10 Great Year Round Places to Retire – Part 1

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

January 14, 2014 — People who can retire in 2 places have some wonderful choices. They have plenty of great warm wintertime towns in Arizona and Florida to choose from. And for the summertime portion of the year there is almost and endless list of interesting retirement towns. But the situation that most people face – not having enough resources to manage two separate homes, or not wanting to manage the complications of that dual living style – is more difficult. This 2 part series will profile 10 great places to retire year round, along with the reasons why. Here is the link to Part 1.

More than just the Goldilocks approach
An obvious place to start making a list of great year round places to retire is to use the Goldilocks approach to climate – find places that are not too hot, not too cold – just right. Several of our choices reflect that philosophy. But going beyond climate we would like to consider other attractions that make for great year round living. For example: places to retire that are great for their year round culture, recreation, work or volunteering opportunities, diversity, charm, excitement. Our aim for this list is to recognize that people have different tastes, and that there are multiple reasons why a person might find a particular community a great place to retire year round. Another goal in this article is to identify great places for retirement that are less noticed, so our members can expand their field of possible choices.

1. Cold climate. How about a place to retire that has a cold climate, yet where each of the 4 seasons offer such a unique experience that the folks who live there just can’t wait for the next season to arrive? Our best bet for this would be a mountain state in the American West like Colorado, New Mexico, or Utah. But people in the east might say the same for Vermont or New Hampshire.

Taos, New Mexico offers skiing and winter sports that are top notch. Spring and fall are real seasons as opposed to a confusing transition, and summers in Taos have a pleasant temperature thanks to the elevation here. Taos and nearby Santa Fe offer plenty of cultural activities – many famous artists have lived here including Georgia O’Keefe.

Taos, New Mexico (photo courtesy of Wikipedia(

2. Warm Climate. There is warm, and then there is hot and humid. For this category we looked for a town that is in a southern latitude so the winters are going to pleasant enough for activities like golf or biking, yet not a inferno in summer that confines activities to an air-conditioned room. Coastal California certainly comes to mind for a climate like that, where the ocean tends to shave the edge off winter and summer temps.

Long Beach, California.Sure there are more charming and beautiful cities in Southern California than Long Beach (La Jolla and Santa Monica come to mind), but we chose Long Beach because its cost of housing is almost reasonable compared to the rest of the area. The beaches go on forever, and there are nice neighborhoods and things to do. Plus it has a high ratings for walkability and bicycling.

3. Year Round Climate East. Here we are thinking Carolinas, with the northern and western stretches the coolest, temperature-wise, and the southern and eastern portions the warmest. Northern Georgia and southern Tennessee might also provide contenders. Asheville NC, the #1 most popular place to retire at Topretirements.com, comes to mind and certainly fits the bill.

Franklin, Tennessee is an affluent town conveniently situated near Nashville. There is a historic downtown since it was one of the more affluent towns in the south prior to the Civil War. It also has a strong economic base. There are 4 seasons, but the extremes are mild.


4. Year Round Climate West. The western part of the U.S. offers tremendous climatic diversity. As mentioned, southern California never gets too cold. The northern mountain states like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming get really cold. Many parts from northern California to Vancouver have glorious summers, falls, and springs – but also feature wet and dreary winters. Hawaii is just about perfect year round, but we don’t know too many mainlanders who are willing to move that far away from family, friends, and familiarity.

Yakima, Washington, nicknamed the “Palm Springs of the Northwest” thanks to its milder and drier climate, is famous for its apple growing (think Harry & David). Other attractions: the price of real estate is down right reasonable, there are many festivals, and there are 2 colleges in town.

5. International. There are so many great places to retire internationally it is a bit absurd to try to pick just one. But narrowing it down with an emphasis on finding a comfortable year round climate, there are many places in Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, and South America that would do nicely. Lots of people love retirement in Thailand and Panama, but it’s just too darn hot there for our year round tastes. Then there is the matter of can you get permission to live there year-round. Without a relative, it is difficult for Americans and Canadians to gain a permanent visa in most of the European Union. People from the U.S. will struggle to do the same in New Zealand. A few countries will give you a permanent visa if you bring enough money into the country, but usually that is a lot of money (see our country retirement guides).

Knysna, South Africa. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Kynsna, South Africa is a great place for year round retirement in the international category. It is beautiful beach town on the so-called Garden Route that is popular with expats.

Next Time – Part 2.
Below we’ve listed categories 6 – 10 of our “Best Places for Year Round Retirement”. We will fill in our picks for those categories next week. In the meantime we are hoping that Topretirements members will offer their ideas on contenders for these categories. Please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below.

6. Year Round Excitement. A place to retire that is bustling with year round excitement, whether it is cultural, commercial, social, or just plain busy.

7. Charming. A place where charm and beauty are on display year round.

8. Work and Volunteering. Best place to retire where the opportunities for staying busy with work and volunteering are amazing.

9. Recreation that Never Stops. Retirement town with 4 seasons worth of outdoor and/or indoor activity.

10. A Diverse Place to Live. Some folks want to live amidst like-minded/looking people, others believe that when it comes to people, variety is the spice of life.
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For further reading:
Part 2: More Great Places to Retire Year Round
Part 3: Great Places to Retire Year Round

Comments. Please share your thoughts below about our 1st 5 year round choices, your ideas on your favorite places to retire for categories for 6 through 10, and don’t hesitate to add or modify any of our categories, which were meant to start our thinking process.

Posted by Admin on January 13th, 2014

91 Comments »

  1. Be sure to include proximity and quality of medical services. Will the doctors take Medicare if you’re a new patient (most will if you’re an existing patient; many will not if you’re new to the practice). Is there one-stop shopping for all your aging needs (believe it or not, we will need them at some point). Are their streets “friendly” – larger signage, longer walk signs, covered bus stops, sidewalks for walking, etc. How does it rank on Walkscore (www.walkscore.com)? If you need to give up your car, can you get to the grocers, bank, etc. on foot? If you attend religious services, is there a house of worship close enough to you that will work? Is there an airport within a reasonable driving distance? Just a few additional thoughts to consider in addition to the excellent points above.

    by Jan Cullinane — January 14, 2014

  2. Be sure to also include 1) median family income, 2) demographics, 3) political leanings.

    by el malo — January 14, 2014

  3. I really thing it depends on the age you retire..We were lucky to retire early at 57..We are now 63 and have lived in our fun East Coast Mid Atlantic Beach area now for 7 years. Still loving the busy happy vibe here near the beach. The 4 seasons are perfect for us as we enjoy the change of seasons and ‘Mild’ winters here on the Coast. We are not ready for ‘golf cart’ travel yet. Short jaunt to many restaurants, shopping, entertainment and of course the gorgeous beaches in the Lewes-Rehoboth area of DE. Wonderful Art town of Milford right up the road with many festivals and shopping also year round…So much to do. Just remember, don’t lock yourself into those high priced gated communities until you really must. We are still hopping around here on the coast and loving every minute.:cool:

    by sunlovingal — January 14, 2014

  4. I should have added…we bought a beautiful condo in a non-age restricted development with pool and clubhouse that has a scaled down, carefree life style which lends itself perfectly to retirees which there are many of here. Oh and a public Golf course right next door!

    by sunlovingal — January 14, 2014

  5. RE: NH and VT. Both have lovely summer, fall and a beautiful winter, but in the more Northern part of the states, they call spring “mud season”…not pretty. I find the very short sunlight in the winter months a bit depressing in those states as well. I lived near Hanover, NH so the Dartmouth college and medical school were a positive feature there.

    by Elaine — January 14, 2014

  6. I grew up in NH and have lived in Southern Maine now for 34 years. Yes we do have 4seasons but the winter months are disproportionately much longer than the 8 weeks of summer. Too many challenges here for seniors in the long winter months – most in our area go south for 3-6 months. Just walking to the mailbox in the winter is treacherous, let alone any type of walking or running for excercise! We are heading south in retirement and will return to Maine for a month or so in the summer.

    by Sandyzerb — January 15, 2014

  7. Anacortes, WA is another year round retirement community with many services for seniors. And it gets half the rain that Seattle gets with plenty of views of the ocean and mountains.

    by Verner — January 15, 2014

  8. @sunlovingal: You’re description of retired life sounds just like what my wife and I are looking for. What city/town are you talking about? Thank you.

    by John Howe — January 15, 2014

  9. Any one living in Eastern Carolinas where you don’t have to have wind/hail or flood insurance that is great all year with activities and a walkable, safe, flourishing downtown? 😉

    by Susan — January 15, 2014

  10. I retired in Myrtle Beach, SC and retirement is great here
    Looking for active tennis community in ga or north florida where it is warmer

    by doug — January 15, 2014

  11. I would be interested in activities like biking and Free music in a arid climate during the winter.
    I have found my summer spot. It is cool in the summer being close to Lake Michigan and local communities offer free (pass the hat concerts) during the week in the summer. Algoma, Kewaunee, Mischot and Two Rivers to name a few. Each has their own night to spread the concerts out. Even wineries (2) in the area offer Free music on weekends during July. Major Medical is a close as Green Bay, WI 30 miles away. Winters can be rough when we have northeast winds off the big lake, Lake Michigan Door County also has many cities offering free music. We are 40 miles from Door County, WI which is another tourist hot spot. This winter the cold has been brutal with many days with temps below zero. Snow amount has been normal.

    by Jane Gutmann — January 15, 2014

  12. We have lived in Arizona prior to moving back east due to health issues. That was 14 years ago. We are now looking again to move: preferably west–year around temperatures that don’t include snow (love to ski, but would rather drive to it than live in it); medical facilities that are top notch; reasonably priced housing, preferably a community of small individual homes. Finding utopia isn’t easy. We have considered Nevada, New Mexico, Utah but nothing has met all requirements. California (San Diego) was my dream—now, too expensive and too many people.

    by Charles Bradbury — January 15, 2014

  13. Hi Folks.
    Moving a bit further north into southern VA from Northern corridor of NC, does anyone know about retirement options in Roanoke, VA. It is listed as one of the top 6 most affordable places to live. Anyone? Would sure appreciate any thoughts or experiences. Thanks:smile:

    by EJ — January 15, 2014

  14. I’m wondering if Fl is the right move anymore with the sinkhole problems. Saw a program that said the entire state of Fl is “groung zers” when it comes to sinkholes. If this is true, can’t imagine what the home insurance will jump up to. Love Fl but now don’t know. What will be the new Fl for retirees? TX is way too hot and buggy. Any thought!!

    by jeb — January 16, 2014

  15. While it is true that there are some places in Florida that have had sinkholes, there are many places in Florida (southeast Florida for example) that haven’t had any. There are maps on the internet to view. I guess every area has its challenges and it would be wrong to rule out beautiful Florida due to sink holes in some areas. California has its fires, there are rock slides in other places and terrible flooding in others. I guess Mother Nature has not spared any State. So do your research and see what areas are more vulnerable and don’t dismiss the whole state of Florida!

    by Margie Rosenthal — January 16, 2014

  16. @John Howe: Hearthstone Manor just below the town of Milford DE off Coastal Hwy 1…:cool:

    by sunlovingal — January 18, 2014

  17. When it comes to picking winners for the next 5 categories, my picks would be towns where there is plenty of recreation year round and a diverse group of people. The only problem is they might be mutually exclusive. The recreation oriented people would probably love a town in the mountains of Colorado where you can ski in the winter and mountain bike in the summer. But then all these outdoorsy types probably aren’t that diverse, are they. I think for diversity newer towns or resorts that draw in a mix of people are good. Folks from somewhere else meet the people who have always lived here. Can be interesting

    by Mark — January 18, 2014

  18. Thank you sunlovingal! I will check it out!

    by John Howe — January 19, 2014

  19. @sunlovinggal: how do you find such places that are not on on age-restricted lists like “active adult communities, over 55, etc.? Do you know the area you’re interested in and then go to a realtor?

    by janealynn — January 19, 2014

  20. YES, WHERE DO YOU FIND AREAS THAT YOU ARE UNAWARE OF THAT ARE NOT 55+ THAT OFFER AMMENTIES OF INTEREST.

    REFERRING TO JANEALYNN’S QUESTION

    by RITA — January 19, 2014

  21. There have been some good suggestions for year round places to retire – thanks everyone for that. Sunlovinggirl’s comment sparked a lot of people to ask where they could find non-55+ communities that they hadn’t heard of. I will address that question and hope that we can still get more suggestions about places to retire on a year round basis.

    You should know that the majority of new developments that offer condos or a lot of amenities are de-facto 55+, even if not actually restricted to that age. So I wouldn’t get too hung up on non 55+ – the chances are most of your neighbors in an active community are going to be around your age. The best way to find these communities is in the Topretirements.com State Directories. You can find those pages (1 for every state and many countries) in a variety of ways, but the easiest is to go to the orange “Find a Community” box at the top right of most pages, then select the state/country you are interested in.

    by Topretirements Editor — January 20, 2014

  22. @JANALYN: Yes, find an area that you love, then go to a realtor or search internet for new developments with what you have in mind, being condo living, single homes ect. We just went to the area we vacationed in all the time and found our spot! Good Luck..:cool:

    by sunlovingal — January 20, 2014

  23. Just signed up for this website and I am already receiving great info, especially from all of you. I just moved from 10 years in a ski resort in Colorado. It was great, but we were lifetime skiers. Yes, it is diverse, and they have lots of free concerts, art shows, etc. But the weather is extreme. Snows in June and September. Our last winter we had 487 inches of snow. With that said, how do you find a 55+ community that is “high end”. Hate to sound like a snob, but we have lived in high end communities for many years and our housing expectations are high. I built custom homes for a living. Even the more costly homes in CA (because the land is so expensive) are poorly designed and constructed. We have lived in SC now for 2 years and looking to move again. The winters are too cold for my husband. HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET.

    by calgirl — January 21, 2014

  24. @sunlovingal/editor: Thanks for the prompt response.

    by Jane Alynn — January 21, 2014

  25. To Calgirl:

    Why don’t you check out Az. I lived in California for 13 years, owned a few properties there, and I agree the homes are poorly built!! I decided to move to Arizona 3 years ago and absolutely love it. I have a lovely home that is very well built in a planned community by the mountains and hiking trails, with all the community amenities, gym, tennis courts, beauty spa, pools, basketball court, and more! Beautiful weather…Sun..everyday, summers are very hot and dry, but I head to Calif for a bit, it’s so close to drive or fly! Lot’s of California people move here! No place if perfect, but I like it here, very friendly people move and retire here from all over, and Low taxes!!

    by loralee — January 22, 2014

  26. Forgot to add, its January and we have been in the 70’s and sunny! A lot of the country is cold and snowy right now, also a big plus for me is no earthquakes, and hurricanes here!

    by loralee — January 22, 2014

  27. Loralee,

    Can you please tell us the name of your planned community, age of it, housing costs and HOA fees? Are there any other communities that are nearby that you like also and could you tell us the name of them as well?

    I used to have a couple of timeshares. The yearly maintenance fees went up every year and we were hit with special assessments constantly to fix the pool, roofs, new appliances, carpeting…it went on and on. It was such a money pit and my husband and I decided to dump them and get out of Dodge. I loved my timeshares tremendously but the financial advantage of buying the timeshare became less attractive over time. My fear is that the HOA in any gated community will do the same to homeowners. This would eat into retirement savings. Anyone have any experience with HOA’s special assessments?

    by Louise — January 23, 2014

  28. To Louise, you might want to check out Del Web and Trilogy. Housing prices are escalating quite fast here now. I bought in 2010 when they could not give them away, as a result I got a super deal on a house with all the upgrades already included. Good luck on your search! I personally love Arizona and the people here!!!

    by Loralee — January 23, 2014

  29. Louise,

    We have owned a condo on a golf course community for many years. Although, ours is just one story, it may be enlightening. The management of these kinds of communities is very important. Special assessments were pretty common here for many years until we finally voted in a Board that knew something about building maintenance. The old Board was always two steps behind, thus things were not properly maintained. It costs way more to fix things that break than it does to do preventive care. The former Condo Board/HOA employed someone who didn’t do much and so things were always broken. They never negotiated contracts, so we overpaid for everything and then had to pay extra. The thing is that this was even the case when the Condos were new…as the original construction wasn’t great to start out. With the new Board many of these things have been fixed and we no longer have special assessments. So, it behoove you to ask a lot of question before you buy into the community. If there is a history of a lot of special assessments, it may be evidence of poor management. Also look at where money goes. We paid a fortune for elevator repairs because they were poorly maintained. As it turned out, the elevator contractor was sending folks out to do repairs after hours and charging us for overtime. Something that the old manager and Board never seemed to figure out. Another issue that the homeowners association had to deal with was the golf course. We ended up paying extra for security and other things because the golf course was struggling to make ends meet and didn’t always pay its share of the bills and at one point even declared bankruptcy!

    by Lynn — January 24, 2014

  30. […] places to retire year round, along with the reasons why they are good choices. You can read about the 5 towns and categories we identified in Part 1, along with over 29 comments and suggestions from Topretirements members on the […]

    by » 10 Great Year Round Places to Retire – Part 2 Topretirements — January 28, 2014

  31. I find it utterly incredible that such a list exists.. and so many comments from readers were made….and NOT ONE mentions the very important aspect of COST. It has to be somewhere on the top of the list for everyone to consider at some point of the rankings. How about (within USA) starting off with a list of the states with low (or no) income taxes….low property taxes… reasonable “other” taxes ( sales tax, more discretionary), etc.etc

    And then from that list whittle-down the local “temperature” and “Social” amenities aspects. If you look at this first as a barometer, you will be amazed at the incredible differences that exist as to affordability, even for those that don’t make this a high priority it still stings to pay too much if there are alternatives.

    by Wil Ferch — January 29, 2014

  32. I agree with Wil Ferch…let’s see that list.

    by MaryBeth — January 30, 2014

  33. Loralee, Since Arizona has many interesting cities, we are debating which one to move to. Right now it is between the Phoenix area or the Tucson area. What was it about the city you selected that made you feel it was the best place for you? Thanks!

    by Margie — January 30, 2014

  34. To Wil and MaryBeth, try looking around on this site for previous discussions on taxes. Under News Categories you’ll find Financial and Taxes in Retirement. Under this category there’re topics like Finding a Tax Friendly State for Retirement, etc.

    by Carole — January 31, 2014

  35. For Margie: I chose an area just N.of Scottsdale, just love it. So close to everything! I like the great healthcare we have here, all the constant things happening in the area, great shopping, the nice people, the list is almost endless, and I love my new home. Just right for my lifestyle, and of course I love the fabulous sunny weather of Arizona, especially this time of year. Have you thought about staying a bit in each city to see if it would be right for you? Good luck!

    by Loralee — January 31, 2014

  36. Freezing in Wisconsin. Looking to leave the state. Any suggestions for apartments in the Phoenix area? Don’t know very much about the different towns so looking for some suggestions for a moderate-priced, 2 bedroom.
    Thanks.

    by Juliee — January 31, 2014

  37. We live in Vermont and are sick of the winters. We don’t mind seeing snow as long as it’s gone in a few days. We love being in or near the mountains but frankly we can’t seem to find anything below the intermediate price range. Any suggestions in the SC, NC or TN area?

    by Ellwyn — February 24, 2014

  38. Elllwyn: Check out Greenville, SC. I think it might offer what you are looking for in terms of price & proximity to mountains. Good luck.

    by Maureen — February 25, 2014

  39. Margie: I just bought a small home in Tucson, and am now packing up my NY home in preparation for moving. I chose Tucson because: I think the topography is prettier and more interesting. Not as flat as Phoenix, beautiful saguaro cacti and flowering shrubs all around, surrounded by mountains; Tucson is only blue city in red state and yes, I swing liberal; wonderful university and university neighborhood; very active live music scene; and Bonus…Tucson is cooler. Also, I haven’t yet been there but green valley is nearby and it is cooler still.

    by Ginger — February 26, 2014

  40. Hi Ginger glad to see your blog. Know you had knee surgery a couple of days ago, and take it all went well. Good luck with packing and your move, I am planning to go down to Arizona in March and look around. Have a real estate person coming to look at the house next week. Then I will be packing like you and moving on.
    Good Luck and keep in touch. I did get in touch with your park and they were very nice with info.

    by svenska — February 27, 2014

  41. Svenska: just had my surgery yesterday. Still throwing up! Thanks for your concern. Don’t know if I’ll be there yet when you come own. Maybe we can have coffee if I am, if you are going as far south as Tucson. I’m getting very excited as time gets near! Hope this surgery gets me back on my feet!

    by Ginger — February 27, 2014

  42. I agree with Will Ferch. I did not want to ever point out that I am just not in the class of retirees to consider anything. Other than cost. And, I love, very much small towns. But, I want an animal friendly rural area where I am not 100 miles from people but yet, not less than a few acres. I love my animals, and I rescue many. I love neighbors and respect that they may not want to hear, or smell my smaller family. I love trees, gardens, birds,etc. We have all of that now, on 2 acres. Unfortunately, I was let go when my company lost the contract I was on, I became caregiver to my mom, who died and left us this house. I then became disable myself. I’m 62, so no one will hire me, at what I use to do, even I could leave home. Our home is falling down. So, moving is at the top of our lists. The first thing that suffers when you both loose your job at the same time, more than once, and then one can’t work too soon, your credit suffers. My husband is a very hardworking parole officer for Texas. BUT, we need to move, prefer out of state, we like colder weather but not blizzards. Number one consideration, cost. Cost of living? Is it possible? Does anyone know? Please excuse the novel.

    by Pam — February 28, 2014

  43. I forgot one thing. We both like to live not hundreds of miles from a nice little town that still has some culture or be on the way to a bigger city.

    by pam — February 28, 2014

  44. Maureen,

    Thanks for the advice. Greenville, SC has always been high on our list. We just don’t want to leave any stone unturned.

    by Ellwyn — March 3, 2014

  45. Can anyone tell me what the summers are like in the uplands of SC? Particularly the Greenville area and west of there? It can get hot, humid and buggy in SW Wisconsin so I’m wondering if it’s much worse in this area of SC. Thanks for any insight.

    by neko — March 4, 2014

  46. Greenville SC interests me as well. Anyone on the list, have recommendations on good places to live for retirees? They do not seem to have any of the “typical” active adult, but are there places that seem to attract retirees? I like what I read about Greenville SC and was impressed with my one short drive through the area.

    by Elaine — March 4, 2014

  47. My wife and I just returned from a two week trip through the Carolinas. We did not want a coastal area so we focused on Raleigh-Durham, Greenville, SC and Charlotte. The weather in all three of these areas is similar, mild winters and hot steamy summers (not as hot as Charleston or FL). | We were looking for a community that was mid-sized with a small walkable town within 10 minutes of where we live. We also wanted some culture such as theater and good medical care.
    Here is a quick summary of what we found:
    Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest (RDU) are essentially one continuous community. With all of the major universities, there is a good mix of culture and entertainment. Also, medical centers are good. Chapel Hill is your typical college town that has mixture of bars and restaurants. We were hoping it would be super like Princeton, NJ… but it was rather typical college atmosphere. Wake Forest is very small and rather dead. Raleigh downtown is big with the state capital but it was also surprisingly dead during the day. There is entertainment in Raleigh and could meet the culture needs along with the university facilities. We liked the north side of Raleigh as it seemed to have a nice mix of housing, services and atmosphere. In the center of the entire RDU area is Cary. Cary reminded us of a California planned community with special areas for shopping and then separated development that is either apartments, condos or single homes. Cary is all new and ultra-suburban…very nice if you are looking for this. There is plenty of nice housing all over the area. Lots of northerners, did not hear a lot of southern accents. Everyone we talked to, loved the area.
    Charlotte is a big city with bad rush hour traffic. The prices were higher for homes and restaurants than the other two areas. Lake Norman is very nice area. It is a suburban environment that allows you to live on a lake with a boat. If you do not boat, I would not see the draw. The south side of Charlotte is very nice with some very nice housing, shops etc. Downtown Charlotte is not that big but seemed like there were things to do. There are nice neighborhoods right up to downtown Charlotte from the south. Lots of growth in the area. I think there are a lot of northerners here as well. If you want a bigger city with a good airport, this could be a good place.
    Greenville is fast growing area that is smaller than the other two, but they say the metro area is about 1 million (does not feel that big). Downtown Greenville is super and walkable. We were there four years ago and we were impressed by the revitalized downtown. Since then, it has exploded with shops, restaurants and hotel. There is lots of entertainment in the city and lots of great suburban and city housing. New condos are going up right in downtown. Construction everywhere. This town has more of a southern feel with a mix of a northerners as well. People reported good medical. The people were VERY friendly. Greenville is 90 minutes from Charlotte and 2 hours from Atlanta.
    We are going to give Greenville a chance by renting a house for a year to make sure it is right for us.

    Editor’s Note: Thanks Jack for taking the time to share your report with our fellow members. This is so helpful to get real world experiences on this Blog – thanks, and good luck to you and your wife on your adventure!

    by Jack — March 5, 2014

  48. Thank you Jack. That is most helpful. Do you think the summers are hotter and more humid than where you currently live? Also, we (including our dog) are daily walkers. Are the summers too hot either in the morning or evenings to enjoy a 2 mile walk?

    by Neko — March 5, 2014

  49. Hey Neko,
    The following site lets you compare city weather.

    http://outflux.net/weather/noaa/index.php

    by Jack — March 5, 2014

  50. Thanks Jack. These are all areas that I am interested in for retirement. I hope that you report back after you have rented in Greenville for awhile.

    by Elaine — March 5, 2014

  51. Ellwyn and Elaine…While not the mountains I have found Bluffton, SC a very warm and engaging place..It is one of the fastest growing towns in America and many Baby Boomers are relocating there..You are within 20 miles or so of Savannah, Beaufort, Hilton Head and about 1 hour from Charleston…These are all top 100 cities in the recent poll conducted, Beaufort was ranked #4 and Bluffton ranked #36 (best retirement towns) We have just purchased a home (being built)in a beautilful community….We have everything close, shopping, drug stores and Medical Care..We used a realtor Robyn Henke who was super spent days with us and told us and showed us any and everything about the area..She is:lol: a walking encyclopedia who took all the time we needed and answered every question…Even now after the sale she is in constant touch asking what she can do to help us…Because this are is growing everything is new and taxes are very low…I find that the cost of food in stores(Kroger) are about the same overall as here in Louisville, KY..Housing tends to be a little higher we purchased a custom home 3200 square feet for 317K. The base price was 240K so you can see we have a lot of extra’s…The cost of homeowners insurance was 1/2 what it is here in KY and you do not have to have flood insurance..Any questions anyone has just email me at paul.schmidt@twc.com and I will answer them for you…Good luck in your search…:smile::smile::smile:

    by paul schmidt — March 6, 2014

  52. Is there nice mobile home parks anyone can recommend – looking at a few states, AZ, Fl, and SC.

    Thanks, Linda

    by Linda — March 6, 2014

  53. Jack –
    I’d be interested in knowing where you looked in North Raleigh. I just got back from a week-long “looking” trip focusing on Garner (NO), Fuquay-Varina (maybe), Holly Springs (daughter & family moved there last Aug from NoVa & it’s growing), Apex (cute little town that’s growing), Cary (NO – too crowded), & Durham (probably not). Thanks for any info you can provide.

    by Anna — March 6, 2014

  54. Hi everybody!
    First time for me to post. Am in my mid 50s and looking to move from Texas and will be bringing my mother along with me. Discovered this site a few months ago in my search for a new place to live. Being a research fanatic, I’ve collected a lot of data and bookmarks. And like some of you, Greenville SC is on the top of my list. Haven’t been there yet, but have tons of info on the area that I put together into an online flipboard which is kind of like Pinterest except you can flip the pages. I’ve really found this site so helpful and wanted to share my research with you. I’ve also made several other flipboards for other areas i’m investigating. Not sure of the protocol or if it is appropriate to add the links to my flipboards here, so will wait to see what the moderator thinks. I plan on making a trip to Greenville and two or three other places either in the Spring or Fall of this year to begin the process of finding a place both my mother and I will feel at home in and will be sure to let you know my impressions if ya’ll are interested. Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and say thanks to the moderator for creating such a friendly and welcoming site for sharing relocation and retirement information!

    Moderator’s note: Ok, let’s try it. Here is one link you provided. Let us know if you have more. http://flip.it/Ahy39

    by Ladyquixote — March 6, 2014

  55. Morning and sure enjoy the info exchange..today am asking for some info on community (Del Webb) in Southern South Corolina..we are palnning a trip mid-April and plan to visit retirement communities with the intent to buy ..so any info we can get about prices/location/community/tax and most of all medical facilities..we are planning to visit ‘Riverside’ near Sun City and Hilton area..Thanks

    by Robbie — March 7, 2014

  56. We have been to Greenville several times as our sons live in Spartanburg. The downtown is very nice and always have something going on. The Falls Park area is a scenic area where you can have a picnic or just relax. I have been following real estate on Trulia.com and find that home prices and property taxes are very reasonable compared to other areas like Asheville, which is only 50+ miles north. There are lots of suburbs to look into like Greer, Simpsonville, and Taylor for real estate. The Smoky mountains are nearby. I have not experienced Greenville in the summer months yet, but Greenville is high on our list of possibilities.

    by Locobill — March 7, 2014

  57. I am wondering if anyone knows of a nice active community 55+ in Pueblo Colorado area?

    Also is anyone considering the available water supply to a community in your choices.

    Thanks

    by Judy — March 7, 2014

  58. Linda, there are nice mobile home parks all over Arizona. The Rincon West RV Parkin Tucson was absolutely lovely, but really there are too many to list. Ni just bought a mobile home in Tucson in February, however, I wanted to tell you something about AZ before you do this…I found out after. Phoenix and Tucsonare hot spots for Valley Fever. Read about it on google. If I had it to do over and wanted to be in AZ I would look either onthe west side (Yuma and Bullhead City) or the north…flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, cottonwood. Muc lower incidence if valley fever in those places.

    by Ginger — March 7, 2014

  59. Anna,
    We liked Apex as well, but not enough to call it home. For North Raleigh, we didn’t study it extensively. We looked from Wake Forest to downtown Raleigh. Close in is a nice older section called five points. You can google and read about it.

    by Jack — March 8, 2014

  60. Lady Quixote
    I would be interested in your findings and research if the moderator allows you. Thank you for your input.

    Moderator’s note: OK with us.

    by nikki — March 9, 2014

  61. We were ready to take on Phoenix until we read the article on Valley Fever. Does anyone know if the areas mentioned as being safer make a difference? The article in the NY Times was really scary and seems like it should have a big part in the decision to like Arizona.

    by 703sue — March 9, 2014

  62. Ginger, I totally agree with your reasons for choosing Tucson. The area was beautiful with lots to do. Medical facilities are good, and the summers will be cooler than the Phoenix area. Dick and I decided on Saddlebrook. Where are you going?

    by Barbara — March 10, 2014

  63. Nikki,
    Below are the links to to my retirement/relocation research. First, tips on using. Click one of my below links to open a flipboard magazine to browse the articles I’ve collected. You can download the app and register or ignore request and access my pages by clicking / tapping on the arrow located towards the middle right hand side of the cover page of each “magazine”. Click or tap if using a tablet, on the arrow to flip to next page. Each article is a page from a website. To read full article, click on picture or text to be taken to site generating it. The article you’ve chosen will then open on a new tab in your browser. To turn a page over in a magazine tap or click on the right or left side edge of page, arrow will show. Works same in reverse for going back a page.

    I’m leaning towards moving to Greenville so i’ve collected a lot of info on this area: http://flip.it/Ahy39
    General mix of destinations go into this one: http://flip.it/GLYmI
    I’ve also started collecting info and begun creating flipboard “magazines” on
    Athens Ga: http://flip.it/4rqzr
    Fairhope, AL : http://flip.it/nerxo
    Huntsville: AL: http://flip.it/EW2r9

    Enjoy and thanks moderator for letting me share my findings!

    by Ladyquixote — March 10, 2014

  64. A couple more tips on flipboard magazines, if arrows don’t appear when you try to turn a page, make a swiping motion on your screen on the edge of the page you wish to turn, just as you would if reading a “real” magazine. You can also go backwards and forwards in the magazine by clicking or tapping on the tiny dots on the bottom of each page.

    by Ladyquixote — March 10, 2014

  65. Robbie and Ladyquixote…realtor Robyn Henke who was super spent days with us and told us and showed us any and everything about the area..She is:lol: a walking encyclopedia who took all the time we needed and answered every question…Even now after the sale she is in constant touch asking what she can do to help us…Her number is 843-816-5527..She has helped others on here..She is the best I have ever seen and there is no pressure….

    by paulschmidt — March 10, 2014

  66. Paul
    I saw in previous comments that you were moving to Sun City HH and then you said you were going to Hilton Head Lakes. Why the changes? What did you find out about the other areas?

    by Barry — March 11, 2014

  67. Ladyquixote,
    You have compiled an AMAZING amount of information on Greenville. First of all, This is my first intro to flipboard. It is a great way to store articles and blog for anyone to use. If anyone is interested in Greenville, this is a must read. You have brought together a great collection of articles on living in this nice town. We have visited Greenville several times as our sons live nearby, and have always liked the downtown area. I now have to convince my wife that the summer weather is bearable to her!

    by Bill Yoder — March 11, 2014

  68. Barbara…the place I bought is actually in Marana, a small town about 10 miles north of Tucson. I chose that because of the good deal on the park model home I bought. After I have tried it out for a bit, I may move it. I am torn; I really love Tucson, but I am concerned about valley fever. So I will see a doctor there to assess my risk. If I have any substantial risk, I may move it to one of the more northern or western communities, like Yuma or Bullhead City. Just not sure yet. But would definitely prefer to stay in Tucson.

    by Ginger — March 11, 2014

  69. Thanks for the compliment Bill! I found flipboard last year and it has totally replaced my bookmarking system! There’s so much you can do with it! Regarding Greenville, it is abundantly apparent that there is a diverse spread of people and so much pride in what they have accomplished there. As an artist and nature lover, it so far seems like a perfect fit for myself and my mother. As I continue to research other cities and town, I keep coming back to Greenville. The only drawback and it’s not really that much of a drawback is the availability of affordable (to me) housing in town. I love the old neighborhoods! It would be so cool to walk downtown. Even so, homes in my range would still only involve a few minutes drive.

    by Ladyquixote — March 11, 2014

  70. Thanks Jack. I’m still getting used to this website and end up looking all over before I find answers from people.

    by neko — March 11, 2014

  71. Barry…Hilton head Lakes is beautiful however after looking at homes I would have to build and the taxes (Jasper Co) are twice as high as Beaufort county. Sun City was very nice but I have Greyhounds and need a fence and they are not allowed in Sun City. So I chose a new home ready for occupancy the 1st of May in Mill Creek which is Bluffton…

    by paulschmidt — March 12, 2014

  72. Paulschmidt re: fences. Even if a place allows fences, look at the restrictions. There is a DelWebb here in Fredericksburg that allows fences, but they are only the length of the house laterally and 30 feet depth maximum. May not be what you need. There is a Lennar active 55/45 in here that allows fencing the entire rear of the lot, but restiricts the height to 4 feet…so be sure to check on fence restrictions even if they allow fences.

    Let the list know if you find places that are more fence (as well as dog) friendly. Many allow pets, but are not really pet friendly.

    by elaine — March 13, 2014

  73. As Elaine says, you really have to check into the restrictions in a community. I was looking at a 55+ near Raleigh that had 2 floorplans we love, the right price, & a convenient drive to our family. One had a wonderful private (surrounded by the house on 3 sides) small screen porch off the master separate from another large porch off the kitchen. I made an off-hand remark about how great the small porch would be for a 2 person hot tub. I was told hot tubs are not allowed. I pointed out that no one would be able to see it. Was told no way. Started asking other questions that I hadn’t thought to ask – won’t be buying there & have started asking a series of pointed questions everywhere I look.

    by Anna — March 13, 2014

  74. Anna, A list of questions be a great topic for a TR blog. I would love a list of what you have so far. I am not talking the obvious ones (although that would be a good start), but some that many of us might not realize until too late.

    In fact at the DelWebb near me, I asked about the fences and was given misinformation. But I took some literature and saw that I would basically be getting a 20X30 fenced area and less on some of the less deep lots. But if you wait until you are looking at the fine print, you may want to check. SO even though, I am not interested in retiring here, I go visit on a regular basis.

    by Elaine — March 14, 2014

  75. paulschmidt, Re: Mill Creek…can you tell us more about it?

    by Elaine — March 14, 2014

  76. I was concerned about Mill Creek’s history of crime. Go online and type it in. There was a rape on the walking trail, a burglary where the family was held at gun point and more. I inquired around the area and was told crime did seem to center in that community for some reason. Don’t know if the crime is still going on, but last summer I was told there were more breakins.

    by Marillyn — March 14, 2014

  77. Marilyn…thanks for the information..I did know about these things as they happened in the past years was informed by my realtor…In 2014 they have had no incidents reported to police..In 2013 there was a rash of car breakins in several subdivisions in Bluffton..The 17 year old who was responsible has been caught.There was no report that I could find about a rape on the walking trail…There was a rape on Mill Street in April 2013 however that is not in MillCreek…I am more concerned about the HOA dues and the information I see about the management company not responsive to the homeowners…I will look into that..I suppose everywhere there is something that one will not like and it goes to show you that everyone must do thier due dillegence…Thanks for the info as i know you did a lot of research on the area…

    by paul schmidt — March 15, 2014

  78. Elaine…check this out..
    http://www.drhorton.com/where-we-build/south-carolina/hilton-head/hilton-head/mill-creek-condo.aspx

    what I liked about mill creek at cypress ridge is the clean lines and the newness of everything..People walking everywhere and we stopped several and talked about the neighborhood and area..Did not get any bad comments about the area or the subdivision quite the opposite…The area is going under tremendous new building, stores shopping centers restuarants etc…Everything is new…Also 2 brand new schools are being built…For the price and HOA fees i thought it was a grand place to live…Our home is the Cumberland and you will see on the website sale pending that is our home…

    by paul schmidt — March 15, 2014

  79. Does anyone own a DR Horton home that can provide some insight into the construction? If you look up DR Horton complaints online there are hundreds and they are not accredited with the Better Business Bureau in Myrtle Beach, actually received a D rating in SC. Looking at builders in SC and Ga , would appreciate info from anyone having experience with any builders in these states on a long term basis.

    by Marillyn — March 15, 2014

  80. Marilyn, my son and his wife bought a DR Horton home in San Diego and it was a nightmare. Very careless construction practices. Horton did eventually fix things, but imagine having to live with a flooded kitchen in a new home. No thanks.

    by Linda — March 15, 2014

  81. Linda
    thank you, this is the kind of thing we’ve been hearing. Anyone familiar with Pulte homes? Centex?

    by Marilyn — March 15, 2014

  82. Marilyn and Linda…I will not get into a discussion on D.R. Horton with you only to say that you will not find ANY BUILDER without complaints…You also should get your facts straight about thier rating in SC…They have zero (0) complaints with the ATTY General office..They didn’t get to be the top builder in the nation by building poor homes…

    by paul schmidt — March 16, 2014

  83. Marilyn and Elaine…I inquired about your concerns about Mill Creek and it seems you were misled on your findings…anything else you need to discuss about the area let me know…
    Hi Paul,
    I have attached CCR’s and By-Laws for your records.

    The document that you had attached to the email with comments/concerns about the community amenities has been addressed though I am not sure how recent the comments were. PAI is no longer the management company at Mill Creek, it is managed by Gold Crown Management who has addressed concerns from property owners and have diligently been keeping up the property and getting the community ready for the upcoming opening of the pool. I think that the majority of homeowners would attest to the attention to detail that Gold Crown has been paying to the property. Should you have any concerns otherwise, please let me know or feel free to contact Aaron Hettesheimer, who is the property manager aaron.hette@gold-crown.com.

    The incident with the home break-in was an unfortunate incident that happened
    several years ago and was addressed by the local authorities. I don’t want to dismiss what happened, but it seems to have been an isolated incident that could have happened in any neighborhood. I do not have access to all of the crime records for the area or Mill Creek specifically, however I will be happy to contact the local sheriff’s office to see if I can find out more. I have not heard anything of a rape in or around the neighborhood not have I had any residents come into the office with crime concerns.

    Nate

    Nate Caron
    Sales Representative – Bluffton / Beaufort / Hilton Head
    Coastal Carolina Division
    D.R. Horton, Inc.
    America’s Builder
    Cell: 843.540.0950
    Fax: 800.648.5240

    by paul schmidt — March 16, 2014

  84. Paul
    The rating facts are from the website of the BBB in Myrtle Beach as well as the SC BBB rating. Everyone must do their due diligence when looking at an area and/or builder. Trulia is a source where you can read the comments written by the residents living there. Their concerns vary. I was first warned about DR Horton by a realtor in SC which showed us around the area and this lead me to research further. Am also researching Centex and Pulte. The crime incidents were from the crime reports in SC, which also cited a “peeping Tom” and a man luring young children in Mill Creek. He has since been arrested. The crime incidents were first pointed out to me by a realtor in SC as well, which led me to look into it further.

    by marilyn — March 16, 2014

  85. Does anyone know anything about Florence SC???

    by Brenda — March 16, 2014

  86. Any info on northwest arizona kingman fort mohave bullhead

    by pete k — March 16, 2014

  87. There is also a web site named “top 267 complaints against DR Horton”, it’s quite sad what these people have been through.

    by Marilyn — March 17, 2014

  88. The internet can be good and can be bad and that not EVERYTHING one reads is totally 100% correct. I think you need to check every source possible and that I did my due diligence on the topics brought up. I did speak with the sheriff about her accusations of a peeping Tom in the subdivision and a rape that occured on the walking path and the sheriff told me that he has no reports of either and that in the last year there were 2 car break ins in that subdivision and both times the cars were unlocked. The 17 year old was arrested.

    by paul schmidt — March 17, 2014

  89. These web sites are public information. Any derogatory remarks being made by the people who wrote on the web sites concern their experiences and everyone has access to them.

    by Marilyn — March 17, 2014

  90. Ok Folks, I think the DR Horton thread has played itself out. Interesting comments on both sides. No more comments on that topic here – doesn’t really belong on Best Year Round article anyway. Lets get back on that topic, what you think are great places to retire on a year round basis. Thanks!

    by Admin — March 17, 2014

  91. […] further reading: Part 1: 10 Great Towns for Year Round Living Part 2: Great Towns for Year Round […]

    by » Finding That Goldilocks Place – Part 3: Year Round Places to Retire - Topretirements — January 5, 2015

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