Where Are the Best Places to Retire?

Where are the best places to retire?

Choosing a spot to live out your life after retirement is no small task. Yes you want to live somewhere nice, but you want to spend your golden years in a location that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Also, while you are retired you aren’t dead yet. You need a spot that offers plenty of recreation and other perks while still saving you a little money in the process.

Here in the United States, there are plenty of retirement options that fit the bill. Here’s a breakdown of the top ten retirement locations that fit the above criteria.

Lake St. Louis, Missouri

In this planned community recreation is the name of the game. Built right alongside not one but two lakes (St. Louis and St. Louise), about 40% of the town’s population are over the age of 50 . . . a good indication of a solid retirement spot. With house prices ranging from about $60,000 for waterside condos to well over $1 million for the higher-end homes, the median home price is $200,000. State income tax is a friendly 6%. Lake St. Louis is a great spot for waterside recreation and keeping some money in your wallet.

Holland, Michigan

Not just for snowbirds, Holland Michigan is a town of 34,000, of which 40% is over the age of 50. While Holland is known as a big summer town (with a nearby lake for watersports and fishing) it is also active in the winter — case in point, the town features heated sidewalks and streets which melt snow and ice in the winter. The most attractive feature of Holland for retirees? Average cost of a large 3-bedroom home is just about $100,000.

Louisville, Kentucky

While the over-50 population is not out of this world (33% of a population of 240,000) this town is known for cheap real estate with median home prices in the low 100s. A series of recent updates have turned this once sleepy town into a green-friendly and biker-friendly mecca for outdoor enthusiasts with 100 miles of interconnected cycling and walking trails known as the Louisville Loop.

Bangor, Maine

Don’t sleep on this sleepy town of 32,000 people — Bangor is fast becoming an oasis for culture and the arts in a state not known for supporting them. Bangor boasts a symphony orchestra and lots of city-funded arts events. Bangor is also known for having four distinct seasons, meaning you can ski and take out your snowmobile in winter and hike, play golf, and even fish when the weather turns. Median house cost is just $165,000.

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

If you are looking to retire someplace quiet but still want big city amenities, Broken Arrow may be the town for you. Just 90,000 people live here (a quarter of them over 50) but the town is a fifteen minute drive to Tulsa and not too far from Oklahoma City and Dallas, TX. Golf is big in Broken Arrow — there are seven courses in town, meaning there’s a golf course for every 11,000 citizens or so. Broken Arrow is benefitting from a population boom after median home prices fell into the low 100s.

Traverse City, Michigan

Fully half of this town’s tiny population (14,300) are of retirement age. Sure, this is Michigan so there will be four distinct seasons. The winters in Traverse City are not hard, and access to beautiful Lake Michigan (this town is on the northwest shore) means a near constant opportunity for activity. The area’s hospital is one of the top 100 in the country, and the town’s proximity to the Interlochen School for the Arts means Traverse City is a hotbed for arts and culture.

Surprise, Arizona

Named after the hometown of one of the city’s founders, Surprise is made up of about 45,000 retirees and another 45,000 unfortunate working souls. With a huge aquatic center in town to help beat the Arizona heat and an active sports and outdoors community (including playing fields for two Major League Baseball spring training teams) Surprise is a great place to go for an active retirement. With beautiful 2-bedroom homes available for less than $100,000, Surprise AZ is just that.

Boulder City, Nevada

When you think Nevada, don’t think Las Vegas. Boulder City, located just a short drive from Sin City, is a gambling-free mecca for active retirees in the middle of a state full of wild activity. There’s no state income tax in Nevada, a boon for your budget, and the small population of this town is over half 50+. Hiking, mountain activities, golf, and music festivals are the name of the game in Boulder City.

Fredericksburg, Texas

This is country living at its finest. Nestled in the middle of the Texas Hill County, this small town of 11,000 is just about 50% of retirement age. You can easily drive to the bigger cities of Austin or San Antonio or stick around the Hill County to enjoy some of the finest weather in the world. What’s there to do in Fredericksburg? Sure, there’s gold and outdoor activities, but most of all there is cheap land, cheap real estate, and the income tax-free government of Texas to enjoy.

Miami, Florida

It wouldn’t be a list of retirement cities if Miami weren’t on it. The fact is — retirees have been flocking here for years for the warm weather and low cost of living. Sure, homes are rather expensive, with median 2-bedroom homes going for around $200,000 or more, but the state has no income tax and the sun feels so good. The local arts and culture is top notch, and falling home prices in the state mean you might be able to find a great deal on your new retirement.

This post is part of a series of posts focusing on the questions related to “where are the best places to…”. Other posts include: