Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Popular Retirement Cities That are Right for You

Horseback riding is an amenity I
wanted in a retirement community!
Have you decided what you are looking for in a retirement community?  Some people plan to live in over-55 communities.  Others do not want to live in an area where children are not allowed to reside.  Some people want to be near the ocean; others prefer the desert.  You may be looking for an artist's colony; or perhaps you want a great place to play golf the year around.

One choice is to move to a mid-sized city that offers a variety of activities and affordable prices.

U.S. News and World Report, in their article "The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012," came up with their list of ten American cities that could appeal to retirees for a variety of reasons.  Below is a list of their favorites.  The home prices listed below were 2012 prices.

Popular Retirement Cities

Flagstaff, Arizona has good year-round weather.  It does get snow in the winter, but it rarely lasts long.

Boone, North Carolina is an affordable mountain town.  There are three ski resorts in the area, and it is much cheaper than Vail or Aspen.  In fact, the median home price is about $215,000.

Traverse City, Michigan is on Lake Michigan.  You can buy a house near the lake in the $155,000 price range.

Walnut Creek, California is much more expensive than the other areas, but it has pleasant weather, a lot of retirees, and is an easy drive into San Francisco.

Ithaca, New York is a charming college town, home to Cornell University and Ithaca College.  You can take classes at the colleges, and enjoy spending your time learning and having stimulating conversations.

Lincoln, Nebraska was listed as a great place to launch a second career.  There are good career opportunities for older workers who are interested in technology, government, higher education and healthcare.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has a good mix of amenities and affordability.  Homes can be purchased for under $100,000, yet this is a city with a ballet, symphony, highly ranked hospitals and, of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Port Charlotte, Florida is a bargain for people who want to live on the water in affordable housing.  Homes can be purchased on the waterways for as little as about $60,000.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is a spot you may want to consider if you are an older single.  52% of the people who are age 55 or older in Pittsfield are single.  However, there are nearly twice as many single women as men, so that does create an unbalanced dating scene.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is the place to consider if you are looking for art galleries and a historic cultural blend of Anglos, Hispanics and Native Americans.

More Things to Consider When Choosing a Retirement City

When we chose our retirement community, we wanted to live in a adult community near the ocean, with lots of amenities.  Since we owned horses for many years when our children were growing up, I was thrilled to discover a place where I could continue to horseback ride, without the responsibility of owning and caring for a horse of my own.  My husband wanted a place where he could play golf whenever he felt like it.  The town of Laguna Woods Village in Southern California met our needs perfectly.

However, this would not be a good choice for someone who wanted to live near a ski resort or who loves to walk in hardwood forests.  There is currently no football team in the Los Angeles area, although you could drive down to San Diego.  When you pick a place to live after retirement, there are many things you need to consider, including the types of activities you enjoy.

Even if you are still a few years away from being fully retired, it is not too soon to start giving some thought to the type of community where you would like to live.  You may want to travel to some of these places on your next vacation, and get a feel for what it would be like to live there.

If you are interested in more information about where to retire, financial planning, medical issues to consider, travel and changing family relationships, you will want to use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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Photo credit:  Photo taken by author, Deborah-Diane; all rights reserved.


  1. It's wise to plan such a major consideration well in advance. Good advice.

  2. I agree that people need to start thinking about where they want to live after retirement long before they actually retire. It takes time to get everything organized and planned.


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