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Most Popular Places to Retire for 2014

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Note: Our 2015 List has been published. See Most Popular Places to Retire 2015.
February 25, 2014 – When it comes to the best places to retire two things are very clear: the Sunbelt is where people want to go, and there is almost no interest in the Northeast or Midwest. The Sunbelt, with 77 towns on’s 8th annual list of the 100 most popular retirement spots, continues to be prime territory for retirement dreams. Only 3 states in the Northeast (and none in the Midwest) made the cut: Virginia, Delaware (Lewes and Rehoboth Beach), New Jersey (Cape May), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). Most of the remaining cities on the top 100 list were from the Pacific Northwest and Colorado.

Florida Rules
Florida dominates the list of best places to retire, with 23 cities and towns (2 less than in 2013), followed by North Carolina (11), South Carolina (8), Arizona (7), California (6) and Washington (6). Tennessee had 5 cities in the top 100. The highest ranking non-Sun Belt city on our list was Charlottesville (VA) at #15. Note: To make sure you don’t miss new lists like this, sign up for our free weekly “Best Places to Retire” newsletter. See also “The Worst States for Retirement – 2014“.

11 New Towns Join as Popular Places to Retire
Eleven new towns moved onto the 2014 list, about the same number as in 2013. Eight of the 11 were from the Sunbelt. Of the remaining, 2 were from the state of Washington and 1 from New Jersey. The 11 towns added to the list this year were: a pair of Greenvilles (SC and NC), Gulfport (FL), Reno (NV), Daytona Beach (FL), Sequim (WA), Blue Ridge (GA), St. Simons Island (GA), San Juan Islands (WA), Cape May (NJ), and Mount Dora (FL).

Two More from South Carolina Join Top 10
As has been the case since Topretirements published its first list in 2007, Asheville, NC is the #1 town, receiving 10 times as many page visits as Mount Dora (FL), which just grabbed the #100 position with under 1,000 page visits. Asheville has a stellar reputation as a great place to retire because of its beautiful mountains, gentle 4 seasons climate, and recreational/cultural opportunities. Southwest Florida’s Sarasota and Venice held on to their #2 and #3 spots respectively, while Beaufort (SC) and Fort Myers (FL) moved up to the 4th and 5th spots (nudging out Austin (TX) and Prescott (AZ). Two retirement destinations in South Carolina broke into the top 10 this year – Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Downtown Venice

Biggest Ups
Several towns made big moves up in popularity this year. Notable among them were Pensacola (FL), which which climbed from 37th to 14th); Maryville (TN) – 62nd to 20th; Savannah (GA), – 71st to 26th; and Eureka (CA) – 96th to 55th.

Towns Rather Than Active Communities
This list concentrate on towns/cities rather than on active communities, which we excluded from the 2014 list. That being said, several active communities were popular enough to have made the list had we included them (The Villages would have been in the top 10, and Tellico Village would been somewhere in the middle. See our 2013 list of “The 100 Most Popular Active Adult Communities” for more.

Our Criteria, “Where Baby Boomers Go to Find Their Best Place to Retire”, has published its 100 most popular list annually since 2007. It is important to know that our list uses criteria that are quite different from most others. Our list is essentially a popularity contest; it reflects the towns that visitors to this website are most interested in finding out more about for their retirements. The list was compiled by calculating the 100 towns that receive the most online visits of the 900+ cities reviewed at during the last 6 months of 2013. Some probably make the list in a given year because they were featured in one of our weekly newsletters, or we recently reviewed that town. Note that we consider the states from North Carolina and Tennessee to Florida, plus the Southwest, as being in the Sunbelt (so Virginia and Kentucky are not Sunbelt states by our definition).

These are the 100 most popular places to retire for 2014. But we urge you not to stop there – you can explore the more than 900 towns and 2500 active adult communities by using the “Find a Community” feature on the top right of all pages at Topretirements.

1. Asheville, NC
2. Sarasota, FL
3. Venice, FL
4. Beaufort, SC

Beautiful Beaufort

5. Ft. Myers, FL
6. Charleston, SC
7. Austin, TX
8. Prescott, AZ
9. Naples, FL
10. Myrtle Beach, SC
11. San Antonio, TX
12. Paris, TN
13. San Diego, CA
14. Pensacola, FL

Pensacola is all about water

15. Charlottesville, VA
16. St. Petersburg, FL
17. Knoxville, TN
18. Clearwater, FL
19. Green Valley, AZ
20. Maryville, TN
21. Fairhope, AL
22. Summerville, SC
23. Tucson, AZ
24. Sedona, AZ
25. Chapel Hill, NC
26. Savannah, GA
27. Orlando, FL
28. Crossville, TN
29. Chattanooga, TN
30. New Bern, NC
31. Portland, OR
32. Las Cruces, NM
33. Mesquite, NV
34. Key West
35. Greenville, SC *

Photo of falls courtesy of Wikipedia

36. Bluffton, SC
37. Beaufort, NC
38. Lewes, DE
39. Flagstaff, AZ
40. Pittsburgh, PA
41. Greenville, NC *
42. Williamsburg, VA
43. Tampa, FL
44. Santa Fe, NM
45. Aiken, SC
46. St. Augustine, FL
47. Hendersonville, NC
48. Jacksonville, FL
49. Winchester, VA
50. Athens, GA
51. Brevard, NC
52. Gainesville, FL
53. Rehoboth Beach, DE
54. Albuquerque, NM
55. Eureka, CA
56. Denver, CO
57. Vero Beach, FL
58. Southport, NC
59. Eugene, OR
60. Seattle, WA
61. Phoenix, AZ
62. Clemson, SC
63. Henderson, NV
64. Bend, OR
65. Delray Beach, FL
66. Stuart, FL
67. Santa Barbara, CA

Former mission in Santa Barbara

68. San Luis Obispo, CA
69. Corpus Christi, TX
70. Hilton Head, SC
71. Gulfport, FL *
72. Colorado Springs, CO
73. Reno, NV *
74. Ft. Collins, CO
75. Grand Junction, CO
76. Daytona Beach, FL *
77. Mt. Airy, NC
78. Spokane, WA
79. Port Charlotte, FL
80. Sequim, WA *
81. Durango, CO
82. Charlotte, NC
83. Port Townsend, WA
84. Bellingham, WA
85. Blue Ridge, GA *
86. Melbourne, FL
87. Winston-Salem, NC
88. St. Simons Island, GA *
89. Winter Park, FL
90. San Juan Islands, WA *
91. Palm Springs, CA
92. Boca Raton, FL
93. Murray, KY
94. Mesa, AZ
95. Leesburg, FL
96. Cape May, NJ *
97. St. George, UT
98. Napa, CA
99. Cheyenne, WY
100. Mount Dora, FL *

*New to the List in 2014

Sliding Off the List
As always, some towns lost part of their allure to prospective retirees last year. Eleven cities dropped off the list from the previous year, and those include Murphy (NC), Scottsdale, Boynton Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Chicago, Boulder, The Woodlands (TX), Portland (ME), Cape Coral, and Franklin (TN).

For Additional reference:
Sunbelt Rules: The 2013 List of 100 Best Places to Retire
Surprises Galore: 100 Best Active Adult or 55+ Communities – 2013
My Search for the (almost) perfect Retirement Climate
10 Worst States for Retirement – 2014

What do You Think?
Please add your omments and reactions below. We are eager to hear your thoughts about where you are considering for retirement.

Posted by Admin on February 25th, 2014


  1. […] 18, 2013 – Note: Our 2014 list of “The 100 Most Popular Places to Retire” is now out. With warmer winters and generally lower taxes, it shouldn’t be a surprise […]

    by » 100 Best Places to Retire for 2013 Topretirements — February 26, 2014

  2. Of course Florida is the best place to retire! We have great weather and lots to do. Want to golf in December? Florida’s your place. 🙂

    by Rachel — February 26, 2014

  3. I can weed out, pun intended, the Colorado and Washington cities right now. There are enough bad drivers on the road, without interacting with the stoned ones too.

    by roger — February 27, 2014

  4. And, it’s actually Maine with the oldest median age – half above and half below – at 42.7 years. Florida’s mean age is 40.7 years.

    Source: Washington Post

    by Jan Cullinane — February 27, 2014

  5. John, I commend you for calling this list what it is, a “popularity contest.” But even though I rue the day Major League Baseball turned all-star voting over to the fans, I think popularity and reality intersect for most of the choices on your 2014 list. Although each of us may have some quibbles — I think Asheville is overrated and prefer Greenville, SC — the southeastern representatives on the list reflect where my customers are showing the most interest. I also see a lot of diversity in the top 10, with Asheville representing a kind of mountain hipness, Sarasota showing a strong artsy side, Beaufort being old South, Charleston being a foodie’s paradise, Naples a great place to keep up with (or just observe) the uber-wealthy Joneses, and Myrtle Beach having that dynamic combination of beautiful fairways and tacky commercial strips of neon and noise. In short, the list has something for everyone. Nice job by your readers.

    by Larry — February 27, 2014

  6. I’m happy to see that a number of wonderful Tar Heel towns made the 2014 list. As an Asheville native and the author of a new book on visiting and living in Western North Carolina, Amazing Asheville, I do wish more of the lovely small towns in the North Carolina mountains had made the list, beyond Asheville, Hendersonville and Brevard. There are so many others worth considering in WNC, such as Highlands/Cashiers, Black Mountain, Waynesville and others.

    by Lan Sluder — February 27, 2014

  7. I’m also pleased to see that the “Southern Part of Heaven,” Chapel Hill, is still high on the list, though these days you really have to say Chapel Hill-Carrboro.

    by Lan Sluder — February 27, 2014

  8. We moved to San Antonio, TX 2 years ago. The area is currently in it’s 4th years of drought. Water is expensive. It is regulated as to when and how much can be used before penalties are imposed. The Water Authority has said they anticipate SA will run out of water by July. One lake that farmers had used to water crops is now 3 feet full. This winter we have experienced 6 Polar Vortex cold spells. Our citrus trees have died because of the cold. Prices are high compared to Mississippi. Summers are hot. You do not want to be outside between 10 am and 6 pm. The road to and from the airport is 7 lanes wide. The traffic is scary. Many senior will not drive during rush hours. We have also met native Texans leaving the state.

    by Linda B — February 28, 2014

  9. This question came in from Uschie, a long time member. Can anyone shed some light on her question?

    I am still “stuck” in Prescott, AZ. Had to have a hip replacement, which is fortunately now healed, but the back pain is something I have to live with. I wonder if you have any information about Asheville, such as whether or not the humidity is extremely high, whether or not they have good medical care, and whether or not it’s expensive to live there. I sent off for information quite some time ago and the place looks fantastic. But since then, people have told me that it gets extremely humid there, and that the “mosquitoes will eat you alive”. After I heard all that, I started thinking about Boise, Idaho again. I spent about 3 months there in my RV several years ago and I loved the area. Medical care is great. Climate appears to not be too extreme. People were very nice.
    How would you compare Boise to Asheville?
    Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated. I still have lots of downsizing to do, so can’t move immediately, but want to “lay the groundwork” so that I don’t make another mistake.

    by Admin — March 3, 2014

  10. Please shed light on why Prescott was a mistake. It is high on our list, and we’d like input from someone who has no stake in our possible move.

    by Sandie — March 4, 2014

  11. Well, let’s face it…….this is all a matter of taste……and we all know that. I lived in one of the cities in Florida for a little over 10 years. It’s on the top 100 cities list and yet I wouldn’t live there or any place else in Florida for all ” the tea in China”. As a matter of fact, I left over 15 years ago and have never been back and never will. Unbearable humidity, heat, hurricanes, floods, fires, crime……..and more. They really don’t like, I try to not use the word hate, Northerners…… the point of ridiculous. I’ve seen actual fights start over this! The young hate the old, the old hate the young, they hate the snowbirds, they hate the Canadians, they hate the spring breakers, the bikers, the race fans……..the list goes on and on. Don’t even get me started on the traffic and the driving! It’s also very “clicky” , even snobbish. Maybe you are better off for this….stay in your own little area and you will be happy……….all the gated communities that are in the high end wouldn’t dream of mixing with the low end communities….a very big no- no. And please, don’t go to “their” area supermarket, pharmacies or any place else. Florida caters to the tourists, snowbirds, retirees… they have to, it’s their main source of income……..and they really don’t like it……but have to put up with it. This was my experience and this is my opinion. I have family and friends in FL that love it, like it and some really agree with me but stay there because of the weather and because they are there for only a short time. Sorry for trashing FL, but this only makes my point……’s all a matter of taste. It all depends on what you want out of your retirement and your retirement community and everyone is different. I’m still looking around for my ” dream retirement community.”. Not really sure the ” dream” is out there……..I ( and everyone) have to make the dream happen where ever I decide to live.

    by Sue — March 5, 2014

  12. Just thought you’d like to know you have number 33 Mesquite AZ and it should be Mesquite NV

    Editor’s Note: Oops, our goof (and we seem to make that particular mistake frequently)! Now corrected. Thanks for bringing to our attention.

    by KathyO — March 5, 2014

  13. Sue

    I wonder where in Florida you are talking about? Other than the the 4 months of heat and humidity in Florida (terrible), we haven’t had any of those negative experiences in Florida. People have been quite nice. Perhaps the recent downturn in the economy has made folks more tolerant…I don’t know. But mostly the locals here appreciate the extra addition to the economy that the tourists and snowbirds provide. Lots of us volunteer to make the experience here a more positive one.

    by Lynn — March 5, 2014

  14. Lynn: Where in Florida are you? I’ve been told that July and August are the only brutal humidity months around the Clermont/Ocala areas?

    by Steve — March 5, 2014

  15. Lynn,

    We have had a very similar experience as you and are loving Sarasota. We moved here from Connecticut and have found the people warm and welcoming. We are becoming involved in several organizations and have met many great people. One thing to consider in a city like Sarasota is it is a great melting pot from people all over US with many coming from Midwest and New England, not to mention our friends north of the bourder which makes it easy to make friends because many of us came from somewhere else desire to expand our personal relationships here.

    As far as crime, yes Sarasota does have it like most cities do, but most areas are quite safe and enjoyable at all times of the day or night. I walk the dog nightly whick can take some time because I end up chatting with many neighbors

    Florida may have some some downside, which is far outweighed by the amazing weather and diverse activities. I wish you all best wishes in finding your dream retirement; we have, and are proud to be Floridians.

    by Rick — March 6, 2014

  16. Steve,

    We live in Pinellas County, near St.Pete. The amount of heat and humidity varies throughout Florida. It does depend on how close to the water and how far south you live. The further away from the water or the further south you are, the worse it is. Mid-June to Mid-October are hot and humid, but the rest of the year is pretty nice. That being said, for the most part, even when it is really nasty, one can head out to exercise and do other stuff early in the morning and in the early evening. You just want to be somewhere air conditioned in mid-day. I also think that it if you are a full-time resident, the heat is much less bothersome after the first year. So keep that in mind when you talk to people. Finally, keep in mind that everyone is different My husband and I have differing opinions on heat and humidity. He is uncomfortable when the temperature is much above 80 and I don’t complain until it goes above 90.

    by Lynn — March 6, 2014

  17. All – I may have missed this particular discussion, but does anyone have input on Venice FL? Do you live there and, if so, what is your take on the area? Is it for couples? (I’m single) What about medical? Can you find a PCP that accepts Medicare – how are the hospitals rated? What do you do for fun/activities? Areas to look at for renting (don’t necessarily want an apt)? Anything, just anything you can tell me please!

    by Kay — March 6, 2014

  18. We moved to Jupiter Fl in June of 2013 and even though the weather was hot and humid when we got here the exceptional weather in the so called winter season far outweighed any negatives. We already bought a home as soon as we could and couldn’t be happer:grin:

    by Tom — March 6, 2014

  19. Pinehurst, NC has got to on your list. Check it out.

    by Mark — March 6, 2014

  20. Sandie, you wanted some input on Prescott, Arizona. In your post, you said “we” which makes me think you may not be alone. For an older woman who has no family here or anywhere close by, for that matter, and whose friends live in other states (many do not like the West, and particularly Arizona), Prescott can be a very lonely place. To buy a home here can be very expensive, most likely because we have had such an influx of wealthy retirees from California, New York, Michigan, etc., and they have built some 3-story “mansions” on the hills surrounding Prescott. This has damaged the environment and scenery a lot. The weather is nice, but it can get up to the 90s and low 100s during summer, and when the monsoon (rainy months) hit, then it gets muggy. There is lots of hiking all around here, as well as mountain biking. Shopping is decent …. we have 3 Walmarts, 2 Fry’s, 2 Albertson’s, one Safeway, plus a couple of fairly good healthfood stores. We are getting a Sprouts that most of us are excited about. We have COSTCO and Sam’s, and recently got a Trader Joe’s. We have a few good Mexican Restaurants, as well as Olive Garden, one great pizza restaurant (and a few regular ones), and there are some other restaurants that are not bad either. The two things that Prescott has going for it is that we have the extremely well restored Elks Theater and also Yavapai College and both of them are bringing some very good entertainment here at somewhat reasonable prices (I go to both all the time). Medical care in Prescott “sucks” and that is the word one hears a lot, some even say if you go to a doctor here he will kill you. Fortunately I now have found a great Family Health Clinic, but it is located in Chino Valley, about half-hour drive from Prescott. Our so-called “best” orthopedic doctor messed up my shoulder so badly that it continued to hurt plus I couldn’t move it hardly at all for about a year…..til I went to a specialist in Phoenix who said, “whoever did this to you, did everything wrong”. He operated and tried his best to fix that shoulder, but told me that it would never be as good as if I had not gone first to the Prescott orthopedist. For any kind of good medical care, especially surgery, we have to go to Phoenix, which is a minimum of 2-1/2 hours to where some Phoenix doctors are located….and one can get very tired of having to drive to Phoenix, plus if one is in need of surgery, and is not allowed to drive, the only option then is to take one of our very expensive medical transport companies. We have two movie houses … one recently was extremely well redone and even has reclining seats and the individual theater rooms are nice and small. We have the well-known Whiskey Row downtown, but if you are not a drinker, you most likely would not enjoy going there except one time to see what it is all about. This hopefully will give you some idea as to why so many of us, particularly singles, both men and women, want to move away from here.

    by Uschie — March 7, 2014

  21. Could anyone please give me some more information about Boise, Idaho….what life there would be like. I already have noticed that they have what appears an abundance of good medical care and they seem to have good grocery stores, a great health food store, plus Sam’s and COSTCO. When I was there for a couple of months, staying in an RV park, wherever I went it seemed that the people and even teenagers were quite nice. What I’m very interested in is how the climate is there in the winter. One lady told me over the phone that she moved from a warm state and the winters in Boise don’t bother her. Others try to tell me it gets extremely cold there. Also, I wonder if there is good entertainment such as plays, concerts, etc. I like good restaurants and I think I may have seen some of those when I was in Boise for a brief period. So anything anyone can tell me other than what I’ve already posted, I’d be very grateful, as I feel that I would like to move there.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    by Uschie — March 7, 2014

  22. Hi Uschie.
    If you are on the computer, try for basic information on Boise, ID.
    I am not familiar, but I have heard good things. Keep in mind that in the northern half of the country, the winters will be colder, but probably drier which might make your orthopedic issues more uncomfortable. As you have discovered, the best medical care is available in the larger metro areas, so Boise might be better for you. You might actually LIKE Florida! With all the people there will be entertainment, good medical care, and a climate that would be easier for you to live with. Take a look!
    Best of luck in your search! 😉

    by Lulu — March 9, 2014

  23. Does anyone have any input on the Smith Mountain Lake area in VA. I just came back from a quick 2 day look at the area – have been getting listings from a realtor for some time. I zeroed in on a couple of areas close to lake (homes – not condos) & really liked what I saw. People I met were super friendly & eager to help. You have to like farm areas & twisty roads – things are spread over fair distances. Roanoke about 40 minutes away. I am used to that so no big deal for me but wondered if anyone out there has first hand experience. Many thanks.

    by Carolyn — March 12, 2014

  24. I am interested in the Wilmington NC area, not right on the beach, but along Cape Fear River. Any info on taxes and insurance prices?

    by Theresa — March 13, 2014

  25. It has been awhile since I lived in Wilmington, but the insurance is considerably less across the cape fear river. Wrightsville Beach is the highest in that area. I do not remember my property taxes, but I guess I would have if they were extreme. I lived in the Monkey Junction area.

    by Elaine — March 14, 2014

  26. I’m an American citizen who has been living in the UK since 1996. My husband, who a British citizen, and I plan on retiring to the United States, specifically North Carolina. I’ve heard so many different things we need to do, my ears are ringing and all the advice differs. If you know of anyone that has done what my husband and I would like to do or if you’ve experienced this type of relocation yourself, please let me know. It will be a few years before we do retire but I would like to start planning so the move will be as seemless as possible. We own our own home here, which we will be selling to buy our new home there.

    Thank you very much and I’m very much looking forward to hearing your experiences and suggestions!

    by Michelle — March 16, 2014

  27. Re: Smith Mountain Lake and Roanoke, VA
    I live about an hour north of Smith Mountain Lake, so investigated it first for retirement as I want to be near a lake. Many people in this area have
    campers and boats there in the summer or rent a cottage or condo. There is a wide variety of homes and miles of shoreline. I definitely ruled it out as a year around home because of severe winters and hilly terrain. We were told there are no 55+ communities except one very expensive one with nice amenities.
    I do not understand why Roanoke,VA is rated as top retirement town. Ordinary town with ordinary culture, no water nearby, mountains, and severe winters. Fewer attractions than Asheville, N.C. Perhaps there are some good retirement communities.
    Southwest Virginia has relatively low taxes and cost of living.

    by Moving South — March 17, 2014

  28. Michelle,
    Best of luck to you as you begin planning your move. I moved across the country to NC but that is far more simple than moving across the “pond” as some of the Brits would say. NC is a big state, any thoughts on where you might choose? You might search the Forbes website for the interactive U.S. Migration map as it will give you any idea of the counties throughout the U.S. that are losing the most residents to NC and which counties in NC are experiencing the greatest gain in population. Cheers!

    by Clark — March 22, 2014

  29. Michelle…have you ever thought about South Carolina…Less taxes than North Carolina…North Carolina is beautiful however you should also look at South Carolina to see the difference such as weather, taxes and amendities…

    by paul schmidt — March 23, 2014

  30. Can anyone explain why Portland, ME dropped off the list? I am 53, single again, and cannot stand the heat or humidity. I’d love to move near a city with cultural offerings and social activities, as we as being close to the sea. Portland, ME seemed great for those looking for a colder climate….. what changed?

    by Spaniard — March 30, 2014

  31. Spaniard: My guess is that people have stopped looking at ME as a possible retirement destination because of the weather and higher cost of living. I love ME, but my retirement dollars wouldn’t go as far there. Between this year’s long, bitter winter and a recent emergency room visit with a family room where I got to see several elderly people with serious injuries from falls in the snow & ice, I’ve taken the Northern states off my list.

    by Ted — March 31, 2014

  32. Robbies’ visits to So Corolina..we had visited Charleston area and looked at a Dell Webb 55 plus community in Summerville..very nice and affordable for selection of homes and prepared for additional costs for homesites and prices vary greatly for nicer sites..especially overlooking any waterway etc..
    well we liked the homes and decided to visit surrounding area..just outside complex were many communities of trailer homes which were very old and grounds and homes poorly maintained..for the most part..then we decided, as we usually do, to visit health facilities in area..some were located in Charleston 20-30 miles..seems like kinda spread out not many in same if was to visit heart doctor and general internist it woukld be in several locations..
    not like we have presently where you go to one location and all doctors are members of a group working together…also, we coukld not locate an ‘Urgent Care’ building…and were told to go to an ER at a hospital…seems even though there is a medical school in Charleston area..they don’t have large hospital..
    and just for now would like to say Charleston is a nice city to visit..but North Charleston is a ‘run down’ community..victims of poverty and lack of jobs..we did not feel safe driving thru some parts of city..and research found North Charleston has been in ‘high crime’ stats for last 20 yrs…sometimes number 1 in US..
    so we plan a trip to Beaufort..
    and sure would appreciate any info from others who visited either area..

    by Robbie — March 31, 2014

  33. Spaniard and Ted: we have lived 20 minutes south of Portland ME for 35 years and Ted is exactly right – the weather and cost of living are atrocious! We do have four seasons but winter dominates the calendar, with cold temps, snow, ice and freezing rain on the coast from November to mid April. The cost of living is among the worst in the country. Taxes are prevalent on everything across the board, the cost of groceries and other goods is high due to transportation costs to Maine, and heating oil will take a big chunk of your income because your furnace will run from November to April. Portland is a great, young city – restaurants galore and lots of cultural events. But many businesses struggle for business in the long winter when everyone hibernates except for going to work. The best thing about Maine is the 8 weeks of glorious summer on the coast, but the other 44 weeks range from ok to barely tolerable. We are headed south soon: no heating oil, no 3 inches of ice on the walkway to break a hip on, and $25.00 to register my car (every two years) vs. the $749.00 it just cost me in Maine (for one year)! I am shocked that Portland ME was EVER on the list!

    by SandyZ — March 31, 2014

  34. Robbie: click on Beaufort in list above; also I have created a Flipboard of pics, videos, and articles about retiring to Beaufort at feel free to browse although it is in its early stages of me playing with Flipboard!.

    by SandyZ — March 31, 2014

  35. SandyZ: Best analysis of Maine as a retirement destination I’ve ever read – thank you for the info, especially the car registration fee. Wow. I pay $36 a year to register my car in SW PA, and my budget gas bill that includes heat (30 yr old 2500 sq ft house), dryer, gas fireplace, gas pool heater and exterior gas lighting is $240/mo. Budget electric bill for AC, washer, etc. is $140/mo. I wish more people would give actual numbers that we could plug into our estimates for the cost of living in different locations.

    I love Maine, but have only been there in the summer. I will keep it on my list of vacation destinations with the money I save living somewhere else.

    by Ted — April 1, 2014

  36. Thanks for your info Ted. It would be awesome to have the top 10 locations on this list dissected a bit more deeply for a comparison of utilities, taxes, and hidden costs, such as car registration etc. for a typical 2000 sq. ft house on an average sized building lot. Lots of folks we know retired, moved, and were hit with expensive surprises. None of us want that!

    by SandyZ — April 2, 2014

  37. Received interesting report on population migration in the US 2010-2013 based on the Census in my inbox this morning. When I look at the population numbers of our major cities [] it just amazes me. For instance, did ya know that Austin, Tx has grown from 1.7 to 1.8 (million) since 2010. Geeze, in the early 80s it was easily less than half that. A good chunk of charm has been replaced with overpasses, heavy traffic and home values tripling; making it hard for artists, young families and entreprenuers (who contribute much to that charm) and retirees to live close in to town. Overall, you’ll find it no surprise that the biggest chunk of migration continues to move to the South with Dallas-Ft Worth, Houston and Austin ranked 1-3 respectively, Charlotte NC-SC ranking at 7 and Tampa-St Pete at 10.

    by ladyquixote — April 2, 2014

  38. Thanks Ladyquixote for the interesting site. Perhaps some of the growth in the south (that site was focused on job growth) was to grow the infrastructure to support all the retirees moving south

    by Elaine — April 3, 2014

  39. Wonderful subject matter and utterly essential for paddling through all the crap. I do not have kindle or nook, but did open the pdf file. Am i correct to assume that the links do not work in pdf? And if not, can I purchase an online version of the book that would allow me to follow the links?

    Editor’s Note: Not exactly sure what pdf you are referring to, but if it is our Free “Baby Boomers Guide to Selecting a Retirement Community”, that file does have links that work. Might not possibly work on an ipad – not sure about that. You can download the book here:

    by Clyde Danforth — April 18, 2014

  40. Does anyone have any personal knowledge of Buffton SC as compared to Beaufort SC? We are looking to relocate but I am retried Navy (enlisted) and we are trying to lower our costs while getting back our Tricare Prime

    by Jeff Gilfoy — May 19, 2014

  41. Jeff – we have vacationed in the HHI area for 20+ years and looked at communities in Bluffton and Beaufort to retire to in two years. You are probably aware of the large retired military population in the Beaufort area due to the bases there. As an “Air Force brat” I know that when my Dad retired being close to a base was important to them to use commissary, pharmacy, PX, and medical services. Although if you like Bluffton better, the bases in Beaufort are an easy drive. Both towns have many choices and price points for communities, gated or not, golf courses or not, etc. I do believe that property taxes are a bit lower in Bluffton – lots of businesses to share the tax burden. Also, I found the groceries etc. to be less in Beaufort because of fewer tourists, I guess. We chose Beaufort as we liked the town and the quietness of the Sea Islands vs. the hustle and bustle of Rt. 278 in Bluffton and the resorts and tourists of HHI ( which we will continue to be once a year!). Both are great spots with plenty to do, great restaurants, friendly people, and many fellow retirees so you can’t go wrong!

    by SandyZ — May 20, 2014

  42. Brentwood, CA has 2 active adult communities, Trilogy Vineyards and Summerset. Has anyone lived in either community? What’s it like?

    by Celecel — May 20, 2014

  43. My wife Pamela and I are looking to move and retire (well do you ever really retire) and came to Athens Ga for the last few days and fell in love with Athens. We have met so many wonderful friendly people especially last evening at The National. We are looking to rent for the first year and then buy. We are looking for a resource of rentals in the 5 Points area. We presently live in Naples Florida and our lease runs out in December. I would greatly appreciate any advice besides just riding around looking for “For Rent” signs. We will be back in October to try and finalize our search. Thank you for whatever assistance you can give.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — May 24, 2014

  44. My husband and I are thinking of moving to Florida sometime in the next year. We are familiar with the gulf side but would like to have access to water or be able to walk to the beach. We are considering area around Orlando for the water access. We want to get into a 55+ community of manufactured homes. Any recommendations? Or recommendations of realtors to assist us? Also, can we find good medical care in these areas? I have heard that it is hard to find. Thanks for any information.

    by Donna — May 25, 2014

  45. This request came in from Linda. Can anyone help?

    I would like to know if anyone has information on West Point Lake in Alabama; and how could I get information on the community?

    This is a link to the community web site.

    by Admin — May 25, 2014

  46. Donna, you’re going to have a LONG walk to the beach from Orlando!

    by Linda — May 25, 2014

  47. @ Donna, maybe you mean a lake “beach” ? Orlando is pretty far from an ocean. Just saying.

    by John H — May 25, 2014

  48. I,m closing on a cottage in Jarvisburg NC this week. 15 minutes to the beach and enough stores around for me. It’ll be beach, biking, kayaking, crabbing, to the gym a few times a week.Volunteer somewhere on the outer banks, meet and make friends…Goooo sloooow.

    by John K — May 26, 2014

  49. Sorry to confuse. I get ahead of myself sometimes. Our first choice would be near the gulf. If we cannot find anything near there, we would consider the Orlando area on a lake. Some look very nice, like Leesburg, Winter Garden, Deland.

    by Donna — May 26, 2014

  50. Spent the last 10 days visiting a few areas for my wife and I to retire to. St Augustine was historically very beautiful but a tale of two areas. By the water very nice but very expensive and then across the bridge near old town it is either old historic buildings on highest end or very shaky and run down. We did not check the outskirtss of town. Bluffton/Beaufort SC was also beautiful but it has been found out and become one of the fastest growing retirement communities in SC. Plus with the military presence the housing allowance is around $1600 so rents follow the housing allowance. Finally went to Athens Ga and fell in love with the town. Affordable, alive, vibrant and next the UGA Athens here we come.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — May 27, 2014

  51. Happy Trails, John K. I’M SOOOOO JEALOUS!

    by Liz — May 27, 2014

  52. Congratulations Jeffrey!

    My problem is that I haven’t fallen in love with any particular location. One day I convince myself that I should go to Florida near Orlando or Melbourne, because I prefer heat, love the ocean, and the kids will visit to go to the theme parks or for cruises. The next day I think I should plan on retiring in the Carolinas, where I’m going to be living for a few years for my job before retirement. Then I circle back and decide that I really want to live in PA because I love so many things about the state and want to be within 1-3 hours of my kids. (My husband would have voted for the Space Coast without a second thought, since it was his dream location.) I read everyone’s postings to see if something rings bells for me. Sheesh, I can’t even make up my mind about a 55+ community. I keep telling myself that it can be an adventure and I can always move again…but I keep hoping that I will find someplace that really excites me.

    by Sharon — May 28, 2014

  53. Sharon – one thing about 55+ communities to think about and it ends up being your preference. Where my wife and I now live (I am 63 she is 57) when we go out we are the “young” couple. We saw a great 55+ community in SC Sun City and it was beautiful but again we would be the young couple. In Bluffton/Beaufort and especially Athens we were surrounded by young vibrant people of all ages and it was exciting. We run and work out and juices every morning and eat organic. Eventually we will probably move to a 55+ community as they offer so much but for now we look for so much more.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — May 28, 2014

  54. Congrats, John K. You did it. Enjoy what life has to offer

    Sharon, we know exactly how you feel. FL beckons most days, and as soon as we come home to W TN, we are ready to go back…until we are confronted with the heat, the crowds, the lot rents, the choices once again…so we keep looking, reading, taking our time.
    We semi retired here, thinking we would want to share our time between FL and TN, but it seems we are stuck, can’t make a decision where to go from here.
    Of course this site helps as much as it hinders (constructive and friendly criticism), for it offers all this wonderful insight from so many people.
    From Arizona to Montana,from the Carolinas to sunny CA, RV to 55+. Lol, isn’t it great to have too many choices?

    by Godsgirl — May 28, 2014

  55. Our Del Webb community is only 7 years old. That has helped it be a place where the people aren’t as old as they might be in a community that was there 25 years ago.

    by susan — May 28, 2014

  56. Portland, Oregon, really? do you know how much it rains in Portland? Also, the city motto is ‘Keep Portland Weird”. It’s famous because young people come here to retire. Not bonafide retirees. I’ll give you this about Portland. If you don’t like the weather, wait a while or just travel a hour east or west and it will change. You have the high desert to the east just over an hour and the beautiful Pacific Ocean to the west in just over an hour. But the town is lacking in culture and the property taxes and statement income taxes are HIGH. Sure, no sales tax, but really, where do you think that they make up that revenue?

    by suzanne — May 28, 2014

  57. Susan, what Del Webb community are you in that is only 7 years old? Also, does anyone know of a site that will tell of 55+ communities coming in the future?

    by Nikki — May 29, 2014

  58. Godsgirl = check out NE TN.I Love it and checking out the possibility of moving there. Still have our home for sale here in Pa and cant do anything to it sells.

    by Robert — May 30, 2014

  59. 😛 It is Hill Country Retreat on the west side. I really like tha most people are somewhat new. It makes it easier to fit it since they haven’t had their friends established for quite some time. The word is that they are going to start another one on the other side of town. Ours is about 1/2 finished.

    by Susan — May 30, 2014

  60. I see that I left out that we are in San Antonio.

    by Susan — May 30, 2014

  61. #Kay you asked about living in Venice Fl. This is a small town that has a wonderful activity schedule all the time. There are numerous festivals and events for both young and older…. The housing market is starting to pick up since people are finding this gem of a place. Most of the stores and restaurants are locally owned, but chains are moving in, much to my chagrin. The weather here is typical southwest Fl, warm with a chance of rain daily during the summer months. The rain only lasts for a short period and is not enough to keep you from outdoor activities. We have a breeze from the gulf that keeps temps temperate. Housing- there are plenty of homes in neighborhoods without HOAs and there are many new communities being built centering the life style around golf and tennis. There is a strong art community here with live shows on a regular basis. Hope this helps.

    by Nancy by the bay — May 30, 2014

  62. I’m still considering Washington state as a retirement destination – for the reasons clearly obvious and indicative of a place like Washington. I welcome any and all comments, advice, feedback, etc. that you can provide.

    by steve — May 30, 2014

  63. Robert – What have you found in NE Tennessee. My husband and i would love to retire there; and are looking for a town with charm, an area with lots to do and easy to access hiking. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks,


    by ella — May 31, 2014

  64. I am new to this forum and apologize if I am repeating a question. I’m looking for an Active 55+ Community in the Carolinas, Florida or Alabama that is within walking distance to the beach. I’m a fairly new widow and think I would like the camaraderie of a community. But I must have walking access to the beach. Any suggestions?

    by Vickie — May 31, 2014

  65. ella, we like Jonesborough, Johnson City & Kingsport (be careful of Kingsport – be aware of some industrial “smell” depending on where u live there!! Bristol is a definite NO for us.
    Jonesborough is the most quaint (small but very nice) but we also like Johnson city.

    by Robert — June 1, 2014

  66. I lived in Chicago and now live in FL I miss the Chicago temps compared to the humidity we have here in the summer it is aweful. I loved Las Vegas and the temperature changes it can be hot but there winters are nice, If I had a choice I would leave FL not sure where I would go to retire yet but not FL one writer was correct in them being snobby, hate northerners, not friendly, clicky, if you get straided on a highway no one will help you I sat for hours one day and finally got help from a male after hours what does that say for people in FL everyone I have met who is not from FL all have stated the same thing very unfriendly and clicky, I can’t wait to move from here it is beautiful nice place to visit but don’t live here and what about Pananma city can you tell me anything about it?

    by Vickyd — June 1, 2014

  67. what about Hawaii I loved it there and they have always been so friendly to me, I would love to move there but the cost holds me back and the threat of sunome, hurricane, typhoon and volcanoes scare me, LA earthquakes scare me, but yet if I could move to Hawaii I think I would especially Kaui, I picked FL cause it was someone like Hawaii in beauty but the people are totally different I don’t see that on the list at all, they are apart of the USA

    by Vickyd — June 1, 2014

  68. does any 55+ communities allow children I have grandchildren I would love to visit me when they are on vacation if no I would not move to one I am 59 but very active and young at heart?

    by Vickyd — June 1, 2014

  69. any info on the 55 plus communities near Leesburg florida, my wife and I are thinking about moving down there

    by Gary — June 2, 2014

  70. Vickyd – we have lived in quite a few 55+ communities and all of them have allowed VISITS by grandchildren. They usually have a time limit on duration of stay. Watch out for you GC and don’t let them run free in the community streets. Some old people will back over them – not intended to be funny it’s a real fact. Just yesterday someone backed into my new car! Some elderly do not pay attention and some because of their age their neck mobility isn’t what it should be and they are unable to turn to LOOK.

    by Robert — June 2, 2014

  71. Robert,

    Thanks so much for your reply. Are you living in Jonesborough now? I was in NE Tennesse recently and saw Jonesborough and DID like it. Have you looked at Elizabethton or Rogersville as well, and if so, what did you think of them? A friend was driving me around the (one) day i was there; and i didn’t want to ask her to do too much driving, thus didn’t get to see those towns of interest to me. Additionally, have you compared NE Tennesse to Western North Carolina? And (again) if so, how would your compare them?

    Many thanks,


    by ella — June 2, 2014

  72. Our Del Webb allows kids to stay 3 months. They can’t go to the pool unless they are 16

    by Susan — June 2, 2014

  73. Has anyone found happiness outside of a 55+ community? Someone who loves to be active but doesn’t want to pay the HOA fees? I’ve decided on a 55+ community but the cost for the rest of my active life is quite a lot when homes outside of the community can be gotten much cheaper. I don’t look forward to finding a gym and mixing with young folks or finding a community center where I can be involved in activities. Not looking forward to driving from point A to point B (and so on) to do the things I (think) I want to do on a daily basis, all of which can be found in a 55+ community.

    by Veloris — June 2, 2014

  74. ella, we still live in Carlisle, Pa – our home is for sale. Looked at NC but the taxes are too high there. It’s either TN or FL. Did not look at Elizabethtown = my understanding is its at the foot of the mountains and the weather would not be good nor view. Know nothing about Rogersville.

    by Robert — June 2, 2014

  75. Thanks for your input, Robert! I have yet to do a concentrated study into cost-of-living. I’m not sure what the $ difference would be between retiring in NC, GA, or TN. I do know TN is the most cost effective; just not sure of by how much.

    by ella — June 3, 2014

  76. Steve – I lived in Washington State for 18 years (originally from Boston). I was in the Navy for 15 of my 20 years and then worked in Seattle for 3 years. I lived in Kitsap County in Poulsbo which is across Pudget Sound from Seattle. Washington is beautiful, green, mild climate, and WET!. The state is politically controlled by 2 counties (King and Thurston) that are very liberal as the rest of the state is conservative. Not judgment just information. If you are an outdoors person it is amazing. I am a runner and hicker (Mt Hood and Mt Rainier) and loved the area and passion of their sports teams. There are many diverse communities from Seattle to Kitsap County to the Sequim Port Angelese area. Great fishing and camping BUT if you are looking for arts and culture not much. Visit for a week and walk around, take the underground city tour, see the sports stadiums, but it is Microsoft and Boeing economics controlled. Love to revisit but do not want live there.

    by Jeff Gilfoy — June 3, 2014

  77. Steve:

    Like Jeff, I also lived in WA for 18 years. I my opinion, there is no where nicer than the greater Seattle area in the summer. However, summer may be from early May until mid October, or it may be from late June until early September, and when it is not summer, it is raining, or misting, or cloudy. I moved from Seattle for one reason – gray days caused by low level clouds, and gray days can last for weeks at a time. Since moving away, my wife and I visit family there regularly at Thanksgiving or Christmas. There was a 30-year stretch of visiting at those times whent we DID NOT see the sun – period. My wife, who is not from the area, did not believe me about the summer until I made a point to take her in late July one year; now she is a believer, but she would not consider living there for the same reason as me. If you can deal with rain and gray days, you may love it. Eastern WA has for distinct seasons without the gray, but it does not have to offer what the greater Seattle area has to offer, including a lot of art and culture. Take Steve’s advice and check it out.

    by Doug — June 3, 2014

  78. Velour is – I don’t imagine that there are 55+ communities anywhere without HOA fees. All those amenities, ongoing maintenance, staff, and security cost money and who would pay if the homeowners do not? We have looked ONLY at gated communities with excellent security and quality amenities. It is then easy to compare HOA fees, club dues, etc. the key is getting the best bang for your buck – and of course in a perfect location for your personal circumstances.

    by SandyZ — June 4, 2014

  79. SandyZ = where is that Key? I need it and want the best bang for my buck and in a perfect location. Tired “whew” of looking and waiting for our house to sell. BTW u r correct – ever 55+ community we have lived in and investigate has HOA Fees.

    Send key pls.

    by Robert — June 5, 2014

  80. Robert, your comments gave me a good chuckle this morning! Hoping that we have found that key in Beaufort SC but each of us have to find that personal fit and match. Keeping our fingers crossed that our research, and time spent in that area for many years has led us to the just right fit for us!

    by SandyZ — June 5, 2014

  81. Sandy Z there are some amazing buys on Dataw right now. What do you think the average age of residents is? Did you look at Habersham? Dataw should hire you.

    by Debra — June 6, 2014

  82. Debra – I just retired in 2012- do not want to be hired by anyone for any reason, lol! We did not look at Habersham. We are more interested in 55+, although Dataw is technically not age restricted, but there are mostly retirement age folks there – not sure average age. We met many folks in 60-70’s and young retirees are building and scooping up those good buys! We looked at several homes in that category and all needed updating, but if you are handy, what a deal!

    by SandyZ — June 6, 2014

  83. I’m closing in on retirement . . . Turning 63 soon. Would anyone care to share their thoughts on Nevada and Arizona as retirement locales? Any specific areas you’d recommend that are non-retirement communities? Any thoughts are appreciated!

    by Steve — June 6, 2014

  84. This is why we passed on Dataw, the cost of “membership”.

    Prices on Dataw Island, a private club community, range from about $30,000 for a patio home site to about $280,000 for a 1,350-square foot villa and $2.5 million for a 9,000-square-foot custom home with a deep water dock, said Realtor Bob North of ERA Evergreen Realty, the preferred real estate company .

    An equity family golf membership costs $17,000 initially plus about $10,000 a year; a social membership is $15,000 initially plus $5,100 annually.

    by Richard — June 7, 2014

  85. Has anyone checked out Compass Pointe in wilminton NC?

    by Cathy — June 7, 2014

  86. I am looking for information on moving from FL to Reno/Sparks OR Las Vegas areas, 55+ communities to rent an apartment. Any information would be appreciated.

    by Barbara W — June 8, 2014

  87. I have written about Naples Fl before but I feel a need to update. Before I start I am not a crazy PETA or ASCPA member but I am concerned with is happening here in Naples. I live in North Naples and work at a golf course. There are presently 6 LARGE (from 800-1500 units)communities just in my area being built. Over the past 2 months 6 Black bears have been killed on the roads by automobiles. I have had two in my gated community and had one roaming my golf course. Unfortunately when they are caught they are euthanized (nice word for killed). This beautiful community is being built up so quickly they are taking away the habitat for bears, panthers, eagles, and so many other creatures. It will turn into the cramped towns on the east coast and so lose its uniqueness. Plus during season now the roads are cramped and restaurants unable to get into. Can you imagine what it will be like after all the building is complete. It is beautiful and safe and has so much to offer but this is not old Napples so do some research and decide. My wife and I are leaving as soon as our lease is up.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — June 8, 2014

  88. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm across the country. It is sad commentary that man has to take away the natural habitat of these beautiful animals.

    by Bubbajog — June 8, 2014

  89. Jeffrey Gilfoy, how sad about the bears and other animals. We noticed Greyhound race tracks around Naples as well. Any thoughts on that?

    by Godsgirl — June 9, 2014

  90. Steve…I have been in Tucson for 2 months and love it. I Also lived in Las Vegas for 5 years. I think both are good for retirement. I currently live in a small mobile home park north of Tucson. While many residents in my park are older….not all. Out in the community I easily hooked up with a ‘coffee group’. We gather two mornings a week…men and women. One guy is an avid cyclist…lots of that here in Tucson. I came out in February to buy my house. I needed a sweater as some days were in the 50s. April was beautiful throughout…70s mostly. May was also very nice, but getting warmer towards the end of the month. June is hot but cools down nicely at night and heats up slowly in the morning. I am told that July and August are monsoon season…lots of rain…which helps cool things off. By October the weather is lovely again and snowbirds are returning. Much more affordable here. Bought regular gas recently for $3.10 per gallon. My electric bill for May…and I ran my air conditioner all month…was $33. The countryside here is often quite lush, with beautiful saguaro cacti and flowering shrubs. Tucson is surrounded by mountain. university of Arizona has an OLLI program and there are many cultural events.

    As for Las Vegas…also affordable. Countryside pretty stark.mostly dirt, rocks and scrub brush. Vegas is also surrounded by mountains. 45 minutes to a ski resort. Lots of good restaurant and, of course, entertainment. I really enjoyed living in Vegas. Lots of deals for seniors at restaurants and casinos. Medical care adequate but not great for certain conditions. My friend had sone serious heart problems and had to go elsewhere for treatment.

    by Ginger — June 9, 2014

  91. I have a question about relocating plants. I’ve accumulated a lot of potted plants over the past 20 years and hate to leave them behind. I understand plants without prior inspection tags will be confiscated at the border. Not sure of the cost What has been your experiences?

    by Veloris — June 9, 2014

  92. So sad about the loss of wildlife in Florida – and I had thought that our generation would be better stewards of our environment. Richard, your figures quoted about Dataw full golf or social membership are about right, and about average for the area. Depends on which amenities packages you want. With the homeowners’ owning the community we figured the annual fees would not rise as quickly as they would in a developer owned situation. And we found many newer communities, especially in Florida imposed some sort of annual development fee that was quite high. I think no matter where you choose, if your first choice is a gated community you need to be prepared for annual dues and fees of some sort, depending greatly on the amenities within the community! If my husband were not an avid golfer, we would opt for a beautiful community without a golf course, as that and the pub/ restaurants “within the gates” seem to be the largest annual maintenance and operation expenses for the homeowners association. And many newer communities appear to be cutting those out of the design process, such as Del Webb Ponte Vedra – beautiful area with plenty of public golf courses and restaurants off site to choose from. Just depends on your personal interests. Thank goodness the options are many! Let’s just not displace the wildlife and wreck the environment in the process!

    by SandyZ — June 9, 2014

  93. Does anyone have any comments on Lely Resort, Fiddlers Creek, The Quarry, Treviso Bay in Naples, FL? Also, how does one check the financial solvency of these developments?

    by carol chamberlin — June 9, 2014

  94. Steve,
    The Southwest is looking more problematic to me. It was my first choice for retirement – 6 years from now. We have 80 acres North of Reno we will be getting rid of. We believe water will be a sever problem during our retirement. Reno is fed by the Truckee river, but it suffers that same low Sierra snowpack. As for Vegas, etc the Colorado can’t deliever enough water. Check phots of Lake Mead an Powel from the Late 90′ to today. Lake mead is 34 feet above mandatory water rationing. This is an older report on Colorado River hydrology, but interesting –

    by Jeff — June 10, 2014

  95. RE: Chestertown, Maryland. Just returned from a terrific weekend in this area. One huge drawback is that it is served by one inferior grocery store. Many folks trek to DE to shop or bring food from the mainland. Something to consider.

    by Sandie — June 10, 2014

  96. Carol Chamberlin – Treviso Bay had a few major financial issues (held a Champions tour event with no club house). It appears to be coming back BUT it is way outside the city with no good schools and limited restaurants. Lely is also in East Naples but is a solid community but with some of the same issues. Fiddler Creek is very nice but it is nearer Marco island than Naples. The Quarry is a great golf course and good community and close to the interstate BUT is in the area I have been talking about where growth is unabated.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — June 10, 2014

  97. Re: Chestertown, Maryland. Another drawback to Maryland is the increasing property taxes. The cost for living near the bay is increasing tremendously. It forced us to leave the state.

    by Nancy by the Bay — June 11, 2014

  98. Thanks Ginger and Jeff for your insights on the Southwest! Great information and very helpful to me!

    by Steve — June 12, 2014

  99. Ginger,
    I wonder if you could ask admin for my email address.
    The more I read about your adventures, the more intrigued I am. So many questions come to mind, some of which can’t be answered by googling the web.
    What is the bug situation where you are? Do you see a lot of critters?
    Thank you kindly for your time

    by Godsgirl — June 13, 2014

  100. Cathy,
    We just returned from a trip to the Wilmington NC area and checked out 5 communities. Compass Point was our favorite. Although only built out about 10 percent, its developers have good track record of other communities they developed in the area. I suggest you check it out.

    by Scooter — June 14, 2014

  101. Godgirl – Yes I know there is a dog track in Bonita Beach that also has off track betting. I have never been nor am I planning to attend but I think what ever you decide for entertainment you can do. Free will is a good thing. I do not know how the dogs are treated but I had two trainers who lived in the same complex I was in 3 years ago who said they were humanly treated but again I do not know. What I am concerned with is the unabated growth in Naples with no concern for the animals or how this growth will effect the surrounding communities. I live 5 miles from the interstate and during “season” it takes me 25-30 minutes just to get to the interstate. With 5000+ more homes opening in the next year it will be a parking lot. The free enterprise system is great but this kind of growth is not a community I want to live in. My wife has been here 38 years and cannot late to get out.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — June 17, 2014

  102. I’d like to ask if anyone knows a good place to retire that doesn’t tax pensions and social security. I know that if they don’t tax these they’ll be higher prices or taxes on other things. I’m in NC and cannot stay here because everything is high!!! It’s so humid and hot during the summer….I pray for snow!!!! I’m open to the western states,(born in CA)….not interested in NY…FL if there’s a cooler area. Thanks so much

    by Colleen Vandermark — June 18, 2014

  103. Colleen, Buy yourself a cabin in the upstate, mountain region of Georgia. The state revised its taxation laws so as to attract more retirees. Here is an excerpt from the web site which says it all: “One of Kiplinger’s top ten most tax-friendly states for retirees, the Peach State is a peachy tax environment for retirees. Social Security income is exempt, and so is up to $35,000 of most types of retirement income. For those 65 and older, the 2013 exemption is $65,000 per taxpayer. The statewide sales tax is 4%, but jurisdictions may add up to 4% of their own taxes. Full-time residents qualify for a homestead exemption, and residents 65 and older may qualify for additional deductions from property taxes.” With the amount you save on taxes, you can buy a room air conditioner to escape those occasionally hot mountain days.

    by Larry — June 19, 2014

  104. Anyone have any experience or thoughts about Starkville or Oxford MS as retirement locations?

    by Tom — June 19, 2014

  105. Hi Colleen,

    Are you in the mountains or in the low country? I’m actually thinking about moving to Western NC or the mountains in one of the other states nearby. Can you give me an idea of what is ‘so high?’ Also, where you are. I’m in NYS about 100 miles north of NYC and it gets pretty hot here too. Thanks so much!

    by ella — June 19, 2014

  106. I found this interesting South Carolina article and it rates different towns in SC. They rank some towns a 1 for taxes and others maybe a 46. My question is what makes one town a 1 and another a 46? I do not understand the table at the bottom of the article regarding taxes from one town to another. Can anyone offer some insight into this?

    by Louise — June 19, 2014

  107. Louise, local jurisdictions are allowed to add on extra % to the sales tax. I live in Berkeley County outside of Charlestion and there is an addition al 1% on our sales tax for county road construction. So it depends on where you live or shop how much your actual taxes are.

    by Kathy — June 19, 2014

  108. This question came in and we thought we would post it here to see what other people think. From your Editor’s point of view all 3 choices seem like good ones. We haven’t spent that much time in any of these places. But we wouldn’t think Asheville has any more problem with bugs or humidity than anywhere else – it is in the western part of the state near the mountains. Depending on your politics, you might like or not like Boise, which tends to be conservative, or Portland, which tends to be the opposite. Some people think Asheville is being overrun by hippies, which we had never heard before. All 3 places are beautiful and great for outdoor recreation.

    Boise is one of the places I’ve considered. I have absolutely no family anywhere in the world so it really doesn’t matter where I move. I’m really torn between Boise, Asheville, NC, or the Portland, OR area. Do you have any opinion on any of them? People keep telling me I would hate the Asheville humidity and bugs, yet loads of people seem to be happy living there. I’d be interested in knowing what you think.

    by Admin — July 16, 2014

  109. One of my big concerns is climate and looking for areas with a climate you might like. I ran across this site which gives lots of information on temperatures, precipitation, humidity, dew points and amount of sunshine. Hope you find it useful.


    by Jeff — July 17, 2014

  110. Jeff, we went to Asheville, NC and Greenville,SC areas in April and the humidity was already creeping to an uncomfortable range for walking (we thought the area would be cooler near the mountains). We have friends in SC (also from Wi) who tell us we don’t know what high heat and humidity is in Wisconsin. We knew we wouldn’t be able to adjust to that higher level when we don’t even like it here when it’s in the 80’s and the humidity is around 63 (I believe that’s degrees which is where the uncomfortable level begins). It’s way above that in the Carolinas.

    by neko — July 18, 2014

  111. Hi, would like some feedback re retiring to manufactired home in over 55 community in Florida. Just starting search.Am single and want to move south from Boston. Any info appreciated.

    by jeanne gowe — July 18, 2014

  112. Ginger – Since you lived in Las Vegas for 5 years, can you recommend any nice, safe, gated 55+ communities in Las Vegas to rent an apartment. I do not have any family and am looking for an active adult community in the NW area. I live in FL now and am looking to move West by early next year. Any information you can provide would be helpful. Thank you.

    by Barbara W — July 18, 2014

  113. Thanks to Jeff for the website. I’ll check it out. Neko, I guess you were in the flatter part of NC and I’ve heard that in those areas it does get hotter and more humid than up in the mountains around Asheville. I need to fly there and check it out before I make such a big move and then don’t like it there. I looked at several online videos and it looks like Asheville gets lots of snow. Their population seems very diverse, which would be interesting to me. If I were to move to Boise, I would have to learn how to be conservative :grin::roll::lol: A number of people have told me to move to the Portland, OR area because it is beautiful and the ocean is near, which I would like. When I was there years ago, it drizzled quite a bit, but I didn’t seem to mind it. The constant sunshine here in Arizona gets boring to me. Prescott has been getting way too many very wealthy people moving here, which has been changing it from the nice town it used to be.

    by Ursula — July 19, 2014

  114. I attended the Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend put on by OLLI at UNC-Asheville over Memorial Day weekend. Its focus is on relocation in general but it’s also a great opportunity to check out Asheville. The last day is optional and specific to relocating to Asheville. Most of the presenters are people who relocated there. It was also good talking to other attendees to hear their experiences. Lots of good info presented, some of which I already knew but overall I thought it was a very worthwhile workshop.

    by Tessa — July 19, 2014

  115. Barbara – sorry, I was a home owner and never looked at rental apartments so have no data. What do you mean by northwest? That’s not always the safet area, depending on where you mean.

    by Ginger — July 19, 2014

  116. GM anyone have any info on retiring in Leland NC..or anywhere in NC..

    by doug — July 20, 2014

  117. Ginger – with all of living experiences I estimate ur age to be approx 120!!

    Is that correct? LOL – just pulling ur leg and ur to far away.

    by Robert — July 20, 2014

  118. Ursula, no, we weren’t in the flatlands. We were in the mountain areas around Ashville, NC, Clemson SC, Greenville, SC etc. We too were led to believe it’s cooler in the mountain areas. I suppose relatively speaking compared to the flat lands, BUT still much worse than we are used to or want to try to adjust to at this point in our lives.

    by neko — July 20, 2014

  119. Doug I looked at Leland. Despite,the glowing reviews here of Brunswick Forest it just didn’t appeal. Neither did any of the other developments. I can see where Brunswick would be ideal for aging in place it just didn’t seem attractive.

    by Debra — July 20, 2014

  120. I believe Robert posted something on this site about Hot Springs Village; if you’re still out there, can you expand on how you like living there-I understand it is an all ages community-would people 60+ be comfortable there; any other info about climate, taxes, best part of this area to live in, safety, shopping, etc. would be appreciated. Thanks.

    by judy — July 20, 2014

  121. Robert – I’m 64, I have just always been active. I grew up in Oklahoma, went to CA when I was 17 to go to college, lived in CA for 30+ years with a few temporary relocations (went to Toronto for a year, etc). In 2001 I moved from Bay Area to Las Vegas. In late 2005 I moved from Las Vegas to Tacoma WA. In late 2007 I moved to NY, and now in 2014 I have moved to Arizona. Along the way I soak in as much data and experience as I can.

    by Ginger — July 20, 2014

  122. Ginger – good for u. I too have lived all over the place incldg Europe.
    If I had my way I would have a motor home and just continue to travel around and move on whenever the bug bits me But wife not to happy about that and wants to “settle” down.

    When u die – you settle down so keep on the go.

    by Robert — July 21, 2014

  123. Ginger – good for u. I too have lived all over the place incldg Europe.
    If I had my way I would have a motor home and just continue to travel around and move on whenever the bug bits me But wife not to happy about that and wants to “settle” down.

    Again- just kidding u.

    When u die – you settle down – so keep on the go.

    by Robert — July 21, 2014

  124. Judy – Never lived in Hot Springs Village- still in Carlisle, Pa and have house for sale. Talked to them the other day and they are going to send me an information pkg. From what I understand TAXES are extremly low for us Seasoned Citizens. Know nothing abou the area, people or weather. You can google the web site.

    by Robert — July 21, 2014

  125. Debra ..thank you for your comment on leland..we had looked over on line info..and lookes nice ..there anyway..but nothing like opinions from other than realtors..brunswick looked good til I called a broker and seemed like homes a much more expensive than ads…
    the Del Webb community in NC somewhat close to ocean looked like many other communities they build BUT at least 50K higher than ones in SC..they have a home posted at 260K then they are selling a finished home my guess is lots are high in costs..
    so , finally, we are going to focus on SC ,,especially, since we live in NY and Del Webb e mailed us that they do not mail information to New guess that was a message..for us to consider..great info , always on this site Thanks one and all

    by Doug — July 21, 2014

  126. Robert,
    PA seems to have a good tax structure for seniors. What is making you move from Carlisle? I was going to look up in that area.

    by Jeff — July 21, 2014

  127. Sorry, Robert- there was someone on this website who posted a comment about living in Hot Springs Village vs. The Villages in Florida, but I just can’t remember the name; it was under the thread-Can a Yankee find happiness in the South-hopefully, he’ll see this and respond.

    by judy — July 21, 2014

  128. i’m new to posting here, but i’ve been reading posts for a long time. i just retired in january, and we are planning a move to central florida, on the gulf, anywhere from new port richey, to sarasoto, as far as venice. anyone have any comments on the new port richey area? it seems like property values are more reasonable there. we are moving from wisconsin. a beautiful state, but it just dosen’t fit us. we are planning to rent a furnished place for a couple of months, then purchase a place when we know the area better. thanks

    by m g — July 21, 2014

  129. Looking to move to virginia or maryland within an hour of DC. Any ideas, suggestions? Budget is 300-400.

    by Jeff f — July 22, 2014

  130. Jeff – Pa is good in that they do not tax our SS nor the small pension I rcv
    BUT they get you on Real Estate Taxes and it seems like every township is different. School tax is horrendious. Also it has been our experience after living here for 8 months now THAT EVEYTHING IS MORE EXPENSIVE HERE – FOOD, GAS …. yada yada yada. We happen to move here during the worse winter in over 20 years so that didn’t help. Over all we find that EVERYTHING here cost more. Example – I drink a Merlot wine and the brand that I like cost (here – state run store) $13.00 in Florida on Sale I can get the same wine for $8.00 = Hey, my wife is Italian and we eat a lot of Italian food so for me the wine is a great addition/lol. Seriously – do your home work before BUYING HERE. I got an “F” in doing my home work. Beautiful State but our pockets are not deep enough. Now looking at NE TN or back to Florida. Choices have consequences = be cautious.

    by Robert — July 22, 2014

  131. Jeff: I’m another PA resident. Yes, income tax and sales tax structure is very friendly for Seniors. Sales tax isn’t charged on clothing, food and medicine. I’ve found that gas and electric utilities are pretty reasonable too, and I like having four seasons. However, the savings in income and sales tax are offset by higher real estate taxes which vary by county. Be careful when calculating real estate taxes, since we pay three different real estate taxes: in my county, I pay a county tax (about $1600 on a $350K home), local tax (about $700) and local school taxes (about $6K). If I went up the road a few miles I’d be in a different county, and taxes would drop by 1/3. Some counties have homestead exemptions ($25K discount off taxable rate) and low income tax breaks, so it can be even more complicated. We should probably also consider gas taxes. Gas in Western PA is currently around $3.79+ per gallon and rising. That’s definitely a factor if you live in a rural county where real estate taxes can be lower.

    I’ve been trying to figure out some net costs of living, and so far I’m not seeing big differences. If there are no state income taxes, insurance or utility costs are higher. If sales tax is lower, then there’s a property tax on cars, rvs and boats. If gas prices are lower, sales tax is higher or imposed on more items. Somehow the net cost of living ends up being in the same range.

    by Sharon — July 22, 2014

  132. Does anyone have recommendations for Washington or Oregon? I know OR is “unfriendly” on taxing pensions. Both have rain near the coastal zone. But millions of people live there. So there must be a lot of nice places- I dont plan on tanning anyways..

    How bad is OR tax on pension anyways? Anybody know first hand who can comment?


    by Karl S — July 22, 2014

  133. Sharon,

    I, too, am wondering if there’s truly an appreciable difference (several thousand) or if it’s merely just a few hundred dollars in living in different states. I am planning to do the state income taxes for GA, NC, SC, TN, and VA to see how they’d compare. Then i’d have to compare Medicare costs (coming up very soon for me and my husband). A big job i keep putting off, but probably worth the time. And then, as you stated, there’s the county differences. Yikes!

    by ella — July 22, 2014

  134. Jeff, Is that 300-400 budget $300,000 – $400,000 for housing? Or $300-400 per week? Or $300,000 – $400,000 annually? None of the above.

    I have heard good things about Ashburn, VA for retirement, but have not explored it at all. I moved to Fredericksburg, VA for a job and still here, but looking to move for retirement. There are a lot of opportunities for retirement in this area about 50 miles south of DC. and 50 miles north of Richmond.

    by elaine — July 22, 2014

  135. Hi Elaine,
    I meant 3-400k for a house/condo. Thinking about Fredericksburg. Why are you leaving?

    by jeff — July 22, 2014

  136. Jeff, I lived in MD for 28 years and Northern VA for 26. Wouldn’t go back to MD if you paid me even though most my family still lives there. Having said that, w/a budget of 300-400K I’d look from Centreville, to Gainsville (66W/Rt. east 29 corridor), Chantilly/South Riding (down Rt50W) or Leesburg (Rt 7) which might be farther than an hr from DC. If you’re looking for a townhouse, you can move closer in. I live in a SF in Fairfax, work in DC and it takes me 35-40 min to drive into work at 6:00am. Avoid 95S (Woodbridge/Stafford) unless you like sitting/living in the most horrendous traffic.

    by Beachkid — July 22, 2014

  137. Thanks, Beachkid. You confirmed my thoughts re Maryland. Will follow your good advice re Va.

    by Jeff — July 22, 2014

  138. Sharon – I don’t know what kind of math u r using but there are many many places you can live “cheaper” more affordable than Pa – No matter how you crunch the numbers!!!! Sounds like “useguys” might have some deep pockets so if that is the case and the tax payments do not bother one then Yes live where you wish. Unfortunately, we cannot afford that luxery just as many other seniors can not also. We cannot live necessarly where we want to – we must go where we can afford to and aat least have a few bucks to eat out once in a blue moon or take in a movie. good luck

    by Robert — July 23, 2014

  139. JEFF- Stay way from Md. I am a former resident and also have “financially trapped” family members living there. If u have any money u wont have it long if you move “Maryland”. This is EXTREMELY GOOD ADVICE FROM MYSELF AND OTHERS SO TAKE HEED. = lol

    by Robert — July 23, 2014

  140. Robert and Sharon,
    Thanks for the info on PA. Another area that might be attractive might be Wilmington DE. That little bulge on top of Delaware has pretty good tax treatment and is close to major urban centers and isn’t flat and treeless like Dover. And, Jeff we looked in MD for a house and the taxes are a killer.

    by jeff — July 23, 2014

  141. Jeff, I lived in N. Va for many years when my husband worked in DC. I also lived out in Centreville, Va, and had property in Manassas, Va. You might want to check that area also, a bit closer than Gainesville. Traffic can be a nightmare in the that whole area, but if you are retired you can avoid a lot of it! Good luck!

    by Loralee — July 23, 2014

  142. Jeff, there are definitely things in your price range.

    Most of the reasons I will probably leave the Fredericksburg, VA area are unique to me (very bad job situation, loss of competition dog…and therefore part of my social life, more death, etc. etc.).

    The big negative not unique to me is I-95. There are no alternatives in the Fredericksburg area. If 95 is backed up…the alternative is route 1. In the Falmouth bridge area (exit 133 on I-95), it goes into one lane. They are working on it, but I am not sure how much it will help and the construction makes it worse until it gets better.

    I you are not constantly driving into or through the DC area (driving south of FRED toward Richmond is not as bad since rt 1 does not go into one lane if you need an alternative to I95), it may not bother you as a retired person.

    The weather can be a mixed bag. I have lived here six years and there as been two winters with lots of snow. The first 09-10 we were hit with 24 inches in Dec and the 20 inches in Jan or Feb. Again, it you do not need to drive, it is not that bad and was snow, not ice storms. There can be ice storms as well. And the summers can be very hot and humid. Summer of 2010 made up for all that snow…over ninety days of over 90 degrees (and sometimes way over). I would talk to my parents in the Margate area of FL and they would be complaining of the temp in the 80s. There are tornados, but so far nothing to make the evening news. The was an earthquake a few years back, but again not evening news material.

    Nice downtown, but can be very busy when U of Mary Washington is in session. Some good restaurants and cute shops. There is a regular mall and an open air area with all the big box stores and chain restaurants on either side of rt 3 near I 95.

    There are a variety of good places for retired folks to live. Want active adult, there are two DelWebbs…Falls Run and Celebrate Virginia. Another large one is Virginia Heritage. There are some smaller ones like Legacy Woods. Ones that are not age restricted: Lake of the Woods (more “manicured” and if you want your big toys Lake Caroline.

    Lots of history, both revolutionary was and Civil War…lots of reenactments. You can kayak and swim on the Rappahanock River.

    by elaine — July 23, 2014

  143. Elaine, The 2011 earthquake, epicentered in Mineral made the national news. It also damaged the Washington Monument.

    by Sandie — July 23, 2014

  144. That is true Sandie…guess that was national news.

    by Elaine — July 23, 2014

  145. Taxes in Maryland is the reason we will not be retiring here. 2 years ago attended a 2 day retirement class. This class covered taxes, retirement, social security etc. Very informative and made us realize the impact taxes can make on your retirement income.

    by Vickie — July 24, 2014

  146. Hi Vickie–so where will you be retiring? I live in Northwest DC and I am already trying to decide where I should go for retirement–definitely not DC, however I can walk to a lot of things from my home or catch a bus or train. I do not want to have to drive everywhere. I have a business that for travelers who need assistance so I need o be near an airport. Thanks for your input.

    by Jennifer — July 24, 2014

  147. We are retiring in FL. Last spring we went to Florida for a week to look at 55 plus communities. Walking distance to everything you basically have it in the community. Florida and many other states have figured this out for retirees. 55 plus communities are a dime a dozen in Florida. Living in the country in Maryland is not what we want to do in retirement.

    by Vickie — July 25, 2014

  148. Vickie, did you locate any affordable communities on the east coast close to the beach?

    by Skip — July 25, 2014

  149. Has anyone looked into Northeast Florida to retire, from Daytona Beach to St Augustine and including 10-miles inland between these places?

    by markg — July 25, 2014

  150. St. Augustine’s on my list. I’m going in November for a week to check it out. Still in the process of figuring out where I will land in 3 years.

    by Stacey — July 25, 2014

  151. Stacey, St. Augustine is a fantastic. Not only the oldest city in the USA but many things to do and great shopping near as well. I think you will find it an amazing city in which to visit and possibly land for retirement. Good Luck.

    by Gary D — July 25, 2014

  152. Skip we did not want to live on the water. We wanted inland. Trilogy of Orlando is the place for us. 25 mi north of Disney. Disney probably did a lot of research and planning before building where they did in Florida. We are about 45 min from the east coast water. We will be active as we can in retirement just not at the beach every day. We thought at first the Villages would fit but after visiting there several times and finding out they do not accept VA loan financing we decided to look elsewhere.

    by Vickie — July 26, 2014

  153. Gary D. Regarding St Augustine, are there any 55+ communities that you know of where the asking price falls below $200,000? If not St Augustine, do you know of any surrounding towns that would offer houses/condos in that price range. Thank you.

    by Maureen — July 26, 2014

  154. ? Does anyone know the reason for The Villages in Florida not accepting VA loan financing?

    by Jean C — July 26, 2014

  155. Gary D. Thanks for the info. I am psyched about going. Any info you have would be appreciated.

    by Stacey — July 26, 2014

  156. Vickie….. Disney did do a lot of research in Northerly Central Florida…. especially concerning the Hurricanes and such. Thats why they made decision to not not settle in South Florida and settle where they did. As far as storms and such I think Disney has never closed except for once..Further inland usually dont catch the brunt of any major storms.
    As for settleling in Orlando or anywhere close…IN MY OPINION….The Politicians put the resident folks second behind its tourist stuff. Resident folk pay the taxes for them to build kingdoms for Sports teams, stadiums, all type of touristy stuff and resident needs come as an afterthought. There was a beef at one time about commuter trains because…The tourist places wanted them to stop at their Locations instead of providing residents a way to commute to the city period. Right now they are looking to move a church off their land by emminent domain for a Soccer team stadium..They are very few tolls in other cities in out lying areas..Orlando is full of tolls to catch tourists..and if you make a mistake…Pay toll first then go thru and pay toll to turn around. There are parking meters all over..Bad Traffic everywhere..even at night when the attractions let out. And any TAX the tourist pays to use or do anything if you have to do the same you get caught with the tax also..and the people who live there put the same kind of money grubbing Politicians in office over & over…Please do research
    Im in Ocala fl..1.5 hrs north..we havent gotten that bad yet..but its coming..

    by CJ — July 26, 2014

  157. I had researched St. Augustine and it really looks wonderful for a retirement location. The problem with St. Augustine for me is that I don’t want to purchase a home. I want to rent and the selection of rentals in St. Augustine is very limited. I have also researched Orlando and think I am going to select Orlando. No place is going to be perfect. Orlando seems to have most of what I am looking for. Good hospital, good selection of apartments, plenty to do, and 2 senior centers. Also a pretty good transportation system. And NO NJ snow.

    by Janice — July 27, 2014

  158. Markg…thus is my favorite part of Florida. Check out Flagler Beach, south of St. Augustine. True, laid back beach town.

    by Ginger — July 27, 2014

  159. Maureen…try Flagler Beach, about 30 miles south of St. augustine

    by Ginger — July 27, 2014

  160. We are looking to moving to Belize. Can anyone out there help us? Like a lot of people we are still working and are over 65, we have little retirement money and will be living off are ss. We here Belize is very cheap place to live and you get all for your money. Could use any help. Thank you

    Editor’s Note: Since this comment was made we have developed a Country Retirement Guide to Belize that you will probably find useful.

    by Ellen — July 27, 2014

  161. Ellen,
    If you search for “Belize”, you will find all the information you will need on it in this website.

    by Bill Yoder — July 28, 2014

  162. From the Northeast, and trying to shed the high costs of living in the area. Here is my conundrum, I still have a child to care for so would need a retirement area with good schools. I hear the farther south you go the worst the education systems become. Some tell me Pittsburgh is a good choice, but I am looking for an area, if there is such a place, with low crime. Considered the Outter Banks of NC, but nice to visit, don’t know if we would like to live there. Thanks for any input.

    by Chuck — July 28, 2014

  163. Janice = Murder or Two (2) every night in the Orlando Area.
    Prior resident of Daytona Bch, Fl. BEWARE!

    by Robert — July 28, 2014

  164. 😎 @Ellen: There is another Blog category on this site about living internationally. Look to the top, right side of this page.

    by Jeanne C — July 28, 2014

  165. Thanks for the input for NE Florida. I am also looking into Citrus County area of Florida.

    by MarkG — July 28, 2014

  166. Chuck, even though we no longer have no children in school I am looking in communities that have mid-high great school scores. In South Carolina I surprised to see that Murrells Inlet and Surfside Beach have an excellent school ratings. In Florida there are also some areas with very good great school ratings. Davie, FL and Beverly Hills, FL are two locations.

    by MarkG — July 28, 2014

  167. Hey guys I found another excellent budget option….a cute senior (55+) community in Rio Rancho, just north of Albuquerque. One bedroom units are $605, and they have list of amenities.

    by Ginger — July 28, 2014

  168. Ginger, thank you so much for your suggestions. Much appreciated. If you come up with any more, please keep posting them!

    by Maureen — July 28, 2014

  169. Maureen – As a former resident of Daytona Bch I am fully aware of Flager Bch which a little North of Daytona. I did not like Flager Bch at all (to live there & dont know what Ginger likes about it) so unless you are a very young person, surfer, dope & alcohol I would steer clear of Flager Bch. As Always go spend a day or two and then make your decison. Yes the beach and Pier are nice to look at etc but live there –
    not me so BEWARE – 20 year resident of Daytona Bch, Fl

    by Robert — July 29, 2014

  170. to Mark G. Murrells inlet and nearby community will require you (if u have a mortgage) to purchase Hurrican/flood insurance and that will add an additional (approx) $2000.00 a year to yearly expense. If u have your house paid for u of course have an option of not purchasing ins!! Wise?? Risky decision. I recently checked into this so I thought I would let you know.
    As always: “Buyer Beware”

    by Robert — July 29, 2014

  171. Vitalia at Tradition in Port St Lucie, Fl is a wonderful 55 + community. Prices range from$180s and up. It is 3 minutes west of 95 so little traffic. Lots of amenities, brand new 24,000 sf club house, and friendly people. We have been here since February and love it.

    by Ralph — July 29, 2014

  172. My husband and I are currently checking out Williamsburg Va. Many different living options here. Lots to do. Not too hot or too cold.

    by Cathy Duffy — July 29, 2014

  173. Thanks, Jeff, for the weatherspark website…..I’ll check it out.
    Also, I’d like to know a bit about Rapid City, South Dakota. I found out about a very nice house (apparently) there that is just being finished, and I could rent it. All utilities included in the rent and I’d only have to pay for my phone. Sounds good. So whoever knows something about that area, I’d love to hear it.
    Thanks again.

    by Ursula — July 29, 2014

  174. Ralph, How long has Vitalia at Tradition been around? Isn’t it a relatively new community? It’s always encouraging to hear about someone who moves into a community and loves it. One more question… How are your insurance costs that close to the coast. Thanks.

    by Tessa — July 29, 2014

  175. Robert, Thanks for the info on Hurricane Flood Insurance in Murrells inlet. I was aware it was high but had no idea how much. I was told that if you live west of the 17 by pass the cost of hurricane flood insurance is cut in off. Do you know how that compares to the cost of Florida’s Northeast and Northwest coasts? I have a friend who bought a house on Treasure Island and they pay just over $6000.00 a year for hurricane / flood insurance.

    by MarkG — July 29, 2014

  176. A new list of affordable places to retire was released

    Found this on the web site of the NBC Affiliate in Myrtle Beach.

    by markg — July 29, 2014

  177. Chuck..check out Grenville, SC..I think you may just find what you are looking for. I really thought NC was for hubby & I…found out after much reading writing and talking SC…is a much ore tax friendly place to live & retire. School ratings are always important. /crime is our top priority! I’m a Northeast gal…and want to shed the hole thing.
    Good luck

    by Roseann — July 29, 2014

  178. MarkG – yes, u r correct the further West you go from Murrells Inlet the Cheaper the insurance rates are.

    Same thing in Florida. I lived West of the Intra Coastal Canal so House ins was much cheaper than living Beach Side. Same goes for the Gulf side of Florida. seems like no matter where one wants to live one should really do their due diligence before BUYING – I know, I made the mistake I am warning others about 8 months ago and now waiting and waiting for my house to sell.

    by Robert — July 30, 2014

  179. MarkG & others, forgot to mention that Hurricane/flood Ins rates are also determined by the cost of the house too. I blv the $2000.00 cost I referred to was for a house a little over $100,000.00. Reading this site all the time I am truly amazed how much money some of u folks have – really deep pockets.

    We do not have such deep pockets so AGAIN – I am jealous but not resentfull and am entirely open to anyone who wishes to send us money/lol

    by Robert — July 30, 2014

  180. Does anyone know how much house insurance is in Myrtle Beach? It is considered a low cost place to retire but if hurricane/flood insurance is outrageous, how can they put Myrtle Beach on the list as a low cost retirement option? These articles don’t seem to mention insurance on their lists.

    by Louise — July 30, 2014

  181. MarkG= tks for that web site. Never seen it b4 – looks good.

    by Robert — July 30, 2014

  182. Am writing this from Greenville, SC on a fact finding tour. Not at all what we expected, in a good way. Lots of bustle, huge, new health care facilities all over the place. Nice people. Choices from urbanish, like downtown Greenville woth condos, to farms in the countryside.
    We came this time of year to test the heat and humidity. However, that darn polar vortex is at is again, so the weather is perfect. Locals are quick to point out that this is very unusual, summer norm is hot and humid. For anyone considering four seasons south, this is definitely worth a look.

    by Sandie — July 30, 2014

  183. Tesa,
    Vitalia at Tradition has been around since around 2007. Tradition is a master planned community with 7 subdivisions and Vitalia is the only 55+ community. Currently there are approximately 300 homes built and the plan is to build 1,100-1200 homes total In Vitalia. The current developer is AV Homes who also built Solvita in the Orlando area. Insurance costs is approximately $1,150 a year which includes flood insurance.

    by Ralph — July 30, 2014

  184. Just checked out Jamica Bay in Ft Myers (we lived in the Ft area a long time ago). They want upwards of $800.00 a month Lot Rent. Hello! The whole world has gone crazy. Opoopa needs to share some of that wealth with me so I can live in some of these places. You can live in Long Island New York and your taxes would be cheaper – Even Jooisey). Crazy man crazy. Don’t write me and accuse me of Whining -Just stating the facts sir.

    by Robert — July 30, 2014

  185. Robert, I live in Murrells Inlet. About 2.3 miles from the ocean. You need to check closer before making blanket statements on flood insurance/wind insurance. First, the village does not have that requirement. The mortgage holder requires it to protect them. I was not required to buy flood insurance because I am not in a flood plain. If you go to the state pool for wind/hail, like I did, you will be quoted about $2500/year. I purchased home owners insurance, including wind/hail, at about $1600/year. If you own the home free and clear like some people do here because of nice sale profits on their home up north, you can roll the dice and not get the insurance. But again, it’s a dice roll.

    by Tom Adeams — July 30, 2014

  186. Robert, as a longtime reader, I appreciate that you’ve got much to add to the discussion here, but it’s tiresome to read your endless whining about how you perceive everyone but you having, “deep pockets”, and to send you money, and so on. You’ve worn this theme to death. It would be great if you could continue contributing worthy ideas, and frugal minded suggestions, but give up the other stuff.

    by Duck — July 30, 2014

  187. Thanks MarkG, Roseann and Sandie. Heard good things about Greenville a couple years back….hoping to be closer to the coast though, but who knows, will have to start making road trips and check out the areas…thanks again

    by Chuck — July 30, 2014

  188. Ralph, Thank you for the information about Vitalia at Tradition. That’s what I’m looking for – a community that’s not been around too long and has lots of new residents moving in. The insurance sounds reasonable, too. I’m going to pass along the info to friends that are deciding what places they want to visit this winter.

    by Tessa — July 30, 2014

  189. Another option is – DONT READ MY COMMENTS – SKIP OVER ROBERT.
    However I will seriously consider ur suggestion

    by Robert — July 31, 2014

  190. My husband and I had a wonderful family vacation at Disney. We decided to tour a few 55+ communities while in Florida. We visited Solivita in Kissimmee, Arlington Ridge in Leesburg, Trilogy in Groveland, On Top of the World in Ocala, and Villages of Citrus Hill near Hernando. Solivita was a nice community but did not care for the surrounding community. Arlington Ridge was nice but wasn’t calling our name. Trilogy was beautiful and had much too offer but was a little out of price range as was the Villages of Citrus Hill. We had a Discovery Package for a 2-night stay at OTOW. Because this community has been around for about 30 years we thought it wouldn’t be geared to the “younger” retirees. That was not the case at all. A golf cart was included with the Villa so we did our own exploring in the morning before our official tour. People waved to us during our travels, saw beautiful golf courses, & the homes were beautiful. Even the original townhomes are well maintained. We are looking for a maintenance free home and the models we were shown were just what we were looking for. The have the Master the Possibilities program with classes on just about anything that are free to residents. As we were driving home I asked my husband when I should plan our trip to Myrtle Beach and he said no need, OTOW is the place. My hope was during our visits to the communities we would know when we found the one and it happened. Now comes the logistics or how to make it happen with selling current home and hubby still working. But knowing where we are going is a positive thing.

    by Patti — July 31, 2014

  191. Robert, thank you for the information regarding Flagler Beach. Its so helpful to hear from people who have actually lived in a given location & are willing to share their experience. Seems like you’ve been around & have much to offer so we thank you for that.

    by Maureen — July 31, 2014

  192. Maureen, Well I am a “well Seasoned Citizen” and lived in quite a few places including Europe (ex military)so you could say “I’ve been around the block”.

    This site offers a lot of opinions and real experience (from some)and I blv it is very helpful to those of us who wish to relocate. Having made a serious mistake by moving to Pa 8 months ago I can only say to all Be Sure to Be very diligent and do your HOME WORK well.

    I got an “F” in my last move and am now paying serious consequences which m akes me want to help others from doing the same. Good Luck in ur choices

    by Robert — August 1, 2014

  193. Robert,
    Interested to know why PA was a bad choice. Husband and I are looking to retire in Mechanicsburg, PA. Nice 55 + community. (Outside Harrisburg). Also looking at Delaware beach area near Lewes. Seems like cost of living and taxes are less in Delaware. We are both retired and want to get out of Maryland and away from high cost of living and taxes.

    by Sparky — August 1, 2014

  194. Robert:

    Would you share exactly where you are in PA and why you feel you’ve earned a “F” for this move? I wanted to explore the Penn Natl development in Fayettville PA since my sister lives in the area and wanted also to see if you are familiar with this development and any insight you might provide.

    by KL Soper — August 2, 2014

  195. I don’t hear any comments on Delaware, has anyone retired there? Are you happy there? What 55+ communities do you like? Coming from NJ I think the cost of living is less than here or PA. Don’t want to move south.

    by Joy — August 2, 2014

  196. Sandie, would love to hear more about your recent visit to Greenville, SC…As noted in other post…switched from wanting NC to SC..Tax’s Can you share with what areas you looked at…planing a trip in the next 3-4 weeks. so xcited to hear back.

    by Roseann — August 2, 2014

  197. Sandie,or anyone who has visited SC or GA, I, too, plan to explore SC in a couple of weeks. I am looking for a CCRC apartment 1500+ sq ft in a community. Have visited three around Asheville, NV, some in Georgia and now, to SC. I am most interested in those in northwest SC as we live in Georgia NW. Thanks.

    by Ellen — August 3, 2014

  198. To SPARKY: Happy Sunday. First of all I like Mechanicsburg, Pa much more than I do where we live here in Carlisle. Much more to do etc. I am not saying I would move there because the tax situation is probably the same as here. Pa is great in that they do NOT tax our SS nor my small pension BUT we live in a upscale 55+ mobile home community. Our Pine Grove Home was around $125,000.00, plus $355.00 a month lot rent. Very nice and also secluded btwn Carlisle and Newville Pa. THE KICKER FOR US IS THE RE TAXES – we are paying $2400.00 a year in school tax and township taxe keeping in mind that we DO NOT own the land. I noticed that most people here in Pa do not think that is such a bad deal. Coming from Florida (to be near children)we are not use to such taxes & prices(Everything is more expensive than what we are use to) and our income is very limited. As far as the countryside – I love it and am an “old time motorcyclist”. At this point in our lives we cannot live exactly where we want to but must take everything into consideration and move to where we can affordt live daily, weekly, monthly, yearly without a lot os stress and worry about budget. So that is why I gave myself an F – I did not do my homework well and “choices have consequences”. I will try and be more diligent in the future. BTW – where is this 55+ community you are speaking of? Give me the name – will check it out. A lot of these commuinities (nice ones) want upwards of $500 and up a m onth lot rent – Hello. Good luck

    by Robert — August 3, 2014

  199. KL Soper – sorry forgot to include you but as you see by my comments I have answered your question except about Penn Natl in Fayettville Pa. Sorry I know nothing about this place. We are in Carlisle, Pa – West of Harrisburg.

    by Robert — August 3, 2014

  200. I am experiencing an interesting situation, which I’m sure everyone else who retires in a new state experiences too. I just moved from PA to SC for my last few years of work. I’m going to be working in NC. According to all of those cost of living comparisons for my location in PA to my new city in NC, my cost of living should be going up about 1-3%. I’m finding some big differences, though. Groceries appear to be significantly less, although I’m now paying a sales tax on them. Service costs are much higher, which I didn’t expect (air vent cleaning 25% higher, cost of tires 20% higher, cleaning service 15% higher). Gas is cheaper ($3.25 in a SC gas station vs. $3.79 in PA when I gassed up for the drive South). My total for auto, home and excess insurance costs will be about the same for similar coverage but with higher deductibles (I was told I can’t get new policies written with $500 deductibles in SC, and I lost my long-time customer benefits with my former insurer since it doesn’t write policies in SC). I understand I will have to pay a property tax on my car in SC before I can register it. People have congratulated me on living in SC since NC would have required a drivers’ test and annual car inspections. My real estate taxes will be much less, but my income taxes are going to be higher. I won’t be able to determine whether my net cost of living has dropped or increased until I’ve been here awhile, but I’m discovering that this whole cost-of-living thing is much more complicated than I expected. Not to mention the stresses of moving, which I swear has taken a few years off my life. I thought I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff before I moved, but I’ll be unpacking for months. Bah humbug.

    by Ted — August 3, 2014

  201. Sales tax is nothing to sneeze at. While we live fairly cheap…~$ 350 year property tax for a 3 BR/2BA on 5 acres, gas ~ $ 3.20, we do feel it every time we go to the store. But all in all, we can live with that.
    We first settled for retirement here so that we could possibly afford another sm place in FL. Now we are actually contemplating just buying a motor home and checking out what this great country of ours has to offer. Of course we might find a second home on one of our travels. You never know what the future holds

    by Godsgirl — August 3, 2014

  202. Ted, Thanks for the info… I’ve noted my husband and I are looking in the Greenville,SC area would love to hear more from you…where in SC are you. We are in NY…everything is higher. Gas $3.91 groceries out of control. Insurance car, home etc. I’m so fed up with it…..would leave now if I could. No unpacking fro this gal…… not taken anything with me that does not have a sentimental attachment. Look forward to hearing from you.

    by Roseann — August 3, 2014

  203. Gods girl – where do u live with a property tax of $350.00 a year?

    by Robert — August 3, 2014

  204. Does anybody have personal insights into retiring in Gainesville Florida? It appears on a number of lists but not discussed much in postings here. I have been there a bit recently and am doing more research. Only one 55+ community….so where exactly do younger retirees live? Any area/community better for us? Thanks!

    by Karen — August 3, 2014

  205. Ellen – Would you give me an idea of why you’re thinking of leaving NW Georgia – one of the places i’m most interested in.

    Many thanks!

    by ella — August 3, 2014

  206. In South Carolina near Charlotte. Still in move-in mode, so I have a lot to figure out. I figure it will take me 6 months or more to get a better picture of my cost of living here, compared to PA. I haven’t been here long, but another thing I’ve been told by my realtor is that it’s harder to find contractors. Evidently there’s so much new construction, that electricians, plumbers and other trades have no problem filling their schedules.

    by Ted — August 4, 2014

  207. Robert, SW TN

    by Godsgirl — August 4, 2014

  208. Karen, I am working with a realtor in the Gainesville, FL and several other areas of Florida since my wife has informed that she does not want to move to SC. Gainesville is a small college town which is a good thing because there are usually a lot of events going on for everyone. The web site
    can give you statistics on housing prices, crime, etc… We are not looking at 55+ communities. Too many rules for me. The on line local newspaper and TV stations in any area can also give you a good idea what it is like to live in a community.

    by markg — August 4, 2014

  209. Ellen, Sandy, Others:

    I am also looking for an apartment (or condo, townhouse, or cottage) of about 1500 sq ft. Find lots of great retirement communities, usually of bigger homes, but no rentals. Please let me know what you find.

    Lake Tellico in eastern Tennessee: is it all high end real estate? Sounds like wonderful area, but my inquiries yield large, expensive houses.

    by Moving South — August 4, 2014

  210. Moving South
    I’ve never been there but checking website for Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, I saw small houses for rent for $750-$850/month. I forget exact website but I’m sure you can google it. Judy

    by judy — August 4, 2014

  211. Re: Greenville, SC, etc. We were just making a quick elimination visit. Really did not look at houses. Our approach is to find somewhere we might want to live and then look for a home. Downtown Greenville is charming and nicely done with apartments, and what could be condos, close to shops, restaurants, parks and event venues. We rode around quite a bit and everywhere seemed charming. Furman University is very nice, with OSHER and concerts and such, but did not seem to be in walking distance of anywhere.
    Athens, GA was disappointing. For a major college town, the downtown seem grubby and tired. If you’re not into golf and/or UGA football, this may not be for you.
    We did stop in Milledgeville on our way to Savannah to soak up Flannery O’Connor lore. Very nice small town, not sure it would be an appropriate place to retire, but do visit if you’re in the neighborhood.
    Next month we’re off to the Myrtle Beach area for beach vacation and area exploration.
    Our dilemma is that we currently live in central Virginia between Richmond and Charlottesville and compare everywhere else to what we have in our own backyard, so we weigh everyplace else against home.

    by Sandie — August 4, 2014

  212. MarkG, Thanks for your response! Yes, always something to do there thru the university, but also lots of interesting things for me outside of UF, like botanical garden and many natural areas. I was a student there in the 1970s but it sure is different now…..and so am I! Much more affordable than coastal areas for me and Palm Beach County (current home). I guess I will contact a realtor, as well, to see where the retirees are going or if they are just everywhere (or anywhere):grin:

    by Karen — August 4, 2014

  213. Robert
    We looked at Traditions of America and Carmella in Mechanicsburg. Also Traditions of America in Lititz, PA. Will continue looking in Delaware. Good luck to you in the future.

    by Sparky — August 4, 2014

  214. Sparky: What did you think of the options in Mechanicsburg? One of the ones you mentioned is on the top of my list right now, and I’d appreciate someone else’s perspective..

    by Ted — August 5, 2014

  215. Markg – having been a long time resident of Fl (contemplating moving back?)I have been to Gainsville and I agree its nice College town. The only thing that I would be concerned about is RE Taxes if that is even a concern of yours. By Homesteading (primary Res) you will get a tax rate break but it would probaly be for the following year. Good Luck.

    by Robert — August 5, 2014

  216. Ella, re NW Georgia…I absolutely love living here. I live in a gated community halfway between Atlanta, GA and Chattanooga, Tn. 850 acres with two lakes and golf course in the foothills of Appalachia. We have lovely gardens fish pond…I have lived here 12 years. BUT my husband is 83 and I am 77. We are in pretty good health but want to find less housekeeping and garden work while we are independent. We want to make a last move. 🙂

    by ellen — August 5, 2014

  217. To Judy:

    Thanks. Rentals sound great, but Arkansas too far from daughters in VA.
    Eastern Tenn or the Carolinas is about as far as I think I can go without putting undue burden on them when I get seriously ill.
    Thanks again. Info on other rentals welcome.

    by Moving South — August 5, 2014

  218. Karen & Robert, Last night I spoke to a realtor from Gainesville, FL, He wasn’t too helpful but I did learn that Gainesville has a decent public transportation system. He said there are all ages there but it is not a big retirement community. He said Ocala is a bigger retirement community. Finally he said you can get a decent house or condo for $130,000 in Gainsville. Regarding real estate taxes, it can’t be worse than I am paying right now.

    by MarkG — August 5, 2014

  219. Ted: traditions in Mechanicsburg is nice and has great options. The clubhouse is large and really Nice facilities and pool. The lots are a little closer together than I like.
    I spent the afternoon at Carmella in Mechanicsburg today. Homes are similar and also nice options, clubhouse is smaller but nice. Carmella is less expensive and lots are spaced further apart. Want to look at Traditions in Lititz also .

    by Sparky — August 5, 2014

  220. Patti,
    Thanks for your post about the communities you visited. A couple of the ones you mentioned are on my list so it was nice to hear someone else’s thoughts. OTOTW was the first 55+ community I visited and it’s still my favorite. That was last year before they unveiled the new models, which look great online and I’m anxious to see in person. The thing that drew me to OTOTW was Master the Possibilities, but then I liked everything about it. I want to go back for one of the visits and maybe take a class or take part in another activity. I also like that there is some room there. You’re still close to your neighbors but not compared to other places. I tell myself I need to visit other communities before I make my decision, but everything feels right about it. I visited The Villages and Del Webb Stone Creek at the same time. The Del Webb was nice but OTOTW just seemed to offer so much more. The Villages isn’t for me. The others you mentioned…I want to visit Trilogy Orlando and Solivita. I had already ruled out Citrus Hills because of the cost. The other place I might visit is Vitalia at Tradition in Port St. Lucie. It’s another two or three years for me. Good luck with your move.

    by Tessa — August 5, 2014

  221. Thanks Sparky. I drove around Carmello, but thought the homes looked too much alike for my taste. I had checked out the Traditions in Lancaster, but it felt too rural to me. I’m another person who is 2-3 years from having to make a decision. So far the traffic in the Charlotte area is killing me, so this is definitely NOT going to be where I retire. Come to think of it, maybe rural would be a good change from sitting in traffic for an hour to go 15 miles.

    by Ted — August 6, 2014

  222. Ellen, what is the name of your community in NW Ga?

    by Robert — August 6, 2014

  223. Tessa,
    We only looked ar tne maintenance free models and they all were gorgeous. Our sales associate said the new models will be offered for the next 5 years. It seems you get a well-built & beautiful home for your dollars at OTOW. Best of luck and have fun exploring!

    by Patti — August 6, 2014

  224. Tessa,

    My cousin and her husband live in Solavita in Kissimmee and love it! She tells me that her friends are more like family; can’t say enough good things about their living situation. Just thought you’d like to know. Happy hunting!

    by ella — August 6, 2014

  225. Ella – looks like you cousin lives in the Italian village of “Kiss i mmee”
    or in Real Italian “Baciami”!!/lol

    Have a nice laugh – you deserve it.

    by Robert — August 6, 2014

  226. Ellen – Thanks so much for answering my question! Your answer means more than hundreds of hours of research!!! Would you mind a few questions as well? (And if you do, then just don’t, right?)

    Have you had any trouble with tornadoes? My research tells me that’s an area highly prone to them and that’s been a big concern to me. Next, what is the culture like in Northern Georgia? Is it more southern then No. Carolina/will the locals be as open to a Yankee? (Where did you move from originally?) Are the summers hot???

    I’ve read all kinds of complaints online – could you give me your take on the cultural atmosphere. Attitude of the people, arts and music (i don’t necessarily mean high-brow). Is there much to do if you travel into a town or do you feel like you’re out in the middle of no where? (I love the mountains and forests, but i’d like to be near an interesting town when i do go into town.)

    Have you been to Blairsville? Although that particular town seems very appealing to me (thru my reading), someone told me it is ‘touristy.’ Another web quote stated a problem with a large number of illegal aliens working in the carpet plants in some towns. Do you know anything about Elijay or is your experience strictly limited to the community you’re in?

    I have been considering two communities in Northern Georgia. Would you feel comfortable sharing your town and/or the name of your community. Where are you thinking of relocating to? And although a bit younger than you, i too want to cut down on yard and housework. During the warm months all i seem to do is yard work; i’d like to have a bit more fun! And i, too, want this to be our last move as well.

    Thanks so much, Ellen. I hope you find just what you and your husband are looking for. Blessings, ella.

    by ella — August 6, 2014

  227. Mark G, Thanks for the info. I do know that Gainesville Florida has a good transit system, including the door to door service if that is ever needed. Lots to do including free auditing of university classes, I believe, for those over 60. But possibly not having enough retirees does concern me a bit, esp. since I am single. So I am also researching Ocala, including OTOW. I am interested in learning about some Ocala communities that are near, but not part of, a 55+ community… be able to avoid some of the fees and regulations often associated with large retirement communities.

    by Karen — August 6, 2014

  228. Hello all – reading with enjoyment all comments. We are making a visit this fall to Shenandoah Valley especially Staunton area and the Winchester area. Anyone with experience in these areas? What is it like, how are costs, medical facilities, shopping and services, housing, neighborhoods, 55+ communities, senior services and housing for 93 year old mom? We would be moving from NE Mass. Thank you in advance.

    by RobJ — August 6, 2014

  229. Hi, I am new here. Thinking of somewhere in Arizona to retire, and like the location of Sedona. Does anyone have any info on actually living in that general area? Is there decent medical care, transportation, etc.? Thanks!

    Editor’s note: Welcome to! The first place to start, if you haven’t already, is to read our review of Sedona (and many other towns in AZ). That will help a lot, and then hopefully a kind-hearted fellow member might be able to fill in more details for you. Good Luck!

    by Terrie — August 6, 2014

  230. Editor/Admn do you have a similar site for Murrells Inlet/Myrtle Beach SC??
    Please advise,

    Editors note: There are about 1000 city reviews at Topretirements, both in the U.S. and abroad. There are multiple ways to access these reviews. The 2 easiest is to use the “Best Places” link in the main navigation. Or, use the orange “Find a Community” pull down box at top right of most pages. Then go to the state and city you are interested in. And yes, there is a review of Murrells Inlet.

    by Robert — August 7, 2014

  231. Robert can you please post the site you found? Thanks!

    by Louise — August 7, 2014

  232. Ella, what two communities in NW Georgia are you considering. Any of your impressions of those communities would be appreciated. Although I will probably end up in the Carolinas…I want to do a quick trip to the Georgia hopefully this fall. I like the income tax structure in GA.

    by Elaine — August 7, 2014

  233. Louise, here you go.
    We are considering 3 places and at this point still confused/lol. NE TN, Myrtle Bch, SC, Port Orange, Fl. I am leaning toward MB,SC. My wife likes FL (because of familiarity – we lived there for a long time). I am ready for something new. Good Luck.

    by Robert — August 7, 2014

  234. Terrie,
    Sedona has a hospital that is supposed to be excellent.

    I don’t think there is much as far as public transportation but you should contact the city and they will have all that information. I live in Phoenix, and have been there… it is a tourist town and driving can be a hassle at times.

    by Loralee — August 7, 2014

  235. This question came in from Lori:
    – I am new to this research. What do you know about Mount Dora, Florida? It was highly recommended to my by my friend, my age, 56, who has lived in Florida for 20 years in several locations (Vero Beach and now mid Florida, northern). She and I are from Connecticut . I still live in Connecticut , and I want a warmer climate, but I also like the New England feel with its rolling hills and quaint towns. I am a new artist, so I look for that kind of activities, love to road bike (bicycle), I may take up golfing once again (after back problems that have improved), enjoying hiking and a little kayaking. I really didn’t care for East Coast of Florida (Pt. St. Lucie down to Boynton Beach) as it was ugly unless you were at the shore, and it also was too crowded. Let me know if you know anything about Mount Dora and anyone who lives there. thanks,

    Editors note: There are about 1000 city reviews at Topretirements, both in the U.S. and abroad. There are multiple ways to access these reviews. The 2 easiest is to use the “Best Places” link in the main navigation. Or, use the orange “Find a Community” pull down box at top right of most pages. Then go to the state and city you are interested in. To answer your original question, there is a review of Mt. Dora.

    by Admin — August 7, 2014

  236. Louise – one more time/lol

    If this doesn’t work “furgitaboutit”

    by robert — August 7, 2014

  237. Loralee, thank you! (And also thanks to the Editor.)
    I read the reviews regarding Sedona and it does sound like a possibility for me. But I had read some questionable messages regarding health care, hence my question.

    I also have horses and have been researching that area, because keeping them with me is important. Some people have dogs, I do too and my ‘ponies’.

    I guess my next step will be to take a trip and spend some time in Sedona. If anyone has lived in that area and is willing to share their experiences, I would appreciate it. Thank you all again, and in advance!

    by Terrie — August 7, 2014

  238. Elaine – Me thinks i have spoken too soon. I haven’t actually even visited Georgia yet. I am also interested because the tax situation seems better than that of the Carolinas.

    The two communities i am interested in are Big Canoe and Currahee Club, however both seem expensive; and as i haven’t even seen them… i really don’t know what i’ll think when i do. As you may end up there first, please let me know what you think.

    I visited NC last May, but didn’t find any place calling out to me. Do you have any recommendations and are you considering Tennessee as well? I’m a little concerned about the hot summers there. Wishing you well, ella.

    by ella — August 8, 2014

  239. Terri,

    Check out the cost of living at Sedona at

    I hear it’s very beautiful, however the housing market is quite high (2 1/2 times the average).


    by ella — August 8, 2014

  240. Ella, thanks I will look (on line) at the two communities that you mention. I have not seriously considered TN, although much about it sounds positive. If I actually go on a real trip anywhere, I will report back. In NC, I am looking at the Raleigh/Durham area. I lived in Chapel Hill and loved it and lived in Wilmington NC and did not care for it. I very briefly explored Asheveille, NC since I enjoyed trialling there when I lived in Chapel Hill. I found it too dark (literally…with the mountain it seems to get dark so early). I enjoyed the area, but it was more expensive than I wanted.

    by Elaine — August 8, 2014

  241. Admin: The new format is terrible. For older folks who are reading this material it is very hard to see. Wonder if I am the only one who is having problems?

    by Sparky — August 8, 2014

  242. Sparky – I don’t care for the look of the new format either, but several of it’s features are rather cool. To make the FONT APPEAR LARGER just press the control and plus (as in adding) keys on your keyboard. If you already knew this, please forgive me my assumption. (And now i don’t need to sign my name as it will be signed for me!)

    by ella — August 9, 2014

  243. Elaine – I found your comments about NC interesting. I only checked out the areas in the Blue Ridge Mountains as i too love hiking and had heard about their beauty. However i wasn’t drawn to the area the way i thought i’d be (not sure why). Your comment about the shorter daylight was interesting. I’m less interested in the rest of NC as i’m concerned about the summer heat. And yes, i did find the area expensive. Houses i was shown were easily $450,000 and UP! It’s nice that you already have some areas you like. Why are you leaving Chapel Hill?

    by ella — August 9, 2014

  244. I don’t care very much for this new format either, but thank you so much, Ella, for the tip on how to increase the font size.

    by Valerie — August 9, 2014

  245. The new format is ok, but I would like to see an edit (to double check my many errors) and quote function.
    Perhaps admin could start a discussion on the topic, so that we won’t take this one off course.
    Thank you.

    by Godsgirl — August 9, 2014

  246. New format – SUCKS! Very hard to read = C’mon, give us “Seadoned Citizens” a break. Backwards please.

    by Robert — August 9, 2014

  247. Ella, I visited Currahee Club last year, toured the community and played the golf course (very tough for high handicappers). This is one of those communities that got off to a slow start, stalled totally during the recession, but is now back on track with new money behind it (in this case, a South African whose other holdings include such name brands as Gucci and Dunhill). If your price range is under the $500s, you won’t find much to choose from at Currahee. But it is a nice community with lots of promise. If you are interested in my review of Currahee, look in my profile for my web site address and search for “Currahee” at my site. (I don’t believe the TopRetirement admin permits a web link in the body of this email.) I have not visited Big Canoe but I have followed its progress; it appears to be a large, well-organized community. And, yes, Georgia’s approach to taxation, especially for retirees, seems to be quite progressive.

    by Larry — August 9, 2014

  248. I agree, new format is difficult to read due to small font size. To get around that I just expand the screen. Easy enough to do on my IPad mini.

    by Maureen — August 9, 2014

  249. Admin,
    Give us Seniors a break. The new format ‘s****’.
    99.9 % of the Seniors on this site are over 65, not 50.

    by botch57 — August 9, 2014

  250. wow, what happened to the font size?????? don’t like this at all. If I were reading it on a tablet, not as big a deal, can increase font size easily, but I don’t want to have to keep adjusting my view from website to website when on my computer. AND I am 59 years old!!!!

    by Paula — August 9, 2014

  251. New format is difficult to read. I guess we all have to put on our reading glasses.

    Editor’s Note: Thanks to everyone for your comments about our new format. Actually this was a test that accidentally stayed live longer than it was supposed to. The idea for the new format (not active right now) is to make the Blog easier to read on Ipads and smartphones. Don’t know if you noticed, but the main part of the copy was easier to read in the test, because the info on the sides was reduced/eliminated on the smaller screen. But it is obvious from your comments that we need to bump up the size of the typeface, which we will do before we go live. There are a few other adjustments coming as well.

    by Gerry L — August 9, 2014

  252. I do not know how to start a new topic of discussion but I wanted to post this website for you to view some really nice manufactured homes. There is a sale going on now till the 18th of August but they have sales quite often and the prices always seem similar. Anyway, this is a nice alternative to a regular home if you don’t care about depreciation of your home value. My thought in buying this kind of home is to sell my house and maybe bank $150K after buying one of these models. I have no children to leave my money too so depreciation doesn’t bother me and I like the idea of money in the bank. Plus, the up side is that these type of homes, if not put on a foundation, at least in the state of CT, they cannot be taxed as a home but as a vehicle and they depreciate fast like a car. My girlfriend lives in a manufactured home that is a 1987 model which makes it 27 years old. She did have to put a new roof on it and had a water leak and had to replace some flooring. She will need a new furnace/ac soon, she also renovated her deck recently. She is not the first owner; she moved into it in 2009. But she is fairly happy with it and has her two dogs. She would prefer a stick built home but her financial situation makes that very difficult. The bad side is that she lives in a ‘Park’ and has to pay around $525 a month for the privilege of letting it sit on a postage stamp site. My idea would be to buy a piece of property and put the manufactured home on it. I’d only have to pay land tax which is typically cheap and motor vehicle tax on the home and as time goes by it will be very cheap too. There are many models and you can go rock bottom or do all the upgrades they offer. (No I don’t work for them!) I think some of these companies can help you locate property or maybe they can hook you up with a realtor who is knowledgeable on where it is allowable to put manufactured homes. Oh, and I wanted to mention, home repairs whether it be a regular home or a manufactured home is just a fact of life, no getting around it! But if you buy a NEW manufactured home, it may be years and years before you will need repairs. My girlfriend’s handyman said her home is in good shape with the repairs that have been made; so at 27 years old that is pretty good! Hers is a double wide and is almost equivalent in sq. ft. as my home!

    So if I was able pay cash for the manufactured home, and then bank $150K, and not pay my almost $6K in property tax on my house per year, I could live a pretty good life.

    My husband and I lived in a single wide mobile home when we were first married. We loved it at the time but we had horrible neighbors so we sold it and moved into an apartment. In 1975 we built our home and have been here ever since. We both had very good jobs and could afford living in CT but now it is impossible to afford living here.

    by Louise — August 9, 2014

  253. Admin,
    Great job the newest change is wonderful for all ages especially us seniors!

    by Florida Bound — August 9, 2014

  254. Ella, thank you for the tip, tried it and it worked very well.

    by Sparky — August 9, 2014

  255. I posted the website but it has disappeared. Here it is again.

    by Louise — August 9, 2014

  256. Ella, I do not presently live in Chapel Hill. Being single, I am and have always been my sole source of support so I have moved for jobs. I presently reside in VA location of my most recent (and last) job. Chapel Hill is a bit expensive so I would probably not move back.

    Also, since I have moved often, I do not have anywhere that I consider home or that I have an established support system. However, you need to make friends quickly when moving to a place where you do not know anyone. I look forward to new friends in a new place. Just not sure where that place is. So moving near family or staying put are not driving forces for my location.

    by Elaine — August 10, 2014

  257. Thanks for the link Louise. I’m thinking of buying into a 55+ owners owned mobile home park and debating to buy new or used. Can buy used and furnished for as low as $18,000 and up to $120,000 for a 2 bedroom, 800 sq feet Jacobson home, that’s including buying a share of the park. No maintenance for my life buying new, but buying used is a lot of Las Vegas, Europe vacations with that extra $100,000.

    by Mike in Bradenton — August 10, 2014

  258. Patti and Ella,

    Patti, thanks for the additional info on the models at OTOTW. Good to know they’ll be around a few more years. They look great on the web site so glad your first hand observation backs that up.

    Ella, Solivita looks like it has lots to offer and it’s good to know your cousin likes it there. I’ve seen lots of positive comments about it on Top Retirements and look forward to visiting there. When it comes to Active Adult communities, there are many that have what I’m looking for at the price I’m looking at. In the end it will just come down to what feels right I think. It’s great there are so many good options to explore in the area around Orlando and north to Ocala. Good luck in your hunt as well.

    by Tessa — August 10, 2014

  259. Mike, can you tell me where the 55+ owners owned mobile home park is located? Where can I find more information on owners owned mobile home parks?

    Have you thought about buying a piece of property and putting a new Mobile home on it? Would be perfect if you can find a lot with city water and sewer.
    My biggest gripe about MH parks is the lot rental fees. My friend pays in excess of $6,300 per year for lot rent, plus extra for her two dogs. That is MORE than I pay taxes on my home in CT which is probably one of the most expensive states.

    My girlfriend with the mobile home is in Michigan and got her used MH for $6,000. Up here in CT that same unit would cost probably $40K!

    I have also been hearing a lot of commercials on reverse mortgage where you can get a huge lump sum of money and not have to payback till the last borrower leaves the home. I did read an interesting article on that a while back and apparently the husband took out the reverse mortgage and didn’t put his wife on it. When he died she was booted out of the house because HE was the ‘last’ borrower to leave the house, not her. I guess doing a reverse mortgage can help out some people. It doesn’t sit well with me for no particular reason. I think because we had a mortgage for 25 years and paid if off. To take out a reverse mortgage would be like we never paid it off but if you need the money I guess it is a good thing! Especially if you have no children to leave your money to.

    by Louise — August 11, 2014

  260. Louise, I’d prefer a 55+ park than building on my own lot because of the amenities and security. Share home park fees are cheaper than Land lease parks. Some parks have both options. Bayshore Windmill Village (941-755-2942) and Bradenton Tropical Palms give you both options. I’m renting at BTP this winter to see if I like it. In Share Parks you have a voice in management, Land Lease Parks are sometimes corporate like Solstice. Village on the Greens is the lowest buy in I’ve seen in Bradenton, as low as $15,000. BTP is $27,000 and has a no animals policy. This website is good for researching 55+ MHP also Claudia’s mobile Home Reality website. Don’t think I’m going to get involved with reverse mortgages at this time. Good luck with your research

    by Mike in Bradenton — August 11, 2014

  261. Mike can you tell me how much you will be paying for the monthly rent and for how many months during the winter? I’m sure it’s cheaper than renting a condo.

    by Skip — August 11, 2014

  262. Skip, I paid $1,400 a month last year renting a condo at 55+ Desoto Villas in Bradenton. I’m paying $750 a month this winter for a 6 month lease at a 55+ mobile home park. I’ve seen condos listed for sale as low as $35,000 at Desoto.

    by Mike in Bradenton — August 12, 2014

  263. Mike thank you for your recent response. My wife and I plan on becoming Snowbirds. We live in the Dallas Texas area and like being close to the family. $750 a month is cheap enough where we can run during the winter months and still be able to afford to travel during the summer.

    by Skip — August 12, 2014

  264. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about Coquina Crossing in Elkton Fl near St. Augustine? It sounds really nice, and I will visit there when I’m in St. Augustine in November. But “visiting” and “living” are very different. Any firsthand (or second or third) information would be greatly appreciated.

    by Stacey — August 12, 2014

  265. When considering interior central Florida, realize that the summers are MUCH warmer than coastal areas and there are definitely more bugs. I was a Florida twice, once in Palm Beach Gardens and one in Tampa. I took my daughter to Disney once in July and ran back to the coadt because it was so much warmer away from the water. Also, the interior is not immune to hurricane forces, obly storm surge. Finally, Disney set up shop there because the MacArthur foundation would not sell needed land in Palm Beach County to build his vision. Just know why you are doing a move to a particular place. That way we can all wind up where we should. 🙂 Barbara

    by Barbara — August 15, 2014

  266. Barbara – the coast is not that much better. I live in Collier County (SW Florida) and every day this “off-season” is high 92-94 low 77-80 with 80-90% humidity. I get up around 5:30 am to bike or jog and it is so oppressive I am drenched by the time 20-30 minutes I get home. And it never lessens as the day progresses. The after noon thunderstorms do not even lessen it for more than when it is pouring. Florida is better in the “season” than the north but in the summer it is very very hot and humid. Cannot wait to move out next year.

    by Jeffrey Gilfoy — August 16, 2014

  267. Elaine: What do you think of VA for retirees? I know it’s expensive within commuting distance to D.C., but otherwise do you recommend it as an option? I was wondering if I should add Northwestern VA or mid-VA to my list. I’m looking for suburban conveniences (an indoor mall for walking in bad weather), many medical choices, a large movie complex, a Barnes & Noble, a large public library, Starbucks, Panera, etc., that is within a few hours of a beach. Nothing too rural, and nothing too urban. As a widow, I’m hoping to find a community that isn’t focused on activities for couples. I’ve been looking primarily at mid-PA, DE, and SC/NC (Eastern side). I’m estimating my retirement budget at $50K-$60K/yr (with a paid-off house).

    by Kate — August 17, 2014

  268. I am researching retiring in Ocala, FL. Does anybody know of any 55+ communities that are fairly liberal about planting a garden in your yard? I mean, in a single family home where you are responsible for your own property maintenance.

    by Karen — August 17, 2014

  269. Kate, my husband and I were visiting Williamburg Va. and loved the area. There is an area called New Town that is very walkable to all you need. It has condos, town homes and individual homes. So much to do in the area also ans we liked the climate.

    by Cathy Duffy — August 17, 2014

  270. Stacey — We also plan on visiting Coquina Crossing whenever we are in the area at the end of October, so I will make sure to post our impressions of this community after we return home. However, you are absolutely right in saying that “visiting” and “living” in an area very different. Also, just because a person has enjoyed vacationing in an area does not necessarily mean that they are going to enjoy living there permanently.

    by Valerie — August 17, 2014

  271. Kate re: fredericksburg…see my post above (July 23). If you have other questions, ask.

    by Elaine — August 17, 2014

  272. Kate, forgot to mention there are Panera, indoor shopping mall, decent library system, starbucks, etc. Although, it is only about 25,000 people, it does not feel rural. It has two (well three) hospitals, but two are part of the Mary Washington Health Care system…the other an HCA hospital. I really do not know what you need in health care, but you can always go to DC or Richmond if you do think you might need more.

    by Elaine — August 17, 2014

  273. Valerie: Thanks for the response. I’m still trying to figure out where I’m going to “land” when I retire. Initially, I was going to move with a friend but now it’s just me. I will be going to St. Augustine in November and will stop at Coquina Crossing then. I look forward to hearing your opinion of it and also of St. Augustine itself. I have been to Sarasota/Siesta Key which I really liked. I want to check out Venice as well. I still have 2-3 years to figure this out. Hopefully, I will!

    by Stacey — August 17, 2014

  274. Stacey & Valerie: My husband & I are also interested in looking at Coquina Crossing in Elkton, Fl but won’t be able to get there until next year. We are interested in any information about Elkton itself. I’m sure St Augustine is lovely, but what is Elkton like? We have been to other 55+ manufactured home communities that were very desirable, but, once outside the gates of the community itself, many areas were either desolate or run down. We have found that this is why you have to go in person & look around for yourself. Best of luck with your exploration & looking forward to reading about your impressions.

    by Maureen — August 17, 2014

  275. Karen, On Top of the World in Ocala has some neighborhoods that are maintenance free and some where the homeowner is responsible for the yard, etc. I think they allow some plantings but not sure if they would fall under the category of “garden” and may be subject to approval of the HOA. You’d definitely need to check the rules. They also have a community garden where homeowners can have their own small plot.

    by Tessa — August 17, 2014

  276. Mike, in Bradenton, What do u think if this town/city? Is it the one just below Sarasoto? I have a AF buddy of mine living there and he doesn’t like it at all!
    Whats ur take? Tks, Be blessed

    by Robert — August 18, 2014

  277. Northern Va. Near DC. Want golf community. Any suggestions?? Thanks

    by Jeff F — August 18, 2014

  278. Jeff F, how “near” D.C.? What price range for a golf community home? Single-family, town home, condo? The closer you are to the city, the higher the price. I visited a few golf communities almost an hour away that might work, but not if you are looking for a $300k single-family home.

    by Larry — August 18, 2014

  279. Regarding Arizona: I’m a longtime Phoenix, AZ resident who wants to retire elsewhere. While Sedona and Prescott are gorgeous, with many cultural activities, they have been “loved” to death by locals. Before you decide to live in either one,you should be aware of the huge, never-ending traffic jams that make it difficult to shop, park and enjoy the downtown areas. The outdoor noise levels from all the crowds have also decreased the fun of visiting these towns. At night, downtown Prescott can be downright rowdy on weekends and holidays. I personally would never recommend living in Green Valley or Tucson, because they are so close to the border, and the state does have many serious border issues. Tucson traffic is terrible. And of course there’s the intensity of the heat with little reprieve from May into mid October. On the plus side, people are very friendly throughout the entire state, because most residents are from somewhere else. As for me, I want to return to a location where I can experience four seasons once again.

    by Linda B — August 18, 2014

  280. Hi Larry. Re Va, looking for under $500k. Manassas or closer. Shd I consider Md, too? Need min of 2100 sq ft. Got any ideas? Thanks jeff

    by Jeff F — August 19, 2014

  281. Thanks Tessa. I am trying to get specific information about gardening rules before considering. Sometimes the best way is to actually drive thru and see what people have actually planted!

    by Karen — August 19, 2014

  282. Jeff, you mentioned Heritage Hunt, which is an age-restricted community (55+). Is that a requirement? Might be best for us to communicate offline; you can contact me through my blog site, While there, eenter search for “Dominion Valley” and you will find a review of that Toll Brothers golf community in Haymarket, within distance of D.C. but a little farther out than Manassas. They have a 55+ community across the street with an executive course; Dominion Valley has a regulation 18 that was very nice.

    by Larry — August 19, 2014

  283. Jeff, you might want to look into the South Riding (Loudoun Co) area. It’s out 50W and has its own golf course and has condos, townhouses & SFH. I lived there for nine years and loved it. It’s about 45-1 hr to DC depending on when you’re driving in. Don’t care for Manassas but the Gainsville/Haymarket/Warrenton areas are nice and the property taxes are a little lower.

    Kate, I live in NoVa. Check out the Fairfax area – though its not cheap (home costs & property taxes) based on your budget you could find a condo or townhouse and it has every store you listed plus much more and many good hospitals. The Williamsburg area is not NoVa but very nice and the cost of living is better (closer to the beach as well). It’s also less crowded and the housing is less expensive. My husband is from that area. We’d move back there if all my family wasn’t living in MD (Wouldn’t move to MD if you paid me). I’ve lived this area for 18 years but once I retire we’re moving towards Warrenton, VA where you get more for your money.

    by Barb — August 19, 2014

  284. We looked at many of those places…and many others…before we retired last year. We finally, after lots of thought and consideration, decided on Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. We’ve been here a year now and absolutely love it. Beautiful scenery at every turn, fantastic 40,000 acre lake for boating and fishing, great resort amenities, golfing, motorcycling, very low cost of living and tax benefits for seniors, as well as low housing prices. Virtually no crime and friendly people. So glad we went with the decision we did…

    by Ryth — August 19, 2014

  285. Ruth:

    Where did you retire from?


    by Doug — August 20, 2014

  286. Stacey & Maureen, We have never been to Elkton, Florida either. We have, however, been to St. Augustine, but we only stopped there for a night or two, since we were on our way to Orlando at the time. However, it will all seem brand new to us, since it was about 40 years ago, give a take a year or two — LOL! And, speaking of Orlando, we lived there for a short while many years ago (25). However, it being one of the top tourist destinations of the world, it was way too hectic and chaotic of a place for us and a bit of a culture shock for both me and my husband even though we were obviously much younger than what we are today. That’s what I meant when I made an earlier statement about living in an area not being the same as vacationing in the area. They are two entirely different animals, so to speak. With that being said, although we would like to live in an area that has a lot to offer in the way of entertainment, things to do, etc., we still want to live in an area that has somewhat of a relaxed pace to it.

    I promise to post our impressions of both Elkton and St. Augustine, Florida after we return from our trip in late October.

    by Valerie — August 20, 2014

  287. Great Valerie….I’ll look forward to it.

    by Stacey — August 20, 2014

  288. Ruth: Do you live in a 55+ community in Fairfield Bay, AR, and if so what is the name of it? Also can you share the yearly taxes, HOA fee if applicable and cost of housing. Thanks.

    by judy — August 21, 2014

  289. Chuck – NC is a wonderful retirement state! A day’s drive can take you from the Appalachian Trail to the Outer Banks. Just far enough north to have some change of seasons – although certainly not to the extremes you experience above the MDL! I live in Roper, NC – 45 minutes inland from the ocean (just at the edge of the evacuation route for hurricanes!)and only 10 minutes from a marina leading into the Albemarle Sound – home of the country’s best striped bass fishing. When my son was 11 he caught the state record striped bass – 63lbs! Our public school systems are, as you note, pretty dismal. In response we have some fantastic private schools in the area as well as a school through the State Agriculture Department called “NERSBA” for students focusing in math and science – it’s highly acclaimed and located here in Roper. My 3K sq ft home is for sale on 3.5 acres – includes in-ground pool, huge workshop, 2 horse stalls, horse pastures and amazing landscaping.A great place to get away from it all and enjoy the country life – come to NC – you won’t regret it!

    by Lynne — September 2, 2014

  290. […] Note: This article provides our 2012 list. Here is where you can go to see the “2014 List of the 100 Best Active Adult Communities“ August 8, 2012 — The results are in, and Topretirements members and visitors are most interested in exploring active adult communities in Florida, North Carolina, and Delaware. Those 3 states accounted for 60 of the 100 most popular communities. Left in the dust were the 3 next most favorite states – Arizona (8 communities), Texas (7), and Tennessee (5). As was the case with our 2011 List of the Best Active Adult Communities, Sun Belt states achieved near total domination over their colder brethren. (See also: 100 Most Popular Towns for Retirement – 2014). […]

    by » Florida, North Carolina, and Delaware Dominate 2012 List of the 100 Best Active Adult Communities - Topretirements — September 4, 2014

  291. What about Port St Lucie, FL.

    by Len Mahoney — September 18, 2014

  292. I will probably settle in NC, SC or GA. I was planning to make a quick trip down through Greenville, SC and on to explore some northern GA. I would love some feedback from those who either live, have lived or have visited those areas. This trip will just be to see if I want to go back for a longer visit. For anyone who has info, please read a bit more about me below.

    Later, I will go on a brief trip to look at the Charlotte and Raleigh areas.

    I am not really a beach person (lakes are great, but not necessary), but am not a rural person either. I do not wish to travel far for a grocery store or other shopping no matter how nice and how much there is to do in the community. You do have to leave once in awhile. In the last year or so, I decided that perhaps the right active adult community may be the way to go…although I haven’t completely ruled out the right town or community which was formally my preference. I need a dog friendly place with a small fence-able yard. I would like a basement, but is is not a necessity. And before everyone screams downsize…I basically want an indoor yard to extend the postage stamp that passes for a yard and to train and exercise my dog(s). I would like to stay in $250,000 range although for the right place (basement is one of many reasons) I can go higher.

    by Elaine — September 28, 2014

  293. PS. I found some info on the area of N. Georgia by catz0026 under in July of 2013 for others that are interested in this area.

    by Elaine — September 28, 2014

  294. Elaine,
    Thanks for these directions to catz0026 extensive review of so many communities in GA and nearby. I plan to read it carefully later today; should be very helpful!

    by ella — September 29, 2014

  295. Lynne,
    Thanks for the info. School will be really important. Why are you leaving?

    by Chuck — September 29, 2014

  296. As helpful as I found catz0026 post (which is why I thought others would find it helpful), I would still like to hear from others about Greenville, SC…especially where might be a good place to live since there to not seem to be any larger active adult.

    And of course, any additional info on north Georgia area would be welcome. This areas seems to offer active adult as well as other alternatives. Thanks for any help.

    by Elaine — September 29, 2014

  297. […] further reading: Topretirements 2014 List of 100 Most Popular Places to Retire (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle ||[]).push({}); Comments? Does this seem like a good list to you? […]

    by » Tampa Tops List of Best and Worst Places to Retire - Topretirements — October 3, 2014

  298. […] Additional reference: 2014 List of Best Places to Retire Sunbelt Rules: The 2013 List of 100 Best Places to Retire Surprises Galore: 100 Best Active Adult […]

    by » Florida Tops Most Popular Places to Retire for 2015 - Topretirements — February 21, 2015

  299. I looked over your article here and don’t understand why Hawaii is not mentioned as great place to retire?
    Maui is fantastic:
    Perfect climate all yr, low property taxes, beautiful environment take people take care off , low crime rate and not more expensive if you are coming from the Northeast!
    Lots to do and it’s civilized! Nothing poisonous there either! I recommend Maui and the Hawaii islands to your list!

    by Ingrid Eichenbaum — May 3, 2015

  300. There is no doubt that the Naples-Ft. Myers area is growing. A few years ago, it was much less crowded, in fact, it was the very best place to retire in all of Florida. The fact is … this SW Florida area is the last metropolitan area of Florida to be developed. Thomas Edison and his friend, Henry Ford would come here to hunt and fish and decided to build a home here for the winter. There was no air conditioning at the time so they were “Real Troopers”. Thomas Edison was first to built his home. It was in 1886 and he dubbed his winter retreat, “Seminole Lodge”. With all the insects, humidity and other natural roadblocks, he and Ford started the stampede to this SW Florida area. To the present, there is a lop-sided real estate marketplace here. What I mean by that is more people want to buy here than folks who want to SELL! BIG BONUS : Folks who plan to retire here have discovered the tax situation rivals other ideal tax-friendly states. The weather, although quite hot during summer months, is usually overstated in respect to the actual heat! This area, as in the Caribbean, has a “rainy season”. This means most every day around 4 or 5 pm … it rains for about half hour … not usually very heavy ….but rain, nonetheless. This shower cools it off about ten degrees. You won’t see this phenomena in Arizona, Texas or California … !!! This Florida weather, it is said, adds 5 to 10 years onto a senior’s life if they retire here. The biggest drawback is COLD WEATHER! Once you are here for a year, it is said that you cannot go back up north during the cold weather months .. it is said you will suffer a host of medical problems due to the thinness of your blood. Naples-Ft Myers senior communities (and there are a large number of these) all seemed to have golf courses, one or two per community. This is the senior’s most popular form of exercise. I firmly believe that there are more golf courses in this SW Florida area than anywhere in the ENTIRE WORLD! But … .the problem is … unless you purchase a home here within the next year or two, most of you will be priced out of the market. More demand than supply tells you what is going on. Those who rent here .. soon will find it unaffordable in the Naples area. Other SW Florida areas will surely follow. If one rents for just the off season, they will not be able to afford to stay for the WINTER SEASON! Seasonal Rentals of two or three bedroom homes, apartments or condos are said to be GONE right now … for this coming winter! If you do find one, the rate per month based upon a three month seasonal rental would be up around $5,000 to $8,000 PER MONTH! That’s if you can find one! It was inevitable, I guess, that Naples – Ft Myers would come to this! An over-populated retirement area which will look like other retirement cities in Florida such as : Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville & West Palm Beach …. OVERCROWDED AND OVERPRICED! It is unfortunate … because I believe SW Florida has the very best weather in the USA! No direct hit of a hurricane has hit Naples since “Donna” in 1952. Yes, we have had “brush-byes” but no direct hits! Many northern cities throughout the USA have summer temperatures of 95 to 105 …. our highest temperature is 94 degrees … but with a COOL BREEZE. And with our afternoon showers during those hot months … we slip down to the 80s after the rain and into the 70s at night. In the wintertime, we need heat for about four or five days MAXIMUM! Our average electric bills are the LOWEST during the winter months when up north those heating bills are killers! We DO need lawn services 12 months per year. We DO need pool services (if we have one) 12 months per year. But we can swim just about 12 months a year as well. There are many advantages, but also we do, in fact, have disadvantages, too. But if it is your health which is a major factor … consult with your doctor and if he/she says “Florida is the right place for you…”. THEN DO IT and DO IT…. SOON!

    by Gary Knight — June 28, 2015

  301. Several people have inquired about Dataw Island, in coastal South Carolina near historic Beaufort, SC, so here is a quick market update:

    Currently, homes on the market range from $149,900 to $1,425,000 and lots from $4990 to $449,000. The vast range reflects three home types (Bluff Villas, Patio Homes, and Conventional Homes) and also location – deepwater lots go higher than golf course or lagoon lots. There are resale homes, lots, and new homes available.

    Logan Homes is actively building on the island, and their lot/home packages generally include the membership initiation fee and start around $350,000. The one-time initiation fee runs $15,000, and there is an “a la carte” menu of services to “build” your membership and only pay for the amenities that you use.

    Dataw has two 18-hole golf courses, 8 Har-Tru tennis courts, a full service marina, a community center with a gym, indoor lap pool, yoga room, and classrooms and card rooms, and more.

    For more information or to visit, please go to Thanks so much! Happy hunting!!

    by Laura — October 8, 2015

  302. As far as MD goes its, actually middle of the road when you factor in taxes. You’re going to actually pay more in property taxes and home insurance in FLA and or places like Texas. Even the Carolina’s near the coast its going to cost you more in property insurance. Plus you have to factor in health care service, MD is one of the best states when it comes to health care, can’t be beat! Try Berlin MD near OC .

    by john — July 24, 2016

  303. Well, John, my property taxes in Florida when my condo was non homesteaded were half of my homestead property taxes on my townhouse in Minnesota. Roughly equivalent value homes. EXCEPT that that Florida home is on intersecting canals with great water views and Minnesota home is not. Being on the water in Minnesota sends your property taxes into hyperspace.

    I am really looking forward to my new property tax statement this fall in Florida now that I’ve homesteaded it.

    Yes, insurance is more in Florida. A couple of hundred dollars more. Reduction in property taxes makes up for it.

    Also, no state income tax and sales tax is lower.

    by Linda — July 25, 2016

  304. I’m instead in a couple or single person to rent 2 bedroom with 2 full bath, 3 level condo town house in clarksburg, Marylad 20871. It’s clean, Furniture and is five years old.

    by Janice Hester — August 27, 2016

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