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Best Places to Retire

March 14th, 2016 - 10:30 AM

Deciding where to retire

If you’re ready to find a new place to call home during retirement, you may be wondering which city to relocate to. When you look at “Best Places to Retire” lists, you’ll find locations on the beach, in the big city, or even retirement communities. But figuring out which one is best for you can be tough. We’ve gathered information on some of the best places to retire depending on your interests and priorities. Take a look at top places to retire based on popular preferences — take your pick!

best places to retire

Best Places to Retire for Golf

It may be cliché, but retirement really is the perfect time for hitting the green. You can play every day if you want, and if so you might want to move to a place where there are plenty of course options to choose from. Take a look at these five places with great golfing.

Sarasota, FL – This area is small enough not to have that big-city feel, and it has great weather, local beaches and tons of golf courses. That’s the retirement trifecta! There are 32 golf courses, both public and private, in the Sarasota area with 20 more in the surrounding cities. Courses vary in their ability and cost.

St. George, UT – With beautiful mountain views and mild winters, it’s no wonder they call St. George Utah’s golf capital. You can shoot birdies and eagles with beautiful canyon walls in the background!  For a different outdoor activity other than golf, you can hike at nearby Zion National Park. 

Bluffton, SC –  This Lowcountry town is much more affordable than nearby Hilton Head, but the golfing is just as good. There are over 15 area courses for all abilities. After a long day at the golf course, enjoy a Lowcountry seafood boil featuring local-caught crab.

Hot Springs Village, AR – Nestled in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Village showcases scenic views, peaceful lakes, miles of hiking trails, and world-class golfing. With a low cost of living, you’ll have plenty of extra funds for your golf habit. There are 9 courses in town and even more in the surrounding area. 

Tyler TX – In East Texas, you'll find the Rose Capital of America – Tyler is home to the country's largest rose garden. But that's not all! With almost 20 golf courses and a Jack Nicklaus golf academy, you’ll never be short of places to play.

Where to Retire for Low Taxes

You’ve worked hard for your money – so it makes sense to find locations with lower taxes to move to for retirement. These five states have various tax benefits that you may find important.

Alaska – Don’t be fooled by the ruggedness of The Last Frontier; parts of Alaska actually have pretty mild to moderate winters and are great locations for retirement. Though there’s plenty of wide-open spaces and outdoor activities in Alaska, the best part is that is the state has no income or sales tax.

Florida – It’s a pretty popular spot for retirees, as there are no taxes on social security or pension payments. The beaches and beautiful weather don’t hurt, either!

Mississippi – In this Gulf state, social security, retirement accounts, pensions and annuities are exempt from taxes. You’ll also love the beaches along the coast and the abundance of local seafood.

Nevada – In the Silver State, you can save your green. There are no individual income taxes here! And you have a wide range of activities available from casinos to lakes and beautiful canyons to enjoy.

Pennsylvania – Here you can appreciate the lower cost of living along with no taxes on social security and pensions. You’re also close enough for day trips to New York or New Jersey without taking on their higher living costs.

Best Places to Retire for Beaches​

Whether you dream of spending your day in the sun listening to the waves or you prefer more adventurous water sports, these beach locales are ideal for retirement.

Biloxi, MS – Biloxi is an interesting place. Not your typical quaint beach town, they have 24-hour casinos! Most of the locals live in the nearby neighborhoods (some of which do qualify as quaint), and they still enjoy the sugar-sand beaches and renowned seafood restaurants.

Laguna Vista, TX – Located near popular tourist town South Padre, this city is lovely but free of the “tourist” feel. Here you’ll experience warm winters, affordable housing, deep-sea fishing, and bird-watching galore.

Bethany Beach, DE – A northeastern beach town, you can join residents for biking, walking, and visiting the boardwalk. Local events include a huge 4th of July celebration, concerts, and a farmer’s market.

San Diego, CA – While San Diego may be more “big city” than the other places on this list, it’s a great place to retire. Between the boardwalk, beautiful beaches, interesting museums, and world-class zoo (great for grandkids!), you’ll never be bored here.

Places to Retire with Great Weather

If you’re ready to have more fair-weather days in your retirement, these states enjoy a great climate year-round.

Hawaii – You’re probably not surprised to see Hawaii as the top spot of this list. With temps in the 80s all year, the only blemish in their weather pattern is seasonal rain. But you need some time to rest and relax indoors at some point, right?

California – California is the perfect balance of not too hot while not too rainy. While the northern part of the state gets a little more moisture, with some snow in the winter in higher elevations, southern California is warm and sunny most of the year.

Delaware – For mild winters while still enjoying some snow, Delaware is the place to be. Summers here are mild, and rain is less than average at just 43 inches per year, so there are plenty of sunny days ahead.

North Carolina – The Tar Heel state gets lots of sunshine with mild temperatures. The coastal plain only gets about 1 inch of snow or ice each year, so if you want to escape frigid winters, it's a great place to retire.

Best Places to Retire for Healthcare

If you need frequent medical care or want to be near great medical centers just in case of unforeseen health emergencies, these cities have some of the best healthcare options in the country.

Rochester, MN – This is home to multiple hospitals, including one of the Mayo Clinics. Even if you don’t need treatment currently, you can take advantage of the wellness initiatives at Mayo, including fitness classes, massage, and healthy cooking classes.

Youngstown, OH – With several clinics and hospitals, residents of Youngstown enjoy the best ratio of primary care physicians to residents in the country. There are 73.9 physicians to every 100,000 residents.

Jackson, MS – With both private and university hospitals, Jackson and its surrounding neighborhoods have the best ratio of hospital beds per capita. There are 440 beds per 100,000 residents.

Houston, TX – With over 20 different medical centers in the Houston area, you’ll have access to a specialized doctor for virtually any condition. Houston is also home to MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of three comprehensive cancer centers in the country and one of the most recognized cancer hospitals in the world.

Best Retirement Communities

As more baby boomers retire, there are lots of niche communities popping up around the country. Depending on your interests, you can find a specific retirement community to fit your needs. Here are a few of the most unique ones that we found.

Burbank Senior Artists Colony in Burbank, CA – This was the first community dedicated to creative minds. It’s home to artists and performers who enjoy local amenities including a theater, art studios, classrooms and art galleries. You can also take courses such as computer classes or exercise classes to become even more well-rounded.

Fox Hills Community in Bethesda, MD – This lifestyle community feels more like a five-star resort with plenty of wellness offerings including a gym, spa, gourmet eateries, an herb garden, walking trails and on-site physical therapy.

Sun City West, AZ –  This self-contained and self-governed community has over 100 different clubs and activities to get involved in, varying from pickleball to billiards to wine making. There are several restaurants and a store in town, so you don’t have to go far for anything you need.

Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, CA – This community is located in Orange County, CA, and offers gated security, horseback riding, and clubs ranging from bridge to bird-watching to singing groups. Local recreation includes dancing, swimming, tennis, and golf. Or visit the nearby beaches for even more fun!

So which place sounds like the best place to retire?

Did any of these locations sound perfect for you? We’d love to hear your retirement plans – just leave us a comment below!