U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the 2021-2022 Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new list evaluates the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, health care and overall happiness.
Florida metro areas captured most of the top 10 spots this year. Despite decreases in health care, housing and happiness scores, Sarasota maintained the No. 1 spot due to increases in desirability, retiree tax and job market scores. Naples jumped two places to No. 2, while Daytona Beach landed at No. 3. Daytona Beach’s 12-spot jump is largely due to its good air quality and low crime rate – two factors that U.S. News used to calculate the rankings’ overall happiness scores for the first time this year.
Tucson was Arizona’s top-ranked city, ranking No. 116 out of the 150 cities rated. Phoenix ranked No. 140 out of the 150 places to retire in the United States
“After over a year of staying at home, many people are dreaming about a Florida beach retirement. Florida dominates this year’s ranking of the Best Places to Retire, taking eight of the top 10 spots on the list,” said Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement.
Pennsylvania metropolitan areas also had a strong showing at the top of the rankings. While Lancaster was the only Pennsylvania area to crack last year’s top 25, seven Pennsylvania areas placed this year – largely due to the accessibility of high-quality health care facilities. Among them, Lancaster held steady at No. 5, while Allentown catapulted 29 spots to take No. 11.
This year, U.S. News added crime rates and air quality as factors that make up its Happiness Index, as they help measure how content residents are with important aspects of their daily lives. Happiness is the most heavily weighted of the six factors in the 2021-2022 Best Places to Retire methodology, which also includes housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings. These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.
“Deciding where to live is an important retirement decision,” Brandon said. “When comparing potential places to retire, look for affordable housing, proximity to health care services and a strong economy, especially if you plan to work part-time.”
Best Places to Retire is part of U.S. News’ expanding Real Estate channel, which provides rankings, tools and advice to help individuals navigate the housing market, from getting a mortgage and home value estimate to working with an agent and buying and selling a home.
2021-2022 U.S. News Best Places to Retire – Top 10
*See the full rankings here.
1. Sarasota, FL
2. Naples, FL
3. Daytona Beach, FL
4. Melbourne, FL
5. Lancaster, PA
6. Tampa, FL
7. Fort Myers, FL
8. Port St. Lucie, FL
9. Ann Arbor, MI
10. Pensacola, FL