Vol. 8, Issue 4September 2016


Top 25 Places to Retire

Maybe you are looking for great weather, low taxes or access to the outdoors, culture or the grandkids. Forbes has identified 25 top places to retire, based on home prices, cost of living, access to doctors, crime rates and economic stability:

Abilene, Texas: Full of small-town charm, Abilene offers a warm climate, low crime and unemployment rates, and a median home price of $156,000.

Apache Junction, Ariz.: Only 35 miles from Phoenix but in the mountains, this town of 37,000 has low housing and other costs and an average yearly temperature of 71 degrees.

Athens, Ga. As home of the University of Georgia, Athens has tons of educational and cultural offerings. It is about 75 miles from Atlanta.

Bella Vista, Ark. Low crime, low living costs and a higher elevation that allows for changing seasons are among the draws here.

Blacksburg, Va. Virginia Tech offers a range of things to do in Blacksburg, although it also means that seniors make up a smaller than usual section of the population.

Bluffton, S.C. On the coast in South Carolina’s Low Country, Bluffton has a warm climate as well as a thriving economy and low crime rate.

Brevard, N.C. A town of only 8,000 located 33 miles outside the better-known Asheville, Brevard has beautiful scenery and moderate temperatures – and 28 percent of the population is over 65.

Cape Coral, Fla. Located near Fort Myers, Cape Coral has plenty of water, golf courses and warm temperatures.

Clermont, Fla. Like its neighbor, Orlando, Clermont is not on the coast. It is warm and relatively inexpensive, though.

Colorado Springs, Colo. There is plenty of outdoor activity in any of the four seasons. But it is a big city – 440,000 – and pricier than some of the others, with a median home cost of $243,000.

Columbia, Mo. There are three major colleges, and there is great access to medical care. There also are four seasons.

Corvallis, Ore. Another college town – Oregon State University – Corvallis is scenic and has a relatively mild climate.

Fargo, N.D. If you can handle some bitter cold winter weather, North Dakota’s largest city offers a strong economy and low housing costs.

Grand Prairie, Texas. Located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Grand Prairie has a warm climate, good access to medical care and a median home price of $146,000.

Largo, Fla. Largo, located between Tampa Bay and the Gulf, Largo has warm weather and a median home price of $150,000.

Lexington, Ky. Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington is also a college town. It is temperate but has four seasons.

Lincoln, Neb. A college town as well as the capital, Lincoln offers lots to do. However, it is not as warm as some of the other places on the list.

Meridian, Idaho This suburb of Boise is located in the high desert, which means its climate is dry and does not get too hot or too cold.

Mount Airy, N.C. The birthplace of Andy Griffith, this Piedmont town has a down-home feel. It also has a moderate climate and a median home price of $126,000.

Pittsburgh, Pa. One of the largest towns on the list, Pittsburgh has colleges, professional sports teams, industry -- and a relatively modest cost of living.

San Marcos, Texas. Some 30 miles outside Austin, this riverfront town is the home of Texas State University.

Smyrna, Tenn. A suburb of Nashville, this town of 43,000 has a strong economy, moderate temperature and median home price of $159,000.

The Villages, Fla. Designed to meet the needs of seniors, who make up 58 percent of the population, this town 60 miles from Orlando has a warm climate. But it can be a little pricey: The median home price is 260,000.

Traverse City, Mich. The scenery is spectacular in this northern Michigan town set on the shore of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. But the winters are not for the faint of heart.

Walla Walla, Wash. A college town with excellent medical care, Walla Walla also is in Washington’s wine country and boasts a temperate climate.