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Old 11-15-2007, 04:52 PM
15 posts, read 53,634 times
Reputation: 44


I currently teach in Brooklyn, New York and want to relocate to Florida. The pay is decent. I make 46,000 as a second year special education teacher pursuing my masters. Yet, the cost of living in NYC is extremely expensive. For example, an average one bedroom apartment is 1200 and houses start at 350,000. After taxes i bring home 1100. At the moment half of my income goes to rent. What are some of the pros and cons of teaching and living in florida. I read on another forum that insurance was high. Is this car, house or medical insurance? I don't mind teaching in the ghetto, because i teach there now, but I don't want to live there. Can i purchase a decent house for 150,000 or will this be in the ghetto? I am a city girl and would like to live in an urban area, no country please. As a teacher are there opportunities to make xtra money doing after school programs or saturday school? I want to get the most bang for my buck and enjoy warm climate at the same time. For anyone who wants to know the cost of living in comparison to teacher salary in Detroit, Michigan ( its my home) is great if you can stand the cold. You can purchase a nice house for under 100,000 and taxes are reasonable.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:33 PM
Location: Boston
137 posts, read 961,425 times
Reputation: 68
Florida is a right to work state. No teachers union to protect you or regulate class size. I thought about teaching in Florida, but the pay there (in cities) did not seem good compared to the cost of living. I have heard lots of Florida teacher horror stories. Check into the pensions and health insurance too.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:27 PM
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla
1,888 posts, read 7,557,453 times
Reputation: 1557
I'm in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Teachers pay starts at around 35k (I think) and even with your experience, I don't think you'll even get 40k. As far as the apartment rent and home prices are concerned, it sounds pretty similar to what you just quoted. There's a huge disparity here between the (true) cost of living and what the employers here are willing to pay. Florida's not so 'cheap' anymore. Hopefully, someone from another area can come along with more hopeful news for you.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:50 PM
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,733,333 times
Reputation: 890
Where in Florida? I can tell you that Florida is at will hire and fire state. I do therapy at a school that has managed to fire (without cause) 3 teachers this year. They make 30-35K (at a special school). I live in Tampa. Rent for a 1 bedroom in a decent neighborhood can be between 700-800 (living in the happening part of Tampa would be more like over 1000). The food is just as expensive as it was when I lived in Chicago, yet not even 1/4 as good. Insurance rates are high, but that is more homeowners I believe (because of hurricanes). The more urban areas of Florida are really Tampa, Jacksonville (I believe?), Orlando, and Miami. All of those are not really cheaper than what you describe, have tight job markets and may pay less. I'm not saying that you shouldn't go for it, but it's not really as cheap as I think you are imagining.
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:11 PM
847 posts, read 3,373,097 times
Reputation: 240
The pay is horrible, the schools are horrible, the cost of living is expensive, stay where you are. I am not sure where you will get a home for that price that is not in the ghetto although I only live in one part of Florida.
Seriously look into this before you make a decision, I am outta here as soon as I can be!
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:45 PM
363 posts, read 1,777,941 times
Reputation: 340
Default florida

As you may be aware, home prices-especially in higher priced SE Florida are coming down. I teach in South Florida. I guess it really depends on what your interests are and if you like living here. On this forum you will get a lot of people that like/dislike Florida. Starting pay in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach and Broward County (Ft Laud area) is about 38,000. (with masters-tack on another 3000) For 150,000 you can "now" buy smaller-nice condos. Se Florida is more urban and has all the amenities one could need. However, this is not urban NYC. Many county districts offer after school camps. tutoring etc.. for more pay. Also, National Board Certification, pays a teacher an extra 10,000 in Florida schools.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:29 PM
2 posts, read 23,062 times
Reputation: 11
Default Moving To Port Charlotte Or Cape Coral

I Can't Seem To Find Out About Home Owners Insurance Rates, just A Lot Of Vague Horror Stories. I've Tried To Call Insurance Brokers And They Won't Help Unless I Have A Specific Home Address.

Any Help In This Matter Would Be Much Appreciated!!
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:18 PM
Location: Cape Coral
172 posts, read 818,488 times
Reputation: 44
you will be payed less and you definitely wont be able to afford a house anywhere in a 'city' like area with 150k..even in the downtown areas its a far cry from NYC..

anywhere you can afford something for that will probably be in the ghetto or in the country somewhere where youll be payed even less.

the cost of rent isnt all that outrageous compared to what youd pay here in a comparable area.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:16 PM
Location: Midwest transplant
2,050 posts, read 5,488,420 times
Reputation: 1619
Try North Carolina--they are building schools, desperate for teachers and the weather will at least be three seasons for you. Florida in the late spring & summer can be unbearable!

Teachers in Michigan are about the 4th highest paid in the country, and they have a wonderful retirement system as well. Special education teachers are in high demand all over the state--you could definitely buy a house on a teacher's salary in Michigan-I have friends who have and continue to do so.

I teach in Pennsylvania, not even a major city, and our starting salary is higher than what you are making now. Housing here can be had for under $100,000 in some areas! Nice houses in the suburbs can be had for 100-150!
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:44 PM
38 posts, read 160,443 times
Reputation: 18
I must admit that I did not read all of the responses, so I hope this isn't redundant. A few thoughts in reponse to your questions...

1) Assuming you are a Tier 4 teacher on the NYS retirement system - after 30 years you will retire at 60% of final salary. Salaries in NY state climb much higher toward the end of the career than Florida salaries. In Florida, after 30 years, teachers retire with 50% of the average of the salary of the last three years. My school district tops out at about $58,500 with a masters degree right now. I work in the highest paying district in North Florida. Southern Florida districts may pay more money, but the cost of living is exponentially higher down there.

2) The education system in Florida is not funded the way the education system is in NY. Student expenditure is thousands less per student.

3) No income tax in Florida, so that might help.

4) I don't think you would be able to buy anything in a decent area for $150,000, especially in an urban area. Prices in North Florida are lower than other areas of the state. You could probably buy a 1 bd condo for $100-150k. Jacksonville is the urban area here. Schools in Duval county have a very bad reputation. I don't work there, so I don't know for sure.

5) Florida home owners recently saw a decrease in property taxes. Problem is, schools were struggling financially already. Now they are really in a financial bind. Most school districts have seen double digit million dollar decreases in funding this year.

6) Health insurance for a family costs $400 per paycheck in my current district (out of 20 of 24 paychecks per year).

Every place has its ups and downs. My husband and I are both educators here in FL. For the meantime, staying here is a greater benefit than leaving, despite all the problems. I'm sure some of the grass here is greener. Just check out the brown patches before you move.

Good luck!!!

Last edited by oxymoron; 04-20-2008 at 07:46 PM.. Reason: typo - oops!
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