Fort Pierce, FL – I see that three towns on the Treasure Coast are included in a new book called "Top 100 Cheapest Places to Retire in the U.S. for 2012." Fort Pierce is number 62. Sebastian is number 34. Number one on the list is Gregory, Texas. No, I never heard of it, either, until I read about this book. But I'll take the word of author Thomas Corley that it's THE cheapest place to retire. What did surprise me was the third Treasure Coast town included, and that's Stuart -- at number 33. I never thought of Stuart as a cheap place to retire or for anything else. I bet that people who bought a home in Stuart with a view don't think of it as a cheap place to retire. A nice place, yes. But cheap? On closer examination, I discovered that the book's criteria for determining which places to list are not limited to costs, such as housing prices and taxes. Among the other factors are good climate, close to beaches, low crime rate and close to hospitals. Stuart certainly ranks high in those categories. But should Stuart be listed as one of the 100 top cheapest places to retire? I don't think so. Better to include Stuart in a book called "Top 100 NICEST Places to Retire." For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.