By Mary Boone
Where do America’s wealthiest retirees live? According to the 2012 Bloomberg Rankings list of cities with the wealthiest older residents, the Seattle suburb of Hunts Point comes out on top.
It’s hard to believe that the nation’s wealthiest retirees would choose rain boots and umbrellas over beach blankets and sun screen, but this little peninsula – which was originally a camping ground for the Sammamish Indian tribe -- has been an attraction to the area’s wealthiest since being incorporated in 1955.
Why it makes sense is because founders and top executives from nearby companies have made it their home. As a matter of fact, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and McCaw Cellular co-founder Craig McCaw both live in Hunts Point.
With just over 400 residents, Hunts Point had an average household retirement income of $200,431 in 2010; 20.98 percent of the town’s population is age 65 or older.
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, most Hunts Point residences sit on at least an acre of land. It is one of 23 cities on the Bloomberg list with median housing values of more than $1 million.
Hunts Point is the only Washington state city to make Bloomberg’s list of the wealthiest retirement towns. New York and California each have seven towns on the list.
For retirees looking for slightly less exclusive places to retire, Traverse City, Mich., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Portland, Ore., were among northern U.S. cities making CNN-Money’s list of 25 Best Places to Retire. Median home prices in each of those cities is $195,000, $259,000 and $272,000, respectively.
For seniors in search of a little warmth, the CNN-Money report gives high marks to Southwestern cities including Tucson, Ariz., (median home price $148,000) and Albuquerque, N.M. ($174,000).
The report praises Tucson’s 350 days of sun and easy access to sites of historical and cultural significance. Albuquerque’s diverse landscape, with the Rio Grande River near downtown and the Sandia Mountains to the east, won it major points.