A new book, “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” features 100 locations in 34 states ranging from arts towns, small towns, mountain towns, four-season towns, “undiscovered havens” and “low-cost edens.”
Next to the “when” and “how,” where to retire is one of the most important aspects of retirement planning. Great care must be taken to pinpoint that ideal location in which retirees will be able to maintain their standard of living, be engaged with their natural surroundings, and find the cultural and recreational stimulation they seek. This is not to mention other practical concerns such as access to health care and crime rate.
A new book, “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” is an excellent resource for pre-retirees mapping out their retirement plans. This updated Fifth Edition features 100 cities in 34 states ranging from arts towns, small towns, mountain towns, four-season towns, “undiscovered havens” and “low-cost edens.”
“America’s 100 Best Places to Retire” was compiled by the editors of “Where to Retire” magazine. Since 1992, the magazine, published bi-monthly, profiles cities based on local knowledge, extensive research and interviews with retired residents.
Over the decades, retirees have broadened their horizons on where they consider choosing to retire, Annette Fuller, managing editor of “Where to Retire” magazine, told Millionaire Corner. “Florida is still what immediately comes to mind when people talk about retirement,” she said. “Arizona is also still a prime (retirement) location. But we’re seeing more and more interest in America’s southeast, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia and West Virginia. We’re also hearing that snow is not necessarily a dirty word. Retirees are opting for four season locales if they are not too extreme. In North Carolina, for example, it generally snows one-two inches maybe four or five times a year and the snow lasts just a day or two. That won’t ruin your lifestyle.”
One of the biggest factors people consider when choosing where to retire is proximity to children and grandchildren. “Master plan communities,” Fuller said, offer retirees a best of all worlds opportunity. Usually located on the outskirts of a major city, they offer a retirees an “instant support community” while being a quick day trip to family members,” Fuller said.
Other retirees focus on living in “the city of their dreams,” Fuller said. For those less enthused about the “pains” of a big city such as traffic, Fuller said that many retirees are opting for hub neighborhoods where restaurants, banks, public transportation and other amenities are within walking distance. “Every big city has its chic ‘cool’ area,’” she said. “In Houston, for example, it’s the Heights.”
Increasingly desirable retirement locations are college towns, which offer a wealth of educational, cultural and recreational opportunities, as well as sought-after amenities such as accessible public transportation and health care.
“College towns are really popular,” Fuller said. “Many colleges have OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute chapters that offer courses for mature students.” For sports fans, college towns offer ties to that institution's sports teams. “If you retire to Chapel Hill in North Carolina, you become a Tar Heel,” Fuller laughed.
Here, according to Fuller and “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire” are 10 popular college town retirement destinations listed alphabetically:
Ann Arbor, MI (The University of Michigan)
Athens, GA (The University of Georgia)
Austin, TX (The University of Texas)
Columbia, MO (The University of Missouri)
Eugene, OR (The University of Oregon)
Fort Collins, CO (The University of Colorado)
Gainesville, FL (The University of Florida)
Oxford, MS (“Ole Miss”)
Tallahassee, FL (Florida State University)
Williamsburg, VA (College of William and Mary)
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.