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La Veta, Colo.
La Veta, Colo.
Joel and Elizabeth Strasser in front of the firebox in their home in a gorgeous Colorado valley.
Name: Joel and Elizabeth Strasser
Age: 58 and 70
Why they love it: It's magical

I was an attorney on workman's comp and disability cases in the San Bernardino area. I commuted to work and the traffic got so bad, I bought a motorcycle. Eventually, I decided I'd done enough miles on the hamster wheel. There's way more to life than the grind.

So we decided to move to one of the "rectangular states," where I figured there was lots of space and living costs would be low. My brother told me about La Veta, and it's magical. Everybody says the same thing. The air is clean and it's so quiet. There's a small lake in the valley, and I can hear the geese from two or three miles away.

The area's cost of living was an attraction. We sold our house in California for $640,000 before the market crash and paid just $305,000 for a bigger home in Colorado on four acres.

At first, I didn't work. I needed the three years off to decompress. But since a year ago I have about 20 clients who keep me busy four or five hours per week. The rest of the time we hike, cross country ski, fish and enjoy the view. I play in a rock band called The Savages.

We've made friends. About half the townspeople were born here. The other half found the place. Those came with a wealth of experience but they're not pretentious. I never had a sense of community before like I have here.

NEXT: Buenos Aires

Last updated September 13 2010: 8:42 AM ET

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