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Retire in Angel Fire, New Mexico?
Angel Fire is little village in the hinterlands of northeastern New Mexico. At 8,553 feet above sea level, it sits in a beautiful valley in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is a quiet, outdoor-oriented place infused with Southwestern character.
According to legend, the town got its name because Ute Indians called the glow in the evening sky the "fire of the gods." Today, the sunsets still mesmerize. Tourists come for the Angel Fire Resort, a popular year-round playground with downhill skiing (76 trails) golf, tennis, swimming, a zipline, a massive lodge and more. Nearby attractions include Mount Wheeler, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, Eagle's Nest Lake, and the Carson National Forest. Lake Monte Verde, located within city limits, is stocked with trout, bait, and boats. The Moreno Valley Arts Council sponsors ArtsFest, a showcase of local artisans' works, and the town's chamber music festival, Music from Angel Fire, always draws a toe-tapping crowd.
Pizza places, Mexican restaurants and steakhouses make up the dining scene (the country club has a restaurant, too). Most shopping is of the outdoor gear and boutique varieties. Residences include single family A-frames, cabins, chalets and condominiums nestled in the pines.
Population: 800 (plus nearly 1,000 seasonal residents)
Age 45 or Better: 54%
Cost of Living: 9% above the national average
Median Home Price: $435,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the single digits and teens. On average, the area receives 20 inches of rain and a whopping 110 inches of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Holy Cross Hospital is in Taos, 23 miles away, and it accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Holy Cross Hospital is in Taos, 23 miles away. It is not accredited by the Joint Commission, but it is accredited by DNV Healthcare. A healthcare clinic is in town.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Slightly above the national average
Public Library: The Shuter Library has active book clubs and a language learning program.
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 55%
Is New Mexico Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Twenty-three miles is a long way to a hospital.
Notes: The village is racially diverse. It sits next to U.S. Route 64 but is an isolated place. Taos is 23 miles away, and Santa Fe is 92 miles away. The local airport accommodates charter flights. Home prices have increased 15% since last year. The population started to decrease in 2015 but began rebounding in 2018, a trend that is continuing.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to a hospital and the above average crime rate should be weighed.
Although its capital was founded 10 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, the 47th state was not admitted to the Union until January 6, 1912. Even as a Spanish territory, New Mexico played an important part as a trade corridor between Mexico and the United States.
The Land of Enchantment is one of the largest continental states and one of the least populated. Its diverse landscape ranges from high deserts to mesas and mountains. The state's rivers include the Pecos, Canadian, San Juan, Gila, and Rio Grande. Millions of acres are dedicated to national forests. Bandelier and the Gila Cliff dwellings are two of the state's national parks. Three significant Native American nations - the Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache - are in New Mexico.
New Mexico's mountainous regions can experience alpine conditions. The state, however, is generally arid to semi-arid. Sunshine, low humidity, and light precipitation are common. Oil, gas, and tourism are major economic drivers. The state has also benefited from federal spending on military research. Both the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs continue to operate. New Mexico also offers tax credits to promote job growth and new technology. The first atom bomb was exploded in Alamogordo. The state also has more PhDs per capita than any other state in the Union.
Santa Fe, the nation's highest capital city, thrives on art. Galleries and museums include SITE Santa Fe, the Museum of International Folk Art, the New Mexico Museum of Art and more.
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