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Great Retirement Communities

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"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." ~Henry David Thoreau

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Today's Town Snapshots:

Carrabelle, Florida

A working fishing village and deep water seaport on the Florida Panhandle, Carrabelle has a nice beach and an Old Florida vibe.

Telluride, Colorado

Nestled in breathtaking scenery in remote southwestern Colorado, trendy, mellow Telluride sits in a forested box canyon and is known for its festivals and champagne powder.

Scroll down to see more towns!

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Boothbay, Maine  

On the rugged Maine coast, Boothbay is an old fishing village with a working class sensibility, a touristy boardwalk and salt-laden air.

Latest Short Review:

Dunedin, Florida

Once home to Florida's largest sailing fleet, today Dunedin is known for its cute, walkable downtown, pretty marina and five miles of beautiful beaches. Is it a great place to retire?

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Latest Town Snapshots:

Port Salerno, Florida

On the St. Lucie River Inlet and straddling the scenic Manatee Pocket, Port Salerno is known for its seafood and recreational fishing.

La Quinta, California  

Near the Santa Rosa Mountains, pretty La Quinta is home to the world-famous PGA West golf complex and popular with tourists and "snowbirds."

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Watercolors: an Attractive 55+ Community in La Quinta, California   

This 55+ community has single family homes, a Mediterranean theme and subsidized prices.

Lexington, South Carolina  

Just two hours away from everything (according to locals), Lexington boasts reasonable prices and nearby lake recreation.

Land's End: a Waterfront Community in Lexington, South Carolina   

Gated Land's End has two private beaches, condominiums for sale and amazing Lake Murray views.

Latest In Depth Review:

Georgetown, Texas

Along the San Gabriel River in lush central Texas, friendly Georgetown boasts a beautifully restored downtown, a colorful flower festival, safe neighborhoods and a casual way of life. It is a great retirement spot!

Latest Town Snapshots:

Mexico Beach, Florida

With sugar white sand and turquoise waters, idyllic Mexico Beach sits along the Florida panhandle and is known as "Mayberry on the Water."

Pflugervile, Texas

Settled in the 1850s by a German immigrant, Pflugerville is a comfortable, wholesome bedroom community and lands on "best places to live" lists.

Easley, South Carolina  

Lush and low key, Easley is nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern South Carolina and boasts a country ambiance.

Latest Short Review:

Cottonwood, Arizona

In the rugged, high altitude Verde Valley of central Arizona, down-to-earth Cottonwood makes its home. It has a well-maintained historic center and boasts plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing and camping. Is it a great place to retire?

Latest Town Snapshots:

Jupiter, Florida

Known for its beautiful beaches and blue-green waters, Jupiter boasts swaying palm trees, glistening pastel-colored buildings and an abundance of golf courses.

Manteo, North Carolina

A charming, secluded waterfront village that curves around quiet Shallowbag Bay, Manteo dates from the 1800s and is popular with tourists.

Buckeye, Arizona

Outside of Phoenix, Buckeye is growing quickly and is home to many master-planned communities.

Victory at Verrado: a Beautiful 55+ Neighborhood in Buckeye, Arizona

In a dramatic landscape of bluffs, buttes and ravines, Victory is a 55+ enclave within a larger, all ages community and has single family homes for sale.

Latest In Depth Review:

Smyrna, Tennessee

In rolling Middle Tennessee, Smyrna is quiet and reasonably priced with neighborhoods that are safe and leafy. Percy Priest Lake, 10,000 acres of sparkling water, is just outside of town and where many residents spend their time boating, fishing and camping. All of this makes Smyrna a great retirement spot!

Latest In Town Snapshots:

Gulfport, Florida

On the shores of Boca Ciega Bay, Gulfport is known for its Old Florida waterfront district and artsy, bohemian vibe.

Dolores, Colorado

In a canyon along a river deep in the spectacular Rocky Mountains, little Dolores is an outdoor adventure hub popular with rafters, cyclists, fishermen, skiiers, campers and others.

Cedar Bluff, Alabama

Next to Weiss Lake in northeastern Alabama, Cedar Bluff is a simple place with plenty of outdoor recreation and a reasonable cost of living.

Latest Short Review:

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Outside of Charleston on the mid-South Carolina coast, Mount Pleasant is a prosperous city with tree-lined neighborhoods, bountiful gardens, elegant homes, pretty beaches and more. Is it a great place to retire?

Latest Town Snapshots:

Ellenton, Florida

A quiet riverfront town, Ellenton has a rural quailty and an interesting mix of neighborhoods.

North River Estates: a 55+ Community in Ellenton, Florida   

Leafy and low key, North River Estates has manufactured homes, water views, woodland views and is pet friendly.

Madison, Mississippi  

Madison, a pretty city on the banks of Ross R. Barnett Reservoir, has shaded neighborhoods and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Waldport, Oregon  

A rustic but comfortable waterfront village with an "old salt" ambiance, Waldport is just minutes from the 630,000-acre Siuslaw National Forest.

Latest In Depth Review:

Punta Gorda, Florida

Pretty Punta Gorda is on the southwestern Florida coast and boasts neighborhoods laced with canals, a quaint downtown, abundant water recreation and an easygoing charm. It is a great retirement spot!

Rio Villa Lakes: a Gated 55+ Community in Punta Gorda, Florida   

This small 55+ community has waterfront homes, a nice waterfall entry, a heated swimming pool and more.

Latest Town Snapshots:

Royal Palm Beach, Florida

Laced with canals and dotted with lakes, Royal Palm Beach is primarily residential and has a cultural center, tidy neighborhoods and acres of open space and parkland.

Cornelius, North Carolina

Nestled along Lake Norman in rolling western North Carolina, Cornelius is a pretty community with an attractive downtown.

Manhattan, Kansas

Home to Kansas State University, leafy Manhattan often lands on "best places to live" lists and has a distinct collegiate atmosphere.

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What is the Difference Between Average Home Price and Median Home Price?

When searching for a place to retire, housing costs are a top concern. So what is the difference between the average home price and the median home price in a particular area? The average home price is determined by adding together all the prices of homes sold and dividing that amount by the number of homes sold whereas the median home price is the middle sales price of all the homes sold. In other words, a median price means that half of the homes sold at a price below the median and half sold at a price above the median.

How We Choose Great Places to Retire

When looking for great places to retire, we consider a number of factors, including cost of living, medical facilities, climate, transportation, crime rates, cultural amenities, educational amenities, shopping venues, infrastructure, recreational opportunities, housing options, the poverty rate and more. No one factor alone, except a high crime rate, a high poverty rate, population loss or crumbling infrastructure, will disqualify a town as a great retirement spot. We weigh all of the evidence to decide if a town has enough going for it to make it a top place to retire. We are not affiliated with any of the places that we review.

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