The New York Times had a story recently, “The Future of Retirement Communities: Walkable and Urban“, and that describes exactly the kind of place I’d like to live when I retire.
So when I checked walkable.com to see what the most walkable cities were, I came across the list you see at the top of this blog. While they may be walkable, none of those cities appeal to me for retirement.
So I decided to check the top city on my list (right now) for possible retirement, Sarasota. The city of Sarasota itself only scored a 52, an average walkability score. However, the walkable.com allows you to dig deeper, and check the walkability of neighborhoods within a city,
Here’s what I found as the top five most walkable neighborhoods in Sarasota:
So those scores look much more appealing.
I may have mentioned this before, but here is what I would like to have within walking distance of our residence (whatever that may be, single family home, townhouse, condo). having such a list helps us figure out what things will be important to us as we look for our retirement spot.
- a great grocery store, like Moms Organic or Whole Foods
- a great public library
- a great bookstore
- a YMCA/gym
- a coffeeshop
- local brew pub
- a beach
- movie theater
- a performing arts center for plays, concerts, etc.
- a farmers’ market
- a variety of restaurants
- public transit
- volunteer opportunities
and within 5-10 minutes, by car:
- great medical facilities
- a college
within 30 minutes, by car
- an airport
From what I can tell, Sarasota meets all of these requirements (plus one of our most basic ones, which is a warm climate).
Hopefully we’ll get to check it out soon, and see if reality lives up to my expectations.
By the way, parts of Santa Barbara also look like great places, at least from a walkability perspective:
The problem is that California is a little far from my Philly roots, plus there’s no Wawas out there. Score one more point for Sarasota.
P.S. I’m still a good six years away from retiring…