The best places to retire, according to Forbes

Considering a change in locale for retirement? FORBES has identified 25 top cities for retirement in 18 states across the country. Affordability is a major factor, which is why locations in high-cost, high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California didn’t make the cut.

On the economic front we looked at average housing prices, cost of living and taxes, as well as the job prospects for those who want to work in retirement. For quality of life we rated weather, availability of doctors, serious crime rates and conditions that encourage an active retirement, including the availability of hiker/biker trails and volunteer opportunities.

Here is a sampling of what Forbes has found:

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque, N.M.
Fast Facts: World’s largest hot-air balloon event staged each October
Pros: Good weather and air quality, low taxes, lots of M.D.s, below-average cost of living, average home price $163,000, active-lifestyle-friendly
Cons: Crime, high Unemployment

Asheville, N.C.
Fast Facts: Location of 250- room Biltmore House, U.S.’ largest privately owned home
Pros: Good climate, abundant doctors, moderate cost of living, average home price $198,000
Cons: High unemployment rate

Austin, Tex.
Fast Facts: Hosts annual music, film and tech happening, South by Southwest
Pros: Growing economy, no state income tax, below-average cost of living, average home price $188,000, good weather, exercise-friendly
Cons: Average air quality

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Fast Facts: Home of Boise State University’s famous blue football field
Pros: Low crime rate, low cost of living, average home price $118,000, above-average air quality, attractive semiarid climate
Cons: Poor economy

Cape Coral, Fla.
Fast Facts: More miles of canals than anywhere in world
Pros: Good weather, no state income tax, low cost of living, average home price $108,000, good air quality
Cons: Bad economy

Autumn color near Lynchburg, Virginia.

Lynchburg, Va.
Fast Facts: Self-styled City of Seven Hills
Pros: Good economy, cost of living 6% below nation’s, average home price $134,000, good air quality, low crime rate
Cons: So-so tax climate

Fargo, N.D.
Fast Facts: Named for a Wells Fargo cofounder
Pros: Solid economy, low cost of living, average home price $154,000, activelifestyle encouragements, low crime rate
Cons: Cold winters

Phoenix, Ariz.
Fast Facts: Original name was Pumpkinville
Pros: Good tax environment, low cost of living, average home price $119,000, good weather, high number of doctors per capita
Cons: Poor economy

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