Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Cheapest Places to Retire in the U.S. for 2012

One of my closest friend's recently introduced me to a new book he discovered - the name speaks for itself, 'The Cheapest Places to Retire in the U.S. 2012 Edition'. The cool thing about this book is that a great deal of research went into it. So, it's not just another one of those subjective lists someone has put together to promote their particular community instead it's a fact based directory.

The author is Thomas Corley who is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner.He runs a company called the Rich Habits Institute which is dedicated to helping people and organizations achieve financial freedom. He's accumulated literally thousands of hours of research into the many different locations around the United States that he found to be the cheapest places to live and retire. It's no lie to Tom has "crunched" a lot of numbers to come up with this list. In fact, he and his team have analyzed over 3,000 cities, towns and communities across the U.S. to come up with his Top 100 list. He looked at ten key relevant factors and then applied a proprietary scoring formula to each factor to determine which communities ranked highest as the best of the cheapest places to retire in the U.S.  The following factors were identified and used to create the directory:

Ten Key Retirement Factors -

  1. Lowest Housing Costs
  2. Lowest Property Tax 
  3. Lowest Sales Tax 
  4. Best Climate 
  5. Lowest Crime Rate 
  6. Lowest Income Tax 
  7. Closest to Major or Regional Metropolitan Areas 
  8. Closest to Hospitals 
  9. Closest to Airports 
  10. Closest to Beaches or Coastlines

If you look around on the Internet you'll see a lot of lists that claim to give you the top 10 or 100 but what sets this directory apart is the hard analytical data and the volume of work done to come up with an objective measure of 'cheap living'. Not only that but this list of the 100 cheapest places to retire is substantially different from the others based on the criteria that was used.

Now I keep referring to this as a list or directory but make no mistake it's not just a one page list of the top 100. Tom has gone a lot further to provide a full page of detailed analysis for each and every place on the list. You can get the highlights from his snap-shot 'The Good and The Bad' bullet points and you can dive in with detailed stats on the key retirement factors as well as a good narrative.

By now I hope you agree this sounds like a great resource to help you uncover a good place to retire on a limited budget.  But just to be sure we've worked with Tom to come up with a free 'Sneak Preview' of his book. This will give you a good idea of the content of the big book - how it is laid out and how valuable it could be to you if you are looking for that perfect spot to retire on a limited budget. To get the Free Mini-Book - just fill in the form below and we will send it directory to your e-mail box.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Living in California

Is California the Best Place to Live in the U.S.?

With its prime location nestled next to the Pacific Ocean coupled with mountain ranges all around and some pretty nice weather year round it is no surprise that many are living in Southern California. Since California joined the union people have exclaimed the virtues of California and called it the best place to live in the United States.

Living in Southern California

There are many benefits to the living in the southern half of this state. Job opportunities abound here. If you are in the Entertainment field, there are a wealth of studios and production companies to work for, but Southern California has job opportunities outside of the stereotypical 'movie business'. Yes, Southern Cal has a wide variety of professions to choose from - from accounting to advertising, to working with technology or opening your own business or restaurant, choices and opportunities abound abound.

Southern California is a hubbub of recreational activities. With the moderate temperature of the ocean water activities such as surfing, diving, and parasailing are at your fingertips. If you prefer grounded movement, there are bike trails and hiking trails all over the regions. If you like roller coasters and water parks, Southern California has several zoos, aquariums and theme parks to choose from.

Living in Northern California

Living in Northern California can be an amazing experience too, although it is significantly more expensive than it's southern counterpart. Like Southern California, Northern California has a range of job opportunities, including great advertising companies, educational positions and various technology fields. There are mountains to hike and some great city trekking to be done in cities like San Francisco. The weather is more moderate here, and the rainfall and fog are significant, but they go great with a nice cup of coffee from some outstanding coffee shops and restaurants up North. As an added bonus a trip to the woods and to the neighboring state of Oregon are not far away either.

The Cheapest Places to Live in California

Most people are surprised to learn that there are inexpensive places to live in California, but it's important to note that these places are often in hotter parts of the state.

The cheapest places to live in California include:

California City, with a population of about 15,000 it is located in Northern Antelope Valley and has affordable homes in the $200,000 range and low rents for apartments too.

Hesperia, California, which is a couple of hours from Orange county has a larger population of around 80,000 people and homes that are in the $200,000 to 300,000 range.

To the north of Los Angeles is Bakersfield, California with a growing population of 300,000 and affordable housing.

The most populated of these areas is Lancaster, California with over 500,000 people and lots of schools to accommodate this growing area.

The Best Place to Live in California?

There is some debate to where the best places to live in California are. Some automatically default to Los Angeles and San Francisco due to their popularity. San Diego's name has been emerging, for it is not as populated as the former cities and there are jobs, recreation and good food there too, for a little less on the pocket book. If the best place to live to you is where there is a low crime rate, then cities like Palos Verdes Estates or Saratoga, California may be what you are looking for although living in these spots does come with a higher price tag. Wherever you end up in this great state, I think you will love it.