Many workers may dream about retiring on Waikiki Beach or the South of France one day, but high-priced, urban centers and tourist hotspots are unrealistic for many retirees on fixed incomes. One way to stretch your nest egg is to move to a less popular, more affordable area. About 11% of 55 to 64 year-olds said they planned to buy a different home within the next three years, according to a 2009 survey by MetLife Mature Market Institute. About 6% had definite plans to buy sometime after that and 12% weren't sure if they would.
AARP Magazine helps retirees decide in its 2011 Most Affordable Cities for Retirement list. Magazine staff combed financial data for more than 350 American cities in search of the best communities for older people with particular emphasis on housing cost, cost of living, unemployment rate, tax rates and economic stability, says Editor Gabrielle Redford.
“But we also considered other factors since we wanted to make sure these cities were liveable as well,” she says.
That means climate, recreation, crime, health resources, airport accessibility, mass transit and arts and culture are also important determiners. Here's a roundup of their picks (in no particular order) and why they make sense for retirees.