Possible relocation to MA, Boston area, it's SO expensive!!

(28 Posts)
SleepFreeZone Sun 02-Apr-17 10:33:47

I've had a brief look and it seems that the naice areas are crazy money and the less nice areas are a bit worrying i.e. crime figures.

His work would be half an hour outside of Boston so Boston is merely a reference point and looks like it's London prices. When I looked at nice places to live in MA away from Boston they still seemed very very expensive.

We currently live in a Cambridgeshire village, pretty rural, not much happens. Two small children, one about to start primary, one a baby. We definitely don't have to move, it's something we could do if the package is appealing enough. We would be looking to rent initially.

Any advice or experience of this area?

OP’s posts: |
curcur Fri 07-Apr-17 21:10:06

Following with interest as we will be moving there for 3 years next easter. Our children are slightly older at 9 and 6. Hopefully someone will be along soon with some information.

unicornlovermother Mon 10-Apr-17 01:54:47

It may be due to the pound being weak that it seems a lot. I do not know Boston but our life is better here than in the UK on the West coast. Houses are expensive in California but still less than London and I just feel life is easier here- less cramped. Make sure your dh negotiates his salary as they expect that here-nothing less than 100K I would advise. You can get by on 100K living carefully-assuming rent is $2500-3000 a month. Not a fancy life but a good life.You need 110k a year if you want a trip home each year.
If you have a property you can rent out in the UK go for it just for the adventure-you can always go home if it is not for you. We find life more peaceful here and the schools better and there is just more space than the UK.

Snowdog37 Mon 10-Apr-17 02:02:37

I live north west of Boston, it's pretty expensive for housing and cost of living here, as much as London if not more. But it's amazing being able to drive to the mountains or lake or ocean easily. And proper seasons are awesome too.

Tobolsk Mon 10-Apr-17 02:32:08

Boston is very expensive, Mass is also pretty expensive. I don't know where his office is but maybe if you could consider southern New Hampshire. Portsmouth area is on I95 so easy travels

If it doesn't mind the drive Southern Maine is also an option.

Also the further away from the coast the better in terms of cost.

Tobolsk Mon 10-Apr-17 02:35:13

I don't know what you are expecting salary wise but I know people in southern Maine and New Hampshire area who love very comfortably on $65k

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 10-Apr-17 02:46:22

You could try looking at somewhere like Newburyport which is on the train line to Boston. Obviously that would only be an option of your husbands job was within easy reach of the station in Boston.

Boston is a fab city.


Want2bSupermum Mon 10-Apr-17 16:13:43

I agree with salary of absolutely no less than $100k a year and with that I would expect a lot of help with expenses such as a housing subsidy, medical costs covered and a company car provided.

We live just outside of NYC and keep a close eye on our budget. We save a lot but with 3 DC we spend about $80k a year on everything excluding medical expenses and car (which are fully covered by DH's employer). Child related care/activities, food and housing is expensive. The cheapest summer camp where I am costs $300 a week with no discounts for siblings. I hired someone instead because it works out the same cost and my kids can spend their summer together. Childcare alone is $3k per month with housing costing us $1800 (we rent out half of our home) and our food bill is a whopping $150 a week excluding the cost of pork, which we eat 5 days a week. If we had to buy meat it would be more like $180 a week.

Of course there are people here in New Jersey living on less but they don't have the same expenses as we do in terms of flying home to visit family (which costs a fortune), saving for your pension (they will fully qualify for social security) and reduced housing expenses as they won't have moved a lot (friends who earn $150k as a household bought 10 years ago pay $2500 a month to live in a home worth $1m while buying now would mean paying $4500 a month).

Tobolsk Mon 10-Apr-17 16:25:05

Good suggestion on Newburyport. Nashua or Lowell are options too.

Snowdog37 Mon 10-Apr-17 16:33:14

If you're looking north/northwest of Boston and want a nice but not too expensive town, Acton/Boxboro area is way nicer than Lowell/Nashua. Windham NH is really nice and an easy commute down to Boston. If you're looking west of Boston you could try Holden/Boylston/Shrewsbury. Lexington/Wellesley/Newton is nice but very populated and very expensive. South of the city, Hingham is really nice. We looked at all these towns and decided on Leominster as it's about a third cheaper than Acton but still a pretty nice town and an easy commute on route 2 into Lexington where dh works.

unicornlovermother Tue 11-Apr-17 05:02:21

Tobolsk, I suspect people who live comfortably on 65K do not have 2500-3500 rent to find each month which is the going rate for houses in the US.s more expensive areas.A 65 k salary is a take home of between 4to 5 k so not much change after most of that going on rent. We can live on 25 k a year for everything after housing costs but the housing cost is the big drain- uness you bought some time ago....then yes you can probably have a great life on far less.

allfurcoatnoknickers Thu 13-Apr-17 16:24:06

I'm going to agree with Want2Bsupermum here. I'd say $100k at least. I live in Manhattan, so probably comparable to prime Boston/more expensive suburbs and the cost of living is astronomical if you don't budget very VERY carefully.

Don'y forget all your costs like flying home, importing things or kitting out a new house, saving for medical bills (we have GREAT insurance and I still burned through nearly $1K at the dentist last year), and saving into your pension. Having decent savings behind you is very important here, as there;s not much in the way of state supports or a safety net.

Also look into whether you have to pay both city and state taxes. Not sure about Boston and MA, but it's work considering because we get nailed by the city taxes every single year.

curcur Fri 14-Apr-17 14:29:48

I take that rent is payable out of the $100? So salary of $100k and the company covers rent and health would enable a good lifestyle?

Want2bSupermum Fri 14-Apr-17 15:09:45

curcur probably not in Boston. Life with DC here is very expensive. DD does ballet and tap. I alternate the class she does each week to keep the cost to $1000 a year for 30 classes. Our kids do rec sports which are much cheaper but our kids are the only kids in the programs who don't live in the projects. People look at us funny but I am not paying $10k a year for my kids who are all under the age of 6 to be in group activities.

Also for food in this area budget on $1000 a week. Concur with furknickers that check the taxes. I work in NYC and get absolutely nailed on NYC taxes. I actually resent that I pay them considering my salary is extremely low against the cost of living in this area and I don't live in NYC but over the water in New Jersey. DH who makes 10x my salary works in New Jersey and pays half the amount of income taxes compared to me.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Fri 14-Apr-17 15:20:32

Want2be don't you mean $100 a week for food, not $1000! Unless prices really have gone up.....

Snowdog37 Fri 14-Apr-17 15:35:58

We spend $200-300 a week on food just me and dh so I can see how a family with children can spend $1000!!! Groceries here are extortionately expensive compared to the U.K. especially if you buy organic or locally sourced meat etc. That's been the biggest shock along with the cost of health insurance. Our premium is $2100 per month but dh company pays 75% of that. We pay around $500. It's ridiculous.
Mortgages aren't too bad, and cars too (petrol is $2.15 a gallon!) but overall the cost of living isn't any cheaper here than London. In fact London is probably cheaper.

curcur Fri 14-Apr-17 15:41:58

Wow thanks! Really thought $100k after rent & health would have been sufficient. Planning on living in the suburbs due to his work location bur might have to rethink and live even further out.

BounceBounceSplishSplash Fri 14-Apr-17 16:26:19

Nothing to add except shockshock - I didn't realise America was so much more expensive to live in.

curcur Fri 14-Apr-17 16:43:42

Me too bounce hmm

Snowdog37 Fri 14-Apr-17 16:52:14

It's been a shock how much more expensive it is here. New England/the East Coast is expensive, more so than down in the southern states.
My dh is on about $100k. After taxes, social security, health insurance, pension, we have about $5k/month. Mortgage and two car payments are $2500. Bills and food about $2000. We have most months about $500-800 "fun" money. So on paper we are wealthy but the cost of living is pretty high here. I'm back at uni training to be a nurse. When I get a job I'll be on $65k+ so we will be financially much more comfortable. It's amazing to live here but don't underestimate how much you'll need to live on, we are by no means extravagant and there's so much to spend money on here. We have to cut our cloth for sure.

Tobolsk Sat 15-Apr-17 01:51:50

This is a very interesting thread. We live 4ish hours north of Boston. My experience has been that the USA is a lot cheaper than the U.K. We had a 50% pay rise for the same jobs and a 30% reduction in the cost of living.

Our mortgage here including taxes and insurance is $1250 a month for a 1700 sqft home 2.5 acres.

We now grow/hunt our food but before we did that we would be spending $100 a month on food for 2 people.

I heard that Mass was expensive but didn't realize that it was so much more expense.

Snowdog37 Sat 15-Apr-17 01:56:27

Are you in NH? It's way cheaper up there than here. I'd love to move up there or even to VT. But my dh has a pretty specific job and all the jobs are close to Boston.

Tobolsk Sat 15-Apr-17 02:07:07

We are on the ME NH border. We love it up here.....living the secluded rural dream

Snowdog37 Sat 15-Apr-17 06:39:32

Ooh it's lovely around the White Mountains area! We actually go up there a lot, there's a cute B and B we stay at in Center Lovell in ME. We went to the cog railway on Mt Washington late last fall which was amazing. Living the rural idyll up there's fantastic! Very jealous lol 😊

Want2bSupermum Sat 15-Apr-17 13:11:06

Sorry meant $1000 a month not a week!!!

Yes it is expensive here. You have to dig for the good deals. We live in a town with good provision for those on welfare and my kids do those activities. We are one of about 5 families that are not on welfare that use the programs and pray this doesn't change as the state will stop funding if the percentage of welfare kids falls below a certain threshold.

Also I always look at payroll. You would be shocked at how much more people make here. I know for my role it's £45k in London and $85k here, which is about £55k. I'm looking to leave because I'm underpaid. Two roles I'm looking at will pay $140k and the other $150k. Dh makes a lot too, salary being $600k last year for a sales position. This isn't about boasting, please do not take it that way. I just had to see people moving over on packages that will see the family struggle when they would pay an American so much more without a second thought.

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