For aging boomers, locales with pristine beaches and year-long balmy weather might seem fine places to ride out their golden years.
Turns out, however, that sun and sand are not good indicators of post-retirement quality of life. For evidence of this, look no further than a new report from Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. The study, “America’s Best Cities for a Healthy (and More Affordable) Retirement” flags Seattle —best known for its frequent precipitation and generally overcast weather — as the top-ranked U.S. for healthy retirement living.
Conducted in April 2015 by the independent research firm Sperling’s Best Places, the study ranks the 60 largest U.S. metropolitan areas on all factors of health and affordability for middle-income retirees. The data includes eight categories judged by the report’s authors as key to health of an area and its residents: healthcare, the economy and affordability, social, wellness, activities, environment, transportation and crime. Each category was statistically weighted to reflect the needs of the retired population.
In addition to Seattle, the report ranks these cities among the top 5 for healthy retirement living:
Portland (Oregon) and
Cities that topped the list had above-average scores for wellness and access to healthcare and some of the highest scores for overall life satisfaction, and social and emotional support. These metro areas also boast natural beauty and a wealth of outdoor and cultural activities.
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“This study identifies and recognizes cities that provide the services and support that people need to live healthy, happy lives,” says Scott Goldberg, president of Bankers Life. “[M]any healthy places to retire can come with a reasonable cost-of-living price tag that is realistic and attainable for a great number of retirees.”