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Best Places 2011

10 Affordable Cities for Retirement

These places are a bargain for retirees — and you can't beat the lifestyle

Columbus, Ohio

The AT&T switching station in Columbus, Indiana, doubles as one of the city's many pieces of public art. — Courtesy Flickr

Columbus, Indiana

Never heard of Columbus? That's fine — residents love this little city's under-the-radar charm.

See also: Aging in place in Indiana.

Less than an hour south of Indianapolis and east of Bloomington, Columbus has it all: design cognoscenti say the city's innovative architecture ranks right up there with Chicago's and San Francisco's.

The city boasts dozens of buildings and pieces of public art by such big names as I. M. Pei, the Saarinens and Henry Moore. Stroll 19 miles of paved People Trails, past wildflower gardens, modernist monuments and quaint neighborhoods.

The area has more than its share of recreational shopping, too: Troll the Exit 76 Antique Mall, one of the largest in the region, or look for bargains at the nearby outlet malls.

And when it's time for a larger culture fix? Bloomington, with Indiana University, is an easy 35-mile drive to the west.

Next Page: Booming wine and food culture with plenty to do for intellectuals. »

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