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25 American Cities That Are Perfect Places To Retire

TristaJanuary 10, 2022
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13. Athens, Georgia

If you are into vibrant arts and culture, you may want to retire in Athens, Georgia, some 70 miles East of Atlanta. Not only is there lots of culture and arts to check out, but the dining scene is pretty great too. The University of Georgia hosts an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where they offer free admission to regular classes for seniors (via Forbes). There is nearby terrain that provides an area for hiking and mountain biking if you’re into those sorts of activities. The doctors there are also plentiful, and the air is good quality. The elevation is 600 feet, making it easier for people to breathe comfortably, too. Georgia also doesn’t tax estates or Social Security benefits and even offers a generous break for other retirement income (via Forbes). FEMA rates Athens as having a relatively moderate risk for natural hazards. The serious crime rates are a little above the national average.

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12. Bend, Oregon

Way on the Northwest coast of the country is Bend, a big draw to this town is the outdoor activities. This scenic playground is 160 miles Southeast of Portland. The city sits at an elevation of 3,600 feet around the North-flowing Deschutes River. You can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, paragliding, bicycling, and except for in the winter, golf, as well. Some other pluses of Bend include a low serious crime rate, good air quality, and even a high number of doctors per capita (via Forbes). There is no state sales tax to worry about and no state income tax on Social Security benefits. However, there is state estate tax (via Forbes). Like Athens, Georgia, FEMA ranks Bend relatively low in natural hazard risk. However, the town itself is not very walkable, something to consider before moving there.

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11. Austin, Texas

The big music and dining scene anchors an art and culture experience in the capital of Texas that also features free senior citizen tuition for six credits a semester at the University of Texas at Austin (via Forbes). There are many activities you can find to do that include the outdoors, such as water and land activities. If you’re big into golfing, it’s good to know that there are dozens of golf courses in the area, as well. The city boasts many physicians per capita, with good air quality and high marks for volunteering. Austin, Texas, is useful to bikes and also walkable. The climate is warm but quite pleasant. However, the crime rate is slightly above the national average (via Forbes).

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10. Boulder, Colorado

About 30 miles northwest of Denver, Boulder sits at the center of a substantial recreational open space abutting the Rockies at an elevation of 5,400 feet. The outdoor activities Boulder has to offer are extensive and include climbing, hiking, biking, and fishing. This town is also the home of the University of Colorado. The university nurtures a big scene for arts and culture as well as fine dining. The university also allows seniors to attend courses for a minimal cost. The town of Boulder itself is very walkable with a low serious crime rate, abundant doctors, and good air quality to boot. Volunteering for some is a way of life. So if you’re into volunteering, this is the town you want to check out for your retirement (via Forbes). Also, consider that Boulder has a favorable rating on the FEMA National Risk Index evaluating relative natural hazards, including earthquakes, heatwaves, flooding, cold waves, and even drought (via Forbes).

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9. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

This amazing Idaho town has scenic mountains and waterways, including the 25-mile-long Lake Coeur d’Alene. Coeur d’Alene offers outdoors props for swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking. Along with these perks, with a spectacular view from many locations in town, this town in Idaho has an adequate number of physicians, good air quality, and a low crime rate (via Forbes). Although not very walkable, this city is an excellent place to ride your bicycle around town at an elevation of 2,200 feet. A plus to look at with this location is that there is no state tax on Social Security benefits or on estates in the area (via Forbes). It’s also rated at very low risk for natural hazards by FEMA. 

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8. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Located on Florida’s Southeast coast the fast-growing city Port St. Lucie still maintains its relaxed style and range of affordable homes (via Travel and Leisure). There are many things to do that include the outdoors with the St. Lucie River nearby. Not only that, but you have the St. Lucie Aquatic Preserve as well as the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens for beautiful walking among nature. Also, Hutchinson Island with a barrier island, is just 12 miles off the coast. Golfers in the town of Port St. Lucie, Florida, love the PGA Golf Club (via Travel and Leisure). For those who are baseball fans, there is the New York Mets spring training season to look forward to as well.

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7. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Here’s another two-for-one deal regarding places that are perfect for new retirees. Both Dallas and Fort Worth are fast-growing destinations that offer both a big city and suburban lifestyle. So what’s that mean for new retirees? It gives those who have retired the option to choose the feel of a small town with the conveniences of a city nearby. With shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment readily available, they are sure to have something for everyone. A plus is that sports fans have professional teams there, in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer. There is a wide range of housing available, with property taxes considerably high, even with the exemptions for seniors, so keep that in mind (via Travel and Leisure). However, Texas has no state income tax (via Travel and Leisure).

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6. Reading, Pennsylvania

Reading is a town located about halfway between the state capital city of Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city (via Money). A fun fact about this town, Reading had lent its name to a now-defunct railroad that now lives on in a popular board game known as Monopoly, and you guessed it, it’s called Reading Railroad (via Money). The city-owned Reading Pagoda atop Mount Penn provides scenic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. If you are into that sort of thing, there is also the red Japanese-style tower visible from almost everywhere in town. If you’re a fan of pretzels, look no further than Reading because it is home to numerous pretzel bakeries.

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5. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

This capital city located along the Susquehanna River (via Money). Those who like to be outside can enjoy the Riverfront Park. Are you quite active in your older age? Runners and bikers can take advantage of the park and other nearby hiking trails. Harrisburg has reasonable housing costs, making it affordable to relocate to the area, where the median home value is only 180,900 dollars (via Money). Suppose you fancy taking regular trips into a big city. In that case, several large metro areas are within an easy driving distance. That includes Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and even Washington, DC. If you retire in this town and have grandchildren, there is something for them. Take a day trip to nearby Hershey, home of the well-known chocolate maker.

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4. Allentown, Pennsylvania

Allentown is just 90 miles from New York City and only 60 miles from Philadelphia, great proximity for fun events. Not only that but it has lower housing costs than both of those larger cities. The median home value among people over 60 is just $208,500. If you’re looking to retire in this city, you can look for a home in the third-largest metro area, which is located on the Lehigh River and has many historic houses to choose from. The Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network is the largest employer and significant healthcare provider in Allentown (via Money). This city works best for those who are retired and like to enjoy all four seasons including snow-filled winter (via Money). 

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3. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Another Pennsylvania town ideal for retirement is Lancaster. Did you think the great state of Pennsylvania would have this many places that are perfect for new retirees? Located between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Lancaster is actually the former capital of Pennsylvania. Residents here have told Sharecare that they like where they live and feel safe in their community, a massive plus for any retiree looking for someplace to live without worrying about crime (via Money). Lancaster is surrounded by Amish farmland, so if you are a fan of Amish products, you’ll find plenty here in addition to the Lancaster Central Market (via Money). This city has a growing foodie scene with many warehouses and buildings transformed into hip restaurants and bars.

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2. Naples, Florida

Naples is a more expensive city than many other cities in Florida,; however, many of those who are retired can appreciate its high quality of life. The residents of this town report a heightened sense of well-being, according to the annual Sharecare Community Well Being Index, that is (via Money). People who live in this Southern Florida city say that they enjoy supportive relationships, like having a secure economic life and what they do each day. Naples also scored highly on the desirability metric, saying that travelers and those who are retired often are drawn to the white sand beaches that lay alongside the Gulf of Mexico (via Money). Furthermore, they enjoy the spacious golf courses they have to offer nearby. With the mild winters, Naples’ residents can enjoy the course year-round.

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1. Daytona Beach, Florida

Last but certainly not least on the list of great places to consider retiring would be Daytona Beach, Florida. Daytona Beach is not your typical sleepy beach town either. If you are big into motorsports, look no further than Daytona Beach. This city is most famous for its motorsports, and NASCAR fans flock to the area for the Daytona 500 and other races at the Daytona International Speedway. Those who are retired or are about to retire may be enticed to stay by the low housing costs, with pleasant winter weather and desirability of retiring along the Atlantic Ocean (via Money). Located on the East coast of Florida, this beach town area has 23 miles of sandy beaches, where some even allow you to drive your car onto the hard-packed sand (via Money). 

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