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Best and Worst Cities for Retirement

By Brian Kline | June 8, 2015

Retirement will continue to be a major social issue for years to come as the 77 million baby boomers continue reaching age 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day. This is likely the last generation that will mostly retire with full pensions. While these people aren't going to retire rich, most will continues living a middle-income lifestyle. The cities these seniors decide to retire in will benefit from them spending their retirement pensions (and savings).

retire-early Ranks Retirement Cities

Last week, released a study of 172 retirement cities using criteria that included local weather, cost of living, crime rate, health care quality, tax burden, walkability and senior well-being (a measurement from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that quantifies how satisfied residents 65 and older are with their surroundings).

“Deciding where to retire is a very personal choice,” said research and statistics analyst Chris Kahn. “We ranked the cities on factors that matter most to seniors, but recognize that every city has its pros and cons that will be shaped by each individual’s personal experiences.”

Phoenix and the surrounding area came in number one for its weather and high well-being score. While New York City ranked number one for walkability and has a wealth of cultural activities for retirees, its high cost of living and high tax burden can make it a difficult place to live for people on a fixed income.

According to, other places that round out the top 10 are:

  1. Phoenix metro area (including Mesa and Scottsdale)
  2. Arlington/Alexandria, Va.
  3. Prescott, Ariz.
  4. Tucson, Ariz.
  5. Des Moines, Iowa
  6. 6) Denver (including Aurora)
  7. Austin, Texas (including Round Rock)
  8. Cape Coral, Fla. (including Ft. Myers)
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Franklin, Tenn.

Ranking at the Bottom

Places that ranked at the bottom include:

  • New York
  • Little Rock, Ark. (including North Little Rock and Conway)
  • New Haven, Conn. (including Milford, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford)
  • Buffalo, N.Y. (including Rochester, Niagara Falls, and Cheektowaga)
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Albany, N.Y. (including Troy and Schenectady)
  • Hartford, Conn. (including East and West Hartford)
  • Oakland, Calif.
  • Indianapolis
  • Cleveland

“Just because a city ranks at the bottom doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to spend your golden years,” said Kahn. “Soon-to-be retirees should focus on what factors are most important to them and then consult rankings like this to see what cities best fit their criteria.”

The full list can be seen in its entirety here:

Bankrate's "Best and worst cities to retire" list ranks U.S. cities according to their cost of living, crime rate (violent and property crimes), walkability, health care quality, state and local tax burden, personal well-being for seniors and weather (temperature and precipitation).


BioAbout the author: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.

Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News
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