Best place to retire

Community: Joe Samyr and Jim Lemke make pancakes during a pancake breakfast at the 5th Avenue Seniors’ Activity Centre. - James Murray/Observer
Community: Joe Samyr and Jim Lemke make pancakes during a pancake breakfast at the 5th Avenue Seniors’ Activity Centre.
— image credit: James Murray/Observer

Salmon Arm’s the only place in BC good enough to make MoneySense Magazine’s top-10 Canadian Cities to Retire this year.

Coming in at number seven, Salmon Arm scored high in the climate, access to health care and low crime rate categories, all attributes that resonate with seniors.

The survey noted Salmon Arm had 214 days with a temperature above zero degrees, 3.5 doctors per 1,000 population and average property taxes of $1,396.

Salmon Arm’s temperature rating also earned it the number eight ranking in Canada for the best climate in the country.

The weather was a prime factor for both Wayne Nabe and Lois Crawford, two seniors who retired in Salmon Arm.

Nabe, who was originally from Saskatchewan, says Salmon Arm’s weather can’t be beat, sunny summers and not too cold in the winter. Crawford, however, is grateful to escape the rain from her previous residence on the Coast.

Nabe says he is impressed with the range of services for seniors, both in terms of health care, where he gets to  see his doctor promptly, and for recreation opportunities.

“I go to the Seniors Activity Centre, here on Fifth Avenue, and play crib and pool and darts, there’s lots of things for retired people to do.”

While recreation and social options were not part of magazine survey, Crawford says this is an important part of what makes Salmon Arm attractive to seniors.

“The people are sweet, caring and there’s lots to do for seniors, there’s things for people with all different interests.”

Crawford notes that it is easy to get around town and lauds the arrival of new stores like Walmart, which help seniors on a fixed income meet their budget.

“It’s much better now, with more things affordable close to home.”

Ontario cities featured prominently in the list with Kingston coming in at number one, followed by Ottawa and Burlington. Oakville placed eighth and Stratford at tenth.

Salmon Arm’s closest competitor geographically speaking was Calgary, which ranked ninth.

This ranking was a subset of the MoneySense Magazine’s Best Places to Live ranking, in which Salmon Arm placed 64th overall out of 201 cities surveyed.

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