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

Mejask’s Inside Report: A Hawaii Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Editor’s note: Our frequent commentator, Mejask, recently provided a detailed Comment about what it is like to retire in our 50th State. There was so much good information that we decided to republish it as its own Blog article. That way a lot more people will have a chance to read it. Thanks Mejask!

By Mejask

May 18, 2018 — Here is further information some of you wanted on Hawaii. A little about me so you have some gauge as to my views. I grew up in Illinois, lived some time in Washington state and the Southeast and then most of my career in Connecticut. I moved to the Big Island in July 2015. I have been to the Honolulu area on Oahu but not to Kaui or Maui which are the other islands people may choose to locate. My input on the islands that I haven’t visited will be brief and is mostly from what folks here have told me.

The Islands
Maui, Kaui and Oahu are much smaller in size than the Big Island and their land mass could easily fit inside the Big Island with room to spare. All of these islands are more expensive than the Big Island. The biggest expense difference is real estate. Each island is a county of Hawaii. You will not find typical (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 19th, 2017

Best Retirement States – Part 2: Pick Your Rating Factor

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 17, 2017 — Note, this is Part 2 of a two part article. Here is the link to Part 1: Crazy Lists and Not Much Agreement.

In Part 1 we compared 2 popular “Best States for Retirement” lists to the states where retirees actually move. It was not a pretty comparison. The 2 popular lists agreed on almost nothing, and neither one included more than one or two of the states where baby boomers actually move. To help you prepare your own best states to retire list, in this installment we will present various lists of specific attributes that retirees might be interested in, such as culture or climate. We have even included a few whimsical factors to liven things up!

Best Cultural Opportunities
WalletHub included a ranking for the top 5 and worst 5 states for museums (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 16th, 2017

Best States for Retirement Lists: Not Much Agreement Here

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Editor’s note: This is a 2 part article. Part 1 discusses two popular Best and Worst Places to Retire lists. Part 2 explores best retirement states from multiple perspectives – taxation, cost of living, culture, climate, cost of living, property taxes, etc.

May 9, 2017 — To paraphrase something from the news – “Who knew finding the best state for retirement was so complicated?” Eager to attract baby boomer readers for their advertisers, the publishers of these lists sometimes do it “scientifically”, using data to back up their picks, and sometimes whimsically, using 20-something writers for whom retirement conjures up geezers in rocking chairs and old folks homes. The results from these “Best” lists are so all over the place that is (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 9th, 2017

Flo’s Carolina Visit Part 2: South Carolina

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States


By Flo Williamson

Part 2 South Carolina (link to Part 1: The Carolinas Revisited – North Carolina)

April 1, 2017 — After an interesting and enlightening visit to coastal North Carolina, we made a bee-line towards Charleston, SC.  As we entered South Carolina, Route 17 took us through the Myrtle Beach area. Myrtle Beach was never on our retirement relocation radar, as it struck us as being too large, sprawling, and “touristy”. The traffic, even in February, bore that out. We passed through the small beach towns of Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, and stopped 35 miles south of Myrtle Beach, in Georgetown.

Georgetown, population 9,000, is a town on the Winyah Bay. It is golf cart friendly. Site of the 2nd largest seaport in SC, Georgetown is also home to an abandoned steel mill and a working paper mill that is located (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 1st, 2017

Best Cities for Successful Aging – Head for the Midwest

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 27, 2017 — The authors of the Milken Report on Successful Aging have identified the best places in the country to retire for successful aging. In fact they have two different lists – larger Metros and smaller Metros (we will focus on the smaller Metros). Their selection process is the most rigorous of any we know of; it actually has 83 different criteria including access to good healthcare, transportation, security, employment and recreation opportunities, livability, community engagement, and livability.

Most boomers live in Metropolitan areas, and plan to stay there
The authors of the report refer to this as the “anti-retirement” list of (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 26th, 2017

10 Great Retirement Towns Where You Don’t Need a Car

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 14, 2017 — Think how great it would be if you could retire to a place where you didn’t have to own a car. You wouldn’t have to climb in your vehicle, fight traffic down busy streets, or hunt endlessly for a parking place every time you wanted to go someplace. Here are 10 retirement towns where you can trade your car for a bike, golf cart, public transit, or – best of all – your own two feet.

In this search we are not mentioning the largest American cities, where having a car is more of a burden than a blessing. For example in New York City, where a surprising percentage or residents don’t even have a drivers license, you can easily pay $500/month just to garage your car. In Gotham you can almost always get there faster on a subway, bus, taxi, Uber, or by (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 14th, 2017