Retirement, the dream of many who hope one day the lifestyle becomes reality. But, numerous articles have been written along with the evening news blurbs explaining how savings will not meet expectations. Then again, each individual’s outlook is different. So to generalize an affordable retirement is not in the cards for many, is not accurate.
There are many top spots for affordable retirement. Deciding what is the most important criteria for that location could include taxes, crime, cost of housing, available health care, access to recreation, continuing education, the arts and whatever activity is of interest, will require some homework.
In taking it one step further, before pulling up stakes and moving to that affordable retirement location, spend an extended vacation in the area. Find out what’s good and bad by talking with the locals. Doing the due diligence before it is too late will save on the second guessing.
Top spots for affordable retirement:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
It seems this community ranks high on most lists. With its low cost of living and being home to the University of New Mexico gives the area a vibrant feel. Housing prices trend to the lower end of budgets. With hundreds of miles of bike paths and trails, the outdoor enthusiast will have ample opportunity for exercise.
Lookout Mountain is the city’s major attraction. But by no means is it the only event in town. Chattanooga offers museums devoted to the civil war, the largest freshwater aquarium, and the opportunity to attend Symphony and Opera performances. The many scenic walks and drives, especially during the fall color change can be breathtaking.
Here is a college town, actually home to two universities and seven colleges that offers great value for your money. Being home to the College World Series each year is a baseball enthusiast’s dream. Live indoor and outdoor music events, performing arts, exceptional dining along with miles of hiking trails offers the retiree a great location for a great price.
San Antonio, Texas
Being the home of the famous San Antonio River Walk is enough to draw interest for those close to retirement. Yet this community has more than 50 golf courses, and 68 miles of trails waiting to be discovered. Interested in a rodeo? You’ll find it here. Theme parks, The Alamo museum, theatres that offer diverse cultural experiences are offered year round.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Those tired of fighting the northern winters have found a welcome home in Arkansas. This being the capital city means opportunities for indoor and outdoor activities are available throughout the year. There is the Clinton Presidential Library, art and historical museums, golf courses to a marvelous trail system for the biking and walking fan. Little Rock’s southern hospitality will have you feel like you’re at home in no time.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Let’s face it, not everyone is interested in leaving the cold of winter. There is something to be said for snuggling close on the dark winter evenings. Eau Claire is home to a University of Wisconsin extension. As a result many cultural events are sponsored by the school. There are 8 golf courses to challenge all skill levels. More than 70 miles of biking, hiking, and snowmobile trails offer year-round activity.
Here is a sports spectator’s heaven with the city hosting the professional sporting teams, Pirates, Steelers, Penguins and Panthers. And as one would expect, there are museums, ballet, and symphony to enjoy. Retirees interested in furthering their education can audit classes at the many universities located throughout what is still known as “The Steel City.”
This community has made every effort to maintain its original identity. It still has a working waterfront that supplies fresh seafood from the Gulf of Maine. Walk to Commercial Street to watch the fisherman unload their catch. Still, the city is vibrant and evolving by offering many different cultural and art activities.
Imagine open spaces and tumble weeds blowing through the community. History fans will find themselves immersed in the old west of years gone by. Year round activities including horseback riding, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and the list goes on, will keep any retiree busy and certainly in good physical condition.
This is a gem of a community that is known as the Apple Capital of the World due to the orchards that surround the town. Recreational activities from skiing, hiking, hunting, camping, and fishing do not allow boredom to set-in. Wenatchee is also considered a photographer’s paradise due to being surrounded by the Cascade Range.
Undoubtedly there are many top spots for an affordable retirement outside the continental United States. Those locations will be recommended on the next list.