A Place for Mom

America’s Richest Retirees Prefer Seattle Over Florida

Sarah Stevenson
By Sarah StevensonSeptember 26, 2012

The wealthiest retirees in the U.S. favor waterside homes, country settings and plenty of space, whether they live in rainy Seattle or sunny Florida.

When older Americans retire, they tend to look for communities with a particular slate of characteristics—convenient medical services and senior-friendly leisure activities, for instance. It’s common knowledge that places like Florida and Arizona attract retirees with an interest in golf, sunshine, and warm weather. But what about those retirees with more refined tastes? A recent Bloomberg Rankings list looked at the 37 places with the wealthiest senior residents in America—and there were a few surprises among the list of favorites.

Top Retirement Locales for Wealthy Seniors

If television shows like The Golden Girls are to be believed, we’d all expect Florida to be at the top of the list of most popular retirement communities. But the Bloomberg Rankings have Florida coming in at no. 2, no. 7, no. 11 and no. 37. Who garnered the top spot? Hunts Point, Washington, a tiny, wealthy Seattle suburb that’s home to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The average retirement income in Hunts Point was $200,431 in 2010, and the median home value tops one million.

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Florida, with its exclusive golf-centered communities and beach clubs, still remains popular, but New York, Michigan, Illinois, and California all boast top-ten picks as well.

What the Most Desirable Destinations Have in Common

Hunts Point, WA—with its 150-plus days of rain per year—and the Village of Golf, FL may not seem to have much in common at first glance. What makes them both ideal retirement spots for America’s richest is a bit more elusive than simply weather or luxury senior living.

“Small, private spots such as Hunts Point that provide easy access to cities along with an island or country ambiance are among the favorite places for the nation’s wealthiest retirees,” notes the Bloomberg article. Features such as large lots, waterside homes, equestrian and pedestrian trails, and ample greenery are what make many of the locations on the list so appealing. At the same time, residents don’t have to sacrifice the convenience of having a larger city nearby, with perks like airports, cultural events, universities and hospitals within easy driving distance.

Not everyone’s got the same priorities as America’s wealthiest seniors, though. What do you and your loved ones look for in an ideal retirement community? Let us know in the comments!

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Sarah Stevenson
Sarah Stevenson
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