The stereotypical Florida image of a senior citizen hogging the left lane, turn signal blinking non-stop mile after mile after mile, has never really applied to Houston. But that could be changing.
New real estate analysis pegs H-Town as one of the Best Cities For Seniors in America. Houston ranks behind only Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and fellow Texas standout Austin among all United States cities in the rankings. The “why” is the surprise.
Redfin, a real estate news and analysis site, concentrated on identifying which cites have both the technology to help seniors lead better, more independent lives and a cost of living that allows them to do so. This enabled Houston — which jumps to almost no one’s mind as a typical retirement spot — to live senior citizen-large.
For once, Uber counted more than quick access to a beach — or a golf course community.
It turns out that Houston is a much more tech-friendly, cost-efficient city for seniors than tech vaunted San Francisco. In fact, no Silicon Valley cities managed to even make the Top 10 in the new rankings.
For seniors, being the first of their friends to get an Apple Watch pales in comparison to being able to use everyday technology services like Uber to get around and Instacart to have groceries delivered.
“People often think of services like Uber and Instacart as being something that only millennials use, but those services can be a way for elderly people who need assistance to remain in their homes,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said in a statement.
The fight to keep out of a nursing home is very real for many older Americans.
With that in mind, Houston’s ranking gets boosted by the fact that its average monthly mortgage payment (estimated at only $1,039) is the lowest of all the cities in the Top 10. “Houston buyers have more purchasing power compared to other large cities, and children of senior citizens are buying homes and condos to accommodate the needs of their aging parents,” Redfin Houston expert Tara Waggoner said.
Austin is lauded for being “relatively affordable” compared to other tech-giant cities such as San Francisco and Seattle.
Before you lament the idea of a graying horde descending on Houston (after all, rankings like these do have some effect on retirement plans), remember one thing. We all get old someday — if we’re lucky.