Senior City Guides Can Help – by Carol Marak, Senior Care.com
Affordability ranks number one for retiring singles and couples. Even in the Elder Orphan Facebook group, hundreds of individuals over 50 years and over seek a place that’s safe, connected, and affordable. Many in the group are in the same predicament. We enjoy solo living, yet feel the pressures of disconnection and loneliness at times.
But it’s the ability to pay for a home and an enjoyable lifestyle that accentuates the discomfort. We want what we cannot afford, and many members ask, “Why is housing so costly?” It’s a fact; housing cost is the largest expense in household budgets across the board. Medical expense runs second, especially for seniors.
However, alongside affordability, boomers like those in the Facebook group, want to continue working in retirement, so they seek dynamic local economies, an adequate housing stock and a lower cost of living. And since 92% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at two, making accessibility, the proximity to stores, services, social events, and transportation is priority.
For individuals of all ages, especially those over 65 years old, planning a life with less income, requires a place with lower costs and appealing lifestyle features–such as moderate climates, abundant cultural and life-long learning opportunities, lower health and long-term care expenses, and substantial activities.
By using the senior city guides and the data collected, individuals can do a thorough investigation of areas in the United States and then decide if a place is a good one to retire in or not.
Fundamental Statistics of a City and State
When reviewing the vital stats of the aging population by location, one discovers significant information:
- The proportion of the older adults 65 and over
- The number of that segment living alone
- The annual income
- The number of individuals on food stamps
- The average Social Security Income
- The median household income
- The health rankings
- The number of those still working
- The number of veterans
Why it’s important
Let me explain the significance of the data. For example, I’m part of the 65+ population, and I fully understand my capabilities and know my desires of a healthy lifestyle. So, living in a location that promotes well-being and access to a comfortable routine is paramount. I’ll break each data point and explain how each relates to me. Hopefully, you will be able to interpret the guides to be a tool for direction.
The proportion of older adults – since I know the importance of connection and relationships, if I live in an area that has residents my age, I have a better chance finding companionship. Plus, it makes sense that services and activities will be available for us to enjoy.
The number living alone – I live alone and have a better chance finding my tribe in a location where the proportion of single people ranks highest.
Annual income – this factor affects what things and activities people can have and do. For me, I don’t want to live in a community where my peers either make a lot more or a lot less than me.
Health rankings – if a location ranks high in this aspect, I’ll have a better chance finding others who prefer an active lifestyle.
Working adults – continuing to work and having a purpose inspires me. So, if other people my age continue to work, chances are each will contribute to making a difference to society as a whole.
The article is a brief assessment of how I interpret the guides. Of course, I did not include other significant data like long-term care choices, and the costs of housing. The city guides offers that and more in one place for convenience. It’s difficult to research the demographics of a locations, let alone all the other stats the guides offer. Try it out and learn in-depth stats and data about the state and local area you’re living.