10 best places to retire in the US

This list of cities and towns has both well-known and lesser-known names, but all can boast that they offer a high quality of life for retirees.

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May 8, 2012 10:13AM

Why is it seemingly always assumed that retirees want HEAT?


Eight of your ten are in the South/Southeast with unbearable heat and humidity.  Five of those picks are in Florida where the state bird is the mosquito.


The two remaining are in drier Arizona but the summers are hotter than a tin lizard!


If your criteria were true, there would be nobody older than 60 anywhere North of Amarillo.

May 8, 2012 5:39AM
This is a silly list.  What if you like seasons?  What if you don't like Florida?  What about the Midwest?  the MidAtlantic?  California, for heavens sake?  Who made up this list?  So biased, so unhelpful.  I think I'll retire to a university town in the Midwest, maybe Madison, WI.  Great food, the Overture Center, two (count 'em) lakes, reasonable housing costs, and so on.  Please, some variety!
Apr 20, 2012 2:29PM

so most of the people in this top ten list LIKE serious 95% humidity?  or they stay inside and run the AC all day so it really doesn't matter WHERE they live? 


or did these cities pay the right fee for a listing? 


hurricane city really isn't for me.  i'll stay west.  more to do than just sit in sweat

May 21, 2012 1:11AM
I have traveled much of the US and I came home to where I grew up and now live about 16 miles away. Yep I am retired and loving it, very few people around and I have a lot of piece and quiet, an excellent emergency system is just minutes away and I have a Very Good VA hospital about 25 minutes away. I can hunt, fish, and take walks in the forest at my leisure. I am less than 3 hours from Portland OR, from the coast,  from the high desert and an hour to a Eugene Or. If I want to fly someplace I am a little over an hour to an airport and my cost of living is really pretty low. Oh I have neighbors  many are like me are retired or soon will be and like me they like the peace and quiet.  On a noisy day you will here the lawn movers going but no traffic noise, no airplanes flying overhead, no sirens and no crunching of cars or bitchy people. Yep I live in Oregon just outside of Roseburg and I would not trade it for any of your big retirement centers as I have every thing I want or need which is peaceful and active life without interruptions from others. 

May 20, 2012 8:46PM
Been in Florida 15 years and looking to retire somewhere else...too flat, too hot, too humid, too crowded, and most of all, awful drivers
Apr 19, 2012 9:00PM
I lived in the Sarasota/Bradenton area for 10 years, I dont see how it can rated No.1. There are drug turf wars in the seedy areas, food prices are high, gas prices are higher than US average, home and car insurance is extremely high, plus its very hot and humid in the summer and there are frequent violent storms with damaging winds(thus higher home ins. rates).  Did I mention very congested streets and roads plus you have 1000's of tourists to cope with year round, many are from overseas. That is why I am in Tennessee.
Apr 20, 2012 2:31PM

oh yeah - MSN is new york city based.  the center of the universe.  and like Sinefield said "my parents retired and moved to florida because that's the law". 


heaven forbid anyone move west! 

May 20, 2012 10:43PM

This list assumes that everyone who retires is enamoured with hot weather. How about some places for those of us who don't like being steamed or baked?



May 20, 2012 4:13PM
Forgot to mention, another good place to retire has been St George Utah. Low crime and enough variety that you don't have to be Mormon to fit in. Beautiful red rock country. But once again, be ready for extreme heat in the summer, not much different than Mesquite Nevada or Vegas. Most places with blazing hot summers  like this are beautiful in the Fall and Spring. I think if you can afford it, better to have two places to live during the year so you can avoid the bad seasons. Live near an ocean in the summer.
May 20, 2012 4:43PM

Main reason to NOT retire in Florida?  Everyone else will. I hate crowds.. I understand the criteria for choosing 5 of 10 Florida spots; but when I think Florida, I think hot, humid, sweaty and itchy. Ugh!  BTW, I am retired, living in #10 Prescott AZ.  Great, except for the heat in July and August.

Nights and mornings are still cool, even in those two months.   Sales tax?  Except for gasoline and food, I purchase everything over the net, trying to stay away from big chains that have storefronts in AZ., so as to avoid sales tax.

      Kind of sad that Prescott made this list; because now more crowds will come to live here.

OH!  wait.  I just checked.  we're full.  Try Naples FL., I hear they have lots of openings.

Mar 22, 2013 9:47AM
We moved to the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area 9 years ago and don't regret it, the winters are mild and the utility bills and taxes are low and we have some of the best beaches north of Florida. The area is loaded with amusements and entertainment of all kinds. There are 100 golf courses plus miniature golf courses and many fishing piers on the ocean. There are free state owned boat launching ramps all over the area. The Inter Coastal Waterway offers fresh and salt water fishing and the area has some of the best live theaters anywhere in the country. Sales tax on new and used car purchases is capped at $350. Home prices are below average for the U.S. If you are 65 or older, you are not taxed on the first $50,000 of your real estate. We have one of the lowest taxes on gas and cigarettes in the U.S. Utility rates are very low due to the climate. In the winter we have very few days below 45 degrees, most of the time it's 55 or better. Every day feels like we are on vacation.
Apr 19, 2012 10:03PM
I'm suprised to see so much of Florida in the top ten.  I live in the panhandle and although I like where I live I wouldn't consider it a top ten place to retire.   Some places have fairly inexpensive housing.....but that doesn't equal good.
May 20, 2012 7:24PM
Awhile back, Fort Collins , Colorado was listed as one of the best places to retire. It has a university and excellent health care system(Poudre Valley Hospital), four seasons, cultural arts, and companies such as HP, Woodward Governor, and Waterpik to name a few.  The old town section is bustling with life with shops, restaurants and pubs.We moved here from LA 24 yrs ago and glad we did.
May 13, 2013 6:08PM

A lot of Florida haters. Well that is not me , I love Florida-the beautiful white sandy beaches I miss so much. Snow is not my thing and if I get the chance to go to Florida again, I'm staying.

Apr 19, 2012 10:13PM
And Gary Boyce, Buffalo only has 2 seasons to worry about.  Winter and July 4th.
May 20, 2012 4:06PM
Tucson is a beautiful city, many nice new eco-friendly housing developments in the outlaying areas. Another favorite of ex-Californians.  Very HOT in the summer, but the occasional thunder storms are cool. And speaking from experience, be sure to check your shoes for scorpions before you put them on. This is the first place I've seen where the hardware stores newspaper inserts advertise scorpion flashlights and traps.
Surprised San Antonio is on this list, and also surprised Austin isn't. Also glad that Florida has so many great places to live. Makes my favorites less crowded.
Apr 19, 2012 9:59PM
Depends on what you are looking for in a retirement locale.  My wife and I would probably never consider living north of Tennessee or North Carolina.  We're southerners and like warm weather and small utility bills.  We're actually thinking about the area between Atlanta and Savannah (family in the Atlanta area), but are also re-thinking our old plans of moving to Europe for 3 to 5 years.
May 20, 2012 6:50PM
First prize, one week in any of these recommended retirement haunts. Second prize, two weeks.......A
May 20, 2012 7:15PM
Just about any small university town in the US with a healthcare center (preferably associated with the university) is a good place to retire- there will be interesting things to do and stay mentally active.  And let's face it, as we get older, health care has to be of concern.  Charlottesville, VA, Ann Arbor, MI, Hanover, NH- just to name a very few. 
May 9, 2014 4:26PM

I can't see anybody wanting to settle down in the cold, miserable weather, but, different strokes for different folks, I guess. Because I am still 30 years away, I am focused on my savings, and I am determined not to be left uncomfortable in my golden years. I also am not moving to South Dakota just to survive. I want relaxing beach weather! Hawaii is my choice (or at least Florida or SoCal). Hopefully I take care of everything (savings-wise) so I don't have to live way up in frigid Montana when I retire.

After a thorough review earlier this year, these are the best tricks I found for putting away money, for my personal situation anyway.

1. I now max out my match for my 401K by putting away the maximum amount (5% for me) that my employer will pay into the plan as a match. It is free money and I was dumb not to do it before.

2. I found my biggest expense was driving. I cut that expense in half by buying a used Honda Civic ($13k), got a dirt cheap insurance policy from Insurance Panda ($25/month), and started using the Waze and GasBuddy apps to save on gas (cut my gas bill in half).

3. I'm working on developing multiple revenue streams. Some ideas I have - Do contract work. Start a business on the side. Invest in a business as a silent partner. Raise chickens, breed dogs or grow apples. Build websites. Buy and sell antiques. Acquire rental property. Sell something that generates residual income. Learn to play the currency markets or trade stocks. Basically do whatever I can to generate income from multiple sources.

4. I need life insurance to protect my 2 daughters, but I ditched a $300 a month whole life policy for a policy from LifeAnt and now I only spend $25 a month. I save the difference to my Roth IRA. If you are unfamiliar with this concept and want to learn more watch Suzey Orman or Dave Ramsey sometime.

5.I cut wayy back on eating out. I am having a year of putting away money hard, and food was a huge portion of my budget. I save about an extra $100 a week now easily, and eat healthier and better. Ditto if you spend a lot of money in bars.

If I plan on having a full savings account and retirement I have to make good decisions.

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