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The Best U.S. Cities for Retiring On $100 a Day

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. 

Their budget:

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.

[Related: You're Not Too Young to Plan for Retirement]

"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."

Omaha, Nebraska
Median home price: $123,500

Sunny days per year: 220

Midwestern, high-tech

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

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Median home price: $106,500

Sunny days per year:

Green not grimy, the city’s 88 distinct neighborhoods create a European atmosphere

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.

Gainesville, Florida
Median home price: $125,500

Sunny days per year:

Hippie meets world traveler

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:

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:

Contemporary and Western mix

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:

Family-friendly but progressive

Local flavor:
The Cheese Curds ($7) made from the region’s famed cheddar at the Livery, a converted stable downtown.

[Related: Don't Run Out of Money in Retirement]

Las Cruces, New Mexico
Median home price: $148,000

Sunny days per year:

A melting pot where Old Mexico meets the Wild West

Local flavor:
De La Vega’s Pecan Grill & Bar's stuffed green chiles ($9)

Spokane, Washington
Median home price: $145,000

Sunny days per year:

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:

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.

Roanoke, Va.
Median home price: $151,500

Sunny days per year:

A small city tucked inside the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains

Local flavor:
The legendary Texas Tavern, a 24-hour fixture since 1930

Source: AARP The Magazine

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