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Member of the World Health Organization Global Network of age-friendly Cities and Communities

Making Boston Age Friendly: The Age-Friendly Boston project works with the City’s public agencies, businesses, cultural, educational, and religious institutions, and community groups

“We are dedicated to making Boston the best city in the world for older adults. We keep this goal in mind with every planning effort we embark on, and we share a responsibility to ensure opportunities reach everyone in our City, across all ages and abilities.”

What is the Age Friendly Action Plan?

What does it mean to be an age-friendly city? It means a city that adapts its structures and services to be accessible and inclusive to residents of all ages and abilities. The Age-Friendly Boston Action Plan is our City’s blueprint to make Boston the best city to live and age in. The plan details 75 concrete action items the City will take to become even more age friendly.

Intersecting Initiatives

The Age-Friendly Action Plan is part of comprehensive planning efforts on the part of the City and will be integrated into the other processes. These plans are re-enforcing and reflecting each other where there is synergy.

Our Philosophy and Process

The age-friendly process has been a grassroots effort and a bottom-up approach. Our action items came directly out of the diverse voices from Boston’s neighborhoods, ages 50 and over. Since this is a three-year Action Plan, we have included action items that we are confident can be completed within this time with interdepartmental support and community partners. We will continue to refine and build on other ideas generated through this process.

ContactsEmily Shea, Commissioner on Elder Affairs

One Ashburton Place

Boston, MA 20108


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I think Cambridge is really good for older people in general. There are senior living options and plenty of things to do for someone my age. I have lived here for a long time and it is clear to me that the local Government here cares about the wellbeing of the elderly.


Outstanding Public Transit Systems


major concern is cost of living and employment for women who need to work in retirement


The cost of living is off the chart. Shopping is hard because we only have a whole food and it cost too much to shop there. It is all hills and if you don't have a care too bad.


Laid back city versus philly or ny or Atlantic City. Not as rough around the edges. Safe town. Clean. East to get around with good transportation.


Very impressed with the place. I wouldn't have walked anywhere years ago after dark but now I do. I love this place. Cleaner and safer than it used be.


It depends on neighborhood. Acccess varies re things like shopping and cultural events. In jp we have the Nate smith house, which is great subsidized housing with a vibrant community for elders. The city could do more in providing that sort of thing.


A lot of people come here. 38 years here. Arts and museum great. Invilolyeer at aquarium. Great walk ability. Architecture great. Things are expensive though. Free nights at Mfa are great. Local person without money has a harder time. Bpl is a gem.


Bus does not run on Sunday and so that's a problem. I work during the week and on the weekend I don't get out of the house too much. Not too much community engagement - at least not that I participate in.


I dunno part it's an old town which I like. Lots of other people my age. Kind of like mayberrry. I can walk most places. I really like it.

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How did Massachusetts earn the grade of C? We examined the state taxes based on how age friendly they are. Massachusetts has a state sales tax of 6.25%. Of particular interest is that Massachusetts does not have taxes on social security. There are estate taxes. There are no taxes imposed on inheritance. Massachusetts has an effective property tax rate of 1.21%. Weighing these taxes and other taxes most likely to impact the aging population is how Massachusetts earned its state tax grade of C.

Learn more about taxes in Massachusetts