25 Best Places to Retire

Your post-work years are a time to improve your golf game, take up a new hobby, or just enjoy a well-deserved break. In these great college towns, you can expand your intellectual horizons too.

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4. Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Population: 42,265
% over 50: 49%
Median home price: $230,500
State income tax: 4.54%*
Where to take classes: Yavapai College

Prescott, a popular retiree destination 100 miles north of Phoenix, is dotted with Victorian homes, 19th-century Whisky Row saloons, and a leafy Courthouse Plaza. With the world's oldest rodeo and more than 800 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, the town's cowboy heritage is hard to miss.

The weather here is hard to beat: plentiful sunny days, but also four distinct seasons, thanks to the town's elevation at 5,400 feet. That lures residents out to 650 miles of trails in the adjacent 1.25-million-acre Prescott National Forest. Plus they enjoy half a dozen golf courses, and a revolving door of art shows, film festivals, craft fairs, and outdoor concerts.

Of course, until recently, high home prices were a drawback to settling here. But with the market down 35% since 2007, Prescott has become a decidedly more affordable retirement haven.

And for those comers who are education minded, Yavapai College's 17-year-old lifelong learning program offers roughly 200 classes a year.  

See complete data and interactive map for Prescott

NEXT: Bellingham, WA

Last updated October 06 2010: 4:55 PM ET
* top bracket

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