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Retirement Cities: Study Names The Best Places To Age In America

August 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Choosing Lingerie

Move over, Florida. Choosing where to grow old seems to be an increasingly complex decision, and the Milken Institute, an economic think tank, has given prospective retirees a few more things to think about, with a study released on Tuesday ranking the top U.S. cities for growing old.

In crafting its list of “Best Cities for Successful Aging,” the Institute consulted survey results, demographers, and various experts in the aging field in compiling a list of 78 factors that contribute to what it calls “successful aging,” or an active and productive old age. These range from cost of living and crime rate to more age-specific criteria such as a city’s mean public transport fare. “What I would hope is that [prospective retirees] would look at the various indicators, from health to employment opportunities to education, and think about the factors that are most important to them,” said study co-author Ross DeVol.

In addition to the overall rankings, the Institute ranked cities based on their appeal to people in the 65-to-79 demographic and people over 80, respectively, in recognition that “young aging Americans” may prioritize opportunities to continue working, for example.

Readers may be surprised to note that New York City and Washington D.C., two of the most expensive places in the nation to call home, were both ranked highly. “There are trade-offs,” DeVol acknowledged. “In some cases there will be financial contraints, but they’re offset in terms of having access to the different amenities.” Indeed, he suggests that bearing in mind the entire spectrum of quality-of-life concerns, “cost may not be as important as many people might think.”

But perhaps the larger point is that it’s not just the post 50s themselves who need to start turning an eye toward the unique concerns of age. In conducting its study, the Institute hopes to “raise awareness of the importance to communities of providing resources to seniors,” DeVol said — and even “create a little sense of competition” among towns and cities in the race to become age-friendly.

Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who served as an advisor to the research team, puts it more strongly: According to him, tapping into the economic potential of people over 50 will be imperative to any city that hopes to stay competitive into the coming decades. “The cities that are age-friendly will be ‘the winners,’” he said.

Check out the gallery below for the 10 large and small cities identified by the Milken Institute as the best places to age.

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  • Large Metros: Provo-Orem, Utah

    The Provo-Orem metropolitan area ranked first in the study overall among large metropolitan areas. Milken Institute researchers were impressed by Provo-Orem’s robust economy (the area boasts low senior poverty rates), the healthy lifestyle residents enjoy (the area has low rates of diabetes and obesity and limited fast-food options), and the area’s strong community, with low crime rates and short commutes.

  • Large Metros: Madison, Wisconsin

    Madison, Wisconsin scored highly in the study for its a href=”http://successfulaging.milkeninstitute.org/bcsa.taf?page=metromcode=C3154pop=large#.UBf9ADFSTiM” target=”_hplink”impressive health care and cultural offerings/a — not only does the city itself boast the facilities and resources of the University of Wisconsin, but it’s a mere 150 miles from Chicago. Researchers saw room for improvement in the area of transportation, as public transportation is expensive and senior transportation options limited.

  • Large Metros: Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa

    The Greater Omaha area is “becoming a health-care hub for the surrounding area,” according to Milken Institute researchers.

  • Large Metros: Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts-New Hampshire

    For many in the Greater Boston area, a walk to work isn’t out of the question, and many do, according to the study. The area also offers an abundance of doctors, physical therapists, and other health care service providers nearby.

  • Large Metros: New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA

    While the Institute recognizes the high cost of living in the Greater New York area, its extensive amenities for seniors, such as an excellent public transportation system and two of the country’s highest-ranking hospitals, are enough to make growing old in this metropolitan area worth the price.

  • Large Metros: Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

    Des Moines is noted for its high employment rate and services for seniors to find job opportunities. While the Institute acknowledges that getting around could be troublesome for seniors who no longer drive, the city is ranked highly for its overall short commute times.

  • Large Metros: Salt Lake City, UT

    With a low tax burden and easy access to financial institutions, Salt Lake City is a financially stable city.

  • Large Metros: Toledo, OH

    While the Institute recognizes the lack of employment opportunities in Toledo, this concern is outweighed by the city’s high-quality hospitals and affordable cost of living.

  • Large Metros: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

    Although the D.C. area is pricey, seniors living in the area have great opportunities for work, education and volunteer work. Seniors can also get around the area with ease by using the city’s transit system, which has the third-highest passenger volume among the metropolitan areas ranked.

  • Large Metros: Pittsburgh, PA

    Part of Pittsburgh’s appeal is that the city is relatively inexpensive, according to the study. Seniors can also rest easy knowing the city’s crime rate is low.

  • Small Metros: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

    Sioux Falls ranked first among small metropolitan areas. The employment rate for seniors in this area is among the highest of all 259 small metropolitan areas studied. Commuters also have a short ride to work.

  • Small Metros: Iowa City, Iowa

    The Milken Institute researchers were impressed by Iowa City’s abundance of medical specialists: “Many hospitals have specialized units for geriatric services, hospice, and Alzheimer’s patients,” they noted. The area also has many orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists, according to the study.

  • Small Metros: Bismarck, North Dakota

    Bismarck is not only economically prosperous, but it has the highest rate of senior volunteers among the small metropolitan areas assessed by the study.

  • Small Metros: Columbia, Missouri

    Numerous Columbia hospitals offer geriatric services, rehabilitation services, and continuing-care facilities, and the city itself has low senior poverty levels.

  • Small Metros: Rochester, Minnesota

    Home of the Mayo clinic, Rochester has extensive medical resources and facilities. The study cited public transportation as an area for improvement.

  • Small Metros: Gainesville, FL

    The University of Florida gives Gainesville a wealth of cultural offerings, not to mention job opportunities for people of all ages.

  • Small Metros: Ann Arbor, MI

    Ann Arbor has “one of the highest rates of annual ridership on public transportation,” according to the study. A stalled economy, however, is an area of potential concern for the “young-old” who hope to continue working.

  • Small Metros: Missoula, MT

    Despite the presence of numerous fast-food outlets, Missoula boasts low levels of obesity and diabetes. It also offers museums and other cultural activities.

  • Small Metros: Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

    Offering not one but three local universities, the Durham-Chapel Hill region offers extensive cultural offerings, in addition to quality healthcare.

  • Small Metros: Rapid City, SD

    The state of South Dakota has one of the highest per-capita senior funding rates, and the study cited a particularly long life expectancy in Rapid City, indicative of high quality of life.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • Sunny Climes: Santa Fe, New Mexico

    emFortune/em says a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/2.html” target=”_hplink”Santa Fe/a is the top choice for retirees looking for sunny climes because of its extensive cultural offerings and easy access to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Check out Fortune’s other top picks for sun worshippers a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/3.html” target=”_hplink”here/a.

  • Small Cities: Charleston, S.C.

    emFortune/em says a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/4.html” target=”_hplink”Charleston/a is the top choice for retirees looking for a small city, because of its rich history, gastronomic offerings and sandy beaches, as well as opportunities to take classes at the College of Charleston. Check out its other top picks for retirees who crave culture without the hustle a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/5.html” target=”_hplink”here/a.

  • Mountain Towns: Bend, Ore.

    emFortune/em says a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/6.html” target=”_hplink”Bend/a is the top choice for retirees looking for a home in the mountains because of its extensive outdoor offerings, including hiking, biking, kayaking, and golf, as well as its relatively affordable home prices. Check out its other top picks for outdoor enthusiasts a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/7.html” target=”_hplink”here/a.

  • Big Cities: New York, N.Y.

    emFortune/em admits a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/8.html” target=”_hplink”New York City/a is a surprising choice for a top retirement destination, but it defends its choice with hard data: there will be over 1.2 million people over the age of 65 living there by 2025, says the magazine. New York is a top choice for city slickers because, well, it’s New York: there’s no need for a car or even a kitchen, and you can’t beat its entertainment options. Check out Fortune’s other top cities for retirement a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/9.html” target=”_hplink”here/a.

  • Overseas: Cuenca, Ecuador

    emFortune/em says a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/10.html” target=”_hplink”Cuenca/a is a great choice for retirees open to the idea of retiring abroad (it’s becoming an increasingly popular option, says the magazine) because of its low cost of living, great weather and modern healthcare. Check out its other top picks for globetrotting retirees a href=”http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/retirement/1206/gallery.retirement-guide-best-places.fortune/11.html” target=”_hplink”here/a.

Top fashion tips on dressing for work in the summer (pictures)

August 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Choosing Lingerie

As the heat rises, don’t let your hemlines go up with it. Dressing for work in the summer may be tricky, but getting it right is essential if you don’t want to be the talk of the office. Rachel Edwards investigates

SUMMER dressing is perilous at the best of times, but when it comes to dressing for the office, a seasonal heatwave is enough to land most of us in sartorial quick sand. When it’s too humid for a formal suit and those trusty black tights raise your body temperature to solar proportions, dressing for work becomes a daily chore.

A quick glance around a packed commuter train throws up an intriguing variety of summer work wear. While the majority of men seem cool, calm and collected in breezy white shirts, the flustered female faces looking back at me tell another story entirely.

Gallery: three summer-friendly work outfits


A fair few have opted for skirts, which in theory should be both office and climate appropriate. However the constant tugging and shifting suggests that their wearers aren’t comfortable with short hemlines. Accompanying them, a crop of cardigans have appeared, replacing the formal blazers and jackets, but the choice of woollen fabrics is more appropriate to curling up by the fire than tackling the sweltering commute.

Worse, perhaps, than those who are hot and bothered are those who are inappropriately dressed. I’ve spotted a few maxi skirts and bare midriffs heading into office blocks and can’t help wondering if they’ll spend their 9 to 5 bashfully covering their exposed skin whenever the boss passes. And I can only hope that the rainbow of flip-flops will be whipped off the moment they reach their desks.

As a nation living under grey clouds for nine months a year, we are truly baffled as soon as the sun comes out. But why do so many of us get it wrong?

Cardiff-based stylist and image consultant Suzanne Jaya (www.suzannejaya.com) blames the great British weather.

“Because in the UK we have such an erratic climate and as a nation we are lovers of overseas summer travel, women tend to spend a bigger part of their budget on holiday wear and beach clothes rather than investing in the clothes they are likely to spend more time wearing,” she says.

“Women therefore have either a selection of clothes reserved for high days and holidays or they make do with their staple winter wardrobe to which they add a top that is best suited for the beach rather than the workplace.”

The office is not the place to sport something you would readily wear by the pool, yet so many of us seem to dig through our holiday wardrobes the moment temperatures begin to climb.

However, overlooking more formal work wear is potentially damaging.

Where men remain smart in a collar and tie, overly casual women in short hemlines or summer sandals appear unprofessional.

“I’ve seen women who, when feeling the summer heat, have removed the jacket of their well-tailored suit to reveal a black bra under a crisp white shirt,” says Suzanne.

“For women to be taken seriously in the workplace a little more investment should be made in looking professional.”

But how to strike a balance between office dress codes and raising temperatures?

Suzanne is a firm believer that less isn’t always more, adding: “Some of the most stylish women on the planet cover up rather than baring all.”

Of course, office rules may stipulate this already. The company dress code will largely dictate your outfit and many bosses implement strict guidelines. For some, it isn’t appropriate to expose arms or legs in meetings, no matter how meagre the air conditioning.

Where only suits will do, the discomfort of being covered head to toe can be overcome with a lighter colour palette. Our go-to office colours are defiantly sober, however blacks and navys are difficult colours to pull off on hot days.

Not only do dark shades appear wintry, they also act like personal insulation, soaking up the heat and keeping you uncomfortably warm. Choosing a blouse in neutral silk or lightweight cream trousers rather than your usual monochrome will make a world of difference – they look great with a tan too, if the sunny weather ever sticks around long enough for you to get one.

If a suit jacket is obligatory, opt for linen rather than heavy polyester. This gloriously breezy fabric will keep you cool and look appropriately formal, even better if it is cut in a cropped or boxy shape.

Of course, not all offices are so formal, but formality should never be confused with professionalism. Just because you can get away with a shorter skirt, doesn’t necessarily mean you should try.

Pencil skirts in a demure knee length are a popular option for the office, but the tight shape can be stifling in the heat and uncomfortable to wear.

Don’t overlook a mid-length, A-line skirt – the relaxed cut is breezier and won’t feel restrictive when sitting at your desk all day. Tucking a shirt into your midi skirt is a tried and tested look or choose a boxy, hip-length blouse if you prefer looser proportions.

The majority of women in the office seem to have ignored the most obvious solution to the summer work wear conundrum – the dress. A simple wrap dress with demure sleeves and a decent hem length is perfect even for the strictest of office dress codes.

Darker colours are more acceptable here too if summery florals are too garish for your workplace. A smart dress will strike the right note with employers and keep you from becoming hot and flustered on a packed train.

As for footwear, those flip-flops just won’t cut it. Strappy sandals are most certainly a cool option, but they may not fit in at work. Instead of your usual court shoes, a sling back or peep toe will give a hint of summer without looking too informal. We’re not in sunny Spain after all!

Even if our British summer never quite reaches Mediterranean heights, we will all have to tackle the work wear conundrum sooner or later.

Suzanne concludes: “Women need to be totally honest with themselves and use their common sense.

“Ask yourself, ‘Do I really look good in this and am I revealing too much flesh?’”

Suzanne’s top tips:

To bag the best of work-appropriate clothing, start picking up key pieces from February – even earlier if you’re really savvy. Once April comes the shops will be awash with holiday wear and going-out clothes and very little else.

Invest in nude coloured lingerie as anything else will show through fine fabrics and lighter colours.

Purchase at least one dress that is appropriate for work which can be worn with sandals or heels, a linen or cotton blazer, some lightweight knitwear, linen trousers and some pumps.

If you’re not wearing tights, make sure your feet are well pedicured and that your toenails are painted a pretty colour.

Natural fibres such as linen, cotton, silk and cashmere are best for keeping cool or at least fabrics that contain a greater proportion of these. Linen creases, that’s a fact, so accept it and opt for the best quality you can find – scrunch it up in your hand when shopping and choose the garments that crease the least.

Dos and don’ts

DO:

- Carry an umbrella – the British summertime is nothing if not temperamental

- Keep a formal jacket at work in case of important meetings

- Add a lightweight summer scarf to your outfit. It’ll provide coverage without any added warmth

DON’T:

- Wear something uncomfortable. If you’re fiddling with it before you leave the house, go and change

- Use the workplace to show off your tan. No matter how bronzed your shoulders may be, save it for the beach

- Dip into your holiday wardrobe. If you wore it for poolside cocktails, it doesn’t belong in the office

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