Retiring in New York

1 min read by Kate Morgan Last updated April 26, 2024

This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in New York.

New York, located on the East Coast of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a diverse and vibrant environment with access to cultural events, outdoor activities, and a bustling urban lifestyle. With its stunning skyline, world-renowned museums, and bustling cities, New York offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, New York had a population of approximately 20 million people, with over 15% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, North Carolina had a population of approximately 10.5 million people, with over 15% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.

What age can you retire in New York?

Like many states, New York has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in New York:

  • Social Security benefits: The earliest age at which you can begin receiving Social Security benefits is 62, but if you delay taking benefits, your monthly payments will increase. Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. Delaying benefits until after FRA can result in even higher monthly payments. 

  • Medicare eligibility: Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, regardless of retirement status. However, if you choose to retire before age 65, you will need to find alternative healthcare coverage until you become eligible for Medicare. 

  • Age discrimination: It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on age. 

  • Retirement savings: Regardless of retirement age, it is important for individuals to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement.

However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state. 

Why do people retire to New York?

  • Diverse environment: New York is known for its diversity, from its bustling cities to its scenic natural areas. Retirees can enjoy living in a diverse environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and cultural experiences. 

  • Moderate climate: New York's climate varies greatly depending on the region, but many areas have a moderate climate with mild summers and cold winters. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who want to experience all four seasons. 

  • Outdoor activities: New York is home to numerous state parks, forests, and beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. 

  • Cultural scene: New York has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York City Wine and Food Festival, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

What puts people off retiring to New York?

  • Cost of living: New York's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income. Housing and healthcare costs, in particular, are higher than in many other states. 

  • Traffic: New York is known for its heavy traffic, particularly in and around the major cities of New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester. 

  • Natural disasters: New York is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and snowstorms, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas. 

Best places to retire in New York

If New York is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in: 

  1. New York City: For those seeking an urban retirement, New York City is a vibrant and exciting option. The city offers a wealth of cultural attractions, such as museums, theaters, and restaurants, as well as world-famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. 

  2. Saratoga Springs: Known for its mineral springs and horse racing, Saratoga Springs is a popular destination for retirees seeking a more laid-back lifestyle. The city also offers a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. 

  3. Hudson Valley: The Hudson Valley offers a mix of scenic beauty, historic sites, and cultural attractions. Retirees can enjoy hiking, biking, and skiing in the nearby Catskill Mountains, as well as visiting historic sites like the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. 

  4. Finger Lakes: The Finger Lakes region is known for its natural beauty and wine country, with numerous vineyards and wineries to explore. The area also offers opportunities for outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and hiking. 

  5. Rochester: This upstate city is known for its cultural attractions, including the George Eastman Museum of Photography and Film and the Strong National Museum of Play. The city also offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking in the nearby Genesee River Gorge. 

  6. Long Island: For retirees seeking beachfront living, Long Island offers numerous coastal towns and villages, as well as easy access to New York City. The area also offers cultural attractions like the Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages. 

In conclusion, New York offers a wealth of benefits to potential retirees with all that Manhattan has to offer, coupled with the state’s breathtaking scenery, but people should also be prepared for a higher cost of living. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in New York, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement. 

Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.