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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Northfield, Minnesota?

Overview:   Less than an hour south of Minneapolis in southeastern Minnesota, Northfield is the quintessential college town. St. Olaf College (3,200 students) and Carleton College (2,100 students) anchor its northern borders.

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The town square on the Cannon River is the heart of Northfield. It is peppered with fun shops and helps showcase the local sidewalk poetry contest, as well as the high school sculpture project. The town also puts on market fairs, a vintage band festival, and a tuba Christmas. Northfield's Art Guild sponsors galleries, a gift shop, an orchestra, and a theater. The parks department manages about 35 parks, an ice arena, soccer fields, and an outdoor pool. Northfield has also collaborated with other municipalities to build the 25-mile Mill Towns State Trail. In 1876, Northfield thwarted a robbery attempt by the James-Younger Gang. The annual Labor Day heritage festival celebrating the defeat of Jesse James and his boys is one of the state's largest outdoor celebrations.

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Both local colleges have strong liberal arts programs. St. Olaf's music ensembles range from a Javanese Gamelan to chamber jazz and choral groups. Its Flaten Art Museum has a permanent collection of more than 4,000 pieces from around the world. Carleton's theater program produces traditional and experimental pieces. Its Cowling Arboretum has a system of trails perfect for walking or cross-country skiing. St. Olaf's "natural lands" include a restored prairie and a big woods habitat. Both preserves are open to the public.

Neighborhoods are well tended and populated primarily with ranch ramblers and raised ranch ramblers.

Population:  21,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 30%

Cost of Living:   10% above the national average

Median Home Price: $255,000

Climate:    Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Winter temperatures are in the single digits and teens. On average, the area receives 32 inches of rain and 42 inches of per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  Yes

At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission?   No, but Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, 20 miles away, is accredited.

Public Transit:   Yes

Crime Rate:  Below the national average

Public Library:  Yes, and it receives rave reviews.

Political Leanings:  Nearly split down the middle

Is Minnesota Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    No

Cons:   Longtime locals complain about growth, traffic congestion and rising prices.

Notes:   Northfield is a cute town and popular with tourists. Although it has grown by 40% in the last couple of decades, racial diversity is still minimal. The senior center has a warm water pool, fitness studio, dining program, and art classes. The Cannon Valley Elder Collegium offers a full slate of life long learning.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes

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Minnesota:

Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," Minnesota is in the Upper Midwest, bordered by North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. More than half of the state's residents live in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area.

After Alaska, Minnesota is the second northernmost U.S. state and the northernmost contiguous state. It has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.

Minneapolis' famed skyway system connects 52 downtown blocks and makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside. Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other metropolis in the country, and its Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the country's largest urban sculpture garden. Rochester is home of the world famous Mayo Clinic.

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Stats:

Population - 20,612,439 

Persons 65 years old and over - 20%

High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 87% 

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

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 24% 

White persons, not Hispanic - 58% 

Median household income - $47,525 

Median home value - $159,900 

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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