Quiet, Beautiful Spaces
A quiet neighbourhood means more to a satisfying retirement than you might have thought. Research shows that people can get used to an ugly street or even cold weather—one US study showed that people in Minnesota are happier than people in Florida. What can ruin the sunniest climate, however, is the noise of traffic, neighbours or industry. Finding a quiet place isn’t that hard in Saskatchewan, even if you want to live in a large town or city.
OK, the people living next to Mosaic Stadium might have to be excepted here—but only for part of the year.
A Place to Fulfill Your Purpose
Monumental stone walls, massive gardens, architectural oddities and wonders—this is what retired people get up to in Saskatchewan. Grand exhibits aren’t for everyone, of course. Some retirees spend their energy on philanthropy, art, or even political activism.
Experts in retirement say that identifying the purpose or purposes you will have after your career is vitally important. Even if not being at home very much—say for international travel—is part of your plan, Saskatchewan is an excellent home base. Well connected airports take care of that. The costs of establishing a retirement base in our province can be significantly less than elsewhere which can leave more of your resources for personal pursuits.
In fact, the many “retired” people in Saskatchewan are the subjects of so many Prairies North stories. I have a few ambitious projects myself lurking in the back of the shed for a later day.
Clean Air to Breathe
Everyone loves clean, fresh air. Saskatchewan’s agricultural landscape has a reputation for its pure air and despite changes to farming techniques and increases in natural resource exploitation, this is still a reality.
According to a Heart & Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan report from 2008, our province enjoys significantly purer air than our neighbouring provinces. By the Foundation’s rigorous standards, we score a “B” for our air compared to our neighbours who score in the “D” to “F” categories.
OK, don’t be smug—they’re still our neighbours.
New Zealand has been celebrated as having the best air in the world. A World Bank research project in 2008 compared air quality around the world by measuring atmospheric particulate matter in major centres. Saskatchewan showed very similar high quality air to that of New Zealand.
It shouldn’t be too long before we can grow kiwis here, too.
Overall, Canada is one the best countries in the world for air quality and the prairies are at the top of the list for good air—and that even includes our cities.
Easy Access to Things You Like
Churches, community centres, parks, favourite places to shop and many other things that make retirement enjoyable need to be easily accessible. When choosing the community that will suit your retirement preferences, it will not be hard to find one in Saskatchewan that makes getting where you need to be quite easy.
Of course, this is Saskatchewan. People love to get out and are slightly hardier than most when it comes to getting to a social event. I was invited to a Shrove Tuesday supper by one of our senior readers in the depths of winter not long ago. She and a church full of her friends were undaunted by the cold. Who could resist making it for sausages and pancakes when it’s -20?
I’m starting to think that cottage communities are going to become a stronger political voice than the cities in this province. Maybe the best thing we could all do is make our move to the lake now instead of waiting. Word is getting out that the last refuge for cottage areas where you can truly get away from the noise and bustle of everyday life is right here in Saskatchewan.