11 Dec AARP Names Tulsa As One of Top 10 Most Affordable Cities to Retire
10 Affordable Cities for Retirement
by Sarah Mahoney, AARP The Magazine
If money didn’t matter, there’d be plenty of fabulous places to spend your retirement: a penthouse in Paris. An all-glass modern on the beach in Malibu. Perhaps a small winery in Napa Valley.
But money does matter. Even as the financial markets limp out of their recessionary funk, many of us are redefining what our “dream” retirement might look like.
Sure, Honolulu has beaches and well-priced pineapples, but few of us can afford its median home price of $550,000. Chicago has world-class dining and lake views galore, though its 9.75 percent sales tax can put those amenities out of reach. Then again, not many of us want to move to a one-stoplight town either, even if it is cheap.
We started our search for the perfect retirement destinations by examining financial data on more than 350 cities across the country. We looked at not only property- and sales-tax rates, median housing price, and cost of living but also the tax rate on pensions and Social Security. Then we added in such criteria as recreation, climate, and arts and culture.
The result: 10 retirement destinations that are affordable and livable.
Tulsans delight in how their city surprises outsiders — it’s a small-city jewel, with an impressive art deco district downtown, first-rate art museums and plentiful green spaces.
Situated in the northeast corner of the state, with the Arkansas River flowing through it, the city has 26 miles of paved cycling and walking trails that wind among fountains, playgrounds and sculptures.
A few years ago Joel Hulett, 56, and his wife, Ada, 58, considered moving his Tulsa law practice to Los Angeles so he could work for the entertainment industry.
Instead they decided to stay, and he started a film-production company: The couple will help kick off the Tulsa International Film Festival this September.
Ada and Joel also enjoy traveling, so they like the city’s proximity to Tulsa International Airport.
But Tulsa’s also just a welcoming place. Says Ada: “I’ve been here 33 years now, and it never fails to impress me how friendly and warm the city is.”