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Retire in Snowflake, Arizona?
Overview: Snowflake was founded in the late-1800s and sits at 5,610 feet above sea level in eastern Arizona. It is a remote place, 115 miles from Flagstaff, but it has grown by 5% in the last decade.
The town is named after two men, one named Snow and one named Flake, both of whom were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and in charge of settling Arizona. On a hill west of town, the LDS Snowflake Arizona Temple is a beautiful, imposing structure and an important place to many residents. Main Street is low density with banks, hardware stores, motels, food markets, antique stores, most in low slung but well-kept buildings. Northland Pioneer College, a community college, has classes for all ages. Snowflake also supports a symphony, a community theater, a community choir and a performing arts association. The White Mountains are 25 miles to the south.
Neighborhoods are generally modest with wide, tree-lined streets. Many of the town's original brick pioneer homes still stand today. Some homes sit on unkept lots while others have a tidy lawn with a white picket fence and a porch with a rocking chair.
Population: 5,800 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 30%
Cost of Living: 10% below the national average
Median Home Price: $182,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the teens, 20s and 30s. On average, the area receives 12 inches of rain and 17 inches of snow per year. Winds can be fierce.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No. The closest hospital is in Show Low, seven miles away, and the nearest accredited hospital is in Whiteriver, 45 miles away.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Arizona Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: This is a tightly-knit community, and people who are not LDS members sometimes have difficulty fitting into the community.
Notes: A large paper mill used to be about 15 miles outside of town but it closed in 2014.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to an accredited hospital should be weighed.
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 home to places with names like Nothing, a ghost town in western Arizona, and the Horspitality Resort.
The state is stubborn when it comes to time. It observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis.
Population - 6,931,030
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 86%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 31%
White persons, not Hispanic - 58%
Median household income - $50,225
Median home value - $167,500
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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