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"It's deja vu all over again." ~Yogi Berra

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Short Review:

Charleston, South Carolina

On South Carolina's mid-coast, beautiful, romantic Charleston brims with character and historic architecture, charming nearly everyone.

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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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Town Snapshot:

Lawrence, Kansas

With its lively, collegiate atmosphere, leafy neighborhoods and nearby lake recreation, Lawrence often lands on "best places to live" lists.

Town Snapshot:

Key West, Florida

Originally a Spanish fishing village, today Key West draws tourists from around the world with its tropical vibe, famous Duval Street and charming architecture.

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Town Snapshot:

Cape Carteret, North Carolina

Along Bogue Sound on North Carolina's Inner Banks, sleepy Cape Carteret has waterfront homes, marinas, nearby beaches and an easygoing way of life.

Town Snapshot:

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Nestled in the foothills of the rugged Superstition Mountains outside of Phoenix, Gold Canyon is known for its five 18-hole golf courses, excellent restaurants, renowned Renaissance Festival and beautiful views.

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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:

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 sun set over the water.

In Depth Review:

St. Marys, Georgia

On the southern Georgia coast, charming St. Marys has a rich history, a riverfront setting, an easygoing way of life and reasonably priced housing.

Town Snapshot:

Ankeny, Iowa

Ankeny is a tidy, friendly town in pastoral central Iowa and has safe neighborhoods, a nice downtown and nearby lake recreation.

Town Snapshot:

Morro Bay, California

Morro Bay is a mellow fishing village with a popular beach, fun festivals, an outstanding farmers' market, a seaside golf course and an iconic rock.

Short Review:

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Port St. Lucie is a laid back coastal city with safe neighborhoods, a fun botanic garden, a world class golf resort and an abundance of water recreation.

Town Snapshot:

Waynesville, North Carolina

Nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains in lush western North Carolina, sleepy Waynesville appeals to people who love the outdoors.

Town Snapshot:

Stowe, Vermont

Tucked in rolling northern Vermont, Stowe is a charming town known for its skiing, "granola" vibe and very cute, very touristy downtown.

Town Snapshot:

Briny Breezes, Florida

Nestled between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, little Briny Breezes is a mobile home park and an incorporated town with an oceanfront beach.

Town Snapshot:

Yuma, Arizona

A tourist and "snowbird" destination, sun drenched Yuma sits along the Colorado River in southern Arizona and has a historic downtown, water recreation, fun festivals and reasonable prices.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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