Oct. 09 -- Bangor, Maine, joins cities such as Daytona Beach, Fla., Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, S.C., as a top spot in this year's AARP list of places to retire affordably.
Just one more list among endless lists, right? Not really. AARP, the advocate, insurance and discount provider and magazine for the over-50 set, claims a membership list of 38 million, making it the largest membership organization in the United States. If it says Bangor is a great spot to retire, you know at least that a lot of people are seeing it.
Why Bangor? The magazine cites Bangor's low-cost attractions, mentioning Geaghan's as a breakfast spot and the Penobscot Theatre Company as a great place to catch a show.
"The area's abundant recreational and entertainment opportunities are also a major draw. A lively arts scene provides culture, and the mighty Penobscot River serves as the area's natural centerpiece," the review says.
And it quotes Peggy Leonard, public relations manager for the University of Maine System, who captures one of the city's key attractions. "There's so much hiking, biking and paddling," she says. "When you add in what's nearby -- including Baxter State Park and Acadia -- it's a nature lover's paradise."
Money magazine noticed the same thing back in 2009 when it listed Bangor at one of its 25 best cities in which to retire: "Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter and switch to golfing, fishing and hiking when the weather turns."
Earlier this year, Bangor made the Forbes list of best places to retire because of its "reasonable cost of living, median home price $127,000, many doctors per capita, above average air quality, good metrics for aging, low crime rate," according to Forbes.
To make the AARP list, cities must score well on median home prices and property taxes in addition to inexpensive entertainment and restaurants and other lifestyle amenities.
The top five cities are these:
--Daytona/Deltona/Ormond Beach, Fla.
--Grand Rapids, Mich.
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