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Best U.S. Cities for Seniors Not What You'd Expect, Says New Study

CHICAGO, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Minneapolis is the best city in the United States for senior living, with Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Denver rounding out the top five, according to a new survey conducted for the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center For a Secure Retirement(SM).

Criteria in the areas of senior issues and gerontology identified the qualities for optimal senior living.  Major categories were:  healthcare, economy, health and longevity, social, environment, spiritual life, housing, transportation and crime.  Each category was statistically weighted to reflect the needs of the senior population.

"Most surprising is that the survey results contain many cities we don't often associate with senior living," said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, the national life and health insurer.  "We weren't interested in another study on where to enjoy your retirement, but instead wanted to find cities that did the best job in providing the services and support that seniors need.  The top ranked cities aren't what come to mind when you think about where to spend your golden years, but they scored high in the criteria most important to the 65 and up bracket."

The Categories

The Healthcare category includes physicians per capita, gerontologist to senior ratio, hospitals per capita, hospitals with special care, nursing homes per capita, nursing home beds per capita, continuing care retirement communities per capita and average nursing home rating.

Economy includes consumer price index, sales tax rate, the unemployment rate and the stability index.

Health and Longevity includes life expectancy, age 85 expectancy, depression rate, heart mortality and cancer mortality.

Social includes percentage of seniors, social and emotional support, satisfaction with life rating, art and museums, education level, recreation, four-year colleges and libraries.

Environment includes number of sunny days, clean air levels, clean water measurement, natural disaster risk index, ocean coastline miles, river and lake square mileage, and local/state park number and size.

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

Housing includes cost of living index, housing price, property taxes and apartment rentals.

Transportation includes public transportation, special access and mass transit percentage.

Crime includes violent crime rate and property crime rate.


The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement Best Cities for Seniors 2011 was conducted in July of 2011 by the independent survey administrator Sperling's Best Places and identified the top 50 metro areas in the U.S.  The complete report may be viewed at

About Bankers Life and Casualty Company

Established in 1879 in Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses on the financial security needs of the retirement market.  The nationwide company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group (NYSE: CNO), offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors.  Visit Bankers online at

About the Center For a Secure Retirement

The Bankers Life and Casualty Center For a Secure Retirement is the company's research and consumer education program.  Its studies and consumer awareness campaigns provide insight and practical advice for how everyday Americans can achieve financial security during retirement.

Best Cities for Seniors 2011

(includes surrounding metropolitan areas*)

  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Boston, MA
  3. Pittsburgh, PA
  4. Cleveland, OH
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Milwaukee, WI
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Portland, OR
  9. Kansas City, MO
  10. Newark, NJ
  11. Nassau-Suffolk County, NY
  12. Philadelphia, PA
  13. Edison, NJ
  14. St. Louis, MO
  15. Baltimore, MD
  16. Oklahoma City, OK
  17. Salt Lake City, UT
  18. Providence, RI
  19. Seattle, WA
  20. Indianapolis, IN
  21. Cincinnati, OH
  22. Columbus, OH
  23. Washington, DC
  24. Austin, TX
  25. Chicago, IL
  26. New York, NY
  27. Oakland, CA
  28. Nashville, TN
  29. Dallas, TX
  30. New Orleans, LA
  31. San Jose, CA
  32. San Diego, CA
  33. Fort Worth, TX
  34. San Antonio, TX
  35. Miami, FL
  36. Raleigh, NC
  37. Los Angeles, CA
  38. Charlotte, NC
  39. Atlanta, GA
  40. Phoenix, AZ
  41. Virginia Beach, VA
  42. Santa Ana, CA
  43. Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  44. Tampa, FL
  45. Houston, TX
  46. Orlando, FL
  47. Sacramento, CA
  48. Detroit, MI
  49. Las Vegas, NV
  50. Riverside, CA


*Metropolitan areas are defined by the United States Census Bureau, and include a central city and the surrounding county or counties.

SOURCE Bankers Life and Casualty Company