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Leaving Long Island for Texas
Old 05-29-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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Leaving Long Island for Texas

I've given it much thought and recently made the decision to leave Long Island. The cost of living is relatively high and my own quality of life is what I would consider average. Several of my friends moved in small apartments in Manhattan, sharing them with a significant other and seem happy. That lifestyle isn't for me though. I don't get a thrill out of living on top of people, constant noise, or not being able to find a parking spot.

People around the country are going through tough times, but some areas are better than others. I do not own real estate, nor do I have to pay rent.

My current salary is just shy of $30,000 per year. I owe approximately $1900 on my automobile, $42,000 on a student loan and $1500 on a credit card. No missed or late payments, checked my FICO score which was sometime last year, it was 785. Not checking it again until the credit card is paid off in full.


I recently got an e-mail from one of our Senators stating the following:

---
Dear Neighbor:

Throughout the Budget process there was a lot of talk about the Personal Income Tax Surcharge (i.e., "millionaire's tax") on New Yorkers earning over $200,000 per year. I have heard a great deal from both sides of the argument and we all have heard the rallying call of "tax the rich."

The fact is that businesses are leaving Long Island regularly and taking our jobs with them. Our state has also been losing revenue as wealthy New Yorkers make the decision to move to bordering states and pay lower taxes elsewhere. It is absolutely impossible to improve the climate of our state while ignoring the realities that our property taxes, income tax laws and regulatory policies are the biggest driving factors for the exodus.

A new Marist poll confirms that we must improve the business climate in New York State and get our property taxes under control. I took the liberty of forwarding you a NY Daily News article on this topic.

Sincerely,
Carl L. Marcellino

New Yorkers under 30 plan to flee city, says new poll; cite high taxes, few jobs as reasons
BY Kenneth Lovett
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
Friday, May 13th 2011, 4:00 AM

ALBANY - Escape from New York is not just a movie - it's also a state of mind.
A new Marist College poll shows that 36% of New Yorkers under the age of 30 are planning to leave New York within the next five years - and more than a quarter of all adults are planning to bolt the Empire State.
The New York City suburbs, with their high property values and taxes, are leading the exodus, the poll found.
Of those preparing to leave, 62% cite economic reasons like cost of living, taxes - and a lack of jobs.
"A lot of people are questioning the affordability of the state," said Lee Miringoff , director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion .
An additional 38% cite climate, quality of life, overcrowding, a desire to be closer to family, retirement or schools.
The latest census showed New York's overall population actually increased, though parts of upstate shed population and jobs.
A full 53% think the worst is yet to come for the state's economy, while 44% say things should start improving.
"As the state of the economy fails to recover, New Yorkers see this not as a sluggish rebound, but as a sluggish economy," Miringoff said.
During a visit to Buffalo yesterday, Gov. Cuomo yesterday said attracting and retaining jobs is a priority for his administration.
"We have to keep jobs here and we have to develop new jobs," he said. "And we want to start bringing back jobs from other parts of the country."

---

Also came up with a list of reasons as to why I personally would want to leave. The stigma Long Island has of being a safe place to live in my opinion is somewhat flawed.

1. Police: Girl shot on Amityville street
This happened a block away from my job Saturday. Girl was walking early evening and gets shot.
2. Also a birthday killing last year on the block my father used to live on (One Dead, Three Injured in Huntington Station Shooting - Huntington, NY Patch) and a fatal stabbing at a bar on the same street.
3. Friend parks his car at the train station and it gets stripped. Happened to another friend of mine too. Have fun commuting 15+ extra hrs a week, paying the 300/mo for the LIRR and 100/mo for the subway and chalking up 4.75% of your income to NYC only to find your tires slashed or radio gone and/or both.
4. Then there's the deadly accident I was only 30 seconds away from being involved in on my way into work Saturday morning (Two die fleeing cops in West Babylon).
5. 7/11 around the block from me also robbed at gunpoint (Four Men Arrested for Two Robberies That Occurred in Huntington and Huntington Station Last Night. | Village Tattler). Cops questioned me, as they should about whether I lived in this house, with choppers and a bright light shining right in my eyes.
6. Rent is rediculously high (Apartments.com | Find Apartments for Rent, Houses, Condos and Townhomes | Rental Listings) 1525-1975 for a 2 bedroom in the hood, 1300 for a 1 bedroom in a better area.
7. Just last week one of my coworkers said a body was found near a deli he frequents often. Also in the same neighborhood, an 18 year old kid was found shot to death in his backyard. Things are definitely going downhill with all the gang activity. I don't think law enforcement has a handle on it all.

Cost of Living is *Huge*
Let's take my current salary into consideration.
Utilizing the cost of living calculator located at Cost of Living Comparison...
I plugged in a nearby city East Northport, NY and compared it with Dallas, Texas.
The result : A salary of $30,000 in East Northport, New York could decrease to $19,445 in Dallas, Texas
Dallas is 35% cheaper than East Northport.

Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
Housing is 60% cheaper in Dallas.

I figure I could easily make a starting salary of $30,000 with my education, defaulting to the banking sector if that's the best I could do after months of applying at different companies. Realistically the number is closer to 35 to 40,000 based on my estimates.

A salary of $30,000 in Dallas, Texas should increase to $46,285 in East Northport, New York
East Northport is 54% more expensive than Dallas.
Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
Housing is 152% more expensive in East Northport.
---

My boyfriend (yeah I'm gay) has been interviewing around Dallas and has some very promising leads. A sizable raise would put him in the equivalent of a 6 figure salary in NY numbers. His own financial situation would improve to the point where he feels comfortable supporting the both of us until I am able to land a position. This to me is literally a once in a lifetime experience which I would be silly not to at the very least explore for a while.

I am excited about the opportunities ahead. For the last decade I've settled for jobs simply because they paid the bills and my employment history has taken a huge step back as a result. Took a 20% pay cut to just get this job and my future with this company is shaky at best. Some bad press and all the job openings would require extremely long driving commutes. (60-90 min each way) That is not a compromise I'm willing to make.

At this point, government jobs look appealing as do some private sector Marketing and Management jobs. Actions drive progress so by next week I want to apply for at least three positions. Assuming all cylinders are a go, the move would take place around July. If bf's company offers a relo package (many of them do) , I will have to pay little or nothing to move my vehicle and personal belongings.

Most of the jobs if I were to stay here are in New York City. Many of the readers here may or may not know that New York City has a 4.75% city tax which LI does not. This money is used to cover all types of government provided services. I'd imagine that covers the water supply, electricity generation, public roadways, teacher salaries, etc.

I did the math and this is what I got…
Take a starting crew salary of $50,000 per year which would be an optimistic number for me.
A monthly pass the Long Island Railroad would run me approximately $300 per month. The New York city subway system monthly unlimited ride ticket would run about $100 per month.

50000 Base would be a best-case scenario
2375 NYC Taxes (4.75%)
10000 Federal Taxes (25%)
3500 NY State taxes (7%)
4800 Commuting
11250 value of time spent commuting (totals three hours per day, value my time at $15 per hour times five days per week times 50 weeks). Call me silly to be factoring this in, but I think it's a valid indicator to calculate.

You know what I get?
18075

That figure my friends is out right depressing and actually puts me further into the hole that I would be just sticking with my $30,000 per year job and living with my parents. I would be miserable spending so much time commuting and having little to show for it. Also the train system isn't particularly reliable. Imagine getting fired from a job because your train was late an hour or cancelled altogether. Talk about stress.

Attitudes of people here generally is unpleasant. Traffic is a nightmare. Property taxes through the roof. My parents with two mortgages pay about 9k per house in annual taxes. In ten years you could use that money to buy a house in other parts of the country. Cops here make a base of 42k/yr and after 5 years their base goes up to 108k. There are about 2500 cops in Nassau / Suffolk.

So babbling aside, anyone here make the move across the country to a completely new place for the chance at a better life? My family life isn't holding me back. Mom is supportive of me going, father wanted to leave shortly before he died, think my grandmother (also deceased) who initially bought the house I'm in now would want to leave if she saw what was happening.

I'm young, but I want to...
-Build up my retirement accounts again
-Be completely debt-ree
-Have a great life with the love of my life
-Build up my skills and have a great career, even if it is with multiple companies long-term
-Not living paycheck to paycheck
-Have some type of pension, or earn enough where I foot the bill for my own pension

My goal has always been to move out of the house by the time I'm 30 and this is the year it's going to happen.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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Experience has proven to me that it's not only what you know, but who you know. I'm doing my best to leverage my network to help me get some leads. From a distance at the entry level I'm not sure how successful that will be. Also in college networking with my peers and professors wasn't a strongpoint. Two 'commuter schools' and evening classes with a full-time job kinda does that to you. I'm focusing on doing more than just scraping by, but making decisions that will make the next ten years better. Not really sure what the first steps are. Here are my theories.

1. Start utilizing career search services at colleges I attended.
2. Join professional groups focused on the career I'm interested in.
3. Come up with government positions within a 30 mile radius, filtering out positions which I could qualify for a face on educational alone and are full-time.
4. Go on LinkedIn and do a virtual introduction.
5. Research employment agencies in the area to see if any postings interest me.
6. Startup companies? Might be more flexible in hiring and training over a large company. Or am I wrong there?
7. Beef up my website. Sell myself as an expert / consultant in the fields that interest me.
8. Dive head first into Marketing or Project Management. Push my knowledge to the absolute max. Demonstrate I am someone who can be an asset to a new company if given the opportunity.
5. Look at postings by employment agencies in the area.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:00 AM   #3
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Counterpoint:

Quote:
Texas is infested with scorpions, rattlesnakes, fire ants, crazy raspberry ants, cockroaches on steroids, killer bees, mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, tarantulas, brown recluse spiders, love bugs, swarming crickets, copperheads, cottonmouths, rabid skunks, wild hogs, alligators, oppressive heat & humidity, bleak desolate scenery, dirty beaches, polluted air, dust storms, drought, wildfires, water shortages, recurring floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, rednecks, huge piles of flaming mulch, spontaneously combusting playgrounds, roads hot as flowing lava, the stench of natural and unnatural gasses, pirate attacks and amoebic meningitis lurking in area lakes, recurring ebola virus outbreaks, flesh eating bacteria, the highest homeowner insurance rates in the US, unbelievably high property taxes, mandatory death sentences for DUI convictions, polygamous religious sects, and, according to at least one forum member, doesn't look kindly towards Yankees.
Other than that, Texas is a great place to live.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:32 AM   #4
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For your situation, I would suggest Austin, TX rather than Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Austin is much more open-minded while in Dallas area folks are somewhat old fashion.

Best wishes in your move to Dallas. Texas is a big state with their own shares of problems in different parts of the towns and cities. However, cost of housing is very affordable compared to NY except in Austin. I'm sure you and your boyfriend will find your own comfort area in Texas once you have settled with new career and housing.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:41 AM   #5
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Counterpoint:

Other than that, Texas is a great place to live.
You forgot to mention baseball sized hailstorms especially in Dallas-Ft. Worth Area. Tornado is more common in West Texas panhandle area if I recalled. In Austin, you don't feel like you are living in Texas.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sandhog View Post
In Austin, you don't feel like you are living in Texas.
...unless you step outside between May and October.

Austin National Weather Service data for Saturday, May 28, 2011:

High temp - 100 F
Max wind gust - 38 mph
Max humidity - 93%

No, it isn't a 'dry heat'...
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:09 AM   #7
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Good luck on your move to Texas. Note to Administrators, is this post by MBAVisionary a record for length? Just wondering.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Note to Administrators, is this post by MBAVisionary a record for length?
No, several are much longer, like this one: The History of Early-Retirement.org
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:22 AM   #9
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I agree with the statement about Austin.

As for REWahoo's quote, I take umbrage to the highlighted section:
Quote:
Texas is infested with scorpions, rattlesnakes, fire ants, crazy raspberry ants, cockroaches on steroids, killer bees, mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, tarantulas, brown recluse spiders, love bugs, swarming crickets, copperheads, cottonmouths, rabid skunks, wild hogs, alligators, oppressive heat & humidity, bleak desolate scenery, dirty beaches, polluted air, dust storms, drought, wildfires, water shortages, recurring floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, rednecks, huge piles of flaming mulch, spontaneously combusting playgrounds, roads hot as flowing lava, the stench of natural and unnatural gasses, pirate attacks and amoebic meningitis lurking in area lakes, recurring ebola virus outbreaks, flesh eating bacteria, the highest homeowner insurance rates in the US, unbelievably high property taxes, mandatory death sentences for DUI convictions, polygamous religious sects, and, according to at least one forum member, doesn't look kindly towards Yankees.
I have never been in a pirate attack.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:30 AM   #10
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I would + on the Austin, a little less cowboy and more cosmopolitan.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by East Texas View Post

As for REWahoo's quote, I take umbrage to the highlighted section:
I have never been in a pirate attack.
That's because they haven't made it up to Lake Sam Rayburn or Toledo Bend - at least not yet...

Police: Video Supports Falcon Lake Pirate Story
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:35 AM   #12
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Counterpoint:

Other than that, Texas is a great place to live.
I got a huge laugh out of that.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:43 AM   #13
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For your situation, I would suggest Austin, TX rather than Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Austin is much more open-minded while in Dallas area folks are somewhat old fashion.

Best wishes in your move to Dallas. Texas is a big state with their own shares of problems in different parts of the towns and cities. However, cost of housing is very affordable compared to NY except in Austin. I'm sure you and your boyfriend will find your own comfort area in Texas once you have settled with new career and housing.
I have considered Austin, but the headquarters for 4 of the companies my bf is interviewing for are in Dallas or very close to it. His field is very specific and while I don't doubt Austin is a great place to live, socialize and grow, neither of us is really that big into the gay scene (I am not trying to meet other guys and he's picky and doesn't have any gay friends). We're a lot more conservative, other than the occasional visit to a bar, etc. Can still visit though, 3 hour drive is doable one weekend!

You also hit the nail right on the head. Life isn't perfect wherever you are. We all have our struggles. Once everything is settled though, I will be way happier overall. Thanks for replying also!
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:49 AM   #14
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I would + on the Austin, a little less cowboy and more cosmopolitan.
I have a cowboy hat from Halloween I could wear. I might get shot though if I wear it in public... lol
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:49 AM   #15
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We moved from CA to TX a few years ago for some of the same reasons. We loved the people and the place. Austin in great, but Dallas is very livable too. We had to come back to take care of some family issues, but its still where we would like to be.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:51 AM   #16
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I have a cowboy hat from Halloween I could wear. I might get shot though if I wear it in public... lol
Pictures of you at the party are all over the web!



I will admit you can get away with some stuff in your part of the world that might cause lead poisoning in TX - outside of Austin, of course.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:57 AM   #17
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For your situation, I would suggest Austin, TX rather than Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Austin is much more open-minded while in Dallas area folks are somewhat old fashion.

Best wishes in your move to Dallas. Texas is a big state with their own shares of problems in different parts of the towns and cities. However, cost of housing is very affordable compared to NY except in Austin. I'm sure you and your boyfriend will find your own comfort area in Texas once you have settled with new career and housing.
Keep in mind that the actual city of Dallas is pretty liberal while the suburbs and Fort Worth make it more a more conservative metro area overall. In my experience in Dallas, most people are pretty open minded and friendly.

Good luck on your move.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:07 AM   #18
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...unless you step outside between May and October.

Austin National Weather Service data for Saturday, May 28, 2011:

High temp - 100 F
Max wind gust - 38 mph
Max humidity - 93%

No, it isn't a 'dry heat'...
I wasn't talking about the weather per se. I reckon you knew that.

I went to undergrad at Texas Tech and grad at UT. I liked Austin whole lot better than Lubbock for social life. My home town is only an hour drive away on I-35 and seen many changes in Austin. One of the changes are I can not tell where Austin ends and Round Rock begins or Ceder Creek begins. If I were to move back to Texas, it gotta be Austin or nothing after living in the big cities like DC and NY for past 20 years. I don't think I can handle drinking Long Star and following Friday Night HS football games as the biggest attraction of the town. Not to mention everyone knows every one's business.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:11 AM   #19
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Pictures of you at the party are all over the web!



I will admit you can get away with some stuff in your part of the world that might cause lead poisoning in TX - outside of Austin, of course.
FYI, Naked Cowboy got his hair cut and running for President. Naked Cowboy, Times Square staple, to run for President in 2012 as Tea Party candidate - New York Daily News
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:20 AM   #20
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I wasn't talking about the weather per se. I reckon you knew that.

I liked Austin whole lot better than Lubbock.....
Yup. The highlight of the weekend is going to Amarillo. Some of you young 'uns (and non-Texicans) may not remember the tornado that went through Lubbock in about 1969. It left an imprint on one of the tall bank buildings.
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