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Is Tallahassee the Perfect City to Retire?


10 cities that possess the qualities baby boomers identified as desirable for a retirement city.

For baby boomers looking to move there are factors to consider when looking for the perfect retirement spot. The Washington Economic Group used the five main factors published by the Consumer Federation of the Southeast to identify cities that possess all the qualities.

The five factors respondents named when determining the city to retire in are: climate; cost of living; quality and affordability of health care services; local taxes; and recreational activities. And the winner, according to WEG, is Tallahassee, Fla.

The cities named in WEG’s study were chosen either because they already have a high number of retirees, they are typically popular destinations for retirees or they have more than one factor favored by boomers.

Only one location outside of the South — Pittsburgh, Pa. — made it onto the list, and even then it was to round out the top 10 by tying for ninth.

“Finding the right mix can be tricky for retirees — because they want to live in a community that is big enough but not too big, warm and cool enough but not too warm or too cold, and with the amenities and resources of a big city but not the annoying traffic and congestion,” said WEG’s Villamil. “College towns in Southern states, with their dynamic communities and temperate climates, appear to offer the best mix of these many factors.”

Tallahassee in the fall. Courtesy Wikipedia


Tallahassee took the top spot because WEG concluded that it had most of the priorities that baby boomers were looking for during retirement. The weather is pleasant; the cost of living is significantly below the national average; the state has no income tax and only a 7.5% sales tax in Tallahassee; and its Capital Health Plan was ranked the number one Medicare Advantage plan in 2010.

Here are the top 10:

9. (tied) Pittsburgh, Pa.

9. (tied) Richmond, Va.

8. Louisville, Ky.

6. (tied) Charleston, S.C.

6. (tied) Oxford, Miss.

5. Atlanta, Ga.

4. Tuscaloosa, Ala.

3. Athens, Ga.

2. Memphis, Tenn.

1. Tallahassee, Fla.

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