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September 20, 2016
by Shayla Concannon

Top 10 Large Cities in America for Seniors

Cincinnati was ranked # 9 out of the top 10 cities for seniors to spend their retirement years.  Low cost of living, easy access to healthcare and hospitals and a wide variety of recreational activities combined to put Cincinnati in the top 10 list! 

SourceSenior Advice



Seniors have unique needs and desires when it comes to finding a place to spend their retirement years. Healthy and active seniors typically want to live in communities that provide not only a pleasant living environment, but also fun and social activities with other people who share their interests. Others require a higher level of healthcare and must choose a place to live that can accomodate their individual needs. While all cities have their advantages and disadvantages, some communities are significantly more senior friendly than others.

Using an advanced algorithm known as SeniorScore, has compiled and rated over 100 variables across four major categories, including health and safety, leisure and recreation, finances and affordability, and overall quality of life. By tracking this data across every city in America, this score seeks to find the best places for seniors to live, while balancing their diverse preferences and needs as they move through their golden years. The SeniorScore is un-biased and is not influenced by personal opinion or financial interests in any way.

1. Oklahoma City, OK

With great access to senior housing and healthcare, along with a pleasant climate and a multitude of recreational options, Oklahoma City received a higher SeniorScore than any other large city in America.

When it comes to general quality of life, many seniors find that Oklahoma City has a great balance as it receives low levels of rainfall every year, generally mild and comfortable temperatures, and a relatively clean environment with great air quality.

When considering health and safety features of the city, OKC has a great deal to offer its residents, with a very-high number of Medicare registered physicians, 25 hospitals, and a pharmacy around every corner. It also has a very high concentration of quality assisted living facilities, in-home care agencies, and other types of senior living services. Affordability for those looking to take advantage of these senior living communities also comes in to play, with average costs for nursing home care and adult daycare well below those in other large cities.

For more active seniors who are focused on their recreation options and general conveniences, they will find that Oklahoma City is filled with perks that can help make their golden years more enjoyable. The city is home to 37 area golf courses, 56 municipal parks, nearly 500 churches, dozens of movie theaters, and all the day-to-day conveniences you’d expect from a big city. For seniors looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the area is also home to over 100 gyms and health clubs, along with some great outdoor walking trails.

For full details on the Oklahoma City score, click Oklahoma City SeniorScore.

2. Austin, TX

Austin, Texas may be known by many for its motto “keep Austin weird” but there is much more than quirky bars and shops in this southern town. The city scores higher than both the state and national averages when it comes to senior-friendliness. With perks such as mild winters, low rainfall, an active outdoor community, and excellent access to healthcare, Austin is a very livable place for Texas seniors to call home.

When it comes to health and safety for seniors, older adults are well accommodated in the Capital City. There are a very high number of physicians in Austin who accept Medicare, 20 area hospitals, and an abundance of senior living facilities and home healthcare providers.

Austin is also financially accommodating to its senior residents. The local economy is booming here and while the city has seen an increase in the cost of living in recent years, the state of Texas has no income tax and they offer some significant property tax advantages for senior residents. Additionally, costs for adult day services and nursing home care are lower in Austin than in other similar sized cities.

For active seniors who want to get outside and enjoy the mild climate, Austin is home to some fantastic outdoor amenities like the Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trails and the Greenbelt, along with 39 area golf courses and almost 50 city parks. For seniors who want to be part of a religious or spiritual community, there are well over 300 churches in or around the city. All these features combined have helped put Austin on the map when it comes to senior-friendly destinations in the United States.

3. Pittsburgh, PA

Coming in at number three, this east-coast gem has a large and active senior population, with almost 30% of residents over the age of 55. There are plenty of fun activities and amenities for active seniors to enjoy, including golf, parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, and, of course, some of the most legendary sports teams in the country. The Steel City is also home to Phipps Conservatory and the world-class Pittsburgh Zoo.

When it comes to affordability, seniors can enjoy very low assisted living costs ($36,900 per year), affordable adult daycare ($15,600 per year), and an overall low cost of living. The economy is generally very stable as well, with low unemployment, higher-than-average incomes, and housing prices that are lower than most other large East Coast cities.

Seniors focused on healthcare and safety can rest assured knowing there is very good access to Medicare doctors, assisted living and in-home care, and some top rated hospitals, including the nationally ranked UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside.

4. Louisville, KY

Louisville receives a high SeniorScore in part due to its mild climate, pleasant average temperatures, and its relatively comfortable winters.

Retirement affordability is also key, with low property and sales taxes and a relatively low overall cost of living making this charming town as sensible as it is enjoyable. Louisville also boasts very low costs for both senior adult daycare and in-home care, which can help residents save a fortune as they progress through their retirement years.

In addition to being a more budget-friendly living option than other big cities, Louisville also offers seniors with access to a large number of Medicare physicians, 20 area hospitals, access to plenty of home healthcare providers, and over 100 senior assisted and independent living communities. And of course, the city also offers all the daily conveniences you’d expect, with pharmacies and grocery stores always within a short drive.

When it is time to relax and unwind, seniors can indulge in more than just a day at the track. Residents can enjoy 60 area golf courses and 31 city parks, relax at one of 20 movie theaters, or shop the day away at one of the city’s many malls. Louisville is also home to over 400 churches and over 100 gyms and health clubs for seniors looking to keep their physical and spiritual health in check.

5. Fort Worth, TX

The second Texas city to make the list, Fort Worth has good access to some very key amenities important to seniors. For those with healthcare on the mind, Fort Worth provides 19 hospitals, a very high number of Medicare registered physicians, numerous home health care providers, and nearly 200 senior living facilities.

Seniors can also rest assure that their housing and care options won’t break the bank like some other cities. While average assisted living costs in Fort Worth are on the high side at $46,722, nursing home care, adult daycare, and home healthcare are all priced lower than national averages ($78,475, $17,550, and $43,472, respectively). These totals mixed with an overall low cost of living and no state income tax has helped make Fort Worth a smart choice for many seniors.

If retirement fun is the focus, Fort Worth also delivers. In addition to local attractions like the Historic District, the Fort Worth Zoo, and the Botanic Gardens, seniors can also enjoy all the usual amenities including 85 golf courses, city parks, over 400 churches, dozens of malls and shopping areas, and 21 area movie theaters.

6. Richmond, VA

Senior Richmonders can not only enjoy access to all that this big east-coast city has to offer, but plenty of senior-friendly perks as well. Access to thousands of doctors, 18 area hospitals including the highly rated Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, over 600 pharmacies, and about 100 senior living facilities all make finding good healthcare and senior care a major advantage for those living in Richmond. As an added bonus, seniors living in the Virginia city tend to live longer than seniors in the rest of the country.

Residents of Richmond can enjoy more than just access to healthcare. The city boasts relatively mild winters, warm summers, and gorgeous autumn and spring seasons, access to plenty of parks, and more than 40 golf courses. There are also some great senior-focused amenities such as the Linwood Robinson Senior Center where older residents can come together and socialize with other people who share their interests. Additionally, there are more than 125 fitness clubs around the city. Convenient grocery stores can be found on every block, while more than 500 area churches can help ensure seniors find a community and a parish that meets their needs as they transition to life in Richmond.

For full details, visit our page on Richmond, VA senior living.

7. St Louis, MO

St. Louis, Missouri is not only one of the biggest cities in the Midwest, but it is also one of the most-senior friendly destinations in this area of the country. In this city, seniors can enjoy life that is catered much more to the needs of seniors than the average US city.

Thanks to high access to senior healthcare, some top-rated hospitals like the Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and an abundance of in-home care and assisted living options, St. Louis scores highly when it comes to health and safety for its elder residents. Additionally, the cost of nursing home care, assisted living, and home healthcare are all quite low compared to other large cities in the US.

The lower costs of senior housing, paired with a low overall cost of living can make St. Louis an affordable place for seniors to call home, but it can also be a fun place to settle down in as well. Recreation and leisure options are abound in and around the city with 39 city parks, a world class zoo, several highly-rated museums, and dozens of golf courses in the area. For those who are looking to be part of a spiritual community, the notoriously religious city has almost 600 congregations to choose from.

8. Omaha, NE

Omaha is known to be a particularly friendly city, but it turns out it’s also a very hospitable place for seniors to call home. The city scored well above other large cities in healthcare quality and access, with 16 area hospitals, almost 100 senior care facilities, and a very adequate supply of home health services. Omaha residents also enjoy a longer life expectancy than any many other large American cities.

Omaha is also an affordable place to spend your retirement years. While our research found that Omaha’s average cost of in-home care ranked higher than the national average, nursing home and adult day services were relatively affordable compared to similarly sized cities. The overall cost of living is also significantly lower than many other major cities.

While the city usually experiences rather cold winters, much of the year is warm and pleasant, with low levels of rainfall and plenty of sunshine. With just over 21% of the population being over the age of 55, Omaha also boasts many recreational amenities that appeal to seniors, including over 50 area golf courses and many lovely city parks.

For full details on the SeniorScore for Omaha, click here.

9. Cincinnati, OH

For Midwestern seniors, Cincinnati, Ohio is one of the most senior-friendly communities in the region. Approximately 25% of the population of Cincinnati are over 55 and these residents can enjoy a variety of retirement living options regardless of the level of care and activity they desire. And with an overall low cost of living, Cincinnati is a good place to stretch a retirement budget.

Many seniors also choose to call Cincinnati home due to the pleasant weather, low cost of living, and general safety features of this city. Additionally, healthcare in the city offers seniors a number of great options including good access to doctors, a high number of home healthcare providers, a few hundred pharmacies, and at least 20 hospitals, including three that are nationally ranked (Christ Hospital, Bethesda North Hospital, and Good Samaritan Hospital).

When it is time for seniors to relax and unwind, they can enjoy a number of recreational and leisure activities. Residents can catch a Reds game, explore the area museums, take a tranquil stroll through Eden Park, or take advantage of dozens of golf courses in the area.

10. San Antonio, TX

The River City provides seniors with a welcoming community that mixes an affordable cost of living with plenty of health and safety benefits. Seniors have access to all the conveniences and amenities one would expect from a city of 2 million people, including some world class hospitals and doctors. In addition to having a high number of home health care providers and Medicare physicians, the city also has almost 200 senior living facilities in the area.

San Antonio’s economy is strong but the city is also affordable. Not only is housing a better value than in other large Texas cities, the overall costs of food, healthcare, and other expenses tend to lower than other large cities. Additionally, both nursing home care and adult day services are significantly cheaper than in most parts of the country.

When it is time for residents to enjoy some of the more fun parts of San Antonio, they can take advantage of mild winters and autumns, beautiful springs, and warm, sunny summers. And with low levels of rainfall, there is always plenty of sunshine for enjoying this lovely Texas city. About 25% of the San Antonio population are seniors, including a large population of retired military service people, and this contributes to the very active social environment for older residents.


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