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Website finds Columbus boomer-friendly


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COLUMBUS is ranked among some of the top cities in America as a culturally vibrant place for baby boomers to live and an affordable place to retire.

The city was ranked on Grandparents.com, a website for the age 50-and-older market. The area’s variety of things to do and affordability landed Columbus on a list with five other cities — Louisville, Kentucky; Savannah, Georgia; Roanoke, Virginia; Spokane, Washington; and Pittsburgh.

The site specifically mentions the city’s world-class reputation for architecture, with seven buildings on the National Register of Historic Landmarks designed by architects such as I.M. Pei and Eero Saarinen.

It also mentions the Zaharakos ice cream shop “that’s a destination in itself.”

Mack and Nancy Seed moved to Columbus in December after living in Santa Claus for a couple years. They said they felt somewhat isolated there, but after visiting Columbus for the first time, they knew where they wanted to live in their retirement.

“When we came into Columbus, and I drove down Washington Street and I saw the downtown area, I thought, ‘This is so vibrant.’” Mack Seed said. “I started learning things about the town, and I’m impressed by the investment the city has made in trees.”

Nancy Seed said that the trails and parks in Columbus were a huge selling point.

“We saw that the walking trail was so diverse and throughout the city,” she said. “That really attracted us.”

Statistics in Columbus’ favor, according to Grandparents.com:

A cost of living is 8 points lower than the national average.

An income tax rate of 3.4 percent.

A state sales tax of 7 percent.

The Seeds have children living in the Indiana communities of Bedford, Battle Ground and Indianapolis, as well as another in Lawrence County, Illinois.

From a geographic standpoint, the Seeds said Columbus’ central location was also a factor in their decision.

Spokeswoman Lauren Unger said Grandparents.com has more than 2 million registered members who visit for retirement information.

The list that Columbus is on gives users of the website another tool to help them make decisions about retirement, Unger said.

“I think a lot of retirees, when they go to choose a place to live, affordability is a huge factor that goes into it,” she said. “They want some place beautiful, they want a place that’s comfortable, (and) they want a place where living is easy.”

Grandparents.com said in a statement that Columbus offers a great mix for today’s baby boomers to get the most out of their retirement funds, remain active, and enjoy cultural and entertainment venues.

Real estate research site Movoto agreed, ranking Columbus seventh on the best places in Indiana list of 76 cities, based on criteria such as offered amenities, unemployment rate, total crime, commute time to work and the weather.

Not only is the cost of living in Columbus attractive, but the area has the best air quality in Indiana and an average summer temperature of 73 degrees, according to the list Movoto created.

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