How would you describe the perfect retirement town or environment? We asked more than 500 Baby Boomers how to choose where to retire—and they mentioned places rich in culture, learning, nature, and social connection.
What to Consider When Finding the Best Place to Retire
Staying busy is important in retirement because the only thing that may be worse than working a nine-to-five, is boredom. People want to know where to live in retirement. Retirees want to live somewhere that offers them stimulation and will keep them busy doing what they love, whether hiking in nice weather, going to good restaurants, or visiting museums in the city. Road Scholar has compiled a where-to-live-in-retirement checklist, including which qualities make the best place to retire.
1. Cultural Stimulation
Access to music, theater, and the arts is very important to people in the comforts of retirement. Being active in the cultural scene of your city or town by attending art shows, old movie theaters with an orchestra, and music concerts brings joy and fulfillment.
2. Proximity to Nature
Retirees often crave the peaceful, restorative qualities of nature. When asked where they want to live in retirement, they want to live near green space and parks, near mountains or close to the ocean.
3. Recreational Opportunities
Staying fit and busy in retirement is essential to mental well-being. Retirees want to move somewhere that offers easy access to recreational activities like biking and hiking trails. Perhaps there is a community center nearby that offers year-round swimming and exercise programs.
4. Moderate Weather
Cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers are not ideal. Older people do not want to be shoveling snow from their driveways and scraping off ice from their windshields. People in retirement are looking for a place that is permanently comfortable. Mild weather allows for outdoor activities year-round.
5. Strong Sense of Community
Many want to move closer to family in retirement to spend quality time with their grandchildren. Others rely on finding a home with a senior center that holds activities throughout the year.
6. Educational Resources
It is very important to keep your brain active and stimulated as you get older. Some find the best places to retire are those near a university or in a city that offers museums or large libraries or Lifelong Learning Institutes.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a community where you could walk to restaurants and recreational activities? Retirees are looking for a place to live where they can leave their car at home. Walkable streets away from traffic and trails and paths make it a fun way to get around town.
8. High-Quality Healthcare
As your body and mind age, you are more likely to need more healthcare services. It’s very important to consider living near a doctor, pharmacy, and major hospital in case your health takes a turn for the worse.
9. Great Restaurants and Food
Retirees want to move to a town that has great farm-to-table restaurants, a weekly Farmer’s Market for locally grown produce and baked goods.
After you retire from work, you don’t want to have to worry about if you have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage or shop for quality food. Try to retire in a town or city where you can comfortably pay your bills. It helps if the local community has a library and senior center or sponsors. Find a community that offers free activities like concerts in the park, rooftop movie nights, or senior activities.
11. Accessible to Airport
Retirees like to travel with all of their free time, which means it is important to live somewhere with easy access to air or train transportation. Choose a place to retire where there is a major international airport to take you to see the world.
12. Volunteer Opportunities
Without a job to go to every day, you may lack opportunities to leave the house and socialize. Some communities have senior centers that plan activities or meals that give older residents opportunities to stay engaged with others. Volunteer work is another way to meet new people and serve the community. Moving to an area with other retirees can help you connect with people who are free during the day. Some retirement communities host outings and social events for residents.
Road Scholar Offers You The Best Travel Opportunities in Retirement
At Road Scholar, we offer a range of educational and adventure programs for seniors. Join Road Scholar’s expert instructors on trips around the world to places like Europe, America, Antarctica, and more. Please check each trip's details to determine the activity level and whether it is suitable for traveling seniors.