Good health care and a great quality of life are inextricably linked.
That is especially true as you grow older. Even if you retire early and are relatively fit, you'll almost certainly spend more time — and money — at the doctor's office as your golden years progress.
As a result, retiring to an area where you can receive top-notch medical care as you age should be a priority. Here are 12 cities where health care for seniors isn't an afterthought.
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Rochester frequently ends up on lists of the cities with the best health care, and that should be no surprise: The world-renowned Mayo Clinic is located here.
The massive campus treats patients both from the United States and around the world. This is the place to be if you seek cutting-edge medical treatment, including access to potentially revolutionary clinical trials.
As a small town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Truckee is a popular destination for skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Its proximity to Lake Tahoe means it’s an ideal retirement spot for seniors who enjoy fishing and boating opportunities.
Truckee is home to the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. The high-quality cancer center balances state-of-the-art treatment with support programs, such as targeted exercise groups for cancer patients and survivors.
St. George, Utah
Although Utah has the lowest percentage of seniors of any state in the nation, it earns high marks for senior health and health care.
With 11 local golf courses and eight more within a 20-mile radius, St. George is a hit with retired golfers who stay active on the links. The city is also home to St. George Regional Hospital, the primary medical center for broad swaths of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Located in the northern half of Utah, Salt Lake City is much snowier than St. George. Still, it offers ample opportunities to get outdoors and stay active, from senior center pickleball courts to senior-friendly hikes in the Wasatch Mountains.
Salt Lake City is home to many highly rated medical centers. For instance, the University of Utah Hospital excels in areas such as cancer treatment, ophthalmology, and lung surgery.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Pinehurst is a small village in North Carolina’s Moore County. Over the past decade, it has consistently earned praise for being one of the safest cities in North Carolina.
Pinehurst’s position as the regional center for various medical services means you shouldn’t struggle to find care. The village has a regional hospital and recently opened a cancer center. You will also find a heart center and a specialty surgical center.
Florida is one of the most popular states among retirees. In Naples, health-conscious retirees can stay in shape by touring tropical botanical gardens, visiting the nearby Everglades, or spending time at city parks along the beach.
You will also have access to the NCH Baker Hospital, which offers top-of-the-line medical care as part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network of hospitals.
The Villages, Florida
The Villages is a master-planned 55-plus community located in central Florida. The area’s many golf courses, pools, pickleball courts, and lakes help its 145,000 senior residents stay healthy.
As a senior-centric community, The Villages has nine care centers with specialists and primary care physicians alike.
As Nebraska’s capital, Lincoln offers a rich array of healthy, senior-friendly activities, from green spaces like Pioneers Park Nature Center to college courses at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
While Omaha is home to more hospitals than Lincoln, the two cities are only an hour apart, ensuring you can get fast health care from either city.
Portland is surrounded by beaches, forests, and parks, so finding ways to stay active outside shouldn’t pose a problem.
The geriatric center at the city’s top hospital, the Maine Medical Center, is an outpatient program offering assessments, consultations, and advice on health for aging retirees.
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Seattle might be colder and rainier than many of the cities on our list, but it's still an outdoor lover's dream. Here, you'll find acres upon acres of urban parks criss-crossed with trails.
Plus, according to a recent WalletHub study, Seattle is the second-healthiest city in the U.S. thanks to its access to green space, healthy food, and high-quality health care. UW Medical Center gets high marks for its care.
If you're looking for a sense of community as you grow older, look no further than Scottsdale. The city has the highest percentage of seniors aged 65 and older in the country — and it takes second place for those aged 85 and older.
Scottsdale's year-round sun and temperate winters are certainly a draw for outdoor-loving retirees. You'll also find a branch of the Mayo Clinic here.
For city-sponsored senior support, it’s hard to do better than Atlanta. The city’s Office of Recreation offers senior programs throughout the city.
Atlanta is also home to world-class hospitals, including Emory University Hospital.
It’s hard to overstate how vital good medical care is during your retirement years.
Whether you end up living in one of the 12 cities on our list or somewhere else, make sure to check out hospital accessibility, ratings, and availability before you retire and make a move.
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