Prescott lands No. 3 on list of best places to retire
6/11/2015 6:00:00 AM
The Daily Courier
PRESCOTT - Good weather, walkability, a low crime rate, and low taxes: they all factored into Prescott's latest appearance on a nationwide list for livability.
In a list released Monday, June 8, Bankrate, Inc. named Prescott as the third-best place for retirement in the country.
Bankrate research and statistics analyst Chris Kahn noted that Arizona cities dominated the list, with both the Phoenix metro area (number 1) and Tucson (number 4) making it into the top five, along with Prescott.
"What set them apart is the weather," Kahn said of the Arizona cities. In addition, he said, "Arizona is a low taxing state, and the crime rate is low."
In Prescott's case, he said, "one of the best recommendations comes from the retirees themselves." Surveys of Prescott's 65-plus population consistently show high ratings for personal satisfaction, wellness, and happiness, Kahn said.
That is also reflected in the comments of people who have chosen Prescott as their retirement home.
Paddie Braden, who moved to Prescott with her husband Ed in 1995 after retiring in the Long Beach/Belmont Shore, California area, said the community has lived up to its reputation as a good place to retire.
In particular, Braden mentioned the many cultural events, hiking opportunities, volunteering spirit, and friendliness of the community.
And while her Cliff Rose neighborhood includes retirees from all over the country, Braden said Prescott's age diversity also was important. "Most of all, it was the colleges," she said. "That was a real plus for us. We liked the fact that there were young people here."
Mike King, who chose to stay in Prescott after retiring as the Prescott National Forest Supervisor in 2005, said he and his wife Mary fell in love with Prescott right from the start in 1995.
"We saw a beautiful community, a vibrant downtown, and the openness of the community," said King. "We lived, worked, and played here, and we thought, 'why would we want to move?'"
King also emphasizes the many volunteering opportunities, and said he and Mary see their retirement not as rest and relaxation (R and R), but rather as "refocus and responsibility to our community."
Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, King said Prescott was reminiscent of their hometown in the 1950s. "Quoting the cowboy poets, 'I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could,'" he said.
With a population of about of about 41,000, Prescott is the smallest community on Bankrate's list. Rounding out the top 10: Arlington/Alexandria, Virginia (number 2); Des Moines, Iowa (number 5); and six through 10 - Denver, Colorado; Austin, Texas; Cape Coral, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Franklin, Tennessee.
Bankrate, Inc., is a publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. In compiling its list, the organization started with a database of thousands of communities and ultimately evaluated 172 distinct areas.
Along with retirement, Prescott consistently scores high on lists for outdoor and adventure opportunities, clean air, and economic vitality.
Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333 ext. 2034, or 928-642-0951.