Boomers Move to Walkable Towns
Does living in a quaint, but cosmopolitan town within walking distance to supermarkets, banking, shopping, and libraries sound attractive? Are biking trails and city parks on your “that sounds nice” recreation lists? How about the convenience of dining out in a favorite restaurant without having to drive there? Would you like to shut your front door, bypass your car, and feel safe walking to any of the aforementioned activities? You are not alone in your desire to live in a walkable town.
While most boomers want to age in place, and for many that means a life where a car is a necessity, there are a growing number of rebel retirees moving to pedestrian-friendly communities that offer a high degree of walkability. Some are environmentally conscious individuals, while others are thinking about getting around as they age.
When we moved to Kalispell, it was not for retirement reasons, but to realize a long-held dream. However, it turns out that the delightful little town located in the Rocky Mountains was ideal for walkable living. While the walking was not exclusive, for years our visits to the library, shopping, museums, and entertainment venues were done on foot.
Health and Convenience
When most everything you want to do is within walking distance, it becomes a lifestyle with abundant benefits, including health and convenience.
Stay Healthy by Walking
An easy and a excellent exercise for retirees.
My love affair with walking didn’t start until middle-age. I hated walking as a kid, because keeping up with my mother’s fast pace made my side hurt. But let’s face it. It’s an undeniable fact that walking keeps you fit. It lowers blood pressure, reduces your risk of heart attack, diabetes, cholesterol – you name it! Walk on a regular basis and you’ll definitely notice a change for the better. Watch your diet, and you’ll drop a few pounds too.
If you’re like me, the thought of getting ready and hopping in the car to go make a deposit at the bank can be a real drag. But taking a brisk walk to get the job done, turns an otherwise boring errand into an adventure.
The sights and sounds of the town come alive when you are on foot, and you are more likely to meet people (essential for staying sharp as you age), and enjoy the experience of the mundane.
Not only will running errands be more convenient, stress will be less. Walking will make you happy!
What to Consider When Looking for a Walkable Town
Ideally, your walkable town will be a community of vibrant people of various ages; one where there is a sense of community in which you will embrace. A retirement community like you would find in Florida, just doesn’t cut it. Finding yourself like the retirees in the movie Cocoon who had to escape to another planet because their lives were unbearable is not what we’re aiming for.
A. Do you want to live in an urban location or rural setting?
Either way, look for a place that is safe with little or no crime. They are out there. You just have to look for them. There is no point in moving to a walkable town where you might get mugged or worse. If there is a lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of, use that as a starting point for your research.
B. How much money do you have?
Regardless of how much money you have, your money in a walkable town should go further. One obvious saving is on gasoline. Choose your retirement haven and consider its costs of living. The more urban you get, the higher the expenses become.
To Sum it Up
Living in a pedestrian-friendly community is awesome for rebel retirees who want convenience and a healthy lifestyle. Walkable communities encourage getting to know your neighbors, and thus promote a sense of community and well-being. You are more likely to get out and do things when everything is closer and in walking distance from your home. Another noticeable perk is that people are friendlier when they are not always behind the wheel!
Some of the best years of my life were living in a walkable town, so I highly recommend it. Now and again I miss it, but it remains close enough, and who knows where I will end up. For now, we’ve entered a new and equally wonderful stage of our journey, living semi-off-the-grid, or minimally, of which I invite you to read about here.