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May 20, 2009


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As a native New Yorker, I should first tell you, you can not believe what you read. New York is in a mess and you can see it everywhere. The rich are fleeing in record numbers because of all the taxes, fees and levies the NY government has been forcing down their necks. All you have left are the lower classes, the undocumented illegals and the mounting beggars on the streets. Stop in any coffee shop or Starbucks and you will be 'greeted' by a multitude of beggars (the former Wall Streeters) asking for your change. It's disgusting and heartbreaking at the same time. The parks are filled with the new homeless.

Crime is most assuredly UP! Maybe not murders but hordes of banks have been robbed. The tellers just yawn and hand over the money. It's a joke. Rape is up, especially on the upper East Side (once a neighborhood for only the rich) as well as burglary and robberies.

The price of real estate may have come down, a bit, BUT the added NYC transfer taxes still make it impossible to buy anything. My daughter was trying to buy a $650K condo but the 1.8% transfer tax ($11,700) made it impossible for her to come up with that PLUS the downpayment. Most condo boards want an additional 1 year of mortgage payments in a bank along with all your other fees and closing costs. Just try and be a regular person and come up with all of that money. Only the rich can and they are leaving in record numbers.

Oh! And if you do wind up leaving NYC for greener pastures, the NY tax authorities won't believe you. They will hunt you down, tax you as if you never left that God-forsaken city and you will have to hire an attorney and tax accountant to defend you. You won't find any of this info in any article written.

Also, if you want to sell any of your stock or investments while being a NYC resident (this includes the 5 boroughs AND all the 5 towns in the Hamptons, Long Island, NY-of which are also subject to the NYC transfer tax, sellers AND buyers, as well as a 2-4% flip tax should you not hold onto your property longer than 2 years) not only will you pay the federal capital gains tax, you will also be hit with the NYC capital gains tax.

This recession is unveiling what NYC really is: a shit hole! Home to a bunch of greedy, tax and spend thieves who have their hand in your pocket from the moment you are born. Bloomberg & Paterson (mayor & governor) are pandering to the lower classes while bilking the upper classes in a guise to cater to voters. There are more poor than rich. Even Donald Trump wants to get the hell out of NY.

The Hamptons (I lived there for 16 years) has been decimated by the thugs from Wall Street. Every year they came there with their bonus money, dug up the farmland and built monstrous McMansions, turned all the locals into peons and slaves, while having them cater to their every wish and desire. Now, the Hamptons is just a mere shell. The huge houses lay dormant, the illegals (that the wealthy brought in) live in either homeless shelters or camp out in the vacant land) Now, the remaining wealthy try to bribe the local police to hunt down the vagrants and drag them off their properties and just get rid of them. Nice guys, eh?

I wrote about NYC here;

My daughter, after crunching all the numbers has decided NYC is not for her and her new, soon-to-be husband. They have decided to continue to rent (rents are dropping because everyone is fleeing) and then they plan to move out of NYC in the very near future. They will buy a home somewhere else, where it makes more logical & financial sense and they will raise their family there. But for now, they have to put up with the mounting beggars that surround their apartment building. They can no longer travel alone and for the 1st time, they are very frightened. Most of their friends have lost their jobs or have moved back with their parents. None of them see much of a future in NYC. Personally, neither did I. It is just a tourist attraction (but who really, can afford those broadway ticket prices anymore?) and a home to immigrants and poverty.

You can have it.


PS: I didn't mention the Swine Flu! Fear of the flu is sweeping through New York City, Queens, the Bronx etc. etc. Most of the hospitals are jammed with worried parents and their children. So much so, the hospitals have had to set up outdoor tents just to house the supposed sick. Can you imagine what this city would be like if there really was a pandemic?????

Lastly, yesterday the NYC police arrested 4 men who were planning to blow up several synagogues in Riverdale. The police department is still America's finest BUT the ACLU and other liberal leftist groups are working hard to tie the cops hands behind their backs which will make NYC less and less safe.

As I said, you can have the place. I don't love New York. Much more, anymore.

Retired Syd

@Morrison: I haven't been back to NYC in 2 years, but am planning a trip this summer. It will be interesting to compare it to last time, when the economy was booming.


Be real careful which hotel you stay at. Bedbugs are a very REAL problem. Even at the Plaza. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask if the hotel has a bed bug problem. The media plays this down, but it is fairly serious.

Good luck.

I'd like to read your follow up when you get back from NYC later on. Keep us posted.


I'll agree with you up to a point but nothing stresses me out like not having the money to pay my bills. Someone once said that they'd never been in a situation where having money made it worse and I mostly agree. Downsizing and frugality can certainly help but past a certain point, I've been there, done that, and don't want to go there again.

Retired Syd

@ Florence: I'm with you on that, up to a point (like paying the bills), money certainly does make us happier. After that, though, probably not so much.

I found this article very interesting today. Looks like it is easier for us, even if we've suffered financially, just to know where we stand. It's actually the uncertainty of our current situation (recession: how bad, how long, how will it effect us?) that's worse on our happiness levels than just knowing what the deal is and working from there: http://tinyurl.com/oyzp4g

Retired Syd

P.S. Actually, I HAVE been in a situation where having money made it worse! Way to much to go into here, though.

James NomadRip

"the hedonic treadmill." I like that term.


Great Blog Syd,

We are into our first six months since retiring at 42&44 last year.
At this stage we are living on half the budget (although we did start with full pantry's, lots of airpoints etc).

It is a very wet and cold Saturday today here in New Zealand so we have spent the day reading your blog.


Retired Syd

@Darryl: Gosh I love the internet, New Zealand, wow! I would love to hear about how your first 6 months of adjusting to retirement has gone, either in the comments or in an email.

Congratulations on such an early retirement!



I'm finding that I'm down-sizing in waves. When I first retired I went on a bit of a "get rid of things" binge which felt great. Things sort of stabilized for a while and now I'm revving out to do another purging; more closets to go through and discover all the treasures I could be sharing. Remember the bumper sticker that said: "The one with the most toys when he dies wins"? Thank goodness we're starting to move away from that kind of thinking. Unfortunate, perhaps, that it took something this drastic to startle us all back into reality. Maybe that's inevitable.

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