New Mexico - "The Land of Enchantment" For Many Retirees Seeking An Affordable Place To Retire
For an ever increasing number of active retirees, New Mexico, with its abundant sunshine, low humidity, spectacular scenery and high mountains, is clearly an enchanting place to live. Newcomers from across the U.S. have discovered that the allure and excitement of such cities as Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and numerous small towns across the state affords a unique lifestyle and an energizing environment in which to embark on their retirement years.
While real estate prices in Santa Fe place the cost of housing here beyond the reach of many retirees, for those who can afford it, this city of approximately 65,000 provides its residents with a sense of social diversity and one of the most entertaining cultural and arts scenes to be found anywhere in the country. One example of this wealth of cultural activity is the awe-inspiring Santa Fe Opera House, an outdoor amphitheatre that serves as a summer oasis for internationally acclaimed operatic talents and opera enthusiasts.
Outdoor enthusiasts quickly become enthralled with the wide array of recreational opportunities that await them. The surrounding countryside offers an abundance of trails and streams for hiking, camping and fishing. And the outdoor excitement continues throughout the winter, with five major ski resorts, including Taos, within ninety miles of downtown Santa Fe.
Sixty miles to the south is Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, which, in spite of the size and the amenities that it offers, still manages to retain a small town charm. This is truly a multicultural community, one where geographic and historical circumstances have brought Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures together. The mixture of old-world and new architectural styles is carried over into the design of several of the retirement and resort communities which have recently emerged in and around the city in response to the escalating demand from seniors moving into the area.
Many are drawn by the sense of adventure that pervades every aspect of life in Albuquerque, but just as much as influence are the temperate climate and spectacular natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, highlighted by the nearby Sandia and Manzano Mountains.
Las Cruces, the second largest city in New Mexico, is one of the most publicized retirement destinations in the state, having been cited by several national publications as being among the best places in the country to retire. Factors contributing to this distinction are its low tax structure, affordable cost of housing, great weather, recreational opportunities and excellent health care. Also, New Mexico State University makes classes available to seniors at significant discounts and conducts a wide-ranging lecture series known as the Academy of Learning in Retirement. Further, the university’s facilities serve as a center for year round entertainment and cultural activities.
Some of the most beautiful mountain and desert terrain in the entire state, as well as the largest lake in New Mexico, can be found near the small town of Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces’s nearby neighbor. Nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande River and minutes from Gila National Forest, this resort town has remained relatively unspoiled and has not seen local development run rampant. Its breathtaking sandstone bluffs, nearby state parks and sunny, deep blue skies remain the biggest neighborhood attractions. The fact that Truth or Consequences offers some of the most affordable housing found anywhere in the United States has led to its increasing popularity among retirees.
Cloudcroft, a quiet, relaxing and scenic, but tiny, mountain village with an elevation of 8,660 feet is known for its cool summer air and high mountain meadows filled with a variety of wildflowers. Summer temperatures reach the upper 70’s but the nighttime lows remain in the cool 40’s and 50’s. Located in the heart of the Lincoln National Forest, it offers a myriad of outdoor activities to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Deming, tucked in the southwest corner of the state, is an historic and inviting town, which, with its unspoiled atmosphere, abundant sunshine, and year-round out-door activities, is another place to consider as a retirement destination. Also being discovered by retirees is Silver City, yet another high-desert town that bills itself as “the real New Mexico experience.” It was described in a recent New York Times article as "...a bit rough around the edges... but that was the way the locals like it."
While the open, often rugged landscape of New Mexico may not be the right choice for everyone, it clearly has a lot of offer anyone with a sense of adventure and love of the outdoors who might be searching for an affordable place to retire in the Great Southwest.
For more information on finding your best places to retire, visit