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Retire in Fredericksburg, Texas?
Overview: When German elites fled oppressive political and social conditions in the mid-1800s, some of them came to the Texas Hill Country in south central Texas and founded Fredericksburg. Named after Prince Frederick of Prussia, the town is 75 miles west of Austin and still called Fritztown by some locals.
Fredericksburg is known for its trove of beautiful, unique 19th-century German architecture - much of the town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places - and for its surrounding peach groves, herb farms and bluebonnet fields. It is, in fact, one of the most popular tourist towns in Texas. The downtown has more than 100 antique stores, boutique shops, candy stores, art galleries, etc. Top-notch German restaurants are in good supply, and there are some wineries, several military museums, a community theater and a farmers' market. The Roxbox Theater presents old fashioned rock and roll shows and receives rave reviews. Texas German is a local dialect that stems from early immigrants choosing not to speak English.
Homes styles are eclectic, ranging from very interesting contemporary bungalows to 19th-century stone dwellings.
Population: 11,500 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 52%
Cost of Living: 5% above the national average
Median Home Price: $308,000
Climate: The climate is humid subtropical. Summers are hot, and winters are mild. Summer temperatures are in the 80s, 90s and even low-100s. Winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 30 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital is Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very, very conservative
Is Texas Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Locals say that Fredericksburg is not particularly dog-friendly.
Notes: Fredericksburg has a reputation as a charming German village, but some people say it is overrated in that regard. It has grown by 5% in the decade, and it is racially diverse. Much of the growth has come from empty nesters and retirees. Some people complain that their allergies are worse here thanks to a bounty of juniper and cedar trees.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
With a name based on a word used by Caddo Indians meaning "friends," Texas is the second biggest state by population in the country. It is estimated that 70% of residents live within 200 miles of Austin, the capital city.
Houston is the largest city, while Dallas-Fort Worth is the largest metropolitan area. Connecticut and Delaware could fit inside Texas' largest county - Brewster. The state is larger than all of New York, New England and Ohio combined.
In addition to the Caddo, the historical people of Texas include members of the Native American tribes of Apache, Choctaw, Tonkawa and Hasinai.
When Texas became the 28th state of the United States (1845), it adopted the official flag called the Lone Star Flag. Symbols include the Bluebonnet - the state flower.
Almost 10% of Texas is covered by forest. The state has nearly 24,000 farms, 90 mountains a mile or more high and is the nation's leading producer of natural gas, oil, wool, cotton, watermelons and rice. It also has the most airports of any state in the Union and is one of the most business-friendly states. Its culture has a blend of of Southern, Southwestern (Mexican) and Western influences.
Famous natives and residents include Mary Kay Ash, George W. Bush, Tommy Lee Jones and Joan Crawford.
Population - 27,862,596
Persons 65 years old and over - 12%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 82%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 40%
White persons, not Hispanic - 42%
Median household income - $43,470
Median home price - $132,000
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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