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For These Baby Boomers – The City Is the Place to Be

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 26, 2019 — Not everyone is looking for an active adult or 55+ community. Many prefer to stay where they live now, but there is another interesting group too – people looking to move to the city.

The attractions are many, particularly for people who are tired of the suburbs or small town living. The idea of walking to restaurants, coffee shops, the library, and cultural events can be very appealing. So is being able to take public transportation, and do without a car most of the time. For others the attraction is being around interesting people of all ages. Cities can be great places to retire – and they come in all sizes – from the huge (New York, Chicago, Miami) to midsize like Sarasota or Columbus (OH).

NPR did a very interesting radio program that you can listen to, see “Listen” in this NPR link. It describes several different baby boomers and why they decided to move to various cities, including Hartford, CT.

These are some of our favorite retirement cities:

  • Austin, Texas Retirees will not only find plenty to do in the live music capital of the world, but also every kind of housing choice in the city’s many neighborhoods. Austin has public transportation and is rated as one of the best bicycling cities in the U.S.
  • Seattle, Washington Located in a beautiful natural setting, Seattle is a great place for both cultural and outdoor activity, with a walkable downtown and great public transportation.
  • New York, New York This city is made up of 5 boroughs, plus suburbs, with Manhattan being the most famous and the most expensive borough. Living in New York City is all about the rich cultural environment.
  • Chicago, Illinois Living in Chicago as your retirement community has many advantages for active adults 55+ with the means to do it. You get a walkable downtown with great public transportation. Many apartments overlook beaches or harbors on Lake Michigan.
  • Sarasota, Florida This popular retirement community is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Florida, after Miami. Sarasota has one of Florida’s best downtowns with many interesting neighborhoods.
  • Boulder, Colorado A university town with a strong local economy, it also offers many parks and plethora of cultural opportunities, and has been recognized as a top place to retire.
  • Athens, Georgia A great university town and a popular retirement community. The University of Georgia has helped to create an unusually vibrant community with a thriving artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual scene. Fourteen of Athens’ neighborhoods are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Greenville, South Carolina With an interesting downtown and several great neighborhoods, downtown Greenville is unique in that it is located right along a beautiful park and trail system. The town is extremely walkable for the many people who live there.
  • Pasadena, California The “City of Roses” is home to the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses Parade. There are several cultural institutions here and it is considered a safe and walkable community, but also provides good public transportation with light rail and bus service.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Residents enjoy relaxed living in a culturally rich environment with many neighborhoods and architecturally interesting homes, along with a great mass transit system and a walkable downtown.
  • Portland, Oregon Another “City of Roses” features interesting downtown areas with great public transportation and homes or apartments overlooking rivers, parks and mountains. Its Powell’s City of Books is one of the great bookstores of the world.
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico The “City Different” not only offers a beautiful setting and rich history, but it is known for its art and music, with a year-round livable climate.

For further reading:

Comments? Have you ever thought about retiring to a city? If so, which ones would interest you, and why? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on March 25th, 2019


  1. Lived in Greenville SC and loved it! Currently in Summerville SC but looking to move back to Greenville. Much prefer a mid-size city vs. a 55 + community out in “the middle of nowhere.” Charleston is 20 miles or so away but traffic (year round) and parking (esp. during summer months) is crazy. Going shopping is a day trip as one has to plan carefully when to be on the road and then drive a good distance to shops. I much prefer a 20 minute ride vs. a 45-60 min. ride (if you’re lucky).

    by Fionna — March 26, 2019

  2. I have been to all but one of the cities listed. Most I have either lived in or visited extensively. For my wife and I, the politics of the area in which we live is an important quality of life consideration. With the exception of Greenville, SC and Sarasota, all are liberal in their politics. Not coincidentally, Greenville and Sarasota are the 2 smallest in terms of population on the list, reflecting a growing trend in the country where liberals tend to congregate in urban/academic enclaves. Some, such as Boulder, Seattle, Portland, Santa Fe are far left. This may be either a good or bad thing depending on your personal political preferences. I’m not rendering a judgement, just noting this information so folks know who may be considering any of these cities as a retirement locale.

    by Partagas — March 27, 2019

  3. Born and raised in NYC my entire life, my husband & I cannot wait to escape. NYC is very expense both in terms of purchasing and taxes. Real property taxes for a 50×100 lot and home are $12,000. Also unfortunately under the present Mayor, NYC has become very dirty. At one point we wanted to stay, but realize that is foolish – yes there is tremendous culture, but you need tremendous money to enjoy it. Very few things are free.

    by Judy — March 27, 2019

  4. Great list of retirement cities. I’m close to Pennsylvania and have thought about buying land there. Although, I should probably do a little more exploring first.

    by Retirement Quotes — April 1, 2019

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