Here's Why Tallahassee Really Is The Best Place To Retire

alligator, Florida, everglades, swamp

Photo: Flickr / Dolor Ipsum

The Washington Economics Group recently named the best U.S. cities for retirees in which Tallahassee, Fla. took first place. Tallahassee has everything boomers say they want, from stellar health care and lower-than-average gas and food prices to weather that’s sunny year-round. 

A family feel and lack of a state or local income tax also make it a must for anyone preparing to punch out of work. 

#9 Richmond, Virginia (tie)

Eastern Virginia isn't short on history or outdoor activities, though its cost of living is admittedly higher than some of the other cities on this list.

Winter months average in the mid 30s, with long summer days reaching 75 and 80 degrees.

#8 Louisville, Kentucky

In the heart of the Midwest, Louisville offers low costs on food, health care and housing.

Gas prices creep slightly higher than the national average, but anyone suffering from diabetes or cancer will be pleased to have specialised centres like Caritas nearby.

#9 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (tie)

Forget what you've heard about the Rust Belt: Pittsburgh is hot for retirees.

The cost of living is lower-than-average, and this industrial town is booming in fields like science and tech. (Bonus: You can root for the Steelers.)

If you're into cold weather, you'll love the city's mild summers and chilly winters.

#6 Oxford, Mississippi

Teeny-tiny Oxford (population: 20,000) is as young at heart as it is affordable.

The focus on young people might not be the best fit for retirees, but temperate climes and low housing costs are worth considering.

Another perk: Gas prices hover almost 2 per cent lower than the national average.

#5 Atlanta, Georgia

There's more to Atlanta than Outkast and Georgia peaches--the city's cost of living is astonishingly low, with food and gas prices hitting the same level or lower than national averages.

Housing is also cheap, making this city a true contender for boomer paradise.

#6 Charleston, South Carolina

Colonial Charleston numbers just over 650,000 people, but there's plenty to do in this small town and its tax rates are competitive.

Gas prices linger 5 per cent higher than national average, but the excellent health care system is a worthwhile trade off.

#4 Tuscaloosa, Alabama

For retirees on a budget, Tuscaloosa's pleasant climate, lazy lifestyle and low prices are hard to beat.

The median sales price for a home is just above $130,000, not bad for a college town crazed about football.

#3 Athens, Georgia

This quaint college town has unbeatable prices and all four seasons to boot.

Home prices are also appealing: The median sales price for a single-family home is close to $120,000.

#2 Memphis, Tennessee

What's not to like in Memphis? The country music capital offers a laid-back pace, dirt cheap living costs and some of the best mesquite BBQ this side of the Mississippi.

Not into beef? Pay homage to Elvis at Sun Records or hit the ballpark.

#1 Tallahassee, Florida

Summer lasts all year round in Tallahassee, where the living costs are cheap and even health care is affordable.

Also attractive: Florida has no state or income tax.

There's no shortage of things to do, from whiling the hours at a nearby beach to cheering on the Seminoles.

Planning to retire? Stop wasting money on junk ...

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