The State Worker

Forbes lists top retirement spots, none in California

Morning commuters on the freeway drive to and from downtown Boise. The city is on Forbes “Best Places to Retire” list.
Morning commuters on the freeway drive to and from downtown Boise. The city is on Forbes “Best Places to Retire” list.

Forbes, the list-loving publisher, has put out its “25 Best Places to Retire” register – and not a single city is in California.

Next-door neighbors Nevada and Oregon aren’t represented either, which makes one thing clear: The business magazine didn’t consult California state employees before coming up with its list.

As The Sacramento Bee’s first-ever look at CalPERS data showed, 85 percent of the 561,000 pensioners in the system opt to remain in California, thank you very much. Of the 15 percent who bail on the Golden State, more go to Nevada than anywhere else. Oregon also is popular, particularly for retired cops and firefighters.

California retirees also leave in significant numbers for Washington and Arizona. Those two states have one city each on the Forbes list.

Texas has four cities on the list, the most of any state, followed by South Carolina and Florida with three cities each and Pennsylvania, with two.

Among the factors Forbes considered: the cost of living and housing, taxes, weather and air quality, crime rates, doctor availability and active-lifestyle rankings. (Click here for a breakdown of which states’ income tax laws favor retirees.)

Unlike Forbes’ lists of “Best Places to Work”, “Richest People in the World” and “Best and Worst Cities for Work-Life Balance,” the best retirement spots are listed in alphabetical order instead of by rank. Forbes is based in Jersey City.

Here’s the list in reverse alphabetical order as presented on the publication’s website. Anyone smell an anti-California bias here? Or is the exclusion of the nation’s most populous state a legitimate decision?

Venice, Fla.

Tucson, Ariz.

State College, Pa.

San Angelo, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Ogden, Utah

Morgantown, W.Va.

Las Cruces, N.M.

Fredericksburg, Texas

Fargo, N.D.

Clemson, S.C.

Charleston, S.C.

Cape Coral, Fla.

Brevard, N.C.

Bowling Green, Ky.

Boise, Idaho

Bluffton, S.C.

Blacksburg, Va.

Bellingham, Wash.

Austin, Texas

Auburn, Ala.

Abilene, Texas