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AARP survey warns of 'boomer flight' from Long Island

Of the 401 Long Islanders surveyed by the

Of the 401 Long Islanders surveyed by the AARP, 28 percent said they do not feel confident that they will ever be able to retire. Credit: iStock

Long Islanders 50 and older are likelier than their counterparts statewide to say they struggle to pay their property taxes and utility bills, and that they must delay retirement for financial reasons, a new survey shows.

The findings come from a poll of nearly 3,000 New York voters at least 50 years old, released Monday by AARP, which warned of "boomer flight" from Long Island.

Of the 401 Long Islanders surveyed, 28 percent said they do not feel confident that they will ever be able to retire -- roughly in line with New Yorkers as a whole. But of those who feel confident they can retire, 67 percent of Long Islanders said they will need to leave New York State, compared with 60 percent of New Yorkers statewide.

Money woes will force 62 percent of Long Islanders to delay retirement, compared with 56 percent of New Yorkers as a whole, the poll found. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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"More boomers are leaving New York than any other state in the nation," Beth Finkel, state director for AARP in New York, said in a statement. "If this continues as the age group retires, the economic impact could prove dire, both on Long Island and across the state."

The survey found that 84 percent of Long Islanders are concerned about their ability to pay property taxes, about 8 percentage points higher than New Yorkers as a whole. Utility bills are a worry for 74 percent of Long Islanders, about 5 percentage points higher than statewide residents.

AARP said Monday that North Hempstead, Brookhaven, Great Neck Plaza and Suffolk County are among 13 government entities in the state to join its "age-friendly communities" program, which aims to make changes such as adding more curb cuts for wheelchairs and baby strollers, and giving longer crosswalk times for senior citizens and children.

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