AARP’s just-released “Livability Index” allows users to put in their city and see how it scores in areas of housing affordability, transportation, environment, health quality and other categories. Hopefully, you can get some AARP discounts in these cities in some of the nicer areas of town.
Apparently, warm weather isn’t a big factor for Americans over the age of 50. Cities and neighborhoods in Florida, or those from anywhere in the South, were not found in any spot near the top. Those days are gone when the Sun Belt and the Sunshine State were at top-of-mind for retirees.
These days, places in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas dominate AARP’s list of most livable neighborhoods. Mifflin West in Madison, Wis. (where 18.7 percent of income is typically spent on housing) is at No. 1. Los Alamos, New Mexico made the top ten. So did areas in big cities such as New York City, San Francisco and Boston.
San Francisco , Boston, Seattle, Milwaukee and New York topped the large cities list (500,000 plus). In San Francisco, monthly housing costs run at about $1,787 per month (the U.S. median is $999). In the Bay Area, that means that about 21.1 percent of income is spent on housing.
In the category of medium-sized cities (100,000 to 500,000), Madison, Wis. was at the top, followed by St. Paul, Minn., Sioux Falls, S.D., Rochester, Minn. and Minneapolis.
You can find out how your city ranks on the AARP Livability Index.
The top 10 neighborhoods
1. Mifflin West, Madison, Wis.
2. Upper West Side, Manhattan
3. Downtown Crossing, Boston
4. South of Market, San Francisco
5. Washburn, La Crosse, Wis.
6. Downtown, Sioux Falls, S.D.
7. Southside, Virginia, Minn.
8. Downtown, Bismarck, N.D.
9. Downtown, Seattle
10. Downtown, Los Alamos, N.M.