Famous for its cherry blossoms and boasting 657 parks and natural spots, the city of Tokyo ranks first for the best cities for nature lovers to retire. Picture: Reuters
Famous for its cherry blossoms and boasting 657 parks and natural spots, the city of Tokyo ranks first for the best cities for nature lovers to retire. Picture: Reuters

Top 4 cities to retire in and how much living expenses will cost you

By Supplied Time of article published Sep 29, 2021

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With more than 28.6 million people retiring in the third quarter of 2020, some say Covid-19 has accelerated the process of retirement for Baby Boomers.

With more people approaching retirement age, where are the best places to live for different types of retirees?

Our Life Plan conducted research which analysed various cities across the world, across a variety of metrics such as the yearly number of sunlight hours, the number of outdoor activities and average cost of a meal, to reveal where to have fun while living a work-free life.

The research identified five categories to find the ideal cities to retire in for different types of retirees:

  • Nature lovers
  • Globetrotters
  • Foodies
  • Pet lovers
  • Introverts

Tokyo is the best city for nature lovers

With the term “nature lovers”, we identify all the retirees who love spending time outdoors and prefer warm, sunny days over rainy weather.

Famous for its cherry blossoms and boasting 657 parks and natural spots, the city of Tokyo ranks first for the best cities for nature lovers to retire, followed by Lisbon and Rome.

Despite the average yearly number of sunlight hours (1 876.70), Japan’s capital city offers more than 387 outdoor activities to its residents, making it the best option for this type of retiree.

With around 1 000 sunlight hours more than Tokyo, Lisbon ranks as the second best city for nature lovers. Despite the low number of parks and green areas (56), Lisbon is the city that offers the highest number of outdoor activities (497) out of all the cities analysed, followed by London (433).

London is the best city for globetrotters

With “globetrotters”, we refer to the retirees who would love to spend their retirement years travelling and exploring various parts of the world.

London ranks first in the best cities for globetrotters with six airports and offering more than 433 outdoor activities, the UK’s capital hosts millions of visitors every year, and is home to people of all ages from across the world.

Despite being the fourth most expensive city for cost of living (£859.94/R17 500, excluding rent), London remains one of the busiest and most exciting cities for travellers.

Lisbon and Mexico City rank second and third for best cities for globetrotters to retire in, with one and three airports respectively.

While Lisbon offers the highest number of outdoor activities and has a moderate cost of living of R10 200 excluding rent, Mexico City on the other hand, offers a limited number of outdoor activities (192), but it is the third cheapest city to live in, with an average of R7 400 excluding rent.

Bogota is the best city for foodies

With this third category, we recognise all those retirees who love food and like to go out for meals and try new dishes regularly.

With more than 940 takeaway restaurants and a very cheap cost of living (R6 000 excluding rent), Bogota ranks as the best cities for foodies to retire. Colombia’s capital also has the lowest average price of a meal compared to every other country in the study.

Tokyo comes second in the ranking, with a much higher cost of living compared to Bogota (R17 300). With a staggering amount of take out places (5 861) and an average price of meal at R150, Japan’s capital city is one of the destinations most sought after by foodies.

Ankara is the second cheapest cost of living and average cost of a meal out of all the countries considered in the study (R6 000 and R60 respectively), ranking third as the best city for foodies to retire.

Washington is the best city for pet lovers

Pet lovers are all those retirees that are looking for the perfect place to retire with their cats or dogs. They are looking for cities that offer a high number of green spaces for their pets to go and have fun.

Counting more than 78 parks and green spaces, the US capital city of Washington ranks first as the best city for pet lovers to retire too.

More than 39% of the population are cat owners, and a staggering 50% owning a dog, making it the perfect place for animal lovers to call home.

Mexico-City boasts more than 65 parks and natural spots, making it the second best city for pet ownership, according to the study. 64% of the population owns a dog, with cat ownership being lower at just 24%.

Finally, with 185 parks and green spaces, Riga ranks third city for pet loving retirees to move. Latvia is the second best country for cat lovers after Washington, with more than 38% of the population owning a cat, and 27% of the population owning a dog.

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