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Austin tops yet another national list — but this one may surprise you

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Austin, Texas, skyline, downtown
Austin is the biggest city in Texas — one of four — on Forbes' list of the best places to retire. Photo by Ed Schipul/Flickr

Forbes, which loves a good list, just put out another one, naming the 25 best cities in America to retire in 2014. Just to get it out of the way: Of course Austin is on it. City-related lists are required by law to include Austin, lest people forget that Austin is where everyone is moving these days.

In creating the list, Forbes looked at economic factors for a “working” retirement, as well as housing and living costs; taxes; weather and air quality; crime rates; doctor availability; and active-lifestyle rankings for walkability, bicycling and volunteering.

Austin got props for its strong economy, average cost of living and warm weather, though Forbes does note that housing prices are above the national average at $225,000.

Three other Texas cities join Austin in this roundup, although they are a bit less obvious. Abilene earned a spot for its “robust economy” as well as low cost of living and low housing prices. The warm weather was noted as a positive, but the city got docked a few points for not being very walkable. But if that “warm” weather is in August, then you don’t want to be walking around anyway.

Fredericksburg, with its breathtaking setting and ample vineyards, received recognition for its above-average air quality, low crime, high walkability and below-average cost of living. In fact, Fredericksburg didn’t even receive a con. Clearly this Hill Country town is doing something right.

Joining Abilene out west, San Angelo was noted for its — and if this sounds like a broken record, try writing it — a booming economy, warm climate, a cost of living 9 percent below national average and a good median home price. It got pegged for not being very walkable.

Even though the whole warm-climate thing might misrepresent Texas summers, and Abilene isn’t quite as romantic as, say, Charleston, Texas had more cities on the list than any other state — showing, once again, that no matter the reason, it’s good to be in Texas.

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