The editors of the AARP Magazine recently selected its Top Ten Best Places to Live a Simple Life. Cities were selected based on U.S. Census demographics and the final list of 25 was culled further by the editors, based on criterion such as low cost of living and geographic diversity. Other factors included walkability, a low crime rate, and access to the outdoors. Cities with universities were favored, for the flavor and culture they bring, along with employment opportunities that fuel jobs and a strong economy. The list included:
3. Montpelier, Vermont
4. Logan, Utah
5. Ames, Iowa
6. Northampton, Massachusetts
7. Lexington/Fayette, Kentucky
8. Texas Hill Country
9. Oxford, Mississippi
10. Walla Walla, Washington
Tucson was an obvious pick, long a favorite with active adults. Cities in colder climates, such as Walla Walla, Northampton, and Montpelier show a trend among retirees who are not moving to the Sunbelt and the traditional warm climates of Florida or Arizona, but choosing instead to live near family or work, as many baby boomers intend to work, at least part time, past the traditional age of retirement. With many empty nesters choosing to leave the cities for the suburbs, this list provides a great resource for livable cities where jobs and continued education can be found, as well as an environment to support both athletic and cultural pursuits.
Greenville, South Carolina
Second on the list is Greenville, South Carolina. Hiking opportunities as well as corporate job availability shot it to the top of the list. Greenville is home to BMW and Michelin, and has one of the highest levels of international investment per capita. The town has seen a recent redevelopment, thirty years in the making, which created a pedestrian friendly downtown filled with arts and living spaces. A very walkable city with a mild climate, Greenville is a great location for active adult living.
Montpelier, Logan, Ames, and Walla Walla
Montpelier, Vermont, is a small city with a population of under 8,000. The capital of the state, the city is also home to many music festivals, from blue grass to jazz to Celtic fiddling. Logan, Utah is a large city, with a population of 48,000. Located in the midst of a dairy region known as the Cache Valley, the views are beautiful and skiing is close by, as it is in Montpelier. Ames, Iowa made the list for its mix of “rural flavor” and “urban charm”.
Last on the list, Walla Walla, Washington, has become a growing region for wine growing. The city is home to the nation’s longest consecutively running symphony, Active adults looking to relocate and find a home in which to live a simpler life, are well advised to study the AARP list, as well as using their criterion to search on their own for a community that meets their needs and dreams. Search Tucson, AZ Active Adult Retirement Communities.