The best coast? Top 10 cities for an active retirement. Pompano makes the list of the top 10 cities.


The best coast? Top 10 cities for an active retirement. Pompano makes the list of the top 10 cities.


Retirement travel trends Hawaii

Warren Bolster | Getty Images

For baby boomers, retirement doesn’t mean sitting in the rocking chair. They want more out of their golden years than just watching the grandchildren grow up.

Research shows that baby boomers desire to retire in economically vibrant cities that provide affordable housing, outstanding health care and a wide range of social and recreational activities.

SmartAsset, a personal finance website, sifted through data on 575 large cities looking for walkable places that provided plenty of golf courses, bike trails and fitness centers along with low tax rates and top-notch medical centers. Six of the best cities are on the East Coast.

“It’s interesting that so many of the cities are further north than we expected,” said AJ Smith of SmartAsset who compiled the list of best cities for an active retirement.


Here are the top 10:


10. Newport Beach, California

Roughly 20 percent of Newport Beach residents are retirees. While they can access to all the amenities of coastal living, they also pay high state and local taxes, which kept the city from ranking higher on the list.

Source: Mitch Diamond | Photodisc | Getty Images


9. West Palm Beach, Florida

This city has more than four golf courses for every 100,000 people and more than five doctor’s offices for every 1,000 residents if you throw out your back on the fairway.

Golfing in West Palm Beach, Florida.


8. Erie, Pennsylvania

Favorable state tax treatment for retirement income and plenty of golf courses, four for every 100,000 residents, helped Erie make the cut.

Ascent Xmedia | Getty Images


7. Pompano Beach, Florida

If you want the beach life, this city is hard to beat. What sets Pompano Beach apart from other beach towns in SmartAsset’s analysis was the health care offerings — six doctor’s offices for every 1,000 residents — and Florida’s lack of a state income tax.

Retirement travel trends Florida

Ignacio Ayestaran | Getty Images


6. Rockville, Maryland

Rockville has one of the highest concentrations of retirement centers in the country. As part of the Washington, D.C., metro area, retirees can enjoy the miles of bike and hiking trails in and around the nation’s capital.

Rockville is a city located in the central region of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Denis Tangney Jr. | Getty Images


5. Missoula, Montana

SmartAsset named Missoula the most fitness-friendly place in the country. While the city is not as walkable as others on the list, it is a cyclist’s dream.

Fly-fishing in Missoula, Montana.

johnrandallalves | Getty Images


4. Bethesda, Maryland

You might not expect this, but Bethesda is a golfer’s paradise. The city, a suburb of Washington, D.C., has the most golf courses of any spot on the top 10 list: more than six courses for every 100,000 residents.

A homeowner trims her yard in the Kenwood Park neighborhood on Dec. 10, 2016 in Bethesda, Md.

Benjamin C. Tankersley | For The Washington Post | Getty Images


3. Santa Barbara, California

Even though Santa Barbara had one of the highest effective tax rates for retirees on the list, the city’s beaches, golf courses and bike trails pushed it into the top three. Plus, SmartAsset recently named Santa Barbara one of America’s best wine destinations.

Santa Barbara, California

Meinzahn | Getty Images


2. Portland, Maine

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find Portland ideal. The city scored highly for its bike and hiking trails, such as the 65-mile Eastern Trail, as well walkability.

Paddleboarding across the harbor in Portland, Maine.

Chris Bennett | Getty Images


1. Wilmington, Delaware

A rock-bottom effective tax rate for retirees and the highest walkability score among the top 10 cities are the main reasons SmartAsset named Wilmington the best place for an active retirement for two years in a row.

Wilmington, Delaware


3 Common Questions While Mortgage Shopping

Published on April 19, 2017

Jeremy McDonough

What things do lenders view positively and negatively during the application process?

When you apply for a loan, long, steady employment is always seen as a plus, as is a large down payment, a good credit rating, a history of regular savings, and property located in a “good” neighborhood.

Not so good in the lender’s mind: frequent job changes without salary increases, self-employment in a new venture, bad debt history, no previous borrowing record, and dilapidated property.

Do not be discouraged. These are standard lender pre-dispositions when evaluating your application, but when it comes to making a loan decision, most lenders will tell you nothing is completely carved in stone.

Consider, too, that credit you have qualified for—say, credit cards—can work against you, even if never used. This is because those credit cards are looked upon as being open credit lines—and while they have not been used, they could be used, and potentially used up to the maximum dollar amount allowed by the credit card companies As a result, their perceived risks lower your credit, or FICO, score.

Are there such things as no-cost and no-fee loans?

You see promotions for them all the time. But banking regulators have gone after lenders who misrepresent these loans. The reality is that no-cost and no-fee loans may actually cost the borrower more over the long term because costs are often hidden by rolling them into the new loan through higher principal or interest. 

The rates on no-cost loans are usually about 1/2 or 5/8 of a percentage point higher than the “full cost” rate. 

A typical no-fee loan includes points and all fees in the loan principal, so the borrower does not pay or “see” these expenses at the closing. Instead, the borrower pays them over the life of the loan. 

If you are looking to refinance, it may be possible to get a no-cost program that will lower your rate at no expense to you. Today, lenders are paying all closing costs, such as title fees, appraisal fees, and credit report fees. There are no loan fees or points, and nothing is added to your loan balance.

However, many lenders may charge a loan application fee and some restrictions may apply depending on the size of the loan.

Can I split my mortgage in two and pay biweekly?

The biweekly mortgage has become increasingly popular as more people favor paying off their home loan early and reducing interest charges.

Monthly payments on these loans are split in half, payable every two weeks. 

Because there are 52 weeks in a year, you actually have 26 half-payments, or the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year instead of 12.

Under the biweekly payment plan, a homeowner can save tens of thousands of dollars in interest and pay off their loan balance in less than 30 years.

About Carole Stephan



I received my Real Estate license in 1980 while I was working as a Legal Assistant to former State Representative and then Mayor of Pompano Beach, John Rayson, Esq.  I sold real estate on a part-time basis until 1993, when I joined the Board of Realtors and became a Realtor®.  I worked with Coldwell Banker until January, 1997 when I joined Re/Max Partners.  In 1998, I became a member of Womens’ Council of Realtors (WCR) and in 2001 was installed as the local chapter President.  In 2002, I became the District Vice President for District 11, which includes the Fort Lauderdale, North Broward and South Broward Chapters.  While being an officer in WCR, I traveled to many State and National Real Estate Conferences, made many wonderful Realtor contacts from all over Florida and the U.S. and earned my LTG (Leadership Training Graduate) and then PMN (Performance Management Network) real estate designations.


As a member of the Ft. Lauderdale Board of Realtors, I have enjoyed sitting on the Grievance Committee for 2 years, the Professional Standards Committee for 3 years and the Candidate Screening Committee for several years


In 2005, I joined Greater Broward Realty, left for a year or so to join Prudential Real Estate and then returned to Greater Broward Realty, where I am so happy, that I expect to finish my years in real estate with a well established and very professional GBR!