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$250K a year?

Due to the shortage of available housekeepers, homeowners are now having to pay significantly more than they anticipated.

“At first they’re in shock, and they say, ‘No way I’m paying that.’ It’s even uncomfortable for me to give them the numbers,’” Berube remarked. “But when they try to hire someone for less, with less experience, they almost always come back to us and say, ‘I learned my lesson. We are willing to pay for the experience.’”

Melissa Psitos, founder of Lily Pond Services, shared an instance where a Florida client initially aimed to hire a housekeeper for $75,000 a year but ended up paying $110,000.

But that’s far from the top. Executive housekeepers, who oversee a team of housekeeping staff, can command even higher salaries. Psitos mentioned knowing one head housekeeper in Palm Beach who earns $250,000 annually.

To put things in perspective, Ziprecruiter puts the average pay for housekeepers in the U.S. is $16.31 an hour, or $33,933 a year.

For those considering a career as a housekeeper in Palm Beach, it's important to note that those eye-popping salaries come with the requirement of a unique set of skills. According to Berube, housekeepers must possess “specific tools and skills” to work in wealthy homes. For instance, they need the ability to move quietly and discreetly through the house, the expertise to carefully clean antiques, and the knowledge to properly wash and press fine linens.

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Wealth migration

The dramatic increase in housekeeper salaries in Florida might have something to do with the significant migration of wealth to the state.

A 2023 report from financial technology company SmartAsset found that in 2021, Florida saw a net influx of 27,500 high earners — defined as those making over $200,000 annually. That was more than any state in the study.

Texas was the second-most popular destination for high-income filers — it added 9,000 of them.

In contrast, California and New York experienced significant outflows, losing over 45,000 and 31,000 high earners, respectively — more than any other state.

While people move for a variety of reasons, taxes could be a factor behind the migration trend. Neither Florida nor Texas imposes state income taxes on their residents, making them attractive destinations for high earners looking to maximize their income. In contrast, New York and California not only have high state income taxes but also some of the highest living costs in the country.

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Florida Business & Economic Midyear report, new residents have infused a total of $39.2 billion of net income into the Sunshine State over just one year. Of this amount, $9.8 billion came from New York alone, more than any other state.

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Jing Pan Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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