Why is it important for a city to be seen as one of the best cities to retire in?
Quite simply there are many economic, social, and environmental advantages in attracting retirees.
Retirement is a lucrative and growing industry.
While cities can't do much about their location, they must make the most of their situation and any available natural features or attractions. But there are many other things that they can do to increase their lure.
So, what makes a retirement destination attractive?
One way to look at this is to divide migrating retirees into 3 groups. Each of these groups has varied reasons to make the move and are looking for different facilities and features when deciding on their best cities to retire to.
The first group are amenity migrants. This group is looking for specific amenities such as lakes, beaches, mountains, golf courses, equestrian facilities, or temperate climates. This group could also be seen as an environmental lifestyle group.
The second group are return migrants. They have left "home" and gone away to earn enough money to retire on. They are now looking to move back to their home states and cities to enjoy friends, family, and nostalgia.
The final group are known as dependency migrants. They are looking to move because they have increasing care needs.
What are retirees looking for in the best cities to retire
- Good medical care. In many cases it is also important that this is at a reasonable cost. In many countries medical costs are increasing at alarming rates and this is likely to get progressively worse in the near future.
- Quality housing at reasonable prices.
- Safe, quiet neighbourhoods. Safety becomes a growing concern as economic conditions get tougher. There is an increasing amount of petty crime. Older people are more vulnerable as they are seen by criminals as easy targets.
For many people in all these groups, a low cost-of-living is becoming a increasingly crucial factor as financial pressures grow. Extended life spans, reducing benefits and inadequate retirement funding all add to the burden.
In addition, amenity and return migrants may also be looking for a combination of the following:
- Recreational attractions.
- Lifestyle choices.
- Cultural attractions.
- Convenient shopping.
Benefits of retirees to the best cities to retire
In return for the facilities and features they demand the retirees offer several positive and valuable contributions as they increase:
- The tax base with both retail and property tax.
- Retail sales.
- The number of positive taxpayers. Because as a group retirees use fewer services than they pay for in taxes.
- Local expertise in a variety of areas.
- The bank deposit base, which can be used for commercial and industrial financing.
- The economic "multiplier" effect.
- Number of volunteers.
- Church contributions.
Cost benefits of attracting retirees
In addition, there are also several cost benefits of attracting self-sufficient retirees as they do not:
- Overextend social services.
- Strain health care services.
- Create major environmental problems.
- Make any demands on school systems.
- Pressurize the criminal justice system.
So, if cities want to be considered as one of the best cities to retire to, they are going to have to plan and decide what they need to do to make this possible.
The race is on!