The purpose of this Web site is to give you as much information as possible about visiting Hawaii, and to make arrangements for you when you’ve decided to come. Most of the visitors to this site aren’t looking to retire here, but we thought we’d pass along the following piece of news, which speaks well for our islands.

AARP has completed a report ranking the best cities in the nation in which to retire. Honolulu ranks second. We were a little surprised to see that Ann Arbor, Michigan tops the list. It gets COLD there in the winter! But Ann Arbor is a college town, and it’s a hotbed of medical innovation. The University of Michigan Health Center is one of the largest university medical centers in the world. And AARP points out that college towns are full of young people, and younger residents often create a demand for lifestyle perks such as bike paths and accessible fitness programs, which benefit all members of a community.

The physical aspects of the communities evaluated (clean air and water, for instance) were factors in the rankings, as were the health and habits of the people who live there. AARP notes that if you live near a hiking-and-biking trail and all your neighbors use it, you’ll probably use it, too. If a farmers’ market is just down the street, you’re likely to eat more fruits and vegetables. If your city has multiple hospitals, there’s a good chance you’ll get superior medical care. Honolulu scores high in all respects.

Honolulu’s warm weather and scenery encourage residents to spend more time exercising than do people in almost any other city in the survey, and those of us who live here enjoy one of the highest life expectancy rates. This is an outdoor life, all year round.

And, in spite of Honolulu’s relatively high cost of living (We call it the “sunshine tax”), experts say other economic strengths—a very low unemployment rate, for instance—can offset that drawback. According to AARP, we residents benefit from Honolulu’s commitment to preserving the island, with strict growth limits, sustainable-tourism efforts, and programs to protect views and the shoreline.

Sarah Yuan, an expert on aging at the University of Hawaii, pointed out for AARP that Hawaiians embrace growing older. We feel more natural about aging, we have a lot of respect for our elders, and our older people have a high status.

And we really do remind each other every day, “Lucky you live Hawaii”

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