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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Surfside Beach, Texas?

Overview:   Sixty-five miles south of Houston and just west of Galveston Island on Texas' central Gulf Coast, tiny Surfside Beach started out in the 1820s and was originally named Velasco after a Mexican general. In 1975, it renamed itself and today is a laid back, windswept seaside village. The old Coast Guard boathouse is its city hall.

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Surfers in particular love Surfside Beach. Thanks to deep water and long jetties, it has some of the area's most consistent surf. Fishermen are happy here, too, enjoying both deep water and bank fishing. There are two marinas, an array of fishing guides and charters and a unique collection of restaurants with names such as Seahorse Bar and Grill and Kitty's Purple Cow. A couple of surf shops and a convenience store are also here. The town is between two migratory bird havens, the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, both home to clapper rails, white ibis and horned larks.

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Stahlman Park has a crabbing pier, and its Bluewater Highway Trail is excellent for walkers, joggers, and golf carts. A paved trail in Jetty Park affords views of the channel, and the Thunder Road Boat Ramp leads to the Freeport shipping channel. Beachfront RV Resort draws a lot of "snowbirds." Homes, which are nearly all a wood frame built on stilts, are kind of just plopped on the very flat, grassy beach landscape.

Population:  650 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 44%

Cost of Living:   8% below the national average

Median Home Price: $175,000

Climate:   Summer daytime temperatures are in the 80s and 90s. Winter temperatures are in 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 50 inches of rain each year. A breeze is often blowing.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Brazosport Regional Health System is 11 miles away in Lake Jackson and is accredited.

Public Transit:   No

Crime Rate:  Meets the national average

Public Library:  No 

Political Leanings:    Liberal

Cons:    The hurricane threat is real. Hurricane Ike in 2008 swamped Surfside Beach and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 brought more flooding damage.

Notes:   Many homes are vacation homes. Oil rigs twinkle in the distance at night. The town has little racial diversity but has grown by 14% in the last decade. Horses and vehicles are allowed on certain areas of the beach. The Surfside Beach Marathon is the only marathon in the U.S. that is run completely on sand.

Is Texas Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes

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Texas:

With a name based on a word used by Caddo Indians meaning "friends," Texas is the second biggest state in the United States. It is estimated that 70% of population lives within 200 miles of Austin- the capital of Texas.

Houston is the largest city in Texas, while Dallas-Fort Worth is the largest metropolitan area in the state. Connecticut and Delaware could fit inside Texas' largest county - Brewster.

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. Texas has a number of symbols, including the Bluebonnet - the state flower.

The land of Texas is larger than all of New York, New England and Ohio combined. Almost 10% of these lands are covered by forest. Two-thirds of the population lives in a major metropolitan area. This state had famous natives and residents such as Mary Kay Ash, George W. Bush, Tommy Lee Jones and Joan Crawford.

Texas has nearly 24,000 farms and 90 mountains a mile or more high. This state 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 nation and is one of the most business-friendly states. Its culture comes from a blend of Southern, Southwestern (Mexican) and Western influences.

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Stats:

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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