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Portland, Oregon Tops Best Cities for Seniors Says New Study from Bankers Life and Casualty Company

Chicago, Ill., July 7, 2005 -- A new survey conducted for Bankers Life and Casualty Company reveals Portland, Ore.
is the best city in the United States for senior living with Seattle, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh rounding out the top five.

A panel of experts on gerontology and senior issues identified the qualities for optimal senior living. Major categories were: health, disease, economics, social, environment, spiritual, transportation, housing, and crime. Each category was statistically weighted to reflect the needs of the senior population.

"We find the survey results contain some cities we don't often associate with senior living," said Bankers' Chief Operating Officer Scott Perry.

"That's because we weren't looking for the best places to be retired, but the best cities for seniors regardless of whether they are retired, working, active or non, healthy or not. It's about more than golf courses and tennis courts," he said.

Categories for the survey were suggested by Robert Butler, M.D., President and CEO of the International Longevity Center, New York; Joan Frankel, Senior Consultant of Health and Human Services, Metro Chicago Information Center; and Susan Morisato, formerly Senior Vice President of Product Management and Chief Actuary at Bankers. The survey was conducted by veteran survey administrator Sperling's Best Places and identified the top 50 metro areas in the U.S.

The categories
The Health category included criteria such as physician to senior ratio, gerontologist to senior ratio, hospitals per capita, and availability of adult day care, assisted living facilities, continuing care (CCRC) facilities, independent living facilities, nursing
homes, and senior meals.

Housing included cost of living, median home price, property taxes and monthly apartment rent.

Transportation included public transportation, special access transportation, and commuting times.

Social included the percentage of seniors, entertainment, the arts, museums, education, recreation, colleges, and libraries.

Crime included violent crime and property crime.

Environment included sunny days, clean air, clean water, natural disaster risk, ocean coastline, rivers and lakes, and national parks.

Economy included consumer prices, sales taxes, unemployment rate, and recent job growth.

Disease included life expectancy, age 85 expectancy, depression rate, heart disease, and cancer rates.

Spiritual included percent of population belonging to organized religions and the number of religious congregations.

Bottom Five
Cities or metro areas ranking at positions 46-50 were: Riverside-San Bernardino, Cal., Orange County, Cal., Nassau and Suffolk Counties, N.Y., Miami, Fla., and Bergen and Passaic Counties, N.J. For a complete listing, visit Bankers online at

About Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. These products are distributed through a national network of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at

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