Texas, the Lone Star state, had an estimated 24 million people in 2007 and is growing very fast. Texas has friendly people and a slower pace of life that is easy to get used to. Austin is the capital city; there are several other large cities including Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. There are also many nice small towns and rural areas. The Wikipedia entry for Texas has more interesting facts.
The Texas climate is humid-sub tropical, strongly influenced by the Gulf of Mexico. Summers are hot and humid with frequent thunderstorms. Winters are mild, particularly in southern Texas.
Economy and Home Prices in Texas
Texas's per capita income at $23,294 is near the average of all states. Median home prices tend to be less expensive than in rest of the U.S., although in choice suburbs of big cities like Houston and Dallas the prices can be quite high.
The median home value state-wide was $113,800 in 2007, almost $70,000 below the national average. In the Austin-Round Rock area homes sold in 2009's 1st quarter for a median $182,300; the cost of living index there is 89 (national index is 100). In San Antonio, the median home went for $148,300 and the cost of living index is 81. Home prices in Texas have been much more stable than in the rest of the country in 2008-2009, they have hardly declined at all.
Texas has no income tax. State sales tax is 6.25%. Total tax burden in Houston is a very low 6.6% compared to the median rate for large U.S. cities. The state is ranked by the Tax Foundation as having the 43rd highest total state/local tax burden of the 50 states. Texas recently lowered property taxes in exchange for iincreasing taxes on cigarette and some business activities.State of Texas Taxation website.
Best retirement communities in Texas
Texas has any number of "best retirement towns" popular with active adults over 55. Austin is a livable city that enjoys the excitement of being host to the thriving University of Texas. San Antonio and its riverfront walk is a great town for retirement, attracting many people from the military. Corpus Christi, The Woodlands, and the Rio Grande Valley are all places that show up at the top of many "100 best places to retire" lists.
List of Texas Certified Retirement Communities
The Texas certified retirement community program is run by the Texas Department of Agriculture. There are 14 communities on the Texas list of certified retirement communities as of July, 2008: some of the certified retirement communities are Lufkin, Athens, Nacogdoches, Winnsboro, Cuero, Longview, St. Augustine County,Odessa, Palestine, Panola County, Shelby County, and Duncanville - these communities have gone through a thorough screening process to make sure they are desirable retirement communities.