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If you want to find some of the best retirement spots in America, our advice to you is this: Head outdoors.
Many of the cities that made our “10 best cities for retirement” list offer residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. Even in spots that have extremely cold winters, retirees are still able to leave their homes and enjoy a breath of fresh air. In turn, many of the most active communities tend to have the happiest residents.
We ranked 196 of America’s cities in terms of walkability, cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax rates and weather. The ranking also incorporated a specialized wellness score for seniors from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The top 10 cities weren’t clustered in any particular region; some of them were coastal cities, while others were smack-dab in the middle of the country. Most of them had an affordable cost of living — which is essential to retirees who have to live on a fixed income — and most offer their residents an ample amount of sunshine.
Here are the best cities to retire:
10. Franklin, Tennessee
There’s more to Tennessee than whiskey and country music. Just take a look at Franklin.
Only 20 miles south of Nashville, Franklin is experiencing a revitalization, with brewing festivals and free “art crawls” on the first Friday of every month at galleries along Main Street.
Franklin also is a relatively affordable place to live. The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, or CREC, ranks the Franklin-Nashville metro area as 52nd out of 308 metro areas in terms of low cost of living. Tennessee also has no state income tax, and overall it has the sixth-lowest tax rate in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.
Franklin may not be as walkable as some of our other cities, but FBI data show that in 2013, there wasn’t one murder in the entire city.
Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Healthways; the Council for Community and Economic Research; the FBI; the Tax Foundation; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; WalkScore.com