The Best Spots to Retire

To reflect this change, we included the quality of the retirement job market in our rankings. A retirement job is classified as either a full- or part-time job done after retiring from a long-term career. Using data from RetirementJobs.com, cities were assigned a score based on the quality of this growing job market.

Boomers also want to live in cities that younger people enjoy. "You have baby boomers buying properties where they can get their children and grandchildren to come visit," says David Hehman, president of EscapeHomes.com, a San Francisco-based real estate research company. "That desire is often large."

Maybe all of these changes are representative of boomer denial, and people who don't feel like they're getting old. But life expectancies are the highest they've ever been, and climbing -- so maybe there's something to it.

"Boomers think, 'Why is everyone getting older while I stay the same?'" says Cohen. "They don't feel that old or think they look that old ... and they might be right. The time that they're going to have in retirement is going to be significantly longer than previous generations … and [they] are moving toward what they want and like to do instead of what they have to do."

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