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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Apache Junction, Arizona

Popular with Snowbirds, Sun-Soaked Apache Junction is Outside of Phoenix and a Gateway to Massive Tonto National Forest

Tucked into a corner of the Superstition Mountains about 35 miles to the east of downtown Phoenix, modest, sun-soaked Apache Junction grew up around the intersection of the Apache Trail and U.S. Route 60. After a Death Valley Days film set was built here in 1958, the area became known as Apacheland.

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Although the movie landmark burned in 2004, some structures remain and are part of the 12-acre Superstition Mountain - Lost Dutchman Museum, which also has an Elvis chapel. The town has a thriving public library, a Central Arizona College campus, parks, an outdoor pool and a nationally recognized Multi-Generational Center (MGC). This MGC offers a climbing wall, fitness equipment and a long list of programs and events. The Apache Junction Active Adult Center has a good menu of services, too. Residents enjoy summer concerts, movies in the park, the Festival of the Superstitions and Lost Dutchman Days.

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The town is a gateway to the massive Tonto National Forest and is within easy reach of the Lost Dutchman State Park. The Gold Canyon Golf Resort is just to the southeast, and Canyon Lake is about 15 miles away. There, visitors may boat, waterski and ride the Dolly Steamboat. A hike in the town's Silly Mountain Park reveals both mountain and valley vistas.

Neighborhoods are laid out on grids, and housing stock consists primarily of ranch ramblers, manufactured homes and Mediterraneans, many on acreage. Horse properties are common. Yards have Xeriscaping (rocks, cacti and short bushes). "Snowbirds" nearly double the population each winter.

Population:   40,000 (city proper)

Age 45 or Better:  53%

Cost of Living:   9% below the national average

Median Home Price: $375,000     

Climate:    This area has very hot summers and mild winters.   Summer temperatures are in the 90s and low-100s.    Winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s and 60s.   On average, Apache Junction receives about 12 inches of rain per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  Yes

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?  Yes

Public Transit:    Yes

Crime Rate:   Meets the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:   Conservative

College Education:   30%

Is Arizona Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?     Yes

Cons:  None

Notes:    The population has grown 8% during the last decade, and home prices have increased 7% since a year ago.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes

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Arizona:

The Grand Canyon State was originally part of New Mexico. After the land was ceded to the U.S. in 1848, it became a separate territory. It did not enter the union until February 14, 1912. Copper was discovered in the area in 1848, and metals mining continues to be an important part of the economy. Cattle and tourism are two of the states other vital industries.

Although Arizona can be one of the hottest states in the union, air conditioning continues to bring more and more people to the urban areas. The Colorado Plateau spreads through Arizona from the north and is interspersed with remnants of the Rocky Mountains. The land flattens into desert near Phoenix. The Colorado River forms the state's western borders and snakes through the Grand Canyon.

Arizona is home to places with names like Nothing, a ghost town in western Arizona, and the Horspitality Resort.

The state is stubborn when it comes to time. It observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis.

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