Cities In Florida And Texas Top Editors List
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Where are the best places to retire in the U.S.? According to John Brady, founder of TopRetirements.com, the absolute best cities and towns for older Americans have good weather, access to health care, low property taxes, and a certain wow factor. Throw in access to adult education, cultural activities, job opportunities for older Americans, low housing costs and income-tax rates, low crime rate, and good walkability and livability and you get a list of both well-known and lesser-known cities and towns that retirees might fancy. Take a look at 10 remarkable retirement spots.
1. Sarasota, Fla.
2. San Antonio, Texas
3. Naples, Fla.
4. Tucson, Ariz.
5. Asheville, N.C.
6. Beaufort, S.C.
7. St. Augustine, Fla.
8. Fort Myers, Fla.
9. Venice, Fla.
10. Prescott, Ariz.
Prescott, a city of 40,000 people located in the mountains of north central Arizona, is an old western town that has managed to propel itself into a top retirement destination, Brady said. Prescott boasts an interesting downtown, plus there are a couple of small colleges and adult-education opportunities. Negatives include above-average housing prices a state income and sales tax though property taxes are lower than in other states limited health-care choices and limited employment opportunities compared to the larger cities on the list. Pictured at left: Granite Dells, near Prescott, Ariz.
The Best Places To Retire
One of the nice things about retirement is the freedom it brings. You have the time to do the things you enjoy, when you want and where you want.
This is why so many people look for the best place to live in retirement — a place that offers the lifestyle they want with the affordability to do it. John Bradys TopRetirements.com is a blog with community-sourced reviews of hundreds of retirement communities and discussions of what makes a good place to retire. Bradys latest list offers 10 of the best places to retire in three major retirement regions of the U.S.: the West, the Southwest, and the Southeast, and includes one beach town in the northeast.
Criteria for this list include how interesting it is to live there, recreation and culture, climate, taxes, economic situation, location, transportation, walkability, healthcare, and to a minor extent, cost of living. Popularity on the site is another factor. From Topretirements.com, here are 10 of the best cities and towns to retire, followed by many more cities that are among the most popular. Click on the gallery below to see them all.
Most Popular Carolina Retirement Cities
22 Carolina cities recently made the list of 100 Most Popular Places to Retire put out by our friends at TopRetirements.com.
The Carolina cities on this years list include Asheville, Beaufort , Charleston, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, Brevard, Bluffton, Murphy, Summerville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Aiken, Southport, Clemson, Greenville , Hilton Head, Mt. Airy, Hayesville, Hendersonville, and Lake Keowee.
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Assess Your Goals For Retirement Before Searching For The Best Places To Retire
Like all tools, a retirement location quiz can give great results but only if you have good information to put into it.
Before using a tool, you will want to assess what you want out of retirement. How do you want to spend these important years of your life?
You should probably ask yourself questions like:
- Why am I looking to relocate? What is wrong with your current location?
- What do I want out of a home?
- Who do I want to spend time with? If the answer is near your grandchildren, then you might prioritize locales near where they live. Is it important to you to live near like minded people or in a more diverse environment?
- What do I want to be doing? Some passions like surfing or skiing are location dependent.
- What legacy do you want to leave? Will your location enable you to fulfill what you want to leave behind?
- Where do you want to live vs where do you want to travel? Sometimes people confuse a great travel destination with a great place to live. Assess the differences for your own values and how you expect to spend your time.
Assess Your Finances To Determine The Best Places To Retire
Perhaps the MOST important criteria for determining the best place to retire, is assessing what you can really afford.
Most people are not as prepared for retirement as they would like to be and housing is usually the biggest cost for any household. If you currently own your home, it may also be your most valuable asset. So, the decision of where to live is hugely significant for your finances and could make or break your budget.
You might want to consider using a Retirement Calculator to determine what you can afford and try different scenarios.
- Go through the calculator one time with your current housing costs.
- Then try it a second time imagining you have relocated to a more affordable home and have released some of your home equity through downsizing.
The NewRetirement Retirement Planner is the best, most comprehensive tool available online the only tool to let you model downsizing and relocation.
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The Real Best Places To Retire
If youre thinking about where to retire, youve probably stumbled on at least one of those Best Places to Retire lists online, in magazines, or in books. But which lists are credible? And which suit your circumstances? To find out, MoneyWatch.com reviewed them and came away with surprising results.
Since you shouldnt choose a place to live using outdated information, our analysis of retirement-places lists excludes any created before 2008. That left five leading raters: U.S. News, Money, Smart Money, TopRetirements.com, and RetirementLiving.com together, they name 454 places.
The key thing to remember: The rankings vary widely in the scope of the places they consider and the statistical rigor they bring to their ranking. Some of the rankers, such as TopRetirements.com and RetirementLiving.com, consider a wide variety of reasonable criteria to get at a more rounded picture of livability. Others focus on one or two key factors to produce a very narrow sense of what makes a place best. U.S. News, for instance, lists best-retirement places ranging from ones that lean Republican to ones filled with parks .
Perhaps the best way to use the best retirement places rankings is to start with a narrowly focused list and find a handful of potential winning destinations. Then, use other lists and Web sites to see how these places stack up on broader criteria, such as livability or recession resistance.
MoneyWatch.com rating: 4 Stars.
Go Beyond Relocation Quizzes: Additional Resources For Finding The Best Places To Retire
Here are some of the resources mentioned in this post as well as some additional ideas for how to research and find the best place for you to retire:
- NewRetirement Planner: Find out how much you can afford and test different scenarios for how your housing assets and expenses can impact your retirement finances.
- Look up the local newspaper, community sites, neighborhood associations for the places you are considering:
- Use the internet to search for the types of facilities that will be important to you in retirement. Make sure where you want to retire has the resources you really want.
- Yelp: Yelp enables you to see reviews of restaurants and stores and services in any community.
- The Patch: The Patch offers local online news for many communities but you should also research the local print paper and check them out online.
- Nextdoor: This is a site that focuses on connecting neighbors to each other. You might also be able to ask about what it is like to live there.
- Craigslist or job listing sites: Use these resources to look for volunteer and work opportunities.
- Aplaceformom: Find out about the availability of eldercare resources.
- Medicare: Use this tool to find out if your community has adequate numbers of doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare.
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What Else To Consider When Researching The Best Places To Retire
Your research shouldnt stop with any one best places to retire tool. While they provide a good place to start, financial advisors suggest including other criteria in your search for the perfect retirement destination.
The best thing to do is identify and examine the relevant factors, says Jon King, of Austin, Texas-based Pegasus Financial Solutions, LLC. Different people have different needs and priorities, so they are going to weigh them differently.
King suggests pre-retirees also consider lifestyle, community and availability of part-time employment when determining where to live in retirement.
It is also very important to probe house values and costs..
Specific House Values & Costs: You may have identified a list of areas that you may be able to afford a home. However, it is very important to dig deeper and find out what kind of homes are actually available and if they match your goals.
For example, many people want to retire in a home on the water. You may find a community on the water that has affordable homes, but you will need to find out if the home you desire is also in your price point.
What about the cost of living? It might not matter if you secure a lower cost home if everything else is more expensive.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle can include cultural events, continuing education opportunities and hobbies, among other preferences. You should use the internet to find out about what is available in your town. For example:
Asheville Is A Community Of Nature Arts Health Food And Culture No Wonder Why Retirees Are Saying This Is A Prime Place To Enjoy All That Life Has To Offer
Asheville, NC took the #1 spot when TopRetirements.com went through a deep dive of their data and user feedback to find The Best of The Best.TheStreet.com reports that To find the best of the best, John Brady, president of TopRetirements.com, which has a large database of retirement communities in the U.S., developed this list by culling through some of the most popular places on the site, then evaluating the best 10 based on cultural and recreational opportunities available, climate, expense, taxes, the quality of the downtown areas, and beauty of the area. The first 10 are Bradys Best of the Best, and we added a few of the runner-ups from various regions of the country.
TheStreet also mentions the following about the #1 Retirement City:
Asheville, a prosperous city of just over 75,000, sits amid the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina. Those who like four seasons will see them here, thanks to the mountains. There is a large number of 55+ and active adult communities.
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Us News Ranks Best Places To Retire In Us In 2022
The Best Places to Retire ranking includes data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care. These factors are weighted based on a U.S. News online survey of people age 45 and older about their retirement preferences.
Florida dominates the 2022 list of best places to retire, making up eight of the top 10 places to retire. Sarasota, Florida, ranks as the best place to retire in the U.S. for the second year in a row, thanks to high marks for desirability combined with a reasonable cost of living.
Several other Florida cities rose in the 2022 rankings, including Naples, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Tampa and Pensacola due to consistent housing costs and a continuing high desire to retire in Florida. Many Florida cities had high desirability ratings based on a U.S. News online survey about where people age 45 and older are most interested in retiring. The highly ranked Florida cities typically also have affordable housing costs, high-quality health care and residents who report liking where they live.
The 10 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. in 2022:
Dig Deep To Find A Good Match
If you’re at the beginning of your search, you can get some ideas by looking at some of the best-places-to-retire lists on the Internet, such as TopRetirements.com. Milken’s “Best Cities for Successful Aging” index examines 84 factors that it determined are important to retirees. Criteria include job opportunities for older residents, housing options, crime rates, hospitals offering geriatric services, levels of senior volunteerism, access to fitness centers, investment in public transportation, and the availability of arts and education institutions.
Topping Milken’s 2014 list were two college towns. Madison, Wis., which is the home of the University of Wisconsin, led the large-metro list and Iowa City, Iowa, which is the home of the University of Iowa, led the small-metro list. “College towns often offer vibrant health care systems, good cultural opportunities and good public transit,” says Milken’s Irving.
Meanwhile, FindYourSpot.com will conduct a customized search for you. You answer dozens of questions on your preferences for climate, recreation, community size and more, and the tool suggests possible destinations. With NeighborhoodScout.com, you can zero in on individual neighborhoods and find the percentage of residents who are 65 and older, the educational attainment of neighbors, housing types and other data.
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Create A Custom Destinations List To Find The Best Places To Retire
Using the Zillow retirement location tool, users select a state, home-buying budget and preferences in order to create a custom list of the top 10 places to retire.
Where do you want to be when you retire? Use the first dropdown menu to search the entire nation or a selected number of states, writes Meredith Miller, Zillow economic research analyst.
Say youre zooming in on states in the Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
Do you like big cities or small towns? The second dropdown menu can be used to limit the search based on city size, Miller writes.
Lets assume thats cities with populations of 25,000 people or more.
What is your housing budget? Use the home values dropdown to select a range of home values to only see places where the cost of homes meets your budget, she writes.
In November 2014, the median sales price of a new home sold in the U.S. was $280,900, according to the Census Bureau. In keeping with that price range, allows users to filter home values of $300,000 or less.
The last five dropdown menus weight the importance of different characteristics that could contribute to a decision to move when retiring. These include access to health care, pleasant weather, the percentage of residents older than 65, access to entertainment and low crime rates.
How To Choose A Retirement Destination
What do the experts tell us about how to choose a retirement destination? Affordability, lifestyle, security, and access to health care are top issues with retirees. Factors range from cost-of-living factors and the economic viability of a place to community life and access and outdoor recreation. Familiarity with a place is a key consideration, along with appealing cultural lifestyles.
The experts advise factoring in state income tax, sales tax rates, median home prices & property tax. After that, other issues come into play, such as weather, quality of healthcare, crime rates, easy transit . Plus, of course, opportunities for active retirement lifestyles and livability factors such as recreation, a thriving senior center and other services for seniors, volunteerism, arts & entertainment, walkability, and others. College towns get an automatic boost because of the educational and cultural enrichment they offer. Job availability is an important factor for those seeking post-retirement careers.
These articles appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Northwest Prime Time, the Puget Sound regions monthly publication celebrating life after 50.
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Best Places To Retire In Southwest Florida
Southwestern Florida starts just above Tampa and goes south to Marco Island. This 180 mile stretch probably has more places to retire than anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of the southeast coast of FL from Vero Beach to Miami. Here on the Gulf Coast there are barrier islands, 3 good sized cities , fabulous beaches, endless waterfronts and waterways, and a variety of towns that make for interesting places to retire. There are thousands of active adult and 55+ communities, ranging from budget RV/Mobile Home parks to exclusive refuges catering to the 1%.
Anyone looking for a warm winter retirement should definitely at least consider this area when safe travel resumes again a leisurely exploration would be well worth it. While you are there, if certain towns and areas appeal, you might consider a Stay and Play package or monthly rental to see if you really like the place. Note: Most of the names of the cities and towns in this article are linked to more detailed reviews as places to retire.
One idea for exploring the vast area around Tampa is to book an extended stay hotel or AirBnb in St. Petersburg and use that as a base of operations. Just south of here is the small town of Ruskin, founded as a utopian socialist community inspired by John Ruskin. It is home to the long established Sun City Center, a vast active adult community which is also worth a detour to explore.
For further reading:
Sarasota Named A Top Place To Retire In Us
A website dedicated to helping baby boomers find the best places to live after they retire has ranked Sarasota No. 2 out of the top 10 in the U.S.
The 10 “Best of the Best” Places to Retire for 2019 from Topretirements.com said that only Asheville, North Carolina, was preferable to Sarasota.
“Some consider this thriving city midway down the Gulf Coast to be the cultural capital of Florida, after Miami,” according to the website. “Sarasota has a great downtown with many interesting neighborhoods. An impressive array of cultural facilities is available in Sarasota. Barrier islands like Siesta offer great beaches and developments where retirees can put their feet up.”
The only other Florida city on the list was St. Petersburg.
The website said it based its list on a late-2018 study of the 20 towns that were the best places to retire in four U.S. regions, as determined by which had the most online visits at Topretirement.com. From that list of 80 towns, the website determined the 10 for its new “Best of the Best” list based on its expert evaluations of such things as cultural and recreational opportunities, climate, expense, taxes, the quality of their downtown areas and beauty.
It did not consider “active adult communities” such as the huge The Villages in north central Florida.
The website, launched in 2007, had 80,000 unique visitors and more than 230,000 page views in January. Its newsletter has 21,000 subscribers.
The list and some of its reasons for including each city:
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