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30 of the most livable cities for baby boomers

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It would be great to live forever … if every loved one got to live forever along with us. In the meantime, a long and healthy life in a cool city should make for a great retirement.

A recent article published in TIME, which quotes AARP’s livability index, ranks cities based on factors that would make them desirable for the 50+ population to live. The rankings are broken down into three population categories, each containing 10 cities.

The AARP index is based on analysis by the AARP Public Policy Institute of 60 community factors in seven categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity. It also includes a national survey of 4,500 people in that age group.

Don’t see your city or neighborhood on this list? The AARP also has a nifty calculator where you can see your community’s “livability score.” Enter your home or work address, see how it ranks, and zoom out on the map to see a larger area. The score goes from 0 to 100 with the average community receiving 50 points. The higher the score, the more livable the neighborhood. Though the tool could be very useful for pre-retirees looking to move to more affordable cities, they should always take into account property values in cities that are experiencing rapid growth, which are not reflected in the score.

See also: These 5 charts perfectly capture America’s fears about retirement

Large livable cities:

Population: 500,000+

If you like the vibe of a huge city where millions of busy bees work, live and play, then these cities are right up your alley.

san fran

1. San Francisco

The home of Ghirardelli chocolates, the city is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2017, notes AARP.

Livability score: 66

Housing (Affordability and access): 62

Neighborhood (Access to life, work and play): 76

Transportation (Safe and convenient options): 85

Environment (Clean air and water): 57

Health (Prevention, access and quality): 85

Engagement (Civic and social involvement): 58

Opportunity (Inclusion and possibilities): 37

boston

2. Boston

You might need a dictionary to understand the slang, but a city partnership with the navigation app Waze makes Beantown’s real-time road conditions easy to check, according to the AARP. So, the only fun thing left to figure out would be the slang. Wicked.

Livability score: 65

Housing: 80

Neighborhood: 76

Transportation: 84

Environment: 65

Health: 65

Engagement: 61

Opportunity: 25

seattle

3. Seattle

AARP recommends that boomers visit the 27-mile Burke-Gilman Trail and Camp Long, with 10 rustic cabins, which help make the city tops for parks in the big-city category.

Livability score: 63

Housing: 59

Neighborhood: 70

Transportation: 70

Environment: 64

Health: 75

Engagement: 54

Opportunity: 51

mil

4. Milwaukee

Older residents are eligible for low-interest loans from the city to make essential home repairs, according to the AARP article.

Livability score: 62

Housing: 73

Neighborhood: 62

Transportation: 80

Environment: 53

Health: 54

Engagement: 64

Opportunity: 47

ny

5. New York

Even though the “City that Never Sleeps” might seem like an odd choice for boomers looking for a retirement paradise, the AARP says that this city lists 59 initiatives that are focused on improving living standards for older residents.

Livability score: 62

Housing: 68

Neighborhood: 81

Transportation: 83

Environment: 49

Health: 61

Engagement: 47

Opportunity: 43

pa

6. Philadelphia

Some might come for the cheesesteak, while others for the mussels (go to Monk’s Cafe if you want the best mussels in town), but residents age 65 and older get free or reduced-fare transit rides, claims AARP.

Livability score: 62

Housing: 75

Neighborhood: 70

Transportation: 78

Environment: 57

Health: 51

Engagement: 69

Opportunity: 31

portland ore

7. Portland, Oregon

Keep Portland weird! If you haven’t seen the TV show Portlandia, watch it — Portlanders say that it really captures the quirky essence of the city. Portland made the AARP list because of its top-notch parks and transportation systems within easy walking distance; the city is also an inaugural member of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities, according to AARP’s article.

Livability score: 61

Housing: 60

Neighborhood: 65

Transportation: 78

Environment: 27

Health: 72

Engagement: 78

Opportunity: 44

denver

8. Denver

Though many believe that Denver is nestled between ski lifts and feet of snow, it is actually located on the South Platte River Valley, east of the Rocky Mountain Foothills, with a relatively temperate climate. And, it’s still 5,280 feet (or a mile) above sea level. The air might be thin, but the people are welcoming. The city made the AARP list due to a $10 million city initiative supporting the development of affordable housing.

Livability score: 60

Housing: 71

Neighborhood: 66

Transportation: 68

Environment: 58

Health: 73

Engagement: 54

Opportunity: 32

wash

9. Washington, D.C.

Who wouldn’t want to stroll by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue every morning? Plus, the AARP credits the bike lanes on city streets in the nation’s capital, which could extend to 76 miles by year’s end, as one of the many reasons why it made their list.

Livability score: 58

Housing: 68

Neighborhood: 69

Transportation: 75

Environment: 32

Health: 60

Engagement: 85

Opportunity: 20

baltimore

10. Baltimore

The AARP credits B-HiP (Baltimore Homeownership Incentive Program), a program that a variety of financial sweeteners to encourage homebuyers, as the reason why the 26th most populous city in the U.S. made the list.

Livability score: 56

Housing: 81

Neighborhood: 62

Transportation: 76

Environment: 45

Health: 41

Engagement: 54

Opportunity: 34

Medium livable cities:

Population: 100,000 – 500,000

A haven for the laid-back but not-too-laid-back folks, these medium-sized cities offer a little bit of both worlds: a bustling city life with less stress, and, hopefully, a less expensive alternative to living in a bigger city.

madison

1. Madison, Wisconsin

The second largest city in Wisconsin, after Milwaukee, Madison is also the capital of “America’s Dairyland.” The AARP says that top rankings for air quality and a great ratio of parks-to-people put Madison at the top of many green-city lists.

Livability score: 68

Housing: 70

Neighborhood: 64

Transportation: 72

Environment: 63

Health: 73

Engagement: 79

Opportunity: 57

st paul

2. St. Paul, Minnesota

The second most-populous city in Minnesota, this city helps developers rehabilitate structures left vacant by foreclosures, according to the AARP, which would make for a great retirement project: flipping houses!

Livability score: 66

Housing: 69

Neighborhood: 65

Transportation: 79

Environment: 67

Health: 71

Engagement: 65

Opportunity: 48

sioux falls

3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Known by some as the “Queen City of the West,” Sioux Falls has a bit more than 160,000 residents. AARP credits their 25-mile walking and biking trail that loops the entire city, offering views of the historic core, as one of the main reasons for making the list.

Livability score: 66

Housing: 61

Neighborhood: 54

Transportation: 70

Environment: 65

Health: 60

Engagement: 83

Opportunity: 71

rochester

4. Rochester, Minnesota

Home to the Mayo Clinic, Rochester is certain to attract many boomers looking for the best health care in the state. The city also has the highest hospital satisfaction rate among these most livable cities, says the AARP.

Livability score: 64

Housing: 54

Neighborhood: 55

Transportation: 69

Environment: 69

Health: 71

Engagement: 67

Opportunity: 65

mn

5. Minneapolis

The trails and parks are attracting both boomers and millennials alike. Plus, a new 11-mile light-rail line is spurring economic development, according to the AARP.

Livability score: 64

Housing: 64

Neighborhood: 70

Transportation: 82

Environment: 61

Health: 67

Engagement: 68

Opportunity: 35

arlington

6. Arlington, Virginia

Would you like to become the next-door neighbor to the U.S. capital? Yes, please! Plus, the AARP says that the Bikeometer installed at a busy intersection is averaging almost 4,500 clicks a day. Maybe it will soon become the American Amsterdam of biking.

Livability score: 64

Housing: 45

Neighborhood: 74

Transportation: 68

Environment: 47

Health: 91

Engagement: 72

Opportunity: 49

cedar

7. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you want to be in the cultural center of Eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is where you should be. Plus, empty lots in struggling neighborhoods are being turned into vegetable gardens, says the AARP.

Livability score: 64

Housing: 58

Neighborhood: 50

Transportation: 72

Environment: 64

Health: 48

Engagement: 81

Opportunity: 73

ne

8. Lincoln, Nebraska

Where is the second tallest capitol building in the U.S.? In Lincoln, Nebraska, of course! The AARP says that the city’s jobless rate, now at 2.5 percent, has long ranked among the best in the nation.

Livability score: 63

Housing: 54

Neighborhood: 53

Transportation: 75

Environment: 69

Health: 57

Engagement: 79

Opportunity: 58

fargo

9. Fargo, North Dakota

It was the title of a Hollywood movie and it was ranked as the number one best small places for business and careers in 2014 by Forbes. It is also the most populous city in North Dakota. The city’s exceptional number of cultural institutions includes Theatre B in downtown, the restored 1926 art deco Fargo Theatre and the Plains Art Museum, says the AARP.

Livability score: 63

Housing: 65

Neighborhood: 50

Transportation: 64

Environment: 69

Health: 54

Engagement: 81

Opportunity: 59

cam

10. Cambridge, Massachusetts

North of Boston, it is home to both Harvard University and MIT. The AARP credits the research by the MIT AgeLab, which aims to improve the quality of life for older Americans nationwide and began in the university’s hometown, as one of the many reasons why this city made the list.

Livability score: 63

Housing: 56

Neighborhood: 82

Transportation: 85

Environment: 47

Health: 67

Engagement: 57

Opportunity: 48

Small livable cities:

Population: 25,000 – 100,000

For those who enjoy the peace and quiet, and no traffic, these small livable cities are a little slice of heaven. 

la crosse

1. La Crosse, Wisconsin

With spectacular views of the Mississippi River to the West, La Crosse is home to two universities and is recognized as a medical hub. Want an apartment with a view? Then the Grand River Station in downtown is what you’re looking for: it offers apartments customized for artists and entrepreneurs, retail space and a hub for the city’s bus system, according to the AARP.

Livability score: 70

Housing: 60

Neighborhood: 59

Transportation: 90

Environment: 65

Health: 65

Engagement: 76

Opportunity: 74

fitch

2. Fitchburg, Wisconsin

If you want to retire in a rural setting, then this is the perfect city. The AARP also credits a good transportation system in which a round-trip ride to the senior center costs only $1 and the rider sets the cost for a trip to a medical appointment.

Livability score: 67

Housing: 67

Neighborhood: 56

Transportation: 62

Environment: 68

Health: 73

Engagement: 78

Opportunity: 65

bisma

3. Bismarck, North Dakota

The second most populous city in North Dakota, the AARP says that residents over 60 or with disabilities are eligible for door-to-door bus service.

Livability score: 67

Housing: 65

Neighborhood: 50

Transportation: 58

Environment: 79

Health: 53

Engagement: 89

Opportunity: 75

sun p

4. Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

A suburb of Madison, it is the third fastest-growing city in the state. Plus, Liberty Square and Cannery Square show the city’s commitment to communities with easy walking and mixed uses, according to the AARP.

Livability score: 66

Housing: 67

Neighborhood: 57

Transportation: 49

Environment: 63

Health: 73

Engagement: 78

Opportunity: 78

duluth

5. Duluth, Minnesota

Come for the views, stay for the clean air. Situated on the North side of Lake Superior, a recent report by the American Lung Association ranked the city among the top 10 in America for cleanest air, says the AARP.

Livability score: 66

Housing: 80

Neighborhood: 54

Transportation: 86

Environment: 61

Health: 50

Engagement: 74

Opportunity: 58

union nj

6. Union City, New Jersey

Situated close to the lively amenities of Manhattan, but without the day-to-day bustle. The AARP says that Cuban political émigrés earned the city the nickname “Havana on the Hudson.”

Livability score: 66

Housing: 65

Neighborhood: 84

Transportation: 90

Environment: 63

Health: 64

Engagement: 44

Opportunity: 53

grand island

7. Grand Island, Nebraska

Boasting a population of less than 85,000, the AARP credits this city’s OpenData initiative that makes their budget process more transparent.

Livability score: 66

Housing: 61

Neighborhood: 48

Transportation: 76

Environment: 80

Health: 52

Engagement: 70

Opportunity: 71

kirkland

8. Kirkland, Washington

It has a waterfront downtown area on the East side of Lake Washington. The AARP credits the city’s “complete streets” — safe for walkers, bikers and drivers of all ages and which are models for many communities — as one of the many reasons why it made this list.

Livability score: 65

Housing: 53

Neighborhood: 64

Transportation: 61

Environment: 67

Health: 79

Engagement: 65

Opportunity: 67

marion

9. Marion, Iowa

Located next to Cedar Rapids and with a population of almost 35,000, the vibrant Uptown Marion neighborhood is experiencing a burst of mixed-use development, according to the AARP.

Livability score: 65

Housing: 55

Neighborhood: 54

Transportation: 73

Environment: 70

Health: 48

Engagement: 79

Opportunity: 76

west bend

10. West Bend, Wisconsin

Only a 30-minute drive from Milwaukee, this city’s public works of art punctuate the Riverwalk, which snakes three miles through downtown along the Milwaukee River, says the AARP.

Livability score: 65

Housing: 59

Neighborhood: 59

Transportation: 60

Environment: 74

Health: 57

Engagement: 66

Opportunity: 80

See also:

Advisors can talk, but will boomers listen?

10 takeaways from the 2015 Retirement Conference

5 ways to prospect in retirement communities

Sources: TIME, AARP