Monday, August 22, 2016

Retiring Minds Want to Know

As I drift into my Golden Years, visions of fully and intentionally retiring are starting to dance in my head. Most likely, I will “retire in place.” After all, Boston has been my home for most of my life, I have a beautiful condo in a great neighborhood, my front yard has the Swan Boats in it, I can run most of my errands by walking around the corner, and I can get to most anyplace worth getting to on my own two feet, including Fenway Park, the Gardner Museum, and my internist, eye doctor, dentist and Mass General Hospital.

Yes, Boston is colossally expensive. And, yes, as the climate continues to change and the oceans continue to rise, my ‘hood will be under water at some point. With luck, I will have sold my condo and moved to higher ground by the time that happens. But I haven’t given a ton of thought to where that higher ground might be.

Kiddingly (or not so kiddingly), I have occasionally mentioned that my home town of Worcester might be a fine place to retire.

Yes, almost all of the family I still have there are of the six-feet-deep variety. And you pretty much do need a car to get around. Not to mention that, in terms of weather, Worcester – although a scant 50 miles down the ‘pike from Boston - has the world’s worst weather. But housing-wise, you can get a lot more for a lot less than in Boston. There’s a decent hospital. Good restaurants. An excellent museum and other culture-vulture-y things to do, thanks in large part to all the colleges that are there. And it’s on the train to Boston. Why, there’s even a stop for Fenway Park.

You could do worse than retire to the Heart of the Commonwealth.

Alas, according to an outfit called WalletHub, the only way you could do worse than Worcester, Massachusetts (ranked 149), in terms of retirement, would be Providence, Rhode Island (150).

Providence? Huh?

As any Providence-watcher can tell you, this is one city that has really turned itself around over the years, going from what was pretty much a dump in the early 1970’s to the vibrant and interesting place it is today. I got to watch Providence change via second-hand up close and personal, as my great and good friend Marie moved there in 1977, settling up on The Hill, near Brown, where she and her husband had both gone. So I’ve been a regular visitor over the years. Like Worcester, Providence is a city I can actually see myself retiring to.

Unlike any of WalletHub’s Top Five: Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Scottsdale, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota? I get the affordability part, but, gee, how did Sioux Falls get to be ranked #1 for health care?

And I’m guessing that I should take back what I just said about Worcester’s weather. It may be Massachusetts’ worst, but it’s probably not any worse than what you experience in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

WalletHub, of course, used its own methodology to decide where it’s best to retire, some no doubt arbitrary combo of proxies (“key metrics”) for affordability, activities, quality of life, and health care.

Boston ranked a lowly 92 in the rankings, after “achieving” – make that underachieving – the same score as Chattanooga and Lubbock. Those scores, I suspect, is the only answer to the question “What do Boston, Massachusetts, and Lubbock, Texas have in common?”

My husband had always talked about retiring to New York City. Apparently, at position 88, a slightly better bet than Boston.

Meanwhile, I’m staying put.

(Lubbock, Texas…Hah!)


Where this was spotted: Huff Po.

Who did the spotting: my cousin Ellen, who grew up in Chicago (43), one step ahead of Jackson, Mississippi. Thanks, Ellen!

Ur Source: WalletHub

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Hard to believe that Chicago beat out Boston in this poll. Lubbock and Jackson, though? Ha, indeed!