By Jim DiLorenzo, REALTOR® Magazine
Are your clients or customers looking for the best place to retire in the United States? Look no further than America’s 100 Best Places to Retire, now in its second edition (Vacation Publications, Inc., $16.95). This 8-1/2 x 11-inch soft-cover edition was compiled by 45 contributing writers, and edited by Richard Fox, consulting editor with “Where to Retire” magazine.
The reference book is organized alphabetically by city or town. The writers provide about two pages of narrative for each city, describing the town’s history and culture. Quotes from people who’ve retired to these places add a human touch. And each city profile includes a two-inch black-and-white map and demographic information, such as population, climate, average housing costs, property taxes, and transportation, to name a few.
It’s the vividly painted portraits of each place that gives the book its charm. For example, in the Ashland, Ore. review, you learn that back in 1935, the city fathers grudgingly agreed to give $400 to produce a Shakespeare festival—with the provision that a boxing match be presented on the same program. The fights lost money, but the first two plays turned a profit.
Today, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland runs nine months a year. And it’s estimated economic impact on Ashland comes in at a cool $90 million.
There are 99 more vignettes like this one that let your imagination roam the country. In fact, Fox concludes his introduction to the book with the wry observation that if you haven’t felt a strong bond with one or more of the places profiled, you might as well close the book and stay where you are.