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Where Should I Retire?

July 2, 2022, 2:28 p.m. EDT

I want mild weather and a city where goats and chickens are allowed – so where should I retire? 

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By Silvia Ascarelli

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Elevation here reaches 10,678 feet in the nearby Sandia Mountains (take the Tramway from the edge of town), part of the Cibola National Forest . Further south is Manzano Mountains State Park.

Inside city limits, you might take advantage of the University of New Mexico plus spend some time at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Overall, about 930,000 people live in the Albuquerque metro area.

The Albuquerque housing market is a seller’s market as of April 2022, according to Realtor.com, which like MarketWatch is owned by News Corp. That could change by the time you’re ready to move. Here’s what’s on the market right now , using Realtor.com listings.

If it’s not quite right, the suburb of Rio Rancho, suggested here , allows pygmy goats . Santa Fe, suggested here and home to the Santa Fe Goat Milkers Co-op , is an hour north. 

More on Albuquerque: This 57-year-old said ‘screw this’ to San Francisco — and retired to ‘delightful’ Albuquerque, where she slashed her expenses by 70%

Fayetteville, Arkansas

If the Albuquerque area is too big, here’s another place that allows small goats , Fayetteville, Ark., is home to 94,000 people, and about 560,000 people live in the wider metropolitan area. 

This is a college town; the University of Arkansas, with about 29,000 students is here. Those 60 and older can take classes for free . Head to the Walton Arts Center for traveling Broadway shows and more, then explore TheatreSquared . Drive 25 miles north and you’re in Bentonville, headquarters for Walmart. I’ve suggested it here

Start your school search in Fayetteville with Fayette High School East .

Nature? You’re in the Ozark Mountains.

But you’ll have to decide whether a community that is 77% white, non-Hispanic, per the Census Bureau, is diverse enough for you. The wider metro area is more diverse, but still less diverse than the U.S. as a whole.

Average summer and winter highs in Fayetteville are a few degrees cooler than in Albuquerque. You’d have even less snow, but you’d have plenty of humidity.

A warning: home prices have been climbing recently. Here’s what’s on the market now , using listings from Realtor.com.

You also might want to take a look at Charlotte, N.C., which I’ve suggested here . You’ll need a permit for goats .

Dover, Delaware 

If my suggestions so far are more city than you would like, consider Delaware’s state capital: just 40,000 people and diverse. Plus you’d be 15 minutes from the ocean. Camden, a town of about 3,500 just south of Dover, has one of the best high schools in the state , according to U.S. News & World Report.

It quickly becomes more rural once you go beyond city limits. About 185,000 people live in Kent County, the middle of the state’s three counties. The county requires goats to be fenced in; as always, check with the local jurisdiction about their rules.

You could find even more rural – and cheaper – living further south, but at the risk of stressing those city amenities too much, there are no Target stores in the state south of Dover (You will find Walmart, though). Even in Dover, you’re still about 45 minutes from the big Christiana Mall in Newark, also home to the state university.

Delaware has no sales tax, and property taxes are relatively low.

Winter highs here average in the 40s, with perhaps 15 inches of snow, and summer highs average in the upper 80s.

On the housing front, the good news is that the market in both Dover and the county was balanced between buyers and sellers in March 2022, according to Realtor.com. Here’s what’s on the market in Dover and across the county now.

Readers, where should Ben and his family move? Leave your suggestions in the comments section so all can see them.

More from MarketWatch

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We want to retire to a small mountain town on $18,000 a year — where should we go?

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