June 25, 2017

For Millennials, Hartford's Better Than NYC

The Goodwin Hotel in downtown Hartford was renovated to attract a broad demographic range of guests, but particularly millenials.

(Patrick Raycraft / Hartford Courant)


Aetna execs who really think New York will be a continuing lure to young talent should think again before relocating their Hartford headquarters.

To Democrat Leaders: Work With Trump
Published in The Hartford Courant, July 21, 2017
By Mark Stewart Greenstein

Amid all the Democrat officials’ bluster about President Donald J. Trump’s character and his campaign’s pre-election Russia ties, Mr. Trump’s administration has quietly dismantled environmental rules, labor regulations and education programs. Democrats who care about issues are being misled by many of our Democrat officials. I refer to the ones who have been barking at the moon: making a misdirected investigation of Trump’s inner circle’s pre-election ties with Russian officials.

And to what end? Even if you find such heinous conduct that Mr. Trump is removed or resigns, look what these Democrats get: Mike Pence, whose record was so far to the right he couldn’t even campaign in the Republican primaries.

Democrats should make better use of the very pliant leader occupying the White House. Make nice with Mr. Trump. Make deals with Mr. Trump -- he relishes that. Compliment him just a little, and he’s on your side.

Remember, Trump is not a conservative. He’s less doctrinaire and less principled than any president since Herbert Hoover.  Trump himself was a Democrat until recently.  He is a populist - skillful Democrats can use his desire for populism, and his ego to pull him into agreement of policies.  In short, this is the most malleable Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower.  

 Governors, starting with Connecticut’s Dan Malloy, have nothing to lose by working on federal-state partnerships with the Trump-Pence administration. That would be more responsible leadership.

Published Articles 

Compassionate Response to "Without Planned Parenthood, my future would be in doubt."

Hartford Courant report, June 11, 2017

Deja Foxx is an admirable advocate.   But let's not mistake her tenacity for her message.  Forcing taxpayers to fund infanticide is despicable, particularly when the agency rarely counsels pregnant women to let their beautiful creations develop, for themselves or for eager adopters.

"Without Planned Parenthood, my future would be in doubt" it was reported.  This is a misplaced reliance on government.  Your future can be aided by private charities, churches, and community members who want young women like you to thrive.  Planned Parenthood is a highly political organization that doesn't necessarily care about your long-term interests.    

Miss Foxx, your future is always in doubt.  But reliance on big organizations with political agendas puts your future in their hands, not your own.    And in case a closer-to-your-interests group counsels you to bear an "unwanted" child, your future can't possibly be harmed as a loving mother or a heroic donor to a grateful couple who will raise the child well.  One thing is NOT in doubt: there is NO future for the little one whom you and  your Planned Parenthood "doctors" vacuumed out.

Mark Stewart
Newington CT

Responses to Published Articles:

High financiers need New York (for now); bohemians like New York. But "down-to-earth" insurance types don't. Many people choose an insurance career for stability. At a young age they weigh the lifestyle and net income prospects. Far more than the artists chasing fame, the bohemians seeking fun and the finance people yearning for flash-in-the-pan riches, career-minded youngsters who choose a large insurer do so for long-term prospects.

NYC is not a good long-term lifestyle or income proposition. Most middle-income parents escape New York City as soon as their children reach pre-school age. Many wise up while they are still single.

Raising a family in New York City is ridiculously expensive. Here's my back-of-the-envelope, conservative estimate:

A young millennial couple with $200,000 income will see $71,500 of it go to taxes. Besides the federal 28 percent marginal tax, there's a 10.5 percent state and city marginal tax burden. And with the $128,500 that remains, a 1,600-square-foot Manhattan apartment will run $60,000 to $80,000 a year. Subway passes plus Uber/Lyft/taxi will run this couple $6,000 a year. Getting away to the beach or the hills with rental cars one weekend a month adds another $5,000. Should you want to own a car instead, that's $8,000 a year in parking. Add another few hundred dollars for the meter fines you'll incur and $15 each time you cross the Hudson. Oh yeah, you'd better be tipping your doorman and concierge, or things don't get fixed in your apartment. Once your child starts preschool, at $25,000 a year, your net earnings are nearly gone. If you have twins, you'll be net negative.

What you still have left to spend is taxed at nearly 9 percent in NYC.

If choosing New York City, you'd better not have large student loans, or that $200,000 minus expenses won't cover them. Plan on borrowing from your parents even longer. Plan on working longer hours too — the average work time for New York finance professionals exceeds 50 hours a week.

Come to Greater Hartford. Even if Travelers, Cigna, Mass Mutual or The Hartford are paying you less than a NYC insurer, you will keep more. Good schools here are free. No private school is needed. Your commute to quality suburbs north, east, south and west of Hartford is 10 to 15 minutes via car (yes, a car!). You don't have to ride a subway with strangers talking you up, hitting you up for change or standing you up for a crowded rush hour commute.

In Greater Hartford — for half the Manhattan apartment price — you'll get 3,000 square feet. Plus a basement for your kids' recreation and a yard, maybe even a swimming pool. Bottom line: Even at $60,000 less pay, a couple choosing Central Connecticut will be saving more money that the NYC couple. Once they have school-age children the savings is far higher.

And the pay in New York might not be any higher. There are so many millennials flocking to New York for the "camaraderie" that employers can take advantage of them. In a few years, only those with exceptional skills will see high salaries. By contrast, young professionals in the "land of study habits" will see steady increases in their bank accounts, and a much better lifestyle.

Check back in five years. I am almost certain that millennials who join Greater Hartford financial firms in 2017 will be significantly happier — and significantly wealthier — than their counterparts who start in New York. Aetna execs and board members will rue their decision to try to recruit talent in cramped urban areas where talent doesn't stick around.

Mark Greenstein lives in Farmington.Copyright © 2017, Hartford Courant

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