Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:40 pm

Please share your knowledge of any city, that is a walk able city. ( No need to take the car, for coffee, library, small grocery, etc ) and also retiree friendly.

Just looking for ideas to research and understand better

stan1
Posts: 7103
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:42 pm

Every city in the US has a neighborhood (potentially many neighborhoods) that would meet this requirement along with many towns and even suburbs if there was an apartment or condo complex adjacent to a mall. Seems like you'd want to add some additional criteria. You'll get Greenwich Village to Larchmont Village to Tysons Corner to Davis to a small farm town in Iowa.

User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:56 pm

Thanks for the list...
  • Greenwich Village
    Larchmont Village
    Tysons Corner
    Davis

mrmass
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by mrmass » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:56 pm

Harvard Sq
Naples FL off 5th Ave
Last edited by mrmass on Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 2834
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:56 pm

It's easy enough to find neighborhoods that meet this requirements in many northeast cities, that were built up with relatively high density before cars were common.

But ice and snow part of the year can make walking unsafe. Where I lived uncleared sidewalks could only have been called treacherous. Winter weather can make it unpleasant to be outdoors for very long.

There is also the issue of whether particular cities offer the recreation choices of interest.

...And. Let's not forget cost, and maybe safety.

The Wizard
Posts: 13355
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by The Wizard » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:05 pm

Boston and Cambridge qualify.
I live 15 miles away now, but I'll be strolling about for two games at Fenway Park this coming weekend...
Attempted new signature...

Slapshot
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:26 pm
Location: SE Mass.

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by Slapshot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:21 pm

We just spent 3 days in Greenville, SC. Some nice downtown condos with everything within walking distance, including bars and restaurants, a Fenway Park replica minor league baseball stadium, and a 15,000 seat arena that houses a minor league hockey team and numerous big time concerts.
This time, like all times, is the best of times if we but know what to do with it.

dad2000
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:04 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by dad2000 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:25 pm

I can think of dozens of cities, and there are plenty more I haven't been to. More importantly, your lifestyle needs to be compatible with the area.

I suggest taking a quiz that asks good questions and provides meaningful results. I like this one:
https://www.best-place-to-retire.com/pl ... etire-quiz

Then research neighborhoods in the areas that meet your criteria.

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:27 pm

Besides cities in the Northeast such as Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, is well known for pedestrian-friendly. It has an excellent train/streetcar system (MAX) along with other means of public transportation. A full-day pass costs only $2.50. As a flip side, having a car will give you a lot of head aches. Parking is enforced from 8 am to 7 pm seven days a week except morning hours on Sundays.

mtmingus
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:15 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by mtmingus » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:29 pm

Naperville Illinois is building luxury condominiums in downtown. Very convenient to everything you mentioned.

life in slices
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:00 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by life in slices » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:29 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:05 pm
Boston and Cambridge qualify.
I live 15 miles away now, but I'll be strolling about for two games at Fenway Park this coming weekend...
I am a little bit farther out from Boston, but lots of great neighborhoods in the area
- South Boston
- North End
- Harvard Square
- Back Bay

StealthRabbit
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by StealthRabbit » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:30 pm

There are some relocation forums with retiree input. (City-data, Sterlings (best places.net) Top retirement...)

Need to define the size 'city' and climate you desire. (and budget / tax sensitivity) I prefer income tax free states.
Also medical and travel needs.

Greenville, SC, and Knoxville, TN are nice places, but I don't do 'east-of-Missouri River' in summer, so... My choices are West focused.

I like: (All have at least a Comm College and access to medical)

Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Carbondale, CO
Powell, WY
Columbia Falls, MT
Boise, Sandpoint, CDL, ID
Wenatchee, Olympia, Vancouver, Bellingham, WA
Roseburg, Corvallis, Bend, OR

CA has some really sweet locations.

Have you considered international destinations?
Some countries accept USA FIRE 'medical coverage refugees'. Offering available HC options for those under age 65.

livesoft
Posts: 66938
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:37 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:56 pm
It's easy enough to find neighborhoods that meet this requirements in many northeast cities, ....
Even in cities not known for walkability such as Houston. And now with Uber / Lyft / et al. there are probably even more places.

I have a friend who is alive today because the ambulance got to him within about 5 minutes, so that might be another criteria for some folks.

Also what is "walkable" to one person is not to another. I spent a few days in Manhattan last week. Very walkable, but I would not want to live there as too many streets to cross. Of course, if I was in a $50 a month rent-stabilized apartment, I might change my mind. And last month, while on my normal 4 mile walk in Texas, I came across several electric wheel-chair-bound folks out in nature on a path near the local CCRC.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
JMacDonald
Posts: 2219
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by JMacDonald » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:43 pm

There is a website for that:
https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/
When I typed in my address, the score was 86. I agree because there are many places I can walk to if I choose.
Best Wishes, | Joe

btenny
Posts: 5075
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by btenny » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:14 pm

I live in the PV mall area of Phoenix. Everything in the city is close. It is not exactly walkable in the classic case but very convenient. We are maybe 3 blocks from three grocery stores and about 30 restaurants in one direction. Then we are 5 blocks in the other direction from a big clothing mall and a Costco and the public library and a bunch more food places. So stuff is close. But mostly we have to use a car to get to these places. All the approaches are from parking lots and busy streets. Walking is possible and some people do this but you are on a sidewalk right next to a busy street. So not many people walk.

Plus this area of town has freeway access that leads to city center and all the other parts of town. This is about a mile away. So again it is just convenient.

Good Luck.

User avatar
leeks
Posts: 733
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by leeks » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:51 pm

JMacDonald wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:43 pm
There is a website for that:
https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/
When I typed in my address, the score was 86. I agree because there are many places I can walk to if I choose.
+1 on walkscore

Here are some Southern cities I love whose inner neighborhoods are quite walkable and are in medium cost of living areas with educated population, arts, cafe culture, good healthcare, the kind of weather I prefer, and access to mountains/beaches within a few hours (have to drive to those though). I would consider them excellent for retirees (and for my car-free family with young kids if I can ever get my husband out of NYC). One would want a car for some things but would not need to use it every day, especially if there is no work commute to consider:
Charlottesville, VA
Richmond, VA
Raleigh, NC
Chapel Hill, NC
Durham, NC

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16465
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by Watty » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:21 pm

College towns would also be looking at since in addition to often being walkable they often have some public transportation which is often scarce in small towns.

aristotelian
Posts: 5791
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by aristotelian » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:26 pm

We live in a small college town. Our walkability score is the same as the neighborhood we lived in in Brooklyn. Kids' school, bike trails, restaurants, library, grocery store, gym, hiking trails are all within a few blocks.

I think DC, NYC, or Chicago would all be fine without a car, although you would need to take the subway to make the most of them.

stan1
Posts: 7103
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:50 pm

Make a map of all the Whole Foods and Tesla stores and look within a 1 mile radius. I think that would give you a good starting point and you won't have to duplicate the research Whole Foods has spent millions of dollars on.

Random Poster
Posts: 1805
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by Random Poster » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:18 pm

StealthRabbit wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:30 pm
Colorado Springs, Grand Junction . . . .
Colorado Springs is certainly not my idea of walkable. Rather, it is a very good example of unchecked and unmitigated sprawl.

Grand Junction may have a few walkable areas (downtown, such as it is, for example), but the amenities there are pretty skimpy.

Boise's downtown is better than Grand Junction's.

Godot
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:44 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by Godot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:31 pm

dad2000 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:25 pm
I can think of dozens of cities, and there are plenty more I haven't been to. More importantly, your lifestyle needs to be compatible with the area.

I suggest taking a quiz that asks good questions and provides meaningful results. I like this one:
https://www.best-place-to-retire.com/pl ... etire-quiz

Then research neighborhoods in the areas that meet your criteria.
Not sure how useful or meaningful this quiz is. I just took it. The results: "My ideal retirement states are California, Washington and Colorado."
“There is man in his entirety, blaming his shoe when his foot is guilty.” ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by alpenglow » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:36 pm

Possibly Portland, ME

fru-gal
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:38 pm

DC has a high crime rate, according to a friend who is there frequently for business.

megabad
Posts: 1808
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by megabad » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:50 pm

LiveSimple wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:40 pm
Please share your knowledge of any city, that is a walk able city. ( No need to take the car, for coffee, library, small grocery, etc ) and also retiree friendly.

Just looking for ideas to research and understand better
With only these requirements, virtually every city over a few hundred thousand population would qualify. Most of the recommendations so far are the most expensive options (Boston and New York), but there are at least 50-100 major cities in the US that would offer major walkability. Personally, I have done stints in New York and Cambridge and I consider them of limited "walkability" if you disregard public transport. Basically, I was unable to find anywhere in the area (as in all of NYC manhattan and Boston proper) where I could live and have reasonable access to every resource I wanted without hopping on a train. Not even close.

I believe that mixed used developments in between the city proper and the suburbs are the best place if you desire this. For this reason, I prefer smaller newer cities with massive modern suburbs. Areas around Atlanta (ie. between the city and Alpharetta/Marietta), Nashville (between Nashville and south of the city), Charlotte etc are my preference if all you care about is walkability. You simply find a newer area near a shopping district and situate your house/apartment there. In Atlanta, I did a stint in a brand new unit that was within walking distance of reputable big name grocery store, department stores, big box stores, medical/dental. I could actually walk to services that were reasonably priced unlike Manhattan where the neighborhood grocery "closet" was charging me 5 times the market rate for a limited selection and I had to take a train to the dentist. Now if you include public transport, my answer changes.

dknightd
Posts: 1656
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by dknightd » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 pm

The problem is it is a moving target. When I moved into my house I could walk to work, walk to a grocery, walk to the library, pretty much the only reason I had to drive was to carry heavy things, or go to a major hospital. Then they moved both the grocery and library. Apparently they were both too small, and did not have enough room to expand, or allow for additional parking.
I do not have to walk to work anymore. I don't want to live in a big city.
I guess my point is that lots of things can change in 30 years

tibbitts
Posts: 8826
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:19 pm

dknightd wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 pm
The problem is it is a moving target. When I moved into my house I could walk to work, walk to a grocery, walk to the library, pretty much the only reason I had to drive was to carry heavy things, or go to a major hospital. Then they moved both the grocery and library. Apparently they were both too small, and did not have enough room to expand, or allow for additional parking.
I do not have to walk to work anymore. I don't want to live in a big city.
I guess my point is that lots of things can change in 30 years
It's also a moving target as to how far you can walk as you age, and whether you can walk at all, much less carrying anything.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:35 pm

It depends. Do you want to not own a car at all, or are you looking for “car lite,” where you mostly walk, but have a car for trips to Costco? If you don’t want to own a car at all, New York, San Francisco, and maybe a couple of other cities like Seattle or Philadelphia, where it’s harder, but still doable, by living in the right neighborhood and having a bit of creativity. If you want car lite, practically any city with more than half a million people will have neighborhoods that qualify.

I live in San Diego, which is exactly nobody’s idea of a walkable city, but my neighborhood is plenty walkable. I have a car, but drove it less than 2000 miles last year. If it ever breaks, I’m not sure whether I’ll replace it, or just take Lyft everywhere.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:36 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:19 pm
dknightd wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 pm
The problem is it is a moving target. When I moved into my house I could walk to work, walk to a grocery, walk to the library, pretty much the only reason I had to drive was to carry heavy things, or go to a major hospital. Then they moved both the grocery and library. Apparently they were both too small, and did not have enough room to expand, or allow for additional parking.
I do not have to walk to work anymore. I don't want to live in a big city.
I guess my point is that lots of things can change in 30 years
It's also a moving target as to how far you can walk as you age, and whether you can walk at all, much less carrying anything.
Or whether or not you can drive.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:50 pm

Godot wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:31 pm
dad2000 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:25 pm
I can think of dozens of cities, and there are plenty more I haven't been to. More importantly, your lifestyle needs to be compatible with the area.

I suggest taking a quiz that asks good questions and provides meaningful results. I like this one:
https://www.best-place-to-retire.com/pl ... etire-quiz

Then research neighborhoods in the areas that meet your criteria.
Not sure how useful or meaningful this quiz is. I just took it. The results: "My ideal retirement states are California, Washington and Colorado."
It thought I should live in Plano, TX. When I googled “is Plano walkable,” it said “Plano has an average walk score of 39.” Maybe not.

stan1
Posts: 7103
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:02 pm

stan1 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:50 pm
Make a map of all the Whole Foods and Tesla stores and look within a 1 mile radius. I think that would give you a good starting point and you won't have to duplicate the research Whole Foods has spent millions of dollars on.
I found a map of Whole Foods locations in 2017. Looking at the map at the national level think its a better strategy than I initially thought! It won't get you the smallest towns but it does get you many university towns, suburbs, and urban centers.

https://fortunedotcom.files.wordpress.c ... atured.png

TN_Boy
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by TN_Boy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:22 pm

leeks wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:51 pm
JMacDonald wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:43 pm
There is a website for that:
https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/
When I typed in my address, the score was 86. I agree because there are many places I can walk to if I choose.
+1 on walkscore

Here are some Southern cities I love whose inner neighborhoods are quite walkable and are in medium cost of living areas with educated population, arts, cafe culture, good healthcare, the kind of weather I prefer, and access to mountains/beaches within a few hours (have to drive to those though). I would consider them excellent for retirees (and for my car-free family with young kids if I can ever get my husband out of NYC). One would want a car for some things but would not need to use it every day, especially if there is no work commute to consider:
Charlottesville, VA
Richmond, VA
Raleigh, NC
Chapel Hill, NC
Durham, NC
I'm familiar with the last three cities on your list, and it's my belief that getting a nice place downtown in those cities is the upper end of what I call medium cost! You could easily be looking at 500k+ for a 1200 sq ft condo. (I do realize that people in HCOLs are like, what a screaming bargain!).

Of course, if you like city life and can economize on car expenses, it still might work out. But don't confuse the housing prices in the suburbs in that area with what you'd pay downtown.

That said, I think that area is excellent for retirees.

User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:44 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:56 pm
It's easy enough to find neighborhoods that meet this requirements in many northeast cities, that were built up with relatively high density before cars were common.

But ice and snow part of the year can make walking unsafe. Where I lived uncleared sidewalks could only have been called treacherous. Winter weather can make it unpleasant to be outdoors for very long.

There is also the issue of whether particular cities offer the recreation choices of interest.

...And. Let's not forget cost, and maybe safety.
Agree if I cannot walk in my shorts, tee, sandals then it is not in my criteria as "walking city"

User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:53 pm

[quote=StealthRabbit post_id=4577269 time=1559673040 user_id=13954

CA has some really sweet locations.

Have you considered international destinations?
Some countries accept USA FIRE 'medical coverage refugees'. Offering available HC options for those under age 65.
[/quote]

StealthRabbit, please expand on both the topics ?

User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:57 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:35 pm
If you want car lite, practically any city with more than half a million people will have neighborhoods that qualify.
Car lite is fine, for a somewhat long drive or for heavy items

dknightd
Posts: 1656
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by dknightd » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:01 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:36 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:19 pm
dknightd wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 pm
The problem is it is a moving target. When I moved into my house I could walk to work, walk to a grocery, walk to the library, pretty much the only reason I had to drive was to carry heavy things, or go to a major hospital. Then they moved both the grocery and library. Apparently they were both too small, and did not have enough room to expand, or allow for additional parking.
I do not have to walk to work anymore. I don't want to live in a big city.
I guess my point is that lots of things can change in 30 years
It's also a moving target as to how far you can walk as you age, and whether you can walk at all, much less carrying anything.
Or whether or not you can drive.
true.

SC Anteater
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:50 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by SC Anteater » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:12 pm

Walnut Creek, CA -- if you buy in certain neighborhoods that are walking distance to downtown (and can afford it $$$).

User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:21 pm

Thanks, will research Walnut Creek, CA

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by Cycle » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:25 pm

stan1 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:50 pm
Make a map of all the Whole Foods and Tesla stores and look within a 1 mile radius. I think that would give you a good starting point and you won't have to duplicate the research Whole Foods has spent millions of dollars on.
In Minneapolis we are getting many city-concept grocery stores besides whole foods, others are wising up. These include cub, aldi, and trader joes

Some of these grocery stores have multiple enterances and underground parking, to ensure efficient movement of pedestrians into the store.

Many cities are building up their brt and lrt transit lines, and development happens on transit lines. This is because the densest zoning occurs along rapid transit lines. a look at the transit plans can tell you if your prospective hood is going to get more businesses or will stay the same in the future.

Imo college campuses are the only truly walkable towns in the US. There are many walkable European cities to set an example, but in the US one is defeaned by car traffic in every city and there are no barricades to keep cars off the sidewalks.

Edit:
Chicago
New York
San Francisco
Key West?
Many parts of Boston, DC, Philly
Vancouver
Last edited by Cycle on Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

goldendad
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by goldendad » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:32 pm

Vail, CO

IMO
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by IMO » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:39 am

I do think you're best 1st clarifying what specific area/weather you are looking for in retirement. Do you have other specific amenities that only true large cities would offer such as museums, etc being walkable.

Clarifying that you are looking for "car-lite" makes the options more reasonable.

Because if you're not specifically looking to be within a large city, there are nowadays more suburbs that can provide many amenities so long as one chooses the right location within a suburb.

For example, with the right house location in a suburb called Anthem, AZ:

1. Walk to the large market (Fry's or Safeway) / slight farther walk to Super Walmart
2. Walk to the public library
3. Walk for dental, eye, primary care/peds/urgent care/imaging (even a VA clinic), PT
4. Walk to the large community center for the pool/gym, catch & release pond and 64 acre park.
5. Walk to some restaurants
6. Walk to the Home Improvement Center (Ace Hardware)
7. Walk to have your car serviced
8. Walk to some outdoor hiking trails
9. Walk to play golf (some complicating factors as not a public course)
10. Walk to church
11. Walk to visit a friend/family member staying in the assisted living facility
12. Walk to Outlet type of outdoor mall (slightly farther next to Walmart).
13. Walk to pick up the grandkids from school or to babysit

The area is essentially flat, so one could ride a 3-wheeled bike even in older age and get around on the extra-wide sidewalks (or use a road legal golf cart as many do).

Car-lite 6 mile drive to full emergency center.

Lyft drive to airport about $40 each way.

It's damn hot in summer, but AZ seems to be also pretty retiree friendly.

FireProof
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by FireProof » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:11 am

This website has information on the walkability of larger cities, by city and neighborhood:
https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/
Can' attest to how good it is, but probably no worse than random anecdotes.

drummerboy
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:08 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by drummerboy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:36 am

Midtown Atlanta is very walkable. https://www.walkscore.com/GA/Atlanta/Midtown

Stores, parks, transit, groceries, universities. Everything in that area. Very diverse population (ages, background)
But, it is not a “retiree” area, just a growing population of people that have decided that city living is much nicer than always being stuck in your car in the suburbs.

User avatar
oldcomputerguy
Moderator
Posts: 4899
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:50 am
Location: In the middle of five acres of woods in East Tennessee

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:21 am

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum. -- mod oldcomputerguy
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by Cycle » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:25 am

One thing to note on "walkable" suburbs is that the distances you'd need to walk is much further than in a city. For example my grocery store is 1.5 blocks away, which is a shorter distance than walking from the back of a Walmart parking lot. When one goes car-free or even just goes car-lite (use car like once a week), you'll develop a distain for these inefficient suburban land uses.

But you don't need to be in a big city to have a walkable town. Within 5 miles everywhere east of the mississippi river there used to be a walkable town. This is a phenomenon of city development that happens naturally. Towns are all 10 miles apart. The oil industry has largely destroyed these towns in the US, to secure long term customers via auto dependency. Read the articles at strongtowns.org to learn more about urban planning for small towns.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

User avatar
Topic Author
LiveSimple
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by LiveSimple » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:37 am

Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:25 am
One thing to note on "walkable" suburbs is that the distances you'd need to walk is much further than in a city.

But you don't need to be in a big city to have a walkable town. Within 5 miles everywhere east of the mississippi river there used to be a walkable town. The oil industry has largely destroyed these towns in the US, to secure long term customers via auto dependency. Read the articles at strongtowns.org to learn more about urban planning for small towns.
Great thoughts, will read about these topics ...
One of the features, we are looking is a leisure walk to a grocery store and just buy for next meal or for the day.
Gives one more option, than taking the car, for everything...yes we are used to the car commute, but walkable cities has their charm as well.

Really looking for some thoughts / locations which may interests us, in the near future, so keep the list going on what you know / experienced :sharebeer .

THY4373
Posts: 1073
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by THY4373 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:14 am

stan1 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:42 pm
Every city in the US has a neighborhood (potentially many neighborhoods) that would meet this requirement along with many towns and even suburbs if there was an apartment or condo complex adjacent to a mall. Seems like you'd want to add some additional criteria. You'll get Greenwich Village to Larchmont Village to Tysons Corner to Davis to a small farm town in Iowa.
I lived in Tysons for a number of years it is walkable but I don't know that I would consider it terribly walker friendly. There are a lot of very wide and busy roads that are 6+ lanes wide converging there. The distances are a bit long at times too. Traffic can be insane at rush hour. That said the Silver Line is a big win in my book (wasn't there when I lived there). Honestly, the DC area is on my short list of places to retire too due to the subway system and I want to be in a walkable area that is also near metro if I do but I don't know that Tysons will be high on my list.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18893
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:53 am

"Walking" ranges from ten steps from the living room to the kitchen -- to walking for several hours without retracing your steps and enjoying even minute of it. You want to be able to start walking out of the door; not to drive for a half hour to a "walkable area."

There is a correlation between extensive public transportation, especially rail-based, and opportunities to walk. The cities I am most familiar with are New York City and Washington, D.C. The D.C. metro area is more affordable. I live in Arlington within walking distance to a Metro station and to D.C. It takes me 25 minutes to walk to Georgetown and just over an hour to walk to the National Mall.

NYC is even better; you can walk for hours in the Central Park or take a train to spectacular hikes in Harriman State Park or the Shawangunk Mountains.

Boston and Cambridge are quite good for walking, but cold.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
JMacDonald
Posts: 2219
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:27 am

LiveSimple
Agree if I cannot walk in my shorts, tee, sandals then it is not in my criteria as "walking city
Southern California is probably the best location for that attire, but there are times of the year when that doesn't work. This May and now June have been unusually cool for shorts and tee. Good luck finding the perfect place.
Best Wishes, | Joe

IMO
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by IMO » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:17 am

FireProof wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:11 am
This website has information on the walkability of larger cities, by city and neighborhood:
https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/
Can' attest to how good it is, but probably no worse than random anecdotes.
So the example I gave above that essentially would one to have essentially all the necessary things with the right home gets a walkable score of 18 (probably because there is no mass transit).

I know of alot of other homes which can be purchased in smaller towns/cities where one could walk to quite a few of the daily essentials and rarely need a care and I'm sure they would all come down with a similar poor score. Many times it just comes down to where one is willing/able to purchase a home in a particular city/suburb.

Probably the worse part of this post is that it is just too random and the answers will be "all over the map." The US is a big place and one should have list of more area/weather and other criteria. I mean at least pick a state or region of the country ....

22twain
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

Post by 22twain » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:41 am

We live in a small rural town, population about 10,000 including the residential fringe outside the city limits. We're just inside the city limits, about a mile from the center of town: city hall, post office, a couple of drugstores, a couple of banks, various other small shops and restaurants / cafes. About a mile away in a different direction (forming a triangle) is another commercial area with more banks, restaurants, and a small shopping center including a supermarket. I can walk to either area in a half hour or less, using a mostly a traditional network of quiet residential streets.

In between is the local college where I used to teach. My office was about a 15-minute walk from home. DW still teaches there part time. We've always normally walked to work, driving only in bad weather or when we need a car for something else during the day.

It's not "dense-urban walkable" with shops on every corner, but it's not typical suburban sprawl either, with cul-de-sac residential developments feeding into busy arteries with long distances to commercial areas.

I walk at least about an hour a day when the weather is decent (early in the morning during the hot Southern summer!), and take care of whatever errands I can handle locally on those walks.

According to my "car log", I took my car out eight times last month. Two of them were in-town trips. Five were to nearby larger towns and cities for shopping etc., and one was a long day-trip to a hobby convention two states away. Normally I do a couple of those longer trips per month, plus an occasional multi-day trip.

DW takes her car out about as often, but never goes further than the next town over, about eight miles away, where she prefers to shop for groceries.

Yes, we have two cars. It's something of a luxury for us. She likes a small hatchback for groceries and the short trip to work on bad days. "My" car is a slightly larger sedan that we use for other out-of-town trips, including long road trips for vacations. Having two cars also eliminates the need to coordinate activities when I take "my" car for a hobby-related trip.

We don't do things that require hauling around a lot of stuff, so we've never owned a pickup truck, SUV or minivan. If we buy something that we can't stuff into the trunk or back seat of one of our cars, we have it delivered. This happens maybe once or twice a year.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

Post Reply