Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Livable Communities for Retirement

Since the vast majority of retirees make the decision to continue to live in their current home or, at the very least, their current neighborhood when they retire, many people wonder if this is the best choice for them.  Now, AARP has come up with a matrix to help senior citizens compare the livability of different neighborhoods around the United States and enable people to look up their own community, or another one that interests them, and see how different neighborhoods compare with each other and the national averages.  Comparing different neighborhoods has just become a whole lot easier!

What is a Livable Neighborhood?

Of course, livability means different things to different people.  As a result, AARP looked at sixty different factors including: availability of affordable housing (including apartments and condos), access to work and play, transportation, the environment, engagement, health, opportunity, access to jobs, and amenities.

The AARP List of Most Livable Neighborhoods

When they were done with their research, including surveying thousands of people over the age of 50, here was the AARP final list of the ten most livable neighborhoods in the United States.  They have narrowed it down, not just to cities, but specific neighborhoods within the cities:

Mifflin West, Madison, WI
Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY
Downtown Crossing, Boston
South of Market, San Francisco
Washburn, La Crosse, WI
Downtown Sioux Falls, S.D.
Southside, Virginia, Minnesota
Downtown Bismarck, N.D.
Downtown Seattle
Downtown Los Alamos, N.M.

Other Categories of Livable Places to Retire

Of course, relatively few people live in the communities mentioned above.  In addition, those neighborhoods might not be anywhere near where you currently live or where you would like to live.  As a result, AARP also came up with several other categories of livable places.  These were:

Most Livable Cities
Best Cities for Staying Healthy
Easiest Cities to Get Around
Best Cities for Date Night
Best Cities for Making New Friends

Furthermore, they broke those lists down into three sub-categories ... large, medium and small cities.

It interested me that there were several cities on more than one list.

How to Evaluate Your Community

Are you curious about how your community compares to others?  AARP allows anyone free access to their matrix.  Here is how to find out how your community ranks:

1.  Log into aarp.org/livabilityindex
2.  Enter your address or, if your prefer, just your zip code
3.  It will show your livability score in several categories, including housing, access to work and play, transportation, environment, health, engagement, opportunity.

You can click on the various categories to learn more about each one and how your community ranked in a number of areas.

When I did this with my own community of Laguna Woods Village, California, it was above the average in five categories and below average in two.  It ranked particularly high in health, partly because there are few smokers, few obese people and there is plenty of access to exercise and health care.

My community's overall score was about the same as that of Austin, Texas ... another popular retirement city.

AARP Featured Cities

At the bottom of the website mentioned above, you can click on Featured Cities and see the scores of most of the major cities in the United States.  By entering a zip code, as described above, you can find out the details of specific neighborhoods in those cities.

Enjoy this fabulous way to research the communities where you might want to retire.  It is a great way to evaluate every place in the United States you think you may want to live and will help you decide which livable communities are right for you!

If you are looking for more retirement information and ideas, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of additional articles about retirement.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  www.morguefile.com

3 comments:

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  3. What a wonderful tool for making a decision about moving... or staying where you are! Thanks for sharing!

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