Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Best U.S. Cities for Retirees 2011

The Best Cities For Retirees in 2011 – When you're thinking about retirement you might just be like a lot of other retirees who are considering moving. It's not a simple task as there are a number of things you want to take into consideration. We've touched on this many times in this blog - no list will ever be complete enough for everyone. That's because each of us has different needs, wants and values when it comes to what we believe to be the Best Place to Retire. For some being surrounded by nature and awe inspiring vistas may be #1 for others find a vibrant city with plenty to see and do is the winner.

Often I write about countries and places from a bigger perspective but today I thought we would have a look at city living and specifically the Best Cities for Retirement in 2011.

Best Cities For Retirees

This idea hit me when I was reading my news feed this morning and saw an article and list on RandomForest.com which listed the Best Cities for Retirees in the United States. Along with the list was a great little article about the top things to consider when searching for the Best Place to Retire. The author made this comment which I loved. He said,

"Retirees aren't going some place to die, they're going some place to live!"

I love that! It really helps one get focused on what will be most important for this next transition in life. So often we get caught up in worry about cost of living. Many retirees seem obsessed with finding the Cheapest Places to Live but there's so much more to life and living than money. Here are a few things which are top of the list to consider when looking at the Best Cities for Retirees -

#1 Safety – Everyone wants to feel safe especially at two key times in your life - when you have children and when you are getting older. No one wants to retire to a place where they are in fear or constantly on edge. That's a sure way to get to the next transition (death) even faster!

#2 Best Health Care – When we were in our youth we took risks under the assumption we would live forever. But let's face it even if you've taken good care of yourself there are still a number of little things that pop up as we get older. We need access to health care that is responsive, intelligent, and competent.

#3 Best Environment (Weather) – I currently live in the west and can’t imagine the idea of shovelling snow. My retirement property is in Panama and there's a good reason I chose that place. If you're looking to retire in a big city you want it to be in a place that's sunny and bright with a relatively low level of precipitation. Why? Because you want to stay active and have fun! What do you want to do when you're not working - go golfing, hiking, play tennis, swim? What hobbies do you and will you enjoy most?

#4 Friendships - With time on your hands the last thing you want to discover is that you've landed in 'snobs-ville'. You've worked your whole life and sometimes you probably had to put up with nasty people. Now that you're retired you can chose who you associate with and where you want to live. Being with like minded people who want to have fun and enjoy each others company is a high priority. The last place you want to find yourself is in one of the most miserable cities in America.

So, which U.S. cities rank highest on these criteria? Here are the top ten best cities to live in USA -

10 Best U.S. Cities For Retirees

1. Asheville, NC
2. Sarasota, FL
3. Prescott, AZ
4. Paris, TN
5. Austin, TX
6. Green Valley, AZ
7. Winston-Salem, NC
8. Beaufort, SC
9. San Diego, CA
10. Ft. Myers, FL

In a future discussion we'll have a look at the Best States to Live in both from the perspective of the retiree as well as the working person.


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Mr. Mellow said...

You left out one important criterion: affordability. I don't know who these retirees are that you're thinking of, but a great many people in the future will retire with meager incomes. Unless 4 people huddle together in a 2-bedroom apartment and eat beans and rice, no one on a Social Security income is going to live in San Diego.