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The 4 best places to retire in America?

Consumer Reports News: October 21, 2011 09:08 AM

We rate all kinds of things here at Consumer Reports, but places to retire aren’t one of them. Any number of other publications, websites, and organizations do, however, and the editors of the Consumer Reports Money Adviser newsletter follow their efforts with interest. Every so often, we like to compare different lists side by side and see what, if any, places they agree on. No single place made all four of the lists we looked at most recently, including one released just this week, but these four cities each made two:

Cape Coral/Fort Meyers, Fla. (pictured at right)
Ithaca, N.Y.
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tucson, Ariz.

If you toss in a fifth, somewhat more specialized, list, USAA’s best places for military retirement, Pittsburgh gets a third vote, and two additional cities, Austin/Round Rock, Tex., and Harrisburg, Pa., each get a second vote.

Obviously where to retire is a highly personal decision, and it’s unlikely that anybody has ever made the choice based solely on somebody else’s list. At least we hope not. But if you’re shopping around for a place to retire, those could be among the cities you’ll want to check out. They must be doing something right.

The four lists we consulted:

AARP’s “10 Affordable Cities for Retirement”

Money Magazine’s “25 Best Places to Retire”’s “Best Places for Senioritis” (For comparison purpose, we considered just the top 25 entries out of a total of 157.)

U.S. News & World Report’s “10 Best Places to Retire in 2012”

Still another list, which rates states rather than cities, wasn’t included in our comparison but might be of interest:’s “Best States for Retirement 2011”

Finally, from our own website, some advice on another major retirement housing decision:
"Buying vs. Renting in Retirement"

Greg Daugherty

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