Manhattan is a vibrant town, but it’s not just for millennials. Klara Madlin, Certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, says about one third of her business deals in the last year were retirees looking to move to New York City’s prominent borough.

Manhattan is a vibrant town, but it’s not just for millennials. Certified Senior Real Estate Specialist Klara Madlin says about one third of her business deals in the last year were retirees looking to move to New York City’s prominent borough.

Why is the older generation choosing Manhattan over tried-and-true destinations in Florida or Southern California, which hold similarly steep price tags? NYC boroughs — and especially Manhattan — are well-known for accessibility, an abundance of restaurants, endless retail options and cultural experiences. Regardless of age, Madlin notes, Manhattan has something to offer anyone seeking a broad and effervescent lifestyle.

Klara Madlin/

Klara Madlin/

Madlin spoke with Inman about her recent experience with seniors settling in the Manhattan area and how staggering real estate prices may affect their ability to move to the city.

Madlin’s comments have been edited for clarity. 

Have real estate prices affected the ability for retirees to move into Manhattan?

Real estate prices in New York have impacted the ability of retirees to move into Manhattan, however, in many instances they have adapted. They have either bought a much smaller apartment then they initially thought they needed or have decided to rent for a while.

Do you see mostly high-end renters and buyers making the move?

I see both high-end buyers and average, middle-class retirees making the move. One woman I sold to is a retired hospital administrator who sold her house in Westchester and bought a studio apartment in the city. She is thrilled and finds there is so much to do in her New York Community, and it is so convenient to her son and grandchildren that she does not miss the house in the least.

What types of apartments do retirees opt for in Manhattan?

Most retirees want apartments with an elevator and some extra services, such as a doorman, gym, [and] in some cases, parking. Initially they find it difficult to give up the car, although eventually most do.  If there are other social activities, that is a plus.

What benefits does Manhattan present that traditional retirement towns lack?

The benefits of Manhattan compared to traditional retirement communities are the eases in transportation – not needing a car is a big plus. In addition, all the cultural activities of our city– the museums, Broadway and Off Broadway shows, concerts, great restaurants, parks and recreation– are all at your fingertips. There are many free, half-priced entertainment and education opportunities offered to seniors as well.

[graphiq id=”e1H2FSfWnFX” title=”Upper Manhattan Manhattan, NY Transportation” width=”600″ height=”533″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”Upper Manhattan Manhattan, NY Transportation | FindTheHome”]

Where does Manhattan fall short? Do you hear any complaints or wishes from your clients? 

The smaller space for higher price that one gets in the city is the only complaint that I have heard from retirees. They are used to larger kitchens and dining rooms as well as more closets. It is difficult to move from a house of many years to an apartment. However, generally, they find that it is worth it for a new, exciting lifestyle where the super will fix the drip in the faucet and you don’t have to mow the lawn.

Which suburbs do most of your clients originate from? Were most of your clients former NYC residents prior to settling down and raising families?

Most of my clients are moving back to Manhattan from Westchester, Long Island or New Jersey after raising their families.

According to the New York Academy of Medicine, around 1 million people over the age of 65 live in The Big Apple. By 2030, the number of New Yorkers in the senior category is projected to reach 1.5 million.

New York City scored a 70 on the AARP livability scale, which grades based on transportation, health and engagement in various cities throughout the country. While the cost of living is increasing, those who can afford to relocate to Manhattan and the other boroughs can benefit from an exhilarating lifestyle, no matter their age.

Email Jennifer Riner.

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