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"Not all those who wander are lost." ~J.R.R. Tolkien

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Town Snapshot:

Hawi, Hawaii

Tucked in the verdant, sparsely populated North Kohala district on Hawaii's Big Island, cozy Hawi has a cute downtown with colorful, renovated plantation buildings.

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Town Snapshot:

Pflugerville, Texas

On the edge of the Blackland Prairies outside of Austin, Pflugerville was settled by a German immigrant and today is a comfortable, wholesome bedroom community.

Town Snapshot:

Marco Island, Florida

This balmy, upscale town sits on a barrier island at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands and boasts sparkling white beaches and gorgeous blue-green waters.

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Town Snapshot:

Salem, Oregon

Just an hour from the coast, Salem is a quiet, mid-sized city in the lush Willamette Valley in northwestern Oregon and is surrounded by natural beauty.

Town Snapshot:

Coconut Creek, Florida

Near the southeastern Florida coast and named after its many coconut palms, Coconut Creek has an abundance of parks, gardens, canals and lushly landscaped avenues, not to mention the world's largest butterfly aviary.

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Town Snapshot:

Isle of Palms, South Carolina

This affluent barrier island town is 15 miles east of Charleston on the mid-South Carolina coast and is known for its clean beaches, colorful, open-air eateries and beautiful homes.

In Depth Review:

Russellville, Arkansas

Swaddled by lush rolling hills in west central Arkansas, Russellville sits along the Arkansas River between the Ozark Mountains and the Ouachita Mountains. It is an unpretentious, amiable place with affordable housing, safe neighborhoods and outstanding outdoor recreation. It is a great retirement spot!

Town Snapshot:

Fishers, Indiana

Outside of Indianapolis, Fishers lands on "best places to live" lists, thanks to its very safe neighborhoods, wholesome atmosphere and friendly folks.

Town Snapshot:

Newport, North Carolina

Peaceful Newport sits near Bogue Sound on North Carolina's Crystal Coast and has a country seaside vibe with reasonable housing costs.

Short Review:

Norris, Tennessee

Nestled in the lush rolling hills of northeastern Tennessee, Norris is a charming town based on the English garden city design movement of the 1890s and has a pretty central square. Is it a great place to retire?

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Town Snapshot:

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Ensconced in the foothills of the rugged Superstition Mountains about 45 miles to the east of downtown Phoenix, Gold Canyon is best known for its five 18-hole golf courses and beautiful views.

Town Snapshot:

Hunter's Creek, Florida

Nestled in a pretty landscape of lakes and palm trees in central Florida, peaceful Hunter's Creek is an unincorporated town and master-planned community all rolled into one.

Town Snapshot:

Arcata, California

On the edges of Arcata Bay in scenic northern California, Arcata is a very laid back, "granola" kind of place and home to Humboldt State University.

Town Snapshot:

Ocean Pines, Maryland

Wooded Ocean Pines, part town and part HOA, is on Maryland's Eastern Shore and has a beach club, a golf course, a tennis complex, a dog park and more.

Town Snapshot:

Kuna, Idaho

Outside of Boise in southwestern Idaho, Kuna is reasonably priced, safe, spacious and not far from outstanding outdoor recreation.

Town Snapshot:

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Kure Beach is on the southern end of Pleasure Island and is a relaxed place, home to a nice boardwalk and miles of clean white beaches.

Town Snapshot:

Temple, Texas

In central Texas, Temple is home to a regional medical center and has an award-winning library, an orchestra, affordable housing and more.

Town Snapshot:

Cape Coral, Florida

A pretty town, Cape Coral boasts 400 miles of canals and a soothing ambiance. Bays and sounds are all around, and opportunities for boating and fishing abound.

Town Snapshot:

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

On the Great Plains of southeastern South Dakota, Sioux Falls is well-managed, clean and safe with a nice downtown and plenty of amenities.

Town Snapshot:

Cumming, Georgia

Outside of bustling Atlanta and along the shores of beautiful Lake Lanier in northern Georgia, up and coming Cumming is leafy, suburban and growing.

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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.

Where Are All the Plain Old Cheap Towns?

In general, prices have been rising across the U.S. during the past few years. For example, in 2015, the median home sales price was $223,000. In 2019, it was $274,000. The U.S. has its share of cheap towns with relatively inexpensive real estate, but with cheap prices come high crime rates, high poverty rates, low education levels, population loss and failing infrastructure. These are not towns we can recommend for retirement. We also don't review many very expensive towns because many retirees cannot afford them.

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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