What does Lawrence offer retirees that other cities do not?
Forbes has released its 2018 rankings of the best places to retire in each state. While Columbia takes the title in Missouri, Lawrence is ranked No. 1 in Kansas. Lindsey Slater, communications director for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, says in the past decade, the city has worked to specifically market itself to those reaching retirement age. “We have seen a lot of senior living options pop up,” Slater says. “We’ve got independent living, assisted living, any accommodation needed to live, but specifically geared to people over the age of 55.”
Lawrence also provides the opportunity for lifelong learning, which speaks to why Columbia was chosen in Missouri. “We have this large presence of higher education, and at KU, they have the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute,” Slater says. “People can continue to take classes, continue to learn and continue to meet people for as long as they would like.”
Slater isn’t sure if it was Lawrence’s efforts that initially motivated people began retiring there, or if after people began showing interest in Lawrence, the city began catering to their demands. However, she is confident that people feel a pull to go back to Lawrence if they’ve had experience with it in the past. The advanced medical care, civic engagement, volunteer opportunities and recreation activities the city provides create an oasis for those retiring. “We have all these big-city amenities with a small-town feel,” Slater says.
Check out the entire list from Forbes here.