Whether you enjoy staying active by hiking or exploring, Seattle has it all. If you’re trying to find the perfect place to retire, the Pacific Northwest might be the place for you. Seattle and its surrounding suburbs are excellent retiree destinations for several reasons.
Nature Can Improve Your Health
Seattle is widely known as the Emerald City. The nickname often conjures up images of “The Wizard of Oz” or gives the impression that the city is rich in precious gemstones. The real source of the name is much less mystical, however. Seattle’s viridescent moniker is derived from its year-round greenery, echoing Washington State’s title of the “Evergreen State.”
Research shows that natural environments can heal the body. This means Seattle retirees can benefit from the greenery surrounding the tech and java metropolis.
According to the University of Minnesota, viewing scenes of nature or experiencing it firsthand can:
- Reduce anger, fear, blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones
- Increase pleasant feelings
- Improve your ability to pay attention
- Contribute to physical well-being
Nature Can Encourage Interaction
In addition to healing the body, nature can help people cope with pain and connect them to their communities.
A study from the University of Illinois suggests that Chicago public housing residents who had green spaces around their building reported:
- Knowing more people
- Having stronger feelings of unity with their neighbors
- Being more inclined to help their community
- Having a stronger sense of belonging
Among retired seniors, social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality and other adverse health effects. Forty-six percent of women over 75 years old live alone according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Living alone does not necessarily lead to social isolation, but without social interactions in the home, finding companionship outside the home can become increasingly difficult, with opportunities becoming fewer and farther between. Staying socially active may improve happiness and help slow cognitive decline, according to a study from the Global Council on Brain Health.
Seattle’s lush natural environment can help seniors foster relationships with their community members and keep them active.
Easily Accessible Outdoor Activities
Retirees can easily immerse themselves in Seattle’s environment through a plethora of outdoor activities, including:
- Kayaking in Puget Sound
- Walking the nearly 12 miles of trails in Discovery Park
- Taking a guided hiking tour of Mount Rainier
- Exploring Seattle on a cycling tour
Important Services Are Always Nearby
Many people stop driving as they age, but if they live in a big city like Seattle, dropping that activity is less of a concern. Seattle’s public transit system is sophisticated, offering affordable, accessible options like the:
- Link light rail
- King County Metro Transit
- Seattle Streetcar
- Seattle Center Monorail
By eliminating the need for retirees to drive vehicles everywhere they go, Seattle’s transit system allows them to continue exploring their community without limits.
Public transportation also gives retirees a reliable way to access much-needed health services. Infrequent access to transportation is a leading factor in why older patients are more likely to miss appointments. This lack of timely preventative care ultimately costs hospitals tens of millions of dollars each year.
Good transportation options also make the roads safer for everyone. In fact, people die in motorist accidents 139 times more often than in accidents involving a mode of public transportation, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Better public transportation creates safer pedestrian crossings for people of all ages since Seattle streets are designed to slow down or eliminate car traffic. For example, the Link light rail runs for miles above and below city streets and highways. This innovative design keeps pedestrians a safe distance from dangerous traffic.
Are You Moving to Seattle Soon?
Whether you’re settling in a new Seattle home for your retirement or for a new job, Continental Van Lines has the residential moving services to get you to your new home. Our moving coordinators and managers will tailor your moving plan to you so you can stay relaxed throughout the entire process. We are dedicated to working with you to understand your relocation needs and address any concerns you may have.