To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

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glitched
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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby glitched » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:00 am

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Didn't save much money on rent because I got a very nice apartment, but the same apartment would have been way more in Manhattan. Even as an SA saved a fair amount on taxes, and for a first-year associate not paying NYC income taxes is worth about $6k a year, which is at least 2-3 months' rent just for living in NJ. Hard to beat that. Nightlife is not at all awful, especially in Hoboken, though I'm not much for nightlife anyway so maybe not the best to testify.


I think your general point still stands, but just to quibble slightly with your numbers, it's closer to $4k savings (about $4250) since NYC taxes are deductible on your federal returns (if you itemize, which you undoubtedly should, since state + local taxes will exceed the standard deduction unless you have dependents).


Only until you hit the AMT, which will happen pretty quickly (not as a first-year unless you're married, but by fourth year at market + bonus).


It's indexed for inflation now though at least, and in the crosshairs of tax reform (if Congress ever gets around do doing anything ever again)


Can both of you elaborate a little bit more on this? So bc of the AMT, taxpayer won't be able to take the city/state tax as an itemized deduction so those savings become larger? And what is Congress trying to do exactly? lol sry 4 stpidty!

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:10 am

As someone who plans to live in NJ if I ever get the privilege of working in NYC, this thread has given me a lot of great insights.

Tag.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby NYstate » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:25 am

As I livelong New Yorker I can say for sure that I get out of the city all the time. I spend most weekends i can get away in upstate new york. I also go out with people spontaneously with no problem.

I didn't have debt so I wasn't as worried. But I can't imagine living in New Jersey instead of the city. I would easily pay more than $4,000 a year for the benefits of living in the city.

Also I walk to work and home ( or take a car) and my life is great. I hate commuting.

Edit to add: this lifestyle choice is something people who are considering giving up named scholarships should strongly consider. Huge debt makes a material impact on where you live and what you can afford for the next five years or so.


~sunynp
Last edited by NYstate on Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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guano
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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby guano » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:48 am

glitched wrote:Can both of you elaborate a little bit more on this? So bc of the AMT, taxpayer won't be able to take the city/state tax as an itemized deduction so those savings become larger? And what is Congress trying to do exactly? lol sry 4 stpidty!

In a nutshell, the AMT was designed so that rich people can't claim a crap-ton of deductions to reduce their taxable income too much*. If your gross income is over a certain threshold, then you need to calculate your taxes twice, once normally and once per AMT, which has different, and then you pay whichever calculation gives the highest tax liability.

Going into a discussion on the AMT is gonna derail this thread way too much, but, basically, it means that a lot of deductions can't be used.


*Once upon a time (I forget when) congress discovered that the vast majority of very rich people paid very little tax, mainly because they were overusing deductions (legally). So, Congress passed the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) to basically make rich people pay their fair share.
Since then, the tax industry (predominantly accountants and tax attorneys) have developed a bunch of new loopholes and mechanisms that have made the AMT rather pointless.
Kind of like estate and transfer taxes example

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby androstan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:12 pm

Wormfather wrote:I live in Stamford, CT and worked in Union Square for years before going back to school. This commute should not be done, you will spend at least 13 hours a week commuting, the cost is atrocious and it will make your life miserable. Stamford has direct trains into Grand Central but unless your office is walking distance, in order to be at the office by 8AM you would need to be on a 7:10 train, which means you need to be at the train station by 7AM. If you have to take a subway, you'll probably need to be at the trainstation around 6:30 AM.

Metro north trains are often late in the morning and if that's not bad enough, at least two mornings a week you will have to stand for the entire trip.

But, if you live in CT and take the New Haven Line there's a bar car on most trains during the evening rush hour.


What if work is ~15 minute walk from Grand Central, and you live within a few minutes drive of the train station in Stamford?

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:45 pm

androstan wrote:
Wormfather wrote:I live in Stamford, CT and worked in Union Square for years before going back to school. This commute should not be done, you will spend at least 13 hours a week commuting, the cost is atrocious and it will make your life miserable. Stamford has direct trains into Grand Central but unless your office is walking distance, in order to be at the office by 8AM you would need to be on a 7:10 train, which means you need to be at the train station by 7AM. If you have to take a subway, you'll probably need to be at the trainstation around 6:30 AM.

Metro north trains are often late in the morning and if that's not bad enough, at least two mornings a week you will have to stand for the entire trip.

But, if you live in CT and take the New Haven Line there's a bar car on most trains during the evening rush hour.


What if work is ~15 minute walk from Grand Central, and you live within a few minutes drive of the train station in Stamford?


The express trains on the New Haven Line are 48-50 minutes from Stamford station to Grand Central when running exactly on schedule, and they follow the schedule pretty closely unless there's some serious problem. You can do the math from there.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Wholigan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:25 pm

Is there a significant amount of housing available within walking distance of the Hoboken PATH station? How do people who live more than a few blocks away get there? Are there buses or shuttles? I imagine the commute would be a lot worse over time if you are working biglaw hours and have to add another leg to the commute.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby keg411 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:23 pm

Wholigan wrote:[b]Is there a significant amount of housing available within walking distance of the Hoboken PATH station? How do people who live more than a few blocks away get there? Are there buses or shuttles? I imagine the commute would be a lot worse over time if you are working biglaw hours and have to add another leg to the commute.


Hoboken is really small, so pretty much everywhere is walking distance to the PATH (and yes, there is a ton of housing available). And if you're uptown, there's a bus that goes to the Port Authority that's basically the same price as the PATH.

The real problem with the Hoboken commute (or any PATH commute) is that it's SPS in terms of running late at night and on the weekends. The commute into the city isn't really a worry.

ETA: The primary reason that I'm probably not living in Hoboken/JC is the social life part. If I weren't single, I'd live in NJ in a heartbeat and my parents would probably not give me such a hard time about it.

ETA2: If you live in Astoria (or anywhere in BK or Queens) you still have to pay NYC tax. In NJ you don't.
Last edited by keg411 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:24 pm

I personally would not do Hoboken or JC unless my office was within walking distance of a PATH station. Really don't think needing two separate transit passes and transferring between PATH --> subway twice a day is worth it when you can just move to Astoria or something. Most of the nice, convenient parts of Jersey City and Hoboken are more expensive than Astoria anyway.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:05 pm

keg411 wrote:
Wholigan wrote:[b]Is there a significant amount of housing available within walking distance of the Hoboken PATH station? How do people who live more than a few blocks away get there? Are there buses or shuttles? I imagine the commute would be a lot worse over time if you are working biglaw hours and have to add another leg to the commute.


Hoboken is really small, so pretty much everywhere is walking distance to the PATH (and yes, there is a ton of housing available). And if you're uptown, there's a bus that goes to the Port Authority that's basically the same price as the PATH.

The real problem with the Hoboken commute (or any PATH commute) is that it's SPS in terms of running late at night and on the weekends. The commute into the city isn't really a worry.


And I'll add that this is much less of a worry when you're an associate as your firm will pay for you to take a car home if it's late at night anyway, so you'll only be taking the PATH home on nights you leave early. It does matter if you like to go out to bars in the city, but there are a ton of bars in Hoboken especially (but also in Jersey City), so it's not a huge issue. Agree that it might be more of an issue if you're single; I'm not.

Weekends are not so bad (though they were for a while after Sandy), though o/c it's not great if you're in the office on the weekend a lot (but as an associate you're not in the office on weekends that often even if you're working fifteen hours a weekend from home).

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby keg411 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Weekends are not so bad (though they were for a while after Sandy), though o/c it's not great if you're in the office on the weekend a lot (but as an associate you're not in the office on weekends that often even if you're working fifteen hours a weekend from home).


Are the trains back up normally on weekends? Last I heard they were still either down or running super-restricted schedules.

Also, to clarify my social life point: I also pretty much "played out" the bar scene there about about 4-5 years ago. I still go sometimes, but the city is just objectively better and getting home on the PATH late at night can be a horrible experience (I've waited over an hour for the trains and that was way before Sandy).

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Wholigan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:35 pm

keg411 wrote:
Wholigan wrote:[b]Is there a significant amount of housing available within walking distance of the Hoboken PATH station? How do people who live more than a few blocks away get there? Are there buses or shuttles? I imagine the commute would be a lot worse over time if you are working biglaw hours and have to add another leg to the commute.


Hoboken is really small, so pretty much everywhere is walking distance to the PATH (and yes, there is a ton of housing available). And if you're uptown, there's a bus that goes to the Port Authority that's basically the same price as the PATH.

The real problem with the Hoboken commute (or any PATH commute) is that it's SPS in terms of running late at night and on the weekends. The commute into the city isn't really a worry.

ETA: The primary reason that I'm probably not living in Hoboken/JC is the social life part. If I weren't single, I'd live in NJ in a heartbeat and my parents would probably not give me such a hard time about it.

ETA2: If you live in Astoria (or anywhere in BK or Queens) you still have to pay NYC tax. In NJ you don't.


Thanks. I was doing some online apartment browsing just for fun and saw a couple of places that are about 3/4 mile from PATH, so I was just wondering. I guess that would be walkable, just no fun in bad weather.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:02 pm

Wholigan wrote:Thanks. I was doing some online apartment browsing just for fun and saw a couple of places that are about 3/4 mile from PATH, so I was just wondering. I guess that would be walkable, just no fun in bad weather.


PM me the cross streets and I'll give you the scoop. Might be close to the bus or an easier walk than you think. I used to go to Hoboken pretty much every weekend and I have friends that live/lived there and commute/commuted into the city. But none of them worked BigLaw or BigLaw-type hours.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:06 pm

keg411 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Weekends are not so bad (though they were for a while after Sandy), though o/c it's not great if you're in the office on the weekend a lot (but as an associate you're not in the office on weekends that often even if you're working fifteen hours a weekend from home).


Are the trains back up normally on weekends? Last I heard they were still either down or running super-restricted schedules.

Also, to clarify my social life point: I also pretty much "played out" the bar scene there about about 4-5 years ago. I still go sometimes, but the city is just objectively better and getting home on the PATH late at night can be a horrible experience (I've waited over an hour for the trains and that was way before Sandy).


The JSQ-Hoboken-33rd St line has been normal on weekends since early January. (Before then, it was still running on weekends but not after 11 at night any day.) The WTC-Newark line just went back to normal weekend service last weekend. Before, it wasn't stopping at Exchange Pl or the WTC (but was still running from Newark to JSQ, not really relevant to the discussion).

I've never waited more than a half-hour for trains late at night; the biggest scheduled gap is 35 minutes. Obviously that's not great service, but it's not that much worse than the subway (which has 20-25 minute headways late at night). But of course if something went wrong late at night you might end up waiting much longer. That's never happened to me, but I also don't take the PATH late at night much.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm considering living in New Jersey as well but for various reasons, I'm looking at New Jersey cities in Bergen County. I know it's not near any trains, although there are buses that go to Port Authority. Has anyone done this or know of people who have? Is the commute gonna be that much worse?

Huh? Don't the Bergen and Pascack Valley lines both go through Bergen? Tons of people take the train to the city from Bergen County.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:09 pm

FWIW, I was curious about what the actual break-even point is on this so I ran the numbers. NYC tax is like $475 a month on biglaw salary. (Tax rate schedule is here.) If you need a PATH monthly in addition to an MTA monthly pass, that's about an extra $70 a month over just the subway pass. So ballpark, you save $400 a month doing the Jersey route. (I think the state income tax rates are comparable or identical.) Not super complicated math or anything but thought the figures might to seeful for someone to see.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 8:33 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:FWIW, I was curious about what the actual break-even point is on this so I ran the numbers. NYC tax is like $475 a month on biglaw salary. (Tax rate schedule is here.) If you need a PATH monthly in addition to an MTA monthly pass, that's about an extra $70 a month over just the subway pass. So ballpark, you save $400 a month doing the Jersey route. (I think the state income tax rates are comparable or identical.) Not super complicated math or anything but thought the figures might to seeful for someone to see.


Isn't there a non resident tax that NY charges, though? So you'd pay nj state taxes and then get a credit on the NYC tax, but have to pay a non resident tax to NYC? Just wondering if you actually do get a tax break for living in nj and working in NYC.

Also, anyone live near Montclair area? The train is about 35 min direct to penn and then take the 1/2/3/E to get to midtown east. Seems doable.

Any thoughts appreciated

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:FWIW, I was curious about what the actual break-even point is on this so I ran the numbers. NYC tax is like $475 a month on biglaw salary. (Tax rate schedule is here.) If you need a PATH monthly in addition to an MTA monthly pass, that's about an extra $70 a month over just the subway pass. So ballpark, you save $400 a month doing the Jersey route. (I think the state income tax rates are comparable or identical.) Not super complicated math or anything but thought the figures might to seeful for someone to see.


Isn't there a non resident tax that NY charges, though? So you'd pay nj state taxes and then get a credit on the NYC tax, but have to pay a non resident tax to NYC? Just wondering if you actually do get a tax break for living in nj and working in NYC.

Also, anyone live near Montclair area? The train is about 35 min direct to penn and then take the 1/2/3/E to get to midtown east. Seems doable.

Any thoughts appreciated


There's no non-resident tax for NYC. They abolished that way back in the early 90s. For your taxes, you will have money withheld as if you were paying NYS (but not NYC) taxes. Then, when you file, you'll get a sizable refund from NYS and owe more or less exactly the same amount to NJ. (NJ taxes are ~$100 less than NYS taxes on a first-year salary.) There's some sort of tax-sharing arrangement between NYS and NJ such that you will still end up paying some to NYS while not paying as much to NJ as you would if you worked in-state, but that shouldn't matter to you. You will never pay anything to NYC, while someone who lived in NYC would pay ~$6000 to NYC on a first-year salary.

Montclair's nice, as far as I know, but I don't live near there. Lots of Brooklyn transplants and beautiful old houses.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 9:15 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm considering living in New Jersey as well but for various reasons, I'm looking at New Jersey cities in Bergen County. I know it's not near any trains, although there are buses that go to Port Authority. Has anyone done this or know of people who have? Is the commute gonna be that much worse?

Huh? Don't the Bergen and Pascack Valley lines both go through Bergen? Tons of people take the train to the city from Bergen County.


Depends where in Bergen. Eastern Bergen has no trains, and the commute by bus is terrible. Western Bergen has trains and is much more convenient. It's not easy to drive to the trains because the parking lots are mostly reserved for town residents of the town they're in and often have long waiting lists.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 9:31 pm

If you live by a Path station, the commute is a breeze. I lived in Jersey City while commuting to NYU, and was door to door in 30 min, and paid under $1,000 in rent (living with one other guy). If your firm is halfway accessible to the Path stops, its a great choice. I'm at an east side firm that isn't really accessible to JC, and I hate having to leave once I start work. Sort of wish I was at a west side firm so I could keep living here. Absolutely consider it, especially Jersey City in the Grove St. or Paulus Hook area.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Wholigan » Thu May 09, 2013 10:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:FWIW, I was curious about what the actual break-even point is on this so I ran the numbers. NYC tax is like $475 a month on biglaw salary. (Tax rate schedule is here.) If you need a PATH monthly in addition to an MTA monthly pass, that's about an extra $70 a month over just the subway pass. So ballpark, you save $400 a month doing the Jersey route. (I think the state income tax rates are comparable or identical.) Not super complicated math or anything but thought the figures might to seeful for someone to see.


Isn't there a non resident tax that NY charges, though? So you'd pay nj state taxes and then get a credit on the NYC tax, but have to pay a non resident tax to NYC? Just wondering if you actually do get a tax break for living in nj and working in NYC.

Also, anyone live near Montclair area? The train is about 35 min direct to penn and then take the 1/2/3/E to get to midtown east. Seems doable.

Any thoughts appreciated


Not to be nitpicky, but the 1/2/3 doesn't go to midtown east. I think it would be a pain to commute from Penn Station to midtown east every day, unless maybe you are up in the 50s where you could take the E, like around where Latham is. If 35 min is just train time, you are probably looking at a solid hour by the time you factor in time to get from where you live to the train, and probably take two trains to get to midtown east (1/2/3 to 7/Shuttle most likely route if you are in the 40's)

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 11:50 pm

For me it'd be penn station and then the E up towards the early 50's, near lex. Probably would be about 50 min to an hour....but the train ride would be ok and you may even be able to get some work done as opposed to communiting the entire time on the NYC subways. And if you work past 8 or 9 they'll take you home. So it could work.

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby keg411 » Fri May 10, 2013 3:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:FWIW, I was curious about what the actual break-even point is on this so I ran the numbers. NYC tax is like $475 a month on biglaw salary. (Tax rate schedule is here.) If you need a PATH monthly in addition to an MTA monthly pass, that's about an extra $70 a month over just the subway pass. So ballpark, you save $400 a month doing the Jersey route. (I think the state income tax rates are comparable or identical.) Not super complicated math or anything but thought the figures might to seeful for someone to see.


Isn't there a non resident tax that NY charges, though? So you'd pay nj state taxes and then get a credit on the NYC tax, but have to pay a non resident tax to NYC? Just wondering if you actually do get a tax break for living in nj and working in NYC.

Also, anyone live near Montclair area? The train is about 35 min direct to penn and then take the 1/2/3/E to get to midtown east. Seems doable.

Any thoughts appreciated


Montclair is cute, but keep in mind that line doesn't run on weekends. If you want to live in NJ for cheap and on the train line, you are better off in South Orange.

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guano
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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby guano » Fri May 10, 2013 11:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:FWIW, I was curious about what the actual break-even point is on this so I ran the numbers. NYC tax is like $475 a month on biglaw salary. (Tax rate schedule is here.) If you need a PATH monthly in addition to an MTA monthly pass, that's about an extra $70 a month over just the subway pass. So ballpark, you save $400 a month doing the Jersey route. (I think the state income tax rates are comparable or identical.) Not super complicated math or anything but thought the figures might to seeful for someone to see.


Isn't there a non resident tax that NY charges, though? So you'd pay nj state taxes and then get a credit on the NYC tax, but have to pay a non resident tax to NYC? Just wondering if you actually do get a tax break for living in nj and working in NYC.

Also, anyone live near Montclair area? The train is about 35 min direct to penn and then take the 1/2/3/E to get to midtown east. Seems doable.

Any thoughts appreciated


There's no non-resident tax for NYC. They abolished that way back in the early 90s. For your taxes, you will have money withheld as if you were paying NYS (but not NYC) taxes. Then, when you file, you'll get a sizable refund from NYS and owe more or less exactly the same amount to NJ. (NJ taxes are ~$100 less than NYS taxes on a first-year salary.) There's some sort of tax-sharing arrangement between NYS and NJ such that you will still end up paying some to NYS while not paying as much to NJ as you would if you worked in-state, but that shouldn't matter to you. You will never pay anything to NYC, while someone who lived in NYC would pay ~$6000 to NYC on a first-year salary.

Montclair's nice, as far as I know, but I don't live near there. Lots of Brooklyn transplants and beautiful old houses.

Technically, there's a lot of inaccuracies here, but the substantive point is correct - you end up paying the same in taxes regardless of where you live

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Re: To NYC biglaw associates who lived in NJ for 1st year

Postby guano » Fri May 10, 2013 11:23 am

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm considering living in New Jersey as well but for various reasons, I'm looking at New Jersey cities in Bergen County. I know it's not near any trains, although there are buses that go to Port Authority. Has anyone done this or know of people who have? Is the commute gonna be that much worse?

Huh? Don't the Bergen and Pascack Valley lines both go through Bergen? Tons of people take the train to the city from Bergen County.

Feel free to PM me with any questions (Bergen county resident here)




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