Are you a New Yorker considering a move to Philadelphia?
For many New Yorkers, there simply is nowhere else they’d rather live. Personally, I think that’s great. Loving where you live is a tremendously strong indicator of general happiness. There are, though, people who find themselves questioning whether a move might improve their overall satisfaction. Should you be considering a relocation? For those who might, but want to remain in a nearby city, Philadelphia might be just the ticket. Click here for a comparison of cost of living, lifestyle and vibe of the two cities. Click here for an overview of what it’s like to live in Philadelphia.
Over the last decade or so, there has been an increase in the number of people moving from NYC to Philadelphia. Some of those people even make the move with no job interruption as it is commutable (I wouldn’t want to do it, but if you’re already used to spending up to two hours commuting, it’s not any different!). Others either work from home or change jobs. The exodus can’t be traced to a single reason, but the most common ones were cost of living and lifestyle. Particularly post-COVID, a move from New York to Philadelphia makes a lot of sense. For more on that topic, click here. To see where those New Yorkers are going, click here.
Cost of living
There is no way around the astronomical cost of living in NY. From rents to parking to food, everything is expensive. While salaries are generally slightly higher than they are in Philadelphia, they don’t normally cover the gap. As a result, most New Yorkers spend a higher percentage of their income on the basics, leaving less for savings or luxuries. If you find that you have very little leftover after paying for necessities, it might be time to think about relocating to an area with a lower cost of living.
The most commonly cited advantages of living in New York is that it “has everything, from shopping to theater to museums to great restaurants” and something is always open, regardless of time of day. Inarguably true….but, if you can’t afford those quintessentially New York activities, does it really matter that you’re surrounded by them? And I always wonder who is so committed to shopping/eating in the middle of the night. Yes, certain people work at night or are simply more nocturnal and need access to certain services. Philadelphia doesn’t offer the same number (or variety) of those as New York, but it’s not like you can’t get a cheesesteak from Pat’s or Geno’s even if it is 2:00 am.
What does Philadelphia offer a New Yorker?
Well, to begin with, it’s not very far away. It’s commutable by train (from center city Philadelphia as well as the Main Line towns of Ardmore and Paoli). It’s still a big city (currently the sixth largest in the U.S.), so it has a big airport, sports teams, and all of the expected trappings of a larger metro area. It is, though, a city of neighborhoods. People who move here often note that within the city as well as in the suburbs, the neighborhoods are distinct and provide a sense of community and belonging. Culture and the arts are also thriving in Philadelphia; the mural arts movement began here and the museum choices are pretty impressive. While Broadway is found only in New York, Philadelphia has several well-respected theaters.
In terms of “feel”, if the East Coast vibe of “old, established city with history” is one of the aspects of New York that you like, Philadelphia won’t disappoint. There is more history in this city than you can shake a stick at. And if you’re worried about missing the jewel that is Central Park, Philadelphia has you covered. Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park is the largest urban park in the world and contains 63 separate parks within its borders. It’s five times larger than Central Park! All areas are open to the public and include horse trails, waterways, forests, gardens, open fields and more. To learn more about how expats find things in Philadelphia that feel comfortable, click here.
So…..should you move to Philadelphia from New York?
If you are relocating to the Philadelphia/Main Line area, please go to my blog page and search for posts using the relocation tag.