This is the fifth in Mr. GoTo’s brief introductions to college towns that may also be attractive locations for baby boomers to retire, either as part of an active adult community or a life care community.
This initial series of introductions to places to retire has focused on college towns in which I have lived or have visited. Ithaca, New York ranks at the top of my familiarity list because I lived there for eight years, four in high school and four more in college after my family moved to Florida.
Ithaca has developed some very nice active adult and retirement communities. If you already live there and remain attached to friends and/or family, I can understand hanging around to enjoy the natural beauty and college town energy. But to be honest, I just don’t get it as a retirement destination for most baby boomers.
I could not find any professional videos featuring Ithaca as a retirement destination. However, I did locate this decent introductory video about Ithaca hosted by a couple of college students.
Ithaca has two significant drawbacks as a place to retire. First, the weather can be awful. Summers are fine but short. Winter comes early, stays late, and casts a depressing pall in between. Second, the local property taxes and state income taxes are killers for those on fixed incomes. If you are wealthy enough to afford the taxes and spend winters in a more favorable climate, Ithaca is much more appealing as a part-time retirement spot.
Another aspect of Ithaca that would be problematic for some retirees is that the population is aging. To give you an example, there is one high school in Ithaca and in the 40 years since I graduated, the high school student body has shrunk by 40%.
Finally, a retiree in Ithaca would have to be accepting of the liberal political climate. Personally, I would struggle with it, if only for all of the tax dollars that are demanded and spent.
Here are some additional facts and figures about Ithaca.
UPDATE: Ithaca was named in a list of best cities for retiree jobs. This is because Cornell University is very friendly to over-50 employees.
If you have any information or opinions about Ithaca, New York as a place to retire, please share it in a comment.
More on retiring in a college town.