2024 Best Places to Retire
Whether you are interested in actually moving or just want to fanaticize the best places to retire, it’s fun to compare different locations. There are many factors to consider when you retire. As a retiree, you want to create a new retirement that is going to fulfill your needs and desires.
Retire in the Rockies and Midwest
While many people leave the snowy winters of the Midwest, here are four gems that are worthy of further examination for the best places to retire in the US.
Bloomington, Indiana is the home of Indiana University, which gives it a big-town feel in a small package. It has a stable economy with four distinct seasons. Situated in scenic hill country, Bloomington provides lots of cultural and recreational activities in a small town with a low cost of living.
The Rocky Mountains provide a draw for many retirees. Three Colorado towns are particularly inviting for retirement. Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, has been a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts for over a generation. Nestled in the foothills, the town provides an excellent quality of life with beautiful parks and greenbelts.
Colorado Springs is home to the Air Force Academy and in the shadow of Pikes Peak. This charming community is home to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Iron Springs Chateau Playhouse, and Colorado College.
Fort Collins is the final retirement-friendly Colorado town. Nestled on a gently sloping plane, Fort Collins has emerged as a center for education, commerce, and industry.
If you’re looking for the best places to retire in the USA that are different than the traditional sun communities, check out these exciting towns in the Rockies and Midwest.
- Where to Retire: Bloomington, Indiana
- Where to Retire: Boulder, Colorado
- Retire in Colorado Springs, CO
- Where to Retire: Fort Collins, Colorado
Best Places to Retire in the South
In recent years, the south, beyond Florida, has grown as the best place to retire in the USA
We have identified nine communities that are considered ideal places to retire. With five communities in North Carolina, there are locations to satisfy a wide range of interests. Asheville, North Carolina nestles next to the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers four mild seasons with diverse cultural and recreational activities. While Pinehurst Southern Pines sits on the Atlantic coast with mild winters and hot/humid summers, but is considered an ideal golf destination. Brevard and Hendersonville offer a small-town atmosphere while Chapel Hill is part of the intellectual and research center of the flat Piedmont of North Carolina.
Arkansas boasts two growing retirement communities; Fayetteville and Hot Springs. Fayetteville is a bustling and sophisticated community with a small-town feel. Hot Springs is nestled in the valleys of the rolling Ouachita Mountains.
The two final best places to retire in the USA are Charlottesville, Virginia, and Oxford, Mississippi. Charlottesville boasts historical charm as the home of founding father and president Thomas Jefferson. Oxford is the home of the University of Mississippi and revered American author, William Faulkner.
- Retire in Charlottesville, VA
- Where to Retire: Pinehurst Southern Pines, North Carolina
- Where to Retire: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Where to Retire: Asheville, North Carolina
- Where to Retire: Hendersonville, North Carolina
- Where to Retire: Brevard, North Carolina
- Where to Retire: Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Where to Retire: Hot Springs, Arkansas
- Where to Retire: Oxford, Mississippi
Best Places to Retire in the West
The West continues to be a great draw for the best places to retire in the USA. Here are eight communities that are considered ideal places to retire in the West.
Although more expensive, California offers advantages that many feel are worth the extra money. San Luis Obispo offers the small college town feel, but is close to the ocean and larger cities. Temperate year-round weather is a big plus. Chico is also a college town situated in the eastern Sacramento plain that kisses the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The Pacific Northwest is also a popular draw for retirement living. Bellingham, Washington is within a stone’s throw from the popular San Juan Islands. Four mild, but distinct seasons with a great quality of life appeal to many. Further south are the popular Oregon communities of Eugene and Portland. Portland, in particular appeals to retirees who are interested in a lively urban area that is pedestrian-friendly. Eugene sits on Oregon’s Willamette River, which offers excellent city parks in a relaxed, but active environment.
Texas has missed a few of the recession blues seen in other parts of the country. Austin and San Antonio continue to be hubs for many seeking a robust retirement in popular urban areas. Austin is the lively capital of Texas and boasts a huge music scene and the University of Texas. Down the road, downtown San Antonio offers the historic Alamo, as well as the popular Riverwalk, which is alive with great restaurants, entertainment, and shopping.
Finally, Santa Fe, New Mexico remains a popular retirement haven. Artists have been drawn to the historic and picturesque community for generations, which is situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Explore and discover the best places to retire in the USA in the West.
- Where to Retire: San Luis Obispo, California
- Where to Retire: Chico, California
- Where to Retire: Bellingham, Washington
- Where to Retire: Eugene, Oregon
- Where to Retire: Portland, Oregon
- Retire in Austin, TX
- Where to Retire: San Antonio, Texas
- Where to Retire: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Rating Retirement Places
There’s been a long-held notion that when people are planning to retire, they have an urge to pull up stakes and move to a sunny climate. However, this is not the case. When retired, 75% of people stay in their own homes and for those who move, 13% stay in the same county.
There are three primary reasons why retirees stay put. First of all, if family and friends have remained in the area, retirees want to stay close. A second reason is that many people simply can’t afford to move from their homes. Finally, for people who have lived in a community, retirement living is enhanced by strong ties and familiarity they don’t want to give up.
If you are one of the wanderlusts who are thinking about how to retire to a new location, there are a number of factors to consider. Many people will move to be closer to family and friends. For some, there is a wide-open sense of possibility that needs to be filled. There are a number of retirement living communities that are ready and willing to open their arms to these transplants. What are the factors you need to consider before making the move?
What is the size of the Population of a community? Do you want to live in a smaller community or are you interested in being in a large metro area?
What kind of atmosphere or Ambiance do you want to live around? Do you want a sense of history, lots of outdoor recreation areas, or cultural activities?
The Cost of Living is concerned with how far your dollar will go. Many people retire from high-cost living areas to lower-cost living areas so that their money will go further. Things to consider in the cost of living are taxes, cost of housing, health care, and transportation.
Climate is concerned with the weather which includes precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind, and the number of days of sunshine. Traditional retirement was viewed as moving from cold climates to warmer, sunnier climates. As people’s interests expand, they look at climate from different perspectives. Climate includes seasons, temperature, and humidity.
Personal Safety is concerned with the risk of being a victim of a crime. There are a number of factors that affect the crime rate including climate, the average age of the population, economic conditions, and the number of police. While the perception that older people are more vulnerable to crime is not actually true, it is a factor in deciding where to live.
Services can be affected by the population of the community. In almost all cases a smaller town will not have access to the variety and quality of services as a larger town. With that said, there are a number of communities that are specifically catering to the older person by focusing on providing adequate support services. Services you might find important are medical, public libraries, and continuing education options.
Economic conditions can have a profound effect on the appeal of a community. Research indicates that over 75% of current and new retirees are interested in both part and full-time work. Is the community growing and thriving or stable, or declining? What types of industries and jobs are available? Do they cater to the older worker?
What additional Personal factors do you want to take into consideration? This can include anything from support for a particular hobby or leisure activity to the proximity of family or friends. While visiting one city recently, I discovered I don’t want to live in a suburb. I want to live where there is a sense of community and physical center. I didn’t know that until I actually started visiting different locations around the country.