by Mandi Woodruff
There's no getting around the changing landscape of retirement in America.
Today's younger workers will likely be stuck in the 9-to-5 grind well into their 70s, while their older counterparts face rising levels of unemployment and nest eggs that have been shrink-rayed by a floundering economy.
It's an outlook AARP The Magazine took well into consideration as it approached its annual list of the "10 Best Places To Retire." This year, you'll only find places where today's retirees can live comfortably on $100 per day.
"Everybody is struggling in this economy still and we decided we really wanted to find places that were very affordable," editorial projects manager, Gabrielle Redfor, told Business Insider.
Gross after-tax income: $25,375
Monthly income: $2,281
Mortgage: $720 per month on a $192,00 home
Once they figured out the affordability factor, AARP rated towns on their overall 'livability" as well––the factors like culture, hiking trails, climate, health care, and cost of living that all retirees typically consider.
"We wanted to make sure we weren't sending people to communities that had a lot of foreclosure where it might be cheap, but there's nothing else there," Redfor said. "You really have to go and spend some time in a city before you know whether or not you want to move there. It's a big deal. It takes a lot of energy. You want to do your homework."
Median home price: $123,500
Sunny days per year: 220
Vibe: Midwestern, high-tech
Affordability: Millionaires with a conscience abound thanks to civic-minded executives, private donations fund parks, arts, and sports.
Mingle with the natives: At Mr. Toad’s, in the heart of the Old Market area
Best daytime spot: Seniors pay $12.50 at the Henry Doorly Zoo
Median home price: $106,500
Sunny days per year: 161
Vibe: Green not grimy, the city’s 88 distinct neighborhoods create a European atmosphere
Affordability: Pittsburgh is home to a stable, diverse economy—since 2008, only Austin and Houston have added jobs faster
Where to mingle: Frick Park, in the city. In the summer, check out the Bowling Green.
Best daytime spot: PNC Park, home of the Pirates, ranked as the No. 1 baseball field in the country by ESPN. Score bleacher seats from $14
Local flavor: Eggs and kielbasa for breakfast at DeLuca’s in the Strip district
Bonus perk: The view as you emerge from the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
Median home price: $125,500
Sunny days per year: 242
Vibe: Hippie meets world traveler
Affordability: The country’s sixth largest college—The University of Florida—fuels a economy more durable than most Southern cities.
Where to mingle: The Swamp, aka UF’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where it's free to run and workout all you want.
Best daytime spot: $9 tickets for seniors at the Florida Museum of Natural History's Butterfly Rain Forest Exhibit.
Local flavor: A Cuban sandwich ($8.95) at Emiliano’s Café, a pioneer in the pan-Latin food movement
Bonus perk: The dense urban canopy, where Northern hardwoods meet Southern tropics.
San Antonio, Texas
Apart from its famous river walk and the city's sleek new bike share program, here's what else this Texan town has going for it:
Median home price: $135,000
Sunny days per year: 227
Best daytime haunt: El Mercado, which the city claims is the biggest Mexican marketplace outside Mexico, in Old Market Square.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Median home price: $159,800
Sunny days per year: 260
Vibe: Contemporary and Western mix
Affordability: Two-thirds of the county land is public, making recreation a bargain; a recent 20 percent drop in housing prices
Where to mingle: The Rockslide Brewery downtown
Local flavor: Local vineyards get plenty of press, but make sure you snack on the region’s impressive strawberries, sweet cherries, and peaches.
Bonus perk: The views of the Grand Valley
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Median home price: $121,100
Sunny days per year: 200
Vibe: Family-friendly but progressive
Local flavor: The Cheese Curds ($7) made from the region’s famed cheddar at the Livery, a converted stable downtown.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Median home price: $148,000
Sunny days per year: 287
Vibe: A melting pot where Old Mexico meets the Wild West
Local flavor: De La Vega’s Pecan Grill & Bar's stuffed green chiles ($9)
Median home price: $145,000
Sunny days per year: 176
Vibe: Lush green beauty meets smart urban planning
Impress friends and family with: Its stunning Riverfront Park and historic downtown
Morgantown, West Virginia
Median home price: $168,900
Sunny days per year: 185
Vibe: The college town's Appalachian roots are just as strong as its local economy
Local flavor: Mario’s Fish Bowl. Originally a candy store, the restaurant has been serving up beer in fishbowl-size glasses for more than 60 years.
Median home price: $151,500
Sunny days per year: 217
Vibe: A small city tucked inside the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains
Local flavor: The legendary Texas Tavern, a 24-hour fixture since 1930
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