Archive for Friday, September 16, 2011

Lawrence among ‘25 Best Places to Retire’

City No. 18 on magazine’s list

September 16, 2011


Lawrence resident Jane Gunther, 60, who has retired from a human resources job at Kansas University, swims Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, during an open workout session at the Indoor Aquatic Center. Lawrence has been ranked among the top 25 places in the country to retire by Money Magazine. The article noted Lawrence’s many positives for retirees, including the city’s $9 million aquatic center.

Lawrence resident Jane Gunther, 60, who has retired from a human resources job at Kansas University, swims Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, during an open workout session at the Indoor Aquatic Center. Lawrence has been ranked among the top 25 places in the country to retire by Money Magazine. The article noted Lawrence’s many positives for retirees, including the city’s $9 million aquatic center.

Best places to retire

The “25 Best Places to Retire,” according to Money magazine, which compiled each community’s population, median home price, top state income tax rate and cost of living index, plus a handful of attractions and amenities:

  1. Marquette, Mich.

  2. Cape Coral, Fla.

  3. Boise, Idaho.

  4. Danville, Ky.

  5. Weatherford, Texas.

  6. Southaven, Miss.

  7. Pittsburgh, Pa.

  8. Broken Arrow, Okla.

  9. Lake Charles, La.

  10. Winston-Salem, N.C.

  11. St. Joseph, Mich.

  12. Huntsville, Ala.

  13. Clearwater, Fla.

  14. Clarksville, Tenn.

  15. Tucson, Ariz.

  16. Austin, Texas.

  17. Bloomington, Ind.

  18. Lawrence

  19. Spokane, Wash.

  20. Columbia, S.C.

  21. Albuquerque, N.M.

  22. Marietta, Ga.

  23. Iowa City, Iowa.

  24. Conway, Ark.

  25. Georgetown, Texas.

Lawrence is among the 25 best places in the country to retire, according to the folks at Money Magazine.

The experts don’t suggest that everyone immediately leave their jobs and head for Phoenix or Florida or anywhere else many elders traditionally aim to spend their postwork years.

No, this list simply advises folks about the best places to actually live in retirement: Move there. Stay there. Be there.

“Each of these towns offers amenities galore for the post-work crowd,” the magazine says, “plus a cost of living that’s pretty darn sweet.”

Lawrence checks in at No. 18 on the list available online at, where the rankings topped the site’s most popular stories Thursday.

The magazine’s top place to retire is Marquette, Mich., home to relatively affordable housing, solid health care, and Northern Michigan University. Among other college towns in the rankings: Boise, Idaho, at No. 3; Winston-Salem, N.C., at No. 10; Tucson, Ariz., at No. 15; Austin, Texas, at No. 16; Bloomington, Ind., at No. 17; Columbia, S.C., at No. 20; and Iowa City, Iowa, at No. 23.

Among Lawrence’s positive attributes, according to the magazine:

• A historic downtown, with tenants ranging from “quirky shops to natural food stores.”

• All the “art, education, medical care and sports events you’d expect of a major college town.”

• Plenty of recreational opportunities, such as boating and use of trails at Clinton Lake, birdwatching in the Baker Wetlands, and swimming at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center.

Such positives draw folks to town from all over. Gerre King, a resident of the new Meadowlark Estates retirement community northwest of Sixth Street and Folks Road, counts people from California to Florida among her neighbors at the new 124-apartment complex, a project that cost more than $14 million.

One woman moved in from Santa Fe, N.M., after having previously lived in Switzerland.

“I do like to travel,” said King, a former McLouth resident who retired 19 years ago from the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. “I have been in every state in the United States, and I’ve been to Europe and Australia. I do know a little bit about other parts of the country.”

Now she swims at the nearby indoor pool. She enjoys taking in Kansas University football and basketball games. She’s looking forward to construction of the new Theatre Lawrence, which will also be nearby.

“I enjoy it here,” said King, 81. “We have everything that we need right here.”


fu7il3 5 years, 1 month ago

Fortunately, retired people don't have to worry about finding jobs. That is the biggest thing we are lacking. We need more jobs that don't start with the phrase, "The server will be right with you."

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

If you get enough retirees with income in an area, you'll also have jobs.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

Good point, and it also doesn't help the schools retain enrollments. College towns all across the country are being invaded by the aging population. Could be a trend?

Chris Ogle 5 years, 1 month ago

Dear Retired: Please come to Lawrence..... and bring money, because we don't have any.

big_john 5 years, 1 month ago

All you need to live here is a very large pocket full of money. Need a local government that can attract business and not drive them away. Keep property taxes down. We have High taxes. Area is Highly over rated. Developers seem to run the show here. Other than that, nice place to live.

dogsandcats 5 years, 1 month ago

In Marquette, MI, there is a foot of snow in September. That would not make it very easy for retirees to get around. That is why they move south.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

These may well be the best places to retire IF they have what one is looking for.

The question may well be about this list is who decided what retirees are looking for?

Who did the surveyors contact....... members of the real estate industry?

Are bedroom communities truly that attractive? They typically require more tax dollars so I read.

I say bring a generous fixed income with.

Pushing the Baker Wetlands while at the same time Lawrence movers and shakers are doing all they can to destroy it. Is it wise to destroy an economic draw?

I say focus on Art and Cyclists.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence is a good place to retire if you don't mind the smelly hippies and the Che-loving socialists.

50YearResident 5 years, 1 month ago

What, the Baker Wetlands is a draw? I wouldn't drive across town to visit the Baker wetlands, why would it draw people from out of town? It's a swamp and an eyesore.

jlzack 5 years, 1 month ago

I live a few blocks from the nasty, smelly, mosquito infested, swamp. You couldn't pay me to go visit it....

50YearResident 5 years, 1 month ago

Wait, when you retire you are supposed to stay here because of the great adventures you can continue to have at the Baker Wetlands. It has over 200 species of birds you can see in and around the green alge while strolling through the weeds and water.

Gayla Bieker 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree with big_joh, you better have deep pockets, nothing in Lawrence is cheap......I have lived here for 25 years & won't be retiring here for sure. Every time the city & county overspends their budget-property taxes go up. Why not just get the property owners to pay for their over spending??? If the city was run like a small business, they would have gone broke years ago...What business can get bailed out by others when they get into financial trouble. Last I remember, you'd have to close up shop if you made poor decisions or sales went down but the city just taxes everyone else & keeps on going & repeats it again year after year. They need to quit spending on art & roundabouts on every corner...Better yet, I say lets call in Suzie Orman to give the city & county a wake up call. She'd say" no way girlfriend" that art is not a need-its a want.....

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting. I thought about the college sports I can't afford to go see. The money I will be forced to contribute to the library/garage, the tax differences I have to pay in different areas, the idiots in state and local government and the list goes on. And yet I have chosen to stay and brighten my corner when I can. Don't rush here anyone. It is difficult to make friends, aquaintances, yes, friends, no. The one bright spot is the anonymous comment section the paper encourages all of us to use. Makes it easy to laugh at the citizens who contribute and to feel holier than thou about everyone.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence, like every place I've ever visited or lived, has a mixture of positive and negative aspects.

It may be a good place to live for those that value the positives, and don't mind the negatives, and vice versa.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

"Lawrence is a good place to retire if you don't mind the smelly hippies and the Che-loving socialists."

Considering you do not live anywhere close necessarily perhaps you would enjoy their company in the town in which you reside. Why didn't you invite them?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Where do you imagine I live? Blue Springs?

CHKNLTL 5 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence is a black hole just like Topeka. Once you move in, you can never move out. So go ahead, retirees, move here, spend all your money, drink the river water, and be stuck here to die, unhappy, alone, and unamused with the rest of us.

LHS56 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow....Why don't all of you negitive people simply move. I'm sure Ottawa or Topeka would be glad to welcome you to their towns. Sure we have problems. We spend more for wants than for needs. We have power groups....from the no growth to the demo and burn. We have many minority groups, homeless people, and KU students. I've lived here most of my life and will be buried in Pioneer Cemetery. I, for one, love living in Lawence

BorderRat 5 years, 1 month ago

Having lived in numbers 1, just south of 15 and 18 on the list, I really don't know that I'd retire in any of them. Now if I could combine the best of all three, that's where I love to retire. (Michigan for the outdoor recreation, Tucson for the mild winter months and Lawrence for Family.) Guess I'll have to keep moving around.

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