Archived Story

Author lists Albert Lea as a good place to retire

Published 12:38pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The founder of a retirement planning website has listed Albert Lea as a city in which baby boomers want to retire.

A headline on Huffington Post reads: “The 50 Cities in America That Boomers Never Want To Leave.”

The author, Moira McGarvey, is the founder of She listed one city for each state, and for Minnesota, she listed Albert Lea. She provides a link to the page for the city, which features a winter photo of the boathouse at Brookside Park.

“The city is about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities. It is on the shores of Fountain Lake, Pickerel Lake, Albert Lea Lake, Goose Lake, School Lake and Lake Chapeau,” the site reads.

The site offers a Google map, spells out basic facts (see box) and provides a link to the Albert Lea Tribune. Another link takes web surfers to a page with more facts from the 2010 census. Yet another link allows people to compare Albert Lea with other cities.

McGarvey doesn’t explain why she picked Albert Lea, but she does write about her selection of cities in general.

“Using U.S. Census data and our own proprietary data, we wanted to figure out which town in each state has the highest percentage of boomers electing to stay versus move out. We wanted to see which hometowns across the country were the stickiest with people 55-plus paying off their mortgages and staying put. We call it stay-tirement. We’re not exactly sure what each and every individual town has to offer. Might be the environment or activities, weather, sense of community, extended family, cost of living or proximity to services,” she writes.

Albert Lea Convention and Visitor Bureau Executive Director Susie Petersen was happy to see Albert Lea get the national attention. She said she believes the quality of life is why McGarvey picked Albert Lea.

“Our beautiful lakes that surround the community, walking paths and trails, quality health care, safe and friendly neighborhoods are just a few of the many qualities of living in Albert Lea,” Petersen said. “There are many recreational, culture, arts and volunteer opportunities to be involved in.”

She said Albert Lea has a sense of community that people seek in a small town but is big enough to have handy amenities such as a choice of restaurants and stores. Being close enough to travel to a metropolitan area is helpful, too, she said.

Find a link to the Huffington Post article at the Albert Lea Tribune’s website.


Getting attention

Basic facts shown at about Albert Lea:


• Overall rating: 3 out of 4 dots

• Population: 18,046

• Median age: 44

• Median home value: $94,300

• Median household income: $35,792

• Cost of living: average

• Precipitation: 34 inches

• Avg summer temp: 70 degrees

• Avg winter temp: 17 degrees

• Hospitals: 1