Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Lawrence, Kansas?
Overview: Settled in the 1850s, Lawrence was the site of the Wakarusa War and is now the home of the University of Kansas (29,000 students). It is in the northeastern section of the state, about half way between Topeka and Kansas City and along the Kansas River. In recent years, the city has landed on "best places to live" lists.
Lawrence is a classic college town and has a thriving music and arts scene. Its performance venues include the Lied Center, Liberty Hall and the Lawrence Art Center. The Spenser Museum of Art and the Dyche Museum are on the KU campus. Downtown is well maintained and boasts Romanesque Revival and Beaux Arts architecture, as well as newer two, three and four story brick buildings. Many house bistros, bookstores, galleries and natural food stores. Named neighborhoods dot the city, and homes toward the center of town are laid out on grids. Areas to the west sprawl and meander a bit. Old West Lawrence is particularly known for its leafy streets and older, nicely kept homes.
This is a bicycle friendly town and riders enjoy trails along Clinton Parkway and the Kansas River. The city manages 54 parks and nature preserves. KU football and basketball are the city's favorite spectator sports.
The Wakarusa River was dammed to form Clinton Lake, which borders the southwest edge of town. It is a popular place for boating, swimming, and fishing and has 85 miles of shoreline. Baker Wetlands Research and Natural Area is a great place for bird watching.
Population: 95,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 23%
Cost of Living: 2% below the national average
Median Home Price: $175,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and humidity is high. Winter temperatures are in the 20s and 30s. On average, the area receives 38 inches of rain and 16 inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: The city supports two bus services as well as an Amtrak station.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Kansas Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: The tornado risk is 210% higher than the national average. The poverty rate is above the national average, but this is attributed to the large student population.
Notes: KU is known as a party school. Overall, Lawrence has a good reputation.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Kansas is named after the Kansas River which flows through it and was for thousands of years the home of various Native American tribes. After years of conflict between New England Free Staters and pro-slavery factions from Missouri, Kansas entered the Union as a free state in 1861.
Today, Kansas is one of the country's most productive agricultural regions and is carpeted with waving wheat and sunflower fields.
Famous people from Kansas include John Brown (abolitionist), Kirstie Alley (actress), Walter Chrysler (automaker), Bob Dole (politician) and Amelia Earhart (aviator).
It is said that Kansas has 6,000 ghost towns.
Population - 2,907,289
Persons 65 years old and over - 15%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 90%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 31%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 11%
White persons, not Hispanic - 76%
Median household income - $52,300
Median home value - $132,100
Social Security taxed? Yes, but only on adjusted gross income above $75,000
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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