10 Places to Retire That Offer Great Downtown Living

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

November 5, 2017 — There is a certain kind of person for whom a great place to retire means being right in the thick of it. Not stuck out of town in an active community, where every trip to anything beyond the clubhouse or golf course means climbing in your car. Nor the suburbs or a distant lake, which have the same transportation problems. For the kind of person we are thinking of, the perfect place to retire is one where your home is a comfortable walk, bike, or transit away from a vital downtown teeming with restaurants, shops, and cultural opportunities. We’ve reported on the best walkable places to retire before (see Further Reading below); here are ten more excellent places to consider.

Just about any big city has some wonderful neighborhoods where you can enjoy the urban experience. The same goes for very small towns. In this selection of 10 towns with great downtowns we concentrate on finding smaller cities for retirement, usually somewhere between 25,000 and 100,000 people. We’ve chosen places with interesting downtowns where there is a lot to do, and that feature nice neighborhoods with easy access to all these (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 5th, 2017

Greenville, SC: The Perfect Small City Urban Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

October 25, 2017 — For the person looking for a urban retirement on a small scale, it is hard to come up with a better choice than Greenville, South Carolina. It has parks and a downtown that attracts people every day of the week, including Sunday morning. There are plenty of housing opportunities downtown that let you walk to just about anything you might need. There is an ever expanding bike path that runs through the heart of the downtown and 8 miles up the road – through the Furman University campus and on to Travelers Rest, SC. The cultural scene is hectic with frequent festivals, multiple events, and an array of cultural resources.

This fast growing town in northwest South Carolina has 68,000 citizens in the city proper, while the larger MSA area including Spartanburg approaches 1 million. The downtown has been the subject of intense and successful redevelopment efforts. Those have paid off, as the city won Great American Main Street awards from the (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 24th, 2017

Affordable Places to Retire on the Coast (Part 2) Updated

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

October 11, 2017 — We wanted to alert you that our very popular series on finding Affordable Places to Retire on the Coast (Part 2) has been updated. Real estate prices for all 10 ten towns have been updated (almost all went up since the list was created in 2014), and we substituted 2 new towns. Astoria, Oregon is no longer so affordable, and we found Chestertown, Maryland to be a lot more interesting town for retirement than the one it replaced.

Check out the Updated Article!

Posted by Admin on October 11th, 2017

The Worst Places to Retire: Weather and Natural Disasters

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 2019, 2017 — The triple whammy from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria are causing a lot of people to reconsider where they retire. Some previous best places to retire might end up on the worst places to retire lists instead! But hurricanes are not the only natural disaster that can ruin your retirement – temperature extremes, earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires, and flooding can be devastating too. Now, as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise to the highest levels in the history of the planet, our ice caps melt and sea levels rise, the dangers to where you decide from natural disasters are important considerations. it might be just as critical as cost of living, taxes, culture, climate, proximity of friends and family, and recreational opportunities.

In this article we will first talk about the kinds of weather and natural (more…)

Posted by Admin on September 19th, 2017

An Architectural Gem, And Everything You Might Want in a Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

August 8, 2017 — Would this checklist for a great place to retire work for you?
– All public buildings have world class modern architecture – Triple check!
– Plenty of parks and open spaces – double check!
– Community-minded town with extremely active library, senior center, recreation – triple check!
– Public art is all around – check!
– Home prices must be below national median – check!
– Walkable, interesting downtown – check!

We are talking about the fascinating town of Columbus, Indiana – just south of Indianapolis with a population of 45,000. On our recent two day visit your Topretirments editor was blown away by what a great place to live and retire this is. Yet when we mention it to people of no little sophistication, they say, Columbus….Indiana …. never heard of it. This is your opportunity to learn more.

It all started
Columbus is known for being the home of Cummins, Inc., the Fortune 500 corporation started in 1919 that designs, manufactures, and (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 8th, 2017

Two Towns in the West Top 2017’s 100 Most Popular Place to Retire List

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

July 27, 2017 – For the first time since Topretirements began running our annual list of America’s 100 most popular places to retire we have a winner from the west. In fact, we have two. Green Valley, Arizona took over the top spot from last year’s winner, Sarasota, Florida. Hitting #2 on our list is another town from Arizona, the former cowboy town of Prescott, north of Phoenix.

Green Valley is a sprawling area south of Tucson near the border with Mexico. It covers a vast area with all kinds of communities and developments – in fact it has 59 different home owner associations. Retirees like its relatively low cost of living, warm winter climate, the nearby Santa Rita Mountains, and the extensive non-profit Green Valley recreation complex.

Mountains near Green Valley


In gaining the #1 spot on our list, Green Valley was viewed over 12,000 times (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 26th, 2017

Topretirements Tours Clearwater/Tampa/St.Pete for Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

July 17 — In this article we will highlight our experiences and impressions from a recent trip to the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater area. We hope you find it useful.

All 3 cities on gigantic Tampa Bay are located on Florida’s West Coast, about half way down from FL’s northern border. For comparison, Orlando is located inland to the northeast, while Melbourne is parallel on the East coast. There are also a number of smaller towns in the area, a few of which we will talk about here. The area has a warm Florida climate influenced by its proximity to the Gulf, although it is not quite as warm in winter as towns further south like Naples or Miami. The area is densely populated. Traffic, particularly in the winter season and summer, can be quite intense.

Boats anchored in the Vinoy yacht basin marina, St.Pete.

St. Petersburg has, in our opinion, the best opportunities for retirement in this group. There is a compact urban center that is attractive and walkable. All (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 17th, 2017

Dueling Retirement States: The Mid-South, a Cost-Effective Choice

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

July 11, 2017 — In this installment of our “Dueling Retirement States” we compare and analyze retirement in the states that we will call the mid-South: Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. See Further Reading at bottom for links to the other regional comparisons in our series, such as The Carolinas, Gulf States, and Florida vs. Arizona.

These states can provide many different retirement lifestyles. They have mountains, lakes, cities, and small towns. Beyond that, they offer some of the most inexpensive living situations available in the U.S. Your retirement dollar can definitely go farther here, especially with their generally tax-friendly reputations. Winters in these states are much milder than in the most of the rest of the country, with a climate that is amenable to an active retirement year round. They are also generally uncrowded and less congested than many other retirement locations.

In this article we will compare and contrast these four southern states:
Alabama,
Georgia
Kentucky,
Tennessee
(links go to our mini-retirement guides to each state). Population and income data is from American Fact Finder-U.S. Census Bureau.

A Few Facts
Georgia is the largest state by population and also the youngest and most affluent. In 2015 there were an estimated 4.9 million people in Alabama, 10.3 million in Georgia, 4.4 million in Kentucky, and 6.6 million in Tennessee. (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 11th, 2017

Midwestern Retirements Part 2: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 21, 2017 – Welcome to Part 2 of our magical midwestern retirement tour. Here is the link to Part 1, which covered the Michigan part of our tour from its Upper Peninsula to Empire (near Traverse City).

From beautiful Empire we followed Route 22 south along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This is a pretty drive with frequent views of Lake Michigan and other lakes.

Scenic overlook

Muskegon has a big and busy commercial waterfront. According to our friends this small city of 38,000 is having a resurgence. Muskegon is the commercial center of this area, and this is where area residents come to shop and be entertained.

Muskegon near the waterfront

Grand Haven, just south of Muskegon, shares Lake Michigan and the banks of the Grand River with (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 20th, 2017

Michigan Is a Great Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 13, 2017 — Your editor went on a road trip last week touring potential retirement spots, and wow, was that a great experience. We learned so much from visiting so many places, as well as from the many interesting folks we met along our 1300 mile journey. Starting out from Illinois on the western side of Lake Michigan we ventured north into Wisconsin, then crossed Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After crossing the Mackinac Bridge we enjoyed several days in northern Michigan before going on to explore a few towns in Indiana and Ohio. The Great Lakes State (MI) was the main focus of the trip, and the first half of that State’s tour is what what we will report on here. Part 2 covers the rest of the Michigan tour, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio portions. We have included more photos than usual to give you a better flavor.

Michigan – A Great Place to Retire
We’ll give you the bottom line first – from so many standpoints Michigan, particularly the area along Lake Michigan, is a tremendous place to retire. It is exceedingly beautiful, uncrowded, and not super expensive (which also makes it a great vacation spot even if you are not going to retire there). The Lake is pretty to look at and offers exceptional boating and beach experiences. Yet its huge Great Lake is not the only body of water – there are rivers and a multitude of lakes, many of which are connected to Lake Michigan. Most towns are very pretty and lively. Its system of bike trails is one of the most (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 13th, 2017