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The city that never sleeps is not all hustle and bustle. With 300+ square miles of 250 unique neighborhoods, there are also plenty of great places to rest one’s head. And after 30+ years of experience as professional movers in NYC, we know them all. So as part of our best NYC neighborhoods series, we’ve got some tips on where to spend your golden years too.

Main concerns facing retirees when choosing a neighborhood

New York State saw a 31% increase in its number of senior citizens from 2011 to 2021. And roughly every fifth New Yorker today is over 65. So the Big Apple is definitely age-friendly. But here are some things to consider when choosing your new home.

Cost of Living and Housing Affordability

Real estate is amongst the most expensive in the country. The average rent for a one-bedroom is $4,000/month. If you’re looking to buy, you’ll also need a pretty penny. Townhouses, high-rises, and brownstone apartments in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods (and most of Manhattan), for example, cost upwards of a million bucks. However, you can find some decent condos in East Queens (towards Long Island) for about a third of that. So shop around.

Access to Healthcare Facilities and Services

Manhattan is also home to the most doctors. However, NYC’s hospital system is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country. And with over 250 hospitals to choose from — plus countless in-home and other services — you’re in good hands in all five boroughs. NYC’s extensive public transportation also means that most services are well within reach. However, how within walking distance the facilities are depends on where you are.

Access to healthcare facilities and services

Safety and Security

Staten Island ranks as the safest borough. Meanwhile, a few Manhattan neighborhoods boast the lowest crime rates in the city. But remember that the Big Apple is huge and multifaceted. So when it comes to overall safety, all five boroughs are safe bets too. In fact, according to Bloomberg, as of 2022 — NYC is generally considered a lot safer than small-town USA.

Amenities and Recreational Opportunities

You’re unlikely to have a dull day in NYC. There are 150+ museums, 200+ libraries, and 1,500+ art galleries. Plus some 2,000 green spaces. And an equal number of gyms and health clubs. Not to mention thousands of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It’s also home to 300+ OACs (i.e., older adult centers) that provide all sorts of activities and social services. And all of the above are dispersed throughout all five boroughs too.

Top Neighborhoods for Retirees in NYC

In short, countless NYC neighborhoods have something to offer people of any age. But here’s OZ’s pick of the top five retiree-friendly hoods:


Nestled between the Harlem and Hudson Rivers, this peninsula lies on the northernmost tip of Manhattan. Thus, its location means you have peace and quiet mixed with the best of everything NYC has to offer. Oh, and kayaking, if you like.


The Upper East Side

Central Park, the Guggenheim, and the Met are just three of the UES’s main attractions. Along with world-class libraries, theaters, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and beautiful (albeit smaller) parks. Real estate is amongst the highest in the city. Nevertheless, this relatively quiet haven in the heart of the concrete jungle is a staple for NYC families and retirees alike.

Hell’s Kitchen

Despite its name, this eclectic little enclave just west of Times Square is a great place to retire. One of the reasons is its still relatively affordable housing. Plus a low crime rate. And restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues galore. The theater district, Broadway, Lincoln Center, and Central Park are a few blocks away too.

Murray Hill

This is one of NYC’s safest neighborhoods. And its location right next to the Empire State Building and Grand Central is, by definition, prime. The rent is expensive. Still, its relative quiet at the center of it all makes it a top destination for young professionals, families, and retirees alike. Not to mention 24/7 access to everything — including some of the world’s finest health centers.


This world-famous Brooklyn hub for hipsters is another great place for retirees. Especially since the original hipsters are now of retirement age. A stone’s throw away from Manhattan, Williamsburg offers beautiful green spaces like McCarren Park, waterfront sunrises, cafes, shops, restaurants, and a slightly slower pace than Manhattan. And the neighborhood has matured in recent years — offering its residents more and more age-friendly amenities and services too.


Tips for Finding the Perfect Retirement Neighborhood in NYC:

Tip 1: Budget Wisely

The cost of living in Manhattan is the highest in the country. More remote areas are cheaper. Still, a hefty pension and/or nest egg will definitely help.

Tip 2: Consider Accessibility (and Explore)

NYC’s extensive public transportation means that most amenities and services are well within reach. However, not everything in NYC’s 300+ square miles is always within walking distance. So ask around and get to know your potential new home firsthand.

Tip 3: Consult with Family, Peers, and Locals

And speaking of asking around — it’s always good to get a second and third opinion. So talk to your loved ones, other NYC retirees, and residents of the neighborhood. See what your gut tells you — as well as what the word on the street is — before you make up your mind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which NYC Boroughs Are Known For Retiree-Friendly Neighborhoods?

Most New Yorkers over 65 live in Brooklyn. Followed by Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. However, Manhattan usually ranks as having the most retiree-friendly neighborhoods in terms of quality of life.

How Can You Find Information About Safety and Crime Rates in A Specific Neighborhood?

ABC7,, and are all great resources to learn about crime rates and general safety in specific NYC neighborhoods.

How can you find information about safety

Are There Any Resources or Organizations That Cater to The Social Needs of Retirees In NYC?

Yes. Check out the New York Foundation for Aging Citizens, the NYC Department for The Aging, the NYSOFA Senior Resource Guide 2022, and the NY Senate Senior Resource Guide (2021-2022).

What Are Some Considerations for Retirees Looking to Downsize Or Find More Accessible Housing Options In NYC?

Fortunately, there are also plenty of organizations dedicated to helping you find an affordable home in the Big Apple too. And the New York State Office for the Aging, the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, NYC311, and are great places to start.

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