For retirees, Pittsburgh is home sweet home
By Patricia Sabatini, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburghers craving a more stimulating way to spend
their retirement years than fishing, playing shuffleboard
or lying around in the sun may have found the perfect
haven -- where they live now.
Pittsburgh is the
second-best spot for retirees seeking big-city life on
a shoestring, according to a ranking by author and
professor Warren Bland.
|1. San Antonio
|3. Austin, Texas
|8. Las Vegas
|10. Portland, Oregon
Index provided by the American Chamber of Commerce
Researchers Association, third quarter of 2006. An
index of 100 is average.
The region offers retirees the active lifestyle of a
major city at a relatively low cost, earning it the No. 2
spot on a list of the top 10 "values" for big-city
retirement, compiled by Warren Bland, author of "Retire in
Style: 60 Outstanding Places across the USA and Canada."
Pittsburgh and the nine other cities on the list give
retirees the opportunity to lower their cost of living
while enjoying the amenities and excitement of big-city
life, according to Dr. Bland, a geography professor at
California State University Northridge.
The rankings were based on cost of living. To make the
cut, each region needed a population exceeding 1 million
and had to have scored high overall on 12
retirement-friendly criteria used in Dr. Bland's "Retire
in Style" book, published in 2005.
The No. 1 value was San Antonio, with a cost-of-living
index of 92 vs. 95 for Pittsburgh. Another Texas town,
Austin, ranked third with a score of 98. Only one Florida
locale made the list -- Tampa-St. Petersburg, which placed
The top 10 value cities are offered as alternatives to
pricier big cities such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles
and San Francisco, Dr. Bland said.
Low cost of housing was the biggest factor helping
Pittsburgh to shine, he said. The region also had
lower-than-average costs for groceries, transportation,
health care and miscellaneous goods and services. Only
utility costs were higher than average.
In Dr. Bland's book, Pittsburgh landed in a four-way
tie for seventh place among the best U.S. cities for
retirees. The region scored high overall despite receiving
low marks for dreary weather.
Some of the area's biggest pluses were health care,
cultural and recreational activities, community services
"I think Pittsburgh is a wonderful place to retire,"
Dr. Bland said at the time. "It's a lively place. I don't
know whether people in Pittsburgh appreciate it."
(Patricia Sabatini can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-3066. )
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