Terrie Christensen and her husband, Alan, found their new Sioux Falls home thanks to family and a video call.
“We bought this house sight unseen,” Terrie Christensen said.
“We knew the housing market was tight, and his niece was a big help. We bought a house in her neighborhood, and we did the whole video thing, which worked very well. So we wrote the offer and had it submitted, and we were one of five, but ours got accepted.”
That was in September 2020, after the Christensens had decided to move from Wisconsin to be closer to Alan’s family.
While he’s retired, Terrie is beginning a job search in Sioux Falls as she winds down her role as an office manager for a structural steel fabricator in Wisconsin. With experience in accounting and human resources and a background in consulting, in addition to overall office management, she already has seen opportunities in Sioux Falls.
“I’m a point where I don’t have to work, but I want to work, and that makes the job search a little different,” she said.
“I decided it was time to start putting feelers out there, so I put my information on Indeed and updated LinkedIn, and I had a phone interview a few days later and a couple other responses, so I’m not worried about finding something. There’s a lot I could do.”
The Christensens’ situation is similar to many at or near retirement who are relocating to Sioux Falls, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
“Sioux Falls is consistently ranked among the top places in the nation to retire, and we see many seniors moving here to take advantage of that,” she said.
“At the same time, you definitely do not have to retire once you arrive. Terrie will discover, like many others have, that there are so many job opportunities whether you’re looking for an encore career, a part-time role or even a rewarding chance to volunteer.”
In 2020, Forbes ranked Sioux Falls among the top 25 cities for retirees after comparing data on 750 cities and looking at factors such as cost of living and health care facilities. The city got high marks for the number of physicians, good air quality and no state income tax.
“Not only are you moving to a safe community with short commutes and many housing options, but the medical care is second to none, and the factors such as our parks and downtown are as appealing to seniors as any other generation,” Guzzetta said.
That has been the case for the Christensens. While they had visited family in Sioux Falls before moving, they’re just now getting a firsthand look at life in the city.
“We’re in a really nice neighborhood in southwest Sioux Falls that’s five minutes off the interstate, so you can get anywhere in 15 minutes. They did a good job laying out a whole loop around Sioux Falls,” she said.
Watching the news is “so boring,” she joked.
“There’s not four or five shootings and robbers and people running from the cops. All they talk about is the coronavirus.”
Growing up in Iowa, she compares Sioux Falls to the kind of place she was used to – large enough to offer a lot without being overwhelming.
“It has everything we need,” she said. “Top medical facilities in the nation, and we’re kind of foodies, so we like to go out to eat, and we like the trendy microbreweries and wineries. We hung out downtown, and it’s very nice. I would say it’s very comparable to the Milwaukee area, just with semipro instead of pro sports.”
Other seniors have shared similar impressions, Guzzetta said.
“They also find it’s easy to become connected and make new friends here,” she said. “It’s a very neighborly place, there are so many organizations you can join, and you’ll quickly feel part of the community. We encourage anyone of any age considering a move to reach out to us so we can offer all the resources available to you.”