Top 10 Best Places to Retire
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
August 5, 2011
Filed Under Places
Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
The good news is we’re talking about retirement; the bad news is now the all-important decision of where to retire needs to be addressed.
This decision can have a long lasting impact on how we spend our golden years, so it’s certainly worthy of serious consideration.
To help you get started down the right path, here are the 10 best places to retire.
10. Golf Course
The particular golf course right for you is, naturally, in the eyes of the beholder. However, walking out the back door onto a course for a lot of retirees is as close to heaven as you can get while still breathing. On the downside, there’s always the risk of an errant shot caroming off your bean while gardening, but some risks are worth taking.
Okay, technically this may not be a “place” to retire because when done right, the place is wherever you happen to be. And therein lies the beauty of retiring in a motorhome. With the Pan Pacific freeway, you can go as far south as the pole and up north to Alaska, and all points East and West; until you run into water that is. Not a bad way to spend prime retirement years.
8. Prescott, Arizona
A lot of folks talk about Phoenix as a good retirement spot, and their not far off. For those that can do without the hustle and bustle, head about 100 miles north up to Prescott. You won’t be alone either, half the population is over 50. Plus, the cost of living is doable and the median home price beats many parts of the country. As for the weather; well, it’s what you’d expect in Arizona, but even better. Lots of sun, but they also have four seasons because of the altitude, so the weather forecast isn’t simply hot, hotter or hottest.
7. Taos, New Mexico
If you appreciate the artistic lifestyle, or maybe you’re an artisan yourself, few places in the States can boast the scene in Taos. With a strong Native American heritage and small-town community feel, Taos isn’t your typical retirement haven. But this is what makes this part of the country so appealing to several thousand that call Taos home, and the hundreds of thousands that visit each year. And unknown to many outsiders, Taos Ski Valley is just a short drive from town.
6. Austin, Texas
There’s a reason Austin seems to be on everyone’s list of best places to retire; actually, there are several reasons. The climate is nice, but not brutal like in some parts of Texas (east Texas rivals the Sahara in summer), and the people are famous for their hospitality. It doesn’t take a small fortune to live comfortably in Austin either, and it’s big enough to provide retirees with plenty of things to do. The downside? An 8+% sales tax can sting a monthly budget pretty good.
5. Lake Chapala
Mexico may not quite be a retirement haven, but for a lot of Americans it’s moving in that direction. There are a few reasons why so many U.S. citizens are retiring in Mexico. One of the primary benefits is cost; $1,000 to $1,500 a month is more than enough to live comfortably in Old Mexico. The weather is always a bonus of course, and at Lake Chapala you won’t have to worry about scorching your brain because the climate is pretty temperate around Mexico’s largest fresh water lake.
All the beauty, weather and fun that comes with a tropical island (or islands in this case) and you’re still within shouting distance of the States. On top of that, the government is actively promoting the Bahamas as a retirement destination so you know they’re retiree friendly. And if you like trying your luck on occasion, the Atlantis is a world-class casino with all the amenities you’d expect. Not the cheapest of retirement destinations on our list of best places to retire, but definitely worthy of top 5 consideration.
3. A Sailboat
For the adventuresome retiree or couple, sailing the seven seas (literally) allows you to see the world for pennies on the dollar. Once the boat is covered, the cost of living and seeing some of the most incredible places on earth is minimal, especially compared to traditional forms of travel. And the oceanside hotel comes right along with you so you’re assured of a reservation.
2. Costa Rica
Quickly becoming the next ‘Boca, Costa Rica has long been a refuge for American ex-pats and one of the best places to retire. The word is spreading quickly, but you’re still able to live like a proverbial queen on a retirement income, and there are no shortage of things to do. From deep sea fishing to jungle treks, Costa Rica has it all. And with the influx of Americanos, english is spoken all over the country. Though, picking up a bit of Spanish will go along way in assimilating.
1. St. Pete
Perhaps not surprising; St. Petersburg, Florida remains one of the best places to retire not only in the States, but anywhere in the world. You can’t beat the climate and it has somehow retained a small town feel, though you’re only a short drive from every major attraction known to man. These include the Salvador Dali museum, Major League sporting events and world class shopping; if you’re into that sort of thing.