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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Laramie, Wyoming?

Overview:   Thirty minutes east of the Snowy Mountains in southeastern Wyoming, Laramie sits under a looming sky on a grassy, windswept plain that is 7,163 feet above sea level. The city is along Interstate 80 and near three national wildlife refuges (Banforth, Mortenson, and Hutton Lake). It started in the mid-1800s as a lawless tent city for railroad workers.

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Today, Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming (UW), which has 13,000 students on a small but pretty campus. Locals enjoy UW events, including exhibits at the Geological Museum, symphony orchestra performances and jazz ensemble concerts at the Fine Arts Concert Hall. Football and basketball games are popular, too. Fourteen museums, a farmers' market, country music dance halls and the city's Laramie Jubilee Days ensure that there is usually something to do. The city plays up its Western heritage for tourists, some of whom come to visit the Wyoming Territorial State Prison. Now a museum, it is the only place that outlaw Butch Cassidy ever served time.

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Downtown Laramie looks much as it did 125 years ago, with wide streets and eclectic brick storefronts. Neighborhoods have ranch ramblers, raised ranch ramblers and bungalows. Large retailers and grocers include Albertsons, Staples and K-Mart. Restaurants generally serve meat and potato dishes, but vegetarians have a few choices, too. Hiking, skiing, fishing, jeeping, camping, snowshoeing and more are all just a short distance away.

Population: 33,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 24%

Cost of Living:  3% above the national average

Median Home Price:  $220,000

Climate:   Laramie has a very dry climate.  Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the single digits, teens and 20s.  On average, the area receives 10 inches of rain and 50 inches of snow each winter.  Blizzards are not uncommon.  

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes

Public Transit:   Yes, and it is free.

Crime Rate:  Meets the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:  Slightly liberal

Is Wyoming Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   The wind blows constantly and has been known to drive people crazy. The poverty rate is above the national average, but much of this is attributed to the student population.

Notes:        UW is not known as a party school.  The nearest city is Cheyenne, 50 miles to the east.  Roads, including I-80, often close in winter.   Beyond town limits there is nothing but open prairie.  Laramie has grown by 20% in the last ten years.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes, if seeking a mellow, authentic Western college town.

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Wyoming:

Wyoming's territorial legislature granted women the right to vote in 1869. It was the first government entity in the world to recognize "female sufferage." The Equality State entered the Union about 21 years later on July 10, 1890.

The 10th largest state by area, Wyoming is one of the country's smallest by population. The mean elevation is 6,700 feet above above sea level. The state can be divided by three distinct land areas. The Great Plains to the east are characterized by short grass, cottonwoods, and shrubs. Devils Tower National Monument rises out of this prairie. Ranges within Wyomings include the Big Horns and the Tetons. Ranges are separated by high plateaus known as the Intermontane Basins.

Depending on elevation, Wyoming can have cold winters and warm summers. Rain is rare. Snowfall in some mountain areas piles up to 200 inches or more per year. The southeastern portion of the state sees late spring thunderstorms and early summer tornados.

Tourism, energy, and agriculture contribute to the state's coffers. More than six million people visit Wyoming's national parks and monuments per year. Half of those visitors come to see stunning Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

An important part of Wyoming's cowboy culture, farms and ranches are leading producers of beef, hay, sugar beets, and wool. A major source of coal, coalbed methane, and crude oil, the state also has rich reserves of trona and natural gas.

Nellie Tayloe Ross became the country's first female governor in 1925. No other woman has served as Wyoming governor since.

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Stats:

Population - 585,549

Persons 65 years old and over - 15%

High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 92% 

Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 24% 

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 10% 

White persons, not Hispanic - 86% 

Median household income - $58,809 

Median home value - $194,800 

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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