As retirees look for a place to spend their later years, weather and medical facilities occupy an important position. Many locations look great in the summer, but winter weather affects outdoor activities, utility costs and old bones unfavorably. Reviews by websites like Top Retirements, CNN Money and AARP find that some areas consistently rank high as suitable retirement locations.
Florida’s sunny weather dominated the 2010 top 100 list for retirement locations from Top Retirements, taking 23 of the top 100 spots. The cities of Sarasota, Ft. Myers, Venice, Gainesville, Naples and The Villages were all in the top 25. Lake Mary, Melbourne and Sanibel/Captiva, Florida were in the top 100 the previous year. CNN Money lists St. Petersburg at number seven in its study, recommending Eckerd College with two programs for senior learning. Statistics show the median home price in St. Petersburg at $95,000, far below the $239,391 average of other "best places" in the CNN study. Sunny beaches, mild winters and summer showers make Florida a favorite retirement location for those who consider the weather.
Prescott, Arizona places high on lists for best retirement locations, including both Top Retirements and CNN Money. This town is about 100 miles north of Phoenix with an elevation of 5,400 feet, so it has a cooler climate than much of Arizona and enjoys four seasons. Yavapai College has a lifelong learning program for seniors, CNN Money points out. The AARP studies show Tucson, Arizona as the best retirement city and Greenville, South Carolina in second place. Montpelier, Vermont, Logan, Utah and Ames, Iowa round out the AARP top five. Arizona cities making one of the lists in addition to Prescott are Green Valley, Flagstaff, Tucson and Phoenix, making Arizona one of the most popular retirement areas. Arizona is hot in summer, but indoor climate control in homes and businesses is standard.
North Carolina and South Carolina
Durham, North Carolina was number one in the AARP studies, and Asheville, North Carolina was the number one retirement location for Top Retirements. Nineteen cities in North and South Carolina made the top 100 on the Top Retirements list, including Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy, North Carolina and Beaufort, Summerville and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Beaufort, North Carolina also made the list. Of the studies discussed, it appears that Top Retirements placed more emphasis on weather than the other studies. CNN Money considered education facilities for seniors. AARP emphasized healthy hometowns. Overall, these three diverse areas of the country accommodate retirement living at its best.
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