There is no one perfect city to retire to, but you can find a location with the qualities that matter most to you. Retirement Living found the 10 best cities to retire based on affordability, quality of life and healthcare. Researchers broke down metro area data by retirement-related costs, weather, crime rate and ease of finding adequate healthcare.
Common retirement goals are financial security, relaxation, safety and the ability to stay fit and socialize. Retirement Living considered the cost of living in each metropolitan area, including retirement taxes, real estate values, median income and other quality of life measures.
Researchers then gathered information about weather, crime rate, parkland availability and the percentage of the population representing retirees. Retirement-friendly areas include national forests and state and local parks, all offering opportunities to remain active and meet with friends.
1. Miami, FL
Miami offers low taxes and readily available, affordable senior living care. Residents love that Miami provides the best of big city living while also giving them beach access just a short drive away. Seniors heavily populate the Miami metropolitan area, so retirees don’t have to look far to find their peers. Combine the large retirement community with warm weather, and Miami is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities. Residents over the age of 65 enjoy free public transportation in Miami-Dade county.
2. Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville residents enjoy a plethora of golf courses and other leisure activities in northern Florida near the Georgia border. Compared to the top 50 metropolitan areas, Jacksonville has the largest amount of parkland by acre. Those living in Jacksonville enjoy a reasonable cost of living, higher average income and comfortable weather most of the year. Jacksonville is a safe place to live with many parks, although senior housing costs are slightly higher than surrounding communities.
3. El Paso, TX
El Paso senior care is affordable, and the city has an average number of available senior living facilities. El Paso has a high percentage of residents over age 65, so retirees can easily build a social network. If you can tolerate the temperature extremes, you’ll benefit from the low crime rate. El Paso could increase the capacity for medical services, but the cost of living is very reasonable and the taxes for the state of texas generally favorable, with no state income tax.
4. Atlanta, GA
Atlanta is an affordable option for retirees with a low cost of living, favorable tax rates. Residents can expect a relatively low cost for assisted living care when compared to the national average, although the number of senior living facilities could be higher. Atlanta weather is generally comfortable with only 32 days 90º and above and 36 days under 32º, and the crime rate is low.
5. Tulsa, OK
The Tulsa metropolitan area is retirement-friendly, with a low cost of living and affordable senior living care. It’s best to arrange for residency at your choice of senior living facility early, because the number of assisted living communities is less than comparable retirement destinations. The weather is very comfortable on average in Tulsa, and you will likely have no problem finding a hospital bed when needed. Oklahoma has some tax breaks for retired military personnel.
6. Oklahoma City, OK
The advantages of retiring in Oklahoma City include an affordable lifestyle, pleasant weather and senior living options at a very fair cost. The crime rate is manageable, and the number of available hospital beds is good. Finding other retirees to socialize with can be a challenge, but the Oklahoma City metro area offers many activities. Oklahoma City has a large amount of parkland with many gardens, pools, nature centers and parks available for public enjoyment.
7. Louisville, KY
Louisville offers many miles of parklands, a moderate crime rate and a low cost of living. The metropolitan area attracts seniors and has a very high percentage of residents over age 65. Louisville offers very defined seasons, but this means cold winters. Senior living options are affordable, and. Kentucky offers some retirement tax relief and low property taxes.
8. New Orleans, LA
There’s more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, with thriving arts and cultural events throughout the metropolitan area. Other reasons to retire in New Orleans are year-round warm weather, a moderate cost of living and affordable senior living care. The crime rate is tolerable and New Orleans offers many spacious parks and neighborhood parkways. Mississippi river cruises, historical tours and the easy-to-navigate French quarter are all New Orleans highlights for retirees.
9. San Antonio, TX
Consider retiring in San Antonio if you are a hot weather fan. You’ll also enjoy a low cost of living and a fair amount of parkland. San Antonio provides a number of moderately-priced retirement communities. The crime rate is average, and residents benefit from ample health care facilities and dentists. Over 200 parks, 80 walking trails and multiple public gardens make San Antonio ideal for retirees.
10. Mesa, AZ
Year-round retirees, as well as snowbirds, favor Arizona. The Mesa metropolitan area offers a high percentage of retirees and parkland, senior living care with average fees and low living costs. Mesa’s crime rate declined in recent years, and the area is safer than before. You should have no problems finding adequate health care, but if extreme heat bothers you, consider retiring elsewhere.