Recent study says retiring to Lake Charles could shorten life expectancy

Published: Jul. 31, 2019 at 11:17 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - When thinking about retirement, most are looking for a relaxing spot to live out their days, but a recent study is looking at how many days that might be — depending on the place you end up.

A study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research followed Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older from 1999 to 2014. According to the study, if someone living in the bottom 10 cities moved to one of the top 10, their life expectancy could increase.

The top 10 are:

  1. Yonkers, NY
  2. New York, NY
  3. Syracuse, NY
  4. Port St. Lucie, FL
  5. North Port, FL
  6. Harrisonburg, VA
  7. Bridgeport, CT
  8. Wilmington, NC
  9. Asheville, NC
  10. Lancaster, PA

The bottom 10, 10 being the worst:

  1. Shreveport, LA
  2. Gallup, NM
  3. Salt Lake City, UT
  4. Joplin, MO
  5. Emporia, KS
  6. Gulfport, MS
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Bakersfield, CA
  9. Beaumont, TX
  10. Lake Charles, LA

Yonkers is at the top spot which, according to the study, means if someone moved there after retiring, it could add over a year to someone’s life.

Lake Charles on the other hand, was at the very bottom of the list — making it the worst place to move at the average retirement age of 65. The study said if someone moved here after retirement, it could actually take nine months off of someone’s life.

7 News asked residents how they liked living here.

“I came back to Louisiana after 43 years of being away and I’ve been now in lake Charles for 9 years. Not a bad place to live, nice place to retire," Joseph Rideaux said.

“Uh, it’s okay,” Dernisha Sweet said.

“Uh, I like it a lot. I like the small town atmosphere of it," Paul Barilleaux said.

After we asked them how they liked living here, we told them the results of the study.

When asked if he was surprised by the results, Barilleaux said, “Sadly, no.”

“I can kind of see that. I mean, there’s a lot of violence and crime going on," Kourtney Pitre said.

Rideaux said in the grand scheme of life, that decrease is no time at all.

“9 months can be taken off your life you mean? That doesn’t mean anything to me at this point I’m not worried about that," Rideaux said, laughing.

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