The online retirement website, Second Act, has release its Top 10 Places to Retire for 2011.

While I'm quite fond of #3, check out #8!

In their words: Let's face it: Today's woeful economy may keep you from retiring in the style you imagined. Nest eggs are shrinking. Housing prices have plunged by a third in some markets, robbing homeowners of their equity. Baby boomers who once dreamed of cashing out and moving to Maui are scaling back their goals, concerned about how long their savings might last. Fear not. There are still plenty of great places to retire where you don't have to be rich to afford a home. SecondAct's 2011 list of top retirement towns places a special emphasis on affordability. Whether you prefer an idyllic, throw-back town on a distant seashore or a forested hamlet in the mountains, you can find houses for under $300,000. The lower price tag will mean lower property taxes, too -- a classic win-win. We also considered attributes such as architectural charm, culture, recreation and public transportation. Climate matters. So do parks, bike trails and green sensibilities. Often, the best retirement towns also are college towns. Besides offering educational opportunities, college campuses are typically surrounded by walkable streets boasting coffeehouses, bistros, art galleries and bookstores.   Here, then, are SecondAct's top 10 retirement towns of 2011: A sampling (go here for the whole article)
1. Georgetown, Texas
Antique street lamps, brick sidewalks and meticulously restored Victorian homes make this town on the Chisholm Trail a gem of the Old West. Century-old oaks shade a downtown alive with festivals, concerts and a thriving art scene. Georgetown is home to the Sarofim School of Fine Arts and also has its own symphony. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the nation. The Texas Hill Country offers hiking and horseback riding. In the Sun City retirement community, residents cruise in golf carts. Scenic neighborhoods are built around golf courses and the shores of Lake Georgetown, but home prices average $220,000, a fraction of housing costs in Los Angeles. Georgetown is 26 miles from the ultra-hip Austin, another top retirement mecca where houses list for $250,000. The larger, more crowded Austin is known for its cosmopolitan culture and cutting-edge tech industry surrounding the University of Texas.
3. Portland, Ore.
03-portland-308.jpgTrees, parks and eco-friendly policies make Portland, located at the juncture of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, one of the "greenest" cities in the world. Forest Park is a 5,000-acre wilderness zone, and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park stretches the entire length of downtown on the Willamette. Traveling around the city is easy via an accessible light-rail system and an extensive network of biking and hiking trails. For culture, residents enjoy a symphony, opera, ballet, theaters, museums and an up-tempo music scene. Portland also offers an array of college campuses -- among them the University of Portland and Portland State University. The city's youthful, hippie-ish vibe inspired the hit comedy TV series, Portlandia, which premiered this year on Independent Film Channel. "Certainly, there's no shortage of things to write about based on Portland," the show's co-creator, Carrie Brownstein, tells a local TV station. Portland is known for its roses and public gardens, diverse cuisine, gourmet coffee and micro-brewed beer. Homes list for under $365,000; sales so far this year average $240,000, based on figures through May compiled by Population: 584,000 Bonus feature: Powell's City of Books, which touts itself as the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi. Downside: Growth has brought terrible rush-hour traffic, and Portland averages 37 inches of rain a year. And what you've all been waiting for...
8. Lafayette, Ind.
08-lafayette-308.jpgStraddling the banks of the Wabash River, the adjoining towns of Lafayette and West Lafayette represent Middle America as Norman Rockwell once painted it. The area was founded in the early 1700s as a fur-trapping outpost and is best known today as the home of Purdue University. Lafayette is popular for its century-old houses, first-rate schools and historic downtown. Miles of trails accommodate bikers, hikers and bird-watchers. A broad plaza where community events and festivals are held connects downtown with a pedestrian bridge crossing the Wabash; the site is a stopping point for Amtrak, Greyhound and the city bus system. Canoeing, camping and swimming are popular pastimes along the river. Homes typically list for $150,000, and sales prices so far this year average barely half of that. Population: 96,000 Bonus feature: The city is just a two-hour drive from Chicago. Downside: January temperatures average 17 degrees. More info: Lafayette website and Home of Purdue What are your favorite "bonus features" about Lafayette/West Lafayette? What would be the best part of retiring here? Cheers, Brian