Why Cleveland Ranks High for a Healthy, Affordable Retirement

When it comes to choosing a place to live, every retiree has his or her own fantasy destination. Culture mavens may crave Manhattan. Minneapolis draws retirees with great health care. Detroit is affordable. And Denver is home to a vigorous, active lifestyle.

But wouldn’t it be great if there were one city that had it all?

Welcome to Cleveland, one of the 10 best cities for a healthy and affordable retirement, according to the numbers crunchers at the independent research firm Sperlings BestPlaces. Working on behalf of Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, Sperlings’ researchers ranked the 60 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. on a universal set of criteria that are directly or indirectly related to health and quality of life. Among those factors were such considerations as wellness, culture, the economy, and recreational options.

And on that prestigious list, Cleveland checks in at a solid No. 9.

“It’s increasingly apparent that our choice of home is important,” wrote BestPlaces founder Bert Sperling in the report on the study’s findings. “We’re affected by the social structure which surrounds us, and we progressively depend on local resources as we age. These cities provide a great balance between lifestyle and affordability which should be considered by anyone nearing retirement.”

What are some of the specifics that went into Cleveland’s strong showing? Let’s take a closer look.

  • Economy and affordability
    • Your dollars go further in Cleveland, thanks to a cost of living that is, on average, 9 percent lower than the rest of the nation.
    • Those savings are across the board, according to CNN’s cost of living calculator. For example, compared to Manhattan, Clevelanders pay 14 percent less for groceries, 80 percent less for housing, 23 percent less for utilities, 22 percent less for transportation – and our health care costs are 5 percent less!

  • Wellness and access to health care
    • With an above-average number of physicians – 399 doctors per 100,000 residents, versus the national average of 210 doctors per 100,000 residents – and as home to the internationally renowned Cleveland Clinic, our city provides access to some of the best health care in the country.
    • How good is it? S. News & World Report’s annual list of top hospitals has repeatedly given a nod to the Cleveland Clinic, and the 2016 – 2017 ratings were no exception. In this year’s list of the nation’s Best Hospitals, the Clinic checks in at No. 2. And in the specialty rankings, the Clinic is No. 1 in cardiology and heart surgery; No. 2 in urology, nephrology, and gastroenterology and GI surgery; and No. 3 in orthopedics, diabetes and endocrinology, and pulmonology.
  • Culture, Arts and Activities
    • From the I.M. Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Severance Hall, home of the internationally ranked Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland is alive with arts and culture. Among its world-class attractions are Playhouse Square, the nation’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City, and the highly respected Cleveland Museum of Art.
    • Nature lovers have easy access to three unique park systems, including the Cleveland Metroparks, Summit County Metroparks, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which together ring the region in natural beauty and provide scores of recreational opportunities.
    • Cleveland is a great town for sports lovers, with the Cavaliers snagging the 2016 NBA championship and the Indians advancing all the way to the World Series. Both teams have remained on fire into 2017, making Cleveland home to some of the most exciting sporting events in the nation.
    • In “Iron Chef” Michael Symon (co-host of “The Chew”) and Jonathon Sawyer (Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef, 2010), Cleveland can claim two prestigious James Beard Award-winning chefs. Stir in a bevy of new breweries, and scores of locally owned restaurants offering everything from gourmet fare to pierogi and perch, and it’s no surprise that Thrillist recently concluded that the Cleveland dining scene “is easily [among the] Top 10 in the nation.”

A low cost of living, world-class health care, and extraordinary arts, culture and recreational resources: No wonder Cleveland is one of the best cities in the nation for a healthy and affordable retirement!

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