If you’re researching for the best places to retire, be prepared to find contradictory information and very little agreement. That is IF you ever get around to really retiring – many of us won’t manage to truly accomplish that for one reason or another.
But most of us like where we are, anyway, and plan on staying there retired or not. We’ve got our roots in the community and have full lives already established.
Some of us are anxious to be closer to our families – our children and grandchildren or even our aging parents. When that’s the case, we don’t have much choice in the matter – we go where they are. And generally quite happy to do so!
For the rest who actually do have the luxury to pick and choose the best places to retire, let’s see what’s available. We looked at about 20 or so lists put together by various news agencies and organizations and picked out the places that appeared on more than one list.
The criteria varied – one list by AARP was based on the best places to retire for sports fans, another for outdoors lovers. USA Today had a list for best small towns and another list for just best towns. The Huffington Post’s list was based on best places for successful aging. And so it goes.
Some of the experts used cost of living, crime rates, traffic congestion, health care facilities, cultural life – you name it – to determine their best places to retire.
Six cities made at least four different lists. Eight cities made a minimum of three lists. Thirty-one cities made two lists and all the rest, 90 cities, made it to at least one list.
Of the six cities with four votes – four are in the Southwest (San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Santa Fe, NM, and Tucson, AZ). The other two are Boston, MA and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
San Antonio appeared on Forbes top 25 cities for seniors, US News most affordable for long-term care, MSN Money best retirement places and Reinventing America’s list of cities where Baby Boomers are actually moving to.
Austin appeared on Forbes top 25 cities, AARP’s list of quirky places for retirees, CBS News list of best places to retire and Reinventing America’s list of where Boomers are moving to.
Santa Fe appeared on AARP’s list of healthiest cities, AARP’s list of sunny places, CBS News list of best places and Reinventing America’s list of where Boomers are moving.
Tucson was on Forbes top 25 cities, AARP’s list of cities for simple life, AARP’s list for outdoor lovers and MSN Money best places.
Boston was on Huffington Post’s list for successful aging, AARP’s list for sports fans, AARP’s list for terrific places for singles and AARP’s list for hot city life.
Minneapolis-St. Paul was listed on AARP’s healthiest cities, AARP’s for sports fans, AARP’s outdoor lovers and AARP’s terrific places for singles.
The cities that made it on at least three lists include New York City, Boulder, CO; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; Asheville, NC; and Pittsburgh, PA.
So whatever criteria you may use for where you plan to retire, that determines which list you consult and by which “expert.”
And then there’s always overseas – that’s another list! Geez ....