Seniors seeking a solid combination of reasonable expenses and access to world-class amenities might consider an independent living community in New York state. While the Big Apple is always full of entertainment, from the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve to the incredible parades, New York City has a lot to offer, but the rest of the state is also full of culture and affordable living. For seniors who enjoy watching the snowfall in the winter and summer temperatures that are fairly moderate, New York is a great state

State income taxes don’t affect Social Security income or money from retirement accounts, and if you’re over 65, you may qualify for reduced property tax rates. In some independent living communities, you may not need to worry about property taxes. Independent living communities offer seniors the convenience of a low-maintenance neighborhood and a range of a la carte services. Some communities offer a complete continuum of care and allow seniors to age in place, while others may offer a combination of independent and assisted living options. The average cost of independent living in the state is $3,120, though that often includes expenses such as food and entertainment.

This guide compares the cost of independent living in New York to nearby states, covers some ways to cover the costs and includes various local resources for those considering moving to an independent living community.

The Cost of Independent Living in New York

Note: Because Independent Living doesn’t provide the level of care received in Assisted Living, it’s usually lower in cost, but basic cost information isn’t available. Independent Living costs are usually less than Assisted Living by 30-40%, so we’ve subtracted 35% from the Assisted Living costs reported in the 2021 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey to determine the costs for Independent Living.

The cost of Independent Living in New York is nearly on par with the national average with only a $52 increase per month, but it’s lower than most surrounding states. The exception is Pennsylvania, where the average cost of Independent Living is lower than New York’s by $312. In comparison, Connecticut’s average is higher by $357, and Vermont’s is higher by $436. Massachusetts’ average cost is much higher by $1,248.

$2977

New York

$2925

The United States

$2665

Pennsylvania

$3334

Connecticut

$3413

Vermont

$4225

Massachusetts

When comparing cities within New York state, the average costs of Independent Living run the gamut from $2,454 in Rochester to $5,470 in Watertown. The average cost in Syracuse is slightly higher than the state average at $3,051, while the state’s capital, Albany, is mid-range at $3,426. New York City, the most populous city in the nation, costs an average of $3,738.

$2454

Rochester

$3051

Syracuse

$3082

Buffalo

$3425

Albany

$3738

New York City

$5470

Watertown

Seniors unsure of the level of care they need may compare the average costs of all types available. Independent Living doesn’t include personal or medical care and costs an average of $2,977 in New York. Adult Day Health Care offers the lowest level of care and lowest cost at $1,907. Assisted Living offers some personalized care at an average cost of $4,580. In-Home Care and Home Health Care, which provide care in private residences, cost $5,339 and $5,529, respectively. Nursing Home Care has the highest level of care and highest cost at $12,775 per month for semiprivate rooms or $13,233 for private rooms.

$2977

Independent Living

$4580

Assisted Living

$1907

Adult Day Health Care

$5339

In-Home Care

$5529

Home Health Care

$12775

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate room)

$13233

Nursing Home Care (private room)

Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in New York?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in New York.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Independent Living Resources in New York

For seniors living independently, having a support network is critical as health and wellness can change quickly. Below is a list of resources available to seniors who may be considering retirement or seeking help post-retirement. 

Resource
Contact 
Service
(800) 342-9871
Seniors with increasing care needs may want information on a variety of long-term supports and services available through self-pay or government benefit programs. NY Connects is the state agency that connects seniors with various local assistance programs ranging from transportation to Medicaid benefits administration. It can also offer unbiased, free referral information for seniors or caregivers seeking help with making next-step decisions.
(212) 962-7559
The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens is a nonprofit organization that works with the elderly and disabled to connect them with needed supports. Personal care aides, respite care and crisis management are just a few of the services available to seniors and their families. This organization also helps seniors locate and enjoy senior centers in their region.
(800) 772-1213
Seniors approaching retirement may wish to explore their benefit amount and health insurance options. Local Social Security Administration offices can provide information about monetary compensation, how retirement works with the federal government, when they might expect to receive benefits and Medicare enrollment information. 
(917) 305-7700
Hearing loss can contribute to a sense of isolation that is prevalent among seniors. The Center for Hearing and Communication assists seniors who may be experiencing hearing loss with acquiring assistive devices such as hearing aids or through other therapies targeted at improving communication between seniors and their loved ones. 
(212) 244-6469
New York City's Department for the Aging works with the state's largest population of seniors to provide information and benefits. Connect with one of the more than 250 Older Adult Centers located throughout the city or get help with caregiving, all through this single point of contact. It serves seniors throughout the five boroughs. 

COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in New York

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.health.ny.gov. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

RULES FOR NEW YORK COMMUNITIES

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?

Yes

Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?

No

Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?

Yes

Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Yes

Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

RULES FOR NEW YORK COMMUNITIES

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

RULES FOR NEW YORK COMMUNITIES

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Find Independent Living Communities in New York

Use the tool below to find Independent Living Communities near you – if you’d like to search in a specific city in New York, simply put that in the search bar below.

Coterie Hudson Yards

505 West 35th Street, New York City, NY, 10001


The Bristal at York Avenue

1622 York Avenue, New York City, NY, 10028


2012, 2014, 2015

Brookdale Battery Park City

455 North End Avenue, New York, NY, 10282

Brookdale Battery Park City is wonderful. It’s just that we could not afford that much money. The staff is also wonderful. During the tour, they showed us 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. They host … (read more)
Brookdale Battery Park City is wonderful. It’s just that we could not afford that much money. The staff is also wonderful. During the tour, they showed us 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. They host … (read more)

Atria West 86

333 West 86th Street, New York, NY, 10024

Atria West 86 welcomed its first residents more than 20 years ago and remains a desired residence for older New Yorkers who enjoy living in the cultural heart of the city. Motivational speakers, music … (read more)
Atria West 86 welcomed its first residents more than 20 years ago and remains a desired residence for older New Yorkers who enjoy living in the cultural heart of the city. Motivational speakers, music … (read more)

Signature Senior Living

631 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11230

I went to look at Signature Senior Living. It was nice and clean. It was a nice set-up overall. It was modern looking. The manager was very nice, kind, and courteous. I couldn’t complain. She was very … (read more)
I went to look at Signature Senior Living. It was nice and clean. It was a nice set-up overall. It was modern looking. The manager was very nice, kind, and courteous. I couldn’t complain. She was very … (read more)

Hudson Hills Senior Living

3505 Bergen Turnpike, North Bergen, NJ, 07047

Hudson Hills Senior Living is an independent and assisted living facility offering studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments to retired seniors and their small pets south of North Bergen, NJ. The facili … (read more)
Hudson Hills Senior Living is an independent and assisted living facility offering studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments to retired seniors and their small pets south of North Bergen, NJ. The facili … (read more)

305 West End Assisted Living

305 West End Avenue, New York, NY, 10023



The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights

21 Clark St, Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Because there are only 25 residents so far at The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, I would give them a 3. The staff members were friendly, competent, and knowledgeable. The upkeep was absolutely spotl … (read more)
Because there are only 25 residents so far at The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, I would give them a 3. The staff members were friendly, competent, and knowledgeable. The upkeep was absolutely spotl … (read more)

St Margaret’s House

49 Fulton Street, New York, NY, 10038

St Margaret’s House Inc. was very good and everything. It looked kind of comfy. It wasn’t really for me, but for an elderly person that I was checking it out for. The rooms were quite big and there we … (read more)
St Margaret’s House Inc. was very good and everything. It looked kind of comfy. It wasn’t really for me, but for an elderly person that I was checking it out for. The rooms were quite big and there we … (read more)

Ateret Avot

1410 East 10th Street, (Corner Avenue N), Brooklyn, NY, 11230


Waterford Towers

190 River Road, Edgewater, NJ, 07020

I like Waterford Towers because I can afford it and it has all the amenities that I was looking for. This is the best facility among all facilities I have visited.
I like Waterford Towers because I can afford it and it has all the amenities that I was looking for. This is the best facility among all facilities I have visited.