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The Best City to Retire in Every State

Best Cities to Retire in the USA

Our thanks to Jennifer Karami of Redfin, for this contribution to our blog.

Everyone has a unique dream of retirement and choosing the right place for you is imperative. The best cities to retire in the USA are almost as diverse as each individual’s vision for their golden years. To help narrow it down, we named the best city to retire in every state Redfin operates. Rankings were determined by common factors that make a good retirement destination regardless of geographic location.

  • Walk Score: Cities with good walkability scored higher on our list because a high Walk Score® ranking is correlated with good health, sustainability, and civic engagement.
  • State and local (non-federal) income tax rate: Many people retire on a fixed income, so cities with low taxes were considered ideal in our ranking
  • Average daily temperature: Since many retirees prefer moderate-warm weather, we considered cities with a warm average daily temperature close to 75° to be desirable.
  • Percentage of 65+ households: It’s nice to have a community of people who are roughly the same age, and a higher 65+ population indicates the city is popular among retirees who already live there. The data is based on the percentage of households headed by someone age 65+.
  • Percentage of “accessible” homes for sale on Redfin: “Accessible listings” include features like ramps, parking spaces, and ADA-compliant bathrooms. We interpret accessibility as a measure of retiree-friendliness.

We didn’t consider home prices as they vary widely within and across states and “affordability” is subjective. Each category was weighted equally, and the city with the highest combined score across the above categories was chosen as the best place to retire in that state.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide which factors are most important for your retirement. Take a look at the results to see which city ranked highest in your state, explore the best cities to retire nationwide, and learn about what makes these cities particularly great places to retire.

The Best City to Retire in Each State

State City Walk Score Average Daily Max Temperature (°F) Percentage of 65+ Households AccessibleListings Average State & Local Tax Income Rate
Alabama Gadsden 14 72° 30% 0% 4%
Arizona Tucson 25 80° 30% 83% 3%
Arkansas Hot Springs 14 73° 38% 0% 4.9%
California San Luis Obispo 31 71° 30% 15% 6.2%
Colorado Greeley 21 64° 20% 21% 3.9%
Connecticut New Haven 29 58° 26% 5% 5.4%
Delaware Dover 16 63° 25% 13% 4.4%
Florida Deltona 24 81° 36% 16% 0.7%
Georgia Rome 14 72° 27% 11% 4.4%
Idaho Coeur d’Alene 19 55° 27% 4% 5%
Illinois Kankakee 28 60° 25% 5% 3.4%
Indiana Indianapolis 15 62° 24% 3% 4.9%
Kentucky Louisville 13 65° 25% 0% 6.1%
Louisiana New Orleans 28 78° 24% 5% 3.4%
Maryland Salisbury 20 64° 33% 36% 6%
Massachusetts Boston 44 57° 24% 3% 5.4%
Michigan Detroit 43 58° 26% 1% 4.4%
Minnesota Duluth 18 50° 27% 0% 5.6%
Missouri St Louis 21 65° 25% 2% 4.3%
Nebraska Lincoln 36 62° 21% 0% 5%
Nevada Carson City 31 59° 30% 4% 0.6%
New Hampshire Manchester 22 55° 23% 21% 1.7%
New Jersey Atlantic City 33 63° 27% 16% 4.3%
New Mexico Santa Fe 24 62° 32% 0% 4.2%
New York New York 63 60° 25% 5% 7.6%
North Carolina Asheville 11 62° 31% 3% 4.8%
Ohio Youngstown 23 58° 30% 0% 4.3%
Oklahoma Tulsa 19 73° 24% 0% 3.9%
Oregon Eugene 31 57° 27% 42% 7.1%
Pennsylvania Lebanon 25 61° 29% 20% 3.9%
Rhode Island Providence 30 58° 25% 1% 5.2%
South Carolina Myrtle Beach 21 73° 27% 8% 4.7%
Tennessee Chattanooga 9 69° 32% 88% 2.4%
Texas Sherman 17 78° 28% 4% 0.3%
Utah Salt Lake City 27 58° 19% 21% 5%
Virginia Winchester 14 63° 27% 18% 5%
Washington Longview 21 56° 29% 12% 1%
Wisconsin Janesville 27 56° 24% 0% 5%

Gadsden, Alabama

Gadsden was founded in 1846 along the Coosa River as a steamboat station. Since then it has developed into a thriving town full of outdoor activities. Noccalula Falls is the main attraction in Gadsden. The waterfall spans more than ninety feet and the park contains an admirable botanical garden.

Activities: Imagination Place Children’s Museum, Gadsden Museum of Art, James D. Martin Wildlife Park

Tucson, Arizona

We ranked Tucson as the best city to retire in Arizona. Eighty-three percent of listings in Tucson are marked “accessible,” making it a great place to find a home or condo for retirement. Tucson is surrounded by five major mountain ranges, so you’ll see gorgeous views of these mountains in every direction. This area is known for its warm weather, jaw-dropping sunsets, and star-gazing. With plenty of golf courses in nearby Scottsdale, golf lovers will have no problem swinging those clubs all year long. 

Activities: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Reid Park Zoo, Tucson Botanical Gardens

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas

As the name suggests, this town in the Ouachita Mountains is known for its natural hot springs. You can soak away your aches and pains in thermal bathhouses from the 19th century. Hot Springs has a variety of other amenities such as nature walks, nearby casinos, or horse races at Oaklawn. With a large 65+ population, you will be in the company of many other retirees.

Activities: Arlington Hotel, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Lake Catherine State Park, Garvan Woodland Botanical Gardens, Magic Springs Theme & Water Park

Hot Springs, Arkansas

San Luis Obispo, California

Data suggests the best city to retire in California is San Luis Obispo. SLO is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where luscious greenery meets beautiful beaches. The area boasts over 280 wineries, giving you the opportunity to sip local wine while you relish the warm, sunny weather.

Activities: Palm Theater, Art Deco Fremont Theater, Bishop Peak, Sunset Drive-In

San Louis Obispo, California

Greeley, Colorado

Greely has it all – parks, culture, and family-friendly activities, making it arguably the best city to retire in Colorado. Greely is near the Poudre River which has well-maintained walking trails and great spots to watch birds and wildlife among the cottonwood trees. Greely has won many awards and accolades, making it a certified great place to retire.

Activities: Family FunPlex, Poudre River Trail, Railroad Museum, Island Grove Fairground 

Greely, CO

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven lies on the coast of the Long Island Sound and is home to the esteemed Yale University. This town has centuries-old architecture combined with a thriving arts and culture scene, making it a fun and unique place for academics of all ages. New Haven also has a high Walk Score ranking, so getting around to all of these places is a breeze.

Activities: Yale University Art Gallery, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, East Rock Park, Lighthouse Point Park

Dover, Delaware

Dover is the second-largest city in Delaware and is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River Coastal Plain. Dover is rich with historical sites and surrounded by parks and green landscapes. Dover is also a quick drive to some breathtaking beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

Activities: Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, International Speedway, Air Mobility Command Museum, Biggs Museum of American Art, John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware Agricultural Museum

Deltona, Florida

We named Deltona the best city to retire in Florida based on an extremely low (0.7 percent) income tax rate, plus year-round warm weather. Deltona is on the north side of the beautiful Lake Monroe, making it a superb destination for boating, fishing, or birdwatching. In addition to NASCAR, Deltona is home to lots of local creative talent – you can catch musicians, authors, and performers in the intimate Deltona Arts Center.

Activities: NASCAR, Blue Spring State Park, Deltona Veterans Memorial Museum, Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Black Bear Wilderness Area, Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Boardwalk, Flea & Farmers Market

Deltona Beach, Florida

Rome, Georgia

If you’re looking to get away from the big city but still be close enough to essentials, Rome is the place for you! Rome is a small town with an abundant sense of community. Rome has great parks and a variety of shopping boutiques, as well as tasty restaurants and bars. Rome also has an average daily temperature of 72 degrees, making every day spent outside enjoyable.

Activities: Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum, Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area, Ridge Ferry Park

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Coeur d’Alene is known for its large and lively lake – a great place for boat activities, water sports, or relaxation on the beach. Coeur d’Alene has plenty of delicious restaurants and boutiques. Take the grandkids to nearby Silverwood, the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme park, for a day of family fun.

Activities: Tubbs Hill, Coeur d’Alene Casino, North Idaho Centennial Trail, Museum of North Idaho

Coeur d'Alene Idaho

Kankakee, Illinois

The Kankakee River is 133 miles long and runs right through the town of Kankakee, Illinois. Fishing in this area is plentiful – with 13 riverfront parks and a five-acre stocked quarry, it’s the perfect place to catch a record number of fish! With a relatively high Walk Score ranking, exploring the area is a fun and easy task.

Activities: Harley Bradley House, Kankakee Valley Park District, Kankakee County Museum, French Heritage Museum

Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis is known as the racing capital of the world due to its motor speedway. In addition to fast cars, Indianapolis also has miles of recreational trails to explore and a lively downtown with a flourishing culinary scene.

Activities: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, White River State Park, Indiana State Museum, Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville sits on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. If you like horse races, you’re in luck – Louisville hosts the world-famous Kentucky Derby every May at Churchill Downs. Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and has many activities for all ages.

Activities: Churchhill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Lousiville Zoo, Louisville Mega Cavern, Muhammad Ali Center, Kentucky Derby Museum

Louisville, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known for its music, festivities, and amazing food. You’ll never get bored of the diverse and delicious restaurant selection (beignets, anyone?). If you’re a jazz fan, NOLA is the place for you – music fills the streets each night, creating a festive atmosphere. A low tax rate helped New Orleans land a top spot in our best cities to retire.

Activities: New Orleans Museum of Art, National World War II Museum, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, French Quarter, Ghost Tours

New Orleans, Louisiana

Salisbury, Maryland

If you love birdwatching, Salisbury is the place for you! Located on the Delmarva Peninsula, this area has miles of wetlands where you can see loons, herons, swans, and more. Salisbury is less than an hour drive from Assateague Island, a beach where you can watch Maryland’s wild ponies frolic in the sand.

Activities: Salisbury Zoological Park, The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Pemberton Historical Park, Poplar Hill Mansion, Schumaker Pond

Maryland

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and rich with history! Boston played a big role in the American Revolution and has plenty of monuments and museums to visit. In addition to history, this city has a beautiful harbor and a great nightlife. With a Walk Score ranking of 44, the Boston area is effortless to navigate.

Activities: Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Common, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park, Boston Public Garden, Boston Harbor, New England Aquarium.

Boston, MA

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is located on the border of Canada and was once settled by French Explorers. As the birthplace of the automobile, this city is chock full of history and innovation. Once an industrial hub, Detroit is now a thriving art, culture, and sports city with many beautiful homes for sale.

Activities: Henry Ford Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Belle Isle Park, Comerica BallPark, GM Renaissance Center, Motown Museum, Fox Theatre, Campus Martius Park, Greektown Casino, The Guardian Building, Detroit Historical Society

Detroit, MI

Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth is a port city located on Lake Superior in the awe-inspiring Great Lakes region (the largest body of freshwater on earth!) With beautiful lakefront trails, parks, mountains, and more, Duluth is an excellent place for outdoor activities like kayaking, skiing, and horseback riding.

Activities: Canal Park, Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, Glensheen, Great Lakes Aquarium, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Aerial Lift Bridge, Jay Cooke State Park

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is nestled along the Mississippi River and is home to the iconic Gateway Arch built in the 1960s in honor of Lewis and Clark. This city has so much to offer, from family-friendly activities to blues clubs to historical landmarks.

Activities: Missouri Botanical Garden, Gateway Arch, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, Busch Stadium, National Blues Museum, River City Casino and Hotel, World Chess Hall of Fame.

St Louis, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska and has a vibrant shopping and nightlife scene. They also have the most parkland in the United States, which allows for plenty of lively festivals and attractions in the summer.

Activities: Nebraska State Capitol, Pioneers Park Nature Center, Sunken Gardens, International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Carson City, Nevada

We ranked Carson City as the best city to retire in Nevada because of their thriving retiree community (30 percent of residents are age 65+) and extremely low tax rates (0.6 percent), which make it easy to budget well into retirement. The Sierra Nevada mountains provide the community with a plethora of outdoor activities. Lake Tahoe is only 20 minutes away, and with an average of 300 sunny days a year, this region is a perfect destination for snowbirds.

Activities: Lake Tahoe, Nevada State Museum, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Sand Harbor, Spooner Lake, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester is a metropolitan city surrounded by rolling mountain ranges and luscious forests. If you like to ski, this is the right place for you – Manchester gets over 60 inches of snowfall on average per year!

Activities: Currier Museum of Art, McIntyre Ski Area, Zimmerman House, Manchester Historic Association Millyard Museum, SEE Science Center

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City is home to 1,000 feet of over-the-ocean fun. Their boardwalk provides activities for all ages. From people-watching to visiting delicious restaurants with ocean views, the opportunities for leisure are endless. Atlantic City also has dozens of casinos along the boardwalk accompanied by large hotels that showcase great nightlife.

Activities: Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City Boardwalk, Borgata, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Steel Peer

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Santa Fe, New Mexico

American painter Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by Santa Fe’s breathtaking landscape, and it’s easy to see why. Adorable stucco houses enhance the backdrop of the colorful Cristo mountains. Santa Fe has so much to offer when it comes to arts and culture. This area also has a ton of southwestern history just waiting to be explored!

Activities: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Palace of the Governors, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe Farmers Market

Santa Fe, New Mexico

New York, New York

New York City sits where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The Big Apple is home to the world’s major commercial, financial, and cultural centers. With an abundance of things to do and places to eat, the “city that never sleeps” will keep you on your toes well into retirement – literally. With one of the highest Walk Score rankings in the country, the New York area is perfect for those looking for an active, metropolitan lifestyle.

Activities: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park, The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, 9/11 Memorial

Brooklyn , NY

Asheville, North Carolina

According to our calculations, Asheville is the best city to retire in North Carolina. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its historic architecture and thriving arts scene. Asheville has a vibrant food landscape, festivals year-round, and tons of outdoor activities to participate in. Asheville has a very pleasant retirement community, with 31 percent of the population in Salisbury being greater than age 65.

Activities: Biltmore, The North Carolina Arboretum, Pisgah National Forest, Folk Art Center, Botanical Gardens at Asheville, Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown is located halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and has a growing downtown shopping and restaurant scene. In addition to revitalizing their downtown, the residents of Youngstown are extremely friendly and regularly gather to celebrate their community.

Activities: Mill Creek Park, Fellows Riverside Gardens, The Butler Institute of American Art, Lanterman’s Mill, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, a city that was once considered the oil capital of the world, has transformed into a lively metro area with youthful, quirky energy. Tulsa has many attractions, including over 100 parks, and is known for its art deco-style architecture.

Activities: Philbrook Museum of Art, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, River Spirit Casino Resort, Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, Tulsa Botanic Garden

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, but it’s far more than a college town – in fact, we ranked it the best city to retire in Oregon. Eugene has vast outdoor areas with a host of walking, jogging, and hiking trails to explore. You can hunt at Fern Ridge, fish at Junction City, or visit the Rhododendron and Botanical gardens. Forty-two percent of listings in Eugene are accessible, making it a great place for retirees to find an independent living situation.

Activities: Skinner Butte Park, Alton Baker Park, Spencer Butte, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Owen Rose Garden, Silvan Ridge Winery

Eugene Oregon

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Lebanon is a small pastoral town in Pennsylvania, surrounded by fields and characterized by a relaxed way of life. Lebanon has a rich heritage and a very welcoming community. This area has a variety of pleasant parks perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, and picnicking.

Activities: Bomberger’s Distillery, Memorial Lake State Park, Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence is the capital city of Rhode Island and home to prestigious Brown University. Providence has an exciting downtown urban landscape with trendy coffee shops and flourishing community gardens. People of all ages will enjoy the parks and museums Providence has to offer.

Activities: RISD Museum, Water Fire, Providence Children’s Museum, India Point Park, Rhode Island State Park

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is located on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast. The vibrant city has more than 60 miles of beachfront and is known as the golf capital of the world. With over 100 golf courses, what more could you ask for?

Activities: Broadway at the Beach, Sky Wheel, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Myrtle Beach State Park, World Tour Golf Links

Myrtle Beach, SC

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga is set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With a prime location on the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has access to tons of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Visit the Tennessee Riverpark downtown where you can explore the walking trails or fish from the piers. Chattanooga has an extremely high number of accessible home listings (88 percent), so there will be no worry when trying to find the perfect place.

Activities: Tennessee Riverpark, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Hunter Museum of American Art, Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls

Sherman, Texas

We named Sherman the best city to retire in Texas. With a record-low tax rate (0.3 percent), retirees can stretch their dollar further while enjoying the year-round warm weather. Named after Sidney Sherman – a hero of the Texas revolution – this quaint town offers a relaxed way of life. Although Sherman is a small town, it is packed with plenty of enjoyable activities and a very inviting, friendly community of Texans.

Activities: Eisenhower Birthplace, Herman Baker Park, The Sherman Museum, Pecan Grove West Park

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is situated among Utah’s gorgeous Wasatch Mountains. Residents enjoy proximity to five National Parks including Arches, Canyonlands, and Yellowstone. Salt Lake City is also an hour’s drive to nine amazing ski resorts – a skiers dream! Salt Lake has a strong religious community, but people of all religions are made to feel welcome.

Activities: Temple Square, Utah State Capitol Building, Red Butte Garden, Hogle Zoo, Millcreek Canyon

Salt Lake City, UT

Winchester, Virginia

Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Winchester is a town chock full of historic gems. The area has a long and storied past, dating back to the 1700s when Shawnee Indians lived on the land. Kids will enjoy exploring the many museums and learning about the civil war and American history.

Activities: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, Patsy Cline Historic House, Old Town Winchester, George Washington’s Office, Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, The Kernstown Battlefield, Fort Loudoun Historic Site, Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters, James Charles Winery & Vineyard

Longview, Washington

We found Longview to be the best city to retire in Washington state. Longview is a verdant area located near the Columbia River. Longview has a variety of recreational facilities, including Lake Sacajawea Park, which is known for its vibrant gardens and wonderful walking trails. The region has dozens of other parks with lots of dog-friendly areas and sports fields. Local and state taxes are low at just 1 percent, so your dollar will stretch much further than other areas in Washington.

Activities: Lake Sacajawea Park, Columbia Theater, Nutty Narrows Bridge, The Lewis and Clark Bridge, Cowlitz County Historical Museum.

Janesville, Wisconsin

Janesville is known as Wisconsin’s city of parks. They have thousands of acres of parkland as well as 53 new and improved parks. These parks have boat launches, golf courses, and nature trails, making Janesville the perfect place for outdoor recreation.

Activities: Rotary botanical gardens, Lincoln-Tallman House, Palmer Park, Riverside Park, Fermenting Cellars Winery

Whether you enjoy living in the hustle and bustle of the city or prefer to retire in a more laid-back town where you know everyone’s name, the States have plenty of options for retirees. We ran the numbers to determine our (subjective) list of the best cities to retire, but you don’t have to take our word for it. In fact, we’d love to hear what you think! Did your city make the list? Is there a city we missed? What makes your city a great place to retire? Let us know in the comments.

Assisted Living or Aging in Place? How to Choose

Our thanks to Caroline James of elderaction.org, for this contribution to our blog.

 

Where to live when you’re elderly is the type of decision you want to make before life forces you to do so. If you don’t, you may discover you have fewer options than you’d hoped. Seniors who have a disability are sometimes unable to return home, and without time to spare, they have no choice but to move into whichever care facility has space.

Unfortunately, it’s also exactly the type of decision you want to avoid. No one likes thinking about losing their independence or developing an age-related disability. However, you can’t ignore the fact that two in three seniors will need long-term care as they age.

So, how do you choose where to live and receive care when you’re older? These are the three most important factors to consider.

Location

Some communities are more suited to aging in place than others. For instance, seniors who live near medical facilities, caregiving agencies, public transit, and other important amenities have an easier time aging at home than rural seniors.

Care Needs

Seniors who need a lot of daily support benefits from assisted living, where they don’t have to worry about coordinating and budgeting for in-home care. On the other hand, seniors in good health can retain full independence by aging in place. So, consider your health today and how it may change in the future; if you have chronic health conditions or mobility problems now, you’re more likely to need full-time care later on.

Cost

Assisted living averages $48,000 a year — and that cost is steadily rising. While expensive, assisted living may cost less than you’d spend aging at home. At $22 an hour, the average cost of part-time care is lower than assisted living, but seniors who need round-the-clock care can save money by moving to assisted living.

How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living communities offer a supportive living environment where seniors can get help with day-to-day activities, such as taking medications, preparing meals, and managing personal care. Many assisted living facilities offer perks like fitness centers, gardens, and spas.

Since every assisted living community has its own personality, you’ll want to tour several in the San Francisco area before making a decision. Keep in mind that different communities offer different levels of independence. While some have communal facilities and cater specifically to seniors needing in-home care, others offer apartments and studios for seniors who are still self-sufficient but want some basic assistance with housekeeping and healthcare. Prices also range widely in San Francisco, with assisted living costs ranging from $1,695 to $11,270 a month. Factor your budget and your needs to narrow your search for the right assisted living facility.

How to Age in Place

If you’re in good health, you may be thinking of aging in place. However, are you sure your home is the right one to age in? While most seniors prefer to age in place, many don’t live in a home suited to senior living. They might not pose an obstacle now, but staircases, narrow doorways, and dimly lit spaces become a safety hazard in your 80s.

Some seniors opt to remodel their current home while others choose to buy a new house better suited to aging in place. When making your decision, consider not only the cost but also convenience. The cost savings offered by downsizing may be modest, but moving to a newer home means fewer repairs to worry about during retirement. You’ll also be able to settle in within weeks instead of waiting months for a remodel to finish.

Whatever you choose, don’t wait to think about where you’ll live when you’re older. If you decide to move to assisted living, you’ll need time to prepare your budget and find the perfect facility for your golden years. And if you decide that you want to age in place, starting now means you have many years to enjoy your ideal home.

 

How to Find the Best Shoes for Older Adults

Our thanks to Clarissa Rivera of Taos Footwear, for this contribution to our blog.

Finding the right shoes for older adults can be tricky, but doing so can help older adults maintain an active lifestyle which will contribute to better health and a better quality of life.

Whether you decide on a pair of supportive sneakers or comfortable sandals, your best bet is to find a pair that matches your needs and helps you stay active. The wrong shoes, on the other hand, can be uncomfortable, not to mention dangerous, so it’s crucial to find the right pair for the right activity.

Below are a few essential things to remember and look out for when shoe shopping.

 

Feet change

Feet change in shape and size as we get older, which means we can’t wear the same shoes that we wore in our twenties – no matter how much we spent on them, or how much wear they appear to have left in them.

It’s quite normal for your feet to get wider or more swollen as you age. However, we recommend talking to your doctor about any changes you notice, to make sure they are not related to an undiagnosed medical condition.

Get rid of your old shoes

Shoes lose their support and cushioning over time, so replace them when you see wear on the sole, upper, or inside. If your shoes are pinching your toes, then that is a sign of a poor fit, so you should get rid of them to avoid further problems.

Older adults who have less feeling in their feet are in a much more vulnerable position, as they might not feel the pain associated with a poor fit. So, we would suggest changing your shoes every year or 18 months – depending on how much wear they get – just to be on the safe side.

What to wear indoors…

Yes, staying in counts as an activity, so it’s important to prepare your feet for staying indoors too. Walking around barefoot or in just a pair of socks isn’t ideal. Shoes or sturdy slippers should always be worn around the house, as they will not only protect your feet, but they will also help with mobility.

However, slip-on slipper styles and flip flops should be avoided in older age, as it’s extremely easy to step out of them and trip. Flip flops can also cause damage to the toes and toenails, so they should be left to the younger generation.

Choosing the right shoes for the right activity  

The first step to choosing new shoes as an older adult is to be clear about what you want them for. Walking shoes are very different to running shoes, and running shoes are very different to dress shoes, so make sure you tell the salesperson and whoever is helping you what they will be used for.

The second step is to ensure that they are comfortable before you leave the store. If you are looking for walking shoes, go for a walk around the store. The same goes for running shoes. They can be worn in gradually once you get home, but they should fit somewhat comfortably when you first try them on. Here are just a few more things to look out for when shopping…

 

Make sure you are happy with the length, width, and capacity of the shoe, as well as its shape. The salesperson should be able to trace the outline of both of your feet while you are standing; the outline can then be used against the shoes in the store to find the right pair.

 

One foot could be bigger than the other, so always choose a size that fits the larger foot. The smaller foot can then have an insole placed inside the shoe for the perfect fit.

 

The fabric of the shoe is extremely important, too. We recommend choosing a shoe with an upper section made of either soft leather or heavy fabric.

 

The back of the shoe shouldn’t be neglected in your search either, as it should stabilize the ankle and the heel. If possible, the heel should be compressible, low, and broad.

 

The sole is also one of the most important things to consider, as a thick, solid sole is crucial to mobility. Those with Parkinson’s often find that smooth soles help them move more easily. Non-skid soles, found in most sneakers and sports shoes, provide good traction. Silvert’s sells a range of adaptive footwear that could greatly benefit older adults. Shoes with extra depth to help with orthotics, shoes that are adjustable for older adults who suffer with foot swelling, and shoes with anti-slip soles are just a few examples.

 

Pay attention to how the shoe fastens.

Someone who cannot tie their laces may be more comfortable using VELCRO, or a buckle that can be adjusted by hand, foot, or cane. New Balance makes shoes with hook-and-loop closure, as a helpful alternative to laces. Some models are Medicare-approved as diabetic shoes too.

 

Socks are just as important.

Be sure to team your new shoes with a good pair of socks. Choose sweat-wicking socks that are anatomically-shaped, as they can reduce your risk of developing blisters. Your local sports or running store should have a good selection of appropriate socks.

 

As you can see, choosing shoes for older adults might require a little bit of extra thought, but the results of finding the best shoe are more than worth it.

 

The 2019 Guide to Medicare

Our thanks to Danielle Kunkle, for this contribution to our blog.

Though Medicare has been around since 1965, there are changes each year that affect your premiums, copays and deductibles for the next year. Sometimes there are also legislative changes that can impact your benefits. Let’s look at an overview of Medicare for 2019.

Medicare Has 4 Parts

Original Medicare includes Part A hospital benefits and Part B outpatient benefits. You enroll in these two parts via the Social Security office during your Initial Enrollment Period which begins 3 months before your 65th birthday month. Part A covers inpatient hospital, hospice and skilled nursing. Part B covers most other medically necessary services on the outpatient sides, such as doctor visits, lab testing, emergency care, physical therapy, chemotherapy and much more.

In1997, the Balanced Budget Act also created Part C, which is the Medicare Advantage program, which we’ll discuss more below

The most recent part of Medicare is the voluntary prescription drug program that we call Part D. This will help to reduce the cost of your retail prescriptions.

Medicare Doesn’t Cover 100% of your Costs

Although Medicare covers the majority of your healthcare expenses, you are responsible for some cost-sharing. This includes deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. On the outpatient side, Medicare only covers about 80% of your covered procedures, and you are responsible to pay the other 20%. For this reason, most people enroll in additional coverage to help them with their cost-sharing. There are two primary types of supplemental coverage: Medigap Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.

Medigap plans are also known as Medicare supplements and these plans pay after Medicare. In most states, you can choose from one of 10 standardized Medigap plans. These plans allow you to treat with any Medicare provider nationwide and you don’t have to choose a primary care doctor.

Since Medigap plans don’t include outpatient drug coverage, you would enroll in a standalone Part D drug plan as well.

Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) is optional coverage in which you can get your Medicare Part A and B benefits through a private insurance company that offers a network of providers. These plans often have lower premiums than Medigap plans but you’ll pay copays at the time of service for various medical services.

Between Medicare and the right supplemental coverage, you can rest assured your benefits will cover you well without breaking the bank.

Finding Success as an Older Entrepreneur

Our thanks to Rae Steinbach, from fueledcollective.com, for this contribution to our blog.

Whether it’s Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, much of the 2000s has been dominated by younger entrepreneurs who have changed our personal and business lives in a number of ways. From the rise of social media to the increasing popularity of remote work and coworking spaces, entrepreneurs have had a marked impact on society.  But contrary to how our current youth-oriented culture may seem, one can begin to build a great company at any age.

Unsurprisingly, one of the most common causes of new business failure is a lack of relevant skills and experience. Older entrepreneurs, as you’ll see, are often in a better position than ever to take a chance on the idea they’ve been dreaming about and watch it grow into a successful business.

 

Why Older People Make Successful Entrepreneurs

Seemingly everyone has a million-dollar idea that could change the world, but very few of us are able to navigate the business world and make it a reality. People who have spent more time working and gaining experience are generally able to hold a more realistic view of their goals, expectations, and needs.

Younger entrepreneurs also face difficulties in attempting to build a business while dealing with the financial and personal responsibilities that come with being in your 20s or 30s. Starting later in life means having more time, money, and resources to devote to your business.

 

Creating a Business

No matter how old you are, leaving an existing job for the unknown is a major risk that requires serious consideration. Half of all businesses fail within five years, so it’s crucial to be realistic and impartial when thinking about the costs and benefits of starting your own company.

When you do decide to branch out, you’ll also have to judge how much of your personal money to spend on the project. Unlike those in their 20s and 30s, older entrepreneurs generally don’t have as much time to replenish savings and retirement funds if the venture doesn’t turn out the way they hoped.

If your startup targets millennials or younger demographics, you may benefit from hiring some employees who can provide valuable insight into that market. Understanding how to capitalize on your strengths and find people to support your weakness is crucial to managing any business.

Starting a company is a massive undertaking for anyone, and that’s especially true for older entrepreneurs. That said, the experience and knowledge that come from decades in a business environment often prove even more valuable in a startup context. These strategies will help you build your company from the ground up and put you in a position to reach your goals.

 

 

Giving Gifts That Make a Difference

I get to take a look at products designed for older adults every day. This year I brought technology from two companies I have known since their start-up days into the homes of my parents.

Technology

After the passing of my step-dad, my Mom decided she wanted a medical alert device. We turned to Greatcall and Lively.  As I knew it would be, the service she has received has been exceptional. My Dad, who lives in a rural area, expressed an interest in some sort of device to stay in closer touch with us. He was especially missing all of the photos of his newest great grandson. Knowing that he is not tech savvy, we were reluctant to put an ordinary tablet in his hands. Instead we turned to GrandPad. Because of his location, the set-up proved difficult, but the service was excellent, we were communicated with about solutions, and understood the issues. I am happy to be the influencer on these purchases, and to experience the service models these companies have created.

Comfort & Joy

While I live and work in the world of technology, I’ve been working very hard this year to uncover things being created for older adults that bring joy, comfort and fun. There is plenty of investment in technology that solves for the dissonances of aging. There is not nearly enough focus (or funding) on joy. My short list of gift ideas is focused on this theme!

Give Loved1

Loved1 is subscription gift box for older adults that contains items focused on wellness and happiness. The difference is that the items are carefully curated to encourage engagement between the sender and receiver. Subscribers, usually the adult children, receive an email about the items in the box and an Engagement Guide filled with ideas to promote rich conversations and fun interactions. Subscriptions come in 12, 6 and 3 box options. This is the perfect gift for your family member living in a community to encourage family members of all ages to visit and engage around fun activities; and if you are long distance caregiver, the items in the box create conversations beyond the basic check-in calls. You can listen to my friend Paul Vogelzang’s Podcast with Loved1’s Joe Adams to learn more.

Bridges Together

Bridges Together is the go-to organization for intergenerational engagement. They offer training and tools to help individuals and communities embrace and create a truly age-integrated world. Schools, communities, and companies use the Bridges curriculum to create all types of intergenerational activities. Founder Andrea Weaver calls intergenerational engagement “an inoculation against ageism.” Become part of the age integrated movement and subscribe here. You can see the outstanding “How To Guides” that are part of your subscription. If you are looking for a fun stocking stuffer, or a way to stimulate non-political discourse over the holidays, check out the Grand Conversation Cards. This deck of cards has thought-provoking questions for people of all ages to encourage deeper conversations among multiple generations of family. These are great for the dinner table (sans devices), for workplace training, or you can play one of the games that come in the How To Guide.

 

Clothing That Comforts

Jan Erickson created Janska from a dream about a jacket. She had an older friend who had become disabled from a series of strokes. The hospital gown became her wardrobe and Jan wanted to create something to keep her warm and also restore her “personhood” during this difficult time. That jacket that Jan sketched from her dream launched a made-in-America clothing company with five collections and accessories sold nationwide. The Clothing That Comforts line is the embodiment of Jan’s philosophy that clothing does matter, and that soft, warm pieces provide dignity that can be lost when you are facing a health or mobility challenge.

I gifted my Grandmother with the Lap Wrap Shawl and the MocSocks. (I love the MocSocks too!) Imagine the joy that the cozy fabrics and beautiful colors will bring to your loved one!

 

However you celebrate the season, I hope you and your family have love, joy and fun! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Grandparents’ Day!

If you’ve read my book, The Grandparent Economy, you know that my interest in the lifestage is both personal and professional. I was raised by my paternal grandparents from infancy. It was something of a novelty in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Today that is a much different story.

The origin of Grandparents’ Day

In the 70’s, Marian McQuade was a champion of intergenerational relationships, urging young people to adopt a grandparent and to have older adults in their lives. She encouraged West Virginia’s Governor to recognize an annual Grandparents’ Day. In 1973, Senator Jennings Randolph of West Virginia introduced a resolution to the senate to make Grandparents’ Day a national holiday. In 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation making the first Sunday of September after Labor Day “National Grandparents’ Day.”

This proclamation cites the purpose, “”…to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer”.

Grandparents Today

Nearly one third of all families in the US are grandparent households, largely due to the aging of the huge Baby Boomer population. Baby Boomers are a new breed of grandparents – more engaged and financially involved – maintaining their “helicopter” status well into grandparenthood.

The other side of the grandparent experience are grandparents who step in to raise their grandchildren, just as mine did more than 50 years ago. More than 2.5 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. This transcends race and income. The growing numbers are largely due to extended deployments of parents, death of parents, and the opioid crisis. As the opioid crisis affects multiple generations, we are seeing an increase in great grandparents as the primary caregivers for children as well. Many older adults do this at the expense of their own health and retirement savings.

In May of 2017, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced the “Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act” with the support from 40 older adult and advocacy groups. This act was signed into law in July. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will coordinate the work of a Federal Advisory Council to provide resources and best practices to support grandparents and other relatives raising children. It’s a great start in providing for the physical and emotional well-being of these special families.

How to Celebrate Grandparents’ Day

I have some thoughts to share from a variety of my favorite organizations.

Bridges Together

In addition to Grandparents’ Day, it’s Intergenerational (IG) Awareness Month – a month set aside to raise awareness about and celebrate the benefits of intergenerational connections. Bridges Together invites you share your stories of intergenerational relationships:

Share the power of intergenerational relationships. Write a 500 word story, create a piece of art (visual or performing) and submit it to the Kraemer IG Story Contest.  The contest is now open and will remain open until Oct. 31.  Cash prizes will be awarded.  Read more and enter now!

Loved1

Do you have a grandparent or great grandparent living away from you and your family?
Loved1 delivers a gift box of thoughtfully curated products that focus on healthy living, quality of life, nutrition, and fun. You receive an email detailing the items in the box and an Engagement Guide to encourage great discussions and interactions with your family member.

GRAND Magazine

GRAND – the digital magazine for living the ageless life – is now available for FREE. If you are a grandparent, it is the ultimate guide to this stage of life. If you know a grandparent who would enjoy GRAND, subscribe for them as a gift! Check out GRAND’s site as well for more excellent information. To get your FREE subscription, click here!

Making Your Mental Health a Priority After the Loss of Your Spouse

Our thanks to Elmer George, Elderville.org,  for this contribution to our blog: 

A few months ago, my husband’s mom passed away. She had cancer and spent her final days in hospice. I must admit watching my father-in-law deal with the loss has been truly eye-opening. My mother-in-law not only did most of their cooking and cleaning, but managed their finances as well. We’ve been helping my father-in-law work through his grief, while also helping him learn to live on his own. I’ve shown him how to cook some easy recipes, my husband has taken over his finances, and we’ve tried to get additional help here and there to fill in the gaps. I’ve learned a lot about what I need to be doing to help my own parents as they age, and I’d love to share my experiences with others.

The loss of a spouse is a devastating life event. For seniors, many who have been with their partners for decades and decades, it can be an enormous blow to their mental health. Not only do you face crippling sadness, loneliness, and depression, but you have to cope while also handling final arrangements, dealing with life insurance policies and the will, and doing what you can to avoid clashing with family. That’s why it’s vital that you make your mental well-being your #1 priority during this trying time.

Don’t try to speed up your grief

“Numerous research studies have demonstrated spousal bereavement is a major source of life stress that often leaves people vulnerable to later problems, including depression, chronic stress, and reduced life expectancy,” notes Psychology Today.

It is counterproductive to try to convince yourself to get over your grief, or to listen to people who tell you that there should be a time limit on your mourning. While prolonged depression stemming from the loss of a spouse can lead to health problems, attempting to suppress grief can also be incredibly detrimental. Know that you are allowed to feel sad, and never try to speed up your grieving process.

One of the best ways to begin the grieving process is to have a service for your spouse. Whether the service is a funeral or for cremation, this is an important first step. A service honors your spouse, brings family together, begins the healing process, and may bring loved ones the closure they need.

Avoid short-term fixes that can become bad habits

You might think that it’s okay to develop a few bad habits because you’re just getting through the hard times and these new habits aren’t part of your normal lifestyle, just part of the grieving process. But relying on alcohol, smoking, drugs, or overeating to help you cope with your emotional pain is even more dangerous for seniors than for younger people. Alcohol, for example, exacerbates mental health problems like anxiety and depression and is a leading cause of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Not only that, but seniors tend to already be on more medications, which can have negative interactions with other substances.

Focus on eating right and exercising

The best thing you can do for your brain is to eat right and exercise. Getting enough physical activity helps our brain produce chemicals that improve our mood. What we put in our bodies is our fuel, and if you feed yourself subpar fuel, you’re going to have poor performance. If you want to help your brain battle depression and anxiety, stick to a healthy diet and be sure to get at least 30-45 minutes of moderate activity per day.

“Research in humans shows that exercise can stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones vital to healthy cognition,” says the National Institutes of Health.

Force yourself to be social

When dealing with the loss of a spouse, many seniors tend to self-isolate. But this is one of the worst things you can do for your mental health. Talking with family and friends is one of the best ways to overcome excessive grief. “The most compassionate self-action you can take is to find a support system of caring friends and relatives who will provide the understanding you need,” says Oprah.com. Another way to talk to people about your grief is to join a grief group or seek counseling. These options may be available either locally or online.

There is no magic bullet for dealing with the devastating grief that comes with losing a spouse. But if you make a point to focus on your own mental health, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

About Elderville.org:

Elderville.org is a resource guide for everything related to seniors. We connect our readers to reliable sources on the internet so they don’t have to spend time searching. We have safety tips for daily activities, and resources that range from healthcare to volunteering.

Article & quick links provided by ElderVille: https://elderville.org/

Find your helpful quick links here for Seniors:

Can I Get a Mortgage if I’m Retired?
https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/mortgage/can-i-get-a-mortgage-if-i-m-retired/

A Guide to Downsizing for Seniors and Their Loved Ones
https://www.redfin.com/blog/seniors-guide-to-downsizing

Should You Own or Rent a Home in Retirement?
https://www.fool.com/mortgages/2017/05/04/should-you-own-or-rent-a-home-in-retirement.aspx

Home Modifications Increase Senior Safety
https://www.angieslist.com/articles/home-modifications-increase-senior-safety.htm

How to Save for a Down Payment on a House
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-save-for-a-down-payment-on-a-house-1289847

7 Home Improvement & Remodeling Ideas That Increase Home Value (And What To Avoid)
https://www.moneycrashers.com/7-home-improvements-to-increase-its-value/

Home Construction & Design Techniques for Child Safety
https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/child-safety-home-design-and-projects/

How to Deter Burglars: Keeping Potential Robbers Away From Your Home
https://www.asecurelife.com/how-to-deter-burglars/

The Business of Aging reports on how older adults are “Hacking Longevity”

Hacking Longevity is the first study to examine how three generations of adults over the age of 50 – Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Silent Generation – are thinking about and planning for longer lives. Until now, the idea of increased longevity has been mostly conceptual and aspirational. Through a rigorous research process, Hacking Longevity examination, provides insights on how brands and organizations can better serve consumers of the longevity economy. The study was conducted in the Fall of 2017 and Winter of 2018 and led by Lori Bitter at The Business of Aging.

The study debuted at AARP’s Living 100 event in Washington DC in April. This timeline illustrates key inflection points in people’s lives as they age, as revealed in the data. To learn more about Hacking Longevity, join us in June at The Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit where we will provide a briefing for attendees.

Hacking Longevity was conducted in partnership with Collaborata, and underwritten by AARP, Wells Fargo Advisors, GreatCall, and Proctor and Gamble Ventures.

Excited to talk about The Business of Aging’s new research at AARP on April 12th!

The Business of Aging’s new research, Hacking Longevity, will premier at AARP’s Living 100 event in Washington D.C. on April 12th. The event will feature an “experience” of key data points of attitudes and changes displayed along a timeline at the Newseum in Washington DC.

The research is sponsored by AARP, GreatCall, Wells Fargo Advisors and Proctor & Gamble on the new Collaborata research platform.

The agenda for the AARP’s Living 100 Event can be found here.

Watch our social media – Facebook/TheBusinessofAging and Twitter – @LoriBitter and @TheBusinessofAging for live updates!