Retirement Living News
- Moving on in Life: Forbe’s Best Places to Retire
- U.S. News Ranks Best Nursing Homes of 2014
- AARP Foundation Annouces 2014 Expansion of BACK TO WORK 50+ Initiative
Retirement is a new phase of life, and for many, a chance to consider new surroundings. Forbes magazine has published its 2014 list of the 25 top U.S. cities for retirement. Data it sifted included housing and living costs, taxes, weather and air quality, crime rates, doctor availability, and active-lifestyle rankings for walkability, bicycling and volunteering. The magazine also looked at economic data with an eye toward a “working” retirement. A fuller explanation of these factors can be found here. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.
Trivia: Founded as a railroad shipping town for cattle. Pros: Robust economy, warm climate, cost of living 13% below national average, average home price $139,000 (national average: $207,000). Con: Not very walkable.
Trivia: Home of Auburn University. Pros: College town, good economy, toasty climate, cost of living 11% below national average, average home price $165,000, low crime. Con: Few doctors per capita.
Trivia: Scenic coastal home of Western Washington University, car ferry to Alaska. Pros: College town, good economy, average home price $266,000, above-average air quality, low crime, highly walkable. Cons: Cost of living 9% above national average, poor state tax climate.
Trivia: Named two centuries ago for town’s founder. Pros: College town (Virginia Tech), strong economy, cost of living 7% below national average, average home price $210,000, mild climate, low crime. Cons: None.
Trivia: Sits on a river bluff near the Atlantic Ocean. Pros: Scenic waters, warm climate, good state tax environment, average home price $197,000, low crime, highly walkable. Cons: Cost of living 8% above national average.
Trivia: State capital. Pros: Dry climate, good economy, cost of living about at national average, average home price $168,000, low crime, high rankings for walkability, bicycling and volunteering. Cons: Cost of living 4% above national average.
Bowling Green, KY
Trivia: All Chevolet Corvettes are built here. Pro: College town (Western Kentucky University), decent economy, cost of living 6% below national average, average home price $138,000, warm climate, low crime rate. Con: Low walkability rank.
Trivia: County seat of Transylvania County. Pros: scenic town amid waterfalls, moderate climate, cost of living 3% below national average, typical home price $195,000, low crime, high walkability rating. Cons: none.
Cape Coral, FL
Trivia: Only a half-century old. Pros: Gulf of Mexico frontage, warm climate, above average air quality, cost of living at national average, median home price $165,000, low crime, high marks for volunteering.. Cons: So-so economy, low walkability rating
Trivia: Civil War started here. Pros: Water frontage, warm climate, robust economy, good state tax environment, cost of living about national average, typical home price $$228,000, low crime, high bicycling grade. Con: Low marks for volunteering.
Trivia: Home of Clemson University. Pros: college town, warm climate, above-average air quality, cost of living about national average, typical home price $135,000, good state tax climate, low crime, high walkability rank. Cons: None.
Trivia: Named for co-founder of Wells Fargo. Pros: Gangbusters economy, cost of living 8% below national average, typical home price $165,000, abundant doctors per capita, above average air quality, high marks for bicycling and volunteering. Con: Cold winters.
Trivia: Named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Pros: Warm climate, above average air quality, cost of living 5% below national average, median home price $138,000, low crime, high walkability rank. Cons: None.
Las Cruces, NM
Trivia: 45 miles from Mexican border. Pros: College town (New Mexico State University), good economy, cost of living 8% below national average, median home price $176,000, good state tax environment, warm, dry climate. Cons: Low doctors per capita, low walkability rank
Trivia: Home of unique people-mover transit system. Pros: College town (West Virginia University), good economy. cost of living 8% below national average, typical home price $185,000, good state tax environment, abundant doctors, good walkability rank. Cons: Cold winters, below-average air quality .
Trivia: Major railroad hub. Pros: Good economy, cost of living 12% below national average, median home price $124,000, good state tax climate, low crime, high volunteering rank. Con: Low doctors per capita
Oklahoma City, OK
Trivia: Site of world’s first parking meter. Pros: Good economy, cost of living 7% below national average, typical home price $161,000, good state tax climate, high volunteering rank. Cons: high crime rate, sometimes violent weather.
Trivia: Named for a British leader. Pros: Solid economy, average cost of living, typical home price $130,000, large number of doctors per capita, high ranks for volunteering, bicycling and walkability. Cons: High crime rate, cold winters.
Port Saint Lucie, FL
Trivia: Begun as a real estate development. Pros: Warm coastal climate, above average air quality, cost of living 5% below national average, typical home price $140,000, low crime rate. Con: So-so economy.
Salt Lake City, UT
Trivia: originally named Great Salt Lake City. Pro: Moderate climate, above average air quality, terrific economy, cost of living 5% below national average, typical home price $226,000, abundant doctors per capita, high grades for bicycling, volunteering and walkability. Con: High crime rate.
San Angelo, TX
Trivia: Near the geographic center of Texas. Pros: Warm climate, booming economy, cost of living 9% below national average, median home price $175,000. Con: Low walkability rating.
State College, PA
Trivia: home of Penn State. Pros: College town, good economy, average home price $259,000, low crime, high walkability rank. Con: Cost of living 5% above national average.
Trivia: nicknamed “The Old Pueblo”. Pros: Warm climate, above-average air quality, cost of living 4% below national average, typical home price $172,000, abundant doctors per capita, high rank for bicycling and volunteering. Con: High crime rate, so-so economy.
Trivia: Known as “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”. Pros: Warm Gulf Coast climate, above average air quality, cost of living at national average, median home price $196,000, low crime. Con: Low walkability rating.
Last month U.S. News & World Report released its Best Nursing Homes 2014 list , which highlights the top nursing homes in every state and encompasses nearly 100 major metropolitan areas.
Around 25% of nursing homes considered for 2014′s list achieved a five-star rating, the highest given through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare program—a “sharp” increase from last year’s 19%, says U.S. News.
“The rising number of five-star homes is encouraging,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News health rankings editor, in the Best Nursing Homes announcement. “It speaks to care that is steadily becoming more skilled and compassionate.”
California has the most five-star nursing homes, according to U.S. News’ list, followed by Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
Out of nearly 1,270 nursing homes in California, 416 (around 33%) received five stars in 2014 through CMS’ Five-Star Quality Rating System, up from 25% in 2013, says the California Association of Health Facilities, a nonprofit trade group for the nursing home industry.
“California skilled-nursing providers are justifiably proud of this exceptional achievement, which reflects a strong commitment to nationwide efforts to deliver the best possible care to the elderly people and others who count on long-term care,” said James Gomez, president and CEO, of CAHF in a statement.
U.S. News used data from Nursing Home Compare and awarded the “Best Nursing Homes” designation to skilled nursing facilities that recently earned five-star ratings from CMS.
The list, now in its sixth year, covers almost 16,000 nursing homes across the country and is designed to help consumers with the process of finding a facility.
However, the list should not be the sole method for choosing a facility, said Gomez.
“These rankings are not a silver bullet for individuals needing skilled-nursing care,” he said. “Selecting the right care is a decision that is too important to base solely on one measure.”
Access the list of Best Nursing Homes by state.
With alarming statistics on the number of older unemployed Americans seeking work in mind, the AARP Foundation has announced the expansion of its BACK TO WORK 50+ initiative through a new collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and with generous support from Walmart Foundation. BACK TO WORK 50+ is dedicated to moving low income, unemployed men and women age 50+ from instability to stability by increasing their income through employment in good jobs in their communities.
Originally launched in 2013 as a demonstration project in Denver, Colo., 2013 BACK TO WORK 50+ is designed to create local coordination of employment services, public benefits application assistance, financial capability and employer engagement to connect 50+ job candidates to specific in-demand jobs in their communities.
Over the next two years, AARP Foundation will invest over $2 million to expand the program and reach thousands more older workers who need these important services. As part of the BACK TO WORK 50+ expansion, the first 12 community colleges that will become part of the network have been selected and an additional four colleges will be added later in 2014.
To date, BACK TO WORK 50+ has provided over 2,000 unemployed workers with information and resources to help them find meaningful employment.
“More than 3 million workers age 50-plus are looking for full-time employment. Mature workers bring assets to the workplace that employers need,” said AARP Foundation president Lisa Marsh Ryerson. “The expansion of Back to Work 50+ will encourage a multigenerational workforce that brings value to employers and older Americans alike.”
As part of the BACK TO WORK 50+ expansion, the participating community colleges will host local information sessions where job candidates aged 50 and older can learn how to update their personal marketing tools and networking strategies, target their job search on in-demand jobs, get job leads, and find resources that can help them stay strong while they’re looking for their next full-time job. Community colleges are also uniquely positioned to provide access to training opportunities for jobseekers that need skills training to prepare for available jobs. Participating community colleges include:
1. Bevill State Community College, Jasper, AL
2. Maricopa Corporate College, Phoenix, AZ
3. Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
4. Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL
5. Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL
6. Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL
7. Moraine Valley Community College, Palo Hills, IL
8. Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM
9. Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, SC
10. Tarrant County college District, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
11. Kanawha Valley Community & Technical College, South Charleston, WV
12. Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in El Cajon, CA
The community colleges will focus specifically on the needs of low income, older adult women and provide an expanded level of career and support services. The colleges will have access to a specifically designed version of the Virtual Career Network career exploration platform that was developed by AACC through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Participants in the program will use this innovative web-based tool to explore and prepare for careers in high-growth fields.
The BACK TO WORK 50+ program is one of the programs funded by the Walmart Foundation as a part of the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which will help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households gain better employment opportunities through job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring. For more information, visit corporate.walmart.com/women.
The important services provided by BACK TO WORK 50+ are available due in large part to the generous support of a $2.3 million grant from Walmart Foundation, which allows AARP Foundation to focus on increasing economic opportunity for older adult women by providing education, training, and employment services that facilitate their entry into good jobs in their communities.
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