the advantages you can expect in the best retirement cities:
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.
Public Transportation. 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 weather.
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.
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.