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The 10 Best US Cities to Retire In

The 10 Best US Cities to Retire In

When the time comes to trade in your tie or work boots for golf clubs and a fixed-income, relocation is often something to consider. America boasts a lot of towns that are all but tailor-made for retirees looking for a more relaxed pace and less of a hit to the wallet. Check out these 10 great places to retire and start planning your escape.

bellingham

    Bellingham, WA

    Cost of Living: 9 points above national average

    State Sales Tax: 6.5%

    If the Pacific Northwest is your dream retirement spot, you could hardly find a better town than Bellingham, WA. Aside from the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean complete with a resident orca whale population, Bellingham boasts above average air quality, low crime, and a high walkability rating. The only downside to this college town is a price with a cost of living 9% above the national average.

    cape coral

      Cape Coral, FL

      Cost of Living: At national average

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      State Sales Tax: 6%

      This town may only be 50 years old, but that doesn’t make it any less desirable. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Cape Coral scores highly for volunteering, has a warm climate, and the cost of living sits right at the national average. Combined with Florida’s 6% state tax there are few reasons not to choose this lovely town to work on your golf game.

      clemson JA SC
        flickr via JA SC

        Clemson, SC

        Cost of Living: At national average

        State Sales Tax: 6%

        Clemson is a lively college town with above average air quality, a warm climate, and a cost of living at the national average. With average home prices sitting right around $135,000, you might be able to overlook South Carolina’s state sales tax.

        tuscon

          Tuscon, AZ

          Cost of Living: 4 points below national average

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          State Sales Tax: 6%

          Tuscon, or “The Old Pueblo,” is famous for its warm climate but it also has so much more to offer retirees. Scoring high for volunteering and bike-ability, this oasis in the desert also has an abundance of doctors per capita and a cost of living 4% below the national average. The only catch is the 6% Arizona state sales tax.

          boise Charles Knowles
            flickr via Charles Knowles

            Boise, ID

            Cost of Living: 4 points above national average

            State Sales Tax: 6%

            With high rankings for volunteering, walkability, and cycling combined with an average home price around $168,000, Boise is one of the most retirement friendly state capitals around. The dry climate keeps winters manageable, although the cost of living is 4% above the national average.

            fredricksburg Baker Country Tourism
              flickr via Baker Country Tourism

              Fredricksburg, TX

              Cost of Living: 5 points below national average

              State Sales Tax: 6.25%

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              Come to Fredricksburg for the great air quality and warm climate, but stay for the low cost of living and average house price of $138,000. Fredricksburg is also super walkable with a classic small-town main street and has a microscopic crime rate, making it one of the nicest places in the country to stroll around in your ten-gallon hat.

              kentucky Dale
                flickr via Dale

                Bowling Green, KY

                Cost of Living: 6 points below national average

                State Sales Tax: 6%

                With a name like Bowling Green, who could stay away? This quiet Kentucky town isn’t as unassuming as it seems though. Every Chevrolet Corvette you see in your travels began its life here. Because of that, Bowling Green has a stable economy despite its low average house price of $138,000. Throw in a great climate and low crime rate, and this town is pretty much the full package.

                fargo Ron Reiring
                  flickr via Ron Reiring

                  Fargo, ND

                  Cost of Living: 8 points below national average

                  State Sales Tax: 5%

                  If escaping the cold isn’t your number one priority, Fargo might be the place to spend your golden years. Spend some of you leisure time taking in any of Fargo’s 8 museums or the Red River Zoo. With clean air, great volunteering opportunities, and more doctors than you can shake a stick at, Fargo could be your perfect winter wonderland.

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                  Auburn Robert S Donovan
                    flickr via Robert S. Donovan

                    Auburn, AL

                    Cost of Living: 11 points below national average

                    State Sales Tax: 4%

                    If you’re looking to retire to a town with southern charm and nary a snowflake in site, give Auburn a spin. With average house prices at $165,000, low crime, and a great economy, Auburn has a lot to offer. Enjoy the high life at 11% below the national average cost of living.

                    Utah Kenneth Lu
                      flickr via Kenneth Lu

                      Ogden, UT

                      Cost of Living: 12 points below national average

                      State Sales Tax: 4.7%

                      With majestic mountain views, a strong economy, and the lowest average housing price ($124,000) on this list, Ogden scores high in the bang-for-your-buck category. Stroll the historic Main Street or try your hand at curling on the ice sheet used during the 2002 Olympics in your spare time. Utah’s low state sales tax combined with a cost of living 12% below the national average make this mountain town a great place to call home when you decide to leave the working world behind.

                      Featured photo credit: Retirement/401(K) 2012 via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on November 17, 2019

                      20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

                      20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

                      Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

                      1. Make a gift bag.

                      A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

                      2. Give a toast.

                      Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

                      3. Write a poem.

                      “Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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                      4. Create your own labels.

                      There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

                      5. Give a gift card.

                      Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

                      6. Send a letter.

                      Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

                      7. Use social media to send a special message.

                      If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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                      8. Make your own digital greeting card.

                      While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

                      9. Make a YouTube video.

                      Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

                      10. Deliver cookies or candies.

                      Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

                      11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

                      There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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                      12. Put together a flower basket.

                      Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

                      13. Take a picture.

                      Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

                      14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

                      The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

                      15. Do something special for them.

                      Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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                      16. Reciprocate their help.

                      Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

                      17. Be there for them.

                      Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

                      18. Listen to them.

                      Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

                      19. Say it in another language…or two…

                      A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

                      20. Show them some love.

                      A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

                      Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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