Retirement can be a scary experience, as senior citizens well know. The long-term implications about what to do with your time, how to support yourself, where to stay, what type of insurance you will require can be quite overwhelming. But for someone who is just entering retirement, the immediate thrill of never having to work for a living again can be quite exciting. Most people, by this time, already have plans on what hobbies to pursue and what trips to make.
It is the latter that is the subject of discussion here; however, unlike other articles on retirement travel, we’re not here to tell you where to go. Actually, we’re going to do the exact opposite. We’re here to warn you about a few places – places that you don’t want to visit on your retirement trip if you want to live out your life to a ripe old age!
Yes, this fourth most populous U.S. city is NOT recommended for senior citizens who prefer to walk to where they want to go. Apparently, the State of Texas itself is not very “pedestrian-friendly”, as some put it. Harris County, where Houston is located, contributes to some 20 per cent of all pedestrian accidents in the state. So, if you’re thinking of making a retirement trip to Houston, make sure you have a car that you can use to move around in. You don’t want to become part of the accident statistic!
The Tri-State Area
Another part of the United States that you don’t want to make a trip to, as a newly-retired person, is the Tri-state area made up of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Statistics here, too, show that senior pedestrians are at greater risk here than anywhere else in the United States: in fact, 68 per cent greater than other places in the country! Again, as with Houston, if you must use your legs, use them for cycling – or even tanning. That is, assuming that you want to keep collecting your retirement benefits for years to come!
Other Cities in the United States
While we are within U.S. borders, let’s take a look at some other places where senior pedestrians are at greater risk. Florida, California, Nevada, Tennessee and Arizona also feature in the Top 10 list for pedestrian accidents. In short, wherever there are fast cars and crossroads, take the bus!
Around the World
Of course, we don’t mean to paint a bad picture of pedestrian risks in the United States. So, to balance this out, let’s see some other places around the world that are equally hostile to retirees:
Smaller Asian Countries
The risks associated with these smaller nations are more health-related than anything else. Yes, road users are certainly facing death every few minutes, but the main problem here is disease. If you’ve been a frequent traveler, you already know that you have to take a number of shots before you leave your shores. While this covers most of the common infectious diseases, seniors still find that the water and food in some smaller Asian countries do not agree with them, debilitating them with diarrhea or vomiting throughout their trip – often at the cost of a weakened constitution once they get back home.
Therefore, it is recommended that senior tourists stick to the beaten path. Go to Europe or Australia, or even Afghanistan or Iraq, for that matter! Some say that the chances of getting hit by an enemy bullet are slimmer than getting diarrhea when travelling through Asia. Naturally, not all small Asian nations are like that; you would have to do your homework really well, especially finding out more about their respective local cuisine which could be detrimental to your health. Taking a few precautions about the diet wouldn’t hurt at all.
High Altitude Places
Mountain climbing is best left to the young-at-body, as scientists have shown. As we grow older, our blood’s ability to carry hemoglobin – that’s the protein that helps transport oxygen from the lungs to the heart and then to the other parts of the body – keeps diminishing. This means that senior citizens are naturally more susceptible to high-altitude sickness. Not just the seniors, but even children and pregnant woman are regularly warned not to go where the atmospheric oxygen content is lower than at sea level.
For this reason, if you’re planning a holiday in the Swiss Alps, for example, check with your doctor if that’s the best thing to do. Of course, not all seniors are susceptible to the dangers of high altitude but, as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Places that are Either Too Hot or Too Cold
Aging takes its toll on overall health, and visiting places that are either too hot or too cold to handle can make your trip a living hell. It is a known fact that the older you get, the lower your ability to sweat becomes. Sweating is a natural air-conditioning system that the body needs, to maintain normal temperature. So, if you find that you don’t sweat as much as you used to in your younger days, this means it’s best to stay away from hotter climates.
The other end of hot climates is cold weather. Unless you’re a mountain man or woman, your body can’t adjust to cold weather – just as it can’t adjust to very warm weather. If you want your retirement trip to be one that is remembered for the good things, then you had better stay away from Africa and Antarctica!
Naturally, we don’t want to generalize anything here, so apologies are made all round if you are offended in any way. Our objective, however, is to keep you safe so you can live out the rest of your days in comfort and good memories.
This is not to say that senior citizens are barred from enjoying the benefits of these places, but on the whole, the cons far outweigh the pros in every instance. If you’re a dare-devil with a ‘who cares’ attitude, then by all means subject yourself to the rigors and risks of these places we’ve told you about. But after reading this, you can’t say you weren’t warned! Bon Voyage!