Florence/Muscle Shoals, AL
Legendary rock ’n’ rollers from across the globe have made their way to Muscle Shoals in northwestern Alabama, where a famous studio has recorded songs you know by heart. The music tradition lives on, with live shows almost any given night. The Tennessee River is impounded here to create Wilson Lake, while the University of North Alabama brings a youthful vibe. Florence’s walkable downtown invites strollers and the area’s soil nurtures bountiful gardens.
Grand Haven, MI
A retiree haven in southwestern Michigan? You bet. “The physical beauty -- the beaches, the dunes, being right on Lake Michigan,” says one retiree who relocated from Chicago, describing the lure. Golf and fishing are fabulous pastimes and a 2.5-mile boardwalk along the Grand River never stops its captivating show. The Coast Guard has a field office here and the city celebrates this military branch with an annual Coast Guard Festival.
The second-largest city in the Pacific Northwest, behind Seattle, is known for its dedication to good earth causes, from light rail to open space to reusable shopping bags. Many Californians relocate to this city in northwestern Oregon, where people have their choice of countless cafes and shops. The area draws folks who prefer walking over driving. This part of the country gets lots of rain, but, as one retiree put it, “We didn’t want to feel guilty taking a bath.”
Winter Park, FL
Even the name defines why so many people began coming to this part of central Florida in the late 1800s: Escape the winter in this parklike setting. It has an 11-acre Central Park as well as Rollins College, which sits along Lake Virginia. The city is just 7 miles northeast of Orlando and 25 miles northeast of Walt Disney World, offering quick access to all that Orlando magic. Active-adult communities give retirees many choices of where to live.
8 Gulf Coast Beauties
Many retirees want to rest their eyes upon a mesmerizing shoreline and the Gulf Coast has earned a reputation of providing those happy-place backdrops. Our eight locales have lots of retiree-friendly attributes. Check out Bayou Lafourche/Lafourche Parish, LA; Bradenton, FL; Foley, AL; Galveston, TX; Gulfport, MS; Panama City, FL; Punta Gorda, FL; and Tarpon Springs, FL.
Retirement Relocation: City Migrations
Where to Retire continues its series of stories dedicated to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data outlining where retirees are moving. In our third story, we analyze which cities and counties nationwide are winning -- and losing -- retirees.
Financial Consultant: Making Money in the Gig Economy
Freelance jobs fit many retirees’ lifestyles perfectly. They can work when they want and how much they want, utilizing skills gained during a lifetime of work. Or they can take gigs that hone an altogether different skill. Here’s your guide for finding work that provides adventures, intellectual stimulation and spending money.
Roads to Retirement: South-Central Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, York and Lancaster
Best Neighborhood: Osprey Cove in St. Marys, GA