OKC ranked among best cities for retirees
Some cities, like Oklahoma City, make it easier to stretch your retirement dollars than others.
To update its list of the best places in the United States to retire for 2020, personal finance site Kiplinger.com calculated which cities were the most affordable by looking at the overall costs of living, low population density, vibrancy, health care, tax rates, internet access and proximity to family and friends for seniors.
Oklahoma City landed at No. 7 in the rankings out of 212 metropolitan areas surveyed. Pensacola, Fla. ranked first ahead of second-place Huntsville, Ala. Extra value was given to those states with retiree-friendly or neutral tax situations and to places near high-quality health care facilities.
The report said that Oklahoma City’s cost of living for retirees is 12.9% below the national average. Also factors that helped the high acclaim were median home values at $153,700 and a total of seven highly-rated hospitals within 50 miles.
Oklahoma City dubs itself the Modern Frontier, a place that celebrates both its Native American and Wild West roots and its current big-city status. Honoring its history, the state capital is home to the Oklahoma History Center and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, as well as the annual Chuck Wagon Festival (a family-friendly two-day event that includes trying chuck wagon food samples, butter-making and Western re-enactors) and Red Earth Events, featuring American Indian arts and culture.
Revitalization efforts over the past several years have helped refresh the city and its seven distinct downtown districts. The Arts District houses the Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and other cultural attractions. The Bricktown Entertainment District has a variety of restaurants and nightlife venues. And just south of there, the Boathouse District, along the Oklahoma River, offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding, as well as more than 13 miles of paved trails for walking, running and biking. It’s even home to a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site for rowing (a bonus benefit, just in case your encore career is Olympic athlete).
One city project—the development of Senior Health and Wellness Centers—specifically aims to serve older residents. Two centers have already opened in different locations of the city, and two more are slated for completion in 2021 and 2022. All will provide social and recreational settings for adults age 50 and older to promote and support a healthy and active lifestyle.