As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age the question arises as to where they should settle for their golden years. New York City might not seem like the obvious choice but there are fair arguments for it. The city may have a reputation as a fast-paced metropolis ideally suited to young people. But there’s something here for all ages. Many neighborhoods are highly age-friendly and becoming more so each year as the percentage of residents aged 60 and over continues to grow. Presently, it sits at about 17% and is expected to rise to well over 20% in the next two decades. The city has even launched an Age-Friendly Neighborhood initiative to address the issue.
If you’re a retiree that’s looking to downsize while still remaining a part of the city you love, or a new arrival that wants to be closer to family, these five neighborhoods are some of the top choices out there. But before we get to that, what exactly makes for an age-friendly neighborhood?
What Constitutes an Age-Friendly Neighborhood?
Every individual will have their own needs and wants for a neighborhood. Broadly speaking though, most retirees (or near-retirees) will want a neighborhood that ticks the following boxes:
- Accessible public and private transportation
- Easy access to appropriate health services
- Good air/water quality
- Accessible and affordable housing
- Services to assist with household chores and home maintenance
- Safe roadways and signage for drivers and pedestrians
- Centers and programs for active leisure and socialization
- Hazard-free streets and buildings
- Supportive neighborhoods with positive images of older persons
As things stand, much work still needs to be done before more neighborhoods meet these criteria. Fortunately, the Age-Friendly Neighborhoods Initiative is helping to do just that. Their aim is to make more NYC neighborhoods more accessible and inclusive for its older residents. Several neighborhoods are already meeting these standards and getting better every year. Any retiree looking for their little slice of the Big Apple should consider a move to one of these neighborhoods.
Upper East Side
For those who can afford it, the Upper East Side is perhaps the top choice out there for retirees. In particular, the Carnegie Hill area offers the most to residents aged 65 and over. The area is incredibly accessible with the 4, 6 and Q subway lines all passing through there. However, at present, only the Q stations are fully accessible. Healthcare can also be found in abundance with the area boasting more hospitals, health facilities, and doctor’s offices than almost any neighborhood in the country.
For leisure time there’s plenty available for all ages with Central Park and more than a dozen cultural institutions being within easy walking distance. When it comes to safety, the neighborhood has one of the lowest crimes rates in the country. All in all, the UES offers some of the best of the best when it comes to real estate in NYC.
If affordability is a high priority, then Hell’s Kitchen where you’ll find it. This is thanks to an agreement with local landlords and the seniors center which provides below-market-rate housing for senior citizens. Most buildings are ‘walk-in’ apartments bellow six stories and while prices are climbing, they still remain affordable for seniors. Just like the UES, there are plenty of attractions within a few blocks such as Central Park, Huston Park, Theater District and Times Square.
Perhaps the best thing about the neighborhood and its biggest strength is its diversity. You’ll find just about every ethnicity here which shows in its arts, culture, and food. For eating out, the area is a hub for international cuisines with French, Italian, Russian, Thai and so many others to choose from. Despite its storied past, crimes rates are now incredibly low for Manhattan, meaning you can rest easy through your retirement.
Another affordable location that still keeps you in Manhattan is Murry Hill. Like the previous two neighborhoods, it comes with low crime rates and close proximity to health services and some of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Chrysler Building and Empire State Building are within easy walking distance along with Grand Central Station. This makes it highly accessible, so you’ll have little trouble staying in contact with out-of-town family. For a mid-town location, the neighborhood has a surprisingly down-to-earth residential feel. This gives residents a breathing space from the noise and crowds of the rest of Manhattan, which is something senior citizens are sure to appreciate.
Anyone looking for a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood with beautiful green spaces should look to Park Slope. The Brooklyn neighborhood is one of the most desirable locations in the city to live in. That puts its real estate in the high-income bracket, but for what you get it’s well worth it. Residents here can feel like they’ve taken a trip outside the city to a quieter and down-to-earth small town. Prospect Park provides a superb counterpart to Central Park while the tree-lined streets with historic brownstones allow for pleasant strolls in the late evening.
Ease of transport is no problem as the area has seven subway stations that are serviced by nine lines. These allow you to easily get to and from the neighborhood’s main streets of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. For entertainment and eating out the area has a wonderful mix of indie boutiques, laid-back bars, and casual restaurants. The neighborhood is a true jewel for any senior citizen that wants a small-town feeling while still remaining a close part of NYC.
Battery Park City
Despite being located near the hustle and bustle of Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City feels well removed from it. The upscale neighborhood is one of the most pleasant areas of the city to call home. This is thanks in large part to the calm atmosphere of the waterfront and its many parks and public spaces. Additionally, its central location and laid-back style of living mean residents don’t have to compromise on accessibility or peacefulness. While the area does get more crowded during lunch hour due to its proximity to the Financial District, on weekends it gets a lot quieter. Senior citizens who love nature will find plenty to enjoy here with its calm atmosphere, pleasant public spaces and amazing views of the Hudson River and Lady Liberty.
Finding a New Home in NYC
Beyond these five neighborhoods, NYC has an abundance of options to choose from. Not to mention, an abundance of housing options with co-ops, condos, townhouses, duplex’s and others to choose from. If you feel like now is the time to look for a new home, then contact an Elika agent today to help make that dream a reality. Whatever your needs or preferences, our agents are trained to guide you through every step of the buying process and ensure your purchase is one you can be proud of.