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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in South Padre Island, Texas?

Overview:   A popular Gulf Coast resort town, compact South Padre Island is located on a long barrier island of the same name on Texas' southern most tip. It is separated from the mainland by Laguna Madre and connected to the city of Port Isabel via a causeway.

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Vacationers come for the 34 miles of wide beaches, which are mostly lined by clusters of condominiums and hotels. The abundance of things to do includes fishing, jet skiing, dolphin watching and horseback riding on the sand. This is a place where sand castle building is a competitive sport. A party town, South Padre Island is a favorite Spring Break destination and home to a number of events, including rowdy Bike Week, a time during which thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts descend. Shopping venues consist primarily of locally owned, beach wear stores and trinket shops. There is one independent bookstore. Sports bars, seafood shacks and beachside grille make up the dining scene (there is also a farmers' market). Several nightclubs have live music and dancing.

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In addition to tourists and Spring Breakers, South Padre Island is popular with Winter Texans, "snowbirds" who spend the winter in southern Texas. The pretty setting also makes South Padre Island an ideal spot for wildlife and bird watching.

Population: 3,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 52%

Cost of Living:   9% above the national average

Median Home Price: $265,000

Climate:  South Padre Island has a humid subtropical climate.  Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s.  Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.    On average, the area receives 25 inches of rain per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No, and the closest hospital that does is 23 miles away in Brownsville.

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?   No, and the closest one is 23 miles away in Brownsville.

Public Transit:   Yes, provided by WAVE, a free shuttle.

Crime Rate:   Meets the national average

Public Library:   No, but Port Isabel has one.

Political Leanings:    Very liberal

Is Texas Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   South Padre Island has been struck by Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Dolly and Hurricane Harvey since 2008. All caused some damage.

Notes:     Most housing stock is condominiums.    Parts of town close during the winter.  South Padre Island has grown by 75% within the last couple of decades.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Maybe. South Padre Island is popular with baby boomers, but the hurricane threat and lack of a hospital should be considered if thinking of retirement here.

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Texas:

With a name based on a word used by Caddo Indians meaning "friends," Texas is the second biggest state by population in the country. It is estimated that 70% of residents live within 200 miles of Austin, the capital city.

Houston is the largest city, while Dallas-Fort Worth is the largest metropolitan area. Connecticut and Delaware could fit inside Texas' largest county - Brewster. The state is larger than all of New York, New England and Ohio combined.

In addition to the Caddo, the historical people of Texas include members of the Native American tribes of Apache, Choctaw, Tonkawa and Hasinai.

When Texas became the 28th state of the United States (1845), it adopted the official flag called the Lone Star Flag. Symbols include the Bluebonnet - the state flower.

Almost 10% of Texas is covered by forest. The state has nearly 24,000 farms, 90 mountains a mile or more high and is the nation's leading producer of natural gas, oil, wool, cotton, watermelons and rice. It also has the most airports of any state in the Union and is one of the most business-friendly states. Its culture has a blend of of Southern, Southwestern (Mexican) and Western influences.

Famous natives and residents include Mary Kay Ash, George W. Bush, Tommy Lee Jones and Joan Crawford.

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Stats:

Population - 27,862,596

Persons 65 years old and over - 12%

High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 82%

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

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 40%

White persons, not Hispanic - 42%

Median household income - $43,470

Median home price - $132,000

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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