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
- Charleston, SC
- Knoxville, TN
- Lancaster, PA
- Mesa, AZ
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Port St Lucie, FL
- Raleigh, NC
- Sarasota, FL
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Sioux Falls, SD
- Population: 87,531
- Home Price: $212,000 median purchase price; $910 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 4% above the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 3% of U.S. cities
Considered one of the friendliest U.S. cities and best places to live in the South, Asheville is one of the best places retire in! With affordable housing and tax exemptions for Social Security retirement benefits, this North Carolina city helps you stretch your dollar farther. Residents and their visitors will enjoy Asheville’s warm summers and short, mild winters. In addition to veteran services and long-term care, there are many hospitals in the area, including Mission Hospital, which is recognized as one of the best hospitals in North Carolina. Nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville gives residents stunning mountain views and outdoor activities like road tripping along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Population: 196,784
- Home Price: $100,500 median purchase price; $794 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 17% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 8% of U.S. cities
Augusta offers retirees a Southern destination with a low cost of living, budget-friendly housing, and no taxes on Social Security benefits! The weather in The Garden City 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 with the Augusta University Health system. If you’re looking for things to do in Augusta, you can watch the Masters Golf Tournament, or visit the Augusta Canal, which provides miles of trails for hikers and cyclists to adventure on.
- Population: 218,677
- Home Price: $191,000 median purchase price; $834 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 1% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 41% of U.S. cities
Enjoy your golden years among the spruce and pine forests abundant in Boise! Nicknamed the City of Trees, Boise is one of the best places to live in the Pacific Northwest, and with crime rates 24% lower than the national average, Idaho’s capital city is a safe place to settle down. Plus, retirees can take advantage of benefits like no state taxation on Social Security, and have access to the top-rated hospital in Idaho, St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center. Boise also has warm summers and snowy winters, which means there’s plenty to do in Boise—especially if you like outdoor recreation! 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.
- Population: 129,888
- Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price, $1,052 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 11% above the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 21% of U.S. cities
Want to retire in a charming coastal city? Check out the historical cobblestone streets of Charleston! Not only do you get access to safe, affordable neighborhoods and great beaches when you live in Chucktown, but you’ll also have access to one of the best medical centers in Charleston, MUSC Health – University Medical Center. Plus, there are no taxes on Social Security benefits in South Carolina, and the state offers some of the lowest property taxes in the country, making it a great place for retirees to get a bang for their buck. When finding things to do in Charleston, you can check out any of the historical attractions, or explore King Street‘s boutiques, art galleries, fine dining, and more.
- Population: 183,927
- Home Price: $120,300 median purchase price, $766 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 17% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of U.S. cities
Looking to retire in a city with a huge community atmosphere? Consider settling down in Knoxville! With an historically loyal and passionate fanbase, Tennessee Volunteers (NCAA) game days in Knoxville are a big deal—they even go sailgating to enjoy the games! Knoxville has plenty of other things to do as well, like shopping in the Market Square District, exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, or spending time in Norris Lake, one of the best boating lakes in the U.S. Those looking to retire in The Marble City can benefit from a low a cost of living as well as no taxes on Social Security retirement benefits. Plus, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art healthcare at places like the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which specializes in seven areas of care, including heart, lung, and vascular research.
- Population: 59,341
- Home Price: $109,300 median purchase price; $806 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 8% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 13% of U.S. cities
Considered an “Age-Friendly City,” Lancaster consistently ranks as one of the best U.S. cities for retirement—and for great reason! This small Pennsylvania city offers residents one of the lowest sales taxes in the country and no state taxes on retirement benefits, which include Social Security, 401(k)s, and IRAs. Retirees will find great healthcare options through Lancaster General Health. Lancaster offers several things to do, including Central Market Place, the oldest, continuously running American farmers market. Be sure to visit outdoor conservatory Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum and the Amish countryside, too!
- Population: 470,456
- Home Price: $168,500 median purchase price; $907 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 3% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 32% of U.S. cities
If you want to retire to a place where the sun shines all year long, don’t forget about Mesa! 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 1% 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.
- Population: 305,305
- Home Price: $100,800 median purchase price, $844 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 7% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 12% of U.S. cities
If you’re looking for small-town friendliness paired with the benefits of big-city living, Pittsburgh has both! This cultural city also has tons of art galleries and museums to discover like the Carnegie Museum of Art and Andy Warhol Museum. Cheer on a number of professional sports teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB), and Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) in the comfort of your own city. Or, if you want to travel, the whole world is at your fingertips, thanks to the Pittsburgh International Airport. Living in Pittsburgh means you’ll be tax-exempt for retirement benefits and close to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a nationally ranked facility.
Port St Lucie, FL
- Population: 175,652
- Home Price: $149,400 median purchase price; $1,170 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: Equal to the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of U.S. cities
Port St Lucie is a laid-back city in eastern 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, so you’ll be able to spend plenty of time outdoors. PSL 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, and has several areas like the Port St Lucie Botanical Gardens where you can enjoy native Florida plants and animals. Retirees can also get a day pass to all-inclusive resort Club Med Sandpiper Bay, and play 54 holes of championship golf at PGA Village.
- Population: 441,326
- Home Price: $218,200 median purchase price, $966 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 3% above the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 29% of U.S. cities
If you want to be close to world-class healthcare and amazing year-round weather, put Raleigh on your list of places to retire. The Oak City, Durham, and Chapel Hill make up the Research Triangle, which puts you close to cutting-edge science and great healthcare facilities like WakeMed Hospital (Raleigh) and Duke University Hospital (Durham). On top of that, there are no taxes on Social Security benefits in North Carolina, and moderate property and sales taxes, making it a fairly affordable place to live. And while you can still easily take a weekend getaway or long vacation with the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in town, there are still plenty of things to do in Raleigh! Schedule a tee time at Wildwood Green Golf Club or become a member at Brier Creek Country Club and golf, play tennis, or go for a swim. Or discover the Nature Exploration Center and other natural wonders at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
- Population: 54,425
- Home Price: $190,500 median purchase price; $951 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 2% above the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 13% of U.S. cities
Have you always dreamed of retiring near the beach? Sarasota is one of the best places to retire in Florida! Retirement in Sarasota means 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, or Manasota Key. Retirees also have access to fantastic healthcare at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which is nationally ranked in Rehabilitation. Plus, you can golf at top courses in Sarasota like University Park Country Club and Tatum Ridge Golf Links, or check out other Sarasota attractions like The Circus Museum, The Ringling gardens, and Sarasota Opera.
- Population: 234,495
- Home Price: $405,500 median purchase price; $1,184 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 27% above the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 48% of U.S. cities
Scottsdale is one of the best suburbs of Phoenix, and with warm year-round weather, luxury-style living, and close proximity to Phoenix, it’s easy to see why! Those looking to retire in an Arizona city can benefit from Scottsdale’s central location in the Phoenix metro, which is home to highly-rated hospitals like Mayo Clinic Hospital Phoenix. Retirees can also enjoy no state taxes on Social Security benefits while living in Scottsdale! As for entertainment, there’s no shortage of amazing golf courses in Scottsdale for you to practice your swing and take in views of the Sonoran Desert, like We-Ko-Pa Golf Club and Troon North Golf Club. Or stroll through Old Town Scottsdale and take part in fun events like the Weekly Art Walk and Scottsdale Culinary Fest!
Sioux Falls, SD
- Population: 167,884
- Home Price: $161,500 median purchase price; $749 median monthly rent
- Cost of Living: 6% below the national average
- Crime Rate: Safer than 11% of U.S. cities
Known as the Best Little City in America, Sioux Falls offers a quaint Midwestern location to enjoy retirement! South Dakota has low sales taxes and no state income tax, including no taxes on Social Security income—and Sioux Falls also offers the perk of budget-friendly homes! Retirees in the Queen City have access to great healthcare like Sanford USD Medical Center and Avera McKennan Hospital, which are top-rated in the state. Active retirees can hike or bike along the city’s namesake waterfalls at Falls Park or visit Downtown Sioux Falls, where you can find attractions like Arc of Dreams, Old Courthouse Museum, and lots of local shopping and dining options.
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City statistics from AreaVibes