Most of us look forward to some serious rest and relaxation when we retire. But we also have plenty of questions when it comes to retirement. How much does it cost to retire? At what age should I plan to retire? Should I stay put or move during retirement? How much does it cost to retire? At what age should I plan to retire? Should I stay put or move during retirement? Although the AARP has found that many older Americans choose to stay where they are when they retire, they also discovered that around 30% of seniors decide to move in their Golden Years, due to changes in life circumstances or being sick of dealing with a home that’s become too large for them. If you’ve decided you’d like a change of scenery as you age, figuring out the best places to retire can be tough. That’s why we’ve gathered up the top cities for retirement in all 50 states to help you make the right choice for your needs and lifestyle.
The 50 Best Places to Retire in 2019We examined more than 500 cities in the USA to discover those that have the lowest cost of living and housing, the best tax options for retirees, and the healthiest residents to come up with the #1 city for retirement in each state. Whether you’re interested in staying put during retirement in your own hometown or you want to make a fresh start in a new senior-friendly community, our guide to the best places to retire will help you make the right choice for you.
How We Ranked the Best Retirement CitiesThese are the factors we considered when choosing the most senior-friendly places to live: Estimated Population: We mad use of the U.S. Census Bureau to find the approximate population of each city on our list. Median Home Price: To find the average cost of housing for each of the best cities for retirees, we ran them through Zillow’s Local Markets reporting tool. Standard Cost of Living: To find out how much food, utilities, and transportation typically costs residents in each city, we used Sperling’s BestPlaces cost of living calculator. Typical Cost of Healthcare: We also turned to BestPlaces to find the air quality, water quality, and overall healthcare costs of each of the retirement destinations on our list. Retirement Benefit Taxes: We used Kiplinger’s Guide to Retiree Taxes to find out which cities in the United States are the most tax-friendly for people over the age of 65.
1. Sun City, FloridaEstimated Population: 21,990 Median Home Price: $176,000 Standard Cost of Living: 3.1% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 4% below the U.S. average More than 3 million seniors call the Sunshine State home, which means it has the highest population of 65+ residents in the country. Older Americans have been flocking to Florida for decades, thanks to its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and tax-friendly status. Sun City Center is located in the Tampa Bay Area, which means residents have access to a top-notch airport and cruise ship terminal. There are also tons of museums, golf courses, and professional sporting events. If you choose Sun City Center as your retirement destination, you’ll also get quite a few financial benefits, thanks to a low cost of living and zero taxes on sales, as well as modest income tax rates.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Florida1. Sun City Center 2. Orlando 3. Tampa 4. Delray Beach 5. Punta Gorda 6. Fort Meyers 7. Summerfield 8. Leesburg 9. Boynton Beach 10. North Fort Meyers
2. Sioux Falls, South DakotaEstimated Population: 170,400 Median Home Price: $189,900 Standard Cost of Living: 4.9% below the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 7% below the U.S. average South Dakota is known for a rich Native American culture and awe-inspiring landscapes, but the Mount Rushmore State is more than just a pretty place to visit. It also offers awesome tax benefits, low housing and living costs, and excellent healthcare. You might not think of Sioux Falls when considering the best places to retire, but you should definitely put South Dakota’s largest city at the top of your list. You’ll find a diverse economy, one of the most tax-friendly places in the nation, and a friendly small town atmosphere. In fact, the only reason Sioux Falls is our second choice for American retirement destinations is due to the weather and wide-open spaces. You might not enjoy the steamy summers and freezing winters, especially when combined with the sense of isolation that some residents experience.
Top 4 Cities to Retire in South Dakota1. Sioux Falls 2. Rapid City 3. Watertown 4. Brookings
3. Englewood, ColoradoEstimated Population: 33,155 Median Home Price: $375,400 Standard Cost of Living: 36.1% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 2% below the U.S. average Colorado boasts friendly folks, breathtaking mountain views, and some of the best skiing in the world, thanks to it’s more than 50 inches of pristine snowfall each year. It also has one of the highest senior health rankings in the country. Englewood has a vibrant and good-looking downtown area that attracts many residents and small businesses, and you’ll also find tons of performing arts centers and museums – all with the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains in the background. While housing costs are on the high side in Englewood, there’s a low poverty rate and a high level of employment growth. There will always be plenty to do in Englewood, but the average commute time is around 25 minutes, so you should plan accordingly to avoid traffic jams.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Colorado1. Englewood 2. Boulder 3. Colorado Springs 4. Montrose 5. Wheat Ridge 6. Aurora 7. Denver 8. Broomfield 9. Pueblo 10. Grand Junction
4. Portsmouth, New HampshireEstimated Population: 21,645 Median Home Price: $445,800 Standard Cost of Living: 41.6% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 4% below the U.S. average New Hampshire is world-famous for the part it played in the founding of America, but the Granite State has more than just remarkable historic landmarks to offer retirees. It’s also one of the 10 most tax-friendly states in the nation. Even though Portsmouth has an average cost of living and housing that’s well above the rest of the country, this is the town we consider the best place to retire in New Hampshire, thanks to its quiet and peaceful neighborhoods. You’ll enjoy easy access to all the big-city amenities of nearby Boston, while still being able to be away from the hustle and bustle. Portsmouth residents enjoy being a part of a tight-knit community while still having plenty of arts and entertainment in their backyard.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in New Hampshire1. Portsmouth 2. Concord 3. Keene 4. Salem 5. Exeter 6. Rochester 7. Nashua 8. Dover 9. Manchester 10. Merrimack
5. McLean, VirginiaEstimated Population: 47,300 Median Home Price: $919,300 Standard Cost of Living: 138.6% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 6% below the U.S. average Virginia is known as the birthplace of our nation, due to being home to the first English settlement at Jamestown. And the Old Dominion State also helps retirees find freedom, thanks to lower than average taxes. McLean is nestled on the shores of the Potomac River and is a part of the Arlington metro area. While living costs and home prices are surprisingly high, it’s actually a cost-effective choice for seniors, thanks to a long list of tax deductions and reasonable healthcare costs. If you’ve always dreamed of living in a tranquil mountain retreat, McLean just might fit the bill, and that’s why it’s our vote for the best city to retire in Virginia.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Virginia1. McLean 2. Chantilly 3. Newport News 4. Norfolk 5. Danville 6. Roanoke 7. Salem 8. Winchester 9. Henrico 10. Richmond
6. Salt Lake City, UtahEstimated Population: 194,190 Median Home Price: $392,700 Standard Cost of Living: 26.8% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 4% above the U.S. average Known for awe-inspiring desert landscapes and for being the home base of the Mormon religion, Utah is a haven for those that enjoy living an active outdoor lifestyle. And the Beehive State is also a sweet spot for older Americans, thanks to the second-highest senior health rating in the country. Salt Lake City is a progressive yet traditional city, thanks to being the headquarters of the Mormon faith. There are also plenty of national parks, monuments, and forests nearby for outdoor recreation. But when it comes to financial matters, Salt Lake City falls prey to Utah’s unfriendly tax policies, including the taxing of Social Security benefits. Be sure that you have your retirement savings in order before considering making this location your home in your Golden Years.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Utah1. Salt Lake City 2. Sandy 3. Saint George 4. Orem 5. Brigham City 6. Ogden 7. Cedar City 8. Washington 9. West Valley City 10. Vernal
7. Des Moines, IowaEstimated Population: 214,780 Median Home Price: $141,900 Standard Cost of Living: 14.1% below the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 11% above the U.S. average You might not think of Iowa right away when considering the best places to retire, but the Hawkeye State has quite a bit to offer seniors, including below-average living costs and a charming down-home vibe in most of its cities. Des Moines is loved by its residents for an attractive downtown area and plenty of big-city amenities without the typical hustle and bustle. Many affectionately refer to it as a “gentle big city” in the heartland of America. You’ll be able to enjoy an assortment of parks, museums, zoos, and historic attractions. And of course, the famous Iowa State Fair, which has been a state tradition for more than 140 years.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Iowa1. Des Moines 2. Mason City 3. Clinton 4. Burlington 5. Cedar Rapids 6. Fort Dodge 7. Waterloo 8. Muscatine 9. Dubuque 10. Marshalltown
8. Sheridan, WyomingEstimated Population: 17,820 Median Home Price: $251,000 Standard Cost of Living: 5.3% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 33% above the U.S. average Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park and was the first state to give women the right to vote. You’ll also find that the Equality State has great financial health, due to low healthcare costs and zero state income tax. Sheridan is a small city with big views, affordable and attractive housing options, and excellent air quality. There is a strong sense of community amongst residents and plenty of sunny days in the summer to combat the heavy winter snowfalls. If you’re looking to retire to a tax-friendly state that offers a ton of natural beauty and a lot of peace and quiet, you should definitely consider Sheridan to be the best place to retire in Wyoming.
Top 5 Cities to Retire in Wyoming1. Sheridan 2. Cheyenne 3. Casper 4. Laramie 5. Rock Springs
9. Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaEstimated Population: 1,569,650 Median Home Price: $157,000 Standard Cost of Living: 10.8% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 16% above the U.S. average Pennsylvania is well-known for playing a key role in the founding of the United States and for being the home of Benjamin Franklin. But the Keystone State is also a good place for seniors to call home, thanks to being one of the most tax-friendly places in the nation. Philadelphia is the capital city and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. The “City of Brotherly Love” offers an attractive and entertaining downtown district, as well as easy-to-navigate streets and walkways. You’ll find a diverse culture, plenty of pleasant neighborhoods to choose from, and very reasonable housing prices, all of which is why we elect Philadelphia as the best city to retire in Pennsylvania.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Pennsylvania1. Philadelphia 2. King of Prussia 3. Malvern 4. Johnstown 5. Pittsburgh 6. Monroeville 7. Greensburg 8. Lancaster 9. Pottsville 10. Chambersburg
10. Hopkins, MinnesotaEstimated Population: 18,220 Median Home Price: $260,200 Standard Cost of Living: 13.1% above the U.S. average Typical Cost of Healthcare: 13% below the U.S. average Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, which makes the North Star State an easy choice for folks that enjoy spending time outdoors and around pristine natural waterways. Hopkins is in the Minneapolis metro area and it runs along the upper Mississippi River, about 20 miles west of the Wisconsin border. It’s well-known for its attractive neighborhoods and downtown district, as well as for allowing residents to enjoy a small-town charm without losing out on big-city amenities. Hopkins is close enough to the Twin Cities for seniors to be able to take part in a wide assortment of attractions, including the Mall of America, while still being able to feel as if they’re a part of a close-knit community.
Top 10 Cities to Retire in Minnesota1. Hopkins 2. Albert Lea 3. Alexandria 4. Rochester 5. Grand Rapids 6. Saint Paul 7. Saint Cloud 8. Duluth 9. Minneapolis 10. Austin
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