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New areas becoming popular retirement spots

June 12, 2012

There's often a common perception that many older adults opt for retirement communities in warm parts of the country. While that may still be the case for some seniors, other areas are becoming popular as older adults realize there's more to retirement than spending time in the sun.

The shift was reflected in a recent list from Forbes that ranked the 25 best places for retirement. There were some spots known for their warm weather that made the list. Texas retirement communities in Austin got a mention largely because the city offers plenty of outdoor exercise and recreation opportunities. Additionally, the retirement cost of living is especially low.

Although listing Texas may not be surprising, there were some other choices that may have raised a few eyebrows. Forbes included Lynchburg, Virginia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well, which are not often thought of as retirement strongholds. Their listings are indicative of a change in what retirees are looking for when finding a place to spend their golden years.

"Just as retirement is changing, what people look for if they are going to move in retirement is changing," Janet Novack, Forbes Washington bureau chief and executive editor told Reuters. "We do think that affordability is important to people but the opportunities to stay active are also important to people."

Forbes' list was compiled by looking at a number of different factors. Along with taking weather into consideration, retirement experts also looked at other important criteria such as taxes, crime rates and the availability of doctors. Additionally, since many older adults like to work or volunteer, analysts looked at whether an area helped encourage an active retirement.