Once you’re nearing 65, you start looking at where you want to spend your golden years. Maybe you want somewhere warm with a beach, a place out in nature and relaxing, or maybe you just want to retire somewhere you can stretch a buck.

If you’re planning on retiring in New York, odds are the winters don’t bother you, but this probably will. This week, financial-aggregate WalletHub released their complete rankings of the best states in America for retirement in 2023. Read on to see just how badly New York stacked up to everyone else.

Straight out of the gate, New York really failed in affordability. Partial blame lies in the state’s high costs of living – only California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii are more expensive. Combine that with New York’s general tax-unfriendliness, and WalletHub ranks New York dead last for retirement affordability.

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New York is one of 37 states that do not tax Social Security payouts, but only the first $20,000 in distributions from an IRA or 401(k) are state-tax-free. New York has the Enhanced STAR property tax break for anyone 65 or older, but you must get $93,200 or less in benefits to qualify.

A retired couple poses with a small model home

Enhanced STAR also only includes owner-occupied, primary residences, so rental properties are not included. Even with this break, New York has some of the highest property tax rates in the country, so it only helps so much. And for anyone wanting to work to stay busy or make some supplementary income, WalletHub ranks our state is in the bottom third of the US’ elderly-friendly labor market.

The good news for New York retirees is that the state ranked 10th for quality of life and 16th for health care.

So What Was New York’s Final Ranking?


WalletHub ranked New York the fifth worst state in the US for retirement in 2023. Kentucky is the nation’s worst state to retire to, given a low quality of life and some of the nation’s worst health care for the elderly. Virginia topped the list.

Granted, a survey isn't always the best way to decide where to live. If New York is home and always will be, these are some great Upstate options.

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