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12 Retirement-Friendly Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 3, 2022 — You’ve worked hard to earn your retirement. So why not retire to a place where you are likely to be welcomed with open arms. To help with that we published a list of “10 Very Friendly Places to Retire” back in 2016, and it generated loads of comments and suggestions. Using this fantastic input from our Members (you can’t beat the experience of real people!), here are even more great places to retire. We hope you will add to the list!

Cape Coral, FL. Here is what Linda had to say about this FL West Coast town: “I’d add Cape Coral, FL to your list. It’s not as isolated as Punta Gorda (about an hour up the coast). If we don’t have it in Cape Coral, there’s a good chance it’s available across the bridges to Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples, etc. There is a very active New Residents Club here which has been going on for 50 years. If I had the stamina, I could be doing something with these new-found friends every day!”

Bluffton, SC. Pauline said: “Bluffton is a great place to retire. Close to Hilton Head Island; Savannah; and about an hour from Charleston. We purchased a lot to build in Hilton Head Lakes, a community just at the edge of Bluffton. In the year we have owned the lot, we have seen a LOT of buying activity all along the “low country”. The area is quite appealing to both retirees and families. Can’t wait to build and escape the high taxes and cold winters in Maryland.”

Larry and others like Bluffton too, but fret about the traffic in season.

Carl would add Province in Maricopa, AZ to the list. He’s lived here since 2012 and has met friendly people all around. “The “community culture” is remarkably welcoming, with many people on the younger side of 55+ who want to enjoy fun things with their neighbors. The amenities and activities of Province provide plenty of things to do, and Phoenix is close enough to visit for outstanding sports and cultural activities, as well as some fine restaurants.”

For Jack and his wife, their “…final choices were St Augustine, FL, Bradenton, Fl, Bluffton/ Hilton Head, SC and St Simons, GA. We finally stepped off that train and chose Summerville, SC to be near our grand kids in Charleston.”

Bella Vista, Arkansas. Bonnie visited Bentonville in the northwest corner of Arkansas and found a retirement area known as Bella Vista. She was amazed how friendly everyone is there. “People are from all over…CA, MN, MI, WI, IL, VT, TX, NY…those are just the ones we met in one week.”

Jasper, Tennessee is where Jan settled. “We’ve semi settled on the southeast area of Tennessee, west of Chattanooga, in Jasper. There is a development in Jasper, (it’s not a 55 and older) which sits at about 2000 ft elevation with magnificent views of TN, AL, GA and the various rivers. There is a variety of lot sizes from 1.5 acres up. The area, the people, the things to do are amazing. Friendly, welcoming and shows excitement for the mix of where people are from. It’s really nice to be openly welcomed instead of the why are you here attitude.”

Star, Idaho. Cathy H: “We relocated from northern California to Star a year and a half ago and we love it here. Very friendly place. Check out Star! It is still close to Boise. I have to have Costco and Trader Joes. We have a Costco in Nampa which is close to us too.” Others, including Vickie, are looking toward Idaho because they like how it reflects their conservative views. Star is near Meridian, and one of the communities mentioned by Members there is Heritage Grove.

Sacramento, CA. John cast a friendly vote for this California city. “Family is a strong call. Moving to Sacramento. Cost analysis between Maryland and CA – tax wise CA is just a click less. Go figure. Sacramento has good medical, good weather, entertainment, colleges, international airport and 2 hours to SF or Reno. Our fallback is Fort Worth metro area as it is safe and retirement friendly.”

Note that many other Members commented that they couldn’t wait to get out of California for expense and political reasons.

Palm Coast, FL. Dave M: ‘ “We ultimately chose Palm Coast, Florida. Why???

1. NE Florida still gives you some change of seasons. But very, very mild winters. No snow!
2. Palm Coast seems to be the “sweet spot” in hurricane avoidance
3. It is near the theme parks in Orlando, where our future grandchildren (if we ever get any of the little buggers!) will almost certainly visit with their parents. We can then go meet up with them there and then…take them all back.
4. We are on the beachfront, we have a semi-private beach all to ourselves with our family.
5. Land costs and building costs are much lower than anywhere else we looked at.
6. No state income tax.
7. It is near great health care. The Mayo Clinic is only an hour away in Jacksonville. Palm Coast itself has a lot of doctors and dentists and hospitals, not to mention in Daytona Beach, 20 min. away.
8. Not crowded! Palm Coast today reminds me of the Florida Keys back in the 1970’s when I used to go there a lot.
9. Good restaurants and lots of supermarkets and pharmacies and home improvement stores. No warehouse clubs, though…yet…But now that it is just my wife and I, not as much need for bulk items.”

Grand Rapids, MI. James would “… suggest that you check out Grand Rapids, Michigan. The area has 4 seasons. It is 30 minutes from shark free and beautiful Lake Michigan. Great cultural community ( review Art Prize) , diverse. Many small towns nearby if you don’t want to live in metro area. Great sporting area , camping and skiing.”

Henderson, NV. Eric says they “….have lived in Henderson, NV, as snowbirds from Canada for 6 years and enjoy the low cost of living and price of real estate. The temperature is about 7 degrees colder than Arizona. It’s safe, has all the big box stores, and great services for seniors. Lots of events and entertainment options and seniors’ specials from restaurants and local casinos. I’d recommend it as a retirement destination for both snowbirds and full time residents.”

Maxine added more comments about Henderson: “Something for everyone, rents are good for seniors, housing competitive depends what you want to spend great place to live and get around.”

Myrtle Trace

For Bonnie S, her “… three favorite places have been the Pinehurst area, Rock Hill, SC and Myrtle Beach. We currently are in the Piedmont area of NC and hope to move back to Myrtle Beach. If you are looking for “Northern” friends – Myrtle Trace in Conway is a wonderful 55+ community with low HOA fees and a very active clubhouse.

Bottom line:
Thanks to everyone for these really helpful Comments from our previous article. We love the friendly places you have chosen to live in. Your insight is hard to come by. If you have other friendly places to retire, please suggest them in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on May 2nd, 2022

5 Comments »

  1. Hi,

    What is the name of the development in Jasper, TN that Jan mentioned in this article?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    by Kevin — May 4, 2022

  2. We found a wonderful place in Arizona called SaddleBrooke Two. It was such a nice surprise. Cooler because it is in the slopes of the mountains.Everyone was so friendly and lots of support groups. So many amenities and activities you can wear yourself out. It is like summer camp for adults 365 days a year. We like it so much we are graduating from snowbird to fulltimer. There is a local website if you need more info

    by larry clark — May 22, 2022

  3. Palm coast FL sounds like a place I would Love. I would like to get more info and specific places to zoom in on because my husband is not an explorer, thank you

    by Virginia — May 23, 2022

  4. Palm Coast FL is a great place to live. In our Florida Directory we have links to a review of Palm Coast plus 8 communities located there. https://www.topretirements.com/active_adult_communities/Florida.html#PalmCoast

    Editors note: we deleted a string of comments from a Member who doesn’t like Florida or Texas for a variety of reasons. Then others jumped in to disagree, so before we get completely derailed, we chose to delete the whole string. Sorry about that, but trying to keep the focus on “friendly” places here, not unfriendly ones. Thanks for understanding.

    by Admin — May 26, 2022

  5. Admin-

    I posted in the “string” of posts you deleted from “people who don’t like Florida or Texas for a variety of reasons.” It should be noted that NOWHERE in my brief post, did I indicate that I did not like Florida or Texas. The poster prior to me indicated they would not choose to retire to either of those places for valid reasons- none of which involved friendliness. I simply agreed with him. If you are focusing on “friendly” places, I do think you might want to qualify that adjective prior to assuming that everyone has the same concept of “friendly.”

    Comment from Admin: Thanks for responding Barb. Sorry, sounds like your post was a victim of our attempt to stop a string of comments that were getting very political. Once those strings start they take on a life of their own, and detract from what we are trying to keep as a non-political forum.

    by Barb — May 26, 2022

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