New York City

New York City ranked one of the worst places to retire in 2015

WalletHub survey blames high cost of living, lack of health care

August 25, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A survey ranked New York City one of the worst five cities to retire in the U.S. in 2015.  Photo by Mary Frost

You might want to rethink those New York City retirement plans, especially if you haven’t saved buckets of money.

NYC ranked a miserable 146 out of 150 cities studied by WalletHub for retirement friendliness, making it one of the worst five cities to retire in the U.S. in 2015.

The only cities ranking lower than NYC were Aurora, Illinois; Providence, Rhode Island; and Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Florida, on the other hand, was ranked one of the prime states for retirement, with three of the top five retirement-friendly cities located there. These include Tampa (ranked number one), Cape Coral (number four) and Orlando (number five). Scottsdale, Arizona came in second, and Boise City, Idaho, placed third.

WalletHub compared the most populated U.S. cities across four dimensions: affordability, activities, quality of life and health care.

Affordability: New York City, as might be expected, ranked as one of the worst in terms of affordability, scoring 148 out of 150. Only Boston (149) and Providence (150) were more expensive.

Looking specifically at the difference between Brooklyn and the higher-ranked cities, we used CNN Money’s cost-of-living calculator to make some comparisons. We found that a $50,000 income in Brooklyn would be equivalent to almost $92,000 in Tampa. Groceries, transportation and health care are from 12 to 30 percent more expensive in Brooklyn, but the real difference comes in the cost to put a roof over your head: Brooklyn’s housing cost is 284 percent higher than Tampa’s.

Activities: The study also found that there’s less opportunity in the Big Apple for seniors to enjoy recreational activities. NYC ranked 130 out of 150 in the number of recreation and senior centers, and was found to be short on activities like fishing, hiking, golf, tennis, movies and volunteer opportunities.

The study does not take into account the vast array of cultural activities the city offers to seniors, however.

Quality of Life: In this arena, NYC did better, ranking 68 out of 150. This metric studied factors like the percentage of seniors and their ability to get elderly-friendly jobs, the mildness of the area’s weather, crime rates, and air quality.

Not included, however, were many of NYC’s less quantifiable benefits – 24/7 activities, fascinating people, great public transportation, Chinese takeout and autumn in New York.

Health Care: Confirming the appalling state of the city’s health care system, the study found that NYC placed 147 out of 150 in this area. WalletHub looked at factors like the number of doctors, dentists and nurses in the area, and the amount of health care and home care facilities per capita. The study also looked at the quality of the city’s public hospitals, the emotional health of residents, and the death rate for seniors.

Health care is especially important to seniors, who have a greater need for it. And while being wealthy can buy you a higher quality of life and a better apartment, it won’t make a difference when you’re rushed to an understaffed and overwhelmed emergency room.

 The full study may be found at

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