When it comes to your retirement, you want to be somewhere you can live out the rest of your days comfortably, both financially and socially. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have the life you desire after leaving the workforce. You deserve it! You’ve been working hard most of your life and adding to your retirement savings plan, so it only makes sense that when you reach retirement age, you would want to move somewhere that will support your desired lifestyle. For most, several vital considerations make the checklist: affordability, access to quality health care facilities, and recreational activities.
According to CBS News, the baby boomer generation is reaching prime retirement age, with about 10,000 people from that generation turning 65 every day. With the considerations above in mind, as well as surveys of retirees, it’s easy to pick out some of the prime retirement spots in the country. I’ve consulted several sources ranking the best places to retire and put together a list of my own. Here are my picks, in no particular order, of the top five places to retire in the United States. Keep in mind that this list takes into consideration the cost of living and access to hobbies and healthcare, but there may be other things that factor into your decision of where to retire, so use this as a reference but do your research as well.
1. Orlando, Florida
A lot of these lists I consulted list multiple Florida cities. We get it, Florida is a popular place to retire with its year-round warm weather and abundance of beaches, golf courses, and retirement communities. But this list would be pretty dull if all I did was list cities in Florida, so I’ve picked one that tends to pop up on multiple lists. Orlando is more than just the theme park capital of the world; it is also an all-around great place for retirees, according to WalletHub’s annual analysis. Orlando ranked first overall among all 150 cities evaluated and sixth for activities and seventh for affordability. One thing’s for sure- you won’t run out of things to do with your grandkids!
2. Athens, Georgia
Athens, home to the University of Georgia, is perfect for those seeking a slower, more relaxed way of life. With its bustling, Victorian-era downtown, the city teems with a distinctive Southern charm. According to Forbes’ ranking, Athens has a strong economy, with the cost of living to rank 1% below the national average. It also ranks exceptionally high on the Milken aging index, has good air quality, is walkable, and has a warm climate. The city has an average number of doctors per capita and no negatives.
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
The resort town of Colorado Springs is surprisingly affordable, with the cost of living at the national average and the median home price at $243,000. It is easily bikeable, with plenty of recreational activities to keep you busy in retirement. While there are plenty of parks and hiking trails nearby, the only downside is that the city itself is not very walkable.
4. Arlington, Virginia
Located just outside of Washington D.C., Arlington is a pricier place to live, so if affordability is your primary motivation, Arlington may not be the ideal retirement destination. However, it scores well for health care access, walkability, culture, and overall well-being. It is also located on D.C.’s metro line, so it’s just a short ride away from all of the activities the capital has to offer.
5. Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale consistently ranks high as a retirement destination, with the highest over-65 population percentage on Huffington Post’s list, and according to CBS News, the city scores well for the cost of living and good weather. It also provides a plethora of recreational activities such as golf courses and hiking trails. The downside is that while taxes are very affordable for retirees, housing is not-so-affordable with a median home price of $414,000.