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Most Affordable Places for Retirees in Arizona

By    |   Saturday, 30 May 2015 06:18 PM

Arizona is one of the most famous places to retire in America due to its sunny, warm and dry climate and the low cost of living. As such, it attracts Baby Boomers in droves. And unlike traditional retirement market competitors, Florida and California, Arizona residents generally manage to avoid natural disasters (the state never gets hit by hurricanes or earthquakes). In Arizona, the climate is pretty much perfect throughout the year. It gets really hot in summer, but as residents say, it is a dry heat, which makes all the difference.

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"When people from the north want a warm, dry climate, they come here," Jeremy Kisner, president of SureVest Capital Management in Phoenix, told MarketWatch. "I've never seen the migration go the other way."

Best of all for retires is how affordable Arizona is. Everything from the cost of food to housing to the taxes levied, tend to be lower here than other parts of the United States. "The Grand Canyon State has an income tax, although it is relatively low compared with other states. Social Security benefits are exempt from the income tax, as is up to $2,500 of some other retirement income. The state's top income tax rate doesn't kick in until income hits $150,000 ($300,000 for married couples)," Kiplinger reports. The publication ranked Arizona among its "Top 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees."

Some Arizona cities and towns are better value for money than others. One such city is Tucson. The city offers fabulous weather (it boasts some 350 days of sunshine per year, although it does get extremely hot in mid-summer when average temperatures are 100 degrees Fahrenheit and above), awesome hiking and bird watching as well as plenty of cultural experiences.

Pam Osterhout, who chose to retire outside Tucson with her husband rather than San Diego after checking out both cities, told MarketWatch, "We realized our money could go so much further here … there's less traffic, it's more laid back, and there's still a great small-town feel." By comparison, median home prices in San Diego are about three times higher than Tucson, according to MarketWatch.

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Another excellent option for Arizona retirement is Bisbee, located an hour and 30 minutes southwest of Tucson. It has long been a favorite with Hollywood filmmakers, who can't get enough of its preserved Wild West architecture and cool canyon walled natural beauty. It's also super popular with retirees looking for a dose of artsy culture, as it is home to dozens of galleries and organized arts events along with well-maintained Victorian homes that once served as saloons and boarding houses. But, best of all, for retirees, is the low cost of living.

"The median home is under $100,000, and the cost of living is nearly 10 percent below average. The local hospital has been surprisingly successful for a small-town medical center: it has procedures that let local doctors bring in specialists remotely, via video or Internet, so that patients don't need to go further away in an emergency," MarketWatch reported.

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Arizona is one of the most famous places to retire in America due to its sunny, warm and dry climate and the low cost of living. As such, it attracts Baby Boomers in droves.
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Saturday, 30 May 2015 06:18 PM
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