My favorite phrase about relocating to the South from people from other regions, especially New Yorkers is "they don't pay in the South." It's a common idea that salaries are lower in the South based on the cost of living. This way of thinking is often times very misleading. There are so many variables that are rarely assessed fairly. Here are my thoughts...
First, it depends on your industry. There are some industries that thrive in certain regions. If you are in a field such as advertising or entertainment for example, yes, you will likely earn a higher salary in New York versus Nashville.
A few months ago, one of our members gave excellent advice to a fellow educator, she said, "make sure you have your things in order." She was referring to certification, in many cities you have to be certified to be a classroom teacher. So if you have been teaching in NY without it and then you're looking to move, of course you will find it challenging. And this doesn't only apply to teachers, any field that requires or strongly encourages a license or certification.
While on the subject of certification, let me address education. NYC is a city of grinding, hustling, or whatever phrase you prefer. I have met so many people who are making a living without a college degree. Those individuals have worked in their respective field, gained a reputation of excellence, and are doing well. The issue that can occur is that when you are looking to relocate sometimes that reputation or network remains behind. So yes, if you have been an administrative professional in NYC for 10 years making $75,000 w/o a degree and then are looking to move to Dallas, you may be offered $40,000. We live in a uber competitive country, where no matter your views, things like education, being bilingual, or having an established network are huge advantages. Essentially, for many people a flip is starting over, which is why I admire people who flip over 50 over even 40, the courage it takes is beyond admirable.
I have been very transparent that when I flipped from NYC to Houston, I took a $20,000 pay cut. I have also shared that because Texas has no state income taxes, I basically make the same. When I was in NYC I paid roughly $650 a month in state AND city taxes. The tax rate is higher in NY than most states in the South. But besides the taxes, the quality of life, which I can't but a dollar amount on, is priceless. Having central heat and AC, a washer and dryer IN MY APARTMENT, a FREE parking garage, a gym, etc. I can't tell you the nights I drove around for what felt like forever looking for parking, to then have to move my car again before 8am for alternate side parking.
Additionally there are expenses that I had in NY that I don't have in Texas. I no longer pay tuition for private school for my son because we was zoned to was P.S. Failing School. Overall, great schools in NYC , particularly elementary schools are zoned to affluent neighborhoods. Other expenses that people don't factor are things like parking tickets, laundry services, God forbid you live on Long Island and pay for the LIRR and the subway, that can easily run you over $500 per month . In the year I've been here, I haven't got a parking ticket compared to the over $1000 my last year in NY. I've attended sporting events and concerts at the arenas and other venues and parked for free or at the most $10, compared to the $50 I've paid to see a concert at the Barclays Center.
I could go on and on, however, the point is not to bash one city over the other, it is to truly assess fairly. This misconception has lead to people who would thrive in other places simply survive, based on miseducation. By no means am I a NYC or any city hater, I'm simply one to educate and enlighten.
NYC is still the greatest city in the world. 😬