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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 January 17, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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