Uncategorized January 16, 2023

Winchester VA Best Retirement Destination

Best retirement destination


The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Another national organization has identified Winchester as an ideal retirement destination.

World Atlas, an information resource for topics ranging from geography, demographics and sociology to the environment, economics, politics, and travel, released this week a list of the 11 best places in Virginia to retire and Winchester held the No. 1 position.

World Atlas is not alone in its assessment. Since 2011, Winchester has consistently earned similar retirement-related recognitions from other national publications including Reader’s Digest, AARP The Magazine, MarketWatch. com, Forbes magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Fidelity. com and Where to Retire magazine.

City Manager Dan Hoffman said on Wednesday he is pleased Winchester’s amenities, services and ambiance are becoming known to aspiring retirees nationwide.

“Whether it’s making sure we have enough senior housing or activities and amenities at Jim Barnett Park, we’re always looking for opportunities to make sure that folks here can age gracefully and enjoyably,” he said. “I moved my mom here shortly after I got to town [in 2020]. She’s retired and she loves it.”

Hoffman noted that many of the things that make Winchester an ideal place for retirees are a benefit to everyone in the community.

“We want to be a city that’s inclusive for all ages,” he said. “ The fact that we’re a great place to retire is testament to how solid a city we are for all ages.”

According to World Atlas, whose list of Virginia’s best retirement locales focuses on communities with small-town environments and high-quality amenities, Winchester “ranks evenly across all boards, with a median home value of $338,015, … a 1% lower crime rate and A+ amenities.”

“The town at the very tip of northern Virginia with easy access to Maryland has a vibrant culture and rich heritage rooted in the American Revolution and Civil War,” the article by World Atlas contributor Alisa Mala states. “There is plentiful outdoors space and activities to partake in the fresh air. Downtown Winchester awaits shopping

See Retirement, Page A10

ABOVE: East Boscawen Street at Cameron Street in downtown Winchester Monday morning with a sign on the grounds of Rouss City Hall.

RIGHT: The Handley Library is seen in downtown Winchester.


From Page A1

and dining opportunities to diversify each day and evening pastime with options that will suit all styles and palettes for family visits.”

While World Atlas states the median value of a single- family home in Winchester has risen to $338,015, the real estate service Zillow. com lists an even higher median value of $ 351,839. According to Zillow. com, the city’s current median home value has increased by more than $130,000 since August 2014, when an average single- family home in Winchester was appraised at $219,426.

The alarming rise in home values is due to an increasing demand for Winchester’s limited stock of housing, a situation that has had the concurrent effect of driving up the costs to rent or buy a house or apartment. That could create a barrier for aspiring retirees who cannot afford a retirement home in Winchester, but Hoffman said city officials are working to ensure that everyone can find an affordable dwelling here.

“One of the things we’ve been working with [ Blue Ridge] Habitat for Humanity on is making sure that we have resources for people that do want to age in place rather than move into more expensive assisted-living facilities,” he said. “And we have some senior housing units in the development pipeline that we hope come to fruition and keep costs reasonable.”

The other 10 cities on World Atlas’ list of the 11 best places to retire in Virginia, in descending order starting with No. 11, are Abingdon, Bedford, Blacksburg, Colonial Heights, Danville, Fredericksburg, Martinsville, South Boston, Staunton and Williamsburg.

For more information, visit worldatlas. com.

— Contact Brian Brehm at bbrehm@winchesterstar.com

The south entrance to the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Winchester Wednesday morning.