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AARP The Magazine Names the 15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life

What are the 15 top "dream towns" for baby boomers? The May/June issue of AARP The Magazine identifies these lucky cities and sheds some light on boomers' plans for the future.

"Once again baby boomers are breaking the rules," said AARP The Magazine Editor in-Chief Director Hugh Delehanty. "This time they have bumped traditional ‘retirement communities,’ and are looking for something different." We found that the group known for leading the pack feels behind when it comes to leisure and finance. The magazine listened to what they were saying about family, work and life issues and discerned the following trends emerging about the future retirees:

  • Boomers see their homes as their " legacies. "
  • Unlike previous generations, boomers tend to get along with their kids and have no plans to get away from them. Fewer than one out of 20 move across county lines each year and even less cross state lines to relocate.
  • For those who do move, familiarity is key, whether it be to move closer to family or college towns that have a familiar feel as well as a youthful vibe, great medical facilities and sophisticated restaurants.
  • Boomers are choosing a new locale first – opting for appealing cultural and recreation lifestyles – and then looking for a job or opting to become an entrepreneur.
  • Boomers are purchasing vacation homes with a view to spending more time there in the future.

"The whole country will become more middle aged in the next few decades – but some places will have more boomers to love than others based on the new boomer criteria," said Delehanty.

AARP The Magazine compiled its list of highly livable towns according to a range of criteria – from affordability to community life to the quality of public high schools to access to outdoor recreation. These 15 cities were selected "dream towns – the best places to reinvent your life."

  • 1. Loveland/Fort Collins, Colorado: These neighboring cities are just 45 minutes from Denver, in an area where technology fueled job growth in the 1980s and '90s. The Rocky Mountain National Park offers skiing, hiking and fishing. Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University; Loveland, the smaller and quieter of the two with an appealing mix of professors, students, artists, and computer jockeys, is considered one of the best art towns in the United States.
  • 2. Bellingham, Washington: Situated on a bay along the Pacific Northwest coast between Seattle and Vancouver, the city offers a seaside marina, Victorian historic districts, lush forests, freshwater lakes and snow-capped Mount Baker. The city has charming, affordable neighborhoods and recreational opportunities including kayaking, sailing and snowboarding.
  • 3. Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Anchored by the high-tech and biotech facilities in Research Triangle Park and by more than 10 higher-education institutions, these cities are situated three hours from the seashore and just as close to the mountains, and are buzzing with a live music and dining scene.

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