Tax incentives for senior citizens and proximity to healthcare services make New York a plausible retirement option. To entice retirees, the first $20,000 of Individual Retirement Account withdrawals are not taxed by the state once you reach 59.5. Plus, the state has a partial state tax on pensions and none on Social Security payments. If these incentives work with your budget, there are some ideal places in New York where you can enjoy your golden years.
Near New York City
Retirees who want to live near the excitement and offerings of the Big Apple but not in the city itself could find Tarrytown ideal. As of 2011, the cost of living was 72 percent higher than the national average, and 42 percent higher than living in New York City itself. However, the small town feel and lower crime rate may make up for the hefty price tag. The median cost of a home is $507,900. All of the culture and healthcare offerings of the big city are just a 35-minute train ride away. You’ll also find the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in nearby Sleepy Hollow.
Numerous cultural events and plenty of history make Saratoga Springs an ideal place to retire for those who like to stay busy. Galleries abound in the Beekman Street Arts District, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center brings in regular ballet and orchestra performances. The city became known for its health and spa industry in the 19th century due to the area's natural springs. It remains a famous name in horse racing as its track, which originated in 1863, is the oldest in the country. As of 2011, it had a 20 percent higher cost of living than the national average, and the median home cost is $260,000. The Saratoga Community Health Center and Saratoga Hospital provide medical services. More options are available in Albany about 25 miles south of the town.
The big draw of New Paltz, a small town located in the Catskills Mountains, is not the cost of living or the median cost of a home. What attracts people to the forward-thinking town are the outdoor opportunities, including the 12.2-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail constructed out of a former railroad track. For access to healthcare facilities, drive 15 minutes to Poughkeepsie where you can grab the train to New York City for more advanced and varied care.
If you want to further your education now that you have more time on your hands, head to Binghamton where retirees can audit classes for free at Binghamton University. Another option is Ithaca, where you’ll find Cornell University and Ithaca College, both of which offer free adult classes. Typical of college towns, both cities feature a wealth of recreational opportunities. Ithaca's cost of living was 3 percent below the U.S. average while Binghamton’s was 12.1 percent below as of 2011. The median price for a Binghamton home was just $111,200 compared to $164.500 in Ithaca.