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The challenges of urban aging

Two senior citizens playing chess in a city park

Deciding where to spend your retirement is one of the most challenging decisions to make in a lifetime. You want to spend your golden years as carefree and as healthy as possible. On the other hand, you also want to have access to different amenities and lead a relatively exciting rest of your life. This can surely put you in a dilemma – should you be aging in a rural setting, or is the city a better place for you? If you are still reconsidering your options, we’ll try to help you decide. In this article, you’ll read about the challenges of urban aging and hopefully make your decision easier.

How to choose a city and move there?

When you’re deciding on which city to move to, you have to think about what you actually expect out of it. As you’ll probably be living with a fixed monthly income, your budget should be the key factor when making this decision. City life can be costly, so you have to be mindful of your financial possibilities.

Also, do you want to live in an enormous, crowded city, or are you looking for something smaller? If you want to be in an urban environment but still not be in a metropolis, you might want to consider relocating to Maryland. Baltimore, Columbia, or even Ocean City are very developed but still not too big and intimidating.

Baltimore at night.
Baltimore could be a perfect place for you to spend your retirement. This city is                              becoming more and more senior-friendly

One of the biggest challenges of urban aging is definitely the moving process. This is especially true if you are moving from a rural environment, but even moving from one part of the city to another can be quite a dare.

If you do decide to take our advice, you’ll be happy to know that organizing an easy relocation throughout Maryland is very simple. You can count on reliable movers that will be patient and very helpful during the entire process. If you’re downsizing, there are great storage options, too.

High cost of living

Regardless of whether you’re already living in the city or a small town, you probably know how expensive city life could be. Here are two major costs that are much higher in cities:

  • Housing – Whether you decide to rent or buy, have in mind that the prices are much, much higher. Even if you choose to live in suburban areas, it is still way more expensive than in small towns. Having this in mind, you might want to consider downsizing.
  • Food and eating out – In the countryside, there are fewer options to eat out. Plus, there is a big chance you or your family, neighbors, or friends produce some of the food you consume. In the cities, not only is the food more expensive, but it is also often less healthy.

Social isolation and crime rates

Rural areas are more community-oriented. There is a really big chance you know everyone in your town. In small communities, you can expect neighbors to stop by and check up on you, and you can always rely on someone to help you with groceries or something similar.

In big cities, you can feel isolated. Even though seniors have more options to get together and spend quality time, you might spend most of your time alone.

 

A police car in the city.
           As opposed to small towns, the crime rate in cities is much higher.

Crime rates in big cities are much higher than in rural areas and small towns. Being a senior citizen makes you a relatively easy target for muggers. This is definitely one of the biggest challenges of urban aging. The amount and type of crime vary from city to city – the more people, the more crime potential. Therefore, if you decide that you want to spend your retirement in an urban setting, do your research and choose the city with a relatively low crime rate.

Pollution and access to healthy foods

Your health and happiness are of utmost importance, and for that reason, you should think about whether the urban environment is a good place to spend your golden years. Cities are much more polluted than rural areas, which might have adverse effects if you have a chronic pulmonary illness.

On top of that, you would have limited access to healthy food. In rural areas, you either grow your own, or there are farmers’ markets where you can get fresh and organic food. In cities, healthy food, especially organic, is very expensive and not that easy to find.

To be fair, cities offer better access to healthcare than small towns. If you need any medical assistance, you would be able to find an expert in a short time as there are plenty of hospitals. In rural areas, you are limited as hospitals can sometimes be very far. It could take you a couple of hours to get there.

Commuting

Big cities are crowded and difficult to drive in, especially if you are a senior citizen. Traffic jams are a normal part of everyday life. It can be really overwhelming and tiring to go from one part of the city to another.

A group of people on subway.
In the big cities, you have to rely on public transport.

Most of the cities are not bike-friendly, no matter how vital and fit you are. Therefore, you would have to rely on public transportation, which can sometimes be an absolute nightmare. You have to be prepared for delays, waiting, and never-ending crowds.

The choice is yours

The good news is that cities are constantly evolving. Governments are finding ways to make big cities as senior-friendly as possible, so many of the challenges of urban aging we’ve listed above we’ll hopefully be resolved soon. We should all strive to make cities places where senior people can be actively involved, supported with infrastructure and services, and most of all, valued. In the meantime, we wish you a happy retirement and sincerely hope we were able to help you make a decision that’s right for you.

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Deciding where to spend your retirement can be difficult. Finding out what are the challenges of urban aging might help you make the right decision.

Author: Lindsay Denton

Photos used:

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