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Chico, California

Chico, California (population 79,000, with roughly 200,000 in the surrounding area) is a beautiful city located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Cascade Mountains in the northern Sacramento Valley and may be a retirement choice for anyone wanting to live in this sprawling state but not wanting to pay the outrageous cost-of-living found in most other areas, including inland cities.

Cookeville, Tennessee

Located in pastoral Middle Tennessee, Cookeville boasts lake recreation, a strong community spirit, impressive amenities and an affordable cost of living.

Englewood, Florida

Mellow and affordable, Englewood is along the Florida Gulf Coast and boasts excellent water recreation.  Is it a great place to retire?

Lawrence, Kansas

This mid-western city (population 82,000) is a pleasant surprise when it comes to retirement choices.  Located on the green eastern edge of Kansas, Lawrence offers retirees a lively ambiance, a rich cultural scene, an educated population, sporting events and a cost-of-living below the national average.  Once a center of Civil War anti-slavery sentiment, today Lawrence is a liberal spot in an otherwise conservative state.  It is a youthful place, but more retirees are discovering it every day.

Englewood, Florida

A seaside locale, seductive beaches, a good hospital and affordable homes bring people to Englewood.  Is it a great place to retire?

Retirement Downtown (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Many retirees are not seeking golf, beaches or mountains when they consider retirement destinations.  Urban dwellers may cringe at the thought of small-town living, and small-town dwellers may be ready for a change once retirement time arrives.   Active adult developments may be too homogeneous for some; a more eclectic lifestyle may be preferred.  So we look at another growing retirement trend, the one of retiring downtown and creating a community within the heart of a city.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

North of the Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg is home to two universities, excellent medical facilities, affordable housing, an OLLI and easygoing charm.  It is indeed a great retirement spot!

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Inviting and progressive, Chapel Hill entices with its Southern charm, leafy neighborhoods, great food and rich quality of life.  It is a great retirement spot!

Black Mountain, North Carolina

In beautiful western North Carolina, Black Mountain boasts an offbeat mountain sensibility, strong senior programs, a mild climate and good food.  It is a great retirement spot!

Hilo, Hawaii 

Sleepy Hilo is on the Big Island's eastern shore and casts a spell with its tropical vegetation, verdant landscape and very laid back lifestyle.  It is a great retirement spot!

Roseville, California

Nestled in north central California, not far from San Francisco, the Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe, Roseville beckons with its mild climate, top medical facilities, OLLI and comfortable lifestyle.  It is a great retirement spot.

Columbia, Missouri

Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia has affordable housing, a rich cultural scene, sporting events, top notch medical facilities and a funky downtown.  It is a great place to retire!

Rockport, Texas

This laid back, funky town sits on the Gulf Coast, giving residents access to plenty of fishing, boating and sunning.  Is it a great place to retire?

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Hot weather, great water recreation and the original London Bridge are Lake Havasu City highlights. Is this western Arizona city a great place to retire?

Retirement Downtown (Providence, Rhode Island)

Not long ago, Providence (population 178,000 with roughly 10,000 in the downtown area) was a place not many people wanted to live.  The economy was failing, and parts of the city typified the term "urban blight."   Today, though, thanks to some progressive, even visionary, civic leaders, Providence is a city transformed and is referred to as the "Renaissance City."   It is growing and often cited as one of the best places to live in the country; the downtown has undergone an amazing and exciting revitalization in the last few years.  

Missoula, Montana

Missoula, set amid rugged mountain scenery in western Montana, has a casual but sophisticated atmosphere, abundant outdoor recreation and a lively cultural scene.  It is a great retirement spot.

Thomasville, Georgia

Thomasville, Georgia, nicknamed the "City of Roses," is a place that completely charms visitors and residents alike.  This idyllic destination (population 22,000) has a history of prosperity from pre-Civil War years when cotton plantations dotted the landscape. The town has a unique combination of Southern romance and a healthy economy, something that appeals to seniors seeking a retirement spot with vitality. 

Athens, Georgia

With its classic cityscape, affordable homes, stimulating atmosphere, rich cultural amenities, fun downtown and more, Athens is a great retirement spot!

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida, a 440-year-old town that oozes Old World character, romance and history, is always worth a second look.   Having endured a tumultuous history, St. Augustine today is a vibrant tourist and retirement spot with centuries-old homes, narrow cobblestone streets, eclectic shops, cozy cafes, historic B&Bs and lovely gardens.  In short, it is a great place to retire.

New Bern, North Carolina

This city of nearly 24,000 lies in North Carolina's historic Inner Bank region where the Neuse and Trent rivers converge and is about 30 miles from Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.  European immigrants settled the area in the early 18th century, and the town served as the state capitol for a time. New Bern today has developed into a prosperous, progressive and popular community where residents and visitors can enjoy many activities in a generally mild climate.

Tubac, Arizona

Sleepy Tubac, Arizona (population 1,188) is located 45 miles south of Tucson (population 750,000) and reminds one of Santa Fe as it was thirty or forty years ago.  Founded in 1752 as a presidio (fort) by a Spanish explorer, the community was for years the furthest outpost of the Spanish frontier.   Today Tubac is a thriving artists' colony and home to more than 80 shops, boutiques, galleries and art studios. 

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Nestled along two rivers, Port St. Lucie has affordable homes and a low key vibe.  Is it a great place to retire?

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Abundant outdoor recreation, educational opportunities, a good hospital and an affordable cost of living are Arkadelphia highlights.  Is it a great place to retire? 

Eagle River City, Wisconsin

Small Eagle River, Wisconsin is located on the Eagle River in the northern portion of the state and is a great spot for those seeking an outdoor oriented retirement amid dense woods and sparkling lakes.  The climate is cool; the fresh air is stimulating; wildlife is all around, and the cost-of-living is below the national average.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

On the South Carolina coast, Myrtle Beach is a vacation hot spot, boasting a bounty of beaches, restaurants, shopping and golf.  Is it also a great place to retire?

Dade City, Florida

Old Florida character, a friendly reputation, affordable homes and a good hospital are Dade City highlights.  Is it a great place to retire?

Vero Beach, Florida

Scenic, relaxed and understated, Vero Beach boasts clean beaches and an award winning hospital.    Is it a great place to retire?

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Located along the rugged Atlantic coast, Halifax is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich maritime history, wonderful architecture and a stunning waterfront setting.  It is a great retirement spot!

The Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve, Portugal, has been attracting expatriate retirees for some time.  Located on the very southern end of this enticing country, the region (85 miles by 23 miles) is known for its delightful climate, excellent golf, colorful, fertile landscape and its magnificent coastline that consists of long stretches of white sandy beaches interspersed with majestic cliffs and grottoes.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada  

Not every retiree would consider relocating to the southeast Atlantic coast of Canada a great idea, but for those seeking a part-time retirement (full-time retirement requires permanent resident status) in an affordable, cosmopolitan destination perched along one of the largest natural harbors in the world, Halifax, Nova Scotia should be considered.  This vibrant city offers a pristine beauty, four seasons (although little snow until after January) and many cultural and recreation amenities.   

Boulder, Colorado

Affluent, casual Boulder sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado and boasts a quality-of-life not found in many other small cities.  Retirees who enjoy the outdoors, beautiful scenery, an educated, eclectic mix of people and a collegiate atmosphere are drawn to this Western oasis.  The cost-of-living is high, but for those who can afford it, Boulder is a great place to retire. 

Lincoln City, Oregon  

Located just two hours from Portland, this delightful seaside town of 7,400 people is ideally situated along seven miles of sandy beach on the central Oregon coast and has lush forests and narrow, pretty, 680-acre Devils Lake to the east, the Salmon River to the north and Siletz Bay to the south.   Retirees have known about this spot for years; in fact, 35% of the population is age 55 and better, with 42 being the median age.  

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Along the eastern edge of South Carolina is a 60 mile stretch of real estate famous for its wide beaches, 120 public golf courses, trendy restaurants and abundant shopping.   This area is known as the Grand Strand, and Myrtle Beach, a boisterous, booming tourist destination, is its largest city.   It is also a spot that draws retirees seeking sand and surf, plenty of activity and a below-average cost-of-living.

Lawrence, Kansas  

Home to the University of Kansas, lively Lawrence boasts a fun cultural scene, athletic events, intellectual stimulation and affordable living.  It is a great retirement spot!

Boise, Idaho

Situated in Idaho's southwest corner, the appealing capital city of Boise (population 200,000) sits on a high plain (elevation 2,700 feet) along the Boise River. With mountains to the east, it is a scenic city and got its start as a fort, first built by the Hudson Bay Company in the 1830s, and then after being abandoned, re-built by the U.S. Army during the Civil War.   Is it a great place to retire?

Venice, Florida

Venice, along the southwest Florida coast, is nonchalant and reasonably-priced.  Is it a great place to retire?

Madison, Georgia

Not far from modern Atlanta, Madison is a showcase of an earlier time, with stately antebellum homes and a small town pace.  Nearby lake recreation and a lower cost of living add to its considerable appeal.

Centre, Alabama

Unhurried and affordable, life in Centre, Alabama revolves around Weiss Lake, a spot where the fish are always biting.  Is this quiet town a great place to retire?

Oxford, Mississippi    

Rural but literary Oxford, home to Ole Miss, entices with its Southern sophistication, intellectual stimulation, gracious living and affordable lifestyle.  It is a great retirement spot!

Walla Walla, Washington

An old farming community that is gaining recognition for its wine industry, Walla Wall has a reasonable cost of living, a comfortable vibe and a slower pace.  It is easy to understand why retirees are choosing this gentle city.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

High in the Rocky Mountains, about three hours west of Denver, Glenwood Springs inspires with its dramatic setting, outstanding outdoor recreation and world-famous healing mineral waters.  It is indeed a great retirement spot.

Ojai, California

Despite mudslides and earthquakes, California is still a popular retirement state, and lush, affluent Ojai, located roughly 35 miles from Santa Barbara and a world away from Los Angeles, is a gorgeous, although expensive, retirement destination.  This community of 8,000 people is adjacent to a national forest and sits beneath the Topa Topa Mountains in a valley overflowing with orange and lemon groves.  Ojai epitomizes the best that California has to offer and reminds one of what the state used to be half a century ago.  

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Leafy Chapel Hill is a college town, progressive and a little bit funky.  It boasts educated residents, very good medical facilities, elegant homes, free public transit and a top notch foodie culture.  It is a great retirement spot!

Venice, Florida

An excellent hospital, clean beaches, a strong arts culture and relatively affordable housing are Venice highlights.  Is it a great place to retire?

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Coeur d'Alene is home to 35,000 people and is located on beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene in the rugged, northwest corner of Idaho's panhandle.  Stumbled upon by Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s, the area's untamed wilderness first drew fur trappers and explorers; today it beckons to those seeking an active, outdoorsy retirement. 

Papillion, Nebraska

Papillion receives top reviews from just about everyone.  With its lush parks system, well-tended neighborhoods, affordable homes, excellent hospital and very low crime rate, it is a great retirement spot!

Boquete, Panama  

Numerous recent publications have written about the charms of relocating to Panama, a favorite up-and-coming foreign retirement destination, and it is easy to understand why.  This lush, tropical country is located between Central and South America and is roughly 2 1/2 hours by air from Miami.   Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken.  The currency is the balboa, which has the same value as the U.S. dollar (and the U.S. dollar is a common currency as well). 

Cooperstown, New York

Picturesque Cooperstown is famous for baseball, but it also has an idyllic setting, a low crime rate and a very good hospital.  Is it a great place to retire?

Ashland, Oregon  

Nestled in the mountains of southwestern Oregon, Ashland is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and boasts a lively atmosphere, safe, leafy neighborhoods and a rich quality of life.  It is a great retirement spot!

Chico, California

Chico, California (population 79,000, with roughly 200,000 in the surrounding area) is a beautiful city located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Cascade Mountains in the northern Sacramento Valley and may be a retirement choice for anyone wanting to live in this sprawling state but not wanting to pay the outrageous cost-of-living found in most other areas, including inland cities. 

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Springs, Arkansas (population 36,000) is a tourist and retirement destination that seems to receive rave reviews from almost everyone (even Al Capone enjoyed coming here).  Located in central Arkansas, it has a beautiful setting among lakes and rolling hills, a mild climate, a lower-than-average cost-of-living, and it offers the benefits of renowned, healing mineral waters. 

Meredith, New Hampshire

The picturesque village of Meredith, nestled in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, boasts historic charm, a lakefront setting and a quaint New England vibe.   Recreation is plentiful and varied; homes are large and historic and antiquing is a way of life.   For anyone seeking retirement in an idyllic setting with gorgeous scenery and a lake culture, Meredith may be just the ticket.

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Mountain Home, Arkansas (population 11,500) is a casual, low-key destination that attracts retirees seeking lots of water recreation, low crime rates, four fairly mild seasons and affordable housing.  Being snuggled in the Ozark Mountains, pretty scenery abounds, and two nearby sparkling lakes entice water-lovers to spend their days fishing, boating, water skiing and just soaking up the lake atmosphere.  This peaceful spot is worth a look.

Loveland, Colorado

Situated along the Rocky Mountains' front range in northern Colorado, about 50 miles north of Denver, Loveland is known as the "Sweetheart City" and often lands on "great places to live" lists.  Is it a great retirement spot?

Russellville, Arkansas

Along shimmering Lake Dardanelle in lush west central Arkansas, inviting Russellville boasts a peaceful setting, a quiet lifestyle and plenty of water recreation.  It is a great retirement spot!

Peachtree City, Georgia

Recognized as one of the best planned cities in the nation, verdant Peachtree City, Georgia offers retirees a high quality of life, a low crime rate, a wide range of housing prices and a strong sense of community.  Green belts, private homes, business parks and 90 miles of paved paths are integrated to create a relaxed city ambiance, one in which golf carts are the primary mode of transportation.  

San Diego, California  

San Diego (population 1.3 million with 2.8 million in San Diego County) is California's second largest city and the seventh largest city in the United States, so it is not the place for those seeking a quiet retirement away from it all.   It is also not a destination without a few problems, including air pollution, congestion and very high real estate prices, but offsetting much of that are the outstanding health care options, balmy Mediterranean weather and a nearly endless array of things to do and see.  

Cadiz, Kentucky

Not far from the beautiful Land Between the Lakes area in southwestern Kentucky, Cadiz is cute, affordable and safe.  Is it a great place to retire?

Smyrna, Tennessee

Not far from the bright lights of Nashville is Smyrna, Tennessee, a welcoming spot with a leisurely pace and homes priced well below the national average.  Steeped in traditional values and with lots of churches, Smyrna also has a growing economy, a strong middle class and a 30,000-acre recreation area just outside of town.  For retirees seeking affordability and a high quality of life, Smyrna is worth a peek.

Celebration, Florida

Built by the Walt Disney Company in the 1990s, Celebration is an idealized small town, boasting canopied streets, beautiful homes with front porches, a lovely waterfront and a quaint downtown.  It is a great retirement spot.

Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown, Texas (population 30,000), is an up-and-coming retirement destination located in the central part of the state (just off of I-35 and about 20 miles north of Austin).  Once a staging area for cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail, this quaint town offers a cost-of-living below the national average, has a strong sense of pioneer history and works to maintain its historical integrity.   Nearly two hundred downtown 18th-century buildings have been restored and renovated.  

Lincoln City, Oregon

Lincoln City is situated along the northern Oregon coast and boasts stunning natural beauty, outstanding outdoor recreation and a waterfront locale.  It is a great retirement spot!

Athens, Georgia 

Leafy Athens, Georgia is located in the east central part of the state and is home to the sprawling University of Georgia.  While definitely a college town, Athens is attracting more pre-retirees and retirees because of its low cost-of-living, mild weather and affordable housing. 

Flagstaff, Arizona

Nestled at 7,000 feet in northern Arizona, beautiful Flagstaff has great cultural amenities, ample outdoor recreation, Old West character and a very good hospital.  Is it a great place to retire?

Largo, Florida

Florida has its problems with hurricanes and high insurance rates, but it is still the top retirement destination in the United States.  This article is written by the daughter of retirees who have happily settled in Largo, Florida.   For those seeking a mellow retirement near the beach and within close proximity of literally thousands of  restaurants, dozens of golf courses and with real estate priced considerably less than the national average, Largo is worth a look.

Paris, Tennessee

Paris, Tennessee, a small southern town, is just 15 miles from the sprawling (140,000 acres) recreation area Land Between the Lakes, which as the name implies, is situated between two large, shimmering bodies of water, man-made Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.   Paris' cost-of-living is below the national average, and the town has a healthy downtown and an active senior population.  

Columbia, Missouri

Leafy Columbia, Missouri (population 91,000), located roughly half way between Kansas City and St. Louis, is consistently ranked as one of the best cities in which to reside thanks to its lower-than-average cost-of-living, clean air, cultural activities, outstanding health care and low crime rate.  It is a youthful place, primarily because it is home to three colleges and universities, including the University of Missouri.

Lawrence, Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas is a pleasant surprise when it comes to retirement choices.  Located on the green eastern edge of Kansas, this mid-western city offers retirees a lively ambiance, a rich cultural scene, an educated population, sporting events and a cost-of-living below the national average.  It is a youthful place, but more retirees are discovering it every day.

Ithaca, New York

Vibrant Ithaca, New York (population 29,000 + students) is known for its high quality of life and liberal social and political environment.   Situated in the center of New York State on the shore of 40-mile long Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes), this lovely college town was once called "The City of Evil" for its tolerance of gambling, drinking and swearing.  Today, it is less rowdy, growing economically and has a cost-of-living and youthful ambiance that appeals to many seniors.

St. Joseph, Michigan

Pretty St. Joseph is a resort town along the shores of Lake Michigan and boasts an affordable cost of living.  Is it a great place to retire?

Russellville, Arkansas

Tucked between mountain ranges and along the banks of a river, unpretentious Russellville, Arkansas is just the spot for retirees in search of life's simple pleasures in a beautiful locale.  Lake recreation, friendly people and fresh air all add to Russellville's down home allure, but the biggest draw may be the cost of living, which is 25% below the national average, something nearly everyone can appreciate.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, in the central part of the state, sits the growing, bustling city of Murfreesboro, a friendly place with reasonably-priced housing and a cost of living below the national average.  An historic, authentic downtown, plenty of good restaurants and excellent health care are all reasons to consider this southern city for a high quality, affordable retirement.

Brandon, Mississippi

A "Certified Retirement Community," bucolic Brandon is not far from beautiful Bartlett Reservoir and is low key, affordable, safe and works to attract retirees.  It is a great retirement spot.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, along the mid-South Carolina coast, enchants nearly everyone, with its rich history and waterfront setting.  Is it a great place to retire?

Lynchburg, Virginia

With the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance and rolling green hills all around, Lynchburg is indeed a pretty spot for retirement.  The fact that its cost of living is 15% below the national average and that its housing is nearly 32% below the national average make it even more appealing.  No wonder it lands on so many "Best Places to Live" lists.  Anyone seeking a small affordable Eastern city should take a peek at Lynchburg.

St. George, Utah

St. George, Utah is a booming community that beckons to golf enthusiasts, hot, dry weather devotees, artists, professionals and seniors from across the country.  Located about six miles north of the Arizona border and roughly 120 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the community has seen rapid growth in the last ten years, and today retirees make up 30% of its population.  

Savannah, Georgia

Gracious antebellum homes, southern charm and architectural integrity make Savannah, Georgia (population 140,000) an elegant city fiercely proud of its history and unique way of life.   To stroll the two and a half square mile Historic District, a model of civic pride and restoration for the rest of the country, is to step back into a simpler, more gracious time. 

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico exudes a charm not found in many other areas of the United States and is a sophisticated city in a very laid-back, Western way.   A mixture of Anglo, Mexican and Indian cultures, as well as Catholicism and paganism, create a rather mystical feeling, and retirees here enjoy a mellow, somewhat enchanted lifestyle.

Savannah, Georgia

Gracious antebellum homes, southern charm and architectural integrity make Savannah, Georgia (population 140,000) an elegant city fiercely proud of its history and unique way of life.   To stroll the two and a half square mile Historic District, a model of civic pride and restoration for the rest of the country, is to step back into a simpler, more gracious time. 

Thomasville, Georgia

Southern charm, gracious homes, bountiful roses and a reasonable cost of living are just a few reasons why Thomasville, Georgia enchants nearly everyone.  It is a great retirement spot!

Iowa City, Iowa

Situated along the banks of the pretty Iowa River in the rolling farmland of eastern Iowa, this vibrant, medium-sized, university city is drawing retirees in search of a rich cultural scene, below-average housing costs, top-notch health care facilities, established neighborhoods and a low crime rate.   Known for its strong literary tradition (and also for being the home of the Iowa Hawkeyes), Iowa City provides a high quality of life at an affordable price.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Spectacular mountain scenery, world-famous healing mineral waters and top-notch outdoor recreation are what bring retirees to Glenwood Springs, a vibrant, high-altitude Colorado resort town.  President Teddy Roosevelt and gunfighter/dentist Doc Holiday both spent time here, and today active retirees are following in their footsteps.  Just down the road from celebrity-soaked Aspen, this mountain hamlet is worth a look.

Holland, Michigan

Settled by Dutch Calvinist separatists, idyllic Holland is a bit of the Netherlands situated on the banks of Lake Macatawa in southwestern Michigan.  Quiet winters, cooler summers, six million tulips, a strong religious heritage, a variety of affordable housing styles and a cost-of-living below the national average are what bring retirees to this charming small city.

Panamanian Retirement

This is an article submitted to us about retirement in Panama, a destination that offers retirees a low cost-of-living, low crime rates, amenities not found in other Central American countries and one of the planet's best retiree discount programs (10% to 50% off nearly everything, including restaurants, airfares, doctors' visits and much more).  Retirees thinking of moving abroad should consider this Central American destination.

Eugene, Oregon

Located 60 miles from the beautiful Oregon coast, liberal, laid-back Eugene draws retirees seeking a vibrant city with excellent health care, lush surroundings and a strong sense of environmentalism.  Home to the leafy 250-acre University of Oregon, the city also ranks highly when it comes to the arts, outdoor recreation and cultural diversity. For anyone considering retirement on the West coast, Eugene is worth a look. 

Mount Dora, Florida

If you enjoy balmy weather and a friendly small-town ambiance mixed with New England charm, then Mount Dora, Florida may be the retirement spot for you.  This Victorian town of 10,000 people is nestled on the eastern edge of six-mile long Lake Dora and is surrounded by rolling hills, lakes and forests in central Florida (roughly 45 minutes northwest of Orlando).  While not specifically a retirement town, nearly half of the town's residents are 45 years or better.

Princess Anne, Maryland

Named for Princess Anne, the daughter of Britain's King George II, this quaint Maryland hamlet (population 2,600) was founded in 1733 and to this day retains much of its cultural heritage.   Centrally located between Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Princess Anne is a romantic oasis tucked away from the hectic activity of the east coast.

Cruise Ship Retirement  

Retirement on a cruise ship is a romantic idea that is not as far-fetched as it sounds.  Within the last couple of years, thanks mainly to an article in a professional medical journal, the notion has started to gain some traction.  As of now, there are no "retirement cruise ships," but it is possible to book cruises back to back to create a floating retirement for slightly more than it costs to reside in an average assisted living community.    Most seniors we know would choose the cruise ship any day.  There is even one resident cruise ship currently in operation.

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Nestled in the rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania, leafy Kennett Square is cute and known for a particular food item.   Is it also a great place to retire? 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a city with a unique combination of progressiveness and old fashioned Southern hospitality, is home to the bustling University of North Carolina, but it's the vibrant cultural scene, athletic events, parks, excellent medical facilities and easy lifestyle that draw retirees here.

Astoria, Oregon

Situated near the mouth of the majestic Columbia River in northwestern Oregon, Astoria is the oldest permanent European settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.   Started as a trading post by John Jacob Astor in the early 1800s, this picturesque waterfront town is nestled in spectacular surroundings and offers Victorian homes, a low crime rate and excellent health care.

Charlottesville, Virginia

When Thomas Jefferson retired, he came to Charlottesville, Virginia, and it is easy to understand why.  Tucked in lush, hilly terrain, this college town (home to the University of Virginia) draws retirees seeking a vibrant ambiance, a location steeped in history, a mild climate and access to excellent health care.

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Quaint Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, was originally settled in 1714 by the French as a trading post and soon became home to Southern aristocrats.  Nestled in lush lake country, today Natchitoches offers residents a peaceful retirement in an historic city with a very affordable cost-of-living.

Papillion, Nebraska

Nebraska may not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking about places to retire, but Papillion, just outside of Omaha, is a thriving city with green spaces, a restored downtown, traditional values, an absence of crime and a high quality of life.  It is a spot that should be on the list of any retiree seeking a pretty, healthy and reasonably priced place to retire. 

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi is what the state of Mississippi calls a "Certified Retirement Community."  To qualify for this distinction, Hattiesburg meets a number of standards, including providing affordable housing, good health care, accessible public transportation, strong cultural opportunities and an active welcoming committee.  It's a place many retirees will want to call home. 

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Deep in the American southwest lies the growing metropolis of Las Cruces, New Mexico, a peaceful city in a green valley surrounded by mountains.  With a rich mix of Spanish, Native American, Mexican and Anglo histories, Las Cruces has a distinctive quality that, when combined with reasonably-priced housing, wide-open spaces and an unhurried pace, is attracting many retirees.

Bella Vista, Arkansas

Established in the 1960s as a retirement community, today Bella Vista, Arkansas is an incorporated city and open to all ages, although retirees continue to comprise the majority of the population.   The affordable cost-of-living, serene setting, eclectic and reasonably priced housing, not to mention eight lakes and eight golf courses, make this a retirement spot that is easy to love.

Roseburg, Oregon

Located on the Umpqua River in scenic, rugged southwestern Oregon,  Roseburg is a pretty town that is attracting seniors seeking a beautiful setting, an outdoor lifestyle and traditional values.  Downtown Roseburg has undergone a revitalization and is alive and well, and while housing costs are above the national average, there are two new apartment complexes for lower-income seniors.  Covered bridges, wineries and waterfalls dot the area, and the Pacific Ocean is only 50 miles away.

Hanover, Pennsylvania

Situated in southeastern Pennsylvania, Hanover was the site of the Civil War's Battle of Hanover, and today structures from that era still stand, a testament to the town's stability and character.  Retirees come to this quiet haven searching for a lower cost of living, a low crime rate and traditional values.  They find all that and more.

Clemson, South Carolina

Tucked away in South Carolina's "Upcountry," Clemson is a college town in every sense of the word.  It is also a place where retirees find a lower cost of living, reasonably priced housing, abundant lake recreation, an active cultural scene, a good senior support system, a low crime rate and friendly residents.  Now that sounds like a great retirement spot!

Moscow, Idaho

Tucked away in the northwestern corner of pretty, rural Idaho, Moscow is a college town so far untouched by the influx of touristy development and commercialization.  A liberal spot in an otherwise conservative state, Moscow is welcoming, safe and has a gentle spirit appreciated by families, students and retirees alike.  The cost-of-living meets the national average, and the surrounding landscape (The Palouse) is unusual and striking.

Summerville, South Carolina

Snuggled on a ridge in the woods just north of Charleston, South Carolina is the idyllic hamlet of Summerville, once a retreat for Charleston's wealthy plantation owners seeking escape from the summer heat.  Today retirees come to Summerville to enjoy its antebellum architecture, relaxed pace, Southern charm, traditional values, abundance of azaleas and a cost-of-living below the national average.

Fairhope, Alabama

Located along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in Alabama, charming Fairhope was established in 1894 as an experimental colony by a group of tax reformers; today it is a retirement destination that has won national recognition for its parks, flower beds and dedication to preserving the large moss-covered oak trees throughout town.  Many folks, including artists and writers, are attracted to this quaint spot's beauty and sweeping waterfront vistas.

New Braunfels, Texas

A rich German heritage, two mighty rivers and an affordable cost of living bring retirees to the pretty town of New Braunfels just outside of San Antonio, Texas.   The weather is warm; home prices are reasonable and recreation is plentiful.  This is indeed an interesting retirement spot.

Roseville, California

The real estate is not inexpensive by any means, but in Roseville, California, housing prices are less than in many other areas of the state.   Throw in a mild climate, a healthy economy and a crime rate below the national average, and it is easy to see why many a retiree is turning his sights west to Roseville.  Early gold rush miners did not find gold here, but they may have discovered something even better.

Cookeville, Tennessee

Retirees seeking southern hospitality, mild weather and an affordable cost-of-living might want to consider Cookeville, Tennessee as a retirement spot.   This town of 27,000 people is located in the Upper Cumberland region of middle Tennessee, about 80 miles east of Nashville, and is surrounded by placid lakes and wooded terrain.

Florence, Alabama

Tucked along the Tennessee River in northwestern Alabama, Florence is a spot once home to the Choctaw and the Cherokee. Today it is a pretty, mellow spot with a restored downtown, very affordable homes, championship golf courses, fishing, and, of course, the Coon Dog Cemetery.  Need we say more?

Eufaula, Alabama

Perched on a bluff in southeastern Alabama,  Eufaula beckons with its lake culture, grand architecture, Southern traditions and affordable cost of living. 

Arnaudville, Louisiana

Tucked along two Louisiana buyous, Arnaudville is a peaceful spot with French roots and Southern style.   Cajun cooking, lazy days, warm weather, cypress trees, affordable living and an appreciation for life's simpler pleasures are what bring retirees to this welcoming small town.

Manitou Springs, Colorado

Nestled in a box canyon at the foot of Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs is a charming Victorian mountain community with a gentle spirit and a beautiful setting.  From its early days as a health resort to its modern incarnation as a funky, touristy spot, Manitou Springs is worth a look.

Issaquah, Washington

Not everyone wants to retire in hot, humid weather, so here we look at the old mining town of Issaquah, Washington, now a prosperous community nestled between majestic mountains and a shimmering lake.  Aside from its beautiful setting, retirees are attracted to Issaquah for its quiet affluence, attractive homes and outdoor-oriented lifestyle.

Burlington, Vermont

Located on a hill with views of the Adirondack Mountains and overlooking sparkling Lake Champlain, the sixth largest lake in the United States, Burlington, Vermont (population 40,000) is a picturesque New England college town with roughly 4,000 retiree residents who enjoy beautiful scenery, a high quality of life and socially progressive politics. 

Swansboro, North Carolina

The cost of a coastal retirement may be in reach for many in the low-key fishing village of Swansboro, North Carolina.  Dating from 1783, this picturesque spot has a deep seafaring history; fishing and boating have always been, and still are, a way of life.  Add reasonably-priced housing and welcoming residents, and a Swansboro retirement is worth a look.

State College, Pennsylvania

Central Pennsylvania is not always on everyone's list when it comes to considering retirement destinations, but perhaps it should be because State College, site of Penn State University, has what many retirees are seeking, a moderate cost of living, a low crime rate, plenty of cultural amenities, athletic events and a vibrant milieu with something for most everyone.

Ocala, Florida

Often called the Horse Capital of the country, Ocala, Florida is surrounded by thoroughbred horse farms and emerald green pastures.  Retirees come here for the warm weather, affordable cost of living, abundant golf and easy access to two coasts.   It's a tranquil spot and one worth considering for retirement.

Brunswick, Maine

Once home to shipbuilders and sea captains, today Brunswick, Maine is a quaint seaside community and small college town, complete with a lively downtown, a rocky coast, an active cultural scene, excellent medical facilities, a low crime rate and authentic New England character. 

Eufaula, Alabama

In the southeastern corner of Alabama, along the Chattahoochee River and overlooking a large body of water, is the tranquil town of Eufaula, once a prosperous trading center before the Civil War and today home to a bounty of antebellum homes and a slow Southern pace.  Lots of lake recreation and affordable homes add to Eufaula's considerable charm.

Anacortes, Washington

Tucked away on Fidalgo Island in Washington's Puget Sound, Anacortes is a picturesque seaport in a stunning locale.  Bays, mountains and forests are all around, making this an ideal retirement spot for anyone with a love of the outdoors.  Throw in a rich maritime culture, a casual island lifestyle and an emerging arts community, and many a retiree has found his idea of retirement heaven. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Retirees seeking a new life in the American West will want to consider clean, safe and unassuming Cheyenne, situated in southeastern Wyoming.   Home to sensible people and traditional values, this quiet city offers affordable homes and a low-key lifestyle.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Leafy and lush, lively Charlottesville boasts a collegiate atmosphere, a rich history and outstanding medical facilities.  It is a great retirement spot!

Bernal, Queretaro, Mexico

U.S. expatriate retiree Peter Shuster is back with a profile of a Mexican town named Bernal.  Located in the State of Queretaro, this quaint spot is home to a volcanic mountain that is said to possess mystical powers, giving the residents of Bernal extraordinary longevity.

Ensenada, Mexico

When it comes to retirement in Mexico, a few destinations come to mind, and Ensenada is one of them.  No longer a sleepy fishing village, this coastal destination is the third largest city in Baja California and home to nearly 20,000 U.S. expats, many of them retirees.  Mild weather, a lower cost of living and close proximity to the international border are why U.S. retirees make the move to Ensenada.

Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, Mexico

Located in south-central Mexico, Tequisquiapan is a safe, clean and welcoming Colonial city that offers expatriates a viable alternative to a high-cost retirement in the United States.

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