Athens among Zemplee’s top 10 places to age in place

It looks like the home of Bulldog Nation may be the best place to retire.

A new report by Zemplee, a technology company that builds artificial intelligence for older adults, found that Athens is one of the best cities in the country to age in place.

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Where you live matters. According to a study published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, living in an area that ranks in the top 10th percentile can increase your longevity by 1.1 years.

Researchers at Zemplee evaluated cities based on three factors: affordability, healthcare, and quality of life. Athens ranked 10th overall based on these factors.

Healthcare

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85% of adults over 65 have at least one chronic condition, and 56% have at least two. This makes access to quality healthcare imperative for aging adults.

With a No. 9 overall healthcare quality rank, the report showed two top-rated hospitals in Athens: Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital.

Athens ranks high when it comes to the quality and quantity of state policies that support family caregivers. The report measured support for family caregivers through nurse delegation and scope of practice, person- and family-centered care, transportation policies, and support for working family caregivers.

Quality of life

Researchers measured quality life using these factors: safety and crime rating, walkability, weather, size of the senior population and air quality. Athens ranked number four for weather and number ten for overall quality of life. While most errands may require using a car, tasks like shopping and getting groceries are more walkable than not, according to Walk Score. Athens has a senior population of 8% and an average temperature of 63.5 degrees, making it a very aging-friendly location.

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Financial affordability

When living off a fixed retirement income, you should take note of how affordable the area you’re living in is.

Athens ranked at number six in terms of financial affordability. Affordability was calculated by state income tax, median property tax, average combined state and local tax, median property values, electricity rates and average retirement income. With property values averaging around $283,000 and combined state and local taxes averaging less than 8%, Athens proves to be one of the more affordable cities to retire in.

The full list of the best aging-friendly cities is below.

  1. Winchester, Virginia
  2. Sarasota, Florida
  3. Raleigh Hills, Oregon
  4. Grand Junction, Colorado
  5. Sebastián-Vero Beach, Florida
  6. San Antonio, Texas
  7. Asheville, North Carolina
  8. Bellingham, Washington
  9. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  10. Athens, Georgia

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