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Great Places to Retire Near the Mountains

Stacy Rapacon, Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

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Retirement may afford you the perfect time to gain some perspective in life--and what better place to do it than in the mountains? On top of the scenic views, higher altitudes also give you cooler weather and less humidity. And America's mountain majesties can be found in many locations all over the country.

We pinpointed the best place to retire in each state, taking into account living costs, safety, median incomes and poverty rates for retirement-age residents, as well as residents' sense of well-being and the availability of recreational and health care facilities. Of our 50 picks, these 20 retirement spots across the U.S. offer the added benefit of nearby peaks and valleys to explore.

See Also: Where to Retire 2018: All 50 States Ranked for Retirement

Huntsville, Ala.

Courtesy Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau


Population: 440,230

Share of population 65+: 13.7% (U.S.: 14.5%)

Cost of Living: 4.7% below the national average

Average Income for Households 65+: $52,469 (U.S.: $53,799)

Community Score: 63.3 (U.S.: 61.9)

State's Tax Rating for Retirees: Tax Friendly

As one of the 10 Cheapest States Where You'll Want to Retire, the Heart of Dixie boasts many great spots for affordable living. And Huntsville, in northern Alabama, is one of the best. It offers all the low-cost, low-tax advantages as the rest of the state, but adds more generous incomes among retirement-age residents. The average household income for 65+ households in Alabama is $44,934.

Home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the Redstone Arsenal and the Huntsville campus of the University of Alabama, the city offers a robust economy and a highly educated population. There are plenty of cultural attractions, from a sculpture trail to a symphony orchestra, as well as opportunities for outdoor recreation (think bass fishing). You can take in the views and enjoy 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails at Monte Sano (meaning "Mountain of Health" in Spanish) State Park nearby. The mountain has an elevation of 1,621 feet.

See Also: Great Places to Retire Near the Beach

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