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We Graded the 12 'Smartest' Cities for Retirement

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Kiplinger has named 12 of the “smartest” places to retire in the United States, but we questioned the brilliance of some of the choices. Pluses, of course, are low cost of living (COL) and taxes (Social Security benefits typically are exempt) and a college or two offering benefits to seniors, but those upsides might come at the cost of subzero temperatures or desperately muggy summers.

Health care is always important to retirees, and Kiplinger names a four- or five-star hospital ranked by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that is within a short drive in most cases.

And education and culture? Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We had visions of Cambridge, Berkeley, Madison or Austin — but those cities might be too big or too expensive for this ranking. Here is Kiplinger’s “smartest” towns for retirement list, graded A-F on ThinkAdvisor’s proprietary Reality-Adjusted Scale.

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