Saturday, February 21, 2015

I Live on Long Island...No Wonder I'm Broke

After paying your rent or mortgage, transportation, utilities, and any other bills, how much do you have left at the end of the month? The answer probably depends largely on where you live...

Um, not much, and now I know why!  There's a piece recently published on a website called Trove that's making its rounds on Facebook this week and after seeing several of my friends share it, I decided to check out the article, called The 15 Most Expensive Places to Live In America. Guess what?  I live in the #1 spot.  Yes, the counties of Nassau and Suffolk that make up what many of us know as Long Island is THE most expensive place to live in the good ole U.S. of A.  No wonder I'm always broke!

Wow!  Who knew that this wonderful piece of real estate, just east of NYC and commonly called 'Lon Guyland' was such an expensive place to live?  Here's what Trove has to say about it...

Nassau and Suffolk Counties, on Long Island, aren't the highest in the country in terms of housing, taxes, or healthcare, but they're up there in each category, and that's enough to make the area the most expensive place to live in America. Also a major New York City commuting hub, it's known for high property taxes and pricey real estate, especially in Nassau County. Suffolk is home to the Hamptons, a popular summer spot for the wealthy and the famous.

Oh yeah, those property taxes.  My friends and I were just talking about that last night and between the four of us, we could probably buy a brand new car in cash every two years with what we collectively pay in property taxes.  Well, Trove neglected to mention the price of gas, coffee , the railroad, and just about everything else that we pay so much for here.  Heck, now that Patchogue, my hometown, has become a hopping place, they've put in parking meters so even more money can be squeezed out of our pockets. 


It's not just Long Island either.  Out of the 15 most expensive places in the U.S. to live, 3 are in New York State.  Westchester comes in at #5 and New York City at #8.  That's funny, because when I was 8 years old, we moved from the Bronx to Long Island because back then it was a cheap place to live.  My parents would have loved to live in Westchester, but at the time that was too expensive.  Now?  Even NYC is way behind us...go figure!  Maybe I should go back to my dream of living there.  It'll be cheaper.  

New York kills its citizens with taxes, especially in the downstate area as you can tell from the results of this article.  We pay ample state income tax when we make money, and we pay more taxes when we spend it.  Pretty disgusting, huh?  Most of us don't realize how bad we have it until we travel out of state.  Every time we leave, we find cheaper gas prices, cheaper coffee, and no tax on clothes!  Why is this so?  Who the heck knows?  I wish I had a solution to this problem because despite it all, I love New York (I hate winter, but that's another story!), but I do not (thus, a rant!).  I would guess the best solution is one which many people already do take, and that's to move out of the state.  As for me...I can't just yet, but perhaps the city is calling my name...

Here's how the findings were calculated:
FindTheBest created a cost of living index based on 2013 family budget estimates for housing, taxes, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and "other necessities" (like food) from the Economic Policy Institute to compare, in over 600 counties and metro areas across the US, where your dollar goes the farthest.
The average overall index for US cities and metro areas is 100, so a city with an index of 120 is 20% more expensive than average, and a city with an index of 80 is 20% cheaper than average. (Note: Long Island's index was 120!)
If you'd like to see if you live in one of the most expensive places in the U.S., check out Trove's article right here.