The significance of a ranking high up in "the best cities to retire" surveys will be important as the baby boomers start retiring and looking at their retirement options. This is important not because of the ranking but because it reflects how well these cities address the needs and concerns of retirees.
Cities should be rolling out the red carpet trying to lure the attractive, skilled, wealthier segments of this group. Oiling their spin machines and promoting every attractive feature they can find.
Promises such as the best weather, the best community, the best facilities, the lowest taxes, the lowest cost of living, the best environment and the best senior communities will be lavishly offered to prospective buyers.
These cities will be hoping to attract retirees who have bundles of money to spend and who will benefit the overall community.
Studies have shown that there is a significant economic benefit from retirees as "elderly migration is directly influencing state economies" (Longino and Crown 1989). Older migrants generate a "new" growth niche market within the major segments of real estate, finance, recreation, health care, insurance, and retail.
The "retirement industry" boosts the local economy and increases tax revenues which can be invested in the retirement infrastructure. Retirement income leads to growth. Retirees spend their money in the local economy and create a growing demand for goods and services. This attracts capital investment. Employment increases which then boosts the local economy and the cycle starts again.
As a result of understanding the net benefits of retirees, more countries, towns, counties, and states are beginning to look at ways to attract them. Government and state organisations are financing retirement housing projects. Initially these investments will create jobs and they will later attract retirees which will create more jobs.
This retirement investment is common in states in the USA like Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas. With competition coming from Central and South American countries as well as Asia, Europe and Africa.
Communities that understand the benefits and are investing will benefit from the wave of incoming retiree spending. That trend will continue in the successful cities and this will transform the economies of these communities.
When looking at the best cities to retire you will have to consider and balance a number of factors. A simple process is explained in more detail in the section on the Best State to Retire.
One resource is International Living which covers extensive and interesting city options throughout the world.
One word of advice. If you are considering moving to one of these best cities to retire … don't rush. Moving is expensive and disruptive. Take your time and do it in baby steps!
Carefully consider what is best for you and enjoy the experience.
Is there a place that you are really passionate about? If so, we'd sure appreciate you sharing it with us.