Forget Florida! Fargo, Rochester make Forbes list of top cities for retirees


Two cities in the Upper Midwest (or "The North" if you prefer) have landed on an influential list of the best cities for retirees.

Forbes magazine pinpointed 25 communities for its 2015 list of The Best Places To Retire. The makers of the list indicate a slight bias for warm weather communities; despite that, both Rochester and Fargo are on there. It's the first showing on the list for Rochester, and the fifth straight year Fargo made it.

Why Rochester?

Forbes likes its high number of doctors per capita, thanks to the Mayo Clinic. And its low serious crime rate. The cost of living in Rochester is described as average, and a typical home is priced at $168,000.

And Fargo?

Forbes cites the volunteering culture and what the magazine calls the "rocket economy on the north-flowing Red River of the North." Fargo's cost of living, which is 2 percent below national average, also gets a mention.

Last year, Money magazine named Northfield as the nation's best place for what it termed "a well-rounded retirement." The magazine liked Northfield's access to the Twin Cities, its college town vibe and "the mix of affordability and economic growth that characterizes much of the Twin Cities region."

A 2013 story on the Huffington Post used U.S. Census data to demonstrate that many Baby Boomers are retiring in smaller towns. The story included a list of each state's top towns with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 that are attracting the greatest number of people aged 50 and older. The Minnesota town that ranked highest was Buffalo; it was Dickinson in North Dakota and Bettendorf in Iowa.

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