Retirement Сhoices – Сity or Сountry?

March 15, 2018

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash


Upcoming retirement requires answers to many new questions and numerous life-changing choices to be made. One of them is whether to relocate, and if so – where to?

The choice is usually between urban and countryside environments, with a more exotic option of overseas retirement also available for the adventurous. According to recent statistics, after a decades-long popularity of the proverbial post-retirement move to Florida or other locations down south, more and more retirees are choosing city life over the countryside. Why is that the case and what does a city have to offer to a senior citizen? Choosing to live in a city as a senior – whether you’ve spent all your life in the country, or have always been a city dweller – has certain features that a future retiree needs to consider.

Access to cultural activities

Now that you have more than enough time for enjoying all that a city has to offer, it’s the perfect time to be an urbanite. Museums, restaurants, theaters are all there waiting for you – and with a senior discount, too.

Medical care access

Statistics claim that there is a major disparity between health care access in US cities and countryside, with one-fifth of Americans outside of the cities served by merely one-tenth of the available qualified medical staff. Besides the apparent quantitative advantage, there is the proximity to high-quality care that’s concentrated in the cities.

City life requires more physical activity

Even though countryside living is perfect for physical activities, it actually often happens that those retirees who stay in the country end up leading a more sedentary lifestyle. Life in the city inevitably requires a certain amount of walking, and public transportation is readily available, making any points of interest far more accessible than in the country. Driving becomes increasingly more difficult with age, and cities are much more welcoming to pedestrians.

Senior community activities

Suburbs and countryside offers much less in specifically senior-targeted activities – clubs, masterclasses, exercise classes, etc. It’s much easier to stay active and pursue your interests in the city with all the recreational opportunities that it offers – whether specifically aimed at seniors or not.

Cities warmly welcome retirees

What do city authorities have to say? Well, the retiring baby boomers possess large amounts of disposable income, and many US cities are well aware of that. An influx of retirees has a statistically significant positive effect on the economic situation in any given area, with a rise in home value and wage and job growth. In fact, cities are striving to qualify for the list of “age-friendly communities” devised by AARP. The changes that are implemented include redesigning transportation systems to make them more accessible to seniors and handicapped passengers, and alterations to building construction codes. Some cities are setting up home repair assistance programs for older adults, organizing workshops for employers to urge them to hire older adults and turning community centers into senior education facilities.

Florida is still the first on the list of the best places to retire, but cities like Pittsburgh, Austin and Washington, DC are coming close and may soon match its popularity. For those willing to make a major life-changing decision, there’s the option of retiring overseas. Europe is a wonderful, but costly choice, while Southeast Asia and Latin America are more affordable, vibrant and warm, so they definitely deserve a closer look if you are wondering about retirement abroad. A number of these countries offer excellent and reasonably priced health care, and real estate prices in all of them are nowhere near as exorbitant as in the USA.

There’s no need to think that life ends with retirement – on the contrary, there are so many choices to be made and so much to explore!

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