Great Places to Live After Retirement

By Susan Landis-Steward , last updated February 12, 2012

If you are approaching your sixties, you may be thinking about where you'd like to live after retirement. Cost of living, weather, and amenities are probably first in your mind. There are many great places to retire, both in the United States and abroad, you just have to decide what you want.

If you want to expand your horizons, a college town might be just the ticket. Many colleges offer special rates for retired people along with recreational opportunities and travel programs. Some good places to consider are Durham, NC; Lexington, KY; Bellingham, WA; Boise, ID; Huntsville, AL; Austin, TX; Tucson, AZ; and Ann Arbor; MI.

Weather may be a consideration for some people, especially if you're tired of Northern winters or Northwestern rain. The Texas hill country allows you access to the culture of Austin, some wonderful lakes, and good weather most of the year. However, Texas can get extremely humid; if the humidity is a deal breaker, you might want to consider Tucson, AZ. Dry desert heat, the great Tex-Mex food, and the University of Arizona provide lots to keep you busy. Plus you're an easy drive into Mexico for some shopping and a chance to practice your Spanish.

If you want clean air, mountains, and magical beauty, La Veta, CO is definitely an option. The cost of living is relatively low, the air is clear, and a nearby lake offers recreational opportunities. In the winter you get plenty of snow for skiing, the rest of the year you can hike, fish, or just kick back. Loveland, CO is also a wonderful place for retirement. Just 45 minutes from Denver, it has the feel of a small town but the amenities of a city. Great views of the prairie and the Rocky Mountains put this small city squarely in paradise.

If travel is your passion, and you don't mind cramped quarters, you might want to do what many retirees have done. Instead of settling down in one place, why not get an RV and tour the country? While you will have to pare down considerably, it's a great way to see the country and visit friends and family around the country without intruding on them.

Looking for something truly different? Many places around the world have large ex-patriot communities and often significantly lower costs of living. A nice apartment in Lima, Peru runs about $200 a month in some very nice neighborhoods. You can spend your time with fellow ex-pats or get to know the locals. The same is true of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where medical care is free. For a life of paradisiacal romance, the South of France is where you should go. While the cost of living is a bit high, the free health care system is a benefit. Many places in Europe offer free college tuition if you still have a yen to get that Ph.D. One advantage of living overseas is the opportunity to discover new cultures and brush up on another language.

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