Vol. 1, Issue 11April 2010


Affordable Retirement Options

If traditional retirement meccas don’t match your budget or your idea of an ideal location for your golden years, you might find your personal nirvana in a more affordable spot that’s a bit off the beaten path.

Consider, for example, Ann Arbor, Mich., the home of the University of Michigan. Its 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students comprise about a third of Ann Arbor’s population, but the university’s presence helps to fuel a plethora of activities for people of all ages.

“This lively college town has so many concerts, art fairs, lectures, sporting events, courses, museums and other attractions—many of them free—that it practically knocks on your door and begs you to come out,” according to U.S. News & World Report magazine.

Ann Arbor also features “big-city amenities,” including ample shopping, ethnic restaurants, world-class performers and a pair of premier health-care systems, the magazine reports. In addition, the city offers free bus service and discounted taxi rides to seniors and easy access to a big airport in Detroit, about 40 miles to the east.

For these and other reasons, Ann Arbor ranks among the 10 cities identified by U.S. News & World Report as the nation’s “Best Affordable Places to Retire.” Other cities on the list are Asheville, N.C.; Aurora, Colo; Columbia, S.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Eugene, Ore.; Fort Worth, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Tucson, Ariz. (For complete article, click here.)

The magazine’s editors selected the cities based on key indicators such as low cost of living, reasonable housing prices, high-quality health-care and elder-care facilities, and educational and cultural opportunities, along with access to the services and amenities that people generally desire in a retirement location.

As part of the “Best Affordable Places to Retire” project, U.S. News & World Report has assembled a retirement guide and information package for people preparing for retirement. Accessible at, the package includes an interactive search tool that you can use to find locations that best fit your lifestyle. You can examine extensive economic and quality-of-life data, as well as data on sales taxes and housing prices.

“Preparing for retirement is a complex process, not to mention the difficulty of actually financing it,” says Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News & World Report. “Through the `Best Affordable Places to Retire,’ U.S. News breaks down the most relevant financial information to help families make the best choices in financing their retirement.”