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Prescott, Ariz., Tops List of Places to Retire

March 07, 1994|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Three hundred sunny days a year and fresh mountain air--as well as affordable housing and cultural offerings--helped make Prescott, Ariz., the top place to retire in a Money magazine ranking.

The magazine said that despite a cost of living 6% higher than the national average, Prescott, a mile-high mountain town 90 miles from Phoenix, was rated No. 1 largely because of its mild climate and relaxed lifestyle.

The other cities in Money's top five: Fairhope, Ala.; Mount Dora, Fla.; Las Vegas, and Chapel Hill, N.C.

The magazine rated its top 20 places to retire on factors including housing, economic outlook, health care and climate. The rankings appear in the magazine's special retirement guide.

Money asked seven experts to list what retirees wanted when they relocate, then drew up a list of 10 attributes. Those included low crime rate, mild climate, affordable housing, attractive environment, proximity to cultural and educational activities, strong economic outlook and excellent health care.

The experts ranked the 20 places that best met those criteria.

In Prescott, two-bedroom homes or condominiums cost an average of $115,000. The town has four museums, three performing arts facilities and extensive outdoor recreation opportunities, Money said.

Of the town's 28,000 people, 22.5% are older than 65, the magazine said.

The remaining places in the top 20 are: Naples, Fla.; Sedona, Ariz.; Palm Springs; Aiken, S.C.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Kerrville, Tex.; Brevard, N.C.; Durango, Colo.; Asheville, N.C.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; St. George, Utah; Hendersonville, N.C.; Sequim, Wash.; Charleston, S.C., and Clayton, Ga.

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