The average rent for a New York City apartment is now $3,642. That’s $43,704 a year. The average college graduate with a four-year degree earns… About $43,000 a year. That sort of puts it in perspective. Could you live better, but differently for $43,000 a year? Take a look and decide for yourself!
There’s a whole lifestyle dedicated to being a “digital nomad” and living your life wherever you please, working from wherever you want in the world. The vast majority of jobs don’t actually require your presence in an office, and they certainly don’t require your presence around a conference table to discuss some policy change that affects nothing about your project. Could you live a good life somewhere else on the amount of money you spend on rent alone, and work from your home away from home? Of course you could – save the rest of your salary, and retire early. You’d be putting away at least 80 grand a year that way (rent should be no more than a third of income, or so they say) and have a pretty awesome retirement at, say, 45.
Friendly people A stable democracy. Beautiful beaches. Beautiful women. What more could you ask for? Oh, yeah, safe tap water and high-speed internet so you can actually get your work done. You’ll find those, as well. Rumor has it that you can live here basically forever on a series of 90 day tourist visas (just take a bus across the border and back every 90 days), but residency isn’t particularly hard to get if you have $1,000 in retirement funds per month. We can’t speak for the cost of renters insurance there, however. If you’re an American living in Costa Rica, we’d be curious what the local equivalent to the HO-4 might cost, or if such a thing exists.
There are other options, as well. The repeated tourist visa option is popular with digital nomads, because their work doesn’t require going to an office or being hired in-country. One couple details their expenses here, but it boils down to less than $2,000 a month. That’s total living expenses. Compared to $40k a year for a Manhattan apartment alone, with bills and expenses on top, that’s a steal.
A 90 square foot apartment (85 square metres) apartment in Prague in the city center, one of the more expensive options, will run you about $968 a month, or $12k a year. You also get the benefit of being in a city with centuries of history. Not to mention, everything else is cheaper, so you’re banking even more money working remotely. An internet connection will cost you something like $18 a month. You also have the advantage of being able to freely travel easily (and cheaply) throughout much of Europe. Feel like seeing Paris this weekend? Have a couple hundred bucks? You’re on your way. There are other distinct advantages, but even with those you’re still coming out way ahead. You know those cigarettes you pay twelve bucks a pack for back in Manhattan? How’s $4 a pack sound? That’s $240 a month saved right there, if you’re a pack a day smoker. On the whole, Prague is sixty-two percent cheaper to live in than NYC! Do they have renters insurance there? There’s probably a similar product and you should have coverage wherever you go in the world.
Just because you’re doing the digital nomad thing and trying to bank some salary by not paying for a New York City apartment doesn’t mean you have to leave the country. Face it, do you really want to deal with another NYC winter? Paul Simon complained about them. The Gin Blossoms complained about them. You probably don’t love them either! Phoenix offers a change from spending half the year frozen, and you’ll be able to bank forty percent of your salary! When was the last time you went out for dinner in NYC for $44? That’s the norm in Phoenix, and you’d have to try pretty hard to spend more than $80 for two, even with a few drinks. $1,349 is the normal rent in the more expensive and convenient areas. Sun and savings are great, but never forget you’re also saving several hours a day by not commuting. Roll into your desk at noon when everyone else in the New York office stumbles in at 9 – you’re rested and ready for that conference call while they’re still rubbing sleep from their eyes.
And the extra padding on your bank account helps the sting of not having that NYC apartment, but really, will you be that sad to give up those neighbors and that pace? Even with the cost of Phoenix, AZ Renters Insurance, you’ll still be doing well. About fifteen bucks a month is the normal starting point, so your insurance costs won’t impact your retirement plans.
If you’ll still need to fly in for meetings in NY once in a while, you need access to a major airport. If you work closely with people in the home office in real time, it’s helpful to be in the same time zone. You need some culture, but not the fast pace and not the ridiculously expensive lifestyle. What about Indianapolis? With a cost of living almost fifty percent lower than NYC, you’ll save money and you’ve got everything you need. Chicago is within an easy drive for a weekend trip. So is Saint Louis. A similar apartment might cost you about $1,300 a month here. Oh, and paying someone to clean that apartment is cheaper, too – the going rate for cleaning help is about $30 an hour in NYC, it’s only $17 in Indianapolis. So even if you like your comforts, you still come out ahead. Protecting those comforts is affordable, too. Indianapolis Renters Insurance starts at about $17 a month – basically, the cost of one beer at Bankers Life Fieldhouse these days.
Los Angeles, CA
While you won’t save quite as much with this option, your New York City apartment would cost thirty-six percent less in LA! That’s fifteen grand in the bank out of the gate. If you’re looking for Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, you can have dinner for two at a nice one for about $80, as opposed to the $125 you’d spend in NYC. Even a monthly transit pass is cheaper. That’s right, you save money by living in the city that much of America has traditionally flocked to and struggled in. You’ll get the better end of the deal, and you have the same benefit as in Phoenix – your day starts three hours later, so you’re in much better shape than your colleagues for collaborative work in the mornings! And just like in NYC, you only need to spend money on a car if you truly want one. That saves you even more. You can save some additional money with Los Angeles Renters Insurance, that starts around $18 a month. You can’t park for an hour in LA for that much money, so it’s a pretty good deal.
Not everyone – or every job – is cut out for it, but if you can leave your New York City apartment and move somewhere – anywhere – else in the world (or even in the country) and do you work remotely, you’ll be able to retire earlier with more savings. You’ll also have the benefit of knowing that everything costs less than it would, you’re not contributing to the damage to the planet that a city the size of NYC creates, and you’re doing something different. More importantly, you’ll know that you’re doing something you want to do, which brings great satisfaction. More jobs than you’d think can be taken with you on the road as long as you have internet.
Is it worth the cost and stress of living in a New York City apartment for you? If so, you’ll need New York City Renters Insurance to protect that lifestyle and your assets, because your odds of being sued in NYC over something ridiculous are higher than in just about any of the other cities we mentioned, as is your risk of a loss by theft. It’s cheaper to insure just about anything in any of the cities we mentioned – your home, your life, your health, your car, all of it is less expensive than New York insurance. If you’re bent on staying in the Big Apple because you just can’t live without the lifestyle, you can get protected and still save some money by calling the insurance experts for New York renters at (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need NYC renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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