There are many, many different lists of the best 100 retirement towns and cities. AARP, Kiplingers, US News, Money Magazine, Sperling, and other publishers come out with these lists because so many baby boomers are interested in finding their best place to retire.
Each list tends to use different methodologies for selecting the "best" 100 (or 10) retirement towns and cities. Some publishers have researchers that analyze statistics and resources, while others send researchers out to the communities to investigate their capabilities. The lists are not perfect, but they can be very helpful in terms of pointing out retirement cities, states, and towns that you might never have heard of. In addition to best places to retire lists there are also various best places to live lists, such as "best cities", "best small towns", etc. Every year Topretirements.com produces an extensive article with the 100 best places to retire We encourage you to read this fuller treatment of the topic.
Books: - "America's 100 Best Places to Retire" by Elizabeth Armstrong - "Where to Retire" by John Howell - America's Best Low-Tax Retirement Towns - The New Retirement by Jan Cullinane - Leisureville by Andrew Blechman
What Cities Are on Almost All of the Lists? There is quite a bit of unanimity on the various lists. But if you added up all the cities on the various lists it would probably come close to 200 towns. These are just a few of the best retirement towns we consistently see on the lists: - Asheville, NC - Portland, OR - Paris, TN - San Diego - Denver CO - Boulder CO - Fort Collins CO - Charlotte NC - Austin TX - Athens GA - Holland MI - Seattle WA - Olympia WA - San Luis Obispo CA - New York NY - Tuscon AZ - Charlottesville VA - Hilton Head Island SC
Free Weekly Best Places to Retire update! Topretirements publishes a weekly eNewsletter with more best places to retire and special reports. It’s free, and it comes with our Free eBook: “Baby Boomers’ Guide to Selecting a Retirement Community”. Sign up for our free eNewsletter.
The List Bottom Line: The best 100 lists are useful. But don't just limit your choices to those. One reason is that once these communities get selected, real estate prices and crowds go up. Another is that the people who chose them are different than you. Maximize your chances of success by investigating the hundreds of other great potential retirement communities out there, then visit or rent in those that pique your interest. That way you can not only enjoy the process, but be confident that you have made an intelligent choice that avoids unnecessary heartache.