June 14, 2017

10 Unique Towns to Retire To: Part 1

Not everyone has the same vision of the ideal retirement location. Depending on your personality, likes, dislikes, and your family and financial situations, some locations may suit you better than others. Here are 10 retirement locations, each unique in its own way. One of them might be right for you.

You Want to Save on Taxes: Jackson, Wyoming

Taxes can take a chunk out of your income, especially during retirement. For retirees who want lower taxes plus a great outdoor lifestyle that includes sunbathing, skiing, and golf, Jackson, Wyoming could be the perfect location.

Wyoming doesn’t collect state-level personal income taxes or retirement income taxes—even on retirement income earned in other states. Wyoming is a “fractional assessment state,” which means that for many people, Wyoming’s property tax is based on just 9.5 percent of the home’s market value. The Veteran’s Property Tax Exemption and the Property Tax Deferral Program offer additional property tax relief to qualified veterans and low-income retirees. Finally, Wyoming has no inheritance tax and limited estate tax.

You Don’t Want Your Own Car: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

If you are planning to give up your car during once you retire, it’s important to have access to alternative forms of transportation. The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota are good options for going car-free. Together, they made Forbes’ list of 25 Best Places to Retire Without a Car.

It’s easy to get where you need to go by walking, biking, or taking one of the three light rail lines in the city. If you do need a car occasionally, there’s a variety of services to choose from, including Lyft or Uber, (which operate like taxis). If you would prefer to drive yourself around the Twin Cities, you can rent a Zipcar for a few hours or a few days.

You Want Access to Excellent Medical Facilities: Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for access to the best medical care in your retirement location, consider spending your golden years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of Harvard University and MIT. There are over 30 hospitals within a 10-mile radius of the city, including those in nearby Boston. Even better, it’s easy to get around Cambridge if you don’t have a car or prefer to walk or take public transportation.

You Want Access to Programs Serving Older Adults: Providence, Rhode Island

Do you want to retire to a community that caters to older adults? If so, Providence, Rhode Island might be a good option. It offers a wide variety of programs serving older adults, and with 11 seniors centers for the city’s 200,000 residents, you’ll have lots of daily, weekly, or monthly social activities to choose from.

The East Providence Senior Center, for example, for residents 55 years or older has a library, a fitness center, and regular educational presentations on various topics of interest. It also takes part in community partnerships, which provide both outreach programs and volunteer opportunities for older adults. Providence also has four adult day care centersseven assisted-living facilities, and seventeen nursing homes.

You Love the Beach: Fort Myers, Florida

For retirees who love the beach but not the crowds, Fort Myers, Florida on the southwest coast of Florida offers access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the state. Whether you like sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, walking along the beach, or collecting shells, you’ll enjoy the beaches in the Fort Myers area, many of which are on the nearby barrier islands of Captiva, Cayo Costa, Estero, Gasparilla, and Sanibel—known for their gorgeous shells.

The modest population size (just 77,000 residents) contributes to a small-town atmosphere, and like other Florida residents, Fort Myers retirees don’t pay state income tax.

You Love the Cold: Rochester, Minnesota

With the coldest day of the year averaging 9 degrees Fahrenheit, Rochester, Minnesota could be just the place for you cold-loving retirees. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the activities that cold weather offers, such as snowshoeing, skiing, skating, curling, and ice fishing.

Rochester also has a variety of well-respected health service providers that may be of particular interest to retirees. These include the Mayo Clinic and the Duluth Clinic in Duluth, Minnesota, which is part of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine’s Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute. And buying a retirement place in Rochester won’t break the bank. According to real estate site Zillow, Rochester’s current median home price is around $235,000, about $15,000 below the national median home price of $250,000.

You Love Nature: Salem, Oregon

With a whopping 26 state parks within a short commute, Salem, Oregon is perfect for those who love the great outdoors and all it has to offer. As the capital of Oregon, Salem offers city amenities, yet is centrally located between beaches to the west and the stunning Cascade Mountains to the east.

If you enjoy cycling or hiking, you have many Salem area trails to choose from, including the Spring Valley Park, Skyline Trail, and Croisan Creek, plus the newly completed trail at nearby Silver Falls State Park. And Salem’s moderate temperatures (an average annual high of 63.6 degrees Fahrenheit and an average annual low of 42.4 degrees Fahrenheit) allow for comfortable year-round outdoor activities for people of all ages.

You Love the City: Tucson, Arizona

With a population of over 500,000 and a medium home price of about $185,000, Tucson, Arizona is a great option for retirees who love the city life but not the price tag that accompanies an urban retirement back East. In addition to 300 sunny days a year, Tucson has numerous outlets to explore western history, a symphony, a ballet company, an opera company, a professional theater, and a thriving art community with 35 galleries for retirees looking for cultural amenities.

You Prefer a Small City: Burlington, Vermont

Big-city excitement isn’t for everyone. If you want the convenience of a city but the community feel of a small town, consider retiring to Burlington, Vermont. This small city has a thriving arts and culture community (including the Discover Jazz Festival each June) and offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor sports retirees may enjoy.

You Want Your Kids and Grandkids to Visit: Orlando, Florida

Retiring to the Orlando, Florida area is an enticing option if you’re hoping for lots of visits from your kids and grandkids. This is the home of some of the country’s top theme parks and water parks including Walt Disney World. This world-famous resort encompasses four theme parks—Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom—offering attractions and activities for families with a variety of budgets and tastes.

If you’re hoping for a car-free retirement, check out the downtown South Eola neighborhood where you can walk to what you need. If you prefer peace and quiet, consider retiring to Orlando’s Lake Eola Heights area. If having access to medical services are important to you, look for a home in the South Orange neighborhood.

You’ve worked hard and now it’s time to have some fun. Choose to spend your retirement years in a location that has what matters most to you—whatever that may be, wherever it may be.

READ MORE: 10 Best Small Towns to Retire To

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