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Enclaves of the Rich and Ready for Retirement

By Margaret Collins - 2012-07-31T18:40:19Z

Photograph by Jeff Wickett/Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Getty Images

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Barton Hills, Michigan

Population: 279
Median home value: $906,300
Mean retirement income: $140,285

Barton Hills offers "the ambiance of privacy without isolation," according to the town's 2010 master plan. It's set among hills on the Huron River overlooking Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, and is accessible through three stone-pillar entrances known as the Lower Gate, Upper Gate and West Gate. The pastoral feel -- or as the plan puts it, "the winding private roadways devoid of curbs and sidewalks, minimal street lighting, the use of rural mail boxes, limited commercial establishments, and active agricultural areas" -- are part of a carefully plotted town program.