Retirement
Active-Adult Living at its Best

Arizona consistently ranks high among the favored states in which to retire, and the Phoenix area, specifically, continues to attract active seniors. Among the reasons high on the list include the region’s lower cost of living, warm winters, fewer allergens, low crime rate and plenty of recreation opportunities. That’s not all. Economic reasons include job opportunities and reasonable housing prices. All together, it’s a compelling package for many adults 55 and older.

Thanks to a retiree population in Phoenix that makes up more than a quarter of the citizens, the area is able to offer a wide array of activities, events, services and residential amenities that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of active adults and retirees. This is important because studies are finding that today’s over-55 population are healthy and active individuals possibly interested in working, going to school and volunteering as well as enjoying free time. All of this is available in the Sun Valley region.

With the Baby Boomer generation advancing in age and transitioning into their retirement years, medical costs and housing options are becoming of increasingly more important. In 2010, the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics estimated that 15 percent of the population was 65 and older. The forum projects that by 2030 those 65 and older will rise to 20 percent. Along with the climb of the amount of seniors is the rise of health-care costs. The good news is that most of this generation has enjoyed increased prosperity, more than any previous generation, and there are many resources and programs designed for the success of senior living. It is also important to keep in mind that when it is time for retirement, those happiest are those who planned for it the best. This chapter will help weigh housing options, assist you in selecting a community type and inform you about activities and resources.

WHY PHOENIX?
Starting this new chapter of life provides the freedom to decide how to spend your time and with whom you will spend it. Given the climate of the region, Phoenix is a dream for thousands of active baby boomers looking for warm winters and plentiful recreation opportunities like golf, tennis, swimming and hiking. Seniors with arthritis often find the dry and warm weather a relief for aching joints, and some people find relief from their allergies in Phoenix. Plus, for many people, having a Phoenix retirement home could be a magnet that will attract children, grandchildren and friends.

The cost of living in Phoenix is generally a bit less than in many other places, and Arizona is a retirement tax-friendly state. For all citizens, Arizona’s state tax burden is very low as compared to the rest of the United States, and taxpayers over 65 are eligible for a $2,100 exemption. Property taxes are slightly below average for the nation, and seniors who meet certain requirements for income and residency can enjoy the “freezing” of the valuation for their primary residence. Plus, according to Realtor.com, Metro Phoenix’s median existing-home price currently is $124,500, but Phoenix is leading the nation in year-over-year price increases.

Phoenix itself is very large, which makes it easy to find a nice retirement community within the city limits, but surrounding towns, such as Peoria, Buckeye, Chandler, Paradise Valley and Glendale make the choices simply abound. Neighborhoods and communities are available for every budget, from a mobile home development to the utmost in privacy and luxury amenities.

In addition, seniors in Phoenix do not have to worry about access to premier health care. The area boasts more than 50 hospitals, including several ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report like the renowned Mayo Clinic, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

— Best Places to Retire in the Phoenix Region
In all, there are many reasons why Phoenix is a great place to retire as an active senior. According to Retireinphoenix.com, the following are some of the best areas in the region for retirement.
  • Chandler—This fast-growing town southeast of Phoenix was formerly agricultural (ostrich farms), but now all kinds of people live here, not just retirees. It also has a strong performing arts presence.
  • Mesa—Now the fifth largest city in Arizona, Mesa has many cultural resources and is adjacent to the beautiful Superstition Mountains.
  • Scottsdale—This fast-growing, affluent town was one of the first suburban outgrowths of Phoenix. Now a famous resort, its desert setting by the McDowell Mountains is spectacular. Scottsdale also is home to a wide variety of active adult communities.
  • Sun City—Although there are actually several Sun Cities in the Phoenix Metro, the original Sun City northwest of Phoenix near Glendale is the archetype of the active adult community—it is huge and offers every type of activity and housing.
  • Goodyear—West of Phoenix, this newer town is the location of spring training for the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. Plus, two colleges have purchased land in Goodyear for possible future development.
  • Glendale—This old farming town northwest of Phoenix was engulfed by the Phoenix metro and for the most part is now suburban and filled with developments and opportunities for seniors.

RETIREMENT LIVING, SENIOR-LIVING COMMUNITIES AND INDEPENDENT-LIVING COMMUNITIES
These are all places for seniors to retire where they can continue to live independently without having to worry about a home or its upkeep. These places provide a safe and comfortable setting as well as an opportunity to make new friends in the same age range who share the same interests.

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