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The Best of the Best Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

May 18, 2010 — Nobody loves a good list more than we do. To that end we decided to come out with our own 10 Best of the Best List. Our goal here is to assemble the best of Topretirements in one place, making it easier for our visitors to find our best stuff, quickly and easily. In this list you will find:

– The best places (towns and cities) to retire
– The best places in the world to retire
– The best under-rated places to retire
– The best active adult and 55+ communities
– The best retirement feature articles
– The best retirement blog stories
– The best comments to a blog story
– Best retirement states
– Best retirement discussion post
– The best reader suggestions

To keep this article within reasonable limits we have limited each category to just a few items. You are welcome to suggest more items, including more categories, in the Comments section to this article.

1. The Best Towns and Cities to Retire
As even the most casual visitor to this site probably knows, the most popular retirement town in the U.S. is Asheville, NC, and by a wide margin. It’s got beautiful mountains, a diverse and exciting small city, great places to live, and it’s a college town to boot. Coming in 2nd through 9th are:
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

2.The Best Places in the World to Retire.
To each his own tastes. For most Americans, the good old USA is the place to retire. People in other countries probably feel the same way about their countries. But there is a certain percentage of the population for whom the allure of a foreign retirement is great. If you are one of those folks, you might want to look at these 2 articles:
Top 10 International Places to Retire
10 Tips to Consider Before You Retire Abroad

3. The Best Under-Rated Places to Retire
After awhile all of the different “Best places to retire” lists start to look the same. The tragedy of that is that there are plenty of relatively undiscovered towns and cities that offer a great retirement. But they don’t get a fair shake because they aren’t on the popular lists. Here is our article on undiscovered places to retire, which included the likes of Bisbee, Arizona and Maryville, Tennessee. Our inclusion of New Haven, CT stirred up a ruckus among some visitors, but after you read its review we hope you will see why we stand by the choice.
Most Under-Rated Places to Retire

4. Best Active Adult and 55+ Communities
We came out with our original list in late 2009. Many on the list will be familiar: The Villages, Sun City, Green Valley, Hot Springs Village, Laguna Woods Village, etc. Others you might not have heard of. Here are a few communities that likely will make the list when we revise it for 2010: Hampton Lake in Bluffton, Enchanted Canyon in Prescott, and Rarity Bay in Tennessee.
25 Best Active Adult Communities of 2009

5. The Best Retirement Feature Articles
Our feature articles about retirement are located in the Tips & Picks section, although there is some overlap with the Blog feature. Tips & Picks is arranged by topic to help you find the articles you want. Here are the top viewed articles for 2009-2010:
100 Best Retirement Towns
Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Retirement
10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy in an Active Adult Community
South Carolina Low Country Popular with Boomers
Top 10 Values in Retirement Communities
The Villages – Facts and Opinions
Surprising Answer – When You Should Start Taking Retirement
How Much Can You Spend in Retirement
Most Tax Friendly States
15 Great Biking Towns for Retirement
All Tips & Picks Articles

6. Best Retirement Blog Stories
This is the section you can get to from // Most, but not all of the main features in our Wednesday newsletter appear here. These stories tend to be more news oriented than the features in the Tips & Picks section. The blog also has 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
4 Reasons Not to Retire in These 7 States
With Some States in Trouble, Be Careful Where You Retire
Top 10 Tax-Friendly Towns
What Are the Best States for Retirement
All Blog Stories

7. Best Comments to a Retirement Blog Story
Hands down the retirement blog story with the most comments was “Sunbelt Shimmers in 2010 Best Places to Retire List“. That story received 34 comments, and counting! They are all worth reading, and range from what towns should have been included to ones people can’t believe were included, to issues well beyond that. 4 Reasons Why Not to Retire in These 7 States generated the most spirited comments – 27 in all. North Carolina’s Secret Sauce generated 8 thought-provoking comments.

8. Best Retirement States
The most popular states at Topretirements are pretty predictable. We based popularity on our State Retirement Guides which got the most visits.
North Carolina
South Carolina

9. Best Retirement Discussion Posts
The Villages
New Retirement Place Concepts
Real Estate Classifieds
So Many Places, So Hard to Decide

10. Best Reader Suggestions
We are grateful to all of our loyal visitors and members – thanks for coming to this site and being part of our community. Every day we receive something useful from someone. For example, over the weekend Wes told us about a new law signed into effect in Geogia that will exempt all non-working income for retirees in that state. OldNassau, our most faithful correspondent, provided more useful details on the “Buy, Rent, or Stay” conundrum. Many, many others have brought new communities to our attention, useful facts, corrections, and suggestions such as to include more information about taxation of pensions. You are all too numerous to mention – but thanks for your unsung help!

Comments? Please post your reactions and suggestions to theses lists in the Comments section below.

Posted by John Brady on May 18th, 2010


  1. Glad to see Florida made it # 1. I am surprised Boca didn’t make it on the list.

    by Mike — June 8, 2010

  2. […] your reference: The Best of the Best Places to Retire How North Carolina Climbed over Florida as #1 Retirement State Best States for […]

    by » Dueling Retirement States: Arizona vs. Florida Topretirements — August 23, 2010

  3. […] your reference: Arizona vs. Florida Retirement The Best of the Best Places to Retire How North Carolina Climbed over Florida as #1 Retirement State Best States for […]

    by » Dueling Retirement States: DE vs. VA vs. MD vs. NJ Topretirements — October 5, 2010

  4. […] The Best of the Best Places to Retire How North Carolina Climbed over Florida as #1 Retirement State Best States for Retirement State Retirement Guides […]

    by » Dueling Carolinas: North Carolina vs. South Carolina As the Best Retirement State Topretirements — November 15, 2010

  5. BEST KEPT RETIREMENT PLACE SECRET: Boquete in Panama and Costa Rica are already too expensive. I went to Caripe, Venezuela and visited the famous Guacharo Cave, discovered by Alexander Von Humboldt in 1801 and it was great.

    Caripe is 1200 M high and temperature is 66-74 deg F all year round and land is fertile. Houses, Chalets and Land Lots of 550 – 1300 M2 are for sale, contact for details. Tourism and Retirement in Caripe are active and there many nice Bed&Breakfast (Posadas) for less than 40 $/day, while you explore for housing.

    by Jonathan — December 11, 2010

  6. I have to agree on that, if you are looking for a place to relocate for retirement, better consider Costa Rica. I just had a vacation in there and I think that relocating in there upon my retirement would always be a consideration for me. If got tire of the noise and the busy hectic life in the metro then Costa Rica is the best place for you. Surely you would love it there.

    by costa rica retire — June 19, 2011

  7. […] your reference: South Carolina North Carolina Arizona vs. Florida Retirement The Best of the Best Places to Retire How North Carolina Climbed over Florida as #1 Retirement State Best States for Retirement State […]

    by » Retirement in the Mid-South Comparison: Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama - Topretirements — December 9, 2014

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