Best place to retire: Copper Square
Pros: You're in the Southwest.
Cons: Light rail will only have one line, so don't throw away your car keys. And, it's hot.
Real estate: Most new condos start around $300,000. 1,000-square-foot apartments often go for under $1,000.Think of Phoenix and you don't think of a bustling downtown. You think of sun. The sunny days and arid air have long drawn retirees to Arizona. But there is an effort to get folks downtown into an area civic boosters call Copper Square.
Enjoy symphonies, opera, or ballet at Symphony Hall, or watch the Diamondbacks chase another World Series at Chase Field. Housing is primarily single family homes and lofts, and a new light rail system scheduled to open in late 2008 will take you to Arizona State University in nearby Tempe.
If you'd rather put down roots someplace accessible to downtown that caters to seniors and allows for an active lifestyle, choose from the many 55-plus and retirement communities in and around Phoenix. The 65-and-over population in Maricopa County is projected to double by 2025; it's literally Retirement Central.
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Public transportation maps: Bus | Subway/Rail