25 Best Places To Retire in the USA

Retirement is a new phase of life, and, for many, a chance to consider new surroundings. Here is our new list of 25 top U.S. cities for retirement. Data we sifted included housing and living costs, taxes, weather and air quality, crime rates, doctor availability, and active-lifestyle rankings for walkability, bicycling and volunteering. We also looked at economic data with an eye toward a “working” retirement. A fuller explanation of these factors can be found here. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Abilene, TX

Trivia: Founded as a railroad shipping town for cattle. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abilene,_Texas

Pros: Robust economy, warm climate, cost of living 13% below national average, average home price $139,000 (national average: $207,000). 

Cons: Not very walkable.

2. Auburn, AL

Trivia: Home of Auburn University. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auburn,_Alabama

Pros: College town,  good economy, toasty climate, cost of living 11% below national average, average home price $165,000, low crime. 

Cons: Few doctors per capita.

3. Austin, TX

Trivia: State capital, home of University of Texas. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin,_Texas

Pros: Terrific economy, warm weather, cost of living at about national average, low crime, high grades for bicycling and volunteering. 

Cons: Average home price, $225,000, above national average.

4. Bellingham, WA

Trivia: Scenic coastal home of Western Washington University, car ferry to Alaska. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellingham,_Washington

Pros: College town, good economy, average home price $266,000, above-average air quality, low crime, highly walkable. 

Cons: Cost of living 9% above national average,  poor state tax climate.

5. Blacksburg, VA

Trivia: Named two centuries ago for town’s founder. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacksburg,_Virginia

Pros: College town (Virginia Tech), strong economy, cost of living 7% below national average, average home price $210,000, mild climate, low crime. 

Cons: None.

6. Bluffton, SC

Trivia: Sits on a river bluff near the Atlantic Ocean. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluffton,_South_Carolina

Pros: Scenic waters, warm climate, good state tax environment, average home price $197,000, low crime, highly walkable. 

Cons: Cost of living 8% above national average.

7. Boise, ID

Trivia: State capital. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boise,_Idaho

Pros: Dry climate, good economy, cost of living about at national average, average home price $168,000, low crime, high rankings for walkability, bicycling and volunteering. 

Cons: Cost of living 4% above national average.

8. Bowling Green, KY

Trivia: All Chevolet Corvettes are built here. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_Green,_Kentucky

Pros: College town (Western Kentucky University), decent economy, cost of living 6% below national average, average home price $138,000, warm climate, low crime rate. 

Cons: Low walkability rank.

9. Brevard, NC

Trivia: County seat of Transylvania County. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brevard,_North_Carolina

Pros: scenic town amid waterfalls,  moderate climate, cost of living 3% below national average, typical home price $195,000, low crime, high walkability rating. 

Cons: none.

10. Cape Coral, FL

Trivia: Only a half-century old. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Coral,_Florida

Pros: Gulf of Mexico frontage, warm climate, above average air quality, cost of living at national average, median home price $165,000, low crime, high marks for volunteering.. 

Cons: So-so economy, low walkability rating.

11. Charleston, SC

Trivia: Civil War started here. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston,_South_Carolina

Pros: Water frontage, warm climate,  robust economy, good state tax environment, cost of living about national average, typical home price $$228,000, low crime, high bicycling grade. 

Cons:  Low marks for volunteering.

12. Clemson, SC

Trivia: Home of Clemson University. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clemson,_South_Carolina

Pros: college town, warm climate, above-average air quality, cost of living about national average, typical home price $135,000, good state tax climate, low crime, high walkability rank. 

Cons: None.

13. Fargo, ND

Trivia: Named for co-founder of Wells Fargo. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo,_North_Dakota

Pros: Gangbusters economy, cost of living 8% below national average, typical home price $165,000, abundant doctors per capita, above average air quality, high marks for bicycling and volunteering.  

Cons: Cold winters.

14. Fredericksburg, TX

Trivia: Named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredericksburg,_Texas

Pros: Warm climate, above average air quality, cost of living 5% below national average, median home price $138,000, low crime, high walkability rank. 

Cons: None.

15. Las Cruces, NM

Trivia: 45 miles from Mexican border. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Cruces,_New_Mexico

Pros: College town (New Mexico State University), good economy, cost of living 8% below national average, median home price $176,000, good state tax environment, warm, dry climate. 

Cons: Low doctors per capita, low walkability rank.

16. Morgantown, WV

Trivia: Home of unique people-mover transit system. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgantown,_West_Virginia

Pros: College town (West Virginia University), good economy. cost of living 8% below national average, typical home price $185,000, good state tax environment, abundant doctors, good walkability rank. 

Cons: Cold winters, below-average air quality.

17. Ogden, UT

Trivia:  Major railroad hub. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogden,_Utah

Pros: Good economy, cost of living 12% below national average, median home price $124,000, good state tax climate, low crime, high volunteering rank. 

Cons: Low doctors per capita.

18. Oklahoma City, OK

Trivia:  Site of world’s first parking meter. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City

Pros:  Good economy, cost of living 7% below national average, typical home price $161,000, good state tax climate, high volunteering rank.  

Cons: high crime rate, sometimes violent weather.

19. Pittsburgh, PA

Trivia: Named for a British leader. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh

Pros: Solid economy, average cost of living, typical home price $130,000, large number of doctors per capita, high ranks for volunteering, bicycling and walkability. 

Cons: High crime rate, cold winters.

20. Port Saint Lucie, FL

Trivia: Begun as a real estate development. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_St._Lucie,_Florida

Pros: Warm coastal climate, above average air quality, cost of living 5% below national average, typical home price $140,000, low crime rate. 

Cons: So-so economy.

21. Salt Lake City, UT

Trivia: originally named Great Salt Lake City. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_Lake_City

Pros: Moderate climate, above average air quality, terrific economy, cost of living 5% below national average, typical home price $226,000, abundant doctors per capita, high grades for bicycling, volunteering and walkability. 

Cons: High crime rate.

22. San Angelo, TX

Trivia: Near the geographic center of Texas. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Angelo,_Texas

Pros: Warm climate, booming economy, cost of living 9% below national average, median home price $175,000. 

Cons: Low walkability rating

23. State College, PA

Trivia: home of Penn State. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_College,_Pennsylvania

Pros: College town, good economy, average home price $259,000, low crime, high walkability rank. 

Cons: Cost of living 5% above national average.

24. Tucson, AZ

Trivia: nicknamed “The Old Pueblo”. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucson,_Arizona

Pros: Warm climate, above-average air quality, cost of living 4% below national average, typical home price $172,000, abundant doctors per capita, high rank for bicycling and volunteering. 

Cons: High crime rate, so-so economy.

25. Venice, FL

Trivia: Known as “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”. Read more – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice,_Florida

Pros: Warm Gulf Coast climate, above average air quality, cost of living at national average, median home price $196,000, low crime. 

Cons: Low walkability rating.

Forbes.com

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