Tulsa Aiming to be Retirement Destination City

KTUL - December 20, 2023 1:46 pm

Tulsa, Oklahoma

At the LIFE Senior Services East Side Senior Center near 15th and Harvard, there was a Bingo game in the main lobby and a pickleball game in the gymnasium — retirees making the most of what Tulsa has to offer.

What’s it like being retired in Tulsa?

“Well, there’s a lot of things to do,” said 78-year-old Sam Gillentine. He chose to retire in Tulsa after living in Southern California. He made the move to be closer to family, and the cost of living was a bonus.

“Real estate is a lot cheaper here,” he laughed.

Meanwhile, at city hall, making Tulsa a “retirement destination city” is the focus of a new resolution.

“The city’s very inviting to be a retirement destination city,” said Tulsa city councilor Jayme Fowler, spearheading an initiative to get a special designation from AARP as an age-friendly city.

“We’re going to work with the people at AARP and we have to go through a number of different metrics to qualify as a retirement destination city,” he said.

“Tulsa is on a great path to receive the age-friendly designation,” said Joy McGill of AARP Oklahoma.

The process assesses a community through eight different lenses and looks at ways to help meet the needs of older adults.

Tulsa aiming to be retirement destination city (KTUL/Courtesy AARP)

“By 2030, one in five individuals will be 65 years or older, so we’re seeing the growth of an older population. We need to make sure that our communities, and certainly the city of Tulsa, is planning ahead for that,” said McGill.

Promoting T-town as a place to retire, with Sam’s seal of approval already secured.

If there are other folks in the country considering a place to retire to would you recommend Tulsa?

“Certainly, there’s a lot of things to do and there’s a lot of diversity,” he said.


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