Best Cities for Retirement What
are the best cities for retirees? Albuquerque, Atlanta,
Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver,
Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Phoenix, Las
Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York
City, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland
Oregon, Sacramento, San Diego, Salt Lake City, San Antonio,
San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa, Tucson.
These are also the best cities for Boomers.
The Baby Boom generation redefined America,
and they continue to do so as they reach retirement, demanding
a wide variety of lifestyle options.
In keeping with this trend, many of today’s
retiring boomers and seniors are opting for city sidewalks
over country roads, thanks to an ever-growing list of amenities.
Plus, many people find that the pace of city life helps
them think younger and maintain their interest in life as
they age. So, if you identify with the hit song “You
Belong to the City,” then urban retirement may be
the right decision for your golden years.
That choice is expected to become more appealing
as we approach the next post-millennium decade, given that
the number of Americans over age 50 is expected to triple
in the next 10 years, to some 252 million
That means most major cities will develop
large populations of 50+-aged residents, and can be expected
to adapt their services accordingly.
Among the advantages you can expect
with urban post-retirement communities:
Social Opportunities: Research
has found that establishing a good social network is critical
to a person’s satisfaction with post-retirement life.
In fact, it’s more important than either the size
of their retirement income or their overall quality of health.
People who relocate to the city generally find it easier
to develop or expand their circle of friends, through such
agencies as community senior
centers, hobby clubs, religious institutions, special
interest classes and volunteer networks. This can be particularly
helpful in avoiding depression in the wake of a health crisis
or the death of a spouse.
Seniors who live in the country and become unable to drive
are dependent upon others for basic transportation. Even
if they are physically able to drive, they must be able
to afford car payments, auto insurance, repairs and gasoline.
All of these expenses obviously can be a major burden for
someone living on a fixed income. In contrast, older residents
in urban areas have ready access to public transportation,
usually at discounted senior citizen rates. If no subway
or bus station is nearby, taxi service is readily available,
and the fees usually are reasonable. Access to public transportation
can be a good way for seniors to remain independent and
mobile, without having to impose on family and friends.
Access to Medical Services.
It’s not hard to figure out how your odds of surviving
a heart attack or stroke improve if you live 15 minutes
from the nearest hospital, rather than an hour’s drive
into the country. But it’s not just emergency services
that are more readily available. As people live longer and
medical treatments improve, it’s realistic to assume
that most retired couples will be dealing with some sort
of medical issue on a longterm basis. Urban living offers
the chance to be close to doctors, specialists, pharmacies,
physical therapists, rehabilitation centers, pain clinics,
home health agencies, support groups and other types of
care that you and your spouse are likely to need.
Access to Local Businesses.
Seniors who live in downtown lofts, condos or apartments
often only need to walk one or two blocks to get their dry
cleaning, pick up a loaf of bread, get a newspaper or find
other daily living items they need. Even if it’s necessary
to travel a bit further, shopping opportunities are plentiful
in virtually every urban area. Both smaller and larger cities
also contain more discount shopping outlets – a bonus
for seniors on a restricted income.
Restaurants. After years
of cooking for their families, many seniors prefer the luxury
of restaurant dining. Even smaller cities offer a wide variety
of dining experiences, many of which are affordable, offer
senior citizen discounts and/or deliver food to the customer’s
Fitness. Exercise is arguably
the single greatest thing seniors can do to improve and
maintain their health. Cities are home to gyms, fitness
centers, hospital wellness programs and other options tailored
to the special fitness needs of older Americans. Those who
don’t want to sign up for an organized program can
walk in local parks or at an indoor mall during inclement
Continuing Education. Today’s
seniors know the importance of exercising their brains,
as well as their bodies. Urban living provides access to
a wide range of classes, through local universities, museums,
city recreation departments, etc. Enrolling in these types
of courses can help stave off the depression that some people
feel once they stop working full time.
Most people’s post-retirement goals include enjoying
all the things they didn’t have time for as parents
and working adults. Cities offer access to everything from
museums, theater and concerts to sporting events, festivals,
zoos and historical sites. And again, virtually all these
attractions offer discounted rates to people over age 65.
JOBS & Employment in the City
JOBS & Employment are important factors in deciding
where you want to live. Retirement jobs are common and living
in the city will give you a great selection for your choice
of retirement jobs.
Here are some of the best web sites for
Boomers and Seniors to find jobs, even your retirement
LIVING - News
Care Retirement Community - CCRCs are so named
because they address the entire continuum of care with healthy
seniors moving into independent living apartments, but having
the security of knowing they can "age in place"
thanks to assisted living and skilled nursing services on
Although most are in suburban or rural areas,
a growing number of intown CCRCs are under development in
Chicago, Dallas, Texas, Seattle and New York City.
According to Kiplinger, to make the cut
as one of our Best Cities for retirees, a place first had
to offer vibrant cultural and education amenities, or be
close to them. Specific criteria were reasonable health-care
costs, a high concentration of doctors per capita, and a
low total crime rate. Because creative class is a key factor
in selecting all these cities, you can bet retirees will
find others interested in more than golf and bridge -Kiplinger