African American ‘Gen-Xodus’ and ‘Baby Boom Bail’ Coming for High-Priced Big Apple

Whether you take pride in ‘making it in the city that doesn’t sleep’ or taking a chance in the “concrete jungle that dreams are made of, ” living in New York City is a financial commitment that can bleed even the ‘frugalist’ of the frugal dry.

[Related: Retiring Your Debt Before You Retire]

According to a Citi Habitats market report, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New York City is $3,895.

Why would you spend that much on rent when you can buy something? Maybe because the average home value is $848,600. But wait, what about your car? For a mere $533 a month you can park it in a garage in downtown Manhattan.

The financial stresses of the Big Apple affect all races and ethnicities, but a survey of New York State voters age 35 – 69 by AARP finds that African Americans are feeling more anxiety than other groups, with a staggering 70% saying they may leave New York when they retire, as housing expenses, healthcare, and high debt hamper their ability to save.

“These survey results should serve as an alarm that we need to find solutions that can help ease the financial pressures that African American New Yorkers are facing, while also helping them access savings vehicles through their employers that can help them build retirement savings,” said Reggie Nance, Associate State Director for African American Outreach at AARP New York.

Compared to the total Gen X and baby boomer voters in New York City, the study finds that African American voters are more likely to experience obstacles to saving, particularly due to paying debt (54% African American vs. 44% total), family caregiving responsibilities (46% vs. 36% total), health needs (51% vs. 46%), and the cost of moving or changes in housing (46% vs. 38%).

Still, the survey found a note of optimism in the finding that 71% of African American Gen Xers currently in the labor force are confident they will be able to retire at age 65, which AARP researchers call a “reality gap,” highlighting the need for more public financial literacy and new solutions.