Las Cruces : New mexico

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What Las Cruces is like for active adults
Las Cruces, the second largest city in New Mexico (92,000), is in the southern part of the state. It has been listed as a “Best Place to Retire” by several organizations for many reasons; low cost of living, active cultural life with its major university, and unusually beautiful location. In addition to active adults who choose this as their new retirement community, it is home to 23,000 students of New Mexico State University. Las Cruces is in Dona Ana county.

Las Cruces shows traces of civilization going back 8,000 years. The ancient Anasazi people had communities here, although they seem to have disappeared by 1300 A.D. The town is 4000 feet above sea level and enjoys 350 days of sunshine per year. The nearby village of Mesilla was founded in 1848 and represents a timeless version of what New Mexico was like when it was under a Mexican flag. Mesilla has good shopping and dining. Although Las Cruces has won a “safest city” award,  several references cite a high crime rate (which is possibly related to low-level crimes associated with any student population). There is an active master plan with has the goal of sustaining and revitalizing the town’s central shopping area. Farmers markets and other activities keep the downtown vital. In 2009 Topretirements wrote a special feature on New Mexico retirement towns that you might find helpful.
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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

There are several active  adult communities in town. There is a planned rental retirement community as well as an assisted living facility in Las Cruces. Active adults will find communities just for them as well as mixed generation neighborhoods (see Active Communities link at right).
Home prices vary according to what you are looking for. Most are in the southwest "adobe" style.  The late 2013 median price of a home was about $170,000, according to City-data.com. Prices are far lower than in Santa Fe.  Homes in the newer golf communities go for more.  It also has lower property taxes than many states (about $2000/yr on a $200,000 home).

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What is special about this retirement community

Frequently chosen as best place to retire by AARP, Forbes and CNN Money.  Las Cruces Museum of Art, Pow Wow ceremonies held yearly, Dripping Springs, Whole Enchilada Festival. Southern New Mexico State Fair.Village of Mesilla. Aguirre Springs National Recreation Area. 3 golf courses. New Mexico State University. Outdoor and wilderness activities. The town of Mesilla is a historic town that is also suburb - it is a fun place to explore and see its historic plaza and the Basilica of San Albino.  Photo of Main Street courtesy of Wikipedia and Jumacdon.  

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What is not special about this retirement community

Although it is not that far from El Paso and only a 45 minute drive to El Paso International Airport, some people who want a more cosmopolitan lifestyle might find Las Cruces too isolated but most retirees which are made up of "snowbirds", mostly out of state, artists, musicians, bankers and educators here are very happy to live in natural beauty and serenity with the majestic view of the Organ Mountains. What some may consider as isolation, most retirees here would see it as  an ideal tranquil, safe and picturesque growing city with pleasant sunny climate all year round.  Everything you need is at your fingertips.  Las Cruces is an active college town and most recently has the Las Cruces Symphony now housed at the NMSU Arts Center building which opened up in 2013.  Las Cruces International Film Festival is based here and more films are being made here due to the unspoiled, beauty of the southwest surroundings.  The rich history of Las Cruces can be seen visiting La Plaza, the Gasden Museum, Las Cruces Museum of Art and Museum of Science.  Every Wednesday and weekends live music is performed at the Las Cruces Farmers Market and at St. Clair's Winery.  Always music is performed live at Ls Plaza in Mesilla.  The air is fresh, the traffic is low and the pecan orchards abundantly growing against the mountains here make it the ideal place to retire for those who appreciate a more laid-back, serene lifestyle.  (see additional comments below in "What People are saying" section)

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What kinds of people like retiring here

Active adults who are happy not to live in their former harsh climates, artists, photographers, scientists, educators, mostly everyone likes living in a calm, sunny and dry climate with very picturesque scenery of the Organ Mountains, Robledo Mountains and Dona Ana Mountains and a large university in town offering adult education, performances from singers, musicians and the Las Cruces Symphony. Crime is low in Las Cruces and population has grown now to 100,000 but still has a wonderful laid-back ambience with a caring community of people and retirees who chose to live here because of what Las Cruces offers.  This page explains the various types of retirement communities and this has more information about taxes and living if you want to retire in New Mexico

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Local economy is driven by

Higher education, tourism, construction, growing film industry. White Sands Missile Range and NASA have helped diversify the economy.

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Climate and Physical Environment

Las Cruces is in southern New Mexico in the Mesilla Valley, just 40 miles northwest from El Paso, Texas. The elevation is 3900' and the environment is desert. Winters are mild, (it might snow lightly but it tends to melt in a day) and summers can be very hot during the day but cooler at night, sunny 350 days of the year and pleasantly dry. The Rio Grande River valley is to the west. Thanks to artesian water the valley is green with trees and crops.

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Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Las Cruces has a rich cultural environment. New Mexico State University provides many concerts and plays in its Pan Am Center. The Las Cruces Symphony and the American Southwest Theatre Company perform at its Hershel Zohn Theatre. Ballet, Community Theatre and art are also available in Las Cruces. The University has 4 museums including the Las Cruces Museum of Art.  The Dona Ana Community College offers classes for retirees at the Academy for Learning in Retirement. There are several important fiestas including The Whole Enchilada Festival. The Academy for Learning in Retirement (527-7527)
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Crime
The crime rate is slightly above the U.S. average.
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Medical facilities
Memorial Medical Center has 286 beds.
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Transportation

Las Cruces International Airport has no regularly scheduled flights. El Paso is the nearest airport, 40 miles away. RoadRUNNER Transit is a small transit system run by the city.  Las Cruces is below average in walkability when compared to other communities.

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Valuable Links
Las Cruces Convention and VIsitors Bureau
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What people are saying about Las Cruces

Las Cruces is an OK small town
As a native New Mexican with a duaghter who attended NMSU I have spent many days in Las Cruces. It is a small town. One small mall so for more enjoyable shopping you have to make the the trip to El Paso. At 40 miles away this is not much of an issue. The food is great. People are friendly. The university is very good. During the summer it can be too hot for comfort but the other 9 months of the year you will love the weather. I am not going to retire there but that is because of the small town aspect. It is too boring for me. That could mean peace and quiet for you.
Posted by dpcjsr on February 20, 2013
New Mexico
Although NM is a very pretty state and Las Cruces is a decent city, I would never move to a state for retirement, that taxes my social security. If they are that desperate or greedy for money, who knows what they will do in the future.
Posted by steve0401 on January 18, 2012
Las cruces is different for different folks
I loved reading the above comments, because they are closer to my own opinions. However, these are comments I am passing along from a friend who just explored Las Cruces: I take issue with this review in a couple of areas. 1. We looked at this area and liked it, but note: 2. The crime rate is because of proximity to el paso, not students. 3. We only found 3 adult 55+ communities and were too expensive. We kept hearing about a retirement area, but i don't know where they're living. 4. Sent an email to chamber of comm., re: crime rate - no response
Posted by 2putz on November 07, 2009
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Facts about LAS CRUCES
  • State: NM
  • Environment: College Town,Mountain,Desert,Outdoor Oriented,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 20,001-40,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jfb48

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Vote on the Ratings for Las Cruces
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 10 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 2.7/5 ( 9 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 2.7/5 ( 7 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 8 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 4.1/5 ( 7 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 1.7/5 ( 9 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 2.5/5 ( 11 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 9 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 8 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 6 votes cast)