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"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes." ~Henry David Thoreau

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Town Snapshot:

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Safe, suburban and diversve, bustling Virginia Beach sits where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay and boasts miles of beautiful beaches.

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How You Can Benefit from a Reverse Mortgage

If you are looking for a way to have a more comfortable retirement, a reverse mortgage may be a way to finance it.

If you are age 62 or better, own your own home, have enough equity in it and plan to stay in it during retirement, then you can probably qualify for a reverse mortgage, letting you elimnate your current mortgage payment and receive tax-free money for retirement (or anything else). You keep ownership of your home until you leave it and continue to pay taxes and insurance on it.

A reverse mortgage is not for everyone - fees can be high and there are a few other downsides - but for many people, this mortgage product can be a financial lifesaver. Talk to a HUD representative or reputable mortgage lender to see if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

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In Depth Review:

Eugene, Oregon

Offbeat, progressive and about an hour from the coast, pretty Eugene, Oregon draws retirees with its academic vibe, rich cultural fabric and green, lush cityscape. It also has an OLLI.

Town Snapshot:

Atlantic Beach, Florida

On the Northeastern Florida coast, Atlantic Beach is a mellow place with a beautiful two mile beach, cute shops and fun events. Shorts and flip flops are standard attire.

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Town Snapshot:

Gulf Shores, Alabama

People come to Gulf Shores, tucked along the central shore of Alabama, for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches, blue waters, outstanding golf courses and deep sea fishing.

Short Review:

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Tucked amid rolling hills and close to two large lakes, Lake Norfork and Bull Shoals Lake, Mountain Home boasts outstanding water recreation, a slower pace and reasonably priced housing.

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Five Types of Mortgage Loans

Fixed Rate Loan - The most common type of conventional loan, a fixed-rate loan has one interest rate and a fixed monthly payment for the length of the loan, which is usually 15 or 30 years.

Adjustable Rate Loan - These mortgages have a lower, fixed rate for a set period of time, usually five or 10 years. After that, the rate adjusts once a year according to current interest rates. The monthly payment goes up or down accordingly.

FHA Loan - This government-backed loan lets a buyer put down as little as 3.5% of a home's purchase price verses the normal 20% required with a conventional loan.

VA Loan - This mortgage loan is for people who have served in the military and requires no down payment or mortgage insurance.

Reverse Mortgage - A reverse mortgage is for people age 62 or better who have equity in their home, want to take it out in the form of tax-free cash and eliminate their mortgage payment.

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Town Snapshot:

North Port, Florida

Straddling the Myakka River and adjacent to the Myakka State Forest in southwestern Florida, North Port is leafy, residential and reasonably priced.

Town Snapshot:

Olympia, Washington

Nestled in heart-stopping scenery on beautiful Puget Sound, laid back Olympia boasts water and mountain views, a picturesque waterfront, downtown events and leafy neighborhoods.

Town Snapshot:

Amherst, Massachusetts

In a region known as Happy Valley, rural but stimulating Amherst is home to three colleges/universities and has a rich cultural ambiance.

In Depth Review:

Tubac, Arizona

Artsy, dusty and understated, Tubac boasts galleries, excellent restaurants, cobbled sidewalks, interesting home styles and an unhurried pace.

Town Snapshot:

Carrabelle, Florida

A working fishing village and deep water seaport on the Florida Panhandle, Carrabelle has an unspoiled beach, an Old Florida vibe and wilderness all around.

Town Snapshot:

Newport, North Carolina

Near Bogue Sound on North Carolina's Crystal Coast, peaceful Newport has a shoreline, country vibe and reasonable housing costs.

Town Snapshot:

Palmer Lake, Colorado

Funky little Palmer Lake is tucked against the Pike National Forest in central Colorado and boasts expansive views and a cute downtown.

Short Review:

Flagler Beach, Florida

Once a sleepy fishing village, Flagler Beach sits on a barrier island and today has a funky, mellow vibe and six miles of pretty, white beaches.

Town Snapshot:

Culpeper, Virginia

Outside of Washington, D.C., Culpeper is a cute place with a historic, well-kept downtown, some wineries and leafy neighborhoods.

Town Snapshot:

Surfside Beach, Texas

South of Houston in southeastern Texas, little Surfside Beach is a mellow seaside village with a four mile long white sand beach and a boathouse as its city hall.

Short Review:

Buffalo, Wyoming

Buffalo is a quaint, authentic, high-altitude town tucked along Clear Creek at the foot of the rugged Big Horn Mountains in north central Wyoming and is often called "Mayberry of the West."

Town Snapshot:

Panama City Beach, Florida

On the Florida Panhandle's Emerald Coast, Panama City Beach is famous for its 27 miles of mesmerizing white powdery beaches and sparkling blue-green waters.

Town Snapshot:

Oak Island, North Carolina

Popular with tourists, Oak Island is a classic, unhurried beach town on a barrier island along the southern North Carolina shore and has a 10-mile stretch of white sand.

Town Snapshot:

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Lovely Swarthmore, home to small, prestigious Swarthmore College, has a cute downtown and a low key collegiate vibe.

Town Snapshot:

Fallbrook, California

Nestled in rolling hills and orchards, sleepy Fallbrook is known for its avocados. In fact, it is the "Avocado Capital of the World."

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Where Are All the Inexpensive U.S. Beach Towns That Don't Have Hurricanes?

Not all U.S. beach towns experience hurricanes or tropical storms, but inexpensive U.S. beach towns are hard to find. Some are somewhat reasonably priced with prices below the national average, but few are cheap - most have costs above the national average. So a cheap beach town with no hurricanes exists primarily in the imagination.

Choosing a Great Place to Retire

When looking for great places to retire, we consider a number of factors, including cost of living, medical facilities, climate, transportation, crime rates, cultural amenities, education levels, shopping venues, infrastructure, recreational opportunities, housing options, the poverty rate and more. We weigh all of the evidence to decide if a town has enough going for it to make it a top place to retire. We are not affiliated with any of the places that we review.

What is the Difference Between Average Home Price and Median Home Price?

When searching for a place to retire, housing costs are a top concern. So what is the difference between the average home price and the median home price? The average home price is determined by adding together all the prices of homes sold during a specific timeframe and then dividing that amount by the number of homes sold. On the other hand, the median home price is the middle sales price of all the homes sold. In other words, a median price means that half of the homes sold at a price below the median and half sold at a price above the median.

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