Time For A New Post-Career Lease On Life? New York Is The Place To Be!
By Michelle Larsen
Thinking of retiring in New York City? You’re in good company.
20% of the City’s population is over 60.
New Yorkers aged 65 and over increased by 26 percent in the past 10 years.
New York’s demographic for 65+ years is expected to increase by 45% by 2030.
The Longevity Economy Has Changed Everything
The retirement paradigm has shifted, and that has changed the real estate paradigm. People are living longer and healthier lives and choosing to work longer. It is not unusual now to find people working well into their “retirement” years—their late 60s and beyond. New terms such as “encore careers” and the burgeoning $8 trillion U.S. “longevity economy” have become part of our social lexicon, leaving many people with more discretionary income to redefine their retirement today. In a recent CBS interview, MIT AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin claimed that “the future of the longevity economy is female.”
Reasons to Retire to New York
One of the greatest contributors to longevity is an active lifestyle, and New York offers retirees an endless array of options: easy access to other desirable global destinations, freedom from maintaining a home and car, first class cultural experiences and continuing education, and world class medical care—not to mention the food. Here are some of your options:
Be entertained by a vibrant and active cultural calendar, with something for every interest.
Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, American Ballet Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the Frick, the Museum of Natural History, the Whitney, the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, art fairs, concerts, and sporting events.
Eat—every food imaginable, and then some.
New York is home to many of the world’s best restaurants, ranging from fine dining to favorite neighborhood haunts. And as New York Times columnist Frank Bruni recently observed, retirees are sure to discover a neighborhood place that will become their favorite.
Go back to school.
Adult learning keeps the mind sharp and is a natural way to make new friends in a new city. It is possible to find a lecture or symposium on virtually any topic. Some of the resources offering lectures and courses for adult learners include:
Columbia, NYU, CUNY, Fordham, the Art Students League, 92nd Street Y, The French Culinary Institute, Pace, the New-York Historical Society. World-leading universities Yale and Princeton are only a couple of hours away.
Great doctors and great medical institutions abound. York offers top doctors in every conceivable specialty. Leading New York City hospitals include:
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia Presbyterian, NYU Langone, Northwell Lenox Hill, and the Hospital for Special Surgery.
New York has multiple options at all price ranges. In addition to a robust YMCA system, the city has exercise studios in every neighborhood, personal trainers, even summer dancing in Lincoln Plaza!
Of course, the favorite New York activity is walking. Every 20 blocks equals a mile!
Ditch the car.
Retirement can be a challenge if you are no longer able to drive. New York offers freedom from worrying about a car, parking, or traffic tickets. Key subway, bus, and train rides connect you to culture with the zip of a MetroCard. Walking, window-shopping, sitting in a park and enjoying nature and people-watching are some of the chief pleasures of life in the big city.
If travel is on your retirement bucket list, New York City is an international travel hub that provides easy accessibility to both domestic and international destinations. Many cruise lines dock right at the Hudson River. Cabs and car service can take you to any of the area airports, or you can get to JFK by subway!
Should you buy or rent?
For retirees, downsizing from the cares of a big house to a perfect apartment in a full-service doorman building is a dream come true. If investment is of concern, you’ll be happy to know that from a market perspective, co-op and condo sales activity of the last decade indicate that the median sales price of New York real estate has remained remarkably stable over the past four years.
If you prefer a house to yourself, the news on the investment front is even better. The Manhattan Decade Report shows that both sales and price trends for single-owner townhouses outperformed those of the co-op and condo market over the past decade. In New York, Townhouses remain a niche luxury market accounting for about 2% of all residential sales.
If you buy a co-op or condo, expect to pay a monthly maintenance fee that usually includes your real estate taxes for the year. That makes month-to-month planning easy. And New York has many beautiful residences priced well below the revised “mansion tax” on properties over $25 million.
Who moves To New York?
People have many reasons to buy apartments in New York. Some downsize from large family apartments where they raised their children. Professionals relocate to New York at the peak of their careers to be near adult children who have migrated here to work. Some wish to keep their homes outside of New York and purchase a pied-a-terre for weekends—and some are snowbirds who want to split their time between New York and Florida. And some want to rent and get a feel for the city before they buy.
Whatever you want, New York has it!
Michelle has had a storied career life. She has studied painting and conservation, was director of development at Scientific American Magazine, and an advertising manager at NASA Tech Briefs, She is now a licensed associate broker and Top 8% agent at Douglas Elliman in NYC where she specializes in relocation.