The Affordable (and more) Best Places to Retire List

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

In our recent article, “Whackiest Best Places to Retire List“, we poked a little fun at some of the “Best Places to Retire” lists our big named publishing brethren keeping come up with. In so doing we promised to come up with our own “Best Affordable List”, and here it is.

St. Petersburg Harbor

St. Petersburg Harbor

The exercise of identifying our “Affordable” List proved to be very interesting, and challenging, on many levels (see end of article for further explanation). The major challenge was exactly what criteria would we apply? Would

our picks simply be the cheapest places in the U.S. (or the world)? Should we add other selection criteria like culture, crime rates, etc.? In the end we tried to think about what the average Topretirements visitor would be interested in. Since our visitors are a very discriminating group, we decided to use these selection factors:

- Affordability. Median home price in the community should be at least 15% less than the U.S. average of $174,100 (2nd quarter 2009, National Association of Realtors).
- Low tax burden. Only the 25 states with the lowest tax burden (per the Tax Foundation) were considered
- High culture. We weren’t going to pick just any cow town – our selections have all earned a “high” culture rating (110 or above in the system used on our review pages).

The other big challenge was how were we going to select the most affordable candidates from the 450 retirement towns profiled at Topretirements. Doing a manual sort would be quite a task. But relying exclusively on a computer to do the work could end up with some of the same strange results we made fun of in our “Whackiest List” article. Obvious solution: We used our free Retirement Ranger selection tool as the first pass, then made a careful review of the results to make sure the final selections were indeed “best places to retire”. The Retirement Ranger provided 20 towns that met our criteria. From those we chose the top 10, purely on the basis of lowest median home price in mid 2009. (all 20 selected are listed below).

The Top 10 Affordable (and more) Best Places to Retire from Topretirements (with median selling price of a home):
1. Fort Myers, FL $84,000
2. St. Petersburg, FL $120,000
3. Phoenix, AZ $132,000
4. Corpus Christi TX $133,000
5. Tampa FL $140,000
6. Aiken SC $140,000
7. Clearwater FL $142,000
8. Morgantown WV $142,000
9. Las Vegas, NV $142,000
10. Knoxville TN $145,000

These are the remaining 10 making the cut for “Most Affordable (and More)”:
Mesa AZ $145,000
Sioux Falls SD $146,000
Myrtle Beach SC $147,000
Pensacola FL $148,000
DallasFort Worth TX $150,000
Branson MO $150,000
Tallahassee FL $150,000
San Antonio TX $153,000
Clemson SC $155,000
Columbia MO $159,000

Comments about the 22 “Most Affordable” Towns on this list
Topretirements feels really good about the towns making this list. All are relative bargains compared to many other best places to retire. All are interesting places to retire where there is plenty of culture and where there are nice neighborhoods to live in. That said, some people will find places on the list that are more or less appealing than others. The point is, if you are looking for an affordable place to retire that is also an interesting place to live, this list is a good place to start.

Real estate prices have fallen tremendously in the last 2 years. In much of the country they are at 2003 levels, in some depressed parts of the midwest, they go even farther back. Here is what Karl Case, a professor at Wellesley College and co-founder of the Case-Shiller real estate price index had to say about current conditions in the New York Times: “there are…dangers…(but) housing is as affordable as its been in 20 years….I think we’ve seen the bottom”.

One of the most interesting outcomes of this list is that the affordable regions have shifted. Until this year the interior states tended to be offer the biggest bargains in real estate. With the collapse of prices in markets like South Florida, Nevada, and California, this is not nearly as absolute the case as it was a few years ago.

Notes About the Selection Criteria
1. Thanks to our current recession, real estate prices, the major component of affordability, are utterly chaotic in a big portion of the U.S. Using recent data is extremely important because in certain markets the average selling price in mid 2009 is one half (much of south Florida and Nevada) to one fourth (Ft. Myers) what it was in 2006. The market is so volatile that using the same criteria in 2008 would have produced a very different list – chances are the 2010 list will be different yet.
2. Related to the above, foreclosures and short sales are distorting prices in certain markets. The median sales price in Las Vegas might be $142,000, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can buy into the average 55+ community for that little.
3. We used figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) whenever possible to determine housing prices in mid 2009. Smaller towns, however, are not included in that data. In those cases we used a combination of data from Zillow.com and City-Data.com. As a result the sales price comparisons are approximate and should not be taken as absolutes.
4. Taxes are not that important an consideration for most retirees, at least compared to proximity to family, climate, and housing costs. That’s because income and sales taxes are relatively insignificant unless income and spending are high. Property taxes, which are a bit harder to identify, have their greatest impact on people who continue to live in expensive homes. Bottom line about taxes: Consider including towns in higher tax burden states to broaden your search when using the Retirement Ranger.
5. Prices in active adult and 55+ communities are not quite as impacted by the housing meltdown as for homes in general communities. So if you move to a 55+ community your new home might not be quite as affordable as for the general homes in that community.


For further reference:
Most Tax-Friendly Places to Retire
AffordableRetirements.com

Posted by John Brady on October 26th, 2009

107 Comments »

  1. [...] next post: The Affordable (and more) Best Places to Retire List [...]

    by » Who Puts Out the Wackiest Best Places to Retire List? Topretirements — October 26, 2009

  2. I would like to read more of some affordable communities with rental properties, not necessarily lifetime communities. What is manufactured housing and is it rentable? It seems that the emphasis is on buying a house, but I would like to rent before I buy.

    by Kay Keller — October 27, 2009

  3. [...] Most Affordable Places to Retire Most Affordable College Towns Most Important Criteria for Best Place to Retire [...]

    by » How to Retire in Style and on a Budget Topretirements — January 9, 2010

  4. [...] Also: AffordableRetirements.com The Affordable and More Best Places to Retire List Posted by John Brady on June 14th, 2010 Comments (8)  Email This Post Entries (RSS) and [...]

    by » 11 Affordable Places to Retire on the Waterfront Topretirements — August 28, 2010

  5. I was amazed to read that “taxes are not that important an (sic) consideration” in your review above. First, the favorable treatment of retirement income by Pennsylvania and New York significantly reduce their overall cost. Both states have a number of small and mid-sized towns that boast cheap real-estate and are quite reasonable in other respects. Missouri, on the other hand offers few breaks to retirees. Your site does an admirable job of compiling extensive data on retiree costs and taxes, but the reduced impact on retiree income is not normally included in yor “best places” lists.
    I find I often have to duble check your methodologies to be sure that your economic assumptions are accurate. Otherwise, great job, and I really am garnering a wealth of information and links from your site!

    by Malcolm — June 12, 2011

  6. [...] in Florida right now. In a recent article at TopRetirements.com, 6 Florida cities made the list of 20 Most Affordable and Best Places to Retire. These cities include Fort Myers (1), St. Petersburg (2), Tampa (5), Clearwater (7), Pensacola [...]

    by 3 Reasons Why Florida Will Ultimately Remain The King Of Retirement — March 18, 2012

  7. As I read thru this I wonder why when all the Florida locations are mentioned no one ever refers to the problems encountered in the recent past in regard to hurricanes. Never mind loss of life or limb, if your dead you won’t care anymore. But what if you loose your home and everything in it. Some states appear to clearly be in weather related danger zones. Some parts of Alabama and Tn. can be nice places to live if you don’t mind summer humidity but the tornado danger in these states appear to be quite high.

    by Anne — February 2, 2013

  8. As super storm Sandy showed us, there are “weather related danger zones” from Fla all e way up through New England. The midwest has its tornados. The west coast has earthquakes. You can’t escape living somewhere with no weather issues.

    by Bill — February 3, 2013

  9. My husband and I have 50 years collectively living in Florida, the Orlando area. We moved there when Orlando was about 100,000 population and was a nice place to raise kids. We left Orlando 10 years ago to live in the southwestern mountains of North Carolina. When we go back to Florida we realize how lucky we are not to live in Florida anymore. The heat and humidity seem to never end unless it is January in the Keys. I distinctly remember having the a/c on for Christmas day many times. It was rare to not have high humidity, mildew and heat. They do get a reprieve once in a blue moon, but for the most part you live inside air conditioned homes at least 8 months out of the year. And when it is 60 degrees outside in Florida you are freezing to death because the humidity is so high. We were fortunate to not have a major hurricane hit us personally, but tornadoes in the Orlando area are common and you don’t get a 3 day notice to evacuate. People ask us all the time “what is the worst thing living in the mountains in North Carolina that you can think of”………..we say having to go back to Florida when we visit our families. I don’t know about everyone else on this site but we plain got tired of extreme heat, humidity and crime rates going out the roof.
    As a retiree we wanted to go back to the old days when you could leave your keys in the car, the front door unlocked and see plenty of trees around us instead of a solid blanket of concrete. The average longevity in our newspaper is 100 years old. Our doctor says it is because of the fresh pure oxygen levels we have in the mountains. I’m not sure if that is true or not, but it can’t hurt. Unless you live on the ocean in Florida (which most of us could not afford)you will get tired of Florida. The bloom is definitely off for us. $400.00 a month for electric bill… not unheard of for a 2,800 square foot home wihtout a pool. Add the pool and you can tack on another $100.00 a month, HO insurance policies carry high deductibles to the tune of $5,300 for one of our friends just to make the premium affordable($3K for their insurance premium), they have a 2,700 square foot home on a chain of lakes west of Orlando. Our top electric bill including heat in the winter $180.00 for a 4,100 square foot home with 22 ft high ceilings (we have a timber frame home). Home Owner’s insurance with a $1K deductible…..$1,000 a year. Taxes on our 4,100 sq. ft home…..$525.00 a year……taxes on our friend’s home in Florida…….$5,000 a year. If you take all of this into consideration how can retirement be affordable in Florida for most middle class retirees? We have saved enough on our monthly expenses to afford buying a new Lincoln MKX this year…….my auto insurance went up a whopping $14.00 a month. And yes, NC has a personal income tax that is graded by how much you make 6.5%-8%/annually(net income). You pay zero under $20K a year. They are talking about eliminating this tax to encourage more businesses to relocate to NC. We live in Franklin, NC, a small town of about 3,900 people, 39,000 in the whole county. In the summer months our town swells to 25,000 people……mostly Floridians escaping the Florida heat (they come up in April and stay until December for the most part). We see very little snow in our area but when it does snow it is beautiful and is gone very quickly. The valley we are in is protected from most major storms. We are within driving distance to major cities for anyone that loves to shop, otherwise the internet can deliver anything your heart desires! If you are looking for a peaceful place to live with moderate weather, friendly people, very low crime, easy expenses on the wallet then check out Franklin, NC. There are other cities in the western NC mountains that are equally nice, but we chose Franklin because of it’s proximity to major airports, good doctors, mild weather, cost of living, etc. My whole neighborhood consists of ex-pats from Florida………….and their sentiment is the same as ours…….Florida has lost it’s bloom for most of us.

    by Joyce — February 3, 2013

  10. I have been visiting Active Adult Communities in Florida dn came across a first! At a Lennar community when discussing closing costs a new item was mentioned that I have never heard before. A builders fee in the amount of 1% of the cost of the home. This can add $2500 to $3500 dollars to closing depending upon the cost of the home.

    Has anyone else heard of this?

    by Steve — February 3, 2013

  11. Joyce in Franklin. You sound like you belong to the Rich & Famous and probably could afford to live wherever you choose. Most of us “Seasoned Citizens” do not have that luxery.

    4100 sq ft home – duh, for what?

    by Robert — February 4, 2013

  12. Steve…it is actually 1 3/4% not 1%…I am not sure what it is used for…but when you add two months club dues and three months association dues it works out to more than 2%…

    Even when you add the 2%…Lennar is still cheaper to buy into than the other new construction developments in the area…

    by Russ — February 4, 2013

  13. @Joyce Your development sounds lovely. What is the name of the community you live in? We are also looking at Western NC. We lived in Naples for 5 years and couldn’t stand the heat and humidity!!!

    by LisaJ — February 4, 2013

  14. Regarding Joyce’s post about FL. We looked hard at FL for our place to retire. Main reasons: to avoid income taxes, home prices, and one of my brothers lives near Daytona Beach. We have lived in MD (most of our lives) and CT (for two years in the 80s). Our conclusions: home prices are generally very attractive in most of FL. Property taxes are relatively high in most of FL. The intensity and duration of heat and humidity are extreme by any measure.

    The fact is, dew points in most of FL exceed 70% (technically deemed “oppressive”) for about half the year and exceed 60%-65% (uncomfortable for most people) for over 8 months of the year. We personally know four couples, sometimes called “half backs” because they moved half-way north, who have moved from FL to western NC and TN. Many of their neighbors are FL natives.

    by RogerB — February 4, 2013

  15. Thank you, Joyce for your evaluation of living in Florida. I was considering it, but that may have been the final nail in that coffin. We were thinking about “The Villages”, but I do not think it would be affordable. Plus, they have those big damn snakes down there now. I was told they do not live that far norht, but after a few genertions they will learn to hibernate, and there they are! And, its against the law to kill them.
    Being a former native of NC, I think that or TN is where we will go. Thank you.

    Norman Prevatte
    LTC U.S. Army Retired.

    by Norman Prevatte — February 4, 2013

  16. It seems that most people on this site on from the eastern side of the US, I was wondering where the Western side of the US retire to.

    by CB — February 5, 2013

  17. My husband and I are three years away from retirement,we live in New york. We have it narrowed down to Haile Plantation in Gainsville Fl or NC some where between Wilmington and North Myrtle beach in a planned community. Any inputor pros and cons anyone could oferwould be appreciated. My husband would like to buy now while the prices are down.Thanks in advance !!

    by Barbara Vicare — February 5, 2013

  18. Thinking about Arizona since my sister lives there. But the heat is very hot and could be a problem. Have moved from Virginia 11 years ago to the Central Coast of California which I love for climate but cost and changes leave me thinking of other places. Amy input on Arizona maybe outside Phoenix?

    by Karen L — February 5, 2013

  19. Has anyone retired to Boise or Coeur d’Alene, ID? We would like to settle in the NW but are concerned that the extremely progressive views in Portland & Seattle may be a bit too extreme for us. Looking to settle in a city (small or large) which offers walkability, conveniences and cultural amenities. Both places sound appealing, however, have not experienced either. Boise’s winters seem to be more moderate. Do you think it would be very difficult for YOUTHFUL 60+ retirees who are not ready for “retirement communities” to fit in as “urban dwellers” in either of these places. Any information you can share will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ebbe.

    by Ebbie — February 6, 2013

  20. Barbara

    Also being from NY, my first concern was taxes. In NY your 1st $20K in retirement income is tax free…after that, who knows. In Florida, if you purchase your home taxes start at 2% of the purchase price of your home and no state income tax. In NC another story. What I did when considering SC was to print out the SC income tax forms and fill them out based upon what my retirement income was hopefully going to be. It was actually cheaper to move to Florida over the Carolina’s and if you want the change of seasons, keep to the northern part of Florida.

    by Russ — February 6, 2013

  21. Russ,

    Isn’t there some sort of asset tax in FL? I know that when my parents moved in retirement from FL to VA their taxes declined, and it went even lower in NC. Also hazard insurance, if you can get it, can be insanely expensive given all the storms they get.

    by Julie — February 6, 2013

  22. Regarding Karen’s question about AZ outside Phoenix, we moved last year to Province in the town of Maricopa. We love it. Affordable. Nice, growing town, Phoenix close but not too close. Province has attractive amenities, many activities, and a friendly culture.

    by Carl — February 6, 2013

  23. To Karen, I moved to Phoenix Az from California two years ago, and love it. Great people, low cost of living, low property taxes, cheap gas, (as compared to California), great clean roads, and you can drive 2 hrs in the summer to Sedona, or Flagstaff to get out of the summer heat. I go to San Diego in the summer…so close. About 8 months the weather is lovely, winters are fantastic, today it is about 72, sunny and beautiful. As a matter of fact, it is sunny almost every day of the year. Beautiful pink and orange sunsets. Lots of activities! What more could you ask for! Check it out!

    by Kayleena — February 6, 2013

  24. Hello Karen L. My husband and I moved to Arizona from Central IL a year and a half ago. We had been coming out to Parker AZ on the CO river for several winters, and before that, vacations. When it came time to find a permanent place to move to, we considered all elevations in AZ above 5000 feet. That gets you out of the super heat, and generally, will allow you 4 seasons if you like that. We chose Prescott for a start, and have enjoyed it here. We sold a house in Illinois, put that money in our pocket, and decided we would rent. That is always the best option when moving to a totally new location. There are lots of rental opportunities in our area, 55+ buy and rent – apartments, houses, etc. For a person that doesn’t want the heat, Prescott – Flagstaff – Showlow – Pinetop-Lakeside are good places to research. All have their good and bad, just depends on what a person is interested in. Check these AZ places out. I expect you won’t be sorry. Janet Farrell

    by Janet Farrell — February 6, 2013

  25. Julie…I found alot of information about Florida on their website http://www.myflorida.com This site can steer you to almost all the information you will need to consider a move to Florida…and yes florida does tax certain funds but when I reviewed it and realized it would not effect me I paid it no mind..

    by Russ — February 7, 2013

  26. To Russ and Julie re taxes

    It depends on your source of income. For me it will all be SSI and 401k, no pensions. So I will need to research when I find a few top choices. The challenge with state taxes, it can change more easily than federal taxes. I liked Russ’ idea of filling out the tax forms for the state as if retired there.

    by eric — February 7, 2013

  27. Lots of information about Phoenix lately, but no one has mentioned Tucson. Does anyone have information about that area? Family members lived in Arizona (Scottsdale area) for about 10 years, moved back to Illinois (have been here for 4 years) and are ready to go back to Arizona! No snow, humidity, hurricanes (as in Florida), etc. Golf, hiking, biking, outdoor activies almost all year round! Have visited Tucson years ago and remember it as being less spread out than Phoenix and a nice sized town with all a university town has to offer.

    by Rory — February 7, 2013

  28. Rory–I have a brother-in-law who lives in Phoenix. I can’t remember how long he’s been there but more than 25 yrs. He tells me that in the last several years it has been less than exemplary.
    The crime rate has increased dramatically. Locals tend to believe that this has been caused by the numbers of persons coming across the border from Mexico. As you’ve probably seen they have also had some pretty serious dust storms recently. The winds in one of those storms was strong enough that it tore off a big part of his tile roof. How prevalent that was I can’t say.
    There are vast housing areas that were built when the boom was on. They have never been sold and so sit in the desert slowly deteriorating. Instead of indigents living under the bridge etc. they are breaking in to these houses and living there.
    Be aware I don’t have first hand knowledge of these facts but only repeat what I’ve been told by my brother-in-law.
    For myself, I prefer Tucson altho have not been there for some time. Now in Ct. but looking to get out. This is one of the most, if not THE most, expensive states to live it.
    Suggest if you’re serious about Az. you should probably check out Tucson. I think it would be a nice place to live. Lots of artist type activities on going all the time. College football. If you’re into astronomy it’s a perfect location with Kitt’s Peak a stone’s throw away. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than the sky above the desert on a clear night. You feel like you can reach up and touch the stars.

    by Anne — February 7, 2013

  29. To Janet Farrell – Read your comments with interest as I am very interested in the Sedona area. It is my first choice, but Prescott is looking like the better choice for housing costs. I am currently in Virginia and in the process of selling my home here before doing anything else. I would greatly appreciate your advise.

    by D Marr — February 7, 2013

  30. Julie….another site I used http://www.stateofflorida.com both will give you alot of information regarding a possible move to Florida…I am sure the carolina’s will have the same sort of informtion available somewhere…

    by Russ — February 8, 2013

  31. Anne Thank you for the information about Arizona. I do remember Tucson as a very nice town and have a friend who has lived there for over 40 years and says she loves it. Humidity is horrible and when it is year round as it in in so many places, we are trying to find someplace without the humidity and molds (which cause so many people severe allergy problems). Good luck with your move from CT. Wouldn’t want to be in Boston right now with 2 feet of snow forecast.

    by Rory — February 8, 2013

  32. In response to Anne’s comments on Phoenix. I TOTALLY disagree and I live here. This is a big city and as with any large city there are areas of crime. It is mostly in the low end South Phoenix. Scottsdale and North Phoenix are beautiful with tons of amenities and all kinds of nice housing. The dust storms you see on TV hit the very southern Phoenix area, and not up North where I live. I grew up and lived back East for many years, and do not miss the cold snow storms and high summer humidity! No place is perfect, but we have a little slice of heaven out here!

    by Kayleena — February 8, 2013

  33. Hello D Marr:

    Sedona is a beautiful town, and pricey as well, although you might be surprised sometimes what a person can find. Buying there would be pretty high. There are lots of furnished vacation rentals, but not sure about long-term rentals there. The population in Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley combined is about 80,000, so we have access in our area to all necessary services, two hospitals, lots of doctors including specialists shopping is plentiful and so are restaurants. We are at an elevation of appr 5300, although parts of town are much higher elevation (6000). Lots of pines and boulders, and the town is hilly to me, since I came from the flat prairie. There are some nice tourism websites about Prescott which are informational and fun to look at. Housing is plentiful here whether you want to buy or rent. Prescott charges a 2% rent tax. Prescott Valley does not. New housing in the area comes with huge – I mean huge – impact fees. These impact fees though may be common to all growing areas. We are blessed with lots of sunshine, which always seems to make a person feel good. Nice parks and a thriving and busy downtown. I hear folks complain about traffic, but once you learn your way around, I don’t find it too bad. We rented an apt in a 55+ community, and have been here about a year and a half. I think when the lease runs out, we will look for a small house with a garage. I have enjoyed the apt though, and it was a wonderful place to start. I think a person needs to spend at least several months somewhere to know if that is the place or not. AZ in general is pretty senior friendly with income taxes, but car taxes are pretty high, and based upon the value of the vehicle. Our home state did not have that, so we were somewhat shocked at the amount, although we did know that is how AZ did their car stuff. We have found folks to be friendly and have not had trouble making a few friends. Checkout the website when you have time. Janet

    by Janet Farrell — February 8, 2013

  34. Thanks a lot Janet Farrell. Very positive and helpful information. I am feeling more and more sure about my choice of the Sedona/Prescott area. It’s nice to hear encouraging feedback about it. Thanks for taking the time.

    by D Marr — February 9, 2013

  35. I gave away my secret the other day but did not see much response to it. It is the Grand Junction area in Western Colorado. Does not have nearly the extreme heat in the summer that Phoenix and less snow than Flagstaff. You owe yourself to check it out. Been here over 30 years and now that I’m finally retired, it is still the perfect home base from which to venture out.Can’t beat the scenic beauty or climate. As much recreational choices as you can physically handle. Prices and taxes are reasonable. No traffic or pollution. Last time I’m giving out this secret. You can have Florida, Texas, Carolinas. Las Vegas and Arizona are certainly close enough. No hurricanes, tornadoes, dust storms, fires, mudslides, Nor’easters or the new superstorms as of late. Western Colorado has it all! Don’t say I didn’t tell you. Been reading this blog for a long time before I finally retired and realize how good I’ve got it.

    by Gregg Bilger — February 10, 2013

  36. Thank You, Gregg Bilger. I for one know what you have and what you are saying. It’s a beautiful and I agree with all you pointed out. Generally, I don’t think you can go wrong with Colorado in general. Hopefully others will take the time to check out the Grand Junction area. Thanks for your sharing.

    by Larry Pederson — February 10, 2013

  37. Gregg Bilger We lived in the Fort Collins area and loved it!! Good weather all year round, friendly people, low taxes, outdoor actviites year round, health-conscious people, great markets for fresh foods and the list goes on. I agree Colorado is wonderful! And a good kept secret! Only downside is the extremely dry air and high altitudes, can take months to adjust to physically, but once the adjustment period is over it is great!

    by Rory — February 10, 2013

  38. Grand Junction is expensive to buy a home. On a fixed income when you retire if you have no money to put down on a home you can’t afford to buy one. I checked it out 8 years ago and have still checked now and I still can’t buy a home there. We are middle class…..

    by kathy — February 10, 2013

  39. This area got hit just as hard as everywhere else when the housing bubble burst. I built a new home for the first time in 2007 after selling my 50 yr old for top buck and then of course it when crashing from there. The housing is slowly coming back here as well but there are plenty of bargains. I know I could not sell for what i paid for it but I’m not going anywhere soon. Every area has its pros and cons. Tell me where it is cheap to buy a home? This place is plenty comparable. Maybe you should look at a nice RV!

    by Gregg Bilger — February 11, 2013

  40. can anybody know rental 55+ comunities in north or cental florida that live there and are happy? please give some info . i am sure there alot of people that will be interesting living in this type of comunities before buying .thank you

    by chris dedes — February 11, 2013

  41. Gregg–how is the medical care in Western Colorado? Good selection of doctors and specialists–esp. ones who accept new Medicare patients? How far does one have to travel for good cancer treatment?

    by Paula — February 11, 2013

  42. Greg – wondering re Grand Junction – what is the arts scene like – music, theater, galaries?

    by Deborah — February 11, 2013

  43. Greg Thanks for your secret. I’m Just 55 and looking to move. I will need and want to work in the Baking field if possible. I was just in WA State and to my surprise I found that all the major food stores have full bakery shops in them. how are they in CO. Also I like to be near a large city so that i can go to a concert, museum, or cultural event but I don’t want to live in a large city. ( like to get to know my neighbors. How does your home town match up to all this.

    by Karen W — February 11, 2013

  44. Greg: “Tell me where it is cheap to buy a home?”

    I realize that you are not actually looking, but in my investigations, I’ve been amazed at how low priced houses can be. Just finished looking at New Bern, NC which has it’s share of attractions, and found homes for under $100,000….some well under. Granted I have not yet gone to New Bern in person, but I have physically looked at many properties under $100K, and wound up paying just a little more than that for my riverfront house on 3 acres in VA with insanely good views. Personally, a low cost of living area is a factor in my retirement.

    There are so many low cost homes out there, and homes in good shape. It will require some compromise, and it will require work to find.

    by Julie — February 12, 2013

  45. If housing under $100,00 is the only deciding factor then i guess Virginia is looking pretty good. I left out in my prior responses that Western Colorado has been a model for which our health care is moving toward. Grand Junction has a great VA hospital for which I can’t say enough good about. They are totally embeded in the community here. I personally have had both shoulders replaced at this hospital. They take wonderful care of me. Before my retirement I was a general foreman on the electrical consruction for the new 16 story tower at St. Mary’s Hospital for their next 25 year plan All the latest and greatest. The other hospital, Community Hospital, is also in the planning and design stage for a new campus to start construction soon. Both hospitals also have their own day surgery facilities. Grand Junction is home to Colorado Mesa University with a major performing arts center. Grand Junction has their own art center. Western Colorado is a mecca for artists, painters, sculptors and craftsman. Aspen to Telluride hold major art, film and music festivals as well as Grand Junction. We’re no Denver or Salt Lake but we ain’t bad. Did I mention world class flyfishing! There are alot of people that have relocated here for their retirement already. I’m originally from Pennsylvania and South Jersey and have been up and down the East coast in my younger days. You can have the humidity,crowds,traffic,crime and all the superstorms. No place is perfect but this place isn’t bad.

    by Gregg Bilger — February 12, 2013

  46. All the grocery store here have bakeries(City Market,aka Kroger, Safeway, Albertson’s and now a new Sprouts grocery store. Excellnt cancer treatment facilities and hospice care facilties. We have quite a selection of shopping and dining. This all in a small town setting of under 50,000. I originally landed in steamboat springs in 1977 after the Marine Corps. I started in the electical trade in 1978 and relocated my residence to Grand Junction. I just built a new home in 2007 12 miles west in Fruita, Co. Grand Junction is connected at the hip with Fruita to the west and Palisade to the East. Palisade is nationally known for its fruit orchards and wineries. Did I mention the hot springs pools in Glenwood Springs, Ouray and Pagosa Springs. I’ve had so many entries to this blog over the last couple days because I keep forgetting things to mention. If one is really serious about relocating for retirement you owe it to yourself to check it out. I’ll stack this place anyday against New Bern,Va.

    by Gregg Bilger — February 12, 2013

  47. Julie – I love the history in VA so where is a good place to look for lower priced homes? $150 or less? I checked Williamsburg and it was pricey.

    by Barbara — February 12, 2013

  48. Gregg: You neglected to mention the major amount of snow and cold weather that Colorado has. I know a big factor in alot of people’s retirement plans (including mine) is warm weather.

    by Stacey — February 12, 2013

  49. Just for clarification: New Bern is in North Carolina, not Virginia. In general, homes in Virginia are going to be pricier than homes in North Carolina or further south.

    by Judy — February 13, 2013

  50. Barbara,

    I agree that Williamsburg is very pricy. There is more to where you chose to live than simply the price of the house, making it tough for me to make valid suggestions for you, and indeed good values can be found in many places. The way I found the low cost houses I found was to surf Realtor.com or Zillow.com, and simply explore areas we were interested in. Heck, we’ve been trying to sell Dad’s place for under $70,000 and it is a sweet little place with nice views, but out in the middle of practically nowhere in Otto, near the NC/GA state line. GA has many options, and up in the mountains the weather is lovely. Lots of foreclosures.

    We chose to buy where we are because of the river it is on. Clean, clear and pristine with good kayaking and fishing was critical. Very few bodies of water passed our strict requirements, and that was the basis for our original search. What is yours? Use that as a basis to explore the markets you are interested in.

    by Julie — February 13, 2013

  51. Greg,

    I am very happy for you that you have found the place you love and that you can afford it. Personally, I am not all that into cold weather, an am probably even going to flee our relatively mild VA winters in a motor home or rent places elsewhere via VRBO.com. But don’t make the mistake of thinking there are not other areas just as good and possibly better. I could certainly rhapsodize about our area as well, but frankly I don’t want to encourage an invasion.:wink:

    by Julie — February 13, 2013

  52. “In general, homes in Virginia are going to be pricier than homes in North Carolina or further south.”

    Judy, it very much depends on what part of VA you are looking at, as is also the case in NC, or any state. Location of where one wants to live is so personal, that it makes more sense to me to figure out what you are looking for in a setting, and then find one you can afford.

    by Julie — February 13, 2013

  53. I briefly mentioned the weather over the last few days. We have over 300 sunny days here. Grand Junction leans toward the desert side of things. We get very little snow here in the valley but skiing is readily available in the high country. It either melts off the same day or in a very short time. We have our share of cold days but the dry cold is much more bearable but the sun will still shine. We’ll have days in the 50′s in February. Now that I’m retired I also plan to head out in my RV at the first stint of cold to the Phoenix area or San Diego or South Texas. Grand Junction has plenty of hot days also but if relief is needed the Grand Mesa with over 200 lakes and plenty of other high country destinations are within a short drive for cooler temp. We are only 3 1/2 hours from Lake Powell( Grand Canyon in a boat). Once again no place is perfect. I’ve read this blog daily for over two years before my retirement. It is a constant discussion over humidity, cold, heat, taxes, health care, bugs, snakes, politics, home prices, HOA’s, active communities,the arts, theater, shopping, blah, blah, blah. I want a place with no crowds, traffic, sunny days and plenty to do in any direction. I’m not making a mistake thinking there are not other places just as good. I hesitated over the last few days getting into this discussion because I don’t want an invasion. Too many retirees from out of state as it is. I’ll stack this place against anywhere. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t …. … …..!

    by Gregg Bilger — February 13, 2013

  54. Gregg, housing there is still way to expencive if you are middle class on ss to buy a nice place. I checked this out 3 years ago and I know we can not afford to buy a nice home there. I did like it because you don’t get a lot of snow but to expencive for most midle class. Kathy

    by kathy — February 13, 2013

  55. Thanks, Julie for info on Realtor.com and Zillow.com for reasonable housing. Most sites that I click on are selling mansions. I want a small retirement home! Are Realtor.com and Zillow.com strictly for home buyers?
    I agree with Chris Dedes wanting a 55+ rental community. But from reading all these interesting and informative blogs, I am thinking the Carolinas instead of Florida.
    What does Low Country mean in Georgia and Carolinas? Is it low altitude and high humidity and close to the ocean?

    I have always wanted to be near the ocean, but with weather patterns, I think an inland lake would offer water sports and scenery and be safer.
    Surprised that New Bern N.C. is recommended as reasonably priced as it looks
    to be ocean front.

    Thanks for all the helpful information. I cannot afford to visit all these places and TopRetirements helps narrow the search.

    Also, I second the suggestion to separate eastern sites from western. My daughter suggested I find a place not too far to visit.

    by Moving South — February 13, 2013

  56. i have 2 sons and their families who live in Hampton Cove, Al, just outside of Huntsville. They are encouraging me to move there. It would be nice to be near them but from everything I read the humidity for nearly 6 mo. out of the year is quite bad. Even they state that you run from the a/c house to the a/c car to the a/c store. I love to be outdoors as much as I can so this really doesn’t appeal to me. Wonder about being just a bit north into Tn. Same problem or less humidity.

    by Anne — February 13, 2013

  57. Hi Moving South. Realtor.com and Zillow.com are simply sites where you can get a snap shot of what the market looks like in any area you choose. You can plug in a search based on the criteria you want, the price range you can afford, and it will pop up with the houses listed for sale, or in Zillows case, also the ones recently sold. I believe Realtor.com also has an option for 55+ on their advanced search, though I confess it is not something I look for. I like these sites because you can collect a sample selection of listings, save them to your account, and watch to see how the market performs. Or on Zillow, you can look at the recently sold homes and see what the listing history was, which can give you an idea if it is a rising or slowing housing market. You can also look at rents as well on both sites. If you save your search on Realtor.com, it will send you the new listings as they come on market, or notify you of the changes in price, making it very easy to monitor an area of interest from afar once you have defined your interest.

    New Bern NC is about an hour’s drive from the ocean, but it is on many rivers and creeks. There is inexpensive housing in town, but there is also very pricy waterfront housing, and everything in between.

    It is frankly amazing the information you can collect from your computer at a distance. Though there is no substitute for going in person before deciding to buy, I have eliminated many properties and areas just from online research.

    by Julie — February 14, 2013

  58. To Anne
    I responded to a similar post of yours in the blog: Find Out What It’s Like to Retire in (Just about anywhere). Few have talked much about Huntsville. We are go to take our third trip to there soon; we think it is a nice area.
    I have only had one response on my forum (Huntsville in 2013), but it was a good one.
    My daughters live in three very widely separated states. Humidity should not discourage you; anywhere east of the Mississippi can get humid. Being near your children should be great. We have been in Hampton Cove and that is a very nice area.

    by GenoM — February 14, 2013

  59. Glad all of you can retire. I am disables and as a result I will end up either on the streets or dead. And I am not joking. Have fun. There are hundreds of thousands , if not more people who dont have pensions, etc and will end up in squalor. Hope all of you have long term care health insurance. A nursing home cost is approx 10,000 a month. AInt life grand. I am sick to death. Our country could care less.

    by salty4376 — February 14, 2013

  60. I too plan to retire next year atb 67 yrs. old, and my wife at 65. We would like to retire South, to North Carolina, Further south along the coast, or Florida either side. But all I ever see are the McMansions in the high-roller areas….What about @$125K ?????Not too far from the coast or the beach—and fairly warm most of the year ?????

    by William — February 14, 2013

  61. William-use realtor.com and plug in what you want, number of beds, number of baths, high price, etc and things will come up. The site even asks you what type of property you’re looking for ( condo, townhouse, single family, etc). As for locations try, areas around Myrtle Beach, SC, and if you try inland a bit, the prices are not only good but homeowner’s insurance is also reasonable. Also, there are areas in Atlanta that are very reasonable. Atlanta is too inland for me, but I know there are deals there. Good luck.

    by DianaF — February 15, 2013

  62. Salty, I am sorry you are disabled. I know it is very hard to survive in that situation. But don’t assume everyone else is rich here, or has had it easy. I saved and scrimped for 20 years, and my money that I thought I would retire with was stolen in an investment scam, like the Madoff scam. I will probably need to work till I die, because now I have very little. Because I have worked two jobs for the last 3 years and rented out rooms in my house (which will be repossessed soon), I may have enough money for a mobile home, as long as it is less than 20K. I lost 220K, and now the IRS wants me to pay taxes on the money that was stolen. And, although I’m not totally disabled, I have COPD and a heart condition. The point is to tell you that just because we don’t all list all our problems, I wouldn’t assume that everyone is having it easy except you. That may not be true. I wish the best for you.

    by Ginger — February 15, 2013

  63. To all that have responded to my question. Thank you. especially Janell Farrell. I don’t read these everyday and this is the first time I have asked for information on the Internet. I will keep reading all the questions and answers that have generated from mine. I am excited to check our AZ. and I’m sure that I will have more questions before I do. Thanks again. Aloha

    by Karen W — February 15, 2013

  64. Julie – thanks for the Realtor and Zillow websites.

    Salty – my sympathy. If the current Congress has its way only the top
    % will survive. That is why we need Obama Care, or better, Single Payer
    Health Insurance. Everyone deserves health care unless one abuses their health just as everyone deserves an education. I am amazed when I find
    people who are disabled but do not get Medicaid. Have you looked into subsidized housing which cost is based on a % of your disability income?

    by moving south — February 15, 2013

  65. Besides, zillow.com and realtor.com I also use trulia.com to get a snapshot of the areas I am looking at and for foreclosure properties I use homepath.com

    Realtytrac came out with a report on foreclosures at the end of January and if you are interested in Florida the areas with the highest foreclosure rates are; palm bay – melbourne – lakeland – tampa – st petersburg – clearwater – jacksonville and orlando.

    by MarkG — February 16, 2013

  66. Hi Karen W:

    Glad I could be of assistance. I would also mention that before we decided to finally retire and move, we chose some possible areas and then made a habit of reading the newspapers there. Once, I took the Ajo, AZ newspaper for a year, just to get a feel for the community. Later, we visited there for several days, and then went on into Mexico (Rocky Point) for a long weekend. As it turned out, Ajo was not selected for a winter site, or a permanent site, but the exercise was fun. The paper here in Prescott (Prescott Daily Courier) can still be viewed pretty much completely online without needing a subscription. Also, you might be interested in AZ Highways Magazine. It is a wonderful publication that the State publishes. All about history, traveling and seeing the sites in AZ. Also wildlife, outdoor adventure, restaurants, etc. They have a wonderful online site as well. We have subscribed for several years in magazine form and love it. If you are seriously considering AZ, this publication is a wonderful tool. Just makes you want to get out here really quick. ha ha Janet

    by Janet Farrell — February 17, 2013

  67. Does anybody know of a “Niche” independent living retirement community for classical musicians and singers who are now retired ? Perhaps around, or with easy access to, a city rich in cultural activities such as, but not limited to, the New York City / New Jersey area. Anyplace really !

    by Pamela B. — February 18, 2013

  68. Rory: I went to Tucson last August and spent a week, expressly to check it out. I was very impressed. I went in August on purpose to see how bad the weather could get. Yes, it was hot, but to me it wasn’t unbearable. And it was cooler than Pheonix and, from my research, is typically cooler than Phoenix, sometimes up to 10 degrees. It is a university town and has a very cool university district with lots of shops and cafes. It also has a thriving music scene, with live music in many venues every night. Music of all types. I picked up a paper and noticed there were listing of many different activities, clubs, events. A really busy, active town. Somewhat artsy. A little more ‘left’ than some of Arizona, but not radical by any means. All in all I was very favorably impressed and that is my target area. I especially like the Ojo Valley area north of Pheonix. The terrain is hilly and covered with beautiful saguaro cacti and flowering shrubs. Beautiful.

    by Ginger — February 18, 2013

  69. Can someone give me a update on Puerto Penasco(Rocky Point)as far as safety and traveling the 60 miles between the U.S. and there. How you felt once there and is there still a good U.S. RV presence. What about security in Puerto Penasco. I noticed Janet Farrell made reference to a long weekend there in the article above. I’ve been cosidering a trip there for sometime. But I would easily give up this choice for other destinations in the U.S. if security and hassle factor continues in Mexico. Thanks in advance!

    by Gregg Bilger — February 19, 2013

  70. Hi Gregg:

    We were in Rocky Point in fall ’07. Since it is in the state of Sonora, at that time, you could go in for three days without needing any special paperwork. If you are driving, you definitely have to get a Mexican insurance policy for the trip. Most rental car companies can do that for you. The town is quite scenic, and there are lots of down-town hotels, but I am not sure about the safety factor there right now. We stayed in town one night and walked from our hotel over to the seashore, and had supper, and it was a quite pleasant evening. Next morning though, our hotel ran out of water, so we checked out and went to a reservations place, and found a condo on the beach for the last of our stay. There are at least half a dozen high rise resorts on the beach, and all of them are gated and have security monitoring the pools, and the beach. You would not have a problem in one of these areas at all. Some of these resorts have their own golf course if you like that. Bottom line, unless you are going to a gated, secure resort-type community, I would think twice about traveling anywhere near the border. We crossed at Lukeville (Gringo Pass), and no one even said hi (the Mexicans are lax about who and what goes in). When you stay in one of these gated communities, you miss out on the flavor of Mexico somewhat, because they are quite a distance from the downtown. If you would drive anywhere down there, be sure to purchase Mexico insurance. Your US insurance does not apply. Also, check the current rules for travel in Sonora, because you may now have to have a Passport to get back in the US. I think that if you are staying longer than three days, you have to obtain some sort of travel permit, which you can get after you cross the border. When we came back to the US, we just showed our driver’s licenses, and a copy of each of our birth certificates. That may have changed now. JANET

    by Janet Farrell — February 19, 2013

  71. Hi again Gregg:

    As to your question regarding an RV presence, I believe RVers have gone down there in the past. I also think folks that like to RV and quad like it down there because of the sand. I am pretty sure there are some nice RV places in that area now. The highway down there is a good, safe road, but as always in Mexico, one has to be alert. They do have a fleet of “green guys” that assist motorists, and I think they are OK. I would check the latest State Department information on this area, and the State of Sonora in general. I know that right now, the only road considered safe to drive to Hermosillo is the toll road. As always, night time travel between towns is discouraged. JANET

    by Janet Farrell — February 20, 2013

  72. Things have changed drastically in Mexico since 2007, especially in the border areas. I have a lot of close personal friends from Mexico. Many of these people have moved to San Antonio or Austin to be safe. Through my acquaintance with them I have learned that the violence has escalated immensely in the last 5 years, especially neare the border. I have considered Mexico, but I usually think of someplace farther south; I would be cautious about border areas.

    by Ginger — February 21, 2013

  73. Mexico or any other South American country – Just remember one thing. When the SHTF you are the GRINGO and regardless of what you might say that is very very significant. I would under no circumstances move to one of these locations – no matter how cheap,

    by Robert — February 22, 2013

  74. HI GINGER AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE. I STILL THINK THAT IT WOULD BE BEST FOR ME TO BE IN A “NICHE” COMMUNITY THAT IS MAINLY FOR RETIRED CLASSICAL MUSICIANS AND OPERA SINGERS. THAT WAS MY PROFESSION, AND AFTER SOME SERIOUS REFLECTION, I FEEL THAT I WOULD BE MOST COMFORTABLE WITH PEOPLE OF SIMILAR INTERESTS AND PASSIONS. IF YOU SEE THE MOVIE “QUARTET”, YOU CAN BETTER SEE WHAT I MEAN. THIS KIND OF “NICHE” COMMUNITY IS READILY AVAILABLE IN EUROPE, BUT I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING HERE IN THE UNITED STATES THAT FITS THE CRITERIA FOR WHAT I AM SEEKING. ONE WOULD THINK THAT WITH ALL THE CULTURAL VENUES AVAILABLE IN THE N.Y.C. AREA THAT THERE WOULD BE SEVERAL COMMUNITIES, AT ANY PRICE POINT, FOR RETIRED MUSICIANS AND OPERATIC PERFORMERS. I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND ANYPLACE.

    Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your thoughtful comments, Pamela. One favor – please dont write in ALL CAPS. It is the online equivalent of shouting, thanks.

    by Pamela B. — February 22, 2013

  75. Does anyone have any information or opinions about Sun city at Carolina Lakes?

    by Linda Milazzo — February 22, 2013

  76. We were in Rocky Point 1.5 years ago. Rocky Point has been hard hit by the recession, and American’s fears of violence on the border (which really did not apply to them). They were currently building another police station downtown to assure their tourists, they were safe. However, the crowds were gone, and many of the CG’s were empty, left to the wind and trash that floats around Mexico. We stayed on the beach in our RV on the resot side. Very pretty there, and right on the beach. Drive from Lukeville to Rocky point very safe, uneventful and roads were good

    by Roxanne — February 22, 2013

  77. Pamela B: Niche community sounds great; don’t know where they are. However, if I were you I would be looking in northern California as the likely site of such a thing. Possibly Berkeley.

    Also, Editor: please note that it isn’t me using All Caps.

    Editor’s note: Sorry, that was my mistake. I saw you referenced in that post and fingers engaged before brain.

    by Ginger — February 23, 2013

  78. LOL – yes it was Pamela using the CAPS!!

    C’mon Editor – wake up.

    Editor’s note: Yep, our bad, our apologies to Ginger.

    by Robert — February 24, 2013

  79. Come on folks. We are all trying to decide what to do with the rest of our lives. And you are realllly bothered by CAPS. Get a life.

    by D Marr — February 24, 2013

  80. LOL I agree with D Marr… Go ahead and shout at me I have more things to worry about and like some in this forum, I’m getting hard of hearing. Go ahead and shout a me! :lol:

    by Dave — February 24, 2013

  81. To Editor – just “pulling your leg”. You are doing a terrific job and we appreciate you and your efforts. I made a mistake ONCE – turned out that what i thought was wrong was really right!!!!!! Duh!

    by Robert — February 25, 2013

  82. None of these spoke to me, but perhaps others might fine interesting
    http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/slideshows/10-places-to-retire-on-social-security-alone

    by eric — February 25, 2013

  83. To Dave – Glad I’m not alone here. Lordy, it has taken me soooo many years and soooo many hard lessons to get this far. Now all I want is to find a place that brings me peace and surrenity. Did I spell that right? I sure hope the “Spelling Police” aren’t in with the “CAPS police”.

    by D Marr — February 26, 2013

  84. Eric – I checked all of them out and I too did not hear any voices!!

    by Robert — February 27, 2013

  85. [...] of affordable places to retire. Check out our previous lists! How to Find an Affordable Retirement The Affordable (and More) Best Places to Retire List 8 More Affordable Places to Retire Sandy’s Adventures Part II: How Anyone Can Find an [...]

    by » 10 Affordable…and Highly Livable… Places to Retire Topretirements — July 24, 2013

  86. Puerto Rico is the best place to retire-no property Tax. Very affordable houses 100% concrete,basic car insurance is less than $200.00 a year,you don’t have to worry about a thing because Puerto Rico is USA. Medicare and Social Security is as good as any other state. We have a beautiful weather all year around. Puerto Rico USA….

    by George — September 21, 2013

  87. To George: Is there any federal inc9me tax? What about medical care? good or? Is there and form of State tax? What about fire and pollice protection? Thanks

    by Mark P — September 22, 2013

  88. D Marr- You spelled it wrong.

    by Billy — September 22, 2013

  89. George’s 9/21 comments on Puerto Rico were the first I have seen since my April (?) lengthy synopsis of my 25 years of vacations there in different places with my wife’s relatives. I guess others haven’t vacationed or lived there (not at the resorts but with the real people throughout the island) for any length of time to be able to add an appropriate analysis but I am glad George has added his endorsement as a place to be able to retire affordably. I am on my way there next week for what will likely be a six week stay at two places, one on each end of the island, where we will see if it is time to invest our money and our future time away from the winters of New York City. We are bringing our inflatable kayak to throw into the waters wherever we like and have tickets to classical orchestral events at San Juan’s Coliseum in October, besides Ricky Martin on the 3rd, all at better prices than elsewhere. I would, again, enjoy hearing others’ comments from those in the know about Puerto Rico. It is, as indicated in my past comments, a little paradise affordable by most.

    by Glenn — September 22, 2013

  90. I have been thinking about Colorado, Arizona and the Carolina’s. Crime factor and education, as I still have a young one to care for, are all factors. Was interested in Sedona, but it has NY home prices. Wyoming was also a consideration, but, not sure of the weather factor. Thanks for any input.

    by Charles Z — April 27, 2014

  91. In response to Joyce’s glowing review, as an adopted Floridian I am happy that you found a climate that suits your mood and personality. For those of you who are interested in settling in Florida there are still many wonderful small towns that offer more than sitting in the mountains…yes, we do have the sun, the rain, and all of natures wonders, but contrary to Joyce we are not ravaged by tornados! We do have many man-made attractions, but I have rarely visited them for there are far more other natural places to visit, along with music, craft, and outdoor festivals that are year round. I moved here 23 years ago from New England, and even though I will always love my birthplace, I love Central Florida just as much! So, pardon me while I go play in the beautiful sunshine of Florida!

    by Donna — April 28, 2014

  92. Lol, I don’t think Pamela was shouting at us…c’mon, she’s an Opera singer.

    To Donna, please elaborate on small towns in central Fl. We are very interested.

    by Godsgirl — April 28, 2014

  93. Godsgirl…I don’t know what larger metro area you are interested In, but Florida is broken up between regions, all of which have larger cities, and then smaller ones on the outskirts…it really does depend on what you are looking for…the beach…parkland, attractions…you need to identify what you want…do your homework…I am north east of Orlando, the beach is reachable, as well as the attractions, but it is away from the metro traffic, but close enough to great medical facilities, etc. Good luck and keep looking, you will find what you like, everyone does…that’s what’s great about this state…some think for everyone…oh, and did I tell you the best thing is that we have a ton of Publix stores!

    by Donna — April 28, 2014

  94. To Godsgirl, Winter Park is a town outside of Orlando. Mount Dora further outside of Orlando.
    Clermont about 30 mi. outside of Orlando and Winter Haven, Lakeland and several more in central FL. They are worth checking out. There are many, many more all over the state.

    by Dianne — April 28, 2014

  95. Donna, thank you.
    We wish to stay away from the (vacation) crowds and the brunt of the storms, but love to be withing short commute to good hospitals, fishing piers and other hobbies we may pick up along the way. We love to try new restaurants/international cuisine and markets. Safety and low crime are a must, so we are leaning toward a smaller town.

    Thank you so much Dianne. Indeed, its worth checking out these areas.
    Winter Haven is familiar to us, as we drove through it. Sadly, it must have been during a bad time of day, since it seemed fairly congested. But I must admit that, being a visitor and relying on GPS, we probably took the worst route possible.

    Again, thank you both

    by Godsgirl — April 29, 2014

  96. To Donna or Dianne: Both of you seem to be familiar with Florida; do either of you know anything about Sebastian, Florida-checking out Beach Cove in Sebastian-Thanks

    by judy — April 29, 2014

  97. Judy…Sebastian inlet is a nice area….on the coast. I like it over there near Jetty park and Wilbur by the Sea. I’m not familiar with Beach Cove…is it a development or park?

    by Donna — April 30, 2014

  98. Donna: Thanks for your comment- http://www.beach-cove.com; it’s a 55 plus development-looks nice

    by judy — April 30, 2014

  99. Judy, how does the land lease deal work? What if the association decides to terminate your land lease?

    by Charles — April 30, 2014

  100. To Judy, About Sebastian Beach cove, seems to be very nice.I would be concerned about Homeowners Insurance and how would these homes hold up in a hurricane., what are the monthly fees, lot rent etc.

    by Dianne — April 30, 2014

  101. To Judy, I forgot to mention the cost of upkeep that close to the salt water. It is hard on your car and it deteriorates just about everything rapidly.

    by Dianne — April 30, 2014

  102. Beach Cove is this land Leese? If so what is the monthly fee?

    by Tony — May 1, 2014

  103. Concerning Sebastian Beach Cove; I haven’t yet done any in-depth checking of everything yet; just discovered their website, so I would recommend calling the number listed on the website. I had never heard of Sebastian so wanted to first get comments on the area itself. Definitely would have to take into consideration upkeep that close to the water and find out what insurance and fees are.

    by judy — May 1, 2014

  104. Looking for a good realator in St Augustine Florid who specializes in rentals

    by Jeff Gilfoy — May 1, 2014

  105. Judy, Unless you are dead set about living on the ocean, I would suggest about 25 miles inland. Not too bad of a drive to the beach, property is more affordable, as well as the insurance. If you get right on the coast you are kinda “stuck” there, with beach traffic, etc. if you don’t plan on going anywhere it might be ok…just remember if you evacuate…you are sent to Orlando!

    by Donna — May 1, 2014

  106. Donna, do you live in a 55 plus community and if so, do you mind giving the name and town. Thanks, Judy

    by judy — May 2, 2014

  107. We have been to Sebastian a few times and have looked at a few places in the area, but not at Beach Cove.
    Some were lovely, but few of them are near railroad tracks, something that you may not notice right away. We contacted the city to find out about train traffic and were told that they anticipate increased train traffic in the future.
    Just food for thought

    by Godsgirl — May 3, 2014

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