PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- There are a few unfortunate retirement stereotypes out there that can keep would-be retirees from pursuing that life they've always dreamed of. The idea that you have to be in some far-flung cluster of fellow non-workers puttering around in a golf cart, "island car" convertible or another generation's Cadillac is not only narrow-minded, but no way to approach your fixed income.
That finite amount of cash can transform car payments, auto insurance and weekly gas fill-ups from costly necessities to huge drains on the finances. It can also prevent you from living in places where all stores, medical services, entertainment and transit options are convenient. In some cases, your automobile and the associated costs can be the lead weight shackling you to some lame, bland storage facility for folks who've worked too hard for their taste of freedom.
Neighborhood ranking site Walk Score has kept track of neighborhood density and convenience for the past couple of years and helped real estate firms such as Trulia (TRLA) pair retirees and other homebuyers with neighborhoods that make the most sense for their budget and lifestyle. Some of them are small and relatively inexpensive communities, others are larger areas with a reputation for expense but a surprisingly affordable appeal for retirees.
If you're not ready to have someone else tell you the dream you've worked so hard for is too expensive, get ready to downsize the empty nest, ditch the car and consider the following 10 cities as potential destinations. They scouted out locations within a five-minute walk of grocery stores, public transportation and Zipcar (ZIP) rentals and came up with some great places across the country to go car free:
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