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The "Blue Grass" Retirement Haven You Don't Know About

Imagine a place where you can rent floating cabins, fish all day for perch or shop till you drop. As you walk through town you're surrounded by Victorian and Colonial style homes with a median price of only $145,000. What would it be like to live in a town where folks waved to you on the street and knew you by name?

I recently found a place where your retirement dollars will not outlast you. In fact you'll get much more for your money than in most places. You won't have to worry about it turning into a tourist trap or having crowded streets. That's because most retirees overlook this hidden retirement gem.

For weeks I've been showing you how to steadily grow your 401K, IRA or annuity. Now I'm going to show you where you can enjoy your retirement money.

Small Town Living At it's Best

Let's be honest. When you think of the state of Kentucky, retirement haven doesn't come to mind. We automatically think of the Kentucky Derby or Blue Grass music. But tucked in the southwestern corner is a place called Danville. It has a population of 16,000. It's a number well below the craziness of tourist ridden South Beach Florida or Palm Springs California.

If you love to watch champion thoroughbred horses you'll find them in the nearby Derby Region. Imagine watching Kentucky Derby horses run inside ranch style fences.

The people here are very friendly. It also boasts a low crime rate and house prices that are some of the lowest in the country.

The cost of living here is below 20%. If you have a 401K or IRA balance of $500,000 or more, your money will take you a long way. Do you want to buy either a ranch style or two-level home with three bedrooms and two baths? No problem! The median price tag is only $145,000. If you want something smaller, you'll only shell out $100,000 or less. In Seattle $250K will buy you an average home even in today's market. But in Danville it will get you a 3,000 square foot brick house. This includes 4 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Let's say you're 65 and older or handicapped. And your home is assessed at $200,000. The state will give you a $29,400 property tax exemption. The state income tax ranges from 2-6%. Local sales tax will run you 6%. The state of Kentucky allows a reduction on taxable income for two reasons. It's for 100% of long-term care insurance and health insurance premiums. If you want more details call 502-564-4581.

With low property taxes, home prices and overall cost of living, this is a great retirement haven.

About 38% of the population is 45 and older. And the 55 and older population continues to grow. Danville is known for its low crime rate, low home prices and community atmosphere. It's such a retirement gem, because most retirees don't put it on their list of retirement destinations. I'd add this to your list before the secret gets out!

It has five neighborhoods and 120 historical houses, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you enjoy Victorian homes, this is definitely a place to live and spend your retirement dollars.

Retire and Have Fun!

If you enjoy fishing for perch, bluegill and crappie try the 3,500-acre Herrington Lake. It's only 3 miles outside town and you can swim and sail at your leisure. You can enjoy your favorite movies, shopping, floating cabins and boat rentals at the Gwinn Island Resort and Marina. But if you'd rather kick back and watch a movie, try the state of the art movie theaters. Don't think I forgot you outdoor types. The Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge offers 500 acres of bird watching and hiking. Getting there is only a 13 mile drive outside of Danville. You can take in a game of soccer, basketball or baseball at Centre College. The biggest draw is the historical Kentucky Derby. It's the only time you'll come near a "tourist trap." But it's a long 68 miles from the peace and comfort of Danville.

For $25-$30 you can enjoy 18 holes of golf at the semi-private Old Bridge Golf Course. The price covers your golf cart and green fees. It comes with a driving range and putting green. After a nice day of golf have lunch or dinner in their onsite bar and grill.

Don't take picking your retirement town lightly. Here are a few tips on picking the right town for you and your money.

Tip #1: Low State Income Tax

Choose a state that has an income tax of 0-6%. Some states with no state income tax are Washington and Delaware. You'll be able to invest more in a future 401K, IRA or annuity, if you decide to go back to work.

Tip #2: Low Property Taxes

Check to see if your future state allows a tax credit for retirees. Remember Danville offers a $29,400 tax exemption towards the assessed value of your home. This is if you're 65+ or handicapped.

Tip #3: Recreational Activities

Where you live is also where you play. Pick a place that allows you to do what you love to do. If you love to fish, hunt and ski White Fish Montana isn't a bad spot to retire! Would you rather bask in the sun? Try Mount Dora in the sunshine state of Florida. In 1997, Money Magazine named it one of the "Top 10 Best Retirement Towns" in the country.

Tip #4: Volunteer Opportunities

As a "Seasoned Citizen" you have plenty of knowledge and expertise to offer your new community. Retirement doesn't mean being inactive. Find a town that has plenty of volunteer opportunities. If you can't find a volunteer opportunity that fits you, look for one outside your immediate area.

If you'd like to learn more about Danville, check out www.danvillekentucky.com.

You've worked very hard for your retirement. Find a place that fits you and your retirement income!

Clyde McDade is a Financial Copywriter. He's the author of the upcoming e-book, "How To Grow More Money for Retirement and Your Child's College Fund."

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