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Best Places to Retire 2012

10 Great Sunny Places to Retire

If bright skies and warm temperatures are on your must-have list, these cities fit the bill

great sunny places to retire- chili pepper fields in las cruces, new mexico

A chili field near Las Cruces, N.M., one of our 10 great sunny places to retire. — © Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

En español | Not everyone envisions retiring to a warm, sunny locale. But a whole lot of us do, and the good news is that there are plenty of attractive options — so many, in fact, that it can be hard to decide where to head for the next chapter of life.

To help you with that decision, AARP canvassed the country and found 10 great places where the sun shines in abundance, clear skies accentuate the scenery and the sublime weather gets people outdoors to play — and to meet other like-minded retirees.

To make our list of great sunny places to retire, a town had to post at least 250 days a year that were either completely or partially cloudless.

We also sought places that had some draw besides the weather — a distinct cultural identity, a range of activities for retirees, proximity to top-tier outdoor attractions, etc.

And, as with all of our great-places-to-retire lists, we selected areas that met our livability criteria of low crime, robust economy, healthy lifestyle and recreational amenities.

So grab a pair of shades, slather on the high-grade SPF and read on to figure out which of these sun-kissed towns best fits with your retirement goals and dreams.

Next Page: Serene beauty with arts and outdoor recreation. »

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