The Pros and Cons of Retiring to Arizona Compared to Florida

The pros and cons of Arizona retirement, center on the Arizona weather and the choices of housing options.

The client is wonderful, by any standards for 9 to 10 months of the year…the months of July and August… Along with parts of June and September… Are the exceptions.

You have probably heard the term it is a dry heat… That is true but the temperature regularly gets to 110° to 115°…in those 2 to 3 months.

Although I am a full-time Arizona resident… I do try to get away at least for three weeks in August…

When I am here in July and August, I still play golf three times a week in the afternoons, the heat of the day. Sunscreen, wet towels, and lots of water are mandatory to combat the effects of the heat…but it is certainly doable.

No state income tax in Florida, which can be a factor for high-income retirees.

That is about the extent of the cons of retiring to Arizona compared to Florida.

Now for the pluses of choosing Arizona to retire…especially when compared to Florida or other southern states.

There is more sunshine in Arizona… Well over 300 days a year…

There is less rain than there is in Florida…

There is much less humidity in Arizona…

There are no hurricanes to worry about in Arizona…

There are no bugs, especially mosquitoes, to bother you and carry disease in Arizona…

If outdoor living is your thing, Arizona should be high on your list of retirement choices… With the help of a ceiling fan on the patio dining at 100° is very comfortable in Arizona.

How can I be so sure about the above statements?

For 21 years, our home was in the Houston Texas area… Very similar climate to Florida.

To reinforce our decision to choose Arizona over Florida… we RVed extensively before making our decision to retire in Arizona… Which we did in 2004 and have not regretted our decision since.

Making Arizona even more attractive is the low-cost of housing…I am talking primarily about the many Park model communities that are available to retirees in Arizona.

Park model home prices start at $10,000 and some older models are less, which makes Arizona affordable to anyone on any budget.

These Park model communities often remind one of a stationary cruise ship due to the tremendous amount of activities that are available to the residents.

You can do just as much or just as little as you want… The choice is yours.

So there you have it… The pros and cons of retiring to Arizona when compared to Florida… We are very glad that we have made the choice to retire in Arizona and you should give it strong consideration too.

See you in the desert.

It’s not the Baby Boomers who are to blame for Brexit, it’s the Top Gun generation – The Independent

Toby Young doesn’t believe in friends and he doesn’t believe in the European Union. Toby Young believes in individualism. Toby Young turned 18 in 1981. As a man who came of age in the 1980s, he is part of a generation that is at fault for both the forthcoming carnage of Brexit and for the existential crisis taking place in our country.

We have been looking in the wrong place for the age group to blame: thousands of column inches have been expended on how the Baby Boomer generation, with its rose-tinted half-moon spectacles, were responsible for the EU referendum result. In fact, a very specific demographic holds more responsibility for the situation we’re now in than any other: those who reached the age of majority in the eighties. Like his contemporary Toby Young, Boris Johnson also turned 18 in 1981, James Delingpole in 1983 and Michael Gove in 1985.

There’s polling that demonstrates the point: a majority of voters in their forties backed Brexit, the youngest demographic group to do so – and a majority of men too.

Why? Of course, no analysis of this demographic group would be complete without the spectre of Maggie. Not just Margaret Thatcher the woman but everything the Iron Lady and her era of rejection of community represented; everything that went on around her.

This is a Levi-clad generation whose teenage years were over-shadowed by the “glory” of sending the fleet to the South Atlantic to liberate a few rocks with way more sheep than people. This is the money-grabbing generation who came of age when Harry Enfield’s “Loadsamoney” looked more like aspirational social commentary than biting satire.

This is a Budweiser-swilling generation who came of age fetishising the individualism and nationalism of films such as Rambo and Top Gun – even Michael Douglas’s Wall Street – and became adults in an era when politics, economics, popular culture and, importantly, masculinity embraced unquestioningly the survival of the fittest.

This generation has chosen to ignore that the triumph of Reaganist and Thatcherite consumer culture over the Soviet oppressor is now a chapter of history, not contemporary political science. They haven’t noticed that Fukuyama and his “End of History” could not have been more wrong. Is it any wonder this group has an instinctive loathing of the collectivism, collective responsibility, suspicion of unfettered capitalism and cultural traditionalism represented by the EU?

‘This is your brain on drugs’ advert from the 1980s does more harm than good

The young adults of the 1980s now run big investment banks, civil service departments and FTSE 100 companies. The world has moved on from the Eighties every bit as much as it has from the Fifties and Sixties that the Baby Boomers hark back to. If only this selfish generation had had the nous to notice. 

No, it’s not my pensioner dad I blame for Brexit. It’s my metaphorical older brother.

John Jenkinson a journalist in his late thirties living and working in London 


Marketing to Senior Citizens – Health and Fitness, the Growing Trend Amongst Seniors

Today seniors can’t afford not to get moving! With all the hype around nutrition and exercise the aging population is well aware of the benefit of an active lifestyle.

Most seniors of the 55 plus group are keen to reap the rewards of healthy aging through a variety of activities. They are not newcomers to the gym so to speak. Most have kept active with some form of physical activity throughout their lives, whether it is hardcore workouts in the gym or a congenial round of golf on a summer’s afternoon. Women of this age group have also managed years of multi-tasking, most having juggled full time careers, while raising families and still found time to fit in some form of exercise. These women became well acquainted with aerobics, step classes, strength training and power walking. Also, stress relievers such as yoga and pilates were embraced to combat tension and fatigue. In many cases these activities were their salvation of an overly busy lifestyle.

It is only natural then, that these baby boomers are looking to continue their active lifestyle into retirement. Quite possibly, with the time constraints lifted at this stage in life, it leaves them to focus more sharply on their health and wellness.

A huge opportunity exists for gyms and programming facilities to cater to this senior market. The number of seniors is set to skyrocket in the next five to ten years and if gym operators are to jump ahead of this curve, they should set their marketing sights on appealing to and attracting this demographic.

How to go about this? What are seniors looking for when it comes to staying fit? Firstly it is important to see a visual image that they can relate to. Marketing success is all about seeing yourself in the picture, being that person who is strong, fit and beaming with energy. If a beautiful twenty something image is smiling back, then age becomes a handicap in the mind of the senior, derailing their good intentions, making them feel like they can’t compete. The perfect image that will empower the market they are trying to impress is an attractive fit senior pursuing the exercise of his or her choice. An ad such as this will pop with the 55 plus market, creating a role model with whom they can immediately identify and connect. Seniors like everyone else need to be able to put themselves into that ad campaign and honestly believe that it could be them looking out. This puts the wheels in motion for a positive mindset and a “can-do” attitude.

Seniors are only as old as they feel. Once again we come back to the mind-set, which is a very powerful tool. Boomers today are constantly fighting the aging stereotype that has depicted seniors in the past. Seniors in their sixties often look, act and feel ten to fifteen years younger than their actual age. Advertising should play up to this pretense which promotes this healthy reversal known as “turning back the clock”.

Another means of promoting fitness is to educate the senior who wants to get moving and who wants information as to how this will benefit them and enhance their life. They need to know the positives, what they can expect, and can look forward to as a result of embarking on the fitness journey that the marketer proposes. The campaign needs to encompass every aspect of their life, proving that properly presented, seniors will understand that an opportunity to change is being offered which will impact and alter their lifestyle. It’s within their reach, all that remains to be done, is to get out there, set realistic goals with realistic time frames and make it happen.

This brings us to another point. Marketers should focus on the enhancement of senior life overall, as a result of engaging in exercise and activities, rather than the promise that, if you join up you will achieve this enviable body or snag that hot date. The quality of life and the heightened enjoyment of everyday activities which seniors can have as a result of exercise need to be highlighted.

Marketing programs should also contain testimonials and feedback from actual seniors delighted with their progress and accomplishments, similar to that of “before and after stories of weight loss”. Seniors want to hear how it has enhanced and changed other people, who are just like themselves. They want to hear the successes, for example, how exercise lowered blood pressure, how strength training enabled other seniors to do more, how medication was reduced, how endurance was stretched. It all gives the feeling that anything is possible, if they can do it, then I can as well. It sends a message and an incentive to become a joiner.

Seniors often prefer to sample a program on a trial basis to see if it’s going to be the right fit for them. Offering special programs geared to this group is smart when limiting them to one or two classes. Fitness activities can be offered at many different types of senior living facilities. Places such as retirement communities and nursing homes already recognize the need and benefits of fitness and nutritional programs. Approaching these senior residences is an effective strategy of marketing to large groups of seniors. There are also many senior assisted living residences that do not have organized fitness classes or programs in place yet, but they will soon. Visit these places and offer a free class or program, if these programs are successful you will know that this appeals to seniors and if the need is strong enough to continue. This will help to target the senior market, zeroing in on what works and what doesn’t.

Marketers of fitness need to alter their sales approach to seniors. This age group is not impulsive and will appreciate a thorough, softer sell approach. Seniors need and want information and prefer patience. This in turn builds trust, instilling confidence in the senior contemplating buying a membership. It basically reaffirms that they are doing the right thing in taking this first step to join.

Seniors as consumers hold certain expectations that need to be met for fulfillment. As part of the packaging of the programming, seniors also need and crave socialization and to be part of the group. They need leadership, to have an instructor to safely guide them through the program, with an eye to protecting them from injury and awareness of ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis in the participants. They look for convenience, with minimal stairs and easy entry, or even better brought to their home. Lastly they want value and attention, to feel like they are progressing and that their state of well being is something that is noted.

As with any market, the sales approach needs to be geared to their age defined needs and preferences. In the year 2010 and in the coming years the greying of the boomers market will keep growing by leaps and bounds. There will be an even greater emphasis on slowing the effects of aging and possibly the reversal through movement and exercise. This, the marketers realize is what it’s all about at any age. Seniors, like everyone else, want to maintain a high quality of life and that definitely includes exercise to make it happen.

As baby boomers age, a growing potential client base for adult-only residential communities – Baltimore Sun

The busted furnace Tom and Caren Cranston came home to after vacation was the last straw.

Their 1930s home, with its constant repairs and maintenance, simply did not fit with the lifestyle of leisure and travel the Cranstons, both 69, envisioned for themselves in retirement.

Earlier this year they sold their Towson home and put the proceeds, plus a small short-term loan, toward purchasing a brand new, 2,000-square-foot house in the area’s latest gated community, designed for people age 55 and older.

Stoneleigh Summit, a 36-home community developed by MacKenzie Communities and built by Ryan Homes in Towson’s Stoneleigh area, offered everything the Cranstons wanted — a house without a constant to-do list, plenty of space for visitors, plus a homeowner’s association to take care of the yard.

Age-restricted residential communities — often favored by municipalities because they don’t strain school systems —target empty nesters and seniors who want to downsize and take advantage of on-site amenities. And with an aging baby boomer generation, the potential client base for this type of home is bigger than ever.

Alzheimer’s Disease Signs and Symptoms Help Identify Alzheimer’s Disease Early

There are a number Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for which can help diagnose this disease. The most prominent which is memory loss? What seems to be a simple mistake in memory may be the start of Alzheimer’s. Anyone can suffer short periods of forgetfulness. Alzheimer’s is much more than that; it actually attacks your short-term memory first. Then slowly keeps progressing.

Since 1906 when the German born psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer first discovered Alzheimer’s disease in a patient, until this very day. Alzheimer’s remains a fatal ailment that has both absolutely no cause as well as no known cure.

There are however medications to help slow this disease from developing into its final stages. In addition there are drugs already available that can assist the sufferer and manage the side effects of depression, hallucinations and delusions.

As Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms progress the patient will start to forget familiar things and will begin to lose well-known skills. The patient will begin to start forgetting people’s names. Then they will actually become unable to identify their friends and family.

It wouldn’t be fair to blame all memory loss on Alzheimer’s disease. There are two basic reasons for memory loss. Naturally the patient’s age is a factor.One of Ten people 65 years of age and older will be experiencing some form of Alzheimer’s. And 50% of people 85 years of age and older will also experience some form, Alzheimer’s.

Presently here in United States as of 2011 there are over 5 million sufferers. As the baby boomer generation begins to reach their golden years, this monster of a disease will be waiting for them. The first early sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease will first attack the frontal lobe where the short-term memory is stored, and in many cases not affect the patient’s long-term memory. But as the disease progresses the patient will lose more and more of their skills. It will affect the way an individual thinks their ability to speak, and their behavior.

The patient will become indecisive and can start having trouble within decision-making processes. These lapses of memory as well as cognitive functions are based on the frontal as well as temporal lobes of the brain.

The patient may experience mood swings and may become violent or even excessive passivity. The later on stages will be more terrible. Alzheimer’s patients will begin to loss control of their body functions and muscle control as well as mobility.

Alzheimer’s generally develops and become deadly within approximately 5 to 20 years.

Since Dr. Alzheimer identified the disease in 1903, there have been medical breakthroughs and research studies that have been discovered to be beneficial in preventing or even delaying Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers believe that physical exercise and eating properly can reduce the chance of contracting this disease.people with high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol, and low levels of vitamin b appeared to be at higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Schultz: Baby boomers, where are you? – Roanoke Times

On April 22, 2016, the world lost an exceptional man. Owen C. Schultz, my husband, best friend and the smartest, kindest, most generous man I have ever known, died of lung cancer on that day. As I was going through his files and papers, I found the following call to action for baby boomers like us who are nearing or have already entered retirement. He wrote it as we were planning our own retirement-right before his cancer diagnosis. He intended to submit it for publication to the Roanoke Times. I am honoring him by submitting it (in edited form) in his stead.

In this time of political turmoil, we are often tempted to just sit back, watch sitcoms or reality TV, or just post pictures of puppies and kittens on Facebook, and let things just play out as they will. It’s all just too frustrating and ugly. Many of us are tempted to just retreat because our candidate did not win the primary and we just can’t find it in our hearts to support anyone else.


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Flexible and Expandable House Plans – How to Achieve Affordable Homeownership

For many future homeowners, today’s economic environment can present a significant hurdle when it comes to the cost of home building. Be it a newly wed couple or downsizing baby boomers, the reality of what they need and what they can afford are at odds. Young couples can’t afford to build the size house they will need for their growing family. Retiring empty-nesters are faced with the dilemma of rising construction costs that have outpaced the value of their current homes from which they need to downsize. Even young singles with good jobs and promising careers don’t have the cash for a decent down-payment on a new home and are forced to rent.

Build in Stages

For people who can’t afford the entire home that they will ultimately need, starting out small, building in stages, one phase at a time may be just the right solution to set them on the path to affordable homeownership. This has proven to be quite a popular choice with our firm, especially for many young families. With the expectations of a growing family, starting out small and adding on later as the need arises and the budget allows, not only solves a limited budget problem but also avoids a potential hassle later on of selling and relocating to a larger home. And with the right kind of pre-planned expandable home design, the disruption of future building can be kept to a minimum, avoiding the loss of use and having to seek temporary living quarters.

Expandable house plans start with the basic essential rooms to be built during the first phase of construction. The construction plans provide, in advance, the specific structural details and specifications needed to easily accommodate subsequent additions with the least amount of disruption to daily family activities and limited retrofitting of the existing building. Future framed openings, wall pocket studs and plumbing/HVAC access are all anticipated in the layout and arrangement of the expandable home design. Complete, detailed construction plans are provided for all future additions showing the exact location with respect to the existing first phase, as well as the exterior elevations of what the entire final project will look like.

Expandable and Flexible House Plans

Expandable, build-in-stages house plans aren’t just for young families seeking a starter home. We have seen a growing request at our design firm for future retirement/semi-retirement combo-vacation homes. People planning for the future by building in stages with multi-use expandable home designs are starting out small with either vacation cottages or small rental homes.

One expandable house plan in particular we designed for a client was for a build-in-stages combination vacation and retirement home in a small village where their young daughter just accepted a new job. Noted for its ideal retirement qualities, this mountain and lake region provided a welcomed vacation retreat from their city lives and daily work, as well as a place for their daughter to live until she could afford a down payment on a home of her own. Starting with the garage apartment for the daughter and semi-attached vacation cottage, their property would be maintained and watched until they moved down full-time at a later date.

With expectations of semi-retiring to this home, the construction plans called for a future home office to be built at the connection between the cottage and garage apartment and additional bedrooms in a wing off the other end of the cottage. Once the daughter left, the garage apartment could then serve either as rental property, guest quarters or in-law apartment. Since the cottage house plan was designed as an age-in-place home (a barrier-free design allowing them to live independently as they age) the garage apartment could also serve as care-giver quarters sometime down the road.

This type of expandable, build-in-stages house plan is very flexible and versatile, providing many incremental options as the budget allows and life style situations change, all without sacrificing the simple pleasures that a home can offer.

With a little innovation and reorganization of priorities, young families or downsizing baby boomers will stand a better chance of achieving their goal of economical home construction. Implementing the build-in-stages method offered by expandable house plans can provide a convenient affordable alternative for cost-effective homeownership.

Shame on Baby Boomers for decline of political process | Fresno Bee – Fresno Bee

It is with great sadness when I read in the obituaries the passing of another member of the Greatest Generation, especially those that served our country. At the same time, I take comfort that those who have passed are not here to see the circus the presidential campaign has become, not to mention our whole political process.

How it must hurt those who sacrificed so much during the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II to see how far this country has fallen.

It also embarrasses me to realize it is my generation, the Baby Boomers, who are most responsible for the decline. What happened to debating the issues and not interrupting the other person who is speaking? When did it become a contest to see who can degrade the other person the most? Why?

Heaven help this country of over 300 million people when the best we can nominate are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. What does it say about our political parties and us as citizens?

Robert Longatti, O’Neals

Why Baby Boomers Are Getting Into the Gig Economy – U.S. News & World Report

Countless articles discuss how millennials are driving for ride-sharing companies such as Uber or Lyft, running errands on TaskRabbit, which helps users find people to perform miscellaneous tasks on demand, or using other gig economy startups to bring in extra cash. But with kids out of the house and careers ramping down in some cases, baby boomers are even likelier candidates to power the on-demand economy. One platform, Tengia, specializes in pairing people over age 65 with individuals and small businesses who need skills-based services.

In fact, a 2016 report analyzing trends in alternative work arrangements across America conducted by economists from Harvard and Princeton shows that the rise in the incidence of alternative work arrangements has been most dramatic among older workers ages 55 to 75. And it is worth noting that these alternative work arrangements encompass more than just gig economy startups.

“Like their parents, [boomers] fear living beyond their means or having their savings running out,” says Sally Abrahms, an aging expert. “This is a way to relieve that fear. I see it daily when I order something from Etsy or another company. Often the people I’m dealing with are baby boomer who were either laid off or want to make extra money, or they want to pursue their second or third career,” Abrahms explains.

Like their younger counterparts, boomers should consider some of the potential downsides of this new mode of work. “In the gig economy, you’re treated as an independent contractor not an employee, which denies you the legal protections and benefits you’d have as an employee,” Abrahms says. “Companies don’t have to pay contractors a minimum wage or make retirement contributions. There’s no vacation pay or health benefits or workers’ comp coverage.” (Of course, some boomers may have health insurance through Medicare or a working spouse.)

Boomers who have amassed significant assets such as a home may also want to weigh their desire for extra income against the potential liability. “Let’s say you rent out your house, it may be a violation of the terms of your mortgage,”Abrahms says. Or if you’re a rideshare driver, consider whether you’re in violation of your auto insurance policy.

Those caveats aside, U.S. News talked to several boomers about their motivations for getting into the gig economy.

Extra income. This is the most obvious reason to participate in the gig economy. Many boomers who have chosen to retire or perhaps found themselves involuntarily retired due to a layoff want extra cash to supplement retirement savings and Social Security while they’re still young and healthy enough to earn. That was the case for Tom Miller, who began working for TaskRabbit in San Francisco in September 2013. Miller retired from the city library system after 20 years and needed extra income. “My daughter’s going to college, and it’s not cheap living in this area,” he explains.

Miller has performed a variety of tasks, including researching architectural summer programs for a user’s middle school daughter and writing a retirement speech with 15 Beatles songs interspersed. Miller estimates that he works five to 10 hours a week, but he appreciates getting a little extra income to pad his budget.

Motivation to move. After Walt Galvin retired from manufacturing operations in early 2015, he says he had too much time on his hands. “My wife would come home from work and say ‘What did you do today?'” he explains. “It got to the point where she said, ‘You really need to get off the couch,'” he recalls.

Galvin, who lives in the Washington, District of Columbia metro area, has always loved dogs. Earlier this year, he signed up as a dog walker with Rover, an app that lets walkers set their rates and choose their hours. “I am walking between five and six miles Monday through Friday,” Galvin says. “I’ve lost a few pounds, and I think my overall health has improved by getting that daily exercise,” he adds.

Flexibility. For baby boomers who want the flexibility to travel, tend to family obligations or take time off for other reasons as needed, traditional employment may not fit the bill. Raymond Patterson, a Los Angeles-based performer, signed up with grocery shopping and delivery service Instacart in July 2014. His gigs had slowed down, and he heard about the new service through the Actors Fund, a human services organization for actors and other entertainers.

Patterson works 40 to 45 hours in a typical week but likes the flexibility to take time off for appointments or performing gigs as needed. “We do have a set schedule, but we can make adjustments in our schedule in advance,” he says. “If a booking occurs, I arrange my time and I come back to [Instacart],” he adds.

Social interaction. Whether driving for a rideshare app, renting out a spare room or assembling furniture, the opportunity to meet new people outside their immediate circle is another draw for boomers. “I think there is a huge social aspect to the gig economy for boomers,” Abrahms says. “It’s a way to meet people at a time of life that can be isolating. Yes, they’re … doing it for the money but also for this social connectedness – this part of feeling like you’re in the world,” Abrahms adds.

This resonates with Patterson. “The income from it is terrific, and I also I like the service component of it,” he says. “Since I’ve been doing it, I love meeting the interesting people that I actually shop for and then subsequently wind up delivering to. I’m especially touched when I go to an elderly person’s home who may even be homebound,” he adds.

Purpose. Many people volunteer in retirement or pick up a new hobby because they miss the sense of purpose and identity their job once gave them. “The money is critical, but it’s also a way to stay connected with the world, meet interesting people and feel like you have a purpose,” Abrahms says.


Live well on a modest income.


A senior couple opens moving boxes.

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The average monthly Social Security payment was $1,341 in January 2016. That’s enough income for a married couple each receiving this amount to cover basic expenses such as housing, food, transportation, health care and utilities in some parts of the country, according to a U.S. News analysis of Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The analysis also factored in crime rates, access to health care and recreation opportunities. Consider these places where two Social Security checks are likely to pay for basic retirement costs.

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho


Capitol Blvd, Boise, Idaho

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Idaho’s state capital has plenty of affordable housing, costing retirees with a paid-off home a median of just $351 per month. For that low housing cost, retirees have access to a variety of amenities and entertainment. Idaho residents age 60 or older can register for classes at Boise State University for the bargain rate of $5 per credit hour (plus a $20 registration fee per semester). Or you could relax and stroll through a museum or enjoy the outdoor scenery. Seniors also get discounts to the Boise Art Museum, Zoo Boise, Bogus Basin ski area and on many Boise State sporting events. Best of all, a stroll or bike ride on the 25-mile greenbelt along the Boise River, which runs through the center of the city, is free for everyone.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,016
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $351
Median rent: $781

Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida


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Waterfront property is a way of life in Cape Coral, which has over 400 miles of canals as well as access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caloosahatchee River. You could easily spend your days boating, fishing or walking along the beach. But a house on or near the water won’t cost you a fortune. Median homeownership costs for people age 65 and older are $1,251 with a mortgage and $558 without one. The median rent is $983 per month. Many snowbird retirees reside in Cape Coral seasonally due to the pleasant winter weather. An added bonus: There’s no state income tax in Florida.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,251
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $558
Median rent: $983

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado


Garden of gods in Colorado Springs

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The natural wonders will draw you into this Rocky Mountain city. Retirees can linger among the scenic beauty at Pikes Peak, Seven Falls and Garden of the Gods, or find a volunteer position or part-time job sharing these mountain views with tourists. Athletes from across the country come to Colorado Springs to train at the U.S. Olympic Complex, and seniors can visit the facility at a discounted rate. Retirees who have paid off their mortgages get to live in this high-elevation mountain town for the bargain price of $393 per month. Older homeowners with a mortgage ($1,221) and renters ($827) pay more.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,221
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $393
Median rent: $827

Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio


Skyline and the Miami River in Dayton, Ohio.

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When selecting a retirement spot, it’s important to make sure that doctors and hospitals will be there if you need them. Dayton’s largest employers are health care providers, and the city has several hospitals U.S. News has rated as high performing for specific procedures and conditions, including Miami Valley Hospital, Kettering Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center. But living near a variety of health care options doesn’t have to cost a lot, ranging from a median of $469 for retirees with a paid-off house to $659 for renters and $1,080 monthly for seniors with a mortgage. Aviation buffs and air force retirees will enjoy the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The famous Wright brothers were Dayton natives.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,080
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $469
Median rent: $659

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan


Big Cloud over Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Grand Rapids is known for its impressive arts scene, which includes Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. The hometown of President Gerald Ford also has many outdoor recreation opportunities, including the Grand River and nearby Lake Michigan. The area has a booming health care industry, and Spectrum Health is a major employer and service provider. Housing costs are relatively low, with older homeowners paying a median of $1,113 with a mortgage and $434 without one. Retiree renters pay a median of $726 per month to live in the Grand Rapids area.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,113
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $434
Median rent: $726

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh


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A sports fans paradise, locals can root for the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. The area is home to several major colleges, including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. UPMC Shadyside is ranked the 12th best hospital in the nation by U.S. News. But these big-city amenities are coupled with relatively low housing prices. Costs for older homeowners range from $1,069 with a mortgage to $468 without one. The median rent for retirees is $617 per month. Seniors age 65 or over can also ride the bus, T or Mon Incline for free.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,069
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $468
Median rent: $617

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia


Downtown Richmond, Virginia in the early evening.

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While northern Virginia has very high housing costs that aren’t likely to be covered by Social Security alone, costs drop significantly a little farther south in Richmond. The median retiree homeowner pays $1,282 per month with a mortgage, which drops to $465 among older residents who have paid off their homes. The median rent for senior citizens is $905 monthly. Virginia’s capital city is divided by the James River, which has whitewater rapids running through town. The area also has several well-regarded hospitals, including the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,282
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $465
Median rent: $905

Rochester, New York

Rochester, New York


The High Falls are one of three voluminous waterfalls on the Genesee River, that flow through the city of Rochester in New York

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While the winters on the southern shore of Lake Ontario can be cold and produce a prolific amount of lake-effect snow, the low housing costs might keep you in town. Older residents pay a median of $1,179 per month with a mortgage and $555 with a paid-off house. Seniors who rent are charged a median of $778 per month. Once the snow thaws, the flowers will bloom again and there is a large Lilac Festival to celebrate. The city boasts several major colleges, including the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the highly rated Strong Memorial Hospital.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,179
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $555
Median rent: $778

San Antonio

San Antonio


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, USA - SEP 28: Section of the famous Riverwalk on September 28, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. A bustling place with many restaurants and bars.

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History buffs will delight in this old city that was colonized by the Spanish in the early 1700s. The San Antonio Missions were designated a World Heritage site in 2015. San Antonio is located on the southern edge of the scenic terrain and vineyards of Texas hill country. Health care is provided by the high-performing University Hospital. But these amenities don’t cost a fortune in San Antonio. Renters pay a median of $816 per month, while homeowners face costs ranging from a median of $1,146 monthly with a mortgage to $430 per month without one. Also, keep in mind that Texas doesn’t have an income tax.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,146
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $430
Median rent: $816

Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington


Riverfront Park along the Spokane River in downtown Spokane, Washington.

(iStockPhoto)

Spokane might be best suited to active retirees who love the outdoors. The Spokane River runs through town, and those who walk and bike along it are treated to views of several waterfalls, especially in the spring. Dams along the river are used to generate hydroelectric power. Several nearby ski resorts provide opportunities for winter fun. High-performing hospitals include Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital and Deaconess Medical Center. Housing costs a median of $1,130 for retirees with a mortgage, but that drops to $425 per month among retirees who have paid off their home. Renters pay a median of $662 monthly.

Homeowner costs with a mortgage: $1,130
Homeowner costs with a paid-off house: $425
Median rent: $662

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