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Old 05-27-2020, 04:26 PM
 
43 posts, read 23,702 times
Reputation: 47

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My spouse and I are considering a relocation to LA for a job opportunity. We live in South Florida and both work as nurse/nurse practitioner.

I have some limited experience with LA, having worked on contract for one of the hospitals for 6 months last year, so I do have some knowledge regarding the atrocious traffic, fires and earthquakes. Overall, I enjoyed my experience there. As some may know, the working conditions for nurses in the South are terrible; overworked, underpaid, disrespected, the list goes on. Within the nursing community, California is known as the promised land for nurses due to unions, a State law regarding safe staffing ratios and several magnet-designated hospitals and the benefit of having a defined benefit pension plan (at UC).

We are hesitating due to the financial aspect of the project. Lots of friends (including 1 Cali expat) are warning us that despite making more money, we would be in a worse place financially due to the COL... Here in FL, our current household income is 179k. Making the move, our joint income would go up to 290k. To put things into perspective, here in FL, we currently pay 1950$/month for a 1bdr condo. Car insurance for 2 cars is 200$/month. Electric 75$/month and Internet is 55$/month. My spouse would be working in Santa Monica, and would like to keep his commute at max 45 mins, so I assume that we would be looking at some pretty expensive rent :-S.

So, we were just wondering if anyone out here could give their advice on the matter... do you think this is worth it or we are just gonna be in a worse place financially. Also, if anyone has made the move from South Florida to Los Angeles, place share your experience (are you happy with your decision or are you regretting the move).

Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,410 posts, read 911,372 times
Reputation: 1181
It sounds like you are planning to rent here....I'm not sure how much sq footage you currently have, but I think you will be fine out here. Your car insurance will most likely be around the same. Our electric is billed bi-monthly. We have central air, on a 3 floor townhouse and we pay around 200-250 (we have a nest, but like it cold.) Internet, we pay for upgraded speeds, simply as I work from home--90 a month. Our rent is less than 3K, which is NOT the norm for a place like ours...we knew where we wanted to live and were lucky to get a unit. However, you can easily find a 1-2 bedroom for under or around 3k...just expect it to potentially not have amenities (if you have any now) like a pool, etc. Neighborhoods-you'd be fine looking in Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Brentwood, Palms, Playa Vista, even Culver City, to have a 45 minute commute. Food is cheaper than the East Coast--although keep in mind, you will be hit with higher taxes, when it comes to payroll, dining, shopping, etc. Keep that in mind.

290K is in range with what my husband and I make and we do just fine--we pay our bills, save money, invest money, travel, etc. Just keep in mind, West Coast people are very different than East Coast people. I'm originally from the NYC area and my parents are now in South Florida.

I'm at UC Health, too, btw Best place I've ever worked, I will not leave.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Palmdale, California 93551
43 posts, read 8,622 times
Reputation: 135
I'm a California native/lifer, so I have not "made the move" so to speak. Take it for what it's worth.

I have been to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami Beach, so I have a vague familiarity with the area. With a combined income of $290k, you could live in a range of places within 45 minutes of Santa Monica.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably go with a community like Sherman Oaks just over the hill off the 405. Speaking of which, the 405 is going to be the main artery. Rents will be cheaper there than in Santa Monica, to be certain. If you want beach living, there are the South Bay cities (El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes) which are fairly close to Santa Monica going down the 405 in the other direction.

Prices in Miami and LA will be similar. Unlike Florida, you'll have an income tax here in California, but if you consider what the state would be giving you in terms of your chosen career path, it could be considered a fair trade off. People with an education are treated a lot better in California than they are in other states, to be sure.

Truly, though, you need to come to Southern California for a week and scope the place out.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Palmdale, California 93551
43 posts, read 8,622 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephy0519 View Post

290K is in range with what my husband and I make and we do just fine--we pay our bills, save money, invest money, travel, etc. Just keep in mind, West Coast people are very different than East Coast people. I'm originally from the NYC area and my parents are now in South Florida.

I'm at UC Health, too, btw Best place I've ever worked, I will not leave.

This is true. I'm a lifelong Californian. When I visited Miami the first time, I loved the palm trees, the clear-blue warm Atlantic water and the sand. Truly amazing when you compare it to our often-foggy, cold, Pacific Ocean climate!

That being said, though, I was surprised by the lack of warmth in the people I encountered in Miami. It seemed very much like a "each man to himself" kind of place with lots of hustle and bustle. People just weren't as friendly or outgoing as I had pictured in my mind. Having been in and around Los Angeles all of my life, people here are more outgoing, more likely to strike up a conversation and just overall friendlier. Granted, I was only in Miami for two weeks, but I feel as if that was long enough to make a fair assessment of the place.

I realize that Miami and South Florida are an outlet for higher-paced cities like NYC and Boston, and this may have contributed to what I was feeling.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:57 PM
 
880 posts, read 902,209 times
Reputation: 1122
Have never lived in or visited South Florida, so can't comment on that.

Given that your current rent is under $2K/month with combined income of $179K and no state income tax, it sounds like you are saving a lot of money and have a lot of discretionary income to travel a lot, eat out often, etc.

However, even with increased COL, at a combined income of $290K, you'll be doing just fine in LA. All else equal and assuming no major debts, etc. I'd say that you're in a position where you can afford to rent a place at $5-6K/month with an ability to still save. Again, it just depends on your priorities and how much of your gross income you want to spend on housing.

You can certainly afford Santa Monica or nearby areas such as Brentwood or Marina Del Rey. Or as mentioned, you can go out a little further to the coastal South Bay cities while somewhere in the Valley such as Sherman Oaks will offer more bang for the buck. With your combined income, you definitely have a lot of options where you can keep the commute relatively short.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
3,810 posts, read 2,064,572 times
Reputation: 4617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ombrages View Post
My spouse and I are considering a relocation to LA for a job opportunity. We live in South Florida and both work as nurse/nurse practitioner.

I have some limited experience with LA, having worked on contract for one of the hospitals for 6 months last year, so I do have some knowledge regarding the atrocious traffic, fires and earthquakes. Overall, I enjoyed my experience there. As some may know, the working conditions for nurses in the South are terrible; overworked, underpaid, disrespected, the list goes on. Within the nursing community, California is known as the promised land for nurses due to unions, a State law regarding safe staffing ratios and several magnet-designated hospitals and the benefit of having a defined benefit pension plan (at UC).

We are hesitating due to the financial aspect of the project. Lots of friends (including 1 Cali expat) are warning us that despite making more money, we would be in a worse place financially due to the COL... Here in FL, our current household income is 179k. Making the move, our joint income would go up to 290k. To put things into perspective, here in FL, we currently pay 1950$/month for a 1bdr condo. Car insurance for 2 cars is 200$/month. Electric 75$/month and Internet is 55$/month. My spouse would be working in Santa Monica, and would like to keep his commute at max 45 mins, so I assume that we would be looking at some pretty expensive rent :-S.

So, we were just wondering if anyone out here could give their advice on the matter... do you think this is worth it or we are just gonna be in a worse place financially. Also, if anyone has made the move from South Florida to Los Angeles, place share your experience (are you happy with your decision or are you regretting the move).

Thank you in advance.
I am curious where in So. Florida you are currently....big difference between say Boca vs. Miami, etc.

I grew up in LA County but did live for a few years on the east coast (NYC area/DC) before moving back to LA. I have a cousin that went to U. of F. in Gainesville and still lives there. I think I have been to Florida about 8 times as an adult (with the vast majority of those trips to So. Fla).

I get the appeal of Miami/So. Fla. and even considered moving there at one point. I have traveled extensively to Latin America and Miami is a great beachhead to travel there. I also love the winters in So. Fla, the blue/warm ocean, palm trees and white sand. That said, I personally prefer So. Calif. I think So. Fla. is more one dimensional than So. Calif.

As much as I prefer the So. Fla winters to our winters here, the rest of the year is far better in LA. The summers are much more pleasant here....and fewer bugs.

You will need to weigh all those cost of living items you mentioned. Personal income tax will be a factor in Calif (no income tax in Fla). But utilities are likely to be less in Calif. My sister lives about 1.5 miles from the ocean in Orange County....and she says they use their AC like 3 weeks out of the year. Even in my case I live just outside of Downtown LA and I go months without needing any AC. Many summer nights I don't even need it....
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,410 posts, read 911,372 times
Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple92680 View Post
This is true. I'm a lifelong Californian. When I visited Miami the first time, I loved the palm trees, the clear-blue warm Atlantic water and the sand. Truly amazing when you compare it to our often-foggy, cold, Pacific Ocean climate!

That being said, though, I was surprised by the lack of warmth in the people I encountered in Miami. It seemed very much like a "each man to himself" kind of place with lots of hustle and bustle. People just weren't as friendly or outgoing as I had pictured in my mind. Having been in and around Los Angeles all of my life, people here are more outgoing, more likely to strike up a conversation and just overall friendlier. Granted, I was only in Miami for two weeks, but I feel as if that was long enough to make a fair assessment of the place.

I realize that Miami and South Florida are an outlet for higher-paced cities like NYC and Boston, and this may have contributed to what I was feeling.
I don't disagree that people are more willing to strike up a convo out here...but you are more likely, one you get past the "walls" of east coasters, to make more long term friends. At least in LA, I have found people to initially be friendly, but, often it is very superficial--if you can't do something for them, you may not hear from them again, past that initial meeting. I will say I have not found that to be the case outside of LA (and parts of OC.) East Coasters can definitely have an initial lack of warmth, but once you get past that, the friendliness and potential for long term friends is definitely there.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
40 posts, read 19,969 times
Reputation: 121
Well I moved here to LA from Miami a little over 2 years ago. I will disagree with one thing I've seen posted. I don't think your car insurance will remain the same. Obviously car insurance is a bit quirky since how it's calculated takes into account a lot of stuff some which have nothing to do with driving. When I moved here from Miami my car insurance increased by a non-trivial amount (I'm with GEICO). I was actually pretty shocked since I've not been in any accidents or had any kind of tickets to cause the increase (I did subsequently get a ticket from a red-light camera which I took a class to have suppressed, but the increase in my insurance was BEFORE that even occurred) so that is something to be considered.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:33 PM
 
257 posts, read 72,413 times
Reputation: 366
> our joint income would go up to 290k.
Two nurses earn $290k in California.
That's one of the reasons why Health Care in California is so expensive.

Fortunately, Tijuana is close.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:30 PM
 
43 posts, read 23,702 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiger79 View Post
Well I moved here to LA from Miami a little over 2 years ago. I will disagree with one thing I've seen posted. I don't think your car insurance will remain the same. Obviously car insurance is a bit quirky since how it's calculated takes into account a lot of stuff some which have nothing to do with driving. When I moved here from Miami my car insurance increased by a non-trivial amount (I'm with GEICO). I was actually pretty shocked since I've not been in any accidents or had any kind of tickets to cause the increase (I did subsequently get a ticket from a red-light camera which I took a class to have suppressed, but the increase in my insurance was BEFORE that even occurred) so that is something to be considered.
To give a better idea, your policy has increased by how much?
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