I live about an hour’s drive from the beach. I find that’s a pretty sweet locale. It has been a great place to raise my kids. When they were younger we spent many weekends driving back and forth to the beach, hanging out all day, picnicking. My husband and I anticipate that when the last one is finished with college and, finally, our money is our own, we can upgrade and actually live on the beach. I look forward to a tiny condo with a gorgeous ocean view. That is, until I read about these places that were rated as the greatest places to live according to a Mercer Quality of Life survey:

#1 is Vienna. Apparently it is a very “sophisticated” city with low crime and great living standards. The definition of “sophisticated” is: developed to a high degree of complexity. I don’t like complicated. I DO like low crime rates, however. But, with the hottest month of July only getting the mercury up to about 66 degrees Fahrenheit and average annual temperature being around forty degrees Fahrenheit, Vienna is too cold to be my idea of paradise.

#2 is Zurich. Sitting lakeside, this city in Switzerland is, as far as I’m concerned, also too cold to be Paradise. On average, it’s even colder than Vienna. Although it has the benefit of a fantastic water feature, Lake Zurich, it’s just too darn cold for me to really enjoy it.

#3 is Auckland. New Zealand may be much more welcoming to a beach bum like myself. The average daily temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer’s top out around 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter lows are rarely freezing and, if it does get that cold, it doesn’t last too long. Being an island city, I just might find myself at home in Auckland.

#4 is Munich – This city is the third largest in Germany. It is also an art and cultural mecca. Again, this place is just too cold for a hot-blooded tropical denizen like myself. The average daily temperature of its hottest month is 64 degrees Fahrenheit. That is definitely not flip-flop weather. Although the lure of art museums and rich, historical architecture is very tempting, I still have to pass.

#5 is Vancouver – Sitting a little closer to home for me, Canada is home to a great seaport city with a very low crime rate. But is personal safety enough to make me happy in my old age? The extreme temperature range throughout the year is about 38 degrees Fahrenheit on the low end and 64 degrees Fahrenheit on the high end, and 46 degrees Fahrenheit as a daily average. For a retirement age possibility of old, arthritic joints, this is just too darn cold.

#6 is Dusseldorf. Another German city, I do believe the answer is already known regarding how I feel.  It will most definitely be too cold for my personal pleasure. When I’m pushing ninety years of age I do not want to be struggling with snow boots and layers of thermal wear.

#7 is Frankfurt. I won’t even bother. It’s in Germany. Germany is too frigid to qualify as my retirement haven, no matter how fabulous, safe and gorgeous the country may be.

#8 is Geneva. Switzerland has a top ten ranked city again. But, that doesn’t change the fact that the entire nation it is cold no matter where you are within its borders, every single day of the year. I would love to visit, but it will not be the place I want my old bones to rest permanently.

#9 is Copenhagen. The average daily temperature in Denmark’s capital city is 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The only possible reason I would even consider braving such uncomfortable cold is because of its fine history of practicing gender equality. It has set a standard for the rest of the world to follow. The city is also filled with fantastic architecture and a rich cultural history. But, it’s just not enough. I would be miserable if I couldn’t be dressed in my comfy beachwear every day.

#10 is Sydney. Australia, like New Zealand, could be a possibility. Warmer climates are the determining factor in where I want to spend my twilight years. In Sydney, I may have found my future retirement community. Average daily temperature is 81 degrees Fahrenheit. That is my perfect temp of choice. And the coldest it ever gets is in the 50 degree Fahrenheit range. This climate is very similar to where I am living now.

As my retirement years approach, if I become bored with beach living in the States, it seems Australia may offer exactly what I’m looking for: low crime, good quality of life, diverse culture, and the perfect climate. I just have to go to the other side of the world to find exactly what I’ve got here. Sounds crazy. Relocate? No way.



Written by Gemma