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"A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem." ~Jean Burden

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Town Snapshot:

Yuma, Arizona

Once a busy ferry stop on the Colorado River, today Yuma is a tourist and "snowbird" destination that comes alive during the winter months.

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Town Snapshot:

Amherst, Massachusetts

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

In Depth Review:

Fairhope, Alabama

A friendly, pretty place, Fairhope boasts a waterfront locale, safe neighborhoods and a gentle spirit. It is a great retirement spot!

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Town Snapshot:

Gig Harbor, Washington

Picturesque Gig Harbor is on northwestern Washington's beautiful Puget Sound and is clean, green and quiet.

Town Snapshot:

Pell City, Alabama

Sleepy Pell City sits next to 7,000-acre Logan Martin Lake in northeastern Alabama, boasting water recreation and reasonable living costs.

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Town Snapshot:

Spring Creek, Nevada

About half way between Reno, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah, Spring Creek is a friendly, comfortable town in a scenic valley.

Town Snapshot:

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Altamonte Springs is outside of Orlando and boasts reasonably priced living, with the white sands of New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange and Daytona Beach just an hour away.

Town Snapshot:

Cape Carteret, North Carolina

Along Bogue Sound on North Carolina's Inner Banks, Cape Carteret is a sleepy hamlet with an easygoing way of life.

Town Snapshot:

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Tucked amid rolling farmland in southeastern Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, Mount Joy was founded by Scots-Irish immigrants and boasts a rich agricultural history.

Town Snapshot:

Eustis, Florida

In pretty north central Florida, Eustis is a charming lakeside town with a lovely downtown, red brick sidewalks and plenty of places to watch the sunset over the water.

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Town Snapshots:

Kennesaw, Georgia

On the outskirts of Atlanta in northern Georgia, Kennesaw is comfortable, suburban and home to Kennesaw State University.

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Once a trail stop for Mexican conquistadors, Sierra Vista is in the southeastern corner of Arizona and is surrounded by rugged mountains. It also bills itself as the "Hummingbird Capital of the World."

Town Snapshots:

Culpeper, Virginia

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

Captain Cook, Hawaii

Captain Cook is a peaceful spot next to Kealakekua Bay, a calm, shallow body of water with a large coral reef and diverse underwater life.

Short Review:

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Tucked between the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon on the southeastern Florida coast, Port St. Lucie is a mellow city with safe neighborhoods, a fun botanic garden, a world class resort, plenty of golf opportunities and an abundance of water recreation. Is it a great place to retire?

Town Snapshots:

Valdese, North Carolina

Founded by Italian Waldensian immigrants, Valdese has a scenic setting and is proud of its unique Old World heritage.

Morro Bay, California

Laid back Morro Bay is a beach town with an excellent farmers' market, a seaside golf course and fun festivals.

Town Snapshots:

Tallahassee, Florida

The capital of Florida and home to two universities, pretty Tallahassee is perched in the middle of the Florida Panhandle and is known for its canopy roads.

Meggett, South Carolina

Surrounded by creeks and marshes, mellow Meggett sits along Wadmalaw Sound in southeastern South Carolina and has an "ends of the world" feeling about it.

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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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