Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Next to the White Tank Mountains Outside of Phoenix, Surprise is a Well Kept, Growing Town with New Housing, New Infrastructure and Happy Residents
Surprise (population 142,000) sits next to the White Tank Mountains on the northwestern outskirts of Phoenix and is home to a significant number of retirees. In fact, 40% of residents are age 45 or better.
Originally started in 1938 as a one mile square of farmland, Surprise later become a development for agricultural workers. Today it is growing quickly, and expectations are that Surprise may grow larger than Phoenix in 25 years.
The cost of living is 9% above the national average. The crime rate is below the national average. Politics lean to the right, and 29% of locals hold at least a four year college degree. According to some surveys, nine out of 10 residents enjoy living here.
Eighty-five percent of Surprise's housing has been built since 1995, and the median home price is $465,000, reflecting an 18% increase since just a year ago. Del Webb's 55+ Sun City Grand is here, too.
The city boasts a 10,000 square foot aquatics center, a state-of-the-art library, museums, golf courses, recreation centers, movie theaters and a city center with new government offices. Prasada is a large retail, dining and housing development. Chain restaurants are in good supply. There is even a small lake (Lake Surprise). The Texas Rangers' and Kansas City Royals' train at Surprise Stadium every year. Overall, the city is well maintained and has a crisp, new quality.
Public transportation is provided by Valley Metro, but it is limited. A dial-a-ride service is available Monday through Friday.
The Surprise Senior Center, open Monday through Friday, is operated by the city and is the hub of activities for citizens age 60 and better and for disabled adults. A fitness center, hot meals, classes and more are available.
Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, a 335-bed facility, is just five minutes away. Nationally recognized, it has won awards for patient safety, clinical excellence, emergency medicine and more. It is accredited by the Joint Commission, and Medicare patients are accepted. The city also has a VA outpatient clinic, and Phoenix has a VA hospital.
Summer daytime temperatures often exceed 100 degrees. Winter temperatures are in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Humidity is practically non-existent, and there is very little rain or wind. Just lots of heat, blue skies and some amazing sunsets.
It is worth noting that not many roads run from Surprise to Phoenix, often leading to congestion. Luke Air Force Base is not too far away, and noise from military jets rattles some neighborhoods. Some locals complain about the Sonoran Desert dust.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes | Is Arizona Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Safe neighborhoods, newer housing, well maintained surroundings and a good hospital make Surprise a potential spot for retirement.
The Grand Canyon State was originally part of New Mexico. After the land was ceded to the U.S. in 1848, it became a separate territory. It did not enter the union until February 14, 1912. Copper was discovered in the area in 1848, and metals mining continues to be an important part of the economy. Cattle and tourism are two of the states other vital industries.
Although Arizona can be one of the hottest states in the union, air conditioning continues to bring more and more people to the urban areas. The Colorado Plateau spreads through Arizona from the north and is interspersed with remnants of the Rocky Mountains. The land flattens into desert near Phoenix. The Colorado River forms the state's western borders and snakes through the Grand Canyon.
Arizona is stubborn when it comes to time. It observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis.
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