Several cities congregate around the entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the country’s most popular park with tourists. But one of the closest is well-known Gatlinburg, TN. The area’s mind-blowing beauty convinces many a retiree to make the move here. The park is so vast that residents can find their own beaten path, away from others. Back in town, restaurants and shops abound, and housing costs are quite low.
This 22-square-mile city in glitzy Palm Beach County has the reputation for being a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” kind of place, with golf courses that pros love. But it also is known for its environmentalism, becoming a model for other cities in the Sunshine State. Its 1860 lighthouse is an iconic, shining landmark, and retirees can attend continuing-education classes, concerts, plays and speeches that inspire and enlighten.
Greater Phoenix, AZ
Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa and several other cities make up the outer ring of Phoenix, capturing the nickname The Valley of the Sun. The Sonoran Desert delivers muscle-relaxing heat and low humidity, appealing to many. The foods and beverages you like are in Greater Phoenix, and sports, culture and outdoor activities add an extra layer to life. Plus, Arizona has some tax advantages that get a thumbs-up from retirees.
If nothing else, it’s a conversation starter, says one retiree near Tupelo. Yes, the city is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, but day in and day out, Tupelo is building its own good reputation, from inventive festivals to Food Truck Fridays to modern automobile factories. State parks preserve the outdoors for all, and Mississippi’s cost of living is affordable. Within easy driving distance are Memphis, TN, and Birmingham, AL.
8 Likable Low-Cost Cities
Our annual feature of eight budget-friendly retirement cities is a cross-country lineup of beauty and appeal, proving that charm doesn’t have to come at a high price. Our eight standouts are Albany, GA; Anderson, SC; Boise, ID; Bullhead City, AZ; Knoxville, TN; Las Cruces, NM; Ocala, FL; and Wilmington, NC.
Retiring to Your Favorite Travel Spot
Moving in retirement to the vacation destination you simply love would seem to be a no-brainer. If you loved it for visits, you’ll love it for your home, right? Maybe so, maybe not. You need to think twice. Do the taxes, crowds, weather and more suit you for year-round living? Our story helps you contemplate the issues.
Financial Consultant: The Pros and Cons of Renting a House
Some retirees choose to rent out their former home as a way to earn extra money when working days are over. But property management when living in another city can cause some headaches. And can you really afford to forgo the equity from the home’s sale? Here’s plenty of guidance for your evaluation.
Roads to Retirement: Coastal South Carolina
Charleston, Kiawah Island and Hilton Head Island
Best Neighborhood: Cane Island in Katy, TX