Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Wichita Falls, Texas?
Overview: Under a giant sky, Wichita Falls sits along the Wichita River in north central Texas, about 140 miles from downtown Dallas. It was built on oil and railroad money and today is a friendly, unpretentious place. Sheppard Air Force Base is just north of town, and it contributes heavily to Wichita Falls' economy.
Downtown, which is scheduled for renovation once funding is secured, is spread over several blocks, and its wide streets are lined by tall red and yellow brick office buildings with first floor retailers, coffee shops, banks and such. Sikes Senter is an outlying mall with a Dillard's, a Sears and smaller national merchants. The city has some nice parks, a riverwalk, a water park and an extensive biking and walking trail. Midwestern State University (6,500 students) has athletic events (but no theater or dance department). Most cultural events are left to the Kemp Center for the Arts, a beautiful facility that hosts the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, art exhibits and has a good menu of art classes and workshops.
The Wichita Falls Farmers' Market, which anchors the attractive six square block historic district, happens three times a week from May through September. Most restaurants belong to a national chain. Homes are primarily brick split levels and ranch ramblers, but there are four squares, Mediterraneans, bungalows and Spanish Mission styles, too. Neighborhoods range from modest to exclusive.
Population: 105,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 30%
Cost of Living: 20% below the national average
Median Home Price: $105,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 90s and low-100s, and winter temperatures are in the the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 25 inches of rain and a dusting of snow each year. Ice storms happen occasionally.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Meets national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very, very conservative
Is Texas Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The tornado risk is 202% higher than the national average, and the city was heavily damaged by twisters in 1964 and 1979. The city experienced a severe drought from 2011 to 2015 and today water restrictions remain in place. The falls after which the city is named were destroyed by a flood in 1886, so now the city now has an attractive artificial waterfall next to the river.
Notes: Some people say that Wichita Falls is stuck in the 1950s, which can be good or bad, depending on one's point of view. The population is racially diverse and has maintained its population during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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.
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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