In retirement, many older adults opt to purchase homes in multiple locations. “Sunbirds” purchase homes to get away from the harsh summer in their state and “snowbirds” purchase homes to get away from intense winter weather. Arizona is home to many “snowbirds” who are retiring in Arizona.

Older adults must consider several factors to ensure they are ready for retirement. Being in control of retirement savings, budgeting and planning are essential tools to fully understand the efforts to make a realistic retirement decision.

READ ALSO: Top 10 best cities for early retirement include 4 from Arizona

Selecting an area to settle down in is one of the main elements to bringing your dreams of retirement to reality. In a 2022 study conducted by SmartAsset, the results determined the best locations for early retirement, comparing the 100 largest cities in the U.S. based on affordability, care for older adults, tax friendliness and livability. These calculations are based on each of the cities’ tax rates, real estate value, climate, crime rates, statistics and culture.

Rich La Rue, designated broker at HomeSmart.

Based on the analyzed results, Arizona is one of the premier destinations in the U.S. to retire with Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale and Mesa being in the final 10 out of the 100 cities. The study by SmartAsset also reported that the state does not tax capital gains, and according to the Arizona Department of Revenue, Arizona tax rates range between 2.59% and 4.5%– making it easy for retirees to invest in the state.

If you are considering purchasing a “snowbird” home and retiring in Arizona, I suggest:

Researching the city you are moving to and make sure that it is a place you want to live

If you are looking for acreage, consider moving to one of the quant cities like Gilbert or Queen Creek, to find slightly cheaper land. If you want to have access to a lot of dining and nightlife, consider moving to Scottsdale or Phoenix, where homes are close to many fun hotspots.

Making sure you purchase a home that is within your budget

If you are retiring in Arizona and on a fixed income, it’s important to keep budget in mind—especially if this is a second home. Get an estimate for how much you can afford to pay your mortgage each month, to ensure you are not getting in over your head with this new property.

Deciding if you want to live in a retirement community or not

Arizona is home to tons of different retirement communities that are geared to people who are 55 and older. If you are interested in connecting with neighbors and having access to social events, this might be an option for you.

With the skyrocketing number of people making the move to Arizona, the housing market continues to change rapidly, so work with a trusted real estate agent to make sure you are investing your retirement in a way that is best suited for you.


Rich La Rue is the Designated Broker for HomeSmart Phoenix, the flagship brokerage operation in the HomeSmart system. La Rue has more than 38 years of experience in real estate sales and management from real estate offices to regional and national operations. La Rue began his career in real estate in 1983 in Phoenix, Arizona as a sales associate. In 1986 he earned his Arizona Real Estate Broker’s License. He also holds a California Real Estate Broker’s license, GRI, CRS, and CRB designations as well as the e-PRO and the SFR certifications. For more information, visit