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10 best medium-size cities for seniors

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Looking for that perfect retirement spot — not too large, not too small, but just right?

You might check out the stats on these 10 cities from Senior Advice, which looked at a range of factors that can make life more enjoyable — and more practical — for retirees.

Senior Advice looked at cities ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 in population, considering health and safety, recreation and leisure, finances and overall quality of life in determining which middle-size towns in the United States offered the best environments, and most amenities, to seniors.

Related: The 10 highest-growth cities for annuities in 2016

While some retirees’ focus might be on shopping, golf, the outdoors, cultural events, hanging out with like-minded contemporaries or going back to school, those are just some of the elements that make up a congenial retirement destination.

Others might be looking at more practical considerations, such as public transportation, the availability of senior living facilities, the number and quality of medical practitioners and facilities, the cost of living — including property taxes and the bill at the grocery store — and the crime rate.

Rest assured that these are just some of the factors that went into Senior Advice’s ratings, resulting in these 10 best medium-size cities for seniors: 

Palm Harbor, Florida

Located northwest of Tampa, Palm Harbor offers beach access and no fewer than 85 golf courses. (Photo: iStock)

10. Palm Harbor, Florida

One of two Florida cities that made the top 10, Palm Harbor boasts a substantial population of seniors already, with 37 percent of its residents having reached or passed their 65th birthdays. In addition, the city boasts some pretty impressive amenities: beach access, 10 parks in the area, and no fewer than 85 golf courses — many of which offer discounts and lessons to older duffers.

And for those looking for a carefree residence, there are 172 senior living facilities in the area — so no more worries about homeownership. 

Related: John Hancock’s best and worst cities for LTC costs


Located northwest of Washington, D.C., Bethesda, Maryland, offers access to the nation’s capital as well as many health care facilities. (Photo: iStock)

9. Bethesda, Maryland

Not only does this city offer the lure of the nearby Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Smithsonian museums — all available via public transportation, its proximity to Baltimore means you can visit that city’s Inner Harbor easily and catch Orioles and Ravens games.

But if those attractions don’t float your boat, bear in mind that the area also boasts more than 1,000 churches of assorted denominations, as well as more than 200 assisted living facilities, plentiful home health care providers and a large number of Medicare physicians and area hospitals.

Related: The 10 best cities for seniors

Kansas city

Located west of Kansas City, Overland Park, Kansas, offers low crime rates and it’s the location of the Kansas City Royals professional baseball team. (Photo: iStock)

8. Overland Park, Kansas

Thirty-five parks are among the attractions in this midwestern city — as are the Kansas City Royals, more than 100 gyms and more than 300 churches — all this in a city with low property and violent crime rates.

Then there are lots of senior living options at very reasonable prices, with average assisted living costs running $35,700 annually and nursing home costs that are low compared with national averages. 

Related: 10 of the best cities to retire in the U.S.


Located north of Detroit, Troy, Michigan, offers many parks and a high concentration of Medicare physicians. (Photo: iStock)

7. Troy, Michigan

If you’re a shopping fiend, you’ll enjoy the major malls in the area, but if you’re more into the outdoors, fear not — 30 area parks and 167 golf courses will give you plenty of chances to spend time outside. And that’s not even counting the Troy Museum or the Troy Historic Village.

When it comes to more mundane concerns, a very high concentration of Medicare physicians and several area hospitals will look after your health, while 300 senior living facilities and plentiful home health care providers will offer you choices when it comes to where and how to live.

Related: The 20 richest cities in America


Located between Orlando and Sanford, Longwood, Florida, offers low-cost adult day care and home health care. (Photo: iStock)

6. Longwood, Florida

The second Florida city to make the list, Longwood boasts proximity to Orlando, the safety of a very low crime area and the dependable weather the state offers. And don’t forget that in addition to theme parks, the area also offers health clubs, movie theaters, grocery stores, malls and markets.

Surprisingly, the cost for adult day care and home health care, especially, is lower in Longwood than in most American cities, while 86 senior living facilities and 29 home health care providers offer a range of choices. 

Related: The 10 largest annuities markets for 2016


One of Phoenix’s wealthiest suburbs, Scottsdale boasts gorgeous scenery as well as affordable senior living facilities. (Photo: iStock)

5. Scottsdale, Arizona

Warm weather all year, 20 major parks and more than 100 golf courses offer seniors lots of incentive to get out and about in this Arizona city. There’s also shopping, a contemporary art museum and the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, whether the train aficionado in your life is 6 or 60.

But those who aren’t quite so hale and hearty will find support here, too, in the form of more than 350 senior living facilities  — relatively affordable ones — several major hospitals, ample home health care providers and lots of Medicare doctors. In fact, 34 percent of Scottsdale’s population is 65-plus.

Related: 30 of the most livable cities for baby boomers


A city just north of Dallas, Richardson, Texas, offers access to all of Dallas’ museums as well as 91 golf courses and parks. (Photo: iStock)

4. Richardson, Texas

Car lovers will enjoy the fact that Richardson boasts the North Texas Automotive Museum, while music lovers might rather hang out at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts. And in a low-crime area near the heart of Dallas, there are plenty of other things to do and see in Richardson, such as 91 golf courses and 27 parks.

When it comes to health, there are lots of Medicare doctors and 26 area hospitals, and relatively low-cost senior living facilities — more than 260 of them. 

Related: Retirement living in America: How 60 U.S. cities stack up

St. Louis

Located west of St. Louis, Chesterfield, Missouri, offers a low crime rate and affordable health care. (Photo: iStock)

3. Chesterfield, Missouri

Close to St. Louis, Chesterfield offers seniors a relatively affordable cost of living — including at its nursing homes, which generally charge below the national average at less than $70,000 annually. Other advantages include more than a dozen major area hospitals, a number of Medicare physicians and a low crime rate.

Then there are the amenities: golf courses, parks, the Chesterfield Mall and several other shopping centers, a casino and — for sports fans — the St. Louis Blues and Cardinals within travel range. 

Related: 10 most affordable cities for retirees to catch an NFL game


Located in Fairfax County, slightly northwest of Arlington, Vienna, Virginia offers lower costs for senior living. (Photo: iStock)

2. Vienna, Virginia

While parts of Virginia can be expensive, the senior living options — as well as nursing homes, home health care and adult daycare — are lower than the national average. That means seniors’ dollars will go further here.

Vienna also boasts proximity to Washington, D.C. (accessible by subway), as well as being the site of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and several major Civil War battles — thus offering a little something for everyone. 

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Located south of the Potomac River and west of Washington, D.C., McLean, Virginia, boasts many health and safety features for seniors. (Photo: iStock)

1. McLean, Virginia

Coming out on top of the list, McLean not only has lots of health and safety features, with a large number of home health care providers, Medicare physicians and hospitals in the area, it also boasts assisted living costs, nursing home costs and adult daycare costs much lower than in the rest of the country. In addition, home health care is only around $36,608 per year, much lower than the national average.

Then there’s the lure of Washington, D.C., accessible by public transportation, as well as 38 shopping malls (some of which are definitely not low cost, such as Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria). But the area also offers low property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes.

See also:

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