ROCKFORD, Ill (WTVO) — A new study by SeniorAdvice.com lists Rockford as one of the Top 20 mid-sized cities in the U.S. for retirement.
The company used several factors to create its list.
“People who retire say, ‘I want to escape the harsh winters,’ but we have four seasons here,” said Rockford native Patti Bigger. “We have a community that has many ups and downs, but has excellent reasons to stay.”
Bigger decided to stay in the Forest City during her retirement years.
“Getting an understanding of what it is you want in retirement, because you work a long time and don’t think that day is coming, and then the opportunity is there and then you’re healthy, and you do it,” she said.
SeniorAdvice.com put Rockford in the 18th Best spot, citing health and safety, a lower cost of living, leisure and recreation, and a general quality of life.
“I think one of the things that Rockford’s strength is the community that we have, places like Lifescape and other organizations that are here to help,” said Lifescape Community Services’ Mike Hughes. “We have a long history of that.”
Sixteen percent of the population of Rockford is 65 years or older, and officials say that addressing their needs is what makes the city attractive for an aging population.
“When we speak of Rockford being an attractive place, we know the golf courses and the recreational facilities. We know all the fine arts. We know of Wesley Willows, which is an engaging (senior) community,” said Bill Pratt, President and CEO of Wesley Willows.