I'm 38, my girlfriend is 34. We don't plan on/can't have kids. I work remotely so I can live anywhere in the US, but have chosen to stay in Michigan since both of our families are here.
Recently, my girlfriend got a call back for job in NYC (Manhattan, Upper West Side) which will pay her roughly $10K more than she is paid now. But it has been her dream to move to NYC so I was fine with her applying for it. Now, it is a becoming a reality which I didn't truly expect.
So, we are really considering the move now if she makes through the three rounds of interviews. With a combined income of $235K, where should we be looking to live? Any NYC folks here who can steer us in the right direction?
No offense, but this seems dumb. There's a difference between living in NYC at 22 and living there in your upper 30s.
NYC's schools have gotten worse since gifted programs have been targeted, and the elite feeder schools basically require you to go there since preschool. You also need to pay (I'm not even joking) more than $50,000 per year if you're not on scholarship (which is typically reserved for certain groups so their diversity numbers look better). Additionally, making $10k more but paying NY taxes with a (likely much) higher COL will make you feel poor. The only cheap apartments are either like 100 sq ft or in the hood.
Everyone is so distracted by the kids thing. Should have just said kids aren't an concern. What LetsRunners don't understand is not everyone wants their crotch fruit with janky genetics roaming the earth.
Anyway, you know NYC is expensive and that $235k combined will get you very little in the city, and it varies by neighborhood / state / borough. But you can make your dreams a reality for a few years on any income as long as your expectations are not crazy.
$235k will net down to $130k-ish after taxes, fica, etc. $5k per month of rent is $60k per year, so you’re down to $70kish for food, medical, travel back to see relatives, etc. On the plus side you won’t need a car (including maintenance and insurance costs) but the subway isn’t cheap either. I lived in Manhattan for a year when I was in my 20s. In retrospect I look back fondly to that year and am glad for that experience
I'd look into the upper west side- good restaurants and bars, close to the theatre and many museums, Central Park and Riverside Park and close to your wife's work. Mr Johnson lived in that area, maybe he'll chime in.
Battery Park City is a nice quiet area that doesn't feel like typical Manhattan. My brother lives in a 2 bedroom right on the water that costs him $5,000 a month. However, it's a 30 minute commute to work.
Why is everyone fixated on the kids thing? Everyone doesn't need to have kids. I had one at 21 and don't plan to ever have another. His reason to not have kids can be "we don't want kids" and that's perfectly respectable. Same for adoption. What's with everyone thinking you have to have a kid in your life? You don't and most people should not have a kids in their life. Anyways, I wouldn't think $235k is enough for a nice place in NYC. I don't live there but I always see posts about $4000 a month for old, tiny apartments in NYC. I'm sure if you live away from the city it gets more affordable. I follow some golfers on YT and IG in a rural area of NY that is very nice. Large land plots and nice homes.
Yeah, OP should be fine with that income. Also, what is the outlook on promotions? If you are going to stagnate, you’ll be surprised on how quickly the COL will creep up on you in 5 years.
Upper 30’s is actually a great time to move to NYC, especially with roommate in tow who you share a room and finances with. Much, much harder to do it solo and with less money and live in a crappy overpriced space.
One piece of advice: bring your most treasured items and big belongings back to your hometown (or wherever your parents live now) and put them in a cheap storage unit. Move to NYC with as little as possible. I moved with my computer, clothes, twin bed and an ironing board. I bought cheap furniture online I could throw away or give to someone when I moved out for good.
I lived in NYC for seven years and it’s never as bad as people make it out to be. Just make sure to get outside of the city a couple times per year for your own health and sanity.
Very expensive everywhere your gf wants to live. The rent alone is pretty bad. The areas with high rent also have groceries and restaurants that are also expensive. Since you probably won't have a car, you will end up shopping in the nearby area. Also don't get or bring a car unless you can afford a garage if living in Manhattan. Don't get sucked into the myth that outer borough will be cheaper. Again, parts of BK she might want to live is almost as expensive as Manhattan. $10K raise won't cover the higher cost of living here for sure unless you're coming SF. You also have to remember NYC income tax is also one of the highest in the country. I would possibly suggest Forest Hills, Queens, where it's kind of like living in Manhattan but your gf might not be up for that. It's also at least 25 minutes subway ride into the city during rush hours. But the rent and cost of living will be lower. At least you will get a much nicer and bigger apartment for the same price. Maybe Astoria/LIC, Queens is an option. Quick subway trip into the city. But the apartments in that areas have high rents also. Also, Jersey City right across the water is an option.
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