Forbes Magazine puts Columbia on list of top places to retire

Saturday, March 2, 2013 | 4:47 p.m. CST; updated 9:43 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 7, 2013
For the second consecutive year, Columbia made Forbes Magazine's 2013 list of the 25 best places to retire. Living costs, taxes, crime and the availability of doctors and activities were among factors used to build the list. According to the magazine, Columbia’s only drawback is extreme weather.

COLUMBIA — For the second consecutive year, Columbia made Forbes Magazine's list of the 25 best places to retire.

Forbes picked the top 25 from a list of more than 400 cities using factors such as living costs, taxes, the availability of doctors and opportunities to stay active outdoors and volunteer. The list also considered the Milken Institute's 2012 rankings of the "Best Cities for Successful Aging," which ranked Columbia at No. 4.

Renee Graham, public communications city manager, said the selection re-affirms the city's reputation.

"It shows what a lot of us already know," Graham said. She listed the cities attributes as its accessible quality health care, public events and the parks and trails.

The Milken Institute's  report ranked Columbia's health care third-best for retirees and ranked the financial and tax climate for retirees eighth.

"Thanks in part to a strong tax base, Columbia offers excellent educational facilities and health care," the report stated. "University-sponsored research is an incubator for innovation and new businesses, which gives seniors access to cutting-edge technology in health care and supports entrepreneurial activities. However, the metro is short on recreation and culture."

College towns are well represented on the Forbes top 25 list. Other towns include the homes of the University of Georgia, the University of Florida, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Kentucky.

Graham believes a college setting helps the atmosphere of a city, even for those who have long since graduated.

"A college town offers a mix of small community with big city amenities, and that is very attractive," Graham said. "Is it a small city or a large town? We straddle both of those in a way because of the university and the cultural traditions. As a result (Columbia) feels much bigger than we are and exemplifies what a college community is like."

The article from Forbes accompanying the top 25 list notes that "every year we look closely at even more places, so the competition gets tougher." Despite that, Columbia was chosen again.

In previous years the city has been selected for other national lists:

Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani.

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Nick Jungman March 2, 2013 | 8:44 p.m.

No links?

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frank christian March 2, 2013 | 10:02 p.m.
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Frank Michael Russell March 2, 2013 | 11:50 p.m.

Nick, thank you for the suggestion. One of our interactive copy editors has added some links for this story.

Frank Russell
Columbia Missourian

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