Aiken on List of Best Places for Boomers

Febrary 8, 2009, AIKEN—- When David Jameson, the president of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, heard that Aiken was recognized as a great place for baby boomers, he wasn’t surprised.

“What really crossed my mind is this really helps complete the picture when you look at all the recognitions we’ve had in the last 12 months—100 Best Places for Young People, 100 Best Places to Live, 10 Best Places in the Carolinas, a Southern Charm Community—the list goes on and on,” he said. “Now that we’re being recognized for the boomers just completes the picture as far as I’m concerned.”

Aiken was among 21 towns across the country chosen last month as 2009 Best Places to Thrive by Towns on the list included Athens, Ga.; Austin, Texas; and Chapel Hill, N.C.

According to the Web site, boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.

“You are stylish, active and resourceful,” the site states. “You are searching for less stress and more living, you may be an empty nester, you prefer less traffic, fewer taxes and more fresh air and exciting activities!”

Aiken has always been considered a retirement community, and more boomers are beginning to hit retirement age.

“Boomers don’t want to be in big retirement communities in Florida or in high-rise buildings somewhere,” Mr. Jameson said. “They still want neighborhoods, and they still want a range of ages. They still want engagement and activities and places to volunteer, and Aiken just has all that to offer.”

According to the Web site, each city was chosen for the active boomer, and each city chosen offered excellent health care, a university, airport access, fine dining, low crime, cultural activities, beautiful weather, active lifestyle, lower average cost of living and a range of home sizes and prices.

“Aiken is just a very sophisticated small town,” Mr. Jameson said. “It’s just a special place, and I think that it doesn’t take but one visit to convince someone what a special place it is.”

From the Sunday, February 08, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle