In media and entertainment, small towns like Mayberry conjure up idyllic feelings of a simpler life surrounded by friendly neighbors. Small town living has its perks, and retirees have taken notice. More are choosing to ditch city life and settle down in towns with populations under 10,000. The safe streets, affordability, comfort, and air of nostalgia make small towns a popular choice when considering retirement.
Small Town Benefits
Less Traffic & Noise
Small towns offer an ease in getting around. Traffic jams are rarely a worry – unless a slow-moving tractor is on the road! Less traffic allows you to reach stores and entertainment with an easy commute. Fewer cars on the road also means less noise. Instead of hearing the hum of traffic, in a small town you’ll enjoy the relaxing sound of birds chirping and leaves rustling.
Modern Amenities Nearby
Most small towns offer the modern amenities we’re all used to. Internet and cable television are available and medical facilities and postal services are usually nearby. You can pick up your necessities at the local pharmacy and grocery store and enjoy your favorite cup of coffee or ice cream treat at the family diner. Paul and Mary Moore, residents of the Snyder Village retirement community in Metamora, IL, enjoy the convenience of having amenities nearby. “Most of our errands (post office, library, pharmacy, doctor, dentist, and barber) can be done at the local town square, within walking distance from Snyder Village,” explains Mary.
Just because a town is smaller in size and stature doesn’t mean that it’s cut off from large city amenities. For example, Metamora, IL, is less than 20 miles from the large Trauma 1 hospitals in Peoria, IL, and a short drive to restaurants and shopping found in Peoria.
Moving out of the city provides more space to enjoy. Small towns are often surrounded by acres of natural beauty begging to be explored. Driving out of town can lead to the picturesque scenery of barns, fields, or forests. There are nearby opportunities to enjoy hobbies such as fishing, hunting, hiking, or visiting wineries, and there’s plenty of space to plant a garden or just enjoy being in nature.
With more room to spread out, there’s also more opportunity to safely walk or bike around town. The spacious campus at Snyder Village is one aspect Paul and Mary enjoy most about the retirement community. “We think Snyder Village is great,” says Paul. “It’s really fit our lifestyle. It’s really opened up lifestyle to us. One thing we really love is that we can walk safely on the sidewalks, on the roads, and the traffic is very slow and calm. That’s a big plus for us.”
Vibrant Culture Scene
Just because a town has fewer people doesn’t mean that entertainment and cultural opportunities are also fewer. In fact, many small towns are bursting with local pride and enjoy celebrating life together. Festivals, carnivals, live music, farmers markets, and craft fairs often fill the weekends, and local boutique shops and unique restaurants line the main streets. It seems that every resident becomes a fan of the local high school sports teams, which offers plenty of opportunity for sport entertainment. A favorite summertime activity in Metamora, IL, is the free outdoor concerts at the band stand in the charming town square. Residents enjoy the lively music while feasting on delicious pie that is available for purchase.
Sense of Community
There’s a certain intimacy within a small town that naturally leads to a strong sense of community. More often than not, neighbors are eager to develop relationship with one another, and residents come to know local business owners and politicians as well. A sense of neighborly love can be seen, not only during the good celebratory times, but during times of hardship when residents band together to help one another. Although a lack of privacy may bother some who are used to keeping to themselves, the caring neighbors of a small town can provide a strong support system when it’s needed most.
Living in a big city often comes with a big price tag, where housing, food, and taxes are higher priced. Real estate in smaller towns is usually cheaper and the overall cost of living is lower. This equates to more opportunity to become a homeowner while living within your means.
More often than not, the crime rate of a small town is significantly lower than a larger city. Violent crimes occur less frequently, which leads to a more care-free lifestyle. A walk down the street can be enjoyed without the constant fear of being mugged or injured in some way. The local police force or sheriff department is less burdened in a small town and can focus its attention on making sure the residents are safe. And with caring neighbors keeping a watchful eye, neighborhood watches can further help reduce crime.
If you’re yearning to get away from the hustle and bustle of a city, moving to a small town for your retirement years may provide the relaxation and pace of life you’re craving. Living in a small town is not for everyone, but is it for you?
Snyder Village in Metamora is a Life Plan Community that offers independent living in its retirement cottages and apartments. Beautiful assisted living accommodations, memory care programs, skilled nursing care, and physical therapy are also available on campus. Its home care services support individuals in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, and Marshall Counties. For more information, call (309) 367-4300 or visit www.snydervillage.com.