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"It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside." ~Maud Hart Lovelace

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June 16, 2021

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Short Review:

Cottonwood, Arizona

In the rugged, high altitude Verde Valley of central Arizona, Cottonwood has a fun historic center, plenty of outdoor recreation, nearby wineries, safe neighborhoods and lots of sunshine.

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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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In Depth Review:

Peachtree City, Georgia

Well planned from the beginning, Peachtree City boasts lovely homes, wooded surroundings and golf cart transporation. The plethora of amenities includes lakes, golf courses, tennis courts, nature areas and much more.

In Depth Review:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Home to the University of North Carolina, lively Chapel Hill is known for its funky academic vibe, leafy neighborhoods, rich foodie culture, excellent medical facilities and more.

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Town Snapshot:

La Quinta, California

Next to the Santa Rosa Mountains, pretty La Quinta is the site of the world-famous PGA West golf complex and popular with tourists and "snowbirds."

In Depth Review:

Missoula, Montana

At the foot of the Bitterroot Mountains in rugged western Montana, Missoula boasts beautiful scenery, a lively cultural scene, good hospitals and abundant outdoor recreation.

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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:

Captain Cook, Hawaii

On the island of Hawaii, Captain Cook is a peaceful place next to Kealakekua Bay, a calm, shallow body of water with a large coral reef and diverse marine life.

Town Snapshot:

Southern Pines, North Carolina

Soothing Southern Pines started out as a resort and today boasts a rich golfing tradition, a strong equestrian heritage, a cute downtown and wooded neighborhoods.

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.

Short Review:

Boise, Idaho

Along the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, pretty Boise boasts safe neighborhoods, plentiful amenities, outstanding outdoor recreation and an unhurried Western pace.

Town Snapshot:

Coconut Creek, Florida

Near the southeastern Florida coast and named after its many coconut palms, Coconut Creek brims with parks, gardens, canals and lushly landscaped avenues. It also has the world's largest butterfly aviary.

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.

In Depth Review:

Lynchburg, Virginia

Leisurely Lynchburg sits along the James River amid rolling hills in central Virginia and boasts a reasonable cost of living, a historic sensibility and leafy neighborhoods.

Town Snapshot:

Santa Rosa, California

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

Short Review:

Venice, Florida

Once a sleepy fishing village, charming Venice boasts palm-lined streets, a lovely downtown, calm waters and dark sand beaches.

Town Snapshot:

Ellenton, Florida

A relaxed riverfront town, Ellenton has a rural quality, an interesting mix of neighborhoods, a historic plantation and nearby beaches.

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 safe neighborhoods and outstanding outdoor recreation.

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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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