In this guest post, Seka Moving Company content writer, Amanda Kim, discusses the high costs of New York City and how remote workers can save money moving to other locations around the country. So if you’re a remote worker tired of living in New York City, here are some alternatives with similar perks and a lower cost of living.
New York City has witnessed a mass departure of residents since COVID struck in early 2020. Within months of the first reported case, the city became one of the most affected areas in the country. However, the novel coronavirus only served to accelerate an exodus that was already in motion, with the number of those leaving the city rising more significantly in the two years prior to COVID. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2,600 people were fleeing NYC (376 people per day) in 2019 before the pandemic — an increase of over 100 daily departures over the year before. So if you were tired of living in New York City before, many people share the same mindset.
Why Businesses Are Leaving and People Are Tired of Living in New York City
The reasons behind the departures ranged from a deterioration in safety levels to the high cost of living for both individuals and businesses. Rising costs of living and doing business have been the primary cause, pushing droves of New Yorkers out of the Big Apple in favor of cities that promise more bang for their buck. Whether former residents are seeking to reduce the cost of housing, or in the case of companies, a more viable business environment such as one that promises lower tax rates, other locations can stretch the dollar.
But not just the average New Yorker has felt a strain on their finances. Even those in the higher echelons of society — Elon Musk, Carl Icahn, and even Joe Rogan — have opted to leave NYC for areas that promise better financial perks like Texas and Florida.
What COVID did was exacerbate an already bad situation. With the loss of jobs and a reduction in household incomes due to layoffs, furloughs, and business closures, people were forced to consider alternatives.
Remote Work Enables You to Live Anywhere
More people are now working remotely than ever before, which is another trend that was already underway but accelerated by the global health pandemic. No longer do workers have to be tethered to cubicles in specific geographic locations: remote work affords you the freedom to live anywhere. This is good news for remote workers who are already feeling the financial strain that comes with being a New Yorker.
Fortunately, saving money through better housing incentives, lower taxes, and a reduced cost of living is accessible in numerous cities throughout the country. If you‘re a remote worker who’s tired of living in New York City and you’re seriously toying with the idea of packing your bags, here are five of the best cities to relocate to from NYC that you should look into before picking up the phone and ringing an NYC moving company.
1. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oklahoma may not be the first state to spring to mind when you think of moving (let alone relocating from the Big Apple). But here’s why you need to give it serious consideration if you work from home. Cities have traditionally tried to put measures in place to attract businesses in order to spur their local economies. That’s why Tulsa decided to become one of the country’s first cities to provide sizable financial incentives to individual remote workers.
The Tulsa Remote Program is an initiative started by the George Kaiser Family Foundation that seeks to give telecommuters $10,000 for one year to relocate to the city. In addition to the cash grant, the initiative also provides free desk space in a coworking space (office or lounge), as well as other perks.
2. Savannah, Georgia
Tulsa is not the only American city offering financial incentives to the remote labor force. Remote tech workers who choose Savannah, Georgia, as their destination can expect to have their relocation expenses covered by up to $2,000 — provided they reside in the city for at least a year.
Known as the Creative Technologies Incentives, this program came into effect in May 2020 at the height of the first wave of the pandemic. It targets both self-employed remote tech workers and those that work remotely for companies based elsewhere. According to the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the aim is to lure remote workers to the city’s shores and have them settle there permanently.
3. Austin, Texas
Texas has been one of the most preferred destinations by both individuals and businesses over the last five or so years thanks to a myriad of friendly financial incentives. In the case of remote jobs, the state capital of Austin is perennially regarded as one of the best cities you can move to for culture, entertainment, and business opportunities, especially if you’re used to big-city living.
More than 8% of the city’s population works remotely already — a number forecasted to balloon with the rise of remote jobs in the post-COVID era. Austin also ranks as the third best city in the U.S. for remote working, citing factors such as low cost of living, a high number of coworking spaces per capita, faster-than-average internet speeds, and a high number of coffee shops. Plus, Austin is a relatively affordable place to put down roots for a city of its size.
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Another great destination for remote workers tired of living in New York City is Minneapolis, which offers coworking spaces galore and super-fast internet speeds. In terms of affordability, it’s a far cry from the exorbitant costs of the Big Apple in nearly every way.
If you hate the cold, don’t worry. The city is walkable even in winter, and you can take advantage of the world’s largest indoor skyway system that links 80 city blocks and makes traveling convenient and comfortable, even in freezing conditions. What’s more, Minneapolis provides plenty of engaging activities to partake in throughout the year, offering shopping, excellent dining, and one of the best sports scenes in the country.
5. Tampa, Florida
Florida is a famous relocation destination for many of those who are tired of living in New York City. If you work remotely and are looking for a warmer climate, few cities check all the boxes better than Tampa. Nestled on Florida’s west coast, 7.3 percent of the city’s workforce work from home, according to data from the Tampa Bay Business Journal – dwarfing most cities in the country.
Numbers aside, a report by Magnify Money ranks Tampa as one of the best places to work remotely. Big on culture and nightlife, it’s an affordable city with beautiful beaches just a short drive away.
Amanda Kim is a content manager for various moving companies, including Seka Moving Company. Her mission is to provide customers with information about moving experiences, as well as other tips for a seamless transition between neighborhoods or cities.
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