Rather than trying to figure out where you're going to move when you retire, take some comfort in knowing you're already in a good spot. No need for a moving truck.

The website SeniorAdvice.com recently published their list of the Top 20 Best Cities For Retirement 2019, and our own Forest City made the cut, coming in at the number 18 spot.

I have to admit that I was rather surprised to see Rockford on that list, but not because I think that we're not a great spot, but because it gets pretty frigid around here and we have lots of snow. For years, I thought it was the law that when you retired you were given maybe three choices of places to go. You had Florida, Arizona, and Texas. That's where you went because those places are warm (sometimes incredibly hot) and had very little snow. And I assumed that people of a certain age only cared about heat and lack of icy precipitation. Oh, and all-you-can-eat buffets.

It turns out that the retirement set has all kinds of other things that they're interested in. And, Rockford has those things.

Here's what SeniorAdvice.com factored in to come up with their rankings:

As senior populations continue to grow, every part of the country will become more senior-dominated, but some more than others. Our list considers mid-sized cities and we took into consideration a number of factors, including each city’s SeniorScore™ – the first livability index formulated specifically for senior citizens. The SeniorScore™ rates each city in areas such as health and safety, finances, leisure and recreation and general quality of life.

Next, here's what they had to say about Rockford:

Located in north-central Illinois, Rockford is a growing city brimming with possibilities. An hour and a half from Chicago, Rockford offers a variety of affordable housing options much lower than national averages. Many seniors will find the amenities in the city complement retired life in more ways than just dollars and cents.

The city’s abundance of elm trees is why it is referred to as “Forest City”, and there are thousands of acres of parks, grasslands and open space for residents to enjoy. Outdoorsy types will enjoy exploring the preserves in the Kishwaukee River valley nearby as well as the Rockford Park District, as well as several golf courses. The serene Anderson Japanese Gardens have been ranked as one of the country’s most beautiful and authentic Japanese gardens.

Compared to similar Midwestern cities, Rockford is rather ethnically diverse with an above average senior population of about 16 percent (age 65 and over). A resilient city in the process of revitalizing itself, Rockford has endured industry hardships and natural disasters over the last few decades.

Older populations in the city are supported by a number of different outlets. There are over 40 senior living facilities in the city. In and around Rockford there are a handful of community centers with programs designed for aging adults. In addition, the Prairie State provides a number of services and resources for seniors including meal programs, transportation, wellness, legal help, companions and more.

Very nice. Well, apart from the "natural disasters."

Here's SeniorAdvice.com's list of all 20 cities:

  1. Coral Springs, Florida
  2. Glendale, Arizona
  3. Eugene, Oregon
  4. Provo, Utah
  5. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  6. Manchester, New Hampshire
  7. Boise, Idaho
  8. Aurora, Colorado
  9. Norfolk, Virginia
  10. Akron, Ohio
  11. St. Petersburg, Florida
  12. Corpus Christi, Texas
  13. Savannah, Georgia
  14. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  15. Huntington Beach, California
  16. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  17. Madison, Wisconsin
  18. Rockford, Illinois
  19. Wichita, Kansas
  20. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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