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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Mount Vernon, Iowa?

Overview:   Located not far from Cedar Rapids in rolling eastern Iowa, friendly Mount Vernon is perched atop a wooded hill and is the home of Cornell College, a small liberal arts college with 1,200 students. The town has grown by 20% within the last 10 to 20 years and has been called one of America's "coolest small towns" (CNN).

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Mount Vernon is clean and quaint. It has a well-kept downtown with vintage storefronts. Coffee shops, restaurants and locally owned retailers create an authentic small town charm. The farmers' market that is held througout the summer features artisan breads, grass-fed meats, jams, jellies, woodcrafts and live music. The fun Chalk the Walk is an annual event in which artists create a colorful palette of chalk drawings along downtown's Main Street. In September, the Lincoln Highway Arts Festival attracts artists and art lovers from around the region. The Mount Vernon Lisbon Community Theatre has open auditions and also welcomes people who want to work backstage.

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Cornell College has a beautiful campus, all of which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus is a great spot for a soothing afternoon stroll. Nearby Lake McBride and Coraville Reservoir provide plenty of opportunities for water recreation, and Palisades-Kepler State Park is the place for a day hike. Neighborhoods are tidy, leafy and have handsome bungalows, ranch ramblers, Victorians and others.

Population:  4,600 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:   30%

Cost of Living:  3% below the national average

Median Home Price:  $180,000

Climate:   This area has a humid continental climate Summers temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the teens, 20s and 30s. Skies are cloudy. On average, the area receives 31 inches of rain and 33 inches of snow per year. 

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?    No, but Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids is 10 miles away and accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Hospital is Accredited by Joint Commission?   No, but Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids is 10 miles away and is accredited.

Public Transit:  No

Crime Rate:  Below the national average

Public Library:  Yes 

Political Leanings:    Liberal

Cons:    The tornado risk is 195% above the national average.

Notes:   The town has a definite collegiate feeling and is dependent on Cornell College.   Racial diversity is minimal.

Is Iowa Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    No

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes

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Iowa:

Iowa is known for its state fairs, down to earth people and often severe weather (it averages 37 tornados and 50 days of severe thunderstorms each year). As if to compensate for the sometimes wild weather, Iowa is one of the safest states in which to live. Its nickname is the Hawkeye State.

Bordered on three sides by rivers, the Mississippi to the east, the Missouri to the west and the Des Moines on the south, Iowa boasts a sweeping landscape of tallgrass prairie and cornstalk fields. Not surprsingly, its economy has been based in agriculture for much of its history. In recent years, though, the state has diversified into financial services, green energy production and manufacturing.

Iowa was a part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana during the Colonial period, and its state flag is based France's flag. The first American settlers arrived in the area in 1833. Iowa joined the Union in 1846 and supported the North during the Civil War.

Interesting sites include the Iowa River Valley, Snake Alley (nothing to do with snakes) and Pikes Peak State Park (nothing to do with the Colorado mountain).

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Stats:

Population - 3,134,693

Persons 65 years old and over - 16%

High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 92% 

Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27% 

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 5% 

White persons, not Hispanic - 86% 

Median household income - $53,135 

Median home value - $129,200 

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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