Any rational person would agree that living on the West Coast is better than living on the East Coast. Anybody who tells you otherwise probably has never experienced West Coast living long enough to understand the difference.
I’m rational. I’ve lived on both coasts for over 10 years each and I don’t believe there’s really much of a debate. Who doesn’t want to live in more moderate temperatures where the sun is always shining? Unless you like super cold winters and uncomfortably muggy summers, the East Coast isn’t for you.
When your family and friends are on the East Coast, it’s hard to leave I understand. We’re afraid of change. I know I am. But, this is not a post to bash the East Coast. This is a post to understand what truly makes the East Coast and other uncomfortable climate zones special.
A friend of mine is thinking about relocating from San Francisco, the best city in America, to New York City or Washington DC for a little work. I think she’s a little nuts leaving our California sunshine behind and I’m trying to understand why, and maybe even why not.
East Coast Living Positives
1) Richer history. Since the Europeans first invaded the East Coast of America, there is a much richer heritage as evidenced by more developed infrastructure and building architecture. Museums are more prevalent, and attractions are more interesting. Therefore, the East Coast has a much older and richer history.
2) Closer to Europe. It’s easy to get a direct flight to Europe that’s also cheaper and quicker. Who doesn’t love to visit the bright lights of Paris, and the bustle of London every once in a while? The Europeans really know how to live well.
3) Time Zone Dominance. American TV and major broadcasts still revolves around eastern standard time. The stock market market opening at 9:30am, the French Open finals at 9am, and World Cup matches at 7am are all examples of major events serving the eastern time zone.
4) Food. Certain foods such as hot pastrami sandwiches, pizza, and cheese-steaks always seem tastier on the east coast for some reason. Perhaps there’s no real difference, other than the fact that when you eat a hot pastrami sandwich at Katz’s deli in NYC, it’s just more authentic given the history.
5) Fewer Earthquakes. Earthquake danger is overrated in California given the infrequency of large shakes. That said, the danger still exists. I’d much rather have a big earthquake every 30 years than tornadoes and hurricanes every year. Sorry, I lied! Stand strong Virginia and East Coasters, stop making fun of us Californians!
6) There’s Only Upside. Imagine if you were born and raised in Hawaii. What a drag to leave! Once you live on the east coast, anywhere else you go will be so much better!
East Coast Negatives
1) The weather is horrible. Too hot and muggy during the summer, too cold and dreary during the winter. If there’s going to be snow, at least have some snowboardable mountains. There are frequently blizzards that shut down cities and towns for days. Only the Fall is beautiful.
2) Damaging storms, more accidents. Without fail, there always seems to be a blizzard or a violent hurricane every year which wreaks havoc on property and financial well-being. Homeowner’s insurance and maintenance costs are much, much higher than prices on the West Coast as a result. You get compare great homeowners insurance rates with PolicyGenius for free.
3) Terrible for allergies. Anybody who is highly sensitive to any allergen should consider leaving the East Coast. I suffered from tremendous allergies while living in the East Coast for 10 years, and as soon as I moved to San Francisco, my allergy attacks all but went away. Perhaps there’s something in the trees or the pollution.
4) More stressed out people. When the weather is terrible half the year, people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Stress levels are higher, people are more overweight, and even suicide rates are higher. Given all these problems, life insurance rates are also higher.
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5) People seem to be more in a hurry. Unlike the west coast, people on the East Coast never seem to stop and smell the roses. East Coasters are always in a hurry to get somewhere. As a result, stress levels are higher and people are more combative. There’s much more of an easy going vibe on the West Coast.
East Coast Living Is Much Tougher
I really am trying to see the positives of living on the East Coast with my six examples. However, I have to admit I’m struggling to find more reasons.
The weather is atrocious for half the year on the East Coast. It would take quite a premium to leave California, Washington, Oregon, or Hawaii for the East Coast.
In fact, there are signs that more people are migrating to California from the South and Midwest after the pandemic. Starting in the summer of 2021, 99% of COVID-19 deaths are from people who are unvaccinated. And vaccination rates in the Souther and Midwestern states are some of the lowest.
But this post is about East Coast living, not about the South and Midwest. The East Coast is fine for half of the year. I lived on the East Coast from 1991 – 2001. 10 years was enough. Once I moved to California in 2001, I knew I could never go back!
Won’t you help share some of your reasons as to why the East Coast is so wonderful?
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East Coast Living is a Financial Samurai original post. For six months of the year, the east coast is a great place. But for the other six months, the weather is either too hot and humid or too cold. It’s better if we can live a great life for as many months of the year as possible!
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