Madison named among best places to retire, start your career

Published: Apr. 25, 2018 at 10:01 PM CDT
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Forbes magazine named Madison on its 2018 Best Places to Retire list. The City is also ranked #7 by for best places for new college grads.

The lakes and culture of Madison are known for drawing in young professionals, but those looking to retire also find the city attractive.

Mark Farnan of Retirement Income Planning said many factors make Madison appealing to retirees.

"Its a safe place. Its a clean place. Its at the forefront of a number of things environmentally, and its a wonderful place to retire," Farnan said.

Madison's vibrant downtown, stable economy, and lush outdoors also make it ideal for those looking to spark their careers or wrap it up.

"Downtown is not just for younger people. It has really become a place for retired people as well."

Condominiums and high rises continue to be built downtown and along East Washington. Farnan said those projects are evidence of the draw the City has for young people, but he said older generations love what the downtown area has to offer just as much as young professionals.

"They are moving into those condos and apartments on East Washington and downtown as well because they like all of those things that downtown provides to them," explained Farnan.

Connie Bakker is the President of the Resident Association at Capitol Lakes retirement community. She said the walk-ability of the area is important to many residents.

"Someday I may not want to drive anymore but that won't preclude me from having a very active life," said Bakker. "We're in a city, but in two blocks I can walk on a lake or, I can go this way and go to the arboretum or walking trails and its just really a great combination of things that people want to do when they have more time to do them."

The same things that make Madison attractive to young professionals make it attractive to those looking to retire. The age gap between people in Madison isn't a turn-off for retirees, Bakker said. Rather, the diversity of the area is appealing.

"Its one of the reason that I go down to the Terrace or go to the Union and have coffee, because I like being around young people as retired educator. Its a great mix," Bakker explained.

According to Farnan, another resource Madison offers that makes it attractive to retirees is excellent healthcare. He said knowing there are fantastic care facilities in the area provides a sense of security.

He explained, "One of the most important important things that is important for retirees is the excellent healthcare here. Because as you get older, you face medical challenges. The University of Wisconsin, and St. Marys, Meriter hospital, are wonderful facilities with excellent, world-class care so that's important to retirees."

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