There used to be this image of retirement that included "the country" as a setting. It was a quaint notion, expressed in terms of "I'm going to retire and move out to the country". Even the great consulting detective Sherlock Holmes eventually retired from his hectic life in London to become a beekeeper in Sussex!

Naturally, these days, there's a bit of a shortage of mansions or retirement cottages out in the so-called country. Heck, we're living in a time where there's less pastoral "countryside" left! Well, there ARE suburbs, but they usually end up being priced a bit above a retirees' income.

These days, if you're living in the city and approaching retirement age, remaining in the city is a viable option. We're about to explore the concept of growing older in a metropolitan area, so grab your subway pass, be careful crossing at busy downtown intersections, and let's get a move on!

Cities have public parks and other activities that the elderly can enjoy anytime

The Upsides Of City Retirement
If you live in the suburbs, you're no doubt familiar with taking a trip "into the city", because when you get right down to it, cities have everything you need. It's no secret that the older we get, the more we need, so the city becomes a natural solution to a number of issues facing the aged.

The article "Portrait of the Urban Senior: The Unique Benefits and Challenges of Aging in the City" correctly points out that many cities, in addition to their usual bus and/or subway lines, also have paratransit services that are geared more towards riders with disabilities, and old age certainly brings its share of those.

This is a precious asset because the issue of decreased mobility is one that most seniors face. It becomes especially keen for the aged who desire their independence and are loathe to depend on others but have lost their license due to increased impairment. Mobility is freedom, and no one in their right mind wants to give that up.

In addition to better transportation, there's the convenience of so many goods and services located within walking distance or close to that public transportation. Add to this some nice little extras such as city-based programs and services tailored to the elderly, and it would seem that retiring to the city isn't such a bad idea after all.

But of course, no matter how rosy something looks, there are the inevitable drawbacks.

The Downsides Of The City
When people move out of the city and head to the suburbs, they usually cite reasons such as the noise and pollution, or the crime rate. Yes, cities are loud, sometimes smelly, and with all of those people crammed into one location, you have increased odds of encountering some less than savory characters.

To the average young or middle-aged adult, these things are annoying or bad enough; but to an aged person, these things are even worse.

If a retiree has respiratory problems, city pollution could be an issue. If they have difficulty sleeping, then the background noise of the city will most likely not help matters. And there's no need to elaborate too heavily on the results of a matchup between a healthy mugger and an aged senior citizen.

Cities are great, but they do come with hazards, irritants, and dangers.

So, What Do You Do?
Every situation is different; every retiree is different. Options are based on the retiree's resources. People have nest eggs of various sizes, may or may not own property, and have children who are conscientious enough and have the time to provide some degree of care for their aged parents. There is no pat answer here.

But the one good takeaway from this article is that, depending on circumstances and locale, retiring to the city isn't such a bad idea, and deserves consideration.

For retirees who want to keep working regardless of where they end up living, check out "Work From Home Jobs For Retired People."

Author's Bio: 

John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He has at least a dozen solid years before he has to seriously consider this issue.