You needn't love the Bushes to want to live near them
If you're a Bush family groupie, then the seaside town of Kennebunk, Maine, is a prime hunting ground. Tourists try to spot George H. W. and Barbara on their 11-acre estate at Walker's Point overlooking the Atlantic. But Kennebunk offers far moresandy and rocky beaches, two rivers, opportunities for boating, a meticulously preserved historic district, and a history dating back to 1629, chronicled at the Brick Store Museum.
Now provided you don't plan to purchase one of the grand 19th-century buildings financed by the once prominent shipping industry, there is ample housing for any retirement budget. Angus Macaulay, 64, a consultant, sold his Boston home and bought a 3,500-square-foot, five-bedroom house 90 miles to the north on an acre of land in Kennebunk that "would cost anywhere from twice to three times this much" near Boston.
Housing may cost less, but taxes in Kennebunk top those back in Massachusetts. Maine has the nation's second-highest state and local tax burden, trailing only Vermont, according to the Tax Foundation. Most residents fork over 14 percent of their income.
For a town so steeped in Bush lore, Kennebunk has a distinctly nonpartisan flavor, Macaulay says: "People in Maine have a tendency to care more about their communities than they do about people's political agendas."
Median home value: $295,200
Age 65 or over: 22 percent
Cost of living: 17.7 percent above the U.S. average
Maximum state income tax: 8.5 percent
State sales tax: 5 percent
This story appears in the June 11, 2007 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.