Boomers have always impacted America no matter what stage
they are in life and that’s not going to stop during
their retirement years since they want all the variety of
lifestyle options they had previously. In keeping with this
trend, many of today’s retiring seniors are choosing
city streets instead “one stoplight” towns,
since there has been an explosion in city living amenities.
Plus, many retirees are finding out that the energy of city
life helps keep them feeling younger in mind and spirit.
So, if you identify with the hit song “You Belong
to the City,” then urban retirement may be the right
decision for your golden years.
That choice is expected to become more appealing
as we approach the next post-millennium decade, given that
the number of Americans over age 50 is expected to triple
in the next 10 years, to some 252 million individuals. That
fact means most major cities will see an explosion in over
50 year old residents and will be forced to adapt accordingly.
Among the advantages you can expect by retiring
to an urban area:
Social Opportunities in the City for Retirees:
The fact is that studies have shown that
establishing a good circle of friends is critical to a satisfying
retirement life. In fact, it’s even more important
than the amount of money that they can afford to live on
or their relative level of health. In the city, most people
find it easier to grow their circle of friends because of
the wide variety of civic clubs, community centers, and
institutions which teach continuing education courses. This
new social network of friends can help prevent depression
caused by deteriorating health or the loss of a spouse or
Public Transportation in the City for Retirees.
Seniors living in a more rural community
and lose their ability to drive become dependent on people
or social services to provide transportation. Even if the
physical aspects of driving are fine, you must maintain
your vehicle which can be pricey on a limited income. Not
so in the city due to bus and train systems. In fact, many
transportation systems offer discounted rates for seniors
to encourage usage. If public transportation isn’t
convenient for your trip, taxis are usually readily available
and relatively inexpensive. Public transportation is good
since it keeps seniors independent and safe without the
burden of having to find rides from someone.
Access to Medical Services.
It’s obvious to see that your chances
of surviving a medical emergency are much higher if you’re
located 10 minutes to the nearest hospital compared to an
hour or more in some rural communities. Even long term care
is better in cities since most retirees as they age will
face a chronic illness. The variety of specialists related
to aging make urban living an easier and cheaper option
compared to all the driving that country living requires.
Access to Local Businesses.
Seniors who live in downtown lofts, condos
or apartments often only need to walk one or two blocks
to get their dry cleaning, pick up a loaf of bread, get
a newspaper or find other daily living items they need.
Even if it’s necessary to travel a bit further, shopping
opportunities are plentiful in virtually every urban area.
All cities offer more opportunities for frugal seniors to
shop at discount retailers
After years of slaving away over a stove,
who wants to cook for themselves anymore? Even smaller cities
offer a wide variety of dining experiences, many of which
have senior citizens rates or delivery that isn’t
found in a country setting.
Fitness for Retirees.
Many would argue that exercise is the number
one way to improve or maintain their health. Cities have
more fitness facilities and a wider variety of classes that
serve as motivation and social opportunities while improving
physical and mental health. For those not wanting to take
a class, the big malls offer the ability to walk in the
comfort of air conditioning.
The Boomers know they have to keep their
minds active to prevent boredom. Urban living provides access
to a wide range of classes, through local universities,
museums, city recreation departments, etc. Enrolling in
these types of courses can help prevent depression caused
by a lack of engaging activities that their careers used
Many retiree dreams include partaking in
the things they missed out on during their careers. Cities
offer access to everything from museums, theater and concerts
to sporting events, festivals, zoos and historical sites.
Many come with the added benefit of senior citizen rates.
Cities also offer the widest variety of
housing options. Whereas most country settings don’t
have a wide variety of rental properties that someone else
maintains for you, cities offer everything from luxury residences
with full staff to assisted living facilities that do all
the housework while you go exploring.
With the city right outside your door, you
can easily visit a new neighborhood restaurant or hop on
a train to enjoy a meal out on the other side of town.
There’s also much more quantity of
housing units and types in urban areas. Whereas you might
only be able to live in one area of a country town due to
price or location, in the city you can find any type of
housing unit, whether a loft, condo, duplex, or single family
house, in any area with a good chance that it fits your