Really Nassau County? You finally realized people are leaving and not coming back? (It’s all about Jobs and Lifestyle)

Many years ago I vowed never to return to Long Island. So after living in various NYC areas, I somehow ended up in Long Beach.  I honestly never thought I’d move back to Nassau, but Long Beach was the one exception (and still is). Why did I come here? Well, the beach, the restaurants, the events, City-like atmosphere, boardwalk, lifestyle, access to NYC via LIRR; it’s truly an area that cannot be beat. There is that sense of community factor – I go to local stores and see people I know. I can walk or bike everywhere. There is always something going on that entertains me. Long Beach has a strong sense of being, a place where I belong.

Yes, we do have many issues here in LB. Not everything is awesome. Many folks still aren’t back in their homes or are struggling to get them back to normal, many businesses are struggling to stay open, our downtowns need major love and care and our infrastructure is aging and sometimes falling apart (see – broken water main). The cost of living is increasing, rent is going up (as we learned the other day) making it harder and harder to get by. Yet…. I see friends move to Brooklyn or Manhattan where the cost of living is just as high and is also increasing at an alarming rate. They live in tiny apartments, pay high rent, but are ok with it – as long as they live in Brooklyn or Manhattan. So is the cost of living on Long Island really driving people away? Or is it the Long Island lifestyle that’s doing it?

I keep hearing how the suburban model is dead. Younger people don’t want to live in an area filled with national-tenant shopping centers, sitting-in-a-car traffic and dead space. They want culture, great food, excitement, a sense of being. At least thats the feeling I got when all my friends decided to move away from Long Island so many years ago.  There is also the job-factor. Long Island is turning into a service island. Industry and jobs are moving out, retail is moving in. Take Avis Car Rental for example. Their main headquarters used to be in Carle Place off Old Country Road until they moved to Florida several years ago. Now that property has been replaced with the GAP, Starbucks and Shake Shack – in an area that had 2 Gaps (one in the dying Source Mall) and several Starbucks already.

I am babbling and probably contradicting myself, but here’s the Newsday article that got me all fired up (NEWSDAY: Maragos presses plan to counter ‘alarming’ population trends in NassauThere is not one mention of the Long Island lifestyle as factor, but I truly believe it’s being overlooked. 

“Nassau must address “alarming” trends showing the county’s population will decline by 3 percent over the next decade, with fewer children and young adults but a rapidly growing number of seniors, according to a report by Comptroller George Maragos.

……”These are disturbing trends,” he said. “Young adults are going away to college and are never returning.”

The report cited expensive housing and a dearth of high-paying jobs in attractive fields as the key factors in Nassau’s declining population of young people.

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16 thoughts on “Really Nassau County? You finally realized people are leaving and not coming back? (It’s all about Jobs and Lifestyle)”

  1. I know I’m considering moving, not only out of Long Beach, out of Nassau County, out of Long Island and out of NYS. It’s too expensive to live here! I can find a gorgeous 2BR apt in Florida for half the price I’m paying and all the same amenities plus more. Only reason I’ve stayed this long is my job.

  2. That’s the other option. But for those who have good jobs and lots of family still here, making a move out of state is hard. I’d be in Hawaii or Southern California if I was a loner with no settled job here.

  3. No one is coming back, and it has (almost) everything to do with lifestyle.

    But add to that…

    You need a car $
    You need insurance $$
    You need gas $$$
    You need a train ticket if you work in the city since there are no jobs here $$$$

    Before you cashed your pay check about $900 have been earmarked for transportation.

    Then, you have high cost of housing w/increasing taxes with no end in sight, and you’re trying to sell failing expensive school systems to a millennial generation that has no or less kids.

    And for what? So you can drive to an Applebees and buy a pair of jeans at the Roosevelt Field mall? So you can live near your aging parents who have one foot on the plane to Florida?

    What enhances life here? It’s just patches of overcrowded strip malls, gas stations and fast food, interspersed between over-taxed and expensive houses.

  4. In the past decade, I’ve searched for a better place to live; a place to retire where high taxes and liberal politics would be but bitter memories.

    I searched scores of seaside communities. Here’s what I found.

    Cheaper isn’t better. A community with no financial influence is fodder to government, commercial interests and scourge. One quaint Virginia Queen Anne village was welcoming the stench of an oyster processing and concrete plant. The state was building a prison nearby and the Feds were talking of relocating 20,000 Somalian refugees into a new FEMA trailer park. In America money = influence.

    Nice things cost money. Want a boardwalk? Pretty shops? Pay up.

    And believe it or not, New Yorkers are smart. Opinionated, maybe. But unless you life revolves around the Kardashian fan Sites, you won’t find much to talk about in lots of small town America.

    We Long Islanders have problems, and many of us look elsewhere for answers if we can. But many of us find that answers aren’t in another place. Social problems are nation-wide and costs are comparable with value.

    The grass may not be greener elsewhere. But if you find a better place, will you please let me know where it is?

  5. Eddie,

    It’s not that people are leaving NY (even though they are); it’s that they’re leaving Long Island, and they’re doing so in droves or they’re just not coming back after they graduate college. They move to NYC and Tarrytown. Some move to Philadelphia and commute into Manhattan.

    And they agree that cheaper isn’t better – they’re paying top $ to rent apartments in Brooklyn, Manhattan, etc. And they wouldn’t mind coming back to LI to rent or buy, but they find it hard to justify when they wouldn’t be saving any money, save for a few hundred dollars, and be marooned on in a cultural wasteland.

    As far as finding greener grass, that’s always in the eye of the beholder.

    Good points about fodder to government.

  6. And as far as feeling like if you moved you’d be surrounded by intellectually challenged Kardashian viewers, my parents moved to a community in Florida surrounded by NY transplants.

  7. I did not grow up in Long Beach or Long Island for that matter, but 20 miles north of Manhattan. If you had told me 20 years ago I would own a house in Long Island, I would have punched you in the face. Granted I like to claim LB is nothing like LI proper, but I’m only kidding myself.

    With the exception of the beach towns, I see zero redeeming qualities of living in LI proper vs. North NJ, Westchester or Rockland for someone who is looking for a suburb with a modest commute to Manhattan.

    For someone who has to work in Manhattan and wants to live at the beach, LB truly is a fantastic solution since the train isn’t that bad. However, while I do love LB, if I could work from home instead of commuting to my office in Manhattan every day, I would move to the Jersey Shore in a heartbeat.

    I find it absolutely amazing that anyone is surprised Long Island is not retaining young adults.

  8. As someone who spent the majority of my life in the five boroughs, I can tell you that I would not want to raise my kids there or live there again. I love being close enough to access it when I want, but having to put up with all the BS that comes along with it, no thanks! The major thing that is driving people out is cost of living of which taxes make up a huge portion. So unless this is addressed as a core issue I am not sure how you move forward.

  9. You wouldn’t raise a kid in any of the 5 boroughs, but many people are now. I know it because I know many who are. They want the city lifestyle and will gladly pay a fortune to get it. This is the current trend – not high taxes. The suburban life is not attractive to younger people.

  10. While all of this is anecdotal, I don’t know anyone who was raised outside the 5 boroughs, moved in post college and hasn’t moved right back out once they started a family. This may come back to people not wanting to move back to LI, but I don’t think it’s the case for NNJ, Westchester and Rockland (or even southern CT for that matter).

  11. Im 29. I grew up right here in this fine town. After graduating college I was fortunate to find a well paying job here on the Island. Now I live in a condo right by on the boardwalk. Most of my friends I grew up with here have moved to the city to follow their jobs and find cheaper housing in queens and brooklyn. Between condo fees, mortgage, and taxes I pay over $2k a month to live here. It makes a big dent in my wallet so I work a second job part time a total of 60 hours a week. But to me its worth it. There are great waves to surf and striped bass that can be caught right from the beach. We have beautiful back bay waterways filled with shore birds, fish, and shellfish. I’ve seen dolphins, whales, turtles, and seals while walking the shore. Overall I think Long Beach is a very unique community that offers things few other places in New York can. We are all fortunate to live here. I hope it lasts.

  12. I don’t know Anthony, the main reasons usually sited for young people not coming back to the island is because they simply cannot afford it. You know some people who are well healed enough to be able to pull off the city living because they want to. In the end, if they can’t afford it they won’t come back. But they can go to other growing metros like Dallas, Austin, Colorado, where they can get a competitive salary and the cost of living isn’t as insane as it is here. If the whole damn family wasn’t in Bklyn and LI, me and my kids would be in Dallas in a heartbeat

  13. Long Beach Christmas Angel is a local non profit tax-exempt 501 c 3 organization, dedicated to improving the lives of families within the Long Beach City School District who are experiencing financial difficulties.

    These past 2 years, our primary focus has been to assist families trying to rebuild their lives after the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. We have helped secure contracting services, plumbing, furniture and clothing replacement, as well as providing mortgage and rental assistance. These are just a few examples of how we have been able to assist our residents who have been dramatically affected by this powerful storm. We need your help to continue our efforts.


    $95,000 of Furniture purchased

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    $9,294 Utility payments

  14. I wish it only cost me $2000 a month to live here. I pay well over $3000 a month in mortgage, taxes and insurance. Add in $700 a month in commuting costs. Add in $500 a year for the privilege to park at the train station, so you can pay that $700 a month in commuting costs. At some point you have to start asking what do I get for that expense and is it worth it? That answer will be different for different people, depending on your priorities. In Long Beach we are in a unique situation in that we have…well, the beach, as a focal point of our lifestyle. But if you lived in some other inland, strip mall laden, eating at Olive Garden and Applebee’s part of Long Island, would you think that expense is a good investment. As we are seeing, a lot of people are saying it is not and are going to urban areas to get what they think is a more desirable lifestyle for the same high cost or are going to lower cost suburban areas off of Long Island. Either way, Long Island is losing out.

  15. The overall problem on Long Island is the high school taxes for little return. If the school taxes were low then most people would ignore all the other problems and not look elsewhere. However the other problems of Long Island are catching up in other states- illegal aliens, gang banger thug minorities, drug dealers, welfare section 8 recipients etc etc.So consider that.

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