Two cities in the Land of Enchantment have made the list of Top 20 Cities for LGBT-friendly retirement in 2018 by SeniorAdvice.com.
SeniorAdvice.com is one of the nation’s leading senior housing referral services, according to the company’s news release. This is the website’s second annual list for best retirement cities for LGBT seniors. SeniorAdvice included both medium-sized and large U.S. cities in the 2018 list, defining medium-sized cities as those with 50,000 to 500,000 residents and large cities as those with over 500,000 residents.
The 20 cities on this year’s list were chosen based on a variety of factors, including percentage of LGBT population in the area, available social activities and festivals, presence of gay-friendly senior communities, LGBT Chamber of Commerce presence and more. SeniorAdvice also based rankings on the cities’ SeniorScore, an algorithm that determines how well a city accommodates the needs of senior citizens, incorporating variables such as access to health care and population of senior residents. Data comes from sources including Medicare and the U.S. Census Bureau. The SeniorScore is broken into four categories: health and safety, recreation and leisure, finances and general quality of life.
Ranking No. 6 is New Mexico’s capital, with a SeniorScore of 75 percent. Santa Fe boasts a high senior population of 14 percent, according to SeniorAdvice. SeniorAdvice commends Santa Fe for its "fresh and progressive stance" toward the LGBT community, despite being America’s oldest capital city. Its abundance of culture, art, shopping and dining also contribute to its desirable atmosphere, perfect for gay retirees, according to SeniorAdvice. There are also numerous senior living facilities in and around the city, including Birds of a Feather in Pecos, New Mexico, which ranked No. 9 on SeniorAdvice’s list of Top 15 LGBT-Friendly Senior Living Communities in the U.S. Founded in 2004, Birds of a Feather is a thriving LGBT-friendly senior community on a 140-acre property just outside of the village of Pecos and 30 minutes east of Santa Fe.
The Duke City ranks No. 18 out of the top 20 cities in the country for LGBT-friendly retirement with a SeniorScore of 73 percent. SeniorAdvice recognizes Albuquerque for its low property taxes and great weather. Albuquerque is also home to Equality NM, a statewide LGBT advocacy and civil rights organization that spearheads policy changes on behalf of the LGBTQ community. The Duke City hosts the annual Pride Fest at Expo NM and is home to numerous gay-friendly hot spots and gay-owned local businesses, serving as an all-around destination for the LGBTQ traveler, according to the Visit Albuquerque website.
The LGBT community is a big contributor to New Mexico’s economy, both as sellers and consumers. Thirteen companies made last year’s list by Albuquerque Business First of the top LGBT-owned businesses in the state. The leading six companies submitted 2016 revenue figures that totaled about $19 million.