Staying or Leaving Long Island

Many Long Islanders are opting to leave the place they call home, mainly for financial reasons. As they say. “If you can make it here (NY), you can make it anywhere…”, and that’s the point. Many long-time LI residents just can’t make it here. This refers to mostly young adults looking to branch out on their own, and retirees looking to get the most out of their retirement…but the burden is not lost on the “middle” aged with jobs becoming harder to find, salaries going down, and taxes going up.  Although many people are migrating internationally to Long Island, a higher number of people are leaving Long Island (and NY in general) to live elsewhere within the US.

Approximately 85% of Long Islanders ages 20 to 24, and 55% of Long Islanders ages 25 to 29 are still living with their parents or grandparents because independence comes at a cost that just isn’t affordable. As compared to the national average, the numbers on LI are much higher (approximately 35% of young adults 18 to 31 nationwide live with their parents/grandparents).  From 1990 to 2000, 20% of Long Islanders ages 18 to 34 left Long Island, a rate five times the national average.

And as for retirees, it is hard to keep up with property tax increases when you are trying to live on a fixed income via Social Security and/or a pension.  Long Island has the second highest property taxes in the country. The average regional tax bill for a home costing $375,000 is approximately $10,375/year.  Many retirees are opting to move to states with warmer climates and lower property taxes.

There are additional reasons that Long Islanders are leaving than just the financial aspect. Long Island has become overly congested, and traffic is a daily headache for many. Commutes are longer, and there is much less “open” space.  Winters can be brutal, and interstate travel has become much easier (sort of).

Don’t get me wrong! I love Long Island and I can list more reasons to stay than to leave. There are always pros and cons for living anywhere in the world – I just wanted to state some truths.

Here’s why I’m STAYING:

  • Long Island has some of the nicest beaches in the country, and they are plenty
  • The fashion/financial/cultural/culinary capital of the world (NYC) is only a car ride away
  • Long Island has many of the best wineries & vineyards this side of the Rockies
  • Locally grown and sourced seafood & produce are abundant in season
  • It is rare to find an Island to live where you can experience all 4 seasons
  • Bacon, egg & cheese on a roll (need I say more?)
  • Lastly…I can’t imagine calling any other place “HOME”

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