The 5 best and worst U.S. cities to retire

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    Baby boomers are hitting their retirement stride, with about 10,000 of that generation turning 65 every day.

    As Americans near retirement age, many begin thinking about lifestyle changes, such as when they should scale back from work and whether they should retire to a warmer climate.

    Choosing a place to retire depends on issues ranging from weather to cost of living, as well as the tax burdens of specific states and cities. Since retirees live on fixed incomes, high taxes and costs can prove to be deal-breaker for some locations. According to a new survey of the best and worst cities to retire in the U.S. from Bankrate.com, the top destinations tend to share a few qualities, such as warm weather -- aside from one notable exception -- and a good quality of life.

    "It's normal for people to think about the 'wow' factor," said Jill Cornfield, an analyst at Bankrate. "The best places tend to have a constellation of things that make your life easier in retirement: the cost is affordable, the weather is pleasant, and there's access to good health care."

    Of course, there are some issues that are impossible to track in a data-based survey, she said. Ties to family and friends are important, especially as one hits extreme old age and medical issues can become more pressing. In those years, it's often comforting and logistically important to have family or friends nearby to help.

    Older Americans actually move less frequently than younger workers, with many retirees preferring to remain where they have strong community ties.

    For those who are looking to make a change, read on to learn about the 5 best and worst cities to retire to.