Photo courtesy of SmartAsset

Let’s think about it – you’re finally at the point in your life where you can retire, and you’re looking for the next home base that has just the right amount of tranquility to balance out the busy city life. In a new study, the North Texas burg of Frisco fits the bill, ranking as the No. 7 city for retirement-age folks nationwide.

In SmartAsset’s 2023 edition of “Where Retirees are Moving”, Frisco is one of two Texas cities that rank in the top 10 (the other being San Antonio, at No. 3).

This is Frisco’s first appearance on SmartAsset's list. The data show Frisco had a net gain of 960 seniors in 2021, with over 1,430 moving to the city from out-of-state while 476 left for a new state.

Only 13.16 percent of Frisco’s population is made up of people aged 60 and older, which is the lowest percentage out of all of the top 10 cities in SmartAsset’s study.

To be sure, Frisco is known as a family-friendly place and a hub of entertainment; it's got a new Universal Studios theme park on the way; The Star, home of the Dallas Cowboys, about to host the ACM Awards; and a brand new Omni hotel and resort is the mecca of PGA golf.

The top 10 U.S. cities where retirees are moving are:

  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Henderson, Nevada
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Frisco, Texas
  • Miami, Florida
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

Here’s how other Dallas-Fort Worth cities stacked up:

  • No. 53 – McKinney
  • No. 59 – Irving
  • No. 76 – Arlington
  • No. 112 – Plano
  • No. 122 – Fort Worth (tied with Fremont, California)
  • No. 124 – Dallas

The Lone Star State itself placed No. 10 in SmartAsset's rankings of states where seniors moved to and from the most. According to their data, Texas had a net gain of 5,542 retirement-age people in 2021. Our warm climate seems to be a major draw for retirees, but the lack of state income tax surely doesn’t hurt.

Texas’ most recent rank is a five-place drop from SmartAsset’s previous study, which looked at migration data of people aged 60 and older in 2019. During that year, Texas ranked No. 5 and had a net gain of 9,305 seniors.

Similar warm states without income tax rates that made it on the top 10 in this year’s report include Florida, who has claimed No. 1 since 2016, and Nevada (No. 7). Both states had much higher net gains of retirees for 2021; Florida gained 78,174 and Nevada had 6,814.

Besides the lack of state income tax, there are additional tax benefits for seniors in Texas. Social Security, public and private pensions, and withdrawals from retirement accounts are also not taxed. And though Texas has the sixth highest property tax rate in the country, senior homeowners can reduce that liability through the state’s homestead exemption.

SmartAsset's experts offered some advice for future seniors who are debating on when to retire. One of their tips was to avoid retiring in a down market, which may lead to "sequence risk."

"Retirees looking to avoid sequence risk may employ a range of strategies to delay or reduce drawdowns in a down market," said Susannah Snider, certified financial planner and managing editor for financial education at SmartAsset. "Those strategies can include continuing to work, delaying retirement, withdrawing from cash or other non-investment accounts, and opting to reduce withdrawals or delay big expenses during early years when the markets are in the red."

Photo courtesy of City of Plano

Here's what it takes to be a middle class earner in Dallas-Fort Worth, new report finds


In a world where a six figure salary doesn’t go as far as it used to, how much money do you need to make to be deemed middle class? Out of 13 Texas cities and 100 total in the United States, a Dallas suburb has one of the highest middle class income ceilings in the nation.

Plano has the ninth highest income ceiling for American middle class earners, according to a new study by SmartAsset. To define the term “middle class” and determine income limits, analysts looked at data from the Census Bureau's 2021 one-year American Community Survey to find the median income for households in every state. They also looked at income data from 100 of the largest American cities.

Middle class earners in Plano would need to make between $63,651 and $190,004 a year, with the median household income coming out to $95,002 a year.

Several of the country’s best employers are located in Plano and in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, as discovered by Forbes, which is a helpful boost to the local economy. The study additionally discovered Plano has the lowest average home value out of the top 10 cities (mostly from California and Arizona) at $487,000.

Plano was the only Texas city to make the top 10, with Austin coming in second at No. 23. An Austinite would need to make a minimum of $53,293 to be considered middle class. Other Texas cities included in the study are Corpus Christi (No. 63), San Antonio (No. 77), Lubbock (No. 78), Laredo (No. 84), and El Paso (No. 87).

Here’s what it takes to be middle class in other Dallas-Fort Worth cities:

  • No. 38 – Irving: between $47,128 and $140,680 a year
  • No. 44 – Fort Worth: between $45,717 and $136,470 a year
  • No. 59 – Garland: between $41,277 and $123,214 a year
  • No. 62 – Arlington: between $40,126 and $119,778 a year
  • No. 72 – Dallas: between $38,857 and $115,990 a year

Four of the top 10 cities with the highest middle class income ceilings are in California (no surprise there) and three of the four are in the Bay Area. The report found that tech cities like those in the Bay Area are notoriously the most difficult to attain a middle class status. California’s overall high cost-of-living means residents in the No. 1 city of Fremont would need to make between $104,499 and $311,936 a year to be labeled middle class.

The top 10 cities with the highest middle class ceilings are:

  • No. 1 – Fremont, California
  • No. 2 – San Jose, California
  • No. 3 – Arlington, Virginia
  • No. 4 – San Francisco
  • No. 5 – Seattle
  • No. 6 – Irvine, California
  • No. 7 – Gilbert, Arizona
  • No. 8 – Scottsdale, Arizona
  • No. 9 – Plano
  • No. 10 – Chandler, Arizona

The full report and its methodology can be found on smartasset.com.

FPhoto by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

This is how far a $100k salary goes in Dallas-Fort Worth, study says


Many people daydream about making six figures in their career before they enter the workforce. But the rising cost of living certainly throws a wrench in the works. Luckily for Texans, a six-figure salary still goes pretty far in the state.

In a new report from SmartAsset, a $100,000 salary in Texas is worth an average of $77,885 after taxes and adjusted for the cost of living. The financial technology company analyzed income in 76 United States cities, and adjusted them for the cost of living in each location.

Seven Texan cities appear in the study’s top 10 where a six-figure salary goes the furthest. In a three-way tie with San Antonio for No. 7, a person who makes $100,000 a year in Fort Worth and Arlington takes home about $74,515 after taxes. When adjusted for the cost of living, which is seven percent lower than the national average, that money is worth $80,124.

Dallas appears at No. 34 on the list, with the average six-figure earner bringing home $72,345 after taxes. That salary goes a lot less far in the northern Dallas suburb of Plano (No. 59), where the worker brings home $59,422.

The place where $100,000 goes the furthest is Memphis, Tennessee. Much like Texas, Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax and has a lower cost of living in comparison to the national average.

After Memphis is El Paso at No. 2, followed by Oklahoma City (No. 3), then Corpus Christi (No. 4), Lubbock (No. 5), and Houston (No. 6). After the Texan three-way tie for No. 7, St. Louis, Missouri rounds out the top 10.

The 10 total Texas cities that appear in SmartAsset’s study include:

  • No. 2 – El Paso
  • No. 4 – Corpus Christi
  • No. 5 – Lubbock
  • No. 6 – Houston
  • No. 7 – Fort Worth, Arlington, San Antonio (tied)
  • No. 24 – Austin
  • No. 34 – Dallas
  • No. 59 – Plano

The report and its methodology can be found on SmartAsset’s website.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

This is how much money you need to live comfortably in Dallas-Fort Worth, new study finds

Money wise

Inflation is high, interest rates are skyrocketing, and honestly, just existing is expensive. Whether it be the price of eggs or a new car, trying to have a financially stable life in one of America’s largest metropolitan areas is becoming more and more difficult.

So, how much money do you need to make to live comfortably in Dallas-Fort Worth? Approximately $64,742 a year post-tax, according to a new study by financial tech company SmartAsset.

That’s an $11,000-plus increase from their previous annual report, where Dallas-Fort Worth residents only needed to make $53,680 a year post-tax to live comfortably in the area.

Their experts collected data from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator to determine the cost of living for a childless individual in the 25 largest American metro areas. They also used the 50/30/20 budgeting strategy to figure out what a “comfortable lifestyle” meant for the purpose of their study: 50 percent of their income goes to a person’s needs/living expenses, 30 percent to a person’s wants, and 20 percent for their savings or paying down debt.

To live a financially stable life, a childless Dallas-Fort Worth individual would need to spend $32,371 of their salary on their living expenses, $19,423 for discretionary expenses, and put $12,948 toward their savings or debt payments.

Considering rent has increased up to 15 percent since 2022 in some Dallas suburbs, that might be a tighter squeeze for some. And if you aren't a man, the Dallas-Fort Worth gender pay gap also plays a factor.

Susannah Snider, SmartAsset’s managing editor of financial education, says in the study that budgeting should be the “bedrock of many people’s financial plans.”

“And it’s especially essential to understand and track your spending when the cost of everyday items is rising,” said Snider. “Being able to stick to a 50/30/20 budget means you have enough to fund short- and long-term goals while paying for essential living expenses.”

To live comfortably in the largest metro areas in the United States, on average, an individual would need to make $68,499 a year after taxes, which is a 20 percent increase from 2022.

In other Texas metro areas, like Houston and San Antonio, a person would need to make $62,260 and $59,270 a year post-tax.

The full study and its methodology can be found on smartasset.com.

Photo by Farhan on Unsplash

Dallas suburb stalled by 3rd worst commute in the U.S., report says

Road warriors

Here's something that'll make residents of Garland downright honkin' mad: Workers there have the third worst daily commute in the nation. So says a new report by SmartAsset.

The financial services website compared data from the 100 largest U.S. cities and ranked the worst commutes by six factors: percentage of workers who commute; average travel time to work; transportation as a percentage of income; percentage of workers with a commute longer than 60 minutes; and five-year change in both travel time and percentage of workers with long commutes.

Garland ranked No. 3 worst, only out-trafficked by two California cities - Stockton and Bakersfield - which came in first and second, respectively.

Of the Dallas suburb, SmartAsset writes, "The majority of workers in Garland, Texas, are commuters (86.1%). And they average the seventh-highest commute time (roughly 30 minutes vs. the national average of 25.6 minutes). About 9.1% of commuters, however, experience drives over one hour (12th-highest). Overall, the average commute time has increased by 2.37% between 2016 and 2021."

The dubious distinction may be no surprise to Garland-area road warriors who have to contend with 24/7 traffic created by the never-ending construction, lane blocks, and shoulder closures on I-635 through northeast Dallas.

The only other Texas city to land in the top 10 is El Paso, which comes in seventh. The city ranks second overall for transportation costs relative to income, with commuters paying 14.13% of their median household income for transportation in the city and surrounding areas, SmartAsset says.

Texas' two biggest cities, Houston and Dallas, (somehow!) tied for No. 23. The average commute time in Dallas is 25.7 minutes; in Houston, it's 26.1 minutes. But in Dallas, more workers (6.5%) have a "severe" commute of 60 minutes or more; in Houston, it's 5.8%. Houstonians spend a tiny bit more of their income on transportation costs than Dallas drivers do (9.9% vs. 9%).

Notably, Dallas and Houston ranked worse than notoriously traffic-jammed Los Angeles, which came in at No. 25.

Elsewhere in North Texas and around the state, city rankings were:

  • Arlington, No. 33
  • Fort Worth, No. 47
  • Irving, No. 50
  • Plano, No. 52
  • San Antonio, No. 55
  • Lubbock, No. 61
  • Austin, No. 64
  • Corpus Christi, No. 78
  • Laredo, No. 81

Interestingly, SmartAsset notes, despite the rise in remote work the past few years, the average commute time went down by only one minute in five years. The national average decreased from 26.6 minutes in 2016 to 25.6 minutes in 2021, they say, while the percentage of remote workers has tripled in about half the time.

"Workers in 2023 will average almost 222 hours (or a little over nine days) driving to and from work," the report says. "And these hours spent in transit cost commuters more than just their time. The price of fuel, public transit passes and other commuter-related costs can add up quickly."

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

44 new Dallas debutantes star in this week's most popular stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. 44 new Dallas debutantes begin Presentation Ball prep with glam parties and glorious gowns. With the start of summer vacation came the beginning of the 2023-2024 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante season - even though it seems like just yesterday that the 2023 debs were Texas-dipping into society. The DSOL introduced 44 new debs during Announcement Weekend festivities, May 18-20. Their parties, philanthropy, and training will culminate with the 38th Presentation Ball.

2. 21 North Texas museums offer free admission to military families this summer. Nearly two dozen Dallas-Fort Worth museums are honoring active duty military personnel and their families with free admission through the Blue Star Museums initiative, May 20-September 4, 2023.

3. 11 Dallas icons star in new book of most influential Texans from last 50 years. To commemorate Texas Monthly's 50th anniversary, the publication has collected the stories and photographs of 50 iconic Texans who have shaped the state and the country over the past 50 years for a book called Lone Stars Rising. Eleven Dallas megastars have made the roster.

4. These are the 7 best most intriguing hot dogs in Dallas right now. Hot dogs are the quintessential summer food and an item that nearly everyone loves. They're simple, flavorful, easy to make at home, and affordable if you dine out. Here are the seven most interesting hot dogs you can find in Dallas-Fort Worth.

5. Mississippi sisters debut perky Southern-chic boutique on Dallas' Greenville Avenue. When Allison and Anna Williams graduated from University of Mississippi in 2021, they didn't picture themselves owning a boutique on Lower Greenville in Dallas. But the Williamses' new women's clothing boutique, Five 54, opened this spring at 1906 Greenville Ave., next to Clark's Barbershop, in the buzziest neighborhood in town.

Dallas-Fort Worth arrives at surprising spot among top summer travel destinations


Dallas-Fort Worth recently racked up more than a dozen accolades at the 2023 Texas Travel Awards. But a new survey reveals it's not necessarily such a hot travel destination this summer.

DFW comes in at a middle-of-the-road No. 45 in WalletHub's recent 2023 Best Summer Travel Destinations report.

The report compared 100 of the largest metro areas in America across 41 metrics, including number of attractions.

DFW scored an overall rating of 52.56 out of 100. Broken down by category, the Metroplex ranked 86th in "Travel Costs & Hassles;" 32nd in "Local Costs;" 20th in "Attractions;" 41st in "Weather;" 27th in "Activities;" and 50th in "Safety."

Taking the top spot in Texas was San Antonio, at No. 11, with Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown at No. 14. Behind Austin and San Antonio in the 2023 rankings is El Paso (No. 18), then Houston (No. 38). After 45th ranked DFW came Corpus Christi (No. 62), and McAllen (No. 86).

Dr. Susan Weidmann, assistant professor in the department of recreational management and physical education at Appalachian State University, said in the report that summer 2023 is going to be a “good season for travel” despite recent economic downturns that have many worried about a recession.

“Coming out of Covid, I think many people have taken these last few years to really evaluate what they want out of life, and for those that love travel, I think they have probably put it at the top of their list of things to do,” she said. “As far as economics are concerned, many may have saved their traveling money from the last multiple years, so will have money to spend. That being said, after the airline chaos of last year, many people may be thinking about domestic travel over the long-haul, just to alleviate many of the concerns that airlines, especially in Europe, are still grappling with, such as reduced staffing leading to flight cancellations.”

Weidmann predicts the time period between July and early August will be the most popular season for National Parks, like Texas’ Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains.

Despite none of them being in Texas, the top 10 destinations in WalletHub’s report are all popular cities worth a glance in sun-friendly states like Hawaii, New York, and Florida.

The top 10 best summer destinations are:

  • No. 1 – Atlanta
  • No. 2 – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • No. 3 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 4 – Wichita, Kansas
  • No. 5 – New York City
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Tampa, Florida
  • No. 8 – Orlando, Florida
  • No. 9 – Richmond, Virginia
  • No. 10 – Springfield, Missouri

Score a hole in one at these 10 top public golf courses in Dallas-Fort Worth

Tee Time

North Texas recently popped the cork for the new $520 million Omni PGA Frisco Resort, which opened in May and features its own entertainment district, full-service spa and salon, four swimming pools, 500 guest rooms and suites, 10 private ranch houses, and 13 unique dining options.

But as the name hints, the resort is very much about the golf. With Father's Day around the corner, we're revisiting Dallas-Fort Worth's best public courses, including the two newest ones found in Frisco and their alternative ways to play.

Load up the clubs and hit the green with this list:

Fields Ranch
Omni PGA Frisco Resort boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses, collectively known as Fields Ranch. Fields Ranch East was designed by Gil Hanse, and Fields Ranch West by Beau Welling.

Registered hotel guests can book tee times 120 days in advance of their stay to play Fields Ranch, which will be home to 26 major championships starting in May and continuing through 2034.

Not ready for the full 18-hole experience? Take a few practice swings at the Fields Ranch Practice Facility, then head to The Swing, a lighted 10-hole, par-3 short course, or The Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course and entertainment area.

This will also be the site of Frisco's first Lounge by Topgolf and PGA of America's new headquarters.

Take advantage of all that expertise at the PGA Coaching Center, which offers a high-tech, data-driven club-fitting and instruction experience.

Cowboys Golf Club
If you're a die-hard fan of both the 'Boys and the links, here's where your passions combine. The par-72, 6,553-yard course is as swanky as you'd expect from Jerry Jones, with years of Cowboys history scattered throughout. Of course, with all this top-of-the-line design comes a rather hefty price tag for the green fees, but you do definitely get your money's worth.

Meadowbrook Golf Course
Fort Worth
The 18-hole regulation facility is considered one of the top in Texas, with a par 71 that covers the most rolling terrain in the city. It's also a popular course, with a golf association of more than 200 members who play regularly.

Stevens Park Golf Course
Oak Cliff
All 18 holes of this par-70 course were completely redesigned in 2011, including new tee boxes, fairways, greens, and bunkers. Even the carts boast newly installed TekGPS units that track yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green (and help keep play moving). Appreciate mature oaks, dramatic elevation changes, and great views of downtown Dallas while you traverse the course, which is also affectionately known as "Little Augusta."

Pecan Valley
Fort Worth
Originally designed by golf course architect Ralph Plummer in 1963, Pecan Valley is actually two 18-hole golf courses separated by the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The "River" course is considered one of the top municipal courses in Texas, while the "Hills" course is approximately 150 yards shorter. Several hundred trees were semi-recently planted and are just beginning to mature, which only bodes well for playing conditions in the years to come.

Texas Star Golf Course
The accolades come rolling in for this course, which has been recognized for its beauty and serene atmosphere by Golf Digest and Golf Weekly, among others. Unlike most public courses, which back up to private homes or run along busy streets, this par-71, 6,529-yard course is truly secluded, surrounded only by ponds, waterfalls, woodlands, and fairways. Reasonable green fees are a bonus, with residents of Euless receiving a 15 percent discount with proof of residence.

Tierra Verde Golf Club
As the first municipal course in the world to be certified as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary, Tierra Verde offers breathtaking natural scenery to go along with its challenging holes. The par-72 6,085-yard layout boasts some of the most uniquely designed holes in DFW, and was named the top course in DFW in 2012 by Avid Golfer.

The Tribute Golf Club
The Colony
Not had the chance to play Hogan's Alley at Carnoustie, Nos. 1 and 18 from St. Andrews, or the fifth from Royal Troon? Then you can experience the next best thing here in Texas, without having to fly across the pond. This par-72, 7,000-yard course is brilliantly designed while replicating the best links-style courses from the United Kingdom.

Waterchase Golf Club
Fort Worth
Like its name implies, Waterchase does indeed boast a cascading waterfall, found between the ninth and eighteenth greens. From tree-lined doglegs to split fairways, the risk and reward opportunities are abundant for the six sets of tees on the par-72 course. The club even received a nomination to Golf Digest's best new courses and promises to be "a round you'll remember."