After a long career, retirement is the reward that many of us look forward to with anticipation. The first thing some newly retired people do? Move to a new city and get a fresh start. But then the question becomes, where to go?
If you’re having trouble deciding where to retire, look no further. Learn why these five U.S. cities are among the most beloved places to retire.
Orlando is not only a popular travel destination for families – it can also be a great place to retire. In fact, the city was ranked the 2017 #1 best city in which to retire by WalletHub.
- Warm and sunny weather. If you love soaking up the sun, Orlando is for you. Many seniors love it here because of the never-ending warmth. It rarely gets cold here and when the temperature does drop, it’s bearable.
- Amusement parks are close by. With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and many more theme parks close by, there is always something to do. Even if theme parks are not for you, they give grandchildren an additional incentive to come and spend some quality time.
- An abundance of outdoor activities. Orlando features many trails to hike, lakes and rivers to explore, and more than 170 golf courses in which to play. So if you like to get out and enjoy nature, Orlando may be the perfect place for you to retire.
If you love the idea of desert living, Scottsdale could be a great city for you. Many seniors have chosen to enjoy their retirement in this arid climate where the air is warm and the sun shines bright. Nearly 28 percent of the city’s population is age 60 and older.
- Resort-style living for retirees. Because of its high senior population, Scottsdale is home to an abundance of age-friendly activities. Treat yourself at spas, play at the many golf courses, or enjoy a hike in the beautiful desert mountain scenery.
- Fewer taxes. When you’re living off of your savings or retirement income, you don’t want to spend it all on taxes. Arizona offers a relatively low property tax compared to other states and there is no tax on retirement benefits from Social Security.
- A senior-friendly environment. Scottsdale has a large senior population with many retirement communities and healthcare facilities. It boasts accessible buildings, numerous community events and a low crime rate.
If you love the snow and warm weather and can’t decide between the two, then Denver may be the ideal city for you. Split between sun and snow, seniors living here get the best of both worlds. Walk Score ranks it as the 16th most walkable large city in the U.S., and it's consistently ranked in the top two spots in the U.S. News Best Places to Live rankings.
- Beautiful nature all around. Denver offers an abundance of natural landscapes to visit and explore. Including the Rocky Mountains, there are a number of natural parks, rivers and lakes that are perfect for day trips.
- An active community. If you consider yourself an active senior, Denver is a town that will keep you moving. The city offers a wide variety of nearby outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and biking.
- A thriving food and arts scene. If you love to eat, you’re sure to enjoy Denver’s downtown restaurants. For those who enjoy art and architecture, the art galleries, museums and historic buildings are for you.
Houston is a big city with lots to offer. With weather that is warm or temperate most of the year (the January average is 62 degrees Fahrenheit), you can enjoy your affordable housing and avoid having to shovel snow.
Affordable living. Seniors love living in Houston because they get more for their money than they would in pricier areas.
- Housing costs are 22% below national average and the overall cost of living is 10% lower than the national average. Plus, there's no state income tax, and property tax exemptions for residents aged 65 and older.
- Museums galore. If you love spending your days learning in a museum, Houston is the perfect retirement city for you. It offers the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Natural Science, and the Houston Space Center, just to name a few.
- Diverse cuisine options. Houston’s population has changed dramatically in recent years, and it has become known as one of America’s most diverse cities. That means great food from different cultures. Seniors who retire here have a wide variety of cuisines from which to choose.
5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is known for being the home of the Golden Gate Bridge and its scenic hilly streets dotted with cable cars, but it has much more to offer for retirees. People aged 65 and older make up 13 percent of the city's population. What San Francisco lacks in affordability, it makes up for in a bustling culture and quality amenities that make for an excellent quality of life.
- San Francisco is close to many landmarks. Visit the historic Chinatown or the infamous Alcatraz Island. Or if you are a wine lover, nearby Napa County’s world-renowned wineries are just a short drive away. If you are the outdoorsy type, experience the local redwood forests or visit numerous nearby beaches and hiking trails.
- The city's rich culture can be felt all year long. The Bay Area has a diverse population with a wealth of cultural offerings and history to share. These demographics give the area a wide variety of experiences to explore, from festivals to an abundance of different cuisines.
- San Francisco weather is pleasant all year long. The Bay Area’s climate is as diverse as its people. It rarely gets overly hot or cold. You’ll have to leave the city proper to get hot days, but San Francisco rarely gets overly hot or cold. With its mild winters and pleasant summers, the Bay Area has a spring-like climate almost year-around.
Your New City Awaits YouIf you’re thinking about moving somewhere new for retirement, consider one of these cities that many retirees enjoy. Moving to a new city can be a great way to shake things up and make retirement your next grand adventure.
Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a medical alert company dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.