6 Affordable Waterfront Retirement Places

by Andy Hough on September 15, 2008

Looking to retire on some waterfront without the ridiculous expense of waterfront? Well, Money did a great article recently on this very subject, picking out 6 choice spots where you can retire on the water without busting up the bank.

Dunedin, Florida

Just a few miles north of Clearwater and 20 miles west of Tampa, Dunedin (pronounced dun-eed-in) was settled by Scotsmen in the late 19th century. Morning rush hour is a steady flow of walkers, joggers and bikers cruising the 37-mile Pinellas Trail or heading over the causeway to Honeymoon Island State Park, a 385-acre recreation area with four miles of beach and more than two miles of nature trail.

Beaufort, South Carolina

When Hollywood movie scouts need the quintessential southern setting, they frequently call on Beaufort. Tucked among South Carolina’s Sea Islands, this 300-year-old town with antebellum mansions and moss-covered oaks has been the backdrop for such blockbusters as Forrest Gump, Prince of Tides and The Big Chill.

Sequim, Washington

Located two hours north of Seattle, Sequim (pronounced skwim) offers a lower cost of living and an easier pace than its burgeoning neighbor to the south. For about $300,000, you can get a three-bedroom house there.

Durango, Colorado

If you don’t think of Colorado as having much water, you clearly haven’t been to Durango. Its name originates from the Basque word for “water town,” thanks to the mighty Animas River, which flows almost parallel to Durango’s Main Avenue. Vacationers flock here to kayak (the Animas has Class V rapids), wield their fly-fishing gear (rainbow and brown trout are plentiful) or simply take in water views (either from the town’s 14,000-foot peaks, laced with hiking and biking trails, or from the network of shady parks that abut the river).

St. Joseph, Michigan

Long, sandy beaches, clear blue water, brilliant sunsets…in Michigan? You bet. The stretch of Lake Michigan coastline that hugs the western border of the state has all the charm of the seashore, only without the stinging jellyfish, blanket-to-blanket crowds and impossibly high home prices. While lots of appealing little towns dot this “Riviera of the Midwest,” St. Joseph – with its vibrant year-round community, topnotch medical care and proximity to Chicago – stands out.

Marble Falls, Texas

Until recently, this little town in the hill country 47 miles northwest of Austin was a well-kept secret. But word has leaked out of the Lone Star State that this area isn’t just a refuge from high home prices. With its gently rolling terrain, stately trees, colorful wildflowers and – increasingly – vineyards and fine cuisine, it’s a little piece of Provence in the big ole state of Texas.

{ 4 comments }

Chuck Marunde September 16, 2008 at 10:16 pm

You are right about Sequim. Raised my own family there. It’s like going back in time 30 years with low crime, great schools, friendly neighbors, and country living. I’m a retired real estate attorney and now I help retired people move here and find their dream homes. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Don Lamont September 30, 2008 at 5:43 am

If you mention Marble Falls Texas, don’t leave out Springtown. Just 30 minutes outside of Fort Worth and it too sports lovely scenery, a growing community, and a housing market that is still well below the metro areas. Shameless plug, but I built an active adult sub development in Springtown (Parkplace Village).

Kathy from Americas-Best-Places-To-Retire.com October 22, 2008 at 4:25 pm

There’s a lot of work that goes into finding the perfect place to reire since the perfect place for one person may not be the perfect place for another.

Sam March 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

You consider $300k AFFORABLE (Sequim)? Better check your figures on the economy and the average pension . . .

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