Retiring to Upstate NY

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
DarthSage
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:39 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by DarthSage »

Valuethinker wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:25 pm
bertilak wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:06 pm
MrWasabi65 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:14 am Lots of good info.
I too have a fondness for and (perhaps outdated) familiarity with upstate NY. The referenced post is right on target.

I can add that going further north gets you into much more rural territory. Go far enough north and you might get Canadian coins in change. There are Amish communities so you will see the occasional horse-and-buggy on the streets and roads going into town. Some places go back to American Revolutionary times. NYS has several college towns, if that's to your liking.
Amish - this, I did not know.

I haven't been in that part of the world in 25+ years (that side of Lake Ontario). I must return.
The Adirondacks are beautiful. They are a hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling paradise.
Yes. Generally nice people, too.
The Amish moved in, about 25 years ago. Schoharie County, mostly--they were looking for more farm land. It was kind of a big deal at the time--they wanted to build their own schoolhouse, have their kids walk to school versus being bussed, that kind of thing, so they would be in the news occasionally. You can frequently get Amish products at farmer's markets and stuff.

I lived in Saratoga County, but frequently shopped at the Walmart in Amsterdam, NY--it was fairly common to see the Amish in there.
NHRATA01
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Location: New York City area

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by NHRATA01 »

eddot98 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:04 pm You may want to consider Beacon. It’s one of the several dead river towns along the Hudson River - think Peekskill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, etc. Lately, Beacon and Hudson are seeing a revival with refugees from NYC and the surrounding area relocating or buying second homes. I don’t personally know much about Beacon, but I have heard a lot of chatter about it being an up and coming place. I do know Hudson and besides the main drag, Warren Street, it still seems a little sketchy to me. I do know that the high taxes in the Town of Poughkeepsie, yes there is a Town and City of Poughkeepsie, drove a good friend of mine out of NY to Florida even though it’s way too hot for him in the summertime there.
Forget Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange counties. They are all commutable to NYC, so very expensive.
Rhinebeck and Red Hook are other places to consider. They have been discovered by the NYC escapees so they won’t be inexpensive.
I worked in Albany for more than 35 years, but I didn’t live there and never will. It has all the traffic of a major city with very few of the amenities of one. The real estate taxes in the capital district are too high. Troy and Schenectady have nothing going for them and Clifton Park has no decent place to eat that I know of unless you like chain restaurants. People that I worked with in Albany referred to Clifton Park as Velveetaland.
Watch out for zoning issues, or the lack of zoning.
Saratoga is great, but forget being there from July 15th to just after Labor Day.
They love their guns, Carhart, and red hats in upstate NY.
Rhinebeck, Redhook and Poughkeepsie are all in Dutchess County.
mkc
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by mkc »

NHRATA01 wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:21 am
eddot98 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:04 pm You may want to consider Beacon. It’s one of the several dead river towns along the Hudson River - think Peekskill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, etc. Lately, Beacon and Hudson are seeing a revival with refugees from NYC and the surrounding area relocating or buying second homes. I don’t personally know much about Beacon, but I have heard a lot of chatter about it being an up and coming place. I do know Hudson and besides the main drag, Warren Street, it still seems a little sketchy to me. I do know that the high taxes in the Town of Poughkeepsie, yes there is a Town and City of Poughkeepsie, drove a good friend of mine out of NY to Florida even though it’s way too hot for him in the summertime there.
Forget Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange counties. They are all commutable to NYC, so very expensive.
Rhinebeck and Red Hook are other places to consider. They have been discovered by the NYC escapees so they won’t be inexpensive.
I worked in Albany for more than 35 years, but I didn’t live there and never will. It has all the traffic of a major city with very few of the amenities of one. The real estate taxes in the capital district are too high. Troy and Schenectady have nothing going for them and Clifton Park has no decent place to eat that I know of unless you like chain restaurants. People that I worked with in Albany referred to Clifton Park as Velveetaland.
Watch out for zoning issues, or the lack of zoning.
Saratoga is great, but forget being there from July 15th to just after Labor Day.
They love their guns, Carhart, and red hats in upstate NY.
Rhinebeck, Redhook and Poughkeepsie are all in Dutchess County.
As is Beacon.
eddot98
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by eddot98 »

My bad - Beacon, Rhinebeck, and Red Hook are still in Dutchess county. Not the first error that I have made and certainly not the last.
MrWasabi65
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by MrWasabi65 »


I do know that the high taxes in the Town of Poughkeepsie, yes there is a Town and City of Poughkeepsie, drove a good friend of mine out of NY to Florida even though it’s way too hot for him in the summertime there.


How did he reconcile his taxation exodus with summers that are above his tolerability threshold?
eddot98
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by eddot98 »

MrWasabi65 wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:36 pm
I do know that the high taxes in the Town of Poughkeepsie, yes there is a Town and City of Poughkeepsie, drove a good friend of mine out of NY to Florida even though it’s way too hot for him in the summertime there.


How did he reconcile his taxation exodus with summers that are above his tolerability threshold?
For 8 months of the year he tells me that the weather is mostly pleasant. During the summer he limits his outdoor activities to early in the morning or early in the evening. Otherwise he stays in air conditioned spaces. For a reference point, 10 years or so ago, his real estate taxes totaled about $12,000 on a 4 bedroom raised ranch with 1/4 acre that they sold for about $225,000 at that time.
grok87
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by grok87 »

eddot98 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:47 pm
muffins14 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:34 pm
eddot98 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:04 pm You may want to consider Beacon. It’s one of the several dead river towns along the Hudson River - think Peekskill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, etc. Lately, Beacon and Hudson are seeing a revival with refugees from NYC and the surrounding area relocating or buying second homes. I don’t personally know much about Beacon, but I have heard a lot of chatter about it being an up and coming place. I do know Hudson and besides the main drag, Warren Street, it still seems a little sketchy to me. I do know that the high taxes in the Town of Poughkeepsie, yes there is a Town and City of Poughkeepsie, drove a good friend of mine out of NY to Florida even though it’s way too hot for him in the summertime there.
Forget Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange counties. They are all commutable to NYC, so very expensive.
Rhinebeck and Red Hook are other places to consider. They have been discovered by the NYC escapees so they won’t be inexpensive.
I worked in Albany for more than 35 years, but I didn’t live there and never will. It has all the traffic of a major city with very few of the amenities of one. The real estate taxes in the capital district are too high. Troy and Schenectady have nothing going for them and Clifton Park has no decent place to eat that I know of unless you like chain restaurants. People that I worked with in Albany referred to Clifton Park as Velveetaland.
Watch out for zoning issues, or the lack of zoning.
Saratoga is great, but forget being there from July 15th to just after Labor Day.
They love their guns, Carhart, and red hats in upstate NY.
Is it possible for you to communicate the same thing without calling people who move to the suburbs “refugees” and “escapees”?
Maybe I was a little harsh with refugee, but not with escapees. During the Covid-19 pandemic there were lots of folks from NYC who escaped their urban environment to upstate NY, northern NJ, southern and western CT, and western MA. Some escaped to their existing second homes, some to new second homes, and some to their new primary homes. There are several just in my neighborhood.
Actually, people have been escaping from NYC for decades at least. Back when I worked in Poughkeepsie in the 1970’s a significant number of folks in my office originally hailed from NYC. They moved out for the schools, yards, picket fences, etc.
taking Kingston as one example of a city being impacted by NYC migrants. Kingston just declared a housing emergency due to being at 99% occupancy
https://www.timesunion.com/hudsonvalley ... 337764.php
wrote: Rent control is only available to municipalities that can prove a housing emergency, defined as a vacancy rate of 5 percent or less in rentals with at least six units. A study by Kingston earlier this year established the vacancy rate was 1.57 percent. The ETPA adoption will apply rent stabilization to approximately 1,200 units in the city, according to For the Many, a progressive Hudson Valley-based group that pushed for the measure.
so i guess one solution to handle incoming migrants is to build more housing? Well one constraint on that is aging infrastructure that is already strained above capacity. Sewer systems for example
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/2022/0 ... 383824001/
wrote: More than 150 communities will benefit from New York's recently announced $638 million effort to improve drinking water and upgrade aging sewage plants that contribute to pollution in beaches, bays and rivers.
...

The money will kickstart projects that were put on hold at the start of the pandemic, said Rob Hayes, the Director of Clean Water for Environmental Advocates NY, a climate advocacy nonprofit. But, he said, it’s just a fraction of the money needed to address the challenges ahead.
...

In 2016, researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University found evidence of an assortment of pharmaceuticals – drugs to treat blood pressure, cholesterol and other ailments – in the Hudson River.
The Hudson River, photographed on Dec. 6. 2021.

Some of the highest concentrations came near sewage outfalls near Orangetown, Yonkers and Kingston.

“Billions of gallons of raw sewage is dumped into our lakes and rivers and streams because our sewer pipes are so outdated and our wastewater treatment plants can’t handle the volume of sewage that’s rushing into them every day,” said Hayes of Environmental Advocates NY.
i've read (can't remember source) that Kingston and similar cities are hot with NYC migrants because they are a good fit to the new hybrid work-from -home approach that many NYC employers are implementing- i.e. work from home (=Kingston) say 3-4 days a week and show up in NYC say 1-2 days a a week. Kingston is too far to be commutable to NYC on a daily basis IMHO. but it's close enough to go in once or twice a week -maybe staying over in NYC in a hotel or AirBNB.

cheers,
grok
RIP Mr. Bogle.
MrWasabi65
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by MrWasabi65 »

One thing I just thought of that hasn't been mentioned - it appears the state is giving tax credits to shore up crumbling aged buildings ? buildings that once housed warehouses, school structures and factories and office buildings - from the 19th and 20th centuries? There is some beautiful old architecture still in existence in upstate NY - I believe it's called Greek Revival and some Victorian?

I now see that many of these buildings have been turned into apartments - in many cases, often stylish loft style apartments.
kmurp
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by kmurp »

I have lived in the Capital District since the 80s. Much of that in Niskayuna which was mentioned earlier. I would avoid Niskayuna for two reasons .
1. Property taxes are very high as a percentage of home value. I was paying $10,000 in taxes for a home assessed around $350,000.
2. GE Research which is an important local institution seems to have a bit of a uncertain future due to the GE breakup. Others probably know more than I do about this.

Without a doubt, the most popular place to live in our area is Saratoga County. I think it’s the only county upstate that’s growing. A side benefit is relatively lower property taxes than the surrounding counties. It is mostly suburban and requires a car. Within Saratoga County, the most popular place to live is the city of Saratoga Springs. It is walkable, has good schools, is safe and has things to do. A car is required but less so than anywhere else in the Capital District. Property prices are out of my budget, but if you own downstate you should be able to easily exchange your house down there for one in Saratoga. I don’t know what you will pay in property taxes in Saratoga Springs.
MandyLuna
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by MandyLuna »

A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
kmurp
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by kmurp »

MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
Don’t know the answer but would be interested to hear if Roth conversions do not count as income for Enhanced STAR.
retire2022
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by retire2022 »

eddot98 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:47 pm
muffins14 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:34 pm
eddot98 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:04 pm You may want to consider Beacon. It’s one of the several dead river towns along the Hudson River - think Peekskill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, etc. Lately, Beacon and Hudson are seeing a revival with refugees from NYC and the surrounding area relocating or buying second homes. I don’t personally know much about Beacon, but I have heard a lot of chatter about it being an up and coming place. I do know Hudson and besides the main drag, Warren Street, it still seems a little sketchy to me. I do know that the high taxes in the Town of Poughkeepsie, yes there is a Town and City of Poughkeepsie, drove a good friend of mine out of NY to Florida even though it’s way too hot for him in the summertime there.
Forget Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange counties. They are all commutable to NYC, so very expensive.
Rhinebeck and Red Hook are other places to consider. They have been discovered by the NYC escapees so they won’t be inexpensive.
I worked in Albany for more than 35 years, but I didn’t live there and never will. It has all the traffic of a major city with very few of the amenities of one. The real estate taxes in the capital district are too high. Troy and Schenectady have nothing going for them and Clifton Park has no decent place to eat that I know of unless you like chain restaurants. People that I worked with in Albany referred to Clifton Park as Velveetaland.
Watch out for zoning issues, or the lack of zoning.
Saratoga is great, but forget being there from July 15th to just after Labor Day.
They love their guns, Carhart, and red hats in upstate NY.
Is it possible for you to communicate the same thing without calling people who move to the suburbs “refugees” and “escapees”?
Maybe I was a little harsh with refugee, but not with escapees. During the Covid-19 pandemic there were lots of folks from NYC who escaped their urban environment to upstate NY, northern NJ, southern and western CT, and western MA. Some escaped to their existing second homes, some to new second homes, and some to their new primary homes. There are several just in my neighborhood.
Actually, people have been escaping from NYC for decades at least. Back when I worked in Poughkeepsie in the 1970’s a significant number of folks in my office originally hailed from NYC. They moved out for the schools, yards, picket fences, etc.
Here is a good report how Rome/Utica New York is a welcoming place for Chobani and refugees who are their employees.

Local native towns people welcomed them because they need workers to fill jobs no Americans would take.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/amp/show/h ... gling-town

As for your statement about NYC escapees to upstate NY, most of them are upper middle class folks who could afford to buy up bid homes and add to local economy as few locals are below in economic class.
Last edited by retire2022 on Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rule of law guy
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by rule of law guy »

we had a second home in New Lebanon NY for 15 years. very nice community with proximity to many cultural offerings in Berkshires and Hudson valley. strong community sense (farmers market etc) no crime and reasonably good schools. but as a place without much housing density, and plenty of farms getting ag exemptions from RE taxes, I thought the RE taxes were very high, especially in view of the county services offered.
grok87
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by grok87 »

rule of law guy wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:30 pm we had a second home in New Lebanon NY for 15 years. very nice community with proximity to many cultural offerings in Berkshires and Hudson valley. strong community sense (farmers market etc) no crime and reasonably good schools. but as a place without much housing density, and plenty of farms getting ag exemptions from RE taxes, I thought the RE taxes were very high, especially in view of the county services offered.
interesting point
RIP Mr. Bogle.
FactualFran
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by FactualFran »

MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
The STAR credit and exemption savings amounts: Saratoga County web page has the reduction amounts for the Towns of Clifton Park, Halfmoon, and other municipalities of Saratoga County. For the Shenendehowa school district, Enhanced STAR exception reduces the school tax by about $1,390, for both of those Towns. 93% of the properties in Town of Clifton Park are in that school district.
Hebell
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Hebell »

It's obvious this threat has gone beyond the Utica boundaries (as the title of the threat is much broader) but I have a brother-in-law with spouse that truly enjoy the Clayton New York area. They don't have kids. The town seems to have a strong sense of community, and activities revolve around the river.
carne_asada
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by carne_asada »

If you want low taxes then the jurisdiction needs a healthy industrial tax base or you get creative about your housing situation. I'm really doubtful you can find anywhere that checks all your boxes for less then 10K a year in property taxes.
retire2022
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by retire2022 »

MrWasabi65 wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:06 am One thing I just thought of that hasn't been mentioned - it appears the state is giving tax credits to shore up crumbling aged buildings ? buildings that once housed warehouses, school structures and factories and office buildings - from the 19th and 20th centuries? There is some beautiful old architecture still in existence in upstate NY - I believe it's called Greek Revival and some Victorian?

I now see that many of these buildings have been turned into apartments - in many cases, often stylish loft style apartments.
Not all buildings are eligible for Historic Tax Credits, and they are a risky and complicated endeavor, not for uninitiated, they are for deep pocketed developers with access to resources, credit, loans, and construction team experienced in the matter.
retire2022
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by retire2022 »

Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
retire2022
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by retire2022 »

MikeWillRetire wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 11:32 am
It is funny that the OP complained about the high NY property taxes while getting such a nice NY pension.
As a ex NYC and NYS Civil Servant retiree, it depends on which town one lives in and it is mostly local School taxes, and local town property taxes, all of it is controlled by local town and villages.

Westchester County, Nassau and Suffolk counties have the highest property and School taxes in the state.

As far as how majority of civil servants get their pensions it depends on which tier they joined, generally tiers 3-4 had paid in a matching contribution to their pension, so they earned it. Pension Tiers 1 & 2 are the ones who did not have to contribute to their pension and they are being phased out as both tiers started in the 1970s and was sunset 1983 and no longer eligible to new employees.

I agree with earlier statement that Police & Firefighters, as well as SUNY researchers have the highest pension but it is not the median civil servant.
Last edited by retire2022 on Fri Sep 16, 2022 9:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by dodecahedron »

MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
1) The amount you save from STAR tax credits does not depend on the property value. It is a fixed dollar credit based only on your school district and your town and whether or not you have "homestead" status as an owner-occupant, and whether or not you are over 65.

So, for example, if your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County, the Enhanced STAR credit for owners over 65 was $1,253 last year, whether you lived in a $150K home or a $750K home. If your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Clifton Park in Saratoga County, just across the river, your Enhanced STAR credit was $1,602 last year, again regardless of the value of your home. You can look up the STAR credits for every town/city/school district in every county in the state here:
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/comparison/

Those were last year's levels. They do go up a little every year. My town of Niskayuna/Niskayuna school district Enhanced STAR credit just arrived this week. It was $1,278 ($25 more than last year.) I don't know the numbers for the other school districts and town in the state though. They haven't updated the table I linked in the previous paragraph.

2) For determining whether your income is below the Enhanced STAR limit of $92K, *all* tIRA distributions are completely disregarded, no matter whether they are RMDs, Roth conversions, or whatever. On the other hand, all other tax-deferred account distributions (e.g., 401k, 403b, 457) are included in defining income.

3) In addition to the STAR above, NY politicians are fond of sometimes mailing out intermittent spontaneous surprise occasional additional tax relief checks. In addition to receiving my annual Enhanced STAR credit, I also got a surprise additional bonus check in the mail from the state labelled "Property Tax Relief," which was a percentage of my annual STAR credit. (This bonus property tax relief check is subject to the vicissitudes of the state budget process and can't be counted on to recur in the way that STAR credits are. Apparently the state was feeling flush this year. And, of course, it is an election year. The bonus tax relief checks arrived shortly before the June primary. Qualifying for this bonus check required an income under $275K *and* required that your school district did not exceed the property tax increase cap

4) Also a surprise, there was a new Property Tax Rebate Credit quietly enacted in 2021, effective only in 2022. Getting it required me to attach a form to my NYS Income Tax. I got the maximum $350 in that credit.

So, all told, I have gotten over $2K in property tax relief credits this year, all with somewhat different qualification parameters and rules. None of the credits depended on the value of my home. If I did not qualify for any of them, my gross property taxes would run about $12K on a home which the assessor says had a FMV of about $400K as of 7/1/21. (And that FMV was probably about right for last year. FMV is likely down somewhat this year.) So my net of credits property tax cost is roughly $10K.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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beyou
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by beyou »

dodecahedron wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:11 pm
MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
1) The amount you save from STAR tax credits does not depend on the property value. It is a fixed dollar credit based only on your school district and your town and whether or not you have "homestead" status as an owner-occupant, and whether or not you are over 65.

So, for example, if your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County, the Enhanced STAR credit for owners over 65 was $1,253 last year, whether you lived in a $150K home or a $750K home. If your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Clifton Park in Saratoga County, just across the river, your Enhanced STAR credit was $1,602 last year, again regardless of the value of your home. You can look up the STAR credits for every town/city/school district in every county in the state here:
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/comparison/

Those were last year's levels. They do go up a little every year.

2) For determining whether your income is below the Enhanced STAR limit of $92K, *all* tIRA distributions are completely disregarded, no matter whether they are RMDs, Roth conversions, or whatever. On the other hand, all other tax-deferred account distributions (e.g., 401k, 403b, 457) are included in defining income.
I an retiring in NYS for now. I plan to partially rollover my 401k, to an IRA, just so I can take 20k/year income tax free and avoid it counting towards enhanced star income. Good 401k, but if I am going to take some out, do it this way can preserve STAR.
kmurp
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by kmurp »

dodecahedron wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:11 pm
MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
1) The amount you save from STAR tax credits does not depend on the property value. It is a fixed dollar credit based only on your school district and your town and whether or not you have "homestead" status as an owner-occupant, and whether or not you are over 65.

So, for example, if your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County, the Enhanced STAR credit for owners over 65 was $1,253 last year, whether you lived in a $150K home or a $750K home. If your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Clifton Park in Saratoga County, just across the river, your Enhanced STAR credit was $1,602 last year, again regardless of the value of your home. You can look up the STAR credits for every town/city/school district in every county in the state here:
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/comparison/

Those were last year's levels. They do go up a little every year. My town of Niskayuna/Niskayuna school district Enhanced STAR credit just arrived this week. It was $1,278 ($25 more than last year.) I don't know the numbers for the other school districts and town in the state though. They haven't updated the table I linked in the previous paragraph.

2) For determining whether your income is below the Enhanced STAR limit of $92K, *all* tIRA distributions are completely disregarded, no matter whether they are RMDs, Roth conversions, or whatever. On the other hand, all other tax-deferred account distributions (e.g., 401k, 403b, 457) are included in defining income.

3) In addition to the STAR above, NY politicians are fond of sometimes mailing out intermittent spontaneous surprise occasional additional tax relief checks. In addition to receiving my annual Enhanced STAR credit, I also got a surprise additional bonus check in the mail from the state labelled "Property Tax Relief," which was a percentage of my annual STAR credit. (This bonus property tax relief check is subject to the vicissitudes of the state budget process and can't be counted on to recur in the way that STAR credits are. Apparently the state was feeling flush this year. And, of course, it is an election year. The bonus tax relief checks arrived shortly before the June primary. Qualifying for this bonus check required an income under $275K *and* required that your school district did not exceed the property tax increase cap

4) Also a surprise, there was a new Property Tax Rebate Credit quietly enacted in 2021, effective only in 2022. Getting it required me to attach a form to my NYS Income Tax. I got the maximum $350 in that credit.

So, all told, I have gotten over $2K in property tax relief credits this year, all with somewhat different qualification parameters and rules. None of the credits depended on the value of my home. If I did not qualify for any of them, my gross property taxes would run about $12K on a home which the assessor says had a FMV of about $400K as of 7/1/21. (And that FMV was probably about right for last year. FMV is likely down somewhat this year.) So my net of credits property tax cost is roughly $10K.
Thank you. I’ve been to the NYS web site discussing this and never quite understood the program. Your STAR summary was terrific.
grok87
Posts: 10148
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:00 pm

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by grok87 »

dodecahedron wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:11 pm
MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
1) The amount you save from STAR tax credits does not depend on the property value. It is a fixed dollar credit based only on your school district and your town and whether or not you have "homestead" status as an owner-occupant, and whether or not you are over 65.

So, for example, if your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County, the Enhanced STAR credit for owners over 65 was $1,253 last year, whether you lived in a $150K home or a $750K home. If your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Clifton Park in Saratoga County, just across the river, your Enhanced STAR credit was $1,602 last year, again regardless of the value of your home. You can look up the STAR credits for every town/city/school district in every county in the state here:
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/comparison/

Those were last year's levels. They do go up a little every year. My town of Niskayuna/Niskayuna school district Enhanced STAR credit just arrived this week. It was $1,278 ($25 more than last year.) I don't know the numbers for the other school districts and town in the state though. They haven't updated the table I linked in the previous paragraph.

2) For determining whether your income is below the Enhanced STAR limit of $92K, *all* tIRA distributions are completely disregarded, no matter whether they are RMDs, Roth conversions, or whatever. On the other hand, all other tax-deferred account distributions (e.g., 401k, 403b, 457) are included in defining income.

3) In addition to the STAR above, NY politicians are fond of sometimes mailing out intermittent spontaneous surprise occasional additional tax relief checks. In addition to receiving my annual Enhanced STAR credit, I also got a surprise additional bonus check in the mail from the state labelled "Property Tax Relief," which was a percentage of my annual STAR credit. (This bonus property tax relief check is subject to the vicissitudes of the state budget process and can't be counted on to recur in the way that STAR credits are. Apparently the state was feeling flush this year. And, of course, it is an election year. The bonus tax relief checks arrived shortly before the June primary. Qualifying for this bonus check required an income under $275K *and* required that your school district did not exceed the property tax increase cap

4) Also a surprise, there was a new Property Tax Rebate Credit quietly enacted in 2021, effective only in 2022. Getting it required me to attach a form to my NYS Income Tax. I got the maximum $350 in that credit.

So, all told, I have gotten over $2K in property tax relief credits this year, all with somewhat different qualification parameters and rules. None of the credits depended on the value of my home. If I did not qualify for any of them, my gross property taxes would run about $12K on a home which the assessor says had a FMV of about $400K as of 7/1/21. (And that FMV was probably about right for last year. FMV is likely down somewhat this year.) So my net of credits property tax cost is roughly $10K.
thanks for the detailed post
RIP Mr. Bogle.
Parkinglotracer
Posts: 1519
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Location: Upstate NY

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Syracuse football is 2-0

Not too late to move before the snow flys next month
User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 6384
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by dodecahedron »

kmurp wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 2:27 pm I have lived in the Capital District since the 80s. Much of that in Niskayuna which was mentioned earlier. I would avoid Niskayuna for two reasons .
1. Property taxes are very high as a percentage of home value. I was paying $10,000 in taxes for a home assessed around $350,000.
2. GE Research which is an important local institution seems to have a bit of a uncertain future due to the GE breakup. Others probably know more than I do about this.
On kmurp's #2, GE just made an announcement this week, reported in our local daily newspaper:
The Daily Gazette wrote:NISKAYUNA — When General Electric announced in November plans to split into three individual companies, a major question was what would become of the GE Global Research lab in Niskayuna.

On Tuesday, company officials told employees and then the public that operations will remain intact in Niskayuna. In an internal announcement Tuesday morning followed by LinkedIn posts in the afternoon, GE leaders revealed plans to eventually house three separate research centers on campuses that currently exist in Niskayuna and Bangalore, India. No jobs are being moved or cut, said Vic Abate, senior vice president and chief technology officer for GE, who leads GE Research.
Emphasis added by dodecahedron

Source: front page top of fold article in The Daily Gazette (Schenectady) on 9/13/2022.

Coverage the same day from the Albany Times Union, with the headline/subhead

GE Research in Niskayuna to survive, grow as company splits, GE says
Existing facility in Niskayuna will aid all firms when GE breaks into three publicly traded companies


So even though the overall GE corporation is being split into three separate corporation, the GE Global Research Lab in Niskayuna will continue to do research for all three components.
smitcat
Posts: 9549
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by smitcat »

dodecahedron wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:11 pm
MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
1) The amount you save from STAR tax credits does not depend on the property value. It is a fixed dollar credit based only on your school district and your town and whether or not you have "homestead" status as an owner-occupant, and whether or not you are over 65.

So, for example, if your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County, the Enhanced STAR credit for owners over 65 was $1,253 last year, whether you lived in a $150K home or a $750K home. If your home is in the Niskayuna School District in the Town of Clifton Park in Saratoga County, just across the river, your Enhanced STAR credit was $1,602 last year, again regardless of the value of your home. You can look up the STAR credits for every town/city/school district in every county in the state here:
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/comparison/

Those were last year's levels. They do go up a little every year. My town of Niskayuna/Niskayuna school district Enhanced STAR credit just arrived this week. It was $1,278 ($25 more than last year.) I don't know the numbers for the other school districts and town in the state though. They haven't updated the table I linked in the previous paragraph.

2) For determining whether your income is below the Enhanced STAR limit of $92K, *all* tIRA distributions are completely disregarded, no matter whether they are RMDs, Roth conversions, or whatever. On the other hand, all other tax-deferred account distributions (e.g., 401k, 403b, 457) are included in defining income.

3) In addition to the STAR above, NY politicians are fond of sometimes mailing out intermittent spontaneous surprise occasional additional tax relief checks. In addition to receiving my annual Enhanced STAR credit, I also got a surprise additional bonus check in the mail from the state labelled "Property Tax Relief," which was a percentage of my annual STAR credit. (This bonus property tax relief check is subject to the vicissitudes of the state budget process and can't be counted on to recur in the way that STAR credits are. Apparently the state was feeling flush this year. And, of course, it is an election year. The bonus tax relief checks arrived shortly before the June primary. Qualifying for this bonus check required an income under $275K *and* required that your school district did not exceed the property tax increase cap

4) Also a surprise, there was a new Property Tax Rebate Credit quietly enacted in 2021, effective only in 2022. Getting it required me to attach a form to my NYS Income Tax. I got the maximum $350 in that credit.

So, all told, I have gotten over $2K in property tax relief credits this year, all with somewhat different qualification parameters and rules. None of the credits depended on the value of my home. If I did not qualify for any of them, my gross property taxes would run about $12K on a home which the assessor says had a FMV of about $400K as of 7/1/21. (And that FMV was probably about right for last year. FMV is likely down somewhat this year.) So my net of credits property tax cost is roughly $10K.

"2) For determining whether your income is below the Enhanced STAR limit of $92K, *all* tIRA distributions are completely disregarded, no matter whether they are RMDs, Roth conversions, or whatever. On the other hand, all other tax-deferred account distributions (e.g., 401k, 403b, 457) are included in defining income."

Enhanced STAR income defined....
Adjusted gross income (line 11) minus taxable portion of IRA distributions (line 4b).....
https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/sta ... bility.htm
Retired2013
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:53 pm

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Retired2013 »

kmurp wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:25 pm
MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm A couple of questions for those in the know:

Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.

Also with respect to property taxation:?

Income for STAR eligibility purpose is defined rather oddly: it is prior year Federal AGI minus any taxable IRA distributions. (So, in particular, Roth conversions and RMDs do not hurt eligibility for this credit as long as you are converting or distributing from a tIRA. Converting or taking a distribution directly from a tax-deferred 401k or 403b or 457, however, does affect eligibility.)

If I understand this correctly, direct distributions that are not RMDs or not converted to a Roth, do not get added to AGI for purposes of determining the value of the credit.... I realize it varies from county to county, but can you give any rough examples of how much one might save with this credit? I am wondering if its in the hundreds or thousands? I guess depends on your bill....I just need to research it further I guess.
Don’t know the answer but would be interested to hear if Roth conversions do not count as income for Enhanced STAR.
Depends on what is being converted. If I convert directly from my 401(k) then the income would count towards the income limit. What I do is a partial rollover from my 401(k) to a tIRA and then do the Roth conversion. Takes a week to do the partial rollover but saves me $800 off my school tax bill.
A C
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:58 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by A C »

No local will volunteer this, but check out Ulster County. You will find what you’re looking for. Best of luck!
Valuethinker
Posts: 45572
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Valuethinker »

retire2022 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 pm Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
I am sure the statistics are right.

However that website flashes all kinds of alarm bells:

- use of provocative language which induces fear
- no actual stats cited
- feels quite cheaply put together

So I would want to investigate more closely. It's quite possible Newburgh is what it looks like - smallish town, post industrial, I saw boarded up houses & overgrown yards in the photos - never a good sign. But how are they defining danger?
Despite these shocking statistics is it really easy to say that all of Newburgh is out of control? It's obviously not the entire city. There are specific problem areas and Crime Grade has pinpointed these violent areas on a map. Here is a list of streets in Newburgh where violent crime reports are the highest.

It is important to be alert and be cautious when you are on these streets. Stay safe.
smitcat
Posts: 9549
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by smitcat »

Valuethinker wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:15 am
retire2022 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 pm Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
I am sure the statistics are right.

However that website flashes all kinds of alarm bells:

- use of provocative language which induces fear
- no actual stats cited
- feels quite cheaply put together

So I would want to investigate more closely. It's quite possible Newburgh is what it looks like - smallish town, post industrial, I saw boarded up houses & overgrown yards in the photos - never a good sign. But how are they defining danger?
Despite these shocking statistics is it really easy to say that all of Newburgh is out of control? It's obviously not the entire city. There are specific problem areas and Crime Grade has pinpointed these violent areas on a map. Here is a list of streets in Newburgh where violent crime reports are the highest.

It is important to be alert and be cautious when you are on these streets. Stay safe.
We have family members that lived in Newburgh and also ones that went to school in Newburgh. Newburgh has a higher crime rate in many of the areas and you would want to do some detailed research before moving there. About 2 years back the local PD department was more than willing to meet and describe the challenges of Newburgh - perhaps they will still accommodate a preplanned visit.
grok87
Posts: 10148
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:00 pm

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by grok87 »

Valuethinker wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:15 am
retire2022 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 pm Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
I am sure the statistics are right.

However that website flashes all kinds of alarm bells:

- use of provocative language which induces fear
- no actual stats cited
- feels quite cheaply put together

So I would want to investigate more closely. It's quite possible Newburgh is what it looks like - smallish town, post industrial, I saw boarded up houses & overgrown yards in the photos - never a good sign. But how are they defining danger?
Despite these shocking statistics is it really easy to say that all of Newburgh is out of control? It's obviously not the entire city. There are specific problem areas and Crime Grade has pinpointed these violent areas on a map. Here is a list of streets in Newburgh where violent crime reports are the highest.

It is important to be alert and be cautious when you are on these streets. Stay safe.
Agree it is wise to be suspect of crime statistics. I always wonder how consistent they are from place to place. I suspect in some areas there is a lot of underreporting for various reasons. For that reason i tend to look at murder rates as the least likely to be affected by reporting biases. One drawbqck though is that the figures can be volatle from year to year. To compensate for that i tend to take multi-year averages.

Here are the homicide stats for newburgh, ny
https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/us/n ... statistics
latest rate for 100k people is 7.07 and the seven year average is 14.1

By comparison NY state is about 3 and the US as a whole is about 5.
this wikipedia page can be sorted by homicide rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... crime_rate
New York city is at 3.4
Buffalo is at 15.61

https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/us/n ... statistics
Albany is at 6.8

so based on this approach one might say for crime, Newburgh is:
similar to Buffalo
twice as dangerous as Albany
4 times as dangerous as New York City.

cheers,
grok
RIP Mr. Bogle.
smitcat
Posts: 9549
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by smitcat »

grok87 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:14 am
Valuethinker wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:15 am
retire2022 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 pm Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
I am sure the statistics are right.

However that website flashes all kinds of alarm bells:

- use of provocative language which induces fear
- no actual stats cited
- feels quite cheaply put together

So I would want to investigate more closely. It's quite possible Newburgh is what it looks like - smallish town, post industrial, I saw boarded up houses & overgrown yards in the photos - never a good sign. But how are they defining danger?
Despite these shocking statistics is it really easy to say that all of Newburgh is out of control? It's obviously not the entire city. There are specific problem areas and Crime Grade has pinpointed these violent areas on a map. Here is a list of streets in Newburgh where violent crime reports are the highest.

It is important to be alert and be cautious when you are on these streets. Stay safe.
Agree it is wise to be suspect of crime statistics. I always wonder how consistent they are from place to place. I suspect in some areas there is a lot of underreporting for various reasons. For that reason i tend to look at murder rates as the least likely to be affected by reporting biases. One drawbqck though is that the figures can be volatle from year to year. To compensate for that i tend to take multi-year averages.

Here are the homicide stats for newburgh, ny
https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/us/n ... statistics
latest rate for 100k people is 7.07 and the seven year average is 14.1

By comparison NY state is about 3 and the US as a whole is about 5.
this wikipedia page can be sorted by homicide rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... crime_rate
New York city is at 3.4
Buffalo is at 15.61

https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/us/n ... statistics
Albany is at 6.8

so based on this approach one might say for crime, Newburgh is:
similar to Buffalo
twice as dangerous as Albany
4 times as dangerous as New York City.

cheers,
grok

Murder rate is important but knowing the rates of all violent crime is important - assault, robbery, rape, etc.
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ny/newburgh/crime
User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 1435
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by alpenglow »

MandyLuna wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm Can anyone speak to the areas outside of Albany: Clifton Park or HalfMoon?

Just the general vibe, notable characteristics, etc.
My wife and I have considered many areas upstate around Albany. We found Clifton Park to be fairly boring, almost like LI 2. Lots of shopping and chain stores. Shen schools are good though. I know some folks that went to school there and worked in the district.
User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 1435
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by alpenglow »

rule of law guy wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:30 pm we had a second home in New Lebanon NY for 15 years. very nice community with proximity to many cultural offerings in Berkshires and Hudson valley. strong community sense (farmers market etc) no crime and reasonably good schools. but as a place without much housing density, and plenty of farms getting ag exemptions from RE taxes, I thought the RE taxes were very high, especially in view of the county services offered.
New Leb is a nice area in the NE corner of Columbia County. Definitely rural and you need to travel to get things - either to Pittsfield MA or Albany NY. The new indoor farmers market is a nice feature for local shopping.

https://newlebanonfarmersmarket.com/
User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 1435
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by alpenglow »

There have been some mentions of Newburgh upthread. I've been in and around the city a number of times in the last couple of years. I feel like the area is improving, but it has a long way to go. The crime stats aren't very nice, though I've never felt unsafe in the areas I've been in downtown. I definitely wouldn't want to live there.
retire2022
Posts: 2764
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:10 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by retire2022 »

Valuethinker wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:15 am
retire2022 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 pm Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
I am sure the statistics are right.

However that website flashes all kinds of alarm bells:

- use of provocative language which induces fear
- no actual stats cited
- feels quite cheaply put together

So I would want to investigate more closely. It's quite possible Newburgh is what it looks like - smallish town, post industrial, I saw boarded up houses & overgrown yards in the photos - never a good sign. But how are they defining danger?
Despite these shocking statistics is it really easy to say that all of Newburgh is out of control? It's obviously not the entire city. There are specific problem areas and Crime Grade has pinpointed these violent areas on a map. Here is a list of streets in Newburgh where violent crime reports are the highest.

It is important to be alert and be cautious when you are on these streets. Stay safe.
Neighborhood Scouts takes public data from police and FBI data around the state, while I agree the original website is a bit hyperbole, it information is current 2022 and accurate.

A detailed story which is older can be read here NY Magazine https://nymag.com/news/crimelaw/newburgh-2011-10/ which deems the town as murder capital of NY and is mentioned in the NYTimes article decade later.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/16/real ... state.html
Last edited by retire2022 on Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Valuethinker
Posts: 45572
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Valuethinker »

retire2022 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:21 am
Valuethinker wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:15 am
retire2022 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:43 pm Unfortunately Newburgh has a bad reputation for the highest crime rate and most brownstones outside of Brooklyn NY within NYS.

https://wrrv.com/violent-streets-in-new ... for%202021.

Here is a blog on rehabbing homes in Newburgh

https://newburghrestoration.com/
I am sure the statistics are right.

However that website flashes all kinds of alarm bells:

- use of provocative language which induces fear
- no actual stats cited
- feels quite cheaply put together

So I would want to investigate more closely. It's quite possible Newburgh is what it looks like - smallish town, post industrial, I saw boarded up houses & overgrown yards in the photos - never a good sign. But how are they defining danger?
Despite these shocking statistics is it really easy to say that all of Newburgh is out of control? It's obviously not the entire city. There are specific problem areas and Crime Grade has pinpointed these violent areas on a map. Here is a list of streets in Newburgh where violent crime reports are the highest.

It is important to be alert and be cautious when you are on these streets. Stay safe.
Neighborhood Scouts takes public data from police and FBI data around the state, while I agree the original website is a bit hyperbole, it information is current 2022 and accurate.

A detailed story which is older can be read here NY Magazine https://nymag.com/news/crimelaw/newburgh-2011-10/ which deems the town as murder capital of NY and is mentioned in the NYTimes article decade later.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/16/real ... state.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/16/real ... state.html
Thank you.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Parkinglotracer wrote: Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:09 am Syracuse football is 2-0

Not too late to move before the snow flys next month
Ok 3-0

Manlius is a nice suburb to live in near Syracuse.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by dodecahedron »

MrWasabi65 wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:06 am One thing I just thought of that hasn't been mentioned - it appears the state is giving tax credits to shore up crumbling aged buildings ? buildings that once housed warehouses, school structures and factories and office buildings - from the 19th and 20th centuries? There is some beautiful old architecture still in existence in upstate NY - I believe it's called Greek Revival and some Victorian?

I now see that many of these buildings have been turned into apartments - in many cases, often stylish loft style apartments.
Yes, federal and state tax credits have made possible some amazing revitalization projects in Upstate NY. My town of Niskayuna is adjacent to Schenectady, so it is the city I am most familiar with. It has been experiencing a renaissance, with beautiful old long-vacant buildings (churches, factories, schools, etc.) repurposed over the past 20 years. I highly recommend a recent book, Metrofix, A Combative Comeback of a Company Town. The link goes to the book's website where you can listen to an author interview on our local PBS affiliate and see a gallery of photos.

More photos here on the website of Metroplex, an economic development authority established by Schenectady County that assists interested businesses in putting together redevelopment projects that use the tax credits mentioned by Mr. Wasabi above. Where Schenectady's fortune used to rise and fall with the fortune of one huge corporation (GE), the city and county now have been building up a far more diversified economy, including a number of new high tech up-and-coming companies that are rehabbing beautiful old buildings into office space.

It is not just my personal biased boosterism talking here. Yes, I am personally amazed by the physical transformation of Schenectady City over the past three decades since we moved here. But, more objectively, the financial markets agree with my assessment of Schenectady's prospects.

Schenectady City muni general obligation bonds were junk-rated speculative 20 years ago as GE had been shuttering factories and declining over the decades. Despite GE's further decline, Schenectady muni bonds now have a solid A rating with a positive outlook.

There is, admittedly, much more that needs to be done but there is energy and positive momentum on many fronts. There is a gorgeous vintage vaudeville theater in Schenectady that has been upgraded to provide suitable performance space for lavish traveling Broadway shows (e.g., Hamilton ran in 2019 and will be returning in spring 2023, many others.)

Other nearby run-down cities (e.g., Troy, Cohoes) have more recently been using federal and state tax credits for historic preservation, economic revitalization, and environmental improvements to do some amazing public private partnerships.

For this muni bond rating perspective, read a 2003 NYT article: "Schenectady Hits a New Low, and There's No End in Sight," and compare

Schenectady, Niskayuna Bond Ratings improve 2014

Moody's Removes Negative Outlook from Schenectady Bonds 2015

Schenectady County Maintains AA1 Moody's Bond Rating in 2021

S&P Global Bond Rating for Schenectady revised outlook on Schenectady City General Obligation bonds from stable to positive and maintains A rating Jan 2022

State Comtroller's Report on Local Government Debt Trends and Practices in NY 2010-2019
Parkinglotracer
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Parkinglotracer »

How about those buffalo bills … only nfl team that actually plays in NY ! Now that is upstate.
deikel
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by deikel »

newyorker wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 9:24 pm My only concern with the majority of upstate NY is that it is a dying state in general. Population is constantly decreasing with many companies and employers moving out. Same stuff happening along with the rest of rust belt states.

I dont know if westchester counts as upstate but that area is really nice. Maybe tarrytown?
I guess we can argue about the definition of upstate, but Buffalo is one of the top 10 growing cities in NYS, so is Ithaca and Syracuse has attracted a significant number of tech workers over the pandemic (and before). SYR specifically is also a very diverse city (surprise).

I agree the old farming areas are depressed (and depressing), but as suburbs for the larger city, they are great - cheap and in easy driving range to the city.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
deikel
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by deikel »

Que1999 wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 9:39 am I will be retiring at some point between January 2023 & July of 2025, when DW & I will both be in our early-mid 40's. DW early-retired a few years ago to stay home with the kids; 8 &11. We both initially were planning to move out of NY State, but since our pre-medicare retiree health insurance is tied to the NYC/Long Island/Upstate regions, we have come to the realization that it is probably better for us to stay here as opposed to relocating to another State and having to worry about ACA insurance, subsidies, income limits, etc...

So I am wondering, what are some nice Upstate NY areas that will check off all our boxes?

1- Good public schools
2- Low crime
3- Low cost of living/taxes (at least for NY)

These are the three most important factors for us... Also important are:

4- Good sense of community
5- Rather not be TOO car-dependent. We're just not really fans of driving and cars in general, unless the drives are relatively short trips

After some research via my health insurance website and conferral's with representatives, it seems we have coverage in most areas from the NYC/Long Island area, north to Lake George, all the way northwest to around Utica. Anywhere between these areas is fair game. Any advice or recommendations from the Bogleheads community?

Thanks in advance! :beer
Upstate AND car free is I think close to impossible. The whole point to endure the winters here is to enjoy the outdoors in summer....and for that you need a car/bike/kayak/shoes

I love the finger lakes region, but I would certainly not retire here (other then being a snowbird), the winters just **** too much.

You would need to pick a larger town with good healthcare, that really only leaves the big three BUF, ROC and SYR. I don't think any of them have nice and enjoyable downtowns (ROC>SYR>BUF)

If you are OK with a car, then my choice would be outside SYR, maybe even down to Ithaca - that gives you the entire outdoor range in decent driving distance from Finger Lakes to Lake Eire and Ontario to ADK.

You have good schools in all areas. Low crime requires smaller town or suburb of larger town. Cheap - nothing about NYS is cheap, but its as cheap as it gets in the boonies.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Do you need to stay in New York state? If you go a bit north on the Hudson past Poughkeepsie and the like, then head east just a bit past the CT/MA corner, you hit Stockbridge. Average house around $700k. Property tax $9.78 per $1000. If you want a lower cost house, just look in a circle around Stockbridge. I'm pretty familiar only because I used to race my car at Lime Rock and drove through Stockbridge hundreds of times. It's central to the Berkshire tourist trade and has plenty of really nice places to settle down. Mass sales tax is 6.25%. Income tax is 5% flat. You could look all the way south to the Connecticut line. If you go more east, then you're hitting truly small towns with much lower house prices but not much around beyond trees and big hills.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
FactualFran
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by FactualFran »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:06 pm Do you need to stay in New York state?...
Chances are the writer of the opening post, who has not posted in quite some time, does not need to stay in New York State. The opening post started with:
I will be retiring at some point between January 2023 & July of 2025, when DW & I will both be in our early-mid 40's. DW early-retired a few years ago to stay home with the kids; 8 &11. We both initially were planning to move out of NY State, but since our pre-medicare retiree health insurance is tied to the NYC/Long Island/Upstate regions, we have come to the realization that it is probably better for us to stay here as opposed to relocating to another State and having to worry about ACA insurance, subsidies, income limits, etc...
The benefits to the opening poster to living in New York State after retiring include:
  • Health care coverage provided through former employer, if living in or near certain regions of the State.
    Likely, pension income not included in income taxed by the State.
Those are substantial incentives to stay in New York State.
retire2022
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by retire2022 »

deikel wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:49 pm
newyorker wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 9:24 pm My only concern with the majority of upstate NY is that it is a dying state in general. Population is constantly decreasing with many companies and employers moving out. Same stuff happening along with the rest of rust belt states.

I dont know if westchester counts as upstate but that area is really nice. Maybe tarrytown?
I guess we can argue about the definition of upstate, but Buffalo is one of the top 10 growing cities in NYS, so is Ithaca and Syracuse has attracted a significant number of tech workers over the pandemic (and before). SYR specifically is also a very diverse city (surprise).

I agree the old farming areas are depressed (and depressing), but as suburbs for the larger city, they are great - cheap and in easy driving range to the city.
Here is NYS Department of Transportation definition of Upstate/Downstate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downstate_New_York

"Downstate New York represents the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of New York, in contrast to Upstate New York, which comprises the more northerly and westerly portions of the state. The Downstate region, like Upstate New York, is divided into several subregions, such as New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley, and Long Island. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) defines its "Downstate Region" as including Dutchess and Orange counties, and areas east and south;[1] regions 9 and 10 of the inset map, plus the portions of region 8 south or east of the "8 label". Both agencies and the general public use varying definitions of the boundary between Upstate and Downstate.

The Downstate region contains approximately two-thirds of the population of New York State; it is largely urban and suburban, and constitutes New York State’s portion of the New York metropolitan area, the world’s largest urban landmass.[2][3] New York City, the most populous city in the United States, is home to the United Nations headquarters,[4] and has been described as the cultural,[5][6] financial,[7][8][9] and media capital of the world,[10][11] as well as the world's most economically powerful city,[12][7][13] and is sometimes described as the capital of the world. The Upstate New York region, conversely, which forms the vast majority of the state's land area, contains more undeveloped land, including forests and farmland. "
Valuethinker
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by Valuethinker »

deikel wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:49 pm
newyorker wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 9:24 pm My only concern with the majority of upstate NY is that it is a dying state in general. Population is constantly decreasing with many companies and employers moving out. Same stuff happening along with the rest of rust belt states.

I dont know if westchester counts as upstate but that area is really nice. Maybe tarrytown?
I guess we can argue about the definition of upstate, but Buffalo is one of the top 10 growing cities in NYS, so is Ithaca and Syracuse has attracted a significant number of tech workers over the pandemic (and before). SYR specifically is also a very diverse city (surprise).

I agree the old farming areas are depressed (and depressing), but as suburbs for the larger city, they are great - cheap and in easy driving range to the city.
If Buffalo is growing again.... it deserves to. That city has had a hard late 20th/ early 21st century. To think it once had more millionaires than anywhere else in the USA (supposedly).

The urban renewal era, with destructive freeways ploughed through the city centre & other public projects, hit Buffalo hard. As did the decline in industry in the "rust belt".

Coming from the other side of Lake Ontario, the other thing is the *snow*. "Lake Snow Effect" is a real phenomenon. I would guess it gets 2-3x as much snow as the urban communities on the north side of Lake Ontario?

Look at the good side. If Buffalo is ever annexed by Canada, the cost of housing is so great in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, that Buffalo housing prices will go nuts ;-). So pray for that invasion by Canada, paying you back for burning York in 1812/13 ;-).

What I noticed with NYS was that, outside of commuter range to NYC, you had very cheap houses. But the property taxes were also very high. And the heating bills could be punitive. Electricity is not cheap and oil or propane are of course expensive. I imagine many people supplement with wood but that's not necessarily cheap.

NYS you 1). have to like snow (or find a way not to be there from November through March) 2). the costs in general of everything - food, real estate taxes, services -tend to be high (not perhaps in comparison to other NE states, but to places further south).
NHRATA01
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by NHRATA01 »

alpenglow wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:38 am There have been some mentions of Newburgh upthread. I've been in and around the city a number of times in the last couple of years. I feel like the area is improving, but it has a long way to go. The crime stats aren't very nice, though I've never felt unsafe in the areas I've been in downtown. I definitely wouldn't want to live there.
I've lived in the HV area since 2001. I referenced it a little in my page 2 post, but Newburgh is a very rough area. Of all the smaller former industrial cities beteween the Capital Region to NYC area, it's probably the worst off, although I hear Middletown can give it a run. The riverfront is a semi decent area to grab a meal. 20 years ago it was new and sparkling, and probably an effort to kickstart some revitalization but here we are two decades later and still waiting. There are some houses along River road that were nicely redone. But the problem is you go one block in and there's a lot of crime and abandoned properties. Poughkeepsie has done only marginally better, but in my observations has better leadership with a semblance of long term planning. Beacon is really the one that pulled off a great turnaround since the new millennium that the other cities (Hudson, Kingston) are trying to emulate.
MandyLuna
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by MandyLuna »

Having to commute in snow or ice and is never fun and can be downright dangerous, but snow season can be a delight for kids and retirees :)

Upstate NY is dotted with cross country ski trails, snowmobile trails (and related night life) downhill ski resorts (again, related night life) and all manner of winter festivals. Lake Placid was home of the winter Olympics for good reason.

I suppose if you didn't grow up with any winter weather traditions, it would be hard to acquire them later in life.
deikel
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Re: Retiring to Upstate NY

Post by deikel »

MandyLuna wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:08 am Having to commute in snow or ice and is never fun and can be downright dangerous, but snow season can be a delight for kids and retirees :)

Upstate NY is dotted with cross country ski trails, snowmobile trails (and related night life) downhill ski resorts (again, related night life) and all manner of winter festivals. Lake Placid was home of the winter Olympics for good reason.

I suppose if you didn't grow up with any winter weather traditions, it would be hard to acquire them later in life.
Although true in general, you need to keep in mind that people who are used to snow, drive better in snow and have their car prepared - or to phrase it another way, 5 inch of snow in upstate is just another pleasant day, 5 inch of snow in DC is cause for an emergency declaration

Personally, I have ever only experienced a handful of really dangerous conditions in my decade here. One was a snow squall where the visibility was zero and my willingness to stop completely was equally zero - rumble strips in the middle saved my behind...literally.
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