Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Tempe, Arizona?
Overview: Located in the East Valley of the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area, Tempe's history stretches back to the 1500s when Native Americans built canals through the area to aid with trade. Today, the city is the home of Arizona State University (which has a whopping 83,000 students) and the headquarters of two Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Airways and Insight Enterprises.
Boxed in by other cities, including Mesa and Scottsdale, this desert metroplis is a cultural hot spot for live alternative music and trendy entertainment. The downtown is full of eateries, boutiques and stores, and Mill Avenue caters to the college crowd with numerous bars and youth-oriented merchants. Arizona Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in the state, sits on city's border, and the Tempe Market Place has open-air shopping, chain restaurants and movie theaters. The city is home to several sporting events, including the Ironman Triathalon and Cactus Bowl football games. At least ten golf courses have a Tempe address, and Tempe Town Lake is the spot for fishing and boating.
ASU athletics are a big part of life here, but the University has theater and dance performances, lectures and museum exhibits, too. Its OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) is for people age 50 and better (cost is $20 per semester).
The Tempe Festival of the Arts draws 225,000 people each year. Other festivals include the Rockstar Uproar Festival and the Tempe Music Festival. The Tempe Symphony Orchestra performs in the lovely Tempe Center for the Arts.
Housing comes in all shapes and sizes, much of it with Southwestern style architecture and drought-resistant Xeriscape landscaping (cacti, small bushes and rocks).
Population: 168,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 25%
Cost of Living: 10% above the national average
Median Home Price: $225,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are routinely in the low-100s. Winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s and 60s. The area receives, on average, 8 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, bus and light rail service provided by Tempe in Motion (TIM)
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Arizona Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The air quality is well below the national average.
Notes: ASU is known as one of the top party schools in the nation, and bars are usually crowded and boisterous. The southern area of the city is more sedate. Tempe is racially diverse.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, for people interested in a sunny, lively college town but not for people with respiratory issues.
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