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Munster, Highland, Crown Point, LaPorte, Valparaiso and Merrillville named among the best places in state to retire
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Munster, Highland, Crown Point, LaPorte, Valparaiso and Merrillville named among the best places in state to retire

Munster, Highland, Crown Point, LaPorte, Valparaiso and Merrillville named among the best places in the state to retire

Meridian Woods, a Pine Village Retirement Community in Valparaiso is shown in this file photo.

Unless you're being beckoned by the siren call of Florida or Arizona, the best place to retire might be close to home.

A new study found that Munster, Highland, Crown Point, LaPorte, Valparaiso and Merrillville ranked among the best places in the state to retire. 

The New York City-based financial technology company SmartAsset ranked Munster as the best place to retire in Indiana. The study looked at tax friendliness, the number of doctors offices, and recreation and social opportunities.

"First, we looked at state and local tax rates, considering two types of taxes: income and sales. We calculated effective rates based on a retiree earning $35,000 annually from retirement savings, Social Security and part-time employment. We subtracted income taxes paid from the gross income to determine disposable income. Sales taxes paid were calculated based on the disposable income being spent on taxable goods," SmartAsset said in its study. "Next, we determined the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each location. Finally, we measured the number of seniors in each city as a percentage of the total population."

Munster ranked No. 1 statewide with a senior population of 19.3% and an effective tax rate of 16.3%, according to the SmartAsset study. Aided perhaps by the presence of the Community and Franciscan hospitals, it boasts 6 doctor's offices per 1,000 people and 0.5 recreation centers per 1,000 people.

Highland ranked third statewide with a tax rate of 16.3% and a senior population of 32.3%. It has 1.7 doctor's offices per 1,000 people and 0.5 recreation centers per 1,000 people.

Crown Point placed fourth with a 16.3% tax rate, 2.5 doctor's offices per 1,000 people, and 0.7 recreation centers per 1,000 people. About 19.3% of Crown Point's population is a retirement-age senior.

LaPorte came in sixth statewide with a 17% senior population, a tax rate of 16.3%, 2.1 doctor's offices per 1,000 people and 0.9 recreation centers per 1,000 people. Valparaiso finished ninth in the Hoosier state with a 16.6% tax rate, 3.1 doctor's offices per 1,000 people, 0.6 recreation centers per 1,000 people, and a senior population of 17.2%. 

Merrillville ranked 10th statewide with a senior population of 15.1% and tax rate of 16.3%. The town has four doctor's offices per 1,000 people and 0.3 recreation centers per 1,000 people, though a new one is under construction.

Batesville, Monticello, Bedford and Madison rounded out the top 10 in Indiana.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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