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Retire in Elizabethtown, Kentucky?
Overview: Friendly and well-maintained, Elizabethtown, or E-town as it is called locally, got its start in 1793 and sits along the old North Dixie Highway (Highway 31W) and Interstate 65 in rural north central Kentucky. It is about 12 miles south of Fort Knox, a military base and the home of the U.S. Bullion Depository.
Thanks to this locale, many military personnel live in Elizabethtown. Established neighborhoods are generally modest with wood frame ranch ramblers, while newer areas have larger brick homes on larger lots. The historic town core is simple but attractive with brick buildings that house shops, government offices, attorneys, museums and eateries. The town is proud of its heritage and has numerous Civil War and military attractions, including The (George) Patton Museum, Confederate Cemetery Hill and Abraham Lincoln-related sites. Residents and visitors also enjoy historic house walking tours, a community theater, touring shows at the performing arts center and a quilt trail. Fun Festivals include an October Ghost Walk, the Christmas Parade and Light Up Downtown in November.
Walking trails meander around town, and Freeman Lake Park has fishing and picnic areas. There is also a farmers' market. Some very good locally owned restaurants mingle with national chains. Six shopping centers and a mall line Highway 31W, which is full of stop lights and often congested. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has classes for all ages.
Population: 30,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 37%
Cost of Living: 10% below the national average
Median Home Price: $150,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s. Winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 50 inches of rain and 3 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 county has an on-demand van service. People age 60 or better ride for free (donation requested).
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is Kentucky Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The tornado risk is 127% higher than the national average.
Notes: E-town has grown by 65% in the last decade or two and has a reputation as a quiet, pleasant place. It is in a "moist" county, meaning that only packaged liquor is available. Louisville is 65 miles to the north via I-65.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Kentucky became the 15th state to enter the Union on June 1, 1792. Early settlers noticed a dark grass growing from the rich limestone soil and gave the area its nickname - the Bluegrass State. Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the state's Cumberland Gap which many followed.
Bounded by the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains, the state has five divergent geographic regions. Rolling meadows, plateaus, mountains, flat lands, valleys, and coal fields are all possible within state borders. Because of its diverse geography, Kentucky has four different and distinct seasons with considerable fluctuations in summer and winter temperatures.
Although the Bluegrass State is noted for its Bourbon Whiskey, racehorses, coal, and tobacco, it is gaining a reputation for health services, auto manufacturing, transportation logistics, and biotechnology. Eight well-endowed public universities keep pulling the quality of life forward.
Fort Knox holds almost 150 million ounces of gold for the U.S. Government. Other items it's held include the Magna Carta and the crown of St. Stephen.
Population - 4,436,974
Persons 65 years old and over - 15%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 84%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 22%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 3%
White persons, not Hispanic - 85%
Median household income - $43,740
Median home value - $123,200
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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