Contact Us:

Follow

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter - White Circle

©2017 BY FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY. PROUDLY CREATED WITH WIX.COM

Where will you retire?

January 2, 2018

Forbes magazine recently published their annual 25 Most Popular Places to Retire.

 

 

As we travel the country, our secondary motivation is to scout out areas we might like to start our second life (pre full-time retirement).

 

Our criteria is simple:

1) Warm weather year round

2) No snow or ice ever again-- EVER!

3) Close proximity to a large body of water

4) A variety of cultural attractions.

 

The #1 city on our current list is the small, quaint, historic town of Beaufort, SC (which I wrote about here). Not only is it a walkable town, in an area of mild climate, it is located equidistant between Savannah and Charleston. Per Truila, the average home price is $220,000 ($141/sq foot).

 

Sadly, it has poor school which would be a major deterrent for families with small children.

 

Here is the list published by Forbes:

 

1. Athens, Georgia

Quintessential college town (University of Georgia) of 120,000, 70 miles east of Atlanta.

  • PROS: Cost of living 8% below U.S. average, median home price $161,000 ($103/sq ft). Extremely high rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. High rating on walkability index of Walkscore.com. Good air quality. Warm climate. Good economy. Good tax climate for retirees, with no state income tax on Social Security earnings, favorable state taxation of pension income, and no state estate or inheritance tax.

  • CON: Doctors per capita below national average.

  • NOTED: Average serious crime rate. On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: Birthplace, in 1891, of America’s first garden club.

2. Bella Vista, Arkansas

Scenic Ozarks foothills town of 28,000 in northwest corner of Arkansas.

  • PROS: Cost of living 13% below national average, median home price $160,000 ($99/ sq ft). Very low serious crime rate. High number of doctors per capita, good rank on Milken Institute best places for aging list. Good air quality, warm climate. Good economy. Good tax climate for retirees, with no state income tax on Social Security benefits, favorable state taxation of pension income, and no state estate or inheritance tax.

  • CON: Not very walkable, low rate of volunteering

  • NOTED: On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: Originally a summer resort town.

3. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Rejuvenated former steel town of 75,000 in Lehigh Valley, 75 miles north of Philadelphia. Home to two college (Lehigh University, Moravian College).

  • PROS: Cost of living 6% below national average. Median home price $152,000 ($119/sq ft). Good air quality. High walkability index. Low serious crime rate. Adequate physicians per capita. Social Security and most other pension and IRA payouts exempt from state income tax.

  • CON: Cold winters, low rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. State inheritance tax hits even small estates

  • NOTED: Average economy. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Named by Christian missionaries.

4. Boise, Idaho

Scenic, outdoors-oriented state capital city of 205,000 in state’s southwestern corner.

  • PROS: Cost of living just 3% above national average, median home price $206,000 ($139/sq ft). Robust economy. Low serious crime rate. High Milken aging rank. Highly bikeable. Good weather with low humidity and relatively mild winters, and good air quality. Good state tax climate for retirees, with no state taxation of Social Security benefits and no estate/inheritance tax. High rate of volunteerism.

  • CON: Not very walkable.

  • NOTED: Adequate physicians per capita. On previous lists.

  • TRIVIA: City’s best-known feature may be Boise State University’s blue artificial turf football field in Albertsons Stadium.

5. Brevard, North Carolina

Striking town of waterfalls and mountains with 8,000 persons south of Asheville in state’s western panhandle.

  • PROS: Cost of living at national average, median home price $198,000 ($167/sq ft). Good air quality and climate (but lots of rain). Above-average doctors per capita. Low serious crime rate. Good economy. No state income tax on Social Security benefits, no estate/inheritance tax. High rate of volunteerism.

  • CON: Not very walkable, low rank on Milken Institute best places for successful aging list.

  • NOTED: On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: Named for a Revolutionary War hero.

6. Clemson, South Carolina

College town (Clemson University) of 15,000 along Lake Hartwell in the Blue Mountains foothills, 135 miles southwest of Charlotte.

  • PROS: Cost of living at national average, median home price $129,000 ($167/sq ft). Good air quality. Extremely low serious crime rate. Good economy. Highly walkable. Free local bus transit system. Good state tax climate for retirees, with state income tax breaks for pensions, no state tax on Social Security benefits and no estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Low rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging.

  • NOTED: Warm and humid, minimal snow.

  • TRIVIA: Named for son-in-law of U.S. vice president John C. Calhoun.

7. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Bracing outdoor playground of 455,000 in shadow of Pikes Peak, 60 miles south of Denver.

  • PROS: Good economy, median home price $242,000 ($175/sq ft). Brisk weather, good air quality. Above-average Milken Institute aging rank, high marks for volunteering, with scores of nonprofits. Very bikeable.

  • CON: Cost of living 5% above national average, not very walkable, so-so state tax climate for retirees.

  • NOTED: Average doctors per capita, serious crime rate, state tax climate for retirees. On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: Home of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

8. Fargo, North Dakota

North Dakota’s largest city, population 120,000, facing Minnesota across the north-flowing Red River of the North.

  • PROS: Median home price $192,000 ($151/sq ft). Adequate number of doctors per capita, high marks on Milken aging index. Good air quality. High rank for volunteering culture. Very bikeable, somewhat walkable. Low serious crime rate. Top ranked economy.

  • CON: Cold winters.

  • NOTED: Cost of living 2% above national average. Average state tax climate for retirees, with state income tax on Social Security payments. Repeat member of this list.

  • TRIVIA: Named after a founder of Wells Fargo.

9. Grand Prairie, Texas

Well-located suburb of 185,000 between Dallas and Fort Worth.

  • PROS: Cost of living 3% below national average, median home price $171,000 ($105/sq ft). Above-average doctors per capita. Good grade on Milken aging index. Good air quality. Low serious crime rate. Good environment for volunteering. Solid economy. No state income or estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Not very walkable.

  • NOTED: Warm climate. On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: City’s unoriginal name bestowed by Post Office bureaucrats.

10. Green Valley, Arizona

Collection of dozens of retirement communities, with a total population of 32,000, 20 miles south of Tucson toward the Mexican border.

  • PROS: Cost of living 4% below national average, median home price $157,000 ($116/sq ft). Adequate number of physicians per capita. Very low serious crime rate. Good air quality. Hot days, but cooler nights thanks to 3,000-foot elevation. Very mild winters. Good state tax climate for retirees, with no state income tax on Social Security benefits and no state estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Not very walkable. So-so economy.

  • NOTED: In middle of Milken Institute ranking of best places for successful aging. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Home of only Cold War-era Titan II missile site open to public.

11. Harrisonburg, Virginia

Leafy Shenandoah Valley college town (James Madison University) of 53,000 130 miles southwest of Washington, DC.

  • PROS: Cost of living 4% below national average, median home price $162,000 ($126/sq ft). Adequate number of physicians per capita. High rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Extremely low serious crime rate. Good air quality. No state income tax on Social Security earnings, no estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: So-so economy.

  • NOTED: In middle of Milken Institute ranking of best places for successful aging. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Named for the city’s 18th century founder, whose house still stands.

12. Iowa City, Iowa

Central-casting college town (University of Iowa) of 75,000 persons in southeastern Iowa.

  • PROS: Cost of living at national average, median home price $183,000 ($156/sq ft). No. 1 rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging, adequate physicians per capita. Good air quality. Strong volunteering culture. Strong economy. No state income tax on Social Security earnings and break on pension income.

  • CON: Cold winters.

  • NOTED: Somewhat walkable. New to this list.

  • TRIVIA: Designated a UNESCO City of Literature for creative writing emphasis.

13. Jefferson City, Missouri

Quaint state capital city of 43,000, midway between St. Louis and Kansas City.

  • PROS: Cost of living 10% below national average, median home price $138,000 ($96/sq ft). High rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging, sufficient physicians per capita. Good air quality.

  • CON: Not very walkable, poor state tax climate for retirees, with Social Security earnings taxed.

  • NOTED: So-so economy. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Named for Thomas Jefferson.

14. Lawrence, Kansas

College town (University of Kansas) of 94,000, 40 miles west of Kansas City.

  • PROS: Cost of living 4% below national average, median home price $172,000 ($138/sq ft). High rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging, adequate physicians per capita. Strong economy. Low serious crime rate. Good air quality. Very bikeable.

  • CON: Cold winters. State income tax on Social Security earnings.

  • NOTED: Somewhat walkable. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Named for 19th century abolitionist leader Amos Adams Lawrence.

15. Lewiston, Maine

Woodsy city of 36,000 near the coast in southeastern Maine.

  • PROS: Cost of living 5% below national average, median home price $179,000 ($100/sq ft). Above-average physicians per capita. Good air quality. Very low serious crime rate.

  • CON: Poor state tax climate for retirees, with state income taxation of Social Security benefits. Low rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Cold winters.

  • NOTED: Somewhat walkable. So-so economy. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Headquarters since 1955 of the Farmers’ Almanac.

16. Lincoln, Nebraska

City of 277,000, a combo of state capital and college town (University of Nebraska), 50 miles southwest of Omaha.

  • PROS: Cost of living 8% below national average, median home price $156,000 ($154/sq ft). Adequate physicians per capita. High rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Good air quality. Pretty bikeable. Low serious crime rate. No state estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Cold winters. State income tax on Social Security benefits.

  • NOTED: So-so economy.

  • TRIVIA: Home of U.S.’s only one-house state legislature.

17. Maryville, Tennessee

Great Smokey Mountains foothills town of 28,000, 18 miles south of Knoxville in eastern Tennessee.

  • PROS: Cost of living 13% below national average, median home price $154,000 ($122/sq ft). Sufficient doctors per capita. Good air quality. Very low serious crime rate. Good local economy. Mild weather most of the year. State income tax break on pension income, no state income tax on Social Security benefits, no estate/inheritance tax. High rate of volunteering.

  • CON: Not very walkable. Low rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging.

  • NOTED: New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Named after wife of 18th century territorial governor.

18. Ocean Pines, Maryland

Wooded waterfront community of 12,000 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, eight miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

  • PROS: Median home price $215,000 ($163/sq ft). Above-average ratio of physicians per capita. Good air quality. Extremely low serious crime rate. Very bikable. No state income tax on Social Security income.

  • CON: So-so economy. State estate and inheritance taxes.

  • NOTED: Cost of living 5% above national average. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Started by developers less than 50 years old.

19. Peoria, Arizona

Desert suburb of 167,000, just northwest of Phoenix.

  • PROS: Median home price $240,000 ($150/sq ft). Adequate physicians per capita. Extremely low serious crime rate. Good economy. No state income tax on Social Security benefits, no state estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Cost of living 9% above national average. Below-average air quality. Not very walkable.

  • NOTED: Hot climate. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Named by settlers after Peoria, Illinois.

20. Port Charlotte, Florida

Gulf Coast inlet town of 56,000, 100 miles south of Tampa.

  • PROS: Cost of living 6% below national average, median home price $150,000 ($128/sq ft). Adequate physicians per capita. Typical Florida weather, good air quality. Low serious crime rate. Decent economy. No state income tax, no state estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Not very walkable, low rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Hurricane risk.

  • NOTED: On list 2015.

  • TRIVIA: Area named by the British in 1757, but undeveloped for two centuries.

21. San Marcos, Texas

Pleasant riverfront college town (Texas State University) of 60,000, between Austin and San Antonio.

  • PROS: Cost of living 13% below national average, median home price $254,000 ($120/sq ft). Sufficient physicians per capita. Warm climate, above-average air quality. Low serious crime rate. High rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Strong economy. No state income tax. High rate of volunteering.

  • CON: Hot summers.

  • NOTED: Somewhat walkable. On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: Lyndon Johnson graduated from Texas State.

22. Savannah, Georgia

Lush river city of 146,000, 30 miles inland from Atlantic Ocean.

  • PROS: Cost of living 14% below national average, median home price $118,000 ($104/sq ft). Sufficient physicians per capita. Mild winters, above-average air quality. Good rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Good economy. No state income tax on Social Security benefits, no state estate/inheritance tax, state income tax breaks on pension income.

  • CON: Serious crime rate above national average.

  • NOTED: Somewhat walkable and bikeable. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Founded way back in 1733.

23. Summerville, South Carolina

Heavily treed town of 46,000, 25 miles northwest of Charleston.

  • PROS: Cost of living at national average, median home price $187,000 ($156/sq ft). Sufficient physicians per capita. Mild winters, above-average air quality. Low serious crime rate. Good rank on Milken Institute list of best places for successful aging. Strong economy. No state income tax on Social Security benefits and breaks on pension income. No state estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Not very walkable.

  • NOTED: New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Latin motto on town seal translates as “The Pine Is Sacred.”

24. The Villages, Florida

Fast-growing senior-citizen-oriented town of 171,000, 60 miles northwest of Orlando.

  • PROS: Median home price $250,000 ($105/sq ft). Adequate doctors per capita. Mild winters, good air quality. Low serious crime rate. Decent economy. No state income tax, no state estate/inheritance tax.

  • CON: Not very walkable, low rank on Milken Institute list of best places for successful aging.

  • NOTED: On list last year.

  • TRIVIA: Began as a mobile home park named Orange Blossom Gardens.

25. Wenatchee, Washington

Scenic, sunny Columbia River city of 33,000, 150 miles east of Seattle on the very dry side of the Cascade Mountain Range.

  • PROS: Median home price $225,000 ($197/sq ft). Good doctors per capita. High rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Minimal rain. Very low serious crime rate. No state income tax.

  • CON: Cost of living 11% above national average, state estate/inheritance tax.

  • NOTED: Somewhat walkable. New to list.

  • TRIVIA: Self-proclaimed “Apple Capital of the World.”

 

Please reload

Recent Posts

September 10, 2019

Please reload

Archive

Please reload

Tags

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload