A blizzard of articles give advice about the best places to retire. They generally recommend fleeing the North and heading for the Sunbelt, to places in the Carolinas, Florida, or Arizona. Occasionally they offer a surprise retirement spot in Iowa or Indiana. Sometimes they even tout retirement locales outside the United States.
[See The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012
These articles rely on statistics such as the cost of living or winter temperatures. But they miss the most important thing—the human element. Here are the real best places to retire.