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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.

 

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.

Four Ways You Are Wrong About Boomers

I am very proud to have received this great review from the National Association of Realtors for my book, The Grandparent Economy: How Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap. Following is the blog:

It seems everywhere you turn these days there’s some new diatribe against the generational focus of commentaries on society. It’s boomers attacking millennials attacking boomers… Heck, we even played an April Fool’s joke based on the trend a couple of weeks ago.

As someone who’s always bristled at generational stereotypes, I’m cheering those who are finally agreeing we need to stop playing the millennials vs. boomers card in the media (as no one talks about generation x anymore, that needn’t be halted of course). But as I was working on the upcoming feature for our May/June issue about how brokers are attracting the next generation of real estate pros, I found myself unable to avoid the term “millennial.”

Is your image of grandparents woefully outdated? Photo: bandini, Morguefile.

Are your ideas of grandparents woefully outdated? Photo: bandini, Morguefile.

That’s when I realized it has nothing to do with the terms; it’s the inaccurate stereotypes everyone should be finished with. And that’s why I really liked Lori K. Bitter’s The Grandparent Economy: How Baby Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap (Paramount Market Publishing, Inc., 2015). Not only is she seeking to help business owners and marketers better understand the boomer generation through the lens of grandparenthood using actual data, but she also busts a fair amount myths about boomers and grandparents in the process. Among them:

  1. Age and aversion to technology: Bitter says if you do an image search on grandparents in Google you’ll likely see “cartoon caricatures of couples with gray buns, sagging bellies and boobs, and canes… In reality, only 20 percent of grandparents are 75 or older.” She also points out that grandparents not only outspend other generations in traditional shopping environments, but they also “are outspending younger consumers two to one online… and they account for one in four mobile transactions.”
  2. Multi-gen housing as a temporary reaction to recession. Bitter, who was raised by her grandparents, points out that humans have been living with several generations under one roof since the beginning of civilization, and in many cultures around the world, it’s more common than it currently is in the United States. But as we become increasingly multicultural, it’s important to examine our biases and look at the facts: 2.7 million grandparents are raising small children on their own, and that doesn’t encompass the many who are sharing the task of raising children with the kids’ biological parents. She also points out that, far from being temporary, the trend will probably grow as people are living longer, and notes that grandfamilies occur in every area of the country and represent all income levels, races, and ethnicities.
  3. Midlife crises. Rather than fearing their advancing age, boomers are becoming less concerned with numbers as they mature. Bitter says this is the beginning of wisdom, or “the centered sense of the timelessness of all things.” She suggests thinking of marketing in the same way you might universal design: If you create something that can be used by anyone, it will be appreciated by everyone.
  4. The “Me Generation.” Bitter shows how the common trope of younger generations being full of themselves goes astray: All young people project that sort of bravado to a certain extent. “The images of self-entitled, self-centered, and materialistic boomers do not sit well, and the majority of those surveyed believe advertisers and reporters frequently get it wrong. From a developmental perspective self-involvement and materialism are features of a striving lifestyle typical of younger adults, which would be accurate for any generation, not just the Baby Boom.”

Though this isn’t a book specifically about real estate, Bitter includes numerous examples of housing communities that are successfully meeting the needs of this new batch of grandparents. And she clearly thinks highly of REALTOR® outreach to consumers: “Has an ad ever brought a tear to your eye? …Fast forward to the recent ads by the National Association of REALTORS® about the ‘American Dream of home ownership’ featuring a grandfather and his grandson. Mature consumers appreciate the art of a story well told.”

Now that’s a stereotype I think we can all live with.

Meg White

Meg White is the multimedia web producer for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine’s Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

 

What is Retirement in the 21st Century – Does It Include Work?

By Gregg M. Lunceford, Doctoral Student – Case Western Reserve University

In 2011 America’s Baby Boomer’s began turning age 65 a rate of approximately 10,000 people per day[i]. Historically age 65 has been the milestone at which many people retire. Dictionary.com defines retirement as “the act of leaving one’s job, career, or occupation permanently, usually because of age”. This classic definition was more appropriate when retirement systems were created in the early 20th century to provide income for aging employees with diminishing work skills. When the Social Security Act of 1935 was drafted the average life expectancy for men and women were ages 58 and 62 respectively[ii]. By 2013 the average life expectancy for men and women in the U.S. increased to ages 76 and 81 respectively[iii].

Our increased longevity and improved health now allows for a wider range of lifestyle options therefore retirement is taking on new meaning. For many, retirement has become a career transition that includes work on different terms in the same profession, or the beginning of a new career[iv]. Work with flexible structures has led to “win-win” situation for retiring workers and employers as they recognized several benefits from working beyond retirement age. First, many individuals benefit from the socialization and feelings of accomplishment that come from work. Forty percent of individuals who completely retire from the workplace suffer from clinical depression and 6 out of 10 report a decline in health[v]. For many, work provides an outlet to continue to thrive and improve their well-being. Second, working in retirement allows many employers to maintain valuable knowledge individuals have developed over 30-40 year careers. Such individuals are often valuable mentors and can assist with succession planning and the training of younger employees in the workforce. Finally, Baby Boomers represent the largest cohort in the workplace. The complete exit of all them from the workforce at age 65 has the potential to create a human resource gap and limit overall productivity. The retention of Baby Boomers may help many organizations improve their productivity and become more competitive.

Given the overall benefits, it is important that society better understand what factors may predict an individual’s intent to work in retirement. In 2015, a study was conducted on retirement work intention[vi]. In the study 227 working individuals, of which 93% were age 50 or older, were surveyed to see what factors contributed to their decision to work in retirement. Our research showed that a person’s confidence in their ability, willingness to be adaptable and belief that they will have meaningful opportunities for work in retirement were all predictors of their intent to work in retirement.

Retirement has evolved and no longer means the complete exit from the workforce. Work with flexible options is becoming a rewarding lifestyle option for many retirees. Careful reflection on what activities will provide happiness and fulfilment should be considered in the retirement planning process and may lead to greater success in retirement.

[i] Synder, M. 2010, December 30. In 2011 The baby boomers start to turn 65: 16 statistics about the coming retirement crisis that will drop your jaw. End of The American Dream [online].

[ii] http://www.demog.berkeley.edu/~andrew/1918/figure2.html

[iii] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf#016

[iv] Kim, J. E., & Moen, P. 2001, June 3. Is retirement good or bad for subjective well being. Current Directions in Psychologicial Science, 10: 83–86.

[v] Sahlgren, G. H. 2013. Work longer, live healthier: The relationship between economic activity, health and government policy. Institute of Economic Affairs: Discussion Paper #46

[vi] Lunceford, G. M. (2016, January). Retirement Values: What Factors Influence the Decision to Work in Retirement. Unpublished Doctoral Study at Case Western Reserve University . Cleveland, OH.

Unexpectedkindness is themost powerful,least costly, andmost underratedagent of humanchange

Gregg Lunceford, CFP® is a 24 year veteran in the financial services industry. Mr. Lunceford specializes in wealth management and works with clients on financial, estate and retirement planning issues. He currently, is a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and is studying how individuals make career transitions to retirement. Mr. Lunceford holds a MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BBA from Loyola University of Chicago.

Email: gml56@case.edu

 

 

 

 

 

13th ANNUAL WHAT’S NEXT BOOMER SUMMIT COMES TO THE NATION’S CAPITAL , MARCH 23, 2016

boomerlogo
Nation’s Leading Conference Brings Together Boomer Marketing Experts and Industry Leaders to Focus on “Seizing the Opportunity of the Longevity Economy”

Washington, D.C. plays host to the 2016 What’s Next Boomer Business Summit, the nation’s leading annual conference for the boomer and senior markets. Taking place on Wednesday, March 23rd at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, the upcoming summit shines a spotlight on “Seizing the Opportunity of the Longevity Economy” and includes a prestigious lineup of speakers, sessions, and exhibitors. Learn More →

Lori’s Interview with Barry Moltz on Business Insanity Radio

I was recently interviewed by Barry Moltz on Business Insanity Talk Radio. You can listen here:

 

Reaching the Seasoned Traveler at the Educational Travel Conference, Jan. 19-22 in Orlando, FL

Later this week I’ll be at the The Educational Travel Conference (ETC), Jan. 19-22 in Orlando, Florida. ETC is the founding conference for Alumni, Museum, Zoo, Conservation, and Nonprofit Educational Travel. It hosts 450 delegates who are a highly-qualified international group of nonprofit travel planners, suppliers, specialty tour operators and destinations. They assemble to focus on the development, operation and marketing of group educational, experiential and affinity travel worldwide.

I am looking forward joining Kathy Dragon, Doris Gallan and Heather Hardwick Rhodes for several agenda sessions there on Friday Jan. 20:

  • Going Past 40: How Today’s Baby Boomers are Traveling and Making their Buying Decisions, 9:30 – 10:50 a.m.
  • Boomer Product Development: Go Broader, Go Deeper by Appealing to Core Values of the 40+, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Prime Time Travelers: Diving Into The Digital/Social Component Of the Boomer Marketplace,  4:15 – 5:30 p.m

Learn more about The Educational Travel Conference (ETC) here.

Lori Bitter Featured in Forbes Magazine

In A Brutal Economy, Boomers Rewrite The Next Chapter


11/16/2011
(This story appears in the Dec. 5, 2011 issue of Forbes.)

Two years ago, on her 50th birthday, Lori Bitter got fired from her job at JWT, a subsidiary of WPP, the world’s largest ad agency. Nothing personal, mind you, but JWT had decided to eliminate JWT Boom, the unit she ran focused on marketing to mature consumers. She spent that weekend with her husband, on a long-planned birthday jaunt to Sedona, Ariz. “I hung out in the red rocks and pondered my existence,” she says.

The pondering didn’t last long…

Read the full article online at Forbes. Print article available on December 5.