Ronni Hannaman: Carson City again honored as best place to retire

McFadden Plaza will soon come to life as merchants open their colorful umbrellas. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)

McFadden Plaza will soon come to life as merchants open their colorful umbrellas. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)

Every state has at least one great city in which to retire and that city in Nevada is Carson City according to the insurance company, Insurify.
So, if you’ve recently retired here, pat yourself on the back. You’ve made a great choice. Those of us growing up here or living here for a while always knew that so we get a double pat.
For those long-time residents, we’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, always for the better. For those just moving here, we’re not yet done improving since ours is a forward-thinking city even though we are small (56,000) and can’t grow a lot because of our 144 square mile border limitation. Once you’ve started on the path to remodeling or redeveloping, it’s hard not to continue.
Insurify is based out of Cambridge, Mass., and has a team of “data scientists and content specialists” to conduct all sorts of studies, one of which is their annual assessment on cities in which to retire based on real estate affordability, life expectancy, accessibility to healthcare, low rate of property and violent crime, and driver and passenger safety. The company uses statistics from national organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. crime stats, and who independently conduct exhaustive studies.
So, it’s not the Chamber or the City to which they turn for stats.
It’s always interesting to learn how others see us. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are. Keep in mind, however, that we are not just a great place to retire, but a great place overall to live, work, and thrive — as the ad for Carson Tahoe Health claims.
Some mistakenly think ours is already a city of retirees. That’s a myth, for the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau stats show a population of over 65 at 19.8%. We doubt many moved in 2020, so that stat would still hold. On the flip side, the bureau shows 20.5% under 18 which gives us a rather balanced population between the youth and older adults.
As our city wakes up after our COVID Coma, expect to see the signature events come back in force. Soon the flower baskets will be hung on Carson Street providing that pop of color, and the colorful umbrellas will again dot McFadden Plaza to entice you to sit and enjoy people watching.
The Farmer’s Market will soon open at their new location across the street from the Carson Nugget enticing you to buy the freshest fruits and vegetable available. We’ll again see parades of vintage cars.
Until we can get to where we were before this pandemic blindsided us, be sure to take advantage of this great weather while enjoying our amazing history.
Take a walk along the Kit Carson Trail in our historic downtown. Enjoy one or all of our great museums – you’d be surprised how many locals forget these great diversions. Walk through the Legislative Plaza and take a selfie with Kit Carson. Stroll through the former site of the Stewart Indian School, stopping in to visit the free museum. Soon, you can add the Nevada State Prison Museum to the list.
There are so many hiking trails and now the new bicycle trail along South Carson Street makes it even easier to safely tour the downtown and connect to trails. Take a stroll to see how the bees are thriving in their specially built habitat along the Foothill Trail behind the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center. Check out Carson’s own waterfall. More information can be found on the city’s Parks and Recreation site at
Even the Lone Mountain Cemetery provides the backdrop for a great outing. See if you can find the gravesite of the famous stagecoach driver Hank Monk and the burial plot for our founder Abe Curry. There’s a whole history lesson waiting to be learned there.
If you look at Carson City with fresh eyes, you’ll understand why Insurify writes, “While it’s possible to find a handful of appealing retirement cities in every state, there are a select few that stand out from the rest for the exceptional quality of life they offer retirees. These cities strike the perfect balance between affordability, safety, and healthcare accessibility.” Yup, sounds like Carson City to us!
Ronni Hannaman is the executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce and a 22-year resident.


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