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The 10 Best Cities for Seniors in the U.S.

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They say it's not the number of years in your life that count, but the life in your years.

Whether you’re looking to finally slow down or you’re researching options for a family member, senior housing should improve quality of life through a combination of comfort and care. Choosing a city is the first step. From the city size to the number of sunny days, consider all factors to make an informed and confident choice.

Finding the best cities for seniors​


After compiling a list of 760 cities from our Multifamily Housing Inventory, we looked at the population size compared to the number of senior properties, total hospitals with Medicare and total ASC (ambulatory surgery centers) healthcare facilities. We also gathered the cost of living and average annual temperature — since budget and nice weather are important for a happy life — then ranked each category for a total score.

So what cities ranked highest for growing older in the U.S.? We narrowed down the top 10 small and big cities to help you find your future senior living apartment or home.

Jump to links: Small senior cities | Big senior cities | Types of senior living | Methodology


5 best small senior-friendly cities​


For those looking for a small city that also offers plenty of support for seniors, we first looked at the top communities with a population under 200,000 people.

5. Blue Springs, MO


visiual of the best small city for seniors - blue springs

From its nationally accredited Senior Center for those ages 50 and up to its 22 city parks, Blue Springs is a truly delightful place to grow old. It’s located in Jackson County, just a short drive from Kansas City but still maintains its old-town charm.

With a population of over 55,000 people, the senior properties come in at 29 per 10,000 residents. From senior communities to retirement homes, there are plenty of options from which to choose. Affordable healthcare is accessible with both a hospital that offers Medicare and an ASC healthcare facility in town. Lastly, average rent rings in at $675 per month, making it an affordable place to live.

4. Hendersonville, TN


visiual of the best small city for seniors - hendersonville

Hendersonville is a community that over 50,000 people call home. Just 18 miles northeast of Nashville, Hendersonville has been the home to many country stars, including Johnny and June Carter Cash, Conway Twitty and Taylor Swift. It also features the shoreline of Old Hickory Lake which lends itself to boaters and swimmers in the summertime.

Senior housing options vary from assisted living to independent living and the average rent in Hendersonville is $967. While there’s only one hospital that offers Medicare and one ASC healthcare facility, its budget-friendly housing options and small-town charm make it a contender on our list.

3. Pinellas Park, FL


visual of the best small city for seniors - pinellas park

Located between St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Pinellas Park was once a go-to destination for transplants and vacationers. This one-hundred-year-old city has since earned its right as a desirable place to live. Over 50,000 people call Pinellas Park home for its unique charm and gorgeous Lake Seminole.

From the annual Chili Blaze chili cook-off to the Country in the Park festival, there are plenty of chances to get out and have fun. Aside from this, it’s ranked number two on our list for senior living for its 39 seniors properties for every 10,000 residents. The average rent is $1,037, yet the cost of living is still below the national average for seniors on a tighter budget.

2. Jacksonville, NC


visual of the best small city for seniors - jacksonville

Regardless of where you explore within Jacksonville, you won’t escape its coastal lifestyle and military charm. It’s the home of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, meaning there’s a high turnover of military residents and plenty of housing options.

Because of its close proximity to the beach and ocean, the cost of living is slightly higher. There are 33 senior properties per 10,000 residents, so there are plenty of senior care options. Being located on the Atlantic Ocean makes temperatures a little cooler, but still ranks as a top choice on our list of senior-friendly cities.

1. Coral Gables, FL


visual of the best small city for seniors - coral gables

Named “The City Beautiful,” history is front and center in the gorgeous city of Coral Gables. We’re not surprised it landed a top spot on our list of senior-friendly cities. From tree-lined boulevards to the Venetian Pool — a historic swimming pool built in the 1920s — you won’t even know you’re in a metropolitan area. Its 50,000 residents and easy-to-access location right outside of Miami make it an idyllic place to live as a senior.

Plus, the year-round warm weather and number of senior properties give seniors many options to find the perfect housing. If you enjoy golfing or being outside, you’ll love Coral Gables given that 30 percent of its land is made up of green space from golf courses and parks.


5 best big senior-friendly cities​


For those looking for a big city experience that also offers plenty of support for seniors, we looked at the top cities with a population between 200,000 and 1.5 million people.

5. Omaha, NE


visual of the best large city for seniors - omaha

Situated along the Missouri River and in close proximity to the Iowa border, Omaha has experienced massive growth and development in recent years. The city was originally founded in 1854 and named after a Native American tribe. Its meaning, “Those going against the wind or current,” is exemplified to this day with citizens proudly portraying a strong work ethic and friendly attitude.

This city made it onto the list due to its below-average cost of living, easy access to healthcare facilities and a high number of senior properties. If you’re looking for a riverside retreat with the luxury of big-city amenities, Omaha could be your answer.

4. Baton Rouge, LA


visual of the best large city for seniors - baton rouge

The capital of Louisiana and just a hop and a skip away from bustling New Orleans, Baton Rouge ranked number four on our list of the best big senior cities. Located along the banks of the Mississippi River, with a population of just over 221,000, Baton Rouge is bursting with quirky attractions, delicious food and historical landmarks.

The weather is warm and humid for most of the year and the average rent is $923, making it a budget-friendly spot to retire or settle down. Baton Rouge is home to people of all ages, from retired folks to students attending Louisiana State University. If you don’t mind growing old in age with the river views, spicy Cajun food and Southern charm, it passed our test.

3. Tampa, FL


visual of the best large city for seniors - tampa

Once called a retirement community of “heaven’s doorstep,” Tampa has a lot to offer. It’s full of character and charm, striking a balance between metropolitan area and beach vacation living. With nice temperatures all year round, some pros of choosing this mid-sized Florida city include no state income tax and relatively inexpensive housing costs.

As Florida’s third-largest city, it’s home to over 390,000 people and has thriving neighborhoods full of history and hidden gems to explore. If you prefer to stay out of the hustle and bustle, the quieter suburbs include Carrollwood, Westchase and Riverview. No need to worry about having good healthcare available, as the city of Tampa offers 31 total ASC healthcare facilities and seven hospitals registered with Medicare.

2. Glendale, AZ


visual of the best large city for seniors - glendale

Think rolling desert landscapes and warm temps. Glendale is located just nine miles west of Downtown Phoenix and boasts a little “big” city of its own at more than 240,000 people. Deemed “Arizona’s Antique Capital” by USA Today, Glendale is brimming with antique and collectible shops.

This suburban area is popular for seniors who need access to medical options, offering two hospitals with Medicare and seven total ASC healthcare facilities. The cost of living is also below the national average, with an average rent of $1,024, meaning it’s on the more affordable side to reside.

The neighborhood you choose will depend on your income and immediate needs, but West Deer Valley, Union Hills Drive, College Park, North Litchfield and West Augusta are some of the safest neighborhoods in the Glendale area.

1. Boise, ID


visual of the best large city for seniors - boise

Ranked the number one big senior-friendly city, Boise checks off all the boxes as a desirable place to live for seniors. Just minutes away from walking and biking trails, it’s located right on the Boise River and offers stunning mountain scenery.

Not only is this idyllic mountain town relatively affordable with an average rent of $1,066, but it also has great tax benefits for seniors given Social Security income is not taxable. This, combined with the low medical costs and low crime rates, makes this breathtaking town a good fit for any senior that is looking for affordable housing and quality care


Types of senior living​


Senior housing is not one size fits all. Now that we’ve narrowed down the cities, let’s explore senior housing options to look for. Each option offers something different in terms of the level of care, cost and location. Keep in mind that by state or city, senior living facilities will vary. The cost of senior living will also vary based on the level and quality of care needed.

seniors walking on the beach

55+ community​


Just as the name alludes, a 55+ community is designed for adults or seniors over the age of 55. These communities offer a private apartment or housing in a safe area where seniors have the opportunity to socialize with other seniors.

  • Average age: 65
  • Average monthly cost: $400 – $1,900
  • Amenities: Opportunity for socialization, organized activities, low-maintenance home, convenient location

Independent living​


Independent living is ideal for older adults or seniors who are able to live on their own but would like to live close to other seniors. It looks like a retirement or senior housing community where homes are more compact and easier to get around.

  • Average age: 75
  • Average monthly cost: $1,399 – $4,000
  • Amenities: Organized recreational or wellness activities, hospitality services, access to medical services, low-maintenance home, convenient location

Assisted living​


Assisted living is great for seniors who are mostly independent, but would like some support with daily activities, such as cleaning or taking medication. It typically includes a senior apartment that’s private or semi-private with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Assisted living facilities can vary from an apartment building in an urban area to an intimate suburban community.

  • Average age: 80
  • Average monthly cost: $3,750 for a private bedroom
  • Amenities: Support with daily activities, daily meals, housekeeping and maintenance, organized activities, security and emergency call systems, access to medical services

Nursing home​


Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care and monitoring for seniors with more extensive medical needs. A licensed nurse or physician is in constant supervision of the resident’s care. Some nursing homes even offer a physical or occupational therapist, Alzheimer’s care or dementia care. This type of care is often paid with Medicare or Medicaid.

  • Average age: 80
  • Average monthly cost: $8,121 for a private bedroom
  • Amenities: 24-hour care, support with daily activities, daily meals, cleaning and maintenance, organized activities, security and emergency call systems

Continuing care​


Continuing care retirement communities typically offer three levels of care: Independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. This means a senior can move in while they are still somewhat independent and age in one place as medical needs changing. This prevents the need to move from place to place which can be taxing and a lot of work.

  • Average age: 80
  • Average monthly cost: $3,000 – $5,000
  • Amenities: Access to medical services, support with daily activities, daily meals, cleaning and maintenance, organized activities, security and emergency call systems


Methodology​


We used the Apartment Guide internal Multifamily Housing Inventory to analyze 760 cities in America. The following criteria were used to categorize the population size of each city into small and big cities.

  • Small cities: under 200,000 people
  • Big cities: 200,000 – 1.5 million people

The rankings are based on overall retirement scores that we calculated for each city. The total score is a weighted average of five categories.

The number of senior properties data is calculated using Apartment Guide’s internal inventory of multifamily properties (50+ units) that market themselves as catering to seniors and retirees. It does not necessarily represent the total number of senior living facilities in a city, which may include assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etc.

We modified the cost of living based on if a city was over or under the average cost of living of 100 per BestPlaces cost of living indices (which are based on a US average of 100). If over the average, a negative multiplier was added to bring down the score a bit with the idea that a high cost of living is unfavorable.

Additionally, we included total hospitals registered with Medicare and total ASC or advanced surgical care healthcare facilities. Each of the cities provided have ample access to affordable healthcare due to the Medicare coverage and/or ASC coverage, which is a more cost-effective alternative to a hospital. Any cities without Medicare were removed.

Here was how we weighted each item:

  • Senior properties per 10,000 residents (30%)
  • Cost of living (20%)
  • Average annual temperature (10%)
  • Total hospitals registered with Medicare (20%)
  • Total ASC healthcare facilities (20%)

The rent information included in this article is based on July 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Here is a list of the top 25 small cities for seniors:
RankCitySenior Properties per 10,000 residentsCost of LivingAvg. Annual TempTotal Hospitals Registered w/ MedicareTotal Healthcare FacilitiesTotal Score
1Coral Gables, FL35206.176.52421.65
2Jacksonville, NC3389.1621219.54
3Pinellas Park, FL38100.0720118.91
4Hendersonville, TN31117.4631215.74
5Blue Springs, MO2998.9561215.06
6Avondale, AZ18106.773.750114.15
7Tamarac, FL19110.475.251113.38
8Dothan, AL1786.966.752413.08
9Rock Hill, SC1786.966.751612.57
10Port Orange, FL17103.870.50212.48
11Coconut Creek, FL15109.175.750112.45
12Bowling Green, KY1993.357.652212.32
13Charlottesville, VA17118.957.252512.25
14Mount Pleasant, SC14144.266.752412.18
15Grand Forks, ND2595.3411212.18
16Lynchburg, VA1988.355.651212.07
17Albany, GA1778.565.6511112.06
18West Palm Beach, FL9117.575.42712.05
19Grapevine, TX16132.164.751312.05
20Santa Barbara, CA10254.16221312.02
21Delray Beach, FL9111.0751711.85
22Alpharetta, GA16137.658.50611.83
23Moore, OK1892.161.750111.79
24Clearwater, FL8105.473.51911.78
25Burien, WA17151.557.51411.71

Here is a list of the top 25 best big cities for seniors:
RankCitySenior Properties per 10,000 residentsCost of LivingAvg. Annual TempTotal Hospitals Registered w/ MedicareTotal Healthcare FacilitiesTotal Score
1Boise, ID65106.752.6531128.1
2Glendale, AZ31112.9752720.92
3Tampa, FL18108.773.0573119
4Baton Rouge, LA2199.56861618.07
5Omaha, NE1694.951.4103017.98
6San Bernardino, CA24116.866.42216.26
7Baltimore, MA496.858.25174216.06
8Honolulu, HI3201.177.5131916.03
9Indianapolis, IN287.952.9104415.97
10Rochester, NY2382.548.451015.55
11Tulsa, OK1389.660.9101915.05
12Cincinnati, OH889.654.15102514.95
13Seattle, WA11204.052.883114.91
14Portland, OR10147.854.5572314.91
15Fort Wayne, IN1983.050.1561514.87
16Nashville, TN5110.459.0583014.59
17Riverside, CA14147.266.0531414.31
18Wichita, KS986.356.862314.28
19Plano, TX5119.866.562513.96
20Memphis, TN684.362.962013.86
21Grand Rapids, MI1492.7492713.72
22Richmond, VA16102.558.6561313.65
23Fort Worth, TX4107.365.25112313.6
24Oklahoma City, OK491.561.55162913.4
25Gilbert, AZ8127.27321213.31

You can find our full list of data sources below.

Sources:

Apartment Guide Multifamily Housing Inventory | ASC Association | U.S. Census | U.S. Climate Data | Medicare.gov | The Council for Community and Economic Research | BestPlaces | NCDC


The post The 10 Best Cities for Seniors in the U.S. appeared first on Apartment Living Tips - Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
 
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