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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 March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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