25 Best Places to Retire

Thinking about your post-work home? You'll get huge bang for your buck -- plus lots of other perks -- in these towns.

5 of 25
Surprise, Ariz.
Surprise, Ariz.
Great for desert fans
Population: 91,000
% over 50: 43%
Typical 3-bedroom home: 150,000
Housing prices down: 48%
State income tax: 4.54%*

This fast-growing community outside Phoenix is named after the hometown of the man who founded it in 1938, but Surprise could just as easily describe what people feel when they look at the real estate listings. "You can scoop up a great house for less than $100,000," says local agent Meredith Andrews.

Locals can watch baseball at Surprise Stadium (the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers both do spring training here), cool off at the town's 10,500-square-foot aquatics center, and check out ancient petroglyphs at a nearby 30,000-acre park. Nearly 20% of residents live in Sun City Grand, a resort-like retirement community that offers reams of activities--tennis, golf, wine tasting, and more. (The original Sun City is a few miles down the road.)

"It's hard to think of this as retirement," says Ron Ransom, 68, a former restaurant owner from Columbus, who moved here with his wife, Kay, 67, in 2005. "There's always something going on." --S.M.

See complete data, including tax rates, for Surprise

NEXT: Boulder City, Nev.

Last updated September 24 2009: 1:21 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
* top bracket
Best places for a healthy retirement Want to retire where residents live a long life, there are lots of doctors and hospitals nearby and you can pursue an active lifestyle? Check out these 20 towns. More
I'm living 'in a Corona commercial'Readers share where they're enjoying a dream retirement. More
Tee up your retirement Pinehurst, N.C. offers world-class golf courses, excellent health care and a small town feel. Morevideo
Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.