Seniors should feel safe where they choose to live and enjoy life without being concerned about their safety. There are several cities in the United States and several countries abroad that rank high on safety according to FBI crime reports and the Global Peace Index.
Within the United States, cities that are considered as the safest cities in America are ranked based on crime reports, friendly community, and less dense populations (medicalalertadvice.com).
Zionsville, IN., is one of the safest cities, “the crime rate is low and the communities are tightly knit. Many times, the schools within the area are highly rated and everyone works to provide a better community for everyone else” (medicalalertadvice.com).
In the same region, there is Lake in the Hills, IL., described as beautiful and picturesque with a warm and friendly community. “[It has] smaller sized cities, cute apartments, townhomes, and easy re-location, you can become a part of this town and feel good about doing so. This city is 96% safer than many of the cities throughout the United States” (medicalalertadvice.com).
Moving northwest to a colder and rainier climate is Sammamish, WA. An inclusive city with lots of people and places to explore, this is a great destination for seniors. “A place where you can get some of the best healthcare in the country, there is a low rate of crime, but there is also a great system that is in place for the residents of the area” (medicalalertadvice.com).
For those looking for drier and warmer climates, consider Bella Vista, AZ. The city offers beautiful views and low crime rates. Even though there are quite a few safe cities in the U.S., Kenneth Kiesnoski of CNN asserts, “The U.S., for all its pluses, does not rank high globally in terms of social peace or safety. Retirees can look abroad for quieter, if sometimes pricier, [destinations]”. “Calmer options with First World conveniences can be found elsewhere in North America, Europe, East Asia and Oceania” (cnn.com).
How does safety measure abroad for retirement destinations
Known as the safest country in the world, Iceland hits the mark as a retirement destination. Iceland is known for geothermal hot springs and has a population of around 350,000 but welcomes tourism and vacationers. Though it is the safest country according to the Global Peace Index, it is one of the most expensive places to live. “According to website SmartAsset, getting a resident permit in Iceland so you can stay for more than three months at a time means proving you have at least $2,376 a month in income, health insurance valid in [Iceland], a place to reside, and no criminal record, among other criteria” (cnn.com).
Japan also scores high on Global Peace Index. Kiesnoski says, “thanks to its partly Confucian cultural heritage, Japan traditionally honors and cares for its elderly. In terms of peace and quiet, the country is also right up there” (cnn.com). Japan offers quality healthcare, great economy, safety, and infrastructure, but is extremely expensive and there is some difficulty in obtaining a residence visa, says Investopedia.
Maybe more desirable to Americans because of its proximity to home, Canada hits the list as safer communities for retirees. It will be approximately 25% cheaper because of the exchange rate from the American dollar to the Canadian dollar. Canada ranks as the sixth safest country on the Global Peace Index, but Kiesnoski warns, “obtaining actual residency might not be worth all the legal expense and efforts, given Canada’s ease of access and the fact that Americans can stay there for up to six months without a visa. There are no restrictions on buying property in Canada, although nonpermanent residents must pay a special one-time 15% speculation tax; upon closing” (cnn.com).
Portugal boasts its sunny and scenic culture and is in the top 10 safest countries in the world. It offers beauty, safety, and residency in the country is relatively easy. Kiesnoski reports, “Portugal has taken steps to make residency easier for all retiree takers. Visit a Portuguese consulate in the States with proof of income, citizenship, health insurance, and a conviction-free past, and you could walk away with a five-year residence permit” (cnn.com).
Whatever the destination, it is necessary to understand the safety of a particular community. Retirement signifies an easier, quieter, and simpler life. Years of hard work and commitments deserve a peaceful, serene lifestyle, free of unnecessary drama and worries related to outside obstacles affecting a safe quality of life. Affordable destinations can be found around the globe, and safe places can be found, but if you want both, Eastern Europe is a great place to consider. Asia could be just for you. Andrew Henderson of Nomad Capitalist explains, “If you know what you’re doing in Asia, places like Taiwan and Malaysia are also very safe and reasonably affordable. There may be some purse snatching, but there isn’t a lot of violent crime. Latin America may be a bit more dangerous but there are plenty of safe and cheap places if you buy in the right neighborhood. The point is, you can have a lifestyle where you’re getting a lot of value from your money in a safe place” (nomadcapiatlist.com).