Retirement Considerations for Life in New York City
The excitement of life in New York City is a draw that has proven irresistible for many retiring couples and individuals. The fast pace and general “busyness” of this city is something that retiring people long for.
However, there are many variables that need to be considered before committing to a move to the Big Apple, the first of which is the cost of living and your financial position.
New York State Retirement Expenses
The cost of a New York State retirement is higher than almost anywhere else in the country. With inflation causing living costs to double roughly every ten years, a rented or purchased apartment, home or condo must be financed carefully.
Also, consider your projected income comparable to the lifestyle you are living now, or the lifestyle you plan to live once you retire. This should allow for things like groceries, entertainment and insurance, as well as keeping a roof over your head.
Planning for Life in New York City
As the financial center of the world, New York City offers a vast number of New York banks and financial institutions to assist with retirement and planning your life in New York City.
Many of the largest financial institutions operating in the United States are headquartered in New York City, including: JPMorgan Chase, Citgroup and American International Group (AIG).
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 allowed financial service companies to offer products and services that they were previously prohibited from offering. This act paved the way for many financial services companies to begin offering New York state retirement products and services to consumers, including New York-based retirees.
In addition to insurance and banking enterprises, investment management companies (such as Vanguard and Fidelity) also offer services to New York retirees.
Savings plans and annuities should be reviewed by a trusted financial adviser before settling into a New York state retirement, as this money will be your source of income when you are no longer working. Life in New York City requires careful budgeting of this money in order to meet monthly financial needs. Anticipating these needs beforehand will give you more time to enjoy your retirement, with less time spent worrying about bills and expenses.
Be sure to compare rates among financial institutions (interest rates and service fees). These rates can vary significantly and often, the services offered are directly correlated with the rates (higher rates equals greater service). More services, or higher quality service levels, are not always necessary and the benefits should be weighed against the costs to ensure the expense is justified.
In addition to the financial considerations associated with New York state retirement plans are the logistic and cultural aspects.
Traveling in the City
Transportation is a big concern for those who are approaching fragility. Public transportation is the preferred method of getting around in the big city, and this is generally better suited for the young. Until this changes, subways and bus routes will be less than ideal for many retirees.
Adjusting to Life in New York City
Most people follow the commonplace advice that a person should retire in an area less expensive than where they are currently living, and for most people, life in New York City will not meet this criteria.
However, this will not stop those who are bent on enjoying the final chapters of their lives in a place as vibrant and colorful as New York. With much to see and do, a person’s time will be well-occupied and retirement centers are not far to be found. Those who are already used to the kind of life afforded to them by New York City will find the adjustment to life in the city comparable to, though not the same as, life while working to earn a paycheck.
The city has much to offer those who have the means and determination to make the best of what it is. For the uninitiated, it can be an overwhelming place at first, but native New Yorkers and longtime residents will often tell you that they would not trade life in New York City for anywhere else in the world.
New York state retirement can open up doors that may not have been possible where you previously lived, and it is a gateway to many opportunities and a lifestyle most people have only dreamed of.
Ryan Devereux is a CPA who believes that with proper planning and the right financial tools, people can make their retirement dreams come true. Mr. Devereux is a freelance writer who focuses on financial and legal issues, and crafted this article on behalf of Attorneys at Law, Lederer & Nojima, LLP.