Sunday, September 18, 2011

Finding the Best Places to Retire

Have you decided where you would like to live after you retire?  Would you prefer to be near your grandkids, near the ocean, close to a lake, or in the mountains?  What about your proximity to hospitals, shopping and sports venues?  The decision of where to retire is not always easy.

We gave a lot of thought to our decision to retire in Laguna Woods Village, California. We chose our location partly because we have a number of relatives who live in California, and we wanted an affordable place to retire which would make it easy for us to visit our family and for them to visit us.

Finding affordable housing is not always easy in the Southern California real estate market, but Laguna Woods Village is one of the less expensive places. We also wanted palm trees, the ability to take walks on the beach, mild weather, and plenty of golf during our retirement years.

However, not everyone can or should retire to Laguna Woods Village. As a result, whenever I discover information about other possible retirement areas, I pass the information to my readers of this blog.

A few years ago, CNN came up with their list of places they think are good for retirement. They put emphasis on recommending places with a low cost of living, crime rates which tend to be below the national average, good medical groups, and where at least 30% of the population is older than 50 years old. Listed below is a little information about each of their top picks. 

Marquette, Michigan on Michigan's Upper Peninsula was number #1 on the CNN list. Marquette has a cost of living that is 95% of the national average. It is near Lake Superior, which can be fun in the summer. However, you should know that the town gets an average of 141 inches of snow a year.  While some people will enjoy this town, it would not be a good choice for everyone.

Cape Coral, Florida has low home prices and a cost of living which is 96% of the national average. The town has 400 miles of canals, and is located on the Gulf of Mexico. This is an ideal location for people who enjoy water sports, although you need to be prepared for an occasional hurricane, too.  While the winters are mild in Cape Coral, the summers can be very hot. 

Boise, Idaho is a small city with a very low crime rate. Violent crime is about half the national average. The cost of living is about 97% of the national average. The town is surrounded by mountains, but the climate within Boise is considered mild.

Danville, Kentucky is a small town with affordable homes and a cost of living that is only 93% of the national average. It's about a forty minute drive from Lexington, and about a 90 minute drive from Louisville. The town has a number of locations which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It gets a little snow in the winter, and you should expect thunderstorms and an occasional tornado alert in the summer.

Weatherford, Texas has a cost of living that is only 87% of the national average. It is a small town about 33 miles from Fort Worth. People who enjoy horses will especially enjoy this community. It gets very hot and dry in the summer, and you can also expect thunderstorms and tornado alerts.

Southaven, Mississippi is a small suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, but located on the Mississippi side of the city. The cost of living is only 88% of the national average. One of the advantages is that are located close to all the big city amenities which Memphis has to offer.

Clarksville, Tennessee is a small city near the Kentucky-Tennessee border. It has a cost of living that is about 88% of the national average. It can be chilly in the winter and hot in the summer, with occasional storms.

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is a suburb of Tulsa. It has a cost of living which is about 88% of the national average. Like Tennessee, it can be chilly in the winter and hot in the summer, with occasional storms and tornadoes.

Lake Charles, Louisiana is about 30 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, which makes it vulnerable to hurricanes and floods. However, it is a lovely location for people who enjoy freshwater fishing and similar water sports. It has a cost of living about 91% of the national average.

Winstom-Salem, North Carolina is a charming community with a cost of living which is about 91% of the national average. It has a symphony, arts district, and is home to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  This is an ideal location for someone who wants to enjoy affordable access to theater and music after retirement.

Even if you do not choose one of the towns on this list, they will give you a good idea of what to look for in a community ... access to interesting activities, weather which you find bearable, lower than average crime, affordability and access to medical care. 

As you can see, there are plenty of great retirement areas for you to investigate no matter what region of the country you want to live.

To read more about retirement communities, recreation in retirement, financial planning for retirement, the qualifications to move into a retirement community, working in retirement, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of additional posts.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a generous selection of nice communities. Laguna Woods is a beautiful place to live. I have two friends that chose it for some of the same reasons you did.


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