You’ll probably have the same train of thought every time you move to a new neighborhood. You’ll have a lot of moving questions, as well as things you’d like to learn about the new place. If you are considering moving to Massachusetts, you will most likely have questions bothering you like; is it fun in MA? What’s the education level there? How about job opportunities? How are livelihood and foodstuffs in Massachusetts? What makes the city so special? Should I just rule out moving to Massachusetts because my lifestyle may not match with the place? Well, I am glad to tell you that you have just gotten to the right place to get the most of the answers to your most pertinent questions, and subsequently, you can decide if moving to Massachusetts is a good idea for you.
One of the best ways to start is to highlight some of the pros and cons of moving to Massachusetts and this section somewhat addresses that but generally, it is just about some interesting things you probably have not thought of before.
Massachusetts is among the top three based on employment rankings in the US. It is also evident in the high GDP and the booming startups in the cities. Massachusetts is a great place to consider if you are a student looking to pick up a career or an early-career professional or on a general note looking for a place to quickly get a job. However, you have to stay up to date with your skills to explore the thriving job market efficiently.
Some of the best higher education, as well as primary and secondary schooling and pre-K education, are located in Massachusetts. It is ranked #2 in the US-based on the quality of education and high performance in the schools. You need to be worried about the quality of education your kids will be getting if you move to MA. Not to even mention that it is home to Harvard University and MIT.
Food and Culinary
One of the things that will likely discourage anyone is the poor quality of food, but I am glad to inform you that is a different ball game. Food is a major part of Massachusetts with offerings of highly tasteful dishes and cuisines in the cities. From seafood to fast foods and even local delis, you are certainly going to enjoy your delicacies in MA.
It is never going to be boring in MA during summer with different sightseeing and festivals going on. Nantucket Daffodil Festival, Boston Calling music festival, Revere International Sand Sculpting Festival are some of the most interesting and fun-filled festivals going on yearly. However, for history aficionados, Boston’s Freedom Trail is a must-see, as it weaves through many of the city’s historic sites. Relaxing beach holidays can be found on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.
Sports in Massachusetts
Imagine all of the memories from every single sports movie ever made, all in one spot. Because basketball was invented in Springfield, it’s no surprise that the Basketball Hall of Fame is also located there. This state vibes with the sports lover like no other state. Teams like Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, England Patriots, and New England Revolution are all based in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts is an excellent place to call home for anyone who wishes to settle down. It boasts a strong employment market for the family’s working professionals, as well as a good educational system for the children. There are also some interesting sites to visit.
Cost of Living
Massachusetts Cost of Living Index is about 127 which is higher than the US average. In the Bay State, the cost of living varies depending on the city. Overall, Massachusetts is not a cheap state to reside in. The suburbs of Boston are generally more expensive than towns and cities outside of the Hub.
Summer and fall in Massachusetts are well-known for their beauty. However, as winter approaches, the cruelty of ice emerges. The state has one of the worst winters in the country. Ice covers as thick as 60 inches have been recorded, and three significant storms have recently swept over the state.
Public Transport and Traffic
Public transportation, particularly railway lines, serves the majority of cities. Railroads continue to use historic tunnels to assist commuters. It does, however, take some time to get used to these lines. In addition, Uber, Lyft, and other similar cab services are available in the cities. Taxis, on the other hand, can be quite expensive. Parking is a major issue, particularly in the city of Boston. If bringing a vehicle, several flats do not provide off-street parking, necessitating the use of a residential parking permit. It is critical to rent an apartment close to your place of business because public transportation in the state can be erratic when it comes to punctuality.
Economy and Job Market
Massachusetts has an employment rate of 6.6%, which is above the US average of 6.0%. It is expected that future job growth will rise to 40% as opposed to the 34% US average, with the top employment sectors being health care, retail trade, and other professional technical services. As of December 2020, the employment rate in Massachusetts was 8.4%. The per capita real Gross Domestic Product of Massachusetts from 2000 to 2019 has an upward movement to stand firm at 75,258 USD in 2019. However, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped by 3.7% in 2020 when compared to the previous year. The major sectors contributing to the GDP includes real estate, rental, and leasing; professional, scientific, and technical services; finance and insurance; manufacturing; health care and medical assistance among others. After income taxes, per capita, disposable income, also known as disposable personal income (DPI), is the amount of money a person has available for spending and saving. Disposable income is a crucial economic metric that may be used to assess an economy’s overall health. Massachusetts’ DPI in 2018 was $71,683, putting it in the second position among all 50 US states.
Massachusetts is the seventh smallest state in the United States, with an area of 10,555 square miles (27,340 km2) in the northeastern United States New England region. Water covers 25.7 percent of the land, and the coast is shaped by a series of massive bays. Boston is the state’s largest city, located near the mouth of the Charles River and at the farthest point of Massachusetts Bay. Despite its small size, Massachusetts has a variety of distinct topographic regions. Here is an inexhaustible list of Massachusetts top landmarks in no particular order:
- Fenway Park: The proud home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is one of Boston’s most sought-after destinations. The most distinctive feature of this classic baseball park is the 37-foot-tall left-field wall, known as the “Green Monster”.
- Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory: The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory is a uniquely American institution, positioned at the top of a picturesque mountain range south of Boston. It was the scene of numerous pioneering weather experiments and discoveries, having been founded in 1885 by Abbott Lawrence Rotch as a private scientific institute for the study and monitoring of the atmosphere.
- American Antiquarian Society: The American Antiquarian Society, based in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a national research library dedicated to American history and culture that dates back to 1876 and has been sharing American stories for almost 200 years. AAS was founded by Isaiah Thomas on October 24, 1812, by an act of the Massachusetts General Court. The library also contains printed records from the time of the first European arrival until 1876.
- Christ Church: Christ Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, located at Zero Garden Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was named a National Historic Landmark as one of the few buildings indisputably attributed to Peter Harrison, the first formally trained architect to operate in the British colonies, and was built in 1760–61.
- Harvard University: Founded in 1636, Harvard University is America’s oldest educational institution. This university’s original name was “New College” and its primary objective was to educate clerics. In 1639, the school was renamed Harvard University after the Rev. John Harvard. Upon his death, Harvard bequeathed half of his fortune and his entire library to the institution. Because of this huge bequest, the school decided to commemorate him by naming itself after him.
- Flying Horses Carousel: The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest platform carousel in the United States. The Flying Horses Carousel has been entertaining visitors to Oak Bluffs since 1884. It was built in 1876 by Charles Dare of New York Carousel Manufacturing and is one of just two Dare carousels that still exist. Originally a Coney Island attraction, it was relocated to Oak Bluffs in 1884 and has stationary carved wooden horses with actual horse hair manes and tails and inset glass eyes. Each horse is beautifully painted and is held in place by a metal post on the rotating platform.
Taxes and Tax Rates
The most important taxes in Massachusetts are the sales and income taxes, both of which are paid at an apartment rate by citizens throughout the state. The income tax rate in Massachusetts is 5.00 percent. The 6.25 percent statewide sales tax rate is one of the 20 lowest in the country (when including the local taxes collected in many other states).
- Income Tax: Massachusetts relies substantially on personal income taxation to cover annual running expenses, accounting for approximately 55% of all tax collections. The Commonwealth levies a withholding tax on both earned (salaries, wages, tips, and commissions) and investment (interest, dividends, and capital gains) income. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, the rate was reduced to 5%. Massachusetts has an apartment rate, which means that all income of the same type must be taxed at the same rate, but various categories of income might be taxed differently. Certain short-term capital gains, for example, are taxed at a rate of 12 percent.
- Sales Tax: The Massachusetts sales tax is 6.25% on the purchase price or rental fee for tangible personal goods or certain telecommunications services sold or rented in the state. Its sales tax base, on the other hand, is strictly defined. The buyer pays the sales tax to the vendor in addition to the purchase price at the time of purchase. The tax is subsequently sent to Massachusetts by the merchant.
- Corporate Tax: Massachusetts has a complex corporate tax structure, with distinct tax rates and tax bases for various businesses. The corporate excise tax for traditional corporations is typically composed of an 8.00% tax on income attributable to Massachusetts plus a levy of $2.60 per $1,000 of the largest of taxable Massachusetts tangible personal property or taxable net worth. Manufacturers, securities corporations, and financial organizations all have their taxation regimes. The sort of corporate structure also influences the type and quantity of tax that a firm must pay.
Top Cities to Move to in Massachusetts
Quite reasonable to think that some certain occurrences or situations won’t be the same across Massachusetts and some instances will be city-specific. Some of the top cities to move to in Massachusetts are identified below based on some interesting characteristics in no particular order.
- Boston: Boston is a city rich in culture and history, with great high school and college education, world-class shopping, and good health care. If any of these sounds appealing to you, I’m happy to say that Boston is one area you should consider. Many inhabitants rely on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which operates a train, bus, and subway system that serves the areas. The four seasons of Boston are spring, summer, fall, and winter, with obvious changes between them.
- Worcester: This is the second-largest city in Massachusetts, moving to Worcester directly translates to you living in a big city with everything within your reach; at least this is an advantage. With over ten (10) colleges, this is one state Students might be drawn to. The largest industries in Worcester are health care, retail trade, educational services, and the highest paying being professional, scientific, and technical services. Nightlife is great here, but it is still a great place for families. The median home price is a little above $200,000, if you are considering buying a home you know what your budget should be looking like.
- Northampton: Northampton is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city noted for its strong arts and music scene as well as its bustling downtown. Northampton’s central location within the Five College area makes it clear that education is a top focus. Despite its lovely surroundings, it is very affordable in comparison to other Massachusetts cities. Given the low unemployment rate, which is substantially below the national average, and the solid local economy, this is a great spot for you to look for work. There are numerous wonderful places to eat in the city, all serving delicious food. Sylvester’s, Hungry Ghost Bread, Osaka, and Herrell’s are just a few of the restaurants that serve tasty treats ranging from breakfast to sushi, baked goods and pizza, gourmet ice cream, and even cocktails at Tunnel Bar.
- Lawrence: Lawrence, also known as the” Immigrant City” has traditionally been a multi-ethnic and multicultural gateway city with a high proportion of foreign-born citizens. Lawrence’s industrial legacy is reflected in the towering mill buildings that line the Merrimack River, the awe-inspiring Great Stone Dam, and the magnificent clock and bell towers. Lawrence is a diversified industrial city with manufacturing and services being the major players in the economy. The unemployment rate in Lawrence is a little higher than the US average and this is attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic which has a nationwide effect. Interestingly, the city provides business and technical assistance to businesses located in or seeking to expand in Lawrence by providing insurance and loan loss reserve pool through the Lawrence Partnership. It is an opportunity zone for new investments.
- Needham: One of the exceptionally safe places to live in MA with high-performing schools is Needham. If you are considering security for your home and businesses, this is one place you should be looking at. With the expansion of the railroad, farming, grazing, logging, and tanneries gave way to manufacturing contributing to Needham’s strong and diverse economy. About 80% of Needham’s residents above 25 years hold a bachelor’s degree or higher indicative of the educational attainment in the city.
- Cambridge: Living in Cambridge, which is best known as the home of Harvard and MIT, provides you access to all of the perks that come with prominent universities. For example, the state has some of the top museums for both art and natural history. It’s no surprise that a city with so much going on is also one of Massachusetts’ fastest growing. Cambridge would be an incredible treat for you if you desire to live in a place with youthful people and new ideas. However, it is one of the most expensive cities to live in with the cost of living at about 80% higher than the national average.
How to Become a Massachusetts Resident
I assume you’re close to making up your mind about moving to Massachusetts or not. Massachusetts is ranked as the eighth-best state in the United States overall, irrespective of your expectations you certainly won’t be disappointed in this vibrant state. This section is specifically curated as a brief guide on how you can become a Massachusetts resident legally.
Here is the icebreaker! There is no formal way of becoming a legal residence in Massachusetts, it’s basically a matter of living in the state for a certain period of time before you’re recognized as an official citizen. However, this timeframe does not have to be at a stretch but a cumulative of over 183 days in one taxable year is the basic prerequisite.
There are a few ways to meet the necessary requirements before being considered an official resident. Some of which include but are not limited to; registering to vote, vehicle registration, getting a Massachusetts driver’s license, and all of these can be done online. The perks of being a resident are that you get flat tax rates for both your income and sales tax giving you the freedom to explore opportunities in real estate, business, or any venture you have decided upon.