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Is Lake Geneva a good place to retire?

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Greg Peck
January 9, 2013

I read an online MarketWatch Wall Street Journal report the other day that mentioned Eau Claire, Madison, Lake Geneva and Bayfield as good places to retire. Keep in mind the report’s readership—the wealthy and investors who make a habit of reading our nation’s leading daily business newspaper.

Regardless, the story is a feather in the cap of the lakefront community in our eastern neighbor of Walworth County.

The story in MarketWatch’s “Retire here, not there” series notes that more than 36 million Americans will turn 65 in the next decade and be choosing retirement spots. It mentions Wisconsin’s low unemployment rate and topnotch university system as compelling reasons to retire here. It also suggests our communities are warm and neighborly, but, in contrast, notes that our climate, particularly winters, are one drawback to retiring here. Another is the Badger State’s high income tax rate.

Another thing that makes Wisconsin inviting to well-to-do retirees is our more than 500 golf courses. That’s one thing the story noted about Lake Geneva, too, That area has 22 golf courses.

The story points out that Lake Geneva’s location just two hours from Chicago made it attractive to “captains of industry,” including the Wrigleys and Maytags. The lake’s clean, clear and vibrant blue hue made it similar to Lake Tahoe.

Lake Geneva’s tourism industry remains robust, the story says. This “Newport of the West” offers prices nowhere near its East Coast cousin, what with the median home costing less than $175,000 and the cost of living just a tick over the national average.

I know Lake Geneva isn’t an option in my retirement future. But if a few more rich retirees want to settle in that inviting lakeside community and spread more of their money around the local economy, what’s not to like?

Where would you like to retire? Would you consider Wisconsin? If so, why and where?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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