Report: Atlanta one of the best cities for retirement

When it comes to good places to retire comfortably, only three cities in Florida and one in Arizona rank higher than Atlanta.

Based on a series of metrics – including measures of affordability, quality of life, health care and availability of recreational activities – Atlanta is the fifth-best place to settle down, according to WalletHub.

The calculation was sparked by a survey that showed four in 10 workers do not expect to retire until age 70, five years past the median expected retirement age. Working lives are being extended, experts say, largely by the feeling of many people that they are simply not going to be financially prepared to stop working at 65.

But there’s an alternative, according to the WalletHub report: “Relocate to an area where you can stretch your dollar without sacrificing your lifestyle.”

And well, Atlanta actually isn’t near the top on that.

While its overall score is good, Atlanta ranks a mediocre 58th on affordability, according to WalletHub.

Most affordable is Laredo, Texas. Among larger metro areas – with more than a million people — the five most affordable places to retire are San Antonio, Memphis, Tampa, Orlando and Birmingham.

But Atlanta makes up ground in other ways.

The company ranked metros on 40 metrics and weighted them differently, assigning priorities to some. Metro Atlanta scored well on things like recreation and the number of home-care facilities and is above average when it comes to weather, but Atlanta ranks flat-out number one when it comes to adult volunteer activities, the study found.

Atlanta was the eighth best on activities, which counts everything from golf courses and fishing facilities to museums and bingo halls.

Top ranked for activities were San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and New York City.

WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer financial web site, issues periodic reports ranking American metro areas on various measures.

Worst metro area in the United States to retire, according to WalletHub: Newark, N.J.

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