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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Tempe, Arizona?

In the East Valley of the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area in southern Arizona, Tempe's history stretches back to the 1500s when Native Americans built canals through the area to aid with trade. Today, the city is home to Arizona State University (ASU), which has a whopping 75,000 students.

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Boxed in by other cities, including Mesa and Scottsdale, this desert metropolis is a cultural hot spot for live music venues, trendy eateries, up and coming breweries and fun shops, many of which are located in downtown's lively Mill Avenue District. Events are many and include the very popular Spring Festival of the Arts, the Arizona Renaissance Festival, the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival and the Tempe Music Festival. The Tempe Symphony Orchestra performs in the lovely Tempe Center for the Arts, and the Desert Botanical Garden has events throughout the year. Arizona Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in the state and a tourist destination, sits on the city's border.

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ASU baseball, hockey, basketball and football all have loyal followings. In fact, Sun Devil Stadium contains 56,000 rowdy football fans every Saturday afternoon in the fall. The Los Angeles Angels hold their spring training in Tempe Diablo Stadium, and at least 10 golf courses have a Tempe address. Tempe Town Lake is open for fishing and boating.

Locals also enjoy ASU theater and dance performances, lectures and museum exhibits throughout the year. The University's OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) is for people age 50 and better.

Housing comes in all shapes and sizes, much of it with Southwestern style architecture and drought-resistant Xeriscape landscaping (cacti, small bushes and decorative rocks). Palm trees line neighborhood lanes and city streets.

Population:  200,000 (city proper)

Age 45 or Better: 25%

Cost of Living:  12% above the national average 

Median Home Price: $455,000 

Climate:  Summer temperatures are routinely in the low-100s. Winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s and 60s. The area receives, on average, eight inches of rain each year.   

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  Yes

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?   Yes

Public Transit:   Yes, bus and light rail service provided by Tempe in Motion (TIM)

Crime Rate:   Slightly above the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:    Liberal

College Educated:    43%

Is Arizona Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   None

Notes:  ASU is known as one of the top party schools in the nation, and bars are usually crowded and boisterous. The southern area of the city is more sedate. Home prices have increased 26% since last year. Tempe's population has grown 14% during the last decade.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes

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Arizona:

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.

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