19 Best Places To Retire In The U.S.

Retirement is a big milestone. All the years of working hard have led to this time in your life, and you deserve to enjoy it. You have time to do all the things you want to do, so you want to live somewhere that has all of those enjoyable activities to offer.

When deciding on the best place to live, it helps to have some criteria in mind and a list of great places to retire to help you choose.

Some of the most important factors retirees should consider are good healthcare, housing affordability, the area’s overall happiness, a low crime rate, and retirement-friendliness.

What Age Do People Usually Retire?

In the United States, the full retirement age is 66 years old if you were born before 1960, and it is 67 if you were born in 1960 or after. According to the Social Security Administration, you are eligible for your full retirement social security benefits when you reach full retirement age.

While you may be expected to retire at 66 or 67 in order to receive your full retirement benefits, the national average for retirement age is actually 62 years old.

If you’re even approaching the age to start thinking about retirement, you have probably noticed that people retire for a number of reasons and at various ages. So, it’s natural that the national average wouldn’t necessarily reflect the expected retirement age.

How Do I Know When I Am Ready To Retire?

Retirement is a personal decision. There are many factors to consider when you are deciding whether or not to retire. For many, the decision is a financial one. Retirement typically means you’ll be living on a fixed income, and you’ll want to be sure your retirement income will meet your financial needs.

Another factor in deciding if it’s time to retire is your health. Depending on your profession, you may not be able to continue doing the job that you’ve done for decades. That’s why healthcare and health care facilities are so important to consider when you’re looking at places to retire.

If your health and finances aren’t contributing factors, you may just be ready to enjoy doing something different. When you’ve worked for most of the years you’ve been alive, you may just be ready to see what life has to offer when you have more free time.

Many people just want time to enjoy all the things that they haven’t had time to do.

Should I Move After Retiring?

Moving is a big decision at any time in your life. When you’re at the age of retirement, you may have a family to consider when you’re looking to move. If you have grown children or grandchildren, you may not want to move as far away.

If you’re single or widowed, you may want to consider moving to an area with more retirees in the area. That way you can make friends and mingle with people of a similar age and hopefully with similar interests.

If you’ve lived in the same location for years or decades, it may have been a while since you’ve moved, but no matter how long it’s been since we’ve moved, most of us can remember that it’s no picnic.

You’ll need to consider the costs of moving, the logistics of moving, and determine if you’ll be moving away or having two homes. If you have a car or multiple cars, you may wonder how you can move your vehicle without adding mileage to your car with a lengthy road trip or putting unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle just as you’re about to start living on a fixed income.

Unlike some of the retirement questions, your car situation can easily be resolved by shipping your car safely and easily to your new destination. Car shipping takes a load off of you, so you can focus more on packing and planning for the future.

What Are the Best Places To Retire in the U.S.?

If you do plan to move when you retire, you’ll want to choose the best place to retire. As with retirement, where you retire will depend on your personal preferences and needs, but having a comprehensive list of good choices will help make the decision a little easier.

Here are the top 20 best places to retire in the United States. You’ll ultimately decide where you want to retire, but hopefully, this will help you narrow down the choices a bit.

1. Tampa, Florida

The Sunshine State is home to so many great places to retire that you could literally make a whole list of just places in Florida. In fact, over 20% of Florida’s population of retirement age citizens. Retirees love Florida. Some popular retirement cities are:

  • Sarasota
  • Daytona Beach
  • Orlando
  • Palm Beach
  • Miami
  • Melbourne

Another great place to retire is Tampa, Florida. A more laid-back lifestyle sounds pretty amazing after working for years, and Tampa’s atmosphere offers the laid-back beach vibes and the amenities of a large city. There’s plenty to do, but there’s ample opportunity to relax as well.

2. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola offers retirees a relaxing life at the beach, a rich history to learn about, and an exciting assortment of restaurants with fresh seafood.

3. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

If you want to live close to the Bahamas without leaving the United States, you can’t go wrong with Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You’ll never want warm weather here. The city has been called the “Venice of America,” and it offers retirees eight beaches to get to know as they learn how to enjoy a work-free life.

4. Salem, New Hampshire

Some people prefer a little more peace with more falling leaves and cooler temperatures, and Salem, New Hampshire, is a beautiful retirement choice if you’re one of those people. Salem has a gorgeous trail for all skill levels that features a lake and natural beauty if you're into walking trails.

5. Charleston, South Carolina

If a coastal town with beaches, a rich history, and southern charm sounds like a retirement dream, then Charleston, South Carolina, might be the best choice for your next phase in life. People who retire to Charleston love its beautiful climate, parks, and art centers.

6. Hilton Head, South Carolina

There are plenty of gorgeous beaches on this island, and there are plenty of golf courses, a beautiful lighthouse, and wildlife to observe. It’s a wonderful beach town that’s just a short drive from the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia.

7. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio, is considered the best place to live in Ohio, and it ranks just 13th in the United States for the most affordable cities to live in. If you’re going to be living on a fixed income, it makes sense to live somewhere that lets you stretch your dollar.

8. Atlanta, Georgia

Just because you’re retiring doesn’t mean you want to move away from all the action. Atlanta is an international hub for travel. It is home to one of the world’s busiest international airports, so you won’t have to go far when you need to fly back home or visit family. There are also several beautiful areas surrounding Georgia's state capital that are quieter places to retire to that are still within reach of anything fun you’d want to do.

9. Surf City, New Jersey

In Surf City, New Jersey, you’ll find less than 1300 other residents. You’ve got beaches and a reasonable tourist season, and you’re less than two hours from the center of New York City if you want a taste of the busy city life or to catch a musical.

10. St. George, Utah

St. George, Utah is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and Utah is one of the top 10 healthiest states in America. Retirees to this western state can enjoy golf courses, hiking trails, bike paths, and beautiful views of the red sandstone cliffs.

11. Weatherford, Texas

Weatherford, Texas, is just outside Fort Worth, Texas, but it maintains a small-town vibe. You can stock up on fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market, and they have the most doctors per capita of any of the areas surrounding Fort Worth. So, finding health care in your new location should be fairly simple.

12. Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi is one of the best states for peace and quiet, and its capital city is one of the best places in the state to retire. The “City with Soul” is not only the state’s biggest city, but it’s also full of friendly people and an assortment of events to attend. They have heritage festivals, antique shows, symphony concerts, and more.

13. Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia, is one of the most absolutely beautiful places in the United States. The Blue Ridge Mountains here are known for their scenic drives and gorgeous mountain views. The state of Virginia is tax-friendly for people who retire there. The cost of living is also about 12% lower than the national average here.

14. Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, Delaware, is the third-lowest property tax area in the United States. Delaware has no sales tax, no personal property tax, and no estate tax. In Lewes, you’ll find superior medical facilities, golf courses, and all the lifestyle and amenities for the retirement you had in mind for yourself.

15. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city. It’s an ideal location with a metro area, a reasonably affordable cost of living, and plenty to do. You can go to the annual Kentucky Derby, and it’s a waterfront city on the Ohio River with ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors or learn about its history and traditions.

16. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana, is one of the cheaper places to retire. They have affordable housing, retiree-friendly state taxes on income, low property taxes, and affordable healthcare. Keeping more of your money to yourself every month means you get to enjoy retirement a little more.

17. Paso Robles, California

Paso Robles, California, is affordable and located in a wine region. The city has a laid-back personality with small-town charm, and the gorgeous vineyards and views will make your retirement feel like a neverending vacation.

18. Jackson, Tennessee

When you’re living on a fixed income and trying to enjoy your retirement, the cost of living in an area is key. If that’s one of your deciding factors, Jackson, Tennessee, is a great place to consider retiring. If you’re looking to work a little after retirement, there is a job market here.

19. St. Cloud, Minnesota

The city of St. Cloud, Minnesota, offers retirees a lot of fun things to do. You can enjoy bike paths, bowling, shopping, sports, outdoor activities, and more. The city is also a college town, offering rich nightlife and cultural activities.

The Bottom Line

Wherever you choose to retire, you’ll need to prepare to move. You may want to consider shipping your car or truck, especially if you have more than one, to your new home to make the process easier.

Carvaygo can safely and easily transport your transportation without putting miles on it, and you won’t have to endure the long road trip to your new home.

EN-05-10035 - Retirement Benefits - January 2022 | ssa.gov
50+ Essential Retirement Statistics for 2022 | annuity.org
Which US States Have the Oldest Populations? | PRB

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