Relocate in Retirement

Deciding whether to move out of state or stay in New York for retirement is a personal decision that depends on many factors. For every friend or relative you know who relocated to Florida or Arizona and loved it, another relocated and did not like culture or the heat. And of course, weather is not the only factor that you have to consider. 

The many factors to consider on whether to relocate: 

Cost of Living: This is a major consideration for many New Yorkers who are retiring. While evaluating the cost of living in New York compared to other states, you may find many locations that have a lower cost of living than New York State. Research prices in many aspects, such as housing costs, taxes, healthcare expenses, and daily living expenses. Moving to a state with a lower cost of living can stretch your retirement savings further. 

Lifestyle Preferences: Consider the type of lifestyle you desire in retirement. A major one is the climate. Do you like the heat or colder weather, and do you have a tolerance for more humid or dry climates. What are your hobbies? Do you need access to outdoor activities, cultural attractions, shopping, and healthcare facilities? Do you enjoy more rural living, or city living, where it is more walkable or where things are simply closer? Determine if moving out of state aligns with your lifestyle preferences and priorities. 

Social Support Network: Assess your social connections and support system in New York. Moving out of state means leaving behind friends, family, and familiar communities. Consider if you are open to building new social connections if most of your friends and family are still in New York. Moving to an active and suitable retirement community may actually introduce you to a new chapter of life with new friends. But if you don’t think you can leave behind your friends and family, staying in New York allows you to maintain a strong support network. To have the best of both worlds, there are many 55 and over communities on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley area that provide many new activities, while you can stay connected with your existing network. 

Tax Considerations: Examine the tax implications of moving out of state. Different states have varying tax structures, including income tax, property tax, and sales tax. Evaluate how these factors may impact your retirement finances. New York and New Jersey have notoriously high property taxes. There are also some states like Nevada and Delaware that may have more favorable income tax and other tax structures.  

Healthcare Facilities: Look into the quality and availability of healthcare facilities in both New York and the potential new state. Access to quality healthcare services becomes increasingly important in retirement, so ensure the location you choose offers suitable healthcare options.

Housing Options: Research the housing market in both New York and the potential new state. Consider the availability and affordability of housing options that suit your needs, whether it’s downsizing to a smaller home, moving into a retirement community, or renting an apartment. Many people still want the freedom with living in a single family home, while retirement communities provide maintenance free living and amenities, but more restrictions. 

What to look for in a Retirement Community 

When choosing amenities for a retirement community, it’s important to consider whether they suit your needs currently and potentially for the future. Here are some common amenities that are often sought after in retirement communities: 

Recreation and Fitness Facilities: These may include swimming pools, fitness center, walking trails, golf course, tennis and pickleball courts, and other facilities that promote physical activity and wellness. 

Walkability and Transportation: While many retirement communities are located in a suburban and rural setting on vast grounds, there are also retirement communities in cities. Many residents will enjoy the walkability and the buzz from living in a city or a downtown. As one ages, many people would like to drive less and less. But if you would like to be located in a suburban setting but yet worry about driving, some retirement communities offer transportation services for residents, providing easy access to shopping centers, medical appointments, and local attractions.

Social and Community Spaces: Common areas like community centers, clubhouses, and lounges provide spaces for residents to socialize and participate in group activities. Some communities offer additional amenities, for example a library, arts and crafts studios, beauty salons, game rooms, theaters, and even pet-friendly facilities.  

Wellness and Healthcare Services: Access to healthcare services, such as medical clinics, assisted living options, or on-site medical professionals, can be crucial in meeting the healthcare needs of residents. Some retirement communities are located close to medical centers, and may provide shuttle services to them.

Maintenance and Housekeeping Services: Most people are interested in downsizing during retirement because they want to do less maintenance for their homes. If you are renting, all your maintenance should be taken care of by the landlord. If you are buying within a retirement community, your monthly fee usually covers tasks such as landscaping, common area maintenance, and snow removal. There are some communities that may also provide on site super, home repairs, or housekeeping services.  

Security and Safety Measures: Ensuring the safety of residents is essential. Retirement communities may have doorman, gated entrances, emergency call systems, and other safety features in place. 

On-Site Dining Options: Some retirement communities offer dining facilities, such as restaurants, cafes, or bistros, where residents can enjoy meals without having to cook or leave the community.

Outdoor Spaces and Gardens: Access to outdoor spaces, gardens, or parks allows residents to live in a relaxing setting and to enjoy nature and to engage in recreational activities. Do you enjoy the beach? The Mountains? Or the desert? Why not consider a setting that you can enjoy year round in your retirement home. 


There are many issues to consider when deciding where to live, and we hope you find this post helpful. If you are indeed moving, no matter within the state or across the country, or even overseas, please check out our post Moving with Seniors for more information.

We hope you found this blog post on Should You Stay or Relocate in Retirement useful. Be sure to check out our post on 5 Best States to Move to For Retirement for more great tips!

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