Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Popular Places to Retire

Towns With the Highest Percentage of Retirees

 Are you looking for a busy, active retirement in neighborhoods that offer a wide variety of activities and where many other people have already retired?  If so, you may enjoy living in one of the ten communities on this list that was compiled by U.S. News and World Report in late 2014.  These are towns that contain a high percentage of retirees.

Some of these communities are exclusively for people over age 55 ... such as Laguna Woods Village, California and Sun City, Arizona.  Other towns on this list have residents of all ages, but a much higher percentage of retirees than the other typical American communities.

While I am sharing this U.S. News list with my readers, I have to say that I do not agree that all of the towns on this list would appeal to the typical retiree.  Some of them are located in places with harsh climates where younger adults may have simply moved away ... leaving only the older residents behind.  On the other hand, some of these are places that are quite charming and you might love living there!

You'll want to do a lot more research before blindly choosing one of these communities, especially if you are basing your decision simply on the fact that a lot of the residents are over the age of 65!

Ten Popular Communities with the Most Retirees

Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, California - This is the community where I have lived for the past ten years.  There are activities here for everyone ... from people who want to go line dancing or do synchronized swimming to those who want to take classes and learn to write their autobiographies.  One of the seven clubhouses is shown in the photo at the top of this article.  You can learn more about this community in the blog post I wrote about Laguna Woods Village.

Kings Point, Florida - Located on the Atlantic side of Florida, this community is surrounded by golf courses.  Almost 70% of the population is over the age of 65.  Florida is a very affordable place for retirees to live and it has been popular with senior citizens for decades.  There is no state income tax and housing prices in Florida also tend to be quite affordable.

Sun City, Arizona near Phoenix, Arizona - One of the earliest Sun City communities, this age-restricted community is affordable and perfect for those seeking an active lifestyle in the desert sun.  It has lots of amenities, including swimming, golf, clubhouses and a variety of activities.  However, if you have not spent a summer in Arizona, I suggest that you rent there before purchasing a home.

Pinehurst Village, North Carolina - With 43 golf courses in the surrounding area, Pinehurst is a golfer's paradise.  You can even drive your golf cart on the community streets in Pinehurst Village!  North Carolina is also becoming more popular with retirees who have decided that Florida is a little too far South for their taste. 

Bella Vista, Arkansas - Our daughters used to go to a summer camp in the Ozark Mountains.  It is a beautiful, pristine part of the country, ideally suited for retirees who like to hunt, fish and go boating in the gorgeous lakes.  There are also plenty of golf courses around, too.  Homes can be purchased for as little as $125,000, which is one more reason this mid-western community is popular with retirees.

South Yarmouth, Massachusetts - Although U.S. News and World Report listed this community because one-third of the residents are over the age of 65, there are things you should know about this Cape Cod community.  Our family used to spend the month of August in Cape Cod and loved it.  However, many people closed up the homes and left the Cape for the winter.  It can get bitterly cold in the winter and many of the restaurants and tourist facilities on Cape Cod are closed during the coldest months.  Second, the population decreases significantly during the winter months, so you might not have many neighbors if you plan to live there year around.  If these factors do not bother you, and you like to go fishing and sailing, then this could be the right choice for you.

Fredericksburg, Texas - This town is home to Texas Tech University, so there are many cultural events that retirees can enjoy.  It is also a charming, historic town in the Hill County, for those who are looking for a quaint small town where they can enjoy their retirement.  Home prices are quite reasonable and Texas does not have a state income tax, two factors that appeal to many retirees.  I have some friends who retired there about 15 years ago, and they have been very happy.

Ocean Pines, Maryland - This mid-Atlantic coastal community is near the more crowded, touristy Ocean City.  There are a variety of housing choices, including those both inside and outside of age restricted communities.  This is a popular beach-style retirement area for retirees with plenty of golf courses and other amenities for people who seek an active lifestyle.

Pahrump, Nevada - This town on the California border is about an hour's drive away from Las Vegas.  It is a sunny desert community that is not too far from Death Valley, California. Retirees need to consider these facts when they think about the long, hot summers in the California/Nevada desert.  While a high percentage of the residents may be over the age of 65, this may be primarily because younger people leave and move to more prosperous areas with more job opportunities.

Camano, Washington - Camano Island is a gorgeous community that is popular with both fishermen and artists.  It's just north of Seattle and is popular with retirees who want to live in a pristine, rural area.


If you are looking for other places to retire, use the tabs at the tops of this article to find links to hundreds of other articles.  In particular you will be interested in the tab "Retire in the U.S."

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

1 comment:

  1. Quite a list. I was surprised to see South Yarmouth on it because I grew up in that neck of the woods. You're right about people leaving in the winter, the temperatures can be very severe. Also services during those months are sometimes very limited.


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