Where to retire?

Some questions one might ask:

How important is it to be close to family and friends?

Do I want a big city, small town, suburban or rural setting?

Does this place provide opportunities for hobbies and activities I like?

Does the available housing fit my preferences and budget?

How is the transportation and connectivity to various resources?

When you are ready to retire, you may face the question, “Where do I live now?”  For an increasing number of people, their identity is closely related to where they live.  Some are calling this, “human geography” to focus on how humans interact with their social, cultural, and natural environments.

Finding the right place should take into consideration your wants and needs, and how you want to live.  Your personality may fit comfortably into a particular economic and social structure, but not into another.  Factors such as physical environment and psychological needs may come together.

Gilbert Guide to senior housing
Gilbert Guide with Nikki Jong.
New York : Alpha Books, 2009.
Leisureville : adventures in America's retirement utopias
Andrew D. Blechman.
New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2008.
"More than twelve million Americans will soon live in age-segregated senior communities, under restrictive covenants, and with limited local government. Andrew Blechman traces the history of this remarkable trend, travels to Arizona to show what has happened to the pioneers after decades of isolation, investigates the governments of these instant cities, attends a builders' convention, speaks with housing experts, and examines the implications of millions of Americans dropping out of society to live under legal segregation."--BOOK JACKET.
Where should I live when I retire? : a guide to continuing-care retirement communities
Bernice Hunt.
Garden City Park, NY : Square One Publishers, 2005.
With a surge in the number of people planning to retire, interest in retirement communities is skyrocketing. The most common problem in choosing a community is sorting out the many types available. Unfortunately, with so many ads promoting various "golden age" living facilities, it's not easy to tell fact from fiction-that is, until now. Bernice Hunt has written a complete guide to one of the most popular types of retirement options-Continuing-Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)-where you can enjoy your independent lifestyle to the fullest, secure in knowing that if you become ill, you will receive all the care you need.

Certain social factors may determine whether you find happiness living in a particular place.  Among these are how your own values and those that predominate in the community come together.  What opportunities are there for work, play, and cultural resources?  What is the quality of life?

Some areas will attract people because of the predominance of certain characteristics.  It might be a locale for active adults, such as a golfing or high-energy activities.  It might be attractive for its intellectual or cultural opportunities as in a university or college town.  Some may be drawn to a region for its health care, ecological priorities, or high number of singles.

Urban living can be attractive, especially when there are local farmers’ markets, opportunities for community gardens, bike trails, and walking paths. A resource such as the Missouri Botanical Garden will show visitors how to garden in a variety of small spaces found in urban settings.

A continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) or life-care retirement community provides a place for independent retirement, and then assisted living or nursing care at the same location.  Most of these will require a certain amount of financial resources to enter.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff