Think of it as retirement reinvented. As Americans live longer and in better health, all those old retirement cliches seem evermore removed from reality. Long walks on the beach? Hitting the links? Fiddling around the house? Nope, modern retirement can be so much more than that, from triathlons to deep-sea fishing. (OK, and maybe a little golf.)
Of course, to make the most of this next stage of life, you have to be healthy. And whether you practice yoga to heighten your mental acuteness and flexibility, soak up the panoramic views at the highest peak of a hiking trail, or get a rush when a gust of wind hits the sails, where you spend your later years can make all the difference.
To help you get started on the process of finding the healthiest spots to retire (assuming that such a thing is still possible, despite the dismal stock market), here are 10 editors' picks. These are places way ahead of the healthy-living curve--they provide numerous places to exercise, promote strong social support, and encourage healthful lifestyle habits. And each has a little something extra, too. In Portland, Maine, for instance, it's sailing. Longmeadow, Massachusetts, is a haven for bird-watchers. And folks in Walnut Creek, California, are wild about gardening.
There's no better time than retirement to focus on your health. By choosing the best place for a healthy retirement, you can bet you'll look forward to personal fulfillment and a longer life. Oh, and feel free to break some myths along the way.
AMERICA'S BEST HEALTHY PLACES TO RETIRE
1. Bella Vista, Arkansas
2. Boulder, Colorado
3. Eden Prairie, Minnesota
4. Green Valley, Arizona
5. Issaquah, Washington
6. Longmeadow, Massachusetts
7. Portland, Maine
8. Punta Gorda, Florida
9. Reston, Virginia
10. Walnut Creek, California