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Best Retirement Cities

Best U.S. Cities for Retirement

You’ve worked hard for years—now it’s time to relax and enjoy the finer things in life! Of course, for many people, making the most of retirement involves moving to a new place.

But where are the best places to retire in the United States? The following cities have a lot to offer for retirees, whether you’re looking for affordable living, enjoyable weather, or a wide range of cultural experiences.

Green Valley, AZ

open desert with green brush and mountains in green valley, az photo by Instagram user @tomleeyoga

Photo via @tomleeyoga

The Phoenix metro may get most of the attention from up-and-coming professionals, but retirees would do well to take a closer look at Green Valley. Located 20 miles south of Tucson, Green Valley is primarily comprised of retirement communities, such as Canoa Ranch and Quail Creek.

Though temperatures in Green Valley can still get warm during the summer, it isn’t as hot as other parts of the state thanks to its higher elevation (which also offers gorgeous mountain views).

This makes it easy to enjoy the town’s eight golf courses or bird-watching in nearby Madera Canyon. Arizona state taxes are also very retiree-friendly with no estate/inheritance tax or taxes on Social Security benefits.

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Greenville, SC

greenville sc river in downtown of the city photo by Instagram user @leisaworks

Photo via @leisaworks

Greenville has consistently been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, thanks to its thriving job market. But it has plenty to offer retirees as well!

Temperatures in Greenville are mild throughout most of the year. The city is also home to the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, one of the top-ranked hospitals in the country.

Greenville also offers a fantastic mix of cultural arts and outdoor recreation. The Peace Center and the Greenville County Museum of Art are key features of the walkable downtown area, while the nearby Lake Conestee Nature Park offers several miles of hiking trails for nature lovers.

Lancaster, PA

Pennsylvania may not seem like a go-to retirement destination, but Lancaster has plenty to offer for retirees. The mix of large farms and quiet suburbs creates a distinctive peaceful atmosphere. Area traffic is relatively light, and below-average home prices have helped it earn the distinction of being the country’s “healthiest housing market.”

As part of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster also provides access to unique sights and experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you want to take an Amish buggy ride or attend a mud sale, you’ll never lack for new cultural experiences.

Ocean Pines, MD

Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ocean Pines has clearly already made a name for itself with seniors—the 2010 census reported that 41.9% of the area’s population was 62 years or older.

Serene woodlands and close proximity to Atlantic Ocean beaches make Ocean Pines ideal for those who enjoy the water. Despite its small population, the city has two marinas, as well as a golf course and racquet sports complex.

Ocean Pines is also home to The Parke at Ocean Pines, an active community for adults over the age of 55. Though cost of living is somewhat higher in Ocean Pines than in other areas, this peaceful city is perfect for those who want to enjoy the beach without the crowds.

Plano, TX

open field with tree in fall in Plano, TX photo by Instagram user @karamuse

Photo via @karamuse

Looking for big city amenities without actually living in the big city? A mere 20 miles away from Dallas, Plano could be the right fit for you.

Ranked as one of the safest cities in America, Plano is also notable for its affluent population. Texas is a great state for maintaining wealth during retirement, as there are no taxes on Social Security benefits or income.

Even if you’re not interested in visiting Dallas, there is still plenty to do in Plano.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve offers several walking and biking trails, and the annual Plano Balloon Festivaldraws thousands of visitors each year. With historic buildings, outdoor concerts, and revitalized businesses, Plano’s downtown has also been ranked as one of the best in the country.

Salt Lake City, UT

If you want to maintain an active lifestyle, few places are better suited for your retirement goals than Salt Lake City. Long heralded as having “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” popular ski resorts, such as Brighton and Alta, are less than an hour’s drive from the downtown area.

The city’s Downtown Farmers Market offers fresh local food in the summer, and Temple Square is just one of the many cultural highlights within the city.

Though the state of Utah taxes Social Security benefits, both renting and buying are relatively affordable for a city of its size. The renowned University of Utah School of Medicine is the centerpiece of the local healthcare community, and a thriving economy ensures that Salt Lake City will only continue to grow.

Sarasota, FL

You can’t talk about some of the best places to retire without mentioning at least one Florida city—and Sarasota frequently appears at the top of many “best of” lists.

In fact, Sarasota was recently ranked as the best city in the country for retirees by US News & World Report based on rankings that accounted for “housing affordability, the happiness index, quality of healthcare, retiree taxes, job market, and desirability.”

Located on Florida’s southwestern coast, Sarasota is best known for its award-winning beaches, many of which offer hiking and birdwatching in addition to standard water activities.

The annual Sarasota Chalk Festival is just one highlight of the city’s art scene, and nature enthusiasts will love the Mote Marine Laboratory and the Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Savannah, GA

downtown Savannah from the river with riverboat photo by Instagram user @luckysavannah

Photo via @luckysavannah

Georgia’s oldest city is also one of the best places to retire.

Georgia’s tax laws are very retiree-friendly. There are no state taxes on Social Security benefits, and tax breaks are also available for pension income. The city is also relatively walkable, though public transportation is also readily available.

Savannah is best known for its Historic Districts with forts, churches, and homes all registered as historic sites. Cobblestone streets and beautiful parks create the perfect environment for outdoor eateries like Clary’s Cafe—or a ghost tour for those looking for something a little more adventurous.

Where Will You Retire?

As this list reveals, you don’t have to limit yourself to Florida or Arizona when choosing where you will retire. Your options are as boundless as your imagination and desires!

Whether you wish to spend your days relaxing on the beach or mingling with other retirees, these cities will help you make the most of your retirement.


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Best Cities for Retirement in the U.S.

Best Retirement Cities
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