Long Island prices are forcing millennials like me to leave

Thomas Beverly, 27, is a case manager from Wyandanch.

I’ve lived in Wyandanch for all 27 years of my life. Every year, more and more Long Islanders are moving to Florida, Georgia, and other states in the South. I see many people in my community making this move because the costs are so much cheaper.

The cost of living on Long Island is simply outrageous compared to other states — for the price of a small home on LI you can get one double in size in the South.

When I was a child and given a dollar to go the gas station, I was able to purchase a bag of chips, something to drink and a Snickers bar. Fast forward to 2019, I go to the same gas station, that bag of chips now costs a dollar, the same soda is now $1.09, and a Snickers bar is now a dollar. These prices still exist, just not on Long Island. As I have traveled throughout the five boroughs I’ve found snacks at a lower cost.

The cost of higher education has also risen. A high school diploma is not enough these days. In order to make more than minimum wage you need a bachelor’s degree at minimum. This affects Long Islanders such as myself tremendously. Millennials are being forced into debt due to paying off school loans.

I see homes on Wyandanch streets rise to a minimum of $350,000. In my experience, to live comfortably in Long Island you must make at least $87,000. Many millennials are putting themselves in major debt by trying to pay back school loans and pay a mortgage on a single-family house.

We’re at the age where many are starting families. Raising a newborn in any state isn’t easy, but if you decide to raise one on Long Island it is even harder. An average family spends about $13,000 raising a child each year. If you’re an average Long islander making $54,000, it’s serious struggle to pay for daily living necessities, pay back school loans, pay a monthly mortgage and take care of a child.

Instead of taking on this difficult life, millennials are starting to realize that for the same amount of money required to be successful on Long Island, a better life can be more easily achieved in another state.