Lifestyle

10 Best Cities to Retire in New York in 2022

You’re sure to find something appealing about New York. Which city is the right choice for you? It depends on what you’re looking for, and how important each consideration is to your lifestyle and budget. From Buffalo to Binghamton and all points in between, it pays to consider these ten cities to find the perfect fit for you.

annie-sisk

Annie Sisk

Published July 19th, 2022

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

New York is a state with a wide variety of geographical and cultural diversity

The state offers a highly seasonal climate, with warm to hot summers and very cold winters, so if you need year-round warmth, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. But, if you’re a fan of all four seasons, this is your state.

New York state and its municipalities do present a higher than usual tax burden, so a good retirement plan is essential to maximize your funds if you retire here.

When you’re looking for the perfect spot in which to spend your well-earned retirement years, does New York come to mind? It probably should! This state is far more than its most well-known city, boasting a wide variety of appealing rural and urban areas. Enjoy everything from quaint, small villages such as Rhinebeck to bustling, diverse college cities like Syracuse.

With that kind of diversity, you’re sure to find something appealing about New York. But which city is the right choice for you? It depends on what you’re looking for, and how important each consideration is to your lifestyle and budget. New York real estate can be a pricey proposition, even outside of Manhattan, and the tax rate can likewise be a deterrent. However, from Buffalo to Binghamton and all points in between, it pays to consider these ten cities to find the perfect fit for you.

Ithaca

CITY POPULATION: 32,108

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 6.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 1.3% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $38,019/year

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

What’s so special about Ithaca? Well, to start with, it’s a vibrant college town, playing host to the top-rated Ivy League Cornell University which gives you access to arts and cultural events plus lifelong access to ongoing educational and development opportunities. Ithaca can also boast of its gorgeous surrounding scenery, including over 150 waterfalls and lots of parks for outdoor recreation, all within a ten-mile radius. Add in top-quality medical care, a fun village atmosphere and incredible produce and more available at local farmer’s markets—it’s easy to see why Ithaca tops the list of New York’s most attractive cities for retirees. However, climate is also an important consideration, and Ithaca is definitely not a hot spot in that sense! Expect an average of 63 inches of snowfall per year and average low temperatures in the teens during the winter months. However, thanks to the local geography of hills and valleys, Ithaca also enjoys fairly mild and pleasant summers, with an average July temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rhinebeck

CITY POPULATION: 2,697

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 34.1

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 22% above national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $93,009

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

With a cost of living over 20% higher than the U.S. average and such a small population size, you might be wondering at Rhinebeck’s inclusion on this list. Although it has a well-earned reputation for being one of the Hudson Valley area’s more expensive places to live, it’s also got some serious charm for retirees in search of a more laid-back, easygoing vibe. A bustling village downtown area offers restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, candy stores, parks, and more. With more than a third of its residents over the age of 65, you’ll find lots of friendly folks to befriend and pursue your interests with, whether that’s outdoor recreation along the Hudson or elsewhere in beautiful Dutchess County. Enjoy nearby antique malls, horse farms, locally grown produce and more in Rhinebeck.

Kingston

CITY POPULATION: 24,069

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 14.5%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 3.7% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $54,311

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Just sixty miles south of the state capital of Albany, west of the banks of the lovely and highly scenic Hudson river, Kingston has a small-town feel while still retaining access to the more diverse offerings of a larger city. In fact, back in colonial days, Kingston was the state’s capital, while today it’s a great place to live and visit for retirees and younger folks alike.

Boasting a large and active creative community including visual artists, playwrights, actors, musicians and more, Kingston provides access to a wide variety of artistic and cultural events. If you’re more into outdoor activities, you’ll find lots to love here too, with a walkable downtown area featuring some historic architecture. Like much of the Adirondacks and many of the mid-to-upper New York locations, Kingston is beautiful year-round but really shines in autumn. Bring your snow boots and mittens, because winters do get cold. Kingston sees an average of just under 42 inches of snow each year, making it snowier than the U.S. average but far less than some other cities on our list.

Elmira

CITY POPULATION: 26,523

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.9%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 25.4% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $36,543

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Located in Chemung County, Elmira is a great entry point for the southern Finger Lakes area of New York. From several area museums to Mark Twain’s house (and gravesite), Elmira presents a lovely opportunity for retirees to enjoy life’s pleasures and cultural pursuits. Enjoy lively productions of music and theater at the Clemens Center or raucous sporting events at First Arena. From cold and snowy winters to balmy summers, you’ll find a wide variety in seasonal weather, though at 40 inches of average snowfall, you won’t have to dig out your driveway quite as often as you’d have to in more northern cities. It’s a short drive to area airports, parks, the Corning Glass Museum, and other activities so you can stay active.

Rochester

CITY POPULATION: 211,328

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 11.6%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 16.8% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $37,395

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Situated on Lake Ontario and getting almost 100 inches of average snowfall per winter, Rochester is definitely not for folks who worship the sun and can’t stand the cold. But if you enjoy a white winter vista and curling up in front of a fire with a great book, as well as an active outdoor lifestyle during the warmer summer months, Rochester might be worth your consideration. Rochester also boasts an extensive collection of restaurants with several diverse cuisines and plenty of resources for outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing for walleye, trout, bass, and salmon. With several colleges and universities in the area, as well as Geva Theater, a professional Equity theater. Best of all, Rochester remains a highly walkable city, so you can always enjoy getting where you need to go.

Dunkirk

CITY POPULATION: 12,743

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.5%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 30.8% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $36,282

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Enjoy the nautical pleasures afforded to residents of Dunkirk by virtue of its location on the shores of Lake Erie. You can enjoy the best of life on the Great Lakes in a strong community with a strong mix of age groups represented, including your peers. Lovely lighthouses and pleasant beaches await you here, and anglers will enjoy going after walleye, yellow perch, bass and more. Dunkirk is a small town (though not as small as some other places on our list), but it’s also less than an hour’s drive from Buffalo, so you’ll get the best of both worlds here. Bring your snow shovel, or find a friendly high schooler to dig you out, because Dunkirk gets over 70 inches of snowfall on average each winter.

Saratoga Springs

CITY POPULATION: 28,491

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 20.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 15.8% above national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $85,946

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Located in the center of New York, close to Albany, Saratoga Springs grew in popularity as a spa resort destination thanks to its mineral springs. You’ll also enjoy access to famous horse races, the cultural and artistic offerings of Beekman Street, and many performances by touring performing companies, including the New York City Ballet. You can enjoy a huge variety of elegant and delicious cuisines in the city’s numerous restaurants and cafes. On the down side, Saratoga Springs is more expensive than most other cities on our list, and you’ll also have to put up with a considerable amount of extra traffic during the heavy summer tourism months. Climate-wise, Saratoga Springs gets about 60 inches of snow annually, while summers remain warm and pleasant for the most part.

Ogdensburg

CITY POPULATION: 10,064

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.1%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 30.6% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $50,166

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Enjoy some excellent fishing on the St. Lawrence river in this northern NY city, as well as lots of other riverfront activities. Hiking, biking, and golf are all even more rejuvenating when you’re near a beautiful waterscape like the St. Lawrence. Ogdensburg offers a number of restaurants, cafes, bars and taverns for going out on the town, as well as state parks and museums to while away an afternoon. You can forge your own path or join one of many area retirement and active living communities. With an average of about 63 inches of snow each year, Ogdensburg gets some bracingly cold temperatures, so if you’re truly averse to winter weather you might want to look elsewhere.

Union Springs

CITY POPULATION: 1,075

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.4%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 19.8% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $81,053

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Technically, Union Springs isn’t a city but a village. With the smallest population of any location on our list, the Union Springs village sits on the shore of Cayuga Lake and was named for the mineral springs located nearby. Union Springs gets about 74 inches of snow each winter, but also offers access to a number of excellent fishing spots both in the lake and in its tributaries. Between area vineyards, local farm markets, and a number of restaurants, you can always find something to do in Union Springs. If you’re looking for a quieter lifestyle with access to water activities like fishing and boating, Union Springs might be the ideal place to retire.

Mechanicville

CITY POPULATION: 5,163

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 18.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 9.7% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $46,791

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Located about half an hour north from Albany, Mechanicville was named for the occupations of its earliest settlers who worked in the many mills nearby. You can indulge your passion for kayaking on Tenandaho Creek, explore the natural beauty of the Hudson and surrounding areas, or simply hang out with your new neighbors at a local park or restaurant. Mechanicville is a fairly lowkey, laidback lifestyle compared to some of the larger and more active places on our list, but if you’re looking for a quiet, lovely spot in which you can enjoy a slower pace during your retirement, it’s definitely worth a look.

Final Thoughts

With all these options and such diverse choices to consider, retiring in New York truly offers something for everyone. How should you make that final decision, then?

Start with a road trip! The best way to pick the right spot for your retirement is to visit a few cities that sound like they’d be good matches and spend a few days in each. Evaluate the available activities, try out a few of the local restaurants, and check out the homes that are for sale or rent nearby to get a better sense of the area. Better yet, talk to a few retirees who live there and get the inside scoop.

Whatever city or location you prefer, make sure you’re ready for retirement with a good plan. At Retirable, we help you create a retirement plan that will fund the future you deserve.


Share this advice


Annie Sisk

Annie Sisk

Annie Sisk is a freelance writer and content strategist. Originally from North Carolina, Annie now lives in Binghamton, New York. She's written extensively for finance, legal, and human resources sites and publications, including Legal Beagle and Predictive Index.

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Lifestyle

10 Best Cities to Retire in New York in 2022

You’re sure to find something appealing about New York. Which city is the right choice for you? It depends on what you’re looking for, and how important each consideration is to your lifestyle and budget. From Buffalo to Binghamton and all points in between, it pays to consider these ten cities to find the perfect fit for you.

annie-sisk

Annie Sisk

Published July 19th, 2022

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

New York is a state with a wide variety of geographical and cultural diversity

The state offers a highly seasonal climate, with warm to hot summers and very cold winters, so if you need year-round warmth, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. But, if you’re a fan of all four seasons, this is your state.

New York state and its municipalities do present a higher than usual tax burden, so a good retirement plan is essential to maximize your funds if you retire here.

When you’re looking for the perfect spot in which to spend your well-earned retirement years, does New York come to mind? It probably should! This state is far more than its most well-known city, boasting a wide variety of appealing rural and urban areas. Enjoy everything from quaint, small villages such as Rhinebeck to bustling, diverse college cities like Syracuse.

With that kind of diversity, you’re sure to find something appealing about New York. But which city is the right choice for you? It depends on what you’re looking for, and how important each consideration is to your lifestyle and budget. New York real estate can be a pricey proposition, even outside of Manhattan, and the tax rate can likewise be a deterrent. However, from Buffalo to Binghamton and all points in between, it pays to consider these ten cities to find the perfect fit for you.

Ithaca

CITY POPULATION: 32,108

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 6.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 1.3% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $38,019/year

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

What’s so special about Ithaca? Well, to start with, it’s a vibrant college town, playing host to the top-rated Ivy League Cornell University which gives you access to arts and cultural events plus lifelong access to ongoing educational and development opportunities. Ithaca can also boast of its gorgeous surrounding scenery, including over 150 waterfalls and lots of parks for outdoor recreation, all within a ten-mile radius. Add in top-quality medical care, a fun village atmosphere and incredible produce and more available at local farmer’s markets—it’s easy to see why Ithaca tops the list of New York’s most attractive cities for retirees. However, climate is also an important consideration, and Ithaca is definitely not a hot spot in that sense! Expect an average of 63 inches of snowfall per year and average low temperatures in the teens during the winter months. However, thanks to the local geography of hills and valleys, Ithaca also enjoys fairly mild and pleasant summers, with an average July temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rhinebeck

CITY POPULATION: 2,697

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 34.1

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 22% above national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $93,009

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

With a cost of living over 20% higher than the U.S. average and such a small population size, you might be wondering at Rhinebeck’s inclusion on this list. Although it has a well-earned reputation for being one of the Hudson Valley area’s more expensive places to live, it’s also got some serious charm for retirees in search of a more laid-back, easygoing vibe. A bustling village downtown area offers restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, candy stores, parks, and more. With more than a third of its residents over the age of 65, you’ll find lots of friendly folks to befriend and pursue your interests with, whether that’s outdoor recreation along the Hudson or elsewhere in beautiful Dutchess County. Enjoy nearby antique malls, horse farms, locally grown produce and more in Rhinebeck.

Kingston

CITY POPULATION: 24,069

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 14.5%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 3.7% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $54,311

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Just sixty miles south of the state capital of Albany, west of the banks of the lovely and highly scenic Hudson river, Kingston has a small-town feel while still retaining access to the more diverse offerings of a larger city. In fact, back in colonial days, Kingston was the state’s capital, while today it’s a great place to live and visit for retirees and younger folks alike.

Boasting a large and active creative community including visual artists, playwrights, actors, musicians and more, Kingston provides access to a wide variety of artistic and cultural events. If you’re more into outdoor activities, you’ll find lots to love here too, with a walkable downtown area featuring some historic architecture. Like much of the Adirondacks and many of the mid-to-upper New York locations, Kingston is beautiful year-round but really shines in autumn. Bring your snow boots and mittens, because winters do get cold. Kingston sees an average of just under 42 inches of snow each year, making it snowier than the U.S. average but far less than some other cities on our list.

Elmira

CITY POPULATION: 26,523

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.9%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 25.4% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $36,543

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Located in Chemung County, Elmira is a great entry point for the southern Finger Lakes area of New York. From several area museums to Mark Twain’s house (and gravesite), Elmira presents a lovely opportunity for retirees to enjoy life’s pleasures and cultural pursuits. Enjoy lively productions of music and theater at the Clemens Center or raucous sporting events at First Arena. From cold and snowy winters to balmy summers, you’ll find a wide variety in seasonal weather, though at 40 inches of average snowfall, you won’t have to dig out your driveway quite as often as you’d have to in more northern cities. It’s a short drive to area airports, parks, the Corning Glass Museum, and other activities so you can stay active.

Rochester

CITY POPULATION: 211,328

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 11.6%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 16.8% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $37,395

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Situated on Lake Ontario and getting almost 100 inches of average snowfall per winter, Rochester is definitely not for folks who worship the sun and can’t stand the cold. But if you enjoy a white winter vista and curling up in front of a fire with a great book, as well as an active outdoor lifestyle during the warmer summer months, Rochester might be worth your consideration. Rochester also boasts an extensive collection of restaurants with several diverse cuisines and plenty of resources for outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing for walleye, trout, bass, and salmon. With several colleges and universities in the area, as well as Geva Theater, a professional Equity theater. Best of all, Rochester remains a highly walkable city, so you can always enjoy getting where you need to go.

Dunkirk

CITY POPULATION: 12,743

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.5%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 30.8% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $36,282

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Enjoy the nautical pleasures afforded to residents of Dunkirk by virtue of its location on the shores of Lake Erie. You can enjoy the best of life on the Great Lakes in a strong community with a strong mix of age groups represented, including your peers. Lovely lighthouses and pleasant beaches await you here, and anglers will enjoy going after walleye, yellow perch, bass and more. Dunkirk is a small town (though not as small as some other places on our list), but it’s also less than an hour’s drive from Buffalo, so you’ll get the best of both worlds here. Bring your snow shovel, or find a friendly high schooler to dig you out, because Dunkirk gets over 70 inches of snowfall on average each winter.

Saratoga Springs

CITY POPULATION: 28,491

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 20.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 15.8% above national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $85,946

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Located in the center of New York, close to Albany, Saratoga Springs grew in popularity as a spa resort destination thanks to its mineral springs. You’ll also enjoy access to famous horse races, the cultural and artistic offerings of Beekman Street, and many performances by touring performing companies, including the New York City Ballet. You can enjoy a huge variety of elegant and delicious cuisines in the city’s numerous restaurants and cafes. On the down side, Saratoga Springs is more expensive than most other cities on our list, and you’ll also have to put up with a considerable amount of extra traffic during the heavy summer tourism months. Climate-wise, Saratoga Springs gets about 60 inches of snow annually, while summers remain warm and pleasant for the most part.

Ogdensburg

CITY POPULATION: 10,064

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.1%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 30.6% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $50,166

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Enjoy some excellent fishing on the St. Lawrence river in this northern NY city, as well as lots of other riverfront activities. Hiking, biking, and golf are all even more rejuvenating when you’re near a beautiful waterscape like the St. Lawrence. Ogdensburg offers a number of restaurants, cafes, bars and taverns for going out on the town, as well as state parks and museums to while away an afternoon. You can forge your own path or join one of many area retirement and active living communities. With an average of about 63 inches of snow each year, Ogdensburg gets some bracingly cold temperatures, so if you’re truly averse to winter weather you might want to look elsewhere.

Union Springs

CITY POPULATION: 1,075

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.4%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 19.8% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $81,053

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Technically, Union Springs isn’t a city but a village. With the smallest population of any location on our list, the Union Springs village sits on the shore of Cayuga Lake and was named for the mineral springs located nearby. Union Springs gets about 74 inches of snow each winter, but also offers access to a number of excellent fishing spots both in the lake and in its tributaries. Between area vineyards, local farm markets, and a number of restaurants, you can always find something to do in Union Springs. If you’re looking for a quieter lifestyle with access to water activities like fishing and boating, Union Springs might be the ideal place to retire.

Mechanicville

CITY POPULATION: 5,163

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 18.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 9.7% below national average

PER CAPITA INCOME FOR POPULATION: $46,791

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Higher than U.S. average

Located about half an hour north from Albany, Mechanicville was named for the occupations of its earliest settlers who worked in the many mills nearby. You can indulge your passion for kayaking on Tenandaho Creek, explore the natural beauty of the Hudson and surrounding areas, or simply hang out with your new neighbors at a local park or restaurant. Mechanicville is a fairly lowkey, laidback lifestyle compared to some of the larger and more active places on our list, but if you’re looking for a quiet, lovely spot in which you can enjoy a slower pace during your retirement, it’s definitely worth a look.

Final Thoughts

With all these options and such diverse choices to consider, retiring in New York truly offers something for everyone. How should you make that final decision, then?

Start with a road trip! The best way to pick the right spot for your retirement is to visit a few cities that sound like they’d be good matches and spend a few days in each. Evaluate the available activities, try out a few of the local restaurants, and check out the homes that are for sale or rent nearby to get a better sense of the area. Better yet, talk to a few retirees who live there and get the inside scoop.

Whatever city or location you prefer, make sure you’re ready for retirement with a good plan. At Retirable, we help you create a retirement plan that will fund the future you deserve.

Best Places To Retire

Getting Started


Northeastern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Southern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Midwestern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Western U.S. Best Cities To Retire


Share this advice


Annie Sisk

Annie Sisk

Annie Sisk is a freelance writer and content strategist. Originally from North Carolina, Annie now lives in Binghamton, New York. She's written extensively for finance, legal, and human resources sites and publications, including Legal Beagle and Predictive Index.

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Legal

Retirable, Inc. ('Retirable') is an SEC registered investment advisor. By using this website, you accept our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Retirable provides holistic retirement planning services, which are available only to residents of the United States. You must be at least 18 years of age to become a Retirable Premium user. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities.

Investing involves risk and past performance is not indicative of future results. Increased spending increases the risk of depleting your savings and performance is not guaranteed. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any decisions based on your own personal circumstances.

For more information, see our Form ADV Part II and other disclosures.

© 2022 Retirable Inc. All rights reserved.

We're accredited and certified by

Legal

Retirable, Inc. ('Retirable') is an SEC registered investment advisor. By using this website, you accept our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Retirable provides holistic retirement planning services, which are available only to residents of the United States. You must be at least 18 years of age to become a Retirable Premium user. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities.

Investing involves risk and past performance is not indicative of future results. Increased spending increases the risk of depleting your savings and performance is not guaranteed. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any decisions based on your own personal circumstances.

For more information, see our Form ADV Part II and other disclosures.

© 2022 Retirable Inc. All rights reserved.

We're accredited and certified by