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"A friend is the only person you will let into the house when you are Turning Out Drawers." ~Pam Brown

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Town Snapshot:

Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Pleasure Island sits along the southern North Carolina coast. On the island's northern end, the little town of Carolina Beach makes its home and boasts a low key, 1950s-ambiance with modest cottages in quiet neighborhoods.

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Town Snapshot:

Canadian Lakes, Michigan

Amid rolling hills and Amish farms, Canadian Lakes is known for its abundant outdoor recreation and is a favorite with retirees.

Town Snapshot:

Groveland, Florida

A mellow lakeside town, Groveland has a country quality and is peppered with weeping willows and palm trees.

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Town Snapshot:

Brunswick, Maine

On Maine's beautiful mid-coast, down-to-earth Brunswick is dotted with classic architecture and home to a small, selective liberal arts college.

Town Snapshot:

Santa Rosa, California

Nestled amid vineyards, wineries and farmland outside of San Francisco, beautiful Santa Rosa boasts a symphony, a theater collective, a summer repertory theater and a lovely downtown.

Town Snapshot:

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Touristy Cocoa Beach sits on a barrier island on Florida's "Space Coast" and has six miles of beautiful, white sand beaches, a long fishing pier, surfing festivals, art festivals and more.

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Town Snapshot:

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the scenic rolling hills of eastern Tennessee, lively Gatlinburg is a tourist magnet with a never-ending list of fun things to do.

Town Snapshot:

Jerome, Arizona

A quirky old copper mining town and National Historic District, Jerome is a tourist destination and home to an eclectic mix of people, including artists, writers, craftsmen, ghost tour guides and even a few hermits.

Town Snapshot:

Sneads Ferry, North Carolina

Sneads Ferry sits along the New River on the southern North Carolina coast and is home to fishermen, military personnel and a popular shrimp festival.

In Depth Review:

Charlottesville, Virginia

Home to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is a lively city known for its academic stimulation, rich history, excellent hospitals and leafy landscape.

Town Snapshot:

Wichita Falls, Texas

Friendly and unpretentious, Wichita Falls sits under a giant sky next to the Wichita River and is home to Sheppard Air Force Base, a small college and a beautiful arts center.

Town Snapshot:

Cudjoe Key, Florida

Balmy and bohemian, little Cudjoe Key is part of a group of islands at the southern end of the Florida Keys.

Five of the Best, Quiet Florida Beaches

Living near or having easy access to the beach is one of the top reasons that people want to retire in Florida but not all beaches are created equal. See five of the best quiet ones.

Town Snapshot:

Youngsville, Louisiana

Youngsville got its start as a French Acadian farming settlement in the early-1800s and retains a country quality even today.

Town Snapshot:

Kaunakakai, Hawaii

Kaunkakai is a very mellow town on Molokai's southern shore and is known for its nearly empty beaches.

Town Snapshots:

Colonial Beach, Virginia

Colonial Beach is a safe but slightly faded waterfront town with reasonable living costs and Virginia's second longest beachfront.

Monroe Point, Colonial Beach, Virginia

Monroe Point is a waterfront town home community with pretty views of Monroe Bay. Residents enjoy a marina and direct water access.

Town Snapshots:

Winter Springs, Florida

Along Lake Jesup and the Spring Hammock Preserve, Winter Springs is a pleasant community with an attractive town center and pretty lake views.

Hacienda Village, Winter Springs, Florida

This very casual, leafy 55+ co-op community is laid out along a meandering creek and has a recreation center, two swimming pools, RV storage, planned events and more.

Town Snapshot:

Payson, Arizona

Surrounded by the sprawling Tonto National Forest at 5,000 feet above sea level in central Arizona, Payson plays up its Western heritage and is a jumping off point for outdoor adventure.

Town Snapshot:

Corvallis, Oregon

Home to Oregon State University, Corvallis sits in a pretty valley surrounded by forests and hills and boasts a vibrant atmosphere with a "granola" vibe.

In Depth Review:

New Bern, North Carolina

Historic New Bern is in North Carolina's Inner Banks region where the Neuse River and Trent River converge. Often overlooked by tourists as they hurry on their way to the Outer Banks, it has a charming downtown, beautiful homes and reasonable prices. It is a great retirement spot!

Town Snapshot:

Forest, Virginia

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of scenic central Virginia, Forest is home to wonderful Poplar Forest, one of Thomas Jefferson’s summer residences, and is popular with history buffs.

Town Snapshot:

Galveston, Texas

Spread across two barrier islands on Texas' eastern Gulf Coast, Galveston is quirky and slightly faded but is a friendly place with plenty of things to do.

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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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