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Old 07-25-2007, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,067,156 times
Reputation: 925

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The pay for health care workers is much better here in Burlington. Both my wife and myself work in health care, and you get paid by how much experience you also have. We both earn more than $30/hr, but we both have close to 20 yrs experience. I shouldn't complain about what I make per hour, but both my wife and I still are discouraged when friends of ours in other states with similar or cheaper cost of living make close to twenty dollars more per hour doing the same work in smaller hospitals. When I first moved here I was only making 12.50 an hour. That is a pathetic amount of money for the type of responsibility we have.

You will find more opportunity in larger areas like Burlington, Barre/Montpelier or Rutvegas(Rutland). It can be very difficult to get any type of work living in on of the rural communities.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,907,188 times
Reputation: 450
Actually, Brattleboro isn't really a rural community. It is a small town, yes, but a cosmopolitan one with some urban amenities. It is, however, hours away from cities, with the exception of Keene, New Hampshire, a very small city. Thaer may be others, but I am not, as yet aware of them.

Low salaries and high cost of living are a big issue. Vermont may give a higher quality of life, in terms of clean air, water and food, low crime, etc., but financial stress and resentment can counter much of that. I need to be able to know I can pay the bills and have money left over for savings and discretionary spending. And I do not want to be resentful. Of course, I suppose I could let go of the anger and concentrate on my reasons for moving there, and, I hope, I could supplement my income with other things.

Otherwise, it would be better for me to move to a NYC suburb, but NYC suburbs are expensive too.

Do you do anything to supplement your income? For example, a second job, rental income, a side business, etc?

What other states to you refer to with higher salaries and lower costs of living? What about New York State near the Vermont border? What about Massachusetts and New Hampshire? I know Pennsylvania has a lower cost of living, but I don't want to be in Pennsylvania. Nor do I want to move to North Carolina, although I have a couple of friends who moved to South Carolina.

I really want to be in New York or New England.

Last edited by arel; 07-25-2007 at 06:43 AM..
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:00 PM
 
Location: N.H.
1,022 posts, read 3,199,839 times
Reputation: 454
As an electrician in NH, and Having worked as one on occasion in VT. I can say there is a huge difference in the pay scale. Over 6 dollars an hr, and the taxes kill me. I try to avoid work there when ever possible. But sometimes I must. if you can Live on $16 to $23 an hr after almost 19% taken out just for state taxes, than you will do good. But to me this is hard.: I have a cousin that went back to farming in VT, because it paid more. LOL Organic crap. Farming hard work but rewarding. Not just in pay either.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:50 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,422,144 times
Reputation: 395
Jobs in Vt can be a very interesting topic. Quite a bit in the news about it along with other economic news. Our minimum wage is higher than our neighbors, but as a previous poster indicated more money just means more taxes drawn from it. However, most folks don't make minumum wage and the wages are still short of comparable workers in other regions. Then of course when you figure in we have the highest per capita tax burden it stings a bit more. Lots of employers here will low ball on salaries and seem to be content with dealing with high turnover rates. Last January my wife became frustrated with her wage and increasing work load and got an offer from a competator exceeding her current wage. Well, her employer realized they really did not want to lose her so they exceeded the offer in effect giving her a 21% increase. As far as construction goes major projects are not all that frequent to keep folks on the job year round. In today's news it was announced that new housing starts were down 44% from March 2006. In a state with limited growth this is not good news. It's true that our home values have actually increased a bit compared to other states and also that we have the lowest rate of foreclosure in the US, but this does not provide relief for the majority of first home buyers and also the bulk of middle class workers. I know quite a few people who work second jobs and even more who work in jobs unrelated to their experience and education.
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Old 08-01-2007, 04:22 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,907,188 times
Reputation: 450
I find the economic issues very concerning. Yes, Vermont can provide beautiful scenery, clean air, clean water, local food (without a lot of the food-supply problems talked about on the news), but if you make less money than in the surrounding areas, and that small income is heavily taxed (19%, on top of Federal Income Tax???) and your basic costs are so high, how can you enjoy your quality of life? If you are working constantly to make ends meet and/or if you are burdened with more work responsibility than you want, what kind of quality of life is that?

I find myself resentful at times with the tax burden here in NYC. Federal and state income taxes take a large bite out of income. Property taxes have doubled in the last few years and are quite burdensome. I imagine that in Vermont, I'll have a much lower gross income and an even higher tax burden.

But people I meet in Brattleboro seem content and most say they love living there. I and others have asked on iBrattleboro.com about life in Brattleboro. Responses, although often reflective and measured, have been generally positive.

I want to move to improve the quality of my life. I want to get away from the dirt, pollution, rudeness, rampant dishonesty, materialism, crime, congestion, and potential threats of terrorism, aging infrastructure and hurricanes here in New York. I want clean air and water, pure food, nice people, visual beauty, small town life with a cosmopolitan population, arts, civic engagement and lots of stuff to do. That spells Brattleboro. But I need support myself financially and I want to be able to live beneath my means.

I'm wondering if there is a cultural difference between financial stress in Vermont and in New York. In New York, I think financial stress has a conotation of personal failure, since the potential exists (in theory, at least) to make lots of money. In Vermont, there is the perception that everyone struggles, unless you are an independently wealthy flatlander (probably a New Yorker) so there is not that sense of personal failure. In other words, you attribute the blame to the environment, rather than to yourself. Also, your expectations are different. And so your quality of life does not suffer as much. I only speculating here, though. I'd love to see others' takes on this.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,067,156 times
Reputation: 925
Is there a better quality of life here in Vt? I think this is a yes and no question. We have natural beauty all around us, there is cleaner air and water and there is access to fresh foods. There are all of the things you mentioned here in Vt, but many people don't get the opportunity to appreciate all of these things all the time. Between working and paying bills and all the other things that have to be done in ones life, many of these positives are missed or taken for granted most days. You need to be able to survive with the means you are willing settle for to really appreciate and take in everything this state has to offer. I would love to hike and swim and do all the things I love to do here every day, but I need to work everyday so that I can live here. My wife and I are coming to terms with what we are going to do about retirement now. We are able to take advantage of many of the nice things Vt has to offer, but we may need to move because we may not have enough to live on when we reach retirement (Lord knows we can't depend on social security.).

You need to be able to separate how it's like when you vacation in Vermont to what it's like to live here and work here. I fell into this when I first moved here and found that although there are many positives, life is really no different than anywhere else. I still have to work, pay bills, save for retirement and all the other things I had to do anywhere else I ever lived.
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 27,912 times
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too bad this is happening even in the bowls of vermont. vermont wont be for the vermonters anymore. the only people who will be able to afford to *really* live there are those 'from away' as they say in maine. people who got rich in some horrible city, now able to pay whatever is necessary to live in some place fantastic.
great.
i think i need a drink.
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:47 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,422,144 times
Reputation: 395
Work sure does get in the way of life, but at least here I don't have to travel considerable distances to go for a hike or swim for just the price of gas getting there. The sad thing is that because job schedules and days off not matching my wife and I rarely get to go out together. We also are aggressively putting away for retirement and unless things change here we don't envision being able to stay. As much as it pains me to say so it is only by the virtue of outsiders with money coming here that will keep the value of my property high enough to be able to eventually sell and roll the proceeds over into something more affordable. I mentioned this earlier in another post but for those interested in housing and wage data check out housingawareness.org and click on the 2007 housing and wage report for details.
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,067,156 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by flu189 View Post
Work sure does get in the way of life, but at least here I don't have to travel considerable distances to go for a hike or swim for just the price of gas getting there. The sad thing is that because job schedules and days off not matching my wife and I rarely get to go out together. We also are aggressively putting away for retirement and unless things change here we don't envision being able to stay. As much as it pains me to say so it is only by the virtue of outsiders with money coming here that will keep the value of my property high enough to be able to eventually sell and roll the proceeds over into something more affordable. I mentioned this earlier in another post but for those interested in housing and wage data check out housingawareness.org and click on the 2007 housing and wage report for details.
We are in the same boat as you are. We are putting as much as we can into retirement, but there will be a small chance we could continue to live here when we reach retirement.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:11 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,422,144 times
Reputation: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68vette View Post
We are in the same boat as you are. We are putting as much as we can into retirement, but there will be a small chance we could continue to live here when we reach retirement.
Yikes! If the markets keep going the way they are over the past week we will all be working to the day we are pronounced dead. I have to leave for a two week stint with the ARNG on Saturday and I will not be able to follow the markets which at this point I feel will be good for my sanity.
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