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10 best cities for 'successful aging'
Boston, Massachusetts, ranked No. 1 for those over 80 because of its reputable health care facilities.
August 2nd, 2012
02:36 PM ET

10 best cities for 'successful aging'

It's a long-held belief that seniors, whether they retire to Florida or not, want one simple thing: to do as little as possible for as long as possible.

"That's out of date, to the extent that it was ever accurate," says Paul Irving, Milken Institute's senior managing director and chief operating officer. "Seniors want to remain active and engaged and healthy and connected to their communities. Many want to continue to work throughout life ... they want and deserve great health systems. They want to have a voice."

Baby boomers living in Provo-Orem, Utah, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are certainly in the right place. The two cities rank at the top of the Milken Institute's first "Best Cities for Successful Aging" report. Provo-Orem is No. 1 on the list of large metro areas and Sioux Falls is No. 1 for small metros.

The Milken Institute analyzed data for 78 indicators of success, including health care, housing, transportation, education opportunities and cultural experiences. They then weighted the indicators based on survey information regarding what was most important to seniors - health care and financial security landing at the top of their concerns.

King's Point: Aging out of retirement

While Provo-Orem and Sioux Falls rank at the top of the overall lists, the data was also broken down into sub-lists based on age. What's most important for those aged 65 to 79, after all, is not the same for those over the age of 80. For example, Boston, Massachusetts, was No. 4 on the overall list for large metros, but ranked No. 1 for those over 80 because of its reputable health care facilities.

Readers can also go the institute's website to weigh the indicators that are most important to them, creating a new set of city rankings individualized to their needs.

While many people see the older generation as a burden, Irving says, in reality they have a lot to offer the community - and leaders should have a vested interest in taking care of this population. The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, non-partisan think tank based in Santa Monica, California, that "believes in the power of capital markets to solve urgent social and economic challenges and improve lives," according to its website.

"We all know that America is growing older," Irving says. "As we looked at what was going on... some of the most innovative thinking and most helpful progress was going on at the metro, at the city level."

Aging stylishly, online and in the streets

Rankings like this often create competition and motivate change, similar to the way college rankings inspire university presidents to focus on academics or sports scores. Here are the top overall cities for large and small metro areas:

Large metros

1. Provo, Utah
2. Madison, Wisconsin
3. Omaha, Nebraska
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. New York
6. Des Moines, Iowa (tie)
6. Salt Lake City, Utah (tie)
8. Toledo, Ohio
9. Washington
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Smaller metros

1. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
2. Iowa City, Iowa
3. Bismarck, North Dakota
4. Columbia, Missouri
5. Rochester, Minnesota
6. Gainesville, Florida
7. Ann Arbor, Michigan
8. Missoula, Montana
9. Durham, North Carolina
10. Rapid City, South Dakota

The aging brain: Why getting older just might be awesome


soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Black Diamond

    The weather should eliminate many of those cities. I have lived in a northern climate for my entire life. I can't wait to get out of the snow.

    August 3, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • monah

      That's exactly what I was thinking. I live in central Texas and our "mild" winters are way too cold for me. I ache all winter long from arthritis. And the thought of shoveling snow? Unbearable. I much prefer cutting grass.

      August 3, 2012 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • Devil's Advocate

      I work in the senior healthcare industry, and you would be surprised to hear how many people call in asking if the company that I work for has facilities in the northern part of the United States. I just spoke with a woman last week who told me that she can't wait to live somewhere that isn't summer year round. She told me that she had her snow boots and winter coat ready to go.

      August 3, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      There are a lot more factors than weather. I live in Pittsburgh and from a weather and terrain standpoint I completely agree. However, PA is a very good retirement state because they have lots of public support for them. Something like 30% of lottery sales go directly towards programs for the elderly. Pittsburghs crime rate is low and people are generally friendly. UPMC and WPAHS are some of the best health organizations in the country. And you get to root for the Pens and the Steelers :P

      August 3, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      I live in Boston, MA. I hope I won't live in this climate when I get old, it is very harsh winter and terrible summer. Only if you stay indoors all year it may work.

      August 3, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • chicago7

      So many points of view out there seem predicated upon the belief that the baby boomers in general are all ready to retire rich, and buy vineyards and bed and breakfast establishments and such. Please. The cost of living of some of these places would disqualify them as well. Cities good for aging should be good for living as well as being sick and dying. Unless you have a hefty pension or tons of savings and investments that knocks out places like NYC and Boston. Madison, Wisconsin too.

      August 3, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      While I totally agree and even thought the same thing initially, it's also true that once retired they don't have to go out in that weather much. No commuting to work, and often living in a retirement community that offers some assistance in dealing with snow shoveling, etc.

      August 3, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • macbaldy

      Heat is more dangerous for older persons than cold. For colder regions, proper clothing is easy enough to wear when outdoors. In hotter regions, the outdoors is dangerous to older bodies that can't adapt as well as younger ones. In the US, many more elderly die of heat than of cold every year. Many folks dream of moderate tropical temperatures and move to regions where temperatures often top 100º F, which isn't moderate. As Erma Bombeck suggested, "The grass is always greener over the cesspool."

      August 3, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
    • Ludwig

      For many people the summer heat in the south is just too much to handle. While snow and ice can be a problem, unless a really big storm hits roads are clean and it is pretty easy to get someone to clean your drive, etc. Besides, if you're retired you don't need to go out in it anyway!

      August 3, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker

      Too cold? - Put a coat on. Too hot? - carry an air conditioner around.

      August 4, 2012 at 08:23 | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      Retiring means that you have the time to enjoy what is left of your life and be able to move around and enjoy outdoors. My Mother is 75 and she is very active, goes out when she can but gets depressed during winter months when she has to stay indoors. When you suggest that older people don't need to get out, you are not exactly correct, they need to get out of the house more than us. While we have jobs and run errands, they haven't much to motivate them, staying indoors will kill them in all fronts. It is not safe to walk in Boston's streets during most of the year, ice patches are everywhere, I'm not sure how much layers and coats can they carry while walking. I lived in different climates and a warm, comfortable climate makes a big difference in the mood and health.

      August 4, 2012 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
    • Jsmith

      Exactly right. I'm not going to live anyplace cold when I get old. No place north of the Rappahannock River!

      August 4, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Aristotle

      To each his own, but I'll take 9 months of summer in the South over 9 months of winter in the Midwest any day. People die from shoveling snow, not from cutting grass. Weather aside, multimodal transportation and recreation are a must. Is public transportation and option? Are there places to walk to? Can you ride your bike? Are there parks and activities in them?

      August 4, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Weather is always number one on my list. I'm sick of being cold, and have trouble breathing when it is either too cold, or the Santa Ana winds blow. These lists always ignore weather. Makes no sense to say seniors should live where the weather makes going outside difficult or dangerous. When weather related deaths are reported, the victims are usually seniors.

      No thanks, I'm moving to the dry side of Maui! It may not make some people's list, but it's tops on mine!

      August 4, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • DeFace

      Most people in those states have a winter home in Arizona btw.

      August 5, 2012 at 01:08 | Report abuse |
    • consumer

      you are a loser. no one cares about your complaints. moved to florida or shut up

      August 5, 2012 at 06:14 | Report abuse |
    • Gordon

      Try Bella Vista, Arkansas – 7 golf courses in a community of 26,000

      August 5, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • STOP IT...

      STOP the Obama-Pelosi War against Medical Marijuana Patients. STOP the Democrat Hypocrites and Thugs from discrimination.

      August 5, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • Enoch100

      Yah, that August snow is the pits.

      August 5, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • scott bleyle

      Ann Arbor is a money grubbing College town dominated by a diploma factory,full of parasites and pervs.Expensive,congested,snobs and over the hill hippies.

      August 6, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • scott bleyle

      the "golden Years" is when Hospitals get all the gold you wrecked your health for.

      August 6, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
    • originalnancy412

      You have to pick Pittsburgh. Good medical care. The second most important reason, we have 4 seasons every week, it even rains up hill. Most important, The Steelers.

      August 7, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  2. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $500,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easy to be fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $106,800 level. Now I only pay 1.3% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    August 3, 2012 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • California Red

      Thanks for having the courage to tell the bitter truth. Unfortunately, too many folks will disregard what you have written or choose to ignore it as it is painful to read. But you said it and we needed to hear it.

      August 3, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • chelle52370

      Absolute truth but when the country has no interest in facts and truth and will only listen to fear-mongering phrases like "death panels" and "Obamacare" and "socialism", nothing will ever change. They never stop to think that perhaps the people that are selling that fear are doing it in an effort to keep lining their own pockets.

      August 4, 2012 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
    • Ivan

      I'm 100% in accord. For that reason a Imove away from the US and live very confortable in Panama, it's a little hot but is fine with me. By the way the medical care is excellent and every time I visit my doctor I get a 15% discount and my bill is only $8.00 per visit!

      August 4, 2012 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
    • paul

      are you gay as well?

      August 4, 2012 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • consumer

      why r u up at 3am? bc ur money supported your rx drug abuse problem....

      August 5, 2012 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
    • LAD

      That is okay, karma will catch up with you "big wigs".

      August 5, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
    • Pound Sand

      Is it me, or does Little Timmy say "little people," a little too much?

      And if you're an executive, I'm Bill Gates – you write like a 5th grader.

      This article is about places to retire, not your political agenda.

      August 6, 2012 at 03:45 | Report abuse |
    • Hahahahahahahahaha

      @Pound fudge. If he/she writes like a 5th grader, you are obviously not "Smarter Than a 5th Grader" since you can't even come up with argument against what he/she says. Hahahahahahaahhaahahahha

      August 6, 2012 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Troll alert. That's all cr@p.

      August 7, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
  3. Devil's Advocate

    I work in the senior healthcare industry, and you would be surprised to hear how many people call in asking if the company that I work for has facilities in the northern part of the states. I just spoke with a woman last week who told me that she can't wait to live somewhere that isn't summer year round. She told me that she had her snow boots and winter coat ready to go.

    August 3, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Annie

      Broken hips for elderly people are not their preferred choice I bet!

      August 3, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • macbaldy

      Hyperthermia (hot) is more likely and more dangerous for the elderly than hypothermia (cold). In the US, many more elderly die in heat waves than die in cold snaps, every year. In extreme outdoor temperatures, it's easier to warm up than to cool down. Try visiting those "dream" temperatures first. Otherwise, be careful what you wish for, you may not actually like it in the long run. There are substantial reasons for the fact that 70% of the population of California, easily our most populous state, is clustered in the temperate coastal areas; it rarely snows and it's rarely as hot as the inland regions. Florida, except for hurricanes, has the same attraction.

      August 3, 2012 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
  4. John Spurlock

    Congratulations CNN, this story is the funniest thing I've ever read!

    Boston, New York and Washington part of the "10 best cities for successful aging"
    That's hilarious! Please stop, I'm laughing so hard my ribs ache!

    Oh, you were serious... You guys are just stoned...

    August 3, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      ...says the person who's obviously not elderly, and has never lived in any of them.

      August 3, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
    • Hannah

      Boston, Mass where they have Romney Care. But seriously Boston has terrible weather and driving in that town is menacing. I would never want to live there.

      August 4, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
    • Enoch100

      Who the hell would ever want to live in Boston? Except for the mayor's butt buddy.

      August 5, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
  5. Rich

    for me this could be called "20 places I don't ever want to live (especially Utah)"

    August 3, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Scott

    Madison, WI a "large" metro area? Really? That's a joke! And NYC and Boston?! Looks like the UW Madison grad teams are at it again on these so-called surveys. They cost of living alone in NYC, Boston and Madison would exclude them as well as long cold winters. This is a bogus, biased and highly skewed piece of trash. Don't believe a word of it

    August 3, 2012 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Judy

      Madison metro area (Dane Co) has a million residents. Cost of living isn't bad if you don't need to live in close proximity to the University. Shop wisely (Copp's, not Whole Foods) and you'll do fine. But PLEASE don't come here to retire. We need a mix of ages and ethnicities and don't want to end up being a "retirement village" like so many of those places in the sun belt.

      August 3, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • Ludwig

      I guess all those retirees living in NYC and Boston don't exist? They have great public transit, you don't have to travel far to get places if you don't want to, and there are plenty of things to do. Also, if you lived and worked in one of those areas prior to retirement money probably won't be that much of an issue.

      August 3, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
  7. Ken

    I kinda think that Maui Hawaii is a faqntastic place. Thats my goal is to retire there. Spent many many weeks on that island and it's fantastic!

    August 3, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buffalo

      Ken: I've lived here for 20 years. I have seen many people attempt to retire here only to discover how expensive it is to live out here in the middle of the ocean. Hint: Bring lots of money!

      August 3, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Go to http://www.city-data.com and you will see that you are competely right. I live where most people think it is paradise, South Orange County, CA. But, I get cold from November through March. This web site gives very detailed information, so we can pick where to go (or stay) based on facts, not opinion. Very helpful.

      I'll visit cold places when it isn't, and hot places when it is cool. For living, I want a moderate, beautiful year round climate.

      August 4, 2012 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
  8. mstipton

    I can't help but notice the lack of cities missing from the west coast. Seattle has some of the finest medical facilities in the country. It's not too hot or cold so the climate is generally quite mild.

    August 3, 2012 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. leen321

    mstipton–Good point. Seattle has world-class medical facilities plus if you are not retired you probably can get health insurance in Washington with a health questionaire that most can pass... very generous. According the one of the online insurance companies there are only 7 or 8 states that most can obtain health insurance.. Washington, NJ, NY and others.
    This has to be a consideration if you are under 65 and retiring early and will need to buy your own private insurance. You do not want to move and be surprised when you apply for insurance and do not qualify.

    August 3, 2012 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. buffalo

    "Successful aging"; "aging gracefully"? Who comes up with these idiotic names for "getting old"? Certainly not those of us that ARE fighting the good fight.

    August 3, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. NYC all the way!

    There's nothing better than enjoying four distinct seasons. Living at a cool or hot place year-round is boring and sucks.

    August 3, 2012 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      It's great that we all think differently. Otherwise, we would all want to live in the same place.

      It's a big beautiful world where those who plan ahead, and have a little luck, can retire in the "best place", wherever that may be!

      August 4, 2012 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
  12. neonfrog

    Where I plan to move to, there is low crime, warmer weather(NO snow!), 4 seasons .. hay fever in the spring when everything blooms out, & is covered in pollen, but, it doesn't last forever. Warm/hot summers, cooler weather & the most gorgeous colored trees in the fall I have ever laid eyes on. Birds one doesn't find just everywhere, as well as most other wild things, if one likes to hunt & fish, you can do that too. Educational choices, public transport., good hospitals, doctors, specialists(which I do not use either of), a variety of prices/locations/choices of places to rent/buy/retire too. If you want to snow ski, not too far by plane, train, bus, or personal vehicle, you can go & be in snow in the winter-time. There are walking trails, places to bike, hike, swim, boat, festivals of all sorts. Ballet, opera, plays, concerts of various types. Organizations, churches of just about every denomination. Convient shopping, all sorts of dining preferences, & banking facilities. As for me, I plan to spend as much time as I'm able w/grandchildren/great-grandchildren, playing beauty shop, dress-up, crafting, & making "hand cookies" when it's too stormy to be outside, & most important ... memories!

    August 4, 2012 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Greensleeves

    Pittsburgh is a fantastic place to retire – affordable housing, great health care, low crime, thriving arts community, wonderful continuing education program at Pitt.
    You have to consider what happens when you can no longer drive – do you really want to be isolated in some retirement village way out in the rolling hills, or do you want to live where you can walk down to the cafe for brunch, to the shops for groceries, and to the concert hall and theater for performances?

    August 4, 2012 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jeanneboo

    "I spent a week in Toledo one night." No way would I live there regardless of my age. What I have seen of their medical care is apalling (and I spent my adult life if the health care field.)

    August 4, 2012 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ron smith

    I live in GA and am here for the military. Its a great place to live with a bit of hot weather. July and Aug are killer but its a great trade off for 60 to 70 degree daytime highs in the winter. The only real cold month we get is feb and then its gone. Yes the no snow thing is disappointing but I don't want my car to rust out with salt use anyhow. If I want snow i will go visit it. GA is perfect for me for now.

    August 4, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. R, Bell

    Simply absurd list by obviously, biased idiots. Just what we old folks, (I am 74) need. Freezing winters, snow, and massive heating bills. Cost of living on retirement incomes in the most expensive places in America. OMG, these clowns need a course in basic 101 economics. The real list should be, anywhere but those northern areas. Try instead, southern Alabama, southern Louisiana, all of Florida, and Georgia.

    August 4, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • joeinalbama

      I agree, I'm in Northern Alabama, a little cold at times in Winter, but not to bad. Family here and all that, but if I move it won't be North back to Indiana.

      August 4, 2012 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
  17. Lexe

    Without a question the best city for old people in North America is Victoria, British Columbia. it is cool to be old in Victoria. Unfortunately is a very expensive little city but it has no bad neighbourhoods

    August 4, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Richard Diamond

    Other than two cities in the "smaller" metro areas, which are horribly muggy and hot in the summer, all the cities are in the northern tier and have miserable summer and winter weather. For an older person, this is impossible. Weather MUST be a part of this mix and it seems it is not. Not a valid presentation for those of us over 65. (I'm 76)

    August 4, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. LouLou Sanborn

    Spent the first 3rd of my life in Boston, MA.....nice change of seasons, way too long, cold, snowy or rainy and damp winters, and sometimes miserable, hot, cool, wet or dry summers. Second 3rd of my life was spent in central Florida.....no change of seasons....either green or brown.. Very hot summers (being out in the sun will kill you) and mostly mild but boring winters. Just embbarked on the last 3rd of my life north of Knoxville, TN. Now this is God's country for those of you who believe, or just one of the most beautiful, friendly,peaceful and climate perfect places for those of you who do not. Mountains, lakes, gorgeous trees and parks, with short mild winters and long warm summers. Cost of living is doable and medical care is great. Will live out the rest of my life in this beautiful part of our country.

    August 4, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. fred mertz

    Are you kidding. Phoenix-Scottsdale is better than cold,expensive Boston. Slip and Brake a hip. Who wrote this? Some 20 year old?

    August 4, 2012 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. joeinalbama

    I'm from central Indiana over 40 years ago, and I don't plan to go back North. We get a little snow here every 5 to 10 years and that's enough for me. Most every place has AC, even my shop, if it gets to hot outside, I go inside.

    August 4, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Badcyclist

    This article is actually a social science experiment to see how many people are gullible enough to believe such an obviously absurd list. We're onto you,CNN.

    August 4, 2012 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Anne

    I'll stay right where I am in Michigan. I love the changing of the seasons. Although this has been an exceptional hot year, other years we've only had few months of hot weather. Love the fall here and crisp days. Although some years we get more than our share of snow it doesn't bother me. One thing you can do is always put enough on to keep warm, but in the hot weather you can never take off enough to keep cool, but then that's where the a/c kicks in. Since I'm retired I can look out at the weather and laugh because I don't have to go out in it. It's a great feeling.

    August 5, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Ken

    "No thanks, I'm moving to the dry side of Maui! It may not make some people's list, but it's tops on mine!"
    -
    When I lived on Maui, my next door neighbors were retirees...in their upper 70s...and had a fantastic time year round. Not too hot all year round. North side, near Paia though..not the dry(south) side (Kihei)...it's way too hot there and lots of midges (Little flies).

    August 5, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. james

    For me..Florida in the Winter, but definitely not the Summer. In the Summer, Laguna Beach or Hermosa, Monterey, Vancouver, Amsterdam....please send money.

    August 5, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bevis

    detroit is nice

    August 5, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mugzee

      Butthead!

      August 7, 2012 at 01:53 | Report abuse |
    • Hitman

      If you have enough ammo!!

      August 7, 2012 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  27. Alan Dean Foster

    Check out Money Magazine/CNN's "25 best places to retire" for a much more sensible list. I live in the current #4 (Prescott, Arizona) and it's just as viable a retirement community now as it was when Money ranked it #1 about 20 years ago.

    August 5, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. C. Shank

    Is there a way to work with the calculations so that the cities can be ranked according to your individual needs?

    August 5, 2012 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. doug

    Alaska, Alaska Alaska...no income tax, no sales tax and Permanent Dividend every year for residency..lots of salmon to catch, clean water, clean air, very little traffic, lots of snow! perfect!

    August 5, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mugzee

      And you can see the Gulags in SIBERIA!!!

      August 7, 2012 at 01:53 | Report abuse |
  30. Alfuso

    I did my time in snow, in Boston for 18 years. Never again.

    My only complaint about Tampa Bay area of Florida is a dreadful lack of mass transit.

    August 5, 2012 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Benjamin Button

    Dear CNN,

    Please list the 10 best cities for people who are getting younger. Why leave us out?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    August 5, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. McIver3

    I live in San Diego, CA where the weather is good year round (it was only 75 today), are right on the ocean, and we have good healthcare. However, I worry about the fact that when I get older and don't want to drive with the 3 million other people, I will have trouble getting around. We have a terrible bus system and the trolley only covers certain areas. I'm starting the search for a retirement neighborhood where I can drive a golf cart to the grocery store. Besides The Villages in Florida, can anyone suggest a small town which is close to a big city with good healthcare?

    August 5, 2012 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Synapse

      PLUS- if you don't have dental / vision care... inexpensive modern care can [after doing a little investigation] can be found just over the adjacent border, in Mexico. To say nothing of cheap gas.

      August 8, 2012 at 02:34 | Report abuse |
  33. azaficionado

    Tucson, AZ...college town...great music scene...cooler than many Southwestern cities...great mountain and road biking and climbing (for the active older folks)...absolutely excellent winter weather...great mid-size airport for getting away occasionally...excellent medical facilities (thankfully just hearsay so far!) and pretty far away from AZ's governor (she never comes south!!)

    August 6, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Joe

    After moving from the rust belt next to Saint Louis to Florida, my parents then complained about the lack of seasons in Florida. You just can't make everybody happy all the time. After struggling through a winter in the upper peninsula of Michigan with a snowfall that year of 212 inches of snow I didn't care if I ever saw snow again except in the weather reports.

    August 7, 2012 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Rocky Rivers

    Speaking as a transplanted Yankee (now in Florida), if you can afford it, the best lifestyle is being a sunbird. Leaving Florida in the summers for somewhere cooler in the mountains. It can still be done more cheaply than living in Boston IMHO.

    August 7, 2012 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Lawrence K

    I have family in Provo/Orem. They love it. I do not. I found only one bar downtown, and one was forced to buy a "membership" ($5 for 90 days) in order to be able to drink there. The bartender told me that local religious "enthusiasts" would sometimes stand outside the establishment and give a very hard time to patrons entering or leaving. There is only one political party (guess which?). The whole area is just one big beige whitebread mall. Vegas (the other extreme) is freeway close.
    Other cities on the list are just ridiculous. Boston! New York! This is a satirical piece, surely. Somebody mentioned Seattle. I lived there for 42 years and it's a great place to be FROM. Now I live in wonderful Thailand, with friendly people, affordable medical care, great food, warm weather, and 8000 miles away from the other Shangri La's touted in this unintentionally funny "artical".

    August 7, 2012 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Lawrence K

    Sorry, Article!

    August 7, 2012 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. GaryJH

    OK, I get it. We all don't agree on where to live. Does this come as a shock to you? Reality check. I have lived my entire life in the Chicago area and the idea of moving to some small town in Utah (!) or Florida and spending the rest of my life around a bunch of similar old folks is too crazy to even imagine. After 50+ years of Chicago winters and snowstorms and tornadoes and heat waves, if I haven't left yet, why the heck would I now? Home is where....well, you know how it goes. Hey, let's pack up and move across the country so we can save a few bucks every year..No, thanks. I am actually quite happy knowing that I will spend whatever years I have left right here , in Sweet Home Chicago.

    August 7, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Hitman

    Are they serious? Who in their right mind would want to live in most of those cities?

    August 7, 2012 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Hitman

    Tonawanda, N.Y. is nice!!

    August 7, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. c s

    Actually the best place to live is probably where you are living now if you have lived their for most of your life. The simple truth is that at the end of your life, you have your relatives and your friends. Most friends come and go; seldom do many last a lifetime. A few friends will be with you forever; very few. On the other hand, your relatives will usually be their to help you. They might like you a lot or can barely stand you, but usually they will be the ones with you until you die. Probably nothing is worse than being ill and having no one who really cares about you.

    So before you pack your bags and move to one of these retirement cities, just remember that you will not always be healthy. You will need someone to love you at the end. In most cases that will be some of your relatives. I see it happening around me all the time.

    August 7, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. eroteme

    Growing older? Can you describe the person who is not? So far as cities go they are all good or bad depending on the person.

    August 7, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Synapse

    Really? No western cities listed [even in Arizona- the Florida of the west]. SLC & Provo don't count as west.

    August 8, 2012 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. ZackG

    I've lived in Des Moines and Provo. They are both great cities to live in. They aren't exactly the tourist attraction capitals of America (though they have a lot more to do than I would have imagined before living there) but they are great places for a sense of community, safety, cost of living, charming neighborhoods and access to healthcare. The only down sides are the cold weather. I don't care for snow and Provo gets plenty and Des Moines gets WAY too much.

    Omaha is a seemingly random city that is also great. The zoo there is amazing. Salt Lake City has cool tourist sites from the LDS church, cool old buildings (Temple, City Hall...etc) and good access to skiing.

    Washington, New York and Boston are of course wonderful cities if you have money. It is just that simple. If you have plenty of money to live on (especially for retirement) these are terrific cities with more than enough to do and world class healthcare if you go to the best hospitals. They do have crumier parts of town but those cities are so big you may never even see them. The issue is money. Furthermore, if you can afford to retire in those cities, why not retire elsewhere and live like a king? You could use the saved money to travel as you wish.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. jess

    Seattle, has the best weather...never too cold or too hot. The only problem is that it is over cast a lot of the time, but the moisture in the air is great for skin and no sun means no wrinkles :)

    August 9, 2012 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. clinicdermatech.com

    The 10 Cities are Right for Successful Aging for People.

    August 13, 2012 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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