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Old 05-14-2018, 09:14 AM
 
40 posts, read 37,087 times
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I'll just put it out there: My spouse and I have a HHI of about $650k. We are considering leaving Westchester because of the insane cost of living. Simply put, after mortgage, taxes, retirement saving and college saving for our kids, we are comfortable, but by no means living large. And that's living in a school district many people consider inferior. We've been looking at homes in some of the "fancier" districts, but paying $30k in property taxes in perpetuity -- for a house that needs work -- is starting to feel like something only crazy people do.

What we always ask ourselves is: Does everyone else just make more money than we do? Have grandparents footing the bill for their kids' college? Have an inheritance that they're counting on to fund retirement? Because it seems to me that you need to pull in about $1M or more to really live well in one of southern Westchester's highly-regarded school districts.

VERY curious what others think.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:38 AM
 
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Definitely double check your spending because that's a lot of dough.

There are definitely good school districts where you don't have to pay 30k in taxes.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:13 AM
 
1,183 posts, read 343,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demographer View Post
I'll just put it out there: My spouse and I have a HHI of about $650k. We are considering leaving Westchester because of the insane cost of living. Simply put, after mortgage, taxes, retirement saving and college saving for our kids, we are comfortable, but by no means living large. And that's living in a school district many people consider inferior. We've been looking at homes in some of the "fancier" districts, but paying $30k in property taxes in perpetuity -- for a house that needs work -- is starting to feel like something only crazy people do.

What we always ask ourselves is: Does everyone else just make more money than we do? Have grandparents footing the bill for their kids' college? Have an inheritance that they're counting on to fund retirement? Because it seems to me that you need to pull in about $1M or more to really live well in one of southern Westchester's highly-regarded school districts.

VERY curious what others think.
You probably overspent on the house and bought a 1.5 mil instead of an $850K in the same district due to status anxiety. You can live well in that $850K house in a great SD and have plenty for 401, 529, vacations, camp etc.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:46 AM
 
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Disagree with OP. Buy a house in Edgewood SD of Scarsdale and you will have plenty of money left over.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Chint View Post
You probably overspent on the house and bought a 1.5 mil instead of an $850K in the same district due to status anxiety. You can live well in that $850K house in a great SD and have plenty for 401, 529, vacations, camp etc.
Actually, what we did was buy a $750k house in a middling district when the market was down. We have zero status anxiety--that's why we save extensively and refuse to move somewhere where we can't continue to do that--we have no interest in working until we're 80. The alarm bells go off when we start looking at what $1M buys you in Edgemont, Larchmont, etc. You're lucky to get a one-car garage and central air. Decent kitchen? A pipe dream.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:30 PM
 
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logged in to agree with you. then i saw your HHI.

the issue is you and your spending.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:45 PM
 
80 posts, read 90,582 times
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If taxes are your concern, the first thing is to strike edgemont off your list..more so than Scarsdale or larchmont
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:03 PM
 
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You have a 750k house a few years ago and 650k HHI and you can't save? That makes no sense at all. You should be mortgage free by now and saving at least 50% of your income.

Edited to add: Oh you are already saving and being relatively frugal. You just have a problem with seeing other people living probably above their means. Just keep doing what you're doing, stay in your soon to be paid off house and don't worry about what the neighbors are doing.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:05 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 343,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demographer View Post
Actually, what we did was buy a $750k house in a middling district when the market was down. We have zero status anxiety--that's why we save extensively and refuse to move somewhere where we can't continue to do that--we have no interest in working until we're 80. The alarm bells go off when we start looking at what $1M buys you in Edgemont, Larchmont, etc. You're lucky to get a one-car garage and central air. Decent kitchen? A pipe dream.
I'd also cross Larchmont off your list - that's Mamaroneck School District. Houses are expensive for the SD. (Mamaroneck SD is just fine, but does not really support Larchmont house prices, try Rye or Rye Neck or Blind Brook SDs if you like that area.)


Look at the top 5 SDs in Westchester commute-wise (someone posted a link recently) and you can get a place for 850-900K just fine. You'll have sacks of money left over. Why do you need a garage? Cars do not rust nowadays. Most garages just fill with boxes anyway. Central AC is only 20 k or so to add if needed.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:05 PM
 
40 posts, read 37,087 times
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Originally Posted by thefastlife View Post
logged in to agree with you. then i saw your HHI.

the issue is you and your spending.
Yup, I can certainly understand why you'd say that. So:

Monthly take-home, after maxing out 401ks, is about $25,000-$26,000.

Mortgage/taxes: $4500
Health insurance: $2000 (no workplace contribution)
529s for two kids: $1200
Car-related expenses + train/parking: $1500
Utilities: $1000
Misc. home expenses/maintenance: $1000
Childcare: $3000
Extra-curriculars: $500
Food/leisure -- I don't add this up usually... maybe $1500-$2000, depending on how much entertaining we're doing and how much we're working too much and ordering in?
Extra retirement saving: $1200
General saving: $3000

Then there's a vacation or two each year, and camp.

After that, there's a couple thousand left, which we easily blow on clothes, etc. for all four of us. Nothing out of line for our income level. Today I ordered some Old Navy pajamas for my kids, some diapers, a new water bottle for my son because he keeps losing the damn thing, and a new carseat.

So where's the crazy spending?
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