U.S. News names “Worst Places to Retire”

Another half-baked and misleading list from another site desperate to attract readers.

U.S. News recently released a list of The 10 Worst Places to Retire.  Wow, I thought, these places must be awful to be chosen as “the worst”.  They must have deadly air and water pollution, rampant crime, unchecked disease, unsafe nursing homes, no public transit, and are probably bankrupt to boot.

Actually, the U.S. News analysis consisted of only one criteria, the metro’s cost of living.  As the article explains their methodology, “Retiring  in a city with an inordinately high cost of living means you will have  to save more money and invest more successfully just to make ends meet.”

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I’m Sorry

Forbes has released a new slideshow, “America’s 20 Dirtiest Cities“, which is based mostly on data readily available on our Sperling’s BestPlaces website (www.bestplaces.net).

The Forbes list and the story is pretty straightforward; a callout of the large U.S. metro areas with the worst scores for air and water quality, plus measures of toxic releases and Superfund sites.

And It’s a fairly accurate list.  All the places named have issues, but I’ve got to say that I’m not proud of being associated with stories like this.

Stories like this focus on the negative, and have titles guaranteed to be irresistable to the casual web browser – America’s Dirtiest Cities, Miserable Cities, Worst Cities to Live, Depressing Cities, Dangerous Cities, Dying Cities, Drunkest Cities, Fattest Cities, Worst Schools, and Dumbest Cities.

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Best Baseball Cities

A baseball lies in a freshly fallen leaves

October!  The most special month of the year for every baseball fan.  The World Series determines the best baseball team, but did you ever wonder which place can lay claim to the best baseball city?

We wondered too, and thought about what it means to be a great baseball town.  We decided it’s more than wins and losses, attendance, and championships.  It’s where there’s a batting cage in every backyard, kids sleep with their mitts, and families spend their entire weekend at the Little League field.

We realized that every big-league ballplayer represents thousands of kids who once dreamed playing in the Big Show.

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America’s Coolest Cities

rock and roll musician Lou Reed

This July was the hottest on record in the U.S. and 2012 is on track to be our hottest year ever. You better believe Americans are cranking the A/C and heading for the swimming holes.

But when it comes to my “cool cities” study, I’m talking about the other kind of cool.  The sunglasses, Levi’s and t-shirt James Dean cool.

I worked with Forbes with their article to find where the youth of America are headed, where it’s “happening.”  Would you believe Houston comes out on top?  Last year H-town sported a vigorous 2.6% job growth while welcoming over 50,000 new residents to the area, many of them young professionals.

We looked at recreational opportunities, such as amount of green space, golfing and skiing, and pro and college sports teams.

We also used my Diversity Index, which measures the likelihood that someone you meet will be of different race or ethnicity.  Higher diversity translates to a greater number of cool stores, events, and eateries.

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Manliest Cities

Where do America’s REAL men live?  “America’s Manliest Cities” is one of most entertaining studies I do, and it always seems to get a big reaction across the nation.  I’m not surprised – having one’s manhood appraised is definitely bound to start some spirited discussion!

This is the third year we’ve done the study, partnering with the good folks at Combos, the “official cheese-filled snack of NASCAR.”  (I’m not kidding.)

This year good ole’ Nashville, TN grabbed the top spot, and Charlotte, NC was runner-up.  In fact, all of the top 10 Manliest Cities were in the South or Midwest.  Must be all that macho stuff like country music, huntin’, and grillin’.

Actually, we did consider things like number of BBQ restaurants, as well as rodeos, sports events, and manly occupations.  Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg… there’s a lot more to the study.

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Sleepless Cities

The results of our newest study were released today on the CBS show, Sunday Morning.  Louisville, KY earned the top spot of Most Sleepless City, and Honolulu residents got the best rest in our study of insomnia.
(see the video clip on CBS)

Our new study ranks the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, home to fully half of the U.S. population.  The Sperling study analyzes over 400,000 responses from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (the world’s largest telephone survey, conducted annually by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and also considers factors contributing to poor sleep,
such as joblessness, divorce, and lengthy commuting.

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