Fargo, North Dakota makes list of top cities to retire

Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:35pm EDT
 
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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Fargo, North Dakota beat out a lot of warmer, more enticing cities for a spot on Forbes magazine's new list of best places to retire in the United States.

The list of 16 cities that seniors should consider as their second-to-last resting place, which is featured in the latest issue of the magazine, includes a surprising number of places with cold winters, including Omaha, Neb., Pittsburgh, Pa. and Indianapolis, Ind.

Several storied retirement destinations people dream about -- Miami, Fla., Honolulu, Hawaii and San Diego, Calif. -- failed to make the cut altogether.

Janet Novack, the executive editor who oversaw the research, said that was because Forbes focused on a lot of factors besides the weather, including living costs, taxes, crime rates, driving conditions and the availability of both doctors and free activities.

"If money was no object, would this be your list?" Novack said on Wednesday. "Maybe not. But these are places that we think are convivial around the country because they do well on all our factors or because they only have one or two negatives."

Only five cities in the list -- Tucson, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Charleston, South Carolina, Jacksonville, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas are even in the southern-most part of the country. And several, including Salt Lake City, Utah, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Fargo are notorious for their long, snowy winters.

"I wouldn't go to Fargo personally," Novack said. "But there are people who like the cold weather and it's terrific for other things."

The latest edition of the magazine, which can be found at www.forbes.com, also includes a list of the five best cities for ethnic entrepreneurs, including Atlanta, Georgia, Baltimore, Maryland, Houston, Texas and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Only one city -- the country music capital Nashville, Tenn.-- makes both lists.

The so-called "booby prize" in the ethnic enclave contest went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, because of its low level of self-employment and its job-creation record over the past decade, which the magazine said was the worst of any big city in the United States.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Greg McCune)

 
<p>Neighbors gather to talk about the weather in the River Road neighborhood along the Red River of the North, as snow continues with a forecast of winds and blizzard conditions on the southside of Fargo, North Dakota March 31, 2009. REUTERS/Allen Fredrickson</p>