Everyone hopes to reach a day where working is no longer a necessity, and retirement is possible. Many envision their retirement locales to be in warm, ocean-front properties in places like Florida and California. But others long for the rugged outdoors in places with forests, lakes and mountains.
If the Appalachian culture suits your personal tastes, then Asheville in North Carolina is the retirement city for you. Claiming more than 73,000 residents, Asheville is the largest city in the western part of the state. It is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has a warm climate with temperatures as high as the mid-80s in the summer and as low as the upper 20s in the winter. Nearly 20 percent of the city's population is older than 65, making it a welcome place for senior citizens. Housing is relatively affordable in the mountain town, with the mean home price set at around $250,000. There is much to do in the Asheville area. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a few miles away. There is also a vibrant arts and entertainment scene in Asheville, including an annual film festival as well as an annual arts festival known as Bele Chere that includes live music and hundreds of artist booths.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
With a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs, Colo., is a breath-taking place to call home. With a population of 370,000, Colorado Springs is not a small town. Ten percent of its population is age 65 and older. It's known for its multiple military bases, which makes the town ideal for veterans who wish to live in a military environment. Towering over the city at more than 14,000 feet is Pike's Peak, a gigantic mountain top that eclipses the city while adding an ever-present mark of natural beauty. There are plenty of home choices for retirees in Colorado Springs. From restored Victorian homes to planned communities specifically aimed at seniors, there is no shortage of housing. There are 52 golf courses in the area, more than 1,000 restaurants three museums and a zoo.
Located in the southwestern region of Oregon, Ashland is a small community of about 20,000 residents. The city is located at the base of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges, just a few miles of the California border. Nearly 15 percent of the population is aged 65 and older and has recently seen a sharp increase in older residents as more and more retirees have decided to call the area home due to its beautiful views of the nearby mountains and forests and its vibrant artistic community. Average home prices tend to fall around the $250,000 mark. One of the most appealing aspects of the community is the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which attracts international attention and thousands of tourists every year. There is also an annual film festival and many critically acclaimed community theaters. For the active senior, there are many bike and walking trails that wind through the area's parks and surrounding forests and mountainous terrain.