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If you're looking for typical salaries at companies in NYC, Glassdoor s a good place to start. You can search for a specific company and compare what they pay people in NY to people in other cities, or you can compare what people make in various industries, controlled for NYC only.

I'd be interested to hear stories of people who've moved to NYC from other places and what happened with their salaries, and how their negotiations went. Supposedly the biggest determinant of the salary at your next job is what you're earning at your current job, and once your future employer finds out what you earn now, the lower of that number and what they'd budgeted for the new hire becomes the anchor when negotiating. If you really desire to work in NYC, do you reveal this (and risk the employer paying you based on the cost of living in your present, non-NYC city), or keep quiet (and risk getting sent to an undesirable location)?

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Ah, you wanted the opposite of what I thought you wanted. Yes, Paycheckcity will estimate the taxes and other items that get taken from you before your paycheck is in hand. Yourmoneypage will do it too:

http://www.yourmoneypage.com/withhold/ny.php

Make sure to select "NYC Tax" in the Local Tax field. You'll get a list of each item withheld, and a pie chart of where all that money is going. A brief test using your income (as a single person with no dependents) shows that you'd only keep 55% of your earnings!

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@MIBNYC

I think even those numbers are unrealistic unless it is a tiny 2 bdrm in the financial district, public schooling, and frequent flier miles are used for the vacation!

The market it is being propped up by uber rich and foreign money (Condo Market) Most professions are getting hit; should be an interesting year

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@MIBNYC, thanks for that article! It's like an updated version of that bit in Bonfire of the Vanities.

And this part: "“You’re not going to get through private school without tutoring a kid,” said Sandy Bass, the editor of Private School Insider, a newsletter that covers private schools in the New York City area. One hour of tutoring once a week is $125. “That’s the low end,” she said. “The higher end is 150, 175.” SAT tutors are about $250 an hour."

Are they kidding? Who are these people earning 12.5 to 25 times that amount? Tenured college professors picking up some pocket money? Even for them, $250 per hour is an absolute outrage. Surely someone smart and savvy enough to earn half a million dollars per year can find a college student itching to get out of their $7.50-per-hour work-study job at the dining hall to teach their kid for a lot less than $250. (I scored 1500 on the SAT back when that meant something, and I was ecstatic to double my normal wage to $10 an hour by occasionally tutoring a neighbor's kid.)

I'm guessing that these tutors (and everybody else who makes their living selling to the super-rich) are figuring that the rich are out of touch regarding market rates, or are ashamed to negotiate downward, and so they're fleecing the one-percenters for all they're worth.

forgot about that crazy article. the numbers were screwy. they calculated mortgage payment of $8k per month with fees of $8k per month! who pays the same amount for mortgage as they do for co-op fees?

From NYC Matt above: "It's not just the IRS . . ."

Exactly - To me the shocker when we "moved" to NYC was the additional income tax to the city (3.65% over $90,000; 3.9% over $500,000) on top of what you are already paying in federal and state taxes. From where I sit, you have to really LOVE New York or really need to be there for family or work to live there. I LOVE New York, but when it came down to it, I could not justify making it "home" because I don't LOVE it that much. I will get to enjoy it for the next 5 years or so because of the caliber of legal work the city has to offer, but will also be paying a huge premium for that in the form of city taxes.

MIBNYC, I am making close to $700K and my wife makes another $150K - all in all, our family income is abt $1M / year gross, including bonuses. We have two kids and I cannot say we live a luxurious life. We do own a 2 bed apartment on the UWS (prime area, a block from the park and from the AMNH), and I still pay attention to our finances - we are now looking at a 3 bed and I cannot say I can easily afford the apartments in the same area (at least those that I really like). Also, kids have not started school yet and I am considering public because private would cost me another $60K a year!

Alternatively, we could move to Washington Heights, become drug dealers like Matt and live the life!

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I am not fixated with Washington Heights - I have no problem with the neighborhood. My problem is arrogant people, like Matt, who pretend to be something that they are not and judge people unfairly...

Also, I do not think I am a big shot - not in this city. I would have been a big shot in NJ or any other state but not in NY. My boss makes $6M/year - he is a big shot!

John, you should be happy that places like Washington Heights exist. It's a nice neighborhood, and it's affordable not just to people who've won life's lottery, but also to regular folks who've worked hard to reach a solid upper-middle-class life, who would otherwise be shut out of Manhattan almost entirely. They're not all drug dealers up there!

Now I do hope that the "75" in your handle is the street you live on and not the year you were born; if it's the latter, I'll be green with envy!

Triple, I agree 100%. Again, Washington Heights is fine - I just do not like Matt who lives there. He is very arrogant for my tastes.

The 75 is the year I was born :-)

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@John - Matt can be a little elitist income-wise -- I'd never pass his board -- but that shouldn't be bothering _you_. (You're a year older than I am, but earn about 12 times as much. ^_^; What do you do, if I may ask?)

I've only been up to WH once; it was a couple of months ago when I was back in the city scouting out potential places to live for when the Mrs. and I move back to the US. I can't describe how happy I was to "discover" WH and Inwood: quiet, pleasant, seemingly-safe, and affordable while still being on Manhattan. I had thought I was "priced out forever", as the saying goes, and here was this hidden neighborhood that regular people can live in!

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Hey Triple - as far as Matt, it sounds a little ironic for anyone to be an elitist when residing in Washington Heights - an elitist living on Fifth or Park Ave, yes, but in Washington Heights? Regardless, it is not the right attitude - at least in my opinion.

As far as my profession, let's just say it is not in finance. It is a trade that used to be big in NY, but all major players have left and have relocated to London (that should give you a hint!). Some have stayed in NY and I work for one of them....the hours though are exhausting - it is a 24/7 thing, even when on vacation....

BTW, I like your posts: always intelligent and well put.

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Sports book makers - used to be a lot of bookies in NY. Sports books is legit in UK.

Otherwise, finance is the only thing I can think of where some BS Director makes $750,000 and works for some MD that makes $6,000,000.

"My boss makes $6M/year - he is a big shot!"

i like this quote. it is typical NY. i have a close friend who nets $6-7m from his business and he is 41. we were talking few wks ago about a 3rd friend of ours who netted $20m last yr and is 50. and the $6m guy was saying "he is the big shot". when i was with the $20m guy this wk, he was lamenting that a buddy of his sold his company for $100m but was bitching to him about guys at the yacht club who have netted $1billion !!!

i am not making fun of anyone here but anyone who has been through this process realizes that psychologically, at every stage, u can always think u "have not made it" (esp in NYC)...unfortunately, if u do not teach urself to shut this type of thinking out, u will miss out on the fact there is no "made it" and NYC/life will become miserable.

at the end it all goes away, enjoy what u can and try to stay away from people who are pretenders, wannabes, or keeping up with the joneses, these people will keep u down! people say life is a journey, but what they don't add is that there is no real destination. Be Here Now.

all that said, i would say that if u start to think about the govt as taking from u or that u cannot survive in manhattan, just remind urself, this place is "tops" for a reason. it's never gonna be "easy" here. this place is for people who can't live life easy. also if the tax rates go up or down, everyone around u gets affected in tandem. true, this gives foreigners an advantage. but r u truly interested in paying less taxes and living life in russia, trying to rise through its ranks as a mob boss, so that ur daughter can enjoy the fruits of ur labor while u live in hiding & fear of daily death? no thanks.

I would hope it's not a job in finance. Because if you can't swing a 3br on UWS with $850K gross then I don't think finance is not a strong suit (I'm just kidding you J75). But even if you net only 35% after tax, health insurance, 401/SEP, etc. that nets almost $25,000 a month. You can still live a pretty comfortable lifestyle on that....even with kids. I'm swinging it on half that...only 1 kid - but still...

Private school and rent are the two largest expense for most of "those" families in NYC. It's expensive.

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John75, if you're making $1M pre-tax and $600K post-tax, how is it that you are stressing? $50K a month after-tax is a lot of lolly. Can you break it down for us?

Not giving you crap, I'm just trying to understand the difference between what you make and what you desire. I know what I desire, and an income of $1M covers it no problem.

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Perhaps he does not feel stable in his job. It's tough to leverage into a $3 million pad if you think you could be unemployed next month or your bonus is highly variable and under public scrutiny.

Any "banker" who has a mortgage of much more than his liquid capital is taking a big risk.

MIBNYC, a decent 3000-4000 sq ft townhouse can be had for $15-20K a month. Maybe he wants a 12,000 sq ft townhouse on CPW, yes then I'd understand the angst.

>> Perhaps he does not feel stable in his job.

So rent. Income goes up => rent something nicer. Income goes down => move into something cheaper.

If you don't feel stable in your job, you're probably overpaid. In which case, why have angst when you're being overpaid?

Ino, I would not want this thread to become too personal so I will only post real estate expenses only, which could be for anyone earning a mil a year:

Mortgage payments: $120,000
maintenance (coop): $30,000
Weekend home upstate (maint/taxes/insurance): $20,000
Vacation home overseas (maint/taxes/insurance): $30,000

Add to the above retirement and savings contributions, college funds for two kids, nannies, housekeeper, maintenance, insurance and parking space for a car and possible private school for two kids (if wifey picks Ethical Culture). What's left to live and save to buy a bigger apartment or a townhouse? Not much - do the math. Obviously, you can always adjust/change your lifestyle....

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OK, I'll do the math.

You got $200K on housing in 3 locations. Leaves another $400K. Assuming 1 full-time staff at $25/hr all-in is sufficient for you:

College fund: $20K
Private school: $60K
Nannies / housekeeper: $50K
Car: $20K
Rest: $100K

Still leaves you with $150K for savings.

3 homes? Check. College fund for 2 kids? Check. Private school as well? Check. Full-time staff? Check. Car? Check. $100K to piss away on dinner / vacation / etc.? Check. Save 25% of income even after all that? Check.

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He's a big boy, Brooks2, he'll let me know if he doesn't want to discuss.

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The problem ino is that you now have too make way too much money in order to afford a lifestyle that my father and grandfather used to enjoy with much, much less! Middle class achievements of yesteryears have now become luxuries and I do not like it because a million nowadays does not buy what it used to and what I want, no matter how you adjusted it for inflation - A million should buy me the world, not 3 houses!

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John, You do need a reality check. You can not call your previous generations middle class if they had three homes. Middle class always was barely able to afford a moderate home in subburbs (Manhattan doorman homes in prime areas have always been for the rich) and potentially a cheap vacation home. If you manage to live in Manhattan, pay 10K mortgage (hope it 15 y fixed not 5/1 Interest only, that is at least $2.5mm apt with 30% down), you need a reality check if you feel stretched. There are 2 beds in Manhattan which will cost you $1.5mm. 2 additional vacation homes is sheer luxury by any standards.

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So John is living in a $2.5mm apt and calling him middle class. Will that make the eventual buyer of this apt poor?

http://streeteasy.com/nyc/sale/726562-condop-401-east-89th-street-yorkville-new-york

In my opinion, you are solidly upper middle class if you can afford a $1.3mm apt but will not put you in the rich category (let is call this category top 3% income for Manhattan which will be $500K or so).

Wow! For $2.5 mil you can only buy an uninspiring, generic apartment in freakin Yorkville...Thanks Mercer, that's exactly my point!

> Wow! For $2.5 mil you can only buy an uninspiring, generic apartment in freakin Yorkville...Thanks Mercer, that's exactly my point!

agree with you 100%. it just means it's not a good time to buy. as finance keeps on shrinking, taxes keep on going up to pay for entitlements and then property taxes really go up to pay for NYC public pensions... prices will adjust downwards. it just takes time. imho pensions/entitlements are the main force that will bring RE prices back in line to where wages are. be patient, the boomers are retiring as we speak.

John, That apt link I posted is $1.3mm not $2.5mm.

John75>> The problem ino is that you now have too make way too much money in order to afford a lifestyle that my father and grandfather used to enjoy with much, much less! Middle class achievements of yesteryears have now become luxuries and I do not like it because a million nowadays does not buy what it used to and what I want, no matter how you adjusted it for inflation - A million should buy me the world, not 3 houses!

Now I am thoroughly confused. You say you do not live a luxurious life, things that the middle class used to have. You know, a life in the most expensive city in the country, 3 homes, fully-funded college for 2 kids, private school, full-time staff paid a middle-class salary, double the national per-capita income in after-tax pocket change for spending, all the while saving 25% after-tax income.

Your father and grandfather sure had a nice middle-class existence.

Mercer: a $2M loan 30-yr fixed at 4% is $10K a month. A shade bigger loan for $10K if you include tax benefit. So more like a $3M apt with a 30% down payment.

Thanks Nada. Even worse. Some one living a $3mm apt (rather than $2.5mm apt) with two other homes thinking that he has to watch money tightly and is middle class. Beats me.

Of course if you want to play it like me, you pick up something like this for $15K. 3BR, 2500 sq ft, newly-renovated, 80 ft of high-floor direct Central Park frontage.

http://streeteasy.com/nyc/rental/961239-condop-230-central-park-south-central-park-south-new-york

But what the hell do I know about making ends meet on $1M?

Tempted to move?

Who wouldn't be?

Ino and mercer: I am not saying I am middle class - what I am saying is that it feels like middle class... What I am saying is that our parents could afford an equally nice lifestyle without making a million a year - I guess I am just frustrated that my million does not go as far as I want....that's all....

NYC and MIB: Fully agree!

i totally get the argument. not to mention the more income u make, the higher percentage is necessary for savings to compensate both for increased taxes as well as volatility of income. at $1m a yr, trying to save 30% and have 2 kids is basically impossible in the city.

sorry, i don't really mean "impossible", i mean impractical. i would think at that point u r better off just living in the burbs.

Yes, very impractical.

$400K: taxes
$180K: save 30% after-tax
$180K: 2500 sq ft 3BR with 80 ft Central Park frontage
$20K: college fund
$60K: private school or full-time nanny (school means no nanny)
$160K: spend on whatever else you please

Care to show how you see it with actual numbers?

Only in NYC!!! a $17k rental is zoned for a horrible school with scores that make you wonder what's going on during class: BASIC level is achieved by only half of the class in math and less than a third in reading. truly horrific school.

http://streeteasy.com/nyc/rental/961239-condop-230-central-park-south-central-park-south-new-york
http://insideschools.org/elementary/browse/school/45

Ino,

It's easy -and it's fun- to make assumptions when you do not know someone's personal situation.

The rental that you posted would not work for me. I need a three bed, yes, but it needs to have additional rooms (on the smaller side, maids quarters maybe) because both my wife and I have big families and the grandparents like to visit...

Also, IMHO, a rental is impractical for a big family - I cannot imagine how it will be to move every 2 years or so....

Finally, I do have other expenses like supporting financially a family member with disabilities but I am getting to personal now and I will leave it at that... Signing off - have a great w/e everyone.

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John75, I did not make any assumptions, just took what you gave and ran with it to add it up. I ask you to clarify, but you don't give any details because it is "too personal", but then you fault me for not knowing your personal situation. I don't know people earning in the top 1% of Manhattan who feel stretched, mostly just thankful, was hoping to get some insight. Best of luck to you figuring it out.

u get $50k post tax. he is not saying that life is miserable, etc, he is just describing reality. for ex, u mentioned 2,500 sqft w/3 bdrm for $15k/month. u realize in phoenix that payment would be $1-2k per month for that type of house? here he would pay $15k. so his income may be 10x but the same housing is also 10x. then throw in the increased tax ratio here, the increased cost of school $5k per month, instead of free, etc. what u start to see is ur household cash flow in terms of net operating margin is fairly low or similar to that of most middle class individuals in the red states, often less.

$180k per yr $20k for tuition savings = $200k which is 20% savings. currently, the valuations of the markets: bond/stock/real estate are offering incredibly low return after inflation. at that rate u will be doing what all middle class people do, work until 65. the guy in phoenix making $100k per yr would prob be able to pass that 20% rate much easier.

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I know it's all the same to you, nyc1234, but those 2500 sq ft came with 80 ft of frontage on CP, highly renovated. Not exactly what you find in Phoenix with a $150K home renting for $1500 a month.

Certain people just are the way they are regardless of location. If they lived in Phoenix, they'd live next door to the mega-millionaires and then talk about how he feels like middle-class in the neighborhood. You know, schlepping around with a caddie at the country club rather than playing on his backyard golf course like the big-shots.

it's not news that the gravy train for the middle class from last generation is over

and it's not news that the gravy^2 train for the rich is now just a gravy train

it's called economics and competition and not terribly legit to complain about dropping to the gravy^1 train

>> the guy in phoenix making $100k per yr would prob be able to pass that 20% rate much easier.

OK, math problem.

A guy makes $100K in Phoenix and saves $30K a year all the while living the life. Poor cousin in Manhattan schleps away saving only 20% of $1M, all the while living in misery. How many times more quickly does the latter get to the promised land of retirement in Phoenix?

BTW, shouldn't you be preaching the 20-40-40 rule here?

Johnny, I suggest selling your vacation home. Otherwise, make sure to brainwash your kids about the virtues of public school to push back that day when they are adults and will resent you.

what was the name of that guy who taught at Chicago whose household made 400k and got evicerated on line for complaining about feeling squeezed?

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MIBNYC, I am confused. Why would anyone wish they had his life? He works like a dog to make good income, enough to put him in the top 0.5% nation-wide and top 1% in Manhattan, but then over-leverages his life to the point where he feels like he's almost living paycheck-to-paycheck to maintain a middle-class existence. When asked to explain the expenses that led to his predicament, he shies away as it being "too personal". He is tone-deaf to the real predicaments of the middle class, both in NYC and the rest of the country, and cannot explain himself.

If I were in his shoes, I'd have a thankful attitude. Thank god that I can have a nice home in a nice neighborhood in the most expensive city in the world AND have a vacation home AND have an international home AND save for college for two kids AND pay for private school for two kids AND have a nanny AND have a housekeeper AND pay for my disabled family member AND pay for all the little things in life without blinking AND still have good savings after all that. Hmm, maybe if I have all that, maybe I'm not middle-class after all.

BTW, did it ever occur to you that perhaps some of these jackass MUDAPHUKAS make about the same (or a crapload more), spend less, and have the sense not to feel they live a middle-class existence in this city?

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Nada: it's so much easier to be grateful for one's lifestyle if one comes from
a much humbler background.

hey i'm not saying i'm interested in living in phoenix. nor do i give 2 craps about designations. all this "what is middle class" nonsense is bullshit. based on math, the answer is that middle class is a range based upon numbers. it cannot include top 1% earners.

i think what john and MIBNYC are saying is what a lot of people feel, which is shock, that even at $1m a yr, u r not a great gatsby (but u r definitely doing well). competing with people that have essentially infinite amt of money to buy property cash down as a 5th house is a shock! maybe not to people who have grown up rich. to those of us who were not brought up with $, it is a humbling experience.

also how do u know he is not thankful? is not possible to be both thankful and in shock?

and yes i'm always a fan of 20-40-40 although it's almost impossible in nyc. but then again, i'm in an industry that is getting decimated so i may need higher safety requirement than others.

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Middle class can include the top 1%. It's just math. Someone at 1.00% is a lot further afield vis-a-vis someone at 0.1% than they are relative to someone at 20%. Since this is true, why couldn't someone at 1.00% in income side with the person at the 20% mark? It's called "fat tail" distribution.

Also, let's remember, 1% of income is not 1% of net worth. a young hot shot bankers with top 1% of income, is likely more like top 10% in net worth. Think rabbit and hare...

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agreed

& no huntersburg, off today, lol. i say b.s. because it's a lot of talk to determine what is "middle class" but ultimately that info is not useful for much. i like pawn_h's idea of using net worth as a proxy anyways, if it has to be done

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>>He works like a dog

> What is that assumption based on?

"Some have stayed in NY and I work for one of them....the hours though are exhausting - it is a 24/7 thing, even when on vacation...."

"Nada: it's so much easier to be grateful for one's lifestyle if one comes from a much humbler background."

His parents were middle class (but could afford a lot more). Pay attention!

But maybe you're referring to a downright poor background? You know, the ones with parents that owned just one home in an expensive zip code.

nyc1234, I get what you are saying w.r.t. being humbled. But you would hope that'd get translated to humility w.r.t. the real predicaments and problems of the other 99%. Not saying it's something you can solve, but to be completely tone-deaf?

John75: I'm being disingenuous. Of course, there's been enormous price inflation, especially in Manhattan. I read Edith Wharton, and it's astonishing the kind of lifestyle that was possible 100 years ago on what seems to be very little money, even inflation-adjusted (with regular inflation calculators). Or I read Mavis Gallant about surviving on years in Europe on the pay from 1 New Yorker article. But that lifestyle was predicated on what seems to be an enormous pyramid of labor, with the servants and working class being paid even less.

I think there's been a massive price inflation in the accoutrements of an upper class lifestyle, particularly in metro NYC, maybe West Coast as well. Private school, prime real estate, prime vacation homes. Real estate-wise, driven by finance industry compensation, global wealth spending patterns. Where I differ though, perhaps, is that I don't see any of it (private schools, prime real estate, vacation homes, paid help) as my right just because I have X amount of dollars today.

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MIB: taxes aren't to blame for price inflation. Marginal taxes were much, much higher.

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