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Warm weather, as well as opportunities to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, are the reason southern and southwestern cities dominated on Forbes' new list of best places to retire in 2012.
This year the magazine expanded the list from 16 cities to 25, located in 18 states.
Reflecting what retirees say they want, the roster is heavier on warmer states like Florida, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. Only about a half-dozen cities are located in chillier climates, including Bloomington, Ind., Fargo, N.D., Boise, Idaho, and Pittsburgh.
Join the discussion: Would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains?
The list, which is not a ranking, includes such warm spots as Asheville, N.C., Cape Coral and Fort Myers in Florida, Austin and Corpus Christi in Texas, New Mexico's Albuquerque and Las Cruces, and Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona.
"There is a bias to warm weather," Janet Novack, Forbes Washington bureau chief and executive editor, told Reuters. "Nevertheless, we do have some cold places because they excel, and either the economy is good or the crime rate is low. We also look at the availability of doctors."
The magazine looked at data for hundreds of cities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, taking into account everything from financial factors, like cost of living and tax breaks, to lifestyle evaluations by Bicycling Magazine and volunteeringinamerica.org.
Because more retirees are working, at least initially, the magazine's researchers also looked at both unemployment rates and rankings of job and economic growth compiled by the Milken Institute.
To see Forbes' complete list with photo gallery, click here. For an alphabetical list, compiled by the News and Advance newspaper of Lynchburg, Va., one of the cities on the list, click here.
Or check out AARP's roundup of great places to retire including quirky cities, small cities, cities for nature lovers and more.
In other health news:
Forget staycation. How about a 'nakation'? Instead of a 'staycation,' where you avoid the stress of flying by relaxing at home, why not avoid the stress of deciding which clothes to pack with a 'nakation' -- a vacation in the nude. Reuters reports on the growing trend of vacationing sans clothing, including a Carnival Freedom cruise this February.
CDC reports E. coli outbreak sickens 14 in six states. Federal health officials are investigating 14 people in six states who have been sickened by the same strain of E. coli over the past couple of months. According to CNN, a child died and three adults were sickened in Louisiana, and Georgia is reporting five cases, including four women ages 18 to 52.
NFL retirees file single head injury lawsuit. The battle between the National Football League and retired players over the dangers of head injuries moved closer to a courtroom showdown Thursday with the filing of a complaint that unifies multiple lawsuits brought against the league in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lawyers for more than 2,300 retired players in 86 suits alleged that for decades the NFL hid the risks of such injuries and ignored mounting evidence of the long-term effects that football-related concussions can have, including dementia and chronic depression.
Photo credit: markusconsulting.ca