As retirement approaches, it’s time to start thinking about where the best place for your retirement will be. For those who live in and around Chicago, choosing a suburb to live out their retirement can be a tough choice. After all, there are a lot of options to choose from and each has its own special appeal, but no matter your criteria, there is no doubt that Lombard and Elmhurst will definitely make your short list for best Chicago suburbs to spend retirement. With easy access to Chicago, you really get the best of both worlds – no matter which suburb you choose.
Lombard, Illinois is one of Chicago’s best kept secrets. The rich history
and tradition that fill this village of 45,000 residents can be felt from one end of the city to the other, a quality other cities wish they could emulate. There is a small-town feel that can’t be missed in Lombard, and every year it’s reinforced through the month-long celebration of Lilac Time. The city is home to the world famous Lilacia Park lilac collection – one of the largest to be found anywhere on earth. The festivities centered on this flower bring Lombardians of all ages together in celebration of their village and its wonderfully unique heritage.
While cost of living is not, in and of itself, the sole factor in choosing a place to retire, it can have a significant impact on your retirement finances and your ability to live life the way you always envisioned it. Lombard ranks close to the middle in terms of its overall cost of living index. On a ranking scale where 100 is the average and anything higher is more expensive, Lombard sits at 114. That means it’s about 15% higher than the average Illinois city and 14% higher than the national average. This is mainly due to the cost of housing which is 30% higher than the national average, and goods and services which are even higher at 33%. So, with numbers like that, where’s the good news you ask? Well, it can be found in the costs of healthcare, utilities, transportation, and groceries. All of these hover right around 10% above the national average, which is quite good for the Chicago area.
When considering a place to spend retirement, it’s important to look at the cost of living as a whole rather than piecemeal. Though Lombard may seem pricey when compared to similar small population centers, consider the fact that it’s proximity to Chicago gives access to goods and services usually reserved for major urban centers. Residents of Lombard get to retire in a secluded, relaxing suburb, while also having access to all of the benefits of living in the nation’s third largest metropolitan area. And the best part is you don’t have to live in the traffic and noise to get those perks. Being a short ride away means they’re always there if you want them, but you can forget all about them in the small-town feeling of Lombard, Illinois.
Lombard is truly a great place to retire if healthcare is a priority for you. With an extensive array of healthcare systems and providers, including the National University of Health Sciences, it’s safe to say that some of the best doctors and specialists to be found anywhere are located right in Lombard. According to research from Data USA, Lombard has an outstanding clinician to patient ratio of 1 to 134 and the range of services offered are equivalent to what you’d find in any major urban area. Plus, because of the small-town atmosphere Lombard is famous for, the care you receive has a more intimate, personal feel than what you’d expect to receive in a big city office.
Perhaps the best thing about Lombard healthcare services is the variety of choices available for seniors of all ages. This variety gives you the power to take control of your healthcare and find the providers that best suit your personal needs. With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect provider in every field you require to deliver the service you need without traveling a great distance. Lombard really does make healthcare easy – from access to care to choice of provider. It’s that freedom of choice that’s important, no matter where we are in life, and becomes even more so in our retirement years.
Whether you keep driving all of your life, or decide that the expense is not worth the effort anymore, Lombard is a perfect place for you to retire. As a suburb of Chicago, you have access to all the major arteries that pass through on their way across the state and the nation. You also benefit from the extensive public transportation that Chicago is famous for – like the L trains. In fact, by taking Pace Bus Route 322 from Yorktown Center, one of Lombard’s favorite shopping destinations, you can reach the Pink Line at Cermak, which will take you into the Loop. From there you can reach anywhere you can imagine.
The village itself does all it can to make getting around the city as easy as possible. They offer several programs aimed at reducing the fees, or removing them altogether, for seniors who take taxis or ride public transportation. These programs are described in detail on the city website and stay relatively consistent throughout the year. There’s also the Pace system as mentioned above that runs an efficient and reliable bus system in and around Lombard. The details of the Pace Bus routes and their schedules can be found on their website and by using the Pace app, available from the Google Play Store or iTunes.
Much like Lombard, Elmhurst, Illinois is a fantastic place to spend your retirement for a lot of very similar reasons. With a slightly higher cost associated with most things in Elmhurst, it may seem like an odd choice for retirees, but that doesn’t account for the fact that it is adjacent to one of the nation’s largest cities. After all, you can’t talk about Elmhurst without talking about Chicago, considering they are less than 15 miles away from each other. It’s not uncommon for people new to the area to be unclear about when they’ve entered and exited cities like Elmhurst because Chicago is so prevalent in the suburban nature- always staring over the shoulder of every suburb it supports.
On the same scale used to rate Lombard a 114, Elmhurst finds itself with a rating of 132 – substantially higher. This is mainly due to the high cost of housing in the area as a result of high-end developments being built in the early 2000s. However, relatively inexpensive housing can be found and the majority of mortgages and rents are closer to the national average. Goods and services are higher as well, but that’s as much a reflection of the offerings as it is the base price for goods.
One of the balancing acts in any city takes place between what shoppers want and what the majority can afford. So, if a city like Elmhurst has more high-end retail options, the pricing will be skewed whenever indexing like this takes place. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t the same options for discount shopping available, just that those prices are averaged out higher due to the increased upper echelon offerings found throughout the city.
Elmhurst offers its residents far more healthcare options than most cities of 45,000 people and its retirees are treated to an even greater selection of providers due to the various systems and hospitals in the area. In the same ways that any suburb of Chicago benefits from having the Second City so close, Elmhurst gets to supplement its own impressive healthcare options with the providers that are found across the Greater Chicago area. With access to that so many options, you’re guaranteed to find a doctor or specialist for all your needs. That’s exactly the kind of peace of mind every retiree is looking for.
With a clinician for every 134 residents, Elmhurst is way above the national average. The range of services, and possible providers, stand up favorably to the offerings of much larger cities, yet you can access them in a much more relaxed, inviting atmosphere. No need to fight your way into a bustling metropolis to see a specialist when you retire in Elmhurst. The doctor or practitioner you need is likely just around the corner. What could possibly be better than that?
The simple answer is yes. Elmhurst is bursting with transportation options to fit any budget and any preference. If you like buses and trains, then Elmhurst is for you. With service from Pace and the CTA – not to mention the Metra trains, you’re sure to find the routes and schedules to fit your retirement lifestyle. You could also qualify for special rates from the transportation service as an Elmhurst senior. All you have to do is check their website every now and then to stay ahead of the game when it comes to senior fares.
For those who don’t want to drive, but would rather be driven than ride, you can always rely on one of the many taxi services that serve Elmhurst. There are four trusted providers the city has selected for inclusion on the transportation page of their website. You can also use a service like Uber or Lyft anywhere in Elmhurst to get from point A to point B. Wherever you want to go, there’s a way to get you there, so retiring in Elmhurst is possible without any car whatsoever. According to the Chicago Transit Authority, one could save upwards of $10K a year in maintenance and fuel costs. That’s music to most retirees’ ears.
Clearly, Lombard and Elmhurst are great places to retire. They both offer convenient access to Chicago, each with a flavor that’s wholly unique and different. Lombard brings small-town America into a major urban center, while Elmhurst adds a more modern touch to the suburban experience. Both cities have two things in common: great people and a welcoming nature. So, before you decide where you’ll retire or consider going elsewhere, think about all these cities have to offer. At the end of the day, it may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Additional Senior Information