10 Affordable US Metros That Make Retirement Feel Like a Vacation

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Coping with the daily stresses and responsibilities over a lifetime of working can take a heavy toll on you. That’s why retirement should be a time to heal and rejuvenate your body and mind as you enjoy and find new passions. Basically, retirement should ideally feel like you’re on vacation all the time.

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MagnifyMoney researchers ranked 107 American metros that make retirement feel most like a vacation, using data based across seven metrics: vacation home density, percentage of residents 65 years and older, median monthly housing costs, adults 65 and older living below the poverty line, recreation establishments rate, healthcare establishments rate and average daily temperature.

There are no prizes for guessing that many of the cities listed feature warm weather and that longstanding retirement wonderlands like Myrtle Beach and Naples are represented in the top 10. However, the rest of the best may surprise you.

Here are the 10 most affordable U.S. metros that make retirement feel like a vacation, according to MagnifyMoney.

travelview / Getty Images

travelview / Getty Images

10. Salisbury, Maryland

  • Vacation homes rate: 28.8%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 23.4%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $1,023.

  • Average daily temperature: 59 degrees.

Let’s start with the surprising Salisbury, an easygoing city that sits on the banks of the Wicomico River. This charming community gives retirees the best of waterfront living, but without the high price tag. You can stay active by rambling throughout Salisbury’s lush natural setting in any one of the town’s parks.

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csfotoimages / Getty Images

csfotoimages / Getty Images

9. Homosassa Springs, Florida

  • Vacation homes rate: 10.9%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 36.3%

  • Monthly housing costs: $639.

  • Average daily temperature: 73 degrees.

The Citrus County town of Homosassa Springs is perfect for retirees looking for a slower pace and an abundance of outdoor activities along Florida’s “Nature Coast.” Compared to the rest of the U.S., its cost of living is 9.7% lower than the national average, according to Best Places.

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benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Naples, Florida

  • Vacation homes rate: 27.2%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 31.6%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $1,272.

  • Average daily temperature: 76 degrees.

Retirees seeking a vacation-like retirement have been migrating to Naples for decades. With a heady mix of high-end and boutique shopping, recreation activities galore and stunning beaches, Naples continues to amaze even long-time residents.

Sergey-AND-Marina / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sergey-AND-Marina / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7. Sebastian, Florida

  • Vacation homes rate: 12.2%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 32.3%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $888.

  • Average daily temperature: 75 degrees.

Home to the United States’ first National Wildlife Refuge (Pelican Island) and the most biologically diverse estuary in the country (Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway), Sebastian is a very small, very quiet place cherished by wildlife lovers and retirees looking to spend their golden years restfully.

Jake Vacek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jake Vacek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

6. Payson, Arizona

  • Vacation homes rate: 22.3%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 28.4%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $660.

  • Average daily temperature: 62 degrees.

Surrounded by the sprawling Tonto National Forest 5,000 feet above sea level, Payson’s stretch of rugged cliffs attracts outdoor adventurers and retirees looking to unwind within its natural beauty. The small mountain town still retains a lot of its “Old West” heritage and is a great place to vacation and retire, especially if you enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting and camping.

Chansak Joe / Getty Images

Chansak Joe / Getty Images

5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

  • Vacation homes rate: 25.3%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 25.2%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $904.

  • Average daily temperature: 65 degrees.

A more than respectable No. 5 still seems a little low for this popular retirement destination. With three major hospitals offering urgent and specialty care services, amazing retirement communities and some of the best golf courses in the country, Myrtle Beach will always be a popular paradise for retirees.

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Vito Palmisano / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Vito Palmisano / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Punta Gorda, Florida

  • Vacation homes rate: 18.6%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 39.6%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $856.

  • Average daily temperature: 76 degrees.

While only 45 minutes from Southwest Florida International Airport, Punta Gorda has it own airport, too, which offers low-cost flights to more than 50 destinations via Sun Country Airlines and Allegiant Air. The town enjoys subtropical weather year-round and is a popular and very affordable Gulf Coast retirement destination.

JillianCain / Getty Images

JillianCain / Getty Images

3. The Villages, Florida

  • Vacation homes rate: 12.1%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 56.7%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $687.

  • Average daily temperature: 73 degrees.

Florida’s “Friendliest Hometown” is a fast-growing senior-citizen-oriented community about 50 miles northwest of Orlando. Known for having the “largest and most diverse collection of amenities of any community on the planet,” according to Florida For Boomers, almost everywhere in this census-designated place is golf cart accessible.

felixmizioznikov / Getty Images

felixmizioznikov / Getty Images

2. Sebring, Florida

  • Vacation homes rate: 14.9%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 35.2%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $604.

  • Average daily temperature: 75 degrees.

For those looking to avoid metro areas with countless sprawling retirement communities, Sebring might be just the ticket. With a population of just over 10,000 people, the city spans an area of 19 square miles and offers a range of recreational opportunities with access to nearby lakes. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants for visitors, and permanent vacationers, to enjoy.

Tony Cane-Honeysett / Getty Images

Tony Cane-Honeysett / Getty Images

1. Georgetown, South Carolina

  • Vacation homes rate: 23.4%.

  • Residents 65 and older: 27%.

  • Monthly housing costs: $812.

  • Average daily temperature: 66 degrees.

A low cost of living, small-town appeal and perfect climate make the waterfront community of Georgetown MagnifyMoney’s No. 1 affordable happy retirement spot. Georgetown will appeal specifically to seniors who love history and Southern charm.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Affordable US Metros That Make Retirement Feel Like a Vacation

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