THE BLOG
12/17/2014 06:53 am ET Updated Feb 16, 2015

Top 20 Small Cities For Successful Aging

Like to be part of the "in crowd"? By 2017, half the adult population of the U.S. will be 50-plus. The giant swell of Boomers is well into its ascendance. And the effects of this demographic shift are rippling through every cultural and economic sector of our country. This giant demographic shift will effect everything from product development, healthcare, entertainment and even to where we set up house.

Where we decide to live out the last half of our lives is a big deal, whether we stay put or decide to move. And cities, as the Milken Institute advises us, are at the forefront: "...as their leaders act to help older adults realize healthy, productive, and purposeful lives."

The Milkin Institute, according to their website, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, that looks for ways that the capital markets can help to solve urgent social and economic challenges and improve lives.

One of the major undertakings that the Institute created was a truly valuable report called the "Best Cities for Successful Aging"™ report. You should check it out in its entirety.

The 2014 report, like its predecessor, lists the top 20 small and top 20 large cities in the U.S. that are set up best to successfully support an aging boomer population, the largest older population in history. The findings tell us that mature adults live predominantly in urban settings, in no small part because the old notions of aging no longer apply. They say, "Older adults are staying in the workforce longer and anticipating more meaningful 'golden years.' New attitudes about work, health, housing, education, transportation, and other needs are evident. Millions of aging adults are upending convention, seeking to remain active and contributing members of their communities. A revolution in the 'culture of aging' is underway." Thankfully.

While the report is focused on how U.S. cities step up to the plate on supporting an aging population, these lists are great for Boomers to use as a way to identify the places we might want to settle in for our retirement years. Let's not just let the cities do the work, let's move in and become part of the solution movement.

At GangsAway.com, we were thrilled to find this report and wanted to make sure all our readers and users find it. We have provided the list of the Top 20 Smaller Cities here and linked them to the city pages on our site so that you can see more about these cities, and, we hope, tell us what you think of them in the comments section. Or add content by pasting in URL's of information you've found valuable about these locations. We're all in this together, so let's have a conversation.

Iowa City, IA
Offering big-city amenities along with small-town hospitality, Iowa City is in the heart of the Midwest.

Sioux Falls, SD
Small town feel for a city with lower cost of living and a diverse and growing population.

Columbia, MO
Midwestern college town, home to University of Missouri, Columbia and Stephens Colleges. A flourishing Indy music scene and college sports teams keeps you busy.

Bismarck, ND
Let's start with the weather. In a word, the winters are COLD. But, if you like cold, Bismarck has a lot to offer.

Rapid City, SD
Rapid City is a major medical care center for a five-state region, centered around the Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Ames, IA
Ames continually ranks top in the nation for a highly-educated work force, excellent public schools, and as one of the best places to live, work and play in the United States.

Rochester, MN
A perennial fixture on Money magazine's "Best Places to Live" lists, Rochester is best known as the birthplace and home of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.

Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan and is essentially a large college town with eclectic shops, and variety of restaurants.

Cheyenne, WY
Giddyup! Live the cowboy lifestyle! This is the wild west where people wear cowboy hats and boots... for real. Clean air, wide open spaces and low cost of living.

Fargo, ND
Fargo is a modern city of just over 100,000 on the Red River in the southeast corner of North Dakota.

Midland, TX
Midland is a warm and inviting West Texas city, conveniently located halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso.

Gainesville, FL
Gainesville is one of the largest cities in north central Florida and serves as the cultural, educational and commercial center for the region.

Lincoln, NE
Lincoln is a surprisingly diverse university town, the state capital and the county seat and the site of the main campus of the University of Nebraska.

Lubbock, TX
About 250,000 people live in the metropolitan area, many of whom are associated with Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian University, nearby South Plains College or Reese Air Force Base.

Morgantown, WV
Morgantown, a city of distinction, offers "mountains of opportunity" for business development and expansion.

Missoula, MT
Some might dub it unique, cool or hip. Others will experience it as serene, welcoming and replete with natural beauty.

Ithaca, NY
Home to Cornell University and Ithaca College as well as numerous other higher education campuses in the area.

Billings, MT
Billings is the largest city in Montana, and has avoided the economic downturn that affected most of the nation in 2008-2012 as well as avoiding the housing bust.

Abilene, TX
With a history of cattle, railroads and oil, the City of Abilene retains a strong western legacy with a distinctive family atmosphere.

Casper, WY
Casper has a rich and vibrant history an important outpost of the Old West.

Remember, it's your life. Make the most of each and every day. I can't think of anything more exciting than a new adventure for my next chapter.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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