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CNN Today

"Money" Magazine Names Five Best U.S. Retirement Cities

Aired June 9, 2000 - 2:42 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: On the topic of money and the economy, if you are at or near retirement, listen up here. "Money" magazine is now out with its picks for the best retirement cities in America.

Let's talk about. From New York, the man behind the article, "Money" consumer reporter Nick Pachetti.

Hey, Nick, good afternoon to you.

NICK PACHETTI, "MONEY" MAGAZINE: Hey, Bill, how you doing?

HEMMER: I'm doing just fine, thank you, sir.

First, the criteria -- I know "Money" magazine did this -- I think the last one you did was 1994. Six years later now you've returned. What do you use to judge different towns and where the best place is?

PACHETTI: Well, we take a look at a lot things, actually. We took a look at transportation -- you want to be near an airport, for example -- cost of living. housing costs, for example; amenities such as sports, golf courses, ski slopes; weather; crime. We had it all.

HEMMER: I think you're shaping up a pretty good town right there. Let's look at top five right now. We have this, so we're going to put it on the screen for our viewers right now. The top five again: Brunswick, Maine in the Northeast; Asheville, North Carolina, there in the mountains; Bradenton, Florida, just a bit south of Tampa; Fort Collins, Colorado, about an hour north of Denver; and Bend, Oregon.

Tell us first what's great about these places here, Nick.

PACHETTI: Well, going right through all of them, Bend, Oregon, for example, it's the great outdoors. That's the place you've got go when you want to be outdoors, you want to go fly fishing, river rafting, you name it. Brunswick, Maine: culture -- that's -- Boden College is there and they've got museums. They're near Portland. They're near Boston.

HEMMER: Views of the ocean too.

PACHETTI: You've got that too, yes. Fort Collins, no ocean views, but you've got the mountains. You're two hours from Vail, you've -- terrific views. It's great. And Bradenton, Florida of course -- well that's the obvious -- you've got the beaches, the sea. That's terrific.

HEMMER: And the average low temperature in Bradenton in January is 50 degrees.

PACHETTI: Not bad, huh?

HEMMER: That's not bad at all, but listen...

PACHETTI: That's why they go to train there.

HEMMER: Yes, you're right. Eight Major League teams, I think, practice there in the springtime.

PACHETTI: That's right. And the Yankees.

HEMMER: There you go.

PACHETTI: There you go.

HEMMER: Listen, also in your study, you only gauged towns with fewer than 250,000 people. No. 1, why did you do it that way? And No. 2, a lot of people may be critical just to say: There are good towns that have more than a quarter million people.

PACHETTI: Like New York -- just kidding. Well, the thing is we realize that retirees want the small-town feel. They weren't interested in big, overcrowded, noisy places. And a lot of the people I spoke with really enjoyed that, the fact that it was small and hometown.

HEMMER: Also, to our viewers, if they have the Internet, Money.com allows people to go there and put in your own financial report and plug in numbers to find out if indeed you can afford it.

Tell us about that, Nick, quickly.

PACHETTI: That's right, yes. I mean, we picked five that we liked, but you're not necessarily going to like them all. So you can go to money.com and put in your criteria and choose what's most important to you and then a town will show up.

HEMMER: Alrighty. Among the second five: Santa Fe; Madison, Wisconsin; Hots Springs in Arkansas; and Amherst in Massachusetts.

Newsstands on Monday, June 12th.

Nick Pachetti, live in New York, thanks for talking, Nick.

PACHETTI: Thank you, Bill.

HEMMER: Have a good weekend, alrighty.

PACHETTI: You too.

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