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The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 11:05 AM   #1
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The 'New York' Number

I'll bet 90% of the useful content of Lee Eisenberg's book 'The Number' is contained in this long article he wrote for the New Yorker magazine

http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news...865/index.html

Deep Pockets draws four boxes, which a majority of New Yorkers, those living paycheck to paycheck (let alone without paychecks), would consider high end, but let’s move on. The first he labels COMFORTABLE: people who, like the Amsterdams, will scale back some when they retire, dine and travel modestly, yet still have a nice life. To live this way, Deep Pockets declares, your New York Number needs to be between $1 million and $2 million.

The next box he labels COMFORTABLE PLUS. Into this box go the Amsterdams with upgraded amenities: membership in a mid-priced country club, maybe they get to keep their small second home. The New York Number in this case, says Deep Pockets, is between $2 million and $5 million.

Now he draws a box marked KIND OF RICH. Here are New Yorkers—Plenty, for example—who like to put on the Ritz, stay at the Four Seasons, shuttle between a couple of expensive homes. Deep Pockets sets this New York Number at between $7 million and $10 million.

</snip>


I don't think I could live in New York on a 4% withdrawal from $5 million.

Maybe if I had Trump's money I could tolerate it.

intercst

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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: The 'New York' Number

Quote:
Originally Posted by intercst
I don't think I could live in New York on a 4% withdrawal from $5 million.

Maybe if I had Trump's money I could tolerate it.

intercst
I saw this article and thought "I know these people".

I live and work in NYC (technically I live across the river in NJ) and definitely plan on retiring with less then $5MM.

But maybe your point is that you wouldn't want to live in NY even if you had a lot of money . . . which is a fair preference. I'm not sure I would want to move to the country or even the suburbs. There was a whole story in the New York Times today about people who leave the city for the burbs only to return because they can't stand the isolation. Different strokes, I guess.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 11:45 AM   #3
 
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Re: The 'New York' Number

This is very interesting to me. I take it that the numbers apply mainly to people who live in New York. Does he give similar numbers for people who live in mid-America type places that are neither relly expensive nor really cheap?
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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Originally Posted by WhodaThunkit
This is very interesting to me.* I take it that the numbers apply mainly to people who live in New York.* Does he give similar numbers for people who live in mid-America type places that are neither relly expensive nor really cheap?
The numbers apply to people who are ridiculously wealthy and have more money then brains. I know 60 year olds who have made seven figure salaries for decades and are still working to support the 4 homes, 3 ex-wives, etc. etc.

It is an interesting story in the "life styles of the rich and famous" sense but it doesn't really have anything to do with the retirement ambitions of "normal" people - even "normal" New Yorkers.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: The 'New York' Number



Keep in mind too, that it's NYC, not the state. There's many beautiful and affordable areas of NY, and "the city" is close enough for when it calls you.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 12:16 PM   #6
 
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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Keep in mind too, that it's NYC, not the state.* *There's many beautiful and affordable areas of NY, and "the city" is close enough for when it calls you.
Once I drove from Harrisburg Pa to Rochester NY in the Fall. Absolutely beautiful. Looked like a very, very nice part of the country, kat.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 12:34 PM   #7
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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Originally Posted by kat

Keep in mind too, that it's NYC, not the state.* *There's many beautiful and affordable areas of NY, and "the city" is close enough for when it calls you.
That's true. You can probably live as cheaply in Syracuse, NY as you can in Houston, TX -- as long as you keep the thermostat at 60 in the Winter.

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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: The 'New York' Number

I love this board but am too busy to visit as frequently as I would like.

I recently reviewed Lee's book. *I wasn't aware of the article when I read the book. *Also, for those interested, I interviewed Lee. *You can read Part 1 and Part 2.

For those who are a little more into details, you might want to check out Terry Savage's "The Savage Number."
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 01:06 PM   #9
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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Originally Posted by WhodaThunkit
Once I drove from Harrisburg Pa to Rochester NY in the Fall. Absolutely beautiful. Looked like a very, very nice part of the country, kat.
I hear you! My love is the mountains.... The Adirondacks, the Catskills (so different from the ADKs), the Helderbergs, even the Appalachians continue into NY, and the Berkshire "hills" are in NY and Mass...... And the lakes, way too many to count. I've met people who swear even in the 21st century that they found their own private lakes, undiscovered..... And trees..... I think one of the secrets to a good life here is finding a winter love, indoors or out, and the time flies. I've got to have my seasons, and the mountains and trees and water, and "the city" is close enough for baseball and the shows and just looking.......kate




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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 04:07 PM   #10
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Re: The 'New York' Number

Interesting article--thx for posting. As a native New Yorker (born in Brooklyn--youse gotta problem wit dat?!), I both cringed and chuckled. I took the silly quiz and turned out to be right where I should be.

I liked this quote from one of the sidebars: "I’d have a car and driver.... And a nanny—a nanny for old people. " Hmmm...new job-op!

=alstro, COMFORTABLE
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 04:45 PM   #11
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Re: The 'New York' Number

I read the article, A DUMB GOOF!

Sorry not many will retire in NYC!

And the ones that do are in Brooklyn Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx in older homes and apartments that look very different than the people in that idiotic article!
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: The 'New York' Number

C'mon newguy, don't be SO RESTRAINED! You're AMONG FRIENDS! Go ahead and tell us HOW YOU REALLY FEEL! ...Bada-BING!

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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 05:12 PM   #13
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
C'mon newguy, don't be SO RESTRAINED! You're AMONG FRIENDS! Go ahead and tell us HOW YOU REALLY FEEL! ...Bada-BING!

It has been one of those weeks, I want to put the house on the market NOW, the wife wants to wait till april when it is spring.

I am so darn ready to get out of Newark and take my early retirement and move down south I can taste it!

Oh my!
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 05:23 PM   #14
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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It has been one of those weeks, I want to put the house on the market NOW, the wife wants to wait till april when it is spring.

I am so darn ready to get out of Newark and take my early retirement and move down south I can taste it!

Oh my!
Would it help your case if you told her that down south spring starts arriving in late February? Punxsutawney Phil and his kin end up in the stew down here (literally!), so no worries about winter lasting an additional 6 weeks.

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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 08:26 PM   #15
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Re: The 'New York' Number

Hmmmm

Ancient history - but my parents were married in NYC in 1939.

After WW11 - he felt Kelso, Washington was a* reasonible lower cost suburb of Brooklyn. Still rooted for the BUMs even after they left NY.


Their 'number' in the 70's and 80's ran about 17k per year - pretty high on the hog in his mind given the 'fun' they had in the Depression.

Heh heh heh
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-07-2006, 08:52 PM   #16
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Re: The 'New York' Number

To me the whole thing is ridiculous.

Ive lived in NYC all of my life, as for expensive, well if you are just starting out, yeah it's high.

I bought my house 21 years ago, it was reasonably priced and paid off my mortgage. I can easily live in this city for 35K cash a year,and still go on vacation, have my 2 cars and do what I want.

Many people here are in that position and many people here love it. New York is a walking city, and you can spend hours each day walking through manhattan and see all sorts of things, people, art, musuems, parks.

I plan to leave here, and to be honest, I am a bit sad, but I want to try something else and see if I can re-invent myself. NY is not kind to middle aged people on ER who want to start new work.

But if I was told Id have to spend the rest of my retirement here, that is no problem, there is much to do, we have seasons, right now its a bit cold, but the rest of the year the weather is really not bad. We have no really extreme weather problems here, no earthquakes, a terrorist or 2 now and then, but other wise its a pretty good place.

So why the hell am I leavin?

Guess its burn out from work and life in general, need a new start, but dont knock New York until you've really tried it and walked our streets, they are the most fascinating anywhere. And you cant beat our accent, its got moxy.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-08-2006, 11:16 AM   #17
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Re: The 'New York' Number

I grew up in Queens and lived in Jackson Heights as recently as 3 1/2 years ago. When I moved to the 'burbs in Jersey, I found that basic living costs were dramatically higher than they were in Jackson Heights. Groceries are 50+% more, gotta have two cars (instead of subways and buses plus a beater), real estate taxes are a lot higher, etc. It is very possible to live a modest lifestyle in NYC, just not the one that the Times' readers envision.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-08-2006, 11:36 AM   #18
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Re: The 'New York' Number

Interesting he doesn't discount the pension for inflation on the worksheet (or maybes assumes its COLA? but most aren't).
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-08-2006, 12:09 PM   #19
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Re: The 'New York' Number

Real estate taxes in NYC are very low. But leave NYC and the surrounding areas will kill you with taxes.
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Re: The 'New York' Number
Old 01-08-2006, 05:01 PM   #20
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Re: The 'New York' Number

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Real estate taxes in NYC are very low.* But leave NYC and the surrounding areas will kill you with taxes.
21 years ago when I bought my house new, the R. estate taxes were next to zilch. There was a 7 year abatement as taxes were gradually added on to a whopping 1200 buck a year.

It eventually went up to a gross 1600 bucks a year.

Now when mayor bloombug took office 4 years ago, my taxes went to 2400 a year, with a 400 rebate at the end of the year. Now they are currently 2600 with the rebate. To me that is pretty livable.

However, if they ever raise RE taxes to equal the suburbs where it is anywhere from 6000-12000 per year, there will be a huge exodus out of the city.

Oh, I forgot, my commutation from one borough into manhattan via rapid transit comes to under about 2 and half bucks a day, since I have the transit check option taking off about 40% of the cost of the commute through payroll tax deductions at the end of the year.

My commutting costs are paid with pre-tax dollars, including, SS and state and city tax. Our metro card is discounted another 20 % if you buy a 10 buck pass, you get credit for 12 dollars. So the commute within the city for working residents is very subsidized and dirt cheap.

Hmm, getting out the calculator. A 20 buck pass gives me a 24 buck credit, 2 bucks are discounted when you enter the transit system to go to work. So I pay with pretax dollars, eliminating 40%, so we are down to 12 bucks for 12 rides (@2 bucks a ride), man could it be 1 buck each way? hmm. Anyway for one 2 buck swipe you can go from the tip of staten island to the top of da Bronx, about 30 miles, for a buck!!!! whoa!!!!! And the ferry is free!!!whoa, I think I'll stay.

We also have plenty of S.bucks there, I liked the one on the corner of Beaver and Broad, the young girls are yummy delish, ouch!!!!! My wife just clocked me.

Sorry dear, I mean the ice cream is yummy delish. Let the bag pass.

The downside is we pay state and city tax and now I got a lump on my head, OY VEY IST MIR. (translation-"my life sucks")
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