Port city at dusk with some boats on calm water with downtown in the background.

Best Cities for Retirement in 2021

Are you relocating for retirement? These 11 U.S. cities, big and small, offer ideal year-round weather, affordable costs of living, and excellent amenities. Whether you’re preparing for retirement or ready for the big move, check out these top places to retire in 2021!

  • Asheville, NC
  • Augusta, GA
  • Boise, ID
  • Dallas, TX
  • Lancaster, PA
  • Mesa, AZ
  • Port St Lucie, FL
  • Richmond, VA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Sioux Falls, SD

Asheville, NC

Aerial view of Asheville, NC. Photo by Instagram user @joey.herzberg.360.
Photo via @joey.herzberg.360
  • Population: 87,531
  • Home Price: $212,000 median purchase price; $910 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 2% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 3% of U.S. cities

Retiring soon? Consider relocating to Asheville, one of the friendliest U.S. cities and one of the best places to live in the South! With affordable housing and tax exemptions for Social Security retirement benefits, this North Carolina city has a lot to offer retirees. In addition to veteran services and long-term care, there are many hospitals in the area, including Mission Hospital, which has been recognized as one of the best hospitals in North Carolina. Asheville is also nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, giving residents stunning mountain views and outdoor activities, including road tripping along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Augusta, GA

Brick cathedral in Augusta on a sunny day. Photo by Instagram user @hyatthousedowntownaugusta.
Photo via @hyatthousedowntownaugusta
  • Population: 196,784
  • Home Price: $100,500 median purchase price; $794 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 13% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities

Retirees should check out Augusta for an affordable place to retire in the South! This Georgia city has a low cost of living, budget-friendly housing, and no taxes on Social Security benefits! The weather in Augusta is ideal with warm summers and mild winters, making it a perfect year-round destination. Retirees also have access to state-of-the-art healthcare at Augusta University Health. If you’re looking for things to do in Augusta, The Garden City is home to the Masters Golf Tournament and the Augusta Canal, which provides miles of trails for hikers and cyclists to utilize.

Boise, ID

View of Boise, with mountains and Downtown in the background and trees changing color. Photo by Instagram user @visitboise.
Photo via @visitboise
  • Population: 218,677
  • Home Price: $191,000 median purchase price; $834 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: Equal to the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 42% of U.S. cities

Boise is an incredible place to retire! Not only is it one of the best places to live in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. With crime rates 25% lower than the national average, Idaho’s capital city is a safe place to settle down. Plus, retirees can take advantage of benefits like lower medical costs and no state taxation on Social Security. If you love the outdoors, you’ll enjoy living in Boise, too! Head out on the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile trail perfect for walking, running, and cycling or visit Boise National Forest for weekend camping, hiking, and more!

Dallas, TX

Drone photo of Downtown Dallas. Photo by Instagram user @exploredinary.
Photo via @exploredinary
  • Population: 1,278,433
  • Home Price: $142,600 median purchase price; $888 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 1% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 5% of U.S. cities

Enjoy retirement in Dallas! The largest city in Texas is one of the best places to live in the U.S. and provides residents with affordable, big-city living. There’s no state income tax, which means that Social Security, pensions, and IRAs aren’t taxed at a state level. On top of that, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro offers nationally ranked hospitals and amazing year-round warm weather. You’ll also find plenty of things to do in Dallas! You can support professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) and Texas Rangers (MLB), explore nearly 400 parks, or check out the State Fair of Texas!

Lancaster, PA

View of Downtown Lancaster, PA from the Exchange. Photo by Instagram user @mikeyrob.pics
Photo via @mikeyrob.pics
  • Population: 59,341
  • Home Price: $109,300 median purchase price; $806 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 14% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 20% of U.S. cities

Want to retire in a city with charming views and tons of affordability? Consider moving to Lancaster! This Pennsylvania city ranks as one of the best U.S. cities for retirement because it has one of the lowest sales taxes in the country and no state taxes on retirement benefits including 401(k)s and IRAs. Retirees are also able to find great healthcare options through Lancaster General Health. In addition, Lancaster has tons of historic and cultural experiences to discover at attractions like the Lancaster History Museum and the Amish countryside.

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Mesa, AZ

Sunset photo of Mesa, NM. Photo by Instagram user @imartinezphoto.
Photo via @imartinezphoto

 

  • Population: 470,456
  • Home Price: $168,500 median purchase price; $907 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 5% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 31% of U.S. cities

If you want to retire to a place where the sun shines all year long, don’t pass on Mesa! You can enjoy your retirement in resort-style, 55+ communities nestled throughout this Phoenix suburb and stay active with all the opportunities for outdoor recreation. Avid golfers will love perfecting their game at one of the 25 golf courses throughout the area, and if you’re a baseball fan, you’ll be able to catch some Major League Baseball Spring Training. Beyond all that, living in Mesa is affordable—not only is Mesa’s cost of living below the national average, but it’s 4% lower than the Arizona average, too! And retirees can feel comfortable knowing that the award-winning Banner Desert Medical Center is available for healthcare needs.

Port St Lucie, FL

Aerial photo of Port St Lucie. Photo by Instagram user @aerialartfl1.
Photo via @aerialartfl1
  • Population: 175,652
  • Home Price: $149,400 median purchase price; $1,170 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 2% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 69% of U.S. cities

Port St Lucie is a laid-back city in Florida that’s perfect for those wanting to relax in retirement. Located about halfway between Miami and Orlando, Port St Lucie offers retirees affordable housing and no taxes on Social Security, pension, IRA, or 401(k) incomes. On top of that, there’s fantastic year-round weather that stays between 50 and 90 degrees, making Port St Lucie one of the best places to retire in Florida! PSL also offers great healthcare at St Lucie Medical Center, as well as home services from Interim Healthcare. Sitting on the St Lucie River, PSL is a haven for those who love boating and fishing, but there are lots of other activities, too. You can get a day pass to all-inclusive resort Club Med Sandpiper Bay, play 54 holes of championship golf at PGA Village, or stroll through the native Florida plants and vegetation at Port St Lucie Botanical Gardens.

Richmond, VA

Blue sky with large, puffy clouds over a faraway view of Downtown Richmond. Photo by Instagram user @rva.photography.
Photo via @rva.photography
  • Population: 216,773
  • Home Price: $119,300 median purchase price; $916 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: Equal to the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 16% of U.S. cities

Looking for a safe, affordable city to retire in? Put historic Richmond on your radar! With a cost of living 7% lower than the Virginia average, no taxes on Social Security benefits, and IRAs and 401(k)s being deductible up to $12,000, it’s easy to see why Virginia’s capital city is one of the best places to live in the South! Retirees can become a part of The Commonwealth Society, where they can take short courses, attend lecture series, and take part in travel opportunities. Richmond residents can also catch NASCAR races at Richmond Raceway, wander through the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, or take in views of the river rapids at 550-acre James River Park System. One thing is for sure—you’ll never run out of things to do in Richmond!

Santa Fe, NM

Drone photo of Santa Fe at twilight with mountains in the background. Photo by Instagram user @airscloudsantafe.
Photo via @airscloudsantafe
  • Population: 82,927
  • Home Price: $259,700 median purchase price; $964 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 3% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 21% of U.S. cities

Santa Fe is one of the best small cities in the U.S. and a top choice for a retirement destination. In fact, more than 20% of Santa Fe residents are 65 years or older! Sitting in the desert foothills of the Southern Rocky Mountains, the City Different provides retirees with a bit of seclusion, budget-friendly housing, and rich culture. Santa Fe also has some great amenities to keep you busy! Residents can visit up to 80 different art galleries at Canyon Road Arts District or explore the dining options at Santa Fe Railyard. New Mexico’s capital city is also great for outdoor recreation, thanks to the presence of Santa Fe National Forest!

Sarasota, FL

Drone photo of Sarasota, FL focusing on the inland water with the city around it. Photo by Instagram user @chasingthedronelife.
Photo via @chasingthedronelife
  • Population: 54,425
  • Home Price: $190,500 median purchase price; $951 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 8% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 13% of U.S. cities

Have you always dreamed of retiring near the beach? Sarasota will give you just that! Florida retirement provides residents with no state income tax, affordable housing, and beautiful Gulf Coast views and weather. Residents can spend their days relaxing on one of Sarasota’s stunning beaches in Lido Key, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and Manasota Key. Retirees also have access to fantastic healthcare at Sarasota Memorial Hospital! Plus, you can golf at top golf courses in the area like University Park Country Club and Tatum Ridge Golf Links or check out other Sarasota attractions like the Sarasota Opera and The Ringling!

Sioux Falls, SD

Photo of Sioux Falls' Arc of Dreams with a building positioned in the open space of the sculpture. Photo by Instagram user @inrealtygrp.
Photo via @inrealtygrp
  • Population: 167,884
  • Home Price: $161,500 median purchase price; $749 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 9% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 17% of U.S. cities

Known as the Best Little City in America, Sioux Falls offers a quaint place to enjoy retirement in the Midwest! South Dakota has low sales taxes and no state income tax, including no taxes on Social Security income—and Sioux Falls adds another perk of budget-friendly homes! Retirees also have access to affordable healthcare in the area and can stay busy with the city’s many things to do! You can hike or bike along the city’s namesake waterfalls at Falls Park or visit Downtown Sioux Falls, where you can find attractions like the Arc of Dreams, Old Courthouse Museum, and lots of unique shopping and dining options.

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Relocating for retirement? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities conveniently located across the U.S. that can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

City statistics from AreaVibes

Best Cities for Retirement in 2021 via @extraspace

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