We spend the majority of our life working to support ourselves and our family. And while this may give us a great sense of purpose, getting to the part of life where we can just enjoy having every day to ourselves sounds like the best thing ever. Retirement is for sure qualifies as a life altering event. A great way to start this stage of life is by finding a great new place to live – especially for those folks who felt stuck in a place due to employment, now is the time for change! Or even if you are looking for a second home, this list will fit the bill.
Everybody has a different idea of how they want their retirement to look and picking the 10 best places in the US was not the easiest task. For the purpose of this article, we took several things into consideration before deciding the places to enjoy the golden years: climate, surrounding areas, living cost, average housing cost, recreational activity options, cultural diversity, and crime rates . We also tried to cover as many regions of the country as possible. From cities to suburbs and even paradise, we have covered them all!
And even if you aren’t even close to retiring, these cities might just fit the bill for someplace great to move.
Bellingham is a great destination for active retirees. The city is overwhelmingly scenic and caters to those who enjoy doing outdoor activities and a bonus the air is exceptionally clean. With Western Washington University, and three other community colleges, the city is a college town, extremely culturally active and filled with amenities associated with an educationally active town. It has a thriving, safe and interesting downtown. Winters are cold but certainly beautiful. This can be a plus if you enjoy skiing. Unfortunately, the city’s average house cost is $250,000+ and the cost of living is higher than nation’s average, but for those who can swing the lifestyle, keep Bellingham in consideration.
Con: Although, the rate of violent crimes in Bellingham is below the national average, the numbers are slightly higher for property crimes and houses are slightly towards the expensive end.
Statistically, Boise is below the nation’s average in both violent and property crimes. It is a pleasant experience for those that enjoy outdoor activity with a lot of outdoor activities to offer. The average cost of housing is slightly below the national average around $170,000 but the overall cost of living is slightly higher than the average. The weather is dry throughout the year and is temperate, so you don’t have to worry about extreme weather here. Being the state’s capitol, it also has all the required amenities and is pleasantly bustling.
Cons: Not as culturally blissful as large cities should be but recent attitude suggests that change is on the way.
Developed in 1925 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Venice, Florida’s purpose was to create a community for the retired and therefore all your needs are catered to. In fact, Florida in general has been notorious for being inhabited by retirees but Venice is one of the most cost effective cities in the state. It has an average living and housing costs just a little under the rest of the state, especially compared with the extremely high property values in Fort Lauderdale and Napa. There is a beautiful beach in the vicinity and 31 municipal parks. It is not far too far from bigger cities, quite peaceful, and warm throughout the year. Also, the crime rates are impressively low.
Con: Prone to hurricanes.
Although Georgia is predominantly a conservative state, the existence of The University of Georgia has helped by providing a substantial balance in cultural attitudes; plus it brings in all the life a place needs. The cost of living is below the national average and average houses are around $140,000. The weather is temperate. The crime rate is about the national average and has actually shown signs of improvement over the last few years.
Con: The downtown may seem overwhelming due to the heavy population of the city.
With distinct 11 geographical regions, outdoor activities will never disappoint the residents of the “sooner state”. Bartlesville is a small town about 45 minutes away from Tulsa and offers a comfortable, quiet, and affordable living for retirees. The cost of living is below average and the average house costs about $120,000 with some of the lowest property taxes in the country. The weather is also fairly on the higher side during the winter. There are also two community colleges in the town and the crime rates for both violent and property crimes are way below the national average. Oklahoma is rich with Native American culture in general; it houses more Native American tribes than any other state – about 50 tribes.
Con: Nearest city is about an hour away.
Ithaca, New York
hose looking to enjoy a vibrant cultural atmosphere will enjoy living in Ithaca; it is home to two large universities – Cornell University and Ithaca College. The town also features various gorges and waterfalls and plenty of natural walkable areas. This town is serves great example for an intellectually liberal community. The violent crime rates are extremely low and the property crime rates are also lower than the national average; an exceptional quality considering this is not a scenario for many college towns. The town features warm summers and cold winters, perfect for those looking for a change of season.
Con: The average house costs over $200,000 and the cost of living is on the higher end; however, this is still below the national average.
California is no stranger to liberal lifestyles and excess, and those who live there, swear by its greatness. In fact, picking the right town from California was difficult with San Diego, Napa, Berkley, Santa Barbara, and many more to choose from. One of the best features of southern California is the fantastic warm weather throughout the year. Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and the nearby San Gabriel Mountains also make outdoor recreational activities an option for Claremont residents. Claremont is just about 30 miles away from Los Angeles and home to 7 colleges; 5 undergraduate and 2 graduate colleges. The crime rate is significantly low on both violent and property crimes.
Con: If you are planning to move to this state after retirement, you better start saving up some solid cash. The average house in the state in general costs about $430,000 and is close to $580,000 in Claremont. The cost of living is also significantly higher.
Boulder is a town for retirees who want to pursue a healthy lifestyle after retirement; the town markets itself as one of the most “green” and “healthiest”. With over 50 parks, over 50 golf courses within a 30 mile radius, and nestled right under the Rocky Mountains, you will never run out of fun outdoor activities. Along with an amazing outdoor environment, the town is also home to the University of Colorado. The town has a humid continental climate (meaning all four seasons and a great opportunity for skiing in the winter) and is known to have up to 300 days of sunshine each year. The crime rates for both violent and property crimes are also below the national average.
Con: Unlike most places in Colorado, Boulder is on the more expensive end. The average house costs well over $400,000 and the cost of living is also significantly high. Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Durango make for good alternatives.
The Woodlands, Texas
Due to the rising of Texas economy over recent years, Texas has become one of the best states to retire in with many great options like Austin, Rio Grande Valley area, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and many more. The Woodlands in Texas are often considered one of the best places to retire in Texas. There are many master-planned communities in the town that cater very well to the needs of the retirees and the amenities of a big city, like Houston, are just 45 minutes away. The crime rates of this suburban area are low and so is the cost of living. However, due to the recent increase in inhabitants and the quality of life, the prices of houses are on the higher end; the average is about $280,000.
Con: Not very culturally diverse.
For most, living in Hawaii may not be a reasonable option, but those that can splurge should definitely take it up as an option. For the sake of mentioning the obvious, living in Hawaii is living in paradise. Kauai serves as a good medium when it comes to amenities, cost of living, and recreational opportunities among all the Hawaiian Islands. Golfing, hiking, beaches, water sports, etc. will keep you busy. The crime rates are also well below the national average.
Con: As mentioned before, living in Hawaii is not a budget friendly option; the cost of living is high and the average house costs over $425,000. Being away from the mainland might be a turnoff for some.