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Best small towns for retirees in America

  • #40: Ocean View, Delaware

    - Population: 2,198
    - Median home value: $336,100 (87% own)
    - Median rent: $1,346 (13% rent)
    - Median household income: $76,734

    Ocean View, Delaware, is a small coastal town with just over 2,000 residents known for its suburban, rural feel and its great weather, low crime, and all-around warm family atmosphere. Zacks reports that Delaware is a great place to retire in general for its tax benefits for retirees, but what makes Ocean View so special is its access to 28 miles of beaches, parks, space for bike riding and hiking, and annual festivals, as well as access to major metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.

  • #39: St. James, North Carolina

    - Population: 5,133
    - Median home value: $449,400 (96% own)
    - Median rent: $1,711 (4% rent)
    - Median household income: $101,563

    St. James, located on North Carolina’s southeast coast, was incorporated in 1999. Wetlands, open spaces, ponds, and marshlands add to the town’s visual appeal. It also has four and a half golf courses, a community center with various activities, a number of tennis courts and swimming pools, and a marina and beach club along the Oak Island seashore.

  • #38: Holly Hills, Colorado

    - Population: 2,909
    - Median home value: $426,500 (93% own)
    - Median rent: $2,634 (7% rent)
    - Median household income: $136,176

    Holly Hills is a small Denver suburb, which gives residents the advantage of being close to the excitement of the city with the ability to go home to a small, friendly community at the end of the day. It’s perfect for those who enjoy winter weather, as it gets an average of 23 inches of snow a year, and its average annual high temperature doesn’t quite hit 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • #37: Indian Wells, California

    - Population: 5,317
    - Median home value: $706,800 (85% own)
    - Median rent: $861 (15% rent)
    - Median household income: $104,522

    The self-proclaimed “California desert sanctuary” in the Coachella Valley lives up to its moniker with amazing mountain views, 350 days of sunshine, renowned golf courses, and several r­esidential­ country clubs. The Southern California town also sponsors a number of sporting and cultural events, including the BNP Paribas Open, the world’s fifth-largest tennis tournament.

  • #36: Isle of Palms, South Carolina

    - Population: 4,345
    - Median home value: $814,400 (84% own)
    - Median rent: $1,976 (16% rent)
    - Median household income: $112,287

    The Isle of Palms is one of the South Carolina Lowcountry barrier islands, with six miles of sugary beaches, wildlife, resorts, spas, golf, and restaurants. Retirees are drawn to the endless array of outdoor activities, from fishing and tennis to sailing, kayaking, and golf. Plus, it's just 12 miles from bustling Charleston and all the activities and services of a major Southern city.

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  • #35: Woodbury, New York

    - Population: 8,603
    - Median home value: $840,000 (87% own)
    - Median rent: $2,631 (13% rent)
    - Median household income: $168,605

    This hamlet within the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County offers a plethora of recreational activities. They include nearby beaches, the par-70 Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course, and the 400-acre Trail View State Park, a local treasure for hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers, and birdwatchers. Free concerts and movies at local parks and beaches have become a summer tradition for residents.

  • #34: Manhasset, New York

    - Population: 8,138
    - Median home value: $1,057,500 (76% own)
    - Median rent: $1,426 (24% rent)
    - Median household income: $133,456

    This Long Island hamlet is home to the luxury shopping center Americana Manhasset. Beaches and golf courses aren’t far, and neither is Manhattan, which is 20 miles away.

  • #33: Palm Valley, Texas

    - Population: 1,706
    - Median home value: $169,500 (80% own)
    - Median rent: $1,114 (20% rent)
    - Median household income: $72,500

    When it comes to retiring in Texas, Palm Valley ranks among one of the best small towns because of its low crime, family atmosphere, warm weather, and relatively low cost of living. Palm Valley is a veritable nature lover's paradise, with hiking and biking trails, the Harlingen Country Club, and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. South Texas is a prime spot for birders, as well, and Palm Valley is near nesting grounds of many species of birds that migrate through Hugh Ramsey and Thicket Nature Parks.

  • #32: Sun Lakes, Arizona

    - Population: 14,582
    - Median home value: $264,200 (91% own)
    - Median rent: $1,390 (9% rent)
    - Median household income: $58,894

    This master-planned community near Phoenix claims to offer a “resort vacation lifestyle and country club living.” Indeed, Sun Lakes has five adult country club communities represented by three homeowner associations, numerous golf courses, and hundreds of special-interest clubs. The community also has a community college campus that offers lifelong learning opportunities.

  • #31: Garrett Park, Maryland

    - Population: 1,010
    - Median home value: $812,000 (90% own)
    - Median rent: $1,646 (10% rent)
    - Median household income: $179,306

    This Washington D.C. suburb has a small population of just over 1,000 people. It offers retirees a suburban vibe with restaurants, coffee shops, and plenty of green space—and the proximity to the nation's capital leaves even more room for culture, arts, and education. Garrett Park retains its historic, small-town charm with potluck town dinners, farmers markets, a swim club, and historic homes and buildings.

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