Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

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redheadinvestor
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Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by redheadinvestor » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:11 pm

I live in Chicago NW suburbs Software field, I make $150k + bonus.

I have 2 offers from from with in our company - one at new jersey for same salary and another at northern NY(weschester county) for an additional 10% salary. Both carry an additional 5% bonus and relocation assistance.

So far here is my research :

- State tax is comparable between Chicago and NJ. I doubt that current IL tax will stay low for long. NJ has multiple brackets, IL has flat tax effectively overall tax is about the same.
- NJ has no deduction for mortgage interest, IRA, HSA. This is significant.
- In IL, I contribute full $20K for 529, NJ has no 529 tax deduction and NY has some but less than IL.
- Auto insurance in NJ area is much higher compared to Chicago area.
- Property taxes in NJ and Chicago area are comparable and high. Didn't research NY yet.
- Home values in NJ/NY are much higher compared to Chicago. I will have to switch from 300K house to 500K home.
- Commute in NJ seems crazy but I don't expect this is an issue for me as I will be renting or buying home closer to work.

Any other additional things to consider financial(taxes, expenses) stand point? Any other surprises? I assumed IRA/HSA contributions, mortgage interest are not taxed at state level in all states but apparently NJ is an exception.
Any idea how high schools compare between chicago suburbs vs NJ/NY area? Does living in east coast any help when applying for colleges(in 4 years)?.

redheadinvestor
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by redheadinvestor » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:45 am

Any feedback please?

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by Rob5TCP » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:03 am

Suburban schools in the NY/NJ area have some of the best in the country - you have to check by district.

I can't answer whether living on the East Coast will help/hinder getting into tier 1 colleges. I would think that would be more subjective on how well the student has done plus grades on SAT's, etc. When checking schools you can usually find out what % of class goes to 2/4 year colleges and what % goes to top schools. That would probably be a better indicator. Schools is adjacent districts can have wild differences.

Like NJ, taxes on home vary from high to the obscene (NYC ironically has lower property taxes). I believe both Long Island and Westchester property taxes are still lower than NJ.

mako171
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by mako171 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:07 am

I happily moved Maine-California-Texas-NY for work, so have some experience in this. Unless you're actively trying to escape IL, this seems like a silly idea. It's only ~$25k bump pretax. That's not worth it. It sounds like your kids are middle school age? That's a hard time to move, probably the hardest time. You and your spouse will need to completely rebuild your local social network. Are houses $500k in NJ? In northern NJ, I would have guessed more.

Get an offer for double the salary and revisit the idea.

stats99
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by stats99 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:14 am

Do you have to commute to Manhattan? Westchester may have some advantage there using Metro-North. As you know, NY has some tax deduction advantages as well. NJ has significant pension problems. I was educated in NY, educated my children in NJ...I feel NY is better with Regents diploma.

Do you have to move? I told my kids unless you plan to make $300k+ stay away..I sent them to college in NC.

I live in N. NJ..15 miles west of Times Square.

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buccimane
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by buccimane » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 am

for auto insurance I'd look towards New Jersey Manufacturers if offered through work.. As for the commute, in North Jersey if you are not taking back roads there will more than likely be rough traffic with aggressive driving. This is something I have dealt with for a while, but everyday is a challenge with a 2 hour round trip commute.. I know I will not be able to make the drive in my later years :?
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staythecourse
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by staythecourse » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:24 am

redheadinvestor wrote:I live in Chicago NW suburbs Software field, I make $150k + bonus.

I have 2 offers from from with in our company - one at new jersey for same salary and another at northern NY(weschester county) for an additional 10% salary. Both carry an additional 5% bonus and relocation assistance.

So far here is my research :

- State tax is comparable between Chicago and NJ. I doubt that current IL tax will stay low for long. NJ has multiple brackets, IL has flat tax effectively overall tax is about the same.
- NJ has no deduction for mortgage interest, IRA, HSA. This is significant.
- In IL, I contribute full $20K for 529, NJ has no 529 tax deduction and NY has some but less than IL.
- Auto insurance in NJ area is much higher compared to Chicago area.
- Property taxes in NJ and Chicago area are comparable and high. Didn't research NY yet.
- Home values in NJ/NY are much higher compared to Chicago. I will have to switch from 300K house to 500K home.
- Commute in NJ seems crazy but I don't expect this is an issue for me as I will be renting or buying home closer to work.

Any other additional things to consider financial(taxes, expenses) stand point? Any other surprises? I assumed IRA/HSA contributions, mortgage interest are not taxed at state level in all states but apparently NJ is an exception.
Any idea how high schools compare between chicago suburbs vs NJ/NY area? Does living in east coast any help when applying for colleges(in 4 years)?.
Why did you even start a breakdown of numbers considering it is such a small difference in pay? One is same salary and another is 10% more? With kids going into high school I wouldn't even consider it.

Unless you, your spouse, or kids are itching to move out there for personal (not financial) reasons I would have said no from the beginning. The only exclusion would be if this job would advance your career, but a lateral shift is a waste of time.

Good luck.
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imyeti2
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by imyeti2 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:37 am

Everything you have listed comes at a higher cost in NJ/NY than Chicago.

$500 K will get you a starter home in a good school district or a condo/townhouse. Property taxes in NJ are the highest in the nation. Same with insurance rates.

Adlai Stevenson in NW Chicago is one of the best high schools in the country. However, NJ is always ranked in the top 5 states in the nation for best high schools. You may have many choices of good & many school districts within close proximity of your work location. Princeton University recruits many high schoolers from Princeton township - if that's a goal for your children.

It is also a lifestyle decision. I used to live in the midwest a long time ago. After having moved to the east coast, I cannot think about going back. In summer, you can enjoy the beach; in winters a couple of hours of drive and you hit the ski slopes.

If you have spent many years in Chicago, it could be a big lifestyle change ....

MikeMak27
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by MikeMak27 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:13 am

With everything you listed, I don't see why it would make much financial sense to move there. If you or your spouse has family, friends, or attachment to the area, then that may make up for some of the financial decline you will take by moving there.
While Illinois, Cook County, and nearly every local government is struggling financially with our pension time bomb, NY and NJ are in somewhat similar circumstances. I'd stay here if your happy!

A fellow Chicagoan
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:37 am

MikeMak27 wrote:With everything you listed, I don't see why it would make much financial sense to move there. If you or your spouse has family, friends, or attachment to the area, then that may make up for some of the financial decline you will take by moving there.
While Illinois, Cook County, and nearly every local government is struggling financially with our pension time bomb, NY and NJ are in somewhat similar circumstances. I'd stay here if your happy!

A fellow Chicagoan
I know zero about Chicago. I will tell you this - $165K in NY/or Northern NJ will make you feel like you were barely making it. Everything costs!, I mean everything. Starting from home prices - it's likely $500K in Chicago suburbs gets you a 4 bedroom, 2.5-3 bath home on 0.5-1 acre lots with lots of green grass and nice streets/parks. $500K in Westchester county will get you a 1940's/1950's 3 bedroom 1.5 or 1 bathroom home with a 1980's kitchen, taxes will be anywhere from $12K and up. The most important factor in buying a home in Westchester and/or NNJ will be a train line - buy a home in a train line town because the home values will tend to hold/appreciate due to commuterability factor into and out of NYC. In NNJ - $500K will get you a small 3 bedroom home with a bathroom from the '80s era, the kitchen may be from the 1970's (I kid you not!) complete with wallpaper (avoid buying in a flood zone - there are many as the soil in NJ is clay or silt with a high water table), some homes don't have basements for obvious reasons especially in Central Jersey near the shore. Taxes will be high (did I mention high?), properties will be 50x100 foot lots, you may find 0.25 acre lots. Congestion! - get ready for traffic, and lots of it! Tolls - you will pay tolls on the NY Thruway, NJ Turnpike, Garden State Pkway, all of the bridges and tunnels - just look them up to get an idea. And still, you will have lots of traffic.

Living on the east coast is not going to give you "a leg up" when applying to colleges. And the private schools in the NY/NJ/CT/MA/PA corridor can be very pricey - like Ivy league pricey with out the Ivy pedigree (no joke!)

I think you would need a substantial bump in income to have the same lifestyle as Chicago suburbs.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:41 am

If I had to drive to work in either if these unnamed locations, I would forget about it (in most situations, there are exceptions, a job in Morristown, NJ for example).

Where are the locations of the two offers? Is there decent public transport available??
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by BW1985 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:41 am

I've lived in this area (CT) and I would NOT make this move.
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redheadinvestor
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by redheadinvestor » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:45 pm

Thanks for the response so far. Some additional info:

Where are the locations of the two offers? Is there decent public transport available??
Do you have to commute to Manhattan? Westchester may have some advantage there using Metro-North. As you know, NY has some tax deduction advantages as well. NJ has significant pension problems. I was educated in NY, educated my children in NJ...I feel NY is better with Regents diploma.

Princeton,NJ and Tarrytown,NY

Princeton University recruits many high schoolers from Princeton township
This is news to me. Is this due to students capability or preference to local condidates? If so is this restricted to princeton or other nearby towns?

Unless you, your spouse, or kids are itching to move out there for personal (not financial) reasons I would have said no from the beginning. The only exclusion would be if this job would advance your career, but a lateral shift is a waste of time.


Yes, this gets closer to our extended family and even though it is a lateral shift, I expect this switch to help me in long run.

So far my observation is property taxes in Chicago and NJ are comparable(and very high in both places).

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by Joe1Joe » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:43 pm

I live in the Princeton area, not princeton itself though. Princeton is expensive but there are plenty of "affordable" houses in the surrounding area within commuting distance. Still have good schools as well.

Most of what people wrote above are referring to north jersey. Princeton is not considered north jersey so while some of what they wrote applies it isnt entirely true, particularly the crazy home prices, theyre still pretty bad though.

The central/south jersey area you would be looking at is a quick drive to the beach (fun for kids), close to philadelphia, a 45-60 min train ride to NYC and its also around tons of beautiful rural areas, with wineries, hiking trails etc.

Personally I love this area because I am reasonably close to everything I enjoy and theres a ton of stuff to do IMO.


Between NY and NJ I think it would matter where you family is in relation. Traffic can be bad in the northeast, not sure how close your family would be in either location. I do a ton of driving in PA, NJ and NY is you want to know how traffic/route times would be in those areas.

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:10 pm

I think financially you are going to be worse off than you are now whether you move to NJ or NY. 10% + 5% isn't going to make up the difference. If you are moving without a significant increase in pay, there should be some other reason such as a job that is better for non-financial reasons or non-job factors like climate or wanting to be near NYC.
Last edited by Pajamas on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keith6014
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by keith6014 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:59 pm

what is your bonus?

i would stay put. i live in n.nj and everything is expensive here. after few years i pay off my house getting hell out of here.

stats99
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by stats99 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:06 pm

Now if you are talking about south Jersey, Philly area, the cost of living is better then north jersey. A move there, if it helps with other items makes more sense then Westchester area or North nj. Good luck

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:38 pm

keith6014 wrote:what is your bonus?

i would stay put. i live in n.nj and everything is expensive here. after few years i pay off my house getting hell out of here.
Tell us how you really feel. :wink:
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by bsteiner » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:05 pm

The Princeton area and Westchester are both very nice. There are excellent schools in both areas.

protagonist
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by protagonist » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:06 pm

redheadinvestor wrote:I live in Chicago NW suburbs Software field, I make $150k + bonus.

I have 2 offers from from with in our company - one at new jersey for same salary and another at northern NY(weschester county) for an additional 10% salary. Both carry an additional 5% bonus and relocation assistance.

So far here is my research :

- State tax is comparable between Chicago and NJ. I doubt that current IL tax will stay low for long. NJ has multiple brackets, IL has flat tax effectively overall tax is about the same.
- NJ has no deduction for mortgage interest, IRA, HSA. This is significant.
- In IL, I contribute full $20K for 529, NJ has no 529 tax deduction and NY has some but less than IL.
- Auto insurance in NJ area is much higher compared to Chicago area.
- Property taxes in NJ and Chicago area are comparable and high. Didn't research NY yet.
- Home values in NJ/NY are much higher compared to Chicago. I will have to switch from 300K house to 500K home.
- Commute in NJ seems crazy but I don't expect this is an issue for me as I will be renting or buying home closer to work.

Any other additional things to consider financial(taxes, expenses) stand point? Any other surprises? I assumed IRA/HSA contributions, mortgage interest are not taxed at state level in all states but apparently NJ is an exception.
Any idea how high schools compare between chicago suburbs vs NJ/NY area? Does living in east coast any help when applying for colleges(in 4 years)?.
The elephant in the room....the main thing to consider...is where you want to live.

If your kids would likely go to a state college/university, you need to compare NJ schools (eg Rutgers) with comparable U. Illinois schools. I have no information about that,

That said, NY just made 4 year state college/university education free for all full time SUNY or CUNY students making under a certain threshold income ($125000 ???). I believe it comes with the stipulation that the student continues to work in NY state for a certain number of years beyond graduation, and there may be performance requirements as well. I don't know if it only applies to NY residents or not, but since NY borders NJ, you might research it. NY has some really good state schools. https://www.ny.gov/programs/tuition-fre ... cholarship

Don't listen to all the people bad-mouthing NYC and the NYC metro area. People either love it or hate it, and many do both. That is probably true as well about Chicago. You have to come to your own conclusions.

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by 209south » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:13 pm

I lived in Chicago in the mid-80s and have been in northern NJ ever since. I am very happy here but long ago resigned myself to the fact that it's a high-cost environment in every sense (eg. my prop taxes = $65k but I can only deduct $10k for state taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Financially it seems hard to justify the move, but the Princeton area is terrific (albeit 40 miles south of me) - feel free to PM if you pursue this.

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by grabiner » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:25 pm

Joe1Joe wrote:I live in the Princeton area, not princeton itself though. Princeton is expensive but there are plenty of "affordable" houses in the surrounding area within commuting distance. Still have good schools as well.

Most of what people wrote above are referring to north jersey. Princeton is not considered north jersey so while some of what they wrote applies it isnt entirely true, particularly the crazy home prices, theyre still pretty bad though.
Princeton itself is expensive, but the further you go away from Princeton in any direction (except near the Princeton Junction train station), the less expensive housing gets. I saw how this worked when I moved to the area in 2010; I wound up in Montgomery Township, three miles north of Princeton, but checked out rentals in Princeton and every town within seven miles.

As another tax issue, what does your spouse do? If your spouse works for a non-profit such as a school or hospital, NJ doesn't give a tax deduction for 403(b) contributions, although your spouse could use a Roth 403(b) (and Roth IRA) to avoid that issue.
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by ytrewq » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:32 pm

NJ is the largest exporter of high school students in the nation for almost 2-decades. In the top 20-25 NJ High School's (by SAT score), within the top-20% student body, almost 3/4th go out-of-state. Also due to strong student body (NJ has highest cut-off in nation for top 1% National Merit Semifinalists), geographic proximity to Ivies and lack of top ranked in-state public university, NJ is typically among top-4 feeder states (after Univ's own home state, NY and CA) to most Ivy League Univs. While UIUC is an excellent University with in-state tuition for IL residents, if you move to NJ there is a 75%-80% chance, that if you have a high performing child, you may end-up sending him to Privates or top Public Univs with out-of-state tuition. Factoring higher home price, higher taxes, higher cost of living and higher college expenses for children, you will need a significant bump in salary to justify moving from IL to NY/NJ.

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by rgs92 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:41 pm

New Jersey is the largest user of H1B visas, so your job is at stake if you go there.
From a CNBC article yesterday:
Here are the US states — and the companies — that use the most H-1B visas:
New Jersey would be the state most affected by a change to the visa system. In 2017, employers in the Garden State applied for around 5,400 H-1B visas per one million people, according to a CNBC analysis of data from MyVisaJobs.com, an aggregator of visa applications. Delaware , California and Massachusetts also are high on the list.


Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-states ... 09220.html

And most tech jobs are now in New York City. So you will probably end up working there (as I have seen extremely often) and then have to choose between a hellish commute (NJ mass transit is horrible) or living in NYC with prohibitive housing prices for anything livable.

Yep, Chicagoland has its own well known problems (with the property and income tax issues and the public pension mess, but no place is perfect), but it's a lot easier to live around Naperville/Lisle/Schaumburg/Oak Brook/Arlington Heights than in the NYC area unless you are wealthy. That's my humble opinion. When visitors co-workers came for meetings and such from the Chicago NW suburbs to NJ, they all wanted to just visit for a while and head back home.

I spent a lot of time on business in Chicagoland and felt it was a much more livable place.

Naperville is a very nice place, walkable with a nice downtown with lots of amenities, comparable to Westfield or Morristown or Princeton in NJ. You can get a house from 3000-4000 sf in Naperville in the mid 600s w/ property taxes about $11K-$15K. This is a lot lower than the NJ places I mentioned.
Last edited by rgs92 on Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

redheadinvestor
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by redheadinvestor » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:55 pm

NJ is the largest exporter of high school students in the nation for almost 2-decades. In the top 20-25 NJ High School's (by SAT score), within the top-20% student body, almost 3/4th go out-of-state. Also due to strong student body (NJ has highest cut-off in nation for top 1% National Merit Semifinalists), geographic proximity to Ivies and lack of top ranked in-state public university, NJ is typically among top-4 feeder states (after Univ's own home state, NY and CA) to most Ivy League Univs. While UIUC is an excellent University with in-state tuition for IL residents, if you move to NJ there is a 75%-80% chance, that if you have a high performing child, you may end-up sending him to Privates or top Public Univs with out-of-state tuition. Factoring higher home price, higher taxes, higher cost of living and higher college expenses for children, you will need a significant bump in salary to justify moving from IL to NY/NJ.

Thanks for well thought out comment.

Princeton itself is expensive, but the further you go away from Princeton in any direction (except near the Princeton Junction train station), the less expensive housing gets. I saw how this worked when I moved to the area in 2010; I wound up in Montgomery Township, three miles north of Princeton, but checked out rentals in Princeton and every town within seven miles.

So far my observation is that housing in west windsor and plainsboro is quite expensive possibly due to school ratings. Places like lawrenceville,east windosr etc are cheaper. Montgomary area has some low prices as well and school ratings are good as well. Any suggestions on good high schools in princeton area?


I lived in Chicago in the mid-80s and have been in northern NJ ever since. I am very happy here but long ago resigned myself to the fact that it's a high-cost environment in every sense (eg. my prop taxes = $65k but I can only deduct $10k for state taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Financially it seems hard to justify the move, but the Princeton area is terrific (albeit 40 miles south of me) - feel free to PM if you pursue this.
Sure will do so.

Now if you are talking about south Jersey, Philly area, the cost of living is better then north jersey. A move there, if it helps with other items makes more sense then Westchester area or North nj. Good luck
Thanks.

Between NY and NJ I think it would matter where you family is in relation. Traffic can be bad in the northeast, not sure how close your family would be in either location. I do a ton of driving in PA, NJ and NY is you want to know how traffic/route times would be in those areas.
Our extended family are in DC/N.VA suburbs so it will be few hours drive every few weeks. It is better than drive from Chicago.

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by NYC_Guy » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:20 pm

redheadinvestor wrote:I live in Chicago NW suburbs Software field, I make $150k + bonus.

I have 2 offers from from with in our company - one at new jersey for same salary and another at northern NY(weschester county) for an additional 10% salary. Both carry an additional 5% bonus and relocation assistance.

So far here is my research :

- State tax is comparable between Chicago and NJ. I doubt that current IL tax will stay low for long. NJ has multiple brackets, IL has flat tax effectively overall tax is about the same.
- NJ has no deduction for mortgage interest, IRA, HSA. This is significant.
- In IL, I contribute full $20K for 529, NJ has no 529 tax deduction and NY has some but less than IL.
- Auto insurance in NJ area is much higher compared to Chicago area.
- Property taxes in NJ and Chicago area are comparable and high. Didn't research NY yet.
- Home values in NJ/NY are much higher compared to Chicago. I will have to switch from 300K house to 500K home.
- Commute in NJ seems crazy but I don't expect this is an issue for me as I will be renting or buying home closer to work.

Any other additional things to consider financial(taxes, expenses) stand point? Any other surprises? I assumed IRA/HSA contributions, mortgage interest are not taxed at state level in all states but apparently NJ is an exception.
Any idea how high schools compare between chicago suburbs vs NJ/NY area? Does living in east coast any help when applying for colleges(in 4 years)?.
If you work in Tarrytown, and are willing to commute 30 min to work, you can live outside of the normal commuting NY metro area. Same applies to Princeton. Your cost of living could be comparable to your existing IL experience. If you want to live 5-10 min from work, that's a bit of a different issue (in terms of COLA).

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janiebegood
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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by janiebegood » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:24 am

If your extended family is in the DC/NVA area, from either Princeton or Tarreytown, you would probably be better off taking the train than driving the NY/NJ-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC corridor. What looks on the map like a three-hour drive can take much (much) longer than that.

We drove from Brooklyn to Philadelphia late in the evening one Easter and it took us seven hours to make the two-hour drive.

Have you compared the cost of living between where you are now and the two places? http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/

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Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by TheMoneyRat » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:17 am

I lived in NJ for the first 5 years of my career, and have lived in NY northern suburbs for the last 15. I grew up in NYC. There are so many better, better places to live in this country than the NY/NJ metro region (and I would move tomorrow if I could), but you say you want to be closer to family, and I respect that.

Princeton area vs. Westchester: Princeton by a long shot. The people are going to be nicer (less stressful life), the traffic is going to be better, the area is going to be cleaner, the crime is going to be lower, it is less crowded but there is culture and a well educated population. People do commute into NYC from Princeton, so you know that the train is there and not too long a trip for a weekend jaunt into Manhattan. Amtrak also is available for trips up and down the East Coast. (This will be advantageous if your kids end up in college in Boston, NY, CT, Philly, Baltimore or DC.)

If you like to ski a lot, be near mountains, go to professional sports games often, or be able to be in Manhattan under 45 minutes on the train, then Westchester is a better bet. The Lower Hudson Valley is beautiful. But the housing in nice towns is awfully expensive.

If you plan on seeing family in DC/NVa a lot, then I would strongly suggest Princeton -- you are shaving about 2 hours off that trip.

Both NY and NJ have terrible, inefficient state governments, multiple layers of state, county and municipal government, and ever increasing taxes.

IMHO the SUNY system is better than Rutgers -- more choices, better schools. But if the state university system is driving the decision, then I would move to Texas or California.

TMR

nolesrule
Posts: 323
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:59 am

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by nolesrule » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:24 am

Amtrak and NJ Transit's NEC line haven't been doing so great the last month or so. Can make for messy trips to the city when things go wrong. :twisted:

But generally it's not that bad.

Valuethinker
Posts: 33377
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:57 am

TheMoneyRat wrote:
IMHO the SUNY system is better than Rutgers -- more choices, better schools. But if the state university system is driving the decision, then I would move to Texas or California.

TMR
I am no expert but I believe years of budget cuts have hit U Cal system:

- tuition has risen, even for in state, *a lot*
- there have been cuts in everything the universities could find to cut (maybe not the varsity athletic programmes ;-))

Also it's fine to dream of sending one's children to Berkeley or UCLA but these are incredibly competitive places-- I suspect for UCB on the order of a top private university?

Texas I cannot speak to but hear nothing but good things about U of Texas Austin, and the Texas University system has the largest endowment of any public university (I believe).

NYGiantsFan
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:59 am

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by NYGiantsFan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:10 pm

So far my observation is that housing in west windsor and plainsboro is quite expensive possibly due to school ratings. Places like lawrenceville,east windosr etc are cheaper. Montgomary area has some low prices as well and school ratings are good as well. Any suggestions on good high schools in princeton area?
Select house near train and good/great school district. That will allow you maintain property value. You may want consider Pennington/Hopewell corridor also. They are not far from Princeton.

Most of the comments are true for North Jersey. Princeton should be considered Central/South Jersey and cost of living is lower as well as house prices. Also many highways surrounding it (95/295/Rt 1) don't have toll except NJ Turnpike.

FYI. Beside Princeton University, there is another college in area called TCNJ (The State College of NJ) which has excellent 7 year medical program.

Recent grading from a website (Not perfect but will give you ideas)
https://patch.com/new-jersey/morristown ... mmunity-do

Also top high school list. Any high school in top 25 is a great school.
http://www.edison.k12.nj.us/cms/lib2/NJ ... onthly.pdf

rgs92
Posts: 1462
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

Post by rgs92 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:15 am

The big root of the problem is that over the last 20 years the vast majority of jobs in the NYC area migrated from the suburbs back to the city itself, totally reversing the flow of the 1960s to the mid 90s. But mass transit has not evolved at all or even been maintained, while ridership has zoomed, so commuting is crazy-difficult and is at a crisis point.

The train stations look like 3rd world nightmares during rush hour and parking is a huge problem too. 2 to 3 hours in each direction is not uncommon in the outer suburbs. But people grin and bear it out of necessity. Or you can live in the city and pay $700K to $1.5million for a 2 bedroom 2 bath place.

So if your job ends for any reason, you are likely looking at a job in the city, and you are stuck.

The NY suburbs and especially NJ are dotted with huge empty office building with parking lots full of weeds and there are ubiquitous for-lease signs.

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