Best Cities for Retirement in 2023

Retirement is a time to relax, kick back, and enjoy life. What better way to start your retirement than moving to a new city offering everything you need? Plenty of great retirement destinations exist, from bustling city centers to peaceful beach towns.

This article will look at the 15 best cities for retirement in 2023. We’ll explore each city’s unique offerings, including fun outdoor activities, stunning views, top-notch healthcare, and affordable living costs. It’s time to grab a coffee and start planning your dream retirement destination!

How to Choose the Best Retirement Cities?

Choosing the best city for retirement can be daunting, as many factors must be considered. It is important to keep the following factors in mind:  

  • Cost of Living: When selecting a new city for retirement, retirees with fixed incomes should consider the cost of living. Housing costs, taxes, and other living expenses vary significantly from city to city. Some cities are more affordable than others, so research is essential to find a city that fits your budget.
  • Healthcare: As we age, healthcare becomes more important. It’s vital to choose a city with quality healthcare facilities and services. Look for a town with a good selection of doctors, hospitals, and clinics and easy access to medical care.
  • Climate: The climate of a city can significantly impact your quality of life. Some retirees prefer a warm and sunny climate, while others prefer a cooler, more temperate climate. Consider your preferences and health needs when choosing a city based on the weather.
  • Safety: Safety is a top priority for many retirees. Consider the crime rates in the area and the availability of emergency services. Retirees may also want to choose a city with a reputation for being safe and welcoming.
  • Outdoor Activities: Retirement is a time to enjoy life and explore new opportunities. Consider a town with outdoor activities like parks, trails, beaches, and golf courses. It can provide a great way to stay active and engaged in the community.
  • Culture and Entertainment: Retirees also want to live in a city with plenty of cultural and entertainment opportunities. Look for a town with a thriving arts scene, museums, theaters, and other cultural events. It can provide a great way to stay engaged and active in the community.
  • Transportation: Transportation is an essential factor when choosing a city for retirement. Look for a city with good public transportation and easy access to major highways and airports. It can make traveling and connecting with friends and family easier.

Top Cities for Retirement in 2023

Asheville, NC

  • Population:  87,531
  • Median Home Price:  $212,000
  • Cost of Living: 4% higher than the national average

Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the best cities to retire in the US. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city offers breathtaking natural scenery, vibrant arts and culture, and top-notch medical facilities.

Asheville’s moderate climate is perfect for those who want to experience all four seasons without harsh extremes. The city boasts a thriving downtown area with unique shops, restaurants, and breweries. The Biltmore Estate, one of the largest privately-owned homes in the United States, is a must-see attraction for visitors and residents alike.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the area is home to numerous hiking and biking trails and opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and rafting. The nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also a popular destination for outdoor activities.

Asheville is known for its artistic community, with many galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. There are also several annual events in Asheville, such as the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival and the Asheville Wine and Food Festival.

In terms of healthcare, Asheville has several world-class medical facilities, including  Mission Hospital and the Charles George VA Medical Center. Additionally, the city has a strong network of healthcare providers catering to retirees’ needs.

Austin, TX

  • Population: 907,779
  • Median Home Price:  $212,000
  • Cost of Living: 4% higher than the national average

Austin, TX, stands out as one of the most desirable cities for retirees due to its blend of warm weather, diverse housing options, cultural offerings, and a thriving music scene. UNESCO has recognized Austin as a Creative City of Media Arts, making it a prime location for seniors who wish to immerse themselves in arts and culture.

Austin’s housing options cater to various needs, including waterfront homes, senior communities, and gated communities. Compared to other large cities, Austin’s affordability also adds to its appeal to retirees.

One of the most prominent features of Austin is its reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The city offers endless entertainment opportunities with over  250+ music venues and popular festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits Music Festival. Retirees can enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year, such as boating on Lady Bird Lake, swimming in Barton Springs Pool, or exploring McKinney Falls State Park with their families.

Furthermore, Texas State University grants up to six free credit hours per semester for seniors interested in furthering their education. The city boasts a robust healthcare system, with top-ranking hospitals and medical centers, ensuring that retirees can access quality healthcare services.

Ann Arbor, MI

  • Population: 118,087
  • Median Home Price: $270,600
  • Cost of Living: 11% higher than the national average

Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a fantastic city for retirees who want to experience an urban lifestyle combined with a tight-knit community. The town is home to the University of Michigan, which adds to the city’s charm and vibrant atmosphere. Retired residents can use the city’s many amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and cultural events. Ann Arbor is also known for having some of the best healthcare facilities in the state, including Michigan Medicine.

One of the benefits of retiring in Ann Arbor is the variety of outdoor activities available year-round. The city’s location in the Midwest means that retirees can enjoy all four seasons, from hiking and boating in the summer to snowshoeing and ice skating in the winter. The Huron River Water Trail, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, and Nichols Arboretum are popular outdoor destinations.

The city’s downtown area, Main Street, is lively and historic, with many shops, restaurants, and cafes. Art lovers can look forward to the country’s largest art fair, the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which takes place annually, while music and film enthusiasts can enjoy the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF).

Ann Arbor offers retirees a combination of urban amenities and outdoor activities, making it a top choice for those looking for a vibrant and active retirement lifestyle.

Bend, OR

  • Population: 84,416
  • Median Home Price: $295,300
  • Cost of Living: 22% higher than the national average

Bend, Oregon, is undoubtedly one of the best cities for retirement in the Pacific Northwest. With its gorgeous mountain views, friendly atmosphere, and recreational activities, it’s no surprise that many retirees choose to settle down here.

One of the biggest draws of Bend is its affordability. While nearby cities like Portland can be expensive, Bend offers a more affordable alternative with plenty of amenities. Seniors can choose from various living options, including independent communities like The Alexander, which provide active retirees with a supportive and engaging environment.

Nature lovers will find plenty to visit in Bend, with numerous trails like the Deschutes River Trail or The Three Sisters Scenic Bikeway, offering breathtaking views of the Cascade Range. Golf enthusiasts can also enjoy a variety of well-maintained golf courses like Widgi Creek Golf Club or River’s Edge Golf Course.

Moreover, Bend has excellent healthcare facilities like St. Charles Medical Center and High Lakes Medical Center. It is comforting for seniors to know they can access some of the region’s best healthcare services.

Charleston, SC

  • Population: 129,888
  • Home Median Price: $269,400
  • Cost of Living: 10% higher than the national average

Charleston, South Carolina, is an idyllic coastal city and one of the best places to retire in the Southeast. With its charming cobblestone streets, historical architecture, and miles of pristine beaches, it’s easy to see why retirees are drawn to this beautiful city.

One of the most extensive benefits of retiring in Charleston is the affordability of living. South Carolina has no taxes on Social Security benefits, making it an attractive option for seniors on a fixed income. Additionally, the state has some of the lowest property taxes in the country, allowing retirees to get more for their money.

Charleston also boasts one of the best medical centers in the region, the MUSC Health–University Medical Center. During retirement, retirees can be assured of accessing high-quality healthcare services, allowing them to live in peace.

Apart from its financial benefits, Charleston also offers a rich cultural scene. The city has numerous historical attractions and museums showcasing its unique past and cultural heritage. King Street, the city’s central shopping district, boasts a vibrant mix of boutiques, art galleries, and fine dining options, providing retirees with plenty of entertainment and socializing opportunities. Charleston is a great city for retirees looking for a blend of coastal living, historical charm, and affordability.

Boise, ID

  • Population: 218,677
  • Median Home Price: $191,000
  • Cost of Living: 1% higher than the national average

Boise, Idaho, is a hidden gem for retirement destinations. Known as the City of Trees, Boise offers a unique blend of outdoor recreation, top-rated healthcare, and tax benefits, making it an ideal place to live during your golden years.

One of the most significant advantages of retiring in Boise is the absence of state taxation on Social Security benefits and no state estate tax.This financial benefit can be especially advantageous for seniors on a fixed income. Additionally, the city has top-rated hospitals like St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, ensuring excellent healthcare services for its residents.

Boise is also a safe city, with crime rates significantly lower than the national average, giving retirees peace of mind. The Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile trail that runs through the city, is perfect for walking, running, and cycling. At the same time, Boise National Forest offers endless opportunities for camping, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits.

Besides its natural beauty, Boise boasts a lively cultural scene, with numerous art galleries, museums, and theaters to explore. Additionally, the city’s dining and entertainment options are diverse and expanding, providing retirees with plenty of opportunities to socialize and enjoy their golden years.

Fort Wayne, IN

  • Population: 260,954
  • Median Home Price: $103,100
  • Cost of Living: 14% higher than the national average

Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a quiet and peaceful town that offers retirees an excellent quality of life. With its low cost of living and safe neighborhoods, it’s no wonder that Fort Wayne is considered one of the best places for retired military to live.

One of the most significant benefits of living in Fort Wayne is its tax exemption on military retired pay. It makes it an attractive option for military retirees seeking to stretch their retirement savings further. Additionally, the city’s low cost of living means that retirees can enjoy a comfortable retirement without breaking the bank.

Fort Wayne’s outdoor amenities are another major draw for retirees. The city boasts three rivers, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and hiking. Additionally, residents can enjoy the many parks and gardens, such as Promenade Park or the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, for a calming stroll or picnic.

The city’s thriving art scene is yet another attraction for retirees. In addition to art exhibits, live performances, and music concerts, the Embassy Theatre and Fort Wayne Museum of Art offer many cultural experiences. It is a beautiful city for retirees looking for a quiet, peaceful town with easy commutes and convenient amenities.

Mesa, AZ

  • Population: 470,456
  • Home Price: $168,500
  • Cost of Living: 4% higher than the national average

Retiring in Mesa is like living in paradise! This city offers a lot for retirees who love the warm weather and an active lifestyle. With its many 55+ communities, you can easily find a comfortable and welcoming place to call home. These communities offer resort-style living with Mesath all the amenities you need to stay active, from swimming pools and fitness centers to golf courses and tennis courts.

Mesa is also a golfer’s paradise, with 25 golf courses to choose from, and if you’re a baseball fan, you’ll love being able to catch some Major League Baseball Spring Training. But if you prefer to take it easy, you can always take a relaxing stroll in one of Mesa’s beautiful parks, such as the Usery Mountain Regional Park or the Riverview Park.

Retirees will appreciate Mesa’s low cost of living, which is 4% lower than the national average. Plus, the Banner Desert Medical Center is readily available for healthcare needs. And regarding entertainment and dining options, Mesa has something for everyone.

There’s always something to do, from the Mesa Arts Center to the Mesa Amphitheatre and the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet. Mesa is an excellent retirement place for those seeking an active and affordable lifestyle in the warm Arizona sun.

Lancaster, PA

  • Population: 59,341
  • Median Home Price: $109,300
  • Cost of Living: 10% higher than the national average

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a charming city that offers retirees an excellent quality of life. With its small-town charm and accessible amenities like Lancaster General Health, it’s no wonder Lancaster consistently ranks as one of the best places to retire.

One of the most significant advantages of retiring in Lancaster is the city’s tax-friendly environment. With one of the lowest sales taxes in the country and no state taxes on retirement benefits, retirees can stretch their retirement savings further and enjoy a more comfortable retirement.

Lancaster also offers several things to do for seniors. The Central MarketPlace, America’s oldest continuously-running farmers market, is a must-visit for fresh, locally-grown produce. The Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum, an outdoor conservatory, is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. The Amish countryside is just a short drive away for those interested in Amish culture.

Another advantage of living in Lancaster is the city’s access to top-rated healthcare facilities like Lancaster General Health. Retirees can enjoy peace of mind with high-quality healthcare services available whenever needed. Lancaster is a great city for retirees looking for a charming small-town environment with accessible amenities and a tax-friendly environment.

Naples, FL

  • Population: 20,980
  • Median Home Price: $770,000
  • Cost of Living: 72% higher

Naples, Florida, is a paradise for retirees looking for a luxurious and comfortable lifestyle. Known for its beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets, Naples, offers a wide range of activities for seniors, making it an ideal destination for retirement. In addition to the warm weather all year round, Naples offers plenty of recreational opportunities, including golfing, fishing, boating, and much more.

The city boasts some of the best golf courses in the world, including Tiburón Golf Club, which hosts the annual PGA Tour event, the QBE Shootout. Naples is also home to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which offers a chance to spot some of the state’s rarest bird species. The city’s vibrant arts scene includes a variety of venues, galleries, and festivals that showcase local artists and performers.

Retirees in Naples can enjoy the tax benefits of living in Florida, including tax exemption on income and inheritance taxes. In addition, the city has excellent healthcare facilities, such as the NCH Healthcare and Physicians Regional, providing top-notch medical services.

Overall, Naples provides an exceptional quality of life for retirees, combining a relaxed beach atmosphere with world-class amenities and attractions, making it a highly desirable destination for retirees seeking an enjoyable and fulfilling retirement.

Port St Lucie, FL

  • Population: 175,652
  • Home Price: $149,400
  • Cost of Living: 1% lower than the national average

Port St. Lucie is a hidden gem on the eastern coast of Florida, perfect for those looking for a laid-back retirement lifestyle. This charming city offers a variety of affordable housing options for retirees, with no state income tax on Social Security, pension, IRA, or 401(k) incomes. The city is also home to top-notch healthcare facilities, including HCA Florida St. Lucie Hospital and Interim Healthcare, ensuring that retirees have access to quality care.

With warm and sunny weather year-round, Port St. Lucie offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The St. Lucie River runs through the city and is a popular spot for boating and fishing. For nature lovers, the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens is a must-visit, showcasing a variety of native Florida plants and animals.

Retirees can also take advantage of the city’s cultural offerings, such as the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, which features the works of Florida landscape artist A.E. Backus. And for golf enthusiasts, the  PGA Village offers 54 holes of championship golf and a golf museum and learning center.

Port St. Lucie’s beautiful weather, relaxed pace of life, tax benefits, and healthcare options make it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful and affordable retirement.

Scottsdale, AZ

  • Population: 234,495
  • Median Home Price: $405,500
  • Living Costs: 26% higher than average

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a beautiful city to consider for retirement. With a warm and sunny climate year-round, plenty of entertainment options, and access to top-notch healthcare, Scottsdale has everything retirees need to live a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle.

One of the main draws of Scottsdale for retirees is its central location within the Phoenix metropolitan area. It makes accessing world-class healthcare facilities like the highly-regarded Mayo Clinic Hospital Phoenix easy. Additionally, Scottsdale residents can enjoy no state taxes on their Social Security benefits, which can be a significant advantage for those on a fixed income.

Golf enthusiasts will also find plenty to love about Scottsdale. The city houses some of the best golf courses in the country, including the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club and the Troon North Golf Club. These courses offer breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert and provide a perfect way to stay active and socialize with fellow retirees.

Finally, Scottsdale’s Old Town is a hub of entertainment and cultural activities. Residents can participate in Weekly Art Walks, culinary festivals, and other events that showcase the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Whether you’re looking for fine dining, live music, or boutique shopping, you’ll find it all in Scottsdale.

Tampa, FL

  • Population: 361,477
  • Median Home Price: $172,100
  • Cost of Living: 3% lower than the national average

Tampa, Florida, is a beautiful place to retire for several reasons. Its warm weather throughout the year, retiree-friendly neighborhoods, and access to healthcare facilities make it an ideal location for seniors. Additionally, Tampa’s lack of state income tax and affordable cost of living make it a practical choice for those on a fixed income.

The city’s public transportation system is another perk for retirees. With a network of buses, streetcars, and water taxis, seniors can quickly get around the city without the hassle of driving. Plus, Tampa General Hospital, a top-ranked medical center, provides comprehensive healthcare services to the local community.

Aside from its practical benefits, Tampa also offers plenty of opportunities for entertainment and leisure. You will find numerous theaters and museums in the city, which has a vibrant arts scene. Sports fans will also love the range of professional and minor league teams to support, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,Tampa Bay Lightning,Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Tarpons.

Ybor City, Tampa’s historic district, is a must-visit for those interested in history and culture. This neighborhood is known for its cigar shops, boutiques, and restaurants, offering a taste of Tampa’s unique Spanish and Cuban heritage blend.

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Population: 305,305
  • Median Home Price: $100,800
  • It costs 7% less than the national average to live 

Retiring in Pittsburgh offers the perfect blend of big-city amenities and small-town charm. The city boasts a thriving art scene with various museums, galleries, and theaters to entertain retirees. Sports enthusiasts can cheer for their favorite professional teams or explore Pittsburgh’s vibrant outdoor spaces with many parks, trails, and bike paths.

The city’s affordability is another plus for retirees, with a cost of living lower than many other major cities in the U.S. And, as a tax-friendly state, Pennsylvania exempts all retirement income from state taxes, including pensions, IRA distributions, and Social Security benefits.

Regarding healthcare, Pittsburgh has some of the best medical facilities in the country. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is nationally ranked, providing top-notch care for retirees. Additionally, the city has easy access to major airports, making it easy to travel domestically or internationally.

Overall, Pittsburgh offers a welcoming community, diverse culture, and plenty of activities to enjoy during retirement. Its affordability, excellent healthcare facilities, and tax benefits make it easy to see why Pittsburgh is a perfect choice for retirees looking for a mix of city living and small-town charm.

Sarasota, FL

  • Population: 54,425
  • Median Home Price: $190,500
  • An increase of 4% in costs of living over the national average

Sarasota, FL, is a dream destination for retirees looking to enjoy all the benefits of coastal living. With its stunning Gulf Coast views, warm weather, and many attractions, Sarasota is the perfect place to spend your golden years. Sarasota Retire offers no state income tax, making it an attractive option for retirees looking to stretch their savings.

Additionally, the city boasts a variety of affordable housing options, from cozy condos to spacious single-family homes, ensuring that retirees can find a place that suits their needs and budget. One of the biggest draws of retirement in Sarasota is the abundance of beautiful beaches, including the world-famous Siesta Key Beach with its powdery white sand. Lido Key, Longboat Key, and Manasota Key are popular spots for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Retirees in Sarasota can take advantage of world-class healthcare facilities, including the nationally-ranked Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The city also offers many cultural and recreational opportunities, from the Ringling Circus Museum to the  Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and the Sarasota Opera and Ballet.Sarasota boasts some of the best courses in Florida for golf enthusiasts, including the  University Park Country Club and Tatum Ridge Golf Links. And when it comes to dining, the city offers a diverse and delicious culinary scene, with everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine.

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