East Coast And Work/Life Balance

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biscuit
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East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by biscuit » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:28 pm

We recently moved from TX to NJ due to job. It was not an ideal move as the income didn't go up as much to cover the cost of living increase. However, we still had to move due to various other reasons.

I'm currently on maternity leave and will be working remote for few months until I find a job. If we decide to stay in NJ, both of us need to move to new jobs to cover the cost of living increase.

Below is what I noticed about NJ compared to TX:

1. Cost of living is high on everything, not just rent/mortgage. For example, for a good restaurant we are paying 50% more in NJ than TX

2. Work/life balance sucks big time - I used to start our work around 7-7.30 AM and be back home by 4.30 PM. We spent a lot of time with our toddler and life was wonderful.

In NJ/East Coast, people start work only from 9 AM and come back home around 6 PM. My spouse comes home around 7 PM on a good day. So we hardly spend any time as a family.

3. Not a big fan of cold weather

Work/life balance concerns me big time. If we end up living in NJ long term, I'll start looking for a job in the area and I'm very concerned how the work/life balance will be once I start my new job. We enjoy our family time and it's something very important to me. This makes us thinking of going back to TX or LCOL/MCOL area where there is some work/life balance.

Are my observations correct? I'm still not settled in the new area and want to move out of this place soon. However, I don't want to emotionally make the decision of moving out of NJ.

mcraepat9
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by mcraepat9 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:39 pm

Let me preface this response by saying that I myself moved from Austin to NYC for work. YMMV.
biscuit wrote:We recently moved from TX to NJ due to job. It was not an ideal move as the income didn't go up as much to cover the cost of living increase. However, we still had to move due to various other reasons.

I'm currently on maternity leave and will be working remote for few months until I find a job. In terms of cost, this is a key part of the problem. A job in this region should pay you amounts commensurate with the cost of living here (including taxes). If we decide to stay in NJ, both of us need to move to new jobs to cover the cost of living increase.

Below is what I noticed about NJ compared to TX:

1. Cost of living is high on everything, not just rent/mortgage. For example, for a good restaurant we are paying 50% more in NJ than TX Confirmed. This is just kind of how it is here.

2. Work/life balance sucks big time - I used to start our work around 7-7.30 AM and be back home by 4.30 PM. We spent a lot of time with our toddler and life was wonderful.

In NJ/East Coast, people start work only from 9 AM and come back home around 6 PM. My spouse comes home around 7 PM on a good day. So we hardly spend any time as a family. Everything happens a bit later here. I get to work later and I leave work later here. Eastern time plays a big role in that. It is also a cultural thing I think.

3. Not a big fan of cold weather Agree 100%. Hate the weather here, though it is not as oppressively hot as TX in the summer.

Work/life balance concerns me big time. If we end up living in NJ long term, I'll start looking for a job in the area and I'm very concerned how the work/life balance will be once I start my new job. We enjoy our family time and it's something very important to me. This makes us thinking of going back to TX or LCOL/MCOL area where there is some work/life balance. A lot of this depends on the job and its expectations. You can definitely make it work here if you are motivated.

Are my observations correct? I'm still not settled in the new area and want to move out of this place soon. However, I don't want to emotionally make the decision of moving out of NJ. I think your observations are spot on, but I caution you that you can make things work in the Northeast. People do it everyday. I would also urge you to leverage a lot of the great things we have in NYC (assuming you are Northern NJ), museums, Broadway shows etc.. that is much better than you can find in TX.
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alfaspider
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:01 pm

My closest experience is living in New York City, but it seems to me that living in New Jersey has most of the downsides of East Coast living (weather, long commutes, bad work/life balance, high taxes), and few of the upsides (artistic/cultural attractions, interesting events).

I'm glad I spent some time in the area, but I wouldn't move back for double my salary. I live in Texas now.

RoadHouseFan
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by RoadHouseFan » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:02 pm

Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana

srmach05
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by srmach05 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:03 pm

Wife and I lived in Boston/Cambridge for 3 years and absolutely loved the culture/food/city but decided to move back West (Colorado) in part due to the harsh winters and our crazy work schedules. I worked in finance at a Fortune 500 company and wife was an M&A consultant however, so that had something to do with it as well. For me a 50 hour week was standard with most being closer to 60, and my wife was routinely clocking 70-80 hours each week.

Overall though, having such an intense work environment wasn't all bad. I learned how to be a much more efficient worker as my work load was much higher then any other job I had previously, and I became much better at prioritizing tasks, not wasting time, and developed some very tight relationships with several of my coworkers due to having spent a lot of time working closely together in a pressure-packed environment. I don't regret those experiences at all as they definitely helped me grow as a business person.

However, once our first kid was 6 months old we realized we weren't seeing him as much as we'd liked and didn't see that changing any time soon as that appeared to be the norm in our business circles. Moved back west a few months later after we'd both secured new employment, now we're both back to working 40-50 hours/week.

Whatever you decide, at least make sure to do your fair share of exploring the area - there is always plenty to do/see/eat up there that you don't necessarily get in the West!

jf89
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by jf89 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:09 pm

There are locations on the East Coast where none of that is true. Based on your description, I'll assume you're somewhere in North Jersey within NYC's long reach. Please trust that the entire East Coast is not like that. You say there are other reasons (other than this job that you're eventually leaving) that you moved. Can those reasons allow you to move farther from a city where life slows down and costs come back to earth?
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livesoft
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by livesoft » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:12 pm

I lived in TX, then later on Long Island outside of NYC, then again in TX.

I think one can find excellent work/life balance in both the East Coast and in Texas. One can find good inexpensive restaurants in both places.

And of course, one can find terrible work/life balances in both places and mediocre expensive restaurants in both places.
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qwertyjazz
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by qwertyjazz » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:32 pm

New Jersey has a lot of variability, as does Texas. Camden is not Princeton which is not Trenton. There is the general south jersey vs North split which is partly political, but specifics matter in terms of COL and things to do while not getting shot. OTOH keeping Austin weird does not play well in Midland Texas. Where are you comparing?
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mcraepat9
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by mcraepat9 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:37 pm

qwertyjazz wrote:New Jersey has a lot of variability, as does Texas. Camden is not Princeton which is not Trenton. There is the general south jersey vs North split which is partly political, but specifics matter in terms of COL and things to do while not getting shot. OTOH keeping Austin weird does not play well in Midland Texas. Where are you comparing?
Nice change to Midland...
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Jags4186
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:37 pm

biscuit wrote:We recently moved from TX to NJ due to job. It was not an ideal move as the income didn't go up as much to cover the cost of living increase. However, we still had to move due to various other reasons.

I'm currently on maternity leave and will be working remote for few months until I find a job. If we decide to stay in NJ, both of us need to move to new jobs to cover the cost of living increase.

Below is what I noticed about NJ compared to TX:

1. Cost of living is high on everything, not just rent/mortgage. For example, for a good restaurant we are paying 50% more in NJ than TX
Really depends on what you define as a nice restaurant. You want to stick to BYOBs. If you are in north jersey and like italian food, it's the best in the country. I would consider a meal for 2 at a "nice" restaurant costing $70 to be a fair price. You can easily go to places that cost 2x-3x that.
biscuit wrote:2. Work/life balance sucks big time - I used to start our work around 7-7.30 AM and be back home by 4.30 PM. We spent a lot of time with our toddler and life was wonderful.

In NJ/East Coast, people start work only from 9 AM and come back home around 6 PM. My spouse comes home around 7 PM on a good day. So we hardly spend any time as a family.
I think this will depend mostly on industry, but we do start later simply because we are east coast time, and also there is a ton of traffic. If everyone started at 7AM you'd have to be on the road at 6am for the most part which means getting up at 5am... Doesn't work if you have kids going to school. How did you handle kids going to school in TX if you were getting to work at 7/7:30am?

biscuit wrote:3. Not a big fan of cold weather
This is the price you pay for wanting 4 seasons. I can't imagine living in southern Texas where it is really really hot and goes down to mildly cool.
biscuit wrote:Work/life balance concerns me big time. If we end up living in NJ long term, I'll start looking for a job in the area and I'm very concerned how the work/life balance will be once I start my new job. We enjoy our family time and it's something very important to me. This makes us thinking of going back to TX or LCOL/MCOL area where there is some work/life balance.

Are my observations correct? I'm still not settled in the new area and want to move out of this place soon. However, I don't want to emotionally make the decision of moving out of NJ.
I think it really depends on what you make. A $100k income lifestyle in NJ really isn't that spectacular. I don't know what it's like in TX but I assume it's better. If you're making $400k/yr you certainly can take advantage of a lot of things which aren't available in TX.

Also, wait until the summer. Enjoy the Jersey Shore. I am obviously biased having grown up here, but it's really a wonderful place to spend a summer.

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Kosmo
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Kosmo » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:35 pm

Other than 4 years of college, I've lived my entire life in the northeast. Don't want to leave.

Cost of living is what it is. Your salary should have increased to compensate for it. They aren't just giving you more money because they are more generous than the TX employer. Dining out for us is in the neighborhood of $15 per person plus beverages plus tax. When my wife and I have a date night it's usually a BYOB place but still ends up close to $100 .

Work life balance is tough. It seems like there's never enough time in a day. There's nearly 0 idle time in the 18 hrs I'm awake and I still can't get everything done. I've been told by people from other parts of the country that it's a very northeastern/Puritanical mindset to be constantly busy (personally, I wouldn't have it any other way). The best suggestion I have is to see if you can work a modified schedule. I generally leave work at 2-3pm so I can go to the gym or come home and clean/finish whatever project I'm working on. I then finish out my work day from my laptop after my wife and kids go to bed. My wife goes to the gym at 5am every day, then goes to work and comes home around 5-6pm. This gives us the late afternoon and evening for family time. Both of us wish we had more of that time, but that's the best we can manage while getting our jobs done and having a bit of personal time. Of course, this ideal schedule only happens maybe 2 days a week...

I can't help you with the cold weather. I'll say this about it: When it's cold you can always put on more clothes, but when it's hot out there's only so much you can take off.
RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
Coincidentally, this is nearly identical to the list of states that I have no desire to visit, let alone live in.

Rodc
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Rodc » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:21 pm

Generalizations are often wrong.

I note that you are not working more hours in the day. I used to go in very late when my kids were toddlers so we could spend the morning having fun while they were nice and perky! Wife would pick them up around 3:30pm (started work at 7:00am) after I dropped them off at 9:30am which kept their day short. Going in late when you have toddlers can be a good thing.

Many places people go in way early to miss or at least partially mitigate rush hour traffic. My boss works 7:30am to 4:30pm. I work 9am to 5:30pm so I can see my now high school kids in the morning before school, hit the gym for an hour or so (at work), and then leave to go pick up my son from his after school job at 6:00pm. You do what works for you.

Cost for most things is higher.

Learn to like snow sports!

We have mountains! Ok, not Rocky Mountain mountains, but mountains. Ones you can climb, hike, ski, snowshoe.

We have beaches! (and while some of TX has beaches ours are not soupy humid messes in the summer).

You can have one on one day and the other the next day! (Maybe not really true in NJ, but you do have the Pine Barrens).

Lots to like in TX, no doubt.

But if you decide to take advantage of what a place has to offer you can find things to like about any place.

Or if you want to focus on what you miss you can do that and make yourself unhappy.

Your choice.
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Pajamas
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Pajamas » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:32 pm

RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
You left out Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and a few of the border states.

They are all very backwards in many ways. Some people like living in that part of the country but many others do not.

jdb
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by jdb » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:25 pm

Pajamas wrote:
RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
You left out Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and a few of the border states.

They are all very backwards in many ways. Some people like living in that part of the country but many others do not.
We Yankee transplants in Florida (and there are many millions of us) object to inclusion in that list. But we are digressing from the OP question.

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MikeWillRetire
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by MikeWillRetire » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:33 pm

The trick is to work in the Northeast, and retire in Texas.

tim1999
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by tim1999 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:43 pm

Does your employer dictate what hours you must work? Where I work, people start anytime from 7:00am to 9:00am and leave anywhere from 3:30pm to 7:00pm. The company only dictates that core business hours are 9:30am to 3:30pm, you must be working during those hours except for lunch, and have to put in at least 40 a week.

Living in South Jersey is much more reasonable in many ways than North Jersey, especially the eastern half of North Jersey.

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alec
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by alec » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:06 pm

biscuit wrote:We recently moved from TX to NJ due to job. It was not an ideal move as the income didn't go up as much to cover the cost of living increase. However, we still had to move due to various other reasons.

I'm currently on maternity leave and will be working remote for few months until I find a job. If we decide to stay in NJ, both of us need to move to new jobs to cover the cost of living increase.

Below is what I noticed about NJ compared to TX...

2. Work/life balance sucks big time - I used to start our work around 7-7.30 AM and be back home by 4.30 PM. We spent a lot of time with our toddler and life was wonderful.

In NJ/East Coast, people start work only from 9 AM and come back home around 6 PM. My spouse comes home around 7 PM on a good day. So we hardly spend any time as a family.
Many, many people on the east coast start work at 7 or before. About half my office starts between 7amd 730.
3. Not a big fan of cold weather
It's not even that cold. :D 40s and 50s in NJ.

Enjoy that you're much closer to more than in Texas.
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bligh
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by bligh » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:13 pm

biscuit wrote: Are my observations correct? I'm still not settled in the new area and want to move out of this place soon. However, I don't want to emotionally make the decision of moving out of NJ.
Your observations are spot on. The work/life balance in cities is seriously affected by the ridiculous commutes, traffic when you want to go anywhere, long queues every where you go, the waiting lists for quality day care, etc. Cities have a much faster pace of life, and your life flies by as a result. The reason so many of us stay in cities like NY, LA, San Fran is because of the jobs/career opportunities. If my career & profession allowed me to move to TX or FL, and I wasn't already so settled where I am, I would move in a heart beat. It would be easier to save far more money, and live a healthier, more relaxed life and get more time with my family.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:10 pm

In the end, a career and job a person does to earn a living are meaningless compared to the quality of their life. Where and how you live, and how you spend your time with those you love, is what counts. A big time job/career are 100% trivial details in the final analysis. Move to a place that you love and and find a way to make it work.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

rgs92
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by rgs92 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:37 pm

Not a fan of cold weather? Well, you haven't seen anything yet. This has been the mildest winter with the most pleasant weather I can remember in decades. (And almost no snow.)

Caduceus
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Caduceus » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:49 am

Hmm, I think there are many folks on the East Coast who would say that getting home at 6 p.m. is not late at all!

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sunny_socal
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:05 am

Texas to the East Coast? Yup - it's a downgrade.

Out here on the West Coast at least we have better weather! And better beer :beer But I'd give it up for a chance to move to TX. Once CA secedes from the union, we're outta here! :)

Lindrobe
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Lindrobe » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:12 am

RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
I saw this list and thought, "Why in the world would anyone want to move to Indiana?" I have lived in Indiana my entire life and I would love to get out of here!!

Jack FFR1846
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:17 am

sunny_socal wrote:Texas to the East Coast? Yup - it's a downgrade.

Out here on the West Coast at least we have better weather! And better beer :beer But I'd give it up for a chance to move to TX. Once CA secedes from the union, we're outta here! :)
Texas would secede way before California would. Although CA might fall into the pacific once the big one opens up the San Andreas.
Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
I'm a cold weather guy. No interest in any of those (have been to all of them). Northern NH.....sure. Unfortunately, the wife is a warm beach person.
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ktd
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by ktd » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:38 am

Southerners sure work less than others due to the cost of living. All my doctors in Texas open half day on Friday and close Saturday and Sunday. When we lived in CA, we went to doctor appointments on the weekend all the time. Can't do that here in Texas.

livesoft
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by livesoft » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:40 am

^The doctors are working in their Doc-in-a-Box on the weekends in Texas.
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cantos
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by cantos » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:54 am

OP, very hard to give good advice when we don't know why you moved in the first place. I have lived in both NE coast and Houston, TX. While I think your observations are on, work in NE coast is broad enough that there are many exceptions. Can you not find a place where you work for one of the exceptions? Times are changing quickly these days re flexible hours/etc.

I do a fair bit of stuff in wellness and must say one of my impressions from your post is you are unhappy and have not adapted, but it's only been 3 months or so. It take 1-3 years to adapt to a place, in my experience. More toward 3 years than 1 year. A big difference in your happiness can be achieved if you "resign" yourself to the fact you are where you are, and you might as well make the most of it.

That said, if you know in your heart/gut that you're not going to take to NJ/NYC, then move back to TX and be done with it. Again, this is not something we can help with since you haven't told us any of the reasons for your move, which I'd love to hear.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:57 am

Caduceus wrote:Hmm, I think there are many folks on the East Coast who would say that getting home at 6 p.m. is not late at all!
If my wife was back at 6PM, I'd assume she got fired. She's lucky to make the 6:08 train.

NJ is okay if you're working in NYC and banking the proceeds. Between taxes (income, property, and estate) and the HCOL, I don't expect to be here after DW retires.

OP, if you have reasons that make living in NJ a must, then try to adapt and find the pluses (and I promise there will be some).

Smurf
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Smurf » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:09 am

alfaspider wrote:I'm glad I spent some time in the area, but I wouldn't move back for double my salary. I live in Texas now.
I agree 100%. I've spent extensive time in NY/NJ as well as Washington D.C. I now live in North Carolina and wouldn't move back for double salary. I never understood why people (who are independent) choose to live in such places. I think most of it is just that it's "all they know" or they are very close to family who lives there and cannot imagine being away from them. I once heard an argument from a co-worker claiming that he can do anything anytime because he lives in NYC. I asked for an example and he said "I can go get ice cream at 3am because the shop will be open." I countered that I could too because my freezer was just downstairs from my bedroom.

...He didn't have a separate bedroom.

biscuit
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by biscuit » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:05 pm

Here are some additional information:

Even back in Texas, it was not just an 8 hour work schedule. I had the flexibility to go and come back anytime depends on the meetings. I also caught up on work after my toddler went back to sleep. When I had more work, I left home around 6 AM and come back by 4.30 to pick up my little one. Husband dropped the kid in daycare around 8 AM and worked a little late (max 5.30). We both stayed up late and caught up on extra work when needed. I don't think southern people work less hours compared to North (again, my observation).

We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas). I was always open to move and new experience except this time. Even though it was not an ideal move, I was open to explore the area and opportunities come with it. However, what I observed in the last few months is not that exciting.

My primary concern is work/life balance. Considering the cost of living, both of us need to find better paid jobs in NJ/NY if we decide to stay in the area. I need to find the right job which let me work on flexible schedule. I have an almost 3 years old and a newborn and I can't think of working late and not spending any time with them.

The primary reason I posted the question here is, I want to make sure we don't make the decision emotionally and we considered all the facts before making the final decision.

TIA!

knowsnothing
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by knowsnothing » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:10 pm

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
Austin is nice. Maybe spend a little time in Hilton Head. Beyond that no thanks.

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gunn_show
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by gunn_show » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:40 pm

cantos wrote:OP, very hard to give good advice when we don't know why you moved in the first place.

Again, this is not something we can help with since you haven't told us any of the reasons for your move, which I'd love to hear.
After reading OP and replies, these are also my thoughts. Can't really give advice since OP hasn't actually provided the reason for the move. OP statements make it sound like they can move back anytime, which makes the initial move (and reasons) even more curious.
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Hug401k
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Hug401k » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:19 pm

Is it NJ or is it urban versus suburban/rural? To me, Houston would have many of the same problems, replacing cold with heat and with no commuter train. Rural NJ might not have the issues you face.

stoptothink
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:24 pm

Smurf wrote:
alfaspider wrote:I'm glad I spent some time in the area, but I wouldn't move back for double my salary. I live in Texas now.
I agree 100%. I've spent extensive time in NY/NJ as well as Washington D.C. I now live in North Carolina and wouldn't move back for double salary. I never understood why people (who are independent) choose to live in such places. I think most of it is just that it's "all they know" or they are very close to family who lives there and cannot imagine being away from them. I once heard an argument from a co-worker claiming that he can do anything anytime because he lives in NYC. I asked for an example and he said "I can go get ice cream at 3am because the shop will be open." I countered that I could too because my freezer was just downstairs from my bedroom.

...He didn't have a separate bedroom.
I'll third that. Never thought I'd leave California, but once I finally did (for a job), it would take some serious money (like increasing my salary 5-fold) to even consider moving back, for these very same reasons. I make enough to have a very high quality of life and will be FIRE very early, would be very hard to increase that quality of life in California or NYC at any price.

halfnine
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by halfnine » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:28 pm

Rodc wrote:....
I note that you are not working more hours in the day. I used to go in very late when my kids were toddlers so we could spend the morning having fun while they were nice and perky! Wife would pick them up around 3:30pm (started work at 7:00am) after I dropped them off at 9:30am which kept their day short. Going in late when you have toddlers can be a good thing.....
This is very similar to what we do. Kids and up by 6:30 and then spouse gets to spend the quality morning hours with them before leaving to start work at 9:30. The kids are asleep by the time spouse gets home late in the evening.

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Pajamas
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Pajamas » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:16 pm

biscuit wrote:Here are some additional information:

Even back in Texas, it was not just an 8 hour work schedule. I had the flexibility to go and come back anytime depends on the meetings. I also caught up on work after my toddler went back to sleep. When I had more work, I left home around 6 AM and come back by 4.30 to pick up my little one. Husband dropped the kid in daycare around 8 AM and worked a little late (max 5.30). We both stayed up late and caught up on extra work when needed. I don't think southern people work less hours compared to North (again, my observation).

We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas). I was always open to move and new experience except this time. Even though it was not an ideal move, I was open to explore the area and opportunities come with it. However, what I observed in the last few months is not that exciting.

My primary concern is work/life balance. Considering the cost of living, both of us need to find better paid jobs in NJ/NY if we decide to stay in the area. I need to find the right job which let me work on flexible schedule. I have an almost 3 years old and a newborn and I can't think of working late and not spending any time with them.

The primary reason I posted the question here is, I want to make sure we don't make the decision emotionally and we considered all the facts before making the final decision.

TIA!
Sounds like your dissatisfaction arises more from your work pay and schedules than where you live. Certainly not getting a bump in pay commensurate with the cost of living will cause problems. However, there are plenty of jobs and some of the highest-income ZIP codes are in New Jersey and there are jobs that allow work from home.

I had the opposite experience that you had when moving south to north. My new job paid significantly more, my living expenses were not greatly increased overall partly because I no longer needed a vehicle, and my work schedule was only three days a week as opposed to five or more. My last job was work from home and the hours were flexible within reason.

Expenses can be controlled. I don't think equivalent restaurants are 50% higher here although they are higher, but there may be more expensive restaurants to choose from.

The weather is a big one, though. If you are used to wearing shorts at Christmas and have no coat other than a windbreaker or rain jacket and don't like cold weather, then that might make living in NJ a no-go.

On the other hand, there are some beautiful areas in NJ and within a day's drive, from beaches to mountains and vast forests. If you have not been up to High Point or hiked the Delaware Water Gap or visited some of the small beach towns and natural beach areas on the coast, you are missing out. Of course you have Philadelphia on one side of the state and New York City on the other and D.C., Baltimore, Boston, and all of New England are within a reasonable distance. Day trips to pick blueberries or apples can be fun, too.
Last edited by Pajamas on Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BW1985
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by BW1985 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:36 pm

The culture is vastly different, sounds like that's what your struggling with. Sure you might be able to find a job that's more flexible with the hours you're used to in TX, maybe even more money, but I still don't think that is going to make you happy. Regions can be very polarizing as evident in many of the responses here.

IMO the cons heavily outweigh the pros of the tri-state region (NY, NJ, CT).
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

skteam
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by skteam » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:40 pm

RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
Yikes--be careful. Alabama ranks at the bottom of some metrics that matter--like life expectancy, obesity, income, graduation rates, etc. May be a fine place to live for some people, but comparing NJ to Alabama is...hard.

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sunny_socal
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:51 pm

skteam wrote:
Yikes--be careful. Alabama ranks at the bottom of some metrics that matter--like life expectancy, obesity, income, graduation rates, etc. May be a fine place to live for some people, but comparing NJ to Alabama is...hard.
So if you move to Alabama you'll become obese, you'll die sooner, you're less likely to graduate? :mrgreen:

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HomerJ
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by HomerJ » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:57 pm

biscuit wrote:We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas).
Why do you guys move so much?

an_asker
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by an_asker » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:19 pm

RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
I believe the above was a tongue-in-cheek comment. RHF, please confirm (or deny!! :oops:)

an_asker
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by an_asker » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:19 pm

HomerJ wrote:
biscuit wrote:We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas).
Why do you guys move so much?
Maybe a job that requires husband to move?

Rodc
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Rodc » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm

biscuit wrote:Here are some additional information:

Even back in Texas, it was not just an 8 hour work schedule. I had the flexibility to go and come back anytime depends on the meetings. I also caught up on work after my toddler went back to sleep. When I had more work, I left home around 6 AM and come back by 4.30 to pick up my little one. Husband dropped the kid in daycare around 8 AM and worked a little late (max 5.30). We both stayed up late and caught up on extra work when needed. I don't think southern people work less hours compared to North (again, my observation).

We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas). I was always open to move and new experience except this time. Even though it was not an ideal move, I was open to explore the area and opportunities come with it. However, what I observed in the last few months is not that exciting.

My primary concern is work/life balance. Considering the cost of living, both of us need to find better paid jobs in NJ/NY if we decide to stay in the area. I need to find the right job which let me work on flexible schedule. I have an almost 3 years old and a newborn and I can't think of working late and not spending any time with them.

The primary reason I posted the question here is, I want to make sure we don't make the decision emotionally and we considered all the facts before making the final decision.

TIA!
You are describing a problem with your particular job more than your location if you ask me. Many east coast people work flexible schedules. Many do not. It sounds like you have for whatever reason decided the problem is the location, not your particular employer. Misidentifying your problem will not help you fix the problem.

You (or maybe both of you) need different jobs. Since you are not inclined to like NJ, I would look elsewhere.

Best of luck.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

Rodc
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by Rodc » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:27 pm

skteam wrote:
RoadHouseFan wrote:Everything is better in Texas. Recommend pursuing opportunities in the following states (in no particular order):

Texas
Alabama
Georgia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Indiana
Yikes--be careful. Alabama ranks at the bottom of some metrics that matter--like life expectancy, obesity, income, graduation rates, etc. May be a fine place to live for some people, but comparing NJ to Alabama is...hard.
Huntsville is an outpost of high education and solid socio-economics (lots of high tech, good schools I think, good restaurants). If I had to move to the south I think I could enjoy Huntsville.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:30 pm

Caduceus wrote:Hmm, I think there are many folks on the East Coast who would say that getting home at 6 p.m. is not late at all!
+1 on this! I've had many jobs where I'd be ecstatic to be home by 7PM every night! Still time to see the kids before bed-time!

I think this all depends on industry/job-environment but I've always taken the stance that the work-week is for working and the weekend is for family so its never bothered me to work 10-12 hour days Monday through Friday (with breaks for bogleheads :)) as long as the weekends are mine. If it bothers you - maybe you need to find another job or move back to Texas as in many East-Coast jobs if people see you watching the clock and ducking out earlier than everyone else it will be career limiting.

wilked
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by wilked » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:43 pm

an_asker wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
biscuit wrote:We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas).
Why do you guys move so much?
Maybe a job that requires husband to move?
Why wouldn't it be the wife's job that causes them to move?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:52 pm

wilked wrote:
an_asker wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
biscuit wrote:We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas).
Why do you guys move so much?
Maybe a job that requires husband to move?
Why wouldn't it be the wife's job that causes them to move?
I'm usually at the front of the line disagreeing when gender bias raises its head, but OP did say she was on maternity leave and working remotely, so it was probably the husband's job. Note that I didn't jump to hetero assumptions, since OP mentioned husband in a later post.

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HueyLD
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by HueyLD » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:59 pm

an_asker wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
biscuit wrote:We moved quite a bit in the last 8 years and all within the southern states (last few years, mostly within Texas).
Why do you guys move so much?
Maybe a job that requires husband to move?
My guess is that he may be on a H1B visa and the employer assigns him from project to project every few months or so.

It is not easy to adapt to so many different places.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:41 pm

After grad school I lived and worked in NJ for two years. It was awful, but only because I was commuting an hour and a half each way from central NJ to a job a stone's throw from NYC, with a city bus ride from the train station to my job. The commute killed my weekdays.

Overall, however, I think you can put together a good lifestyle practically anywhere up and down the length of NJ if (big if!) you can find good jobs close to home. There are nice areas to live and excellent areas for weekend activities, either on the seashore or inland, up and down the length of NJ. If you enjoy big city plays, music, shopping, or site-seeing, NYC is accessible from anywhere in northern NJ and Philadelphia is accessible from southern NJ. However, jobs that pay OK, have a limited commute, and don't stress you out so you still have some energy left for your family are all important factors for a good work/life balance in NJ.

After my draining commuting experience in NJ my wife and I agreed not to consider jobs anywhere in the high population corridor from Boston to DC. We ended up in a rural northern New England town and we have stayed in the same place for forty years.

biscuit
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Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Post by biscuit » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:39 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Caduceus wrote:Hmm, I think there are many folks on the East Coast who would say that getting home at 6 p.m. is not late at all!
+1 on this! I've had many jobs where I'd be ecstatic to be home by 7PM every night! Still time to see the kids before bed-time!

I think this all depends on industry/job-environment but I've always taken the stance that the work-week is for working and the weekend is for family so its never bothered me to work 10-12 hour days Monday through Friday (with breaks for bogleheads :)) as long as the weekends are mine. If it bothers you - maybe you need to find another job or move back to Texas as in many East-Coast jobs if people see you watching the clock and ducking out earlier than everyone else it will be career limiting.
I'm not talking about working less here. That's not a problem. I'm talking about flexible schedule. For example, in my current job I can leave from office anytime after my last in-person meeting is over and work from home the rest of the day. Couple of days a week I used to work from home. I do work around 10 hours a day.

It's not ok for me to spend quality time with my kids only during weekends.

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