Our list is an attempt to find the best places for the good life. All have good medical care and most are extremely affordable. But we also focused on lifestyle, on finding places where there is a balance between outdoor recreation, cultural and educational institutions, a good airport, and good public transportation, which isn't always easy to find in America's smaller cities. We also considered places your friends and family would love to come visit.
After all, if you're striking out on a new life with new friends, it's a bonus to be get lots of visits from old friends.