Retirement is a life altering event and one of the best ways to kick start this milestone is by finding a great new place to live. This is especially a great time for those who felt stuck in a place because of their employment situation.
Picking the 10 best places in the entire US was not the easiest task as everybody has a different vision for of what their ideal retirement location would be. For the purpose of this article, several things were taken into consideration before creating the final list: climate, average housing cost, living cost, surrounding cities, cultural diversity, recreational activity opportunties, and crime rates. The attempt was also made to cover as many regions of the country as possible; cities to suburbs and even paradise – all have been covered!
These cities might just fit the bill for someplace great to move even if you aren’t even close to retiring.
Active retirees will appreciate Bellingham. The overwhelmingly scenic city is a host to a myriad outdoor activities and exceptionally clean air. The city is culturally active and filled with amenities associated with an educationally centered town; the college town includes Western Washington University and three other community colleges. The downtown is a thriving and safe area. Winters are cold but certainly beautiful which can be considered a plus if winter sports are of interest.
Unfortunately, the cost of living is higher than nation’s average and the average housing cost is $250,000+. However, keep Bellingham under consideration if affording the lifestyle is a possibility.
Con: While the violent crime rate is well below the national average, the rate is slightly higher for property crimes. Also, as mentioned before, houses lean slightly towards the expensive end.
Boise statistics for both violent and property crimes are below the nation’s average. It’s a great city for those that enjoy outdoor and cultural activities. Although the overall cost of living is slightly higher than the average, the average cost of housing is slightly below the national average at around $170,000. One does not have to worry about extreme weather here, it is dry and temperate throughout the year. All the required amenities are pleasantly available being it’s the bustling state’s capitol.
Cons: Although recent attitude suggests that change is on the way, it is not as culturally diverse as most large cities are.
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers developed Venice, Florida in 1925 to create a community catering to the needs of the retired. Although most of Florida has been notorious for being inhabited by retirees, Venice presents itself to be the most cost-friendly cities in the state. Compared with the extremely high property values in Fort Lauderdale and Napa, Venice has an average living and housing costs – just a little under the rest of the state. The beautiful beach and 31 municipal parks exist in the vicinity. Warm and quite peaceful throughout the year, it is also not far too far from bigger cities. The crime rates are also impressively low.
Con: Prone to hurricanes.
Predominantly a conservative state, the existence of The University of Georgia in Athens provides a substantial balance of cultural attitudes. Athens is one of the cheaper alternatives – average houses are around $140,000 and the cost of living is below the national average. The weather is temperate. The crime rate has actually shown signs of improvement over the last few years and is about the national average.
Con: Not the quietest of areas and downtown may seem overwhelming to some; due to the heavy population of the city.
Outdoor activities will never disappoint the residents of the “sooner state” which offers 11 distinct geographical regions. About 45 minutes away from Tulsa, Bartlesville is a small town and offers a comfortable, quiet, and affordable living for retirees. The below average cost of living and cost of average house at about $120,000, in addition to some of the lowest property taxes in the country, it certainly makes it an attractive candidate. The weather is also comfortable during winter. The two community colleges in the town help expand opportunities and diversity. The crime rates for both violent and property crimes are also below the national average. The Native American culture thrives in Oklahoma. About 50 Native American tribes call the state their home – which more than any other state.
Con: Nearest city is about an hour drive away.
Ithaca, New York
Ithaca serves well for those seeking vibrant cultural atmosphere. It is home to two large universities – Cornell University and Ithaca College; the town serves as a great example for an intellectually liberal community. The town is exceptionally scenic as it is filled various gorges, waterfalls, and plenty of natural walkable areas. The crime rates are below national average for both violent and property crime, a unique quality that is not common for many college towns. The town is perfect for those that enjoy the changes in seasons as it features warm summers and cold winters.
Con: Although average housing is below the national average, the average house costs over $200,000. The cost of living is also on the higher end.
Liberal lifestyles and excess is no stranger to California. Impressively, those who live there swear by its greatness. With places like San Diego, Napa, Berkley, Santa Barbara, and many more to choose from, selecting the right town from California was difficult. Fantastic warm weather throughout the year is one of the best features of southern California. Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and the nearby San Gabriel Mountains offer recreational activities to the residents of Claremont. It is only 30 miles away from Los Angeles and home to 7 colleges; 5 undergraduate and 2 graduate colleges. The town’s crime rate is also significantly low in all aspects.
Con: The average house in Claremont goes for about $580,000. As one would expect, the cost of living is also significantly higher.
Marketing itself as one of the most “green” and “healthiest” cities, Boulder offers retirees a healthy lifestyle. Nestled right under the Rocky Mountains, a 30 mile radius offers 50 parks and over 50 golf courses, you’ll never run out of fun outdoor activities. The town is also home to the University of Colorado. The humid continental climate results in all four seasons and a great opportunity for skiing in the winter and up to 300 days of sunshine each year. The crime rates for both violent and property crimes are also below the national average.
Con: Boulder is on the more expensive end unlike most places in Colorado. The cost of living is also significantly high and the average house costs well over $400,000. A good alternative could be found in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Durango.
The Woodlands, Texas
Texas offers many amazing places to pick from; Austin, Rio Grande Valley area, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio to name a few. The rise of Texas economy over recent years has made it a very attractive state for everyone. The Woodlands consists of numerous master-planned communities that cater very well to the needs of the retirees. The amenities of a big city, like Houston, are also just 45 minutes away. The cost of living and crime rates of this suburban area are low. However, the recent increase in inhabitants and the quality of life has raised the prices of houses; the average is about $280,000.
Con: Not very culturally diverse.
Living in Hawaii may not be a reasonable option for most, but those that can afford to splurge should keep it under consideration. Living in Hawaii and living in paradise are one in the same. Among all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai offers the most generous medium when it comes to amenities, cost of living, and recreational opportunities. Retires can enjoy golfing, hiking, beaches, water sports, etc. – and of course the exotic scenery. The crime rates are also well below the national average.
Con: Unfortunately, living in Hawaii is not a budget friendly option. The average cost of house is over $425,000 and the cost of living is high, as well. Also, living away from the mainland might be a turnoff for some.