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Old 02-24-2014, 11:08 AM
 
8 posts, read 13,955 times
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Hi All:

I have a job opportunity in Maine and am interested in hearing from anybody who has made the move from NYC to Maine for work. If I do take this job, I'd be taking a pretty big pay cut (roughly 20%) but there are certain costs of living in NYC which we will no longer have to pay if we move to Portland. I was interested in hearing from anybody who has made the move so we can try and get a handle on these costs to see where we might gain income and where we might lose it in take home pay.

For example - as a NYC resident, we pay NYC tax which is withheld from my paycheck. This is $170 a month which we will no longer be paying. I take the subway to work, and a monthly metrocard costs $112. We will no longer be paying that, but we will be spending more money for gas for our car.

There are dozens and dozens of these cost calculations which I am trying to make, and would just like to hear from anybody who has already undergone this move to see what we might be missing. We don't want to end up moving to Portland to find that we can't afford it...

Thanks,
smr260

PS - we are 99% set on living in the City of Portland proper. My wife is a NYC native and we both like living in a walkable city.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, ME
234 posts, read 300,807 times
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No offense, but if you can move from New York City to Portland, Maine and only take a 20% paycut, you do not need to worry about any of this. You could probably take a 50% paycut and still maintain the same quality of life.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:45 AM
 
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I agree with you, HTR. I'm just looking for more information so we don't get into a situation where we move to Portland and find that we are hit with unexpected costs.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Scarborough, ME
177 posts, read 371,699 times
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I moved from DC to the Portland area and there are some things we pay more for. Obviously, I don't know how DC compares to NYC for these, but energy (oil and electric) and groceries both cost much more here than in DC. Car insurance will be much less in Portland. Just a couple I thought of off the top of my head
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:05 AM
 
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Thanks Rossco. One of the things we did think of was the cost of heating in the winter, which is probably going to be somewhere from $200 to $400 a month, depending on where we live (gas or oil, energy efficient heating, etc.). Would you mind posting how much your bill is approximately during winter months? If you don't want to post that info, I understand.

The grocery cost is a little surprising. Maybe it's because things in the South are generally cheaper?
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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Hey smr,

I did this. You will be surprised at how expensive it can be to live up here.

I have a small house with well-insulated windows and high-efficiency heat, I keep the temp down to 68 usually, and crank it way down when I'm headed out of town. I just got this month's heating bill: $550. It can be well more than that in a drafty old house on Munjoy Hill or the Eastern Prom.

No, you will not be paying that NYC tax. But you will pay not only the cost for one or more vehicles, but taxes, insurance, registration, maintenance, and gas. Fuel is much more expensive up here than in NY/NJ.

Factor in also the cost of snow removal. Even in town, you have to clear your sidewalk. I pay from $35 - 50 per snowstorm for snow removal.

Groceries, about comparable to NYC, but more availability up here.

Ask more specific questions, and I'll try to help.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
25,276 posts, read 18,652,074 times
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Yes, the cost of groceries here is high, considering all other things here...doesn't make sense to me, but it is. You may pay more in winter for heat, but it depends. I suppose if you lived in a high rise or something, you had heat from other units helping you out, but do remember it's not like NYC doesn't get cold in the winter, as well. You should see a bit of an increase...depending on how you choose to heat your home. I moved from Miami...the cost of heat replaces the cost of running a/c all year; not a significant change.

Other than that, everything else is lower. Property taxes are much lower. Even if you do commute, you won't be stuck in horrid traffic causing you to spend exorbitant amounts of money on gas, as well as repairs due to wear and tear, (especially brakes).

Your car insurance will be lower. In Miami, the absolute lowest that I could find was $136 a month. Per. Month. I now pay less than $500 per year...same coverage. Registration costs are about the same for FL and ME. When I moved up here, I did go through NY, although the closest I got to city center was the Tapanzee Bridge...I tried to bypass downtown NYC altogether because I did not want to be stuck in the city at 5pm. Well, actually, I didn't want to be stuck in it at any time of day...too many people.

Anyway, from what I recall, gas prices were set a little higher in that area than they were when I finally did get to Maine. Depending on how far you commute to work, the gas for your car should be lower than your metro pass. Unless you drive 130 miles round trip each day, which I doubt you will, but that was running me about $500 a month. Most people do not drive that far for work, and if you are going to Portland, and you already know where you will be working, there would be no reason for you to drive 130 miles a day. More than likely, you're going to spend less than $112 a month...unless you go crazy and start driving all over Maine to check it out when you first get here...as I did. But normally, no, you shouldn't be spending that much.

Home prices are cheaper. I'm not going to look up NY sales tax but I'm going to wager a bet that sales tax is cheaper here. State income tax I cannot compare because this is the first time in my life that I've lived in a state that charges state income tax. As far as I'm concerned, any state income tax is too much.

Clothing is a little bit cheaper here than it was in Miami, and I'm going to guess a lot cheaper than NYC. Pet supplies are a bit cheaper, normal every day household items are a little cheaper...pretty much everything besides food and maybe heat is cheaper than anywhere else I've lived. In fact, if I were to compare this place to Seattle...where I lived over a decade ago, and I'm sure Seattle is cheaper than NYC, Maine is just now getting to the prices that I used to pay in Seattle when I left there in 2003, with exception of housing prices and property tax. Maine still hasn't gotten that high.

Anyway, if you were to make $100,000 in NYC, and you move to Maine with a 20% pay cut, trust me, you are going to be living large on $80,000. (As an example.)
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:29 AM
 
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Hi birdinmigration:

Thanks for the info on the heating. We currently live in an apartment building so that is not something we pay for directly, and it is one of the chief costs were are trying to figure out as something "new". If I take this job, we are probably going to rent a place at first and it looks like most landlords push the cost of this onto the tenant. When creating a spreadsheet budget, I estimated monthly rent for a 3 bedroom at $1900. This is probably about $300 too high because I wanted to have wiggle room for heat, water, etc.

The other increased cost we will see is health insurance. I am probably going to have to get insurance through the healthcare.gov exchange and then get reimbursed from my employer, but that cost will only be covered up to about $5000 per year. Plans don't look so hot, and this could be a dealbreaker.

Hi TWIS:
Most of your observations are correct. These amenities are probably going to be much cheaper overall, gas in particular. We generally use our car in NYC for long trips out of NYC, and I have accounted for the increase in gas costs we are likely to incur. My NYC-native wife can't really drive (she does have her license, though), so we will not need to pay for two cars. AND I will be working from home to start. I will have to travel to other parts of Maine, but I don't see that being an issue.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
25,276 posts, read 18,652,074 times
Reputation: 30052
Quote:
Originally Posted by smr260 View Post
Hi birdinmigration:

Thanks for the info on the heating. We currently live in an apartment building so that is not something we pay for directly, and it is one of the chief costs were are trying to figure out as something "new". If I take this job, we are probably going to rent a place at first and it looks like most landlords push the cost of this onto the tenant. When creating a spreadsheet budget, I estimated monthly rent for a 3 bedroom at $1900. This is probably about $300 too high because I wanted to have wiggle room for heat, water, etc.

The other increased cost we will see is health insurance. I am probably going to have to get insurance through the healthcare.gov exchange and then get reimbursed from my employer, but that cost will only be covered up to about $5000 per year. Plans don't look so hot, and this could be a dealbreaker.

Hi TWIS:
Most of your observations are correct. These amenities are probably going to be much cheaper overall, gas in particular. We generally use our car in NYC for long trips out of NYC, and I have accounted for the increase in gas costs we are likely to incur. My NYC-native wife can't really drive (she does have her license, though), so we will not need to pay for two cars. AND I will be working from home to start. I will have to travel to other parts of Maine, but I don't see that being an issue.
I live in a rental, a house, and it's a two story, two bedroom with heat included. Look around...you can find landlords who will include the heat. My cost for a two bedroom, plus internet/tv/phone/electric does not cost over a grand. Now, yes, I live further north so the prices will reflect that, but it shouldn't cost you $1900 if you look around.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:09 AM
 
8 posts, read 13,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdinmigration View Post
Hey smr,


Ask more specific questions, and I'll try to help.
What made you move from NYC to Portland? Would you do it again, now that you've seen the results?

Where do you live now? Why did you choose to live there?

Are there withholdings on your paycheck that are new (that you have noticed)? Obviously you now have ME State Withholding where there was NY, but new items?

What's the home maintenance like? Can you approximate a figure for how much you pay a month for supplies and also contractor work (like the plumber, etc.)?

Where do you shop for groceries?
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