AARP Names the 10 Best Places to Retire Affordably and Happily in America

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Winchester, VaI moved to Winchester, Va., in 2006 and fell in love with the area, especially the Civil War battlefield of the Third Battle of Winchester. Not that I'm a huge history buff -- I simply became entranced with the beauty of the city.

It was on the trails of that battlefield that I trained for my first half marathon. I remember one particular run on a crisp fall morning, when the sun lit up the start of the trail, which cut through waist-deep golden grasses over an area of flat land. It's the first of three very different terrains on the battlefield, where 6 a.m. held a kind of peace as the wind played music in the grass. Next, the fields fell away to a short, wicked downhill onto to a basic wooden walkway inches above an iced-over creek. The trial then jaunted into the third section, where the path darkened into a narrow forest mountain biking path. The soft glowing eyes of countless deer scattered ahead of me on the steep muddy, single tracks and loops until I broke out of the shade of the forest into the sun for my first completed 6-mile run.

The amazing battlefields of Winchester are just the start of the area's long list of delightful attractions -- and I'm not alone in this opinion. The AARP just named Winchester, Va., one of the top 10 U.S. places to live and retire affordably. Its safe downtown is thick with charm, filled with fountains, parks, ponds, bars and restaurants. Neighborhoods range from small city homes to medium sized cottages to large three-level modern homes. Drive in movie theaterMedian list price, around $208,500, according to Zillow.com. Home to the famous Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and carnival that has celebrated the area's delicious apple-growing history since 1924, Winchester is an easy commute to the Appalachian Trail, a sweet Family Drive-In Theater (shown in photo on right), and to the business savvy Northern Virginia area.

To see what other appealing cities and towns made the list, click through our photo gallery below.
Gallery: AARP's Top 10 Best Places To Live (and Retire) Affordably in the U.S.

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59 Comments

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Ray and Virginia

AARP gave it up years ago. I get more from AAA. Don't waste your $$$$$$$ & I'm 85 young enjoying life

November 25 2012 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Let's just hope and pray that there are enough seniors who realize what the Democrats are doing to undermine America and turn us into a socialist country,

Vote Romney in November .

September 29 2012 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
freddie

Got to love the comments. Dissing AARP. I don't belong simply because their interests are not my interests. The largest block of voters in America are seniors. They are one group that typically does vote. Seniors are a huge block and hold the key to elected representatives getting in or not. The main problem - they vote along party lines. This allows our elected crooks to keep sticking it to us because they know we are divided.

Social Security and Medicare are NOT going away. Social Security for current and near recipients are not going to be effected. Those who retire in 20 years likely will be given the need to revise the full retirement age upwards. Medicare is a different problem. Medical costs have been outpacing inflation for the past 20 years and combine that with an aging senior population - a big problem. Toss in Medicare Part D that the Bush Republicans passed without ANY funding sources and we are headed for a train wreck. Both parties got us to this problem and the voters paid scant attention. In fact no one cared. Cut taxes, yes. Less is more. No one cares until the issue reaches a crux.

I personally want the US to default. I want to see suffering. That's what it will take to make people realize that programs cost money and citizens need to look out for their own interests by saving and investing for the future. Explain to me how a country can go to war (two wars) and cut taxes. Its never happened in our history. That's why W Bush was able to add $4.9 trillion to the US national debt. It was $5.7 trillion when he took over and it was $10.7 when he left. Outrageous - during a GREAT economy. Then the fallout of the bubbles bursting plus even more spending and ... you wonder how we got here. Get real and wake up.

July 29 2011 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
muenft

aarp supports obama and his leftist adjenda. They have sold out "old folks" for a few million pieces of silver and are slavish followers of their leftist leader obama ...Join another retired people orgzniation that actually has a few of our intrests at heart, not this leftist puppet company that stabs seniors in the back.

July 29 2011 at 2:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Master of my fate..

Did not renue my membership. Everytime I tried to use thier discounts, companies they recommend, I found better deals on my own. Besides, I don't like thier politics.

July 28 2011 at 12:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
FRANK

People-people-people,, It's not one political party, it's both and big business. That's capitalism. It's what is best for them. You could try another country such as Europe where gas is $9.00/gal; or singapore where a cup of coffee is $10.00 and a scoop of ice cream with sprinkels is $15.00. First off, I am not anti-muslim, but anti-twerrorist. Althou these countries are great, If you choose to live in the Philipines, don't go to the southern island, if you choose to live in Jarkarta, Indonesia, it's 90% muslims. how do I know this, I have been to these countries, I have dated lovely women from these countries. The best place in my opinion is thailand. I have six retired friends living there. However, you must have obtained medical coverage from their country prior to the age of 65 or you must pay cash because your american policy does nor cover you there unless you are a retired military person. Your american policy will only cover you in boarding countries, such as mexico and canada. That includes medicare.

July 28 2011 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to FRANK's comment
Master of my fate..

Two friends went to Thailand for dental work. Got estimates in USA for 8-10 thousand. Contacted Dental Co thru website, Cost them a 1/3 rd. Most profesional, english speaking, state of the art equipment, stayed in the best hotels, The dental Co set up everything. All work was done in 8 days. Completley satisfied.

July 28 2011 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
muenft

AArp supports our liberal leftist president and his policies. If the government takes a larger and larger share of working Americans wages and savings for "economic justice" as any good leftist would, it doesn;t matter wher you live.

July 28 2011 at 11:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
smallhawk8

to much money ever thing cost so much, its crazy world out there ever one wants your money and they dont want to give you nothing I will never be a member, people are so dumb to full for all of this, what is next for us. lots of insuraces steal people money, If I didnt need it I would not have it.

July 28 2011 at 7:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mastercraftmyers

aarp what a joke

July 28 2011 at 6:57 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cbeetom

"aarp" THERE HAS TOO BE SOMETHING IN IT FOR aarp. AFTER THEY BACKED obummer's HEALTHCARE PLAN I CANCELLED MY MEMBERSHIP AND GOT A REFUND OF UNUSED DUES. aarp IS JUST ANOTHER INSURANCE COMPANY LOOKING TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF THE obamaCARE PLAN. THAT IS WHY THEY WENT AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERSHIP. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF aarp RUN FOR THE EXIT.

July 27 2011 at 9:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cbeetom's comment
ajschrod

Unused dues? Wow--that must have been at least $1.74 !!

July 27 2011 at 9:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply