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Bangor - Great Place to Retire

Money magazine lists Bangor among 25 best places to retire

By Dawn Gagnon
BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Money magazine has named Bangor one of the 25 best places to retire in the United States.

In a list of the top 25 places for retirees released earlier this week, the magazine’s editors ranked Maine’s third-largest city at No. 23.

“We ought to be number one — everybody knows that,” Bangor City Council Chairman Gerry Palmer quipped in a burst of civic pride.

“It’s something that’s sometimes a too tightly kept secret,” Palmer added in a more serious vein.

In terms of median age, Maine is one of the oldest states in the nation, which means retirees here have lots of company, Palmer pointed out. He also noted that the area offers a wide variety of activities for seniors, is close to several world-famous resort areas and that the city soon will have a new arena.

“The pace is not so fast here. It’s definitely safer here [than in other cities], and here, you know who your neighbors are,” Palmer said.

Bangor was one of only three Northeastern cities that made the list. The two others were Philadelphia, ranked No. 10, and Providence, R.I., which came in at No. 17, according to the article, which can be seen on the magazine’s Web site.

The magazine’s top three picks were Port Charlotte, Fla., Palm Springs, Calif., and Traverse City, Mich.

“Located in the heart of Maine, this New England city combines a small-town lifestyle with rich arts offerings and a multitude of al fresco activities,” the magazine noted in a brief profile of Bangor.

“The traditional, old-fashioned downtown hosts several large festivals each year, including the American Folk Festival, which draws tens of thousands of visitors to the city's waterfront along the Penobscot River.

“The rest of the year, residents can take advantage of the arts by catching the symphony at the University of Maine's Center for the Arts or taking in a play at the Penobscot Theatre or the University of Maine's Museum of Art,” it continued.

The profile also noted that the region in which Bangor is located “has four distinct seasons, and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter and switch to golfing, fishing and hiking when the weather turns. Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park are about 90 minutes away, but there are 30 parks in Bangor. The City Forest comprises 650 acres with 5 miles of biking and cross-country trails.

The profile doesn’t, however, mention that Greater Bangor has a wide range of amenities that retirees might be drawn to. These include two major hospitals, the Hammond Street Senior Center, a public bus system, a number of assisted living and senior housing facilities and several educational institutions, to name a few.

The magazine looked at nearly 2,000 communities before coming up with its list of the top 25 places to retire. Selection factors included tax rates, recreational opportunities, medical care, arts and culture, housing costs, income and age ranges, job growth, fastest and slowest commutes, weather, air cleanliness and statistics regarding rich singles. The magazine’s listings for retirement living can be found on its Web site at http://money.cnn.com.

This article is from the Bangor Daily News dated 9/12/2009 see it on Maineville http://bangor.maineville.com/detail/120248.html