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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Tempe, Arizona?

Overview:   Located in the East Valley of the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area, Tempe's history stretches back to the 1500s when Native Americans built canals through the area to aid with trade. Today, the city is the home of Arizona State University (which has a whopping 72,000 students) and the headquarters of at least two Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Airways and Insight Enterprises.

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Boxed in by other cities, including Mesa and Scottsdale, this desert metroplis is a cultural hot spot for live alternative music and trendy entertainment. The downtown is full of eateries, boutiques and stores, and Mill Avenue caters to the college crowd with numerous bars and youth-oriented merchants. Arizona Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in the state, sits on the city's border, and the Tempe Market Place has open-air shopping, chain restaurants and movie theaters. The city is home to several sporting events, including the Ironman Triathalon and Cactus Bowl football games. At least ten golf courses have a Tempe address, and Tempe Town Lake is the spot for fishing and boating.

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ASU athletics are a big part of life here, but the University has theater and dance performances, lectures and museum exhibits, too. Its OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) is for people age 50 and better (cost is $20 per semester).

The Tempe Festival of the Arts draws 225,000 people each year. Other festivals include the Rockstar Uproar Festival and the Tempe Music Festival. The Tempe Symphony Orchestra performs in the lovely Tempe Center for the Arts.

Housing comes in all shapes and sizes, much of it with Southwestern style architecture and drought-resistant Xeriscape landscaping (cacti, small bushes and rocks).

Population:  180,000 (city proper)

Age 45 or Better: 25%

Cost of Living:  8% above the national average 

Median Home Price: $295,000 

Climate:  Summer temperatures are routinely in the low-100s. Winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s and 60s. The area receives, on average, 8 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:    Conservative

College Educated:    43%

Is Arizona Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   The air quality is below the national average. 

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. Tempe is racially diverse.

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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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Stats:

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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