Where You Grow Up Matters

New York is home to an estimated 19.7 million people, the fourth most-populous and highest-taxed state in the country.  

When most people think of New York, they think of New York City, which at 8.4 million people happens to be the most-populated city in the U.S. 

However, we live in Putnam County, in the town of Carmel, 40 miles north of the city, home to only about 34,000 residents. For some, living in Putnam County is a dream: clean air and beautiful surroundings, and in relatively close proximity to the advantages of New York City and higher paying jobs.    

Sign Up for E-News

Living in this comparatively unspoiled suburban environment has both advantages and disadvantages. A family of four, that owns its home and earns a median household income of approximately $110,000 has a yearly “wake-up” cost of about $96,000.  In addition to $35,000 in local, state, and federal taxes, wake-up costs include housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care and necessities such as clothing, entertainment, personal care products and services, reading materials, educational materials and other miscellaneous but mostly necessary items.

That leaves a family of four about $12,000 annually to spend or save.  So, then, what is the great value of living here, especially since the high cost of living means you are constantly struggling to save for your future and the future of your kids?  

Could it be safety? The town of Carmel is considered the 12th safest city in the state, based on FBI violent-crime statistics. For 2016, the violent-crime rate was 34.7 per 100,000. That means that residents had about a one-third of 1 percent chance of being victimized. And homeowners had less than a 1 percent chance of being the victim of a property crime. 

More living space?  An average home in this town—and they all have back yards—costs a fraction of what a large city apartment does.  Perhaps it’s the opportunity to send your kid to a better school.  Maybe it’s the recreational opportunities. Or, is it living on a street devoid of traffic, and having friendlier neighbors? Could it be a desire to avoid the sounds of the city—traffic, sirens, and alarms that go off in the middle of the night?

It’s probably all of the above.  

According to Harvard economists Nathaniel Hendren and Raj Chetty, where you grow up actually matters and is a major determinant of where you’re headed in life. 
“We think there are really large causal effects of local communities on children’s long-term success,” they wrote.

Young children growing up in an upwardly mobile community experience significantly higher earnings as adults. Hendren and Chetty suggest that a child’s capacity to achieve financially as an adult is a direct function of his or her early surroundings, and the longer they were exposed to that environment, the greater the income disparity.
“Income mobility is higher in areas with more two-parent households, better elementary schools, and high schools, and more civic engagement, including membership in religious and community groups,” they state.

Follow-up research in multiple communities expands on these findings. Five factors are now believed to contribute to increased income potential and upward mobility: less segregation by income and race, lower levels of income inequality, better schools, lower rates of violent crime and a larger share of two-parent households.
How does Putnam County measure up? Quite well! When compared to all communities nationwide, Hendren and Chetty’s research indicates that a childhood spent in Putnam County significantly influences upward mobility. In this regard, Putnam County ranks better than 83 percent of all counties in the U.S.  

Where you grow up does matter. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

What Is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a research organization. Apparently, it is funded by the Mercer family, second only to the Koch brothers on the liberal hit list. Both, through their philanthropy, spend millions on various needy organizations like hospitals. What makes them liberal targets is their funding of various conservative think tanks and candidates. I digress.

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

Seen Any Good Ol’ Movies Lately?

As I become more, uh, mature, I find myself enjoying older movies more than newer movies. The trio of films presented here for your consideration are three of my all-time favorites. They share great stories, great screenplays, great directing, great acting. They also have in common ratings in the 90s on Rotten Tomatoes, and a place of distinction in the National Film Registry, a highly selective ...

Privacy? LOL!

Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about how Facebook fans are shocked—shocked!—that their privacy has been compromised, prompting them to rise up and exhort oppressed social media users everywhere to ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...

Tipping the Scales in My Favor

As I was settling into bed one night, I happened to catch my husband out of the corner of my eye.

He was getting on the scale.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I yelled at him. He jerked his head around and looked at me with alarm.

“What? I’m weighing myself.”

I jumped out of bed and yanked him off the scale. 

“You can’t do that now!” I ...

Doing Time in the Big House

“So, what did the doctor say about Dad?” I asked my mom over the phone.

“He has an incarcerated hernia,” she replied.

“INCARCERATED hernia?” I repeated.

“Yes.”

“Why is it incarcerated? Did it rob a bank?”

“What? No.”

“Unlawful entry? Obstruction? Insider trading?” I ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 19, 10:00 AM

FDR State Park, Yorktown Heights

BluePath Service Dogs 2nd Annual Walkathon

Giving Back

Sun, May 20

Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park , Yorktown Heights

2nd Annual Northwell Health Walk at Westchester

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Health & Wellness

Thu, May 24, 6:30 PM

Mahopac

College Admission Webinar

Education

Houlihan Lawrence in Yorktown Welcomes Three New Team Members

April 10, 2018

Zef Camaj, brokerage manager, recently welcomed three salespersons to the team.

Marco Nogueras is an enthusiastic and dedicated professional who uses technologically advanced marketing techniques bringing the real estate experience to a new level. He values customer service and will ensure your goals are met while keeping you updated on current market conditions. Marco has spent the majority ...