Best Cities to Retire in 2021

November 16, 2020

There is no one perfect city to retire to, but you can find a location with the qualities that matter most to you. We found the 10 best cities for retirement based on affordability, quality of life and health care. We broke down metro area data by retirement-related costs, weather, crime rate and ease of finding adequate health care.

Common retirement goals are financial security, relaxation, safety and the ability to stay fit and socialize. We considered the cost of living in each metropolitan area, including retirement taxes, real estate values, median income and other quality of life measures.

We then gathered information about weather, crime rate, parkland availability and the percentage of the population representing retirees. Retirement-friendly areas include national forests and state and local parks, all offering opportunities to remain active and meet with friends.

Best Cities for Retirement 2021

Source: Retirement Living

1. Miami, FL

Best Cities for Retirement | Miami, FL

Miami offers low taxes and readily available, affordable senior living care. Residents love that Miami provides the best of big city living while also giving them beach access just a short drive away. Seniors heavily populate the Miami metropolitan area, so retirees don’t have to look far to find their peers. Combine the large retirement community with warm weather, and Miami is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities. Residents over the age of 65 enjoy free public transportation in Miami-Dade county.

Affordability
Cost of Living $56,858
Median Household Income $36,638
Cost of Assisted Living $3,000
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 1,500
Population Over 65 16.7%
Weather Moderation 56 days over 90º
Crime Rate 720.94
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 215
Number of Hospital Beds 56,245
Physicians Per 100,000 359
Dentists Per 100,000 51.88
Assisted Living Communities in FL 2,400

2. Jacksonville, FL

Best Cities for Retirement | Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville residents enjoy a plethora of golf courses and other leisure activities in northern Florida near the Georgia border. Compared to the top 50 metropolitan areas, Jacksonville has the largest amount of parkland by acre. Those living in Jacksonville enjoy a reasonable cost of living, higher average income and comfortable weather most of the year. Jacksonville is a safe place to live with many parks, although senior housing costs are slightly higher than surrounding communities.

Affordability
Cost of Living $42,522
Median Household Income $52,576
Cost of Assisted Living $3,625
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 64,603
Population Over 65 13.1%
Weather Moderation 58 Days +90º / 16 Days -32º
Crime Rate 631.32
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 215
Number of Hospital Beds 56,245
Physicians Per 100,000 359
Dentists Per 100,000 51.88
Assisted Living Communities in FL 2,400

3. El Paso, TX

Best Cities for Retirement | El Paso, TX

El Paso senior care is affordable, and the city has an average number of available senior living facilities. El Paso has a high percentage of residents over age 65, so retirees can easily build a social network. If you can tolerate the temperature extremes, you’ll benefit from the low crime rate. El Paso could increase the capacity for medical services, but the cost of living is very reasonable and the taxes for the state of texas generally favorable, with no state income tax.

Affordability
Cost of Living $40,389
Median Household Income $45,656
Cost of Assisted Living $2,250
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 29,872
Population Over 65 12.5%%
Weather Moderation 101 Days +90º / 44 Days -32º
Crime Rate 378.85
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 361
Number of Hospital Beds 58,370
Physicians Per 100,000 280
Dentists Per 100,000 53.81
Assisted Living Communities in TX 1,300

4. Atlanta, GA

Best Cities for Retirement | Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is an affordable option for retirees with a low cost of living, favorable tax rates. Residents can expect a relatively low cost for assisted living care when compared to the national average, although the number of senior living facilities could be higher. Atlanta weather is generally comfortable with only 32 days 90º and above and 36 days under 32º, and the crime rate is low.

Affordability
Cost of Living $50,342
Median Household Income $55,279
Cost of Assisted Living $3,390
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 4,991
Population Over 65 11.4%
Weather Moderation 32 Days +90º / 36 Days -32º
Crime Rate 935.72
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 112
Number of Hospital Beds 22,521
Physicians Per 100,000 349
Dentists Per 100,000 46.83
Assisted Living Communities in GA 900

5. Tulsa, OK

Best Cities for Retirement | Tulsa, OK

The Tulsa metropolitan area is retirement-friendly, with a low cost of living and affordable senior living care. It’s best to arrange for residency at your choice of senior living facility early, because the number of assisted living communities is less than comparable retirement destinations. The weather is very comfortable on average in Tulsa, and you will likely have no problem finding a hospital bed when needed. Oklahoma has some tax breaks for retired military personnel.

Affordability
Cost of Living $38,849
Median Household Income $46,113
Cost of Assisted Living $3,100
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 8,401
Population Over 65 14.8%
Weather Moderation 67 Days +90º / 70 Days -32º
Crime Rate 1040.83
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 90
Number of Hospital Beds 10,287
Physicians Per 100,000 335
Dentists Per 100,000 49.56
Assisted Living Communities in OK 200

6. Oklahoma City, OK

Best Cities for Retirement | Oklahoma City, OK

The advantages of retiring in Oklahoma City include an affordable lifestyle, pleasant weather and senior living options at a very fair cost. The crime rate is manageable, and the number of available hospital beds is good. Finding other retirees to socialize with can be a challenge, but the Oklahoma City metro area offers many activities. Oklahoma City has a large amount of parkland with many gardens, pools, nature centers and parks available for public enjoyment.

Affordability
Cost of Living $39,441
Median Household Income $54,034
Cost of Assisted Living $3,129
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 26004
Population Over 65 12.1%
Weather Moderation 68 Days +90º / 61 Days -32º
Crime Rate 787.34
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 90
Number of Hospital Beds 10,287
Physicians Per 100,000 335
Dentists Per 100,000 49.56
Assisted Living Communities in OK 200

7. Louisville, KY

Best Cities for Retirement | Louisville, KY

Louisville offers many miles of parklands, a moderate crime rate and a low cost of living. The metropolitan area attracts seniors and has a very high percentage of residents over age 65. Louisville offers very defined seasons, but this means cold winters. Senior living options are affordable, and. Kentucky offers some retirement tax relief and low property taxes.

Affordability
Cost of Living $44,181
Median Household Income $51,307
Cost of Assisted Living $3,498
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 17,608
Population Over 65 14.5%
Weather Moderation 33 Days +90º / 73 Days -32º
Crime Rate 647.03
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 74
Number of Hospital Beds 13,634
Physicians Per 100,000 361
Dentists Per 100,000 57.03
Assisted Living Communities in KY 200

8. New Orleans, LA

Best Cities for Retirement | New Orleans, LA

There’s more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, with thriving arts and cultural events throughout the metropolitan area. Other reasons to retire in New Orleans are year-round warm weather, a moderate cost of living and affordable senior living care. The crime rate is tolerable and New Orleans offers many spacious parks and neighborhood parkways. Mississippi river cruises, historical tours and the easy-to-navigate French quarter are all New Orleans highlights for retirees.

Affordability
Cost of Living $52,060
Median Household Income $39,576
Cost of Assisted Living $3,610
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 27,689
Population Over 65 13.5%
Weather Moderation 56 Days +90º / 6 Days -32º
Crime Rate 1121.41
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 108
Number of Hospital Beds 15,061
Physicians Per 100,000 361
Dentists Per 100,000 48.72
Assisted Living Communities in LA 100

9. San Antonio, TX

Best Cities for Retirement | San Antonio, TX

Consider retiring in San Antonio if you are a hot weather fan. You’ll also enjoy a low cost of living and a fair amount of parkland. San Antonio provides a number of moderately-priced retirement communities. The crime rate is average, and residents benefit from ample health care facilities and dentists. Over 200 parks, 80 walking trails and multiple public gardens make San Antonio ideal for retirees.

Affordability
Cost of Living $42,404
Median Household Income $50,980
Cost of Assisted Living $3,925
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 29,692
Population Over 65 11.8%
Weather Moderation 85 Days +90º / 16 Days -32º
Crime Rate 707.50
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 361
Number of Hospital Beds 58,370
Physicians Per 100,000 280
Dentists Per 100,000 53.81
Assisted Living Communities in TX 1,300

10. Mesa, AZ

Best Cities for Retirement | Mesa, AZ

Year-round retirees, as well as snowbirds, favor Arizona. The Mesa metropolitan area offers a high percentage of retirees and parkland, senior living care with average fees and low living costs. Mesa’s crime rate declined in recent years, and the area is safer than before. You should have no problems finding adequate health care, but if extreme heat bothers you, consider retiring elsewhere.

Affordability
Cost of Living $46,254
Median Household Income $54,700
Cost of Assisted Living $3,500
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 2,480
Population Over 65 16.1%
Weather Moderation 167 Days +90º / 5 Days -32º
Crime Rate 415.83
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 73
Number of Hospital Beds 13,415
Physicians Per 100,000 366
Dentists Per 100,000 55.12
Assisted Living Communities in AZ 1,400

*Honorable Mention: Los Angeles, CA

Best Cities for Retirement | Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles has gorgeous weather, plenty of hospitals and dentists and an average number of doctors. You won’t have a problem finding senior living options in Los Angeles, although the associated cost is somewhat expensive. The LA metro area has a low affordability rating, with high taxes and cost of living but a good number of hospitals and parklands.

Affordability
Cost of Living $76,527
Median Household Income $64,251
Cost of Assisted Living $4,500
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 37,405
Population Over 65 12.1%
Weather Moderation 11 Days +90º
Crime Rate 761.31
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 344
Number of Hospital Beds 74,724
Physicians Per 100,000 380
Dentists Per 100,000 77.88
Assisted Living Communities in CA 5,900

*Honorable Mention: Las Vegas, NV

Best Cities for Retirement | Las Vegas, NV

The first thing you think of when you hear Las Vegas probably isn’t retirement, but the area’s living expenses are extremely affordable. Low taxes, reasonably priced senior living options and a lower crime rate are other draws for retirees. Las Vegas is a great option for those who love hot weather, but finding health care and retirement housing is challenging.

Affordability
Cost of Living $49,749
Median Household Income $54,694
Cost of Assisted Living $3,168
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 16,700
Population Over 65 14.5%
Weather Moderation 146 Days +90º / 8 Days -32º
Crime Rate 618.90
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 31
Number of Hospital Beds 5,726
Physicians Per 100,000 301
Dentists Per 100,000 55.26
Assisted Living Communities in CA 200

*Honorable Mention: San Francisco, CA

Best Cities for Retirement | San Francisco, CA

Health care options in San Francisco are excellent, with many hospitals and senior care facilities per capita. There are many dentists and a reliable number of physicians. The weather is warm but mild, and the crime rate is moderate. The high average income in the metro area offsets the relatively high cost of living and high costs of senior care in San Francisco.

Affordability
Cost of Living $107,392
Median Household Income $104,552
Cost of Assisted Living $5,500
Quality of Life
Parkland by Acre 5,888
Population Over 65 16.1%
Weather Moderation 1 Day +90º
Crime Rate 715.00
Healthcare
Hospitals Per State 344
Number of Hospital Beds 74,724
Physicians Per 100,000 380
Dentists Per 100,000 77.88
Assisted Living Communities in CA 5,900

The Best Cities for Retirement

Methodology

On mobile devices, the numbers 1-3 correspond with the categories listed below. (*) Indicates state level data was used.

To help readers find the best cities for retirement, we took the top 50 cities and ranked them based on three topics: affordability, quality of life, and health care.

We evaluated 14 data sources and standardized and weighted the data to rank each city based on the metrics. Many of the data sources were available on a city level, but a few were only available on the state level — those will be marked with an asterisk. Below we listed each data point and the corresponding weight.

1. Affordability

2. Quality of Life

3. Healthcare



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