If you’ve ever spent time mulling over a big move to an exotic destination, the rise in remote work could be your dream come true. If you can count yourself among the lucky 33% of U.S. employees who are currently working remotely full-time, the door is wide open for you to relocate to a place that makes your heart sing.
In other words, if you’ve always dreamed of moving to Alaska, this might be your big chance.
By the way, if you decide to relocate due to remote working opportunities, you won’t be alone. Between 14 and 23 million Americans reported that they plan to move to a different area for these same reasons, according to a study from Upwork, a freelancing website.
A number of global destinations have picked up on this trend. Countries all around the world are establishing new programs or highlighting ones already in place that welcome remote workers. For example, Iceland is offering a long-term visa for remote workers, which is good for a six-month stay. The Czech Republic also offers a long-term business visa for qualified workers.
However, if you want to enjoy an exotic location without all the hassle of international relocation, Alaska might be the perfect choice for you. We might be a little biased, but we think Alaska makes a great landing spot for remote workers. Here’s our reasoning:
#1: They Call It “The Last Frontier” for a Reason
Canoeing around glaciers. Camping in the wilderness. Fishing for your dinner. Spotting the Aurora Borealis (a.k.a., the Northern Lights)—or a moose wandering through your backyard. If outdoor adventure is your thing, Alaska will deliver it in spades, even if you decide you want to live in or near one of Alaska’s larger cities. When you’re looking to make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime, Alaska is just the ticket.
#2: But It’s Only as Wild as You Want It to Be
Maybe you have dreams of setting up satellite internet and living in a cabin deep in the wilderness. That could easily be your reality in Alaska . . . but only if you want it to be. Maybe you’d prefer to live in and around Anchorage, which has most of the perks you’d find in a U.S. city, like coffee shops, restaurants, and big-box stores like Costco and Walmart. Living near one of Alaska’s cities offers the best of both worlds: civilization when you want it and easy access to the surrounding wilderness when you don’t.
#3: There’s a Lower Barrier to Entry for Homeownership
Depending on where you’re living now, moving to Alaska might make it significantly cheaper for you to buy a house. Take a peek at these Alaska home prices, in comparison to a few other states:
Typical Home Prices in Alaska and Elsewhere:
- Anchorage: $337,294
- Alaska overall: $287,613
- California – $609,757
- Washington – $458,313
- Colorado – $431,100
- Oregon – $393,710
If homeownership is on your list of personal goals, moving to Alaska might help you achieve it faster. Plus, after you make the move, you’ll also have a little more disposable income to work with, thanks to these next two reasons.
#4: Plus, There’s No State Income Tax and No State Sales Tax
If you move to Alaska, you’ll find yourself living in one of seven states in the U.S. that doesn’t levy a personal income tax on its residents. Additionally, there’s no state sales tax in Alaska, although individual municipalities can charge their own sales taxes.
That said, when taking a broad look at property taxes, income tax, and sales tax, WalletHub ranked Alaska as the state with the lowest tax burden in the entire country. So if you decide to make the move and keep working remotely, you’ll have a little more take-home pay to play around with, in the Frontier State.
Additionally, if you decide to stay in Alaska, you’ll also get to reap yet another financial benefit.
#5: It’s True: Alaska Pays Its Residents Yearly
Alaskans who have lived in the state for a full calendar year (January 1 through December 31) and have no plans to leave are eligible for a yearly dividend from the state’s Permanent Fund. The fund is managed by a private corporation, which invests Alaska’s oil and gas revenue and distributes a payout to residents every year.
Although the 2020 dividend at $992 was the lowest it’s been since 2003, the dividend in 2019 was $1606—a nice bonus for living and working in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
#6: There’s Also Solid Infrastructure to Support Remote Work
If you decide to do a remote/bush move, you’ll be on your own to sort out your connectivity issues. However, if you decide to live in and around Alaska’s population centers, you’ll find an environment that’s friendly to working remotely. Anchorage boasts a 5G network, reliable Internet speeds up to 1 Gig, and several co-working spaces. Additionally, areas like Valdez and Juneau are investing in fiber optic infrastructure to enable tech innovation in the state. So if you’re curious whether you’ll be able to stay connected in the Last Frontier, the answer is unequivocally, “yes.”
Additionally, if you decide to make Alaska your permanent home and start a business in the state, you might be able to get a bit of a leg up. The Alaska Small Business Development Center offers assistance to small businesses, including free advice and assistance with applying for grants. Plus, Alaska Seed Fund offers grants of up to $15,000 to support innovators in Alaska.
So if you’re considering setting down some roots and establishing your own company in the state, you’ll find a robust infrastructure to support it, as well as some opportunities to help you get off the ground.
Now, before you make the commitment to relocate to Alaska, we’ve got a few tips from the Royal Alaskan team to help you make a smooth transition.
Insider Tips for Remote Workers Considering an Alaska Move
1. Ask questions when it comes to Internet speeds and caps.
If you decide to try out Alaska for a bit and stay in an Airbnb or some other temporary accommodation, make sure you inquire upfront about the Internet that’s available. Specifically, check on the speed that’s available and whether there are any kinds of caps or restrictions. Some hosts may need to limit data and/or speeds, and you’d hate to find that out once you’ve already arrived.
2. Be aware of housing scams.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen a few of these pop up every now and then. If you’re looking for places on Craigslist, watch out for:
- Prices that are too good to be true. You’ll get a good sense of this by scanning other similar listings.
- Owners or agents who can’t meet you in person—ever. Maybe they claim to be out of the state or simply unavailable. Either way, be wary of these types of arrangements.
- Anyone who asks you to wire them money or send you a ton of personal information upfront. This is especially true if they haven’t even given you the opportunity to see the property in person. These are both big red flags, so be cautious.
3. Finally, we’ve got a few resources to help paint the picture of what working in Alaska might look like.
If you enjoy sharing space with other remote workers, take a look at the types of co-working spaces available in Alaska,
If you want to try a taste of connected frontier living, check out Geeks in the Woods and their location in Valdez. It’s a unique opportunity to live in a remote area on a property that’s specifically designed for digital nomads. (And, if you come from September–March, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the Northern Lights!)
Alaska Is Waiting…
If you’ve been given the opportunity to make your home nearly anywhere in the world, why not choose to move to Alaska? We love it here, and we think you will, too. There’s never been a better time to make the move and kick off the experience of a lifetime in the Last Frontier.
Want some help moving your belongings to Alaska? We handle moves of all sizes, and we’d be happy to help you. Whether you’re transitioning the contents of a studio apartment or a multi-family house, we’ve got custom options, tailored to your move and your budget. Just reach out to get started with a free quote.
Tell us about your move!