Downtown Ithaca, New York. Image credit Spiroview Inc via Shutterstock

12 Top-Ranked Towns in New York for Retirees

Despite being one of the most expensive states in America, New York ranks high for its residents' well-being and is one of the best places to experience every season to its fullest. From low crime rates to scenic nature and top-notch healthcare amenities, the state's senior population increased by 30% from 2011 to 2021, accounting for a total of 3,477,665 residents aged 65 or above.

Additionally, retirement years in the Empire State are complemented by an abundance of natural atmospheres and relaxing environmental settings. New York's beauty is unparalleled, from the serene lakeside vista of Skaneateles to the artistically abstract community of Woodstock; read along to find your new hometown.


Street view at Skaneateles, New York
Street view at Skaneateles, New York.

The small community of Skaneateles is in upstate New York and is part of the Finger Lakes Region. It ranks as a calm, laidback small town for those looking for a quiet community to enjoy an active retirement lifestyle. It is abundant with natural trails and endless watersport activities for having one of the clearest lakes in the Finger Lakes area. With median home prices of $675,000 in 2024 (according to, Skaneateles is one of the more expensive but safer small towns in New York to retire in.

Though assisted senior living options are minimal in Skaneateles, the town features an inclusive selection of healthcare options, with some of the most notable being the Urgent Medical Care of Skaneateles, with more advanced options in Auburn, located seven miles away. Retirement communities and assisted living in the area include Peregrine Senior Living at The Athenaeum, The Manor, and Village Landing Apartments for an independent living lifestyle.

Cold Spring

The main shopping district of Cold Spring, New York.
Main shopping district of Cold Spring, New York. Image credit James Kirkikis via Shutterstock

Cold Spring is one of the best places to retire in New York, for being a national treasure that balances eco-richness with enchanting historic elements. Located in the Hudson Highlands, Cold Spring is yet another small town in New York that emphasizes an active living lifestyle, with its main attractions being its endless hiking trails of all levels, like Breakneck Ridge, Bull Hill, and more. The small community has a low poverty rate valued at 12.6% below the national average, and its senior population is dominated by female residents.

Relocators seeking private property in Cold Spring can expect to pay $599,000, which qualifies the town as a moderately affordable option in the Empire State. Beautified by Victorian and Gothic buildings, newcomers can also explore the town's distinctiveness through its art displays and antique shops. Cold Spring Antiques Center, Bijou Galleries, and Solomon's Mine are a few of the boutiques on Main St to browse.


Landscape view of the historic Old School Baptist Meeting House flanked by flowering trees located in the center of the village of Warwick.
Old School Baptist Meeting House, Warwick, New York. Image credit Brian Logan Photography via

Warwick ranks as one of the best retirement options for seniors looking for a countryside ambiance to spend their retirement years. Sitting near the New York and New Jersey border, Warwick also enjoys a lively, engaging community with famous festivals like the Fox and Wine Festival, the Warwick Food Truck Festival, and the popular Applefest in October. Though owning a home in Warwick costs more than many other retirement communities in New York, valued at $649,000, its vast open atmosphere often allows homeowners the luxury of having a spacious yard or land complementing the property.

With a predominantly conservative demographic of residents, senior communities in town include Warwick Grove creekside apartments and Liberty Green properties. Additionally, the town's main street is dotted with top-notch healthcare options like Warwick Primary Care, Middletown Medical, and St. Anthony Community Hospital.


Town center of Woodstock, New York.
Town center of Woodstock, New York. Image credit littlenySTOCK via Shutterstock.

Nationally renowned for being an artistic haven for creatives, Woodstock is the best retirement town for creatives seeking a quirky atmosphere that reflects their unique interests and personalities. Surrounded by vistas of the Catskill Mountains, Woodstock boasts an unparalleled alternative lifestyle with a median home price of $699,000. It is one of the most inviting communities to call home, with quaint boutiques housed in residential buildings and endless street vendors.

Friendly locals and creative ambiance compensate for the high living costs, enriched with venues and events like the Woodstock Farm Festival and Woodstock Film Festival, along with endless concerts and live music events featuring folk, rock, and country performers. Assisted living options in town include Uarc Woodstock and the Woodstock Commons area, which hosts an independent living community of over 53 apartments on the outskirts of town.

Lake Placid

Autumn colors in Lake Placid, New York.
Autumn colors in Lake Placid, New York.

Lake Placid is recognized for being a winter wonderland that accommodates endless recreation activities but ranks as one of the best places to retire for being a relaxed, nature-centric community. Located in the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid has one of the largest senior populations in the area, with 16% of its population over 65 years old. The eco-rich ambiance is complemented by a median home price of $695,000 and a median household income of $47,050.

Uihlein Living Center and Mercy Care For the Adirondacks stand out as some of the top-rated retirement homes and services, while Lake Placid Health Center and the Northshore Medical Group PLLC are a few of the reliable healthcare options in town.


The Wells College campus in Aurora, New York.
The Wells College campus in Aurora, New York.

Situated on the shores of Cayuga Lake, Aurora is a perfect retirement community for being one of the most affordable communities. With a minimal population of around 700 residents, Aurora is also one of the most relaxing places to call home in the Empire State. Embracing a slower pace of life, Aurora prioritizes peace of mind, fresh air, the endless recreational potential of fishing, and more.

Average home prices in Aurora are valued at $450,000, while its residents are typically high-earners, with the median household income valued at $77,292.

Great Neck

Great Neck Estate Park, Shade by the sea, water, at village on Long Island, New York
Great Neck Estate Park, Long Island, New York.

Great Neck is the ideal retirement community for retirees who prioritize proximity to New York City. Located 222 miles away, it is a village on the popular vacation destination of Long Island. Great Neck's unique geographical positioning allows newcomers to enjoy all the atmospheres that New York has to offer, from the abundance of entertainment at nearby Huntington, situated 17 miles away, to the endless healthcare facilities and shopping destinations of New York City.

Despite its many advantages and being one of the first communities on Long Island, Great Neck is also one of the more expensive retirement towns with median home prices of $949,000 and median household income of $107,695.


Overlooking Manhasset Bay, New York.
Overlooking Manhasset Bay, New York.

Manhasset is an upscale suburb and is another retirement option on Long Island located on the North Shore. Unlike other retirement destinations, Manhasset is a top choice for seniors seeking an upscale community in proximity to New York City. Beautified with lush parks and its Miracle Mile shopping district, Manhasset also offers efficient travel to the Big Apple via the LIRR. North Shore University Hospital, its emergency department, and Northwell Health are also main contributing factors to the town's draw as a retirement community.

With top-of-line big-city amenities and a relaxing sense of small-town community, the median home price in Manhasset is 2.6 million in 2024, making it one of the most expensive communities.

Seneca Falls

Trinity Episcopal Church in Seneca Falls, Finger Lakes region, Upstate New York.
Trinity Episcopal Church in Seneca Falls, New York.

Seneca Falls ranks as one of the best retirement choices for embracing a rural feel near some of the best urban communities like Rochester and Syracuse. With a population of around 6,500, more than 20% of the city's population is over the age of 65. It also features a fair range of senior living options, from independent living options in places like Prospect Hill Apartments to assisted care centers like Seneca Falls Community Residence near Cayuga Lake.

In addition to the appeal of residencies and a laidback lifestyle, the residents of the town take pride in their history and its nickname, "The birthplace of women's rights," with monuments and displays that narrate the town's historical significance like the Visitor's Center, and the First Wave installation. Better yet, median home prices are reasonable at $149,900, according to the 2024 Realtor report.


People walk past colorful stores in a pedestrian area of downtown Ithaca, New York
Downtown Ithaca, New York.

Ithaca is a well-rounded community in the Finger Lakes Region that attracts retirees for being the perfect medium between big city and small town living. Home to Cornell University, Ithaca accommodates a vibrant, youthful scene of entertainment, dining, shopping experiences, and more. Ithaca is also a popular destination for offering a reasonable cost of living, with home prices estimated to be $405,000.

The town's main business hub, located between W Green St and E Seneca St, is a hub of creative local entrepreneurs, with locally acclaimed businesses like the Paris Baguette Bakery and Thompson and Bleecker's Italian Restaurant.

Saratoga Springs

Downtown Saratoga Springs.
Downtown, Saratoga Springs, New York. Image credit Brian Logan Photography via

Saratoga Springs is the definition of a nature-centric retirement town, yet it balances an abundance of history, unique recreation, and artistic appeal. Located 34 miles from Albany, the Capital City of the Empire State. Nationally recognized for horse racing, Saratoga Springs also attracts thousands of annual visitors for its healing natural springs and Saratoga Spa State Park.

Wilton Mall, Saratoga Marketplace, and the central strip of Broadway Street account for the town's main destinations for shopping and dining. With median home prices valued at $839,000, home prices in Saratoga Springs newcomers to the town have the option of both rural and suburban settings.


Court Street in downtown Binghamton, New York.
Court Street in downtown Binghamton, New York. Image credit debra millet via

Binghamton ranks for its exceptionally low cost of living and balanced small city atmospheres, having a population of 47,566 and attracting a seasonal population of students. Home to Binghamton University and its general hospital, seniors can find everything from beautiful parks complementing the urban setting to an engaging community of festivals like the Balloon Rally and Spiedie Fest.

Entertainment options in Binghamton for a day out include the Tri-Cities Opera, the 1962 Cider Mill, Mirabito Stadium, and Visions Veterans Memorial Arena to catch a live hockey game. Seniors who wish to invest in purchasing private property can acquire a home for an affordable median home price of $152,800 in Binghamton.

Whether looking for a welcoming bedroom community to retire near New York City like Manhasset or a secluded eco-enriched town such as Aurora, the top-ranked towns in New York for retirees offer a well-rounded assortment that caters to diverse preferences. Despite New York's global reputation for being costly, its expenses bring unparalleled benefits, and with a glance beyond the commonly favored residential locales, the Empire State remains relatively affordable.

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