city life for retirement

Weighing the Pros and Cons of City Life for Retirement

Many modern seniors who are getting ready to retire aren’t necessarily heading out for a quiet life near the beach. Instead, they’re getting ready to re-embrace an urban lifestyle — if they ever left that lifestyle in the first place.

After all, once the kids are grown, there’s no need for lots of bedrooms or a big yard (and all of the extra work that they require), which means that urban homes become that much more appealing. And without the headaches and responsibilities that come with caring for children or working a full-time job, there’s time to enjoy all of the perks of city life — such as hours spent strolling through art museums, enjoying music festivals without the headaches of searching for a parking spot, and enjoying the sunshine in world-class urban parks.

However, some seniors may hesitate before they fully commit to city life. They may worry about drawbacks such as noise or crowds. Are the perks worth the potential downsides?

Let’s explore some of the most common hesitations about city life and compare them to the perks.

Hesitation: Lack of Space

Some seniors look forward to the thought of downsizing after years of caring for and maintaining a home with more square footage than they actually needed or used. For their retirement homes, they don’t mind prioritizing an exciting location over a large size.

However, urban living doesn’t necessarily require a significant downsizing. Most cities have plenty of housing with spacious floor plans and parking, if more space is a top priority for you.

Some retirees might be interested in extra space not just for everyday use, but for entertaining purposes. However, keep in mind that as we wrote in our post on choosing a floor plan for your new home, square footage alone isn’t always the biggest limiting factor when it comes to entertaining. Urban floor plans — especially in loft-style homes — are often so open that they’re very flexible and perfect for hosting surprisingly large numbers of people.

And although most city homes don’t have dedicated yards, many have quick access to shared greenspace in the form of public parks. Others have private balconies or even shared rooftop decks from which residents can enjoy the outdoors — including amazing views that the suburbs certainly can’t offer.

Free download: 4 Things to Find Out About Your HOA Before You Buy

Hesitation: Too Much Noise

There’s no argument that compared to the suburbs or rural areas, cities are generally noisier.

However, city life doesn’t have to mean nonstop noise. Noise levels can vary quite a bit from one street to another in the city. People unacquainted with modern city life may be surprised to find plenty of quiet residential streets or even neighborhoods that are located within bigger cities.

That said, some retirees aren’t looking for peace and quiet as much as a lively cultural scene complete with entertainment venues and nightlife options, and not all city noise is bad. For some, trading the suburban sounds of lawnmowers and air conditioners for the bustle of neighbors, lively local music, or even passing riverboats can be a welcome exchange.

city life for retirement

However, you can certainly do your due diligence on the noise levels of any potential property before you buy, checking out the typical sounds you’ll hear at various times of the day and night, before you make any big financial commitments.

Hesitation: Lack of Privacy

Cities are certainly denser and more crowded than suburban areas. That density is part of what makes urban life exciting — but the flip side of the coin is that it’s not as easy to find peace and quiet when you want it.

Again, many city dwellers do invest in their own calm residence in the midst of the city. New construction, in particular, can come with walls and windows that do a surprisingly good job of keeping outdoor noises outdoors and even sounds from neighbors quiet.

Other city dwellers choose their homes strategically so that it’s easy for them to escape into nature, either via a short drive to a local nature preserve or a few hours to spend the occasional long weekend in the mountains or at the beach. For example, city dwellers in Savannah, Georgia can access quiet coastal communities full of beach house rental options within just a few hours’ drive.

Many seniors are embracing the chance to be part of a community in their retirement years and leave the stifling isolation of suburbia behind. What they lose in privacy they make up in feeling like a real part of a vibrant community.

Don’t miss: 4 Things to Find Out About Your HOA Before You Buy

Hesitation: Less Convenient Car Access

Cities are generally less welcoming to cars than their suburban counterparts. For those who have depended on cars to get around their entire lives, this can feel a little intimidating at first.

However, living in the city doesn’t need to mean completely giving up personal vehicles. City residents can often pay for private lot parking, and many newer residential projects include space for vehicles on-site.

city life for retirement

Parking units at the Adler in Upper East River

Perhaps more importantly, though, cars become much less necessary when you’re living in a dense urban area. In the city, it’s often easy to reach plenty of attractions and amenities without driving at all.

Living in a walkable neighborhood means you can reap health benefits from your new urban lifestyle by walking to the local coffee shop, boutique, or theatre instead of driving. But there are often also mass transit options that make it easier to get around without driving. If you live in a big city, it may be possible to, for example, take a train or express bus to the airport with few worries about storing your car there for the week.

The Perfect Urban Solution

For many seniors, the solution to getting the benefits of city life without the worries about congestion, noise, privacy, and car access is to look into newly constructed neighborhoods within big cities. New mixed-use neighborhoods like Eastern Wharf prioritize walkability and an amazing mix of shopping, dining, fitness, recreation, and office spaces within the same area, which is perfect for seniors looking to enjoy their retirement years. Residents of Eastern Wharf will enjoy plenty of greenspace in a prime riverfront location.

For many seniors, the solution to getting the most out of city life lies in newly constructed urban neighborhoods. Share on X

Upper East River homes in Eastern Wharf will offer all of the amenities of modern construction (including things like open floor plans, energy efficiency, and two-car garages) while also embracing the historic style that makes the rest of the city of Savannah so charming. Residents will also be able to take advantage of their home’s unique waterfront location with a dedicated boating concierge who can arrange boat tours, lessons, and other excursions.

Finally, because Upper East River is located in a thriving major city, residents also have access to world-class healthcare options, easy public transit, educational opportunities (including the Savannah College of Art and Design), and world-class entertainment and culture.

Ready to learn more? Reach out to the Upper East River team here.

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