CNBC make it 2024-03-30 02:00:49


The 10 most in-demand remote jobs paying over $100,000 that companies are hiring for right now

Remote jobs are getting harder to come by. 

As of December 2023, remote jobs made up less than 10% of postings advertised on LinkedIn, down from a high of 20.6% in March 2022 — even though close to half of jobseekers prefer remote roles.

The good news for remote jobseekers is that some industries are still hiring for roles that can be done from home, and many come with six-figure salaries.

To examine where remote hiring is happening the most for high-paying jobs, FlexJobs identified the top 10 occupations with the highest number of remote job openings on their site between January and March 2024 that pay more than $100,000. 

The top industries offering ample remote work opportunities with six-figure salaries include tech, marketing and project management, per FlexJobs data provided to CNBC Make It.

With that in mind, here are some in-demand, high-paying remote jobs that can earn you a salary of $100,000 or more, according to data from FlexJobs and Payscale: 

1. Senior software engineer

Average salary: $126,956

2. Product manager

Average salary: $106,525

3. Senior product designer

Average salary: $128,618

4. Senior product marketing manager

Average salary: $135,558

5. Engineering manager

Average salary: $121,560

6. Senior DevOps engineer

Average salary: $129,515

7. Senior data engineer

Average salary: $128,783

8. Senior project manager

Average salary: $104,496

9. Regional sales director

Average salary: $109,268

10. Senior machine learning engineer

Average salary: $155,722

Some of the fastest-growing remote jobs are in STEM fields (engineering, product design, data science), which have seen steady remote job growth in the past year despite recent layoffs in the tech sector, says Toni Frana, FlexJobs’ lead career expert. 

“We’ve seen some pretty dramatic changes over the last year with the introduction and adoption of various AI technologies,” she adds. “Organizations across different industries need tech talent that can help them innovate and keep pace with the quick-changing landscape, and hiring remotely helps them expand their applicant pool.”

While several of the most in-demand remote jobs are senior-level positions, there are some intermediate and entry-level remote roles companies have been increasingly hiring for in recent months, including account executives, customer service representatives and staff accountants, Frana points out, citing FlexJobs internal data.

If you’re looking to land a high-paying remote job, Frana recommends tailoring your search around different keywords (for example: “work from home,” “virtual,” “telecommute” or “flexible”). Pair these keywords with related job titles or skill sets (for example: “virtual project manager”). 

You should also consider updating your technical skills. Frana says remote employers are eager to hire candidates who can “quickly adapt” to new technologies, whether it’s an AI tool or new data analytics software, and use these tools to work more efficiently. She recommends checking out YouTube tutorials on different tools, or considering an online certificate program.

Frana adds: “Any technical skill you can highlight on your resume will be highly valuable to employers as the remote work landscape continues to evolve.”

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The income a family of 4 needs to live comfortably in 20 major U.S. cities

A family of four needs to make more than $275,000 to live comfortably in some of the most expensive U.S. cities, a recent SmartAsset analysis reveals.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget for a family of two adults and two kids. This budget assumes that 50% of the monthly income can pay for necessities like housing and utility costs, 30% can cover discretionary spending and 20% can be set aside for savings or investments.

SmartAsset extrapolated the income needed for a 50/30/20 budget based on the cost of necessities, using data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Here’s a look how much income a family of four needs to live comfortably in the 20 most expensive U.S. cities: 

  1. San Francisco: $339,123
  2. San Jose, California: $334,547
  3. Boston: $319,738
  4. Arlington, Virginia: $318,573
  5. New York City: $318,406
  6. Oakland, California: $316,243
  7. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii: $299,520
  8. Irvine, California: $291,450
  9. Santa Ana, California: $291,450
  10. Portland, Oregon: $289,786
  11. San Diego: $289,453
  12. Chula Vista, California: $289,453
  13. Newark, New Jersey: $285,043
  14. Jersey City, New Jersey: $285,043
  15. Seattle: $283,712
  16. Aurora, Colorado: $280,467
  17. Long Beach, California: $280,218
  18. Anaheim, California: $280,218
  19. Los Angeles: $276,557
  20. Washington, D.C.: $275,642

San Francisco is the most expensive overall, with an income of $339,123 needed for a family of four. That’s followed by other cities known for having notoriously expensive housing costs, including Boston, New York City, Honolulu and Los Angeles.

In California, homes are about twice as expensive as the typical U.S. home, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, a nonpartisan government agency in that state. The state also has the fourth-highest cost of living in the U.S., based on 2023 Council for Community & Economic Research survey data.

Out of all 99 cities SmartAsset examined, a family of four would need a median of $226,886 to live comfortably. In Houston, the income needed drops to $175,219 — the lowest of all cities examined. But that’s still higher than the median family income in the U.S. of $92,750, according to the most recent U.S. Census bureau data available.

While employers in these high-cost cities tend to offer higher-than-average salaries as a way to attract and retain talent, housing costs can make it difficult to maintain a 50/30/20 budget.

And in large cities, housing costs often exceed 30% of a household income, leaving little room for other necessities like utilities, food and transportation. To make ends meet, families might skip out on homeownership, owning a vehicle or discretionary purchases.

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I’ve been retired in Mexico for 6 years—a luxury that ‘presents a new, unexpected set of challenges’

I never really thought about retirement. Then, suddenly, it was 2018 and I was old enough to collect Social Security and stop working.

A dozen years earlier, I’d moved to Mazatlán, Mexico. Unlike some expats, I still needed to support myself. I’d been a journalist in California, so I started an English-language magazine and published it monthly for a decade.

I sold the business when I began receiving Social Security at age 62. Should I have waited longer? Perhaps. But I was ready to get out of the rat race. I needed to see who I was without the pressures of working so much. And, truth be told, I wanted an adventure.

Today, at age 68, I’m still retired. I do a little freelance writing, but without the stress of a daily job. Having my time really and truly be my own is a luxury. I’m grateful for every moment.

But being retired presents a new, unexpected set of challenges, too. Here’s what I didn’t see coming.

A lack of schedule can be empowering

At first, it was hard to let go of the feeling that I needed to be “measurably productive” every day.

My job was a big part of my identity, and I always gave 110%. As my own boss, I was basically responsible for everything from ad sales and design to editing, writing and distribution. And when your office is at home, it’s difficult to stop working at 5 o’clock or see weekends as days off.

Slowly but surely, though, my new normal developed, one that didn’t include as much stress or hectic scheduling. I still make lists — it’s just who I am — but things can often move from day to day or week to week, and that works just fine.

Do I transplant the big palm in the living room this Friday or next Wednesday? Should I do grocery shopping today or tomorrow? It really doesn’t matter, and I do such a small amount of freelance work that those deadlines are easy to meet.

I might spend all day planning and making a new recipe, or get absorbed in a book and read for hours. An especially beautiful morning might mean having a beach day instead of whatever else I’d planned.

I’m starting to look into volunteer opportunities, a first for me. And I can be spontaneous: A meal or phone call with a friend might turn into an afternoon-long get-together.

Productivity still matters for me — it just isn’t the only metric I use to judge how fulfilling my life is anymore. Funny as it sounds, I had to re-learn just how much contentment, joy and personal satisfaction matter, too.

A lack of structure can throw you off balance

Being retired means having more free time, and many of us begin to think more deeply about things. It’s easy to feel lost and wonder if what you’ve accomplished so far is all you’ll ever do with your life. At times, I feel desperate or determined to do at least some of the things I’ve always wanted to do. I rethink my bucket list frequently.

Some of that has to do with a lack of structure. You can’t spend every moment of your retirement jet-setting or living a vacation lifestyle, and most of us can’t afford that, anyway.

So, what do you do with yourself every day?

For me, it starts with cultivating a certain self-discipline and positive mindset, no matter what. That’s vitally important for counteracting those unsettling sensations of feeling unmoored without a game plan for the future.

The next step is learning that a less busy lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring. I’m finally able to take more time for self-care, for example: a daily siesta, regular yoga and stretching, and staying in touch more with family and friends.

Instead of a mad rush to get to work, my mornings are peaceful, with time to journal, meditate, make a careful cup of coffee and slowly allow the day to begin.

You need a new mindset to thrive

As I watch people struggling with problems and situations I’ve lived through and somehow (miraculously!) gotten to the other side of, I remember how those things felt when they were happening to me.

Relationships or marriage(s) gone wrong, financial anxieties, obnoxious bosses or roommates or in-laws, the challenges of child rearing? Been there, done that.

As a result, I’ve seen my heart become softer and more compassionate toward others, and kindness become more of my go-to response. I’m learning to be patient and non-judgmental with myself, too. Rather than regretting that I don’t have more material things or financial freedom, I’m trying to be grateful for the many blessings I do have in my life.

That’s important, regardless of your age when you retire: Not having to go to work is only the beginning. You can dare to be open to possibility in ways you never imagined before — including, in my case, living in another country.

Stresses and worries about any number of things do their best to haunt me. I try hard to see the glass as half full. It’s a choice to think like this, and it’s not always easy. But the alternative is not the me I want to be.

Janet Blaser is a writer who has lived in Mexico since 2006. A former journalist in California, her work now focuses on expat living. Janet’s first book, “Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats” is an Amazon bestseller. Follow Janet on Instagram and Facebook.

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2 simple ways to get people to listen when you speak, according to a Stanford communication expert

You’re probably not as good of a listener as you think you are.

Statistically, it’s true for most people. Many professionals believe that they’re highly attentive, but 70% of them actually exhibit poor listening habits in the workplace, according to a 2020 University of Southern California report. So you’ve got to be clever if you want to grasp someone’s attention, says Matt Abrahams, a communication consultant and organizational behavior lecturer at Stanford University.

It’s a lesson that Abrahams learned, in part, while lecturing. Polite requests for his students’ attention fell on deaf ears, drowned out by their “chit-chatting,” he tells CNBC Make It.

Here are the two ways he recommends commanding a room instead.

Don’t say anything at all

You’re in a meeting room, chatting with co-workers. One of your company’s executives walks up to the front of the room, stands behind a podium and gazes out at the group. Odds are good that you’ll stop talking.

“One of the best things to do to command attention and get people to be quiet is to actually just stand in front of them and not say anything,” Abrahams says. “Just to physically stand up in a position where everybody can see you.”

It only takes four seconds for silence to become awkward, according to a Dutch psychology study published in 2011. It might feel uncomfortable for you too, but the awkwardness alone “will typically draw people in,” says Abrahams.

While you’re waiting, you can try to control your breathing or clear your mind. “It’s very hard to stand in silence, but that can be very helpful,” he adds.

Make a declarative statement, repeat it if necessary

Saying something impactful or thought-provoking with no warning can have a similar effect, says Abrahams.

“Just this past Monday, we were talking [in class] about nonverbal presence. They’re all talking and I just stood there for a moment. And then I said, ‘How you say something is often as important or more important than what you say,’” Abrahams says. “And then I paused, and they’re still shuffling on, and then I repeated it. And then everybody was quiet.”

Put simply, don’t ask for control — just demonstrate it. You can also try other tactics like starting a big presentation with a question, or playing music before an event starts, which signals that something else is about to happen, says Abrahams.

“Just exerting that control, either by asking a question, standing in silence or making some kind of declarative sentence that’s provocative will help people [listen],” he says. “You might have to repeat yourself once or twice, but that’s what I do.”

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California, not Florida, is home to the richest retirement towns in the U.S.

There’s plenty of towns across the U.S. where Americans can retire affordably and live out their golden years without breaking the bank. But where do retirees with bigger nest eggs like to settle down? 

Earlier this month, personal finance site GoBankingRates.com ranked the richest retirement towns in the country. The site examined American cities with a minimum population of 15,000 of which at least 25% of residents are aged 65 or older.

The 131 qualifying cities were then ranked by median household income based on data from the 2022 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Of the 10 richest retirement towns in the country, the wealthiest has a median household income of $166,747 while the No. 10 town’s median income is $124,460. 

California towns dominated the list, with the Golden State being home to not only the richest retirement town in the country but also four of the top 10. Meanwhile Florida, one of the most popular states in the nation for retirees, had one city in the top 10 of the rich list.

America’s richest retirement town: Ranchos Palos Verdes, California

Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif. ranked as the richest retirement town, with a median household income of $166,747.

The coastal city is a suburb of Los Angeles and is known for its extensive hiking trails, highly rated school district and high property values, according to the education ranking platform Niche.

Residents aged 65 and over make up 26.2% of the total population, with just under 11,000 seniors living in Ranchos Palos Verdes.

The average Rancho Palos Verdes home value is $1,909,216, up 8.4% over the past year, according to Zillow.

The high home value goes hand in hand with the fact that the cost of living is 104% higher than the national average, according to PayScale. Housing expenses are 328% higher than the national average, while utility prices are 11% higher.

To retire in a California city like Ranchos Palos Verdes, you’ll need a minimum of $1,432,425 for 25 years of retirement or a $1,720,630 minimum for 30 years of retirement, according to a January GoBankingRates.com analysis.

The 10 richest retirement towns in the U.S.

  1. Ranchos Palos Verdes, California
  2. Highland Park, Illinois
  3. Bainbridge Island, Washington
  4. East Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Melville, New York
  6. Laguna Beach, California
  7. Paramus, New Jersey
  8. Naples, Florida
  9. Walnut Creek, California
  10. Cerritos, California

Highland Park ranked as the No. 2 richest retirement town in the U.S., according to GoBankingRates.com.

The Chicago suburb has a 65-plus population of 25.3% and a median household income of $159,567.

The average Highland Park home value is $633,515, up 6.1% over the past year, according to Zillow.

Highland Park is considered one of the best places to live in the state, according to Niche.

It’s a little over 20 miles from downtown Chicago and the O’Hare International Airport is about 18 miles away. The location allows residents to be close to a large metropolitan area while still being partially along Lake Michigan.

East Honolulu is the only town in the top 10 not located in the contiguous United States. The Hawaiian town with a median household income of $141,244 has the second-highest number of senior residents in the ranking with 13,577.

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