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"Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress." ~Liz Smith

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Town Snapshot:

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Situated along a series of bayous and the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Springs has a rich culture and boasts a charming tourist area with an eclectic collection of sponge shops, galleries and eateries.

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Town Snapshot:

Rockaway Beach, Oregon

A peaceful, casual place with mountains on its east side and seven miles of often empty beach on its west side, Rockaway Beach is a world unto itself.

Town Snapshot:

Strasburg, Pennsylvania

In scenic Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Strasburg was settled by Huguenots and Mennonites and today is known as "Train Town, USA."

Town Snapshot:

Lincoln, Nebraska

Set amid gently rolling hills, Lincoln is a pleasant, relaxed place with two major hospitals, a large university and reasonable costs.

Town Snapshot:

North Redington Beach, Florida

A low key oceanfront town, North Redington Beach is packed with condos, hotels and single family waterfront homes. The mile-long, sugar white beach is the town highlight.

Town Snapshot:

Little River, South Carolina

In the sleepy coastal village of Little River, the oldest town along the Grand Strand, life moves at a gentle pace, and playing in the water is a common activity.

Town Snapshot:

Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida

This tranquil barrier island community is on the northeastern Florida coast. The beach is rarely crowded, and costs are reasonable.

Town Snapshot:

Ellijay, Georgia

In the lush Appalachian foothills of northern Georgia, Ellijay is a quiet country town where the whip-poor-wills whistle. It is also known as the "Apple Capital of Georgia."

Town Snapshot:

Corpus Christi, Texas

A laid back coastal city, Corpus Christi has an eclectic population, a pretty skyline, a nice bayfront, plenty of beaches and more.

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Town Snapshot:

Chandler, Arizona

Outside of Phoenix in southern Arizona, sunny Chandler boasts nearly a dozen golf courses, a public art gallery, art walks, jazz festivals, block parties and more.

Town Snapshot:

Franklin, Tennessee

Along the Harpeth River in a gently rolling landscape outside of Nashville, Franklin has an award-winning historic downtown, a wine festival, a jazz festival, plenty of eateries and more.

Town Snapshot:

Mary Esther, Florida

This friendly coastal town is in on the Panhandle and just across the Sound from Santa Rosa Island and its sparkling white sand beaches.

Town Snapshot:

Breckenridge, Colorado

Swaddled by mountain peaks and national forest in spectacular northwestern Colorado, Breckenridge is cute, trendy and touristy.

Town Snapshot:

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Kill Devil Hills, a place where pirates once drank rum so vile it could kill the Devil himself, is today one of the Outer Banks' most visited vacation destinations.

Town Snapshot:

Brooksville, Florida

Reminiscent of Old Florida and slightly overgrown, friendly Brooksville boasts a cute downtown, canopy lanes and a nearby state forest perfect for biking, fishing and picnicing.

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In Depth Review:

Missoula, Montana

At the foot of the Bitterroot Mountains, Missoula boasts beautiful scenery, a lively cultural scene, good hospitals and abundant outdoor recreation. It is a great retirement spot!

Town Snapshot:

Morgantown, West Virginia

Tucked into beautiful rolling hills, rural but lively Morgantown is home to West Virginia University and often lands on "best places to live" lists.

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.

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.

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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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