Cost of Living as a Foreign Nurse in the USA
Everybody and welcome it's Friday so it must be Connetics USA weekly show onwards and upwards. Everything a healthcare worker needs to know about coming to live and work in the United States. I am your host, Tanya Freedman, Chief Executive Officer of Connetics USA. We are so excited today to talk about this very important topic, the cost of living in the United States. If you are interested in coming to the United States, please go to the Connetics USA website and apply online and our team are waiting for you and can't wait to speak to you to see how we can help you and make your American dream a reality. I am joined today by an expert panel, we're going to be sharing their views, their information, their advice to healthcare workers who want to come to the United States, as we talk about cost of living in the United States and how it might be different in different areas of the country. So I'd like to welcome now, Patti. Hi, Patty. Welcome.
I'd like to also welcome Kaye Hi, Kaye. Hi, Tanya. Hi, everyone. Good morning. Good morning. Nice to see you. Okay, we met in in New York. It seems like yesterday, but was a few weeks ago already. Correct? Yes. I've already moved states after that. Oh, yeah. In case we're going to k is going to be talking not only about New York, but also about Maryland. So we really excited to get her viewpoint. I'd like to welcome James. Hi, James. Hey, good morning, everyone. Good morning, James. And last but not least Elvis. Welcome, Elvis.
Hi, good morning. Thanks for having me. Good morning. Good morning. Okay, so if you are joining us from anywhere around the world, please put your name and where you're watching into the chat. It's always so fun to see all the viewers around the world that are watching today. I know we have 1000s of people who watch onwards and upwards. And if you're just joining us now please make sure to stay on until the end of the show. Because we will be talking about the IELTS raffle winner we will be announcing the name of the IELTS raffle winner. So please stay on the IELTS exam will be paid for by Connetics USA, once a month, we have a raffle winner. So we'd love you to stay on and find out at the end of the show who the winner is. Okay, so I see. And we have a lot of people joining us in the chat. And we're going to start off with some introductions. Petey, do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself and tell everybody a little bit about yourself? Sure. So I've been a nurse since 2012.
Thanks to Connetics, I came to the US as a nurse, I had the chance to be in the US before I be here. I was here before with the Connetics and humans a nurse, and I live in Los Angeles, Southern California. So we'll talk a little bit about the cost of living here. So California, very desirable area to work in many international nurses here. And so I think it's going to be really interesting to get your viewpoint. You want to go ahead and introduce yourself. It seems to be some crackling noise. Can everybody hear okay?
Oh, I can hear that crackling noise. Hi, everyone. Again, good morning. I'm Kaye. I'm a traveling nurse for the past 16 years and, and I'm probably one of the youngest traveling there certainly started this. So I was I started in New York and migrated in New York City when I was 22. And just started venturing out north east corridor, Northeast region of the United States, Connecticut, Boston, Massachusetts, you know, Boston, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Maryland. What else upstate Rochester is still part of New York. And now we just relocated back to Maryland, which is in Baltimore County. And surprisingly,
I was surprised that I thought New Jersey was in the higher tax but we are in a higher tax. And I was like surprised Oh, wait a minute.
But anyway, so but again, everything is fun here is I can definitely help with a cost of living differentials among the different state here in the Northeast region. Okay, so Kaye gonna be going to bring some valuable information because she's worked in that in many of the Northeast states, and we'll be able to speak to the different cost of living because most nurses don't even know that there is a difference in cost of living when they come to the United States. Right. Okay. Did you know that
Ah, yes. I was once like that, too. Yes. Oh, in the beginning, you didn't know? Yes. I did not know at all. Okay, good. Well, that's, that's why onwards and upwards is a great resource for so many nurses or healthcare workers that want to come to the United States because this is where you can get free information and learn and educate yourself and empower yourself. James, do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself?
Sure. Good morning. Once again, I'm James Monta Grieco I've been a nurse for 30 years I've been in the US for 20 years.
From you know, we have we heard someone from the West Coast I'm from the north as I'm based in North Carolina, so I'll be giving perspectives about living the South or the southern US. I used to be a staff nurse and you're a surgical nurse but um, you know, I've been in academia for so long so I'm currently in sort of have my assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte so I've been retired from the bedside. So that's my current job but you know, I have had a significant experience in in the bedside for so long. Thank you. And I love your little cat your little kitten at the at the back
I think somebody's walking in James's apartment. James's house, no. And Elvis, do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself being here I think we have a bad connection with you Elvis and it seems to be like a crackling noise if you want to maybe log out and come back in that will be great. Elvis thank you so much. Okay, so And while we waiting for Elvis to come back in. I want to welcome everybody who's watching Zeb save is saying hi Mark Maria Ashley saying hi Muhammad. And good afternoon from Nigeria. interesting topic. I will get information from the sorcerer trust. Thank you for this. We're happy to help Muhammad and doll she's from Oman be from the UAE and Phoebe Daniel is saying Hi, Stephanie from the UK digs from Riyadh.
It's so fun to see everyone from all over the world. Mark from UK Rama Lydia, and on lead from Jamaica, we have our regular visitors, baby from Philippines and purity from Kenya Luxon. Well, if so many people watching from so, so many places, if you have questions today about the cost of living, and how that differs in the different parts of the US, please put them into the chat and I will be happy to answer your questions about the cost of living. And Amy saying how wonderful show the cost of living in West Virginia, please. So Amy will try and help you with that one as we progress in the show. Okay, so let's get started on the topic at hand. Today we're going to be speaking about what is the cost of living? How does that differentiate and we're going to be talking about it in terms of housing, in terms of having fun, like recreation, in terms of transportation, the basics, kind of food and clothing, bills, cost of kids taxes, lots of different topics that we're going to be covering. Elvis is back. Elvis, do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself? Yeah. Can you hear me now? Yes, that's better. Okay. Okay. I think it was a year from you.
So my name is Elvis. I'm from Brazil. I've been living here in Fargo, North Dakota for four months now.
I joined two Connetics team last year, and a bunch of new people come here to West Fargo to Fargo and this area. And I'm gonna talk about some living costs here in the Midwest. Okay, thank you, Elvis. And I think it's great that everybody on panel comes from a different part of the world, and also living in a different part of the United States. So it's really going to be interesting to hear the differences and the things that might not be different. Okay, so let's start off and just with a definition, what is the cost of living? Because many nurses when they come to the United States will come for many reasons, but money can be one of them. So it's important to understand what the cost of living actually means. The cost of living is the amount
The money needed to cover basic expenses in a certain place and time period. The cost of living is often used to compare how expensive it is to live in one city versus another. Okay, so I think that's a great definition that we can start with. And I'd like to maybe ask and Patty before you came to the United States? Did you know that there was different cost of living expenses in different states?
Yes, yeah. For me, I was awake, because, like I said, I didn't come to the United States. For the first time as a nurse, I study here before, so for me, it wasn't completely new.
What surprised me the most was to know how different the cost of living can be inside the same area. Ah, what do you mean by that Petey? So for example, here in LA.
People always joke, right? If you want to buy a house, or if you want to rent a place, what are the three main things you have to pay attention to that will impact her cost? Location, location, location? And that is totally true. You know, you can rent a place a two bedroom apartment. I know, we're gonna talk about it later. I'm just jumping ahead. But for $2,000, or four $7,000, it depends where?
Okay, no. So that's a very interesting point, we're going to be talking about housing in more detail and dig into that. But you raise a very important point that it might not just be even the states that are different. It might be the cities within the state that are different. And even within a city, you're going to find differences. So that can be very surprising. Ah, very interesting. James, before you came to the United States, did you give a thought to cost of living? Did you realize that there were any differences?
Yeah, I was really aware about the cost of living differences. But just like Patty, I was sort of surprised how we can be different, you know, across different locations within the state, as you said, we're within a city. So
we know that, you know, some places are cheaper, and some are more expensive than others as just a matter of how expensive or how cheap it is to, to live in those. And I think that's one of the reasons why, you know, I've been in North Carolina here in the south for, like, 20 years. And, and that's one of the reasons what I like it here is the cost of living, rather than moving to those big cities. So yeah.
The perspective of how it was or how it is, okay, so for many people, you know, it depends on your background, you might know about the difference in cost of living or you might not, but on the on today's show, you're going to find out a lot more about it. And okay, so let's, let's talk about some of the background factors to take into account when addressing the cost of living. For many nurses, when you look at a job offer. And you know, you will look at the rate, the amount of money that's going to be on that offer later. And that will be made for some people a deciding factor. And Kaye was a deciding factor for you when you looked at the rate. you unmute Kaye
Okay, thanks. Alright. So when I signed up my first contract, and I was 21 years old, you know, when you're young, you don't really pay attention to this thing. So you want to do to this party.
So I have no idea. I just worked in the Philippines for like a year. And I was I was barely making money and barely paid taxes. Anyway, I didn't even get to file my first tax return back in the Philippines because I did not even finish my second year there. So it was quickly that I left Philippines and not knowing the tax implications.
And the cost of leaving, you know, when I went to New York City, I'm like, wait a minute, my sister calling me back from the Philippines. Why did I use my credit card? That's cost me $7 For just hamburger in Philippines. I mean, I'm a hamburger in New York City. I said well in the Philippines that was only they wrote to you know, $1 something Why are you eating $7 hamburger and McDonald's in New York? And I said, Well, that's the normal price for this.
Everything was from Philippines, Manila. Jumping to New York City. There was a big, big, big difference of my cost of living. Absolutely. Living in Manhattan was one of the most expensive probably that I've ever lived in my whole life. Yes. Pros and cons of it but as a young person, I wasn't really paying attention. Until a couple more years when I started really travel going outside New York City, then I realized, hey, a bag of grocery here in Connecticut, it was only $20 where a bag of groceries New York will cost me $40 already. So then there realize that each state and each CD will come with different information, I mean, cost of living. And one thing also I noticed that is as a traveling nurse, we were given different numbers when it comes to pay package. When it comes to housing allowance and meals allowance. There was a big jump really from New York City. I mean, go people going to New York City, then going outside, so everything was cheaper for me after it's all relative, right?
It's all relative. And so Kay mentioned and really interesting about coming from the Philippines from your home country, and the difference in cost of living. And we have a graphic of how the dollar compares to many of the home country currencies. And so you look there Philippines and case from the Philippines, it's 56 pesos to the dollar. I come from South Africa right now it's almost 17 Rand to the dollar. You know, look at that Brazilian money and it's really can be quite a big jump coming. You know, you're it's not like the money is equivalent. And Elvis when you came to the United States going to North Dakota, did you How much money did you bring with you before you came and long before you started getting your first paycheck because that's also an important factor of immigrating is that first month's
I brought $10,000 Because I wanted some money to give the payment for the car, no, and to spend before receiving my first paycheck here. And I arrived here by the end of April, I started working at May 16th. And I received my first paycheck, which was, I think, one week after that, you know, and then I spend about 4000 4000, in this period is first period, paying the housing, buying things and all this stuff, you know, okay, so And was that amount comfortable for you? Do you feel like it looking back? Do you think you would have anything differently? Yeah, it was comfortable. If I if I could, I, I would have bought more brain brought more money, you know, and then I could have done a really good down payment of the car. That's the point. But I think it was enough. I felt comfortable with this amount of money. And it was the money that support me for this first period. No problem at all. Okay, so um, so that's, you know, important to know, for anyone coming to the United States, often the currency in your home country might be different to the US dollar. And those first few months depending on the cost of living in that area. It might be comfortable, like in Elvis's case, or it might be more stressful. Patty Kaye or James, do you have a different story to say in terms of the beginning part and of before you start earning dollars, and what would that was like for you? And were you surprised at the cost of living?
Patty? No, I remember when they first came. And I was still getting adjust with all that and before getting my first paycheck. When I finish university and was getting moved to my apartment and getting everything settled. I remember like I would go to the grocery store and buy only like carrots,Diet Coke, pretzels. I would be very like extremely frugal, because I never knew like certain things like but when I get I was like super young and I really didn't care about food. So, but also I was conscious about the money. Okay, so you had To Be careful, but you still got in your vegetables Patty, which was good, your parents.
And so, so I think that, you know, thinking about that how much money to bring with you when you come to the United States, but also to take into account the cost of living because, again, for many nurses they see on the offer letter a certain rate, but don't always take into consideration the rate in relationship to the cost of living, and the fact that you're not going to be maybe earning a paycheck right in that beginning timeframe. James, would you have any advice for somebody coming in? Now, I know you came in many years ago, but any advice for somebody coming in now when they are new to the United States, and maybe not sure if the cost of living and how much money to bring?
My advice would be, you know, the good thing about coming to the United States during this time, there's no there's a lot of resources available for you to drill look to look into, like, not like 20 years ago, you know, we just based on what information we can gather from, you know, from relatives and friends who are living in the United States. Now you can Google you can do like a there's like a cost of living calculator. Like if you're offered different job offers in like different states, different parts of the country, you can actually make comparison, you know, how much do I need to earn in the like in New York versus if I will be in in North Carolina and Florida. So that's one resource Pro that you can do look for, like a cost of living calculator. And you can also have like this different tables that can help you decide.
I know, there's a lot of questions that they ask in social media groups about, you know, is this a rate? Okay? What might be okay, in one state may not be okay with different states. So, like to give you a case, when I came in here, I was like, Oh, my God, why is this rate so low, but again, considering how it was in North Carolina, that time? I said, I think it's gonna be okay. Because I know, when they offer those rates, it's based on the market value, I mean, the market and what's the prevailing market rate. And so those are some of the kind of thought process you want to use in deciding who had just stayed or which hospital to, to go to?
Yeah, just use those on our resources, it can give you a lot of information more than you think. And I think what helped me transition in terms of you know, my expenses when we got here, of course, it was 30 years ago was that our hospital actually spoiled us, you know, they, they even had to create, like a task force to really attend to our needs. They found housing, it wasn't an apartment, it was a house, they gave us a sound bonus. So we didn't have to really wait for our first paycheck.
I was able to bring with me, my family right away, I had a wife and two kids a time. So it wasn't really I would say hard to transition because of the support that you know, the hospital has provided. So one of the advice, the pieces of advice that I can say is, you know, ask the hospital, what kind of support they will be providing you, you know, as you transition, because that can make or break your, your first year in the US. Yeah, that is lots of lots of things to unpack there, James, you've got some really good advice there. And I'm going to go through them. But the one thing that you know, that you said just at the end really important is to help through that transition, when you've got that cost of living and surprise for some people is to see the package that you're getting from the facility and how they're going to be helping you through the transition.
I know it Connetics you're saying we you know work with every hospital because it star retire to make sure that there's some kind of a transition package. And you also mentioned James about the differences in salaries. And I know that we have a graphic on the average salaries of RNs in various states. So the average salary is 82,750 or $39.78 an hour. However, if you look at the map, you can see that there are different averages per state. This is all this is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So this is the average RN salary. And I'm really interested in interesting to see how it can vary from state to state. So good advice from James not just looking at the salary of that particular state, but also looking at in terms of the cost, comparison, the cost, the comparison of costs, and I know we have some graphics that you put on now and where we can show you some of the differences. So we were looking here, this is a a from NerdWallet. The source is NerdWallet and you can look at the difference. This is not specifically for a nurse, but look at the difference living in New York City versus San Diego where I live. The cost of living is 45 Four
To 4%, lower in San Diego, and then Manhattan we were Kaye lived. And we also have New York to Raleigh, North Carolina. And the cost of living is 63%. Lower in North Carolina. So that's really an interesting one. And then looking at North Dakota to Bismarck, North, sorry, Manhattan to Bismarck, North Dakota 64%. Lower in Bismarck, North Dakota, which is near to where Elvis stays Elvis lives in Fargo. So you know, that is a great resource to look at the salary calculator before you can do your homework and your research that you know how much it's going to be and how much money you need to bring, especially in those first few months. Really great advice there. And the other factor, also to take into account is the text comparisons.
And Kaye, I know you've lived in lots of different places, and we get to talk about taxes in detail a little further into the show, but can you just give us like maybe an overview of tax comparisons in the US. Some states have income tax, some don't. If so, so the three taxes that really have to pay attention when you move to different states is number one is your income tax. Number two is your property taxes. Number three is your sales tax. Different states will offer you without income tax, but they will have increased property tax and sales tax. So the three of that the three triangle of that it's really rotating, one might need more, and then the other two are less, or the one will be more or the other two less, it's like that.
So it's just the government is just compensating for one end, if the other one is cheaper, so at the end of the day, you're still paying taxes and just different side of the tax for higher income people. Of course, if you live in a low or no income tax state, that's a big factor. If you are a person who is in a business of sales, then working, I mean, you know, having business in lost sales, income tax will be beneficial to you. So again, those are the three factors that you will have to pay attention to income tax, your property tax, and your sales tax. So for me, I used to live in New Jersey, we were just recently come, we get hit both we are the highest property tax in the whole us. That's about 2.2% of our properties and the properties there is around 600,000 median. So what I'm saying about that is I will tell you, my mortgage is $2,000. But my property tax is $1,000 a month. So it's like technically 50% and goes to property tax. But the good thing about that is we're not really on a bad shape, either. Because there's a lot of things that the government gives you or forgives you on your on your income taxes or sales tax or property tax. So they give you about $10,000 deductions at the end of the year. So you just have to know where are you going to reduce it, something like that. But those are the three important things that you have to pay attention. Florida might not have income tax, as well as Texas, but then you will have to pay attention with your sales tax and your property taxes. Okay.
And we have on the screen, a chart for everybody from the sources is from the balance the nine states without income tax, and how a structure things in terms of property taxes, as Kay was speaking about, or, you know, as he tells us, he's got a high via tax, and Washington has got high gasoline tax. So, you know, there are different factors in different states in terms of the taxes. So really, if we kind of break it down. And in terms of cost of living, you're going to be looking at the salary that you're going to be making, you're going to be looking at the cost of living comparison, and you're going to be looking at the taxes, which are kind of the three main factors that we look at when you are deciding where you want to go live. And just a fun quiz. Does anybody know which is the state with the highest cost of living? Anybody know if you do put it in the chat? I don't see anyone in the chat. I know that. It's one of my favorite spots to go. Is it? What is it Kaye? Should I share it?
Oh, there we go. Case got it. So Hawaii is the state with the highest cost of living. Does anybody know? Oh, there we go. Some people got it. Bree got it. Lonnie got it. and Ireland said New York, California says it's really kind of interesting. Those are states with high taxes but not as not as high up there we go.
Lots of people joining in now a lot of people thinking it's you New York. But actually, as Kay said, it is Hawaii and cost the state with the lowest cost of living. I see a few people have got it. And Monterey says Mississippi, and Alfred says Mississippi, yeah, you all right? You got it. Ashley's got Mississippi. So the answer is the state with the highest cost of living. So a lot of people think it's New York, but it's not. It's not. And I went to Hawaii, I'm like from I'm from New York City. I'm from Manhattan, I went to Hawaii. I'm like, Whoa, this expensive pair. Yeah, exactly what surprised about it.
So really fun. And but lots of people got it to why in Mississippi, the highest and the lowest. And okay, let's dig into each of the different factors. So there are a number of factors to consider when you look at cost of living, we need to look at the food, clothing, education, health care, transportation, taxes, additional expenses, like utilities, Wi Fi, insurance, all of those different factors as well as the housing. So let's talk start talking about the housing and how that compares. And I see a lot of people that got into the chat asking about that, in terms of renting and buying. And so I'd like to ask everybody on the panel, can you give us an idea of the average cost to rent a two bedroom apartment in your city, as well as maybe to buy? Let's start with Patty. Okay, so like I said, location. In first, when we talk about Southern California, and specifically LA, we have to consider a lot of things like we're talking about a Lake County, you know, there are a lot of little cities around the lake city that makes a Lake County. So you can have a lot of differences there. Between the coast and the desert. So, location is key when you're talking about cost of living.
I always we joke when we live in Southern California, whether it's San Diego, LA Santa Barbara, that we pay the sunshine fee, because it's always beautiful here. So we pay a lot to live here. But it's totally worth if the weather is a key factor. And that being said, the cost of a two bedroom apartment can go anywhere from 90 $102,000 up to $7,000. If you want to live in Bel Air, for example, which is a super fancy neighborhood, here in LA. So it all depends. Doing this research, I found out that the neighborhood I live in is one of the most expenses I did not fit Oh my goodness. I know this neighborhood because it was convenient, it was close to work. It's close to the beach, which for me, it's important. So I also I think it's important also to pay for your comfort. So I live in in a very comfortable one bedroom apartment. But it's close to the beach, it's close to all grocery stores. It was close to my job when I first ran this apartment. So for me, it's perfect. It offers me comfort, and I prefer to pay a little more to have comfort. Of course, if I had kids, I would have to consider the school area I will have to consider other things as well.
But that's the thinking about housing that the cost to buy a housing, particularly in this neighborhood, the costs are increasing why because this is an old neighborhood with old houses and they are remodeling the entire neighborhood. So now when you all walk around you see this beautiful houses see 123 old houses and one super modern, beautiful new house and another two old and another brand new so these increase the cost a lot. So you're gonna pay around 800,000 for a two bedroom house in this neighborhood. But again, you can go in here I'm talking about three miles. If I walk three miles straight ahead. I'll be inside the ocean in the water so I can move all the way east and pay a lot less. So. And that's your choice. Right? So, choice. So the pros and cons, it sounds like it's expensive, but you paying for the great weather the lifestyle at something that works for you that you know, that's right. I mean, I live in San Diego, it's really experienced I used to live in San Diego to San Diego is amazing. And I think one of the most amazing things about Southern California is that I always show up, you can start your day, up to the mountains and ski and snowboarding and surfing. And before you 100%, right, so for new offers, I love this place. So I can be a spokesperson for Southern California.
Well, they you guys are you heard it from Patti. She loves Southern California. But it is expensive. So you got to know that when you look at a rate don't just look at the rate, look at the rate in relation to the cost of living taxes. And if that's a choice that you happy to make, it can be a great option. Yes. And just another thing tenure sorry, but just when you show the map with the RM salaries, like California has faced very well, on average, but we have to consider that the cost of living here is high. And the taxes here we pay a lot of taxes to in the end, excuse me, when we get a job offer saying that we're going to be paid X amount per hour, the nurses that are getting job offers now have to take into consideration that they cannot multiply that amount by the amount of hours and oh, I'm gonna take home $4,000 $5,000 $3,000? No, it's that minus all the other expenses and costs minus the costs that you're gonna have. So that is a very important thing to take into consideration. And keep in mind, yeah, thank you for saying that, Patti. I agree 100%. And that's really the importance, as I said, of onwards and upwards, because it's about, you know, knowledge is power, if you know what to expect, it really gives you peace of mind to be able to plan accordingly. Because for example, if you want to come in and buy a house right away, California is not the state for that.
A lot of money and the exchange rate makes it even more difficult. Yeah, no, that it's really important to and to mention, and James in North Carolina, and tell us what an apartment like a two bedroom apartment might cost? And today and about house prices?
Yeah, that's actually interesting question because one of the major issues that nurses face is, you know, deciding who were to rent and whether they're going to rent or buy a house. So I can speak in my county Forsyth County, right, now you can get a two bedroom apartment for like less than 1000, you know, within 900 to $1,000. And for a maybe a more luxurious apartment, you can probably have at 12 to $1,300. So that is for an apartment. But you know, if you're gonna get the house, the good thing about staying in North Carolina is the price of the house, we probably get about the same price with that of a two bedroom apartment. So like, in our case, of course, it was 20 years ago, but it was it's still, you know, a similar or almost similar nowadays, like, we were paying this apartment $800 You know, of the house for like, $800 That's why we decided to get a house in less than a year of staying in the US because the house is gonna cost us like, less than 2000. So you're just gonna pay like $200 More, you already have your own brand new house versus renting an old house. So again, um, location, location, location, we have a good quality of life here. But you know, the cost of living is as low so you get more bucks for your for your money. So yeah, the prices here hasn't haven't really increased compared to how it was like, you know, 20 years ago.
It hasn't probably doubled not like another states. So it's really more affordable. So it's expectedly you know, you'll get a lower hourly rate for an offer, but you will get probably I would say a better how do you call this a better net pay better savings because of the cost of living? And one thing I would like to say it was that you know, I know in other states you really need to like have two jobs to pay a house. I'm glad to say that, you know, I never had to work overtime to be my house and Bradley house here in North Carolina. So, I mean, it's a low cost of living.
Okay, so you bring up a great point is that, you know, you might, it's all about choice. So it depends what you're looking for, and what's the best going to be the best fit for you. And yeah, really, really important.
Just a little bit, I think what it really also do with our environment and this, you know, education and healthcare I like or like the major services that are offered here in, in, in our area. So, again, being an academic and being a nurse, my wife is a nurse and my daughter eventually became a nurse. So I mean, we have the luxury of shopping for schools or universities and hospitals wherever they want to work. So again, it's it all depends on what are your priorities, what are our goals, so and that's another reason why okay, you don't set this the year that's only for the cost of living but you know, the, the things that we need, are right here. But you know, last year my daughter went to live in Manhattan. So that was a huge jumping on her expenses and about me because I'm done with them, you know? empty nester, James, I know, you just you just you've got the kitchen to look after noble children to look after them. So that's where I'm gonna go, dog and cat foods.
Okay, so that's good. What are you spending your money on these days? Kaye was nodding her head when you spoke about your daughter moving to Manhattan que knows all about that. And Kaye, talk to us a little bit about the housing, renting and buying in New York? And how does it compare to Maryland, New Jersey, because I know you've lived in so many different ways. I know I live in Boston, I live in, NewYork, New Jersey, Maryland. Now here, I probably moved 13 times in my 17 years in in the US.
So it's, but again, each state will come with different offers. And James mentioned, you don't just go to state because of the rate each state will offer you different backage. Outside, what's your income as a nurse, it's like for me for New York City. If I work in those big name hospitals or prestigious, I put that in my resume. When I moved to Maryland, I was able to negotiate my income here, knowing that my name might come. I mean, my work experience is in my resume that is really big. So now the Maryland hospital was able to actually match my income in New York City. So you get negotiating rates there. So certain people go to different states because of a reason. And it's not just mainly of pay sometimes he would sacrifice because I will go there for now. But later on I will move to the other place like a lot of people earn a lot of money from high income states. And then when they retire, they go to Florida. Why? Because in Florida, when they when they withdraw their retirement funds that are tax deferred, like their 401 K's their pension, when they moved to Florida, they don't get income tax, state income tax for that. So that's why there is advantage and strategies what a lot of people do, they earn income and is in one place and then they retire in one place. So North Carolina is very known for those places as well where people retire because the income tax is very low. The cost of living is low.
There's one thing I want to point you guys here that it's very, very helpful for us as a traveling nurse. This is one place that we are guided how much the cost of living is first. It's called the GSA. This is a federal guideline. When you go Tanya, can I share a window here? I think you can. Okay, so, so I'm going to share a screen here. It's called GSA. This is a government website where they actually list the average cost of living when we go to one place. This is what a lot of a lot of truck drivers are traveling professionals also go so when you type in Google go gsa gsa.gov is the website for that this is again federal government right there. So you can go here and you can actually put work what's the zip code of the place are going so for us me if I put 221204 That is or let's say here one desert who nine is my New York where they call this one New York location. It will tell here what's the average day lodging by month sorry by day. So if you see if you see here is 286 per night is the accommodation of a hotel in New York. That's the average that the government will actually give you allowance. So this is just a guide but it will give you an estimate here. Am I saying Is this your monthly rent or money right now this is not it. This is when you book a hotel or lodging or housing temporary housing in that location. So the ever the my competition with that with that is
Probably about 30 30% to 50% of that will be your apart your housing cost if you're going to rent or buy a property. So I'm going to give you an example again, when you go back again to that, so the way to compare it is, okay, I was from New York, then I'm going to go move to Maryland, to 1204 is my zip code now. So we're gonna look at the difference of that swell. So it here earlier it was 200. Plus, now here is 100. So you can see here actually, the numbers that is actually based from the government, government research on how much the cost of living will cost for housing, and then as well as the food in here, 64 for each meal, in average, if you're going to bite outside a restaurant, it's around 14 $16. So that's a very helpful thing that you really want to put in if this is very specific to the zip code of the United States. So you are more particular in there, because each ZIP code will have different cost of living here. Like you said, you just go to blocks, yes, a different amount of phrases. There we go four blocks to the other side, it goes a different price as well. Okay, very interesting. Thank you for sharing that. Okay. And very helpful tool and something that many international healthcare workers may have no idea about, that can really shed some light on the cost of living in the different zip codes of the different locations. Okay, how much would a two bedroom apartment cost in New York City? Oh, two bedroom.
Oh, my goodness, you're gonna be rich, you're probably spending around 2500 to $3,000 for a two bedroom, two bedroom in New York City. And here in Manhattan, here and now in Baltimore County. I'm not in downtown Baltimore. I don't like it. I'm here in a suburb of about the Baltimore we're around looking about $2,000 about 1500 to $3,000 Okay, so there's that comparison. Elvis, how does rate compare in Fargo North Dakota. So you hear this now it's not a big city. We feel like as we all tell, but we have all the structure all the things that you need in in a really big city and then it doesn't matter the place here you're going to live because the you have the cost, it's much the same. And then you can you can rent an apartment two bedrooms is starting 100,000 to 1600 You know, you heal it to you really can find a really good apartments here I found a brand new one apartment here with two bedrooms, two bathrooms with a balcony, everything and but one thing is important if you are moving to Fargo, you need to take into consideration the weather here you know because during the winter it's really freezing cold.
And then this is important to look for an apartment that has covered in build garage for example, then you do not need to go outside and walk to your car during the winter. And one another thing that's important here in Fargo it's if you have kids and then think about busing because if you if you live less than one mile from the school here, you will not be able to have a bus driving your kids to school you know and some another important thing here when I was looking for an apartment with in Unit washer and dryer you know it's some about comfort here and pets it's important to not all the apartments allow pets in the apartment and sometimes you don't need to pay a small fee to have a pet here but again it's a really ship CD with a lot of structures and you can find everything here I think it's right place if you're starting in the US and you want to make money and you do not want to be too much concern about the cost of living for good so nice place yeah okay and thank you for sharing that.
Elvis because it's not just about the money the rate is you know, when you go with a lower cost of living there might be other factors that you have to take into account like the weather. You know, some people love being in the snow some people you know do all the snow sports you go. And that can be a really fun experience. But for some people, it's like, I don't care if it's a low cost of living, I don't want that lifestyle. Again, that's a very much a personal, personal choice. Living at the time, we literally have 10 minutes left of the show, and I've got so many more things that we want to try and cover on the cost of living. And so I want to move now to kind of like having fun. And do Is there a difference in terms of like, having a glass of beer in the city? Or? Okay, you spoke about, like a burger, or a customer movie tickets or a road trip? I know for Elvis, you know, He's new in the in the US, I might not have comparison, but for and for the rest of the panel? And what is there a difference in what like having fun, like recreational things and how much they cost? between the different states? Or is it just more housing? Can you share with, with everyone your experience? James, you nodding your head?
Yeah, sure. Oh, you know, I'm having a family of four, you know, I have two kids, and then growing up, you know, we would travel a lot. And, of course, our baseline is North Carolina. And whenever we go to like New York to Florida, you know, this world we go to, to the West Coast, la San Francisco, so we can see you to feel the difference, you know, eating the same menu, having the same restaurant, you know, it will be different. Whoever I mean, depends when you go to different places. So it's, it's really a huge difference. Like, you know, just a couple of summers that goes like, Okay, I want to have McDonald's, but like, oh my god, yeah, we saw with cost and in New York City. So we have to consider also like, where do you want to go? But again, it's a matter of preferences of choices. So it's, I would say it's really very different I think in all aspects food bottle of beer, I'm not going to go to Tennessee because they had the highest beer tax right. So yeah, um, you have to consider all those things, when we talk about cost of living is only going to be like the house or the basic necessities, it will be everything that you know, you will be spending on. So from the burger to you know, entertainment and going to the movies, or, Hey, I want to go to Disney World or in this lab, you know, so or go to Broadway.
So, I mean, it's going to take a huge chunk of your money now, depending on where you go. So you have to you have to really consider and the main thing is you have to plan for those you have to plan because, yeah, you want to have a coming to the US, you will be given like great experiences, but you know, it comes with a cost. So you got again, you got to do your research, you got to, you know, knowledge is power, and you've got to educate yourself about those differences. And in terms of like transportation, you know, for many international nurses, they have to buy a car when they come to the United States. And I think with buying a car, it might that column might not necessarily be impacted by cost of living specifically, but certainly gas is going to be impacted or using Uber or Lyft or even public transportation.
Kaye do you've lived in a lot of different places in terms of transportation, and in different states. What was it did you find that different? Very, very different when I first arrived in New York City, yes, our rent is higher than a lot of states, but we didn't have to purchase a car because of public transportation. It's very good. Very, very good. Nobody drives in there. Even you know the billionaire Michael Bloomberg doesn't even drive. It takes the subway or the cab. So everybody drives everybody takes a public transportation there. You'll be crazy. If you're driving a car you own a car and they're because the parking alone in in New York City a parking a monthly parking will cost you around 250 to $300 just for the parking, you're not even talking about a car. So it made a big difference.
When I started jumping to travel nursing. I was still living in New York City during the weekend, but I would travel out of New York City on the weekdays. So what was the difference there when I bought the car in New York City, my car was 350 but and my insurance was also $300 because the insurance of the car will impact the cost of the I mean the premium of the insurance will have a big impact where you live. When you say you live in the low cheap area but the the neighborhood you will have to park your car outside of the neighborhood is not a very good area. Your insurance of the car is going to be very expensive. You might be you might have a cheaper housing by $200 a month in compared to other places. But you're in Insurance is more than $200 and other places. So it really comes, catches up in other parts of your life.
And then when I was in Boston, the traffic is worse than New York City. LA is worse than New York City. Oh my god, it took me two hours just to drive nine hours, nine miles in in LA California. So those are things that you will have to pay attention as well, not only to housing not only the, you know, the food, but as well was, how much is the insurance is going to cost in your car there and the gas as well. And some states even have to pay you have to pay property tax on owning a car. Like when I was in Connecticut, I got a bill after three years, the state of Connecticut say you owe us taxes for owning a car. But what? Wow, I did not know.
So yeah, so certain states, you will have to pay taxes by owning a car even though that cars depreciating they will still tax you like you own a house. So you have to pay attention on those small details. Wow, wow, that's really interesting, and great information. And Patty in terms of the basics, like food, groceries, clothing, what kind of bills can somebody incur on a monthly basis? And what can somebody expect to pay? I don't think those things impact a lot. The cost of living again, you know, depends where you want to shop. I think what impacts the most at least here in California is housing. And more recently feel gas for the car, but groceries clothing.
Internet can be expensive. For example, where I live, there's only one provider, so they charge as much as they wanted. So right now I'm paying 7999 a month for internet, which I think it's outrageous. But there is only one provider. So there's nothing I can do choice there. But I don't think like groceries, clothing, cell phones, other things. I really don't think they are the what impacts the most the cost of living. I think we have a lot of choices here. Yeah, so there might be differences state to state, but at the end of the day, you know that there are certain things that are going to have more weight in the cost of living expenses. Yeah. In terms of the basic cost of living expenses were the things that surprised you because I know for many international nurses and when they first arrive in the United States, they don't realize that you're going to have to pay insurance or Wi Fi or utilities or any of those things a surprise for you when you came to North Dakota.
So not sure but I think that electricity and gas and internet when I rented this apartment, it's all included. It's a good thing you know, it doesn't matter how much I gas or water i i spent during the month because it's all included. And then I think I hear you can pay just $50 for internet connection. But I think here in North Dakota groceries really impacts at least for my family because I have a wife and two kids two boys you know they need a lot. Yeah. The 10 and 14 and the Allies spend at least 1000 1200 per month with grocery here in North Dakota. And but cellphone is not too expensive. The I spend 100 100 town for all my family and we have a lot of good thrift stores here. It's a good tip you know you can go to thrift stores. That's a good tip. Find everything it's really a surprise me here in the US because we do not have this kind of thing in Brazil. And then you can find really good clothes. You can find furniture electronics, everything in a good condition in the thrift store them down the basic you can find in a good supermarket too. You know but um but here the price of the few not too high. It's three point 79 per gallon now. It's good. I just spend about 60 $60 per month because I we do not have traffic jam here. You can you can reach Every place in the city in 10 minutes driving, you know, it's wonderful compared to what Kay was saying in California.
So very, very different. I have we have so many questions, we have so many questions in the chat. And people are asking about the cost of living in Pennsylvania and Tennessee and Texas, and I wanted to go through that and pick the, the panel's brains and get their input. So we would love it if the panel would go into the chat after the show. And just put in your comments for anyone asking about specific locations and the cost of living there. We also didn't get to talk about the cost of kids or taxes. So we're going to have to bring everybody back again for a fun show and continue this discussion. And I wanted to thank and James Kaye, Elvis and Patti so much for coming on the show today, we know it can be a little scary to be speaking in front of 1000s of people. But I always think this is just us chatting. And knowledge is power, as we always say. So it's really about empowering healthcare workers coming to the United States so that they know what to expect. And they don't have negative surprises. And they know that when you're looking at a at a job offer, for example, you want to look at the rate in comparison to the cost of living and the taxes in that area. Because it's not just looking at one aspect.
There's a lot more to it and a lot of variation in all the different states. Before you leave us. I wanted to just remind everybody about the upcoming shows. And so we have an upcoming onwards and upwards next Friday, navigating our in benefits, I saw there was a question in the chat about health care, the cost of health care. And so we will be covering that. And next week in a lot more detail how to understand that. And on the ninth we'll be talking specifically about renting an apartment and lots of tips and pointers on how to go about doing that. On the 16th. Our legal panel will be back with the immigration Q&A on the 20th. We have the Lefora talk show and we're talking specifically about clinical differences in the IDI and in the US as opposed to other parts of the United States.
And then on the 23rd we have stateside where we talk about a specific state and what it's like living there and please feel free to download our free guide book for the 50 states guide book which tells you everything you need to know about all 50 states on Connetics college the upcoming shows every Monday, and check the time in your location we have a spike during a class on NCLEX class on the fifth, Swoosh and IELTS class on the 12th and include class with IPass with Rachel on the 19th. And then nine is we'll be doing a class on the 26th on IELTS vs OET vs Pearson PTE. This is free information on the NCLEX and the IELTS for those nurses who still need to pass those exams and there's much more coming on the Connetics college which happens every Monday. And then Connetics initiatives. All Connetics nurses get a free English scholarship we pay for your course, free NCLEX scholarship for selected nurses are $1,000 referral fee. And if you refer nurse with NCLEX with $1,000 referral fee extended to September 30. We also have our podcast nursing in America Nurse Aide program onwards and upwards every Friday Canadians college every Monday and if you're allied worker, med tech, medical lab technician etc. We have positions for you as well. And before you leave the IELTS work raffle winner is drumroll Rudolfo sotas Jr. So Connetics is covering the cost of your IELTS exam. Congratulations Rudolfo. And we look forward to seeing you in the United States. Congrats. Thank you for everybody joining us today. We will be back next week and thank you so much to our panel. Have a great weekend. Onwards and Upwards everybody