Santa Fe-Just a Place to Retire? Think Again

- December 31, 2011

"We should not have to wait to retire..."

In U.S. News and World Report, author Emily Brandon states: “Better weather, affordable housing, and plenty of interesting things to do are just a few reasons people move to a new place when they retire.” She then goes on to state that Flagstaff has pleasant year-round weather; Boone Mountain, North Carolina has spectacular mountain views and ski slopes; Walnut Creek, California combines the amenities of a city with abundant access to the wilderness; college towns like Ithaca, New York can be an ideal place to retire; Lincoln, Nebraska is a great place to launch a second career; Pittsburgh is a city with a wide variety of amenities and Pittsfield, Mass. is the best place for single retirees.

Brandon did include Santa Fe on her short list as a city that is “known for its unique culture and art galleries.” She goes on to state: “The creations of artists worldwide are also celebrated at a variety of annual festivals and markets, such as the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.”

But in describing these other cities on her short list, wasn’t she also describing Santa Fe? I will admit that I left off two of the cities on her short list: Port Charlotte, Fla. and Traverse City, Mich. I have not found the affordable housing in Santa Fe, that she attributes to Port Charlotte and we are hundreds of miles from any of the true lakefront living she describes in Traverse City.

But, hello! We have more spectacular mountain views and better ski runs (particularly this season) than North Carolina; the amenities of a city with abundant access to the wilderness like Walnut Creek; (without the traffic); a growing sense of being a college town with St. John’s and the emerging Santa Fe University of Art and Design (although the two combined fall far short of an Ithaca); and, like Pittsburg, a wide variety of amenities.

Regarding Lincoln, Nebraska? Well, who hasn’t started a new career here in Santa Fe or, at least, reinvented themselves. And as for dating in later years, I met my wife just short of my 50th birthday.  

But, the more important point is that we should not have to wait to retire to experience these wonderful parts of our life and Santa Fe has most of them in abundance.