Best Places To Retire In New York For 2020


We analyzed over 49 places in New York to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in New York.

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If you think that New York is too big, too expensive, and too boring of a state to spend your retirement years, you're wrong.

And, folks, HomeSnacks is here to tell you why. More importantly, we've created a list of the best places to retire in NewYork for 2020. Incidentally, this is our sixth time ranking The Empire State's best places to retire, so trust us when we that these are the best of the best.

How'd we determine the best places to retire in New York? Well, we know that when people are searching for the best places to retire, they are looking for things like nice looking homes, great parks, and friendly neighbors; and folks, New York's best places to retire have all this and then some. But in order to rank the best, we had to give each place an actual concrete score: we call this a city's overall 'Snackability'. To get this score, we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 47 cities. We looked at important factors like cost of living, crime, amenities, rent and distance to closest airport for every place with over 10,000 residents.

Living in upstate New York does seem to be the best deal for most retirees, but there are awesome places sprinkled throughout the state for every retirement budget. There's Tonawanda for the retiree that can afford a boat and a boat slip, Beacon for the retiree that likes a quaint downtown with plenty of coffee shops and local chatter, and make sure to give Lockport a second look if living close to Niagara Falls is your schtick.

So, where are these amazing places in New York where the cost of living is doable on a retirement budget, where crime is low, and neighborhoods are safe? Read on.

Why did Ogdensburg take the top spot? And where are New York and Buffalo?

New York really looks out for its retirees. Did we mention that New York is great for people looking to retire because the state offers lower property taxes for people over 65 and there are no taxes on Social Security benefits or retirement account distributions? New York really looks out for its retirees.

So, where is the best place to retire in New York? Well, according to the latest data, Ogdensburg is the best place to retire in New York for 2020.

Want to know the other places that made this list? Take a look below; and if you don't see what you're looking for there, head to the bottom.

For more New York state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In New York For 2020

Ogdensburg, NY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,748
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $623
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
More on Ogdensburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ogdensburg is a city in St. Lawrence County, New York, United States. The population was 11,128 at the 2010 census. In the late 18th century, European-American settlers named the community after American land owner and developer Samuel Ogden.

North Tonawanda, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 30,596
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $689
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on North Tonawanda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Tonawanda is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. The population was 31,568 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is named after Tonawanda Creek, its south border. Tonawanda in the Seneca tongue means "Swift Running Water".

Canandaigua, NY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 10,348
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $839
Distance to Closest Airport: 25 miles
More on Canandaigua: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Canandaigua is a city in Ontario County, New York, United States. The population was 10,545 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Ontario County; some administrative offices are located at the county complex in the adjacent town of Hopewell.

Beacon, NY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,279
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,174
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
More on Beacon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Beacon is a city located in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The 2010 census placed the city total population at 15,541. Beacon is part of the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York-Newark-Bridgeport, New York-New Jersey-Connecticut-Pennsylvania Combined Statistical Area. It was named to commemorate the historic beacon fires that blazed forth from the summit of the Fishkill Mountains to alert the Continental Army about British troop movements.

Tonawanda, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 57,280
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $839
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
More on Tonawanda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tonawanda is a city in Erie County, New York, United States. The population was 15,130 at the 2010 census. It is at the northern edge of Erie County, south across the Erie Canal from North Tonawanda, and north of Buffalo, New York. It is part of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area.

Dunkirk, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,950
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $652
Distance to Closest Airport: 44 miles
More on Dunkirk: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dunkirk is a city in Chautauqua County, New York, in the United States. It was officially incorporated in 1880, though it was first settled around 1805. The population was 12,563 as of the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 12,328 in 2013. Dunkirk is bordered on the north by Lake Erie. It shares a border with the village of Fredonia to the south, and with the town of Dunkirk to the east and west. Dunkirk is the westernmost city in the state of New York.

Rye, NY

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,862
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $2,133
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Rye: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which has more land area than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until it received its charter as a city in 1942. The population was 15,720 at the 2010 census. Rye is the youngest city in New York state. No other city has been chartered anywhere in New York state since 1942.

Long Beach, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 33,509
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,842
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
More on Long Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Long Beach is a city in Nassau County, New York, United States. Just south of Long Island, it is located on Long Beach Barrier Island, which is the westernmost of the outer barrier islands off Long Island's South Shore. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 33,275. It was incorporated in 1922, and is nicknamed The City By the Sea.

Oneida, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,980
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $723
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
More on Oneida: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oneida is a city in Madison County located west of Oneida Castle and east of Canastota, New York, United States. The population was 11,390 at the 2010 census. The city, like both Oneida County and the nearby silver and china maker, was named for the Oneida tribe, which had a large territory here around Oneida Lake during the colonial period.

Review Of Oneida by HomeSnacks User

I've lived in oneida county for 29 years and as beautiful as it maybe it's still in a downward spiral.

Olean, NY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,805
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Rent: $628
Distance to Closest Airport: 61 miles
More on Olean: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Olean is a city in Cattaraugus County, New York, United States. Olean is the largest city in Cattaraugus County and serves as its financial, business, transportation and entertainment center. It is one of the principal cities of the Southern Tier region of New York.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Empire State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in New York to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Empire State -- 1186 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 47 places from across the state.

For these 47, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 47, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Ogdensburg, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In New York Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in New York goes to Ogdensburg.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Middletown
  2. Ithaca
  3. New York

For more New York reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In New York?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Ogdensburg 10,748 $623
2 North Tonawanda 30,596 $689
3 Canandaigua 10,348 $839
4 Beacon 14,279 $1,174
5 Tonawanda 57,280 $839
6 Dunkirk 11,950 $652
7 Rye 15,862 $2,133
8 Long Beach 33,509 $1,842
9 Oneida 10,980 $723
10 Olean 13,805 $628

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.