los Angeles ranked last for public transportation 
  • Chicago and Philly tied for worst weather 
  • San Francisco’s dating scene for straight men was at the bottom of the list, as was Philadelphia’s dating scene for straight women and the LGTBQ community.
  • Even though the Big Apple was ranked highly for attractions, it came in last (along with San Francisco) in the category of “quality of life for the cost.”

More people (66%) own their own homes in Philadelphia than any of the other cities in the survey. This is followed by Chicago (62%), Los Angeles (53%), New York (52%), and, finally, San Francisco (47%). The national average for home ownership is 54%.

Home ownership seems to be a litmus test for how affordable these cities feel to residents more generally, as 73% of Philadelphians and 69% if Chicagoans were also most likely to say that they can generally afford the lifestyle they want, while San Franciscans were the least likely (43%). Of Americans living elsewhere in the country, 69% feel they can generally afford the lifestyle they want.

  • 35% of Americans rent
  • About 1 in 5 San Franciscans and Angelenos have roommates
  • Only 1 in 10 Chicagoans and New Yorkers have roommates
  • Angelenos, Philadelphians, and San Franciscans are about twice as likely to live at home with their parents (7%) as Chicagoans and New Yorkers (4%)

More than 80% of the respondents, living in the five cities surveyed, feel their neighborhoods are generally gentrifying. Meanwhile, 26% of the participants living elsewhere report that their neighborhood is on the decline.

62% of Americans feel more annoyed when places only accept cash than when they only accept credit. This is particularly true for 71% of San Franciscans and 70% of Chicagoans. 41% if Angelenos feel most annoyed by places that only take credit, 

And, relative to banks (the focus of the study,) Americans’ biggest gripe about their current bank is the low savings rate (24%) and the various fees they are charged, including overdraft (17%), monthly maintenance (17%), and ATM (13%) fees. In fact, the majority of Americans (63%) find overdraft fees more annoying than bouncing payments. 

A bad customer service experience is the #1 thing most likely to convince an American to leave their current bank (41%), but data breach (37%) is a close second. Having said that, leaving their current bank feels like a daunting undertaking to most Americans, who feel that it is more difficult than switching:

  • Doctors  21%
  • Jobs  21%
  • Current diet to lose ten pounds20%
  • From iPhone to Android  17%
  • Hairdressers  15%
  • Gyms  13%
  • Coasts  9%

Unlike traditional banks or other fintech apps, concludes the report, Varo offers a complete solution with integrated deposit, budgeting, savings, and lending products that aim to help customers bank with ease and achieve better financial outcomes. There’s no reason for a bank branch on every corner anymore: all that customers need is an iPhone to bank seamlessly, says the report. 

For additional informationfrom Varo, please visit here.

 

1 comment about "Quality of Life Tops In Chicago And Philadelphia".
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  1. Jay Waters from noodlebhm, May 11, 2018 at 11:02 a.m.

    I have a problem that this article refers to what Americans think when they only surveyed people living in these five specific cities.  Some better discretion about language choice to describe the respondents and results is needed here.

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