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Best Places to Retire in the USA

Updated on August 26, 2011

The Most Popular

The best places to retire in the USA are little known secrets. Some are tucked away retirement coves where life is peaceful, the view is grand, and the living is easy. Others are just outside beltways, bypasses, and stacked traffic patterns. The best places to retire are also usually cheaper than their counterparts, offer more ease of movement, and provide plenty of entertainment. If you are starting your retirement planning and need to know, here are the few best places to retire that top the list.

The ten most popular places to retire in USA can give you a place to start your retirement planning. If you are one of those who figure that everyone else has done the thinking for you, why re-invent the wheel, then this list may make your retirement planning a whole lot easier. These are the top ten most popular places to retire for 2010:

  1. Asheville NC
  2. Sarasota Florida
  3. Prescott Arizona
  4. Paris Tennessee
  5. Austin Texas
  6. Green Valley Arizona
  7. Winston-Salem NC
  8. Beaufort South Carolina
  9. San Diego California
  10. Fort Myers, Florida

Highest Percentage of Retirees

Many retirees include friendship and social interaction as part of their retirement planning desires. They want people their same age and stage of life with whom they can interact. Retirement planning that forgets relationships is likely to lead you down a long road to loneliness. So it is at least worth considering where the most retirees live. According to US News and World Report (Oct. 4, 2010) the top 10 places with the most retirees are:

1. Laguna Woods, Ca. (76%)
2. Kings Point, Fla. (69%)
3. Sun City, Ariz. (66%)
4. Pinehurst, N.C. (38%)
5. Bella Vista, Ark. (34%)
6. South Yarmouth, Mass. (33%)
7. Fredericksburg, Texas (28%)
8. Ocean Pines, Md. (26%)
9. Pahrump, Nev. (25%)
10. Camano, Wash. (24%)

How they managed to get three quarters of the town to be retirees in Laguna Woods California is a story worth exploring. Laguna Woods Village in Orange County, California is the largest over-55 and active planned adult community on the West Coast. It used to be named Leisure World. Now this 12,736-home community has seven clubhouses, 36-holes of golf, five swimming pools, a horseback riding (equestrian) center and a lot more. Pinehurst, NC attracts many for golf and spas but it also has a much lower tax rate than many locations as well as lower living costs in general. Include checking out these towns as part of your retirement planning process. 


Dodge the Taxes in Retirement

Every financial advisor you have seen for years has preached from the pulpit of reducing tax burden. Why would you increase it during retirement? Some of the cheapest places to retire are cheap because of the low taxation rate in their state for retirees. If you want to pay through the nose in retirement taxes plan to live in California, Rhode Island, Nebraska, or Connecticut. These states have among the highest tax rates in the country. If you want to avoid high taxes, go for southern states like Alabama or Louisiana. There are ten states that do not tax federal, state or local pension income. This is a huge benefit These include Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Pennsylvania. If you were thinking of Hawaii though, count in the property costs. It more than outweighs the tax savings. But then again... maybe its just a good excuse to include the Aloha spirit in your retirement planning.

* See related articles and resources on this page for more help and information. See tips and hints below for more thoughts on retirement planning and the best places to retire.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • Count climate into your considerations. If you think you will have difficulty getting around, a snowy and icy climate may functionally trap you in your own home.
  • Consider closeness of family in your retirement planning. You mayfind a cheap place to live with a great climate that is so far from family, and from transportation, that you eventually sell your home at a loss to be closer to grandkids.
  • Many retirees discount the benefits of long term membership in a community. When you know a community from the inside and have spent your life contributing to it, you may not want to leave just for the sake of eliminating taxes and finding cheap places to retire.


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    • Dave Ward profile image

      Dave Ward 3 years ago from Goldenrod Plains

      San Diego is a great place to retire. You simply have to be sure you can afford the rapidly rising property taxes.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 6 years ago

      Great Hub. If it was my choice out of the list, I would choose to retire in San Diego. Beautiful weather, close to the beach and lots of things to do!