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Sunbelt Shines on the 100 Best Places to Retire List for 2010

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 24, 2010 – Editor’s Note: This list has just been updated (2/24/11) for 2014: “Sunbelt Rules in 2011 List of 100 Best Places to Retire”. This 2010 list is still worth reading, though. Some of its best features are the 88 comments made – it’s interesting to see how many communities recommended here made the list in 2011!

The Sunbelt is still shining when it comes to best places to retire. Every year publishes a list of the 100 most popular places to retire. This year 68 of the 100 top positions were occupied by towns in the Sunbelt. Florida dominated the list, taking 23 of the spots, followed by North Carolina (11) and South Carolina (8). The list is hardly static – 25 new towns made it to the top 100 in 2010.
As it has been since 2007, Asheville, NC was the #1 town on the list. The combination of mountains, Carolina climate, recreational and cultural opportunities, and choice of places to live make it a perennial favorite. Sarasota, FL, Prescott, AZ, and Paris, TN continued as the # 2, #3, and #4 most popular towns. Austin, TX moved up from the 9th position on our previous list to the #5 spot.

Some surprises
Towns making the 100 most popular towns at Topretirements list are selected from its constantly growing database of over 500 retirement towns and 1000 active adult and 55+ communities. Some of the 25 new cities on the list – like Boulder CO, Eugene OR, Santa Fe NM – were fairly easy to predict. Other new towns were more surprising choices. Those included Chattanooga TN, Cheyenne WY, Portland ME, Smyrna DE, and Cape Coral FL.

And those not making the list
To keep the list at 100, some towns had to make way for the new selections. Towns leaving the list in 2010 included the likes of Thomasville GA, Sanibel/Captiva FL, Maryville TN, Lake Mary FL, and Melbourne FL., “Where Baby Boomers Go to Find Their Best Place to Retire”, has published its best 100 list annually since 2007. The list is compiled by calculating the 100 towns with the most online visits of the 500+ cities reviewed at The list is essentially a popularity contest; it reflects the towns that site visitors are the most interested in for retirement.

Detailed reviews and facts about each of the 100 most popular towns are included in the website’s completely updated handbook, “100 Best Retirement Towns, 2nd Edition”. Here are the 100 most popular places to retire for 2010: You can find the reviews for more than 500 towns and 1000 active adult communities from the pull down Directory on the top right of all pages at Topretirements.

1. Asheville, NC
2. Sarasota, FL
3. Prescott, AZ
4. Paris, TN
5. Austin, TX
6. Green Valley, AZ
7. Winston-Salem, NC
8. Beaufort, SC
9. San Diego, CA
10. Ft. Myers, FL
11. Venice, FL
12. Athens, GA
13. Charlottesville, VA
14. Mt. Airy, NC
15. Crossville, TN
16. Sedona, AZ
17. San Antonio, TX
18. San Luis Obispo, CA
19. Flagstaff, AZ
20. Tucson, AZ
21. Phoenix, AZ
22. Gainesville, FL
23. Naples, FL
24. Halifax, CAN
25. The Villages, FL
26. Old Saybrook,CT
27. Denver, CO
28. Palm Springs, CA
29. Boulder, CO*
30. Oxford, OH
31. Summerville, SC
32. Myrtle Beach, SC
33. Fairhope, AL
34. Eugene, OR *
35. Chapel Hill, NC
36. Ft. Collins, CO
37. Rehoboth Beach, DE
38. Orlando, FL
39. Colorado Springs, CO
40. Las Cruces, NM
41. Beaufort, NC
42. Chattanooga, TN*
43. Santa Fe, NM*
44. Ft. Lauderdale, FL
45. Brevard, NC
46. Vero Beach, FL
47. Murray, KY
48. Tallahassee, FL
49. Jacksonville, FL
50. New Bern, NC
51. St. Augustine, FL
52. Williamsburg, VA
53. Aiken, SC
54. Lewes, DE*
55. Pittsburgh, PA
56. Charleston, SC
57. Boca Raton, FL
58. Chicago, IL*
59. Clemson, SC
60. Palm Coast, FL
61. Bend, OR
62. Napa, CA
63. Santa Barbara, CA
64. Sun City, AZ
65. Delray Beach, FL
66. Portland, ME*
67. Fayetteville, AR
68. Greenville, NC
69. Portland, OR
70. Eufaula, AL
71. Henderson, NV*
72. Jupiter, FL
73. Cape Coral, FL*
74. Stuart, FL
75. Hendersonville, NC
76. Eureka, CA
77. Albuquerque, NM*
78. Pinehurst, NC
79. New Smyrna Beach, FL
80. Spokane, WA*
81. Smyrna, DE*
82. Ocala, FL
83. Bluffton, SC
84. Cheyenne, WY*
85. Manahawkin, NJ*
86. Princeton, NJ
87. Laguna Woods, CA
88. Tampa, FL*
89. The Woodlands, TX *
90. Walla Walla, WA*
91. Ithaca, NY*
92. Port St. Lucie, FL
93. Bowling Green, KY*
94. Grand Junction, CO*
95. Bellingham, WA*
96. Hilton Head, SC*

97. Madison, CT
98. Southport, NC*
99. Port Charlotte, FL*
100. La Jolla, CA*

*New to the List in 2010

What do You Think? Please add your comments below
For Additional reference:
100 Best Places to Retire for 2014
The Real Best Places to Retire
Wall St. Journal “Top 10 Places to Retire”
Reader Generated Suggestions – Why My Town is a Great Place to Retire

Posted by John Brady on February 23rd, 2010


  1. I can’t believe this list doesn’t include Branson, MO. With moderate weather, great health care,within 800 miles of half the population of the US,local airport, temerate weather 9 months of the year, 11 golf courses including Branson Creek, rated #1 in Missouri by Golf Digest, three lakes for fishing & recreation, great home values, low cost of living, local colleges and great value oriented entertainment with more theatre seats than Broadway and lots of part-time emploment as a result…what could be more appealing as a retirement destination for active living?!!!

    by Tim — February 24, 2010

  2. You have got to be kidding! San Diego, La Jolla?? I have lived here for over 20 years and am counting the days until I can retire and move! Weather is great yes but there is sky high taxes and traffic is AWFUL! People into themselves!! Can’t wait to leave!!!There is more to life than the weather.

    by Susan — February 24, 2010

  3. I agree with the guy named Tim. I do not live in Branson, MO. But I am always shocked when it is not in the Top 5 (much less the Top 100) places to retire. I believe millions who’ve visited there would agree.

    by Lonnie — February 25, 2010

  4. “…what could be more appealing as a retirement destination for active living?!!!”

    Tim – nearly any one of the other 50 states. Climb out of that midwestern thimble you live in.

    by Freddie Dakar — February 25, 2010

  5. “…what could be more appealing as a retirement destination for active living?!!!”

    Tim – nearly any one of the other 50 states. Climb out of that midwestern thimble you live in.

    by Freddie Dakar — February 25, 2010

  6. The Chambers of Commerce of the listed communities must pay this guy. To leave out Northeastern Oklahoma, and Southwestern Missouri towns shows lack of knowledge. Beauty, water sports, temperate climate, central location and very low cost of living in these two areas that have sizable numbers of retirees shold not be ignored. Obviously there is not much research done in developing these lists.

    by Phil Owings — February 25, 2010

  7. Cheyenne Wyoming! Wow, if you like brutal winters and wind blowing enjoy Cheyenne….LOL

    by Jeff Jones — February 25, 2010

  8. Wow great list – thanks for sharing. I was surprised Clearwater / St Pete (or even Dunedin that made top 10 waterfront communities)didn’t make the list – does Tampa mean just tampa or the Tampa Bay area.

    by Cyndee in Clearwater Fl — February 25, 2010

  9. Maybe the list doesn’t include The Villages, FL, because it is not an incorporated city or town. Instead, it is a collection of Community Development Districts, authorized under Florida law, that spans parts of Marion, Lake, and Sumter counties. With over 78,000 residents and growing at the rate of about 200 homes sold per month, this community ought to be on anyone’s most popular list.
    The Villages bills itself as “America’s friendliest hometown,” and more than lives up to that name. Two town squares offer nightly free entertainment; there are 9 championship and 28 executive golf courses, the latter free to residents. Every village (63 and counting) has its neighborhood swimming pool, and there are 10 Regional recreation centers in addition, with tennis, bocce, pickleball, and shuffleboard courts outdoors, an olympic swimming pool, and indoor meeting rooms for every interest group from Acoustic Guitar to Zumba.
    If this sounds like a commercial, it’s not, because I won’t get a dime. But as a new resident, I love everything about my new home town.

    by Jon Williams — February 25, 2010

  10. To Jon Williams…Read the list again…The Villages, Florida is #25!!!:wink:

    I agree with everything you said about The Villages! 😎 It is the best place 😛 to live after retirement in the whole country, if not the entire world!!! 😀 😎 🙂 😆 😎 😛 🙂 😎

    by Patty — February 25, 2010

  11. You missed Fours Seasons, Missouri. we have a lovely lake, a great local hospital, not bad cost of living, and a mild winter.

    by judy — February 25, 2010

  12. […] Learn more about’s list at this Web site. […]

    by The Top 10 places to retire Robert Powell – MarketWatch « North San Diego Homes and Community — February 25, 2010

  13. Happy to see Santa Fe, New Mexico finally made it on the list. It’s a truly great community with colleges, museums, arts, hiking. It’s my choice for retirement…whenever that is possible. Waiting in Buffalo.

    by Barbara Tedlock — February 26, 2010

  14. Please, please take the NC cities off the list. We’ve been way over developed, over run with traffic, over taxed and over burdened with new ‘requirements’ for all sorts of ‘services’. 🙁

    Yes it used to be nice once, before everyone and their brother moved in. Popularity has a nasty tendency to destroy what made it popular in the first place. I wouldn’t be basing any decision on how high a place is ranked or how many “lists” it makes. Usually indicates you are too far behind the curve and it’s all over done by the time you get there.:shock:

    by LesBaer45 — February 26, 2010

  15. How could Chicago make this list ?

    by jbm327 — February 26, 2010

  16. Poorly researched list. I am a Floridian and have lived all over the state. Tallahassee and New Smyrna Beach are ranked WAY TOO LOW. They should easily be in the top 30. As for Orlando, who would want to live there now? Rampant crime, the worst traffic, lacking in real amenities. Southeast Florida has amenities but it is crowded and has a high cost of living. Jacksonville should not even make this list. As for the Tampa bay area, Pinellas County is croded, has poor traffic, has no diversity in age or ethnicity. That’s why you don’t see Clearwater, St. Pete, or even Dunedin (best in Pinellas by far) on the list.

    by Jimbo — February 27, 2010

  17. Would someone please explain to me why shuffleboard is considered a big draw for someone looking for an area to retire?

    by Barb — February 27, 2010

  18. I believe the folks upset about the omissions are overlooking the method by which this list is compiled: It is based on search rankings from this site. Not exactly scientific but interesting nonetheless.

    by Mr. GoToRetirement — February 27, 2010

  19. […] For more information about the top 100 list of best towns and cities for retirement, start at this page. […]

    by Top 100 Places to Retire – 2010 List Edition | Go To Retirement — February 27, 2010

  20. I will never understand how these things are picked. Of all the towns in Florida that are chosen, I’d not want to live in any of them and I grew up in Florida. We’re retiring to St. Petersburg, which is across the bridge from Tampa (and it’s NOT a part of Tampa, despite what so many of these organizations think) and is completely different from it. There’s nothing Tampa can offer that St. Petersburg can’t, except for the opportunity to play dare with your life every time you go out on the roads. Ah, well, that’s why I never take these things at face value.

    by Iris — February 28, 2010

  21. Why not give your readers the option of Retireing in Colonial Mexico?:lol:

    by Charles — March 1, 2010

  22. I am a writer/editor fro — we just had nearly 500 people attend a conference in Ecuador about retiring abroad. Latin America is extremely affordable (and has GREAT weather), as is parts of Asia and Europe. We’re seeing an increasing number of Americans who can no longer afford high taxes, high health care costs and generally high prices overall looking for opportunities overseas. It just makes sense.

    by Suzan Haskins — March 3, 2010

  23. […] to a recent study by, Austin is among the best places in the United States in which to retire. It’s no surprise […]

    by Austin: 5th Best Place to Retire in the US | Red Home Realty — March 5, 2010

  24. I can’t understand why Halifax, NS, Canada, is the only place in Canada noted for retirement. What happened to British Columbia? It’s 100% better!

    by Michael Hertz — March 6, 2010

  25. […] and this most recent recognition goes well with Asheville recently being named Number 1 on the 100 Best Places to Retire in 2010. See the article: “Sunbelt Shines on the 100 Best Places to Retire List for […]

    by Barron’s “10 Best Places for Second Homes.” (Asheville Made the List). | Bucking The Real Estate Trend-Waynesville and Maggie Valley Real Estate — March 7, 2010

  26. […] Asheville #1 on the 100 Best Places to Retire 2010 List […]

    by NYT Article: Short-Sale Program Will Pay Homeowners to Sell at a Loss. | Bucking The Real Estate Trend-Waynesville and Maggie Valley Real Estate — March 8, 2010

  27. I moved to Hendersonville North Carolina about 8 years ago. It has been a miserable experience. The workmen are either nonexistant or have no idea how to do the work they’re hired to do and charge $1000 a day (carpenter, rock guy, and painter charged $1000 a gallon). If you’re in the “waiting to die” group and do nothing but watch TV and want a plastic milkcarton house or trailer costing at least $500K then this could be the place for you.
    P.S. Bring your own doctor and dentist because there aren’t any here.

    by Lynn — March 9, 2010

  28. As a transplanted New Englander (CT), living in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the last 5 years, I can see why it made the list. Low taxes, low cost of living (current price of gas is $2.50/gallon),GREAT people. I miss the beaches in the east, I miss the trees and the awesome fall foliage, but I do NOT miss the outrageous cost of living, the traffic, and the high taxes. And with the money I save living here I travel back east to visit every year. The winters are no worse than in New England, and the summmers are warm and DRY! It CAN be very windy at times,as one other commenter noted, but if you like the outdoors and being near the Rockies, great skiing, and Yellowstone, then this is a good place to live. The biggest “traffic jam” I have seen here comes once a year, in July, when they bring all the bulls and horses down the main street for “Frontier Days”. And where else can you live in a state’s capital and be able to get from one end of the city to the other during rush hour in less than 20 minutes? 🙂

    by deb k — March 14, 2010

  29. Glad to see Prescott, AZ is so high on the list. A great community with a bustling downtown and several real estate options throughout the valley.

    by chris — March 23, 2010

  30. 🙄 Number one, if you want your children to have a bad , miserable inheritance experience, go ahead and put your home in a reverse mortgage? They will be glad to see you get off the planet and have to deal with the crooked banks on this? Most of these cities on the top 100 are large? They seem to be for wealthy Wall Street Journel reading types? There must be nice smaller towns with low cost of living and moderate temperatures not requiring super heating or super air. So middle class, (maybe lower due to past spousal support), collect SS and live off limited funds saved? I vote for mid coastal Oregon.

    by Kim — March 31, 2010

  31. […] of sources about the people who tend to move more than 20 miles away: – Topretirements’ 2010 list of the 100 most popular retirement communities found that towns in the sunbelt attracted much more interest than those in colder climes – 68 of […]

    by » Where are Baby Boomers Retiring to? Topretirements — April 5, 2010

  32. I’ve read through lots of recommended retirement location lists, and haven’t found the combination of features I want. I’m starting to think that such a place doesn’t exist. First of all, being a Texan, I’m too used to never having had to pay state income tax in my life, and with too many taxes of all sorts, all of them too high, I refuse to add that one to the list. So that narrows it down to a few states. Problem with Texas is that they make it up through high property taxes which are so high, it’s like having a mortgage long after the house is paid off. Unacceptable. I was taxed out of the paid-for house I was raised in after I inherited it from my folks and it has me really upset. Had to sell it. My ideal would be no state income tax, dirt cheap property and local taxes, low median home price (I like the places listed where the median is under $100K), and preferably some water and scenery not too far away cause I like the outdoors and plan to be the oldest senior in America who snowboards and whitewater kayaks. Don’t need shuffleboard, college, museums, or theatres. (Never can understand why would seniors need a college town if they’re not enrolling in college? To attend the school play put on by the drama department? Student music recitals? No one goes to those. And you can only visit museums or the art shops of Santa Fe so many times before it’s a “been there done that, got the T-shirt.” I found this website from a link in a story done on

    Of the cities discussed, I’m most intrigued by Cheyenne (have always been interested in Wyoming due to clean air, no big city congestion, no state income tax, and the possibility of low cost of living and taxes). And now, Paris, TN, number 4 on the list, looks appealing. Problem with TN is they have state income tax or I’d move tomorrow to work in the Nashville music scene as a songwriter/producer, something I’ve always wanted to do. Do this for me…put together a list of Top 20 cities but limit it to states with no income tax, preferably with mild temps, no traffic, low property tax, clean air, and some scenery. I would simply move to Colorado if it weren’t for the high cost of living. Everyone wants the same things I do. I can travel to the rivers or slopes if I have to for a getaway. Thanks in advance. By the way, large urban areas like Austin and San Antonio should be nowhere near the Top 100 unless you never venture out of your neighborhood. You won’t like the traffic/congestion. It’s an hour traffic jam just to drive through Austin on the way to San Antonio on I-35 and that’s what I want to get away from. I’ve always thought that if I were to retire somewhere in Texas, it might be in the hill country somewhere if I find a cheap house in a town with utility service, grocery store, and a hospital. Seems like too many nice places are ones where you have to pay up to live there. You also have to be careful about the risk that tax-and-spend liberals will take control of government and drive people out of the state like N.J. did. Taxes got so high, people said ‘who needs this’ and exited. I can’t afford my house value to drop cause of no demand, wherever I move. I’ve also thought about a Miami beach condo. No yard to maintain.

    by Paul — April 16, 2010

  33. worst place is all of Florida, crime is unbelievably high, Murders # 1, Rapes, break-ins, Car-jacks on & on, you can not go out at night and I live in a white collar area!! Look up the Police Blog in all Fl.cities,they don’t tell you much on the news or paper because they don’t want to scare the tourist away but we have tons of shock attacks and murders it’s gotten worst I been here for 15 yrs. and I’m trying my best to get out!!

    by Paul — April 22, 2010

  34. I was seduced by all the “places to retire to” ads and publications that proclaim Las Cruces to be highly desirable place to live in retirement. It isn’t. It is not a retirement friendly town.. just ask the City Manager, he’ll quickly state as he did to me that retirees like me were foolish to move here. The predominant Hispanic population is beginning to resent us “gringo viejos” IE old white guys. There is a growing resentment as more foolish “gringos” move here. City services are incompetent. there is no commitment to public safety. the mayor usurps the US Constitution… by not abiding by the rights of a free press. There are not enough policeman on the payroll to provide adequate responses to 911 calls. In my subdivision in a district of 10 square miles, there is only one on-duty officer at any hour of the day.. thus all roads and streets are “NASCAR” events. Call 911 for breaking and entering.. and you get a responding officer 4 hours later asking what you expect as he can’t be expected to show up in within 20-30 minutes of placing a call to 911. Las Cruces is like one big pay toilet: you pay the access fee only to discover the plumbing is broken… no plumbers to fix it. stay away if you are a “gringo” and seeking safety, peace and quiet and quality services. LC sucks as cities go… 😥

    by Ronin — May 1, 2010

  35. […] categories to help you find articles of interest. Here are the top 5 blog stories so far in 2010: Sunbelt Shines on the 100 Best Places to Retire List for 2010 7 Reasons Not to Retire in These 4 States With Some States in Trouble, Be Careful Where You Retire […]

    by » The Best of the Best Places to Retire Topretirements — May 18, 2010

  36. 😯

    Many cities listed on Topretirement’s,100 Best Places List rank high on the Sperlings Crime Index. These cities are at or near border states like California, Texas and Arizona. Now I know why Arizona was forced to passthe SB 1070 Immigration I.D. Bill. We look forward to retirement and continue to pay higher taxes and the Federal Government refuses to implement laws regarding ILLEGAL aliens. The state of Arizona and Govenor Benson have my full support.
    Thank you!

    by Rob Brossa — May 22, 2010

  37. Southern Oregon (Medford/Jacksonville/Ashland) used to make these lists, but not lately, and I can’t figure out why. We’ve got a variety cultural, entertainment and enrichment opportunities, relatively low-cost of living, and a moderate four-season climate. We’re located midway between San Francisco and Portland, with good air connections in every direction. There are so many outdoor sports opportunities, year-round, and a relaxed lifestyle. Having lived in Eureka, CA, which made the list, and moved to Ashland, OR, which did not, I can attest that the latter has the former beat, hands down. Come vist and see!

    by Rich Poorman — May 26, 2010

  38. henderson nevada? only if you want to live in a barrio…crime, urban sprawl, terrible traffic, and worse crime…

    by former nevadan — May 27, 2010

  39. COME TO TUCSON!!!!! there are many empty houses- still great warmth- no pun intended- you can find all manor of entertainment,cultural activities.
    CHEAP rent- 299 in a gated community with pool and security- some great doctors – and of course wonderful nurses.

    by old nurse — June 7, 2010

  40. No one commented on the number one place…Asheville NC! I am from NC so I may be slightly biased, but Asheville is a beautiful place. I would certainly consider retiring there. Southport is a very nice place as well.

    by jason — June 10, 2010

  41. The state tax kills paris, tn for me and thats a shame as paris is a very nice town. I grew up in ky and graduated from Murray State and murray is on the list, great town but again a state tax!! Find a nice town in Texas to live in, I did (Beaumont). No state tax, decent weather, friendly people and a local school system that is out of control (taxes)…can’t have it all. Superintendents in Texas make about as much as the president of the U.S..go figure. Branson is another great area to live except for one thing, it is in Missouri!!!

    by Jim — June 10, 2010

  42. Well, being born and raised in Missouri, I can tell you that while it has a LOT to see and do, it taxes you to no end. I moved to Louisiana which is real friendly to you.

    First, if you are like me, retired military followed by retired government, LA does not charge you one penny of state income tax on your retired pay. If you are retired and have other income, then it is charged as 2% up to 12,500, 4% up to 50,000, and 6% for anything above 50,000.

    You get a $75,000 home exemption which is capped once you reach age 70. As for property taxes, I pay $1,203 a year on a $200K home, which is 3700 sqft of living space. (we entertain alot).

    Sales tax varies by Parish(county). State sales tax is 4% with individual parishes allowed to charge up to 5% for a max of 9%, most do not charge that much, generally around 7.5 to 8.5%.

    Drivers Lic cost 21 dollars, vehicle license is $20 for two years on cars and $40 for four years on trucks.

    Today, gas is 2.36 a gallon.

    I keep my house a/c running at 72F, the most I have paid is $133.00 for electric, that was two years ago, I stay around $105-$110 mostly.. Ok, I paid higher the first year, but the house had old single pane windows which I had changed out that winter, my bill that first summer was around $188.00 a month.

    For me I increased my disposible income by about 23%. Now I can go visit any place I want anytime without worrying about money.

    Just my opinion.

    by Richard — June 22, 2010

  43. Paul,
    You should try to retire in Laughlin, NV. It is a small casino town bordering AZ. The town has low crime, senior friendly, and the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and Lake Mojave. It is a beautiful small town. Let me know if you need any questions.

    by Ana — June 25, 2010

  44. I grew up in No.Ca. Now, live in So.Ca. California is polluted and overcrowded.Crime everywhere. We grew up in an agriculture town where our doors were opened at night. Everywhere there is grafetti. Hiway 99 use to be beautiful. Now grafetti everywhere. All cities expensive. 9%sales tax. Hiways are jammed in North/Southern Ca. Small beautiful towns have crime and we have the most prisons. California is wrecked. Hopefully, I can find a place like Ca. was in 1950’s to live. Too sad.

    by Conservative Californian — June 26, 2010

  45. Paul,

    I would like to invite you to Solera Chandler, AZ by Del Webb. It is located in the southeast corner of Chandler, AZ, a suburb of the Pheonix area. Here is the community site…
    We are a few hours to snow skiing in the White Mountains and Flagstaff, 4.5 hours to the Grand Canyon, 5 hours to San Diego and LA and 2 to 3 hours to great fishing in the Salt River basin to the northeast of Mesa, AZ.
    See you soon,

    by Dave Richter — June 30, 2010

  46. Branson?? You’ve got to be kidding! Been there, won’t go again. If you are a redneck country western fan you’ll love it, but it’s sure not for me. That said, have given up on FL due to the oil spill. Now focussing on NV. Any suggestions?

    by mary — June 30, 2010

  47. well if you hate Branson then you will love Vegas with all of its crime, major traffic conjestion, the second most dangerous highway in the country { Interstate 15 } super high insurance rates, high utility rates poor healthcare but the housing is getting cheaper { highest foreclosure rate in the nation} been here 20 years and can”t wait to get back near Branson. oh by the way I am a redneck and dame proud of it, better than being a city idiout

    by jim — July 8, 2010

  48. Interesting comments. I had considered a few locations until I read the comments. Have to agree some of the crime and problems are not shared; thus making this list questionable. In everything I have read, books, discussion groups, websites, etc. I will say I have not heard any negatives regarding the Villages. My concern is the heat, but guess being in the pool sounds like a great resolution. By the way, I live near Athens and if you want to live near a party University, (Univ of GA) then this might work. Being a native Atlantan, can’t imagine why Athens is on a list. College students, parties, crime is it. Nothing else. Sounds like Chamber of Commerce hype to me. To each is own I guess. Thanks everyone for sharing!

    by Marjory — July 12, 2010

  49. I am in the military and I am due to retire in December. I moved to Midway Fl, in 2008. I’m a first time home owner. I purchased my home August 2008; high-in-sight my taxes were about $500 that year. Now I pay over $3,000 in taxes for a home that is about 1850 sq ft and just enough yard to surround it. And I am told it’s because I am not a resident of Florida. My electricity bill is between $250 – $500 a month; and I am hardly home. Is this right?

    by Jacqueline — July 19, 2010

  50. […] ones best match your livability criteria and weighting. A good place to start is with these lists: 100 Best Places to Retire Best College Towns Most Under-Rated Places to Retire Best Small Towns for Retirement Best Cities […]

    by Best Places to Retire for Livability | Topretirements — July 20, 2010

  51. NO!!!! HIWAY ROBBERY!!! Taxes high because you are not a resident? Electric 250 to 500 per month!!! Thanks, but no thanks!!! Ca. lookks good to that and Ca. is no where to come to now!!! Crowded beaches, smog. Jails.

    by Carol — July 22, 2010

  52. Your rating of Winston-Salem should include Greensboro either in addition to in place of Winston-Salem. From restaurants to colleges/universities to beautiful neighborhoods to lower crime rate, Greensboro is the best choice in the Triad over Winston-Salem and/or High Point. There is a real culture gap compared to the Northeast in terms of museums. Raleigh is one of the most non-descript, nothing cities I have ever visited. Charlotte is the most like a true large city but getting to and from there is a nightmare of awful road non-planning. North Carolina has a number of pluses but if not for the weather I’ll take upstate New York for it’s beauty in a heartbeat. I like North Carolina but I still love New York.

    by Ken — August 1, 2010

  53. […] August 3, 2010. You can probably imagine the questions that come up when your editor meets someone and they find out about our association with The #1 question is almost always, “What is the best place to retire”. They mean it as a serious question, so before we answer we have to pause and try not to be too overbearing. That’s because the answer we always give sounds a little too snide – “That depends on you”. (Here is the link to our list of the “100 Best Retirement Towns for 2010“. […]

    by best place to retire | Topretirements — August 3, 2010

  54. I was wondering where Palm Coast Florida was in the rating. Recently Fortune magazine rated Palm Coast as one of the top 5 places to retire. As a resident this great place to live, work and play. With low home prices low crime and close to the ocean in my opinion there is no better place to live..

    by Carmine Pantuso — August 26, 2010

  55. […] start somewhere and as I was doing some research, I found the most interesting article on the "Best 100 Place to Retire."    Wow, what could be better than a list.  It stands to reason in my mind, that […]

    by RV Freedom and Retirement — That Mystical Magical Word | — September 3, 2010

  56. […] few of these towns have been on our Top 100 list before, but didn’t make our “Sunbelt Shines on 2010 List of the 100 Best Retirement Towns“. Those include Maryville (TN), Key West (FL) and Melbourne (FL)>. The most surprising town […]

    by » The Next Best 25 Places to Retire Topretirements — September 13, 2010

  57. Tell you the truth… this is why NO U.S. city made the top 35 places to live in the world. Our taxes are too high (everywhere worth living), infrastructure poor, crime is off the charts, our legal system doesn’t take care of criminals, and we allow every idiot in the world to cross our borders and live here, sucking off YOUR hard earned money. We deserve everything we get! It’s up to US to clean up OUR acts. If you own a 400,000 home in Texas, the taxes exceed $10,000 – 11,000 per year. Utilities in Florida are very high. Move to Branson, Mo and the traffic is unbelievably BAD. Millions of visitors go thru there every year. Not to mention, that crime is very high in any Mid-Western state. Look at City Data! Remember that Missourians voted Democrat this last election. Plus, Branson has to come in as the most boring place to live in the world, but, the best place to retire for taxes, property, homes, ease of living, and the people can be nice at times, if you’ve known them most of your life. I grew up there and visit family occasionally. Live in Wyoming? For what reason! BORING!!! High housing cost, if you can find something to live in. Costa Rica?? Nope– roads suck and the cost of living is high for something worth living in; Panama… great place to visit and rent a home (same for Costa Rica); maybe Ecuador, but I’ve never been there. Again, better to rent cheap, then own. In the end… it’s best to live around folks that love you and you have great relationships. When it comes right down to it, people are what makes this world go-round. Be around good people that take care of each other in selfless service to their fellows. By the way… that wouldn’t be Seattle! LoL (Lots of Love!)

    by Jim — September 18, 2010

  58. […] with a grain of salt. I think Tennessee is ok in this category. Here is another list to look at…. This might make people feel […]

    by 1 of the Worst Places to Retire? - Tennessee (TN) - City-Data Forum — September 24, 2010

  59. […] do you think? Please provide your comments below For further information: Sun Shines on Topretirements List of 100 Best Places to Retire Posted by John Brady on October 12th, 2010 Comments (0)  Email This Post Entries (RSS) and […]

    by » Topretirements Interviewed for Fox News – Best Places to Retire Topretirements — October 12, 2010

  60. You said you nominated recently, Eugene, Oregon, at the top 100 – I didn’t see it – where is it – what # and why?


    Dee Dee

    by Dee Dee Dunne — October 15, 2010

  61. Eugene is #34 on the above list. It is a great town for culture and recreation. See detailed review by clicking on link

    by Admin — October 15, 2010

  62. How about producing an article and list of the best places for seniors to live who live now in rented apartments and rented condo-homes. Not all apartments are low income (section 8) government housing. Many are nice gated communities (some residents are folks who have been forclosed on) and they lost their homes and had to move into apartments. They may not qualify to buy another home—even Suzie Ormon says this— and (we still should consider all those who are low income too, what areas to retire are best for services for them–health and human service— organizatinal help) Every thing is always directed toward people who have homes and retirement plans—I’ve had to live in apartments for years–didn’t qualify for a mortgage—where should I retire—I want to live as comfortably as I can too–!!!! If you can’t provide articles– provide some great links, nationally and statewide. Thanks

    by Susan Williams — October 17, 2010

  63. I’d like to add to my message above– please read it first—–
    so I’m low low income, if I move to a great retirement city too, I might be getting a job as a young senior aid, provider, or assistant, or household maid, as a job to an older senior who has the good fortune to purchase a retirement home— thus, I have a retirement job– and some added income until I just can’t work from aging and I can have a nicer apartment and save more to go with my SSI for later, since I have only low SSI–expected under $700 per month to live on if I don’t continue work at age 65 (almost there) and very worried. So, retirement living is not a luxury decision— it is a masterfful difficult plan we have to get right the first and only time.

    by Susan Williams — October 17, 2010

  64. Don’t know where you guys heard that Tennesse has a state income tax but you are WRONG! Lived here my whole life and we do not have a state income tax. I agree with Jim, retire near family and/or friends who care about you and whom you care about. Makes the quality of life richer and more enjoyable. Have traveled all over the US. Every city has the same chain stores, movie theaters, restaurants, some folks friendly some not, but in the end home is where your heart is and mine is near family and friends. Happiness comes from within.

    by Yvonna — October 18, 2010

  65. Yvonna has probably the best comment I’ve read. I live in the midwest snowbelt. I find it funny how people want to move and go south to the warmth. A couple years later, they’re back.

    by Don — October 19, 2010

  66. Well I know something about Tucson , Ive been trapped in this God forsaken hotter than %^&%$#@ hell place for the last 32 years and can’t wait to retire and get out. Traffic gridlock no freeways to bisect the city angry drivers maybe because of the many photo enforcement cams, high crime, tons of pan handlers, too many Lance Armstrong wanna bees that ride the streets in swarms irregardless of construction and congestion, stucco cookie cutter housing ghettos with spray painted graffiti and gang signs on most of the entrance walls. The list of negatives far outweigh the positive,I’ll be so happy to flip this place the bird from I-10 as I head back to a green place somewhere far far away from here ADIOS Tucson !!

    by John W — October 30, 2010

  67. […] don’t forget the Topretirements 2010 List of the Best Places to Retire, which features links to our reviews of all of those […]

    by » Latest “Best Places to Retire” Lists Feature Tried and… New Topretirements — November 1, 2010

  68. The city of Branson, MO is a good pick and I have to agree with Tim that I’m a little surprised that it was left off the list. The weather is good all year round and there is an airport and an amtrak station nearby. Branson also has an incredibly low cost of living, which is great especially when you’re retired. Maybe next year it will make the list.

    by Branson City Guide — November 8, 2010

  69. Las Cruces is still on many “best retirement places” lists but should be ignored. I am retired and have lived in Las Cruces for 2+ years, seduced by the hype… I bought a new home here in 2008… it was the worst decision I ever made. Las Crcues is not a “retirement friendly” town a fact verified by City manager when he asked me why I moved here. there is no commitment to public safety on city streets… no way to have laws enforced in neighborhoods as City council has ignored needs for funding more police officers, no attention is paid to provide “quiet enjoyment” of residential properties.. noise is a major factor as is daily motorcycle racing in subdivision as there is no law enforcement and can’t be given that LC Police Department is so under-staffed they cannot respond in a timely manner to a 911 call. The City Council is obsessed with expanding development. For The $1200 per year paid for real property tax.. for a $135,000 homes.. you get very little services rendered. And now the worst thing about Las Cruces: As a “gringo” you are not welcome here… the dominant Hispanic community has become very hostile toward us “gringos” and they let you know it.. even at wal mart, and other national chains.. restaurants… service is poor on all levels.. getting a medical appointment as new arrival here is difficult especially if on Medicare as NM doctors have gone on record saying no more Medicare patients.. and that started in 2005 (AMA report states that 49% of NM doctors said they will refuse Medicare patients services.. even providing an annual flu shot is not acceptable to NM doctors. the worst thing for me is the anti-white ethnic attitudes of the Hispanic population. Even at City hall, one receives discourteous treatment. Stay away from Las Cruces… life is too short to endure such discrimination. And, I speak Spanish and chose to move here as Hispanics have been part of my social circles for past 20 years, but here such is unwelcome.. and to speak Spanish is an insult as they see us gringos as “invaders.” 🙁

    by Ronin — November 13, 2010

  70. John W: RE: Tucson.. sounds like Las Cruces… lawless and uncivilized.

    by Ronin — November 13, 2010

  71. […] criteria and what gets rated!) Topretirements Worst Places to Retire Best States to Retire in 100 Best Places to Retire List of the Best Places to Retire Lists Look for future articles on “States that Don’t Tax […]

    by » The Worst of the Worst Places to Retire Lists Topretirements — November 23, 2010

  72. To the people recommending Fla, why dont you mention insurance costs ????
    Fla Homeowners insurance is highest in the nation and most cant get any national insurance coverage and are dumped into the state insurance pool.
    Plan on paying $3,000-$9000 annually for your homeowners insurance.

    Everyone sings the praises of FLA as a No Income Tax state but be warned:
    Fla has a Super-High cost of living when you figure in insurance and property taxes, also you electric costs will be very HIGH.
    You will have to run your home air conditioner 8 months a year just to keep your home livable in the unbearable heat and humidity from May-Nov.
    Fla now has a net population loss each year because of the above items.

    by Sasha — December 9, 2010

  73. This list looses all creditability by including Chicago, Il. I have relatives in Chicago and they do not plan to retire in Chicago, many have already moved. I wonder who the Chicago machine paid off to get on this list. I will not visit this site again.

    by gjpom — December 9, 2010

  74. Glad to see Cape Coral Fl made the list. Just bought here last December, have been coming to this area for the last 6 years. Love having the Red Sox and Twins right next door in Ft Myers, only a 1/2 hour away. If you shop around for insurance, and not listen to the agents you talk to and demand a better price you will get it. I only pay a little over $1000.00 for my property insurance. As for those hot summer days, I just spend more time in my pool sipping on a nice cool cocktail. And come 4 or 5 o’clock then head out to some of the best happy hours and food prices one can enjoy. All n’all, I’m extremely satisfied with my choice. The only thing I’m considering now is upgrading to a canal house before the prices start going up again. As for friends and family, a lot of my friends are also moving here and my son already does and my daughter will be in the spring.

    by Bob — December 19, 2010

  75. yuck I live in Michigan and not one city is on the list. However that may be why everybody is running out of the state I know.
    How to Find Outdoor Jobs: Could be a great source for part time jobs for retirees.
    I VOTE for warm weather

    by Paul Greenawalt — December 19, 2010

  76. One must also take in mind who has the best golf courses near them.
    Best Public Golf Courses in America
    I still VOTE for warm weather:grin:

    by Paul — December 19, 2010

  77. Austin, TX recommended as a good place to retire. WHAT A JOKE!!!! Texas doesn’t have an income tax, but we have taxes on nearly everything else. These taxes and the high local taxes more than make up for any money saved from income tax. Problem: few of the state and local taxes are deductible on federal income tax, but a state income tax would be. Austin’s city council is spending way too much money on unsuccessful conservation attempts and not enough on public protection and welfare — with promises that it will only get worse at both the city and state levels.

    by Leather Bound — December 20, 2010

  78. How can you leave out Lexington, VA as one of the best places to retire? Has Washington & Lee University, moderate winter climate, low cost of living, beautiful countryside, etc.

    by Charles — December 20, 2010

  79. I agree with Jim, Southern Missouri is a great place to retire. I’m not sure how Chicago, Illinois made the list though. I have been to Chicago and would not want to live there, much less retire there! I agree how much did Chicago pay to make #58 on the list?

    by Donna — December 20, 2010

  80. i have read several posts here. Why would someone wonder why any such city is not on the retirement list? Obviously, we are all individuals. While I may love the lifestyle and city of Branson, Mo; perhaps you are a punk rocker and want to attend raves every week. I doubt Branson would be a good fit for you. Quit complaining about a particular city on here. If that is where you want to retire then great! If you are not sure, perform your due diligence. It will provide a great opportunity for several vacations so you can figure out where you want to sail into the golden years.

    by will - dallas — December 20, 2010

  81. According to MarketWatch, most of the top 100 best retirement places in USA are in the ‘sunbelt’ because, naturally, people are interested in retiring to places with sunnier skies and better weather. Additionally, college towns are also rising in popularity due to the fact that many seniors are seeking places that can still offer them avenues for intellectual challenge after they retire.

    by Teri Green — December 22, 2010

  82. TALLAHASSEE, FL you’ve got to be kidding. Since this is a college town (FSU) everything here is way too expensive to retire here. It’s too expensive just to live here on a day to day basis. When you can find a job the wage is way under the cost of living, utilities are out of site, no entertainment to speak of, too hot and humid for about 9-10 months out of the year. No seasons except two = summer and spring. Hate it here and I grew up here and have been here most of my life. Can’t wait to retire to finally leave this God forsaken place.

    by Robin — December 29, 2010

  83. I agree with the statement above I live in Tn and have for the last 11 years, we have no state tax and have not had one since I have lived here.The high state tax of 9.5% is one of the highest making up for the difference. I’m not sure how the high humidity here would make it a good place to retire though. If you don’t mind the heat it may be the place for you :wink:.

    by army wife — January 8, 2011

  84. As a 56 yr. old, native CA., I think I’ve heard every complaint ever expressed about my state. So I’d just like to offer a different point of view, based on my own experience. Yes, things have changed greatly since I was a child growing up in the San Gabriel valley, surrounded by citrus groves and small two lane roads. Cookie cutter housing developments and major highways are the norms in most larger cities/towns. But guess what? I live peacefully on 5 acres on the northern slopes of the beautiful San Gabriel mountains, in a small town of maybe 6500, many of whom are retirees living quite comfortably. The temps are mild most of the year with occasional winter snow. I rarely use my air conditioning in summer and take great pleasure in having my windows open 9-10 months of the year. I usually lock my doors but really don’t have to. Crime is very low, no gangs or graffetti to speak of. Great skiing and hiking are 10 minutes away, the beaches about an hour. Vegas/Henderson are about 3 hours drive and I make the trip several times a year to visit family who live there. It’s a great place to garden, grow roses and stone fruit trees. My property backs up to national forest to the south and beautiful valley vistas to the north so there is no shortage of scenery to call upon for inspiration for my love of landscape painting. And most everyone is friendly and helpful. The guy you see with the old beat up truck will be the first one to help pull you out of a snow ditch, no questions asked, no compensation needed.

    On the downside, propane is a little high and many of our secondary roads are dirt, some county maintained, some not. Shopping is limited to a grocery store, drug store and a few independent stores. Major shopping is about a 25 minute drive, but it’s a pleasant drive. There aren’t any large restaurant chains but there are several cafes and restaurants that serve good food at a good price. Sales tax is high but property taxes are not. Housing is mixed, mostly single family stick built with some manufactured mixed in. No housing developments and no apartments. This bothers some but I find it liberating to not look at the same home, street after street, as I do when I travel to the more developed areas of So.Cal. Medical is limited to a local clinic but there are several large hospitals within a half hour drive.

    I realize my small, somewhat rural community wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and I may eventually retire elsewhere myself. But I just wanted others to know that there are still nice, friendly and safe places to live and retire in CA, despite all the negative comments that usually spew forth from those less satisfied with their choice of address in my beautiful state. Retirement living choices are truly individual and should be based on our specific needs, and research that goes far and beyond a top retirement list.

    by Diana — January 11, 2011

  85. Check out for comments on almost any city in the USA. Northern AZ is the place for me.

    by Steve — January 24, 2011

  86. We have purchased two homes in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and plan to retire there soon. HSV is not listed in the top 100. Any comments on HSV as a retirement location?

    by Chuo retire there ck B — February 3, 2011

  87. I want to mention Tomball, Texas for retirement. Just north of Houston, low taxes, low utilites, a top hospital and doctors blocks from City Hall, community college and good library, low crime, movie theaters, major grocers, Luby’s, etc. Check it out.

    by JohnB — February 13, 2011

  88. […] do You Think? Please add your comments below For Additional reference: Sun Shines on the Sunbelt: The 2010 List of 100 Best Places to Retire 100 Best Retirement Towns, 2nd Edition (2010) 50 Best Active Adult or 55+ Communities – 2010 […]

    by » Sunbelt is Where It’s At When It Comes to 2011 Best Places to Retire List Topretirements — February 22, 2011

  89. […] most popular Topretirements articles for 2010: – Sunbelt Shines on the 100 Most Popular Retirement Towns – Our 10 Worst Retirement States – What Are the Best States for Retirement – 50 Most Popular Active […]

    by » Best Retirement Stories of the Year Topretirements — October 10, 2011

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