Baby boomers move to walkable towns because of the ideal experience and quality of life that’s offered.
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” lists for recreation? How about the convenience of dining out in a favorite restaurant without having to drive to get there?
Would you like to shut your front door, bypass your car, and feel safe walking to any of the aforementioned activities?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone in your desire to live in a walkable town.
Although most boomers want to age in place, and for many, that’s a life where a car is a necessity, there are a growing number of baby boomers and 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. Still, others simply want the experience of living without a car.
Life in a walkable town.
Moving to Kalispell, Montana wasn’t only for retirement reasons, or because Rebel Retiree and I wanted to move to a walkable town. It was to realize a long-held dream.
However, the delightful little town located in the Rocky Mountains is ideal for walkable living.
While the walking hasn’t been exclusive, for years our visits to the library, shopping, museums, and entertainment venues were done on foot.
Health and convenience.
When almost everything you want to do is within walking distance, it becomes a lifestyle with abundant benefits, including health and convenience.
Walkable towns offer easy and 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, it’s an undeniable fact that walking keeps you fit.
- It lowers blood pressure
- Reduces your risk of heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes – helps keep blood sugar levels and weight in check
- Reduced risk of high cholesterol
You name it! Walk regularly and you’ll definitely notice a change for the better.
Watch your diet, and you’ll drop a few pounds too.
Turn an errand into an adventure.
Turn an otherwise ordinary 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.
As a result, not only will running errands be more convenient, but you will also have less stress.
Living in walkable towns makes you happy!
Things 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, isn’t the same as a walkable town.
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 (at least for me).
Ask yourself these 2 questions before moving to a walkable town.
A. Do I 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 I have?
Choose your retirement haven and consider its costs of living. The more urban you get, the higher the expenses become.
Regardless of how much money you have, your money in a walkable town should go further.
A few obvious savings being:
- Gasoline – walking more, driving less.
- Wear and tear on your vehicle – less maintenance because your vehicle is used less.
- Parking permits – walking instead of paying to park in a parking garage
- Fewer doctors visits – you may find yourself having a healthier lifestyle
To sum it up
Living in a pedestrian-friendly community is awesome for rebel retirees who want convenience and a healthy lifestyle.
Walkable towns 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 within 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 to where we now live. Who knows where we will end up?
For now, we’ve entered a new and equally wonderful stage of our retirement journey, living semi-off-the-grid, or minimally, of which I invite you to read about here.
Are you a baby boomer considering moving to a walkable town? Thanks for joining the conversation! Like, share, and follow us on facebook.
2 thoughts on “Why Baby Boomers Move to Walkable Towns”
How would I besz look systematically for a walkable town for retirement? Pricey places and those remote from healthcare facilties should be excluded from the very beginning, strict communities with close rules as well, and there shouldn’t be too many rednecks either. How could I find such a gem?
Hi Wolfgang! I think the best way to systematically look for a walkable town with your criteria is to work by region – north, south, east, west. Then weed out regions where you definitely don’t want to move. From there, dig deeper into climate, demographics, cost of living, and so on. Youtube is an excellent resource for finding the pros and cons of different places. Forums may be useful as well. I found them helpful before we moved to the northwest. I know traveling is difficult at this time, but take trips to get a feel for the town. It may take a bit of research to find your gem, but hopefully, it all falls into place. Hope this helps. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Marlene, Yoga Woman