Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Comfortable, Sunlit Rio Rancho is Outside of Albuquerque in the High Desert of North Central New Mexico and Home to Planned Communities and Pretty Views
Comfortable Rio Rancho sits in the rugged high desert of north central New Mexico and is essentially a suburb of Albuquerque. The Santa Ana Indian Reservation sits to the north of town and the rugged Sandia Mountains are to the east.
Rio Rancho started as a planned housing development in the 1960s and did not incorporate as a city until 1981. Tody, semi-conducter manufacturer Intel Corporation is based here and secures the city's economic footing. Residents enjoy a good number of events and festivals, most emphasizing Native American, Hispanic and Southwestern cultures. Planned communities are common and are densely packed with meandering streets lined by raised ranch ramblers, new adobe styles, Territorial styles and Mediterranean styles. Some homes have lawns while others feature Xeriscaping. The downtown is dotted with relatively new buildings, including city hall and a small college campus. Rio Rancho has some very good restaurants, and Albuquerque has shopping malls. Pretty mountain views are standard.
Population: 105,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 32%
Cost of Living: 9% below the national average
Median Home Price: $350,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s. Winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives about 12 inches of rain and 10 inches of snow each year. The elevation is 5,282 feet above sea level.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, provided by ABQ Ride, but it is limited. A door to door para-transit service is available to people age 55 or better.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 30%
Is New Mexico Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Rio Rancho has maintained its population within the last decade. Many towns in New Mexico are poor, but Rio Rancho's median household income meets the national median, thanks in part to Intel Corporation. If Intel were to leave, the city would suffer economically. Some people say that Rio Rancho does not have much of a personality. Home prices have increased 10% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The first Europeans in this area were the Spanish in 1542. The first settlement grew up on the Rio Grande River in 1598, and Saanta Fe was founded as the capital in 1610. The United States won most of New Mexico in the 1848 Mexican War and received the remainder in the 1853 Gadsden Purchase.
During the Civil War, Union troops won New Mexico from the Confederacy. Geronimo surrendered in 1886, and soon after the Apache Wars and most other Native American conflicts ended.
New Mexico has been a leader in energy development and research since 1945. Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, as well as Sandia laboratories, were, and are, instrumental in the solar, nuclear, and geothermal areas of energy development.
The state also has rich mineral deposits and has a large supply of potassium salts and uranium. Copper, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, silver, gold, lead, as well as molybdenum bring in substantial revenue. Farm and ranching poducts include sheep, sorghum, pecans, cotton, peanuts and more.
Fun sites to visit include the Carlsbad Caverns, the ruins located at Fort Union, Inscription Rock at El Morro National Monument, White Sands and Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
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