Some people might scoff at the idea of retiring in Buffalo. I completely understand that as many people get older their color pallets of choice tend to gravitate towards yellow and orange pastels, and hearty pastimes such as skiing give way to strolling around easy-to-navigate smooth grass surfaces. I get it. Believe it or not, there are some folks who would rather live in Buffalo during their golden years… people like Ed Hogle (of Atlas Steel) who once told me that he could pick up and leave at any time to go chase golf balls in Florida. At one point he actually flew down there to see what all the fuss was about. After one day on the course he asked his fellow golfers, “You do this every day?” The next day he was back on a plane heading back north.
Ed might be different than most. His idea of retirement is to be surrounded with creative opportunities in order to keep his mind on the game. Ed has spent many years building his dreams in Buffalo. Buffalo is home. I see him hanging out at coffee shops on the West Side, skiing on weekends in Ellicottville, participating in community functions, and to tell you the truth he makes me feel younger when I hang out with him. Why am I telling you all of this? Because Ed was the first person that I thought of when a friend sent me an email with an AOL list of the top 20 retirement dream areas… and Buffalo was number nine.
Laugh all you want. Go ahead, make fun of Buffalo and tell me all the reasons why not to retire here. If you read the comments following the AOL listing you will find many people poking holes in almost every city on the list. A couple people slam the idea of retiring in Buffalo because of the cold and snow. Me? I can’t stand the heat and would never be able to make it through a Florida summer. To each his (or her) own, right? As I read on, I did notice that it was a suburb of the city (East Amherst) that did make the actual list. When reading why this area was picked, much of the criteria turns out to be great publicity for the city, suburbs and the region. Following is the criteria for the listing:
“What they all have in common is an overall combination of housing
options, beautiful surroundings, a vibrant mix of educated seniors and
other age groups, very low crime, peace & quiet, and amenities for
The piece goes on to specifically tout both suburb and city:
Retire in Buffalo? If you’re open to the climate, this quality
neighborhood on the outskirts of Buffalo is one of the best in the
nation. Before you write us off as crazy, Buffalo is a metro area with
over 1 million people, and claims some of the best art institutions in
America. Add professional sports, top medical facilities, lakefront
environments, and a 30,000 student research university, and you can
imagine the area has a lot to offer. This neighborhood in particular is
stunning. It is suburban in setting, studded with parks, and safer than
93% of the neighborhoods in America. It has handsome and diverse
housing choices with a median house value under $190,000. Full of
executives and retired seniors, most people in the neighborhood have at
least a 4-year college degree. It’s an amazing value.
If you look at both of the images used in the AOL piece, you will see that the lead image looks a lot like Tifft Nature Preserve, while the Buffalo-specific image is of Lake Erie with the windmills in the background. Let’s not forget that another advantage to retiring in the region is its proximity to Canada – another place nearby that offers a ton of retirement perks.