Home > Moving > City Guides > Best Cities for Retirement in 2024
Port city at dusk with some boats on calm water with downtown in the background.

Best Cities for Retirement in 2024

Relocating for retirement? Whether you’re thinking of downsizing, moving near the beach, or considering other retirement housing options—these cities have a variety of fun outdoor activities, great healthcare, and affordable costs of living. Check out the 12 best cities for retirement in 2024!

Ann Arbor, MI

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 121,093
  • Home Price: $346,800 median purchase price; $1,299 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 11% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 42% of U.S. cities

If you’re someone who appreciates seasonal changes and a tight-knit community, Ann Arbor is one of the best places to live in retirement. As one of the best college towns in the U.S.—with University of Michigan located in the heart of the city—you’ll get to experience urban living, community involvement, restaurants, and shopping all in one place! On top of that, retired residents can rest easy with access to the best hospital in Michigan at University of Michigan Health. If you enjoy spending time outside, choose from outdoor activities like hiking and boating at Huron River Water Trail, or exploring Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. On the weekends, feel the buzzing atmosphere at the historic Main Street that’s lined with bookshops, cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. And art lovers can look forward to yearly festivals like the Ann Arbor Art Fair, the country’s largest juried art fair—while music and film lovers can check out Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF)!

Charleston, SC

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 137,041
  • Home Price: $349,000 median purchase price; $1,318 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 10% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 23% of U.S. cities

Want to retire in a charming East Coast city? Check out the historic 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 CharlestonMUSC 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, so retirees can get more bang for their buck. But Charleston is one of the best cities for retirees to live for more than just these perks! If you’re looking for fun things to do in Charleston, you can explore historical sites like the Charleston City Market and the Charleston Museum. Or peruse King Street‘s boutiques, art galleries, fine dining, and more. And don’t forget to take advantage of the warm weather at Charleston parks like scenic White Point Garden or Charleston Waterfront Park!

Daytona Beach, FL

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 68,711
  • Home Price: $164,400 median purchase price; $979 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 12% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of U.S. cities

Looking for a place to live near the ocean where you can spend your golden years? Consider retiring in Daytona Beach! One factor that helps make Daytona Beach one of the best places to retire in Florida is that residents are exempt from income and inheritance taxes—which includes Social Security, pensions, IRAs, and 401(k)s. Plus, the mild winters allow retirees even more time to enjoy outdoor recreation. Tee up at the 36-hole Daytona Beach Golf Club, hike the forested trails on foot or horseback at Tiger Bay State Forest, or go fishing on the Daytona Beach Pier. If you’re a sports fan looking for excitement, head over to the Daytona International Speedway to watch high-octane racing events like the Daytona 500. Daytona Beach also has a rich art and music scene! Check out art exhibitions and the planetarium at The Museum of Arts & Sciences or live music and theatrical performances at the Peabody Auditorium. Or wander more than 60 shops and attractions at Riverfront Shops of Daytona Beach, or stop by the Daytona Beach Boardwalk to eat, drink, and peruse more stores!

Fort Wayne, IN

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 268,378
  • Home Price: $121,600 median purchase price; $777 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 14% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 37% of U.S. cities

If you’re looking to move to a quiet Midwestern town with easy commutes and convenient amenities, consider Fort Wayne. Its low cost of living, safe neighborhoods, and tax exemption on military retired pay make this city one of the best places for retired military to live. With three rivers running through this small metro, residents can find many outdoor activities in Fort Wayne. Relax with a picnic by the riverside or invite a friend along for a Sweet Breeze Riverboat Tour at Promenade Park. Attend a Home and Garden Show or stroll through gardens with plants, waterfalls, and more at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. Fort Wayne also offers a thriving art and entertainment scene! See rotating and permanent exhibits like The Glass Wing or Bronze: The Timeless Medium at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Enjoy live theatrical performances such as Mean Girls and The Peking Acrobats at the Embassy Theatre. Or take the grandkids out for a day of fun getting up close with animals from around the world at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Harrisburg, PA

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 49,247
  • Home Price: $85,500 median purchase price; $846 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 10% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities

Looking to retire in the Keystone State? Harrisburg offers an affordable cost of living and has retirement tax benefits that exempt retirement income, including pensions and Social Security. Plus, residents of Harrisburg also get access to high-quality healthcare at UPMC Harrisburg and the nearby Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the best hospitals in the Harrisburg area. There are also fantastic options for things to do in Harrisburg! Visit the galleries found at the Art Association of Harrisburg, Susquehanna Art Museum, or Millworks—which doubles as a restaurant and brewery! Visit famous museums like The National Civil War Museum, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, or the historic John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion. Or take a riverboat tour of the Susquehanna River, go mini golfing, hang out on the beach, or cheer on the Harrisburg Senators (MiLB) at FNB Field—all found at the scenic Harrisburg attraction, City Island.

Lakeland, FL

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 110,335
  • Home Price: $160,400 median purchase price; $1,056 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 9% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 27% of U.S. cities

If you’re looking to retire in the Sunshine State, set your eyes on Lakeland! Located between Tampa and Orlando, this is a relaxing place to call home that still offers quick access to big city amenities and attractions. Seniors will love the variety of independent living facilities in Lakeland, many of which feature lakeside properties with beautiful views and proximity to great healthcare at hospitals like Lakeland Regional Health. The public transit options available through Citrus Connection help make traveling around the city easier, connecting retirees to all kinds of fun things to do in Lakeland. Historic Downtown Lakeland is stocked with local shops, restaurants, museums, and cultural events like Friday Night Live and Spring Obsession. Lakeland is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts! Soak in the scenery at one of the 38 named lakes within city limits, or explore curated gardens and green spaces like Hollis Garden and Bonnet Springs Park. Sports lovers can join the crowds at Publix Field at Joker Merchant Stadium to watch the Lakeland Flying Tigers (MiLB) play or see the Detroit Tigers (MLB) engage in spring training.

Lancaster, PA

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 59,321
  • Home Price: $127,500 median purchase price; $920 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 6% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 13% of U.S. cities

With the combination of small-town charm and accessible amenities like Lancaster General Health, Lancaster consistently ranks as one of the best places to retire—and for good 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. Lancaster offers seniors several things to do, including Lancaster Central Market, America’s oldest, continuously-running farmers market. Catch live theatrical performances of classics like 9 to 5, Something Rotten, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and more at the Fulton Theatre. Spend the day in Downtown Lancaster shopping for unique finds in vintage shops and retail boutiques at The 300 Block—topped off with a bite to eat from one of the area’s many local restaurants. And be sure to pay a visit to outdoor conservatory The Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum and the Amish countryside, too!

Manchester, NH

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 112,441
  • Home Price: $241,600 median purchase price; $1,160 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 16% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of U.S. cities

Manchester is a cultural haven in the Northeast and one of the best places to live near the mountains. With no sales tax or personal income tax, New Hampshire is a tax-friendly state for retirees. Seniors can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation, art galleries, and other fun things to do in Manchester. The city offers a window into art and history with venues like the Currier Museum of Art and the L.L. Lee Scouting Museum, while the William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center provides fun activities for seniors to meet one another through—like bridge, book clubs, social hours, line dancing, and more! Sports fans flock to the Delta Dental Stadium to root for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (MiLB). For outdoor attractions, tee up at Derryfield Country Club or take in stunning views of the city from the vantage points at Rock Rimmon Park.

Scottsdale, AZ

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 254,995
  • Home Price: $493,200 median purchase price; $1,452 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 25% above the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 41% of U.S. cities

Known as one of the best suburbs of Phoenix, Scottsdale is also one of the happiest cities in the U.S.—and with warm weather year-round, 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 and around Scottsdale to practice your swing and take in views of the Sonoran Desert, like We-Ko-Pa Golf Club and Troon North Golf Club. Stroll through a variety of galleries and shops, stop into a few tasting rooms, and take part in fun events like the Weekly Art Walk in Old Town Scottsdale. Go for a leisurely hike on the accessible trails while you observe wildlife at McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Or take a trip to experience breathtaking views at sunrise or sunset during a hot air balloon ride over the desert with Rainbow Ryders!

Scranton, PA

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 76,997
  • Home Price: $106,700 median purchase price; $795 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 12% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 34% of U.S. cities

Scranton is a great PA city to retire—with an affordable cost of living, great healthcare from hospitals like Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital of Scranton, and proximity to the amenities of metro areas like New York City and Philadelphia! This tight-knit community offers a friendly atmosphere and unique attractions like the Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum. Enjoy scenic northern Pennsylvania landscape and outdoor recreation in places like Nay Aug Park, Montage Mountain Resorts, and Lake Scranton. Immerse yourself in live performances at venues like the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple and The Ritz Theater & Performing Arts Center. Or wander the history, science, and art galleries at the Everhart Museum—and be sure to check out Downtown Scranton for First Friday art events!

Tampa, FL

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 395,912
  • Home Price: $254,600 median purchase price; $1,178 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 1% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 25% of U.S. cities

Fulfill your beach-living dream in Tampa, one of the best places to live for retirees. Seniors enjoy its year-round ideal weather and metro amenities like access to public transportation, amazing healthcare from Tampa General Hospital, retiree-friendly neighborhoods, and even active retirement communities. With convenient veterans affairs locations, MacDill Air Force Base situated in South Tampa, and no state income tax, it’s easy to see why Tampa is also one of the best places for veterans to live. But there’s more to Tampa than tropical outdoor recreation on sandy beaches—the city’s historic district, Ybor City, has local cigar shops, boutiques, a weekend market, and some of the best restaurants Tampa has to offer! Florida sports fans can also pick their team of choice to support, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), and Tampa Tarpons (MiLB).

Youngstown, OH

A post shared by @instagram

  • Population: 64,152
  • Home Price: $46,900 median purchase price; $638 median monthly rent
  • Cost of Living: 22% below the national average
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of U.S. cities

If you’re searching for the most affordable places to retire, look no further than Youngstown! A budget-friendly place to settle down in your senior years, Youngstown offers retirees easy access to a variety of retirement communities and fantastic healthcare options through high-quality facilities like Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. Though it’s not the largest city in the Buckeye State, it’s still jam-packed with art, culture, and fun things to do! Support the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra during live musical events throughout the city, or sit back for performances of classics like Jack and the Beanstalk by the Opera Western Reserve. Attend monthly Senior Art & Learn events or explore artwork spanning hundreds of years at The Butler Institute of American Art. Or take in the serenity of the tree-lined paths and find a variety of other outdoor recreation opportunities at Mill Creek MetroParks—which is home to thousands of acres of green space, a golf course, lakes and ponds for fishing, as well as the Ford Nature Center and Fellows Riverside Gardens.

***

Moving to a new city for retirement? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities conveniently located across the U.S. that can help with your big move. Find available storage units near you!

City statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.