I've always thought surveys were interesting, but not the end all in understanding what people are thinking, what is best for us, or what should be done in the future. A new survey released by SeniorAdvice.com called "America's Best Cities For Gay-Friendly Retirement" lists off the 15 top cities we should consider when thinking about gay retirement.
Using SeniorScore™, an unbiased, data-driven algorithm that determines the most accommodating places in America for seniors, we have determined the best cities in the country for retirees who identify with the LGBT community. The SeniorScore™ evaluates over 100 variables across multiple categories that are pertinent to an area's older residents, including access to healthcare, social and recreational activities, general affordability, safety, quality of environment, and more. Additionally, we analyzed the overall LGBT populations per capita for each city, the presence of gay-friendly social environments, support for gay-owned businesses, and the overall level of tolerance and legal protection of the communities. – SeniorAdvice.com
100 variables across multiple categories. That's a lot to consider. And I think its all just numbers. Did they interview anyone?
When I visit a city, I get a feel if it has a pulse, a emotional "something." Some cities just do not have a way about themselves. No matter how you stack the numbers, surveys, data, it just doesn't feel like a possible home. When looking at the list and considering how those cities feel to me when I visited them in my 30s and now 40s, I just don't see them being a place where I would settle down to live my last years out.
Click on these screen shots of the info for a larger view, but no matter how many times you click, I don't see Austin as a retirement city. I felt old visiting Austin at 41. I see it more as a vibrant youthful option for 20, 30, and maybe 40 year olds, but I feel anything above that may be out in the suburbs of Austin and not Austin proper.
I do see Fort Lauderdale as a community that would be good for retirement, not only Fort Lauderdale proper, but all the mini suburbs surrounding the city. Fort Lauderdale is bright and vibrant and a city that is good for anyone of any age actually. There is something for everyone from the 18+ crowd all the way up to retirement and beyond. It does have everything. I could see myself retiring here.
Haven't been there, haven't done that. None of my excursions have brought me to the twin cities yet. I grew up in Maine, a fellow northern state and one known for its retirement rates. Portland, Maine has a very high gay population in comparison, but didn't make the list, most likely due to those other 100 factors. What are your thoughts on Minneapolis- St. Paul? I've heard it's great. Someone want to invite me?
Jumping to number 9 on the list we find Seattle, another city I think is a little more youthful than deserving a spot on a retirement list, but maybe I am wrong. What are your thoughts?
The rest of the list can be found on SeniorAdvice.com. There are a couple of more Florida cities, it goes back to Texas and other states.
Are survey numbers the way to find out where you should live when you get older?
Or do you need to get a feel for a place AND compare the data before you take that leap?
Do you agree with the survey results or do you have your own thoughts about where you should retire?
At 42, is it time to think about where to live when it is time to retire?